Celebrating 10 Years of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect

The year was 2005 and I was in my second semester at San Diego State Univeristy.  I was living in a house with my two childhood best friends, working full time at an elementary school, and part time at Target. 

I had just broken up with my boyfriend, a wrestling fan, and I was mad at the world.  I guess you could say wrestling and I broke up as well. 

While working at the school, I did 6-6 care, reading groups, and lunch duty.  A young man, Alfred, started in our after school program, his family had just relocated here from Sudan.  He did not speak English and really did not speak at all. 

He had a rough adjustment period and my heart went out to him.  He was in a strange place, didn’t know how to communicate with anyone, and had a hard time making friends. 

One day, during homework hour, a scuffle broke out between him and another student.  He gets ups, waves his hand in front of his face, and flops down on top of the kid.  We break up the fight and my brain, thinks it has seen that somewhere before but I shake it off and we move on.

A week or so later, he pops up in front of me while I was doing paperwork, and waves his hand in front of his face and says “you can’t see me.”

Again, I dismiss it and move on.  A few days later, while working with him on his letters and numbers, etc.  He waves his hand in front of his face and says “John Cena.”

Finally, my brain puts it all together.  He is mimmicking John Cena. Duh.

I immediately dove back into wrestling.  Not just because I used to love it but because it gave Alfred and I some common ground.  We started working more on letters, specifically ones that spelled out wrestlers names and I found that he knew more than he let on.  We were instant pals.

Today John Cena is celebrating 10 years with the WWE.  Love him or hate him, the man has been on top for the majority of his career and that, to me, is impressive. 

His career has had highs and lows.  Sometimes you could barely hear “let’s go Cena” amidst the “Cena sucks” chants.  However, I liked the guy from day one and I have continued to be a Cena supporter.

I am not going to give a history lesson of his career or list his accolades, we all have access to Wikipedia, right?

Instead, I want to thank him for getting me excited about wrestling again. 

In 2008, my boyfriend took me to see the Extreme Rules PPV.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I was on my feet pretty much the whole time.  We had really good seats.  There was just this excitement in the air.  I saw some many superstars that night.  It was the first time I had ever seen the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Edge, etc up close. 

When John Cena came out, I may have gotten a tad excited, and my boyfriend said the look on my face was priceless.  Gone were the complaints about wrestling, how much the tickets cost, etc.  He said it was all worth it to see me light up. 

I want to thank John Cena for the last 10 years he has given us fans and non-fans, his dedication, and lastly, the common ground he provided for Alfred and I.

Lucid or Lunatic: Former Spirit Squad Member Speaks Out Against Cena

 

Normally, I would start of this post with a story, fable, lesson learned, funny tale of a young Ashley, etc. but seeing how I was freshly 21, living it up and on my own with the Spirit Squad debuted, I doubt any of the life lessons, stories from that era would be PG enough for our site :)

I was sitting at my desk, working and browsing the internet in search of entertainment, when I came across an interview with SEScoops.com (click the link to read the interview) did with former Spirit Squad member and WWE wrestler, Kenn Doane AKA Kenny Dykstra.

In the interview, Doane blasts Cena, claiming he broke up his engagement to former WWE Diva Mickie James by sleeping with her.  Not only does Doane claim Cena was sleeping with James, but another married Diva, groupies and fans he called “Cena rats.”

He also goes on to claim Cena wanted Orton fired in 2006 and in light of Orton’s recent suspension, probably wants him fired now too.

The mudslinging doesn’t stop at the interview, on twitter, @KennDoane, was eluding to his “pipebomb” of an interview and the allegations. 

He claims to have lost his job, relationship, and life due to Cena and backstage politics, citing the Matt Hardy, Lita and Edge love triangle that initially landed Hardy fired.

This is not the first time we have seen an outlandish interview/tweet storm from a former WWE employee and probably won’t be the last.  I always wonder when reading these rants, how credible are these claims? Is this truly a wronged ex-employee trying to set the record straight or is it a last ditch effort at a career boost?

If Doane hadn’t been tweeting up a storm of controversy about his former relationship with Mickie James, would anyone have even wanted an interview, let alone read this one?

Feel free to weigh in, I am still scratching my head.

Ramblings of a Wrestling Fan – TNA Is Better Than WWE

Hello, hello. Greetings fellow wrestling lovers. It’s been a while since my last post, but that’s mainly because I grew tired of complaining about things that will never change and decided to have a more open mind about the state of Sport’s Entertainment today. I mean, come on. Does Vincent Kennedy McMahon really give a damn what we think? He’s probably sleeping on a bed made out of all the money he makes each day which is, in all likelihood, more than any of us will ever make in this lifetime. So why should he care what we think? However, that does not mean I can’t resort to my trusty laptop and my fellow L.E.W.D chaps when I feel like whining about something or another.

I don’t know if any of you noticed it lately, but there seems to have been some dramatic shift in wrestling within the big two. I don’t mean some mass exchange of talent either. I’m talking about the quality of their programming. I never thought I’d say this, but I cannot stress enough how much better TNA Impact Wrestling programming is over WWE’s current programming of Raw and Smackdown. I cannot speak for Smackdown much because I rarely watch it. I might catch it once a month if that because I have a small life outside of wrestling. Either way, TNA “seems” to be on the right track in its own weird way while WWE is making me feel like I’m wasting hours of my life each week.

I’ll start with Monday Night Raw, the flagship of WWE programming. Honestly, who actually–as of right now–think three hours of Raw is a very good idea? If you’re looking forward to three hours of a snoozefest then either you’re being completely optimistic or you’re insane. Most L.E.W.D readers, with the exception of the few TNApologists we get, are often optimistic so we’ll go with that. And I hear your optimism. I have heard many arguments as to why three hours of Raw is a good idea.

For instance, some people are hoping the first hour of Raw is dedicated to FCW/NXT hopefuls that want to main event someday. That’s actually a good idea, but I don’t exactly see that happening. I feel like it will be the same “business as usual” attitude with Cena closing the show each week. No Way Out gave us jumbled up tag team match and the end result was a future title match featuring Young and O’Neil versus Kingston and Truth. I guess I could get behind the idea of this fresh new tag team, but WWE’s track record with tag teams as of late hasn’t led me to believe they are ready to get behind the tag team division full force. If that were the case, the Hart Dynasty would have never been “screwed”, The Usos may have had a strong push for the belts and Epico and Primo never would have lost the belts to begin with to two main event level superstars who were thrown together as a tag team. Why not use the tag teams you already have and let main event stars main event?

In the case of Jerishow, they had a purpose which was, and I am assuming here, to revamp the tag team division and it worked for a while, but like most everything in WWE these days, it fizzled out somewhere down the line. I will say though, that the hope–possibly false, but hope nontheless–lies in the fact that WWE currently has more tag teams these days. At No Way Out we saw the Usos, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd, Epico/Primo and Young, O’Neil. There’s also Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks which I think they don’t often get the credit they deserve, but as you can see, there’s clearly some kind of tag team division forming. Does this mean we’ll get to see the tag titles defended on a regular basis rather than just as a random filler for pay per views? Well, during three hours of Raw there’s certainly plenty of time for decent tag team action.

Image
Cyndi: Better smile kiddo. By 2012, all of your accomplishments will be buried by no talent eye candy they call Divas. Just enjoy the moment…

From tag team action, we move right along to women’s wrestling which is actually what finally pushed me into sorting my thoughts. On last night’s Raw, we saw an appearance by none other than WWE Hall of Famer Wendi Richter along with Roddy Piper and Cyndi Lauper, her former manager. The crowd was absolutely dead for this segment. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen such a dead crowd since Nascar drivers attempted to guest host Raw. It was that bad. Some feel like Heath Slater saved that segment, but to be honest, I don’t think anything except Sweet Chin Music could have saved it. Shawn should have been teleported from his couch and sent in to superkick everyone in the ring, including the writers who thought this segment was a great idea.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of all those legends (including Lauper) who were in the ring, but the segment was just cringe worthy. Not only that, but it made me feel sorry for the ladies due to the fact that nobody seemed to care. The crowd popped BIG time for Vader, another person whom we haven’t seen on WWE programming in years and yet when Wendi Richter, another legend, makes her way to the ring there’s no pop. There’s nothing and it makes me think about how WWE has ruined everyone’s perception of women’s wrestling. In a nutshell–the Divas get no love, not even the ones who paved the way.

Layla and Beth Phoenix did a fantastic job during their match at No Way Out. I say fantastic by WWE’s standards because any smart “wrestling” fan knows that those women weren’t exactly tearing it up like Marti Belle or LuFisto. (Yeah I know who they are. I might not watch them often, but I do know them.) But for a WWE women’s wrestling match, it ranked up there with Michelle McCool and Layla’s match before McCool retired. I was entertained, people discovered Layla actually has moves, and they (Layla/Beth) got a great deal of time to tell a story which is what helps wrestling fans get into the match. When there’s no kind of story going on, it makes it hard–at least for me–to invest in that person. When I started watching wrestling, women were actually allowed storylines. They worked the mic–quite often–and even had decent length matches. Of course, they weren’t always five and ten minutes, but if there’s a good story going on, there is no need for a ten minute match each week. Segments are used to keep people interested and invested in that character so it all works out.

These days though, it is very hard. AJ Lee, who is currently the only interesting Diva in WWE programming right now, doesn’t get the mic very often. However, she IS involved in a major storyline and people are beginning to like her. Rose Mendez is a “manager” for Epico and Primo, but no one cares because she never speaks for them often. She doesn’t do the things women like Sherri Martel used to do. Only Vikki Guerrero is playing the part of the classic female manager. She doesn’t wrestle often, but you can bet her Dolph Ziggler is gaining a following. Not only that, but she gets a reaction. I just think it’s sad that the women are only seen as a bathroom break and that a legend like Wendi Richter got absolutely no love from the crowd. I would say, “Shame on you WWE fans”, but if WWE cared more about their women, so would the people who watch their programming.

From WWE’s hatred of women, we now turn to the main event scene. Punk and Bryan have been tearing up as of late. I’m sure it may not compare to their old Ring of Honor stuff, but by WWE standards it’s been great stuff. Even Sheamus has been kicking a whole lot of ass lately and yet that isn’t enough to make two hours of Raw and a three hour WWE pay per view exciting. In the case of No Way Out, I do not think it was a bad show. The match between Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler was very entertaining and had many wanting more. It was a great way to set the tone for the show and yet, as usual, WWE finds a way to ruin such momentum.

Cody and Christian’s match was sorta just there. It only got good near the end. It’s not Christian’s fault, but I don’t feel like Cody’s there yet. The crowd did not seem so hot for that match. The Santino match absolutely killed the pay per view. The crowd obviously, did not appreciate it for they shouted “boring” very loudly. I’m sure that gets edited out for the DVD copy, but that match had no business on the pay per view. Some folks complained about Ryback, but honestly, he didn’t kill the momentum–the Suits match did. The triple threat match was great and should have closed a sour show, but the Cena match closed it. While some people hated that, the crowd certainly popped for Cena so your opinions of Cena closing a show are irrelevant.

But despite No Way Out being watchable, TNA’s Slammiversary kicked No Way Out’s ass six ways from Sunday. Hear that TNA fans? I am openly admitting the fact that I enjoyed a TNA pay per view more than a WWE one and I’ll do you one better. TNA programming, as of late, is BETTER than WWE’s. Yes folks. We’re finally reaching the point of my ramblings. WWE programming seems to drag on and on from one show to the next in the span of two hours. By the time 11pm hits, I’m already half way asleep only having forced myself to stay awake long enough to see John Cena. If WWE is putting me to sleep in two hours, I have no doubt by 10pm, I will not be able to stand much more of it.

I am not, by any means, saying WWE sucks. That isn’t true. It doesn’t suck completely, but it’s mundane, mediocre and predictable. It’s the same old routine. You get your opening 10 to 20 minute promo, followed by a match that will have at least one commercial break, pointless backstage segments with random Zack Ryder, another match, a Diva sighting, a Punk or Bryan match to save the show and then Cena to close it out. Even the damn matches are routine. Its like each match is paced slow and methodically that I often find myself zoning in and out–even during the good ones–because there’s no quick action. No, I’m not saying each match needs that Rey Mysterio pace, but at least in TNA, we get a variety. The matches are not all the same. Not all of them are fast paced, but they don’t seem to drag either. You might get an Aries/Xion match to start things off followed by something a little less quick such as Abyss and someone else. Then you might get a Knockouts match which isn’t at all like a Divas match.

To be fair, I was concerned at one point, but after last week, it looks like things are shaping up again for the ladies of TNA. My point is that TNA has learned (or so it appears) that in a two hour live show, one must keep the audience’s attention and you can only do so much in two hours. Last week there was way more ring action than segments. WWE–that’s another problem. They tend to talk entirely too much during a broadcast and that’s going to keep me from watching, especially when its the same old people holding a mic each week.

I urge all of you to give TNA a chance. They’ve put on two great shows and a great pay per view, but don’t get the ratings to show for it. I actually QUIT watching TNA for months. I think I quit right around November of last year and only just recently got back into it. Even if you’ve never watched TNA, I guarantee you’ll recognize old WWE superstars. That is how I got into the show to begin with. I saw people that I recognized and decided to give it a shot. No, TNA isn’t perfect and God I despise Hogan.

However, I won’t quit watching while they’re trying. If everyone who’s always tooted their nose up at TNA gave it a shot, I think you all would be pleasantly surprised. In fact, you can watch full episodes of TNA on YouTube and looky here. I did you the favor of looking up last week’s show so you can enjoy it. Watch with an open mind and prepared to see wrestling and not that methodical, slow, boring, predictable stuff you see every Monday Night. When TNA actually does something right, they deserve to be watched. With WWE’s epic permanent move to three hours, it’s hard to see a bright future when they’re only advertising returning legends rather than the new generation while current shows are boring everyone to death. Dixie Carter, keep up the good work and with that, I’m finally shutting the heck up,

–T

The Color Commentator, June 2012 Issue

The only thing more amazing than the May issue of The Color Commentator (brought to you by the fine folks at Hit The Ropes) is that fact that I managed to set this photo/link post up correctly.  Wooo me!

But, uh back the lecture at hand (yes that was me quoting lyrics, 3 points if you can guess the song) I thoroughly enjoyed reading this month’s issue.  From Denim Millward’s Benoit article, to their interivew with Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett, to Dragon Ball-Z characters and their WWE counterparts, there was fun for the whole family.

Shout out to Denim Millward for his thoughts on Chris Benoit.  Writing about the Voldemort (Harry Potter reference) of WWE, let alone presenting an alternate view point is risky busniess.  I feel he presented his case well and did a hell of a job.

Every month it seems the Hit The Ropes crew is improving and putting out better magazine than the month before.  Already looking forward to the next issue.

Want to read this fantabulous, journalistic juggernaut of a magazine? Click the photo above, you’re welcome.

Friday Night Fandom: PRODUCTION Matters!

Who’s ready for some Ring of Honor ACTION!!! BLEE!

We here at L.E.W.D. pride ourselves on our ability to enjoy pro wrestling in its many iterations around the world.  While we do take a decidedly particular interest in the WWE’s product (as if there were more prominent sites that don’t lean slightly towards a promotion more often than not…), we also regularly engage in light banter about  other promotions that most fans rarely speak of.

For example: The Nic Johnson’s affinity for Ring Of Honor wrestling is much more than a passing fancy.  In fact we all think Ring of Honor is pretty nifty; it’s wrestling, and as we’ve come to accept in this day in age, “wrestling matters.”

The one thing about ROH that provides me with unlimited amounts of consternation is the production quality of their product.  To put it nicely, it effing sucks.

Ever since ROH lost its deal with HDNet, the production quality of their product has seemingly taken one giant-ass leap backwards. Whether it’s a DVD or their weekly televised show, viewing ROH’s “wrestling” will immediately take fans back to a simpler time where women stayed in the kitchen and polio was the silent killer.

Things for the country’s third largest wrestling promotion don’t get any better as they also have to contend with a pesky iPPV problem that haunts them with more fury than herpes.

This is what makes it frustrating to watch anything shilled by ROH.  One would have to ignore the hobo-like quality of the product to enjoy the in-ring action. No offense to the great minds and athletes in ROH, but that’s simply ridiculous in 2012.

It’s like watching The Great Muta versus Tiger Mask through a keyhole covered with layers of butcher paper and Saran Wrap; after about two minutes you’ll say, “Eff it, where’s a Damien Sandow match?”

As it would happen, I found myself wandering the wide world of pro wrestling late last night/early this morning after yesterday’s Smackdown left me wanting a little more.

I ran across six smaller and independent promotions that have televised products (thanks YouTube!), and believe it or not,THREEof them have better production quality than ROH!

INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!

But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it; watch the videos and judge for yourself:

American Wrestling Federation (AWF) Saturday Night Slam – Ep. 85 – Hutchinson, MN


This 30-minute show from Minnesota tans ROH’s figurative fanny from the very beginning simply by being taped in hi definition!  That fact in and of itself is a win; they could showcase 22 minutes of the two announcers palavering over toothpaste and hair plugs, and it’d still look better than ROH’s stuff!

The other obvious fact is that the show was taped in a packed – I reiterate, PACKED – high school gymnasium.  Not only was the place packed, but the fans were also hot for the entire show!  Even the WWE and TNA have difficulty getting that type of momentum from their shows and fans regularly.

I also thought it was hilarious that Tony Denucci entered and excited the match with Batista’s music…it’s the little things, you know?  On to the next one:

NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood – Hollywood, CA

This guy! It also explains why he hasn’t been featured heavily in ROH lately…anyway, click the picture to watch the latest show.


Let’s be real: the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is about as relevant to the average wrestling fan today as Ahmed Johnson.  Even in the midst of near irrelevancy a “territory” of the NWA can afford to produce a better product than ROH; that’s just plain sad.

It doesn’t appear that the show is filmed in hi def, but it still manages to look and feel big league and up-to-date.  Then again it would look poorly upon Hollywood, California to allow shoddy workmanship to creep from the dark alleyways of its gold brick paved streets (I’m looking at you Asherology…).

The biggest story here is the “Seven Levels of Hate” series that will see NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana defend his title against former four-time NWA champ “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce.  An awesome series of matches with two solid ring workers filmed with something more advanced than Super VHS…can’t really get mad at that.

Moving right along…

NWA Mountain State Wrestling – Ep. 331 – Beckley, WV


Touted as the “flagship of the National Wrestling Alliance,” NWA Mountain State typically provides me with numerous reasons to be proud of my Alabama roots.  The wrestlers in this fed have more missing teeth than a box of broken combs.

Hillbilly jokes aside (and there are a bunch of them), it cannot be ignored or downplayed thatat leastyou can see all of this Appalachian glory in crystal clear clarity.  Even with no more than 25 people in the audience (rough estimation) and one camera (also a rough estimation), the show is taped as if it were Saturday Night’s Main Event.

For heaven’s sake the damn thing was filmed in the front of a store and it still comes off better than ROH’s stuff!!!

The big story coming from the hills of West Virginia is that the Mountain State Champion, Lance Erikson, wants to rise to the top of the Talk NWA Top Ten Rankings.  I could go more in-depth about that, but that would be unnecessary if you watched the video.  Here are the rankings:

  1. “The Temptation” Shaun Tempers
  2. “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce
  3. Damien Wayne
  4. Chance Prophet
  5. Tokyo Monster Kahagas
  6. Scorpio Sky
  7. Jason Kincaid
  8. Brian Fury
  9. The Mempho Mofo Mark Bravura
  10. Lance Erikson

The brass tax here is twofold, folks: there is much more to pro wrestling than TNA and the WWE.  If we expand out horizons just a tad we can witness some truly amazing and befuddling action depending on where we look.

On that same note, we can appreciate and expect more from the larger companies if we allow ourselves the opportunity to see what others are doing and can do.

To this analyst it’s crazy that a promotion that has a nationally syndicated product comes across as if it can only be seen on channel 69, only available to cable subscribers in the area surrounding Lake Chaubunagungamaug.

Then again when the focus of your product is centered on great wrestling instead of the presentation of great wrestling, filming with an 8mm camera doesn’t seem like that big of a deal….I guess…

Here’s to hoping that some day soon ROH will be able to at least make their product look like a million bucks.

Honorable Mentions (i.e. In-the-same-boat-as-ROH):

Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) – Ep. 669 – Jeffersonville, IN
NWA Anarchy Wrestling – Ep. 332 – Cornelia, GA
NWA Smoky Mountain – East Tennessee

 

Me Talking About Wrestling: SmackDown! 6/15/2012

“Spaceships don’t come equipped with rear view mirrors…”

–Andre 3000, International Players Anthem (I Choose You)

Greetings, fancy eating persons, and welcome to another edition of Me Talking About Wrestling, an episodic live review of professional wrestling programs where I take the time to bash every accomplishment, no matter how big or small, that the WWE or TNA throws at us.  You may call me Da Infamous DiZ, aka Young Jon Lovitz Jr., aka Craig T. Nelson, aka Captain “Your Promotion Sucks And I Will Continually Bash It In Any Capacity” Man.  Before you begin reading this, know that I hate the WWE AND TNA.  TNA is just an easier target, and I approve of cheap shots.

Now!  Time for another edition of a SmackDown! review!  We begin with a recap of Monday, where the pro wrestling Donald Trump questions John Laurinaitis’ continued employment, and two-ton heel Big Show “punches” McMahon.  Allow me to quote myself as I say this: “Recycled, retarded, rejected, NEXT SCENE!”

The funny thing is that SmackDown! is the better show for story in the WWE, but this is pretty weak.  As our good friend Money said before, the focus in terms of story should be on the title.  As Sir Quinn Gammon pointed out, after a minor debate where I conceded (won’t happen again) there is no show where the title is a focus.  I didn’t add the qualifier of “major storyline” but screw it, he would have won that battle.  Something else I will never concede.

Now here’s our resident crazy chick.  Disclaimer: she’s gotten SO MUCH SEXIER since she’s gone crazy.  She was sexy before, but notice how my pedophile jokes have COMPLETELY vanished.  And as if it weren’t sexy enough, here comes Vickie.  She talks about the new rise of Dolph Ziggler, and yes, I couldn’t be happier that this man is FINALLY getting the push he so deserves.  Our favorite one-time, unforgettable champion is getting a proper rise, and yes, as he just said, he IS better than what he’s been recently given.  Why Vickie and Ziggler came out during AJ’s set is beyond me, but I assume it’ll lead to a match between Ziggler and Punk in the near future.  As in very, very soon.  Like, tonight.

Ah, a smack by Guerrero.  That was a serious smack.  And AJ looks… pleased.  Is that a masochistic streak too?  Yeah… here’s Punk, with a microphone, and thank God because AJ just went into sexy overload for a second.  Settle down, me, you can focus on that later.  Now we focus on the master of the modern day pipe bomb.

Honestly, looking at Ziggler and Guerrero and Punk and AJ in the ring almost justifies the arbitrary mixed tag match required to keep the “global” appeal of the company going.  And if these four alone weren’t enough (and they weren’t I venture to say) here comes Daniel Bryan.  His “Captain Save-A-Ho” attitude has yet to wear thin but it’s quite humorous.  This isn’t the first time he’s gone down the pimp path; at one point he was singing the International Player’s Anthem with Hispanic and Asian women.  Two of them are unemployed and one of them is now the EX Knockout champ, losing to a woman who doesn’t deserve the title.  I guess Bryan was right:

And finally we have the last piece of the puzzle: Sheamus.  I still like Sheamus, but for the past 13 minutes we’ve had nothing but talking and big barking, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since Xzibit’s sorely underrated Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Sheamus calls for the match to start now, to everybody’s enthusiasm, and AJ announces she has old business to take care of, which is going after Vickie.  Sexiness at its peak again?  Check.  Commercials?  Welp, I’ll be right back.  Where’s that lotion…?

No, I’m joking, I’m not looking for any lotion; I’m just being a dirty young man.  Actually this all goes back to how significant this storyline is.  The focus isn’t on the belt – or The Precious as some people would unspeakingly like to call it (ADRIAN!) – but AJ is leading this story, and I can’t recall in recent history a woman who has even had such a prominent position.  You wanna say Trish Stratus though, don’t you?  Of course you do.  Go ahead.  Please comment on that in the comment section because I don’t remember and I sure as hell have no intention of doing any research right now.  AJ, however, literally went from the bottom of the totem pole to the top, and honestly they – the WWE – might benefit from putting her again Vickie in the second half.  It would be good for business, and it helps that females are privy to a slightly more significant role right now.

I’ll talk about that a little later (maybe): now we have our first match of the evening, the main event between the top champions Punk and Sheamus, versus their number one contenders Bryan and Ziggler.  You know what’s already special?  The fact that everyone in this match can WRESTLE.  That already calls for this match to be worth the watch, and it even carries the managers on the outside.  Visually this is nice.  The action is nice.  Even the personas of the wrestlers are showing here.  Punk and Sheamus are eager brawlers, the latter more so than the former.  Ziggler plays the role of the hungry man with something to prove and Bryan is the cowardly talented grappler.  AJ is crazy, perfect for headstrong brawlers, and Vickie is calculating, perfect for the others.  So this match should be great, right?

Well it is indeed very good.  Very back and forth, very clean, very impressive.  As we go to commercials again I’m excited to see what we get when we come back.  Punk’s suspended suplex alone, aside from being a subtle “fuck you” to TNA and X Division champion Austin Aries (I read between the lines), was very cool.

I have a second now so I’ll talk about the women.  First, TNA apologists, I need you to stop saying TNA has the best women’s division in pro wrestling.  That’s a lie.  Is it better than the WWE’s?  Yes, undoubtedly, but they’re not the best.  I just threw that in there to avoid any premature statements about “superior” women’s wrestling in the comments.  But in the WWE, there is a very subtle, very understated rise of the fairer sex in the shows.  If Layla was merely back to fill a void in the women’s division I would have just passed off this notion as a nagging feeling, but no, she’s shown TREMENDOUS improvement in her return and otherwise, and AJ is leading the WWE title story, which involves two former world champions as well as the current one, and she’s overshadowing them.

What.  The.  Freak?!

Back to that a little later again.  Match back and Bryan and Ziggler are in control.  And how quickly that can change.  We’re about to go into brawl territory, and even through this match is good, I have to wonder if Kane is going to do something in this match.  I still say that his very involvement in the WWE title hunt is suspicious, unless he’s leaving shortly (but that’s still suspicious) but nothing about his presence makes sense to me.

Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan defeat Sheamus and CM Punk

Okay, funny.  Ziggler running from Sheamus is hilarious.  Vickie about to fight sexy crazy AJ is funnier.  Vickie running is funny.  AJ looking hurt, not quite as funny.  Kane finally showing, weird.  I joked last time around that AJ kissing Kane introduced the lost sense forgotten feeling of arousal to the man but now I’m starting to this we have dark things erupting from the would-be Maleficent (I’m a Disney movie nerd too).

And this is why AJ is such a clever creation right now.  Lunacy gives rise to creativity, and with Laurinaitis being such a crafty bad guy (which I called, and correctly I might add) who is to say that AJ isn’t part of a grand scheme right now?  Kane’s clumsy obsession, Bryan’s lingering princess that got away, Punk’s confused relationship, and who is holding all the cards?  That’s right, the arousing little nymph that I used to make constant jokes about because of her youthful appearance.  Now she’s the queen bee, and she knows it.  We’re all under her spell and no, none of us are complaining.  Hell, I’m not.  You shouldn’t either.

This might be another innovation they’re testing out.  I honestly don’t think they meant for Bryan to be as big as he is now, and as a result I don’t think AJ was supposed to have the prominence that she does now.  I don’t think Kane, Punk and Bryan were supposed to be part of a twisted love quadrilateral with a woman who has yet to even say she has feelings for anyone currently.  But it works, and we’re intrigued. For those of you that say the wrestling should be more prominent, I ask you this: what is pro wrestling minus story?  The answer: a carnival attraction.  And like Austin Powers I hate carnies and nuclear war.

Wait no, I fear carnies and nuclear war.  Yeah, fear.

Preshow for No Way Out is Clay versus Otunga.  Who cares, right, nobody.

You know why I don’t care?  Because the Funkadactyls are out and Lord knows Booker T’s “shucky ducky quack quack” is appropo at their… entrance.  Overload, my friends.  Overlord.  We’re reminded of Big Show’s bout of ethnic cleansing a few weeks ago, where Clay was beat up.  He’s out here now, promo mode, talking while the sexy sistas to his left and right cosign.  That’s called winning.

Okay, I have a question.  Who’s wife did Heath Slater pork?  That’s the only explanation for him being a jobber with an entrance right now.  Losing to Ryback.  Losing to Clay.  Losing to Vader (LOVED that, mind you), and now he’s losing to Clay again.  And quickly.  Wendy’s pissed SOMEBODY off, and you know what?  Don’t care.  Never liked him.

Brodus Clay defeats Heath Slater

And here’s Otunga with the hit-and-run, which further confirms my thing about the ethnic cleansing.  Last time a black guy was working so hard for his boss in this company Orlando Jordan was… well, let’s not talk about Orlando Jordan.

Clay is on his back, after getting flattened out by David Otunga, and… again, why?  I appreciate the ass shots I’m getting of the Funkadactyls (I’m misogynistic and I don’t care!) but so what, Otunga gets an advantage in a preshow.  Again, who cares?  Minor stories are just that: minor, and they get worse when they’re smaller aspects of major stories.

I know this is random, but since I hear The Cosby Show in the background (I multitask; look out for Me Talking About Video Games, my video blog on Youtube) I have to say: Lisa Bonet and Bern Nadette Stanis were my earliest TV crushes.  Seeing Bern Nadette Stanis in, as I call them, “dem jeans” and Lisa Bonet’s quirkiness (and steamy scenes in Angel Heart) were just beautiful to me.  And still are.  They’d get, as the French in France might say, “da bidniss” with “da kwikniss”.

As we come back from commercials we have our super sexy Divas’ champ Layla (who I STILL pray will one day bear my children) on commentary while the women who have no entrances – Alicia Fox and Beth Phoenix – have a very brief battle.  Extremely brief.

Beth Phoenix defeats Alicia Fox (oh, big surprise)

Needless to say I want to see Layla win more than Beth.  I also want Mickie James and Kharma in the WWE, but I have to wait, right?  I don’t know why we came back from commercials if that’s all we were going to get at this juncture.  We’re still talking about the Big Show thing and we have to give it to the WWE—

*starting sarcasm now*

These guys know how to creatively edit to cover up a major faux pas!  You hardly even know that WMD didn’t connect with Vince’s face!  I am in AWE of this genius, as in awe as I was with Vladimir Kozlov’s original theme song, that lyrical masterpiece as it was!  Pootie Tang, sang Kozlov’s song for me!

*ending sarcasm now*

Back to the show, Hornswoggle’s little “My favorite things” segment actually is kinda sweet.  I like the Muppets too, and all of you under the age of 35 should have been able to appreciate that episode.  IT WAS KERMIT THE FREAKING FROG!

Here comes Big Johnny, sans scooter, and while I figured his salary or senior citizen’s status should afford him money for a new scooter, he’s delivering a stupid and very half assed apology for something he didn’t directly do.  Need I direct you to my piece about him being the criminal mastermind in this city known as the WWE?  I think I will, as a sign of my shameless plugging.  You see the links You know the score.

Interestingly enough, story is showing itself to be a big thing in the WWE right now; the problem is that its in spite of the titles.  Actually, no, let me rectify that: the titles should be the focus, but whether or not that’s a good or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.  If that contradicts that I said earlier then disregard that and focus on this.  When you have a pure wrestling company I can see the titles maintaining the most prominence, story or no, matches or otherwise.  But as I’ve said before, the WWE is a company trying to move into a more mainstream, multifaceted conglomerate.  This is Hollywood soap opera kind of stuff, and I’ve seen better stories on the Thursday night news, but it’s not a BAD story.  Laurinaitis’ attempt to take over the company is a sneaky story but it should be in the background, rising to prominence towards… let’s say Wrestlemania or, maybe, Summerslam.  I don’t know.

Big Show is talking, and honestly I love how he can talk to the crowd.  Whether he’s name dropping or offering minor ad-libs you remain engaged.  The funny thing is all the people he’s naming aren’t Grand Slam champions… BUT SHOW IS!  It’s significant.

But as fun as it is to listen to Big Show speak, if it goes on too long I lose interest, and with SmackDown! always being the show that possesses the greater capacity to bore me than RAW, I’m ready to go about my business and sip some beer, from my new Atari-themed pint glasses.  Sip your beer and…

Ah, John Laurinaitis and Big Show are stopped by Michael Cole, who is playing the role of stool pigeon by announcing John Cena’s “possible” arrival.  Another sidenote, Michael Cole’s announcement just reminded me of The Flintstones movie.  You know, that terrible POS film featuring a then somewhat unknown Halle Berry in a very, very skimpy leopard-print dress?  The one where we all wished it would hike up just a little bit?  The one where she should have flashed us as an apology for not only being in it but for all the people at the theater and on TV who watched it?  I like Halle Berry.

The “real” character is also making a rise in the WWE right now.  Big Show is a slick reflection of the current blue collar worker finally rising to white collar leisure after doing dirt.  Oh, damn, that’s part of the The Flintstones plot.  Yes, because Fred got to the top of his company by unintentionally using Barney’s test and, as a result, Barney was getting screwed and… yes, I watched the movie, okay?!  I know the movie, deal with it!  I was waiting for Halle to not be as sexy so I have to keep watching!

Our next match is – leave me along Adrian! – Christian, the Intercontinental champion and NOT inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame (it must be said), is going toe-to-toe with other former world champ, and unforgettable champion at that, Jack Swagger.  Again, two more good wrestlers, two former world champions, and in a match that may or may not have a purpose.  I’ve been wondering what they want to do with Swagger for a while, and he’s too talented (an admission I don’t like to make) to just be thrown around as a would-be underdog right now.  Christian, on the other hand, is the champion and I don’t know why.  Not complaining, mind you, just confused.

Swagger and Christian are capable of putting on good matches, and I enjoyed this fleeting battle for what its worth.  RIP Eddie Guerrero.

Christian defeats Jack Swagger

Cutting to another commercial, we pause.  Literally, I have nothing to say right now.  I’ll plug my weekly video game vlog once more.  It’s on Youtube, Me Talking About Video Games.  The title is confusing so I’ll be frank: I talk about video games.  Period.  The first episode is briefly speaking on MMORPGs (or mumorpugers, as the great man and imminent sage Yahtzee might say) and the free-to-play…

Oh Lord, here comes the Ryback match.  Ari Cohen and Mike Testa, I have to say their names now or I’ll never remember them.  In fact…

Ryback anally rapes Ari Cohen and Mike Testa (signs of anal bleeding are sighted)

With that being said, let’s sigh and relax as we watch another massacre.  To their credit, at least THESE jobbers don’t both look like anorexic Futurama rejects.  I still want to see the pyro, but as it stands, Ryback is one of my favorite current wrestlers but he’s also boring me.  Not him, but the fact that he’s still just beating up on jobbers.  I’m enjoying the fact that he’s committing acts of murder on little people and displaying his strength and skill at the same time, but the only non-nameless jobber he’s beaten is… Heath Slater.

IS HEATH SLATER THE NEW SHANNON MOORE?!

Hell, I miss the old Shannon Moore… screw that, I don’t.  I do miss Brian Kendrick though.  He was great.  Especially when he was THE Brian Kendrick.

I mean: Ryback, the point has been made.  Now please, feed him something hearty for a change.  You know, something that’s not a jobber, like Ted DiBiase, or Heath… Heath Slater.  Christ, I’m seriously sighing every time I say that name.  He’s fallen so far from grace!  Look at the people of the Nexus and/or New Nexus now.  Barrett is injured, Otunga is a sidekick to the major villain in the COMPANY, Skip is committing violent acts of murder on nameless foes (he actually knows their names, but we can’t know about his “kill list”), Gabriel is still capable of winning at least, so is McGuillicutty, the only one that can claim to be doing worse is Tarver, and that’s because he’s not in the WWE!  He’s probably winning in a third-party circuit!

Oh, and lookee here, Tyson Kidd.  And who is his opponent?  Damien Sandow.  Mr. I-Wear-A-Robe doesn’t amuse me.  I’m not amused.  Help me by getting into a match, you lazy bitch!  I don’t care about your three-dollar words; they don’t mean nothing when you get a fifty-cent ass whupping!

Good, we have a match.  I see this being another quick match, but not quite a jobber match.

Well, we can’t win em all… oh that cartwheel is so gay…

Damien Sandow defeats Tyson Kidd

So let’s backtrack right quick, as we have twenty minutes left on the program.  We’ve had six matches.  That rounds out to three matches an hour.  That’s good.  Good ratio.  Only a couple of them were worth the time, but at the end of the day, it was not bad.  Still not a fan of Sandow and his fruity cartwheels.

Hmm… you know, Michael Cole’s 1000 episode thing actually isn’t too bad.  He sounds sincere.  Might be a douche in real life (and I’ve no doubt he is) but that was a sincere sounding thing.  Kudos, dickweed.  Kudos.

So… we gonna get that Vickie Guerrero v. AJ match?  Fifteen minutes left, I’d enjoy it.  I’d also enjoy context with AJ’s mind control (or, to quote Ja Rule, It’s the power of the P-U-S… well, you get it) but I don’t mind waiting.  Waiting makes the release better.

And here’s John Cena, walking backstage down a hallway.  First to John’s office, which is empty.  I would’ve liked another Big Show sucker punch.  Those are always funny.  But we’re back at commercials.  Honestly, can we… you know, have less commercials?  This isn’t the NFL.  Speaking of which, NFL, can we have LESS commercials?!

I did a little research and yes, Tarver is the only ex-Nexus/New Nexus member NOT part of the WWE anymore.  And he’s probably still winning more than… Heath Slater.  Maybe I should put a picture of… that man next to one of Yung Berg.  In fact, let me get in contact with Big Ghostface and push for the one-man rock band (I assume that band is Hanson) to be one of the ten softest dudes in the game in the sixth annual edition.

Finally we come to another B.A. Star segment, and I still find the humor in David Otunga being involved so actively in it while he’s a heel, and as such, a bully.  A bad guy.  We saw what he did to Brodus Clay earlier.  Bully tactics.  Why couldn’t Stephanie McMahon and her fine ass (and I do mean fine ass (DAT ASS, SON!)) be talking to the kids?  They’d learn a lesson AND get a sight for sore, young eyes.  Sight for my eyes at least.  Misogyny, man, it doesn’t happen often so let me have my moments!

Sorry, Cena is in the ring.  Laurinaitis is coming to the ring (seriously, he should be able to afford a new scooter) and now we get ANOTHER Cena/Laurinaitis talking promo in the ring.  Dull.  Recycled, retarded, rejected.  Cena can go ahead and hit Big Johnny, I don’t care.  None of this matters  Big Show should win on Sunday, Cena should get his vacation, and now Cena has finally hit Laurinaitis and… I don’t care.

This episode of SmackDown! has been dull.  Very dull.  And uneven.  At least last week I kept my eyes open.  Where’s Big Show?  Where’s the excitement, Mr. Excitement?  The only fun was when AJ stepped up and took the stage.  As motivating as she is, she can’t carry the entire show on her own.  That being said, I give tonight’s episode a 2 out of 5.  Not abysmal but not too good.  Looking forward to next week… kinda.  It’ll be following a PPV, so good.

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the new purchased domain!  I’ll be your captain, of this vessel (not really).  Blee!