It has been said that a picture is worth one thousand words. Seeing as I really can’t wrap my thinking around my frustration with the heavyweight title scene in either TNA or WWE at this moment, I figured it’d be better to at least set the stage using pictures instead of words.
Shout out to Mr. Christopher Lamb for inspiring the follow simple, easy-to-understand graphics. Disclaimer: HOWEVER you feel about either wrestling promotion—good, bad, or indifferent—please do not enter into ANY conversation regarding their storylines regarding their own heavyweight championships without EXPLICITLY highlighting the following points:
WWE has been trolling for the last week. First, by not using the word ‘unification’ during a title unification announcement. Then, by having hella polls and articles about people holding two titles, but never at the same time. Lastly, they made sure to close all loopholes and, as usual, book themselves into a corner by having a contract signing and WWE App poll for the title unification. As always, I’m going to complain, even though I’m mostly happy.
For one, doing the title unification NOW means it won’t happen at WrassleMania. We won’t have to throw the Rumble winner in there as the guy with no belt fighting for two belts. Think logically and whoever wins NOW… who can they possibly face at Mania? If Cena wins… do we really want to see him versus Orton, Punk or Bryan at Mania? NO. If Orton wins, Cena and Bryan are out… which leaves Punk. Some guy has been writing for months that the perfect ending to The Authority storyline is Mr. Anti-Authority taking the belt off the corporation’s choice at Mania. That guy knows shit.
I marked out when CM Punk cut his promo about being anti-authority… as I have been wondering forever when he would be inserted into that storyline. Having him get beat up by The Shield is a brilliant way to start his “underdog babyface overcomes the stacking of the deck”… which reminds me… WWE’s heel booking sucks tremendously. Am I saying every heel needs to be booked as a monster and always win clean? No, I’m not, Quinn Gammon. I do not like how WWE books Orton at all. He has always kinda come off as a whiny coward as a heel. It was off-putting as fuck to have him attack Big Show, then complain that no one helped him. To demand help against Big Show, get help, then swear he never needed help. Yes. This IS how a heel should act. Yes. I am complaining simply because I want an 11 time champion to act secure and confident.
Cena is notorious for ‘burying’ guys in his promos. Orton is notorious for having a bad attitude over how he is booked. Which I can’t blame him for. They made him youngest world champion ever… then made him a midcarder for the better part of 3 years! Cena said Orton got lazy and expected to be handed things… nigga are those the abs of a lazy person? Naaaaaahhhhhh nigga… WWE booking is RARELY about work ethic… it’s about how much McMahon excrement you can swallow and call it chocolate. Do I need to remind you about how Daniel Bryan has been world champion twice this year for less than a day or how CM Punk won, then lost, and lost to HHH of all people while in the midcard, all while being as hot as one can possibly be?
Yeah. Orton will win at TLC. He won’t win in a fair one, as Cena has lost ONE match clean this year. I won’t care. (Yes I will. Expect, at some point in the near future, to read me bitching about how in EVERY possible chance WWE has to elevate guys to Cena’s level, they intentionally fuck it up) Between HHH, Kane, and The Shield, SOMEONE will help Orton climb that ladder. The storyline is, was and WILL be… Orton has finally become accepted as the man. (Kinda like when Rock finally got his Mania win over SCSA) I still love when HHH said after SummerSlam “the lump of coal that has become a diamond” which hearkened back to his formation of Evolution promo calling Orton “the next diamond”. IF Cena wins, which he won’t… that shit will be completely pointless.
Speaking of pointless… did you remember that Dean Ambrose was the US champ? Yeah… that belt needs to go away soon. I won’t care if they unify the IC and US belts on Main Event, nigga, that shit needs to happen ASAP. A hidden benefit to shrinking the main event and midcard title pictures, is that the belts will mean more. The WHC had become what the IC belt used to be, and the IC belt became like the Million Dollar belt or Zack Ryder’s Internet belt… yeah.
Cuz I’m contrary… as I write about less belts making belts matter more, I still say the Light Heavyweight or Cruiserweight title needs to come back for Hunico/Sin Cara to truly get his shine on. I have always liked him, and if they can finally make him versus Mysterio at Mania, that match NEEDS to be for the belt. I say bring back Evan Bourne, Justin Gabriel, throw in Heath Slater, Tyson Kidd, Yoshi Tatsu (if they still have him LOL) and whoever the hell else… and have Sin Cara push Rey off the ladder and win the belt and BAM… feud.
Annnnnnnd… nothing else worth talking about, so FIN.
I’ve written here about being for a title unification/ending the brand extension because there aren’t enough top shelf stars to fill a year of main events. Then I changed my mind, and decided that there could be two title pictures, they just need to stop putting the belt around people like my man Alberto Del Rio that kind of dilute the championship. Then John Cena became WHC again, and it seemed like WWE cared about making the WHC legit again. Annnnnnd just a few minutes ago as I type this, HHH announced they will unify the belts at TLC. I finally understand the point of the brand extension and why two titles were necessary, and still may be.
The biggest problem WWE is facing is not that they don’t have enough stars or potential stars. The problem is overexposure plus horrible booking. WWE has a guy like Alberto Del Rio on EVERY episode of Raw and SmackDown and he has fought for a world championship at damn near ever pay per view going back two years. He debuted months before the 2011 Royal Rumble and before he could connect with the audience or develop his character, he was thrust into the spotlight. He doesn’t have any charisma at all, but I think he’d be a legit main eventer with years of winning midcard titles and building real crowd heat. I just wrote about The Miz, who WAS the main event of WrassleMania, and is the inverse of Del Rio, not a technically proficient wrestler, but has charisma and can cut a promo. He has been jobbed out like a motherfucker. I’m not sure he can ever be built back up to that main event level. I hope that he can.
Cynical fans, the so-called IWC, love to say stupid shit about how John Cena and the PG era are destroying wrestling. (Yes, I’m spelling it right, Quinn) What is watering it down is seeing guys like Kofi Kingston lose every week. Before WWE thought it would be a good idea to put all the top stars on Raw every week, you could focus on writing storylines for a guy only being on one show. Now, every week you have to figure out a way for John Cena and Randy Orton to not lose clean twice. I can understand why that is difficult. The entire reason they did the brand extension in the first place… was they put Stone Cold and HHH on Raw, The Rock and The Undertaker on SmackDown. Then, every year just to keep shit fresh, they’d do a draft to move guys from show to show. They broke THAT model circa 2009. SmackDown was arguably better than Raw 2007-2008. The title picture was Batista, Edge, HHH, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, CM Punk and The Undertaker. LOTS of memorable matches there. Then like all those guys went to Raw. SmackDown became an afterthought.
Raw has always been Vince’s baby. Vince seems to need Raw to be the only show that matters. Which is fucking retarded when you have no less than 5 shows on tv and online a week. So all the big stars are on Raw, all the big storylines happen on Raw. Raw is recapped 46533544 times on Main Event, SmackDown, Superstars and NXT. NXT is the developmental show. Superstars is ironically named because it’s for jobbers. Main Event features jobbers and midcard level guys. SmackDown has become where we have matches they’ll repeat on Raw because THEY ASSUME NO ONE FUCKING WATCHED SMACKDOWN! My point again: Raw and SmackDown should have a separate roster evenly balanced, with two world titles.
WWE doesn’t care what its fans want though, so we’re returning to the era where storylines carry from one show to the other, with less talent and worse writing/booking. All I want is for Randy Orton to be put over Cena, and since TLC is no dq it won’t be clean and doesn’t have to be. So this probably means that WrassleMania will be trash but Daniel Bryan and CM Punk might jerk the curtain… *sigh*
Go back to WrassleMania XXVII. Michael Mizanin was the main event of WrassleMania. They played a wonderful video package set to “Hate Me Now” showing his meteoric rise from The Real World to WWE Champion. It’s so funny to think of that… then remember he’s facing Kofi “I do more jobs than real Jamaicans” Kingston on YouTube, where he’s BEEN on the card for most of this year. Everything SINCE WrassleMania XXXVII was the set up to his failure, and it’s OBVIOUS.
I remember the Mania match for three things. One: It was slow paced and boring. Two: The main event ended by double countout. Three: Miz won when Dwayne screwed John Cena, then suffered a similar fate when, in a foreshadowing of the next two years of booking, The Rock stood over the main event of WrassleMania. I am of the impression that WWE booking is essentially the management telling them who wins and loses and how, and they fill in everything between the entrances and the finish themselves. If that is the case, then John Cena helped paint a disasterpiece. No one was expecting Taker/HBK, Savage/Steamboat, Austin/Bret, Angle/Lesnar etc but when you THINK about THOSE Mania matches, that brutal brawl looks even MORE brutal.
It was inevitable that The Miz would lose the belt feuding with Cena. He is the picture of how not to book a guy you want to be taken seriously. He won the belt with the Money In The Bank after Orton had been beaten before a title match by the Nexus then after he finally beat Barrett. This is not a crime, winning is winning, my nigga. But then… he would feud with Orton and… Jerry Lawler? Jerry The King Lawler was literally on the last rung of climbing the WWE title ladder when Michael Cole would cost him the belt by grabbing his ankle. Orton had him beaten multiple times but was cost multiple title opportunities by CM Punk. In a nutshell… every last damn one of Miz’s successful title defenses was a screwy finish. Heel or no, this is NOT how you book a guy you want people to buy into as the real deal. And yes, I get that CM Punk and Orton feuded, as did… Lawler and Cole… Blah. Overall… The Miz came tertiary to two midcard feuds and was a stepping stone to Rock/Cena main eventing the next two years.
All of that is bad enough if that was all. No. The next year at Mania, Miz only made the card as part of a tag match. Year after that, he won the Intercontinental title on the preshow. Main event to midcard to preshow. Yikes. What did Miz do immediately after losing the belt to Cena? He jobbed to his lackey, who stopped mattering like three months later. Seriously: When was the last time you saw Alex Riley on Raw or SmackDown? Yeah.
This piece was inspired by me watching Aaron Rift’s No DQ&A video… when he was saying that Miz needed to turn heel because the face turn didn’t work. He said Miz was over in 2011 and fans were chanting “Aaaaaaaawwwwwwweeeeeeesooooooommmmmme” with him… that he could see Miz being a lesser version of The Rock, with the fans chanting his catchphrases and whatnot… Here’s where I get conspiratorial: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD “I’m The Miz… and I’m aaaaaaaaawwwwwwweeeeeeeesommmmmmmme”!?! Almost as if… WWE didn’t WANT him over as a babyface. The most they ever did for him was have Ric Flair pass him the Figure Four so he could botch it repeatedly. VERY easy to see how he is set up to fail. Look at how Daniel Bryan is never given promo time or opportunity outside of his entrance, during and after matches to lead “YES” chants. And now Big Show has successfully horned in on his crowd heat, because without “YES” by association, he’d get *crickets*. Remember when Zack Ryder got himself over with his internet show, signed over his gimmick to WWE, cancelled his show, and got jobbed into irrelevance? Seems mighty like WWE is not at all into people getting over organically, and penance is sliding down the card, doing jobs along the way. Miz is working the preshow, and The Best In The World and Goatface are going to job to The Wyatt Family. Survivor Series: Where Screwjobs Happen.
Hey… remember back a couple years when there was a little tag team called “Awesome Truth”? Remember they brought back The Rock, but they blamed The Miz for the low buyrates? Yeah. Kinda like how it’s not Orton or lack of Cena or terrible booking and cards explaining low buyrates during Bryan’s leprechaun time main eventing. Yeah.
Good luck creating stars when you refuse to push guys AND book them strong while they are hot, WWE.
Things have been particularly slow around these parts from some time, and we thank all of you for returning to the site regularly hoping to see a new piece of whatever it is we do posted here. It’s particularly hard for your L.E.W.D. family to keep content fresh and moving forward we’ll do our best to do so while also taking care of our individual and/or collective personal responsibilities…which, as you can probably guess, keep us way more busy than the average bear; and average bears are pretty effin’ busy.
Those things notwithstanding, here are my *candid* thoughts on a few things that have occurred in the past week, most of which are dated but still fresh enough to force my own opinion down the gullets of anyone reading these words.
Chris Hero Future Endeavored…OHNO!!!
Unlike some I wasn’t sad in the sense that I was pissed off at Vince McMahon for not recognizing the “greatness” of one of the IWC’s indy darlings, nor was I sad in the sense that I believed Hero refused to “play ball in the big leagues” as some sites reported.
I was sad because I was extremely hopeful that it was only a matter of time before Hero debuted on prime time WWE TV as Kassius Ohno. I was looking forward to seeing him flex his skills on RAW or Smackdown. I even created a pipe dream about him being the one to knock John Cena down a peg or two or three.
Well…so much for that.
In wrestling, however, the phrase “never say never” pops up frequently. Hero released an official statement last week following his release, noting that he parted ways with the company on good terms (much to the IWC’s chagrin, because everyone that leaves WWE leaves on bad terms, right?) and the possibility of a return in the future. Hero also noted the following, which I think is possibly the most important for any Chris Hero fan to hear, note, embrace and accept:
When things happen that we don’t like, it’s our instinct look for answers. We get sad. We get mad. In this situation, there’s nothing to be sad about! And rather than being angry about what has happened, I want you all to be happy about what’s going to happen! I’ll be back with a vengeance, I assure you. The best way to support me is with positive energy.
Again, while I am saddened that for the time being Chris Hero is no longer employed by WWE, I can (along with all of his other fans) can take solace in knowing that publicly he’s in positive space about his termination. He immediately took bookings with other promotions (which should be somewhat of a shock for those fans itching about the e90-day no compete clause) and as some analysts have stated, stands to make goo-gobs of money because his stock has climbed exponentially after being employed in the “big leagues.”
With the news of his release hitting the information super highway, it was also only a matter of time before the unavoidable question was asked, “Do you think TNA should sign Chris Hero?” It’s rare when I say “yes” to questions like this (for various and obvious reasons), but in this instance I would say “yes.” Ironically enough, this reason behind my “yes” will serve as a great segue to the next point…
TNA and Ethan Carter III: Great Job
When it was reveled that Michael Hutter was signed to TNA and would debut as Ethan Carter III, TNA President Dixie Carter’s nephew, I literally thought to myself “Hmmm…I want to see how this turns out.” Even though he’s only been in TNA for a month, Hutter seems comfortable and right at home, all while providing a much needed breath of fresh air for the IMPACT Wrestling product.
Debates concerning TNA’s locker room always intrigue me; at one point fans proclaimed that the company’s roster was too large, that it was over saturated with under utilized talent. I never agreed with that idea. I always believed and stated the opposite, that the roster was too small and the product lacked the structures (i.e. divisions) to showcase everyone on routine basis without diluting major storylines or creative directions. To say it another way, TNA’s mid-card sucked.
To complicate matters even more TNA rarely cycled out its main event stars, making the product feel labored and dated despite the stellar wrestling matches that occurred often. For the most part a ton of the main event stars in TNA today were the big dogs in the yard 8-10 years ago. It was this logic that some used to justify the widespread release of talent earlier this year…that and the reality of budget cuts.
These things aside, TNA’s roster paled in comparison to the WWE roster. Given that the latter company has been around for much longer and airs programming almost seven days a week, a roster in Vince McMahon’s hands has to be large to accommodate for tons of programs and public relations duties. As such the rate at which the company farms talent far surpasses that of TNA; superstars and divas come in droves, even though there are only so many precious spots to be filled by a select cadre of individuals.
When you’ve herded individuals into your developmental system while grasping to the “dime a dozen” belief system, some stars are bound to get over looked and under appreciated for their skills and gifts. Even still, others may not stand out because they’re seemingly not all that different from five or ten other stars in their group.
Such is the case for Ethan Carter and even Chris Hero. As WWE’s Derrick Bateman, Michael Hutter competed with numerous other up-and-coming stars for a spot in the company. As Kassius Ohno, Chris Spradlin was swimming against the tide of a system that is reportedly still looking for the next John Cena/Hulk Hogan Bigger-Than-Life Sports Entertainer.
Talents like Hutter and Spradlin are good for TNA because they’ve yet to have the WWE stigma ingrained in their characters. Yes, some will argue that once again TNA is hiring “WWE rejects,” but in reality Hutter and Spradlin have not been encumbered with carrying that burden on their careers. As stars in TNA, where there is a dire need for fresh “home grown” talent, there is tons of space and opportunity to shine and showcase what makes them stand out from any of the other cookie cutter wrestlers.
Hutter has obviously found a perfect spot for character growth and development as EC3 in TNA, and Spradlin could do the same as Chris Hero or by any other name. It all depends on whether TNA chooses to court him and if he’d like to work in the company.
Suit and Tie is a pretty good song. If you haven’t heard it, it’s one of Justin Timberlake’s new singles off of his upcoming new album and it features Jay-Z. When I say it’s pretty good, that means I enjoy it and think many people will, Kanye West not included. The backdrop is lively and exciting; JT’s voice and lyrics, save for one or two select lines, offer his traditional level of swag that only he seems to exude, and Jay-Z’s verse doesn’t take away from the song.
Therein lies my critiquing, however. Suit and Tie is pretty good, but it’s not great. A few lines are too grandiose for someone, even of Timberlake’s stature, to take seriously, and Jay-Z’s verse, while taking nothing away from the song, is unmemorable and unnecessary. The true star of the track is Timbaland (Virginia knows music ^_^) and his key role in the production. The blaring trumpets add that terrific little bit of “extra” that pushes the song forward.
But I have to come back to the Jay-Z verse because it follows what feels like a trend of uninspired verses (“Get up out ya seat, Hov” is SO hilarious in that regard) with his guest appearances. Perhaps I wouldn’t harp on it so much if he didn’t sound like he was trying to imitate a certain “good” rapper’s flow; metaphors aside, he sounds like he’s trying to – and not successfully – channel Kanye West’s style, down to the lyrics, and I can only imagine he’s still feeling the sting from Renegade 2.0, or Run This Town if you want to use the official terminology.
The track didn’t need a guest verse, period, may have even been just as good without it (translation: remix) but if it was
doomed destined to have one then I could have just as easily seen longtime Jay-Z rival and current musical winner Nas taking that spot, if we’re set on using legends. His recent experiences and album, all storied for better or worse, put him in a position where he could offer a grandiose and club-ready verse that didn’t just sound inspired, but fitting. A guest verse is a deadly trap on many songs because it could easily result in the guest rapper overshadowing the main star, but it has to add to the song and NOT take away from the main performer either. To Jay-Z’s credit, he doesn’t take away from the song, but that’s about all. Otherwise he comes across as bored and underpaid. Kind of brings Kanye’s rant about not liking Suit and Tie into perspective, doesn’t it?
See what I just did there? That was analysis. That’s what we do here at L.E.W.D., all of us, and we do it with pride, dignity and a little thing called class. Therefore, when we craft some gold (which is normal: it would be better to use the metaphor of platinum or diamond) we like it when people listen, view and respond. Yes, we like it. We like it more than Grand Puba and his track “I Like It” and how he liked the track “I Like It” from DeBarge, who collectively liked Janet Jackson. Just shy of love, but rather high on like.
Some of you may agree with us. Some of you may not. Some of you may like how we talk about possibly bookings. Some of you may not like how we seem to systematically dismantle Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Well again, we appreciate all of these opinions, but at the end of the day it comes down to one simple mentality, as vocalized by this large, scary gentleman here:
That being said, there’s a stereotype that we here at L.E.W.D. headquarters that we HATE Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. This is untrue. It can be said that I, Da Infamous One, hate TNA. That wouldn’t be an untruth. No one here, except for maybe a couple, has shed more tears over the company and it’s tremendous wasted potential than I have, but to their credit they may have shed tears of sorrow. Not
I know what you’re thinking. “So DiZ, you amorous avatar of acceptable avarice, if you hate – and reasonably so – TNA so much, why are you talking about it?” Well to answer you question, loyal serf or dishonorable Smith, I am giving the ill-fated company my attention because there is a PPV tonight. Yes, tonight is the ninth annual Lockdown, live from San Antonio’s scenic Alamodome. After months of build up, we get to see a number of matches that feature… wait, let me give it the proper definition: it will feature professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers will portray villains, heroes or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or a series of matches.
And no one cares.
Understand, I was going to put that line in later but here is just as good as there. No one cares. That’s not to say that TNA doesn’t have fans that care (we know my point of view on TNA “fans”), but frankly very little makes sense. TNA comes across as a place where wrestling matters, and nothing else does, not even wrestling. Yes, it’s a contradiction of itself and that’s how it goes at an R. Kelly party.
But the wrestling fan/analyst/bon vivant/world class connoisseur of the booty that is me (Da Infamous One) knows that TNA still has a chance to be something, and that is why I continue to watch the car crash that is Dixie Carter’s establishment. Hopefully it’ll get better in time. I just doubt it’ll be tonight. So while I prepare to shed more tears, I briefly look at the current card and offer a few words of commentary, giving you all a semblance of solace at how my hatred for TNA is nothing compared to the melancholy (total lack of care) that comes from the media:
So onward to the matches!
Robbie E vs. Robbie T
For a long time I had a long time telling who was who, and even now I have a hard time telling. I like the big one; he’s awkward and less annoying. Watching the disruptive destruction of the Jersey Shore knockoffs even new sexy bodied Snookie would find to be annoying is fun, I’ll admit that, but it’s hard to take it anymore than just that: fun. Not even high fun, just regular fun. I find it disproportionate because while big Robbie is enjoyable, little Robbie is like an over groomed poodle: he’s there and he’s little else. Is he good in the ring? Sure. Are they both good in the ring? No doubt. But let’s be honest: TNA excels in putting on good physical action. You will be hard pressed to find anyone on this site who thinks otherwise. But professional wrestling without good storytelling is not a good product. It’s kind of like God of War: Ascension. Sure, it’s a good game, but one bit of blatant misogyny can ruin the experience something fierce, and that’s saying something when bare breasts, horny harems and my absolute favorite (don’t judge me) media representation of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus if you’re part of the Roman crowd) are the norm.
At the end of the day, I expect the big Robbie to win, start “dancing” to dubstep, and continue being as awkward as only he knows how to be. That’s about it.
Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
I thought Joey Ryan was fired.
*eleven minutes later*
Seriously, I thought that *edited for the L.E.W.D. audience* was fired a long time ago. As valid as the porn star gimmick is (flies for a male but never for a female; I call that sexism!) it just seemed about as valid as Brad Maddox’s annoying douchebag character did to me. To Maddox’s credit, much like Sandow’s, I enjoy him. Joey Ryan, not so much. This isn’t even talking about Joseph Parks though.
And if you’ve seen some of my older posts, you’ll see that I like Joseph Parks. Hell, I think Parks is better off as Joseph than Abyss. Much like the bigger Robbie, he’s big, awkward and, most importantly, entertaining. Sure, the story of the character is odd. Why someone would willingly give up a job as a lawyer, in this economy, to be a wrestler in the number two company? Again, not logical, but Joseph Parks is still a very enjoyable figure to see go around the ring. You actually see this story of him improving, and frankly it displays a degree of brilliance I’m surprised the writers still have. He’s cool. And he’s likely going to win. Because he’s big. And in this company, big people eat the little people.
Kenny King (c) vs. Christian York vs. Zema Ion for the X Division Championship
Is this an Ultimate X match? If not, was there build up for this? If not… what?!
Don’t get me wrong: I like matches like these. These were, at one point of time, a shining star in the potential that was TNA’s primordial ooze. X Division matches and X Division wrestlers were quick, athletic, spunky and specialized in spots, and you know what? That was a-ok in my book. It made TNA worth watching because it was a part of their identity, along with a respectable women’s division and a six-sided ring, but now I wonder: what exactly IS the X Division? I remember there were weight requirements at one point a la light heavyweight/cruiserweight status, but now I don’t know.
I’m sure it’ll be a good match, but honestly: King JUST won the title from RVD. Where the hell is RVD in this championship match equation? If John Cena had the WWE title and lost in on RAW, I would fully expect him to be in a rematch at the next PPV. If Gillberg won a… heh, sorry, let me try that again. If Gillberg won… HA!
Okay, okay, one more time, I’ll get it this time around. Ahem! If Gillber…
I pick the champ to retain.
The Canadians (Austin Aries and Bobby Roode) (c) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. The Mexicans (Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez) for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I know, I know, Austin Aries isn’t REALLY from Canada, but he’s from Wisconsin and dammit, that’s close enough!
Three-way tag team matches always confused me. Unless they were tornado tag matches, and even that has the potential to get really sloppy really quickly. The good news is that this match of six features six technicians, and every one of them knows how to put on a great match.
Before I talk about how I like a handful of these guys, let me say that this match DOES have some solid backstory. The Canadians are jerks who took the titles off of the Mexicans, and Bad Influence is a pair of overly entertaining jerks (I die every time Daniels calls Jeff Hardy “Jefferson” or Bully Ray “Raymond”) who wants gold. You don’t need a lot for a good story, people, and this is proof. All you need is good entertaining people to tell a passable story and let them do the rest with their ring work. And frankly, Christopher Daniels could do it solo: he has at least three people helping him with it though, so it’s even better.
As happy as I’d be to see Bad Influence win, I see… I see them winning, what a coincidence! While Austin and Roode are a great team, I see Bad Influence getting even “badder” and carrying the gold.
Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Isn’t it a bit contradictory – or at the very least unnecessary – to say “women’s” and “knockout”? Whatever. Do you know how much I love Gail Kim? Probably not. I don’t know what she does to stay looking so young, what she does to stay so fit (what with a celebrity chef for a husband), or what she does to stay so fresh and fluid in the ring, but she does it and she does it oh so well. God bless you, Gail Kim. Why, I remember going to Bound for Glory one year, my first wrestling PPV, and Gail Kim was in a match with… I don’t remember who and I don’t care. But I stood and cheered, screamed her name and celebrated throughout. While jumbo behind me didn’t find my standing and applauding to be amusing (wouldn’t have hurt for him to stand up himself, but I digress) I swear I saw Gail look my way and give me a wink. Oh, such wonderful memories. My heart went aflutter, my voice went up a notch, my pants felt a bit tighter and…
Er… uh… Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky. I see Gail winning this one; a dirty win, mind you, with some grade A quality heel tactics, but it’s a good thing! Gail’s a heel right now, she needs to be doing that! At the risk of revealing more of my
lust love for Gail Kim I’m going to just move on now…
Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco
Story: Wes Brisco betrayed Kurt Angle and joined the Wild Bill Hickok English Speaking Vernacular. Period. Angle wants revenge. Brisco… I don’t know, he didn’t make the Lethal Lockdown team? Frankly they had to do SOMETHING with this talentless (yeah, I’m underwhelmed) kid.
This is the non-title, non-team cage match, and because cage matches work so well for Angle when the Two Pair Persecution Affinity is involved. Do I expect a good match? Frankly, no. I fully expect Angle to run circle around Brisco until the… bike-less gang interferes, with all their faceless recruits and, of course, D’Lo Brown. Because when you think old west themed biker gangs without bikes, you think a black man like D’Lo Brown!
You know what, I was gonna bring this up at the end but I’ll do it now: what asshole thought making D’Lo Brown part of this was a good idea?!! I think D’Lo was surprised when this was announced! Someone literally sat down and said, “I have an idea! Let’s make D’Lo a part of this!” And D’Lo probably went, “Wha? People don’t even know who the hell I am! Hell, I hardly know who I am! Let me check my underwear…” But it was too late! Not only does the outlaw biker gang sans bikes have yet ANOTHER black guy in it (cultural aspect) but it has someone in it that NOBODY knows! What do you think was the bigger Google search at the time?
Was it A:“Who is D’Lo Brown?”,
B: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?” or, my favorite
C: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?!!?!!?”
And Vice President?! A while back a conversation on Twitter regarding… a certain member of G.O.O.D. Music that was not Diminutive Anderson drove me away for the rest of the day. D’Lo Brown’s “reveal” as the vice president of this rather local, small-time, should-be-eaten-up-by-the-Black-Tuna-Gang piss pot of a biker gang (Ron Pearlman would NOT be amused) did the exact same thing, except it drove me away from TV, and video games, and made me curl up with my Kindle and read a book. Because I was sad, and nearly cried because TNA achieved the impossible. THAT I will reserve until a later paragraph though.
See that? In any case, I have Brisco winning due to leather vested interference.
Team TNA (The Joker, Richmond’s Favorite Foreigner, Wasted Talent Numero Uno, James Storm and Not-So-Super Eric) vs. Fifth Card Unknown (Pastor D-Von, Mr. Kennedy, Rey Mysterio’s Pimp, Imposter Kane and Diet Bischoff Lite)
I… no, to hell with it. I’m gonna go eat some ribs and cry in the sink. Team TNA is gonna win, happy?! Dammit!
*some time later*
There’s a reason everyone has their nickname, sans James Storm. Sting comes across as more and more psychotic as the weeks go by (not a good trait for a man running a show), Magnus is billed from Richmond, Virginia (which I hold to be a grimy location), Samoa Joe is completely and utterly underutilized, Eric Young was known as Super Eric as one point, Devon played a pastor character in the WWE, Anderson is… the same as when he was in the WWE, Mike Knox pretty much had Rey Mysterio singing Daddy’s Home every time Mike Knox was around way back when, Gallows was once the fake Kane and, finally, there’s Garett Bischoff… and we don’t care.
You may be wondering why James Storm was spared this treatment. Well, he was once allied with Gail Kim, and that means he gets even more respect from me. Now, since I’ve cried and had a few ribs, let’s talk about this match, shall we?
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
No, there’s really nothing to talk about for the previous match outside of the fact that it takes place in a cage… thing. It’ll be violent and, at the end of the day, pointless. It’s bad when an entire group is referred to as the world gimmick of 2012 (puts a damper on that whole “2013 is the year of Aces and Eights” thing, doesn’t it, Devon?). That thing I was referring to earlier, that I said I would revisit in a later paragraph? TNA has officially become the first company I know of that has systematically jumped the shark THRICE. That means three times. This James Butler Condemnation Affiliate is abysmal in every way, and the only thing that could redeem it now is a nude scene. Yes, a Brooke Hogan nude scene. Tasteless? Very, but you’ve given up on quality, you can at LEAST go for flat out smut.
But whatever. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the championship, in a steel cage. What we have is everyone’s favorite redemption story (*holding my tongue*) versus everyone’s favorite friendly bully. It comes across as a bad episode of Recess, combined with an afterschool special with music done by Seth Macfarlane.
Yeah, that bad. But that’s a very basic view: the build-up was okay, at best, and the actual match has potential to be a good one. Bully Ray is a terrific wrestler and Jeff Hardy is a terrific stuntman. That means there will be a lot of jumping and a lot of mat work. It’ll be good, so long as Hardy isn’t drunk; NO! BAD DIZ, TAKE THAT BACK! What I meant to say was that it’ll be a good match so long as both parties are at their peak. That being said, I don’t know who is winning this one.
I have no idea: it’ll be the main reason I watch the PPV. If Hardy wins, then… nothing. That’s the end all be all. His story is one of getting beat up by the Hoyle Deck Society. Should Bully Ray win, nepotism is proven to be alive and well, and Triple H will be a 14-time world champion. Yeah, it was a lame joke, but that’s all Bully Ray’s storyline is right now. He falls in love with girl Hogan, marries girl Hogan, becomes the “future” of the company… it’s Triple H’s story, minus the fun, and the sexy brunette with an ass that just won’t quit. It’s still just a creepy relationship though; on-screen, in the mind, its like something out of a Tecmo game, and if you saw how the first draft of this piece went you’d know EXACTLY why that’s a problem!
But Hardy vs. Ray, or Jefferson vs. Raymond as Christopher Daniels might call it, is an unknown for me. I’ve no idea.
And that concludes my preview of 2013 Lockdown. Do I expect to be amused? Meh. Give me a good match with Gail Kim and a swift end to Wes Brisco’s TNA career, and MAYBE I’ll graduate from “meh” to “okay”. Blee.
Hi, I’m DiZ. The following is a rather profane, though dangerously focused, rant from L.E.W.D. brother Corbin Macklin. While L.E.W.D. does not intentionally seek to dilute the potency of brother Macklin’s original piece, it has been edited so as not to greatly offend the audience and to maintain a particular level of professionalism and certain standard maintained by the writers of the site. Nevertheless this piece is fueled by pure emotion, people, and I feel it clearly coincides with a lot of people’s views after the Royal Rumble PPV last night.
I offer this disclaimer though: this is a VERY explosive rant, and in reading it you agree to read some very explicit material. That is your warning. If you are of a weak constitution or find yourself easily offended, I suggest you stick to the other pieces on the site.
It must also be said that the comments and views posted here in the piece, including the language and style represented here, do not reflect those of the other members and writers of the L.E.W.D. Crew and website. To reiterate, this piece is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. Reader discretion is advised.
With nothing more to say, I present Corbin Macklin’s rant: “…”
I feel worse right now than I did when my grandfather died, and the chick I loved at the time stopped talking to me the day before he was buried. Somewhere somebody is thinking “Gahdamn this dude Corbin’s priorities are JACKED up! So much emotion over fake fighting…” To those people: screw you.
Screw Dwayne Johnson. Screw John Cena. Screw Vince McMahon. Screw Paul Levesque. Screw Stephanie McMahon. Screw any and everyone that was remotely invested in the fuckery that took place in the main event of the Royal Rumble. Especially screw you if you’re happy Rocky Maivia is WWE Champion.
One of the main reasons I’m mad is because Punk won. Then they Dusty Finished all the smarks by restarting the match. In the space of two or three tweets I went from clicking my heels 3 feet off the ground to laying face down in the floor. One could say: Great job by creative eliciting such emotion from a fake fight. Screw that person. Screw creative. That mess wasn’t creative at all. After that transpired all the hell I saw all up and down my timeline was “EFF CENA AND ROCK II”. Meaning, this stuff is boring and ridiculously predictable.
I called my best friend and sat in stunned silence before he pissed me off by saying “You knew Rock was gonna win”. I screamed “NO” then told him what I opened this rant with. I told him: “You just ended the longest title reign in forever, for a guy who won’t wrestle but two more times before absconding back to Hollywood to make his boring ass movies I’m not going to watch.” Because screw him. Forget building a new star to rival Punk and Cena that will actually wrestle on RAW. Forget giving that rub to someone who needs it.
Things like this is why I don’t believe in the word ‘deserve’. Tell me Rocky Maivia deserved to be in a world championship match after wrestling two matches in eight years and Iswearfogawd I will slap the taste outchu.
Nothing any of you can say to me @CorbinMacklin on twitter or in these comments will convince me that this mess needed to transpire. I WILL curse you out should you be dumb enough to attempt. I quintuple mothereffing dog dare anyone to try to explain to me how the HELL putting a part timer we may not see again in 2013 after WrassleMania over the company’s top two workers makes sense.
Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back on RAW. I’m still going to be pissed. Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back at Elimination Chamber. I’m still going to be pissed. Chick Magnet Punk can win the belt back at WrassleMania. I’m still going to be pissed. You know why I’m pissed? BECAUSE EVERYONE READING THIS KNOWS GOOD AND WELL PHIL CHICK MAGNET PUNK BROOKS HAS A SNOWBALLS CHANCE IN HELL OF SNIFFING THAT MAIN EVENT UNTIL AFTER THE ROCK LEAVES AGAIN.
You destroyed a potential classic between Phil Brooks and Mark Calloway, Vince.. Screw you. The table was set to make history. By Mania, Punk would have been champ over 500 days. That streak plus Taker’s streak is a license to print money. We. Would. Actually. Believe. Taker. Could. LOSE. At. Mania. BY SHOW OF HANDS WHO IN THE HELL THINKS CM PUNK IS BEING POSITIONED TO END THE STREAK NOW? FORGET YOU IF YOU RAISED YOUR HAND!
Vince ‘deserves’ to be losing money quarterly for dumb stuff just like this. Nothing they do will be as great as my fantasies of my hometown superstar besting Hollywood’s Champ and the work once a year Satanist in the same year. Nothing. Phil Brooks could win back the belt and hold it ten years and you have still shat on something great.
Show of hands… who thinks Cena is going to pick Alberto Del Rio? Screw you. Get off my website reading my greatness. You disgust me. We all know WWE is going to make Rock – Cena: Twice in A Lifetime now. Dumbest stuff ever. Even if they make it a triple threat and Punk wins, you STILL made your top two guys job to that candy ass jabroni. THE HELL!!!
So all that said, I’m not doing anything drastic like not watching Raw. But I will be pissed when Rock does little more than cut promos. I’m going to be pissed when every tweet that reflects on that result positively trolls me. I’m going to be pissed about this mess forEVER. And… this is EXACTLY why I love this fake stuff.
My memories of the infamous Attitude era of the WWE (then WWF) are lacking. I can remember the bigger things: I remember Brian Pillman (RIP), the sexual overtones, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels’ major feud, ‘Taker and Michaels’ equally significant feud, Tyson, and of course the face of the era himself: Stone Cold Steve Austin.
I suppose you can group the era into seven major factors (hyperbole, but for the sake of this piece we’ll use seven): the rises of Stone Cold and The Rock, the Ministry of Darkness, the Brothers of Destruction, Degeneration-X, the rise of the many faces of Foley and the long-standing war between Austin and McMahon. Up until recently I was looking for a missing link between what I was attempting to write a little while back and what I’ve been trying to scribe here for what seems like several weeks. That link comes from the Attitude era. It comes from the feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Looking at the return of The Rock, I can’t help but immediately return to the why of his return in the first place. His irregular forays into professional wrestling/sports entertainment have been to put someone over on the entertainment side and to bring in reasonable financial gain on the business side. At this point it’s fair to say that he’s more a Hollywood mainstay (which is pushing it a little in my tastes) than a special guest Superstar. Skipping ahead a bit it functions as the reason I’m not for him winning the WWE Championship at the Rumble; he’d fall under the same category of people that Punk criticized recently, i.e. Bob Backlund. Kayfabe, to be sure, but I find it to be an interesting deal. In any case, Dwayne Johnson’s latest foray back revolves around his gripes with the bastard son of Kamino engineering and Kal-El himself, John Cena.
Some might say that that isn’t true. It is. And you may not realize it, but you’re
likely wrong if you disagree. I’m talking to YOU, Adrian. Everything about The Rock’s latest romp has, in some capacity, revolved around John Cena, whether shameless talking about how much he doesn’t like him, to misinterpreting colonial American history and polluting sources of water AGAIN by throwing in Cena merchandise, to mysteriously shutting up after his Wrestlemania victory. Remember, he was relatively quiet after that until CM Punk began to run his mouth more and more heel-ishly. The announcement was made that he would have a WWE Championship match at the Rumble and I don’t think I can invoke my reaction any better than this here. Mostly because it made no sense. Secondly because it was an almost perfect set-up for Once in a Lifetime… Again. Which cheapens a good match from a good PPV. That’s the exposition; now let’s get into the sexy elaboration.
With Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Wrestlemania, Extreme Rules, Over the Limit, No Way Out, there was a theme. Each match featured a significant match with Cena and someone trying to
murder defeat him. This does not differ from most of his matches in concept, but we were dealing with Kane’s attempt to drag him into darkness, the Big Show living up to his “new” contract with the “fat” bonus and, of course, Brock Lesnar’s violent, and highly appreciated, decimation of Doomsday before being overcome by his equally broken opponent. Again, nothing special about that, except for one thing: John Laurinaitis.
Outside of failed Odd Future philosopher Scorpio “Harold” Sky and the unknown soldier known only as Dr. Shelby (no one can verify that his name is Sam Huntington), there are few out-of-ring talents I immediately appreciated. The chain-smoker voice, the petrified wood chin, the history as a skateboarder, the past with a porn star, the still head-scratchingly confusing WXO promo, he was a godsend. He was great. He had a problem with Cena, just like he did with Punk (foreshadowing) and it showed as Cena became more and more of a nuisance to the executive vice president of talent relations and the general manager of both RAW and SmackDown! Mr. Excitement, as I’m sure Seka called him during their relationship, had a mission: kill Superman. And with this Lex Luthor state of mind, Johnny Ace (as I’m not so sure Seka called him during their relationship) sent out enforcer after enforcer to put him out of his misery. To varying results. All of them failures, save for Over the Limit, which DID feature a John Laurinaitis victory. Not that it put much of a dent in Cena’s momentum.
Big Johnny (as I’m sure Seka never called him during their relationship) waged his campaign silently. Cena was the unstoppable juggernaut and he was throwing everything he could at him, even hairy non-Japanese people. One of my more unfounded, but wholly comprehensible, conspiracies is that Mr. Skillful and Dangerous (as I’m sure NO ONE has ever called him in any situation) attempted to utilize Eve to a succubus effect on Cena and his plucky cohort Jason Todd. I mean Zack Ryder. Both of them died miserably, what’s the difference?
Hmm? Oh, Ryder is still alive? You say you knew that? I didn’t. He’s irrelevant.
With Laurinaitis’ departure there was a void left in the “Let’s Kill Cena!” leadership, but the movement never faded away; it kind of stayed around like an unpaid bill. Cena’s ambition towards the WWE Championship, as well as his failed love life with various women of Hispanic descent (and levels of mental stability), crowded his mind state and at the end of the day the Royal Rumble became his goal. All signs even point to him winning, which is a very reliable indicator as there is only one sign courtesy of unnecessary commentary by pro wrestling/sports entertainment commentators such as ourselves. We all “knew” Cena was going to win at Wrestlemania as well. We (most of us) were happily surprised at how wrong we were too.
People are clamoring for Rock and Cena Part 2 now, and the loudest person calling for this match, even without calling for it at all, is Cena. Yes, Cena. In an interesting inverse to Punk (more foreshadowing) Cena is still attempting to acquire a level of respect and prestige that he doesn’t feel he has. Personally I think it just comes across as greed at this point. Even the best of intentions can be disastrous, if the person doesn’t appreciate what they already have. The character of Felix Anthony is one of accepted opulence: the children love him and he keeps striving for an achievement he can’t possibly reach because it would be backtracking.
For better or worse, the Prototype is at a level of prestige even he can’t acknowledge. He’s a multiple time world champion, a Make-A-Wish maven, a money making jam boy, a platinum selling recording artist, a workaholic, loved my millions, the man responsible for more little boys considering homosexuality than any other man in the United States (citation needed), and at that point there is only one thing a person wants: more.
The hunger for more is a very real thing, and it’s not a fleeting disease like with that somewhat lyrical hip hop guy from New York who ran with half a dollar hanging out of his ass. John Cena can only aspire for more now as he’s at the peak of Mount Everest. He COULD go the Kurt Angle route, which was lazy at best, and say he’s going to the bottom of the mountain so he can rise to the summit again, but why? What does that prove? All it means is that Cena did the same thing twice. And at this point, he’s done is three times. Notice how a hat trick is considered the ultimate in a hockey or futbol game.
And what does Cena really want? “More” is a basic term. He wants more prestige. He wants more gold than a party hosted by Mr. T. and Trinidad James. He wants women (and I bet I had my hand around a Bella before he did). He wants the big screen and Hollywood lights. He’s a horrible hybrid of the two biggest stars of sports entertainment, Hulk Hogan and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and so long as they have a place in the mainstream Cena will want more. Again, he’s already at the tip of Everest, but like a European stuntman he seeks greater heights, like perhaps a moving platform that lets him free-fall from the atmosphere to the ground.
Long and short: John Cena wants to be the immortal face of sports entertainment and professional wrestling, and much like Ric Flair says you have the beat the man to be the man he knows he has to beats his only competition, or himself. And I don’t know, I just don’t get the notion that Cena is the kind of guy capable of beating himself. Too infused with steroids, you know? Very uncomfortable I hear. Anyway, like I said, his only “competition” is Dwayne Johnson (who lives the life of Cena’s aspirations) and Hulk Hogan (who lives the life of Cena’s worst nightmares). He doesn’t want to be the king of the mountain; he wants to sour above it.
And that ambition is greedy. Everybody wants to rule the world (says Tears for Fears) but humility is sacrificed every bit of the way, and the ideals of “hustling” for it fall by the wayside and get warped into greed. Greed. Greed.
That’s the word. When it comes to the Rock, you can argue that he sees in John Cena the same thing he sees in his past self, and the Rock, as a result, has two options: let that continue, or put the upstart down before he gets too uppity, or goes from a Red Sock to a Yankee as CM Punk said once before (I haven’t forgotten about Punk yet, don’t worry). Think of it like the plight of lions. See, when a mommy lioness and a daddy lion decide to get together and have little Simbas, Nalas are safe. Females are safe. But males are in trouble. The daddy lion may, in an effort to maintain power, kill and, in some cases, eat the male cub. Isn’t that special? The Rock is the latest enforcer in the quest to dethrone John Cena, by the establishment. However, The Rock has nothing to prove; he’s done his time, paid his dues and kicked plenty of ass along the way. He had his own Wrestlemania moment doing battle with the face of sports entertainment himself Hulk Hogan. He’s the one souring. That’s why he gets the pop he does at this point.
But Cena is hungry. He’s hungry with no right to be. In many ways he’s already surpassed the object of his greedy delusions. And it’s not hard to imagine how clouded your vision gets when your ambitions outweigh your common sense. Some of us call it writing about professional wrestling or sports entertainment. I’m enough of an ass to say a lot of you (i.e. – Smith, Smith, ADRIAN, Scooby-Doo) need to calm down, step back and realize that you’re not that great at what you do. I’m cocky and back it up with humor, wit, shameless attempts at flirting with beautiful celebrities and a keen appreciation for Joseph Ducreux. After all, I am DA Infamous DiZ, not just Infamous DiZ. So to all y’all trying to put your shit out:
So Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the right to say: “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Cena IS that higher rock, but he’s too blind to see. Blinded by the light, as it were. And personally I have a BIG problem with anyone who directly or indirectly insults the good name of Manfred Mann.
But that takes us to the other end of the scale. The Rock versus CM Punk. The man who is breaking in to fight the champion versus the champion who maintains the epic greatness of the late, great Rodney Dangerfield. That’s not even a full sentence and it spells out the perfection of their conflict.
Hmm, that’s not quite right. There is no perfection with this match or the concept, but there is validity and comprehension. CM Punk has come across as a savior of sorts, a messiah figure, who doesn’t seem to give the slightest damn about the people he’s leading to a promised land. I like to compare him to Moses as portrayed by Seth Macfarlane’s Family Guy. You know: apprehensive to lead his people to freedom, constantly complaining, likely the father of a number of illegitimate children with red-headed rock stars (we’re not finna talk about what I want to do to Christie Hemme (I apologize to Christie Hemme)), etc.
Punk plays the anti-hero, not the good guy or the bad guy, but the protagonist to an age old story, transcending history, and the world. A tale of soul and sword, eternally retold. He’s the greatest of all time, by many standards and according to a number of critics, but he still plays second fiddle to the likes of John Cena, Dwayne Johnson, and of course John Felix Anthony Cena.
Let me ask you, “you” being the reader: have you ever been better than someone, and KNOW that you’re better than them, but they achieve what you put your heart and soul into as opposed to you? The answer is “Yes” because all of us have gone through that. Some people feel it when they deal with work-related things. Some with relationships or the lack thereof. Some do it on forums or following articles or the like; commenters, they’re sometimes called. Granted, nine times out of ten a commenter doesn’t know shit.
I don’t know: it irks me from time to time. What does a number of comments mean when the piece or topic isn’t worth a damn to begin with? I don’t know; frankly I don’t want to know; it’s an answer I can do without. So please, miss me with the notion that a lot of comments means something. Granted, a comment might mean something if it, in and of itself, carries more weight than the piece it is a comment for. That’s logic talking.
See what I just did there? I spoke truth. Truth is what CM Punk is known for. He has two things going for him when he gets on the mic now: truth and opinions damn near impossible to argue with. That’s his appeal. He backs it up with tremendous in-ring performances and the occasional bit at the commentary table. I found it to be very nice that he was disappointed whenever the table was destroyed; he questioned whether or not he was at the Spanish announce table. He also joked (?) about not wearing pants during the third season of NXT, also known as the Divas edition. You and me both, Punk, you and me both.
By all (citation needed) accounts, CM Punk’s only logical competition as the best all-around character in the WWE is Daniel Bryan, and with that in mind you have to ask the question: WHY doesn’t he get the respect he deserves?
Well it depends. In terms of kayfabe: because it’s fuel. In terms of business: I don’t know. He won’t sell as much as Superman; Superman will always sell more than John Constantine does, but people can relate to a John Constantine more as they advance as opposed to an alien who, really, isn’t all that remarkable. Seriously, think about it. What makes Superman so special? He’s not on his home planet, that’s all. Otherwise he’d be another denizen of a destroyed planet, as opposed to the only one left, that they know of.
But that’s CM Punk’s character: striving for respect where he shouldn’t have to. Seeking to grab a gold ring he should already have a dozen times over. Where does the Rock come in to this equation? Simple: he’s another roadblock, another Cena. Punk has had to overcome opponent after opponent, match after match, clean or dirty, and at the end of the day, he gets nothing but hate. No respect. Dwayne Johnson comes back after doing movies only to, and to borrow a word from L.E.W.D. brother Corbin Macklin, abscond back to doing movies after doing a sequence in the WWE. And he already has a title shot. More than that, he has a title shot, period. I have to say: that’s that shit I don’t like.
What does the Rock mean for CM Punk? He means CM Punk has either:
- A title to lose to set up Once in a Lifetime, Part 2, or…
- A milestone to cross that Cena could not.
It seems like a simple fork in the road, but the possibilities are great, what with the Shield, Ryback, Brock Lesnar, Cody Rhodes and his debonair mustache, Damien Sandow and his intellectual greatness, a host of others and of course AJ “I make men cry when I wear actual pants” Lee. Did I mention Ziggler? No, I suppose I forgot. I’ll remember for the future.
At the end of the day, the Rock represents expectation. Anticipation. The standard. The Rock represents today what Hulk Hogan did during his run that culminated with a match with, not surprisingly, The Rock. It’s not really all that complicated, but it is interesting that the mental aspects of Punk and Cena have been playing out for as long as they have. The triangle between Punk, Cena and Dwayne Johnson MAY culminate in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania, but as I stated earlier – or should have if I didn’t – it wouldn’t mean much. Maintaining a feud for a year is hard work, and the feud between Rock and Cena had plenty of low points during the year it took to manifest the actual match, like further polluting New England’s nasty ass waters.
But what do I know? I just talk about stuff. What do YOU think? And by “What do YOU think?”, I mean what do you want to add to the conversation?
When most people choose to eat popcorn, they eat it as a snack. I’m not sure many people sit down at the dinner table and prepare a steaming plate of popcorn as their choice meal for the evening. Also, many people don’t sit down at a restaurant and ask, “I didn’t see the price for the Popcorn Meal on the menu. I was hoping you could locate that for me!” If you meet a person that does either of these things, back away slowly, and run in the opposite direction as swiftly as possible.
This is the same mentality I take with TNA Addicts because they devour Popcorn Wrestling every week on TNA iMPACT. Total Non-Stop Anticipation is responsible for more ADHD outburst than a fireworks and laser/lights show in a room with tear away walls…wait…that IS the iMPACT Zone…
The Popcorn Wrestling that I’m referring to is the idea that a company can have a product that has a number of pop-up moments that are exhaled by the ADHD (IWC) wrestling fan base. Ultimately these Popcorn moments do not lead to anything.
After last night’s (1-17-13) episode of TNA iMPACT, I realized something very important. I am not conditioned to watch TNA due to my heightened level of analysis! TNA Addicts watch iMPACT in an episodic manner. They can celebrate every episode because that’s all they are looking for, a weekly fix.
I, along with many other members of the L.E.W.D. Crew, analyse the product for the value that it brings and the value that it provides for both the past and future product. Unfortunately, TNA does not present a product that is promising for either the past, present, or future.
SO…Last night, the wedding of Bully/Buh-Buh/Mark (he was referred to as all three last night) Ray and Brooke Hogan was to take place. The wedding went as a wedding is supposed to until it was time for the presiding official to declare them husband and wife. Tazz then proceeded to interrupt them with two points: 1. Nonsensical babbling about whether or not Bully Ray wanted to do this. 2. “Is it just me, or is it hot in here?” Then he removes his tux jacket to reveal that he was wearing an Aces & Eights vest…
This is where the separation between me and the TNA Addicts comes in. Beyond the fact that it provided a “Moment” that will be talked about in the collective basements of the 40 Addicts convulsing from their overdose of Anticipation, what good came from last night? (I’ll wait……………………………………………………….)
Let’s look at this in the three categories of time.
The biggest issue I have with this is that TNA and their Addicts have boasted about how their product is “Cutting Edge,” “Not the WWE” and “Pro Wrestling”…Now maybe I am just…NO!! For almost a month now, the show has been closed out with the “Worst GM in Wrestling” “The Infamous” Hulk Hogan, his ravaged daughter/”Knockout’s GM” Brooke, a suspended talent/”Best heel in the business” Bully/Buh-Buh/Mark Ray (Whom is now a face…), and a band of biker men that don’t have contracts or personalities but can cause chaos for the sake of chaos given that we still don’t know their motives. Pro Wrestling right?
The most recent episodes have featured the TNA Champion Jeff Hardy (carrying 2 belts) in the opening segments and maybe having a match preceding the dramatic close not involving said championship, thus making the main event the aforementioned debauchery!
Maybe I’m wrong…NO!!! That is Sports Entertainment be definition!
A moment…That’s all it was. (Thanks Da Infamous DiZ)
Tazz took off a jacket, became a public member of Aces & Eights, and this provided a brief moment of WTF. But as my good friend Mr. Quinn Gammon stated, there are 2 types of WTF’s. One is the expression of Shock and Awe, and the other is the expression of confusion and distaste. The problem with this “Moment” is that the percentages for the WTF had to be 40%/60%. This would mean that more than half of your live studio audience was confused as to what was going on, and why is the announcer guy joining the other team.
Mr. Ashley Morris brought up a great point as well in a conversation that Tazz is the “Human Suplex Machine” only to those who knew of him in his ECW days. He had a very short (unmemorable) stint as a wrestler in the WWE, so to the vast majority/casual fan, Tazz is no more than the announcer guy, and given that you can’t hear the announcers during a live recording, most of the Addicts in the arena, whom are regulars, will not be familiar to Tazz’s contribution to the product, therefore causing confusion as to why it is important for him to go to the “other side”.
Not much of one with this story…
What happens now? What value does the A’s & 8′s get with the addition of Tazz? They already have sponsored segments on the show anyways. They already have infinite access to the arena. If they can just learn how to wrestle in matches, they may actually make an impa…NO!!! They simply do not matter! We still do not know why they exist. Every other Hostile Takeover that has happened has had an immediately stated motive as to why they do what they do…except this one! That is not innovative or groundbreaking, that’s just STUPID!!!
Popcorn Wrestling is just something that I can not get into simply because I look at wrestling to be thorough entertainment. There is a big difference between whimsical and nonsensical. I will watch (and sometimes enjoy) the whimsical over the nonsensical any day. Don’t get me wrong, I love some good old-fashioned wrasslin’, but I like to deal with organization that don’t have an ongoing identity crisis!
What do you think?
Rt. Rev. Showtime
We are back again with another Podcast covering the state of the industry.
Topics came from the following:
Vitality of the Pro Wrestling Industry for both WWE & TNA
Champions of the Industry
And various current events.
1. RAW is 3 hours long. Sorry, but I am working three jobs, a full time student, and in a sorority. Three hours on a Monday night to watch a television show is A LOT of time.
This also makes me question the fact that this is supposed to be geared toward kids…half of these kids are being put to bed before RAW is over, and the other half has the attention span of goldfish and don’t care about a story that drags itself over three hours.
2. With RAW being 3 hours, it is a long drawn out story where nothing really happens. The cliff hangers from before that kept me watching for the next episode can be solved in one Monday night. Where’s the fun in that? Also, the plot lately is dead. It’s boring. The same old “I’m the champion,” scheme is getting old.
3. This is more of a biased reason I don’t like watching anymore: My favorite wrestler NEVER wins anything. When I first started watching, Alberto Del Rio was awesome. He was actually doing stuff. Now, he’s just lame. He never wins, he’s all talk and no game. Also, he’s always getting hurt and his little Sancho Panza-esq side kick comes out as the fool. My respectable favorite has been turned into a scene of mockery.
4. To resolve my previous disgruntled fandom, I picked a new favorite: Dolph Ziggler. There is a lot of potential for him to save the WWE for me right now. If he gets a good story line going that isn’t just a stupid gimmick for one show, I’ll keep watching.
5. I’m so sick of this same story with C.M. Punk. He’s made me hate him, not because he’s a bad guy now, but because his story is so damn boring.
As I said earlier, RAW is 3 hours long and I’m busy. BUT, if the storyline was more interesting, I would make the effort to record and watch Monday Night RAW and I would actually know what’s going on to watch the PPV.
I’m almost afraid the WWE has extinguished its prime, and right now might be better off being syndicated or maybe just take a hiatus to regain fans.
I think it’s a dark age for the WWE right now.
We’ve all had the same question for the last few weeks: will the three hour format work for RAW. Short answer: it can. Long answer: it has been. Going from a two hour show to a three hour show is about the equivalent of going from a long single disc album to going into a double disc that, combined, is still less than 100 minutes overall. That may not make the most sense to you but it carries significance, believe me.
We started of this edition with Lawler coming up and demanding an apology for Punk kicking him unconscious last week. While most of us, if not 99% of us, rejoiced at this response to disrespect, the more or less dead crowd wasn’t really into it like they should have been. Punk came out to respond and proceeded to completely bury Lawler. COMPLETELY. I can’t emphasize that enough. Bringing up the fact that a man’s never won the WWE Championship is one thing; bringing up the fact that his Wrestlemania moment is defined by losing to Michael Cole is another. Subsequently, I felt very screwed that I had to sit through that match when I went to Wrestlemania and I want either my money back or the promise of Vaseline next time, WWE.
Punk challenged the commentator to a match, emphasizing that Lawler would leave that arena embarrassed: either because he lost against Punk or because he didn’t even accept the challenge. Be A Star. A defeated Lawler responded, “I’ll think about it.” Be. A. Star.
The first match was between one-time World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger and Goldberg 2.0 Ryback. You already know who won so I won’t bore you with minor details, but let me ask this question: does ANYONE remember when Swagger was the World Heavyweight Champion? It wasn’t a really long reign by any means, but it lasted for nearly three months and it was exponentially longer than the World Heavyweight Championship run of former BFF Dolph “I’m Jericho 2.0” Ziggler. To add more humor to that statement, Swagger won the title OFF of Jericho back then!
In any case, Swagger’s defiant “THIS IS IT!” shout outside the ring tells me that they’re going to do something with him now. Anything is better than jobber hell; he can be in jobber nirvana easily.
Our next match was the obligatory Divas match: Natalya versus Layla, the Champion. The crowd, already dead, wasn’t enthused, and Vickie coming out before the match and actually pushing for the match to be done with throughout was an annoyance more than anything. Layla wins the match and Vickie quickly shoos both her and the Hart chick out of the ring to scream about her discomfort, anger and disgust with AJ, as well as push that subtle (citation needed) invitation that she should be the GM again. In response, AJ came out and attacked Vickie. Aside from Vickie showing herself to take a fall better than a lot of women AND men on the roster, this crowd, which still pissed me off, chanted “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” repeatedly during AJ and Vickie’s quick scuffle, AJ caught my attention because she displayed some of that crazy she’s become so famous for as of late. I like that. It’s sexy. And crazy chicks are sexy.
And she’s Latina. I don’t know if that’s supposed to carry a hidden meaning or anything, but my conspiracy theories on Mexican and Hispanic Superstars and Divas are pretty well known on this blog, and a significant portion of Part 4.
Next we get the first Triple H video package, and the thought process is set in peoples’ minds that he’s set to retire. Note that this hasn’t been verified in any capacity though. Nice package, but it lacked something I wanted to see…
Speaking of lacking things I wanted to see, we get to Daniel Bryan in his first week of anger management. Stop processing what I’ve written for a second and consider this: Daniel Bryan in anger management. If those words don’t pop out at you and sparkle gold with diamond outlines then something is wrong with YOU. Daniel Bryan has proven time and time again that he is a god-like technician in the ring and a god-like technician when it comes to working the crowd. Now he can add the title of god-like technician in working a comedic segment. Nothing about this was wrong and everything was hilarious, from the small group, to the shirt Bryan wore so proudly, to the COMPLETELY unimpressed look on his face when the camera first focused on his face. Assaulting the child? Very Be A Star, and very, very hilarious. Ironically enough, the most memorable moment in that first segment to me was when that man said his son, wearing the goat mask, was playing a goat in the school’s production of Noah’s Ark. Why? Because I never actually considered that the Ark had goats on it.
Oh, and I like Harold. When you need a good token black guy then you get Harold! Harold kicks ass!
We come back to the live segment and Lawler accepts Punk’s challenge. We already know what outcome that’s going to have, but then Cena comes out for his match versus the Miz. No, this is NOT a Wrestlemania rematch, despite how it may look, you know, with Cena being Cena and the Miz being a champion and all. Standard match. Standard everything. Cena wins. I’m so shocked. If only you could hear my intense sarcasm.
Lawler is still gone (not complaining) and Cole announces that the crowd can decide what kind of match Punk and Lawler battle in: tables match, cage match or No DQ match. Like many of you, I wondered if there was going to be a cage brought in from India or something because I didn’t see one, but there was one later. Not wondering where the cage was; I have better thing to do than wonder. Another highlight video for Triple H plays, yay.
But fun times abound when we come back to the anger management class. They had said that there was one person missing, and sure enough that empty chair was next to Daniel Bryan. After my new hero Harold spouted his issues, Bryan quickly dismissed them and said that HIS issues were greater, and sure enough, we may agree. The last member of the class came in and it was (who else?) Kane. Everyone but Bryan scooted their chairs away; Bryan just looked pissed. Not even mad, just pissed, almost as if to say, “This some ol’ bullshit, man…”
But my point is proven: Bryan is a god. And Harold might be too. Harold kicks ass. WE LOVE HAROLD!
Our next match was a continuation of jobber paradise with former United States Champion Santino Marella and one-man rock band idol Heath Slater. Here was my question before it even started: if Slater loses, will that be a bad reflection on Sin Cara? Yes, the answer is yes, and I already think Sin Cara is underwhelming. The match was pretty standard until Santino pulled the green sock from his crotch and prepared to put an end to the match. Here Aksana came out, theme song and all, and the second brand of comedy came about: the kid brand, which is the topic of Part 2.
No, a lot of people who can remember Ren and Stimpy will not be amused by this. A lot of kids will, however. With that in mind, just deal with it. Kids find this kind of thing to be humorous, and they’ve worked to a more kid-friendly product for years. It’s worth noting that now they can have a Saturday morning show and can argue that they have found a wavering, if steadying, balance between adult humor and kid humor. They can make that claim; I’m not entirely convinced. We’ll see as time goes on.
Oh, and Santino won, hinting at a feud between him and the Swede. Okay. It’ll give them both something to do, and it could be SERIOUSLY intensified if Cesaro had the nerve to turn the United States title into the new European Championship. I know I’ve said this before, several times, but it’s an election year! Think of the heat! THE HEAT!
Cole plugged in another Triple H bit before the break. Rumblings are beginning to erupt on Twitter from people who haven’t watched this product for about ten years. Worth ignoring for now. Our next match begins with introductions: Brodus Clay and Sin Cara versus Damien Sandow and the man he claims he can have an intelligent conversation with: Cody Rhodes. I’ll keep it 100 with you: I didn’t really watch this match too closely. I saw who won and that was about it. Honestly I’m only a fan of one of the four competitors: Rhodes, and I tolerate the others because of nostalgia, genuine heat and two fine black women who touch their asses together for our amusement. You can decipher who is meant by which on your own time.
Clay and Cara win. Ignoring the fact that Sin Cara can’t dance (helps when you can’t see someone’s face when they try to dance) the third anger management segment began to play, and this was arguably the greatest segment in the history of taped RAW segments in the past few years. The focus was on Kane, and after taking his mask off (to reveal the other mask), he briefly went through the events of his life, much to Bryan’s chagrin. What made this the most epic thing of the evening, of course, was the fact that he mentioned Katie Vick.
He wins, bitches. Aside from being a perfect compliment to Dr. Evil’s group therapy monolog from the first Austin Powers movie (side by side comparisons at the end of the post) this monolog was hilarious AND informative! Seriously, just READ what the man said:
Well, I grew up locked in a basement suffering severe psychological and emotional scarring when my brother set my parents on fire. From there I sifted around a series of mental institutions until I was grown, at which point I buried my brother alive, twice. Since then I’ve set a couple of people on fire and abducted various co-workers. Oh and I, uh, once electrocuted a man’s testicles. Years ago I had a girlfriend named Katie, but, um… let’s just say that didn’t turn out so well. My real father is a guy named Paul Bearer, who I recently trapped in a meat locker. I’ve been married, divorced, broke up my ex-wife’s wedding and tombstoned the priest. And for reasons never quite explained, I have an unhealthy obsession with torturing Pete Rose.
WHAT?! No! After laughing to the point of crying, and significantly appreciating the fact that there was no logical rationale for his torture of Pete Rose (hey Ash, Kane doesn’t need a reason to hate, so why should I?!), I finally advanced into the show.
That’s a lie: I anxiously waited to hear what was next for Kane and Bryan in anger management. Arts and crafts are coming up next week. And you know what that means? MORE HAROLD!
After we have to say goodbye to Kane, Bryan and Harold (*sniff*) we get ANOTHER Triple H video package. I like them but this is enough. Our next match has Good Times (Kingston and Truth) come out, the latter in a match, the other in a suit. Have to say: I like Kofi in a suit. He comes out with his wife too, he has all the wins a black man can have in the WWE without being named Harold. Who is Truth’s opponent?
Why, a fresh out of anger management Daniel Bryan, who in keeping with his anger management going character (reiteration: god-like technician), responds to the heavy “YES!” chants of the crowd with a calm and dignified “No”. BRILLIANT! He comes to the ring and shows respect to Truth with a fist bump. Nice. After a brief back and forth Truth encourages Bryan to show Lil’ Jimmy the fist bump respect too. Bryan, still in anger management mode, agrees, and does, and the match begins anew.
But we might need to come to that anger management class again sooner than next week. Bryan and Truth leave the ring, Truth starts a “Yes!” chant throughout the arena, and Bryan slowly begins to lose his cool, responding with a soft “No” at first and then devolving into a pained, crowd-pleasing, crowd-working, furious “NO!” rant with, I swear, the same son of a bitch from the last few weeks, with the same shirt and everything! Obviously Daniel Bryan has fallen off the wagon. I think we need Harold to be his anger buddy.
Truth wins by countout. Bryan is disheveled and my point, first stated in the Curious Case of Bryan Danielson, is further proven: Bryan is a god. Next, Triple H is said to be there. That’s a start. He comes out. That’s validation. His speech is carefully worded and sometimes you can hear the man break up a bit as if about to cry. While he kept questioning whether or not he was done with the ring, he NEVER explicitly stated that he was done, never. That’s partly why I was left wanting throughout, even with that douchebag yelling loud enough to shout out TNA (yeah, fool, I heard you!). He left with no resolution but a heavily implied retirement. I hope he stays until the next Wrestlemania actually; I want my master plan to play out and yes, YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME!
That’s not a command so much as an assumption: I think you would really appreciate how I see Triple H going out of the WWE’s in-ring action. But c’est la vie. We’ll see what happens.
Next the lights go dim, and the Y2J music hits. For the two people who honestly thought it was Jericho, shame on you. It was Jericho 2.0, who can now boast that he retired the Obi-Wan to his Anakin Skywalker (not going into the Episode posts again until I hit 1000 views on one). He came out and Del Rio followed, the tell-tale signs of a tag match. Their opponents: who else but Orton and Sheamus?
Decent match. Good guys win. At this point (I failed to mention this earlier) Josh Matthews has replaced Jerry Lawler on commentary. I mention this now because Kane comes out, and as he approaches the commentator table Matthews takes off and Cole stands up, scared to sit next to the big red monster. Ignoring the possible Heidenreich-Cole comparisons, Kane’s commentary was as epic as Pootie Tang’s hit single. What was the match? Zack Ryder versus David Otunga. Yes, I was the same way: “Oh my God, who the hell cares?!” It was a match, point blank, and after wards Kane came out and looked as if he was about to chokeslam Ryder.
That didn’t materialize. Kane let go of Ryder and chokeslammed Otunga. Anger management classes ARE working for Kane. He doesn’t need Harold to be his anger buddy, but I think he would benefit nonetheless.
As we begin to wind down, a cage match has been chosen by the WWE Universe and there was a cage. I still didn’t question. First Lawler comes out. Then Punk. Punk offers Lawler the first punch, which he promised if Lawler accepted the match, and the first punch is thrown. The match begins, and sure enough it actually isn’t a bad match. No one thought Lawler would win, but in-ring psychology suggested that he might, all until Punk locked in that Anaconda Vice. Lawler tapped. That ended the last match of the evening.
But the show was not over. A kid yelled at Punk to show Lawler mercy (I know plenty of people that would jump on that comment too) but Punk found a chain and locked him and Lawler in the cage. He began the slow, drawn out torture of Lawler all for the purpose of having King admit that Punk is the best in the world. Eventually Lawler passed out, but the assault didn’t really end. Cena came out and tried to break the chain, a feat I only remember Mark Henry actually accomplishing, and failed. He barked at the people to raise the cage, raising the question as to why Superman didn’t just fly over it, but what do I know? As soon as the cage began to raise Punk bailed. THAT ended the show.
I never actually said it before, but the three hour format, in my opinion, works because they can utilize more talent and give some worthy stars more time, like Bryan, and now Harold, because we love Harold. Is there more filler? Yes. Does it feel unnecessarily drawn out from time to time? Yes. But so did the two hour version. I’m just spouting my opinion though. Be easy people, I’m gonna go shout the praises of Harold.
And now, the comparison. Who did it better, Kane or Michael Myers as Dr. Evil?
*All moving gifs courtesy of ilovewrestlinggifs*
Hello again, dear friends and enemies. Welcome back to the site. If you’re like me (and you’re not, because I’m the incarnation of perfection) then you come here for pro wrestling and/or sports entertainment commentary, insight, witty banter and, of course, the occasional bit of hardcore animal porn. But since the nation of Kickassia has passed the Protection of Oriental Pigeons Act (aka the P.O.O.P. Act) we’ve had to fall back on pure analysis.
But not me, true believers! Never a fan of the status quo or hot bird-on-bear action, I, the Infamous One himself, is proud to bring you ranting! Yes, ranting, pure unadulterated ranting on something we all love to hate: the WWE! As we all know, last night was Summerslam 2012, one of the big four PPVs the company puts out, and the question is simple: “DiZ, you clandestine paragon of forthrightness, what did YOU, in all your greatness and humility that I can never hope to achieve, think of the PPV?”
Since you are so kind to acknowledge my greatness, I’ll tell you. I’ve picked up a bad habit, I’m sorry to say, one that compels me to actually buy the PPVs, fry up some chicken wings, drink Yuengling and Sam Adams and occasionally endure a random appearance by a long-lost friend. The last element within that circle did not occur last night, but just as well. Those long-lost friends are usually casual fans and at a certain point last night they would have felt cheated out of the $0.00 they paid to watch it.
Not that they matter. What did I think? Well we start with the pre-show match between Antonio Cesaro, the man of five languages (and six words) versus the United States Champion (and I use that term loosely) Santino Marella. Just for you, reader, I’ll treat you to highlights from the match via moving gifs which highlight the best parts of the matches. So let us begin.
We all know the reign of Santino Marella as the United States Champion has been stupidly underwhelming. His high point came in the Elimination Chamber match when he was literally the cock of the walk. His inclusion into the PPV, even in the pre-show, is fulfillment of the role of the champion who puts others over. Enter Antonio Cesaro, master of one-word phrases and questionably attractive European women. He’s quickly risen from being Teddy Long’s pseudo-adversary to PPV pre-show talent, and why not? He’s a big Swede who beats people up, kind of like this guy here (only he’s Spanish).
Besides that, with patriotism very high right now (election years will do that to you) a good international heel is needed, and Cesaro fits that bill to a Rocky IV kind of perfection. The match was entertaining, far more than Marella has been in a long time, and his loss came as a sigh of relief to us, the masses. Frankly I think Cesaro can enact a respectable and entertaining run as the United States Champion, and maybe he’ll even bring a little validity back to the title. The big question now is who he feuds with next. I’m hoping for a low-to-mid carder who hasn’t exactly had a chance to shine or, hypothetically, gets thrown into walls by giants.
Match one (two if you want to speak in technicalities) was between the Show Off Dolph Ziggler and Y2J Chris Jericho. I don’t know who said it, but a very wise person said that this match had the potential to be the best PPV opener in the history of the WWE.
I agreed. Jericho versus Ziggler, old versus new, unofficial mentor versus unofficial mentee, Yomi versus Shura (Yu Yu Hakusho fans might get that one), and sure enough it was all that and more. The in-ring psychology of the match suggested to me that Ziggler was like a younger brother to Jericho, desperately trying to earn his elder sibling’s respect through ability, skill and imitation. That, as well as the fact that Jericho’s role in the WWE right now is to put over the next generation of stars, fueled this great match.
We were treated to just over 13 minutes of smooth ring work and flashy bravado that ended, surprisingly, with a Jericho win. The crowd was enthused and, even better, we were treated to the Lion Tamer. Not the Walls of Jericho as many figured, but the Lion Tamer. I explained to one person, “The Walls of Jericho is a renamed Boston Crab. The Lion Tamer is there to crush your skill and snap your back in two.” Big brother wasn’t amused.
But I’m looking past that and to what this match might mean for this feud between Jericho and Ziggler. It seems like many a Superstar right now are playing the shadow game to a wrestler they emulate or idolize, and this is the first time I’m seeing how blatantly this is being shown. I don’t see Jericho doing anything big for a bit and Ziggler may not cash in that briefcase in the near future (or maybe he will; get the belt of Sheamus; oops, spoiler) but we may finally see that almost Rule of Two Sith thing I was hinting at so long enough back when Cena was supposed to join the dark side.
Maybe. I hope so.
Match three was between Daniel Bryan and Kane, more in-ring story for the long (and compelling) arc between AJ, Punk, Bryan and Kane. While the “anger management” angle has seemed to fade a little bit, the sun that is Bryan’s career hasn’t subsided in the least. Easily one of the finest workers in the WWE in a long time, he makes the ring work look good and he plays the crowd to perfection, whether friendly or jerky, aggressive or downright psychotic. Pair him with Kane, another of the great workers in the WWE, and we have a great match.
It is interesting, I think, that this angle has lasted as long as it has, and it all revolves around a Diva, the most powerful Diva on the program, the Diva that did what Eve couldn’t do and did it without any sexual innuendo (the mantra is “I will resist Eve breast, mouth or sex jokes. I will resist…”) and now it seems like she punishing every man that had any relation with her along the way. Look at Punk and his triple threat. Look at Bryan and his psychological evaluations. Look at Kane and his relative third wheel status. Look at Josh Matthews and…
Well to be fair, he was just doing his job. But really, when’s the last time that paid off? That’s not very “Be A Star”-ish, WWE. What does it say when a man who is just trying to do his job gets manhandled and may just suffer from some anal bleeding?
But Bryan won the match via a Small Package (ironic, I know) and AJ has promised retribution and consequences for Kane’s attack. A great match, great work from both Superstars, great tolerance for Josh Matthews. I don’t know WHO he pissed off to get thrown around and beat up as of late but he’s taking it all in stride.
Our fourth match was for the Intercontinental Championship, a real barn burner between token talking Mexican good guy Rey Mysterio and (not a) movie star Mike Mizanin, aka the Miz. I didn’t know what to expect or think of this match but I have to admit: I hate Batman and Bruce Wayne just a little bit more now that we have this image:
Personally I think he’d have been better off coming out as the Riddler, being “Mysterio” and all, or even Bane, because of the similar Mexican heritage, but hey, when you need to impersonate a hero, you impersonate everyone’s favorite psychologically damaged, sexually repressed/confused, forever lonely billionaire! Trust me, I know Batman lore, I’m being VERY nice just saying that.
Like I said, I didn’t have much of an opinion for this match because my only thought was that I wanted the Miz to win. I’m in the minority here but I’m not big on Rey Mysterio for the same reason I’m not big on Sin Cara: I don’t see their styles soar because they rarely face other luchas. When the eventual (and inevitable) battle between him and Sin Cara becomes a reality (not that tag team mess where they look like Double Dragon) I’ll probably enjoy it more. After all, what is Sin Cara in the WWE but in the shadow… of… Rey… Mysterio… do I hear the sweet bells of validation?!
The actual match was surprisingly good. The back-and-forth was clever and enjoyable, and the end of the match actually did feature some serious edge-of-your-seat(-with-a-beer-in-hand) moments. The Miz’s victory pleased me even more because it looked like a hard fought victory, which is the best kind of victory.
Match five was the rather noteworthy Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio 463 (I don’t think the number is that high, but it might as well be). We’ve seen this match plenty of times but despite Del Rio’s in-ring skill he’s just not that fun to watch overall. He’s rather dull on the mic and he’s grown stale. Someone’s left the cap off of the bottle of Senzao if you catch my drift.
Therein lies the issue: the actual match was solid. It was clean. But like the Primetime Players vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth 353 (again, not that many, but might as well be) back when A.W. was their manager, the crowd wasn’t into it. A.W. brought energy to that match, and Ricardo Rodriguez couldn’t do the same for this match.
There was a certain time when the crowd popped though that caught my attention, as shown here:
But that pop actually came BEFORE Sheamus displayed his strength, when Del Rio locked in his finisher. That was curious, but even when Ricardo threw his shoe (you’re missed, A.W.) the crowd just wasn’t into this otherwise solid match. Sheamus retained, but it’s about time we had something new. Sheamus vs. Del Rio has long since overstayed its welcome, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Orton in the WHC title hunt again. Speaking of Orton… no, nothing. I just wanted to get your hopes up. Like I said to Quinn before: he dismantles with arguments and logic. I just hurt people’s feelings. Deal with it!
The next match was the Primetime Players against Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, who seemed to be dressed in Superman attire for some reason or the other. You’ll notice the lack of moving gifs for this one. That’s because there are none (or at least I don’t feel like looking). It was a standard match, and the consistent chant of “Kobe” throughout (or maybe “Kofi”, it was hard to tell) was the highlight.
My biggest thing was finally acknowledging that one of the biggest African-American wrestlers in the WWE right now is a Que. That’s gotta be an interesting article in the Oracle I reckon. Kofi and R-Truth (I call them “Good Times” because I think of this song when they come out) retain their titles, but honestly I don’t feel too strongly either way about them right now.
The WWE Championship match followed this tag team encounter, and the first thing that caught my attention was the order of appearance. John Cena was first, then the Big Show, and finally the CHAMPION CM Punk. That’s good. It’s progress. Punk wasn’t in the main event but that’s a gripe for another post.
I’ll say this: that match was as good as it could have possibly been. There was a consistent attempt to keep it a one-on-one bout and the double tap out was, predictably I’ll admit, interesting if not a little cliché. Punk’s victory was the icing on the cake because it was both so like him and so unlike him at the same time, which only makes his tweener status (HE’S NOT A HEEL!) all the better.
But you have to wonder: is this part of a grand months long arc like that of Daniel Bryan? We know the Rock is waiting at the Royal Rumble for his match (with no reasonable explanation as to why this match CAN even go down) but what until then? Minor sidestories within? Gaiden? Cheese? The Tahj Mahal? Hammer? I’m actually voting for Hammer. Otherwise, CM Punk is a terrific tweener, in the same vein of Stone Cold himself (SHADOWS! SHADOWS! SHADOWS!) and I like that.
What the people (i.e. – many of thee) don’t understand is that there’s a lot more to the characters you love and hate in the ring. There’s more than just black and white; there is gray, several shades of it, about fifty to be exact. That’s where CM Punk is. That’s actually where a LOT of wrestlers are, but people don’t like to think. There’s black and white, but no gray. Gray SUCKS! So people just think, “Oh, he hit the Rock so he’s a heel!” Shut up, fool, he’s a tweener, between face and heel, adept in both, master of none!
I’m sorry, I got angry because I envisioned your (ADRIAN!) face and just screamed at the computer screen. Let me sum up my feelings on those that feel like CM Punk is a heel with this:
Next we had our Cash Money performance, and being an ardent hater of anything post-2003 from the Cash Money camp that was NOT Teena Marie let’s just apply the above moving gif to my feelings for the performance. There wasn’t enough dancing Layla but there was enough trying to sing Spanish announcers. That made the overall performance about a C+. It would have been a B-, but like I said: not enough dancing Layla.
Finally, my legion of followers, we come to the main event. Brock Lesnar versus Triple H. I’ll offer this disclaimer now: if you’re a casual fan of pro wrestling/sports entertainment, this match sucked. If you’re a deep thinking pro wrestling/sports entertainment fan, this match was intriguing.
It was like a game of chess, that’s the only way I can describe it. And chess, while interesting, isn’t always something that has your eyes shifting like a game of ping pong. It was like a ballet almost, a psychological struggle between a man with no morals and a man who still thinks he has something to prove after losing a record third time to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
No tables were destroyed, no weapons utilized, just some retrospectively brutal attacks by both combatants. Looking at what this match is truly here to symbolize, you have to wonder if this is all part of the long road (or an extended storyline) leading to the end of Triple H’s in-ring work. He’s been around for a while, staked his claim, and now he’s been emasculated and defeated, both as an athlete (Lesnar’s repeatedly beat him senseless) and professionally (Lesnar didn’t get his way, but he left the scars). Is it time to see the end of Triple H, the wrestler?
Maybe. I have a scenario in mind actually that would be a perfect way for Triple H to leave the ring, but it would need to happen at Wrestlemania. In any case, it was a gentleman’s match, not full of spotfest excitement or bloody indulgence but true, technical, specified brutality. Watching from both a casual and deep thinking pro wrestling/sports entertainment state of mind, I was equally bored/angered and amazed/melancholy, because with the abundance of shadows I’ve spoken of earlier, who exactly is the shadow for Triple H? Stone Cold’s legacy is in the spirit of CM Punk right now. Hogan’s is in Cena. Rey Mysterio’s is in Sin Cara. Jericho’s is in Ziggler, maybe even a few others. Could perhaps Sheamus…
Well, it was a deep match, with Triple H tapping out to Lesnar. He left the ring like a king who had finally taken too many wounds. Classy. Very cool, very classy.
That sums up the PPV for me. Because I’m in the weird habit of paying for these and essentially hosting little private parties for them now, I hold the PPVs, especially the big four, in a higher regard now, and I can say that Summerslam didn’t disappoint. The crowd wasn’t as enthused at all times as they could have been, and the main event is going to be a polarizing thing for many, but by and by I liked it, money well spent, a nice compliment to my many, many beers.
The DiZ gives this PPV a B for a grade. That’s about all I have to say today. You stay classy, San Diego. I’m Ron Burgandy…?
OK…Brace Yourself. Innocent ears be warned…Mr. Quinn Gammon is allowed to verbally express his thoughts and feelings on TNA current events.
Disclaimer…if you are a TNA fan, this might hurt a little…
This is the final installment of this series. Be on the lookout for more from both Mr. Quinn Gammon and I.
We hope you have enjoyed this journey, and we hope it will bring you back for more. Just like WWE 3-hour RAW, we are just getting started, so it will take time to improve so be patient.
We take a look at the WWE Diva’s Division, and what are some issues and interferences with what has kept them from prominence.
And this is the final statement on the WWE overall atmosphere.
The TNA X-Division is the new topic of discussion. What’s right, and what’s wrong with it all?
The challenge of keeping opinions to ourselves becomes more difficult as we move on to Hard(core) Justice and Austin Aries as TNA Champion.
OK….We take a turn
for the worst to TNA. The Bound For Glory Series is the topic, and Mr. Quinn Gammon is ready to crunch some numbers.
The WWE has two new GMs for Raw and SmackDown. Here is some commentary on the subject as well as some rumors for the future of the commentary seats.
In this episode, we talk about Chris Jericho and his involvement with the up-and-coming Dolph Ziggler.
More is on it’s way!
We continue with the interview with Mr. Quinn Gammon by talking about CM Punk and his character shift.
More to come soon!
After a lengthy hiatus, Mr. Quinn Gammon is breaking his silence and is giving his thoughts on the current world of Professional Wrestling, with special emphasis on the WWE & TNA. This will be the first of a series of topics that will be posted for the days to come. So sit back and enjoy.
Feel free to comment with your thoughts.
I decided to take a page from Da Infamous DiZ’s book, and do an audio post. I hope you like it. It might be amateur at best, but I just wanted to make some points. (Believe me, this is harder than it seems!)
Let me know what you think.