Archive for Author David Creighton

Wrestling Recap, The Undertaker

It feels like WWE has been having a lot of Pay Per Views lately. Smackdown is the last stop before Bragging Rights so let’s see what they can do to push one of their less popular shows. We open with the 7 members of both teams (minus R-Truth who still can’t get into Canada) in the ring and Teddy Long letting them book their own matches. Miz put himself, Jackson and Sheamus on one side which Show counters with himself Kofi and Rey. Edge challenges CM Punk, Morrison wants Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger goes after Santino. Tyler Recks keeps his mouth shut. Oh and Kane takes on Randy Orton as we already heard.

The six-man tag starts right away. Matt Stryker shows he is, or at least was, a comic book fan by referring to this as Secret Wars. Despite putting more powerhouses on the RAW side it’s Smackdown who picks up the win when Mysterio hits a Splash off Big Show’s shoulders. So Smackdown looks strong again, pointing to RAW winning on Sunday. Swagger takes on Santino but, for some reason, Hornswoggle takes issue with Swagger’s Soaring Eagle. Most of this is a joke and Swagger picks up yet another win for Smackdown. Stryker: “Santino is going to need Cobra and Destroy to get out of this one.”

Now that Cody Rhodes is one half of the tag team champions maybe he should stop having solo vignettes. Del Rio and Morrison put on an okay match, but Del Rio wins for Smackdown, again. We’re also only at the halfway point when the Edge/Punk match gets underway. It is a bit odd to have two guys who were just traded for each other defending their new brands. Did Cole just say Evan Bourne is injured and out for four months? My cable goes out just as Miz and Alex Reilly attack Edge, causing a DQ, one-by-one the rest of the team come out to hit a move or two then get taken out and wait for the next guy. The cycle ends with Punk coming back to GTS Mysterio then eat a Spear from Edge. I know Smackdown is on a new network but do we have to push them this hard?

We get more annoying Diva crap as LayCool dresses as The Hart Foundation. They face Natalya and Kelly Kelly in a tag match. We learn that Layla will be the one to wrestle on Sunday which is annoying when Natalya makes Layla submit because it pretty much ensures that LayCool is retaining Sunday.

Kane and Rady Orton put on a better match than I was expecting out of them. Both look strong but Kane loses the match when the lights go out and Taker’s music plays. The show ends with the return of a classic bit as Undertaker comes up through the ring and drags a screaming Kane down and out of sight.

Over on TNA the heels are running the show. No Hogan and no more Dixie Carter means Bischoff is running the show. He puts Ken Anderson, who has one arm in a sling, against Kazarian in an Ultimate X match. If he can survive he’s the number one contender. Bischoff plants seeds of doubt in RVD’s mind that more of his friends will turn on him before putting him in a tag match with Sabu against Beer Money.

The Pope is a face now and he gets AJ Styles in Street Fight. Bischoff plays fair and bans Fortune from ringside. It’s a title match and a fine, roughhouse match; until Abyss, not technically a member of Fortune, runs in and destroys The Pope. Did this elevate The Pope? Maybe a little, but not much. Later, Pope is mad Samoa Joe didn’t come to his aid. Still later, Jeff Jarrett and the two “security guards who are actually rookie wrestlers” take Joe out.

In diva crap, Miss Tessbacher needs to become a wrestler now and WWE’s Katie Lea Burchill is here, but they’re calling her Winter and I get a weird “mad Ophelia from Hamlet” vibe off her. Mickie James beats Sarital then Tara attacks her post-match. Oh and that Jersey Shore rip off I want to see gone gets to beat Amazing Red. Team 3D wants one last title match, after which they will retire. I hope they manage to put on a good final match. I hope they put over the Guns then I hope they stay retired.

The RDV/Sabu v. Beer Money match doesn’t last long before Sabu brings a chair in the ring and accidentally throws it in RVD’s face. 1) He hit RVD 2) Had he hit his target they would have been disqualified anyway. RVD goes after Sabu and EV 2.0 has to pull them apart. Anderson gets a Fortune beat down before the match. They drag him to the ring, not technically interfering because the match has not started yet. Kazarian almost wins before Anderson recovers. Anderson wrestles the match one-handed and still manages to keep it entertaining. Then they make a big mistake. Anderson brings out a ladder. Now I watched the very first Ultimate X match, which Kazarian won 7 years ago, and there was one rule: No ladders. Now they forget all about that? There is no point whatsoever in an Ultimate X match if ladders can be used. Real fans care about the details. Now, perhaps he would have been disqualified had he succeeded, we’ll never know. Fortune runs in and destroys Anderson before he can get the X and Matt Morgan just puts Kazarian on his shoulders and he claims the win that way. Anderson gets a steel pipe and chases off Fortune, only to be ambushed by Jeff Hardy with a steel chair. If you like a little blood in your wrestling then TNA trumps WWE hands down.

The finish is Flair and Bischoff heading off to go clubbing together, but Kurt Angle, pipe in one hand, the other in a sling, trashes their limo. This was actually a pretty good show. Yes, there was a lot of crap I’d prefer not to see, but unlike last week it seemed to all come together. Could the common denominator in TNA booking good shows be leaving Hogan off camera?

Bragging Rights is sponsored by Smackdown vs RAW 2011. Would it be cynical to think this is the only reason they have this particular event? I happen to think WWE simply has too many Pay Per Views, with 3 in a six week span build up is going to suffer. Did we need Hell in the Cell? Wouldn’t it have been better to have two more weeks to build to Bragging Rights? I won’t be seeing the show so I don’t know how much it matters to me. I’m not agonizing over the fact that I’ll miss it.

Lucian WWE Wrestling Recap

RAW is in Calgary. This would be a good time for a Bret Hart appearance. With Bragging Rights right around the corner Teddy Long shows up to open the show. Long threatens to take over the show. This draws the ire of the anonymous GeMail. Long unplugs him and calls out his team. Did Cole just claim the match would be elimination? That’s the exact opposite of what they said on Smackdown. Miz responds and brings out his team as well. The Miz even reveals the seventh man on the team. It’s Ezekial Jackson back from an injury. A brawl breaks out and RAW fails to drive Smackdown from the ring. Show wants Miz tonight and the normally cowardly Miz accepts the challenge.

The tag champs, also Smackdown stars, face the Hart Dynasty. They’re easily the hometown favorites, but once again THD can’t work together and they lose the match. Expect these two to split and Kidd to be the more successful as a solo performer. Backstage, Orton has a heart-to-heart with Cena where he reminds him he’ll happily punt his head. Cena says try it, he’ll tear the leg off. Goldust brings his fiancée to the ring to face Zack Ryder. Wait, is Goldust going to win a match? Yes. Goldust has a finisher called The Final Cut, in case you had forgotten. Dibiase attacks post-match, but Aksana bails with the million dollar belt with Maryse in hot pursuit. That distracts Dibiase and Goldust takes him out. When was the last time Goldust got to hit his finisher twice in a night?

Barrett calls in Cena to tell him he actually should give his all against McGuillicuddy and Harris to provide a proper test to see if they are worthy to join Nexus. And, just when Cena feels good for a change, Barrett makes him fetch water, then throws it in his face. Orton and Cena get to beat up on the rookies while Nexus watches on. They get a clean win, then Barrett orders Cena aside so Nexus can attack Randy Orton.

Why is Vickie Guererro here? So Dolph Ziggler can get some mic time and exposure to the RAW fans? No! So Daniel Bryan can interrupt and challenge him to a champion versus champion match at Bragging Rights! Damn, I actually want to see this show and I can’t afford it! Dolph tries to slap down Bryan and ends up tapping in a LaBell lock. There’s Divas, glitter and dancing that I’m going to try to repress rather than recap.

Natalya, who I like, faces Alicia Fox, who I don’t. It’s another squash for Natalya. It’s just a setup for LayCool to run down Canada and the Harts. There’s a nice fight including a bit where Michelle puts Natalya in a Sharpshooter while Layla takes pictures.  Natalya reverses and drives off the champions despite the numbers advantage.

Josh Matthews reveals he knows what the word brazen means while Teddy Long reveals he brought the entire Smackdown roster to the show. Did you know Knucklehead is playing in about six theaters across the US for all of two days? I checked the schedule, most of them are matinees! It looks good, why not try to actually push it a little? There is a huge video promo promoting… WWE. WWE’s relentless self-promotion is something that turns off non-fans. Yes WWE is good at promotion, but they have to donate less of their shows to it. Apparently they are launching a campaign to have their fans stick up for the show. I’d do that, if it sucked less.

So they’ve been plugging Miz versus Big Show all night. Of course we’re not going to get it. With both rosters present we get a tease of a match, then Long calls it off once it spills outside. Instead, we get a Battle Royal! I’m not complaining, Battle Royals are among my favorite types of match, but why the bait and switch? Smackdown versus RAW, minus Nexus, Cena and Orton. The other problem with Battle Royals is they are really hard to recap. Hornswoggle torments Michael Cole through the match which kills the commentary dead. They say it’s the entire roster, but I don’t see Tyson Kidd or the Dudebusters or Hawkins and Archer. No Great Khali even. And Matt Hardy sure ain’t there.

Edge accidentally contributes to the elimination of Jack Swagger and Swagger pulls him through the ropes and locks on his ankle lock. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Ezekial Jackson end up left in the ring against Big Show. In true Andre style Show takes out Bryan then Jackson, but Miz has been hiding on the outside and he and Sheamus go after Show. Except Edge was on the outside too and he Spears Sheamus and Smackdown wins the match. Given that there are two possible sources of dissension in the Smackdown team (Edge/Swagger, Mysterio/Del Rio) and they won here so all signs point to RAW winning this year.

The show ends with Barrett further humiliating Cena. This story would have been so much easier if Nexus had actually tried to integrate Cena. Otunga made one try and that was it. Now Barrett is just abusing Cena. It won’t be long before Cena gets the right to fight back and ends Nexus forever.

NXT is as bad as ever. We get a confrontation between two of my least favorite WWE personalities, Vickie Guererro and Alicia Fox. They argue about who is the better coach, which leads to Maxine taking on Katlyn and winning. The funny thing about this show is most of the challenges seem real. This week they identify WWE torsos and it’s actually just barely entertaining. The second competition is limbo, which is at least good eye candy. Naomi wins in a bit of an odd way giving her 3 wins towards immunity. The main event pits Naomi and her pro Kelly Kelly against the Bella Twins. Smell the workrate!

And look, we know the show is bad, but does Cole need to rag on it constantly and keep expressing wishes it will be canceled? That kind of contradicts the whole “Stand up for WWE” program. And that’s not backfiring at all…

WWE SmackdownI like Green Day so Smackdown’s new opening makes me happy. We have an Undertaker stunt double standing on the outside of the Rose Garden in Portland. Smackdown has stolen RAW’s idea of having qualifiers for the Bragging Rights team and the first match is Rey Mysterio versus one half of the tag team champions, Cody Rhodes. You figure the tag champs will want to defend at Bragging Rights and Mysterio should go over anyway. It’s a better match than most of the qualifiers on RAW, despite the predictable ending.

Kaval talks his way into a match with Big Show where, if he lasts five minutes, he can earn a spot on the Bragging Rights team. Apparently we get yet another Kane/Undertake match at Bragging Rights, but they’re actually going to do a Buried Alive match in the PG era. Jack Swagger versus MVP for the third spot is at least hard to predict. More comic antics from the Soaring Eagle, but Swagger gets the anklelock on and MVP taps almost immediately.

Next Alberto Del Rio gets his shot and with Chris Masters as his opponent you know he’s going to qualify easily. It doesn’t help that the announce team, which has Cole again and Big Show sitting in as well, barely mention Masters. The match at Bragging Rights is not elimination, it’s one fall to the finish. Edge also gets a shot at the team and, again, you know he’s going to win even before Dolph Ziggler is announced as his opponent. Kaval actually does last five minutes against Big Show so the team is coming together as well as RAW.  Tyler Reks, a new guy I don’t even remember, comes to challenge Kaval for his spot. Kaval is game, but in rough shape after facing Show and Reks quickly beats him.

Drew McIntyre finally shows up for the last qualifying match and Kofi Kingston is his opponent. Smackdown has had to squeeze in all the same qualifiers RAW had to, but because it’s not padded out with Nexus storyline even this very short match seems better than RAW’s matches. Kingtson gets a clean win. It’s just a pity all these matches have gone the predictable way.

The blowoff of the show is more Kane versus Undertaker promos.  Kane is cutting some nice promos lately, but if you don’t look forward to the match they are going to have to blow it off, what does it matter? Taker doesn’t speak but comes out on top of the fisticuffs for a change then creates magic explosions and the urn gets dropped. There’s no rhyme nor reason to who comes out of these exchanges.

Wrestling Recap

Okay, so over at TNA “They” turned out to be Bischoff, Hogan, and the Jeffs, Hardy and Jarrett. So Bischoff has already trotted out his second good idea ever, turning Hogan heel. I’m so glad I didn’t pay to see that.  Eric also swapped contracts last week and Dixie turned control of the company over to Hogan and Bischoff. They are out to yak at first. He’s Hollywood Hogan again, just in case you weren’t already blindly aware of the derivativeness. And, now that TNA is totally dominated by heels, it’s Fortune who interrupts them… But they end up hugging. The claim is being made Kurt Angle is gone from TNA. Sting and Kevin Nash turn face for a bit of balance, but here’s the problem, this is the culmination of months of story building. It should be a huge deal, but I’m already bored. It doesn’t help that we’re a third of the way into the show and we haven’t had a match!

The knockouts get the first action of the night as Madison Rain demands a rematch with new champion Tara. Madison expects Tara to just lay down and she does. So it wasn’t a match after all. This ticks off Mickie James. There’s someone from Jersey Shore here tonight, but that’s best ignored.

Kurt is supposed to retire, but he’s not sure he should after getting screwed. That draws Jeff Jarrett. Their back and forth is pretty good, but it’s still not a match. With security’s help Jarrett gets Kurt handcuffed then slams his head into the stage. This actually draws the ire of Tazz who backs them off. Kurt’s neck is supposed to have been injured yet again so they’re playing up how Kurt could be really hurt. Samoa Joe’s mad at Jarrett too. Now more than halfway through we get a real match as Abyss takes on Joe. Even this match is ridiculously short as Abyss hits Joe with the ring bell for a disqualification. RVD has to chase Abyss off after the match. RVD wants Jeff Hardy, but Bishoff decides he has to face Mr. Anderson tonight for the shot.

The Pope has to face Fortune since he’s been friendly with Nash and Sting. Another joke of a match which leaves the main event as the only real match of the night. Those of you with DVRs had better have learned by now you need to record Reaction to see the end of this show, but even this match ends in a Jeff Hardy run in and inconclusively. TNA is trying so hard to be something special and it’s not working.

An odd week. Lots of matches, but only a few of them are actually good. RAW has the more compelling storylines, but worse wrestling, while Smackdown has action but the Kane/Taker feud is interminable.  NXT is just annoying and TNA can’t do anything right. There never seems to be a week where everybody is firing on all cylinders. It would be nice if it ever happened.

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Back from Thanksgiving with the family and ready to catch up on wrestling. My cable gave way, but I still have the show saved from the night before so I should see all of it. They’re in Seattle. Cena comes out alone. In his own colors with an armband his sleeve almost covers. Crowd is practically at war with itself over him now. Cena recaps the story so far. He has to do what Wade Barrett says or be fired from the WWE. How can the RAW GM ban Cena from going to Smackdown or (guffaw) NXT?

Oddly, it’s The Miz (with sycophant) who interrupts Cena. Oh yeah, Miz is RAW team captain for Bragging Rights. Miz reminds us all Big Show betrayed RAW last time around. Miz actually makes nice and offers Cena a spot on the team. Cena wants to be captain instead. That draws Barrett. Cena’s dance card is full. He’s in Barrett’s corner for the Orton match and that’s all. Reilly pipes up that Miz could cash in his Money in Bank contract and walk away champion.

Cue an e-mail from the GM. Cena may answer to Barrett, but they all answer to him or her. So Cena has a chance to be team captain, if he can beat The Miz tonight. The other six team members will be determined by matches tonight. Miz gets in Barrett’s face and gets double-teamed. Cena sits out until the battered Barrett manages to motion to Cena. Cena cleans house and young Reilly learns how to take an Attitude Adjustment.

First qualifier is Ted Dibiase versus R-Truth. Eve Torres has been reduced to dancing, badly, as R-Truth raps, badly. It’s not much of a match before Goldust distracts Dibiase to ultimately cost him the match. One commercial break later and we’re right into qualifier #2: John Morrison versus Tyson Kidd versus David Hart Smith. Except DHS is nowhere to be found. This is a much better match. Morrison hits a move to finish like I’ve never seen before. Huge wow factor. I haven’t seen anything that nice since the Canadian Destroyer. Just when I had written Morrison off he’s on fire all over again. Qualifier #3 is Santino Marella versus Zack Ryder. It’s like resistible force versus easily moveable object. Woah! The Cobra just won a match! I’ll give you even odds Marella gets replaced before the match. More crappy romance subplot with Tamita.

The other Nexus guys want to know why Michael McGuillicuddy and Husky Harris helped Barrett. They get no answers as Barrett returns to shut everyone up. Barrett thinks Otunga might be getting jealous, but Otunga manages to finagle out of facing Randy Orton tonight by volunteering Justin Gabriel. Slater and Otunga are in Gabriel’s corner as he faces Orton, but they are ejected in short order. Gabriel continues to prove he is the best wrestler in Nexus. Gabriel goes for the 450 but Orton almost rolls out of the way and he can recover first to hit the RKO for the pin.

Okay, is Sheamus going to embarrass Daniel Bryan again? The 4th spot on Team RAW is up for grabs. Seattle is Bryan’s hometown. By Vince’s twisted logic that means he’s more likely to lose. He’s on fire out of the gate and the crowd is totally behind him. This turns into a good competitive match, but Sheamus eventually hits a Brogue Kick and beats the US champion. Spot #5 is between Evan Bourne and, newly acquired from Smackdown, CM Punk (which most of us already knew). Nobody is surprised CM Punk wins, nor that he beats down Bourne afterwards. But hey, it’s a Ring of Honor reunion! Some people have complained that guys change brand loyalties on a dime, but in the sense that pro wrestling is influenced by legit sports it makes sense. Let’s say you are on the Toronto Blue Jays. You play the Yankees on Friday. On Saturday you get traded to the Yankees. Then on Sunday you are playing against the Blue Jays. If a bench clearing brawl breaks out you better well be out there swinging with the guys at the front, because you need to prove your loyalty instantly or your life with that team is going to be hell.

Okay, now the Big Show’s movie I actually want to see. R-Truth wants Cena to quit the WWE rather than remain in Nexus. Ummm… up yours? Natalya has a rematch at Bragging Rights. LayCool are running out of ways to insult people. Lame segment best ignored. To quote Lawler “Get the hook.”

Main event time. No Disqualifications which means Reilly and or Barrett could be the deciding factor. Put your money on Barrett. As limited as these two are they can keep a crowd interested in a match and that’s a big part of succeeding in this business. Reilly tries to interfere, but Cena makes short work of him. Then, proving I shouldn’t be a betting man, it’s Husky Harris and IRS Jr that cost Cena the match. The season 2 rookies beat on Cena, who is fighting them off, until Wade Barrett stops him. E-GM decides they need a real match, next week, against John Cena and Randy Orton. Barrett pipes up that if Husky and Michael can win, that they get into Nexus. Barrett taunts Cena to end the night. Cena plays up the “I want to kick the crap out of this guy” expressions like a pro. Oh wait, he is a pro actor now. Wow, this show is going way over time.

Morrison’s new finisher is the Moonlight Drive.

NXT features Name That Tune. It’s inoffensive and AJ runs away with it. She has 1900 points; second place is 100. Naomi faces Alicia Fox. I’d rather see Naomi win and she doesn’t so I don’t care at all. Competition number two is the Power of the Punch, but first we’re “treated” to some mic time from the divas. For those who missed it before the Power of the Punch is just a mechanical punching bag power meter. Naomi wins and, suspiciously, it often seems whoever goes first wins. Almost like everyone else were told to tank so the winner could be rigged. The main event is AJ versus Aksana. AJ wins. And the payoff of the Aksana immigration storyline is Goldust proposes to her. Wrestling weddings, do they ever go well?

Be back later this week with some Smackdown and a little TNA for you. See you then!

Wrestling Recap, The Undertaker

Smackdown is still on Syfy. Tonight Rey Mysterio Jr returns to the ring for revenge against Albert Del Rio. Edge is already in the new opening. I didn’t see CM Punk though so maybe he was the one traded to RAW. Teddy Long is here to officially introduce Edge. Edge is friendly with Long so I guess the face turn is in full effect. Oh lord, Michael Cole is here. Cue Jack Swagger to interrupt, accompanied by the Swagger Soaring Eagle! Funny bit. We go straight into a match. The eagle gets Speared off the apron which is always entertaining. This is a good match with Edge picking up the win in a solid piece of booking.

Cody Rhodes is teaching us to brush our teeth now? Yep, this is making me hate him. Layla wrestles Kelly Kelly. Natalya is with Kelly at ringside. Whatever happened to Tiffany? Oh… wait… I don’t care. Layla needs help to win which is a problem since she’s never going to get over on her own until this group splits up. And it’s still too soon for that.

The Big Show just jogged to the ring. His conditioning sure has improved. I wonder if he quit smoking. Show has a movie to plug. Show is team captain for Smackdown at Bragging Rights. And he names Hornswoggle as team mascot. Glee. And, because this is going so well, here come the Dudebusters to audition. Show, like the WWE Universe, doesn’t know who they are. It sucks. Show Chokeslams both of them.

Can’t we have the tag champs enter together? And why are the champs coming out first again? Do I harp on that too much? Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes face Kaval and Kofi Kingston. On a bad day I outweigh Kaval. The champs get the win, which make sense, but leaves Kaval still without a win since debuting on Smackdown.

Paul Bearer is as good on the microphone as he has always been. Pity Kane and Taker aren’t as good in the ring as they always were. Kane cuts another serviceable promo, but what’s with the weird organ music stings? I am not pleased we have to endure more Kane/Undertaker matches. Especially since this will probably go all the way to Survivor Series.

Time for Dolph Ziggler versus MVP for the Intercontinental Championship. WWE brass seem to take this show a lot more seriously now that it is on SyFy compared to when it was on MyNetwork TV. Or are we just in the honeymoon phase? There seems to be trouble between Vickie Guererro and Dolph over NXT storylines. Vickie walks away so we actually see if Dolph can win on his own. Except Katlyn from NXT shows up and interferes to give Dolph the win. Ziggle is getting better, except the Zig Zag seems to look worse every time he hits it. Maybe it needs to be replaced.

The three men announce team of Striker, Grisham and Cole is actually less annoying than Striker, Cole and Lawler. And Josh Matthews is here too, interviewing Alberto Del Rio. The Essence of Excellence is not a bad moniker. Mysterio dominates early on. It’s actually a bit much. Rey may be passed his prime, but the pair put on a fine match here. When Del Rio’s ring announcer tries to interfere he and Del Rio collide which sets up the 619, then a Flying Splash for the victory. I’m a little surprised he got the win here, but it wasn’t entirely conclusive so the feud will probably continue.

TNA was live this week. Abyss abducts Dixie Carter and only Eric Bischoff comes to her aid. This actually looks like it’s enough to get Abyss fired. It certainly seems like Abyss was trying to get fired. Like, Office Space trying. RVD threatens to walk if he doesn’t get his match to settle things with Abyss. So win, lose or draw Abyss is fired on the 11th.

The Hogan bad idea has been abandoned. He is not going to be able to wrestle at Bound for Glory. Oh look, Mickie James is here. She’ll be guest referee for the fourway at Bound for Glory. Oh crap, Team 3D is coming back.

Ric Flair faces Mick Foley in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. Less than a minute in and Foley is opened up. About another minute and there goes Flair. TNA wrestling with blood because we’re not aiming for 12 year olds. That said they are blanking out the profanity from the crowd. Flair can still deliver a garbage match and these two give it their all so I’m quite pleased with the results. In the end they both go through a table but Foley pulls himself up with the ropes while Flair almost gets up, then does a patented Flair Flop into thumbtacks. That means Flair has to kiss Foley’s ass. We get a Fortune attack to prevent that. I think I’m glad. EV 2.0 make the save and we see no brawl. Smart to tease a bit rather than give too much away before Sunday.

We finish with what essentially amounts to a Royal Rumble with forty-five second entrance intervals. We’re up to 19 guys in before there is an elimination, but #19 is Abyss. He throws about seven guys out before everyone piles on him. They break his momentum, but for no good reason, don’t eliminate him and go back to fighting amongst themselves. It comes down to Abyss, Anderson and Angle until, long after the last competitor entered, RVD decides to show up. RVD takes out Abyss and himself at the same time. That leaves Angle to eliminate Anderson and win $100,000. So is Angle winning the championship Sunday or is he going to surprise us all and return to WWE? I won’t be watching to find out.

A good week in wrestling, as far as I’m concerned, with Smackdown having the best in-ring action. I hope those of you buying Bound for Glory enjoy it. I look forward to reading someone else’s recap. Happy Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving to those in North America. It’s my birthday as I type this so I’m off to visit family. But I should be caught up by NXT next week and you’ll see the next column as usual.

Lucian WWE Wrestling Recap

So John Cena is a member of Nexus. What does this mean for the WWE? Well Nexus is opening the show, but no Cena yet. Wade Barrett reveals the mystery men from last night. NXT season two rookies Husky Harris and Michael McGuillicuddy. Barrett feigns ignorance of why they interfered. Barrett is unhappy with the troops for risking the match by coming to ringside. But, more important, it’s time to bring out Cena. Cena is still in his merchandise and he looks like a kicked puppy. Tarver is not happy with Cena. Cena has to don the armband. He also has to read an official statement.

Cena gets a match as a Nexus member as he must choose a partner to face Mark Henry and Evan Bourne. Cena picks Tarver. The match is now. Cena starts and offers a handshake to Bourne. Tarver isn’t pleased with this so Cena tags out. From there, Cena leaves Tarver to the wolves. He always manages to stay just out of tag range and Bourne and Henry pick up the win. Sure, there’s extenuating circumstances, but Evan Bourne and Mark Henry just beat John Cena.

Cena has his own statement to make. He plan to bring Nexus down from within; to be Nexus and against us. He beats down, then STFs Tarver to the extreme. Just when I’m starting to get P.O.ed that Cena is just ignoring the stipulation the anonymous General Manager (E-GM) gives his opinion. Cena agreed to join Nexus. Nexus listens to Wade Barrett. So Cena must listen to Barrett or he will be fired. Poor Cena.

John Cena can’t conceive of life without the WWE. I guess he doesn’t think he can make it as an actor. He spots McGuillicuddy and Harris and chases them, right into the Nexus dressing room. Wade Barrett has big plan for Cena. Barrett is pleased Cena took out Tarver as he’s been planning to get rid of him now. They just keep kicking out the black guys. Barrett tells Cena to make sure he wins the Battle Royal.

Alicia Fox fights Natalya Neidhart, but it barely gets started before Natalya locks on the Sharpshooter and gets an easy win. We call that a squash match. Daniel Bryan faces Sheamus and, again, it’s over before it starts. This time Sheamus attacks in the ropes and refuses to break so he gets disqualified. Bryan ends up out cold.

The guest star, no longer host but star, is Johnny Knoxville of Jackass 3D. He hits Zack Ryder with the big high five hand you might have seen in the commercials. Maryse thinks he’s the stalker. A jealous Dibiase falls victim to the giant hand as well. Maryse throws her shoes at Knoxville. When did throwing shoes become a go to wrestling move? The big hand swats Maryse too. Later, Knoxville comes out to plug his movie and he’s not fast enough to escape Dibiase and Maryse returning. I think Dibiase has new music. Knoxville joins the long line of non-wrestlers that WWE hypocritically uses in action. The stalker is revealed. It’s Goldust. He doesn’t want Teddy. He doesn’t want Maryse either. He’s been stalking the million dollar title. Nice to see that title as more than a prop. And nice to see Goldust being more strange than goofy. He works better that way.

The E-GM has demanded an apology from Edge. No more electronic voice. We’re back to Cole as mouthpiece. Hard to say which is more annoying. Edge is not apologizing. He’s still on his quest against all things stupid. That includes the E-GM and Michael Cole. Another email informs us there will be a twenty man over-the-top-rope Battle Royal for the title shot at Bragging Rights. And Edge isn’t in it because (as widely predicted) Edge has been traded to Smackdown. He’s pleased as punch. He’s getting away from them. Cole gets indignant and Edge threatens to beat him up. That draws The Miz and Alex Reilly, to protect Miz’s #1 fan. They trade some barbs then some blows. Edge takes down both of them and Reilly eats a Spear. Miz gets the last laugh as he surprises Edge with a Skull Crushing Finale.

LayCool are miced for their match with the Bella Twins and it’s annoying, but the Bellas pull the switcheroo and actually score an upset. Weird booking. Again it’s a ridiculously short match. The Battle Royal better be really long.

Say what you will about WWE, but they do good work with the Make a Wish Foundation.

Otunga tries to buddy up with Cena before the main event. They let us know Chris Jericho is “out indefinitely” after his punt to the head by Randy Orton. Evan Bourne’s good luck doesn’t last long as he’s out of the main event almost immediately. Darren Young is in this. Just cut the guy already. Mark Henry gets to look strong, but Cena stops him from eliminating Barrett. The rest of Nexus gang up to take the biggest dog in the yard out from there. When Nexus complains Cena didn’t help Cena tosses Otunga. Barrett ain’t pleased, but he told Cena to be sure he won. He said nothing about the rest of Nexus.

It’s a chaotic match with a lot of people lasting a long time. It’s a good length match too which helps make up for the rest of the show’s matches. The WWE guys lack any cohesion against Nexus, for no good reason other than the story calls for it. The final four are Barrett, Cena, Morrison and Sheamus. Barrett eliminates Morrison. Sheamus Brigue Kicks right over the ropes to the apron and Cena knocks him off. Barrett tells Cena to eliminate himself. I wish they were consistent on the ability to eliminate yourself or not in these matches. There’s a long tease with Cena not willing to comply, but he has to in the end. At last we see the champion as Randy Orton comes out to have a little staredown with the new #1 contender.

The Cena/Nexus storyline took up a lot of the show tonight. Most everything else got the short end of the stick as a result. Yet there was time for Dibiase, Maryse and Goldust. Who does RAW get for Edge anyway? Because with Edge and Jericho gone RAW is less Canadian and awesome at the same time.

NXT is no longer on in the US except online. I don’t know if that means I should be more detailed in my recaps or ignore the show completely. Well, there’s an elimination this week so that’s something. AJ currently leads with 3 competitions won. Aksana and Maxine have none so they have no shot. The others can tie or win by taking two competitions tonight. The first is a mechanical bull riding competition. This is at least good eye candy, especially when the Bella Twins give the initial demonstration by double riding the bull. Aksana wins, which seems counterproductive as it takes away some of the tension of having people have a shot. Since they never announced what happens in a tie I’m betting AJ is winning immunity. Hopefully she has the geek vote and doesn’t need it.

Aksana is busy as she goes right into a match against Maxine. Yes, an actual match on NXT season 3. It’s neither long nor good and ends with a roll-up countering a roll-up. Decidedly lame. I only realized this week just how much they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for pros this time around. Primo? Goldust? Vickie Guererro (who faces Katlyn tonight)? Alicia Fox?!

Competition #2 is a talent show. Aksana does push-ups. Naomi raps, badly. AJ’s talent is flexibility, which is sexier than I expected from her. Jamie’s talent is turning men on. She demonstrates on Matt Striker, even planting a big kiss on him. Yet this is less sexy than AJ. Katlyn uses an easel and marker to draw a terrible stick figure of Vickie. Imbecile Matt Cole spoils it in advance. Please let AJ win this competition and the whole damn thing. Oh wait, Maxine still has to go. It involves Hornswoggle so I’d rather just ignore it. It also involves pies in the face. Lemon meringue, the perfect pie for a brunette. Katlyn wins but that means she’s tied with AJ. It goes to the crowd and Katlyn is the fan favorite overall.

Goldust still has the million dollar championship in his possession as the fake immigration guy shows up. This is a train wreck and I doubt it will bring Aksana any sympathy votes. It may even backfire. Anyway the Katlyn vs. Vickie match is a joke and, of course, Katlyn wins. Anyway, it’s Jamie who gets the boot. Many thought Maxine was a lock but it’s Jamie. Bye bye Jamie.

This show was miles better than last week’s but that doesn’t say much. Still, they are putting effort into it for now. The Jamie/Vickie match was terrible but the video promo leading up to it was stellar. It made me care until the bell rang. In fact, we see signs of coherent storylines all over the place. Cena and Nexus, Edge vs. stupid, Goldust and the million dollar belt. I have to say WWE is doing better lately. We’ll see if Kane and the Undertaker can screw it up on Friday.

Click here to check out part 1 of the Hell in a Cell 2010 recap!

David Otunga thinks he has a way they can help Wade without getting disqualified. David Otunga has a plan? Unless it involves marrying up I trust it about as much as Acme merchandise. That match is now? Isn’t there a Divas match still to come? They are putting that on after this? Did you know Nexus have beat up a lot of people? They tend to highlight the old guys they’ve beat down. Will John Cena join Nexus? Or is Nexus done forever?

Hell in a Cell, John CenaMatt Striker has decided he approves of Nexus now. The other two, rightly, point out Nexus beat the crap out of him. I guess it’s Stockholm Syndrome. Nexus shows up early and Barrett is not happy about it. Nexus can’t so much as touch Cena so I see no point to them coming out. In the end it doesn’t matter as Big Show leads about a dozen superstars from both brands, mostly faces but Dolph Ziggler is there, and Nexus is sent packing. Barrett is still pretty limited but at least he has a moveset of power moves instead of pure brawling. Striker claims kids and girls are cheering for Cena while the guys are cheering for Barrett. I doubt it’s that simple but there are certainly people so anti-Cena they are cheering Nexus.

Cena actually climbs the top turnbuckle looking for his Flying Legdrop but he and Barrett wind up in a contest of strength on the corner ropes. Cena comes out ahead with a Headbutt and hits the Legdrop after all. Only a two-count results. Cena sets up for the Attitude Adjustment only to be countered into Wasteland. It looks over but, somehow, Cena kicks out. Next comes an AA but now Barrett kicks out. This is dramatic at least. Cena tries the STF as Cole screams “Tap out!” over and over again. A mystery man in street clothes runs in, but gets stopped by security and the ref, only to have another mystery man attack Cena with a foreign object. Barrett capitalizes for the pin. So there you have it, John Cena must join Nexus and at least two other people have arrived with a stake in the outcome. Once again, a long enough match that was just fine, especially considering the people involved. A lot of time gets wasted as a forlorn Cena leaves the ring slower than the Big Show.

Josh Matthews interviews Paul Bearer. He’s been waiting six years and he’s developed a master plan in that time. And that plan involves reuniting with a man who tried to drown him in concrete?

The Divas match between Michelle McCool and Natalya Neidhart is the worst match on the card so far but it’s still not bad. Natalya gets a Sharpshooter locked on but Layla throws a shoe (nice Austin Powers reference by Striker) at her to draw a DQ. Michelle taps seconds later but the title doesn’t change hands on a DQ. Short but not too short.

And now the main event. This match has tons of history, since we’ve already seen it several times before depending how long and when exactly we were watching. The video, however, only talks about the first feud and the recent one. The return of Paul Bearer and the urn evokes supernatural elements of this feud that are out of place in modern wrestling, especially when neutered to PG level.

Paul Bearer stays outside the cage, but Kane attacks before the bell and they brawl on the outside at first. The cell and a chair are brought into play before the bell even rings. Trivia buffs, the cage weighs five tons. Ring steps again? Kane hurts his brother’s ankle early on so Taker hardly seems superhuman again. The ankle messes up Taker’s first attempt at Old School. Kane does get a small cut on the top of his head so we see a bit of color after all. Kane barely escapes Hell’s Gate. There is no dissention in the crowd; they are firmly behind the Undertaker.

Hell in a CellThey do a double Zombie up and each competitor gets in a Chokeslam. But it’s not enough to end it. A Last Ride isn’t even enough to stop Kane. Kane lands a Tombstone Piledriver and steals his brother’s rest in peace pose, but Taker kicks out. A frustrated Kane punches out the referee. The cell is opened to allow a new ref in and the old one out. That lets Paul Bearer slip inside the cell. Kane goes after Paul Bearer in a chase that makes OJ’s Bronco look speedy. All this does is give Undertaker time to recover. A Chokeslam follows and Taker gets theatrical. He culminates in the cut throat gesture and the lightning starts up.

Okay, this is real. When the lights go low for the lightning Paul Bearer opens the urn and bright light shines out blinds Taker. Then Paul Bearer hands the urn over to Kane. Kane clobbers his brother with it. One more Chokeslam and Kane retains the championship in what I have to call a surprise.

So how did the show fare overall? There were no bad matches, most of them were pretty good. With a two hour and forty-three minute runtime it was of sufficient length. But the two Hell in a Cell matches did not live up to the hype. They are never going to give us the spectacular bloody scenes we remember from the past. Also, Hell in a Cell is better when it’s a surprise, not a regular occurrence. I sincerely hope we don’t repeat this PPV next year. This may be the last PPV I can afford for a while. Having seen this one I might have been better off waiting and buying Bragging Rights or Survivor Series.

Posted on October 6th, 2010 by David Creighton | Leave a Comment
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