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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerry Lawler will get a title shot at Elimination Chamber.

Let it sink in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on January 27th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Eding 1/30/11
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It’s Martin Luther King Day. Let’s see if Vince and co. demean and African-Americans this week. If JTG is here it’s a gimme. John Cena opens the show after the obligatory tribute to MLK. Cena still claims he’s entering the Royal Rumble but I don’t see it. He calls out CM Punk but it’s The Miz with Alex Reilly both in fine suits. The Miz claims to be a far better champion than Cena. I’m not sure he’s wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on January 18th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 1/22/11
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It’s time for a new year of wrestling. With CM Punk aligned with Nexus we have a refreshed storyline. But isn’t it time to start talking about the Royal Rumble? But, for those not in the know, John Cena picked up an injury in a house show match against Wade Barrett. Cole is claiming he won’t be here tonight and WWE has kept a lid on just how serious it really is. Still, The Miz faces John Morrison tonight so this show has potential.

And we are opening with the championship match, which is Falls Count Anywhere. Lawler is also not here, selling the assault by The Miz. The announce team is Cole and Josh Matthews. Why is The Miz coming out first? So he can jump Morrison on the entrance ramp. Usually they won’t ring the bell until the competitors are in the ring but I guess they make exceptions in Falls Count Anywhere matches. Reilly is involved from moment one. Morrison takes an early leap off the giant W on the entrance ramp. Morrison takes Reilly out of the equation early on then battles Miz around ringside. Miz’s big strategy is getting out of the way when Morrison tries a move on table. That may not be enough to win but the Skull Crushing Finale that follows does end it. Good match for TV and Miz looks stronger than ever.

Melina is a full blown heel now as she teams with Alicia Fox and Maryse to face Natalya, Eve and Brie Bella. They only have one Bella so they can pull the switch early on. It has no affect on the outcome as Eve later pins Melina. That doesn’t make Melina look good as the #1 contender. We’ve reached the point where Tamena is accompanying Santino and Koslov to the ring, even when they are facing the Usos. I guess this fires them up as the Usos actually upset the tag champs. But the champs fight off the post-match assault with the help of Santino and Tamena again hitting the Double Cobra.

Tough Enough is coming back. Does this mean NXT will finally die?

CM Punk is out and still focused on Cena. Where’s that going to go? Now we bring out Wade Barrett to see how these two will butt heads. The fight for control of Nexus is on. The actual members of Nexus don’t get to make a decision before E-GM pipes up to name the participants in tonight’s Three-way Steel Cage match to determine who faces The Miz at Royal Rumble. Sheamus is in, Orton is in and either CM Punk or Barrett. Punk will give up the spot. If Barrett wins Punk accepts him as leader of Nexus and will work for him, Barrett loses and he’s out of Nexus. I can’t shake the feeling they are making the mistake they made when they turned Orton face for the second time. Evolution threw him out and suddenly we were supposed to like him. CM Punk usurping Barrett will not make Barrett likable.

Alberto Del Rio is on RAW? I should enjoy, not question. Alberto’s promos are well delivered but they are starting to all sound the same. R-Truth is the designated interrupter tonight. R-Truth wants to send Del Rio back to Smackdown but he ends up tapping out to the Cross Armbreaker. Truth was more flashy in TNA, probably due to safety issues, so I have never been that excited by him in WWE. At least this was designed to promote the cross-branded Royal Rumble.

CM Punk wishes Barrett luck. Randy Orton feels he was too nice last year. Cole announces that Cena may be back next week. I have no idea what that means in Vince’s crazy wacked out and delusional world. The Triple Threat is being fought under “chicken rules” where the only way to win is to escape the cage. The booking here is too basic. Too much of the match revolves around two guys getting preoccupied with each other, or go down, and the third trying to escape. Then one or both of the other two hurry and stop him.

Just when Barrett is about to escape the cage CM Punk shows up and climbs the cage to help him. But instead of actually helping, Punk rips off Barrett’s Nexus armband and kicks him in the face, knocking him from the top of the cage. Orton RKOs Sheamus and just walks out the door. You’d think more people would use the door in cage matches. So the only face in the match becomes #1 contender to the heel champion. That’s pretty predictable. And am I supposed to feel sorry for Wade Barrett? I don’t. Everything hinges on the status of Cena. If he’s fine then things progress as usual. If he’s hurt… well we’ll call it a hot mess and leave it at that.

Posted on January 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 1/8/11
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CM Punk has regained a lot of credibility very fast. The Straight Edge Society is now an obvious failure yet here Punk is, in a feud with John Cena going into the Royal Rumble.

Santino Marella is not served by fluke wins in uber short matches.

I like how John Morrison is able to manipulate the Miz into putting the stipulation and time of his title shot as the prize if he can beat Alex Reilly. If he loses he forfeits the contendership so you know that’s not going to happen. When Morrison does win he chooses to challenge for the title next week in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

Tyson Kidd is not off to a great start to his new singles career when he has to lose to Mark Henry.

The crowds have been hotter lately. Miz gets the “What?” treatment and handles it like a pro. He also faces Jerry “The King” Lawler. What’s fun is that Morrison ambushes Miz when the ref isn’t looking and Lawler gets a countout victory!

When did Melina turn heel? Just from one slap last week? What a weak turn.

Look it’s Zach Ryder! But we don’t get to hear his theme song. Boo! He faces Daniel Bryan and loses, of course, so no theme there either. The anonymous RAW General Manager pipes up via mouthpiece Michael Cole. But Miz attacks Lawler and beats him senseless before Cole can finish. I have heard they might actually have Lawler face The Miz at the Royal Rumble.

The final RAW of 2010 ends with a great main event between Orton and King Sheamus. Orton once again proves he can hit the RKO at any time, using it to counter a Slingshot Shoulder Block. Orton was my vote for Superstar of the Year and he rules the roost in the last match of the year. But that’s not the end of the show.

Instead of letting Punk call him out, Cena comes out first and once again calls Punk out. But instead of Punk we get a Barrett-less Nexus. Otunga says Nexus are under new management and offers Cena a truce. Cena really dresses down Otunga well. So we end the year treading water with Nexus beating down John Cena. Though Slater actually hit a wrestling move. Nexus leave Cena laid out and drop an armband behind. Does this do anything to rebuild Nexus? Not really.

Especially since the show is not over and here comes CM Punk. A weak looking GTS on Cena impresses no one and Nexus has their thunder completely stolen. Punk grabs a chair but stops mid-swing. Oh wait, he’s putting on the Nexus armband! CM Punk has taken over Nexus!

Well, that was a swerve, I’ll give them that. But Punk just failed as a stable leader. Why try it again? I can see splitting Barrett off from Nexus but at this point they just became Right to Censor 2.0 (it’s an old reference, look it up) and I can’t see that going well. It would have been much smarter for the Barrett-less Nexus to move to Smackdown where they would learn more and be relatively over compared to that roster.

Posted on December 29th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 1/1/11
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Hi loyal readers! I’m back from a long visit with my parents and catching up on wrestling. So you’re not going to get my usual level of detail until I’m caught up.

Brief Smackdown thoughts:

  • If Smackdown wasn’t my favorite show to begin with, a Green Day theme would take it over the top.
  • Orton and Miz’s match was fine and the ending works perfectly for The Miz’s gimmick.
  • It’s good Edge is the champ, but they should have had the rematch tonight and sent Kane lumbering back to the midcard where he, sadly, belongs these days.
  • Drew MacIntyre utterly squashes Kaval. Kaval was released after this match. Nice way to show the guy the door. Only Drew McIntyre may be a lost cause at this point and pairing him with Kelly Kelly is like sewing a dead albatross to his ass.
  • The Kingston/Mysterio vs. Swagger/Del Rio match must have been Vince’s Christmas gift to fans of actual wrestling.
  • Sadly, the main event is John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guererro. Ziggler and Cena give it their all but the post-match attack by CM Punk totally steals the spotlight.

So there’s WWE’s X-mas present to us all. Not bad, but losing Kaval so soon makes NXT even less important than it was. RAW next, then TNA.

Posted on December 29th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Xmas Wrestling
Filed Under Entertainment

No I did not see the PPV. I may have a chance later, but I read the spoilers and there were no surprises on the RAW side of things. So RAW starts with the Miz gloating over still being champion. He is interrupted by Alex Reilly playing Ghost of Christmas Past. No sign of Cole. Lawler and CM Punk are unaccompanied on the announce desk. Cole shows up, sadly, as Ghost of Christmas Present. Miz remains unrepentant. Christmas Future is a still image of the Miz-Girl on the Tron with overlaid moving lips, ala Conan O’Brien. John Morrison gets to provide the interruption. Morrison’s title shot will be “sometime soon”, so probably not being saved for Royal Rumble. Morrison goes after Miz and Reilly but Sheamus arrives to take Morrison down. Anonymous GM books a six-man tag between Miz, Reilly and Sheamus versus Morrison, Lawler and Orton. Orton ambushes the Miz to punctuate the segment.

Cole is back on commentary and Natalya has joined the gang to make it an even 4. A Triple Threat is on to determine a #1 contender to the Diva’s Championship. Eve, Alicia and Melina. No great talents here. Some good spots in the match and Melina wins, which is the lesser of three evils. Natalya tries to make nice with her challenger but gets bitch slapped for her efforts.

Nexus is not supposed to be here tonight. Daniel “Why am I stuck with the Bella Twins” Bryan faces William “I’m not retired yet” Regal. This is an excellent match. The student surpasses the master as Bryan makes Regal tap, really quickly, to the LaBell lock. He gets a kiss from both Bellas as a reward and doesn’t seem to know how to deal with it. There’s some random crap with Tamina and Maryse getting in an argument while standing on Santino’s back. And Mark Henry’s joy at no Nexus is curtailed by Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guererro being in da house.

We have a mixed tag with Santino joining with Tamina to face Ted Dibiase and Maryse. Santino’s constant attempts to use the Cobra make this comical and take away from a nice Superfly Splash by Tamina that gets her the win.

We’re at the midpoint of the show. Time to bring out John Cena. Cena wastes a lot of time being cutesy. They break with their own tradition and show some actual footage from last night’s PPV. It’s the scene where Cena brings down an avalanche of chairs on Wade Barrett. Barrett is safely under a palate so it’s not that big a deal. Hopefully he plugged his ears. Cena plans to be in the Royal Rumble. That’s when Vickie Guererro and Dolph Ziggler interrupt. But the hot Houston crowd will not let Vickie speak. Cena plays along but it gets a little silly after three minutes. Vickie wants an apology from Lawler for fat jokes. Which just leads to Cena and the King trading even more crappy fat jokes about a woman who barely looks fat any more. E-GM books Cena to face Ziggler – right now!

A surprisingly pro-Cena crowd cheers him on as he takes on the Intercontinental Champion. It’s a decent match for TV. Dolph taps to the STF, but Vickie has the ref distracted. That lets Ziggler recover and actually hit a Zig Zag, but that’s not enough for the pin. Cena’s Attitude Adjustment is enough to hold down the kid. Then CM Punk hits Cena with a chair and storms off. Is he recovered now? Sheamus and Lawler play duelling kings. Dolph wants Cena on Smackdown tomorrow, but Vickie inserts herself to make it a handicap match… Because I really want to see Vickie wrestle when she seems so unwilling to take a bump.

Miz now carries his title in a briefcase, which Reilly carries, so he’s not still lugging the old Money in the Bank briefcase around but still has a handy weapon to interfere with. We went from a two man announce team with no Cole at the start of the night to just Cole for the main event. Talk about a reversal of fortunes. Oh no, Josh Matthews just joined Cole. So we’re reuniting the announce team of NXT Season 3? Brilliant.

It’s a long match and Morrison gets beat on by the heels for most of it. Orton gets in against The Miz. It breaks down and Lawler winds up legal, but Orton sneaks in and lands The Miz with an RKO and Lawler gets a pin on the WWE Champion. Celebrations are cut off by the E-GM plugging Smackdown. He adds an Orton v. Miz match for the show. Now we Canadians don’t get to see the show early so I won’t be recapping it until next week if at all.

Tonight’s RAW didn’t advance many storylines. With the Royal Rumble not until late January we’re going to need some filler before the drive to that show can begin in earnest. Hence John Morrison and Melina getting title shots. I expect both those shots to be resolved before the Rumble itself. What does the Rumble have in store? Who knows?

After RAW I saw the PPV. It was pretty decent and exciting given how safe WWE tries to work these days. The opening ladder match was a great start. John Morrison continued to break out as a future star. Edge cemented a place in the Hall of Fame if he can just stay on Vince’s good side, or by then Hunter and Steph’s. The Miz continued as the second coming of the Honky Tonk Man with his cheap tactics. The Smackdown main event benefited from adding Rey Rey and Del Rio. The women’s table match was okay. If I had been footing the bill for the replay I might have thought differently but I had a good time overall.

That brings us to NXT, the next show to air in Canada. We get the wheelbarrow challenge again tonight. This time the Soaring Eagle gets to be the passenger. The second competition is trivia. But the trivia is actually really intelligently designed this week. Striker gives a category (former WWE champions, 2010 PPVs) and the rookies have to name something that fits. When they screw up they are gone. No stupid air horns vastly improves this. Derrick Bateman wins both challenges for a total of 3 immunity points. Even the wrestling is pretty good this week. The vignettes between rookie and pro are entertaining. Add in the decent announce team of Todd Grisham and Josh Matthews and this shows is better than its been since season one. I guess the show really only became a joke because WWE treats Women’s Wrestling as a joke.

Loyal readers I am off for the holidays and will have no wrestling access until the 28th. I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover all the shows I miss when I get back but don’t worry, the column will continue before the New Year! For those who have something to celebrate these days (what with Hanukkah being well over) I wish you happy holidays!

Posted on December 23rd, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Raw & NXT Week Ending 12/25/10
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