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Lucians Wrestling Recap

With Money in the Bank out of the way it’s time to start thinking about Summerslam. Will WWE try to milk one more match out of Cena and Sheamus? Will The Undertaker return? Will Triple H? And when will The Miz cash in his Money in the Bank title opportunity?

Raw starts announcing Wade Barrett is going to have a real match against Mark Henry tonight. Eventually these guys have to wrestle real matches. The we move right into a Triple Threat Match to determine the #1 contender at Summerslam. Cena isn’t even in the match. It’s Edge, Jericho and Orton which makes it pretty likely Orton is going to win. As is usually when two heels are in a Triple Threat match they spend some time in an alliance taking on Orton. These guys would have to work to have a bad match so it turns out to be great action for the first match of the show. When Randy Orton finally manages to RKO both his opponents he earn his #1 contendership. This match could have been on a Pay Per View, even Wrestlemania.

Edge refuses to leave the ring. He wants Jericho to come back and Jericho obliges him. Edge complains they have been going back and forth for eleven years and it has to end. Jericho thinks he has Nexus in his corner and he wants them to help him take Edge out for good. Nexus do come out, and decide to take down Edge, but only so they can focus on Jericho next.

Sheamus comes to the ring to announce he has forged a truce with Nexus. So there’s nothing to stop him from having a long title reign. That draws out Mr. Money in the Bank, The Miz. Wow, that’s tortured grammar. The Miz reminds us what having a Money in the Bank briefcase means: he can demand a title shot at any time. No notice, no warning, all he needs is to get the champ in the ring and bring a referee. Sheamus is not impressed by GM-o-matic tells Miz to stand by and watch as Sheamus faces Evan Bourne.

It turns out to be another decent match and The Miz watching on adds drama. Bourne is quite athletic and willing to take risks. More importantly he’s given the freedom to cut loose with some risky moves. That makes him exciting in the WWE landscape. Bourne gives Sheamus some trouble but, of course, Sheamus wins. But The Miz attacks Sheamus and Miz looks to cash in. But when R-Truth interrupts The Miz rethinks his strategy hits R-Truth with the briefcase and runs off with it.

Santino and Koslov have no established tag teams to take on so William Regal and Zack Ryder are thrown together to give the wacky ethnic pairing another win.

Wade Barrett has to stand on his own in the main event against Mark Henry. The other Nexus members are banned from ringside. Barrett manages to heft Henry for his finisher, a Fireman’s Carry then a forward flip to slam to the mat. It’s not exactly pretty but it’s impressive nonetheless. The rest of Nexus are on the scene quickly so Cena can have his discussion with them. Cena comes out and actually offers a truce, but Barrett will have none of it. He wants more. He wants Cena to join the Nexus, but Cena never wanted a truce, he just wanted to reveal the team he has out together to face Nexus at Summerslam. First, there’s Edge, fresh off his earlier beatdown. John Morrison is no surprise. R-Truth joins the party, then comes The Great Khali, who has no reason to dislike Nexus yet. Jericho has also changed his tune and joined Cena. That’s six. Will it be even numbers? Yes it will as Cena brings out his seventh member: Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The Nexus run from a fair fight and the home team is standing tall as the lights go out.

The last five hours of WWE programming have been awesome. Expect NXT to break the streak. The show features an MVP Lounge, a pros with their rookies tag match and an obstacle course for immunity in next week’s elimination poll. Michael McGuillicudy wins this one. He probably didn’t need immunity anyway. Not bad by NXT standards, which is still not good.

Smackdown opens with the new champion and hey, I can get behind Kane right now. Maybe not for a long reign, but his last reign only lasted one day so this is already an improvement. Kane is on fire on the microphone lately and this is no exception. At first it almost looks like they’re turning him heel but no, he’s still out for vengeance. There’s no automatic rematch when MitB is cashed in so tonight Rey Mysterio faces Jack Swagger in a rare 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 contender. Jack Swagger goes for serious heel heat by bad mouthing Eddie Guerrero.

Four of the Money in The Bank losers meet in a decent tag match, Christian and Matt Hardy take on “Dashing” Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Matt accidentally hits Christian, or was it an accident? That lets the heels pick up the win. LayCool continues to be fun as Teddy Long informs Layla she’ll defend her title, which Michele keeps claiming they share, against Tiffany.

Dolph Ziggler gets another shot at Kofi Kingston, non-title. It takes a fair amount of help from the annoying Vickie Guerrero but Ziggler eventually chokes out Kingston. Big Show faces the mystery man in the Straight Edge Society and, once again giving away too much too soon, unmasks him to reveal Joey Mercury. Does anyone remember Joey Mercury? Does anyone care?

They are really shoving Albert Del Rios down our throats.

The main event is certainly long for a TV match. Swagger gets DQed for refusing to break the ankle lock for the first fall. Rey then taps to the ankle lock. Rey scores a surprise win on a rollup and we’ll see Rey versus Kane at Summerslam. My gut tells me Swagger will find his way into the match anyway and make it a triple threat. It’s not a bad match but Rey’s injury, real or imagined, makes it less exciting. Swagger attacks Rey post-match only for Kane to make the save. Kane seems ready to attack Rey, but raises his hand instead. Then attacks him only for Rey to come back. I don’t know if Rey is really injured so he has to take it easy, but if he can’t cut loose he might as well be on the shelf. If he needs surgery then get surgery.

TNA barely rates mentioning these days. Their Pay Per Views are now coming in below 10,000 buys in North America. They were pulling numbers like that when their TV show was on Saturday night at 11 p.m. They are the joke of pro wrestling. Now they are beating the dead horse that is ECW? Mick Foley and Tommy Dreamer can still do fine mic work but if these guys could still go in the ring TNA would have already been using them. This smacks of utter desperation. I barely want to watch TNA for free. Why would I ever pay for it? The actual wrestling can be quite decent at times, like this week’s match between Kurt Angle and Hernandez, but the packaging around it is usually pathetic. WWE makes me care about almost every match. TNA give Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe a ten-minute time limit, which telegraphs the draw ending. The tag match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money is also decent. But it’s a best of five series and Beer Money went up 2-0 on referee screw-ups both times. It’s repetitive and means the Guns will win the next two. Even AJ Styles winning the Global Championship is a yawn since that title is such an afterthought. In the end, TNA is just treading water now. They’re forgoing their storylines for an ECW tribute. It’s a nice sentiment and they have very little to lose, but I don’t see it helping them improve. And they desperately need to.

No Pay Per Views this weekend, at least not from the big three US companies. So why not spend time with family or go outside?

wwe money in the bank

It’s another WWE Pay Per View they’ve reinvented. I like Pay Per Views with an actual theme but jettisoning all your history at once seems a bit much. At least they back-pedalled on cancelling Survivor Series. Normally I praise the opening videos WWE puts together for their Pay Per View openings, but this time out it’s a pedestrian affair.

This is sponsored by Criss Angel? Please don’t let him perform on the show. We’re in the heartland, Kansas City. The Pay Per View announce team is the standard Matt Stryker, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. The Spanish team are here as well. I’m told they are very talented performers. We open with the Smackdown Money in the Bank match and I’m predicting right now the winner cashes the shot in tonight. Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, Matt Hardy, Drew McIntyre, Kane and The Big Show enter in that order.

As is typical of these big matches most of the time the majority of the competitors are down while the action focuses on a few people. People also tend to gang up on Kane and The Big Show. Kofi Kingston does a great drop off a ladder into Drew McIntyre on the Spanish announce desk. There’s a lot of big moves in general, more risk than the WWE normally allows, but the match is what we call a spot-fest. There’s just strings of random moves, no real story being told in the match. We get to see Big Show’s giant ladder in the match. The ladder is so big, Show has legit trouble getting it into the ring. It’s the focus of the action for a long time. Drew McIntyre comes back from going through the table and it looks like he’s going to win, but in a surprise, it’s Kane who Chokeslams’s McIntyre from the top of the ladder then unhooks the briefcase and wins the contract. This makes it far less likely my prediction about the Smackdown winner cashing in will come true.

Sheamus interview is next. He’s wised up about Nexus. He doesn’t want them interfering so John Cena has no excuse. He has never received the respect he deserves as a two-time champion and if he has to destroy Cena to get it he’s only too happy.

A Women’s Match is next, or maybe a Diva’s match since it’s for the Diva’s title. Eve gets another rematch against Alicia Fox. I know people who have real faith in Fox so maybe she’s more than she seems. It’s a short match but Fox gets a clean win and a chance to establish herself as a real competitor. More titles up next, the tag titles. The Harts and the Usos have been having a simmering feud for a while now and it’s nice to get a title match out of it. The Harts get the win with a Sharpshooter. That raises the question of what’s next for these teams? There are a couple of new tag teams on Smackdown and maybe Koslov and Santino are forming a team but, overall, tag team wrestling in the WWE is in pretty poor shape.

It seems awfully early for Mysterio/Swagger but that’s what comes next. The fake ankle injury on Mysterio threatens to make this a less exciting match than it could be. The ankle is the story for the whole match, but it doesn’t stop Mysterio from winning. Swagger attacks Mysterio post match, but Kane shows up and chases Swagger off from beating down Mysterio. Then Kane returns and cashes in his contract! I was right in the first place. It’s a non-match beatdown before Kane finally wins his second world title in a long career.

Next comes our second lady’s match of the night as Kelly Kelly takes on Layla. Michelle McCool will certainly have a role to play in the match since she is still claiming to share the Women’s Title. Kelly looks to be in better shape than she’s ever been but this is hardly a wrestling clinic of a match. The ending is particularly weak as it’s just a reversal of a pin attempt that lets Layla (and LayCool as a unit) retain the title.

The ring is once again surrounded by ladders as the RAW Money in the Bank match is next. Randy Orton, The Miz, Mark Henry, Ted Dibiase, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne and Edge are your 8 competitors. Mark Henry acts as a bargain basement Big Show with the early attacks focused on him. This match has been built better than the Smackdown one, with more intersecting storylines among the competitors. The action is also superior since there’s only one big plodding guy. Evan Bourne gets a few chances to win and some support from the crowd, but it’s Orton who the crowd is behind the most. The ending is not what I expected as it’s The Miz who captures the briefcase. Already the United States champion if he can win the WWE Championship as well that will be a first. But my feeling is Miz will wait a while to cash this in and, when he does, he’ll be the first MitB winner to fail in their title match.

The video promo for the main event is the best of the night and ties this match to the Nexus storyline perfectly. The match itself is a decent brawl but it’s hurt by knowing that, until Nexus shows up, it’s all just time filler. You can see John’s underwear. Sheamus is so pale when he sweats he looks like a Twilight vampire in sunlight. Nexus does show up. Tarver has bolt cutters but a very brave ref grabs them and runs. Then they try to intimidate the next ref into giving them the key. He throws it away. The refs are rocking. Back in the ring Sheamus taps out to the STF but there are no refs left to call for the bell. Cena tries to escape but Nexus tangle him up. On the other side Sheamus gets past Heath Slater to escape just as the ref is coming to. So Sheamus retains but it’s entirely because of Nexus. Nexus runs but leave some of their own behind, this time Justin Gabriel and Michael Tarver, for Cena to take his frustrations out on.

The Summerslam ad included a shot of The Undertaker. At this point, and this is not a new theory, it seems more and more likely it was actually Kane who attacked The Undertaker and SummerSlam will feature the brothers mixing it up again with a title on the line. On RAW we need to get Cena out of the title picture and focused on Nexus. Which means we need a new #1 contender. But who? Orton? Bourne? Morrison? It should be somebody willing to lose so now might be time to give someone their first title shot in WWE.

Wrestling Recap WWE

On RAW, John Cena is set to face the whole Nexus faction in a seven on one handicap match, but we learn right away that Darren Young is still out after last week’s beat down so it’s six on one. Cena has to balance his feud with Nexus with his feud with Sheamus and, with the help of WWE Creative, he manages it quite well.

I finally figured out how you spell the Usos. That’s how you spell it. And we finally get the 3-on-3 mixed tag match we were promised a while back. It’s not a long match but all of these people have raw talent and the potential for more. Guest hosts aren’t on the show every week at this point, but tonight it’s Florence Henderson and at least they have some fun with it. The eight-man tag match she’s mixed up in marks the return of Doink the Clown. I wonder who it is this time? The Santino Bunch takes on and defeats The Regal Bunch when the clown eats the pin.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Money in the Bank matches, but I haven’t given any thought to who I actually want to win. On the Raw side I think I’d like to see Edge capture it yet again. Edge and Orton have a match but the aftermath is far more impressive. Orton and Bourne pull off an incredible spot that is marred by bad camera work until the replay. This is the moment to see from this show.

R-Truth’s replacement is Mark Henry. I’ve made it clear before I’ve never been impressed with him. He and The Miz have a match. It’s awful. The highpoint is Mix dumping garbage on Henry and maybe Henry is hurt too and will also be replaced. They continue to treat Evan Bourne as a mute, which I already addressed in a recent column.

Nexus get plenty of camera time as they beat down several of the faces who confronted them last week, one by one. They even tease going after Sheamus, which becomes important later. The big main event is well booked. The rookies make frequent tags, which covers the fact most of them are mediocre wrestlers, and Cena actually loses after a 450 Splash by Justin Gabriel. I always thought Gabriel was cute but his new haircut upgrades him to hot. The surprise of the night is, when Nexus is predictably beating down Cena, it’s Sheamus who comes to his rescue. It seems Shaemus has decided Nexus is a threat to him as well. What will happen Sunday when Cena faces Sheamus? Will even a steel cage be enough to keep Nexus from interfering?

Over on NXT the season one graduates NEXUS have been invited and apparently they are there to… sit in chairs? The Miz and his rookie Alex Reilly take on Mark Henry and his rookie Lucky Cannon. Mark Henry pins Alex Reilly. LayCool fans will be sad to learn they are not on NXT this week. Perhaps Mrs Undertaker is on her honeymoon trying to consummate the marriage with a deadman with a broken orbital bone.

Last week “Showtime” Percy Watson won the right to host a talk show. He has MVP as his guest. He brings out all the rookies, looking for trouble. The rest of the pros back MVP up. So Matt Striker proposes a Battle Royal. That draws the interest of Nexus who decide to join in. So it’s a 20-man Battle Royal with, in theory, every man for himself.

Nexus bail from the ring and start beating people up when they get eliminated. The problem is the season 2 rookies are all eliminated before a single Nexus member. This whole show is less about the new rookies and more about current RAW storylines. Miz tries to suck up to Nexus and when that fails he eliminates himself and runs. And, despite them saying this is every man for himself, once Nexus eliminates everyone else all six are declared the winner? Sigh. Is making sense too much to ask?

Smackdown promises us a confrontation between Jack Swagger and Kane. Kane is being menacing and all but he never seems to wrestle any more. The events of NXT are not ignored as Kofi Kingston is still showing signs of damage when he faces “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. Kane interrupts before we have a finish and Chokeslams both guys. Other MitB competitors meet when Christian takes on Drew McIntyre. Later Matt Hardy and Dolph Ziggler lock up.

Now something big happens tonight that should not. CM Punk and his minions end up in a confrontation with Big Show as Big Show unveils a custom built 300 pound ladder that will allow even Big Show to get the MitB briefcase. But the segment ends with Cm Punk being unmasked revealing his still shaved head. This storyline dates back months and this could have been a hugely built up reveal at an actual PPV and instead it’s a throwaway on Smackdown. Disappointing to say the least.

Jack Swagger brings his father out and provides picture evidence he was at a picnic winning stuff on Memorial Day. The problem with doctoring photos to be used as evidence is they look doctored even if they are supposed to be real. Swagger gets the jump on Kane at first, but Mysterio appearing is enough for Kane to turn it around. Swagger eventually leaves his own father to get Chokeslammed and Tombstoned rather than face Kane. It’s another case of a non-wrestler taking a bump when WWE makes such a big deal about how only trained professionals should attempt these moves. I learn later that it’s not his real father it’s a former WCW worker. So I guess it’s ok.

After their Pay Per View last Sunday, TNA announces a new top ten contender’s list and Abyss is the new #1 contender. He has a board full of nails. He calls it Janice. That’s not a joke. There’s a ladder match between the Motor City Machineguns and Beer Money that’s really good. Worth watching the episode for, with a great finish. In the main event non-match, RVD and Abyss face off then fight in the ring. Mick Foley suddenly appears on the entrance ramp. Abyss looks shocked. Then the other four ex-ECW guys, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Stevie Richards and Rhyno attack Abyss. The locker room and security slowly come out to stop them, but never enough at once to even the odds. Then the road agents, D-Lo Brown, Terry Taylor, Al Snow and Pat Kenny come out to join the fight. But Snow and another guy side with the ECW guys! Devon shows up on the ECW guys side too. They even bring in police. That is until Dixie Carter makes the surprise announcement that she invited them. As everyone reacts in shock we go off the air…

WWE is doing an outside invasion angle too. But with young guys instead of past their prime vets. And WWE is doing it much better. I don’t know if it’s just dumb luck, but TNA seems to be following in WWE’s footsteps with everything they do. WWE puts on a PPV of Fatal Fourways, TNA puts on a PPV with a main event Fatal Fourway. Now this. TNA needs to find things to do that WWE won’t do, possibly because of their PG rating, and do something that seems original. Or put Paul Heyman in charge.

Overall a decent week in wrestling with even NXT being interesting. I’ve benefited from a major overpayment on my cable/cell bill and will soon receive a $700 credit on my bill. So I can splurge on WWE’s next Pay Per View and catch the two Money in the Bank matches, the cage match and the Mysterio match. That may not be good if Mysterio is hampered by a fake injury. There are a few other matches on the card, including both the women’s titles being defended, but those four matches are the main attractions. Let’s see if they can deliver on the hype.

Lucians Wrestling Recap

Welcome to another week in wrestling. As usual we have some of the basics from the three WWE shows available in Canada (not counting Vintage Collection) and some thoughts on TNA. We kick off with Monday’s RAW.

Raw opens with Nexus, Wade Barrett is back thankfully. The GM rules no Nexus members can compete for titles for three months. And the no touching rule is over. Seven WWE faces led by Cena come out to take down Nexus. But before they can get to Nexus a gang of seven heels led by Sheamus attack the faces. Nexus bails. So much for the united front.

Is the GM Stone Cold Steve Austin? They want you to think so.

Tonight, they’re pushing the 8-man Money in the Bank match hard. The Miz hurts R-Truth. So badly, in fact, he is pulled from the Money in the Bank match. Edge hosts his talk show, “The Cutting Edge”, with Chris Jericho and Evan Bourne. But Bourne doesn’t get to speak. It ends up with Edge and Jericho being forced to team to face Bourne and Orton. That ends up being the match of the night and continues to cement Evan Bourne as a real player on RAW.

Kosolv and Santino finally team up on a trial basis. But William Regal has wrangled The Great Khali, still with his brother, to be his partner. Khali never even gets in the match as Koslov takes down Regal. So Khali takes revenge on Regal as well.

Lawler gets in one of the better lines I’ve heard from him in a while about the Nexus’ attack on the Legends; “Blowing out somebody else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter.” And Arn Anderson gets screen time. That’s always good.

Scary fact, the show ends with talking so the actual main event match is a Diva’s title match between Alicia Fox and Eve Torres. Alicia wins after a feigned injury.

We end the show with John Cena being ordered to meet Wade Barrett in the ring and shake hands. But no, Cena is having too much fun to stop now. The brawl that follows lasts until enough regular faces come out to tip the odds in their favor. Nexus runs, they leave Darren Young behind which should tell you they think as little of him as I do. The GM still wants peace. Cena locks an STF on Young. Just don’t use a tie. But Cena gets punished with a 7 on 1 handicap next week. But he beats down Young long after the match is supposed to be over. This show ran over 2 hours and 15 minutes. If I hadn’t stayed up to watch the end live I would have missed it.

On NXT they repeat their bizarre microphone contest where they give the seven remaining rookies random words to talk about for 30 seconds. “Showtime” Percy Watson wins this one. No elimination, this week is just a pretty standard show.

As for Smackdown, Drew McIntyre is also back, just in time to be humiliated by GM Teddy Long. But it earns him a match against Kofi Kingston and he must win to earn a spot in Money in the Bank. The other spot is one the line in a Triple Threat between Chavo Guererro, Dolph Ziggler and MVP. Chavo and Dolph team up for most of the match, at the instruction of Vickie Guererro, but Chavo eventually goes into business for himself. That doesn’t stop Dolph Ziggler from winning and I totally called it last week.

Rey Mysterio is in an ankle cast. Swagger attacks and really savagely targets the ankle. This seems strong for PG even. But Swagger is looking intimidating and it takes the arrival of Big Show to save Rey.

The McIntyre/Kingston match turns out to be pretty decent and gets a fair amount of time. It’s suitable for the 9:00 hour when the show is trying to hold current viewers and draw in new ones. McIntyre gets the win, which makes me two for two in predicting the last entrants in the Smackdown MitB match. That said, no clue who replaces R-Truth on RAW. I predict it will be someone I like better.

To keep CM Punk a player despite being injured we have strife in the Straight Edge Society. Both Serena and Gallows have improved on the microphone since they joined Punk. The main event pits Big Show versus Jack Swagger. I predict Show will tap to the ankle lock. But, surprise, surprise, it’s a double countout and Swagger finds himself attracting the attention of Kane. Swagger promises to supply an alibi for the attack on The Undertaker next week.

So with just over a week left until the Money in the Bank Pay Per View we get solid performances from the main shows while NXT has never been what it could have.

TNA has a PPV this weekend. Highlights include a Fatal Fourway between champion Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Ken Anderson and Abyss. Also Doug Williams defends the X division title against Brian Kendrick in a match with two ways to win: submission or Ultimate X rules. AJ Styles and Kazarian must put their difference aside to face a mystery team selected by Ric Flair. The Jay Lethal/Ric Flair match could be interesting. Kurt Angle faces The Pope D’Angelo Dinero in a rankings match and, for tag team fans, The Motor City Machine Guns face Beer Money. As usual, I won’t be paying to watch it.

WWE Fatal Four Way

Check out Part 1 of Lucian’s WWE Fatal Fourway 2010 Wrestling Report here.

Another surprise is that the Smackdown Fatal Fourway is up next, well before the main event. The video promo makes it obvious Kane is going to interfere in this match. Our competitors are the masked luchador Rey Mysterio Jr, CM Punk who recently had his head shaved but hid it by also wearing a mask, the 485 found, 7’ tall Big Show and the champion, two time All-American American Jack Swagger. We get long entrances, including Rey bumping heads with masked children in the audience to remind management he sells a lot of merchandise. I had heard Rey was in danger of leaving the fed with contract negotiations not going well.

The announcer keep saying these are the worst odds a champion can face. There’s never been a five or six man match for a championship? The match gets underway and, typical of these matches, at any given time one or two competitors are usually down and out to keep the action limited to one place so the audience can easily follow. Rey gets to show off his high flying, Show gets to be a giant, Swagger displays technical skills while Punk is the cunning opportunist. Matt Striker compares CM Punk to Charles Manson and David Koresh, which I’m sure helps the PG rating.

Kane shows up, as expected, wheeling in a casket. It’s CM Punk he goes after and he slams him inside the coffin. Punk’s lackey Luke Gallows saves him then drags him away. Kane follows but we’re down to a three-man match. Back when Kane first unmasked they did this ridiculous make-up job on him to make him look deformed and monstrous. It went over so badly and was mocked so mercilessly that the next week the make-up was gone and they never spoke of it again.

The match doesn’t actually last much longer as Rey hits a 619 on Jack Swagger then drops a dime for the pin. I guess he signed a new contract and this was his reward. But Rey has never pinned Big Show and probably never will. This is a surprise for sure but it doesn’t immediately lead into a new story. Overall a good match though.

Ok, if you are new to this I should explain. WWE launched a fake reality show earlier this year called NXT. 8 rookies were competing for one spot on the roster. But after the season the 8 formed a rogue gang to demand they all get contracts. Their first target was John Cena and they’ve ended up battling the entire RAW roster. One was legit fired as I mentioned earlier but 7 remain. They could have killed Bret Hart and now John Cena is here to tell them off. He expects if NXT shows up for their match then all four of the competitors will stand united. He also says he’s not going out there to lose no matter what the odds are.

The Miz vs. R-Truth is next. The Miz won R-Truth’s United States Championship in a preview Fatal Fourway on Monday Night RAW. This is R-Truth’s rematch. The Miz starts by, aptly, running down R-Truth and his tired entrance rap. Miz is an incredible heel. He can make people hate him. The match itself is absolutely awful. It’s nothing but punching and kicking without even the most basic of wrestling moves for variety. We spend part of the overly long match trying to figure how much money we deserve back for having to sit through this. Long, painful story short, Miz retains.

In an interview Edge plays shrink and discusses how he is the only one with the mental acumen to win the Fatal Fourway tonight.

The six person mixed tag match (women can only fight women, men can only fight men) between the Hart Dynasty and the Ousos feels like a filler match designed to give the audience a chance to catch their breath before the main event. The problem is that’s not necessary after the suckage of the previous match. There’s some good technical wrestling here but Natalya is the most interesting competitor in the match. It’s nice that she gets the win after the Dynasty dedicated the match to the “injured” Bret Hart.

John Cena is the face of WWE. Management has huge faith in him. If he’s not the champion he’s within striking distance of it at any time. But many fans resent him, feeling he is shoved down our throats. So we’re treated to dueling “Let’s go Cena!” and “Cena sucks!” chants. Edge and Shamus are the heels (bad guys) in the match while Randy Orton recently underwent a turn (changing from heel to babyface) without actually changing how he acts very much.

We see about four guys watching on a monitor in what is described as the locker room. I’ve never seen a locker room with curtains covering all the walls. That will become important later. It’s another good match with everyone looking like they could win at some point. But the NXT rookies attack the locker room then head to the ring. The announce team bails since they’ve been attacked before. The seven rookies attack Cena. Edge tries to come to his aid but gets beaten down as well. While the rookies are distracted Shamus decides “Screw solidarity” and pins the beaten down Cena. The ref was awfully brave to hang around but Shamus wins the title and runs with it. The rookies turn their attention back to beating down Cena. Then, when Shamus returns to the ramp to show off his title the rookies give chase and Shamus turns tails and runs. We close on Edge, Cena and Orton all laid out. Never did see what happened to Orton. There’s a long boring period of just Cena trying to crawl around before the show goes off the air.

So, all in all, I thought it was a half decent show. It’s not like this was a major Pay Per View like Wrestlemania or SummerSlam. Yet the title changed hands in all three Fatal Fourway matches so they weren’t afraid to make some changes. The NXT angle was advanced, though not by much, and Cena had a major excuse for losing his title. Only the Miz match was truly awful with the two big Fatal Fourways rising to good. While this is not a good place for a new viewer to start tonight’s episode of RAW (on USA Network in the US and The Score in Canada) might be a good place to start.

WWE Fatal Four Way

By way of introduction I’m known as Lucian (not my real name) and I’m a professional wrestling fan from Toronto, Ontario. I watch all the wrestling I can on TV and sometimes order a Pay Per View. I’ve been a fan for years (since the day of the original Raw/Smackdown brand split to be precise) and play wrestling video games and write wrestling fan fiction for Hollywood the Game. I’m looking to be your regular wrestling columnist for My Hollywood Dream. On Saturday I attended the Ring of Honor internet Pay Per View and last night I watched World Wrestling Entertainment’s Fatal Fourway Pay Per View.

If you wonder why I like wrestling there are a number of reasons. I’m a big fan of long-term continuity. A few weeks ago Rampage Jackson was on Monday Night RAW promoting the new A-Team movie. To make a long story short Rowdy Roddy Piper showed up still nursing a grudge against Mr. T and the original A-Team. Where else but a soap opera or a comic book do characters show up nursing a grudge over two decades old? Unlike a comic book these are real people. They age, they retire, they learn, they come, they go but it’s one big storyline stretching back to the fifties. Unlike soap operas it has impressive displays of stage combat. As a former stage actor I was always a sucker for good stage combat. I also like larger than life characters, classic struggles between good and evil and some comedy mixed in now and then. Plus hot women (and men) means I expect to be a fan for a long time to come.

That does not mean I think the current state of American professional wrestling is particularly strong. WWE is struggling to adapt to its new PG rating while Vince Mcmahon’s wife Linda runs for public office. TNA tries to offer an alternative but they usually look second rate compared to WWE and seem to blow every opportunity that comes their way. Ring of Honor offers a true alternative but not on a major TV network and with their Pay Per Views on the internet. But wrestling can change on a dime. One new personality could change everything. There could be a next Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin about to debut at any minute. You never know…

Which brings us to tonight’s show. Some interesting things have been going on in WWE programming lately and we’re going to see things come to a head tonight. The rookies from season one of new show NXT have invaded the company. The Undertaker was found beaten into a vegetative state (to cover a real life injury) and his brother Kane will stop at nothing to find the culprit. And, perhaps most important of all both the major championships will be defended in Fatal Fourway matches; where the champ has a statistical 75% chance to lose his championship. Add in a few minor matches and it should be a full card. But who knows, a last minute match could always be added.

Our opening promo highlights that we’re seeing two big Fatal Fourways tonight. For the uneducated a Fatal Fourway is a four-person match where everyone competes at the same time and the first person to score a pinfall or force a wrestler to submit wins the match. We’ll also see a women’s Fatal Fourway tonight but that’s not important enough to mention in opening credits. Also, the Smackdown half of the promo heavily features Kane, who is not even in the match, and his quest to find out who put his “brother” The Undertaker in a “vegetative state”.

We begin with an appearance by Mr. McMahon himself. He’s here to let us know Raw General Manager Bret Hart will not be here tonight. He even shows us the footage of the renegade faction of former NXT rookies attempting vehicular homicide on Hart. Recently Daniel Bryan was legit fired for choking someone out with a tie, but apparently using a car as a weapon is just fine for a PG rated show.

Before Vince leaves we bring out Vince’s pet project Drew McIntyre. They shake hands and when Drew reaches the ring he calls out Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, who he has been abusing for weeks, to watch his title shot from ringside. We finally hear from the announce team as current Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston arrives to defend his belt. It’s a 3-man announce team tonight of Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Matt “The Teacher” Striker.

This is a good choice for opening match. Drew McIntyre isn’t a great wrestler yet but Kofi’s flashy style keeps the match exciting throughout. McIntyre works typical heel style, inflicting early damage on Kofi’s left arm then focusing on it throughout. With so much focus on Teddy Long at ringside it’s no surprise when the ref goes down and McIntyre forces Teddy Long to take his place. But Teddy grows a pair and refuses to count Drew’s pin. But Drew’s other enemy, Matt Hardy, attacks him, despite being suspended. This lets Kofi make the comeback and this time Teddy is happy to count the pin.

A quick backstage segment tells us The Hart Dynasty have a 6-person tag against newcomers the Ousos and Tamita tonight. Neither Tyson Kidd nor David Hart Smith are any great shakes on the microphone yet.

The first Fatal Fourway of the night is the most minor, for the Divas championship. This being WWE it’s more about being hot than being a great wrestler. Gone at the days of the Fabulous Moohla. Our competitors are Maryse (hot French Canadian), Gail Kim (hot Korean Canadian), Alicia Fox (hot African American) and champion Eve Torres (hot Hispanic American). Of them all Alicia Fox is my least favorite and she picks up a win by stealing the pin from Eve, becoming the new Divas championship. It would have been a bad idea to have the champion retain but Fox is not someone I think deserves a title belt.

We get a face-to-face between Rey Mysterio and The Big Show, the good guys in the Smackdown Fatal Fourway, to make it clear they are not going to do each other any favors. Rey looks like a midget compared to Big Show. Show’s fist is almost as big as Rey’s head.

Another surprise match between Chris Jericho and Evan Bourne. Word is WWE Management put Chris Jericho in the doghouse after he signed to do the ABC TV game show Downfall (Tuesday at 9 on ABC) and John Cena recently went to bat for Evan Bourne. So it’s no surprise when the rising youngster picks up the win. But Jericho doesn’t dog it at all and the match is superb. If you need to punish Jericho then losing to a rising star is far smarter than having Big Show crush him as they did on RAW.

To find out the results of the rest of the WWE’s Fatal Fourway event, check out part 2 of Lucian’s Wrestling Report.

(A note from The Pit:) Today, we have a guest post from wrestling fanatic and friend of My Hollywood Dream, Lucian.  He is here to talk about Wrestlemania XXVI and make predictions about match outcomes…


Batista [C] vs. John Cena
WWE Championship

This has had very good build up. Batista rightfully pointed out that he and Cena are the biggest stars to emerge since the Attitude era. The concern is that Cena may still be working through an injury. Of course, it’s Wrestlemania so you know he is going to give all he can. Will it be enough for a good match? Let’s hope so. Batista owns a pin over Cena already and faces (good guys) usually win the big matches at WM.

Prediction: Cena.

Chris Jericho [C] vs. Edge
World Heavyweight Championship

This is another match match where health is at question. Edge is /just/ back from an injury he rehabbed awfully quick. But they’ve been playing that up in the storyline, which probably means it isn’t true. If Edge is in great shape this could be a classic.

Prediction: The guy who wasn’t recently arrested: Edge.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Career vs. Streak
No Disqualifications, No Count Outs

By all rights this should be the main event. It’s certainly had the most buildup. Some say Shawn Michaels is really going to retire after this. Will he try to outperform the classic these two put on at last year’s Wrestlemania? Both these guys always pull out all the stops at the big show. Watch for Taker to do a leap over the top rope to the outside, walk the ropes and hit a wide variety of finishers. Watch for HBK to go for Sweet Chin Music like twenty times.

Prediction: Taker of course, let’s just hope the retirement is work not shoot.

Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon
No Holds Barred

Here we have a senior citizen taking on a stroke victim. Do not expect a wrestling clinic. but this is No Holds Barred which means organized chaos, weapons, maybe a run in or two and a shitload of closed-fisted punching. Both these men know they may never wrestle another match in their lives. Of course both are pretty brittle and a very real injury could happen. By all the gods, a few Royal Rumbles back Vince tore both quads just /entering the ring/! This could range from trainwreck to classic grudge match. We’ll have to see. It’s just a shame Earl Hebner works for TNA now. Having him ref the match and pull a screw job finish on Vince would be beyond epic.

Prediction: In wrestling they talk about “owing someone a job”, VKM owes the Hitman the mother of all jobs. No way Bret loses here.

Triple H vs. Sheamus

The buildup to this was abrupt as Sheamus missed some time with a legit concussion. Still they did a good job with the little time they had. Triple H informed Sheamus what a crushing blow it is to be crushed at your first Wrestlemania. After all, he got squashed by The Ultimate Warrior his first big show and his career went into a tailspin. HHH vowed it was his turn to do that to Sheamus. So, the outcome depends entirely on how much faith Paul Levesque has in Sheamus the performer.

Prediction: For reasons that escape me the PtB seem to have a lot of faith in Sheamus. Some heels have to win at WM and they tend to be guys on the rise. And while WM is generally the place to end feuds you have to start some new ones or the fans have no reason to tune in to RAW the next night. So I say Sheamus goes over here and HHH beats him at the next two PPVs to even the score.

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
If Mysterio Loses He Must Join the Straight Edge Society

Another rushed feud and I never like it when they involve Rey’s family. The shadows of the horrendous “Who is Dominic’s father?” with Eddie Guerrero still linger. It sucks the one time I saw Eddie live was in the middle of that feud. Anyway, if Rey loses he joins CM Punk’s stable.

Prediction: Again some heels have to win at WM, and Rey joining the straight edge society has long term story potential. So Punk adds another Wrestlemania win. Wait, has he ever lost at WM? Oh yeah 23 he lost MitB to Mr. Kennedy.

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes
Triple Threat Match

9 months ago this would have been a hot match. Now it feels played out. Someone will emerge here as a face and whoever that is will win.

Kane vs. Evan Bourne vs. MVP vs. Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
Money in the Bank
Ladder Match for a World Title Shot

10 men? Really? Really? That’s overdoing it. If your rosters are this overpadded cut a couple guys. I know you try to get everyone a payday at the big show but this is ridiculous. Cut back to six guys and do a 20-man dark match or something.

Big Show & The Miz [C] vs. John Morrison & R-Truth
Unified Tag Team Championship

Despite just being throw together, Morrison and Truth are working together as a well-oiled machine both in the ring and on promos. Truth is stepping up his weak mic work to try to keep up with Morrison and the two just look like stars.

Prediction: The face rule reasserts itself here and we have new champions and a feud that can go for months.

Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres vs. Vickie Guerrero, Maryse, Alicia Fox, Michelle McCool & Layla
10-Women, RAW & SD Tag Match

This is when you argue about what to get on the pizza, order food and enjoy the eye candy. Except Vickie Guererro will be in shot a lot so it will be like looking at a porn mag then a picture of your mother.

Prediction: Good gals.

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2010
Stu Hart
Gorgeous George
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon
Wendi Richter
Antonio Inoki
Bob Uecker

As a Canadian I am required by law to worship Stu Hart. Gorgeous George is long overdue. DiBiase’s timing is good and makes me rethink who will win the legacy match. Mad Dog and Richter make good low level picks and Inoki is a foreign superstar. And if you are going to have a celebrity wing to the HoF Bob Uecker certainly belongs in it. Let’s just hope K-Fed never gets inducted.

Still, there’s no real superstar the fans truly know this time. Warrior turned them down. Even Honky Tonk Man turned them down. It’s too soon for The Rock. Sting is with the competition. Are there any really big stars out there still to induct? Sound off below.

Anyway, I’ll have guests over for the show. Should be a blast. Starts at 7 pm EST. Let’s hope it’s a great one!

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