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WWE Vengeance results: The tag title match opened the show with Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger challenging Air Boom, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne. Kofi and Evan maintain after some good action and, immediately, Dolph Ziggler has to defend his United States championship against Zack Ryder. It’s a short match and Jack Swagger’s interference allows Ziggler to retain as well. I would have preferred the reverse results for these two matches.

The Diva’s title is next as Beth Phoenix defends against Eve. Beth and Natalya Niedhart have been on a crusade to punish the “Barbie Doll” Divas of the WWE. At least everyone else is banned from ringside for this. Eve impressed me a lot more than usual in this match, but Beth comes out on top via a Glam Slam.

Christian has to face Sheamus next despite his desire for yet another world title match. Sheamus gets a clean win which lines him up to be Mark Henry’s next opponent.

Triple H allows himself to be fairly low down the card as he teams with CM Punk against The Miz and R-Truth. It’s a good match and Triple H is still in fine ring shape, but Kevin Nash shows up again and attacks Triple H outside the ring. Why the ref ignores this is beyond me. Miz and Truth are able to pin CM Punk and Nash continues the beat down on Hunter after the match ends. So, is Nash finally cleared to wrestle? Will we see him face HHH at Survivor Series?

Is it bad I had forgotten Cody Rhodes faces Randy Orton tonight? This is non-title which makes it far more likely Randy Orton wins. Cody’s facemask remains a solid addition to his character. Both guys really give it their all and it’s a great match as a result. A distraction by one of Randy Orton’s “baggers” allows for the Cross Rhodes, but it’s not enough. Rhodes tries to steal Orton’s RKO finisher but Orton counters and this sets up Orton hitting the rope-hung DDT and the RKO for the win. Yeah, most likely outcome happens. Sometimes WWE is too predictable for their own good.

(Remember, The Rock wrestles at Survivor Series.)

The Mark Henry/Big Show match is back. Henry has been a monster lately, bulldozing through the roster and inducting injured superstars into his “Hall of Pain.” Big Show was one of his first victims and now he’s back for revenge. Take away Henry’s title and you take away the only thing that validates his fifteen-year career. This match is way better than anybody expected. It builds well and we get an incredible spot where Henry superplexes Big Show and the ring collapses! You can bet there are a ton of replays of that spot. Neither man can continue afterwards so it’s an non-finish that should drag this feud out for a while. Meanwhile, it leaves the main event with a destroyed ring. It’s a Last Man Standing Match so that’s not as big a deal as it would usually be.

Del Rio’s announcer jumped-on and attacked Cena early on, which allowed Del Rio himself to gain an early advantage in the offense. It was a good back and forth match with some smashed tables and a lot of general violence. But Miz and R-Truth interfere near the end and that’s enough to tip the balance Alberto’s way. So Cena doesn’t get yet another title match and has a built in feud going into Survivor Series.

Expectations were low for this and I’d say the show exceeded them. The ring implosion was pretty impressive and it’s clear Miz and R-Truth will spearhead the team opposing John Cena and The Rock at Survivor Series. That’s one of WWE’s big four annual shows so it should be even better.

I’m sorry one of the last RAWs I’ll be recapping starts with Michael Cole dressed up as JR. But HHH showing up improves the situation. The streak may be bigger than all HHH’s championships combined. Hunter wants Undertaker on RAW next week so he can look him in the eye and tell him the streak will end. Ted Dibiase interrupts HHH because he’s sick of being overlooked. Dibiase looks to make a name for himself at Trip’s expense but it doesn’t come close to working out that way. Dibiase gets Pedigreed through the announce desk before this is over. They’re wrecking the announce desk in the opening segment? I bet Cole is glad for his Cole Mine.

We get a rematch of the Sheamus/Evan Bourne match from a few weeks back. Don’t expect Bourne to get another win here. This is non-title. Bourne misses a 450 early then immediately eats a Brogue Kick to end the ridiculously short match. Daniel Bryan comes back to set up the Wrestlemania rematch. Sheamus throws the title at him then kicks him in the head.

Eve faces Maryse in another non-title match. Having seen Maryse be something of a face on NXT it’s clear she’s a natural heel. That’s on display tonight. Once again Cole has no patience for the Divas and runs down the match. Not liking Eve I actually feel the same way. Eve wins and security has to keep her from going after Cole.

Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov get their rematch with The Corre. It’s another match that isn’t given enough time to develop and a simple distraction by Wade Barrett gets The Corre the win. The beatdown afterward is interrupted by Kane and The Big Show. Then the proper beatdown commences as Show and Kane, with a little help from Santino just destroy The Corre. Show and Kane tandem Chokeslamming Ezekial Jackson is a high point.

John Cena is at home on satellite. The Rock will be on RAW next week, live, and Cena promises to settle any problem with The Rock then. Lawler asks if Cena has underestimated The Miz and John says a flat “yes.” He gives honest and fair praise to The Miz. But tonight The Miz wants to rewrite history. At Wrestlemania John plans to make history.

Just what I didn’t need, more Cole. He and his trainer Jack Swagger are in the ring. Lawler family photos are not entertaining. Neither is Michael Cole. When Cole calls Lawler’s whole family losers Jerry actually gets the jump on Swagger. But Cole runs away until Swagger can recover then it’s all about the ankle.

It’s good to be Dolph Ziggler as he is accompanied to the ring by two beautiful women… and Vickie Guerrero. John Morrison gets to come in with Trish Stratus so he’s not exactly in bad shape either. Let’s just hope this is a real match. It isn’t as it’s stopped and restarted as a handicap mixed tag match. I think the E-GM called it an intergender match. Were that true the men and women could fight each other. Trish looks a lot better in sensible shoes. Vickie is even in the match. Josh Matthews gets the intergender term correct. Props to Josh. He’s the future of WWE. Turns out it is an intergender match as Vickie scores the pin over John Morrison.

Sin Cara is getting awesome video promos. We also get a great video of superstars and legends reacting to the HHH and Undertaker feud. Jericho! Apparently he was middle of the pack on Dancing With The Stars. But that’s better than that singing show where he went night 1. It’s time for a Wrestlemania Rewind match as Randy Orton faces Rey Mysterio. I wonder who is going to interfere? Anyway, this finally feels like a real match. Then CM Punk shows up on the TitanTron and goes after Orton’s wife in Orton’s tour bus. Orton abandons the match, natch, but Punk ambushes him with a monkey wrench to the leg. Punk expects Orton won’t be kicking anybody in the head at Wrestlemania. Orton’s wife is hot.

Why is Alex Riley still here? Miz rehired him as Vice President of Corporate Communication. Miz’s suit must be seen to be believed yet he totally owns it. Miz once again sings his own praises. He even claims to be more physically dominant than Andre. Miz flips the W on his microphone over to make it an M. Then he reveals a custom belt with the same design. They really want us to believe he might win at Mania, don’t they? At least the title doesn’t spin.

Cena is back on video. He killed the radio star. He’s cutting his promo as guys suddenly show up and take away the props and backdrop to reveal that Cena is in the building. Clever, I like it. Miz throws a seriously heavy table over the ropes at Cena. Risky. Once Cena fights off both guys Miz throws Riley to the wolves. An STF makes him tap out but Cena just keeps going. Miz starts coming back so Cena breaks. Miz retreats, Cena puts the hold back on. Three refs can’t pull Cena off. Finally Riley is out cold and Cena

Come on guys. Give me a decent match to say nice things about. I’m sick of just praising the promos. I want to see some decent wrestling on my road to retirement.

Posted on March 22nd, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw (3/21/11)
Filed Under Entertainment

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.

It’s time to see how Smackdown can treat its main face like a heel and its main heel like a face. Yep, Kane is out first to beg for his daddy. And here’s Edge, on the TitanTron, hitting Bearer with a chair. This is not working on any level at all. The crowd is just dead. Bugs Bunny couldn’t make this work.

Damn, Cole is back, but Josh Matthews has replaced Todd Grisham. If I had to choose between the two I’d go with Matthews. At least a Jack Swagger/Kaval match promises to be less stupid. Kaval picks up a kayfabe leg injury early in the match so is fighting from a disadvantage through the whole match. He still does okay but can’t climb the turnbuckle to finish it. When Swagger locks on the Ankle Lock it’s over quickly. Not sure what the point was of making Kaval unable to do a lot of his flashier moves due to a fake injury, but Kaval wasn’t embarrassed here. Swagger is upset he lost the number one contendership after being struck while in the ropes. Did you know being struck in the ropes is illegal? I’ve been watching regularly since 2002 and I’ve never heard someone bring up that rule.

Far less importantly, we have the Soaring Eagle taking on Hornswoggle. Did the creative staff never learn that comedy matches are meant to be short? This is not good and goes on way too long. There’s a place for some comedy in professional wrestling. This was not comedy. Our real main event will pit Kane and Alberto Del Rio versus Edge and Rey Mysterio.

Teddy Long is right, I’d rather see Santino and Koslov on both shows than Nexus. But Chavo Guererro promises to find a partner and make their reign a short one. Speaking of titles there’s a nice long match for the IC title between champion Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. Unfortunately it’s not a clean ending as Jack Swagger returns to attack Kofi Kingston and end the match without a decisive winner.

A Masterlock Challenge? Really? Cody Rhodes has to try to get out of the devastating Full Nelson. And yes, that’s sarcasm. Cody stalls and Masters slaps him in the face and squeezes his nose. This, of course, infuriates Rhodes who eventually tries to leave. Masters grabs him in the Masterlock, over the ropes, and pulls him into the ring. Rhodes actually passes out to the hold. I’ve never been a fan of Chris Masters and I am not sure why they even keep the guy employed. And Rhodes was in the ropes; didn’t we establish earlier that attacking someone in the ropes is illegal?

Remember a little while ago when Drew McIntyre turned his back on tag team wrestling? Well he joins Chavo to challenge for the tag championships. Do I have to take up Edge’s failed crusade against all things stupid? McIntyre is sullied by being brought into this. And I never thought I’d have to talk about a Cobra being badly hit, but Chavo does eat the pin and McIntyre beats him down afterward to try to rebuild his dying embers of heat.

As we continue to plug the Pay Per View we learn Mysterio and Del Rio’s match will be a Chairs Match. Natalya brings Beth Phoenix with her for her match with Layla. They are some of the most impressive Divas I have seen in a while. Natalya is being booked strong. So strong when she locks on the Sharpshooter and McCool tries to pull Layla to the ropes Natalya actually drags McCool into the ring. Phoenix takes care of McCool and Layla taps out quickly. I’m not sure if the belts are going back to LayCool or, if they don’t get them back, what creative will do with them.

The main event changes when Kane refuses to wrestle. That leaves Del Rio in a Handicap Match. A heel on the short side of a Handicap Match? Except Kane comes back and Edge runs from him. So now we just have a Mysterio/Del Rio match? Apparently. It’s not bad but you can tell they are holding back so the Chairs Match looks more impressive. We end with Kane finding two ladders set up on a catwalk with a wheelchair inside. Expecting another dummy Kane just tips it over. But now it’s the real Paul Bearer and Kane has to try to look shocked at what he just did. He looks dumb instead. This feud would be better suited to a cartoon than professional wrestling. And pushing a man over a catwalk seems less than PG.

Smackdown is turning into a show where young guys get to strut their stuff and learn at the same time but with a bunch of stupid crap thrown in. Get rid of the eagle. Don’t have Hornswoggle wrestle and come up with credible main event feud.

Some brief thoughts on TNA. At the last PPV Jeff Hardy retained, but AJ Styles lost the Television Title to Doug Williams. Hogan is off camera selling the injunction but Bischoff is here. And that’s great. See, Bischoff knows how to play a key role without putting all the focus on himself. Hogan doesn’t. Bischoff books Matt Morgan to face Ken Anderson (who is still not medically cleared) for #1 contendership. I thought it was for tonight but I guess not.

Brother Ray tries to prove he can win with anyone by having some no name student as the new “Devon.” Plan doesn’t work as they lose to Ink Inc., which is awesome, and Devon stops Ray from putting his student through a table. TNA tries to make the Women’s Tag Titles matter but, come on, the WWE Cruiserweight Title carries more prestige and it was retired when it was held by a leprechaun. I didn’t even know Daphne was even still employed.

Anderson tells Morgan he’ll get himself cleared for the match. Morgan does more of his usual pontificating on the danger of concussions. Douglas Williams defends his new title against Abyss. It’s a fluke win but it’s a win nonetheless. Jeff Jarrett actually beat Samoa Joe in a Submission Match at the PPV? Sure there was interference but that is horrible for Joe. Jeff Jarrett issues an open challenge to any fan who can make him tap out, with $100,000 on the line, and nearly causes a riot.

The main event is a Knockout Cage Match between Mickie James and Tara. They spend the whole night building to it, with Tara even lip-synching a song to show up Mickie. These two wrestle a match that would work just as well if they were both men. The problem is they are not impressive when compared to most male wrestlers. So when they wrestle like men they come across as mediocre. Even the money moment, Mickie hitting a Thesz Press off the top of the cage, isn’t as flashy as a lot of the moves I’ve seen off the top rope. Still, it gets Mickie the win.

There was nothing wrong with this episode but putting the focus back on the women at this stage isn’t helping. The booking of their matches seem boring. Like whoever is booking them is giving no thought to the fact these are women wrestling and may be able to use some different moves than the average male. Maybe if the cage had been used more viciously the main event would have stood out more. Or let one of the women bleed. You rarely see that. Do something to make it stand out. Because, overall this episode didn’t.

Posted on December 11th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Smackdown & TNA Week Ending 12/11/10
Filed Under Entertainment

Wrestling Recap, The Undertaker

It feels like WWE has been having a lot of Pay Per Views lately. Smackdown is the last stop before Bragging Rights so let’s see what they can do to push one of their less popular shows. We open with the 7 members of both teams (minus R-Truth who still can’t get into Canada) in the ring and Teddy Long letting them book their own matches. Miz put himself, Jackson and Sheamus on one side which Show counters with himself Kofi and Rey. Edge challenges CM Punk, Morrison wants Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger goes after Santino. Tyler Recks keeps his mouth shut. Oh and Kane takes on Randy Orton as we already heard.

The six-man tag starts right away. Matt Stryker shows he is, or at least was, a comic book fan by referring to this as Secret Wars. Despite putting more powerhouses on the RAW side it’s Smackdown who picks up the win when Mysterio hits a Splash off Big Show’s shoulders. So Smackdown looks strong again, pointing to RAW winning on Sunday. Swagger takes on Santino but, for some reason, Hornswoggle takes issue with Swagger’s Soaring Eagle. Most of this is a joke and Swagger picks up yet another win for Smackdown. Stryker: “Santino is going to need Cobra and Destroy to get out of this one.”

Now that Cody Rhodes is one half of the tag team champions maybe he should stop having solo vignettes. Del Rio and Morrison put on an okay match, but Del Rio wins for Smackdown, again. We’re also only at the halfway point when the Edge/Punk match gets underway. It is a bit odd to have two guys who were just traded for each other defending their new brands. Did Cole just say Evan Bourne is injured and out for four months? My cable goes out just as Miz and Alex Reilly attack Edge, causing a DQ, one-by-one the rest of the team come out to hit a move or two then get taken out and wait for the next guy. The cycle ends with Punk coming back to GTS Mysterio then eat a Spear from Edge. I know Smackdown is on a new network but do we have to push them this hard?

We get more annoying Diva crap as LayCool dresses as The Hart Foundation. They face Natalya and Kelly Kelly in a tag match. We learn that Layla will be the one to wrestle on Sunday which is annoying when Natalya makes Layla submit because it pretty much ensures that LayCool is retaining Sunday.

Kane and Rady Orton put on a better match than I was expecting out of them. Both look strong but Kane loses the match when the lights go out and Taker’s music plays. The show ends with the return of a classic bit as Undertaker comes up through the ring and drags a screaming Kane down and out of sight.

Over on TNA the heels are running the show. No Hogan and no more Dixie Carter means Bischoff is running the show. He puts Ken Anderson, who has one arm in a sling, against Kazarian in an Ultimate X match. If he can survive he’s the number one contender. Bischoff plants seeds of doubt in RVD’s mind that more of his friends will turn on him before putting him in a tag match with Sabu against Beer Money.

The Pope is a face now and he gets AJ Styles in Street Fight. Bischoff plays fair and bans Fortune from ringside. It’s a title match and a fine, roughhouse match; until Abyss, not technically a member of Fortune, runs in and destroys The Pope. Did this elevate The Pope? Maybe a little, but not much. Later, Pope is mad Samoa Joe didn’t come to his aid. Still later, Jeff Jarrett and the two “security guards who are actually rookie wrestlers” take Joe out.

In diva crap, Miss Tessbacher needs to become a wrestler now and WWE’s Katie Lea Burchill is here, but they’re calling her Winter and I get a weird “mad Ophelia from Hamlet” vibe off her. Mickie James beats Sarital then Tara attacks her post-match. Oh and that Jersey Shore rip off I want to see gone gets to beat Amazing Red. Team 3D wants one last title match, after which they will retire. I hope they manage to put on a good final match. I hope they put over the Guns then I hope they stay retired.

The RDV/Sabu v. Beer Money match doesn’t last long before Sabu brings a chair in the ring and accidentally throws it in RVD’s face. 1) He hit RVD 2) Had he hit his target they would have been disqualified anyway. RVD goes after Sabu and EV 2.0 has to pull them apart. Anderson gets a Fortune beat down before the match. They drag him to the ring, not technically interfering because the match has not started yet. Kazarian almost wins before Anderson recovers. Anderson wrestles the match one-handed and still manages to keep it entertaining. Then they make a big mistake. Anderson brings out a ladder. Now I watched the very first Ultimate X match, which Kazarian won 7 years ago, and there was one rule: No ladders. Now they forget all about that? There is no point whatsoever in an Ultimate X match if ladders can be used. Real fans care about the details. Now, perhaps he would have been disqualified had he succeeded, we’ll never know. Fortune runs in and destroys Anderson before he can get the X and Matt Morgan just puts Kazarian on his shoulders and he claims the win that way. Anderson gets a steel pipe and chases off Fortune, only to be ambushed by Jeff Hardy with a steel chair. If you like a little blood in your wrestling then TNA trumps WWE hands down.

The finish is Flair and Bischoff heading off to go clubbing together, but Kurt Angle, pipe in one hand, the other in a sling, trashes their limo. This was actually a pretty good show. Yes, there was a lot of crap I’d prefer not to see, but unlike last week it seemed to all come together. Could the common denominator in TNA booking good shows be leaving Hogan off camera?

Bragging Rights is sponsored by Smackdown vs RAW 2011. Would it be cynical to think this is the only reason they have this particular event? I happen to think WWE simply has too many Pay Per Views, with 3 in a six week span build up is going to suffer. Did we need Hell in the Cell? Wouldn’t it have been better to have two more weeks to build to Bragging Rights? I won’t be seeing the show so I don’t know how much it matters to me. I’m not agonizing over the fact that I’ll miss it.

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Back from Thanksgiving with the family and ready to catch up on wrestling. My cable gave way, but I still have the show saved from the night before so I should see all of it. They’re in Seattle. Cena comes out alone. In his own colors with an armband his sleeve almost covers. Crowd is practically at war with itself over him now. Cena recaps the story so far. He has to do what Wade Barrett says or be fired from the WWE. How can the RAW GM ban Cena from going to Smackdown or (guffaw) NXT?

Oddly, it’s The Miz (with sycophant) who interrupts Cena. Oh yeah, Miz is RAW team captain for Bragging Rights. Miz reminds us all Big Show betrayed RAW last time around. Miz actually makes nice and offers Cena a spot on the team. Cena wants to be captain instead. That draws Barrett. Cena’s dance card is full. He’s in Barrett’s corner for the Orton match and that’s all. Reilly pipes up that Miz could cash in his Money in Bank contract and walk away champion.

Cue an e-mail from the GM. Cena may answer to Barrett, but they all answer to him or her. So Cena has a chance to be team captain, if he can beat The Miz tonight. The other six team members will be determined by matches tonight. Miz gets in Barrett’s face and gets double-teamed. Cena sits out until the battered Barrett manages to motion to Cena. Cena cleans house and young Reilly learns how to take an Attitude Adjustment.

First qualifier is Ted Dibiase versus R-Truth. Eve Torres has been reduced to dancing, badly, as R-Truth raps, badly. It’s not much of a match before Goldust distracts Dibiase to ultimately cost him the match. One commercial break later and we’re right into qualifier #2: John Morrison versus Tyson Kidd versus David Hart Smith. Except DHS is nowhere to be found. This is a much better match. Morrison hits a move to finish like I’ve never seen before. Huge wow factor. I haven’t seen anything that nice since the Canadian Destroyer. Just when I had written Morrison off he’s on fire all over again. Qualifier #3 is Santino Marella versus Zack Ryder. It’s like resistible force versus easily moveable object. Woah! The Cobra just won a match! I’ll give you even odds Marella gets replaced before the match. More crappy romance subplot with Tamita.

The other Nexus guys want to know why Michael McGuillicuddy and Husky Harris helped Barrett. They get no answers as Barrett returns to shut everyone up. Barrett thinks Otunga might be getting jealous, but Otunga manages to finagle out of facing Randy Orton tonight by volunteering Justin Gabriel. Slater and Otunga are in Gabriel’s corner as he faces Orton, but they are ejected in short order. Gabriel continues to prove he is the best wrestler in Nexus. Gabriel goes for the 450 but Orton almost rolls out of the way and he can recover first to hit the RKO for the pin.

Okay, is Sheamus going to embarrass Daniel Bryan again? The 4th spot on Team RAW is up for grabs. Seattle is Bryan’s hometown. By Vince’s twisted logic that means he’s more likely to lose. He’s on fire out of the gate and the crowd is totally behind him. This turns into a good competitive match, but Sheamus eventually hits a Brogue Kick and beats the US champion. Spot #5 is between Evan Bourne and, newly acquired from Smackdown, CM Punk (which most of us already knew). Nobody is surprised CM Punk wins, nor that he beats down Bourne afterwards. But hey, it’s a Ring of Honor reunion! Some people have complained that guys change brand loyalties on a dime, but in the sense that pro wrestling is influenced by legit sports it makes sense. Let’s say you are on the Toronto Blue Jays. You play the Yankees on Friday. On Saturday you get traded to the Yankees. Then on Sunday you are playing against the Blue Jays. If a bench clearing brawl breaks out you better well be out there swinging with the guys at the front, because you need to prove your loyalty instantly or your life with that team is going to be hell.

Okay, now the Big Show’s movie I actually want to see. R-Truth wants Cena to quit the WWE rather than remain in Nexus. Ummm… up yours? Natalya has a rematch at Bragging Rights. LayCool are running out of ways to insult people. Lame segment best ignored. To quote Lawler “Get the hook.”

Main event time. No Disqualifications which means Reilly and or Barrett could be the deciding factor. Put your money on Barrett. As limited as these two are they can keep a crowd interested in a match and that’s a big part of succeeding in this business. Reilly tries to interfere, but Cena makes short work of him. Then, proving I shouldn’t be a betting man, it’s Husky Harris and IRS Jr that cost Cena the match. The season 2 rookies beat on Cena, who is fighting them off, until Wade Barrett stops him. E-GM decides they need a real match, next week, against John Cena and Randy Orton. Barrett pipes up that if Husky and Michael can win, that they get into Nexus. Barrett taunts Cena to end the night. Cena plays up the “I want to kick the crap out of this guy” expressions like a pro. Oh wait, he is a pro actor now. Wow, this show is going way over time.

Morrison’s new finisher is the Moonlight Drive.

NXT features Name That Tune. It’s inoffensive and AJ runs away with it. She has 1900 points; second place is 100. Naomi faces Alicia Fox. I’d rather see Naomi win and she doesn’t so I don’t care at all. Competition number two is the Power of the Punch, but first we’re “treated” to some mic time from the divas. For those who missed it before the Power of the Punch is just a mechanical punching bag power meter. Naomi wins and, suspiciously, it often seems whoever goes first wins. Almost like everyone else were told to tank so the winner could be rigged. The main event is AJ versus Aksana. AJ wins. And the payoff of the Aksana immigration storyline is Goldust proposes to her. Wrestling weddings, do they ever go well?

Be back later this week with some Smackdown and a little TNA for you. See you then!

Lucian WWE Wrestling Recap

So John Cena is a member of Nexus. What does this mean for the WWE? Well Nexus is opening the show, but no Cena yet. Wade Barrett reveals the mystery men from last night. NXT season two rookies Husky Harris and Michael McGuillicuddy. Barrett feigns ignorance of why they interfered. Barrett is unhappy with the troops for risking the match by coming to ringside. But, more important, it’s time to bring out Cena. Cena is still in his merchandise and he looks like a kicked puppy. Tarver is not happy with Cena. Cena has to don the armband. He also has to read an official statement.

Cena gets a match as a Nexus member as he must choose a partner to face Mark Henry and Evan Bourne. Cena picks Tarver. The match is now. Cena starts and offers a handshake to Bourne. Tarver isn’t pleased with this so Cena tags out. From there, Cena leaves Tarver to the wolves. He always manages to stay just out of tag range and Bourne and Henry pick up the win. Sure, there’s extenuating circumstances, but Evan Bourne and Mark Henry just beat John Cena.

Cena has his own statement to make. He plan to bring Nexus down from within; to be Nexus and against us. He beats down, then STFs Tarver to the extreme. Just when I’m starting to get P.O.ed that Cena is just ignoring the stipulation the anonymous General Manager (E-GM) gives his opinion. Cena agreed to join Nexus. Nexus listens to Wade Barrett. So Cena must listen to Barrett or he will be fired. Poor Cena.

John Cena can’t conceive of life without the WWE. I guess he doesn’t think he can make it as an actor. He spots McGuillicuddy and Harris and chases them, right into the Nexus dressing room. Wade Barrett has big plan for Cena. Barrett is pleased Cena took out Tarver as he’s been planning to get rid of him now. They just keep kicking out the black guys. Barrett tells Cena to make sure he wins the Battle Royal.

Alicia Fox fights Natalya Neidhart, but it barely gets started before Natalya locks on the Sharpshooter and gets an easy win. We call that a squash match. Daniel Bryan faces Sheamus and, again, it’s over before it starts. This time Sheamus attacks in the ropes and refuses to break so he gets disqualified. Bryan ends up out cold.

The guest star, no longer host but star, is Johnny Knoxville of Jackass 3D. He hits Zack Ryder with the big high five hand you might have seen in the commercials. Maryse thinks he’s the stalker. A jealous Dibiase falls victim to the giant hand as well. Maryse throws her shoes at Knoxville. When did throwing shoes become a go to wrestling move? The big hand swats Maryse too. Later, Knoxville comes out to plug his movie and he’s not fast enough to escape Dibiase and Maryse returning. I think Dibiase has new music. Knoxville joins the long line of non-wrestlers that WWE hypocritically uses in action. The stalker is revealed. It’s Goldust. He doesn’t want Teddy. He doesn’t want Maryse either. He’s been stalking the million dollar title. Nice to see that title as more than a prop. And nice to see Goldust being more strange than goofy. He works better that way.

The E-GM has demanded an apology from Edge. No more electronic voice. We’re back to Cole as mouthpiece. Hard to say which is more annoying. Edge is not apologizing. He’s still on his quest against all things stupid. That includes the E-GM and Michael Cole. Another email informs us there will be a twenty man over-the-top-rope Battle Royal for the title shot at Bragging Rights. And Edge isn’t in it because (as widely predicted) Edge has been traded to Smackdown. He’s pleased as punch. He’s getting away from them. Cole gets indignant and Edge threatens to beat him up. That draws The Miz and Alex Reilly, to protect Miz’s #1 fan. They trade some barbs then some blows. Edge takes down both of them and Reilly eats a Spear. Miz gets the last laugh as he surprises Edge with a Skull Crushing Finale.

LayCool are miced for their match with the Bella Twins and it’s annoying, but the Bellas pull the switcheroo and actually score an upset. Weird booking. Again it’s a ridiculously short match. The Battle Royal better be really long.

Say what you will about WWE, but they do good work with the Make a Wish Foundation.

Otunga tries to buddy up with Cena before the main event. They let us know Chris Jericho is “out indefinitely” after his punt to the head by Randy Orton. Evan Bourne’s good luck doesn’t last long as he’s out of the main event almost immediately. Darren Young is in this. Just cut the guy already. Mark Henry gets to look strong, but Cena stops him from eliminating Barrett. The rest of Nexus gang up to take the biggest dog in the yard out from there. When Nexus complains Cena didn’t help Cena tosses Otunga. Barrett ain’t pleased, but he told Cena to be sure he won. He said nothing about the rest of Nexus.

It’s a chaotic match with a lot of people lasting a long time. It’s a good length match too which helps make up for the rest of the show’s matches. The WWE guys lack any cohesion against Nexus, for no good reason other than the story calls for it. The final four are Barrett, Cena, Morrison and Sheamus. Barrett eliminates Morrison. Sheamus Brigue Kicks right over the ropes to the apron and Cena knocks him off. Barrett tells Cena to eliminate himself. I wish they were consistent on the ability to eliminate yourself or not in these matches. There’s a long tease with Cena not willing to comply, but he has to in the end. At last we see the champion as Randy Orton comes out to have a little staredown with the new #1 contender.

The Cena/Nexus storyline took up a lot of the show tonight. Most everything else got the short end of the stick as a result. Yet there was time for Dibiase, Maryse and Goldust. Who does RAW get for Edge anyway? Because with Edge and Jericho gone RAW is less Canadian and awesome at the same time.

NXT is no longer on in the US except online. I don’t know if that means I should be more detailed in my recaps or ignore the show completely. Well, there’s an elimination this week so that’s something. AJ currently leads with 3 competitions won. Aksana and Maxine have none so they have no shot. The others can tie or win by taking two competitions tonight. The first is a mechanical bull riding competition. This is at least good eye candy, especially when the Bella Twins give the initial demonstration by double riding the bull. Aksana wins, which seems counterproductive as it takes away some of the tension of having people have a shot. Since they never announced what happens in a tie I’m betting AJ is winning immunity. Hopefully she has the geek vote and doesn’t need it.

Aksana is busy as she goes right into a match against Maxine. Yes, an actual match on NXT season 3. It’s neither long nor good and ends with a roll-up countering a roll-up. Decidedly lame. I only realized this week just how much they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for pros this time around. Primo? Goldust? Vickie Guererro (who faces Katlyn tonight)? Alicia Fox?!

Competition #2 is a talent show. Aksana does push-ups. Naomi raps, badly. AJ’s talent is flexibility, which is sexier than I expected from her. Jamie’s talent is turning men on. She demonstrates on Matt Striker, even planting a big kiss on him. Yet this is less sexy than AJ. Katlyn uses an easel and marker to draw a terrible stick figure of Vickie. Imbecile Matt Cole spoils it in advance. Please let AJ win this competition and the whole damn thing. Oh wait, Maxine still has to go. It involves Hornswoggle so I’d rather just ignore it. It also involves pies in the face. Lemon meringue, the perfect pie for a brunette. Katlyn wins but that means she’s tied with AJ. It goes to the crowd and Katlyn is the fan favorite overall.

Goldust still has the million dollar championship in his possession as the fake immigration guy shows up. This is a train wreck and I doubt it will bring Aksana any sympathy votes. It may even backfire. Anyway the Katlyn vs. Vickie match is a joke and, of course, Katlyn wins. Anyway, it’s Jamie who gets the boot. Many thought Maxine was a lock but it’s Jamie. Bye bye Jamie.

This show was miles better than last week’s but that doesn’t say much. Still, they are putting effort into it for now. The Jamie/Vickie match was terrible but the video promo leading up to it was stellar. It made me care until the bell rang. In fact, we see signs of coherent storylines all over the place. Cena and Nexus, Edge vs. stupid, Goldust and the million dollar belt. I have to say WWE is doing better lately. We’ll see if Kane and the Undertaker can screw it up on Friday.

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