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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.

Welcome loyal My Hollywood Dream readers. We are no longer also display at Hollywood The Game but hopefully our fans make the transition. And hopefully Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole don’t just kiss and make up with no drama. At the same time, let’s hope their interplay doesn’t take over the show. We open with a recap of the Miz/Lawler match. Cole is not out at the announce desk, but he shows up on the entrance ramp with a microphone. The crowd truly hates him but is that the right role for the lead announcer? Cole was the only one to support Miz from the beginning and Miz is like a son to him. Cole is sorry. Lawler still wants to kick his ass. Now Cole says Lawler is equally to blame. King is a journalist and is not supposed to be the headline. So, really, King owes Cole an apology. Yes, that’s logic.

The E-GM sends an e-mail and CM Punk is the only person left to read it. He will not allow violence between Cole and the King. He wants them to shake hands. King finally shakes hands, then holds on while Randy Orton makes his way out. Orton has a message for The Miz. He can’t blame The Miz for cashing in when he did. He would have done the same. But unlike The Miz, Orton has proved himself in the ring. And Orton plans to take back the title, tonight.

AWESOME!

Here comes Miz and Alex Drunky. Miz points out Orton was in the same Money in the Bank match that Miz won. Orton has an injured knee and besides, Miz defended his title last week. So he’s off until the TLC PPV. Orton runs down Reilly so the apprentice challenges him. Orton accepts. Miz’s last surprise is he gets to pick the stipulation at TLC. Orton hits an RKO on Cole to show he still can, injured knee and all.

So no Cole, but we get Josh Matthews to maintain a three man team. Our first actual match, at the 23-minute mark, is mixed tag action. Maryse and Ted Dibiase face Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella. Nikki is jealous and comes to ringside. Nikki pulls the switch, without Bryan knowing, and Nikki rolls up Maryse. The relationship between Maryse and Ted looks to be ending.

They are supposed to interview Wade Barrett but David Otunga takes his place. Nexus needs to stay united, says the lone member. Cena arrives and it turns out Husky Harris is there too. Otunga bails and Cena takes down Harris no problem. The rest of Nexus are on their way to the arena where the tag champs have a four-way elimination title match ahead.

David Hart Smith finally gets a match with Tyson Kidd, but Kidd shows up with some seven foot guy backing him up. A Superplex is usually impressive and DHS’s is good, but Kidd shrugs it off pretty easily and wins with a roll-up counter. Smith tries for revenge but Kidd’s big backup comes to the rescue and DHS gets laid out.

Barrett and the tag champs are joined by a frightened David Otunga. Barrett is fighting to keep the troops calm, but Mr. Not-So-Perfect is out hurt, now Husky is hurt and Gabriel is still feeling the effects of Cena’s attack last week. Barrett will call out Cena and take care of business. Otunga warns of a mutiny. Santino and Koslov, the Usos and the Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu get their shot at the tag titles in an elimination match. Yoshi Tatsu goes early taking the World’s Strongest Man with him. Koslov soon finishes off the Usos who did not look bad tonight. Tamita, or is it Tamena? Anyway she stays behind in Santino’s corner. Santino does a split to avoid one shot, hits a stunner and, when Cena provides a distraction, hits the Cobra and wins the title! Man all the comedy wrestlers are getting titles lately.

Tribute to the Troops this year is in Texas. Sure it’s a huge base, but that’s less impressive than Afghanistan, which would have been. It’s good to know that as soon as Sheamus becomes King of the Ring they start dressing him like an idiot. We get another Irish history lesson. Sheamus is now calling himself the High King. RVD has a better shot at that. John Morrison shows up wondering where the elves, gnomes and satyrs are. Sheamus says he’s jealous. Morrison points out they are 1-1 in matches. Sheamus wants Morrison to bow and it ends in violence. Morrison beats Sheamus with his own sceptre and he’s the one standing at the end.

Adding LayCool to the announce team, for 5 in total, is just crazy. The focus is not on Natalya facing Melina. Natalya wins, of course. Then gets a two-on-one beatdown, of course.

Orton versus Reilly isn’t considered strong enough to end the show. That will be Barrett and Cena. Orton is supposed to have a real, but minor, injury so the fact he looks okay here is all we can expect. It’s not like Reilly can carry the match. Orton is set to win when Miz ambushes him with a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz then sets up a table, but before he can put Orton through it the #1 contender recovers. Miz almost goes through the table himself before he is able to flee. That leaves Alex Reilly at Orton’s mercy and a Powerbomb through a table should send a message. The question is, why would Miz stick with a Tables Match after this went this badly?

Barrett is out to chastise Cena for not accepting being fired. He calls Cena out and there are still four members of Nexus standing to back him up. Barrett still won’t rehire Cena; Cena says it’s still not about a job. It’s about making Nexus’s life Hell. Barrett finally gets fed up and orders Nexus to attack. One by one they all bail on him. We get a tease of an Attitude Adjustment through the announce desk but Barrett recovers enough to run. The fired Cena gets to parade around ringside making nice with the fans. The Nexus storyline appears to be coming to a final resolution as Barrett confronts the troops. They have an ultimatum. Rehire Cena or they’ll kick him out of Nexus.

This show went 13 minutes past the hour. Did it need to? The wrestling wasn’t particularly good and the promos could have been shorter. They’re trying to make Miz credible while they put the tag belts on the king of comedy. Miz choosing a Tables Match is out of nowhere. In fact, after Lawler put him through a table last week, it should be the last thing on his mind. Orton has a questionable knee, wouldn’t a ladder match make more sense? And, again, Miz came out on top of Lawler by knocking him off a ladder with the belt. It’s awkward writing when the little things matter more than ever. By no means a bad RAW… but nothing special either.

Posted on December 7th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 12/11/10
Filed Under Entertainment

While it seems awfully soon for another three-hour RAW this is King of the Ring, so I am excited. Welcome to the Era of Awesome as the opening recap reminds us how our new champ became just that. Alex Reilly comes out first. He’s in a suit so maybe he came straight from court? Reilly is here to party, and he’s not afraid to party. Wow. Punk went all in and actually said DUI. Reilly hypes up The Miz but we don’t actually see the champ.

Instead its’ King of the Ring match #1. Alberto Del Rio and his black-eyed personal ring announcer to face Daniel Bryan. I’m going to predict Del Rio wins. The rest of the brackets are John Morrison versus Cody Rhodes (I bet on John), Ezekial Jackson versus Drew McIntyre (Big Zeke to go over) and Kofi Kingston versus Sheamus so I have to think Sheamus. I see an Ezekial Jackson versus Alberto Del Rio final here. Good match and the announce team is actually acknowledging that both these are the future of WWE. Bryan picks up a shoulder injury late in the match doing his usual dive to the outside, and that opens the door for the Cross-Armreaker. Bryan taps awfully fast but I guess the injury protects him.

The announce team’s recap of past winners included Brock Lesnar. They even half-acknowledge his UFC success. R-Truth raps his old theme song for a long time before finally entering the ring. R-Truth is here to say he misses Cena and challenge any member of Nexus to a one-on-one match. He gets Michael McGuillicuddy and I would rather see more KotR. But the camera guy goes down so we can’t quite see the attacker (who is clearly John Cena) takes Mr. Not-So-Perfect down. Good, no match.

Now we move on to Cody Rhodes versus John Morrison. Morrsion finishes with the kick then knee to the temple finish he’s been using lately. The kick is called the Flying Chuck according to CM Punk. Morrison can job to Del Rio next. Something went wrong because Morrison’s lower lip is bloody.

One commercial break later and we go straight into the third match of the tournament. So it’s Vince McMahon’s chosen one against the last ECW champion. Jackson dominates but the action spills out of the ring and this is a double countout. Which means neither man advances. So much for my pool. Whoever wins the next match gets a bye to the final. Which also means they only have to squeeze six matches in tonight, not seven.

Orton is not here tonight. He was actually injured but its minor enough he won’t need more time off. But here’s The Miz. Let’s see if this promo is gold. His suit jacket is actually worse than Cole’s. No flashy celebration just images of a cute kid really P.O.ed at The Miz’s win. I love how Miz can be himself and the crowd hates him. Miz plugs the WWE Championship book and starts running down Legends who never won the title. And that get Jerry Lawler’s ire up. Lawler isn’t impressed with The Miz’s win. So Cole comes to his favorite’s defense. In the end Lawler asks for a title shot. Miz isn’t interested but the General Manager is. And… dear lord, this is going to be the main event?! On King of the Ring night the final is not going to be the main event?! E-GM decides to make it a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Jerry Lawler gets his first shot at the title in TLC at this stage in his career? Apparently it’s his birthday.

At least that reduces the announce team to two men as Sheamus takes on Kofi Kingston. In two weeks we have the Slammys, WWE’s self-congratulatory awards show, which may be three hours as well. Punk is making mistakes like calling guys “Wrestlers” instead of “Superstars” but he’s generally entertaining. Far too short a match. Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise but Sheamus rolls under the ropes and avoids a pin. That lets the Irishman hit his Brogue Kick for the pin and a bye to the finals. That makes Morrison more likely to advance than Del Rio, which is a pity.

Now we get a tag match with Yoshi Tatsu and Mark Henry facing the tag champs, non-title. Justin Gabriel’s beard is longer but that doesn’t make it suit him any better. This is just a set-up for Cena to show up, holding a ticket. Slater pays too much attention to Cena and Henry slams him for the win. Then Cena races in and puts Slater though the announce table before high-tailing it away from the rest of Nexus. The remaining members of Nexus decide to call him out later.

So we only have one semi-final match to look forward to and it’s up now. John Morrison and Albert Del Rio are starting to look good when Rey Mysterio distracts Del Rio and gives John Morrison the win way too soon. Wade calls Cena out. Cena replies via TitanTron from the parking lot. Wade sends the other three Nexus to get him then about eight angry RAW faces beat them down. Cena ends up AAing Justin Gabriel into a car windshield and vowing to be back next week. I had no idea who Darren Young was at first because he’s cut the wacky hair and replaced with a hair helmet that may actually be worse.

A six-diva match? Really? When we had to skip a KotR match? It’s not much of a match as Tamita gets serenaded by Santino Marello allegedly playing a Tiffany song on an acoustic guitar. Natalya gets the win since she’s the new champ and no one else in the match is married to The Undertaker.

There’s nothing wrong with the finals of King of the Ring. But it’s not as good as the match we just saw between these two at Survivor Series. And yes, the results are different, as Sheamus goes over here. But this entire tournament has been relegated to second or third most important storyline on this show so all my enthusiasm for it faded away well before the final.

Now we have a main event that’s not going to be a real match. Why is Alex Reilly still carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase? Miz cashed in why carry it any more? It doesn’t take a lot of skill to have a roughhouse match and that’s what this is. Lawler actually manages to put both Alex Reilly and The Mix through tables so Michael Cole ends up interfering to stop Lawler from getting the title. Lawler gets to punch out Cole but, when he and Miz end up fighting on top of the ladder, Miz actually swings the belt into the King’s face. Lawler takes a very careful fall from the ladder and Miz retains. No surprise, there.

So Jerry Lawler’s birthday present is more important than King of the Ring? And really, Sheamus? He’s a two-time world champion, what good does adding King of the Ring do for him? And John Cena hasn’t even paid lip service to being fired. You could see he was wearing a microphone pack in at least one scene. Yes Orton was out and yes, on his 61st birthday Jerry Lawler acquitted himself well, but I was disappointed with the show overall.

Posted on December 2nd, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 12/4/10
Filed Under Entertainment

RAW starts with Nexus coming out. John Cena has been fired. After a long goodbye last night he’s going to get another one tonight. Barrett is arguing Cena had decided in advance Barrett was going to lose. Since Cena shoved him into an RKO Barrett expects a rematch against Orton. Oddly, the anonymous GM by email actually agrees and we won’t have to wait for the next PPV, that match is tonight! Justin Gabriel is doing a poor job of growing a beard. Lose the facial fuzz, it doesn’t work for you.

Next week is King of the Ring. Which means another three hour RAW. I wish I got paid overtime for these shows. Cole introduces CM Punk, who is joining the RAW commentary team while he recovers from an injury. Tonight we’ll have four qualifier matches for King of the Ring, the other four competitors will come from Smackdown. Sheamus faces R-Truth. Truth has gone back to the old theme music but still has Eve dancing with him. Punk endears me immediately by comparing her dancing to an epileptic fit. This match is too slow for me. Sheamus goes to a lot of really basic submission holds that don’t excite me and he wins with the Celtic Cross, not a submission, so it’s not good match storytelling.

We see long boring clips from Cena’s DVD compilation. Even with him allegedly fired he’s still being shoved down our throats. LaCool can’t get into the building. Natalya refuses to vouch for them. They are still doing a romance angle between Santino and Tamita, who can play the ukulele. Orton says he’ll win. Ezekial Jackson is supposed to face The Miz but he has apparently suffered an anxiety attack and Alex Reilly will compete for him. An anxiety attack does not make someone sound tough. Jackson wins pretty quickly and qualifies for King of the Ring.

Cena says a long, long goodbye. It’s mostly the same tired “Cena is Superman” stuff as usual but there is one brilliant moment where Cena gets all the women and kids in the audience to chant “Let’s go Cena!” then all the men chant “Cena sucks!” Since I don’t buy for a second Cena is really leaving there is no emotion to this. Not like when we thought Flair was retiring or when HBK retired, for now. In fact, Cena talking about missing his brother’s child being born and spending more time with his mom are actually a little disingenuous.

Qualifier #3 is Ted Dibiase versus Daniel Bryan. That’s two matches from last night’s PPV that they are giving away a rematch on free TV the next day. Why should people buy the PPV if they get the match for free the next day? In this case, because it’s a much shorter match with the exact same result, Dibiase taps. And the Bellas are apparently now smitten with Bryan. In better woman’s action, Natalya makes short work of Alicia Fox. Melina now seems to be hitting on John Morrison. Does she still call him Nitro? Morrison takes on Tyson Kidd in the final qualifier of the night. This is the best of the four qualifiers tonight as the pair show off their speed and agility. We get a real finisher in this one as Morrison lands Starship Pain and fills RAW’s last spot in the tournament.

So now we get a title match on free TV. I always complain when the champion comes out first but tonight he needs to as Nexus attacks him on the ramp and damages his right knee before the refs can get them away. Orton is taken out and Barrett expects a forfeit but, no, Orton will defend, hurt leg and all. Though considerably shorter, I actually enjoyed this match more than the main event last night. Orton’s injury is a built in story for the match and it dominates throughout. When Barrett hits Wasteland we wonder why they would change the title tonight but not last night. Then John Cena pulls the ref out of the ring and attacks Barrett. The rest of Nexus chase off Cena but Orton not only recovers, but hits a good old RKO to retain his title. Odd, we’re actually finishing a little early this week-

AWESOME!

I spoke too soon. The Miz is cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase! Orton is still on his feet so he’s better off than most champions who had the briefcase cashed in on them. Once again, the heel goes after the injured knee of Orton. Orton looks like he might hit RKO after all – only to be reversed into a Skull Crushing Finale!

1…

2…

3!

THE MIZ IS THE CHAMP!

So let’s examine this. Rather than let Barrett win the championship and The Miz cash in on him they had Cena get fired then not even have the decency to keep him off camera for a week. Miz wins, not by being the better wrestler, but by cashing in MitB at a smart moment. I doubt Miz will have a long title reign but they have to be careful not to book him too strong.

This was not a bad show. The qualifiers took up most of the time and action with a main event I was interested in watching followed by a big surprise. But, the new announce team is iffy. Punk is a fine addition but with Cole usually playing heel it’s unbalanced. With the only face being Jerry Lawler, who never reads the script in advance and tries to interject too much reason into this mess, it’s even worse.

This is the second last episode of NXT season 3 and yes, the affiliates have been informed there will be a fourth with men again. There’s a trivia challenge, which AJ runs away with. Of course the questions are so easy she may be winning simply because she’s quicker to sound her air horn. Nikki Bella beats Kaitlyn. AJ and Naomi have the best match of the season, an actual good match, which AJ wins. This gives me more faith in AJ if she turns out to be the winner. Then they dress the competitors up in fat suits for a sumo challenge. Because the largely male audience really wants to see beautiful women in fat suits. Kaitlyn wins. There’s no immunity so the only point of these silly competitions is to supposedly impress the pros. The announce team continues to treat the show, and by association the viewers, with disdain. Matt Stryker is at least trying to be professional and you can tell Cole’s antics are bothering even him.

My pick for elimination is Naomi. She’s the least attractive of the group and, while her ring skills are impressive, she doesn’t feel like a complete package. AJ has the geek cred she could win this all but Kaitlyn’s storyline with Vickie Guererro has been a big part of this season. It also wasn’t nearly as annoying as Aksana and Goldust. But no, I’m wrong. AJ goes home and I am sad. She was the one I liked. That probably leaves Kaitlyn to win it all and end this train wreck forever.

Posted on November 26th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Raw & WWE NXT Week Ending 11/27/10
Filed Under Entertainment

Welcome to Survivor Series. The focus tonight is on a man who is not even wrestling. What will John Cena do? More importantly, what will WWE brass do? The opening video is all about Cena so it’s a bit of surprise when we open with Ted Dibiase challenging Daniel Bryan for the United States Championship. I don’t recall this even being announced in advance. Dibiase puts up a good fight and the match is a decent opener. The LaBell lock is teased constantly and, in the end, it keeps Bryan his championship. Considering this was a free add to the card you can’t help but get your money’s worth.

Miz ambushes Bryan with the Money in the Bank briefcase then he and Alex “Will a DUI get me fired?” Reilly. Miz is out before the Miami crowd to get heat by making fun of the Heat. He also runs down Nexus to keep us all wondering if Miz will cash in his title shot after the main event.

Next match is John Morrison versus Sheamus. Who wins here will be very interesting just in terms of figuring out which of these guys is trending upwards. I heard one commentator say the best way to book this is like an old Undertaker/Jeff Hardy match. They don’t really go that direction but they get a lot of mileage out of Morrison’s willingness to throw himself/be thrown around like a toy. I don’t know why WWE is having a lot more matches end without finishing moves lately but it happens again here. Morrison strings together a few moves, ending with a leaping knee strike, and that’s enough for the pin. So Morrison is moving up the card. But is Sheamus moving down?

Now it’s time to catch up with Cena backstage. R-Truth is really weird lately, now he’s offering to take down Orton so Cena can keep his job? Cena once again vows to be fair and now R-Truth doesn’t believe him? Why would he turn down Truth’s offer if he planned to rig the match?

Before we get to the Kaval vs. Dolph Ziggler title match some bad news. There will be a fourth season of NXT. It will be back to men but will that bring it back to watchable? This match features a nice mix of high impact and submission wrestling. No Kaitlyn to distract Vickie or Dolph. Dolph takes a real shot to the nose and it’s bloody from then on. It could even be broken. It’s a good match with a weak roll-up reversal finish, holding the tights to give Ziggler the win. I hope this feud continues.

We get some mic time from the Survivor Series heels. They aren’t entirely on the same page but Del Rio remains gold on the microphone. MVP is the hometown hero tonight so it’s weird to see him getting a chant over Mysterio or Big Show. Cole and Striker actually waste mic time arguing if Ricky Henderson was the best baseball player of all time. He wasn’t; he was great, but not the greatest. MVP is the hometown boy so, of course, he’s eliminated first. Chris Masters doesn’t last much longer, falling to Del Rio’s Armbar. Big Show punches out Del Rio when he is not legal and gets led out. Cody Rhodes falls to the Big Show so it’s effectively 3 on 3 now. Del Rio is technically still in the match so could return.

Kofi Kingston takes out Tyler Reks, who I’m not getting behind no matter how hard they try. This gives the faces the advantage but Kofi soon taps to a Jack Swagger Anklelock. Matt Striker sounds like an idiot when he tries to make Mysterio falling off Show’s shoulders sound impressive. He actually adds Rey’s height to the distance he supposedly fell. It doesn’t work that way. Never mind Rey was not standing on the top of Show’s head. Swagger falls to Mysterio and the lone Drew MacIntyre eats a Chokeslam and the faces win with the same survivors as Friday’s Smackdown. This seems like wrong booking. Del Rio looks like he has a glass jaw, the other heels don’t seem strong and people who don’t need to be elevated are the only winners. We’ve already had two face wins on the card the bad guys should have pulled it out here.

TLC is a weak Pay Per View but I am loving this promo made up largely of crude stick figure drawings. Orton doesn’t feel sorry for John Cena. He’s focused on Wade Barrett. Cena knows if he screws Orton then Orton will make getting fired look good by comparison.

Diva handicap match is next. I have little to say about the match. The heels have to tag in and out. The finish? I never thought I’d see the day Michelle McCool would tap out to Natalya’s Sharpshooter. The subsequent beat down is interrupted by the non-surprise return of Beth Phoenix to make the save. My buddy Hugh begged and begged for Beth to turn but instead I predict a tag match at the next PPV.

Next comes the Edge/Kane match and a long video reminds us Edge has kidnapped Kane’s father Paul Bearer. Both the guys who saw the show with me had thought he was dead in real life. Edge brings out a wheelchair, but no Paul. Kane is obsessed with his father through the match, trying to beat the information out of Edge. Edge looks like a threat throughout. But Kane still bores me, no matter who he faces, and none of us really enjoy this match. Edge reverses a Tombstone attempt into a Spear. Kane goes down, Edge falls down with an arm draped over Kane and it’s bloody obvious from the poorly chosen camera angle that both men’s shoulders are down. They tease Edge as the new champ but it’s a draw so Kane retains. I’ve seen this done before, way, way better on free TV in a HHH/HBK title match. Here, it’s just lame. Kane tries to beat down Edge but it ends up with Edge wheelchairing Kane through a ring barricade. We never see Paul Bearer. Yes, Edge still looks strong for this feud to continue but big PPVs should be above cheap crap like this.

Now it’s Barrett’s turn to talk to Cena backstage. They are in the same arena tonight where Nexus debuted by beating down Cena. It’s all come full circle. Don’t pretend you planned that. Barrett could have fired Cena after Monday’s Attitude Adjustment. But no, John will hand Barrett the title tonight and be free.

The rest of Nexus come out as Gabriel and Slater defend their tag belts against Santino Marella and Vladimir Koslov. Slater still isn’t ready for this. The other guys are merely ok tonight. Extra Nexus interference makes the difference and Nexus stands tall. We hear from the anonymous GM for the first time all show. He or she just wants to make sure the rest of Nexus are gone for the main event.

That brings us to our final contest of the evening. It’s supposed to be Orton and Barrett but Cena steals most of the focus. He calls it even, as Barrett grows more and more frustrated with him. Behind all this isn’t a great match. Orton can wrestle but he’s not at the point where he can carry a green opponent to a great match. After a long back and forth Barrett hits Wasteland and Orton barely grabs the ropes to save his title. Barrett shoves Cena, Cena hits back and Barrett stumbles straight into an RKO! Cena hesitates just for a moment before counting the three and ending his career. The rest of Nexus attack. Cena and Orton fight them off together but not before they rescue their beaten leader. Cena hands Orton his title. They even hug. Orton gets in his celebratory poses but the focus is not on him. Soon he heads to the back. Then Cena takes a ridiculously long time saying goodbyes. He ranges all over the arena. He hugs Cole but not King or Striker.

So WWE was not willing to put a title on Barrett to such a point they now have to write their way out of this mess. I haven’t heard anything about Cena actually wanting time off for any reason so this shouldn’t last long. So how was the show? Well there was some good wrestling. There was some good match storytelling. But usually you had to choose one or the other and in some cases got none. There were some big surprises and it felt like a big event. And Michael Cole was toned down from Monday or NXT, so that helped. I’m going to give this one a thumbs up, especially since I didn’t have to pay. But even then, it’s on the line.

Posted on November 23rd, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Survivor Series 2010
Filed Under Entertainment

Just sit right back and you’ll read a tale,
A new wrestling recap
That started on a Monday night
And could be full of crap.

The champ was a viper, cold and cruel,
Cena was on his last straw.
The oldtimers had all been called
For a three hour RAW, a three hour RAW.

The writing started getting rough,
Continuity was tossed,
If not for the mem’ry of the Attitude era
The viewers would be lost, the viewers would be lost.

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle
With Superfly
And Mean Gene too,
The millionaire and his son,
Roddy Piper,
The Iron Sheik and the Fink,
Here on Old Timer’s Raw.

I miss the beginning of RAW three times for various reasons so I start with Miz threatening to steal Barrett’s title shot by cashing in Money in the Bank tonight. John Cena wants no part of that so he challenges The Miz tonight, and Miz says yes. Gene Okerlund and Cowboy Bob Orton were in the scene too.

Old school titles, graphics and even the ring announcer is dressed up in clothes from the 70s or so. Since this is a three-hour show we’ll see interpromotional matches too. The first is Dolph Ziggler versus Mark Henry. They’re even doing pop-up promos before the match. Mark Henry comes out to the old “Sexual Chocolate” theme music and singlet. They have the announcers on steel chairs and Cole is already complaining about being uncomfortable. Mark Henry gets to look like he has a chance tonight, kicking out of two Zig Zags, but the Sleeper Hold is his downfall as a guy with a future goes over a never was.

A babbling Tony Atlas eventually bores the Hart Dynasty enough that they walk off. He’s still talking after commercial as Yoshi Tatsu mimes Hari Kari. Yoshi Tatsu is still on the roster? The Hart Dynasty face the tag champs (Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel in case you’ve forgotten) barely gets started before, in a surprise, Tyson Kidd is the one who turns on David Hart Smith. Why not make the guy with more potential and a highflying moveset into a face?

R-Truth continues to be a jerk and stir up crap between Orton and Cena. Orton could just take Cena out of the picture with a punt to the head… Back in the ring here’s Howard Finkel! He brings out the Brooklyn Brawler and Harvey Whippleman. He issues an open challenge to any young superstar. Out comes Ezekial Jackson. Guess who wins? That’s the best way to put an old star in a match.

Nexus finally figures out they need to do something about R-Truth. Barrett tries to fawn it off on Otunga, but the anonymous General Manager pipes up and makes it Barrett versus R-Truth instead. Die hard Otunga fans (are there any?) will be happy to learn Otunga will have a match tonight too. Cena turns down Nexus protection for his match with The Miz. If Orton wants some, he can come get some.

Miz begs off the match, since the GM never sanctioned it, and once again puts Alex Reilly in the match in his place. There’s still two hours to go and I’m already fatigued. Riley has ended up in a much better position than Kaval, who actually won season two. Here he at least looks like he’s in the same league as Cena before the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment, STF combo polishes him off.

Here comes Orton. Down goes The Miz. Harris and McGuillicuddy try to interfere but Orton takes them out in no time. That leaves Orton face to face with Cena until Cena throws a punch. A host of old school attired officials hit the ring to prevent any real fighting. E-GM pipes up to book Cena and Orton on Piper’s Pit so they can air their differences.

More old guys are back, Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik. I haven’t heard the Soviet national anthem in a while. Santino and Koslov interrupt, but it’s only so Koslov can join the singalong. Koslov actually sings worse than you’d expect. Sheik gets to babble, but he keeps bringing up Hulkamania and they keep cutting his mic. Santino bring out Slick, who even I have never seen before, and who does nothing. At last we get to the point, The Ousos come out for a #1 contender’s match, dragging Superfly Snuka along with them. The problem with this match is I’m just not sure I can buy The Cobra actually working. I don’t have long to think about it before Sheamus hits the ring and takes out everybody, leaving Santino for last. Morrison to the rescue once again and we finally actually book the match for Survivor Series.

Half way through.

Otunga faces Kofi Kingston from Smackdown. Kingston isn’t good enough to make Otunga look good and Kingston picks up the win only after George “The Animal” Steele eats a turnbuckle and Kofi uses the steel ring to bash Otunga’s head.

The end of the Million Dollar Title storyline comes suddenly and is a mess. It features Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Dusty Rhodes in a wig pretending to be Aksana’s mother, Aksana in a net, Goldust taking the belt and giving it to Ted Dibiase Sr. Million dollar daddy and IRS offer the belt to Ted Jr, but he’s no longer interested in hand me downs. Cody is here to join the family, but he and big brother aren’t friends. Then they dance to Dusty’s theme, even Tatakna dances by. Then we get Ron Simmons to say “Damn.” (Editor’s Note: This sounds both bizarre and awesome at the same time)

They somehow remaster commentary from Lord Alfred Hayes for the product promos. That’s a nice little tribute to the departed. Why are they still letting Eve dance along side R-Truth? Even dancing is like that female SNL character who looks hot, but everything she does is the opposite of sexy. Barrett wins after a half-decent match.

Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer gets cut off by Tito Santana and his driver is Chavo Guererro Senior aka Chavo Classic. With CM Punk out of action Del Rio takes over making fun of fat Americans. He also feels the legends should respect him. That draws Sergeant Slaughter. Didn’t sarge used to have hair? I didn’t expect much of a match. Slaughter does get the Cobra Clutch on, but Del Rio makes the ropes. Del Rio doesn’t even need a finisher to win, just a big kick to the back of the head in the corner. The Armbar goes on after the match so MVP can make a save.

May Young deserves to make an appearance, but she’s not in great shape at 87. The Bellas are all but holding her on her feet. We’re reminded that Young was once really hot, but the clips package is all from RAW’s days. LayCool comes out to make fun of her, in part for never winning a championship. Mae demands a no-DQ match against both of them. The champs make it Falls Count Anywhere which allows Natalya, Melina, Eve and Gail Kim to come out and destroy the champs so May can plant her foot for the pin. And I thought Bret Hart wrestling was bad.

WOW! Jim Ross is here as a guest commentator! Jim looks fine after his battle with Bell’s Palsy. Sounds fine too. The match he’s here to call is Daniel Bryan versus Jack Swagger. Yeah, I actually want to see that. Cole being a jerk really sours this match and JR’s return. Can’t they shut Cole up once in a while? JR actually focuses on the match going on in the ring! What a change! But seriously, Cole spoils the match for me. Bryan wins, with a kick to the back of the head like Del Rio did. Ted Dibiase attacks Bryan post-match so I guess he’s looking for a belt of his own. JR at least gets to hit Cole with his hat before he leaves.

A Survivor Series match has been added to Survivor Series! Five on five, Team Mysterio versus Team Del Rio.

Piper’s Pit will serve as our main event of this show. I’ll just be glad when it’s over. It’s just plain weird to hear Lord Alfred Hayes hawking paperjamz.com. We bring all the legends for an introduction and a nod of appreciation. It’s the most sincere part of the whole show. Piper is out last and I still wouldn’t want to fight the guy. Piper calls out Cena to remind him some superstars never win the big belt, Piper among them. So he doesn’t want to see Cena hand Wade Barrett a championship. Cena finally breaks. He’s not going to throw everything he’s built away. He’s going to call the match down the middle. That draws Barrett who says down the middle is all he needs. Then Piper gets to go off on Barrett. But Barrett gets a last laugh as he forces Cena to put on a Nexus t-shirt. Cena gets to renew his vow that he’ll destroy Barrett after Survivor Series win or lose. Barrett is fine, he has Nexus to protect him.

Finally Randy Orton shows up. This show is already supposed to be over. Orton could take Cena out… but instead he goes after Barrett. He gets to lay a beatdown before Barrett can ask Cena for help. Cena tries to block but gets RKOed. Orton tries to punt Barrett but Cena, who is up way too quickly after an RKO, hits him with an Attitude Adjustment. Barrett want Cena to raise his hand – but Cena AAs him too and throws off the Nexus t-shirt. Piper is sure proud of him.

A good final segment I don’t like the way this show turned out. Three-hour RAWs are usually too much anyway but tonight the theme got in the way. I don’t want to see every legend from the past reduced to a joke yet they were mostly used for comic relief. What should have been the match of the night, Bryan/Swagger, was ruined by the commentary. Still, I’m pleased I’m going to get to see Survivor Series so the WWE did the most important part of their job. They sold the Pay Per View.

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Old School WWE Raw Week Ending 11/20/10
Filed Under Entertainment

Wrestling Recaps

It seems like Survivor Series is still really far away. It’s a long break by modern WWE standards and this is only the second last, not last, RAW before the PPV. Hopefully the show doesn’t just spin its wheels for two hours. Manchester, England across the Atlantic Ocean hosts RAW tonight. We open with John Cena behind a Nexus podium reading from scroll. The prepared statement sings the praises of Nexus. It’s interesting to listen to the Manchester crowd. A vocal segment of them are cheering the hometown boy. Jerry Lawler is out with a knee injury so we get the NXT team of Cole and Josh Matthews. Barrett promises a preview of his championship celebration tonight. Barrett has issues however. First he calls David Otunga on the mat for undermining his authority. He’s madder they failed though.

On to Cena. Cena is actually funny as he gives a rundown of the launch of his career when Barrett asks him “What happened?” Cena renews his vow; once the Survivor Series match is over he beats down Barrett and anyone who tries to interfere. Barrett demands Cena announce him as the new champion as practice for Survivor Series, but Randy Orton won’t sit idly by for that and the crowd can finally get firmly behind someone. Orton knows he can beat Barrett no matter who the referee is. The anonymous virtual general manager finally chimes in to cancel Barrett’s celebration and makes the title match at SS pinfall or submission only. He, or she I suppose, also bans Nexus from ringside. As for tonight it’s going to be a ten-man tag match with the E-GM picking Orton’s team. Once again Cena is to be referee. An angry Cena knocks over the podium, then Otunga, before striding away.

Eve, Niki and Bella (all of whom could stand to go in the rumoured upcoming Diva cuts) take on Maryse, Alicia Fox and Tamita in some silly soccer themed match. It’s just a normal match with outfits and the Bellas make the switch for the win.

There’s one too many people in Nexus for this match. So Otunga gets the boot and faces Cena instead.

The Hart Dynasty face the Ousos in a “Who cares about tag wrestling anymore?” match which the Ousos win as we keep crawling towards the break-up of the Hart Dynasty. Santino has invited Sheamus to a tea party tonight. That could be awesome or awful, we’ll just have to wait and see. Orton hopes his team is the best of the best and we learn The Miz is the first other member. Goldust continues to somehow be on TV as he faces Ted Dibiase again. It’s more soap opera shenanigans as Maryse steals the million-dollar belt, then Aksana shows up to steal it.  Goldust gets the win but his gold digger wife runs off with the belt he rightfully stole.

Nexus accompanies David Otunga to the ring, then Barrett turns them around and they all head back. That leaves Otunga to face an angry Cena.  Otunga tries to run, only to be dragged back in for the match. Considering this match is at the middle mark of the show it’s not very long. Cena wins with an STF and Otunga still isn’t very good in the ring. By the way, next week’s RAW is three hours long and a special old school episode. Post-match Wade Barrett tells Otunga to go to Smackdown again and face Edge. Win or else.

Santino’s tea party with Sheamus (and Vladimir Koslov) is a long comedy segment. Santino trying to play nice with Sheamus, but constantly putting his foot in his mouth is actually pretty funny. The crowd loves Santino too. E-GM pipes up again and books a match between the two. Santino tries to bail but the GM threatens him with suspension so the comedy wrestler tries to psych himself up to fight. Snatino ends up low blowing Sheamus and getting disqualified and Santino celebrates too long, especially for losing, and gets beat down by Sheamus. John Morrison has to make the save again and it will be nice when Morrison gets some mic time in this feud.

The main event entrances begins at twenty minutes before the hour. But with five team members to enter we may not get much wrestling time. The mystery members of Orton’s team are R-Truth, Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry. Otunga doesn’t come out until the middle of the match so there’s a lot of speculation as to his motives. Barrett avoids Orton for most of the match but face each other at the finish. Then, out of nowhere, with Otunga distracting Cena, The Miz turns on Orton and hits him with his finisher, the Skull Crushing Finale. Cena counts the pin and, once again, Orton gets screwed.

I was worried we’d be spinning our wheels this week. It wasn’t a bad show but did anything really change tonight? The biggest development was the set-up for the match on Smackdown. Less focus on just being in England and more on selling other matches for Survivor Series would have been appreciated.

Nexus returns to Smackdown on Friday. Let’s see if it helps sell a PPV.

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