Archive for Author David Creighton

Lucians Wrestling Recap

With Money in the Bank out of the way it’s time to start thinking about Summerslam. Will WWE try to milk one more match out of Cena and Sheamus? Will The Undertaker return? Will Triple H? And when will The Miz cash in his Money in the Bank title opportunity?

Raw starts announcing Wade Barrett is going to have a real match against Mark Henry tonight. Eventually these guys have to wrestle real matches. The we move right into a Triple Threat Match to determine the #1 contender at Summerslam. Cena isn’t even in the match. It’s Edge, Jericho and Orton which makes it pretty likely Orton is going to win. As is usually when two heels are in a Triple Threat match they spend some time in an alliance taking on Orton. These guys would have to work to have a bad match so it turns out to be great action for the first match of the show. When Randy Orton finally manages to RKO both his opponents he earn his #1 contendership. This match could have been on a Pay Per View, even Wrestlemania.

Edge refuses to leave the ring. He wants Jericho to come back and Jericho obliges him. Edge complains they have been going back and forth for eleven years and it has to end. Jericho thinks he has Nexus in his corner and he wants them to help him take Edge out for good. Nexus do come out, and decide to take down Edge, but only so they can focus on Jericho next.

Sheamus comes to the ring to announce he has forged a truce with Nexus. So there’s nothing to stop him from having a long title reign. That draws out Mr. Money in the Bank, The Miz. Wow, that’s tortured grammar. The Miz reminds us what having a Money in the Bank briefcase means: he can demand a title shot at any time. No notice, no warning, all he needs is to get the champ in the ring and bring a referee. Sheamus is not impressed by GM-o-matic tells Miz to stand by and watch as Sheamus faces Evan Bourne.

It turns out to be another decent match and The Miz watching on adds drama. Bourne is quite athletic and willing to take risks. More importantly he’s given the freedom to cut loose with some risky moves. That makes him exciting in the WWE landscape. Bourne gives Sheamus some trouble but, of course, Sheamus wins. But The Miz attacks Sheamus and Miz looks to cash in. But when R-Truth interrupts The Miz rethinks his strategy hits R-Truth with the briefcase and runs off with it.

Santino and Koslov have no established tag teams to take on so William Regal and Zack Ryder are thrown together to give the wacky ethnic pairing another win.

Wade Barrett has to stand on his own in the main event against Mark Henry. The other Nexus members are banned from ringside. Barrett manages to heft Henry for his finisher, a Fireman’s Carry then a forward flip to slam to the mat. It’s not exactly pretty but it’s impressive nonetheless. The rest of Nexus are on the scene quickly so Cena can have his discussion with them. Cena comes out and actually offers a truce, but Barrett will have none of it. He wants more. He wants Cena to join the Nexus, but Cena never wanted a truce, he just wanted to reveal the team he has out together to face Nexus at Summerslam. First, there’s Edge, fresh off his earlier beatdown. John Morrison is no surprise. R-Truth joins the party, then comes The Great Khali, who has no reason to dislike Nexus yet. Jericho has also changed his tune and joined Cena. That’s six. Will it be even numbers? Yes it will as Cena brings out his seventh member: Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The Nexus run from a fair fight and the home team is standing tall as the lights go out.

The last five hours of WWE programming have been awesome. Expect NXT to break the streak. The show features an MVP Lounge, a pros with their rookies tag match and an obstacle course for immunity in next week’s elimination poll. Michael McGuillicudy wins this one. He probably didn’t need immunity anyway. Not bad by NXT standards, which is still not good.

Smackdown opens with the new champion and hey, I can get behind Kane right now. Maybe not for a long reign, but his last reign only lasted one day so this is already an improvement. Kane is on fire on the microphone lately and this is no exception. At first it almost looks like they’re turning him heel but no, he’s still out for vengeance. There’s no automatic rematch when MitB is cashed in so tonight Rey Mysterio faces Jack Swagger in a rare 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 contender. Jack Swagger goes for serious heel heat by bad mouthing Eddie Guerrero.

Four of the Money in The Bank losers meet in a decent tag match, Christian and Matt Hardy take on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Matt accidentally hits Christian, or was it an accident? That lets the heels pick up the win. LayCool continues to be fun as Teddy Long informs Layla she’ll defend her title, which Michele keeps claiming they share, against Tiffany.

Dolph Ziggler gets another shot at Kofi Kingston, non-title. It takes a fair amount of help from the annoying Vickie Guerrero but Ziggler eventually chokes out Kingston. Big Show faces the mystery man in the Straight Edge Society and, once again giving away too much too soon, unmasks him to reveal Joey Mercury. Does anyone remember Joey Mercury? Does anyone care?

They are really shoving Albert Del Rios down our throats.

The main event is certainly long for a TV match. Swagger gets DQed for refusing to break the ankle lock for the first fall. Rey then taps to the ankle lock. Rey scores a surprise win on a rollup and we’ll see Rey versus Kane at Summerslam. My gut tells me Swagger will find his way into the match anyway and make it a triple threat. It’s not a bad match but Rey’s injury, real or imagined, makes it less exciting. Swagger attacks Rey post-match only for Kane to make the save. Kane seems ready to attack Rey, but raises his hand instead. Then attacks him only for Rey to come back. I don’t know if Rey is really injured so he has to take it easy, but if he can’t cut loose he might as well be on the shelf. If he needs surgery then get surgery.

TNA barely rates mentioning these days. Their Pay Per Views are now coming in below 10,000 buys in North America. They were pulling numbers like that when their TV show was on Saturday night at 11 p.m. They are the joke of pro wrestling. Now they are beating the dead horse that is ECW? Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer can still do fine mic work but if these guys could still go in the ring TNA would have already been using them. This smacks of utter desperation. I barely want to watch TNA for free. Why would I ever pay for it? The actual wrestling can be quite decent at times, like this week’s match between Kurt Angle and Hernandez, but the packaging around it is usually pathetic. WWE makes me care about almost every match. TNA give Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe a ten-minute time limit, which telegraphs the draw ending. The tag match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money is also decent. But it’s a best of five series and Beer Money went up 2-0 on referee screw-ups both times. It’s repetitive and means the Guns will win the next two. Even AJ Styles winning the Global Championship is a yawn since that title is such an afterthought. In the end, TNA is just treading water now. They’re forgoing their storylines for an ECW tribute. It’s a nice sentiment and they have very little to lose, but I don’t see it helping them improve. And they desperately need to.

No Pay Per Views this weekend, at least not from the big three US companies. So why not spend time with family or go outside?

wwe money in the bank

It’s another WWE Pay Per View they’ve reinvented. I like Pay Per Views with an actual theme but jettisoning all your history at once seems a bit much. At least they back-pedalled on cancelling Survivor Series. Normally I praise the opening videos WWE puts together for their Pay Per View openings, but this time out it’s a pedestrian affair.

This is sponsored by Criss Angel? Please don’t let him perform on the show. We’re in the heartland, Kansas City. The Pay Per View announce team is the standard Matt Stryker, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. The Spanish team are here as well. I’m told they are very talented performers. We open with the Smackdown Money in the Bank match and I’m predicting right now the winner cashes the shot in tonight. Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kane and The Big Show enter in that order.

As is typical of these big matches most of the time the majority of the competitors are down while the action focuses on a few people. People also tend to gang up on Kane and The Big Show. Kofi Kingston does a great drop off a ladder into Drew McIntyre on the Spanish announce desk. There’s a lot of big moves in general, more risk than the WWE normally allows, but the match is what we call a spot-fest. There’s just strings of random moves, no real story being told in the match. We get to see Big Show’s giant ladder in the match. The ladder is so big, Show has legit trouble getting it into the ring. It’s the focus of the action for a long time. Drew McIntyre comes back from going through the table and it looks like he’s going to win, but in a surprise, it’s Kane who Chokeslams’s McIntyre from the top of the ladder then unhooks the briefcase and wins the contract. This makes it far less likely my prediction about the Smackdown winner cashing in will come true.

Sheamus interview is next. He’s wised up about Nexus. He doesn’t want them interfering so John Cena has no excuse. He has never received the respect he deserves as a two-time champion and if he has to destroy Cena to get it he’s only too happy.

A Women’s Match is next, or maybe a Diva’s match since it’s for the Diva’s title. Eve gets another rematch against Alicia Fox. I know people who have real faith in Fox so maybe she’s more than she seems. It’s a short match but Fox gets a clean win and a chance to establish herself as a real competitor. More titles up next, the tag titles. The Harts and the Usos have been having a simmering feud for a while now and it’s nice to get a title match out of it. The Harts get the win with a Sharpshooter. That raises the question of what’s next for these teams? There are a couple of new tag teams on Smackdown and maybe Koslov and Santino are forming a team but, overall, tag team wrestling in the WWE is in pretty poor shape.

It seems awfully early for Mysterio/Swagger but that’s what comes next. The fake ankle injury on Mysterio threatens to make this a less exciting match than it could be. The ankle is the story for the whole match, but it doesn’t stop Mysterio from winning. Swagger attacks Mysterio post match, but Kane shows up and chases Swagger off from beating down Mysterio. Then Kane returns and cashes in his contract! I was right in the first place. It’s a non-match beatdown before Kane finally wins his second world title in a long career.

Next comes our second lady’s match of the night as Kelly Kelly takes on Layla. Michelle McCool will certainly have a role to play in the match since she is still claiming to share the Women’s Title. Kelly looks to be in better shape than she’s ever been but this is hardly a wrestling clinic of a match. The ending is particularly weak as it’s just a reversal of a pin attempt that lets Layla (and LayCool as a unit) retain the title.

The ring is once again surrounded by ladders as the RAW Money in the Bank match is next. Randy Orton, The Miz, Mark Henry, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne and Edge are your 8 competitors. Mark Henry acts as a bargain basement Big Show with the early attacks focused on him. This match has been built better than the Smackdown one, with more intersecting storylines among the competitors. The action is also superior since there’s only one big plodding guy. Evan Bourne gets a few chances to win and some support from the crowd, but it’s Orton who the crowd is behind the most. The ending is not what I expected as it’s The Miz who captures the briefcase. Already the United States champion if he can win the WWE Championship as well that will be a first. But my feeling is Miz will wait a while to cash this in and, when he does, he’ll be the first MitB winner to fail in their title match.

The video promo for the main event is the best of the night and ties this match to the Nexus storyline perfectly. The match itself is a decent brawl but it’s hurt by knowing that, until Nexus shows up, it’s all just time filler. You can see John’s underwear. Sheamus is so pale when he sweats he looks like a Twilight vampire in sunlight. Nexus does show up. Tarver has bolt cutters but a very brave ref grabs them and runs. Then they try to intimidate the next ref into giving them the key. He throws it away. The refs are rocking. Back in the ring Sheamus taps out to the STF but there are no refs left to call for the bell. Cena tries to escape but Nexus tangle him up. On the other side Sheamus gets past Heath Slater to escape just as the ref is coming to. So Sheamus retains but it’s entirely because of Nexus. Nexus runs but leave some of their own behind, this time Justin Gabriel and Michael Tarver, for Cena to take his frustrations out on.

The Summerslam ad included a shot of The Undertaker. At this point, and this is not a new theory, it seems more and more likely it was actually Kane who attacked The Undertaker and SummerSlam will feature the brothers mixing it up again with a title on the line. On RAW we need to get Cena out of the title picture and focused on Nexus. Which means we need a new #1 contender. But who? Orton? Bourne? Morrison? It should be somebody willing to lose so now might be time to give someone their first title shot in WWE.

Wrestling Recap WWE

On RAW, John Cena is set to face the whole Nexus faction in a seven on one handicap match, but we learn right away that Darren Young is still out after last week’s beat down so it’s six on one. Cena has to balance his feud with Nexus with his feud with Sheamus and, with the help of WWE Creative, he manages it quite well.

I finally figured out how you spell the Usos. That’s how you spell it. And we finally get the 3-on-3 mixed tag match we were promised a while back. It’s not a long match but all of these people have raw talent and the potential for more. Guest hosts aren’t on the show every week at this point, but tonight it’s Florence Henderson and at least they have some fun with it. The eight-man tag match she’s mixed up in marks the return of Doink the Clown. I wonder who it is this time? The Santino Bunch takes on and defeats The Regal Bunch when the clown eats the pin.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Money in the Bank matches, but I haven’t given any thought to who I actually want to win. On the Raw side I think I’d like to see Edge capture it yet again. Edge and Orton have a match but the aftermath is far more impressive. Orton and Bourne pull off an incredible spot that is marred by bad camera work until the replay. This is the moment to see from this show.

R-Truth’s replacement is Mark Henry. I’ve made it clear before I’ve never been impressed with him. He and The Miz have a match. It’s awful. The highpoint is Mix dumping garbage on Henry and maybe Henry is hurt too and will also be replaced. They continue to treat Evan Bourne as a mute, which I already addressed in a recent column.

Nexus get plenty of camera time as they beat down several of the faces who confronted them last week, one by one. They even tease going after Sheamus, which becomes important later. The big main event is well booked. The rookies make frequent tags, which covers the fact most of them are mediocre wrestlers, and Cena actually loses after a 450 Splash by Justin Gabriel. I always thought Gabriel was cute but his new haircut upgrades him to hot. The surprise of the night is, when Nexus is predictably beating down Cena, it’s Sheamus who comes to his rescue. It seems Shaemus has decided Nexus is a threat to him as well. What will happen Sunday when Cena faces Sheamus? Will even a steel cage be enough to keep Nexus from interfering?

Over on NXT the season one graduates NEXUS have been invited and apparently they are there to… sit in chairs? The Miz and his rookie Alex Reilly take on Mark Henry and his rookie Lucky Cannon. Mark Henry pins Alex Reilly. LayCool fans will be sad to learn they are not on NXT this week. Perhaps Mrs Undertaker is on her honeymoon trying to consummate the marriage with a deadman with a broken orbital bone.

Last week “Showtime” Percy Watson won the right to host a talk show. He has MVP as his guest. He brings out all the rookies, looking for trouble. The rest of the pros back MVP up. So Matt Striker proposes a Battle Royal. That draws the interest of Nexus who decide to join in. So it’s a 20-man Battle Royal with, in theory, every man for himself.

Nexus bail from the ring and start beating people up when they get eliminated. The problem is the season 2 rookies are all eliminated before a single Nexus member. This whole show is less about the new rookies and more about current RAW storylines. Miz tries to suck up to Nexus and when that fails he eliminates himself and runs. And, despite them saying this is every man for himself, once Nexus eliminates everyone else all six are declared the winner? Sigh. Is making sense too much to ask?

Smackdown promises us a confrontation between Jack Swagger and Kane. Kane is being menacing and all but he never seems to wrestle any more. The events of NXT are not ignored as Kofi Kingston is still showing signs of damage when he faces “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. Kane interrupts before we have a finish and Chokeslams both guys. Other MitB competitors meet when Christian takes on Drew McIntyre. Later Matt Hardy and Dolph Ziggler lock up.

Now something big happens tonight that should not. CM Punk and his minions end up in a confrontation with Big Show as Big Show unveils a custom built 300 pound ladder that will allow even Big Show to get the MitB briefcase. But the segment ends with Cm Punk being unmasked revealing his still shaved head. This storyline dates back months and this could have been a hugely built up reveal at an actual PPV and instead it’s a throwaway on Smackdown. Disappointing to say the least.

Jack Swagger brings his father out and provides picture evidence he was at a picnic winning stuff on Memorial Day. The problem with doctoring photos to be used as evidence is they look doctored even if they are supposed to be real. Swagger gets the jump on Kane at first, but Mysterio appearing is enough for Kane to turn it around. Swagger eventually leaves his own father to get Chokeslammed and Tombstoned rather than face Kane. It’s another case of a non-wrestler taking a bump when WWE makes such a big deal about how only trained professionals should attempt these moves. I learn later that it’s not his real father it’s a former WCW worker. So I guess it’s ok.

After their Pay Per View last Sunday, TNA announces a new top ten contender’s list and Abyss is the new #1 contender. He has a board full of nails. He calls it Janice. That’s not a joke. There’s a ladder match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money that’s really good. Worth watching the episode for, with a great finish. In the main event non-match, RVD and Abyss face off then fight in the ring. Mick Foley suddenly appears on the entrance ramp. Abyss looks shocked. Then the other four ex-ECW guys, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Stevie Richards and Rhyno attack Abyss. The locker room and security slowly come out to stop them, but never enough at once to even the odds. Then the road agents, D-Lo Brown, Terry Taylor, Al Snow and Pat Kenny come out to join the fight. But Snow and another guy side with the ECW guys! Devon shows up on the ECW guys side too. They even bring in police. That is until Dixie Carter makes the surprise announcement that she invited them. As everyone reacts in shock we go off the air…

WWE is doing an outside invasion angle too. But with young guys instead of past their prime vets. And WWE is doing it much better. I don’t know if it’s just dumb luck, but TNA seems to be following in WWE’s footsteps with everything they do. WWE puts on a PPV of Fatal Fourways, TNA puts on a PPV with a main event Fatal Fourway. Now this. TNA needs to find things to do that WWE won’t do, possibly because of their PG rating, and do something that seems original. Or put Paul Heyman in charge.

Overall a decent week in wrestling with even NXT being interesting. I’ve benefited from a major overpayment on my cable/cell bill and will soon receive a $700 credit on my bill. So I can splurge on WWE’s next Pay Per View and catch the two Money in the Bank matches, the cage match and the Mysterio match. That may not be good if Mysterio is hampered by a fake injury. There are a few other matches on the card, including both the women’s titles being defended, but those four matches are the main attractions. Let’s see if they can deliver on the hype.

Cyrus Movie PosterThe new off-beat romantic comedy Cyrus has been tearing up the theaters in limited release. Last weekend was its widest expansion yet. Still only playing in 200 theaters it has already grossed over 3.4 million dollars. There have been few ads and most people seem not to have heard of the film. I caught it with a friend on Sunday and I thought I’d share my thoughts.

John C. Reilly stars as John, an easy name to remember for him, a depressed divorcee who still spends an inordinate amount of time with his ex-wife (played by an aging Catherine Keener) despite her being about to remarry. When she drags him to a party he meets Molly (the still hot Marisa Tomei) and they hit it off immediately. There’s a typical “meet cute” which leads to Tomei’s memorable opening line “Nice penis.” But when she refuses to let him see anything of her life he, in a somewhat creepy moment, stalks her to her home. There he meets Cyrus (Jonah Hill), her 22-year old socially maladjusted aspiring musician son. Everything seems fine at first, but John comes to realize Cyrus is waging a quiet war to drive him out of his mother’s life.

The biggest thing that hit me about this film is that it was not what I expected at all. The ads had focused on some of the most obvious and extreme parts of John and Cyrus’s feud. So I was expecting an over-the-top slapstick comedy about their escalating war. What I got was a much more subdued and subtle film about psychological warfare and the different types of love. Cyrus is a tough character to sympathize with as he goes through his plots but John isn’t perfect either. His relationship with his ex-wife is just as co-dependant as Cyrus and his mother’s. And his eventual anger and defeatism makes it hard to know if everything is going to work out in the end.

Reilly is playing in his comfort zone so he delivers a fine performance. Johan Hill as Cyrus shows he can play a more subdued version of most of the zany characters he usually plays. Marissa Tomei and Catherine Keener don’t have as much to work with since the focus is so heavily on John vs. Cyrus, but they both turn in believable performances. Worthy of singling out for praise, however, is Matt Walsh as Keener’s fiancé. While he has virtually no lines he is able to convey with a simple look more than many people can convey in two minutes of dialogue. The Duplass brothers handle the direction in a low-key, unflashy manner than at times seems like you’re watching these people’s home movies. It’s not spectacular, but it’s what the material requires.

Overall, Cyrus is an entertaining film that will make you squirm with awkwardness more than once during its 92 minute run-time. You should be satisfied with the ending, even if it is a tad abrupt. Cyrus may be too off-beat to ever break out as a mainstream hit and would work just as well on video. But if you get a chance to see it someday it’s definitely worth the time.


Chris Morgado over at Inside Pulse had this to say about last week’s RAW.

“But it’s pretty clear that [the] problem … is epidemic of the WWE booking mindset itself. Look at Evan Bourne, a young guy with John Cena apparently in his corner, who has had Chris Jericho put him over like a rock star, and instead of being made to look like he can hang with the main eventers, gets to eat an RKO after his most recent match. That sort of rug yank booking is just part of the backwards way they do things these days.”

To clue you in on the backstage stuff, the dirtsheets have all reported that John Cena went to the powers that be and told them they were wasting an amazing talent in Evan Bourne. Ring of Honor fans may remember Bourne as Matt Sydal. Sydal was huge in Ring of Honor. But Ring of Honor is not WWE. Still, Bourne has suddenly seen a lot more TV time and faced much more popular opponents. As mentioned above, he now owns a win over Chris Jericho in singles competition and he’s been on the winning side of tag matches as well.

Wrestler Evan Boone

Anyway, I disagree that it’s the RKO that was the problem with how Bourne was treated last week. While Evan Bourne is not getting a superstar push like Sheamus or Brock Lesnar in his day, he is now hanging with the upper midcard and the main event and being treated just like everybody else there. Yes Orton RKOed him. Orton would have done the same if it was Cena or HHH who had been his partner but was soon to be his opponent.

My problem with how Bourne was treated last week was that he wasn’t given one second of microphone time. He’s got to get experience on the mic sometime if that’s his weakness. We can let NXT rookies talk for 30 seconds about mustaches but a guy we’re supposed to buy as credible never gets to speak?

Wade Barrett, who can speak and wrestle ok, is getting way more over than Bourne who is an exceptional wrestler. This is sports entertainment after all. If WWE wants us to believe in Bourne they are either going to have to let him learn to talk on the job or, here’s an old school thought, give him a manager! Who says faces can’t have managers? Find a Diva who can talk if need be. Just don’t treat Bourne like he’s not good enough to speak on camera.

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Welcome to another week in wrestling. As usual we have some of the basics from the three WWE shows available in Canada (not counting Vintage Collection) and some thoughts on TNA. We kick off with Monday’s RAW.

Raw opens with Nexus, Wade Barrett is back thankfully. The GM rules no Nexus members can compete for titles for three months. And the no touching rule is over. Seven WWE faces led by Cena come out to take down Nexus. But before they can get to Nexus a gang of seven heels led by Sheamus attack the faces. Nexus bails. So much for the united front.

Is the GM Stone Cold Steve Austin? They want you to think so.

Tonight, they’re pushing the 8-man Money in the Bank match hard. The Miz hurts R-Truth. So badly, in fact, he is pulled from the Money in the Bank match. Edge hosts his talk show, “The Cutting Edge”, with Chris Jericho and Evan Bourne. But Bourne doesn’t get to speak. It ends up with Edge and Jericho being forced to team to face Bourne and Orton. That ends up being the match of the night and continues to cement Evan Bourne as a real player on RAW.

Kosolv and Santino finally team up on a trial basis. But William Regal has wrangled The Great Khali, still with his brother, to be his partner. Khali never even gets in the match as Koslov takes down Regal. So Khali takes revenge on Regal as well.

Lawler gets in one of the better lines I’ve heard from him in a while about the Nexus’ attack on the Legends; “Blowing out somebody else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.” And Arn Anderson gets screen time. That’s always good.

Scary fact, the show ends with talking so the actual main event match is a Diva’s title match between Alicia Fox and Eve Torres. Alicia wins after a feigned injury.

We end the show with John Cena being ordered to meet Wade Barrett in the ring and shake hands. But no, Cena is having too much fun to stop now. The brawl that follows lasts until enough regular faces come out to tip the odds in their favor. Nexus runs, they leave Darren Young behind which should tell you they think as little of him as I do. The GM still wants peace. Cena locks an STF on Young. Just don’t use a tie. But Cena gets punished with a 7 on 1 handicap next week. But he beats down Young long after the match is supposed to be over. This show ran over 2 hours and 15 minutes. If I hadn’t stayed up to watch the end live I would have missed it.

On NXT they repeat their bizarre microphone contest where they give the seven remaining rookies random words to talk about for 30 seconds. “Showtime” Percy Watson wins this one. No elimination, this week is just a pretty standard show.

As for Smackdown, Drew McIntyre is also back, just in time to be humiliated by GM Teddy Long. But it earns him a match against Kofi Kingston and he must win to earn a spot in Money in the Bank. The other spot is one the line in a Triple Threat between Chavo Guererro, Dolph Ziggler and MVP. Chavo and Dolph team up for most of the match, at the instruction of Vickie Guererro, but Chavo eventually goes into business for himself. That doesn’t stop Dolph Ziggler from winning and I totally called it last week.

Rey Mysterio is in an ankle cast. Swagger attacks and really savagely targets the ankle. This seems strong for PG even. But Swagger is looking intimidating and it takes the arrival of Big Show to save Rey.

The McIntyre/Kingston match turns out to be pretty decent and gets a fair amount of time. It’s suitable for the 9:00 hour when the show is trying to hold current viewers and draw in new ones. McIntyre gets the win, which makes me two for two in predicting the last entrants in the Smackdown MitB match. That said, no clue who replaces R-Truth on RAW. I predict it will be someone I like better.

To keep CM Punk a player despite being injured we have strife in the Straight Edge Society. Both Serena and Gallows have improved on the microphone since they joined Punk. The main event pits Big Show versus Jack Swagger. I predict Show will tap to the ankle lock. But, surprise, surprise, it’s a double countout and Swagger finds himself attracting the attention of Kane. Swagger promises to supply an alibi for the attack on The Undertaker next week.

So with just over a week left until the Money in the Bank Pay Per View we get solid performances from the main shows while NXT has never been what it could have.

TNA has a PPV this weekend. Highlights include a Fatal Fourway between champion Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Ken Anderson and Abyss. Also Doug Williams defends the X division title against Brian Kendrick in a match with two ways to win: submission or Ultimate X rules. AJ Styles and Kazarian must put their difference aside to face a mystery team selected by Ric Flair. The Jay Lethal/Ric Flair match could be interesting. Kurt Angle faces The Pope D’Angelo Dinero in a rankings match and, for tag team fans, The Motor City Machine Guns face Beer Money. As usual, I won’t be paying to watch it.

Wrestling Recap WWE

On RAW we can expect the fallout from last week’s beatdown on Mr. McMahon by the new Nexus faction. Apparently, Wade Barrett has been called to HQ to defend himself. You beat up your boss and you get a chance to defend yourself? Only in the WWE. The rest of Nexus are there but if they touch a WWE superstar they are fired. Yet, if a WWE Superstar touches them they are suspended.

Sheamus is carving an interesting niche where he acts remorseful or responsible than pulls a “just kidding”. Cena and Sheamus will fight again at Money in the Bank inside a steel cage. Michael Cole is still acting as the mouthpiece for the new GM and he’s acting so full of himself about it you could think it might actually be him.

Santino gets a match against Koslov and if he wins Koslov becomes his tag partner. But he loses, making me wonder how long they are going to draw this out. When William Regal tries to beat down Santino, Koslov lays him out and carries Santino to the back.

The Great Khali’s little brother seems to be mad at him. Guest host Rob Zombie comes out to announce the eight men in the RAW Money in the Bank ladder match: Randy Orton, The Miz, R-Truth, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison and Edge. Zombie and Edge are still mad at each other over Edge dropping Zombie’s music as his entrance theme. Both claim to have dumped the other when Edge appears on video screen. And Zombie leaves and that’s all he was here for. I’m all for downplaying the guest hosts but that just felt like a waste. A nice nostalgia video from Edge’s first MitB ladder win reminds us of Lita, Shelton Benjamin and pre-TNA Christian. And the main event is an 8-man tag between these guys.

Sheamus faces Mark Henry. Why do people still care about Mark Henry? He long ago proved he wasn’t worth it. Did you think Henry had a chance? Then you don’t know how this works.

The Nexus guys beat up a sound guy to show they can exploit loopholes. That leads to plugging Ricky Steamboat’s new DVD; they haul out Lawler, Michael “Freebird” Hayes, IRS (who comes out in normal clothes and is introduced as Mike Rotunda but still makes a tax joke), Arn Anderson and Dean Malenko. This all leads into Nexus beating them all down since they are technically WWE Legends not WWE Superstars and thus fair game.

Now word is Wade Barrett, as well as Drew McIntyre, are having real life Visa problems. Which leaves Nexus in a real mess. There’s nobody left in the group who can wrestle a decent match. That’s why Daniel Bryan was so important and why we need to keep fighting to get him back.

On NXT they have the keg carry challenge again. It’s even worse than first season. Kaval ends up in first place, Titus O’Neil goes home. He was the best choice to go so I’m fine with this.

Smackdown has Jack Swagger seeming more and more like Kurt Angle every day, join forces with Cody Rhodes to take out Big Show only to be driven off by Rey Mysterio. CM Punk is injured, out of action for a month or two, but they’re using him on camera for now. They have to resolve this Kane issue. And it looks like the Straight Edge Society were really behind the Undertaker beating. But it’s all a swerve and Kane must now find a new person to blame.

Kane, Matt Hardy, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Christian, Kofi Kingston and Big Show (!) are named as the first six competitors in Smackdown’s Money in the Bank match. I’m sure Dolph Ziggler will find his way into the match and perhaps Drew McIntyre if his Visa is sorted out by then. Speaking of Dolph he has a non-title match against Kofi Kingston but if he wins Vickie promises him a title shot. The problem is he loses.

Christian holds a MitB themed Peep show with Matt Hardy as his guest. I like Matt Hardy and I wish he was better on the microphone, or had a better look, or a more naturally athletic physique. He doesn’t and he’s never going to the top of the card in WWE.

The main event is Mysterio and Big Show (or Biggie Smallz) versus Jack Swagger and “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. The end is boring as Swagger again refuses to break the ankle lock, this time on Mysterio, and gets disqualified but manages to inflict some damage anyway.

A few TNA notes this week. The Abyss heel turn is progressing all right but this whole “they are coming” thing needs to pay off big and soon. I can live with the ex-ECW contingent being them but I suspect there’s more to it than that. Jeff Hardy is a more than credible main eventer in TNA. But will he stick around if he manages to avoid jail time or will he high tail it back up north to WWE? I’m not as sold on “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. Hopefully he and Kurt Angle can have a decent match at Victory Road. But TNA remains an also ran and an afterthought in professional wrestling no matter how hard Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff wish they were making a difference.

Overall, nothing really special this week. With both Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan out of the Nexus storyline we’re left with a bunch of sup-par wrestling talent getting way too much TV time. And why has Kane never suspected Nexus of attacking The Undertaker? Kane has a history with them having once faced all eight of them in a handicap match. Why should their antics be restricted to RAW?

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