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WWE Elimination Chamber

This PPV was the last before the WWE Network launches and it was a serious hard sell for that new service. WWE Pay Per View revenues are about to plunge and it’s vital to put on a good face for the company right now. Notice I said good face for the company not of the company. So what does WWE do? It once again shows it can’t give the fans (or you can call them the WWE Universe if you want to induce vomiting) what they want.

Much of the PPV was fine stuff. The battle between the two most dominant factions of today, the Wyatts and the Shield, was stellar. Despite both being heel teams the crowd was deeply into the match and cheering for both sides. In fact, a “This is Awesome” chant broke out even before either side had so much as touched each other. The match itself lived up to the hype and was, easily, the highlight of the night.

The Diva’s championship match between AJ and Cameron was decent filler with AJ taking a sick looking accidental kick from her bodyguard Tamina Snuka that almost cost her her championship. Fortunately for her, Tamina was also there to attack Cameron and draw a DJ, letting AJ slip away with the title and extend her record-breaking reign.

The Intercontinental Championship match was better than I expected it to be as Big E Langston and Jack Swagger put on a fine opener with Langston retaining.

WWE New Age Outlaws

Beyond that, the booking was mostly a train wreck. The New Age Outlaws were carried to a marginally decent match by their opponents The Usos; but they have no business being in a WWE ring let alone tag team champions. Billy Gunn is 50 years old. Does he have to have a heart attack in the ring like Jerry Lawler before he’ll think about hanging up his boots. A gymnasium somewhere in Newark is missing its headliners because Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are taking a spot on the WWE roster that deserves to go to a younger, more athletic, team.

I have not seen a match as crapped on by the crowd as the Batista/Alberto Del Rio was in a very long time. Despite del Rio coming to the ring faking an injury, claiming to be unfit to wrestler then attacking Batista with a crutch the crowd still started out cheering him. They moved on to cheering for: Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, RVD, Chris Jericho and I think a few others I missed. They even invented a new term “Bootista” that is up there with “Boo-urns” in terms of cleverness. Batisita was meant to be the company’s major face going into Wrestlemania and the fans are so far from backing him they might as well be on another planet.

Which brings us to the main event. Six men put on what was actually a good match. Cesaro got a chance to shine. Christian and Sheamus appear to be set to collide at Mania and this feud was continued with a great Frogsplash off the top of a pod. Sheamus got to Brogue Kick a Plexiglas plate into Orton. The Wyatts reappeared to attack Cena to set up another likely Mania match and Kane again interfered against Bryan. But, in the end, when Bryan was eliminated and Orton retained, the crowd completely deflated. They weren’t angry. They didn’t hate Orton. They simply could not believe that, once again, the WWE had completely ignored the views they had made crystal clear. The fans want Daniel Bryan as champion going into Mania. And continuing to ignore them is going to start driving fans away in droves no matter how cheap WWE Network may be.

WWE Randy Orton

Also, Hulk Hogan is back and will host Wrestlemania. Sure, whatever.

Did you watch the 2014 Elimination Chamber? Will you be signing up for the WWE Network?

1000 episodes. Every week since January 11, 1993. It’s an achievement worthy of celebrating. How will WWE handle it?

They began with an amazing promo heavy on celebrities, recently retired wrestlers and Eddie Guerrero. Eddie certainly deserves it. Vince had to start the show to get his own standing ovation, but he soon brings out DX. Lots of DX as X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws eventually join the fun. They are interrupted by a rookie superstar who goes by the moniker of Damian Sandow. He’s a guy who thinks of the others as common trash while he brings intelligence, enlightenment and saves us from ourselves. So of course, he gets beaten down by the legends doing their old antics.

And therein lies the problem with most of the show, nostalgia winning out over current events. Jim Ross doing guest commentary is all well and good and I’m sure it was many an RoH fan’s dream to see CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and The Rock in the ring all together. The problem is The Rock was made to look like the best of them. The Rock is usually off shooting movies. These other guys bust their asses for you over 200 nights a year. Why make them seem lesser?

We get plenty of 1993 trivia (the year RAW went on the air), Charlie Sheen doing commentary when he clearly knows nothing about the product, and all kinds of social media tweets, trends and touts. Twitter is clearly a sponsor, part of a relentless wave of product placement throughout the show.  And WWE has the audacity to introduce their 100,000,000th social media follower. But that’s across all platforms and we all know how much duplication there is across social media platforms. And how would you single out one person joining at one exact point across all platforms. I think they just took a guess and the lucky guy got to come to the show.

Big events? Stephanie McMahon convinced Paul Heyman to let Triple H (two more aging “Superstars”) fight Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. The Miz defeated Christian for the Intercontinental title. AJ left Daniel Bryan at the altar to instead become the  new RAW General Manager. The Rock gets a title shot at Wrestlemania for the big shiny belt. The Undertaker returned to save his brother Kane from a beatdown by six random heel jobbers. Yep, two old guys beat 6 new guys. I can understand throwing Heath Slater under the bus by having him lose to Lita since that’s about all he’s good for. It was nice to see the double Tombstone one more time though.

All this left 15 minutes for the main event, and even then it was slow paced. John Cena cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. CM Punk again showed he’s an amazing technical wrestler while John Cena showed how he can keep a crowd involved in a match no matter which side is winning. There was a good old fashioned ref bump and Cena should have pinned Punk. Then Big Show interfered to attack Cena and land the knockout punch. A reluctant CM Punk pinned Cena only to have him kick out. Then Big Show attacked again, but this time in plain view of the ref. Thus the main event of RAW 1000 ended in a DQ.

And really, that’s why I’m giving up. Three hour RAWs every week is too much. Add Smackdown, NXT, Superstars, TNA (who are rumored to be getting another two hour show) and RoH (who would love to expand to two hours) and it’s all too much. Wrestling quality today is not high. They are letting their past stars dominate and only a select few new ones can work hard enough to earn a spot at the top. After ten years, I say goodbye to professional wrestling* and move on to new horizons.

Results of all matches:

  • Rey Mysterio Jr., Sin Cara and World Heavyweight Champion Seamus defeated Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio in a Six-man Tag Match.
  • Brodus Clay squashed Jack Swagger
  • The Miz defeated Christian to win the Intercontinental Championship
  • Lita defeated Heath Slater with the help of the APA in a No Disqualification, No Count-out Match
  • John Cena defeated CM Punk by disqualification after Big Show interfered in the Money in the Bank match. CM Punk retains the title.

Guest stars included:
X-Pac, New Age Outlaws, APA, Lita, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Mae Young with her grown up hand son, Dude Love, Trish Stratus, Slick, Bret Hart, Howard Finkle, Vader, Road Warrior Animal, Psycho Sid, Rikishi, Sgt. Slaughter, DDP, Doink, Roddy Piper, Bob Backlund, Fozzie Bear and Gene Okerlund.

*Except for finishing running my Know Your Role campaign and writing two sourcebooks for Wild World Wrestling. Heck, I might as well make some money out of this.

Flashback: March 28, 2010. My Hollywood Dream posted a guest column of predictions for Wrestlemania XXVI. Little did anyone know what that column would become. Let’s see what’s changed since then, shall we?

First off, Batista was in one of the main event matches last year. He’s since retired, perhaps for good. Also defending a world championship was Chris Jericho, now off dancing with stars. Shawn Michaels lost a retirement match that night and has kept to his word and not wrestled since unlike my icon Ric Flair. Triple H made one of his last appearances until just recently when he faced Sheamus. These days Sheamus is lucky to have a midcard title and his last encounter with HHH left him humiliated. The streak is on the line once again as HHH gets a second chance nobody wants to mention is a second chance.

Remember when Bret Hart was back on TV? I do. I saw him win the United States Championship live and I would never have thought I’d be able to say that.

CM Punk has gone from the Straight Edged Society to the New Nexus to facing Randy Orton alone at Wrestlemania tonight. Edge is a champion, instead of a challenger. Heck, a year ago Alberto Del Rio didn’t exist he was still Dos Caras Jr. And nobody dreamed Mistico would sign with WWE and change his name to Sin Cara. Cody Rhodes was in a triple threat with Randy Orton and Ted Dibiase Jr. And everyone thought Dibiase had more upside. Now Ted’s not even getting on TV while Cody has a red hot feud with Rey Mysterio to settle in one-on-one action.

We still had a Money In The Bank match last year. We had no Rock, no Austin, no Snooki and Jerry Lawler had still never wrestled at Wrestlemania. The Miz was in a tag team with The Big Show. Now The Miz is in the main event and Show is in an eight-man tag along with a comedy duo and an awkward, face turning, Kane. Kane didn’t have that bad a year though as he held the World Heavyweight Championship for a decent run and got several victories over The Undertaker. Last year Vickie Guererro was actually wrestling. At least that’s improved.

But enough about last year. On to Wrestlemania XXVII and my live blog recap!

6:59 still short two guests.

7:00 We’re on with Kari Hilson singing America the Beautiful.

7:03 Rock time.

7:07 we get the preliminaries out of The Way and The Rock speaks.

7:13 I fall behind as guest #3 arrives. Justin and Mitchell are now here and only Nicole is expected. She’s stuck at a family gathering for now. Rock draws a “Fruity Pebbles” chant.

7:17 Justin “If he were to face it up any more he would kiss a baby.”

7:18 Rock gets all his catchphrases out and gets the crowd fired up then takes off while a video starts.

Mitchell “It’s a small African country’s budget worth of pyro for the opening.

Alberto Del Rio, who won the Royal Rumble, gets stuck in the opening slot. Christian is out for the match too. $1000, Bentley and the huge screens show us his estate. There’s Brodus Clay too.

Edge’s taped arm is, of course, the early target. Mania level bumps are coming early.

Mitchell “Oh Brodus Clay, you are too ugly for Wrestlemania.”

Justin gets in the first “Shut up Cole!” of the night.

Action on the outside between Christian and Brodus Clay.

Nicole arrives.

Edge hits a Spear and actually wins. Edge winning at Mania? I’m stunned. Edge tries to beat up a Rolls Royce. Normally one would use a weapon for this. So here’s Christian with a tire iron and a lead pipe.

Cody Rhodes is up next. Mysterio is in Captain America gear. Someone I forgot was coming shows up.

Mitchell “Nerve pinch is a sign of a bad match.”

We talk tsunami.

Rhodes survives the 619. Rey steals Cody’s mask. But it’s not enough as Cody Rhodes wins using the knee braces as a weapon. I’m 0-2 on predictions so far.

Snoop Dog and Teddy Long. Bad talent competition to get lower card people and Roddy Piper on the show. HORNSWOGGLE RAPS! Real words! Wow! That was worth part of the price of the show.

8-man tag time. The Corres versus Kane, Big Show, Santino and Kozlov. Except Kozlov is still out from the previous beating so Kofi Kingston takes his place. Better! It’s very short and Heath Slater takes a Cobra and Big Show punch and the faces win and I finally get one right.

Rock and Eve. Mae Young! Austin!

Time for Punk/Orton. And it’s just a great match. Orton is really selling the leg. Ring Psychology is a rare thing now. Orton’s knee gives out on the punt, the Punk just escapes an RKO. Then Punk attempts a high flying move and Orton RKOs him out of midair.

Rock is with Mean Gene. And John Cena’s #1 fan is coming to confront Rock. It’s Pee Wee Herman. But Rock convinces him to change sides.

Hall of Fame introduction by Howard Finkel. Abdullah the Butcher is Canadian. HBK overshadows all the rest. Sunny looks great.

Now Cole and Lawler are up. Booker T and Jim Ross take their places on commentary. We get a lot of action on the outside before the match officially wins. Swaggerr interference lets Cole actually get in offence. An-Cole lock doesn’t win it and, when Jerry turns it around Swagger tries to throw in the towel. Swagger ends up with a Stunner instead. Fist Drop by Lawlwer but he breaks his own pin at two. Instead of a Piledriver Lawler put on an Ankle Lock of his own. Cole taps immediately but Austin makes a long show of confirming he wants to quit before ringing the bell. Swagger carries Cole away as Austin and Lawler drink in the ring. Booker joins them for a Spin-a-roonie only to get a Stunner for his trouble. But the RAW GM thinks the referee went too far and DQs Lawler retroactively. In a clear case if shooting the messenger Josh Matthews also eats a Stunner just for delivering the news.

HHH and Undertaker comes before Snooki? Hunter enters to Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls and has a phalanx of legionnaires in front of him.

Mitchell “He can turn water into mist! He’s a wizard!”

Undertaker’s entrance has no druids or flash but still takes 4:17. JR and the King are back together again calling the match. They wreck the Cole Mine. Falcon Dive by Undertaker! Nota good looking one though. There goes the Spanish Announce Desk as Taker is slammed through it.

Mitchell “Man, these guys are wrestling like they only do it once a year.”

This is underwhelming so far. It’s like spot then a nap before another spot. HHH survives a Chokeslam, Taker kicks out of a Pedigree. Now Hunter kicks out of a Last Ride as well. Then he kicks out of a Tombstone Piledriver. Hunter gets a reversal and DDTs Taker on a chair. A second Pedigree doesn’t get the job done. Not even a third can do it. Hunter tries a steel chair. Even a chair shot to the head. They almost never allow that. Triple H even steals the Tombstone but it’s still not enough to stop Taker. Sledgehammer time! But before he can use it Taker counters with Hell’s Gate. Trips struggles for a long time. He almost manages to use the sledgehammer but loses it as his strength fades. In the end he feebly taps out and the streak reaches 19-0. That would have been good if a little of the filler had been trimmed out. Taker collapses after the match. It takes a stretcher buggy to get him out.

Snooki match is up. When will we see Daniel Bryan and Sheamus? Trish does most of the work. Morrison is never legal and Snooki amazes with the two moves she does before getting the pin.

I guess Bryan and Sheamus was a dark match because next The Miz gets an amazing entrance video. But Cena gets an all-black gospel choir. He also has a new red shirt. The early match is another series of spots with no story. Miz escapes an STF, Cena avoids a Skull Crushing Finale. The ref gets knocked out, Cena hits an Attitude Adjustment, but Riley hits Cena with a briefcase. Cena survives the return of the ref yet Miz also kicks out of a second AA. Both men spill over the barrier on the outside and we end up with a double countout. It’s all an excuse to bring in The Rock. Rock blows off the E-GM and restarts the match with no DQs and no countouts. But Cena gets Rock Bottomed and Miz wins the match and retains. Wow my predictions sucked. Miz doesn’t escape Rock’s wrath either. He ends up taking a People’s Elbow and Wrestlemania ends with The Rock on the turnbuckle raising an arm for the crowd.

I can’t say I’m really pleased with this. Everybody worked hard but the most spectacular moves were by Snooki and one dive by The Undertaker. Rock and Austin were little more than nostalgia acts and some matches went too long and some too short. Stacked up against other Wrestlemanias this one looks to be sub-par.

So that’s it. It’s been a fun year but a lot has changed in my life and recapping wrestling is more than I have time to do. I’ll still be watching. But I want to be able to just watch, and on my own schedule, not trying to see it ASAP to get these columns written. I know few people read this but I know, for some, it’s their only source of WWE information. And you know something? Once you accept that the Attitude era is dead and gone and we’re living in the PG-era now WWE programming is worth watching these days. With summer reruns about to descend like locusts it’s a good time to check out shows that run all year. Heck, you might even try giving TNA a chance. Or watch NXT on the web. I think Superstars is on there too. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll recap a PPV or send a note about something interesting every once in a while. I hope everyone continues to read the other fine articles at My Hollywood Dream. I could also do the occasional movie review. And who knows? The next time I find myself between jobs I may be right back here smarking out.

It’s been a pleasure taking this year-long ride with you. Goodnight and goodwrestling!

Posted on April 4th, 2011 by Lucian | Leave a Comment (2)
Filed Under Entertainment

This is the end, my only friend, the end…

The last Smackdown on the road to Wrestlemania and my last regular column. With just the Mania live blog and going away column after this I’m starting to get wistful. I know next to nobody reads this but I hope you’ll miss me too. The show opens with a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship. Wade Barrett come to the ring alone. We get some decent wrestling. Kofi Kingston escape Barrett’s Wasteland Finisher and hits his own, Trouble in Paradise. But as he covers the champ the rest of The Corre run in and attack him for a DQ. That means Barrett keeps the title. Santino and Kozlov run in to make the save but can’t pull it off until Big Show and Kane join them. And Kofi will be in some kind of Battle Royal dark match at Wrestlemania. They usually have one to throw everyone on the card for the big show. Dark means untelevised by the way.

We recap the Cody Rhodes attack on Rey Mysterio before Matt Striker interviews Cody. Not as good as some of Cody’s recent work but he works in that he’ll have both the face mask and the knee brace for Wrestlemania. I expect he’s going to lose anyway. Todd Grisham and the Bellas are at Fan Access, probably taped well after Smackdown itself. Todd introduces the HHH/Undertaker promo video. A commercial is followed by another promo. This one is for CM Punk versus Orton. The Score reveals that Sin Cara debuts on RAW Monday. I guess they want him away from Rey Mysterio for now. Now the Road Warriors video again. Is this a clip show or something? Then they have a promo for playing the recap of The Rock, Miz and Cena from RAW coming later tonight. After another commercial we get a recap of the Jack Swagger versus Jerry Lawler match from I’d like something live to happen so I can start a new paragraph. If I were at this show live I would be demanding a refund.

Ok at least Jerry Lawler is coming out to talk. Cole has vamoosed. Boy is Lawler looking old. Lawler cuts a fine promo reminding Cole just why he’s mad at him and also that Stone Cold Steve Austin will take care of Jack Swagger at Wrestlemania. That will leave just him and Cole. And Lawler will do what the entire WWE universe wants: shut Cole’s mouth.

Wrestlemania press conference. This is a sad Smackdown to go out on. Now a long, long HHH/Undertaker recap from RAW. Now we get The Miz on Conan O’Brien. It’s cool but I’m just sour on the whole show by this point. Sin Cara video. We’re seeing more from Fan Access than a live show. Maybe there was no Smackdown taping this week and the little ring action we’ve seen was taped before or after RAW. Snooki storyline promo. Chaperone trailer.

Del Rio and Edge get a promo and, woah, we have another match! Cody Rhodes will be in action. More Rhodes recap before that. Rhodes’ opponent is Chris Masters so this shouldn’t be much of a match. And with 22 minutes left and the Miz, Cena Rock recap still to come this will be the last Smackdown match I cover. Cole is coming back, accompanied by security. Cody is in total control. He wins easily but Rey Mysterio runs in. Back and forth affair until Rhodes is in the 619 position and he reveals a knee brace of his own. But Rhodes slinks away and Mysterio is denied vengeance. Recap of Chris Jericho on Dancing With The Stars where Jericho is tied for fourth.

Fan Access trio throws us to the last video of the night. The promised Rock, Cena, Miz promo. I can stand watching this again. What exactly The Rock’s roll will be at Wrestlemania is one of the big questions left. Plus there’s Austin to watch for. And Trish is back in the ring. The Hall of Fame class will be introduced but will HBK have an even larger role? This was one the weakest Smackdowns of all time but I’m still psyched for Mania.

Wrestlemania Predictions

  • Triple H versus Undertaker – Undertaker
  • John Cena versus The Miz – John Cena
  • Edge versus Alberto Del Rio – Del Rio
  • Lay-Cool and Ziggler versus John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki – Snooki
  • Sheamus versus Daniel Bryan – Sheamus
  • The Corre versus Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov – The Big Red Ukrainian Cobra
  • Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio – Mysterio
  • Jerry Lawler versus Michael Cole – Lawler
  • CM Punk versus Randy Orton – CM Punk but it could easily go either way

Sunday is my last column. I hope you’ll drop by.

My last RAW recap for the foreseeable future starts with CM Punk in the middle of the ring in front of a cheering Chicago crowd. Punk toys with the crowd for a bit before making them hate him. Punk doesn’t care about the New Nexus or the Chicago crowd. Punk stole Orton’s family’s respect from him. And he will end this sick and twisted story at Wrestlemania. But Orton is here, limping at tortoise speed, with a heavily taped knee. Orton still manages to fight and hits his rope assisted DDT. Orton tries for the punt but his bad leg gives out. That leaves Orton at Punk’s mercy and he delivers the Go To Sleep to look strong going into thebig show.

Edge and Christian are teaming up again. Apparently the RAW GM has no problem with Edge laying hands on Alberto Del Rio. The opponents are the rather obvious Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Clay starts and Edge and Christian end up double teaming him. Then a commercial before Del Rio is even in the match. Back from commercial Edge and Del Rio have not been legal at the same time yet. Christian takes the face in peril role. When he finally does tag out Clay comes in. Christian and Del Rio mix it up on the outside which allows Edge to Spear Clay for the win. Del Rio has the Cross Armbreaker on Christian but runs when Edge nears. When Edge turns back Del Rio comes back and ambushes him. Del Rio again hit Edge with his finisher and we won’t know who comes out ahead until Friday.

Cole has an iPad, which looks more like a netbook, so he can read the GM’s emails without leaving his Cole Mine. GM wants to see if Jerry Lawler is ready so tonight he will face Jack Swagger. Yet another great HHH versus Undertaker promo that continues to ignore that HHH already lost to Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Kane and Big Show are at ringside as Justin Gabriel (accompanied by The Corre) faces Santino Marella (accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov) and they finally announce a Wrestlemania match for these people. It will be an eight-man tag with The Corre facing Big Show, Kane, Kozlov and Marella. Sucks to be Kofi Kingston right now. Also means neither the tag belts nor the IC title will be defended at the biggest show of the year. The faces keep order at ringside, Santino hits the Cobra and a very short match ends happily. Have Kozlov and Tamina been doing Santino’s trombone motion for a while? Big Show doing it is funny. Kane doing it is even funnier.

Here’s Undertaker. Here’s Trips. Taker steals HHH’s thunder this time around by interrupting his water spit with a peal of the gong and the lights going out. I have some cable problems as they stare each other down. Neither has a microphone. Then HBK shows up. HBK plays to the crowd for ages before actually getting a microphone. HBK has a ghost of a beard and he is in dire need of Just For Men. HBK recaps the whole situation before asking his best friend what makes him he think he can do what Shawn couldn’t? HHH tells him he went soft. Cared more about being the Showstopper than winning. HHH turns to Taker and rhymes off how amazing he was when Hunter started out. But now HHH has to respectfully tell him it’s time to go. He can’t do it anymore. And if he can’t accept it then it’s Hunter’s job to take him out. He even steals “Rest in Peace.” Now Taker grabs the microphone. Taker respect Hunter and if it were time to put him down he’d want Hunter to do it. But it ain’t that time. The streak will live. Ask HBK. Taker runs down Michaels until he tries a Superkick, which is caught. Hunter pushes Shawn out of the way and stares down Taker before asking Shawn to tell him why he’ll beat Taker at Mania. But Shawn has nothing to say. Oh great a “One more match” chant. Shawn retreats to the entrance ramp before admitting he thinks Hunter won’t win. Taker just tips his hat triumphantly and heads off to the sound of Johnny Cash. Top notch segment from three of the best of all time.

Swagger versus Lawler leaves only Josh Matthews to call the match as Cole is at ringside. Let’s see if Matthews can do what Joey Matthews did for years. It spills to the outside right away and Lawler just grabs a chair and wails on Swagger getting DQed. Josh Matthews sits silently. Lawler threatens Cole with the chair and Cole retreats to the Cole Mine. Lawler beats on it with the chair as Josh tries to warn him he’ll be fired. Lawler does what seems most people should have thought of and climbs over the top. But with security holding him back he can’t reach Cole who throws what looks like ginger ale in his eyes.

Vickie Guererro makes fun of John Morrison then Snooki. Dolph Ziggler joins her to wrestle a tag team match. His partner is Sheamus. Let me guess: John Morrison and Daniel Bryan will be the opponents. Yep. This close to any PPV the match-ups are fairly predictable. We get a commercial early in the match. Daniel Bryan gets a La Bell lock on Ziggler but Sheamus breaks it up. Fast forward a bit and he almost gets it on Sheamus but the Celtic King is able to escape and hit a Brogue Kick to win the match. Since Morrison is probably winning at Mania and Bryan is probably losing I would have gone with a different finish. Sheamus pinning Morrison would work better.

New interviewer guy asks Orton if he’ll make Wrestlemania. Orton has anger management issues and he despises CM Punk more than anyone else. It’s not if he will make it to Wrestlemania; it’s if CM Punk will make it out. The final Hall of Fame inductee of the year is, actually are, the Road Warriors. Snooki has been training with Trish. Not to speak proper English though. They’re live via satellite at a bar so Lay-Cool can attack them in a new and interesting location. They manage to fight them off only to have their calls of “bitches” bleeped by USA Network.

Time for a main event promo. The three-way faceoff between The Rock, John Cena and The Miz. This show is going to go way over time, I can tell. Rock is out first. He long-windedly, and catch-phrase heavily, calls out Cena. And yeah, of course he shows up. All Cena wants to say is Rock is still awesome and this is where he belongs. But Cena actually fights back by pointing out that Rock has been making fun of Cena for colors, music and appealing to kids. Who the Hell is he? And a potential fight is cut off, finally, by the arrival of The Miz. He’s sick of being overshadowed by Overhyped and Overrated. But at least Cena will go down fighting. Rock’s a movie star too scared to risk Miz hurting him. Miz has flipped the W on his microphone again. It takes Alex Riley and The Miz together to even give The Rock pause but he beats them off and delivers a People’s Elbow to The Miz. Cue John Cena to return to camera range and hit The Rock with an Attitude Adjustment, or FU if you prefer the original name. Cena gets to play his music at the end of the show and the last RAW on the road to Wrestlemania.

See you Friday for one last Smackdown!

Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Raw (3/28/11)
Filed Under Entertainment

Hard to believe but we’re into my final four columns. Or maybe I’ll do an epilogue after my Mania live recap. We’ll see. I will miss doing this but I need to spend more time at the office.

So Teddy Long steps in and says Edge and Del Rio can’t touch each other before Mania or they are both off the card. Edge is pissed because Del Rio already hurt him and he can’t retaliate. Meanwhile, in the arena itself, CM Punk arrives and we get a quick recap of his set-up and ambush on Randy Orton from RAW. He’s facing Rey Mysterio, who he robbed of the chance to beat Randy Orton clean. It’s a very good match and given some time but Cody Rhodes runs in for yet another non-finish. Rhodes delivers repeated Headbutts with his mask the lifts his pant leg to reveal a knee brace. He delivers running knee strike directly to Rey’s face.

Not only is Edge planning to face Drew McIntyre tonight he also plans to be in Christian’s corner when he faces Alberto Del Rio. Oh Edge’s match is now? His left elbow is heavily taped. You know if a guy has an injured left arm why not target the right one so he has no arms left at all? Edge still wins with a submission hold based entirely in the right arm. And he can follow up with a Spear too.

Repeat a HHH/Undertaker video from RAW (and NXT) then Kelly Kelly and Rosa Mendez are set to lose to Lay-Cool. Lay-Cool come out mocking Snooki with their hairstyles and footwear. This might be hilarious if I watched Jersey Shore. The faces ambush on the antics. Some matches you are glad are short. Subsequent promo highlights include Trash Stratus and John Snorrison.

Surprise Intercontinental title match as Wade Barrett, accompanied by his stablemates from The Corre, faces Kofi Kingston. Ok match. Kofi has Barrett where he wants him until Gabriel distracts the ref. Slater tries to interfere so Kofi hits him with Trouble in Paradise. But when he tries it again on Barrett the Brit has recovered enough to reverse the move into Wasteland. 1…2…3! We have a new Intercontinental Champion and Kofi has to be disappointed with his reign. A 450 Splash lets Kofi know he’s beign depushed. Maybe, just maybe, he gets a rematch at Wrestlemania. More likely he ends up on a four-man team with Big Show, Kane and someone else to face The Corre.

Time to continue the war of words between The Undertaker and HHH. How is it Undertaker can say Armageddon with ease but says “prolific” instead of “prophetic”? He’s going to be on RAW Monday to go face to face with HHH. Does everything big have to happen on RAW? Is Smackdown truly the B-show now?

Michael Cole is in full on booster mode as Jack Swagger faces R-Truth. Truth does an ugly looking rolling flip to the outside. He clearly lands on his shoulder but sells a hurt leg so Swagger can go for the Ankle Lock and Truth taps out.

Whole segments go by with no new material.

Main event time. I have nothing against Brodus Clay but do both The Miz and Alberto Del Rio need an NXT dropout hanging around them? It makes them seem too similar. The Del Rio characters is so incredibly different from Dos Caras Jr. and yet the performer behind both of them can excel in both roles. Wresters who can excel as both faces and heels are not a dime a dozen. Christian has looked great in the match. He nearly gets a pin but Rodriguez puts Del Rio’s foot on the rope. The leads Edge to attack him and Brodus Clay to go after Edge. Edge manages to Spear Clay, taking the focus totally off the match, then follows up with a chair. This is enough to distract Del Rio for the Kill Switch and Christian beats Del Rio again! Edge really wants to waffle Del Rio with the chair but Christian stops him. So Christian decides he can hit Del Rio and not get fired.

This was a good show and it did what it was supposed to do, focus on Wrestlemania. Swagger’s win was the closest thing to a clean finish on the whole show, but this close to Mania every win seems to need an asterisk next to it.  But too much of the really good stuff is being saved for RAW. Smackdown has good matches on the WM card. We have Cody Rhodes versus Rey Mysterio which has been really well booked and has featured Rhodes’ best work ever. We have Edge/Del Rio which got some great emotion tonight. Something still has to be booked  involving The Corre, Big Show, Kane and maybe Kofi Kingston. If it were up to me I’d book a 4-on-3 Handicap match but if the faces win they get the titles. Undertaker versus HHH transcends both shows and, unless Taker is in much worse shape than they are letting on, I assume it will be the main event. One week left then it’s curtains for me. I hope you’ll stick around for the big finish.

Posted on March 26th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown (3/25/11)
Filed Under Entertainment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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