Archive for Author Lucian

The road to Wrestlemania is not a short one. We have to wait until April. Clocks will change before we get to the show. RAW begins with a countdown from 60:00 layered over the 2 21 11 promo. Then it’s time for last night’s Chamber winner, and thus new #1 contender, John Cena. The crowd is not so much anti-Cena as obsessed with The Rock. And I am finally sick of seeing footage from this promo. Cena reminds us of his degree in Thuganomics as he cuts a very edgy (for PG) rated rap on the Great One. Suddenly Cena is back in this game and some people are all too ready to run down The Rock as a sell-out. Josh Matthews is with Cole but Cole will be interviewing Jerry Lawler later.

Keeping the fire hot for John Morrison has him facing CM Punk tonight. Morrison is selling a bad leg from last night. Punk looks no better. But Morrison has the obvious target and is most off his game so Punk is able to take advantage and hit an eventual Go To Sleep for a pinfall. The announce team is big on Morrison throughout though. Punk wants to tale to Randall Keith Orton and promises the New Nexus has the night off. Punk will let Orton walk away from Wrestlemania. If he doesn’t then Punk will finish what Orton started in 2008. But Orton is actually here tonight and Punk just barely escapes an RKO. And look Nexus is really here. But Punk won’t let them engage. No ambivalence in the crowd where Orton is concerned.

Brand splits mean less and less as Mania approaches and Alberto Del Rio being here in an awesome Lamborghini is just further proof of that. Before Del Rio can even finish posing Kofi Kingston runs out to attack him. It ends up badly for Kingston as he gets another taste of the Cross Armbreaker to an arm still hurt from it last night.

Now it’s The Miz’s turn to speak. He’s running down The Rock too for his lame insults. The anonymous E-GM has two cents to contribute as well. For no good reason the GM forces The Miz to tag with John Cena and gives them a tag titles shot.

Gail Kim and Eve take on the Bellas. I care about one of them. This is filler while the clock counts down from 6:30. The Bellas win the only way they ever seem to by pulling a mid-match switcheroo. Okay commercial then time to end this countdown.

3…2…1 and The Undertaker appears stepping out of the old house on video. And soon he is here live. He actually looks better than he did the last time I saw him. As always, it takes him a long time to get to the ring. It’s enough to want the motorcycle back.

And then….

TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!

Okay, I was right. We’re going to have one hell of a match at Wrestlemania. Water spit! I’ve missed that at least. Both guys are in the ring and neither has a microphone. They stare each other down. Hunter looks up at the Mania sign, Taker takes a long look too then smirks. He starts to walk away, turns back and makes the throat cut. He gets a DX chop in return. I am not doing this close to justice. It is flat out awesome. We end with them still staring at each other and not one word was spoken. A thing of sublime beauty.

Cole seems to believe the match is set. Here comes King Sheamus, how will he react to the return of the man he claims to have retired? But first he has to face Mark Henry. Watching Sheamus drag Henry to a watchable match is making me think higher of him. That’s why it’s all the more annoying when Henry actually wins due to Sheamus hitting the turnbuckle ring he himself exposed. I’ve heard Kevin Dunn (bigwig in WWE creative) is really down on Sheamus. The king outfit was meant to make him look foolish and now he seems to be cascading down the card. When you lose to Mark Henry, your career is in trouble.

Miss USA is a contestant on Tough Enough? That makes me worry. An angry Sheamus tries to take his frustrations out on Daniel Bryan but Bryan is actually able to deflect his ire. They are finally announcing Hall of Fame inductee #2 and it’s Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Ted Dibiase Sr. has the honour of inducting him.

I’m tired of Michael Cole and now he’s putting himself over Gorilla Monsoon, JR and other greats. He has to make an exception for Vince of course. Time for a live interview with The King and both guys will get fired if they fight. I could live with that. Lawler is following Taker and HHH’s lead and not speaking. That means it’s all Cole. Cole is going low, he even says Jerry let his mother down. And that makes Jerry grab his lapels and threaten his life. And Lawler drops the bomb. He challenges Cole to a match at Wrestlemania. Cole vows to never wrestle, throws water in his face and runs away just to be sure about it.

Wow, the main event kind of crept up on me. So we get Matthews and Lawler calling the main event. It can’t be worse than having Cole there. Both teams are getting along fine at first. The main eventers dominate, trying to show the other up but making regular tags. And The Miz hits a SCF on Justin Gabriel and The Corre hold the titles for all of a day. The Miz and John Cena are tag champions. I seem to recall they did this before with John Cena and Shawn Michaels. But The Corre are invoking their rematch clause right now. E-GM pipes up and Josh Matthews has to field his three word statement “Ring the bell.”

The commentary comes off a little soft spoken but works just fine. Cena is clapping and cheering Miz on. This is just strange. We hit the overrun with Corre interference giving Slater the advantage over The Miz. When Cena finally gets back in he sets up Slater for an Attitude Adjustment only to have Miz sneak in and nail him with the SCF (that’s the Skull Crushing Finale if you’re new) and The Corre get their belts back. Cena looks a little too surprised but suitably disappointed. Still, that’s an official reign added to the resume of all four competitors.

This was well worth watching. If you still have the chance, check it out.

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 2/26/11
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Hugh has joined me for WWE Elimination Chamber 2011. Scattered thoughts will be shared as the night progresses.

7:35 I watch the tail end of last night’s SNL rerun with Paul Rudd and Paul McCartney. It’s rare I actually listen to the musical guest but classic Beatles songs are irresistible.

7:40 SNL ends so I switch to the WWE recap show where Edge is facing Dolph Ziggler for the championship. I predict Dolph Ziggler will find a way back into the Elimination Chamber tonight. Edge will win though. Cena takes the RAW Chamber match and Miz retains. I’m not sure if Del Rio/Kingston is official but I will pick Del Rio.

7:52 Hugh actually arrives.

7:59 I check WWE.com to find Del Rio versus Kingston is official and the tag champs face Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. No word if the titles are on the line. Expect Big Show to show up for the tag match.

8:00 Opening promo is nothing special.

8:02 Tonight’s sponsor is the National Guard. Announce team is Michael Cole, Josh Matthews and Booker T. The flat out Smackdown team.

8:03 Robert Rodriguez clues us in that Alberto Del Rio is opening the show.

8:06 Del Rio runs down people from Oakland.

8:13 Match is nothing special so far.

8:14 Kofi starts flying but Del Rio is able to hit key counters.

8:17 Rodriguez keeps Kofi from getting the pin.

8:18 Kofi fights off the Cross Armbreaker for a while but once it’s locked on Kofi is quickly forced to tap. Yeah we all saw that coming. The question is does WWE have enough faith in him to make him a champion?

8:21 Todd “Wasn’t I going to replace JR?” Grisham interviews Edge. Edge thinks the Chamber is a walk in the park compared to Vickie Guererro. Drew McIntyre interrupts to remind him about Kelly Kelly getting fired. Edge took something from Drew, Drew is going to take his most prized possession.

8:24 The Smackdown chamber is up now? I know one has to come early but why not the #1 contender match instead of the actual championship bout?

8:28 Kane enters and gets locked in first.

8:29 Drew McIntyre next.

8:31 Wade Barrett enters this heel heavy match next. My money is on Mysterio next. But Teddy Long comes out instead and we have to sort out the Dolph Ziggler situation. It’s not Ziggler, instead it’s… The Big Show.

8:35 The match is back to three faces  but we’re starting with two in the ring, Edge and Mysterio.

8:41 Wade Barrett is the next to enter.

8:45 Entrant #4 is Kane.

8:50 Second to last is McIntyre. The only other Elimination Chamber match I remember Show in he entered last too.

8:51 McIntyre puts Barrett through the Plexiglas of an empty pod.

8:53 The chaos of five competitors spikes my interest level.

8:54 Show looks like he’s falling asleep before they let him in.

8:55 Show beats on Wade Barrett. Then hits him with Knockout Punch to eliminate him way earlier than Hugh expected.

8:56 Mysterio hits a Senton off the top of a pod but it’s not enough to take out Big Show.

8:57 Beat on Big Show night ends with a Chokeslam by Kane that takes him out. Then Kane takes out McIntyre to leave just three men left. Why is Kane being pushed so hard?

8:59 Kane catches Mysterio dropping the dime but Edge Spears both men and chooses to pin Kane. We’re back down to the first two but Kane doesn’t leave until he Chokeslams both men left.

9:04 Lots of two-counts.

9:06 Not even a Spear is enough to end this.

9:07 Rey hits 619 and tries to drop the dime again only to get Speared in midair. The Spear has very little build up behind it so it’s not as impressive looking as you would hope but it gets Edge the win and, for the first time in five years, a champion retains in an Elimination Chamber. Rey looked great here, Edge was solid, Barrett came off looking the worst, Kane was booked stronger than expected, Show’s time was brief but he looked strong and McIntyre was just there. Del Rio gets in the Chamber to attack Edge post match. The Cross Armbreaker is applied but here’s a surprise. Christian returns to make the save and get a measure of revenge on Del Rio for ripping his pectoral. Christian back is a good thing.

9:15 Matt Striker grabs a moment with Jerry Lawler. Jerry looks pretty torn up still. Can’t blame him.

9:18 Booker plugs Tough Enough by revealing another trainer TRISH STRATUS!!!! Trish reminds us all mic skills were not here biggest strength.

9:23 Tag champs are here. Jackson accompanies them but no Barrett. The titles are on the line.

9:29 Cobra on the illegal Gabriel.

9:30 450 Splash on Kozlov and The Corre now control the tag team titles. I don’t want The Corre appearing on both shows.

9:33 Grisham is with The Miz. Miz at least mention The Rock and promises to get back to him. For now it’s time to end Lawler and go on to beat the Chamber winner at Mania.

9:35 Uggh. Vickie Guererro. She seems sad so there’s a silver lining. She’s pleading for Dolph’s job and could we not have had a quick match instead of this? Teddy Long arrives to try to shut her up. Long decides to hire somebody. But not Dolph. He hired back Kelly Kelly. And Long gave her free reign to “thank” Vickie. We get a taste of violence before Lay-Cool make the save. But that draws Trish Stratus to run them off. But they sucker ambush her and it turns into a real fight. Stratus is not in shape for this and she does not look well. The six-inch heels don’t help. But Trish and Kelly come out on top for a feel good moment.

9:47 Why does Miz come out first? Alex Reilly is  there. I predict Reilly costs King the match and at Wrestlemania we see Jerry Lawler in a Handicap Match against Alex Reilly and Michael Cole.

9:51 Booker T calls Lawler “in shape”.

9:58 Reilly gets ejected so there goes my c all.

10:01 Lawler throws Miz into Cole.

10:02 Flying Fist Drop but Miz gets a foot on the ropes.

10:03 Big kick  to the head, Skull Crushing Finale, foregone conclusion. It wasn’t awful but there was never any real hope Lawler would win.

10:05 The crowd still loves Lawler.

10:07 Cena is eating Fruity Pebbles. Grisham wants to talk Rock but Cena, too, is focused on tonight.

10:08 Throw to Matt Striker and CM Punk. Pun can’t see Cena beating him. Punk can’t see Cena winning. Punk can’t see anyone winning but him.

10:12 Orton is out first.

10:13 Cole thinks Orton has never made excuses for himself in his career. That’s laughable to those of us who remember Evolution, Legacy and Rated RKO.

10:14 R-Truth is #2. Four faces here but will two start?

10:15 Punk also gets to start in a chamber.

10:17 Even Cena gets locked in.

10:19 That leaves Sheamus and Morrison to start. Morrison better impress me.

10:22 Great jumps start already.

10:24 Pod #1 opens to reveal Orton.

10:25 Rope Hung DDT onto the steel grating for Sheamus.

10:28 Randy stalks Punk as the time counts down but Punk gets stuck in the pod door at Orton’s mercy.

10:29 Punk gets RKOed and pinned. Wow, that was unexpected.

10:30 An email from the RAW GM. Due to the pod malfunction the GM allows Punk back in his pod and back into the match.

10:33 Once again we let someone in, but it’s Cena not Punk.  Sheamus attacks Cena in his own pod. This is not illegal I guess. The pod worked after all.

10:36 The crowd is split on Cena.

10:36 Punk now gets to be last as R-Truth comes in. Sheamus tries another ambush but Truth turns the tables.

10:38 R-Truth doesn’t last long as he falls to a Brogue Kick  as the first elimination.

10:39 Too many people have been thrown through  the glass tonight. Why can’t people break out if the glass gives way that easily?

10:40 Punk is coming back. He closes his own door and Cena tries to AA Orton, only to get an RKO on the steel grating.

10:41 Punk is picking the scraps.

10:42 GTS on Orton and the Viper is done. Orton/Punk at Wrestlemania seems certain.

10:44 Tease of a High Cross off the top of a pod but Morrison fights Sheamus off and climbs clean to the top of the dome. He drops into Sheamus in a highly impressive spot that takes Sheamus out of the match.

10:53 Morrison catches himself in mid-air on a pod, leaps to the chains flies into Punk but misses Starship Pain and ends up in a Go To Sleep and we are down to two. But Cena comes in to Attitude Adjust Punk and, as predicted, Cena walks away the winner.

10:54 Miz has been watching and doesn’t look happy.

10:55 We’re rapping up. My picks were pretty spot on though the tag titles changing hands were a surprise. The Chamber matches had some nice stuff but weren’t as spectacular as they were in the pre-PG days. There seemed  to be a lot of filler and I would have liked one more match on the card. But a night with no surprises other than Trish Stratus doesn’t blow me away. 42 days to build to Mania, I think it will go well.

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on WWE Elimination Chamer 2011 Live Recap
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This is Smackdown number 600 and we are being promised Dolph Ziggler’s coronation tonight. Is Teddy Long coming back? Will Vince show up? Edge comes out first and is announced as the World Heavyweight Champion. The big promised twelve-man tag match is opening the show. Edge, Randy Orton, John Morrison, R-Truth (who doesn’t rap), Rey Mysterio (huge pop from the San Diego crowd) and John Cena make up the white hats. CM Punk, King Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Kane and Dolph Ziggler are the Really Rottens. Edge starts with Drew. Soon Truth and Ziggler match up but Truth soon tags Orton. Ziggler lasts through several faces but gets the advantage on John Morrison. Ziggler tags in Sheamus and we go to commercial.

When we come back Sheamus is still throwing Morrison around so I doubt they left much out. The face side is heavily RAW and Smackdown dominates the heels. That means most of the match-ups are from different brands. Edge and Ziggler actually get to face off in the match. It all breaks down with everyone running in, one-by-one and hitting a finisher on the last guy. Mysterio managed to 619 both Barrett and Ziggler, the legal man, who is knocked into a Spear to end the match. That went about 25 minutes and was quite decent. But Vickie is out now. She wants the title belt from Edge. We see last week’s footage with Clay Matthews counting the pin despite Vickie seeing the Spear. And she’s again accusing him of taking out Teddy Long. So she fires Edge.

Cody Rhodes, in a plastic mask, has had successful surgery. He’s cleared for travel and will make an announcement next week. Not as good as his last promo but still solid. Beth Phoenix and Eve are going to face Lay-Cool but not before a commercial and some vintage footage. No… Layla is teaming with Maryse? McCool is on commentary. She soon distracts and the heels win. We see most of Rock’s promo form Monday, which was on NXT too, so I make pizza pockets.

The Miz showed up, with Alex Reilly in tow. He faces Kofi Kingston. I predict Del Rio costs Kingston the match and the end in a match Sunday. Well, yeah Del Rio costs him the match but no follow-up yet.

Okay Gabriel and Slater of “The Corre” face the tag champs. They come out alone but, when Santino looks to win, the others attack for the DQ. Big Show makes the save and we get a long tease of a real one-on-one between Jackson and Show but The Corre back off. I feel like we’re still going to add some matches for Sunday before this night is through.

Coronation time, with lots of show to come. And cue Teddy Long. Teddy thinks she was the one who attacked him. She sells out Dolph so Long books Dolph to face Edge. I guess Ziggler’s reign is official he just needs to defend the title. It’s a pretty short match so it’s nothing special but Edge wins with the Spear then Teddy returns to fire Dolph. Shouldn’t a replacement for him in the Chamber match be named? Edge gets on the mic to lead the “Na na, na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” chant.

This may have been nice for a 600th episode but they didn’t sell the Pay Per View very well. It feels really light and I expect some new matches to show up Sunday. They’ve been coasting on the Chamber matches yet the winners seem like foregone conclusions. Lawler is going to lose and I can’t name another booked match. They keep giving away champion versus champion matches with no build. No one has RSVPed for Sunday yet. If no one comes I’m not even sure I’ll get the show. If I do expect a live blog of the event. If not, see you for RAW.

Posted on February 19th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/19/11
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Just six days to Elimination Chamber then the long slow build to Wrestlemania. We still have the return of Undertaker and HHH supposedly happening before then and the four-hour show is always packed to the rafters with matches so there is plenty more to reveal. Tonight, Vince is coming back to reveal a guest host for the big show. Tonight we mix and match Elimination Chamber participants as Orton will face Sheamus, Morrison and R-Truth will mix it up and, jerking the curtain, CM Punk and John Cena mix it up again. There must be a winner and everyone you’d expect to interfere has been banned. There’s some meaningless prattle before we get started.

The good thing about CM Punk facing John Cena is both of them are utterly convincing in their clear desire to win the match. The match involves a lot of finisher attempts that get countered. But an unseen Nexus member slides both a chair and wrench out from under the ring. CM Punk slides the chair in to distract the ref then hits Cena with the wrench. That’s enough for the win.

Lawler is not here tonight. His mother passed away the night before. There are no jokes to be made there. I feel bad for anyone losing a mother, even at what must have been an advanced age.

It seems Alberto Del Rio is competing on RAW. Nope, just a promo. Yet they rang the bell before it. Edge interrupts, still holding his title belt, having remembered that Del Rio hit him with a guitar. Del Rio may have a destiny but it’s Edge’s destiny to attack him right now. Ricardo tries to save but, ultimately, Del Rio still eats a Spear, off the apron to boot. And now here’s Vickie Guererro. She’s going to strip the title here on RAW. Kind of makes me less eager to see Smackdown if all the stories are already on RAW. The coronation is Friday it turns out. Vickie is also claiming Edge was the one who took out Teddy Long and he’ll be fired for it.

Next week – Undertaker.

Natalya gets her title rematch in a Lumberjill match. Some decent athleticism early. Natalya gets thrown out and attacked by the heels and Eve confirms she’s still a face by Crossbodying the lot of them. Natalya goes for a pin but ends up with Eve laying across each other and gets pinned, presumably without noticing. So a very indecisive outcome.

Rev Theory in da house.

The Bellas stay heels by attacking Eve and Gail Kim comes to her rescue. Natalya gets involved and there may have even been others. The camera work wasn’t the best. Mark Henry is supposed to compete, but Sheamus takes him down first. Sheamus wants us to remember what he’s capable of and he’ll demonstrate tonight on Randy Orton. We also reveal that it was CM Punk who planted false rumors last week that Mark Henry had been running down Sheamus. It makes a lot more sense if it was all CM Punk’s idea. If you need a stooge to beat someone up Mark Henry is somewhat convincing.

The middle point of the show goes to a champion versus champion match (not that they are hyping it that way) between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. Alex Reilly is on commentary and Cole offers him Josh’s job. Reilly asks “Can I do both? Can I sports entertain and commentate?” Really? Really? Look WWE, like it or not sports entertainment is a sub-genre of professional wrestling. You want to call them superstars instead of wrestlers, that’s fine. But these people wrestle. They do not sports entertain in the ring. They wrestle. Do not try to erase that word. When you can get beyond the commentary running it down it’s actually a pretty good match and lasts more than one segment. A Skull Crushing Finale gives Miz a clean win. Because he needs to be built up so we can buy he’ll beat Jerry Lawler. Miz gets on the mic and gets to be sincere for a moment in offering his condolences to Lawler. But he won’t let Jerry use it as an excuse why he loses.

Otunga and Mr. Not So Perfect face John Morrison and R-Truth. It was supposed to be Morrison vs. R-Truth but the E-GM piped up during the commercial and made a change. Didn’t he, I’d say or she but this is WWE we are talking about they won’t have two female GMs, set the match in the first place? Short match, faces dominate, R-Truth even takes out Mason Ryan with a Plancha dive. They even scare Nexus off from trying a post-match beatdown.

Ariel Winter is in the ring. I like Modern Family, but I don’t plan to buy The Chaperone on DVD. She introduces the Khali Kiss-Cam. It’s even lamer than usual as it’s just the typical kiss cam they do at arenas. Santino and Tamina as well as Dolph and Vickie are also victims. Maryse faces Ted Dibiase then plants one on Yoshi Tatsu. William Regal playfully kisses Zack Ryder on the cheek. And Hornswoggle delivers a heart shaped box of chocolates to Ariel. If this were Popmudo she’d trade health for mood. Instead Hornswoggle gets a peck on the cheek of his own. If this weren’t Valentine’s Day my review of this segment would have been much shorter.

Sheamus versus Orton will be your final match of the night. The main event will be the reveal of the guest host. Normally I don’t like non-match main events but this is going to be worth it. In fact, the match is not memorable for precisely that reason. Orton does win with an RKO and then Nexus attack Orton but Truth, Morrison and Cena all invade to even the odds. Orton RKOs Otunga and Mr. Not So Perfect. He and Cena throw Ryan from the ring and Cena ends up hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Punk. I was expecting Orton to RKO Cena at the end but no such luck.

They tease a woman in heels exiting a limo. Could the guest host be a woman?

Lots of lighting and sound to play with before they actually reveal the host. If you don’t already know it’s impressive. Yep, The Rock will be hosting Wrestlemania XXVII. The crowd reaches enthusiasm levels sufficiently high enough to satisfy me when they realize just how lucky they are. The guy who wrote the “Bring back The Rock” sign gets a lot of camera time. I was in a debate today about if The Rock was the best guy on the mic of all time. Now I, personally, would put Bobby Heenan above The Rock. The one knock against The Rock is his reliance on catchphrases. And we get a lot, but we get some real talk too. E-GM tries to interrupt but Rocky doesn’t even let Michael Cole go to the computer. Given that I’m actually watching a 4 p.m. replay they bleep Rock saying ass. Didn’t Cena get “fined” for that? Rock does it at least five times. Rock apparently has an issue with John Cena and that is enough to turn him heel for the crowd. Oh man Rock runs Cena down but good. This show runs quite long. Repeat “the millions” “and millions” three times then draws out the “is cookin” for ages and yes the crowd is eating out of the palm of his hand. And the announcers have shut up for almost all of this, so all the better.

Getting Wrestlemania was never in dispute. Enjoying it was. The odds of that just dropped.

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 2/19/11
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Ah Smackdown, where I can hope for strong wrestling, unless Vickie Guererro is involved. But it appears Alberto Del Rio is having yet another celebration. Another new car. This guy’s carbon footprint is bigger than Matt Morgan’s. There, a TNA shout out, now we go back to ignoring them. Tonight’s theme is Valentine’s Day. Alberto’s destiny has been updated to become champion at Wrestlemania. The guy I was expecting to interrupt, Kofi Kingston, does. Kofi is nice and intense on his promo and he threatens Del Rio with a kendo stick. How far can we go as a PG show? Alberto is begging off. Kofi winks at him then canes him nicely. Del Rio bails so Kingston destroy the party set up.

Okay, so now we have a match. Kofi uses the flashier style of the pair in what turns out to be a solid match. Del Rio gets the win with the Cross Armbreaker and I am really starting to think he’ll win the title at Wrestlemania. That means Miz will have to drop the title and my money is still on Cena. One media darling to another. Edge interview; Edge brings the sarcasm like a pro. He honestly admits he has no idea how to retain his title tonight.

Vladimir Kozlov wants revenge against Justin Gabriel of The Corre. Heath Slater eats a Cobra on the outside but Gabriel hits the 450 Splash for the win. Santino eats a Wasteland after the match and Jackson slams Kozlov. No Sting signing sadly. The promo is for Taker. We still don’t know his Wrestlemania opponent, but we expect Shawn Michaels to be involved in a non-wrestling capacity.

How did Chris Masters escape NXT and Superstars? I’ll say “to lose to Drew MacIntyre”. Drew blames Edge for Kelly Kelly getting fired. The match isn’t even long. Mysterio vs. Barrett is up next. Cody Rhodes has had reconstructive surgery. Rey doesn’t see what the big deal is. It’s just a broken nose. Wade Barrett gets a chance to speak too but it’s nothing to write home about. Rey seems to be wrestling fine despite his reported injuries but Justin Gabriel’s interference is enough for Barrett to pick up the win. A Corre beatdown is interrupted by the Big Show who kicks Corre ass. Ezekiel Jackson is able to turn the tide which leads to Show being beaten down yet again. Jackson shows off his power yet again by Suplexing Show.

Seriously why is JTG still on the roster? Just to job to Kane? Kane hits a mediocre Flying Clothesline so at least he’s earning his pay before his quick win. Vickie and Dolph are not happy with Lay-Cool. Layla has to take on Eve and it’s a poor match with a weak finish with Eve picking up the win.

Main event time and the Spear is still banned. There’s no illusion of fairness as early on Vickie stops a covering by putting Ziggler’s foot on the ropes. There’s actually a really funny bit where Vickie tries to Spear Edge and just bounces off. But that hurts Vickie enough for Edge to hit a Spear of his own on Ziggler. Edge is desperate for a new ref and he gets one, somebody from the Green Bay Packers counts the pin. But Vickie saw a Spear and Edge could be in trouble next week.

Speaking of next week, it’s the 600th episode of Smackdown and we’ll see a huge 12-man tag match featuring the big names of RAW and Smackdown. Could be good. The recap is pretty short this week but most of the wrestling was uneventful. Plus, I’m going to be writing a bit less as we move forward and, I’m sorry to announce, I’ll be retiring this column with my Wrestlemania live blog. I’m just too busy to keep it going forever. So enjoy the road to Wrestlemania as I head off into the sunset. See you for RAW!

Posted on February 12th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/12/11
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It wasn’t a dream. Jerry Lawler is the #1 contender.

What? Vince McMahon is back?! No mention of being in a coma or the Nexus attack just straight into shilling Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania will have a guest host, which I wish we were done with, but we don’t meet this person until next week. They brought Vince back just for that? Orton replace him and he’s here to talk too. Orton is just getting started with Nexus, and just getting started with his promo when Punk shows up to interrupt. Punk steps us into the Wayback machine to 2008 when Punk was champion and Orton, along with Legacy, attacked him and Punk took the punt to the head. Punk vows to keep Orton from ever being champion again. And the Restus of Nexus show up so the group can beat Orton down. Punk has a legit nosebleed from one of Orton’s stray shots. It doesn’t look like he hits the Go To Sleep extra hard as payback.

Tonight Nexus members face Elimination Chamber competitors, starting with Mason Ryan versus R-Truth. R-Truth gets the city wrong. R-Truth picks up a storyline knee injury, which lets Ryan use an interesting new submission move to make him tap. That sure made R-Truth look bad and the post-match beatdown only makes it worse. But the referee reverses his decision and retroactively disqualifies Ryan. I haven’t seen that since a Jeff Hardy/Christopher Nowinski match back when I first started watching again. Punk wants Nexus to weaken his opponents, winning doesn’t matter.

Six diva tag with Natalya on color is best ignored.

It’s just weird to have the #1 contender being on commentary like nothing is going on. Tonight, The Miz will publically congratulate Jerry Lawler. Meanwhile Michael McGuillicutty faces John Morrison. McGuillicutty’s plan to hurt Morrison doesn’t go well at all and Morrison ends up hitting Starship Pain for the pinfall. Punk isn’t content to let Morrison walk off with the victory and he ambushes him on the entrance ramp with some kind of spray can. It does a number on Morrison’s eyes and throat so I guess it was “Arrogance” spray. A kick to the skull is the punctuation and Nexus is running roughshod over their competition so far.

Here’s The Miz. A “Jerry” chant is too Springer for me. Miz denies thinking Lawler is an easy win, or rather they are all easy wins. But Miz thinks he has a lot in common with Lawler in his prime. Lawler claims he backs up his big mouth. To prove Lawler is a cheap shot artist we show footage from last week?! We can’t go farther back? Lawler stumbles a bit on scripted dialogue rather than the improv he’s used to but they came up with a good promo for these two. Lawler even gets the upper hand on both Miz and Alex Reilly until Ted Dibiase shows up looking for revenge from that cheap shot last week. For reasons uncertain it’s Daniel Bryan who makes the save and E-GM succinctly puts Miz and Dibiase in a tag match against Lawler and Bryan.

A-Rei on commentary distracts from the match but is actually quite clever at times. “I don’t know if Lawler got here tonight in an airplane or a time machine.” It’s an okay match considering who’s in it and Lawler picks up the victory in some vain hope of making him look like he has a chance against The Miz. Aren’t you glad there are two Elimination Chamber Matches to make the PPV actually worth potentially buying?

I’m in the odd position of rooting for Sheamus as he faces David Otunga. Josh Matthews interrupts his entrance to ask him about something Mark Henry said. Henry wants Sheamus’s spot. Sheamus runs him down so well it feels like a face turn to me, Henry interrupts A-list’s entrance but Henry attacks Sheamus. I’m still rooting for Sheamus. I thought Mark Henry had formed a tag team with The Great Khali. Now he gets to come out on top of Sheamus? Otunga gets to pose over the downed Sheamus without ever having a match.

Alberto Del Rio is here! He says Santino never had a chance to beat him. Santino runs out to attack before the match and throws Del Rio over the top rope. When the match gets started Del Rio works a surprisingly flashy show but misses a lot of moves to keep Santino in the match. Del Rio does get the  win of course, once again with the Cross Armbreaker.

Now I have to watch Vickie Guererro on RAW too? Cena interrupts, thankfully. Cena wastes time apologizing for R-Truth. I’m noticing less and less Cena hate from the crowd these days. Cena eggs the crowd into driving off Guererro and Ziggler so maybe we can finally get to the main event. Nope, Cena  wants to talk more. Cena cleverly substitutes the phrase “elimination chamber” for “ass” as he threatens Nex-sucks. Have the writing team finally figured out that PG doesn’t mean neutered, it just means you have to be clever when you want to insult someone. Lately, the writing has been clever.

At last we see Cena face Punk. It doesn’t last long before the ref threatens to DQ Cena for pounding on Punk in the corner. Cena decides that’s a pretty good option so he blatantly low blows Punk. Nexus shows up but as Mason Ryan checks on Punk, Lawler hands Cena a chair to drive off the other two. So Cena is the only superstar to escape unscathed. Does that mean he will win? Probably.

Posted on February 10th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 2/12/11
Filed Under Entertainment

Dedicated to Craig Rose, a shining light has gone out in this realm.


I do like the Smackdown opening credits. We’re in Long Island. Too bad Zach Ryder is on RAW. Alberto will throw another party tonight.

Can you dig it sucka?!

It’s Booker T, in a suit, being introduced as an announcer. He stops by the ring to deliver a Spinaroonie. Did I ever mention I once saw Lance Storm do a Spinaroonie? And it was live.

Here comes Vickie, with Dolph. Josh Matthews is saying Teddy Long might never be back. Tonight qualifying matches for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match, where the title is on the line. Dolph and Lay-Cool have a match tonight against Kelly Kelly and Edge. And Vickie wants Kelly out here RIGHT NOW! Huh? The title is on the line in this match? Vickie plans to humiliate KK and make her the reason Edge loses his title. Kelly goes off on Vickie and it comes close to acting. Dolph gets some mic time too. Dolph is the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion, according to him. KK slaps Dolph clean off his feet but Lay-Cool come  to Vickie’s rescue. That draws Edge. Everyone backs off and we go to commercial.

It’s the tag champs and who I now know spells her name Tamina. We recap the punt to the skull of Husky Harris who is apparently off camera indefinitely. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater of The Corre get a non-title match. Heath Slater still needs to go away. 450 from Justin Gabriel on Kozlov earn The Corre the winn.

The first qualifier is Kofi Kingston versus Drew McIntyre. Edge and Dolph Ziggler get in the chamber automatically so we only need 4 qualifiers. Booker T is anti-Cole. I like him. He still needs to find his feet though. He does seem to focus on the match though. Cole does his best to distract from what turns out to be a decent match by running down Jerry Lawler and discouraging anyone from getting the Pay Per View. Alberto Del Rio gets an introduction even when he’s just on the Titantron. Kofi falls victim to the distraction and a Future Shock DDT and Drew McIntyre gets a big push all of the sudden.

That awesome western promo plays again.

Rey Mysterio is getting into the ring despite his very real injuries when he’s supposed to be sparing himself for Wrestlemania where he faces his handpicked opponent, Cody Rhodes. He’s facing Jack Swagger in a qualifier I hope Swagger wins. Rhodes is never far from the announce team’s lips.

I have to pause the show to let a friend know of Craig’s passing. Not fun.

Again, a decent match but Mysterio winning means he’s going to submit himself to an Elimination Chamber.

Edge thinks Kelly will cost him his title. Kelly is not happy and also not over Drew McIntyre. Out comes Hornswoggle with Rosa Mendez. Now Roberto Rodriguez is announcing Alberto Del Rio. He has such swagger. Alberto clears up that he is interrupting the midget. He needs to be reminded where they are. He’s offering the piñata to Hornswoggle. It’s about 8 feet up how is this supposed to work? He does bring it down after a while. Hornswoggle crotches Del Rio with the stick. When he recovers he kicks the leprechaun in the head. Then he beats down the poor little guy until Kofi Kingston makes the save and drives Del Rio off. Nope he sneaks back and attacks. A good old fashioned caning follows. Then a Cross Armbreaker that needs a host of referees to break.

The Elimination Chamber was designed by the Devil himself. So I guess Eric Bischoff really is in the WWE doghouse now.

Okay I do not buy Chavo Guererro making the Elimination Chamber. So I’m betting heavily on Kane. Yeah, it’s a squash. Last qualifier is Big Show versus Wade Barrett and the whole Corre is out to support him. We’re not far into the match before a ref bump allows Jackson to level Show. Show manages one kick out but a DDT on a kneeling show finishes it and Barrett is in the Chamber. The Corre beats down Show after with Jackson again Bodyslamming Show. Big Show’s problem these days is when they want someone to look tough they have them take down the Big Show. He’s the Worf of the WWE.

The western promo again? Eh, that’s okay.

Main event time. Vickie again bans Edge using the Spear. Edge starts of course but it’s only a matter of time before Ziggler tags out and, as Josh Matthews puts it:

Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Kelly is defending the World Heavyweight Championship.

Once Kelly is in Lay-Cool have no reason to tag Ziggler when they can just keep trading places and double teaming Kelly Kelly. When Kelly is finally able to tag the ref misses it. But Kelly hits a Spear on Layla and gets the win! Vickie only banned Edge from using the move. But Vickie fires KK. Vickie gives Dolph yet another rematch next week with Vickie as the special guest referee. And Dolph punctuates it all with a Zig Zag.

I can respect the idea of doing something different. But defending the World Heavyweight Title in a handicap mixed tag match? I’m not a big fan. Three of the qualifying matches were good. Booker T needs time to improve and losing Matt Striker was not that good. Let’s hope Booker wrestles at least as often as Jerry Lawler. Dolph Ziggler is getting tired in the title picture and needs to turn face. Del Rio feuding with Kingston until Elimination Chamber works. Post-PPV shows often stutter a bit and this was no exception. But at least the overall direction is working.

?

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/5/11
Filed Under Entertainment
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