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While The Slammy awards have the potential to be fun this is too soon to have a three-hour RAW on the heels of King of the Ring. Especially since I saw Survivor Series recently as well. Oh dear lord, David Arquette is here tonight. Let’s expose the business by bringing up the worst champion of all time. Now he’s trying to plug Ready to Rumble? He’s here to present Shocker of the Year.

Nominees:

  • Miz wins the title
  • Nexus debut
  • Paul Bearer turns on The Undertaker
  • Randy Orton punts Chris Jericho out of action

Winner:

  • Nexus debut

Only Barrett comes out to accept. He claims credit for Nexus even existing. He has not made up his mind yet about rehiring Cena. But he’ll be shocking. The anonymous electronic General Manager pipes up books Barrett into an immediate match against… The Big Show! Where has he been lately? Show steals Barrett’s Slammy to get him in the ring. Barrett hides in the ropes and outside for a long while before we actually see some action. We don’t see much of that before Wade grabs his award and walks off for a countout loss.

Next award is the Despicable Me moment presented by Kelly Kelly and Tyson Kidd with the new Diesel, aka Jackson Andrews.

Nominees:

  • CM Punk sings “Happy Birthday” to Rey Mysterio’s daughter
  • Drew McIntyre faces and humiliates Teddy Long
  • Kane buries The Undertaker alive
  • Mr. McMahon makes truce with Bret Hart, then kicks him in the groin

Winner:

  • CM Punk

Kind of an odd winner but I guess they want to honor Punk one last time in case his career is over. Punk uses his speech to vow revenge against an unnamed backstage adversary. Up next is a tag match. Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan form one team. I would have liked to see Kingston and R-Truth team up to put an end to the rumors they are the same person. Or is it just Vince who sees them that way? On the other side, Dolph Ziggler and Ted Dibiase. Bryan gets beaten up for most of the match, when he finally makes a tag to Kingston he comes in on fire. Kingston really looks great in brief action before picking up a quick win over Ziggler.

The Tag Champs are out to present the award for Guest Star Shining Moment of the year. Their banter is sub-par.

Nominees:

  • Wayne Brady gets RKO’d by Randy Orton
  • Pee-wee Herman vs. The Miz
  • Mike Tyson punches out Chris Jericho
  • William Shatner sings WWE Entrances

Shatner just has to win here. Nope, they gave it to Pee Wee Herman. Probably because he was the only one willing to record a promo. Punk and King agree Shatner should have won. Otunga tries to get Barrett’s decision but we’ll just have to wait.

Mark “How has my career lasted this long?” Henry heads to the ring to face Cody Rhodes. Rhodes just lost a Masterlock Challenge so he is in dire need of a win here. Rhodses’ gimmick of not wanting to be hit in the face should be more interesting than it is for some reason. But Cody actually looks decent here as he picks up the win over the world’s (long ago) strongest man.

Lawler presents the Holy @$%* moment of the year. Sadly, it’s with Vickie Guererro.

Nominees:

  • Kofi Kingston hits Drew McIntyre with a leg drop off ladder through announce table
  • John Cena sends Batista onto a car and through the stage with two Attitude Adjustments
  • Randy Orton delivers RKO to a flying Evan Bourne
  • John Morrison dives off set onto Daniel Bryan and The Miz

Winner:

  • John Cena

Orton looked better. Barrett is out again to steal Cena’s Slammy instead. Time for his decision. But he wants Cena there So here comes the banished hero. Here comes Nexus too. And Cena is rehired… on two conditions. Cena and Barrett in a Chair Match Sunday And tonight Cena faces Otunga. But Nexus is now on the same page to beat down Cena for no good reason. This is making less and less sense. What ever happened to the “much bigger picture” anyway? Cena now being rehired means we’ve basically gone in circles and made the entire idea of being fired over a match less meaningful than ever.

My cable feed goes for a bit and I miss some David Arquette as a result. So sad. He’s presenting fan reaction of the year which is too lame to even recap. Some little girl wins for being angry when Miz wins. They actually bring her out to accept only to have Miz interrupt her. Mean only Mr. Miz steals her Slammy. Miz says the moment of the year is yet to come. It will be when he beats Randy Orton. But E-GM pipes up and says both Miz and Orton will face former champions tonight. Miz is first, facing Rey Mysterio, right now.

We see little of this match as a commercial covers it. Rey looks great in what we do see but, just back from commercial, Alberto Del Rio comes out to distract Rey. But the match continues. Miz does collide with Del Rio at one point but manages a kick out. Then, with Reilly distracting the ref, Del Rio strikes Rey from behind and that lets Miz roll him up. The leads the E-GM to unveil Orton’s two opponents: Alex Reilly and former WCW champion, David Arquette.

Presenting the Oh Snap! Meltdown of the year is one of the nominees, Edge. That’s not customary. Kane is not here to co-present since he’s off having a meltdown of his own. Cue a new co-producer, Christian! His arm is in a sling but it’s great to see him.

  • Big Show destroys Jack Swagger’s trophies
  • Edge destroys the Raw GM’s computer
  • Alberto Del Rio injures Rey Mysterio’s arm with a steel chair
  • Batista quits WWE

So Edge wins this one when he’s already right there. Edge’s acceptance speech gets a little John Belushi but that’s kind of fun. Edge slags Cole who gets to flip out a little too.

Then King Leprechaun Sheamus comes to the ring for his match with John Morrison. The two roll around on the mat punching each other and shoving the ref back and giving us a double DQ after about 30 seconds. That let’s E-GM book them in a #1 contenders match at TLC in the PPV’s first Ladder Match. Morrison in a Ladder Match is something I actually want to see. But it’s Sheamus who uses a ladder to beat down Morrison here tonight.

The strange pairing of JTG and William Regal (both of whom could be gone from the roster at any moment) present Knucklehead Moment of the Year.

  • Big Show unmasks a bald CM Punk
  • Santino Marella gets out-danced by Vladimir Kozlov
  • Beth Phoenix eliminates The Great Khali from the Royal Rumble
  • Lay-Cool gets beaten by Mae Young

JTG screws up and says the winner is “Lay-Cool beating Mae Young”. Lay-Cool seem awfully happy to win this considering the category. This leads into the Battle Royal to determine Diva of the Year. Why are these awards given out in such different ways? A Battle Royal for Diva of the Year. Fan voting for Superstar of the Year. And the rest we have no freaking clue. Is this the Olympics, the Oscars or The People’s Choice Awards?

Wisely, everyone gangs up on Lay-Cool at first. But that doesn’t last long and neither do some of the lesser Divas like Rosa Mendes and Kaitlyn. The final six are Lay-Cool, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Gail Kim and Alicia Fox. Layla goes but helps Michelle take out Phoenix. Natalya eliminates Kim and Fox in one move but Michelle kicks her in the face and knocks her out to win her second Diva of the year. I guess if you stroke The Undertaker you benefit from The Undertaker’s stroke. E-GM pipes up to book Lay-Cool versus Natalya and Beth Phoenix at TLC in the first ever Diva’s Tag Team Tables Match. That is actually interesting, pity I won’t get to see it.

Edge is here so we have to be reminded of the stupidity of last week’s Smackdown ending. Seriously, Teddy Long has done nothing to Edge over this? Edge faces Jack Swagger. That means two Smackdown stars have been imported to wrestle each other on RAW. How is this special? Another weakness of the three-hour show. It’s a pretty good match, but the Spear to end it looks a little weak.

Time for WWE Moment of the Year, presented by Big Show.

  • Sheamus attacks Triple H from behind with a lead pipe
  • Edge Spears Chris Jericho through the barricade
  • The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in Michaels’ final match
  • John Cena counts 1-2-3 as Orton defeats Barrett and Cena is fired from WWE

Rumors were that HBK is here. If true we know what’s going to win. It does win but HBK is only on tape. I want to just ignore the fact I’m being forced to watch David Arquette in a wrestling match. He’s not actually doing anything of course but I do not see the point of this. Half your fanbase are too young to remember when Arquette was champion anyway. Randy wins, natch, but Miz uses the briefcase he has no good reason to still have to take Orton down. Miz and Arquette set up a table Orton recovers, but Miz escapes again and it’s Arquette who goes through the table. Well, that’s something at least. This whole “Miz tries to put Orton through a table but Orton escapes and puts a Miz ally through the table” would have been more effective if they could have started it a week or two earlier and ran with it the whole time. Miz is going to win Sunday, I’m confident in that, but I expect it to be some kind of fluke or tainted win.

Cole is presenting the “And I quote” Moment slammy. There’s no official list of nominees. Just a long string of decent quotes. See if you can find this on YouTube it’s decent. And it ends on Ron Simmons, which is always fun. Cole gives himself the award. Yeah, Cole as a heel is annoying. Teddy Long is the last presenter of the evening, Superstar of the year, as voted on by the fans.

  • Edge
  • Kane
  • Rey Mysterio
  • John Cena
  • Randy Orton
  • The Miz

I guess they couldn’t risk putting The Undertaker up since he’s in no shape to accept. I would have thought Orton was still more over than Cena, but Cena takes the prize. This assumes WWE didn’t just rig the poll, which you never know. Cena’s speech is so white bread it’s not interesting. Cena claims he has taken out every member of Nexus, but Otunga and Barrett. They all seem to be still standing to me. The show is already supposed to be over by the time Otunga finally makes his way to the ring. Barrett turns the tables on Otunga and has Nexus walk out on Otunga. Otunga gets ZERO offense in the short match before tapping to the STF. This was the definition of a squash. Then Cena adds injury to injury by beating Otunga with a chair. At least Otunga can sell.

The Slammys themselves were kind of fun but the rest of the night was nothing special. And selling the PPV wasn’t as much of the focus as it should be on the go home RAW. David Arquette was a dark time in pro wrestling history that should not have been dredged back up in 2010. Three hour shows need to be really special. This didn’t achieve that.

Lucian WWE Wrestling Recap

RAW is in Calgary. This would be a good time for a Bret Hart appearance. With Bragging Rights right around the corner Teddy Long shows up to open the show. Long threatens to take over the show. This draws the ire of the anonymous GeMail. Long unplugs him and calls out his team. Did Cole just claim the match would be elimination? That’s the exact opposite of what they said on Smackdown. Miz responds and brings out his team as well. The Miz even reveals the seventh man on the team. It’s Ezekial Jackson back from an injury. A brawl breaks out and RAW fails to drive Smackdown from the ring. Show wants Miz tonight and the normally cowardly Miz accepts the challenge.

The tag champs, also Smackdown stars, face the Hart Dynasty. They’re easily the hometown favorites, but once again THD can’t work together and they lose the match. Expect these two to split and Kidd to be the more successful as a solo performer. Backstage, Orton has a heart-to-heart with Cena where he reminds him he’ll happily punt his head. Cena says try it, he’ll tear the leg off. Goldust brings his fiancée to the ring to face Zack Ryder. Wait, is Goldust going to win a match? Yes. Goldust has a finisher called The Final Cut, in case you had forgotten. Dibiase attacks post-match, but Aksana bails with the million dollar belt with Maryse in hot pursuit. That distracts Dibiase and Goldust takes him out. When was the last time Goldust got to hit his finisher twice in a night?

Barrett calls in Cena to tell him he actually should give his all against McGuillicuddy and Harris to provide a proper test to see if they are worthy to join Nexus. And, just when Cena feels good for a change, Barrett makes him fetch water, then throws it in his face. Orton and Cena get to beat up on the rookies while Nexus watches on. They get a clean win, then Barrett orders Cena aside so Nexus can attack Randy Orton.

Why is Vickie Guererro here? So Dolph Ziggler can get some mic time and exposure to the RAW fans? No! So Daniel Bryan can interrupt and challenge him to a champion versus champion match at Bragging Rights! Damn, I actually want to see this show and I can’t afford it! Dolph tries to slap down Bryan and ends up tapping in a LaBell lock. There’s Divas, glitter and dancing that I’m going to try to repress rather than recap.

Natalya, who I like, faces Alicia Fox, who I don’t. It’s another squash for Natalya. It’s just a setup for LayCool to run down Canada and the Harts. There’s a nice fight including a bit where Michelle puts Natalya in a Sharpshooter while Layla takes pictures.  Natalya reverses and drives off the champions despite the numbers advantage.

Josh Matthews reveals he knows what the word brazen means while Teddy Long reveals he brought the entire Smackdown roster to the show. Did you know Knucklehead is playing in about six theaters across the US for all of two days? I checked the schedule, most of them are matinees! It looks good, why not try to actually push it a little? There is a huge video promo promoting… WWE. WWE’s relentless self-promotion is something that turns off non-fans. Yes WWE is good at promotion, but they have to donate less of their shows to it. Apparently they are launching a campaign to have their fans stick up for the show. I’d do that, if it sucked less.

So they’ve been plugging Miz versus Big Show all night. Of course we’re not going to get it. With both rosters present we get a tease of a match, then Long calls it off once it spills outside. Instead, we get a Battle Royal! I’m not complaining, Battle Royals are among my favorite types of match, but why the bait and switch? Smackdown versus RAW, minus Nexus, Cena and Orton. The other problem with Battle Royals is they are really hard to recap. Hornswoggle torments Michael Cole through the match which kills the commentary dead. They say it’s the entire roster, but I don’t see Tyson Kidd or the Dudebusters or Hawkins and Archer. No Great Khali even. And Matt Hardy sure ain’t there.

Edge accidentally contributes to the elimination of Jack Swagger and Swagger pulls him through the ropes and locks on his ankle lock. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Ezekial Jackson end up left in the ring against Big Show. In true Andre style Show takes out Bryan then Jackson, but Miz has been hiding on the outside and he and Sheamus go after Show. Except Edge was on the outside too and he Spears Sheamus and Smackdown wins the match. Given that there are two possible sources of dissension in the Smackdown team (Edge/Swagger, Mysterio/Del Rio) and they won here so all signs point to RAW winning this year.

The show ends with Barrett further humiliating Cena. This story would have been so much easier if Nexus had actually tried to integrate Cena. Otunga made one try and that was it. Now Barrett is just abusing Cena. It won’t be long before Cena gets the right to fight back and ends Nexus forever.

NXT is as bad as ever. We get a confrontation between two of my least favorite WWE personalities, Vickie Guererro and Alicia Fox. They argue about who is the better coach, which leads to Maxine taking on Katlyn and winning. The funny thing about this show is most of the challenges seem real. This week they identify WWE torsos and it’s actually just barely entertaining. The second competition is limbo, which is at least good eye candy. Naomi wins in a bit of an odd way giving her 3 wins towards immunity. The main event pits Naomi and her pro Kelly Kelly against the Bella Twins. Smell the workrate!

And look, we know the show is bad, but does Cole need to rag on it constantly and keep expressing wishes it will be canceled? That kind of contradicts the whole “Stand up for WWE” program. And that’s not backfiring at all…

Posted on October 22nd, 2010 by Lucian | Leave a Comment (3)
Filed Under Entertainment

My apologies for the slow down of articles, but I just got my hands on Dead Rising 2 and I can’t put it down. They took the awesome original game and added to it, making it even more awesome. This isn’t the only cool game coming out soon, we have these new and classic gems that are coming out…

X-Men Arcade

X-Men: The Arcade Game
One of the best arcades ever is finally coming to a home via the X-Box Marketplace and PS3s. The game allows for 6 player co-op online or a 4 player local co-op. The game is unchanged from the classic version, it allows you to play as Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Dazzler, Colossus or Nightcrawler as you battle the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Magneto across levels. Included in the Brotherhood are Pyro, the Blob, Wendigo, Nimrod, the White Queen, Juggernaut and Mystique. One thing that is really cool is that the game allows for Online Drop-in when multiplayer is activated. This allows your friends to jump in on the battle at any time while playing. The game will be available for download at the end of the year.

Star Wars The Force Unleashed II

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
You don’t have to be a fan of Star Wars to enjoy the Force Unleashed, it is for everyone that likes epic sci-fi or action stories. Once again you take on the role of Starkiller, Darth Vader’s once apprentice, as you hunt down his long lost love and avoid Vader. You’ll have to harness the full powers of the Force and wield dual lightsabers as you battle through worlds from all of the Star Wars movies. The game comes out later this month on October 26th, 2010.

WWE Raw vs Smackdown 2011

WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011
The latest edition of the wrestling franchise promises an ever changing gameplay based on players decisions, which can lead to “spontaneous WWE action in and out of the ring”.  They are trying hard to make each match unique to keep gameplay fresh and unpredictable.  The game features 70 superstars including the ones you’d expect like John Cena, Rey Mysterio, Kane and the Undertaker, but in addition to them are legends including Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, and Bret “The Hitman” Hart to name a few. Something to really look forward to? An online Royal Rumble, hell yeah. You can get your hands on this also on October 26th, 2010.

What video games are you looking forward to?

Wrestling Recap WWE

WWE Monday Night Raw
Nexus is out to brag at length about their successes over The Undertaker, John Cena, Sheamus and Randy Orton last week. It’s okay, but it goes on too long. Orton is the first one to interrupt. Two problems. First, they claim to single-handedly have taken out The Undertaker. There are 5 of them. They can’t do anything single-handedly. They also claim they will bring the title back home to Nexus. They never had it in the first place, how can they bring it back? The E-Gm E-pipes up to book Nexus in some singles matches. Gabriel v Cena. Orton v Barrett. And yeah, Nexus banned from ringside. I feel like we’ve done this before and with more than just two Nexus members in action.

Jericho is out and E-GM is pissed at him and Edge for walking out of the main event last week. So tonight they both have matches and if they lose they are out of the Six Pack Challenge. Jericho’s opponent is “Job” Morrison. Just to show how little a threat Morrison is Jericho spends most of the match yelling at Michael Cole demanding to know who the E-GM is. At this point? A let down, that’s who. Seriously, there is no credible GM option that is worth all the build up. I’ve already said Paul Heyman, but I’d also love to see John “Bradshaw” Layfield to take up the position. But then, to everyone’s amazement, Morrison actually wins! What is going on with his contract negotiations?

Melina puts her title on the line before the Unification Match at Night of Champions. Alicia Fox calls it the Undefined Championship. She screws up big again. What does anyone see in this woman? After that performance even if she had been booked to win the match they would have changed it on the fly. Dreadful, just dreadful.

Maybe The Miz will save the show. Coming later “The Road to Awesome”. I’m down with that. Edge gripes to Zack Ryder about having to put his shot on the line. These two bring the funny. And they want to face each other tonight. Edge even threatens the E-GM’s laptop. Is Zack Ryder turning face? Is he the new Funaki? Well anything that gets his sweet entrance music played every week is fine with me.

Maryse is with Ted Dibiase. Somebody has a stalker, but both of them think they’re the object of the stalker’s affections. Again, entertaining but not what I want to make up a large portion of my wrestling program. The mid-show match is Cena/Gabriel. The simple fact this is an average length match tells you Justin Gabriel is among the best of Nexus. Cena picks up the win, but it’s an acceptable teenage match.

Is Jerry Lawler actually trying to convince us Legendary has a low screen count by choice? At least they show a new preview of the film. This will probably air on every WWE show this week.

The Miz has been in WWE for six years now? Wow. Oh they are going all the way back to Tough Enough. Miz is at his best when he’s speaking from his heart. And going through his career and saying what other people said about him at the time is right up his alley. And demanding the audience admit they were wrong? Well, allow me to admit I was. Yay! It’s Daniel Bryan, now with bad entrance music, on interruption duty tonight. He mocks his own entrance music. He mocks his rookie status. And yes! Bryan wants a US Title Shot. A rare screw up from Miz as he calls Summerslam, Smackdown. What’s in the water in DC? Is the collective stupidity of that many politicians in one place contagious? Miz actually accepts the challenge. Miz attacks. Bryan counters and goes for the Crossface and Alex Reilly arrive. Bryan comes out on top, getting Reilly to tap out. They’ve given Bryan’s finisher an official name, but I’ll be damned if I can make it out.

Edge comes out, but it’s not Zack Ryder who will face him. It’s The Great Khali. Edge teases smashing the computer but, sadly, no. Edge wastes a lot of time mocking Khali by playing Frankenstein’s Monster outside the ring. Then Edge goes after Khali’s brother and tricks Khali into getting counted out. Dud of a match and not that entertaining. So E-GM restarts the match as a No-DQ Over-the-to-rope challenge. For once it’s a good bait and switch on WWE’s part.

Josh “Nobody Likes You” Matthews tries to interview Chris Jericho. He says nothing. So John Morrison shows up to check if Jericho still considers himself the best in the world at what he does. Maybe, when I had finally written off Morrison, he’s getting a third or fourth chance.

Sheamus is out to watch the main event. Kanrak says: Sheamus interferes to cost Randy Orton the match. I’ve been wrong once tonight, but then Cena and Edge join too and there’s five guys on commentary. This will be a cluster****. Did they just say next week is Raw Roulette? I love Raw Roulette. Cena vows to face the winner of this match next week.

Solid match. Barrett’s finisher is now called Wasteland. Darren Young comes out? I had hoped we’d seen the last of him and now they want to make him a face? And I’m wrong twice tonight as Orton takes advantage of the distraction to RKO Barrett for the win. Darren Young tries to be buddy, buddy with Orton only to eat an RKO. This kills the tiny amount of heat Young had managed to regain with his interruption. Edge attacks, RKO. Sheamus attacks, RKO. Man, Randy Orton really is the new Steve Austin. Well, he had a better start than the Ringmaster. That leaves Orton and Cena to have a long staredown. RAW just loves going over time lately.

Any RAW you can call unpredictable is a step up. This wasn’t bad but too many people who are not in the hunt for a title are spinning their wheels waiting to get past Night of Champions. And we still don’t have #1 contenders for the Tag Championships.

LaBelle Lock is the name of Bryan’s finisher.

WWE NXT
Okay, remember that incredible 6’9” NXT rookie I was gushing over last week? Well, she already got canned. Apparently there are some less than PG pictures of her online. Didn’t WWE used to make deals with Playboy to have its Divas pose in the magazine annually? So, anyway the new, all diva NXT kicks off with only five weeks left before Smackdown takes its timeslot. No word on the future of the show after that.

There are only six rookies, as befits a five-week season. They are:

Jamie / Pro: Bella Twins

  • the former announcer from this show
  • loves the Twilight Saga, well, that will teach her how to suck
  • she gives 110%. That really sets her apart

Aksana / Pro: Goldust

  • Lithuanian
  • former fitness model
  • it helps to be able to pronounce the letter W when you work for WWE

Naomi / Pro: Kelly Kelly

  • sassy, funny, feisty
  • sings, raps, dances

AJ / Pro: Primo

  • also feisty
  • writes poetry, screenplays
  • likes comics, plays video games
  • she wants an action figure with exaggerated body parts

Maxine / Pro: Alicia Fox

  • they don’t let Alicia talk long after her major flubs on RAW
  • they are playing up her confidence
  • she has business sense, street sense and common sense. And yet she’s on this show

??? / Vickie Guererro

  • they keep it a secret for now
  • her name is Katlene
  • most of us were hoping for Awesome Kong
  • she’ll give you a wedgie

None of these people stand out yet. Wait, how can the first elimination be in four weeks? Did this show get a new timeslot? Are they going to keep adding new WWE stars forever? The dance off sucks but whoever wins the most challenges in the first four weeks is immune to being voted off at the first elimination. Naomi wins this time.

The hard sell of Legendary continues. Naomi seems to have some skill in the ring. Maxine, not so much. There’s a flag grabbing race challenge too. Naomi wins again. She’s getting a bit of a push here, isn’t she? But overall, I’m not impressed. WWE doesn’t value what I value in Divas, which is talent in the ring itself. This looks to be a lackluster season no matter how long it lasts.

Recaps for Smackdown and TNA to come…

Lucians Wrestling Recap

The 900th RAW is upon us, complete with a video package recapping some highlights. We open with Bret Hart, who Cole points out was a big part of the early years of RAW. Way to make him look old. Bret points out only The Undertaker is left from the days of the first show. I’m sure Howard Finkle feels snubbed, but it’s Kane who comes out, importing the bad Smackdown storyline straight into the big RAW show. Kane runs Hart and Taker down at the same time. Kane decides since Taker took out the icon Shawn Michaels he needs to take out an icon too, but since Bret is untouchable the Hart Dynasty stall Kane long enough for his “brother” to magically appear. Kane tries to back off, but E-GM pings in a message. He reverses himself and sets a main event of Undertaker versus… Bret Hart?! No… just no. Stop pretending Hart can wrestle and live in the present.

There are going to be video packages all night I guess. We’re wasting show time on NXT rookies? Triple threat tag match between Kofi/McGuillicudy, Daniel Brayn with Kaval and, of course, The Miz and Alex Reilly. It’s an okay match with a nice quick pace and it ends with Miz hitting the Skull Crushing Finale on Kaval for a clean win. Reilly goes after Bryan, gets fought off, but sets up Miz to briefcase shot Daniel Bryan.

Melina and Eve take on LayCool in another incredibly short match. Melina gets the win on Layla. LayCool offers a unification match as Night of Champions. Melina is all set to accept but she wants a Lumbjack (Jill?) Match.

Nexus admits Skip Sheffield has a broken ankle and they are looking weak, but tonight they face Cena, Edge, Sheamus, Jericho and Orton. Jericho promises to leave WWE if he doesn’t win at Night of Champions. Josh isn’t impressed given how many times this has happened before, but I suspect Jericho will take some time off and, when he comes back, he’d be much more useful as a face on Smackdown.

John Morrison and R-Truth reunite to face the thrown together team of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre to determine new #1 contenders to the Unified Tag Team Title. King puts over J.R. and even mentions “Puppies” for old time’s sake. It breaks down before it really starts and the ref throws the match out. There’s a brawl afterwards but the match lengths have been a joke so far tonight.

And Hart/Taker is next so that’s not going to change. Wade Barrett doesn’t even let the match start. He tries to take both down. He doesn’t even get past Taker. The lights go down and Kane appears. The Brothers of Destruction have a brawl that shows Taker is starting to regain something of his old self. Tthe lights go down again when Taker is set up for a Chokeslam and Kane vanishes. The rest of Nexus show up to face Taker, who actually holds them all off. The lights go down again and, when they come up, Barret has Taker set up for his finisher, which he hits. Cue Justin Gabriel with the 450 Splash.

Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne’s match gets interrupted by Alberto Del Rio. Again a very short match and, if you were wondering whose push had stalled more, Swagger wins, but Del Rio steals the heat immediately with more excellent mic work. After a commercial we are joined by the No Girls Allowed Straight Edged Society. Punk runs down The Rock. He runs down RAW’s lack of family values by bringing up Katie Vick. If you don’t know what that means never look it up.

CM Punks bottom four shameful moments of RAW:

#4 HHH home invades Randy Orton
#3 John Cena throws Edge into Long Island Sound
#2 DX trespass on WCW
#1 Stone Cold’s Beer Bath

Okay, that was the best use of the 900th show so far tonight. Cue the breaking glass and Austin’s entrance music, but nobody comes out. Punk laughs at his little joke. Then he shows Show and Brock Lesnar (“I don’t know who that other guy is”) breaking a ring. He stoops to a fat joke. Show actually shows up when his music plays. Show brings up the time Eddie Guerrero gave him a laxative tainted burrito. Nice to refer to Eddie, but that happened on Smackdown. Show points out other embarrassing things he’s done. He mentions he did impressions then busts out his Hulk BLEEPing Hogan impression. What is going on at WWE lately? Since when do they remember people working for TNA now? Violence, of course, breaks out and Gallows is thrown to the wolves. This was a fine segment but why not shave two or three minutes off it to add to the actual wrestling? Oh yeah, the remaining McMahons consider this a variety show.

A recap with Kurt Angle? WWE is not supposed to do things that confuse me. It confuses me. Sheamus promo time. Edge interrupts us to remind us of the many things he’s done in the WWE and make a Beeker joke at Sheamus’s expense. We have about ten minutes left in this show so the main event is not going to be an epic to make up for the fact we didn’t get one truly decent match all night. And they keep killing time with filler to boot.

By the time the match starts, and it’s elimination, the show should already be over. We may be running very long here. Jericho walks away and gets counted out. Edge shoves the ref and gets disqualified. So it’s five on three in short order. Sheamus at least stands and fights as minute after minute passes when I’d rather be in bed.  Sheamus wanders into the Nexus corner and they all ht him, justifying his pin. It’s five on the two biggest faces in the WWE. Cena takes out Slater quickly to prevent a sweep, but David Ortunga falls to the STF. Before Cena can stand though, Gabriel hits him with the 450 Splash and pins him. RKO on Gabriel, out. RKO on Tarver, out. Barrett hits his finisher on Orton, Nexus wins. That was about ten minutes overtime and even then the main event was only acceptable in length, and general. I expected something special from this show. I did not get it.

Kaval wins NXT. Next season (all 5 episodes) is all Divas including one who is 6’9”!

TNA has a PPV this weekend and I just can’t say I care. The addition of the EV 2.0 guys taking major roles in storylines has totally thrown away any internal momentum the roster had. WWE has done so much better with a bunch of rookies in Nexus than TNA has with a bunch of has-beens in EV 2.0. I’m sorely tempted to just stop watching the show and I don’t blame anyone who feels the same. If you want a more detailed recap you’ll have to look elsewhere, at least this week.

Smackdown will get its own column later. Until then, lemme tell ya something, brother!

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Summerslam is in the books. Where do we go from here?

RAW opens with the Nexus trying to make themselves seem impressive again. Barrett is trying his best when Cena comes out to verbally destroy the entire group. Way to rebuild them. The E-GM weighs in and we finally get Nexus guys in singles matches with no outside interference from the rest of Nexus allowed. Barrett tells them win or you’re out. E-GM tells them they can pick their own opponents from last night’s WWE team, except Wade Barrett who must face Chris Jericho after the commercial.

Barrett wrestles ok, hits a Big Boot then reverses a Code Breaker into his own finisher to pick up the first win of the night. Can we just let the guest host concept die yet? The Unified Tag Team Championships get officially unified into the WWE Tag Team Championships. The dual belts are replaced by spiffy new ones. Bret presents the titles, then learns Justin Gabriel is his opponent tonight.

But that match isn’t next. Next, Tarver takes on Daniel Bryan. Nexus could lose Tarver and not be finished. Bryan is looking good until The Miz and his NXT rookie distract Bryan and cost him the match. Bryan goes after The Miz but Tarver and Reilly ally to stop him. That lets Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on the Money in the Bank briefcase. Miz really is upset about this.

So how can Justin Gabriel beat Bret Hart without risking killing him? Simple, the E-GM doesn’t like Bret Hart and doesn’t want to see him compete again. So Gabriel gets really screwed and has to face Randy Orton. Orton utterly dominates until Sheamus shows up and Orton leaves the ring to battle him and gets counted out. Orton saves an RKO for Gabriel. So we’re making Nexus look bad despite winning? Orton takes a chair to Sheamus to inch him closer and closer to Austin clone level.

If these are supposed to be individual matches why are Sheffield and Otunga teaming against John “Marty Jannetty” Morrison and R “Get a new song” Truth? Slater and Gabriel seem like a more natural tag team out of Nexus. Sheffield looks like the best guy in this short match as he gets the pin over Morrison with a simple Clothesline.

I guess they had to combine two Nexus matches to make room for a six-diva tag. But, then again, did I want to see David Otunga win a singles match? Tonight they have Jon Lovitz in the crowd who is at least somewhat of a celebrity. His reactions are more interesting than the match itself. You would expect the new champion’s team to pick up the win but Jillian Hall actually pins Eve and the bad girls take home the win.

Heath Slater sucks up to Edge to see if Edge will give the match a miss. But Edge is feeling his oats and won’t forfeit to the Wendy’s girl. Some guy from True Blood is here tonight too. Slater just isn’t intimidating in the ring. Justin Gabriel makes a better heel and I wouldn’t have expected that. It’s another count out victory and again Nexus looks bad in winning.

It’s not that Legendary looks bad. I’m just sick of having the trailers shoved down my throat. And The Great Khali should be a comedy foil for the guest hosts. He can pull that off.

Darren Young is the last Nexus member to risk being eliminated. He’s facing John Cena. He is the worst guy in Nexus. What do you think is going to happen? Nexus decides to come out and watch this match. Why just this one? The tease yet another countout but Cena makes it back and it’s five knuckle shuffle and STF in short order. Young lasts all of five seconds before tapping out. Nexus closes in but let Cena leave so they can beat down Young.

Look, I’m not going to miss Darren Young but this show was supposed to rebuild Nexus and it failed miserably. Kicking out and beating down Young is just treading water not advancing. Gabriel sells the damage his 450 Splash does to himself very well. WWE worked really hard on Nexus and now they seem to be in dire danger of becoming irrelevant. Oh well, Daniel Bryan is back!

Oddly, this episode broke the record for viewers on Canadian network The Score. I once again managed to avoid spoilers for NXT until it aired in Canada. There’s one elimination early, and it’s “Showtime” Percy Watson, the one guy left who really deserves to go. Michael McGuillicuddy comes up short against Zack Ryder while Kaval beats Husky Harris. Even at elimination two they don’t show rankings; they just show who is eliminated. To me, this is the ideal top 4. At this point I don’t want anybody to go but someone has to and it turns out to be Husky Harris. Cody Rhodes, his pro, flips out and he and Husky start a donnybrook. But Kaval again takes down Husky so they are finally letting him win.

Normally I would say nothing else about this episode. But some odd things happen. They gave each rookie a minute to speak. Kaval did a rap. It wasn’t very good. But he ended the rap by saying he was the guy for Total Non-stop Action. Later, Cole and Josh Matthews went on at length about rookies making, or not making, an Impact. Why is WWE all of the sudden making sly references to the competition? The policy, up until now, has been to ignore that TNA even exists. Something strange was certainly going on that night. And aren’t these terms trademarked? Is this payback for them trying to use ECW?

Speaking of TNA here’s some real life news. Rob Van Dam had limited appearances on his TNA contract. They ran out. While he was champion. For unclear reasons no new dates were negotiated. So, in storyline, Abyss beat RVD within an inch of his life and now the title is vacant and they are holding an eight-man tournament to crown a replacement. And, as if this didn’t make them look like amateurs, there’s a long segment early in the show where the announcer’s monitors are not on and all we can hear is them talking to the backstage crew. The eight-men in the tournament are the top 8 contenders.

Rob Terry is, sadly, one of the top 8. Look, Terry is improving and he’s probably at least as skilled as Skip Sheffield now. But aside from muscles I have no reason to care for him. He’s out in short order as he loses to Jeff Hardy. Next up is Mr. Anderson…Anderson versus Jay Lethal. Face versus face matches are nice once in a while but this is two in a row. Anderson wins and also advances to round 2. Doug Williams is the top 8 but AJ Styles isn’t? Williams faces Kurt Angle in a forgone conclusions match. The last match in round one is Matt Morgan versus The Pope. You would think Morgan would win to advance at least one heel into round 2 but it’s Dinero who picks up the win. He’ll face Anderson next while Angle faces Hardy. But that won’t be until September 5th and the next Pay Per View. The finals won’t be until the Pay Per View after that!

Hulk Hogan teases that he will quit while Eric Bishoff promises Abyss and Ric Flair will pay. Remember when people thought these guys would take TNA to a true #2 spot in wrestling. Fortune has swelled to Flair plus six as Doug Williams and Matt Morgan. Flair calls out EV 2.0 for being garbage wrestlers and points out he’s so hard core he survived a plane crash. Dixie Carter brings out the members of the EV 2.0 guys who just got contracts (Dreamer, Foley, Richards, Nunzio, Rhyno and Sabu). There’s a confrontation but it’s not physical and is mired in personal crap between Foley and Flair. We see Raven later, being the wild card in EV 2.0.

Kevin Nash and Sting, which might be starting a TNA seniors division, trot out the same old lines about fighting to keep their spot. So Jeff Jarrett and Hulk Hogan interrupt to argue this show is about the young guys. The epitome of chutzpah is killing your parents then begging for mercy because you are an orphan. But the lights go out and Fortune is back to beat up all four of them. I instantly like them more.

Your main event? Tommy Dreamer vs. AJ Styles. The heart and soul of ECW (both versions) versus the one true homegrown TNA star. If Tommy is going to wrestle then I demand he face Samoa Joe once his suspension is up. The match isn’t awful, but when Tommy hits a big move out comes Fortune. The EC EV 2.0 ambush them. Abyss emerges from under the ring and hits a Black Hole Slam on Tommy so AJ can pick up the win. Abyss takes off leaving the rest to brawl. Man The Sandman looks old.

You need to be a diehard fan to find Reaction interesting beyond the first few minutes where they basically continue Impact. Impact is also running over lately so if you have a DVR it’s safer to record Reactions just in case. But it spoils any illusions we had that Impact itself was live. This is clearly a pre-recorded show yet “live” footage is being shown.

On to Smackdown. Kane’s explanation could be a laugh. But it’s little Rey Rey who opens the show. Kane is guilty; Rey is vindicated. Look, it’s Alberto Del Rio, only live! Well, live without a mask. Del Rio is descended from Ferdinand and Isabella, Rey Mysterio is street trash. Rey think Del Rio’s cufflinks came from a swap meet. Rey offers him a match in his debut and Del Rio can’t wait to squash Rey like a bug. But Rey kicks him around a bit then bails. Del Rio’s accent is worse live.

Remember how Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler’s match was interrupted by Nexus? Well they try again tonight. The match is pretty typical for the pairing and ends early when Vickie Guererro shoves Kofi off the top turnbuckle right in front of the ref. Champion’s advantage means Ziggler keeps the title. Ziggler bails leaving Kofi to face down Vickie. She realizes he won’t hit a girl and laughs long enough for Ziggler to sneak back, attack Kofi and eventually Zig Zag him in the ring. He follows up with a Sleeper on an already out man. And the feud refuses to die. They’re just trying to make Ziggler look just as aggressive as they’ve built Kofi up to be.

Can it be true? Serena is going to wrestle? Awesome! She tags with Gallows to face Kelly Kelly and the Big Show. Punk tells them: lose and you’re out. But, when Show is distracted beating Gallows on the outside, Serena wins her first match with a Gutbuster.

Kane promo time. Weird sound effects are not helping. Pride is the Undertaker’s weakness. And they want us to believe Kane has been planning this for 15 years. And now the phenom is no more and Kane is the devil’s favorite demon. Kane isn’t even phased to learn Taker is back next week.

Alberto Del Rio has a personal ring announcer. He also enters in a car. A Rolls Royce, not a Lowrider. His announcer speaks Spanish, For a guy’s debut neither Del Rio nor Mysterio seem to be cutting loose or going all out. Del Rio gets an interesting flip into a seated Armbar and Rey taps out almost immediately! This is quite a surprise for them to put the new guy over Rey, by submission no less, in his TV debut. Where will he go from here?

Bad news on the RAW front, Skip Sheffield suffered a broken ankle at a house show and will need surgery. So will Nexus shrink even more? That’s it for this week. The week after PPVs tend to be loaded with filler and recaps and ads and that’s exactly what we had from WWE this week. Nexus and Alberto Del Rio continue to be fresh but it’s Del Rio who looks strong.

Wrestling Recap WWE

It could be a great week in pro wrestling. WWE build to Summerslam. TNA put on a loaded TV card and Ring of Honor, lost their champ to WWE. Not all the news can be good. TNA gets its own column this week so this column will be focused on WWE. Let’s saddle up.

Bret “The Museum Piece” Hart opens RAW. He wants to put Humpty Dumpty back together by calling out Jericho and Edge. Why is Hart wearing a t-shirt with an old school Batsignal on it instead of WWE merchandise? Only Jericho answers. Bret tries shaming Jericho into rejoining the team but Jericho still says no. He thinks Bret is more scared of him and Edge than he is of Nexus. That draws Edge to feign respect for Hart. Once again Bret can’t take a bump so the brief scuffle that follows is just a sad joke. Why is Bret Hart wrestling not managing? We all know what shape he is in. Meanwhile, Nexus is taking down The Hart Dynasty backstage.

Evan Bourne’s star seems to be no longer rising as he gets squashed by an increasingly aggressive and intense Miz. Melina is back, which means she does the great entrance again. She gets a non-title win over Alicia Fox. So will Summerslam feature Melina vs. Fox or Layla versus McCool? Or both? E-GM makes the Fox/Melina match during a commercial. Way to make the women seem important.

Mark Henry wants on Team WWE but Nexus don’t even let him get to the ring to face Ted Dibiase. And Sheamus doesn’t even wait for them to help Henry to the back. Sheamus is getting repetitive as he calls out Randy Orton. Yes Sheamus has never beaten Orton. We got it the first time you said it. Physicality is averted by the E-GM announcing anyone who interferes in their Summerslam match will be suspended. Sheamus does get his wish though, no rematch if Orton loses. Sheamus tries to weasel away but Orton jumps him, only to have Sheamus fight back and it turn into a brawl after all. But the mighty Sheamus is left looking scared to death of Orton.

The NXT rookies are wrestling on RAW? Was there another ash cloud and half the roster is missing? Oh, they’re just here for Sheamus to snap on. Zach Ryder never seems to get pushed, tonight he and William Regal do the job to R-Truth and John Morrison to make that pair look strong going into Summerslam. I wrote the previous sentence before the match actually started and didn’t have to change one word.

Let’s ignore the diva crap. So Nexus finally go after Khali backstage and injure his knee. The Miz makes Cena and Hart each ask him if he’ll join the team and even then says he won’t tell them until Sunday. That leaves the main event, John Cena and Bret Hart verses Edge and Jericho with Nexus as lumberjacks. Edge and Jericho throw Cena to Nexus all they can until Nexus turns on them. Nexus face off against Cena and Hart, out come Morrison and R-Truth and, yes Virginia, Edge and Jericho return to the fold. Six drive off seven leaving only one uncertain spot for Sunday. And therein lies the problem with RAW. They have been spinning their wheels since Cena announced his team, only to end up right back where they started. If the Nexus members could have actually wrestled real singles matches during the past month we could have gone somewhere. But the Sacremento crowd was red-hot so RAW does its job and WWE looks good going into Summerslam.

There’s an elimination on NXT and Mark Henry is off selling the beatdown from RAW. They do a silly boxing machine contest where the winner gets to appear on the next RAW without having to share the spotlight with the other rookies. What if the winner gets eliminated? Way to give away that this is fixed. It’s not entertaining and Alex Reilly wins.

They do a 3 on 3 match so, before the half hour mark, all the rookies have wrestled and the challenge is over. We have elimination and a Miz/John Morrison match left to fill this out. The Miz/Morrison match is actually half decent. Of the same calibre are your average RAW match. Kaval takes number one, McGuillicuddy second, then Percy Watson, Husky Harris moves up to fourth. So Alex Reilly is on the block, which is a surprise, so is Lucky Cannon, not a surprise. Since Reilly is on RAW next week it’s obviously Cannon who goes home. But the big news is that we’re going to have a double elimination next week.

That bring us to Smackdown. We open with Vickie Guererro and Dolph Ziggler, who looks ridiculous in a Hawaiian shirt and lei. Our new and more aggressive Kofi Kingston jumps Ziggler and that draws Teddy Long. Long sets a rematch between Kingston and Ziggler for Summerslam and Ziggler versus Rey Mysterio too. Vickie says Kingston should have to face Kane tonight. Long tries to assert his authority and block it but Kingston wants the match, right now.

The match is decent with Kofi doing a great flip on the outside, only to strike the ring post with his leg. That gives Kane an opening and once he takes Kofi apart he hits the Tombstone Piledriver for the win. Kane recaps why he hates Mysterio and claims he is the Devil’s favorite demon. That draws Mysterio to claim to be God’s humble servant. Really? Religion? Is that the road we want to go down now? Nothing new here, just last minute plugging for Sunday.

Christian is back despite his the injuries two weeks ago that meant “his arm would never be the same.” Drew McIntyre wants Cody Rhodes to take out Christian and finish the job he started. Cody is “dashing” so he’s not worried. Christian’s shoulder is the story of the match and plays into Rhodes eventual victory. Big Show crushes three jobbers. CM Punk points out, they’re just jobbers.

Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre face off for what seems like the twentieth time. It gets the 9 p.m. timeslot which means they have more faith in it than I’d expect. A lot of the action takes place outside the ring, with very inconsistent ten-counts by the ref, until McIntyre traps Hardy’s ankle between the levels of the ring steps and stomps on them. Hardy manages to fight back to the ring but McIntyre takes him out with his finisher DDT variant.

Swagger comes out to complain. MVP comes out to remind him a year ago MVP actually still mattered. Swagger clobbers MVP with a microphone and that devolves into a match. And, long story short, it’s an incredible upset as MVP actually picks up the win. Albert Del Rio will finally debut next week. How come I’m already sick of him?

Mysterio vs. Ziggler is the main event. Kane shows up with a casket part way through. It’s a decent match with Mysterio picking up the win then fighting off Kane. It’s a match that’s decent and given some time but none of WWE’s matches this week were as good as the best of the matches on the TNA special. They managed to push the PPV Sunday but it didn’t feel like they were building to something big. Summerslam is supposed to be something big but I’m not feeling the “wow factor” from the Smackdown side. Still, I will be getting the show and you’ll hear my thoughts afterward. Nexus is the big story and we have to see what happens next.

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