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Category Archives: Wrestling picks

I have three good reasons why this is the first post I’ve made since the last results column: 1) I was lazy, 2) I do not care at all about what happens at this show, and 3) I have a much larger project that I’ve been working on for the past week and am going to be working on for the next couple of weeks more, a project that I hope will be spread across the internet and reach the office of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Or one of his underlings. Anyway, you could fill a football stadium with how much I don’t care about Bragging Rights, so let’s get this picks post out of the way, shall we?

Champion vs. Champion – Daniel Bryan Danielson vs. Dolph Ziggler

If this is the prelude to the unification of the United States and Intercontinental Championships, I’m pretty much okay with it. As much as it seems like Vince hates pushing Danielson, he hasn’t lost on PPV yet. Well, he got pinned in that WWE vs. Nexus match at Summerslam, but that was after he eliminated two Nexus members, which I count as a win. I just wish Michael Cole would shut up for five minutes about how much he hates Danielson so we could enjoy his matches. Ziggler is just kind of there, not really advancing past the mid card. Because he’s perfect in PPV matches so far, I’m picking Daniel Bryan Danielson to win and someday become the Unified Inter-United-Conti-States-Nental champion.

Diva’s Championship – Layla (c) vs. Natalya

Laycool is never going to drop these belts as long as they’re together and a disqualification means they retain the belt. Layla retains. NEXT.

WWE Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs. Wade Barrett

Yawn. Randy Orton retains somehow, either by an accidental DQ by Cena or Barrett or a freak pinfall after said mistake by Cena.

Buried Alive Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker

Every time I’ve picked the Undertaker to win, he’s lost. But not this time! This feud has been losing steam for the past few weeks, and a Buried Alive match is very symbolic of finishing something for good. This is going to be the last match in this feud for a while. If they decide to pick it up again, it won’t be for a couple of months, which may be a good idea. As to who wins, well, I think I kind of gave that away in the first two sentences. Against my better judgment, I am once again picking The Undertaker to win. Maybe Kane will go into hiding afterwards so they don’t have a return match. I don’t know, really. Bu it should be fun.

Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown – 7-on-7 Elimination Match

What’s the point? What’s the point of booting Kaval out of the match in favor of Super Hobo Man, AKA Tyler Reks? What’s the point in replacing Mark Henry with the immensely awful Ezekiel Jackson? What’s the point of having a Survivor Series PPV when we’ve already had one 7-on-7 elimination match at Summerslam and one at Bragging Rights? I’m convinced there is no point. I’m not even going to try to go into the feuds both within each team and between the two teams, because it would be a waste of my time. Team Raw wins this severely pointless match.

I apologize for the shortness of this entry. I just hope it helps you understand how little I care about Bragging Rights and WWE in general. Part of it does have to do with politics, and part of it has to do with how awful WWE is in comparison to a good wrestling promotion. I am getting tired of the boring, stale programming that WWE is pumping out every week. I may stop watching altogether soon. Especially if they actually try to land Justin Bieber to sing the national anthem at Wrestlemania 27. Then I’m boycotting them forever. So much for trying to end this on a positive note. Stay functional, everyone!

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As has happened several times in the past, the shows with little intrigue end up surprisingly good. This doesn’t always happen, but having six total matches on the card will only help the performers tell a story in the ring instead of rushing things. And despite starting out perfectly in picks, a perfect 5-0 record was squandered by unforseen circumstances. I’m not going to whine and cry about it, so let’s get right to the results.

Bryan Danielson defeated The Miz and John Morrison in a Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere Match to retain the United States Championship

Quite a mouthful for that first match. They definitely picked the right match to start the show. This was a wicked affair, with tons of legitimate submission holds (instead of a dozen rest holds in between a real submission) and constant action between all three competitors. And what was great was that no one held a clear advantage throughout. Danielson even got some Cattle Mutilation in there, and I loved how weirded out Cole got when he heard it’s name. What was also nice was seeing Miz and Morrison expand their repertoires to include some fairly strong submissions. Seeing Morrison lock a Texas Cloverleaf on Miz was pretty awesome. I’ll give the devil his due: Miz was just as good in this match as Danielson and Morrison. He had some help from his carbon copy, Alex Riley, but thanks to some interference from an unassuming cameraman, Danielson put Miz in the LeBell Lock on the entrance ramp and secured the victory. I was very pleased with how this match went from start to finish. Definitely a match to watch if you get the chance. These three could continue their feud for a while longer and I wouldn’t mind at all, so long as we get more Triple Threat matches out of it.

Randy Orton defeated Sheamus in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Championship

Again, the right decision was made as to which Cell match went first. And I will again give the other devils their due: these two had a really good 20+ minute match. I think it was more me shutting out the commentators and just enjoying the match more than anything, because they tend to ruin matches with their ceaseless banter. I also think that Orton and Sheamus had to pull out all the stops after seeing the Triple Threat match and how awesome it was. The one issue I have with this match is the end. Instead of Orton building up to an RKO like he normally does, the match just kind of ended. Orton hit the RKO on the steel steps Sheamus had pulled into the ring (though it looked more like Orton took all the damage by landing back first on the steps and only a bit of Sheamus’ chest landing on the steps) and it was over. But aside from that, another good match. It was definitely (in my estimation) Sheamus’ best match, and if all of his matches were like this, maybe I wouldn’t be so harsh on his work. Truthfully, if every WWE PPV had the quality of matches that this one did, I’d probably not be so down on the company right now.

Side note: CHIKARA has released their latest shows on DVD, so if you haven’t already purchased them, I’d suggest you do so as soon as you finish reading this entry.

Edge defeated Jack Swagger

In a strange impromptu segment/match that also involved Alberto Del Rio, Edge proved that he is the Eric Young of the WWE. The guy has had more turns than a British roundabout. He was a heel last year, turned face as soon as he got injured, then turned heel shortly after his Wrestlemania match with Chris Jericho, and is now a face again during this ridiculous feud with the Raw GM, who I very cleverly deduced last week is none other than GLaDOS, the insane computer from the game Portal. Trust me, it explains everything. Anyway, a surprisingly fun little match with one very scary botch that appeared to be crossed signals: right near the end of the match, it looked as though Swagger was going for a dragon screw leg whip while holding Edge’s left leg while Edge was attempting an enziguiri. Edge landed awkwardly, and Swagger didn’t release Edge’s leg, causing it to twist in two directions simultaneously. Very scary. But I guess Edge is mostly okay, as there were no reports of a serious injury and he walked out of the arena on his own power. Let’s hope he isn’t hurt.

Wade Barrett defeated John Cena

Ah, the first match with an unexpected ending. When the rest of Nexus was discussing their plan that they’d never run by Barrett, I thought that they might end up causing the disqualification in favor of Barrett so that Cena would lose. But that was not to be, as the rest of the locker room poured out and drove off Nexus, while John Cena merely watched and did nothing to Barrett. I mentioned in my picks entry that I felt Cena was over the hill, ring-wise, but he mostly proved me wrong in this match. Now, if only he worked this well in every match. Barrett also finally showed me why everyone else seems so up on him. These two had a very strong match, but unfortunately, there was outside interference and Barrett won. Now, if you don’t want the identities of the two men who caused Cena to lose, TURN AWAY NOW! SPOILER ALERT! It was Husky Harris and Michael “Don’t Call Me Joe Hennig” McGillicutty. I would imagine that with everyone from season 2 of NXT besides Kaval having had no screen time since their season ended a month or so ago and several of them showing real promise (Harris among them), it may be time for Nexus to expand. Putting Harris on the team would provide the team with a fantastic young talent, and while McGillicutty is, somehow, entirely lacking in the promo department, you cannot discount his in-ring ability. They would make fine additions to Nexus while Darren Young is gone and Skip Sheffield is out with an injury. SPOILER ALERT OVER! So, with all that being said, Cena lost and will join Nexus. Though I would imagine he will not be subservient. Don’t be surprised if he does the same thing CM Punk did with the New Breed back in the old new ECW: tearing it apart from the inside. Cena is a cash cow, a money tree, and Vince would be a complete idiot to turn him heel, if only for monetary purposes.

Natalya defeated Michelle McCool via Disqualification; Michelle McCool retains the Unified Divas Championship

In what was becoming a fairly fun match, Layla had to go toss a shoe at Natalya to cause the DQ rather pathetically early. I was just getting into the match, and suddenly it was over. I should have expected as much from LayCool. Now we are treated to more of the utter revulsion their voices cause on a nightly basis. Joy of joys. Not that I was expecting Nattie to win. She is the best women wrestler on WWE programming, and she’s decent on the mic. But when it comes to women, Vince cares not about wrestling ability and all about physical appearance. It’s okay. When the Hart Dynasty gets future endeavored, they can all come work for my imaginary promotion, where everyone gets equal screen time and no one has to deal with Russo-Rific storylines and horrible workers who can’t string two moves together without requiring a 5 minute rest hold in between. Oh, if only I had the money…and the skills to run a business.

Kane defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship

Damned Paul Bearer. He screwed me out of a 4-1 record. I knew that something weird was up when he wanted so badly to be inside the cell at the beginning of the match. But I couldn’t have predicted that to happen beforehand, so I just went with it and got screwed in the end. The whole ending spot was also very strange, with the lights going out and the thunder sound effects. Was that supposed to represent the Undertaker’s powers, or the power of the urn, or what exactly? Then Bearer opens the urn and a weird light shines in Taker’s face, which I initially thought had sapped Taker of his strength but apparently just temporarily blinded him, which allowed Kane to hit a chokeslam even after Taker had seemingly retained his sight, picking up the victory. And at the end, the urn is open and the light is shining directly in Kane’s face, yet he isn’t blinded. What the hell? I imagine that many fans at the show don’t have a clue what happened, and they were significantly further away from the action than anyone who watched the show through other means. I hope they try to explain this clusterfuck on Smackdown, because right now none of it makes any sense. Besides that ugliness, the match was pretty good. The deal with a match between these two is that they tell their story through facial expressions rather than big impactful moves and crazy spots. They set things out very carefully, and it pays off. It was a really good match up until the weird ending (seems to be a theme to this show).

So, all in all, I’d actually say that this was a good show, wrestling-wise. Six (mostly) high quality matches and very little backstage or in-ring promo work, which usually bogs down a match with a small card. I could almost recommend spending money to see this show, on DVD of course. Don’t spend $50 or $60 to see it on PPV. That’s just outrageous. If you want to spend $60 on a wrestling show, get CHIKARA’s King of Trios 2010 shows. Three shows, nearly 9 hours of ridiculously high-quality wrestling, and an appearance of Dragon Dragon. Trust me, it’s worth it. I swear, those guys and gals at CHIKARA need to stop having so many amazing shows, because I’m going to go broke buying their DVDs. Seriously, I feel like trying to get onto their roster just so I can have crappy matches and tell people not to buy the DVDs because I work a crappy match on it. They make the rest of the wrestling world look bad.

Okay, enough CHIKARA praise. I’m starting to sound like Michael Cole when The Miz is within 100 feet of the announcers’ table. Stay tuned for more entries in the never-ending battle between good wrestling and matches involving Drew McIntyre. Until next time, stay chill everyone!

I was gearing up to write a fairly long, detailed post this week about NXT and how Vince McMahon is ruining the universe, but I ended up not writing anything, as I had no motivation to do so. Alas. Maybe that will show up sometime in the next couple of weeks. But since it’s time for yet another WWE Pay-Per-View show, I must write a picks entry.

Thanks to some dunderheaded decision-making by WWE executives, we’ve received only two weeks between the last PPV and Hell in a Cell. As a result, there are only five announced matches on the card and virtually no build to any of these matches. This whole show just feels tossed together rather than slowly built up so that the fans actually have invested some emotion in the show. As such, we’re getting one, maybe two matches where the fans will actually care about the outcome. Maybe. Let’s get this over with.

Unified Divas Championship Match – Michelle McCool (c) vs. Natalya

Hmmm…doesn’t this seem familiar? Oh, yes, it’s the exact same match we had a little over two years ago to crown the inaugural Divas Champion. And since the Womens Championship has apparently been retired, never to be seen again, we’re stuck with the hilariously hideous butterfly belt, otherwise known as the Divas Championship. It isn’t as horrifying as the WWE Tag Team Championships, but it’s up there in terms of ugliness. Anyway, it feels like no one will ever derail LayCool, and that saddens me. Michelle McCool finally did something I approved of on Smackdown’s SyFy premiere when she kicked Hornswoggle right in the face, but besides that, she’s been nothing more than annoying over the past few years. With the seemingly inevitable break-up of the Hart Dynasty (why?), Natalya’s chances of ever making an impact on WWE programming are slim to nil, and slim just left the building. It’s a shame, as she’s probably the most talented in-ring woman Vince has in his company. I would much prefer Nattie to win the title just so we don’t have to endure any more of those torturous LayCool promos, backstage segments, and guest commentator spots. But that won’t happen, especially since there are two championship belts. Michelle McCool wins and retains the most pointless championship in the world.

United States Championship Triple Threat Submissions Count Anywhere Match – Bryan Danielson (c) vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison

Wow, didn’t this match feel completely thrown together at the last minute? (The answer you are looking for is yes) My favorite part of this feud is that Danielson is now using the Ride of the Valkyries as his new entrance theme. It is so completely epic that I instinctively fling my arms up in the air every time it plays. What makes it even more awesome is how much Michael Cole hates it, despite the fact that his broadcast colleague, Jerry Lawler, uses classical music as his entrance theme (Pictures at an Exhibition, to be exact). Hypocrisy, thy name is Cole. But I digress. This whole ugly mess feels like a vehicle to the reunification of Miz and Morrison as a tag team. Morrison’s been growing out his facial hair, which, in the WWE, means that he is evil or about to become evil. Morrison’s career has become stagnant, and Miz is somehow still being pushed despite a lack of in-ring talent. But together, they form a team that could rule the world. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Anyway, since it’s a submissions count anywhere, and the only one of the competitors in this match who even bothers to USE submissions is Danielson, I think it’s a pretty easy conclusion to come to that Bryan Danielson wins and retains his United States Championship. I’d love to see Danielson vs. Kaval to unify the US and Intercontinental Championships at some point in the future, but the way Kaval is being buried, I doubt that will ever happen.

John Cena vs. Wade Barrett in a Pile of Stipulations Match

If Cena wins, Nexus disbands. If Barrett wins, Cena must join Nexus. Didn’t we see a similar stipulation about two years prior in another company that took its name from a former WWE tag team? Oh, yes, of course, I remember now! TNA did this when Christian was forced to join the Main Event Mafia, but instead got his ass handed to him in order for him to leave the company and resign with WWE. And let’s not forget Rey Mysterio’s feud with the now-defunct Straight Edge Society. These kinds of matches only go one way: the person who would be forced to join an opposing faction if he loses ends up winning. Except for Christian, but that’s because he was leaving the company. Nexus has had a…decent run on Raw, but it’s time to send them packing back to FCW. Justin Gabriel has shown immense promise, so I’d keep him on the main roster, but the rest I’m merely “meh” about or less. Besides, would you bet against John Cena? I wouldn’t. Even though I feel as though his best years in the ring have already passed him by, I can’t bring myself to pick his opponent, whomever he may be. John Cena wins and send Heath Slater back to being the mascot for Wendy’s.

World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell Match – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer

Bringing Paul Bearer back was probably the markiest moment I’ve had in the nearly five years since I returned to watching WWE in 2006. Sadly, he hasn’t received any mic time, so we haven’t gotten any awesome Bearer promos. But there was likely no way for Undertaker to return to his former glory given the storyline. This should be the main event, but probably won’t be for some reason. This has definitely been WWE’s best feud of the year, and it makes picking the winner that much more difficult. Which is actually a good sign that the feud is strong. I don’t believe this feud is over just yet, but I do think that with Paul Bearer in the fold and Taker seemingly back to 100%, we may see a title change. I’ll go ahead and pick The Undertaker to win and begin his eighth World Title reign. This will probably be the best match of the night, so I hope they don’t start the show with it like they did with Taker’s match last year. I hope this next match starts the show.

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match – Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus

I was watching Deal or No Deal yesterday (because I have no life), and they had Rick Achberger, better known as The Sign Guy, competing for money, and Randy Orton was one of the surprise guest stars during the show (the others were Edge, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley). The show was from 2007, before Wrestlemania, and what surprised me most is how sane Orton looked. Yes, the entire point of those last few sentences was to mention how awful Randy Orton looks nowadays. He may have seemingly had a lack of scruples back then, but at least he looked like a normal guy. Now he just looks creepy. I still haven’t figured out why he’s so popular right now, but at least he’s a better champion than Sheamus. Hopefully this match will end the feud and (I pray) let somebody new and exciting into the main event. And I’m not talking about The Miz. I don’t particularly like Orton as champion, but for this match, I’ll pick Randy Orton to win and retain the WWE Championship.

So that’s Hell in a Cell. I’d expect at least one extra match since five matches is not enough for a card on a PPV event. Unless they’re all really good matches, which I’m not really expecting. Check back in in a couple of days for Hell in a Cell results, and soon I’ll be writing a diatribe directed towards Vince McMahon. Until then, stay cool everyone!

I agree, Mr. Sheik. This show was FAKING BULLSHEHT.

Okay, really just the last hour. But it completely overshadowed the previous hour and forty-five minutes, and ruined what to that point had been a pretty decent PPV. Let’s look at the slow burn to disaster that is Night of Champions.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the Intercontinental Championship

They picked a good’un to start the PPV. The only really disappointing part of this match was about two minutes in, when Vickie Guerrero sent Kaitlyn out of the arena. In terms of character, Kaitlyn is my favorite competitor on NXT (which reminds me, I REALLY need to talk about NXT soon, before it gets canceled, which it will). And it doesn’t hurt that she’s ridiculously easy on the eyes. I’ll go ahead and stop being a sexist pig now. Lots of back and forth action, and a great build to the finish, with it seeming like Vickie was going to screw up Dolph’s chances, only for him to apparently be faking his anger and dropping Kofi with the Zig Zag to earn the pinfall victory. This match solidified Ziggler’s Intercontinental Championship reign, and will hopefully tie up any loose ends Kofi has in the mid-card so he can FINALLY move up to the main event in the next couple of months. Good opener.

The Big Show defeated CM Punk

Anyone who watched this match knows that it obviously did not go as planned. Big Show’s ribs were probably injured after Punk hit a slingshot somersault senton from inside the ring to a prone Show on the floor outside the ring. The match went about two minutes after that, and Show hit a Knockout Punch to abruptly end the match. I have no idea if this was the planned finish, but I find it tough to believe it after Punk’s promo and my picking him to win the match. But that’s how it goes with legitimate injuries: a match has to end quickly or you risk further injury. I applaud Show for trying his best to finish the match with a rib injury. Had he not gotten hurt, I bet this would have definitely gone on longer. It’s okay, though. It was still a decent four minute match.

Daniel Bryan Danielson defeated The Miz to become the NEW United States Champion!

This was the one match on the card I was praying I had picked incorrectly, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I had honestly thought that they would battle again at Hell in a Cell, where Danielson would win the US Title, Miz would become nearly inconsolable, only to wait until the Raw Hell in a Cell match to jump out from nowhere, trip, fall head-first onto his briefcase, and get pinned by the WWE Champion to become the first man to NOT win a title after cashing in the Money in the Bank Briefcase. But it’s okay, because Bryan Danielson is now a Champion in WWE! Man, I did not expect to say that in 2010. It makes me so happy to see Vince finally give the fans (and the internet) something they actually want instead of something he THINKS we want. If I were to grade the matches on this PPV by how much I wanted a specific outcome, this would have been the match of the night. Hell, it was actually the second-best match of the night. Danielson can really work well with anyone, and he brought out the best in The Miz. I just wish Michael Cole would stop rationalizing Miz’s loss by making up idiotic excuses like, “Oh, Miz tripped and that allowed Bryan to slap on the LeBell Lock!” We get it, you’re trying to be a heel. But it doesn’t work when you’re a heel against one guy. It’s just irritating.

Speaking of Cole (I know I’m getting off track), how awesome is it that he’s leaving NXT? Sure, Vince is trying to destroy the show by having Cole constantly make fun of the entire show, but I still am happy that we’ll get a new play-by-play man to complement Josh Matthews. Can we see the return of Byron Saxton?

Also, props to Matt Striker for being in perfect Smark form during the show, informing the public of the origins of the LeBell Lock. Thank you, sir. Your talent is wasted on Smackdown, where you are censored and edited to the nth degree.

Michelle McCool defeated Melina in a Lumberjill Match to become the Unified Women’s Champion

God I hope WWE doesn’t call this the Unified Diva’s Championship, or just the Diva’s Championship. It says that on WWE.com, but I pray they call it the Women’s Championship still. Calling it the Diva’s Championship just shows us once again how Vince McMahon apparently feels about women. You thought I was a misogynist earlier? Vince is about a thousand times worse. Why in the hell would you have the Lumberjills dress up, some in semi-formal attire, for a match? You don’t see men in a Lumberjack match dressed in tuxedos (except the Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon match at WM 26, but that shouldn’t count), so why have the women in high heels and dresses? At least have them dressed like they’re ready to compete. It isn’t like they’re any less lady-like when they have wrestling boots and shorts on instead of high heels and a miniskirt. It just looks silly. Anyway, the match was okay, but nothing special. And apparently the rift we saw on Smackdown between Michelle and Layla dissolved in a matter of seconds, as they were hugging and jumping up and down, celebrating Michelle’s victory, which she should never have had in the first place since Layla was the official Women’s Champion. That storyline still bothers me. Now we’ll probably get even more screen time wasted with LayCool’s utterly pointless promos. Not as pointless as the Teddy Long/Hornswoggle segments (doesn’t Teddy have a show to run?), but pretty pointless nonetheless.

Kane defeated The Undertaker to retain the World Heavyweight Championship

I’ll put it out there right now: Match of the Night for the Feud of the Year. This match wasn’t about doing the coolest moves or going sixteen straight hours, it was about emotion and internal strife. And these two pulled it off as well as anyone could. While it wasn’t quite as emotional as, say, Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WM 24, it was still fantastic in terms of character. Plus, Undertaker’s selling was top-notch again. These two didn’t have a wrestling match, they had a knock-down, drag-out fight. A brawl. And I was entertained from bell to bell. However, I do not believe this is the end. You cannot properly end a feud like this without a Hell in a Cell match. So you’d better book your seat on the couch, because in two weeks, be ready for the epic end to an amazing feud. I cannot wait.

“Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre won a Tag Team Turmoil Match to become the NEW WWE Tag Team Champions

Here is where the show went to hell. I was okay with Tag Team Turmoil, though I would have been more interested if it was a four-team Tornado-style elimination match without the utterly random and pointless team of Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Really? How did you come up with that pairing, Creative? You couldn’t, say, use Christian and MVP? Or John Morrison and R-Truth (Morrison had a dark match, so this selection is likely unreasonable)? I was okay with putting The Usos in there. I was not okay with Santino and Vlad Kozlov. They’ve done nothing but beat the Usos a couple of times on Superstars. Why not put the Dudebusters in there? Or Hawkins and Archer? Teams that are actually somewhat established? And also, WHY IN THE BLUE HELL WOULD YOU TAKE THE TAG TITLES OFF OF THE HART DYNASTY? What, did one of them piss you off somehow and you decided to retaliate by putting the titles on an undeserving lout like Drew McIntyre? Cody Rhodes I’m fine with, but he should be working up to an Intercontinental Title run, not be a Tag Team Champion. He’s done that three times already. I am so very angry and disappointed that the Hart Dynasty lost the titles so soon. It really sealed the deal for me that Vince truly does not give a shit about tag teams in his company. “Instead of keeping the titles on an established, well-liked team, let’s put the titles on two completely random names we drew from a hat and decided for no good reason to pair up, even though they’re both working in the singles division and have nothing in common besides being vaguely similar in age.” I’m betting that’s how the meeting went when they chose to put the Tag Team Titles on Rhodes and McIntyre. Thanks, Vince. You’ve ruined tag team wrestling. Now I have to go to CHIKARA exclusively for good tag team action.

Randy Orton defeated Sheamus, John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, and Wade Barrett to become the NEW WWE Champion

As bad as the Tag Team Turmoil match was, it didn’t hold a candle to this atrocity. Chris Jericho gets pinned not two minutes into the match, then the match stops for two more minutes while Jericho makes the slow walk up the ramp for the last time (or at least until he’s tired of touring with Fozzy). That was an abomination unto itself, eliminating Jericho so quickly. After some more time in which nothing of note happens, Edge, Cena, and Barrett are eliminated in succession, leaving Sheamus and Mr. Push-a-Lot. Sheamus hits the Bicycle Kick, Orton kicks out, Orton hits the RKO, new champion. Whoop de freaking do. It is no secret that I do not like Randy Orton. I do not understand why he is so over as a face. And I simply do not enjoy the fact that, no matter what happens, he ALWAYS comes out on top. He’s been in the main event so long, I’ve grown bored with his character. He just is not that interesting. Even Sheamus has a strange appearance, but that’s somewhat interesting. Randy Orton is dull. I could not care less about the WWE Championship when Orton is champion. I am certainly not looking forward to Miz taking the title away from Orton, either. Honestly, I expected Miz to cash in the Money in the Bank Briefcase at the PPV (seeing as how the show went on for five minutes after Orton made the final pinfall), but that was not to happen. We just get Orton celebrating on camera for FIVE GODDAMNED MINUTES. I don’t think The Undertaker got that much celebration time when he defeated Edge at the end of Wrestlemania 24. Yeesh.

So WWE is going to hell yet again, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Our only hope is that Daniel Bryan Danielson rises up the ranks quickly and wrests the WWE Championship from whatever boring persona holds the title. And that Kaval makes his way up the Smackdown roster and gains control of the World Heavyweight Championship. But now I’m delusional.

Okay, that’s enough focused rage for now. I’ll actually be back later this week with some NXT comments, and stay tuned for my ultimate roster’s first show. It’s an epic show, if I do say so myself. So, until then, stay fine and dandy everyone!

Admittedly, this episode of Rantables was going to be the card for my epic roster’s first ever show, but I got really lazy/sidetracked by other projects, so that will be posted at a later date. With that said, let’s do picks for Night of Champions.

This show has had about the best total build across all matches as I’ve seen in a while. Every match has had time every week to build a little more on the story so far, and that’s something that WWE programming has been sorely lacking over the past while. What makes it so great is that it actually makes picking winners a challenge instead of one choice being incredibly obvious. It’s refreshing. With that said, let’s go to the card.

CM Punk vs. The Big Show

Ah, the Special Attraction non-title match, the first in Night of Champions history. Punk and Show have had a fun feud that’s managed to keep both guys over throughout. With the dissolution of the Straight Edge Society, Punk appears to be ready to fly solo once again. I honestly thought he was better that way. Show has been getting over like crazy thanks to his jolly antics and overall pleasant demeanor since moving to Smackdown. I enjoy his promos thoroughly. Punk is also stellar on the mic. Show won the last match against Punk in that 3-on-1 Handicap match at SUmmerslam, so it stands to reason that Punk will win this one. But picking against The Big Show is always difficult, since it’s difficult to picture ways in which he can legitimately lose a match. Punk can’t use the GTS on Show, and locking on the Anaconda Vice may be next to impossible. However, Punk has managed to pull off some crazy wins against bigger men, and I would bet that he’s going to use every part of the ring to his advantage. I’m picking CM Punk to win in what I would consider an upset. But this feud isn’t done yet.

Women’s and Diva’s Title Unification Lumberjill match – Melina (Diva’s Champion) vs. Michelle McCool (Women’s Champion)

Aside from the Tag Team Titles match that still hasn’t been booked as of my writing this very sentence, this match has had the least build up of the entire card. Still, it hasn’t been as awful as most of LayCool’s programs in recent months. The latest twist came last night on Smackdown, when Michelle rigged a game of chance so that she would be the half of LayCool to defend the Women’s Championship (and, I would think, become the unified Women’s Champion if she succeeds). This likely means the end of LayCool as we know it. Now, the question on my mind is this: will Layla betray Michelle and help Melina win the unified Women’s Championship, or will her plans backfire and Michelle win anyway? Technically, Michelle should never have been a part of this match, but the story played out that way. On an unrelated note, I really hope that Kaval ends his association with LayCool very soon, since there is no reason he needs to be hanging around them anymore. He has his guaranteed title shot and a spot on the Smackdown roster, so why is he still associating with the tie-for-third-most annoying personalities on WWE programming? I hope he kicks both of their heads in and goes out on his own. Of course, I’ve been hoping for that to happen since the first week he was on NXT…but I’ve gone on this tangent long enough. Michelle would be the more solid choice, as Melina is rather oft injured, which leaves the company scrambling for a replacement. On the other hand, if Michelle wins, we’ll never hear the end of it. The X Factor, of course, will be the ladies surrounding the ring. Whether they end up screwing Michelle out of the title remains to be seen. I think it will cost Michelle in the end, and Melina wins to become the NEW Unified Women’s Champion.

Tag Team Championship Match – The Hart Dynasty (c’s) vs. ???

It really isn’t going to matter who their opponents are, The Hart Dynasty will win and retain the Tag Team Championships. Unless they’re going to face Alberto Del Rio in some manner. WWE seems way too intent on pushing him up the ladder way too quickly. Even the best in the world had to work his way up from the bottom.

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

If Dolph gets disqualified or counted out, he will lose the Intercontinental Championship. Usually, when this type of stipulation is placed on a match, the champion will end up retaining the title. And I would not doubt that WWE is going to stray from tradition this time, either. Kofi has talked a big talk since returning to Smackdown, but he’s barely done anything to live up to his massive potential. Though that’s Creative’s fault for not pushing him up to the main event 9 months ago after his feud with Randy Orton. Maybe this time, they’ll push Kofi up. That being said, this should be a pretty good match despite Vickie Guerrero’s attempts to ruin it by existing. Dolph Ziggler wins and retains the Intercontinental Championship.

United States Championship Match – The Miz (c) vs. Bryan Danielson

Every fiber of my being wants Danielson to take the title away from Miz. Nobody deserves a push in WWE as much as Danielson does. But my gut tells me otherwise. This feud can’t end yet. It’s just getting started, really. With the addition of Alex Riley, AKA The Miz 2.0, it’s getting interesting. I’m not a bigl supporter of Miz or Riley, but at least they can talk most WWE wrestlers under the table. Danielson WILL win the US Championship, for sure. Just not on Sunday. It pains me to write this, but The Miz wins and retains the US Championship…for the moment.

World Heavyweight Championships No Holds Barred Match – Kane (c) vs. The Undertaker

Unless something amazing happens in the next two and a half months, this is my pick for feud of the year. Kane’s promos have been, by far, the best of his career, and the best in the company the past couple of months. I often forget that he’s talking about wrestling when he’s talking. It feels more like this story could fit into a graphic novel or a TV miniseries instead of WWE programming. And as good as Kane has been on the mic, Taker has been just as good at selling his time away. All the younger guys should take note: Taker’s performance is how good you should sell everything. It’s actually believable. Yes, Taker has 20 years of experience, but the earlier you learn to sell well, the better your career and fan following will be. If Taker’s sell of his injuries wasn’t so good, I would have a severely difficult time picking this match. Hell, even so, it’s still a difficult choice. I don’t believe this feud is quite done yet. With Hell in a Cell looming (pun oh so deliciously intended), what better way to finally close out this 13-year-long feud than with a Hell in a Cell match? Answer: there is no better way. Kane wins and retains the World Heavyweight Championship.

WWE Championship Six Pack Challenge Elimination Match – Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton

I think we’re going to have to get used to not seeing Chris Jericho on WWE programming after Sunday night, because there’s no way he’s going to win the WWE Championship. We can also count Edge out, as he’s been in the background most of the length of this build. Cena’s out, as he’s actually becoming a little stale in my eyes, and he’s better as the hunter, not the hunted. And Wade Barrett will probably get a title run later down the line. So that brings us to the current champ and the guy who’s gotten such a ridiculously huge push the past month that it’s actually kind of annoying to watch. Orton is getting the Alberto Del Rio Push, only ten times more so. It’s downright wacky how hard Creative is pushing him. I’m mostly complaining because I’m not a Randy Orton fan. With such a monster push, it would be difficult to pick against Orton. But I have a feeling that Sheamus will somehow pull off the victory, only to have another certain Hunter interrupt his celebration. Sheamus wins to retain the WWE Championship.

I need to write up another one of my sampler episodes to cover all of the stuff I’ve not written about over the past…jeez, I guess it’s been almost three weeks. I’ll get on that after Night of Champions. Until then, stay crispy, 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t even care anymore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But wait, there’s more!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eli’s hilarious promo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jeez, what a disappointing night.  I went 2-3 in official picks.  I guess there’s a reason why Michael Cole repeated 18,000 times that the champion has only a 25% chance of retaining his or her title.  Though, with those odds, you would think that at least one of the four fatal four way matches that have occurred in the past week would have had a champion retain the title.  But apparently, after this past week, the odds of a champion retaining the title in a fatal four way match are 0%.  Let’s look at the show, shall we?

We start with the Chairman, Vince McMahon, making an appearance to let us know that Raw’s GM, Bret Hart, will not be in attendance thanks to the NXT invasion destroying him last Monday.  So we won’t be getting a decision on whether or not the invasion will get their contracts.  Great idea, guys.  Knock out the guy you want to give you contracts so he can’t give you contracts.  Anyway, let’s move on.

Kofi Kingston defeats Drew McIntyre to retain the Intercontinental Championship

As expected, there was outside interference from Matt Hardy.  What wasn’t expected was the ref bump and McIntyre ordering Teddy Long, who was sitting at ringside, to make the pinfall count.  For those of you who don’t remember, Teddy Long is a former referee.  Anyway, Teddy put on the ref shirt that McIntyre tore off Charles Robinson (showing us Robinson’s rather pasty upper body) and counted the 1-2-STOP.  Teddy refused to count the pinfall for McIntyre.  I marked out like crazy when this happened.  Teddy still has some dignity left after that embarassing display on Smackdown.  We then get the 3,249th Matt Hardy run-in of this feud, Hardy hits a Twist of Fate, and Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise for the win, which Teddy enthusiastically counts.  All the fans go home happy.  Except this is the first match, so the crowd is worn out already.  As for the match itself, the McIntyre control segments were typical dull McIntyre fare, but the back-and-forth part was actually quite good.  The spike DDT that Kofi hit on Drew was particularly sick-looking.  I’ll give Drew credit for taking a DDT like Rob Van Dam, who i always thought took the best DDT bumps.  But I’m heading way off topic.  It was a decent match with as close to a Dusty finish as we’re ever going to see in this day and age.

Alicia Fox defeats Eve Torres, Gail Kim, and Maryse in a Fatal Four Way match to become the NEW Divas Champion

I had an odd feeling this might happen.  Even though I picked Eve to retain, I had an inkling that Alicia might win simply because she’s gotten a push in recent weeks.  It was a decent WWE women’s match, but nothing special.  Eve’s moonsault at the end was very well-done, I thought.  But in the end, Alicia pulls the same trick that Miz did last Monday night and wins the Divas Championship.  Also, during this match, the “Daniel Bryan” chants were very prominent.  I believe that those chants popped up no less than a half dozen times, and I’ll save my thoughts on that until the end.

Evan Bourne defeats Chris Jericho

No offense to WWE Creative (okay, a little offense), but when a bonus match is the best match of the night, you’re obviously doing something wrong in the creativity department.  At least, I think it was a bonus match.  I didn’t see it being advertised at all.  Anyway, I think this is the beginning of two major turns for these two men: first, this is the push for Bourne that people have been screaming for since his debut in ECW, and second, it seems to be the beginning of Jericho manning the gatekeeper post on Raw.  Raw has not had a gatekeeper in a while, and there isn’t a better choice for that role than Jericho.  I’ll put it out there now: I think Evan Bourne will be the next United States Champion.  When that happens, I do not know, but I’m sure it will happen.  As far as the match goes, it was definitely the best match of the night, long enough for both men to give a great showing and with enough spots and moves to keep us entertained the whole way through.  Hats off to Bourne, who took a beating from Jericho and still managed to win, and hats off to Jericho for putting over a guy who, I hope, will be one of the future main eventers in the company.

Rey Mysterio defeats Jack Swagger, The Big Show, and CM Punk in a Fatal Four Way match to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion

At first, I found this to be a shocking decision.  Creative is giving Rey a title run based on his own merit?  Impossible!  Then, I realized that Rey took The Undertaker’s place in the match, and it all clicked.  Of course, had Taker not gotten injured, he would have won the title.  Dur.  So, once again, Rey’s world title victory is a sham.  His first was Vince capitalizing on Eddie Guerrero’s death, and this was capitalizing on Taker’s injury.  I suppose that, if nothing else, this sets up a Mask vs. Title match between Mysterio and Punk in the near future.  There are reports floating around that WWE is giving Rey the title because he was going to take a month off but had to postpone those plans when Taker got hurt.  So they’re giving him the title to keep him happy.  Which probably isn’t the best reason to give someone a title.  Also, word is that management was unhappy with Swagger’s title reign.  Of course you’re going to be unhappy with a Jack Swagger title reign!  There is a reason that you build someone up through the ranks and don’t give him a world championship as quickly as you do someone like Sheamus or even Swagger: it’s because they’re untested, and people don’t give a crap about this random new guy who wins a title in what feels like a fluke every single time.  What we want to see is somebody work his or her way up from the bottom of the barrel and earn his or her title shots, AFTER he or she has paid his or her dues.  Guys like Sheamus and Swagger haven’t paid their dues yet.  They’ve been in the business long enough to earn some secondary title opportunities, not world title opportunities.  That’s why, when Evan Bourne wins the United States Championship, it’s going to MEAN something.  He started in ECW, worked his way up there, then was moved to Raw, where he clawed his way from curtain-jerker to legitimate singles competitor.  Though I would think that anyone who saw him work in ROH or WSX would believe he’s been a main event-level talent for a while now.  Anyway, this is why WWE shouldn’t give these younger guys world title runs: because they’re unproven.  You have to establish whether someone can draw a crowd before putting your top title on him.  You can’t put a world title on someone and HOPE that they draw a crowd.  It doesn’t work that way.  It ends up failing miserably.  We saw it with Sheamus’ unimpressive WWE Title reign, and we saw it with Swagger’s title reign.  The match was okay, but again, it didn’t have much of a chance after following the Bourne/Jericho match.

The Miz defeats R-Truth to retain the United States Championship

You could tell, if you were watching the event on PPV (or through other, less legal ways as well) that the crowd was completely blown after the Mysterio title win.  There was dead silence for most of this match.  It was a decent match overall, but not having the crowd into it at all kind of deflated any impact the match could have had.  Still, I’ll give props to Miz and Truth for working a near 15 minute title match with a dead crowd.

Completely tangential sidenote: does anyone else find it hypocritical that WWE is steering so far away from the word “death” when in reference to Taker’s current absence from Smackdown, but a week before his injury/storyline “vegetative state,” they released a DVD package entitled “The Undertaker’s Deadliest Matches?”  I think it’s hypocritical (and a little bit ironic).

Anyway, Miz retain the title, which will help elevate the title for when Bourne wins it.  Having a title change hands multiple times in a short span (as I discussed in the last post) is a sure-fire way to degrade any prestige the title may have.  Miz needs to hold onto this title for a couple more months, to establish himself as the champion again.  I look forward to Miz vs. Bourne.

The Hart Dynasty defeats The Usos and Tamina in a six-person mixed tag match

It’s bad enough that the best match on the card was a bonus match, but it’s REALLY bad when the second-best match was also a bonus match.  This match is how a majority of matches should go: fast-paced, few rest holds, and lots of entertaining spots.  The Usos, after a humdrum in-ring debut on Superstars, showed why they were brought up to the Raw roster instead of having to go through NXT.  Jimmy and Jey are damned good.  They’re a fantastic blend of power, speed, agility, and strength.  And they’re pretty good heels too.  And I couldn’t tell from previous shows, but Tamina is a big girl.  She’s buff like crazy, and she’ll provide a great opponent for Nattie Neidhart.  I think these two teams can have an old-school, long-ass feud that goes for a year or more.  I’ve acquired several of the WWE Legend of Wrestling episodes from WWE Classics on Demand (which I would have were there not a monthly fee attached), and one of the episodes talks about tag teams.  And the panel of legends consists of Nick Bockwinkel, Michael Hayes, J.J. Dillon, and Pat Patterson, four of the foremost tag team wrestlers in history.  And they talk about how tag teams aren’t nearly as prevalent now as they were in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  I think that these two teams can bring back a true tag team resurgence for Vince and Co.  If you just let the Hart Dynasty and the Usos go at it tooth and nail, week in and week out, people will not get tired of it.  Especially if you build each week on the previous week.  I think these teams could have the best tag team feud since The Hardys, The Dudley Boys, and Edge & Christian in the early part of this century.  And once they’re done feuding, there are plenty more young teams champing at the bit for a shot at the Unified Tag Team Titles.

Sheamus defeats John Cena, Edge, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way match to become the NEW WWE Champion

If you want a controversial finish, you got one.  As expected, the NXT invasion hit the arena, first taking out the four Raw superstars who were apparently acting as guardsmen, but ended up just watching the match until they were ambushed by the invasion.  Seven on four is never good for the four.  And after the invasion destroyed the backstage area, they stormed out to ringside (where horrible camera work prevailed) and they beat Cena to a pulp before heading outside to take out Edge and Orton.  Amidst all the chaos, Sheamus quietly slid into the ring and pinned Cena to win the WWE Title.  So now both of his title wins come under dubious circumstances.  But he could not have made a bigger mistake, because as the WWE Champion, he now has the target on his back.  Seeing as how after the NXT invasion chased Sheamus down after finishing their assault on Cena once the match was over, it seems that Sheamus will be the invasion’s next project.  Unless he turns out to be the leader of the faction, which would just be strange.

So, all in all, an okay PPV with the best matches not announced beforehand.  The number of “Daniel Bryan” chants was rather astounding.  I counted at least a half dozen.  Also, the crowd in Long Island reminded me a lot of the crowds in Canada and the United Kingdom: they cheer the heels and boo the faces.  People were booing Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio, which I found rather surprising.  I guess Long Island is closer to Canada than I realize.  And the Daniel Bryan chants make me hope even more that this whole angle is a work.  Because if it isn’t, there are going to be a lot of pissed-off fans.

Before I go, I’d like to talk just a little bit more about tag team wrestling.  A couple of months ago, indy fed CHIKARA held their annual King of Trios tournament.  Now, I’ve never seen CHIKARA before, but an entire tournament dedicated to three-man tag teams sounded great.  And after watching Night 1, I have to say that if CHIKARA’s other shows are anything like King of Trios, I’ll be watching a lot more of them.  Night 1 had the first round of the tournament: 16 teams faced off, and only 8 moved on.  And the variety of teams was amazing.  You had everything from CHIKARA regulars to Japanese teams to Mexican teams to completely random teams like The Throwbacks, which considted of an old-school basketball player gimmick, an old-school baseball player gimmick, and an old-school wrestler gimmick  (incidentally, Matt Classic is now my favorite wrestler ever).  And every match was fantastic to watch.  Some were more comedy-based, like the Throwbacks’ match, while others were more serious.  It was also nice seeing Colin Delaney both in the ring and at the announce table.  If WWE hadn’t future endeavored him, Delaney could have been a pretty good color announcer.  I have not yet watched the second or third nights of this show, but if the first night was any indication, I’ll definitely be enjoying myself.  And if you want to watch some excellent tag team matches, I’d recommend finding this show and acquiring it, whether by purchasing it legally or by other means.  But I would recommend supporting indy feds like CHIKARA, as they provide some of the most entertaining wrestling you will see.  And they’re coming out with a video game later this year.  Should be awesome.

So, with all that said and done, I’m finished for now.  I’ll be back later on in the week, though what my topics will be I am unsure yet.  Stay tuned, and until next time, stay awesome.