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We are giving away one of the most surprising (and fun) crossovers in cartoon/movie history, a (Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack) of The Flintstones & WWE Stone Age Smackdown! It takes me back to when the Harlem Gobetrotters teamed up with the Scooby Gang.

In honor of the movie’s release, we are proud to present The Flintstones & WWE Stone Age Smackdown App. Featured included in the app are: (1) find out which Flintstones WWE star you are via a quiz, (2) downloadable activities you can share with your whole family, (3) watch the official trailer, and (4) a link to buy the movie online (in case you don’t win it). Check it out…

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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.

Just six days to Elimination Chamber then the long slow build to Wrestlemania. We still have the return of Undertaker and HHH supposedly happening before then and the four-hour show is always packed to the rafters with matches so there is plenty more to reveal. Tonight, Vince is coming back to reveal a guest host for the big show. Tonight we mix and match Elimination Chamber participants as Orton will face Sheamus, Morrison and R-Truth will mix it up and, jerking the curtain, CM Punk and John Cena mix it up again. There must be a winner and everyone you’d expect to interfere has been banned. There’s some meaningless prattle before we get started.

The good thing about CM Punk facing John Cena is both of them are utterly convincing in their clear desire to win the match. The match involves a lot of finisher attempts that get countered. But an unseen Nexus member slides both a chair and wrench out from under the ring. CM Punk slides the chair in to distract the ref then hits Cena with the wrench. That’s enough for the win.

Lawler is not here tonight. His mother passed away the night before. There are no jokes to be made there. I feel bad for anyone losing a mother, even at what must have been an advanced age.

It seems Alberto Del Rio is competing on RAW. Nope, just a promo. Yet they rang the bell before it. Edge interrupts, still holding his title belt, having remembered that Del Rio hit him with a guitar. Del Rio may have a destiny but it’s Edge’s destiny to attack him right now. Ricardo tries to save but, ultimately, Del Rio still eats a Spear, off the apron to boot. And now here’s Vickie Guererro. She’s going to strip the title here on RAW. Kind of makes me less eager to see Smackdown if all the stories are already on RAW. The coronation is Friday it turns out. Vickie is also claiming Edge was the one who took out Teddy Long and he’ll be fired for it.

Next week – Undertaker.

Natalya gets her title rematch in a Lumberjill match. Some decent athleticism early. Natalya gets thrown out and attacked by the heels and Eve confirms she’s still a face by Crossbodying the lot of them. Natalya goes for a pin but ends up with Eve laying across each other and gets pinned, presumably without noticing. So a very indecisive outcome.

Rev Theory in da house.

The Bellas stay heels by attacking Eve and Gail Kim comes to her rescue. Natalya gets involved and there may have even been others. The camera work wasn’t the best. Mark Henry is supposed to compete, but Sheamus takes him down first. Sheamus wants us to remember what he’s capable of and he’ll demonstrate tonight on Randy Orton. We also reveal that it was CM Punk who planted false rumors last week that Mark Henry had been running down Sheamus. It makes a lot more sense if it was all CM Punk’s idea. If you need a stooge to beat someone up Mark Henry is somewhat convincing.

The middle point of the show goes to a champion versus champion match (not that they are hyping it that way) between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. Alex Reilly is on commentary and Cole offers him Josh’s job. Reilly asks “Can I do both? Can I sports entertain and commentate?” Really? Really? Look WWE, like it or not sports entertainment is a sub-genre of professional wrestling. You want to call them superstars instead of wrestlers, that’s fine. But these people wrestle. They do not sports entertain in the ring. They wrestle. Do not try to erase that word. When you can get beyond the commentary running it down it’s actually a pretty good match and lasts more than one segment. A Skull Crushing Finale gives Miz a clean win. Because he needs to be built up so we can buy he’ll beat Jerry Lawler. Miz gets on the mic and gets to be sincere for a moment in offering his condolences to Lawler. But he won’t let Jerry use it as an excuse why he loses.

Otunga and Mr. Not So Perfect face John Morrison and R-Truth. It was supposed to be Morrison vs. R-Truth but the E-GM piped up during the commercial and made a change. Didn’t he, I’d say or she but this is WWE we are talking about they won’t have two female GMs, set the match in the first place? Short match, faces dominate, R-Truth even takes out Mason Ryan with a Plancha dive. They even scare Nexus off from trying a post-match beatdown.

Ariel Winter is in the ring. I like Modern Family, but I don’t plan to buy The Chaperone on DVD. She introduces the Khali Kiss-Cam. It’s even lamer than usual as it’s just the typical kiss cam they do at arenas. Santino and Tamina as well as Dolph and Vickie are also victims. Maryse faces Ted Dibiase then plants one on Yoshi Tatsu. William Regal playfully kisses Zack Ryder on the cheek. And Hornswoggle delivers a heart shaped box of chocolates to Ariel. If this were Popmudo she’d trade health for mood. Instead Hornswoggle gets a peck on the cheek of his own. If this weren’t Valentine’s Day my review of this segment would have been much shorter.

Sheamus versus Orton will be your final match of the night. The main event will be the reveal of the guest host. Normally I don’t like non-match main events but this is going to be worth it. In fact, the match is not memorable for precisely that reason. Orton does win with an RKO and then Nexus attack Orton but Truth, Morrison and Cena all invade to even the odds. Orton RKOs Otunga and Mr. Not So Perfect. He and Cena throw Ryan from the ring and Cena ends up hitting an Attitude Adjustment on Punk. I was expecting Orton to RKO Cena at the end but no such luck.

They tease a woman in heels exiting a limo. Could the guest host be a woman?

Lots of lighting and sound to play with before they actually reveal the host. If you don’t already know it’s impressive. Yep, The Rock will be hosting Wrestlemania XXVII. The crowd reaches enthusiasm levels sufficiently high enough to satisfy me when they realize just how lucky they are. The guy who wrote the “Bring back The Rock” sign gets a lot of camera time. I was in a debate today about if The Rock was the best guy on the mic of all time. Now I, personally, would put Bobby Heenan above The Rock. The one knock against The Rock is his reliance on catchphrases. And we get a lot, but we get some real talk too. E-GM tries to interrupt but Rocky doesn’t even let Michael Cole go to the computer. Given that I’m actually watching a 4 p.m. replay they bleep Rock saying ass. Didn’t Cena get “fined” for that? Rock does it at least five times. Rock apparently has an issue with John Cena and that is enough to turn him heel for the crowd. Oh man Rock runs Cena down but good. This show runs quite long. Repeat “the millions” “and millions” three times then draws out the “is cookin” for ages and yes the crowd is eating out of the palm of his hand. And the announcers have shut up for almost all of this, so all the better.

Getting Wrestlemania was never in dispute. Enjoying it was. The odds of that just dropped.

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 2/19/11
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It wasn’t a dream. Jerry Lawler is the #1 contender.

What? Vince McMahon is back?! No mention of being in a coma or the Nexus attack just straight into shilling Wrestlemania. Wrestlemania will have a guest host, which I wish we were done with, but we don’t meet this person until next week. They brought Vince back just for that? Orton replace him and he’s here to talk too. Orton is just getting started with Nexus, and just getting started with his promo when Punk shows up to interrupt. Punk steps us into the Wayback machine to 2008 when Punk was champion and Orton, along with Legacy, attacked him and Punk took the punt to the head. Punk vows to keep Orton from ever being champion again. And the Restus of Nexus show up so the group can beat Orton down. Punk has a legit nosebleed from one of Orton’s stray shots. It doesn’t look like he hits the Go To Sleep extra hard as payback.

Tonight Nexus members face Elimination Chamber competitors, starting with Mason Ryan versus R-Truth. R-Truth gets the city wrong. R-Truth picks up a storyline knee injury, which lets Ryan use an interesting new submission move to make him tap. That sure made R-Truth look bad and the post-match beatdown only makes it worse. But the referee reverses his decision and retroactively disqualifies Ryan. I haven’t seen that since a Jeff Hardy/Christopher Nowinski match back when I first started watching again. Punk wants Nexus to weaken his opponents, winning doesn’t matter.

Six diva tag with Natalya on color is best ignored.

It’s just weird to have the #1 contender being on commentary like nothing is going on. Tonight, The Miz will publically congratulate Jerry Lawler. Meanwhile Michael McGuillicutty faces John Morrison. McGuillicutty’s plan to hurt Morrison doesn’t go well at all and Morrison ends up hitting Starship Pain for the pinfall. Punk isn’t content to let Morrison walk off with the victory and he ambushes him on the entrance ramp with some kind of spray can. It does a number on Morrison’s eyes and throat so I guess it was “Arrogance” spray. A kick to the skull is the punctuation and Nexus is running roughshod over their competition so far.

Here’s The Miz. A “Jerry” chant is too Springer for me. Miz denies thinking Lawler is an easy win, or rather they are all easy wins. But Miz thinks he has a lot in common with Lawler in his prime. Lawler claims he backs up his big mouth. To prove Lawler is a cheap shot artist we show footage from last week?! We can’t go farther back? Lawler stumbles a bit on scripted dialogue rather than the improv he’s used to but they came up with a good promo for these two. Lawler even gets the upper hand on both Miz and Alex Reilly until Ted Dibiase shows up looking for revenge from that cheap shot last week. For reasons uncertain it’s Daniel Bryan who makes the save and E-GM succinctly puts Miz and Dibiase in a tag match against Lawler and Bryan.

A-Rei on commentary distracts from the match but is actually quite clever at times. “I don’t know if Lawler got here tonight in an airplane or a time machine.” It’s an okay match considering who’s in it and Lawler picks up the victory in some vain hope of making him look like he has a chance against The Miz. Aren’t you glad there are two Elimination Chamber Matches to make the PPV actually worth potentially buying?

I’m in the odd position of rooting for Sheamus as he faces David Otunga. Josh Matthews interrupts his entrance to ask him about something Mark Henry said. Henry wants Sheamus’s spot. Sheamus runs him down so well it feels like a face turn to me, Henry interrupts A-list’s entrance but Henry attacks Sheamus. I’m still rooting for Sheamus. I thought Mark Henry had formed a tag team with The Great Khali. Now he gets to come out on top of Sheamus? Otunga gets to pose over the downed Sheamus without ever having a match.

Alberto Del Rio is here! He says Santino never had a chance to beat him. Santino runs out to attack before the match and throws Del Rio over the top rope. When the match gets started Del Rio works a surprisingly flashy show but misses a lot of moves to keep Santino in the match. Del Rio does get the  win of course, once again with the Cross Armbreaker.

Now I have to watch Vickie Guererro on RAW too? Cena interrupts, thankfully. Cena wastes time apologizing for R-Truth. I’m noticing less and less Cena hate from the crowd these days. Cena eggs the crowd into driving off Guererro and Ziggler so maybe we can finally get to the main event. Nope, Cena  wants to talk more. Cena cleverly substitutes the phrase “elimination chamber” for “ass” as he threatens Nex-sucks. Have the writing team finally figured out that PG doesn’t mean neutered, it just means you have to be clever when you want to insult someone. Lately, the writing has been clever.

At last we see Cena face Punk. It doesn’t last long before the ref threatens to DQ Cena for pounding on Punk in the corner. Cena decides that’s a pretty good option so he blatantly low blows Punk. Nexus shows up but as Mason Ryan checks on Punk, Lawler hands Cena a chair to drive off the other two. So Cena is the only superstar to escape unscathed. Does that mean he will win? Probably.

Posted on February 10th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw Week Ending 2/12/11
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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 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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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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