Archive for Author Lucian

Let’s see how much of Smackdown focuses on young people? Big Show and Kane get a shot at the tag championship, which they have held together before. But we start with Edge facing Brodus Clay. Brodus has the kind of build that Vince loves to give offence too. Even if they are facing the world champion. Clay gets several close near falls, one due to Del Rio’s interference. Then Christian attacks Del Rio and Edge takes advantage to win the match. Del Rio tries to attack Edge but Christian is still there and just attacks him again. Cue Teddy Long. Long seems to appear in the opening segment quite frequently. He books Del Rio versus Christian in a steel cage. Because we saw how a cage completely prevents interference when John Cena faced Alex Reilly.

They are giving away yet another champion versus champion match as Sheamus is set to face Kofi Kingston. If there ends up being a rematch at Wrestlemania I can live with it. But then what will Daniel Bryan do at the big show? Good match with both men looking strong. Sheamus wins but he comes away with a bleeding mouth to show for it. Weird there’s been so much more blood lately. A lot of accidents? Or a secret pact by the workers to stiffen up a bit?

Show talks to Kane and they actually mention they are former champs! Kane grabs Show’s throat, Show returns the favor. But once they escape each other Kane busts out with “You complete me” and Show admires his insanity. So they seem to be on the same page. Show has had a lot of tag partners in his time but only four different ones held a WWE tag title with him. But there were 3 others in WCW.

Trent Baretta is still on the roster. Watch that change soon after Wrestlemania when the annual trimming of the dead weight takes place. He’s facing Cody Rhodes, who has a towel masking his face. He loses the towel as the bell rings. He’s also wrestling in street clothes. Predictably, this is a squash with Rhodes using the mask assisted Headbutt several times.

Layla faces Kelly Kelly with Michelle McCool on commentary. Kelly still isn’t all that good but she was truly abysmal when she first started. Layla gets the win since she has a Wrestlemania match. This brings us to the tag title match. Kane spends a long time in at first as The Corre members get little offence. When Show gets in he destroys Slater . But Gabriel pulls the ref out of the ring, drawing a DQ. I suspected that would happen when Cole made a big deal about explaining the title can only change hands on pinfall or submission. Show and Kane take their frustrations out on Gabriel and Slater but when Wade Barrett and Ezekial Jackson arrive the tide turns. The corre end up using ring steps as weapons against Kane. Then they slam Big Show on the announce desk, which tips over rather than breaking.

Todd Grisham points out this is Del Rio’s first cage match. I bet Dos Caras Jr. had a few though. Del Rio does not appreciate being locked in a cage like an animal. Speaking of guys who should be worried about their job, Chris Masters faces Jack Swagger. Michael Cole uses the match to put himself over so the focus is off the match itself. You know from the start Masters will tap to the Ankle Lock since Swagger exists to put Cole over. Cole locks an An-Cole Lock of his own on Chris Masters. Chris Jericho is going on Dancing With The Stars. Rey Mysterio faces Ted Dibiase. Not a bad little match but utterly predictable as Rey gets a clean win. Maryse walks out on Ted when he loses.

We’re going to the main event with 20 minutes left? Wow. This is easily the best match on TV since Elimination Chamber. Cole telegraphs a near finish by repeatedly mentioning both feet much touch the floor. Del Rio kicks out of a Kill Switch; or Unprettier as I still think of it. We get a fight on top of the cage then both guys hanging off each other. Del Rio caught his arm and Christian actually escapes first for the win. That was a surprise. Del Rio does get to beat Christian down to get heat back. But Edge gets his attention by honking his own car’s horn. Edge threatens the car with a steel chair but Brodus Clay saves it. I have something similar written for my fantasy fed that I haven’t debuted yet. Now people are going to think I stole the idea. I steal enough ideas already I want credit for my original ones. Del Rio hits a solo Con-Chair-to on Edge’s arm to end the show. You don’t see chair shots to the head these days.

This was a fine, fine episode. All it was missing was an appearance from HHH or The Undertaker.

Welcome to Daylight Savings Time. It was light when I got home. Pitch black on the way to the subway in the morning though. Wrestlemania is 20 days away as RAW begins. Tonight Sheamus puts his job on the line to try to win the US title. We have The Rock via satellite and we get to watch him have a fake phone conversation then diss a child Cena impersonator. This is weak sauce. Rock has to be nice to the kid and that’s not what I want to see from him right now. It’s when he turns his attention to The Miz that Rock gets serious and it’s far better. Rock promises he’ll be on a live RAW before Wrestlemania.

Snooki is the guest host. Most of what I know about her comes from SNL.

They have Cole in a plexiglass cell now. Sadly, there are air holes. He calls it his Cole Mine and it’s for his protection. Now we get The Miz out to respond. Rock’s dad and grandaddy were never WWE champion. And generally Rock sucks. The E-GM pipes up book Miz and Cena against opponents they have never faced before. Later tonight, Cena gets Del Rio. Miz gets… The Great Khali. Being as big as he is Khali is given a lot of offence against The Miz. Alex Reilly, who was supposed to have been fired, attacks Khali for the DQ but Miz absolutely brutalizes Khali with a steel chair after the match. Multiple shots to the back, one of which opens a small cut and we see some blood on WWE TV the only way we can, by accident.

We get a lengthy Triple H promo and still nobody is mentioning Trips already lost to Taker at Mania. Annoying interchange between Snooki and Vickie Guererro. These may be the two people I least want to see on WWE programming. Charlie Sheen would be a step up from this.

US Title Match time. This is a good match and it goes two segments. I’m really not sure where they are going with this so the outcome is unpredictable. When Bryan comes off the top rope straight into a Brogue Kick Sheamus becomes the new United States Champion. That was a completely clean win as well. No cheating of consequence in the entire match.

Cole takes to the ring promising his guest will reveal Lawler for what he really is. The guest is Brian Christopher, aka Brian Lawler aka Grand Master Sexay. Yes, Lawler son gets another WWE paycheck despite being a long time screw-up who blew all his other chances. I do love hearing “Bangin’ It” again but it’s on my MP3 player so it’s not like I rely on this rare guest appearance to hear it. Brian plays the neglectful dad card but he’s not exactly on fire on the microphone. Lawler calls him a bigger screw-up than Charlie Sheen. These two are showing no hint of insincerity in running each other down. Brian points out he wrestled at Mania before his daddy. Brian starts slapping and shoving his dad as Jerry just eyes him up from his chair. Cole continues to run down King when BOOMER SOONER it’s good ol’ JR! JR (Aka Jim Ross, long-time RAW announcer) tries to be the voice of reason and get Cole to back off. Apparently you can say “rat bastard” on TV. I actually am a rat bastard. My teenage biological mother was not married and I was born in 1972, during the Chinese year of the rat. JR starts taking off his coat and tie fixing to fight Cole. But Jack Swagger shows up, takes out Lawler and heads for JR. It’s an easy matter to beat down JR and he taps immediately in the Ankle Lock. Lawler recovers enough to try to make the save but the Ankle Lock does it again. Even Cole locks an Ankle Lock on JR. Dear lord that was long.

Randy Orton faces Mason Ryan to see if Punk will have anyone in his corner at Wrestlemania. My money is on Ryan. Ryan has an ugly new haircut. I’m wrong. Ryan loses to an RKO out of nowhere. The punt to the head looks terrible since it clearly hits the shoulder. Who knew The Corre would fare better than the New Nexus?

Flashback to the fun moment when Drew Carey entered the Royal Rumble. But that’s a pretty weak reason to induct him into the celebrity wing of the Hall of Fame. Snooki approves of Zack Ryder so I can’t totally hate her. But she’s connected to Vickie Guererro wrestling again so that’s a big strike. It’s a No-DQ match. So Lay-Cool run in and hand Vickie the match and a job. Is Trish going to wrestle at Mania or something? Then Snooki ends up in the fight and she and Trish get the upperhand. And remember kids, it takes years of training to do these moves. John Morrison is also involved, as is Dolph Ziggler and, yep, six-person mixed tag match at Wrestlemania. I bet both John and Dolph wish they still had a Money in the Bank match.

Main event: Alberto Del Rio (with Brodus Clay) faces John Cena. I would love to see Del Rio win, although it would have to be because of Miz-terference, but I’m not going to hold my breath. Del Rio is a great heel because the crowd is actually solidly behind Cena. It’s a good match and it’s competitive. But when Cena gets Del Rio set-up for the Attitude Adjustment Brodus Clay attacks him and we get an inconclusive DQ finish. The heels try to beat down Cena but The Rock’s music plays and The Miz comes out in a bald skullcap. Cena can’t fight off the other two and Miz hits him with a Rock Bottom. A brief three-way beatdown segues into Miz alone doing a solo assault. Miz uses a microphone as a weapon, When he rips his shirt off I’m reminded Miz has gotten into much better physical condition since he started out. He’s intimidate me if I met him. We tease a Cena recovery on the stage but a Skull Crushing Finale end that. Miz slamming Cena into the giant spinning W prop then another SCF on its base caps the show with Miz looking better and better every week. I’m sure he’s going to lose the title but he may be able to remain a star.

I’m invested in Wrestlemania but I did not need Snookie.

Posted on March 15th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 3/19/11
Filed Under Entertainment

HHH, theoretically a RAW Superstar, will be on Smackdown tonight to respond to The Undertaker, a Smackdown Superstar, made on RAW. It’s definitely Wrestlemania time. But it’s Edge, the champion, who opens the show and we get a long recap of Christian coming to Edge’s rescue last week. Edge reminds us he went through a lot to get here. A little bloody nose is not going to stop him. He wants Del Rio for a fight. Del Rio shows with Brodus Clay. Del Rio has one epic line “I’m the man who’s going to replace your legacy, with my destiny.” The two-on-one assault again draws Christian and I smell a tag match coming. But Brodus and Del Rio are too much for Christian as well. And here’s Teddy Long. Tag match, Edge and Christian reunite for the first time in ten years.

Kane is here and Wade Barrett runs him down before their one-on-one match. No other members of The Corre in sight. That lasts less than a minute before the rest of The Corre run in and blatantly attack Kane for the DQ. Ezekial Jackson is able to bring down Kane but Big Show lumbers in with a steel chair and drives them off. At least that was brief.

I spoke too soon. Kane and Big Show are now mid-match with Barrett and Heath Slater. We get some unremarkable wrestling then Jackson and Gabriel run in again for a DQ again. The Corre beat down Kane again and Show gets a steel chair again. Gabriel takes yet another chair shot but the real payoff is Show swatting the downed Kane with the chair to show they are not bosom buddies just yet. If you’re from my generation you just pictured Kane and Big Show in dresses and wigs. No mention that these two are former tag team champions.

Insanely long recap of Cole/JBL/Austin from RAW. Let me clear something up before I end this column. I hate Michael Cole the character. I think Michael Cole the performer is doing a good job doing what he’s told to do. His “why me?” routine after Austin showed up with well acted. Cody Rhodes returns to action and makes short work of JTG. He is able to Headbutt JTG with the mask, which has been cleared as legal apparel. He still hates people looking at him and no longer wants to be called “dashing.”

Michael Cole is about to interview John Cena. Cena does us all a favor and just grabs Cole’s mic. Miz should have stayed under the radar. If Miz is the face of the WWE then Cena will break the face of the WWE. Cena makes the mistake of giving Cole the microphone back before he leaves and that lets Cole go off with loaded pro-Miz questions. Cena grabs Cole by the lapel and Jack Swagger comes to his pupil’s rescue. Cena sells for a bit before the comeback. We tease an Attitude Adjustment on Cole but Swagger throws himself under the bus and he’s the one who eats it.

The Sin Cara promo is awesome. Lay-Cool are here as Layla is set for one-on-one action. And the claim is they have made up yet again. Kaitlyn is her opponent if any of you remember the NXT winner. This is a complete squash. They beat her down for good measure.

Rey Mysterio returns and faces Drew McIntyre. Rey actually makes Drew look good and this is the best match I’ve seen in a while now. Rey does get the win but Drew has nothing to be ashamed of. Cody Rhodes comes to the ramp to ask for his answer. Rey wore, wears and will wear his mask with pride when he beats Cody at Wrestlemania.

HHH has realized why HBK couldn’t beat The Undertaker. Emotion was his Achilles Heel. That won’t stop Hunter.

Christian cuts a cool little promo rhyming off things that have arrived since the last time Edge and Christian tagged together like iEverything, YouTube, Survivor and Jersey Shore. The match itself is fine. Christian gets beaten on for a while then finally tags Edge just as Del Rio tags Brodus. That avoids having Edge ever face Del Rio. They let Brodus stop a Spear with a Big Clothesline which shows they must have faith in Clay. It breaks down. Christian manages to throw Del Rio to the outside then hit a Tornado DDT on Brodus Clay. That sets up Edge for a Flying Elbow to pick up the pin. Del Rio is not pleased at this hitch in his destiny.

I don’t know if there are a lot of people in the US who watch just one of the two shows but do we need huge recaps of RAW every Smackdown. How about we trim Cole and JBL a little and give Kofi Kingston some screen time? Still I finally got to see some decent wrestling with the Mysterio match and the main event so I’ll just sign off while Im ahead.

Posted on March 13th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 3/13/11
Filed Under Entertainment

Wrestlemania draws ever closer. Stone Cold Steve Austin is in the house tonight. I’ll try to be nice. A HHH promo video leads off but it’s the gong of The Undertaker that kicks us off live. Taker’s heard the word on the street. Some people think HHH will be the one to beat him. But someone else thought they could do that and we get a promo of Undertaker and HBK’s battles over the past two Wrestlemanias in case we missed it. Undertaker does have a reveal though. The Wrestlemania match will be No Holds Barred.

Backstage Randy Orton tries to fight off Nexus but ends up going to sleep. Nexus drag him to the ring. They continue a mild beat down here and now the referees finally show up to end it. Otunga wants his match now and Orton manages to get to his feet only with the ropes. Otunga isn’t even entertaining fighting a man who isn’t fighting back. But Orton does his trademark RKO out of nowhere and beats Otunga. Mason Ryan tries for a beat down but yet another RKO ends his threat. Orton is able to keep Punk out of the ring. Punk tries to run to the side so Orton punts Otunga in the head.

Lawler is not on commentary tonight. Miz is boycotting the show tonight. But Christian is here. I guess the brand split is just out the window these days, eh? Christian is set to face Alberto Del Rio, who still has Brodus Clay with him. And Del Rio is demanding Christian beat Clay before he will agree to face him personally. Clay looks powerful here but loses to Christian’s Tornado DDT. But Del Rio immediately attacks and, as usual, the Cross Armbreaker does a lot of damage.

Nice Sin Cara promo, very minimalist. Sunny is going into the Hall of Fame? Awesome. Eve faces Nikki Bella tonight. At least it’s not at Mania. Eve has Gail Kim in her corner. Nice to know the best wrestler is just watching. Even Michael Cole doesn’t want to see this match; but only because he wants to introduce his referee. The ref actually catches the twin switch this time. That lets Eve hit some kind of Spinning Neckbreaker and retain her title. There was no good outcome here.

And now we have more Michael Cole. Michael Cole is not cowbell. Cole give hints to his ref and I manage to guess before they reveal it’s… JBL. For new fans, John “Bradshaw” Layfield was a long-term champion on Smackdown at a point when the cupboard was a bit bare. He spent time on color commentary as well. He’s a real life investment advisor and, last I heard, a Fox News commentator. I do not pay attention to Fox News. He is a pretty decent speaker, he has a style that he speaks sincerely and actually espouses decency. But it’s usually BS and delivered with smug superiority. And he runs down Lawler nicely.

But… as Cole put it, whoever signs the contract is the guest referee and here comes the breaking glass. Stone Cold Steve Austin has arrived. Austin hits his finisher, the Stone Cold Stunner, on JBL and steals his hat. Then he guzzles some beers. Cole is back on the announce desk complaining that his night has been ruined. He makes a big show about it but eventually he signs the contracts and takes the ref job at Mania. Man, they are really loading Mania with retired stars, aren’t they? Austin is the ref and that’s the bottom line, cuz Stone Cold said so. To cap it off he gives Cole a beer bath and wishes him luck in his match. JBL recovers enough for Austin to fake sharing a beer with him then hits a second Stunner. The problem with Austin is, to this day, he still has to put himself over everyone else. And I don’t mind Austin going over Cole, or JBL and possibly even Lawler. But if people think Jack Swagger will benefit by being Stunnered by Austin just because he shares the ring with him, I can’t say I share that opinion. Swagger tries to pep up Cole by promising to take out Austin. Yeah, right.

Lawler shows up so we can have a two-person announce team again. Does everyone remember we have a United States Champion? I wouldn’t blame you for forgetting. He’s facing Sheamus and God forbid it be for the title. It’s a non-match. Sheamus gets thrown out of the ring and lands on his ankle badly. He can’t beat the count and this went less than a minute. Here I was hoping we’d see a good match on RAW. Sheamus challenges Bryan for the title, next week, with his career on the line. Is Sheamus about to get the title or wind up back in the minors?

CM Punk has a match. We’ll see how short this is. The opponent is R-Truth who won a shot at the tag titles when his rookie won NXT. It’s short, but not offensively so, and the action is decent. Punk wins with his original finisher, the Anaconda Vice submission hold. I’m sure this will be match of the night; we may not even have another.

HBK speaks more on HHH. The video that goes with us gives us an actual shot of Shelton Benjamin, who is now in Ring of Honor. Just to annoy me more, Vickie Guererro shows up. Why are both TNA and WWE courting Jersey Shore guests? Aside from the fact that Jersey Shore beats them both in the ratings. Vickie is here to announce that Dolph Ziggler figured out there were two brands and got a job on RAW. I foresee a Ziggler/Cena feud in the near future. After Mania of course. Vickie joins color and reveals she and Dolph now have a purely business relationship. John Morrison gets fed to Ziggler in his debut. Vickie herself screws up and forget they are not together any more. This is about as good as the Punk/Truth match and a little longer. The anonymous RAW GM sends the first e-mail of the night and Lawler has to field it. The GM hired Dolph, not Vickie. Vickie has to fight for a job, next week, in a match against Trish Stratus.

We’ve gone into the overrun now and John Cena still has to deliver his “knockout blow” in response to The Rock. Maybe he should drink tiger blood. Cena’s blathering fake profanity is kind of cool. Cena accuses Rock of using a teleprompter. But his ragging on Rock for not showing up is becoming one note. Cena calls Rock a disgrace and says calling Cena out is bringing a knife to a gunfight. It’s been a very vocal crowd all night and they are quite split on Cena. Remember how Miz was boycotting? Well he smashes Cena in the face with his title belt to lay him out. Then he cuts an awesome promo about how the disrespect ends here and how he keeps laying out Cena and will do the same to The Rock if he actually has the guts to show up. He has to interrupt his catchphrase to hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Cena. Then he has the audacity to steal The Rock’s People’s Elbow maneuver before he finally finishes.

A couple of barely half-decent matches does not make for a great show. Cramming in all these legends is making the promos take over the show. After all, they can’t wrestle anymore so the focus has to be on them talking. Could we at least see Taker or HHH face somebody?

Posted on March 9th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 3/12/11
Filed Under Entertainment

I want some wrestling. RAW did not deliver on that front. Yet our opening recap is about Vickie Guererro. The fact that Vickie Guererro and Michael Cole are not only in major storylines but in matches says something about the sports entertainment sub-genre of professional wrestling. At least it’s the champion himself who opens the show. That’s Edge, Canada’s own Adam Copeland, for any new readers who know nothing about wrestling. I can throw you a bone once in a while but, honestly, you’re going to be pretty lost here. ?

Tonight: contract signing. That’s a tried and true wrestling segment and busting it out for Wrestlemania makes perfect sense. But Edge quickly stops talking about Del Rio attacking him and starts talking about Vickie. I’ve never been this happy to see Drew McIntyre as he runs in and lays out Edge. General Manager Teddy Long (Bald, African American, middle aged man with a vaguely 70s vibe that include phrases like “Holla!”) interrupts and tells McIntyre it’s his fault Vickie got fired and if he doesn’t face Edge right now: he’s fired too!

I’m so starved for good wrestling Drew McIntyre looks good. It’s back and forth and technical until Edge hits a Spear but breaks his own pin to go for a submission hold instead. I think he’s used this one before but I don’t know what they’re calling it now. It gets a quick win and apparently he’s “sending a message to Del Rio.”

Cody Rhodes in Rey’s mask coming out to Rey’s music is an awesome tease and swerve. The crowd hates him. He takes off the mask to reveal he is still wearing his clear protective mask. Recap of Rhodes and his father, Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, setting up Rey Mysterio and Cody stealing Rey’s mask in the first place. Cody orders the crowd not to look at him. Cody wanted the crowd to share his feeling of disappointment after he missed the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber Pay Per Views thanks to Rey Mysterio. Cody cuts a decent promo and vows to expose Rey’s face at Wrestlemania.

Kane paces in the parking garage. The Corre (a four-man stable, or gang, of wrestlers consisting of Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel and Ezekiel Jackson) reminds him they helped him against Undertaker. He didn’t want their help. The Corre just want him to neat Big Show tonight. But now the tag titles are on the line as the former champs, comedy duo Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov, have invoked their rematch clause. Nothing special wrestlers means nothing special match. Santino looks to set up his comedy finishing move The Cobra, but the other members of The Corre interfere and The Cobra ends up striking Wade Barrett instead. That leaves him open to the champs and they retain.

We get recap from RAW of Triple H addressing The Undertaker. That means Taker is about to show up. Yep. The gong sounds as soon as the video ends. They’re using the Johnny Cash music as his entrance theme. Undertaker looks like he’s walking slowly by choice, not out of need. Taker maintains his usual position: the streak is unbreakable. But Taker is happy to agree Triple H is impressive. But when he loses at Wrestlemania he will become nothing more than a statistic. Another name on a long list who have tried and failed.

Divas tag action as Beth Phoenix and Rosa Mendez face Lay-Cool aka Layla El and Michelle McCool. McCool is wearing an ankle brace and her ankle gets targeted heavily. She gets Layla in but Beth comes in fresh at the same time. McCool has to break up a pin. Then Beth falls victim to the brace and Layla scores a pin. They constantly tease dissention in the pair then have them make up right away. I actually like that. Someday one of them will actually turn on the other and, if they can pull it off, it could be amazing. I just hope something stupid like an injury derails it.

I’m not excited for Kane versus Big Show and I’m justified. It’s a very short match before The Corre arrive and throw Kane a chair. Kane uses it and gets disqualified. But when The Corre try to beat down Show Kane waffles Justin Gabriel with the chair and sends The Corre running.

Michael Cole takes center stage to introduce Jack Swagger, his trainer for Cole’s match against Jerry Lawler at Wrestlemania. He will reveal the referee on Monday but teases it’s The Miz. The Swagger squashes JTG who seems to be the Zack Ryder of Smackdown. Then a long recap of The Rock and John Cena’s feud. Production has added a few interesting clips and sound effects to make it less repetitive. Kudos. Alberto Del Rio’s personal portrait painter get ambushed by Edge who sabotages the painting.

Time for the contract signing. Del Rio has his ring announcer sing the Mexican national anthem. He gets farther than I’d like before Edge interrupts. Edge’s arm is taped thanks to Del Rio’s Cross-Armbreaker. Teddy Long hints at the elephant in the ring when Long asks if this can be the first contract signing that doesn’t end in chaos? The crowd is chanting “USA!” while a Canadian faces off with a Mexican. Sigh. Del Rio plays the destiny card but Edge tells him destiny can change in the blink of an eye. They sign. The crowd now seems to be chanting “Triple H” What a weird crowd. Violence does break out with Edge starting it and gets the early jump. Then he trashes the set. But when he sets up for a Spear the ring announcer gets involved again and Del Rio make a quick recovery. Del Rio gets to apply his finisher on the injured arm yet again. But he varies the beatdown a bit and somehow Edge ends up bleeding from the nose. Then he tries to use a chair on the arm but Christian makes the save. Edge is marred with crimson as Christian helps him up.

Well, my hopes for good wrestling were pretty much dashed. Is the road to Wrestlemania going to be long on talk and short on action? Couldn’t they trim the recaps and let the Intercontinental Champion defend the title? Do I have to YouTube Superstars to see wrestling?

Posted on March 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 3/5/11
Filed Under Entertainment

Triple H starts off this edition of RAW. I’m expecting him to speak this week. The announce team is Lawler and Matthews and I like it. Triple H claims to have done everything. He mentions starting DX with Shawn Michaels then he mentions starting Evolution with Ric Flair. He’s been here 16 years and only The Undertaker has outlasted him. The only challenge they have left is each other. If the streak ends Taker will die and Hunter will end it or die trying. I’ve been expecting this. Sheamus coming out to have words with HHH. But as soon as he enters the ring HHH lays him out then proceeds to layeth down the Smackdown. Sheamus ends up going through the announce desk without ever looking like a threat.

Sheamus is being led out when then anonymous GM by e-mail sends a missive. Jerry Lawler gets to read it. The GM wants Sheamus to still have his match, against the returning Evan Bourne! I never thought I’d see Evan Bourne squash Sheamus but that’s what happens. Great to see Air Bourne again. Not as great is Michael Cole coming out next.

In an effort to keep this short Cole will have a match with Lawler, as long as he can have his trainer in his corner and pick the referee. Lawler agrees so Cole brings out his trainer, Jack Swagger. Lawler tries to get past Swagger to Cole, which is dumb since he’d just get fired, but Swagger takes him down and locks on a long Ankle Lock even after Lawler taps out.

Austin will be here next week. Whatever. Cole has returned to the announce desk and the night gets worse right away. It would be nice to see a real match. But Randy Orton is out and it’s to talk not to wrestle. He made a mistake kicking CM Punk in the head. He should have kicked harder. He aims to kick CM Punk into a wheelchair. That draws Punk and the three Nexi left standing. They plan to bury Orton but E-GM has something to say. Punk will face Orton at Mania. And, in the weeks between, Orton must face each member of Nexus with no interference. If Orton wins that member of Nexus is banned from ringside at Wrestlemania. Mr. Not So Perfect gets his shot right now.

When the match starts during the commercial you can tell it’s not top priority. The problem with the new Nexus is the underlings suck,. Mason Ryan has potential but he could get over without Nexus. Not So Perfect and Blow-tunga can just go away for all I care. Orton has to make Not So Perfect appear like a threat and he’s not really capable of it. So when Orton wins nobody is surprised. I predict he beats Otunga but loses to Ryan to allow Punk to have something of an edge at the Mania match. Orton looks for the post-match punt Punk tries to order him to stand down. It doesn’t work. Orton bails before the Nexi can try for revenge. Maybe Nexus is on its last legs.

They announce they have signed Mistico but he’ll go by the name Sin Cara. It’s true, The Miz is being overshadowed by John Cena and The Rock. Let’s see what he can do about that. Miz cuts a fine promo but it’s just more putting himself over Cena and The Rock so the details aren’t important. Cena interrupts. Cena accuses Miz of having OCD, complete with totally fake doctor’s note. Should we be making fun of mental illness? Cena says Alex Reilly is the reason The Miz isn’t taken seriously as champion and exhorts Miz to fire him. But Miz is a dedicated mentor to the next generation, not like Cena. Cena moves from making fun of mental illness to gay jokes. Cena finally settles on challenging Reilly with Reilly’s job with The Miz on the line. Miz has a condition. If Reilly wins Cena has to publically proclaim him the greatest superstar of all time. Cena considers that child’s play compared to what he’s been through lately. Even though Miz vows not to interfere the E-GM decides to make that official and makes it an escape-only cage match. I have a friend who refers to that as “pussy rules.”

Later, HBK will speak out on the HHH/Taker match. Ugh. The announce team got even worse as Eve is out to watch a Diva Battle Royal for a title shot. It’s quickly down to Maryse, Gail Kim and one of the Bellas. Kim eliminates Maryse and not even the announce team know which Bella it is. There’s a twin switch and the Bella wins. Eve tries to explain to the refs and the twins beat her down. That match better not be at Wrestlemania.

Rock on video mocks Cena by pretending to be a rapper. It’s mercifully short. Rock is pretty serious here. Cena questioned his love of the business? The business he was born into? The business his family pioneered? Just because The Rock accomplished his goals and moved on to pave the way for the rest of them, Cena included? Cena wants him to bring it? He’s going to bring it. Rock gets away with “bitch”; no bleeping.

HBK’s comments make it sound like he has mixed feelings. Does he want The Undertaker to go down even if it means Hunter did what he couldn’t. HBK will ref that match. I’m sure of it. I expect this to be Undertaker’s second last Wrestlemania and 18-1 is not impressive. It will be 20-0 or 19-1. That remains to be seen.

Daniel Bryan comes out for a match only to be ambushed by The Miz. The skull Crushing Finale looks pretty soft tonight but when it’s done on the arena floor better safe than sorry. I didn’t think we had time for another match besides the main event. Miz is sick of waiting and wants the cage lowered…

Miz starts doing fine guest commentary then quickly interferes to keep Cena from quickly escaping the cage. The GM would have been better off banning Miz from interfering than making it a cage match. Reilly oversells, that’s a real weakness. Reilly taps to an STF but it doesn’t count. Reilly passes out but Miz uses a steel chair to keep Cena from climbing out of the cage. Reilly and Cena fight on the cage wall, Cena goes down but Reilly can’t seem to climb over the top of the cage. More fighting on the ropes and the cage wall. Cena manages a Bulldog off the top rope and an Attitude Adjustment. Miz tries to hold the door shut but Cena puts on a show of power and pushes through to win. Miz hits the SCF on Cena on the outside but Reilly must be fired. The mats on the floor make it far less impressive. Miz doesn’t seem to care about losing Reilly since he got the jump on Cena. And we are out.

Nice mix of old and new superstars tonight but the wrestling was subpar. The main event was the only half decent match on the whole show. The promos were almost universally awesome but I hope Smackdown brings some decent action. Don’t make me go to TNA for it!

Posted on March 1st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 3/5/10
Filed Under Entertainment

Welcome to Smackdown where the Edge/Alberto Del Rio feud can begin in earnest tonight. Am I the only one who noticed titles “technically” only need to be defended once every 30 days but there’s more than 30 days before Wrestlemania? So why assume there will be no title matches before the event? Teddy Long is making Vickie Guererro wrestle for her job. She and Drew McIntyre take on Edge and Kelly Kelly and if Vickie loses she’s fired. What’s in it for Drew? Seriously why should he want to beat his crush?

Rey Mysterio jerks the curtain tonight and faces Kane. They made Kane look good at the Elimination Chamber and it wasn’t to be fed to The Undertaker. So what’s going on? Is he wrestling at the big show? Against who? In Money In The Bank, if they even have one? Is he finally retiring and they want to give him a send-off? I feel like I’ve seen this match before. I feel like Steven Spielberg could have made this match out of CGI and old footage. Let’s see if it gets better after the commercial.

Nope, still by-the-numbers. To make it worse, it’s long. It’s the same old big man versus little man match they always do. Weak ass 619, Rey goes for the Seated Senton but gets caught in midair. But Mysterio slides off his back and rolls him up for a pin! They waited that long to do something fresh? Rey’s celebration is interrupted by… Dusty Rhodes?

Dusty is making nice, he’s disappointed in his son and he wants to apologize. And he wants Cody to come out and apologize as well. I smell a set-up. A clear mask for Rhodes was an unusual choice. He’s in a fine suit though. He’s still not really dashing. He’s a little cute but that’s it. Cody is not happy. He lost the Rumble and the Chamber. Dusty tells him becoming dashing made him lose focus. Daddy actually gets Cody to apologize. Dusty and Rey hug and it’s time for the swerve! Dusty helps Cody to get the jump on Rey and a royal beat down follows. Cody performs the ultimate insult by tearing Rey’s mask off and holding it up like a trophy before casually walking off.

It’s 8:35 by the way. Mysterio was the focus of a quarter of the show.

A Layla versus Rosa match is cut incredibly short when Michelle McCool flips and hits Rosa for a DQ. Kofi Kingston, with a taped arm, has to face Jack Swagger. Swagger picks on the arm but gets Kofi to tap out with an Ankle Lock. To be fair, his weight was on his arm.

Vickie looks to Chavo for help but Chavo has grown a spine and decides to leave her high and dry for mistreating him all these years. Long Cena responds to Rock recap then Wade Barrett has to face The Big Show with “The Corre” banned from ringside. Show beats Barrett then, when The Corre do show up he grabs a chair, waffles Gabriel and drives the rest off.

Man there is a lot of recap and filler tonight. Now we hear about The Undertaker returning. This brings us to our joke of a tag match and Edge decides to tag Kelly in right away. Vickie takes one very safe bump, some shaking then gets to tag out. Drew seems upset that KK is with Edge. The men take over for a long time. Drew hits a Big Boot that looks good and Edge sells it like PT Barnum. After not that long we get Double Spears and Edge pins McIntyre for the win. Vickie is fired. I can hope. I can hope. Teddy Long is out to gloat. Vickie’s fired and she goes running around begging people for help in a way that is pathetic rather than amusing. She begs refs, cameramen, Booker, Cole then finally… Edge for help. “Na na na na” gets tired if you overuse it. Vickie heads out screaming but Del Rio attacks him out of nowhere. Is Vickie going to be in Del Rio’s corner at Wrestlemania? It would actually make sense for him to hire him to consult against Edge. Vickie knows Edge well and could be a big distraction both building to the match and at ringside during it. As much as I hate Vickie, it makes sense. We’ll see if it happens.

Not enough Del Rio. Too many RAW recaps, which even include recaps from the previous RAW. No good matches. Seriously when The Big Show versus Wade Barrett is the best thing all night it’s a very subpar Smackdown. The Cody Rhodes segment stole the show. Cody continues to impress. Nothing else really did.

Posted on February 26th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/25/11
Filed Under Entertainment
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