Archive for Author Lucian

I read something today that mentioned it’s rare for a rookie to win the Royal Rumble. The last one to do it was Brock Lesnar. So Del Rio’s win is a big deal. It seems to have already paid off as WWE may have signed Mexican superstar Mistico who resisted in the past due to WWE’s treatment of any luchador not named Mysterio. So the Road to Wrestlemania hits TV with tonight’s RAW. What of Booker T, Diesel and The Great Khali, who all appeared in the Rumble? Will John Cena seek revenge on The Miz? Will Orton have words for the New Nexus?

Well, we’re promised a rematch of Edge versus The Miz and, this time, there must be a winner. Royal Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio has a better excuse to be on this show now. Del Rio told us it was his destiny to win the Royal Rumble; but we never listen. Del Rio teases announcing which title he will challenge for which draws The Miz to congratulate him. The Miz wants to face him. Of course Edge was making fun of him last night. Edge called him a second rate JBL meets Tito Santana. Del Rio smells a rat. Not surprisingly, Edge is here too. And while Edge doesn’t like him or respect him he has no problem saying it to his face. Del Rio reveals he’s going after Edge at Mania. Edge hits him. Buut Del Rio comes back with a Jarrett like guitar shot and a Cross-Armbreaker to dot the i.

A pair of Nexi get a shot at the tag team champions. After Harris and McGuillicutty knocked off the champs last week it’s time for an actual title match tonight. Cue E-GM has something to puppet master  through Cole first. Tonight is a Raw Rumble match. 7 superstars and the winner will face the champ at Elimination Chamber. The other six will be in the Chamber match itself. Punk, Orton, Morrison, R-Truth, Sheamus, Jerry Lawler and John Cena. I hope Lawler wins because I’d hate the old guy to have to be in an Elimination Chamber. Now the tag match. McGuillicutty and Harris come out alone. That’s probably to allow the champs to retain without it seeming too unlikely. Because that’s just what happens.

Orton shows up and RKOs both Nexi. Oddly, the others don’t come out to aid them. Orton prepares to punt Harris in the head and that is enough to draw CM Punk (and the rest) to talk him down. Punk threatens consequences and repercussions. Orton ignores him then bails before the others can take revenge. Of the seven original Nexus members, one is in the New Nexus.

Ted Dibiase is out wanting Jerry Lawler’s spot. Cole actually comes to his partner’s defence. Well, sort of. Lawler points out he has yet to have a match at Wrestlemania. While that sucks, is now really the time? Does WWE need a senior’s division? Maryse ends up slapping Ted which leaves him open to a punch from Lawler. The crowd is totally behind Lawler.

We’re treated to a promo that can only be for The Undertaker with a date: 2/21/11. Daniel Bryan faces Tyson Kidd but all the attention is on The Bella Twins on commentary. Bryan gets a submission with the LaBelle lock before the catfight breaks out. I can get behind Gail Kim and Daniel Bryan as a couple they just need to move beyond the Bellas.

Time for The Miz and Edge’s rematch. I still think they are making far too little of this. Since Edge’s left arm and shoulder were targeted by Del Rio earlier that’s what Miz goes after. Colle is running Lawler down so much you’d think he was going to win. Hmmm… Edge misses the Spear, which is legal again, and hits the ring post. Cena promo interrupts from the press box and that lets Edge hit the Spear for real and win. Miz needed the win more but he was protected.

Stone Cold will be hosting Tough Enough. Let’s see if he can keep the focus off himself for a change. Doubt it. Oh great, Vickie Guererro. On Friday Edge defends his title in what Vickie promises is a completely new way. Natalya seems awfully happy to have to tag with the woman who just took away her title. They face Lay-Cool, of course. Michelle McCool wears size 12 boots. You can see why we buy her kicks as dangerous. Layla seems awfully cowardly tonight. Hugh loves Eve now. Hugh is one of my PPV buddies for those who missed the Rumble recap. The Lucky SOB is going to Wrestlemania live. Anyway the face divas win.

The Great Khali and Mark Henry (combined weight 838 pounds) form a makeshift tag team. Josh Matthews has replaced Lawler. I don’t give the Usos much chance here. E-GM has something for Cole to quote. The GM shares my opinion exactly so he changes the match to a dance off. You know Diesel would work as the GM. Both teams are awful and we sink to NXT levels with this bit. The Usos sneak attack and do as well as you would expect. I fear this is a real tag team. Triple H has a film coming out. Film looks like it might be worth seeing if you weren’t paying anything. I’m sure it will be on USA someday.

Ok so the winner here faces Miz at Elimination Chamber while the others compete in the Elimination Chamber to face the champ at Wrestlemania. This is a Royal Rumble with seven competitors. John Morrison is #1 and we see his Spiderman like landing on the wall and jumping back to the steps to stave off elimination last night. Sheamus is #2. I bet The Miz and A-Rei cost Cena his chance. We already know these two have great chemistry so good choices to start. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse just as Cena comes out at #3. Morrison actually lands on his feet out of an Attitude Adjustment. #4 is CM Punk. R-Truth #5. He and Morrison try to do a double skin-the-cat and Truth fails miserably. King is fairly lucky at #6. Lawler looks too strong when he comes in. Lots of people hanging on the ropes. Orton is in last and CM Punk hides under the ring. Orton goes in after him and pulls him out. Orton manages to eliminate Punk but R-Truth dumps him from behind a second later. So Orton’s need for vengeance cost him his shot and the first two Elimination Chamber members are set as we go to commercial.

No eliminations while we were gone but King and Morrison are teaming up on R-Truth while Cena and Sheamus fight it out. Cena sets up Morrison and Truth in an Attitude Adjustment position but Truth falls out of the ring while Morrison hangs on the ropes and he and Morrison end up on the apron. Soon they pull Sheamus out too. Morrison actually catches the bottom rope with his feet, and hangs by them, to avoid elimination. I think he might actually be Spiderman. Then he handstands to stay in. It finally takes a Brogue Kick while he’s on the apron to take Morrison out. Sheamus eats a Brogue Kick King manages to get Cena over the apron where Sheamus takes over trying to punch him off the apron. Lawler tries to intervene but Sheamus shoves Lawler into Cena and he’s knocked out. Sheamus tries to Brogue Kick Lawler in the back of the head but Lawler dodges and Cena pulls down the top rope and… Sheamus is eliminated.

Jerry Lawler will get a title shot at Elimination Chamber.

Let it sink in.

Elimination Chamber will feature Jerry Lawler and The Miz for the WWE Championship.

In other earthshaking news WWE has gone on to sign Sting. Vince really wanted to kill TNA’s plan to reunite the Main Event Mafia, didn’t he? That promo I assumed was for Undertaker could be for Sting. Or Awesome Kong.

Why no Diesel or Booker T? Are they both Smackdown bound? Overall I’m not keen on this show. The main event was a decent match as was the champion/champion match. But the booking is pretty wacky and we have focus on Bellas instead of matches and dance offs instead of tag team action. I’m just not liking where they are going.

It’s Royal Rumble night.

7:13 No one is here yet and I’m trying not to eat all the snacks before they get there. The sensor pad has quit on my brand new laptop. It’s not a hardware issue because it works before I log in. So I keep having to move my mouse to my laptop then back to my PC.

7:15 Hugh arrives.

7:25 We discuss spoilers and TNA. Hugh spills chips.

7:30 Here’s Justin. Very little chance of Nicole showing up at this stage.

7:38 Nicole begs off by email.

7:35 Beer #1.

7:41 Hugh gets confused because we are watching the WWE Experience not the PPV preview.

7:47 Ordering pizza becomes problematic.

8:00 We begin. Justin can’t believe I don’t like rum.

8:01 The road to Wrestlemania begins with a promo video.

8:03 Edge starts the show defending his title. Since the champ is coming out first I’ll assume we will hear from Vickie Guererro.

8:05 Yep. Vickie  reminds us the Spear is banned.

8:10 We send Hugh to fetch the pizza to avoid delivery and tip charges.

8:11 Edge is just nto somebody I buy being limited to one move.

8:15 Justin describes an Indian wedding as we await Hugh and food. The match is still in the early stages so there’s not much to say about it.

8:18 The simultaneous Cross-Body taking both men down seems popular lately.

8:22 Pizza makes us miss stuff.

8:26 Some nice false finishes.

8:28 Kelly Kelly attacks Vickie.

8:29 A ref bump allows Edge to hit the Spear.

8:30 The ref wakes up and Edge hits an Unprettier for the win. Nice, but a pretty tame match.

8:33 We’re going right into the WWE title match now.

8:45 None of us like Michael Cole’s persona.

8:50 If a heel brings a lackey that lackey should interfere but I’d like to see Miz get a win on his own.

9:00 Miz tries to walk out. It is not to be.9:02 The Viper is coiled when the New Nexus, minus CM Punk himself, shows up for no apparent reason. Orton actually throws Reilly into the lot of them. Orton hits an RKO but Punk  suddenly appears to hit Go To Sleep on Orton and Miz is able to cover and pin him. Hugh is completely baffled as to the reason.

9:06 Todd Grisham reads a prepared statement from Cody Rhodes.

9:09 Divas time. Two-on-one Handicap Match for the title?

9:11 E-GM pipes up. There are two clowns, literal clowns, behind Cole and even they are telling him to shut up. He changes the match to a Fatal Fourway and adds Eve.

9:15 Lay-Cool come face to face but nothing comes of it.

9:16 Double Sharpshooter.

9:18 Eve pins Layla while Michelle has Natalya pinned too and the ref only sees one so Eve becomes the new champion.

9:19 Beer #2.

9:20 Crap with Dnaiel Bryan, Gail Kim and The Bellas.

9:27 Rumble!

9:28 CM Punk has to come out at #1.

9:30 The Corre show up and surround the ring. The New Nexus comes out to turn it into a brawl.

9:31 Here comes E-GM again. He demands everyone return to the locker room.

9:33 The real #2 entry is Daniel Bryan.

9:34 Cole “Who cares about the Internet?” Justin “The government of Egypt.”

9:34 Justin Gabriel is now out for real.

9:35 Justin misses a 450 Splash and Bryan ELIMINATES him.

9:36 Enter Zack Ryder.

9:37 Bryan takes out Ryder too.

9:37 William Regal.

9:39 #6 Ted Dibiase Jr.

9:41 #7 John Morrison

9:42 john Morrison get thrown out but lands on the ring barrier and jumps back to the ring steps and back into the ring. William Regal gets dumped in the meantime.

9:43 Yoshi Tatsu.

9:44 Husky Harris comes out to join Punk. New Nexus is certainly outshining The Corre so far.

9:46 #10 Chavo.

9:47 #11 Mark Henry.

9:48 Henry takes out Chavito. Then Yoshi Tatsu.

9:48 JTG. When do we see some more good people?

9:50 Another Nexi, Michael Maguillicuddy.

9:51 JTG is out.

9:52 Harris and Maguillicuddy take out Ted Dibiase.

9:52 Chris Masters is #14.

9:53 David Otunga, another New Nexus man, is in the mix to help Punck.

9:54 Punk takes out Daniel Bryan. Then Nexus take out John Morrison.

9:55 Nexus takes out Mark Henry to leave just them in the ring. Tyler Reks has to try to fight them next. He doesn’t last long.

9:56 Vladimir Kozlov. He barely lasts a minute.

9:58 R-Truth. He also lasts a minute.

9:59 Marks the return of The Great Khali. Khali actually fights off the New Nexus and tosses Harris.

10:01 #20 Here comes Mason Ryan the last member of the New Nexus.

10:01 Ryan takes out Khali to return control to The Nexus.

10:02 BOOKER T!

10:04 Spinaroonie! But it gets him dumped almost right away.

10:04 #22 John Cena. This should break Nexus’s dominance. Yep, Cena takes out the whole gang except Punk.

10:07 #23 Hornswoggle!

10:08 Surprisingly, Cena dumps CM Punk and the story of Nexus is done for this Rumble.

10:09 Tyson Kidd.

10:10 Hornswoggle actually manages an Attitude Adjustment on Kidd  who Cena dumps later.

10:10 #25 Heath Slater. Hornswoggle and Cena continue to engage in crazy antics.

10:12 Cena and Hornswoggle’s alliance continues to dominate as they take out Cena.

10:12 Kofi Kingston.

10:14 Lucky #27 Jack Swagger, he’s not going  to win.

10:15 More antics with Hornswoggle.

10:15 Sheamus, who does not like Hornswoggle.

10:17 Sheamus finally takes out Hornsqoggle.

10:17 Rey Mysterio.

10:18 Mysterio takes out Swagger.

10:19 #30 Wade Barrett.

10:20 Dolph Ziggler enters despite losing a title shot earlier tonight.

10:22 DIESEL!!! He kicks ass but no eliminations.

10:23 Drew McIntyre. He and Sheamus team up.

10:24 Diesel has huge heat.

10:25 #34 Alex Reilly, accompanied by The Miz.

10:25 Barrett takes out Diesel and the crowd is not happy. Neither is Hugh.

10:26 Miz joins commentary.

10:26 Big Show.

10:28 Show takes out Ziggler. Not sure why he was in there.

10:28 #36 Ezekial Jackson. McIntyre goes, Zeke dumps Big Show without too much trouble,

10:30 Santino Marella.

10:31 #38 Alberto Del Rio.

10:32 Reilly went at some point while Del Rio was stalling on the way to the ring.

10:33 Orton enters before Del Rio even gets to the ring.

10:34 Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are gone.

10:34 #40 is Kane in his 13th straight Tumble.

So who is left?

Barrett, Orton, Cena, Mysterio, Kane, Ezekial Jackson and Del Rio.

10:36 Jackson gets dumped by Kane. Mysterio manages to flip Kane out but Wade Barrett knocks him out immediately,

10:38 Cena and Orton finally come to blows.

10:39 Miz and A-Rei combine to take Cena out of the match.

10:41 Was Santino ever eliminated?

10:42 Orton dumps Barrett  and Del Rio dumps Orton! Del Rio is announced as the winner but Santino climbs back into the ring and hits the Cobra! But he can’t get him over the ropes and Del Rio reverses and Santino is out. Nice joke. Del Rio’s ring announcer gets to go wild announcing him.

As much as I love the ending the Rumble wasn’t that much. The two surprises mad no difference whatsoever, the stable wars never emerged and Nexus was out by the middle. Miz ticked off Cena so Del Rio can face Edge while Cena faces The Miz even higher on the card. No sign of HHH or The Undertaker, who I was expecting. The undercard was weak so I’m not that impressed overall. As Rumbles go it just didn’t seem special.

Now to bed.

Posted on January 30th, 2011 by Lucian | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment

It’s less than a week until the Royal Rumble and it seems like we need a few more matches on the card still. A FORTY-MAN Royal Rumble could be long but what’s happening with the secondary titles? Melina vs. Natalya is tonight so there are only three matches on the card I can think of. Also tonight, Miz vs. Edge! And here’s Edge now to start the show. Edge want The Miz now but the anonymous General Manager still holds a grudge so he sends out three guys to try to throw Edge over the top rope and earn #40. Tyson Kidd, Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger all have a shot but Edge takes them all out quickly. I didn’t buy any of those three earning #40 that easily. Edge decides to smash the laptop again but Cole stalls him until New Nexus (it’s like New Coke) decide to show up. The new guy is Mason Gray. Not sure where Edge went but now The Corre is interrupting the New Nexus. This is a bit silly. And just when we set up a rivalry between the two groups E-GM books Punk vs. Barrett and the loser’s stable is out of the Rumble. Did we mention the special guest referee? It’s John Cena.

John Morrison teams with Mark Henry to face Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. If you have to spit your gum out during the match, John, don’t chew it in the first place. Michael Tarver is back (sigh) and watching this match on the monitor. The best superstar in the match beats the worst. Can you guess who I mean? I’ll give you a hint, the loser taps out to a Cross-Armbreaker.

The Diva’s Championship is next and we better get a rematch Sunday or this is just a waste. You can do a Diva match in ten minutes from intro to finish; they can’t squeeze that on Sunday’s card? Melina’s constant shrieking lost its charm a loooooooong time ago. Melina does do a neat submission move that’s almost like sitting on someone while you are both on the mat. Of course the obvious counter is to stand up and that’s just what Natalya does, lifting Melina off the ground. Natalya locks on a Sharpshooter then keeps going back and rolls onto her shoulders. Melina folds in half in one of the craziest spots I’ve seen in any wrestling, male or female. It gets a submission of course but Lay-Cool arrives to announce they are claiming their rematch on Sunday. Ok, I can live with that. There’s a Diva’s title match on the Rumble card and, though it’s getting stale, it will be better than the match with Melina was. To be fair that match was better than expected and Melina was clearly giving it her all. It’s getting to the point the Divas wrestling isn’t embarrassing any more. Plus, Awesome Kong still to come!

CM Punk is once again shining in the cult leader role and the New Nexus may just start working because of it. The problem is most of these guys show very little charisma. Cena mocks the extra r in Corre until Miz interrupts him. They can get away with rectum on a PG show? And saying someone smells of raw sewage? Are they actually starting to get clever with insults in the PG era? That would be awesome.

Let me get this straight, not only are they giving away a Champion Versus Champion Match on free TV it’s at the 10:00 hour? This should be a much bigger deal than they are making of it. Dolph Ziggler and his cougar join commentary. The problem with the match is Miz still needs to be carried and Edge isn’t great at carrying the other guy. Edge’s ribs are supposed to be injured so I guess that will matter for the rest of the week. Since we don’t really want a conclusive finish Ziggler attacks Edge to end the match in a DQ. But Orton shows up and cleans house. Orton dominates until Miz hits his leg with the briefcase to allow him to grab his title and run.

Josh Matthews interviews Wade Barrett who reminds us he used to talk about a much bigger picture but apparently it just meant Nexus as a whole. He lost sight of that. No longer. Poor Daniel Bryan is bogged down in a six-member tage match with the Bellas as his partners. Of course, Ted Dibiase is stuck with Maryse and Alyssa Fox so he’s no better off. It’s stupid, awful and short. Maryse wins and we get more of her downgrading Dibiase. The Bellas catch Bryan kissing Gail Kim and they’ve been dating for six months. Some good insults among the women and Gail reminds me we don’t seem to be having guest stars any more.

Harris and Maguillicuddy get the tag champs in a non-title match. The entire match is Santino and Harris with the New Nexus picking up a fairly clean win. Santino actually acted like a serious wrestler for most of the match. Somehow I suspect the main event will end in a tie. We shall see. Cena starts out by ejecting the New Nexus. He lets Punk stew for a bit before ejecting The Corre too. When the bell finally rings Cenaa shoves Punk then decks Barrett and threatens to disqualify them if they fight back. They try to fight each other but Cena interferes, signs autographs during covers the disqualifies both men for profanity and rules neither team goes to the Rumble. The GM is not pleased so he lets everyone into the Rumble. Then he demands John Cena apologize. Cena says sorry to both men then attacks them. Saying sorry and not really meaning it? Is Cena Canadian? The stablemates return and are set to go after Cena nine-on-one until Show’s music plays and a score of Rumble entrants fill the ring. Daniel Bryan is in there so I guess he’s in the Rumble not defending his title.

I called the non-finish to the main event. There was also a non-finish to the Champion Versus Champion match. The best finish of the night was the Divas match. So the whole show really didn’t matter. The Rumble is so huge we’re running short on other storyline to fill the show with. So Smackdown stars are imported to face RAW ones and it all feels like filler. And Friday it continues as Ziggler and The Miz will team to face Edge and Orton. I’m excited for Sunday but the journey there is not going all that well.

Posted on January 27th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Eding 1/30/11
Filed Under Entertainment


A work week is over and I return to the wacky, wacky WWE universe. After a video recap reminding us who they are, Wade Barrett and his “new” crew come out to introduce themselves. They call themselves “The Corre” and that’s not terrible. Heath Slater speaking is. Gabriel is weak on the mic but at least he shows hope. And Jackson has been around long enough in the same gimmick he can cut a promo without any real trouble. Teddy Long interrupts them to assert his authority. The Corre are in the Rumble. You need to find 40 guys somewhere. The Corre has no leader. As long as Barrett is the mouthpiece that’s fine. Long will not put up with gang tactics. They can like Smackdown or leave it.

No sooner does Long leave then Alberto Del Rio shows up. He’s here to welcome them, but it’s his show and he’s going to win the Royal Rumble. It’s his destiny. Very short promo as we go to commercial. When we return Del Rio is set to face R-Truth. Breaking news, Teddy Long is out cold backstage. It preserves the atmosphere of reality to interrupt the show with this news but it’s a kick in the teeth to the wrestlers in ring, especially since the announce team spends too much time on Long. Del Rio continues to need his ring announcer to win. Cheating to win helps keep heels from accidentally getting face heat. Unless you are Eddie Guererro (RIP).

With Vickie Guererro now in charge The Corre comes to tell her they had nothing to do with it. They also offer any help they can so Vickie says one of them can face Edge tonight. Divas fight as Layla El faces Beth Phoenix. Lay-Cool is working an increasingly technical style to face the larger women. It’s not a bad match and the Glam Slam picks up the win for Beth.

Monday we get Edge versus The Miz! Right now Rey Mysterio faces Cody Rhodes. It would be a big win for Rhodes but don’t bet on it. It’s not a bad match and it carries us just past the mid-point of the show but Mysterio win with a 619. Cole is annoyed Rey hit Cody with his knee brace, and in the face to boot. The nose is “broken”.

Miz and Reilly are here. We’re actually seeing an amateur wrestling competition on a WWE program. Jack Swagger challenged Kofi Kingston and the IC champion accepted. Swagger toys with Kofi so Kingston gets some points for escapes but Swagger takes lead on takedowns. Kofi makes a last minute rally but Swagger just edges him out for the win. But Kofi takes Swagger down with a kick to look strong in defeat.

The WWE must see something in Trent Barretta because here he is facing Drew McIntyre on Smackdown yet again. But Drew picks up a pretty easy win so I guess he has more upside. McIntyre tries a handshake, gets a slap, then goes nuts on Barretta. That draws Kelly Kelly who is not pleased. McIntyre is right when he points out he was hit first.

Let’s see what Miz has to say. He wants to remind people what he did to Randy Orton on Monday and how that makes him awesome. Edge is out to defend Smackdown from RAW rejects. Miz is willing to let things go but Reilly tries to get uppity and eats a Spear for his trouble. Edge later has to face Justin Gabriel and Dolph Ziggler becomes the fourth amigo on the commentary desk. Dolph needs to lose at the Rumble due to Vickie, then turn on her and become a face. He should be standing on his own now and he needs new opponents.

Gabriel was the best choice to give away facing Edge free but what shocks me is that, thanks to a sneak attack by Ezekial Jackson, Gabriel actually picks up the upset. Just like Nexus earned its cred by taking down John Cena, The Corre takes down Edge to look strong here. Dolph Ziggler waits for them to move on before entering the ring to plant a foot on edge’s chest like an explorer planting a flag.

So, we have two smaller stables where Nexus once was. Plus, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young and maybe Skip Sheffield will come back. All this from a show, NXT, most people have written off. But this Smackdown was a bit of a write off. Nothing really great happened, the two stables seem repetitive and a lot of the matches were rehashes. I hope next week is better.

Posted on January 23rd, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 1/22/11
Filed Under Entertainment

It’s Martin Luther King Day. Let’s see if Vince and co. demean and African-Americans this week. If JTG is here it’s a gimme. John Cena opens the show after the obligatory tribute to MLK. Cena still claims he’s entering the Royal Rumble but I don’t see it. He calls out CM Punk but it’s The Miz with Alex Reilly both in fine suits. The Miz claims to be a far better champion than Cena. I’m not sure he’s wrong.

Ok huge announcement. The Royal Rumble will have FORTY entrants. I’m stunned. The Rumble was something you don’t mess with but now it stands to be a far longer match unless they really slash entry times. Still, more entrants means more eliminations and I’m all for that. Cena picks up a Rocky cue and does a bad impression. Why is that supposed to make me think he’s tough? Cena calls out Miz for surviving on his lackeys and ducking fights. Miz claims he can outbrawl and outwrestle anyone ever. Cena figures he can win the Rumble then face Orton at Wrestlemania since Miz won’t make it past the Rumble.

Now Punk and “The New Nexus” which contains one member of the original Nexus show up. Punk looks like he’s been punched in the eye. So I was wrong, Cena, Punk and all of Nexus are in the new 40-man Rumble. Nexus will be determined to make Punk win. And Punk send the juniors to attack Cena. Weirdly, it’s the tag team champions who come to the rescue. Nexus regroups and Punk decides to join them. But the anonymous RAW General Manager e-pipes up to book Punk versus Cena tonight with the rest of Nexus barred from ringside. If they interfere they are out of the Rumble. We announce a match tonight between Dolph Ziggler and Randy Orton, number one contender versus number one contender, before we finally go to commercial after a seventeen minute promo.

The tag team championships are now on the line. But not against members of Nexus like would make sense. No, the match is against the Usos. Given the competitors I don’t expect much from this match and I don’t get it. The Cobra gets the win yet again. But now we should get a great match as Daniel Bryan takes on John Morrison! A fast-paced start leads into a commercial. Really? A commercial during this match? Am I that far out of their target audience? We return with Morrison using a submission hold on Bryan. There’s a nice bump where they both go for Crossbody Blocks at the same time and collide in mid-air in an X. It turns out to be quite a good match for TV and it’s actually Morrison who picks up the win. They shake hands after the match but Sheamus suddenly interrupts to claim Morrison only stepped up his game to face him. He made Morrison and he can break him. Here’s someone else who is going to win the Rumble. How are they going to arrange for 40-men to go over the rope at exactly the same time? Not sure where we go from here but I’m glad I saw the match. Why do the Bellas hang out with Daniel Bryan? They want to be his first. And they are betting who can do it. This is PG?

We’re halfway through the show and the only African American who has appeared is David Otunga, and he didn’t get to speak.

Here’s Vickie to introduce Dolph. I cannot say this enough: Jim Johnston is the most underrated man on the WWE staff. Just listen to “Voices” and compare it to any random TNA theme song and you’ll see who the advantage goes to. “Voices” is on my MP3 player and when it came on today I listened to it twice. These two put on a good back and forth match, getting the crowd hyped up. There’s a long Sleeper Hold segment that makes both these guys look like dynamite. But Orton escapes and hits an RKO right after for the win. Ziggler winning here would have been a big boost to his career and interference from Vickie or The Miz could have protected Orton. Instead, Miz and Reilly attack Orton right after the match and appear to injure his knee. Miz looks to put Orton through the announce desk but Jerry Lawler interferes enough to prevent it. But Miz and Reilly end up overcoming both of them and it’s the dapper champion who stands tall at the end.

Natalya faces Maryse with Eve on commentary. Yeah, who cares? Ted Dibiase issues a top rope challenge. Mark Henry answers. Here’s our token African American winner of the night. William Regal, Yoshi Tatus and Tyson Kidd and a host of other guys usually seen on Superstars (Zack Ryder!) show up to have an unofficial Battle Royal. There’s Darren Young and R-Truth (who deserves better) so add some more black guys. Sheamus shows up late to clear the ring. But Mark Henry is able to eliminate Sheamus. Happy MLK Day pal. Now here comes Alberto Del Rio. Cars are bad for the environment. But the expensive ones are really cool. He cuts a good promo, it’s his destiny to win the biggest Rumble ever and he is the greatest of the great.

Why is Derrick Bateman on RAW? Doing a fake ad for a Mark Henry cologne? That was the worst sketch in a long time. I love the Royal Rumble promos where they throw out cool stats about the Rumble. The best one is that 92 tons of people have competed in the Rumble. The question is, are they counting people only once or each time they enter? With 40 men in Kane’s record of 11 eliminations could fall. Kane, entering his 13th consecutive Rumble, could do it himself.

Main event time. Punk hits a number of nice move, Cena does a sweet reversal of the Go To Sleep into an STF but Punk makes the ropes to keep the match going. AA escaped, Anaconda Vice leads to great selling but it’s Cena’s turn to make the ropes. Some new wrestler with a build like Batista shows up and distracts Cena to allow Punk to kick him in the head. Punk just offers himself up as a sacrifice and the new guy kicks Punk in the head. This means Punk wins by DQ. Nexus shows up to defend Punk but Punk stares the new guy down with a Manson like look and the new guy kneels before him. Punk puts the armband on him and why are we even calling it Nexus anymore? The Smackdown faction is far more Nexus than this one. Cena doesn’t even get up as the Not-us raise their arms in the ring.

The main event was a good match with a bad finish. The Orton/Ziggler match was a good match with the wrong finish. The Derrick Bateman sketch was awful; the Bella stuff is awful. But we get a 40-man Rumble so I’m going to give this show the thumbs up. Enjoy NXT and TNA if you watch them. See you Friday for Smackdown.

Posted on January 18th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 1/22/11
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It’s time to test if my new laptop makes recapping Smackdown any easier. I start my new job Monday so I splurged for new hardware. A reminder, I am no longer covering NXT or TNA. But congratulations to Ken Anderson on a world championship. Tonight Show v Wade. Expect the supreme court to be paying close attention. Also, Dolph Ziggler on The Cutting Edge, Edge’s personal talk show.

We are opening with Alberto Del Rio, but you already know that. He mocks the south. Since he has been on RAW so much here’s R-Truth under the equal time provision. Yes you can call Roberto Rodriguez creepy looking but that’s pedestrian. Call him Weirdly Gruesome and you’ll earn some props from me. Cody Rhodes is third to join the fun. He’s in the Rumble too. Is this really Rhodes’ fourth Rumble? Wrestling ignores the comedy rule of three so here comes Rey Mysterio. Rey is a former Rumble winner so at least he knows what he’s talking about. The heels are getting along, as are the faces, so don’t expect a Fatal Fourway. Cody steals R-Truth’s catchphrase which leads to a brawl. Smackdown has a GM with a face and he’s out to book a tag match. And it’s after the commercial!

How long is it going to be a big deal that Cody Rhodes doesn’t wear knee pads? This match takes us well into the show and is up to Smackdown’s usual high standards. R-Truth looks bad when he makes it obvious he’s watching Rhodes so he can time his tag properly. The faces need a win here and they get it when Mysterio prevails over Rhodes. Cross-branding doesn’t feel special any more so neither did this match.

Why is JTG still employed? Wade Barrett thinks he’s Julius Caesar. I would not order Little Barrett’s pizza. Would Ezekial Jackson show up live already? The promos are fine but we need more. Trent Baretta is set to lose to Drew McIntyre. Trent’s another guy I don’t see a future for. And, just like when I wrote off John Morrison, Trent actually picks up the win by countering a Press Slam of Death into a simple rollup. It wasn’t an impressive win but a win at all is cause for this guy to celebrate. Drew is beating down Trent but gets caught by Kelly Kelly.

Show v Wade is at the mid-point of the show so I guess our “main event” will be The Cutting Edge. Before we get very far Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel show up and attack show for the DQ. Then I get my wish as Ezekial Jackson shows up too but just stands on the apron. Show disposes of all three of the Ex-us but then Jackson attacks him. Jackson bodyslams Show in a solid fashion. So it’s like a Nexus spinoff with another new member? I can’t say I’m keen on turning Nexus into franchises. And SD is in real need of a decent face yet they make Jackson a heel?

Beth Phoenix has a match with Michelle McCool. McCool works the leg through most of the match so the booking is logical. Beth goes for the Glam Slam but McCool reverses into a rollup. It looks like McCool will win until Beth reverses the rollup into one of her own and picks up the win. More interesting than TNA women’s wrestling lately. And Awesome Kong is under contract now.

I do not want to see Vickie Guererro act. Or rub noses with Dolph Ziggler. The crowd loves Kofi Kingston despite his less than stellar promo skills. Jack Sssswagger interrupts his celebration. It’s always tough to make a former world champion seem legit interested in a secondary title. But Jack comes out to trade insults and it leads to a non-title match. These guys make up for a merely ok promo with a fine match. Despite it being non-title it’s too soon for Kofi to lose so he wins here. Swagger kicks out just after three so expect this feud to continue.

The fact this Cutting Edge is even happening tells us Ziggler won’t face Edge until the Royal Rumble. Didn’t the Cutting Edge used to have as set? We get some footage of Edge cheating on Vickie in the distant past and Dolph cheating on Vickie in less distant times. Still, not much of a segment Even Vickie trying to attack Edge isn’t special but the tease of a Spear on Vickie gets us somewhere. When Vickie finally takes a real bump the crowd is going to explode.

Any show would be a letdown after last week. But this wasn’t bad. The final segment was not worth ending on. I always prefer to end on a match but this was sub-par. Nexus 2 is worrying, JTG needs to go and, overall, the promo work wasn’t up to snuff so this comes off as a weak episode.

Posted on January 16th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 1/15/11
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It’s RAW. We’re in Nashville. I have no idea the status of John Cena. The tag champs (with Tamita) are out to open the show. We’re expecting a title match but, instead, we get yet another Nexus beat down complete with new leader CM Punk. Punk thinks each and every member of Nexus can be the greatest in history. No, not Heath Slater. Punk expects Cena to be here tonight, to give another farewell speech. Initiations all around tonight, Punk as well as all of Nexus. They have new shirts yet again. McGuillicuddy is first and he has to face… being beaten down by Nexus. It’s no fun watching heels reluctantly beat down other heels.

Wassap? R-Truth versus Alberto Del Rio, again, is what’s up. It’s a non-match where R-Truth gets counted out after a Ricardo distraction. The follow-up promo is one of the weakest I’ve seen from Del Rio and Ricardo singing La Cucharacha doesn’t help. The less said about Michael Cole praising himself on behalf of the anonymous GM is a total waste of time. And Miz/Alex Reilly versus Orton/Jerry Lawler is not much better.

Husky Harris gets whipped for his initiation. Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry from a weird tag team to take on Ted Dibiase and Tyson Kidd. I thought Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu were a regular team now. Tyson’s bodyguard isn’t here tonight and we’re reminded Mark Henry beat him last week. Truly odd is that Mark Henry slams Tyson Kidd and picks up a win. When does Mark Henry win two matches in a row?

Big Show is here. Show will face Wade Barrett Friday and plans to win the Royal Rumble. The few healthy remaining members of Nexus interrupt him. It seems Otunga’s initiation is to go after Show. Otunga hits one slap then just waits for the retaliation. And the retaliation makes Show look stronger than he has since Knucklehead.

Do we need another John Morrison versus Sheamus match? Maybe not but when the master of Harcore and the King of the Ring match you can expect a decent showing. There’s nothing wrong with the match but nothing special about it either and Morrison winning again is starting to make Sheamus look bad. Back with nexus Pun orders Gabriel and Slater to beat each other with kendo sticks. They can’t seem to so they consider turning on Punk. Punk cult leaders them into backing off. So they avoid any initiation? That seems off. The other three might want to kick the crap out of them now.

Who is going into the Hall of Fame? Why Shawn Michaels. It’s awfully quick but not undeserved obviously. And here is the man himself. He doesn’t even get to speak before Alberto Del Rio is out to interrupt him. Del Rio is the best now, HBK is old news, blah blah blah Sweet Chin Music. And nothing but dancing and hand slapping from Michaels. Not one word spoken.

Miz is unhappy people are assuming Orton will beat him. But catchphrases are for closers. CM Punk is on top of the TitanTron They are actually teasing that he’s going to jump. But of course, it’s a swerve. Punk is in a freaking harness for crying out loud. SO now only Harris, Macguillicuddy and Otunga are out. What happened to the two rebels? Cena shows up on the same video screen to insult Punk. Cena wants Punk next week. Punk is happy with that. Cena vows he will deal with Punk. Seriously, are Slater and Gabriel out of Nexus? Slater could disappear forever for all I care. But Gabriel was a good wrestler.

How does Jerry Lawler keep winding up in the main event? There’s not much to say about the match. Orton hits RKOs on Miz and Reilly both before the end but lets Lawler do the Flying Fist on Reilly for the win. Miz looks worried as he grabs his title and bails.

Maybe Smackdown was so good this would have been a let down no matter what. But having Nexus shrink even more doesn’t seem like a smart plan. And, honestly, John Cena being out for a while would have actually forced them to improvise which could have led to something great. CM Punk is great, Albert Del Rio is great even being taken down. So there were moments of greatness but, overall, I felt this show was off the mark.

Posted on January 13th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 1/15/11
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