Archive for Author David Creighton

Hell in a Cell 2010Hell in a Cell. It has provided some of the greatest moments in WWE history… But this is the PG era. Can a PG Hell in the Cell live up to the bloodier brawls of the past? The opening promo wants us to believe Hell in a Cell is a demonic, possibly even sentient construct. It’s a brand new cell and it’s certainly big. But it seems cleaner, less rough around the edges. Like it wouldn’t hurt that much to hit it. I guess they wanted to reduce the odds of unintentional cuts since it would be weird to stop a Hell in a Cell match to patch a cut.

Our opening contest is a Triple Threat Submission match for the United States Championship. John Morrison comes out first and there’s no sign of a heel turn as he gives his sunglasses to a small child in the audience. The champion comes out next, which is still wrong. Miz is last so he can get on the mic before the match. Well, no point in having Miz on a PPV and not letting him talk. Miz claims to have been the mentor of both of them. Without him they’d be nobodies. Without them he’s still be a star because he has the “It factor.” The last guy who claimed that was David Otunga. That’s not good company to be in.

The match features very little in the way of alliances. If you like submission wrestling this is a great match. These guys bust out some old school moves. The problem is Striker calls everything as a “variation” of a move. I think Matt Striker even refers to one as the Haas of Pain. Didn’t think Charlie Haas would get a shout out from WWE any time soon. It’s also nice that everyone involved remembers if there are no disqualifications there are no rope breaks. Bryan busts out Cattle Mutilation which leads more annoying banter from the three-man announce team of Cole, Striker and the King. I keep trying to hear what they call John Morrison’s training technique. Wikipedia is no help but it sounds like “harcore.”

They fight all over the arena and use the arena environment to their advantage. At one point Miz locks a hold on Morrison while Morrison is threaded through the metal railing on the steps. The action eventually winds up near the entrance ramp. Miz uses a rolling stagehand’s equipment box, the same type they always use at the end of NXT obstacle courses. Bryan tries for the LaBell lock at every opportunity. Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Morrison to the concrete floor. A DDT on the floor once took people out for months. Now people shrug off finishers on the outside. Who says people were tougher in the old days?

Morrison Spidermans the lighting grid onto the decorative cell wall beside the entrance ramp. The Splash he hits on both men from about twelve feet in the air prompts a “That was awesome” chant from the crowd. Morrison traps Miz in a Texas Cloverleaf a Dean Malenko shout out! But Miz’s apprentice, Alex Reilly, runs out and takes Morrison out.  That opens up Bryan to lock the LaBell lock on The Miz on the entrance ramp. Miz holds out longer than you’d expect, but taps out to give Bryan the title. Alex Cole finally admits that Daniel Bryan is for real, but he still thinks he’s a nerd. Absolutely awesome opener. Fired up the crowd and gave them something to pop for.

I don’t want to see Legendary. Screw off.

Next up we go into a Hell in a Cell already as Sheamus and Randy Orton lock up for the WWE Championship. As I feared, the cell really isn’t menacing anymore. It looks pliant and clean-edged. I’ve seen baseball diamonds I’d be more scared to be thrown into. To make up for it the pair has to use both ring steps as weapons. That ramps up the macho factor a little. But mostly the match is a long running brawl, which I consider the most boring style of wrestling. Orton takes damage to the ribs early on and it becomes the story of the match. Sheamus exposes a turnbuckle but, as is often the case, it comes back to bite him in the arm. At the end Sheamus brings the ring steps into the ring and it backfires again. Orton Scoop Slams him onto the steps. That’s only good enough for a two. Sheamus finally succeeds in using a weapon as he whacks Orton a few times with a steel chair.

Orton finally hits his RKO, but Sheamus manages to roll out of the ring. Sheamus dodges the punt and hits another Brogue Kick but, again, outside the ring. He gets two but, in the end, Mr. Orton delivers his initials onto the steel steps. 1… 2… 3! Orton retains. This was an okay match, especially for second on the card, but it really didn’t need to be a Hell in a Cell match. The ring steps and exposed turnbuckle mattered more than the cell. This could have been an No-Disqualification match and worked just as well. Do we need to have two Hell in a Cell matches on one show? Even if the show is called Hell in a Cell? Sheamus has become a credible main eventer and Orton is mad over. Pity they drew the short straw of importance on this Pay Per View. Orton delivers a better spot after the match when he climbs the outside of the cell, about twenty feet up, and parades the title on top of the steel structure.

Keep your useless NXT Divas off my PPV. NXT scares them off. Is this supposed to be a face turn. We’re reminded that if the other members of Nexus get involved in any way Cena wins.

Did you think Alberto Del Rio wouldn’t be on the PPV? Here comes the Mexican JBL right now. Jerry Lawler used to at least be a dirty old man. Now he just makes weak puns. Del Rio runs down Mysterio and Christian so it’s odd that it’s Edge who interrupts. Rumors are going around that Edge is not only turning face again but going to Smackdown to bolster it after the SyFy move. Edge isn’t the best face, but Smackdown does need a new on at the main event level. Edge continues his campaign against stupidity. A Chihuahua in a mask? Stupid. A scarf the size of a blanket? Stupid. Don’t tell Tom Baker that! The little wink? Stupid. Edge is still acting like a heel. Than again so is Randy Orton and they cheer him. Edge does seem to be getting some face heat here.

Just when we are about to get a fight Jack Swagger shows up. He’s mad at Edge over Spearing his Eagle mascot. Swagger has to point out it’s a real person inside that suit and demand Edge pay his medical bills. Edge gets brave but Del Rio ambushes him and Swagger attack. The E-GM ping goes off and the anonymous General Manager’s new computer tells Michael Cole that Edge will apologize tomorrow on RAW. And face Jack Swagger right now. Impromptu match!

Edge starts hurt so he’s at the disadvantage throughout. Again, face style booking. It’s odd but after two gimmick matches in a row it’s already odd to see things like rope breaks and count outs again. Swagger eventually gets the Ankle Lock cinched in. I hate when a wrestler grabs the rope, then gets pulled off, and the ref doesn’t still force a break. Edge rolls through the ankle lock anyway and hits a Spear for a win! So far tonight all the matches have been given plenty of time and none of them have been bad.

Click here to read Part 2 of the Hell in a Cell 2010 recap!

Wrestling Recaps

Smackdown arrives on SyFy with a brand new opening theme and sequence. It’s actually a big improvement. The big show kicks off with Dolph Ziggler defending his title against MVP. Not exactly big name superstars to open with. Let’s hope the match is solid… It’s not. It is all a set-up for Nexus, minus Wade Barrett, to attack. Ziggler takes the initial attack leaving MVP alone in the ring. They do the surround and attack move, then beat MVP down for Gabriel’s 450 Splash. Big Show finally shows up. I know he was slow, but he was no help to MVP. And even a giant falls to a four on one assault. You know what that means, it’s time for John Cena. Maybe if people stopped coming out one at a time they’d have a better chance. Nexus is busy beating down Cena when Big Show returns with a steel chair and drives them off. Barrett is on TitanTron. He’s just here to recap the stipulations of the match on Sunday. Apparently, he’s a friend of the network head so he gets to pick matches. Nexus vs. Big Show five-on-one and John Cena versus Kane. And here I thought they might be putting the early focus on actual wrestling.

Oh great, Michael Cole is here. We have an Undertaker/CM Punk match tonight. We get an 8-Diva tag match. There’s a few decent moves, but Hornswoggle shows up to mess with LayCool so it’s hard to take the match seriously. WWE is actually plugging Mick Foley’s new book despite Foley being with TNA now. We’re in Oklahoma so Jack Swagger gets to celebrate homecoming. He’s got a guy in an Eagle mascot costume with him. I wonder if that is an enemy in disguise. He’s upset he didn’t get a parade. So, he’s moved to Texas. Instead of the eagle betraying Swagger, Edge shows up. Edge is on a campaign against stupidity in wrestling. He’s Don Quixote now? Edge decks the eagle and Swagger runs off. That leaves Edge to Spear the eagle. Is he supposed to be a face here or what?

Sick of Nexus? Tough. They are lumberjacks for Cena’s match later tonight. Their match with Show is quick. Since four of them beat down Show earlier why would he have a chance against five? As is, once they get Show off his feet, each Nexus member locks a hold on one limb, except Barrett who puts a choke hold on Show’s neck. Show passes out quickly and gets two post match 450 splashes.

Undertaker is looking more Old School in costuming as Paul Bearer and the urn join him for his match with CM Punk. It’s the best match of the night so far, but that’s not saying much. Undertaker wins, of course, with a Tombstone Piledriver. Next up is Alberto Del Rio, still as awesome as ever. He promises Rey Mysterio and his personal ring announcer brings out a Chihuahua in a mask. Cute dog. It even has a brace on one paw. Then it’s time for the real Rey to return. Rey tries to 619 Del Rio, but the ring announcer gets involved again. That let’s Del Rio escape. Rey takes his frustrations out on poor Ricardo. That’s twice now that non-wrestlers have taken beatings. Remember, don’t try this at home.

Randy Orton is here tonight too. He faces his old pupil, Cody Rhodes. The match has barely started when Orton lands his RKO finisher, only to be attacked by Sheamus. The beating lasts longer than the match and we have yet to have one good match all night. Even the main event isn’t given much time and it also ends inconclusively when the lumberjacks attack and Undertaker appears to attack Kane. The final focus is on the brawl through the stands between the two “brothers”. Taker comes out on top, with the urn motivating him. Will that give him the title Sunday? I think so.

TNA again has a problem with split focus. Sure, they’re pushing Bound for Glory, but now they have a big live show three days before it and they’re trying to push that just as hard. So, at that show, we’re going to see Ric Flair versus Mick Foley in a Last Man Standing Match. It’s WCW all over again. Giving away money matches for free. Their promo is awesome, but it’s nothing new. These two already had their long running feud out in WWE. Just like ECW had a revival already in WWE. TNA always striving for new things to copy.

Tonight Kurt Angle faces Abyss in a Steel Cage. The Pope, Kevin Nash and Sting continue to complain about WCW. So, at Bound for Glory, Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe and Hulk Hogan will face Sting, Nash and Dinero. Hulk Hogan, who is recovering from back surgery, which they have admitted on camera, is supposed to step in the ring in ten days?! Do they really think anyone is going to pay to see that? Tommy Dreamer actually scores a pinfall as he and Rhino beat Beer Money. Jay Lethal and Amazing Red traded the X Division title back and forth at some house shows; but other than mentioning it and a few still shots neither one is actually on the show. Has the X title been reduced to Xplosion fodder?

Generation Me beat Ink Inc, but the Tag champs get Chris Sabin’s stolen title back from the #1 contenders. We tease more troubles in the top ranks, as an off-screen, unheard phone call from Hogan shows he’s behind Angle while Eric Bischoff likes Ken Anderson. Where the heck is Jeff Hardy tonight? Is he selling the Abyss beating? Kurt bleeds a bucket in the main event and carries Abyss to a decent match for a change. We carry on to Reaction yet again as Kurt teases a Moonsault off the top of the cage, but doesn’t deliver. That’s probably for the best. Abyss takes Angle out but the ref goes down in the process. Ken Anderson comes to Kurt’s rescue. Abyss takes him down too, rips the cage door clean off and goes for Janice. Kurt recovers and manages to take it (her?) from him. The ref never recovers, we don’t get a winner and we just go off the air with Kurt standing there holding Janice. Lousy ending people. You have to watch a lot of Reaction to see that Kurt refuses to shake Ken Anderson’s hand after the show.

Also on for next week is a Battle Royal including every man on the Bound For Glory card. That’s twenty-five men. And the prize? $100,000. Nice to see inflation hasn’t driven wrestling prizes up too high in the face of the global economic downturn. By now, next week’s show looks almost as interesting as the PPV and I don’t have to pay for it. So what inspires me to spend money on the second show when I’ve already had my weekly fill with the free one?

So what’s the verdict for the week? Nothing terrible happened, but I feel like nothing great happened either. TNA had the better wrestling while WWE did a better job building to their PPV. So a mixed bag of a week. Will Hell in a Cell be worth paying for? I haven’t decided yet.

Lucians Wrestling Recap

We’ve had a very short build up to “Hell in a Cell” and we’re already in the home stretch. We open with The Miz and Alex Reilly. Daniel Bryan has challenged them to a tag match. Miz says every Monday night Daniel Bryan gets a beat down. He comes out, to Flight of the Valkyries again, and reveals his partner, John Morrison. We go straight to the match. Reilly is still pretty limited, but he holds his own here. The match isn’t long enough to warrant a commercial break and Miz gets a clean win on Bryan with a Skull Crushing Finale. What’s interesting is a brawl breaks out and Bryan and Morrison end up going after each other as well as Miz and Reilly. The anonymous General Manager speaks through his mouthpiece Michael Cole to announce a Triple Threat for the US Title between Bryan, Miz and Morrison in a new Submissions Count Anywhere match.

We get a women’s Battle Royale to determine a #1 contender with LayCool on commentary. LayCool are getting repetitive and annoying again after their brief stint of being entertaining while they were on NXT. The good news is Natalya wins this match so at least she’s getting pushed more than her male Hart Dynasty compatriots. Maryse and/or Ted Dibiase still have a stalker, but he or she promises something happens next week.

Sheamus gives us a lesson in Irish folklore then issues an open challenge. The Great Khali, arguably the worst wrestler on the roster, answers the call. Unable to manhandle his opponent Sheamus is reduced to strikes before he quickly gets disqualified for throwing an announce chair on Khali. Sheamus’s pale white chest is marked with a huge red handprint from Khali’s chop, but the Irishman comes out on top of the post match beat down.

Somehow, Edge is going to interview the GM on his talk show segment The Cutting Edge. E-GM uses a bad computer voice. It’s a terrible segment best ignored, but it sets up Edge to face John Cena. It’s a decent little match and Edge spears Cena for the win. The E-GM rightfully points out Cena’s foot was under the bottom rope and restarts the match. Of course, Cena wins this time. Edge goes 2001 on the talking laptop and destroys it.

Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel barely beat Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. So their stock looks to be dropping. Or course all five of Nexus beat them down afterwards. The GM has ruled if the rest of Nexus interfere in the match at HiaC then Cena automatically wins and Nexus is disbanded. Nexus plans to invade Smackdown on Friday. So the WWE bigwigs think Nexus will draw viewers to the SyFy premiere… yet they still plan to break up the group? Ah, Cena is going too. That makes more sense.

The tag champs, the chosen one Drew McIntyre and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, and the Hart Dynasty mix it up again, in another title match. It’s a short match and the Harts get buried again. Now they’re teasing a break up.

Our main event is Chris Jericho versus Randy Orton. This seems like such a forgone conclusion I’m tempted to just go to bed early. Jericho starts off on the stick. He’s giving a lengthy and impressive list of people he’s beaten that has to be cut off by a commercial. He’s still going after the commercial, remember this is live, and he’s even naming TNA guys! Funaki was in there! Orton finally interrupts them and Cole points out this is their first one-on-one match in the history of RAW. It ends up being a pretty good match, but it’s ultimately meaningless as Sheamus interferes and gives Orton the DQ win. Orton sets up Sheamus for the punt to the head, but Jericho ambushes Orton with a Codebreaker. Jericho goes for a chair and that gives Orton time to recover and RKO Jericho. The crowd are chanting “Punt!” That’s the coolest thing a crowd has done in a long time. Orton doesn’t let them down as he delivers one hell of a kick to Jericho’s head. Did he just knock him off contract?

Word has come down that NXT is to become a web only show. In other words WWE couldn’t find a single TV network willing to pick it up. In the 500 channel universe that’s sad. However, the show will continue to air outside the US. That includes Canada, lucky me. So I’ll be recapping the remaining episodes of this season, but I don’t see any chance of there being another.

They have a wheelbarrow race as the first challenge. Just in case that didn’t suck enough, Hornswoggle shows up to be the passenger. Kaytln wins. You can tell there’s a PPV Sunday because this show is packed with recaps. We’re at the three quarters mark and we’ve had no matches and one challenge. We’re ending with a challenge, called Dis the Diva, which means no matches. Seriously, no matches? The last time this show will be on US TV and they show no matches? Was there any doubt this show is considered a joke now? AJ wins. AJ at least has a likable character but she has the chest of a 10-year old so I don’t see WWE letting her win.

The live Smackdown better be good. Because I was set to get the PPV and now I’m having second thoughts…

Wrestling Recap, The Undertaker

Kane actually beat The Undertaker at Night of Champions. He opens Smackdown facing Chris Masters. Even the announcers don’t give Masters much of a chance, but Masters gets to use the once unbreakable Master Lock only to have Kane escape. Masters gets a lot of offense, maybe too much. Kane used Taker’s cutting the throat pose and finishes with the Tombstone, which apparently is Undertaker’s move despite Kane using it throughout his career. Aren’t half of Kane’s moves copies of the Undertaker already? Kane cuts a promo in the expensive seats enjoying the fear he is causing. He has a proposal he won’t let his brother refuse.

The new tag champs have to defend their titles. The challengers are supposed to be a surprise which barely excuses the champions entering first… And it’s just the Hart Dynasty anyway. It’s a decent enough match and the champions need an exposed turnbuckle to win so the Harts aren’t totally buried.

Oh no, Taker is wracked with self-doubt. He’s brooding. Come and see the brooding inherent in the system.

Alberto Del Rio attacked Christian, off camera. Alberto Del Rio lets us know Rey Mysterio will be back next week and they have a match. Christian tries to get revenge but Del Rio savages his arm just like he did to Mysterio. The Straight Edge Society is done but when CM Punk tries to rub it in to Luke Gallows’ face the big man finally turns on him. Punk dominates which does nothing for either man. Kaval gets a second match, this one against Chavo Guererro. Chavo wins. Chavo never wins. So where is the faith in NXT season 2 winner Kaval? Nowhere to be found.

Big Show faces the often forgotten tag team of Vance Archer and Curt Hawkins. When you have the man advantage and you still lose your career is not where it should be. There’s a Dolph Ziggler / MVP match where far too much attention is on Vickie and her NXT rookie. Ziggler again takes a count out to retain his championship (a tactic that gets old fast).

Kane is out to, predictably, challenge Taker to Hell in a Cell, but the rarely seen druids make a return with a coffin. When Kane opens the coffin it reveals Paul Bearer! Taker’s old manager is back, along with the urn, and then so is Taker. It’s like the old days except everyone involved has aged severely. Taker’s newfound strength lets him drive off Kane, then Undertaker and Bearer do their old school pose. It was a nice bit of fan service and it allows Undertaker a storyline reason to suddenly return to full strength. Let’s hope the feud ends at Hell in a Cell.

American viewers, Smackdown moves to SyFy next week. They sure remind you enough. It will actually be a live show, rare for Smackdown. That means next week they should pull out all the stops as the network debut and the go home show for the PPV. We’ll see if they blow it.

Over at TNA Rob Van Dam is back! The Pope is turning heel. Generation Me just do not have the look to be great heels no matter who they beat up. The Knockout Tag Team titles may be the most useless titles in a major wrestling company anywhere in the world. Lacey Von Erich has had plenty of chances. She’s not good. It’s nice to see Sabu can still do the things that made him famous but ladder matches need to focus on the competitors not a host of outside interferers. I’ve soured on Abyss for a while now. He doesn’t quite have the build to get by on it and his performance skills aren’t quite good enough either. He doesn’t cut it as a main eventer, even in TNA.

So Bound for Glory is already going to feature Lethal Lockdown with EV 2.0 vs. Fortune, the Triple Threat for the title and Rob Van Dam versus Abyss. Since bound for Glory is TNA’s version of Wrestlemania it’s not surprising they’re building a decent card. What is surprising is the shows are watchable lately. They aren’t perfect, or even outstanding but the show has positive momentum for a change. I’m not sure who is currently in charge, but they seem to have half a brain in their head. I’d rather watch TNA than NXT season 3.

Wrestling Recap WWE

I wanted to take a moment to say “hi!’ to those of you who are seeing this at Hollywood the Game. Welcome, the more the merrier!

Night of Champions has come and gone. Bryan Danielson holds WWE gold. Randy Orton is the champion at last. Kane retained. Michelle McCool unified the Women’s belts. Dolph Ziggler kept his title and after an unannounced Tag Team Turmoil match Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes are now Unified Tag Team Champions. Oh, and Big Show buried CM Punk. Plus Chris Jericho may be out of WWE for the time being.

We have a new champion to begin RAW. Let’s see how many times he’s interrupted before he’s done talking. Spoke too soon. Before Randy even starts talking Sheamus interrupts. Sheamus is tired of getting robbed of the title in multi-man matches. Orton can’t beat Sheamus for the title. Orton speaks, reminding him he won the title in a Fatal Fourway and, when they did face, Sheamus got himself disqualified. Both threaten to kick the other in the head. This draws an email from our anonymous General Manager. The rematch is set for the Pay Per View in 13 days (surprise, surprise) inside Hell in a Cell. That’s what the PPV is called after all. Sheamus is happy with that but he wants the title belt until then. Orton goes on a nice spiel where he talks like a heel and the crowd loves him for it. Seriously, he says he’d RKO his grandmother to keep the title and the crowd eats it up. RKO ends the segment.

The Hart Dynasty joins commentary, and Tyson Kidd isn’t doing that well. As the new tag champs take on Vladamir Koslov and Santino Marella. It lasts longer than most of Santino’s matches, but Drew gets a clean pin over Koslov to help establish themselves as a team. Jericho isn’t gone yet and faces John Morrison tonight. Morrison can get over on his athleticism alone if WWE lets him. This guy makes his warm up interesting. Jericho is now denying he ever said he’d quit. Jericho and Morrison have a decent little match. Morrison escapes the Walls a couple of times and picks up the win with Starship Pain. Even in defeat there are a lot of “Y2J” chants for Jericho. Good match.

Zach Ryder and Edge continue their funny backstage bits when Bryan Danielson asks them to keep it down. Edge decides he wants Bryan tonight as Ryder holds up a backward L to insult him. The Miz writes off his loss due to being injured. He’s out to watch Edge face Daniel Bryan. The winner of this match will be very telling. Bryan comes out to new music, Flight of the Valkyries. The Miz has signed Alex Reilly, not at rigngside, to a personal services contract. The Miz has a Virgil. More good wrestling on this episode. Reilly runs in, just to distract the ref to allow Miz to hit Bryan and give Edge the win… But the GM reverses the decision. So they don’t have enough faith in Bryan to give him a clean win over Edge. Instead he takes a backseat to The Miz and Edge feuding with the GM. The segment finish is Miz and Reilly beating down Bryan.

LayCool is being called the Unified Divas Championship. They dropped Women’s for Diva’s? That’s sad. Layla is defending the title tonight, in Melina’s rematch. Melina tries to go after McCool, but has to return to the ring to avoid a countout. Layla is a far better prospect than McCool as Layla hits a great move of the top turnbuckle and wins the match.

Jericho shills his new DVD. Orton tries to shut him up by offering a match next week where if Jericho wins Orton will give him a title shot. Orton is pretty sure he can shut up Jericho for a long time. I think R-Truth’s new rap is worse. He and Eve face Dibiase and Maryse. Not much of a match, with Eve getting the win. Afterward, mystery stalker sends a message by TitanTron, but still doesn’t clarify who the target of the affections is.

Cena is supposed to face Wade Barrett, but Barrett make him go through the whole of Nexus in a Gauntlet Match. Cena actually does a very nice Dropkick in the match. John gets through all of them except Gabriel when the whole pack attack him to draw a DQ. They try to bring a chair into the ring, but Cena gets a hold of it and scatters them. Cena still wants the match. Barrett will face Cena at Hell in a Cell, but if Cena loses he joins Nexus. Cena counters that if he wins Nexus is done.

At this point I’m leaning towards Nexus breaking up, but with his film over a Cena heel turn could freshen up RAW and revitalize Nexus in one swoop. Or Cena becomes the reluctant member. Three options and I expect they’ll choose the worst.

NXT featured CM Punk taking Michael Cole’s spot, musical chairs and an immigration storyline. Michael Cole just comes back, which makes the whole thing pointless. The main event is six diva tag action. Naomi and Jamie join Kelly Kelly to face Katlyn and LayCool. The babyfaces actually pick up the win. It’s Katlyn who takes the pin of course.

RAW had some direction this week. With only thirteen days until the next PPV there was no time for a slow build. While I’d prefer a few less big shows a year this pace has some benefits. As for NXT, the diva season was a mistake and no matter how many sideplots and bells and whistles they try to add it can’t change that fact. We will have to see if Smackdown can be just as good.

Wrestling Recap

Smackdown is the go home show before Night of Champions. Will it convince anyone to buy the show? We open with the Peep Show, one of at least two talk show segments on Smackdown. The guest is Albert Del Rio who arrives in an expensive car, introduced by his personal ring announcer. This guy’s mannerisms are brilliant. It’s hard to believe he spent most of his career as a babyface and wearing a mask. Christian thinks Del Rio is a flash in the pan. Christian challenges Del Rios to a match or a fight or anything else at Night of Champions. Del Rio will think about it. So Christian slaps him. That changes his answer to no.

The Hart Dynasty face Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Tyson Kidd is looking like a million bucks lately. The heels get an upset win that’s basically clean. We learn that the tag belts will be defended at Night of Champions, we just don’t know against who. There’s a really good (and long for TV) Jack Swagger versus Kofi Kingston match. It’s nice to see Swagger looking strong, but Kingston picks up the win via Trouble in Paradise as he’s the one with a match this Sunday.

Rosa Mendes and Kelly Kelly lose to LaCool. Then there’s a funny segment with them and Kaval. Michelle pulls the old pull names out of a hat bit so she can face Melina. Of course, all the names are Michelle. Kaval is so amusing with these two.

Christian faces CM Punk in the main event match and Del Rio joins commentary. Christian is game and puts up a long fight. Del Rios distracts Christian by claiming he’s reconsidering allowing Punk to hit Go To Sleep. Then Del Rio says his answer is still no. Big Show hits the ring and Punk tries to hold him off, but falls to the knock out punch. CM Punk will win Sunday.

Kane and Taker talk for the go home. It seems redundant to say Kane is over the top, but he’s really going all out tonight. Taker tries to appear when the lights go down, but Kane ends up behind him with the title belt. A beatdown ensues. I do sincerely hope these guys put on a great show Sunday, but I’m not optimistic and I’m not going to see it. I have something more important to do at 8:00 Sunday night than watch Night of Champions. If I were motivated to watch the show I could stay up late and watch the 11:30 pm replay, but I’d prefer a good night’s sleep. This simply isn’t a PPV worth losing sleep over. Kane even steals Taker’s moves to beat him down with.

This week’s TNA was actually pretty decent. At the PPV, Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle drew while Ken Anderson beat The Pope. So Eric Bischoff announces a Three-way Dance at Bound For Glory. Dixie Carter overrules him and books a Hardy/Angel rematch with no time limit tonight. It was one hell of a match, but it ended in a double pin. So Bischoff went back to a three-way. Hey, I’m glad I saw that match, but it’s booking in circles again.

Tommy Dreamer tried to call a truce with Fortune, singing the praises of each and every one of them, often with shoot comments, but they beat him down. The other EV 2.0 guys were gone, but Brian Kendrick tried to make the save. Emphasize tried. After Fortune gets tired of the beat down Brian Kendrick issues an open challenge to any member of Fortune. Matt Morgan accepted, in street clothes. He dominates the match, but actually gets rolled up at the end. So Kendrick is getting a push.

Also getting a push: Jay Lethal, who won the X Division Championship. It’s not much of a title anymore, but it’s something at least. That’s the highpoints. Maybe extra time off helped them deliver a better show, I don’t know. I do know this is one of their best shows in a long time. All done with no Hogan. Coincidence?

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Not that any of you probably care but there was no TNA show last week. I have no idea why.

On to this week’s WWE RAW. We have a potentially very good main event scheduled, with Randy Orton taking on John Cena. We’ll see if they actually give it to us. It’s RAW Roulette, so this could be fun. The first spin is for Orton and Cena and it comes up as a tables match.

There’s a cage set up so I’m betting on a Cage Match tonight. Oh yeah, this is the “season premiere”. We’re in Cincinnati and an NFL guy is the host, Chad Ochocino. Guy seems to know his way around a microphone, but I’m still glad when The Miz interrupts. Miz insults Cincinnati sports teams which is cheap but effective. E-Gm interrupts to spin the wheel for The Miz. The wheel says Submission Match. The E-GM let’s Chad decide the opponent and, no shock, he picks Daniel Bryan. They don’t show Bryan’s entrance or the start of the match, as sign it’s a packed show tonight. Alex Reilly is still hanging around. It’s not much of a match at all until Miz fakes a hernia and subs Reilly in his place. Bryan makes short work of Reilly, but a miraculously recovered Miz jumps him. Miz hits for a while and postures but Bryan recovers and forces Miz to tap out.

Edge draws Body Slam challenge. He easily beats Evan Bourne, only to have the GM bring out another opponent, Mark Henry. And Henry gets a win over Edge, not something you see every day. R-Truth and Eve face Maryse and Ted Dibiase in a “Song and Dance” Match. Nobody seems to know what that is. Okay, it’s not a match. They pick one singer and one dancer from each team. R-Truth has a new rap! (I don’t really like it though). Dibiase considers forfeiting this whole stupid endeavor, but instead he busts out a lousy version of “My Way” while Maryse does interpretive dance. This is a waste of everyone’s time. At least it ends with a brawl.

William Regal, who never likes RAW Roulette, draws a Trading Places match, which means he has to dress as his opponent…. Who is Goldust. If my memory serves at the first RAW Roulette Regal faced Goldust in a match where they had to dress as Las Vegas Showgirls. Some things never change. Sheamus shows up to learn if John Morrison beats him in their match then Morrison takes Jericho’s spot in the six-pack challenge. The wheel determines that it’s a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

It’s a good example of a Falls Count Anywhere with very little of the action taking place in the ring. Morrison also shines in action when he can play off objects. He actually makes you believe he can win, but Jericho attacks Morrison with the steel chair and Sheamus picks the bones for the win. Jericho stages a sit-in in the ring to get his spot in the six-pack challenge back. He threatens to quit. No response from the GM. Jericho threatens to track him down and expose him. Some back and forth before the E-GM changes the match to elimination and puts Jericho back in the match… BUT Jericho needs to win a match first, right now, against the tag team champions, in a steel cage. Did he spin the wheel for that? Jericho is in a suit so has to wrestle in street clothes. Both the Harts try to escape early, DHS does, which leaves Jericho to face Tyson Kidd and I guess he can eliminate Kidd and still win. So the bulk of the match is one-on-one. The finish is a nice Huricaranna reversal into the Walls of Jericho to get Y2J back in the elimination match.

William Regal looks good as Goldust. Goldust gets his annual win over Regal by using Regal’s old trick, brass knuckles.

The main event is going well, genuinely entertaining, until Nexus arrives to interfere. Cena eats Barrett’s Wasteland. Slater and Gabriel go through tables then Orton does the same to Barrett. With Nexus taken out of the equation we need another run in, this time Edge and Jericho, but Orton is unstoppable lately as he puts Edge and Jericho through a table at once. Sheamus can’t be left out so he runs in too, but Cena recovers enough to catch him with an Attitude Ajustment. We’re back to the original 2. Cena sets up an Attitude Adjustment through the table, but Orton counters it into a RKO and wins the match. Orton again looks like top dog in WWE as he goes over even Cena.

I was hoping for more. We didn’t need the song and dance act and the costume switch match. One more real match would have been a big help. The cluster**** at the end pushed the six-pack challenge, but why is Orton a god lately? And why was there all the fuss of taking Jericho out of the NoC match only to put him right back in?

As for NXT they are still keeping up the pretense that the first elimination is in three weeks, which is weird because that’s the last episode on the SyFy channel. There’s no word on the show continuing anywhere else. So aren’t they just going to end the whole thing and pick a winner there? Wouldn’t it be more dramatic to admit that? About the only thing I will miss from this show is the Josh Matthews and Michael Cole announce pairing. I doubt Jerry Lawler is retiring any time soon.

Dolph Ziggler makes an appearance to win a tag match with Katlyn. There’s a comedy challenge. The jokes are old and the catfights are weak. Michael Cole flips out and runs down the entire show. It’s rare for Michael Cole to voice my thoughts. Jamie has a good night and she’s not entirely objectionable.

The obstacle course is the same basic design as the men’s course just with smaller hurdles and a smaller cart to push up the ramp at the end. Vickie Guererro decides to show the rookies how it’s done which should be funny but she does surprisingly well, which kills the joke. She finally trips near the end then throws a tantrum. How is this meant to be entertaining? Katlyn goes first and wins, since everyone else can make a convenient mistake or two to ensure she does. Cole flips out again and walks off the show.

I just learned I’m going to be busy Sunday night. The only way I could see Night of Champions is to stay up and watch it at 11:30 p.m. Other than seeing Daniel Bryan versus The Miz I have no compelling reason to do so. There probably won’t be a recap of the show as a result.

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