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Hugh has joined me for WWE Elimination Chamber 2011. Scattered thoughts will be shared as the night progresses.

7:35 I watch the tail end of last night’s SNL rerun with Paul Rudd and Paul McCartney. It’s rare I actually listen to the musical guest but classic Beatles songs are irresistible.

7:40 SNL ends so I switch to the WWE recap show where Edge is facing Dolph Ziggler for the championship. I predict Dolph Ziggler will find a way back into the Elimination Chamber tonight. Edge will win though. Cena takes the RAW Chamber match and Miz retains. I’m not sure if Del Rio/Kingston is official but I will pick Del Rio.

7:52 Hugh actually arrives.

7:59 I check WWE.com to find Del Rio versus Kingston is official and the tag champs face Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater. No word if the titles are on the line. Expect Big Show to show up for the tag match.

8:00 Opening promo is nothing special.

8:02 Tonight’s sponsor is the National Guard. Announce team is Michael Cole, Josh Matthews and Booker T. The flat out Smackdown team.

8:03 Robert Rodriguez clues us in that Alberto Del Rio is opening the show.

8:06 Del Rio runs down people from Oakland.

8:13 Match is nothing special so far.

8:14 Kofi starts flying but Del Rio is able to hit key counters.

8:17 Rodriguez keeps Kofi from getting the pin.

8:18 Kofi fights off the Cross Armbreaker for a while but once it’s locked on Kofi is quickly forced to tap. Yeah we all saw that coming. The question is does WWE have enough faith in him to make him a champion?

8:21 Todd “Wasn’t I going to replace JR?” Grisham interviews Edge. Edge thinks the Chamber is a walk in the park compared to Vickie Guererro. Drew McIntyre interrupts to remind him about Kelly Kelly getting fired. Edge took something from Drew, Drew is going to take his most prized possession.

8:24 The Smackdown chamber is up now? I know one has to come early but why not the #1 contender match instead of the actual championship bout?

8:28 Kane enters and gets locked in first.

8:29 Drew McIntyre next.

8:31 Wade Barrett enters this heel heavy match next. My money is on Mysterio next. But Teddy Long comes out instead and we have to sort out the Dolph Ziggler situation. It’s not Ziggler, instead it’s… The Big Show.

8:35 The match is back to three faces  but we’re starting with two in the ring, Edge and Mysterio.

8:41 Wade Barrett is the next to enter.

8:45 Entrant #4 is Kane.

8:50 Second to last is McIntyre. The only other Elimination Chamber match I remember Show in he entered last too.

8:51 McIntyre puts Barrett through the Plexiglas of an empty pod.

8:53 The chaos of five competitors spikes my interest level.

8:54 Show looks like he’s falling asleep before they let him in.

8:55 Show beats on Wade Barrett. Then hits him with Knockout Punch to eliminate him way earlier than Hugh expected.

8:56 Mysterio hits a Senton off the top of a pod but it’s not enough to take out Big Show.

8:57 Beat on Big Show night ends with a Chokeslam by Kane that takes him out. Then Kane takes out McIntyre to leave just three men left. Why is Kane being pushed so hard?

8:59 Kane catches Mysterio dropping the dime but Edge Spears both men and chooses to pin Kane. We’re back down to the first two but Kane doesn’t leave until he Chokeslams both men left.

9:04 Lots of two-counts.

9:06 Not even a Spear is enough to end this.

9:07 Rey hits 619 and tries to drop the dime again only to get Speared in midair. The Spear has very little build up behind it so it’s not as impressive looking as you would hope but it gets Edge the win and, for the first time in five years, a champion retains in an Elimination Chamber. Rey looked great here, Edge was solid, Barrett came off looking the worst, Kane was booked stronger than expected, Show’s time was brief but he looked strong and McIntyre was just there. Del Rio gets in the Chamber to attack Edge post match. The Cross Armbreaker is applied but here’s a surprise. Christian returns to make the save and get a measure of revenge on Del Rio for ripping his pectoral. Christian back is a good thing.

9:15 Matt Striker grabs a moment with Jerry Lawler. Jerry looks pretty torn up still. Can’t blame him.

9:18 Booker plugs Tough Enough by revealing another trainer TRISH STRATUS!!!! Trish reminds us all mic skills were not here biggest strength.

9:23 Tag champs are here. Jackson accompanies them but no Barrett. The titles are on the line.

9:29 Cobra on the illegal Gabriel.

9:30 450 Splash on Kozlov and The Corre now control the tag team titles. I don’t want The Corre appearing on both shows.

9:33 Grisham is with The Miz. Miz at least mention The Rock and promises to get back to him. For now it’s time to end Lawler and go on to beat the Chamber winner at Mania.

9:35 Uggh. Vickie Guererro. She seems sad so there’s a silver lining. She’s pleading for Dolph’s job and could we not have had a quick match instead of this? Teddy Long arrives to try to shut her up. Long decides to hire somebody. But not Dolph. He hired back Kelly Kelly. And Long gave her free reign to “thank” Vickie. We get a taste of violence before Lay-Cool make the save. But that draws Trish Stratus to run them off. But they sucker ambush her and it turns into a real fight. Stratus is not in shape for this and she does not look well. The six-inch heels don’t help. But Trish and Kelly come out on top for a feel good moment.

9:47 Why does Miz come out first? Alex Reilly is  there. I predict Reilly costs King the match and at Wrestlemania we see Jerry Lawler in a Handicap Match against Alex Reilly and Michael Cole.

9:51 Booker T calls Lawler “in shape”.

9:58 Reilly gets ejected so there goes my c all.

10:01 Lawler throws Miz into Cole.

10:02 Flying Fist Drop but Miz gets a foot on the ropes.

10:03 Big kick  to the head, Skull Crushing Finale, foregone conclusion. It wasn’t awful but there was never any real hope Lawler would win.

10:05 The crowd still loves Lawler.

10:07 Cena is eating Fruity Pebbles. Grisham wants to talk Rock but Cena, too, is focused on tonight.

10:08 Throw to Matt Striker and CM Punk. Pun can’t see Cena beating him. Punk can’t see Cena winning. Punk can’t see anyone winning but him.

10:12 Orton is out first.

10:13 Cole thinks Orton has never made excuses for himself in his career. That’s laughable to those of us who remember Evolution, Legacy and Rated RKO.

10:14 R-Truth is #2. Four faces here but will two start?

10:15 Punk also gets to start in a chamber.

10:17 Even Cena gets locked in.

10:19 That leaves Sheamus and Morrison to start. Morrison better impress me.

10:22 Great jumps start already.

10:24 Pod #1 opens to reveal Orton.

10:25 Rope Hung DDT onto the steel grating for Sheamus.

10:28 Randy stalks Punk as the time counts down but Punk gets stuck in the pod door at Orton’s mercy.

10:29 Punk gets RKOed and pinned. Wow, that was unexpected.

10:30 An email from the RAW GM. Due to the pod malfunction the GM allows Punk back in his pod and back into the match.

10:33 Once again we let someone in, but it’s Cena not Punk.  Sheamus attacks Cena in his own pod. This is not illegal I guess. The pod worked after all.

10:36 The crowd is split on Cena.

10:36 Punk now gets to be last as R-Truth comes in. Sheamus tries another ambush but Truth turns the tables.

10:38 R-Truth doesn’t last long as he falls to a Brogue Kick  as the first elimination.

10:39 Too many people have been thrown through  the glass tonight. Why can’t people break out if the glass gives way that easily?

10:40 Punk is coming back. He closes his own door and Cena tries to AA Orton, only to get an RKO on the steel grating.

10:41 Punk is picking the scraps.

10:42 GTS on Orton and the Viper is done. Orton/Punk at Wrestlemania seems certain.

10:44 Tease of a High Cross off the top of a pod but Morrison fights Sheamus off and climbs clean to the top of the dome. He drops into Sheamus in a highly impressive spot that takes Sheamus out of the match.

10:53 Morrison catches himself in mid-air on a pod, leaps to the chains flies into Punk but misses Starship Pain and ends up in a Go To Sleep and we are down to two. But Cena comes in to Attitude Adjust Punk and, as predicted, Cena walks away the winner.

10:54 Miz has been watching and doesn’t look happy.

10:55 We’re rapping up. My picks were pretty spot on though the tag titles changing hands were a surprise. The Chamber matches had some nice stuff but weren’t as spectacular as they were in the pre-PG days. There seemed  to be a lot of filler and I would have liked one more match on the card. But a night with no surprises other than Trish Stratus doesn’t blow me away. 42 days to build to Mania, I think it will go well.

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on WWE Elimination Chamer 2011 Live Recap
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This is Smackdown number 600 and we are being promised Dolph Ziggler’s coronation tonight. Is Teddy Long coming back? Will Vince show up? Edge comes out first and is announced as the World Heavyweight Champion. The big promised twelve-man tag match is opening the show. Edge, Randy Orton, John Morrison, R-Truth (who doesn’t rap), Rey Mysterio (huge pop from the San Diego crowd) and John Cena make up the white hats. CM Punk, King Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, Kane and Dolph Ziggler are the Really Rottens. Edge starts with Drew. Soon Truth and Ziggler match up but Truth soon tags Orton. Ziggler lasts through several faces but gets the advantage on John Morrison. Ziggler tags in Sheamus and we go to commercial.

When we come back Sheamus is still throwing Morrison around so I doubt they left much out. The face side is heavily RAW and Smackdown dominates the heels. That means most of the match-ups are from different brands. Edge and Ziggler actually get to face off in the match. It all breaks down with everyone running in, one-by-one and hitting a finisher on the last guy. Mysterio managed to 619 both Barrett and Ziggler, the legal man, who is knocked into a Spear to end the match. That went about 25 minutes and was quite decent. But Vickie is out now. She wants the title belt from Edge. We see last week’s footage with Clay Matthews counting the pin despite Vickie seeing the Spear. And she’s again accusing him of taking out Teddy Long. So she fires Edge.

Cody Rhodes, in a plastic mask, has had successful surgery. He’s cleared for travel and will make an announcement next week. Not as good as his last promo but still solid. Beth Phoenix and Eve are going to face Lay-Cool but not before a commercial and some vintage footage. No… Layla is teaming with Maryse? McCool is on commentary. She soon distracts and the heels win. We see most of Rock’s promo form Monday, which was on NXT too, so I make pizza pockets.

The Miz showed up, with Alex Reilly in tow. He faces Kofi Kingston. I predict Del Rio costs Kingston the match and the end in a match Sunday. Well, yeah Del Rio costs him the match but no follow-up yet.

Okay Gabriel and Slater of “The Corre” face the tag champs. They come out alone but, when Santino looks to win, the others attack for the DQ. Big Show makes the save and we get a long tease of a real one-on-one between Jackson and Show but The Corre back off. I feel like we’re still going to add some matches for Sunday before this night is through.

Coronation time, with lots of show to come. And cue Teddy Long. Teddy thinks she was the one who attacked him. She sells out Dolph so Long books Dolph to face Edge. I guess Ziggler’s reign is official he just needs to defend the title. It’s a pretty short match so it’s nothing special but Edge wins with the Spear then Teddy returns to fire Dolph. Shouldn’t a replacement for him in the Chamber match be named? Edge gets on the mic to lead the “Na na, na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” chant.

This may have been nice for a 600th episode but they didn’t sell the Pay Per View very well. It feels really light and I expect some new matches to show up Sunday. They’ve been coasting on the Chamber matches yet the winners seem like foregone conclusions. Lawler is going to lose and I can’t name another booked match. They keep giving away champion versus champion matches with no build. No one has RSVPed for Sunday yet. If no one comes I’m not even sure I’ll get the show. If I do expect a live blog of the event. If not, see you for RAW.

Posted on February 19th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/19/11
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Ah Smackdown, where I can hope for strong wrestling, unless Vickie Guererro is involved. But it appears Alberto Del Rio is having yet another celebration. Another new car. This guy’s carbon footprint is bigger than Matt Morgan’s. There, a TNA shout out, now we go back to ignoring them. Tonight’s theme is Valentine’s Day. Alberto’s destiny has been updated to become champion at Wrestlemania. The guy I was expecting to interrupt, Kofi Kingston, does. Kofi is nice and intense on his promo and he threatens Del Rio with a kendo stick. How far can we go as a PG show? Alberto is begging off. Kofi winks at him then canes him nicely. Del Rio bails so Kingston destroy the party set up.

Okay, so now we have a match. Kofi uses the flashier style of the pair in what turns out to be a solid match. Del Rio gets the win with the Cross Armbreaker and I am really starting to think he’ll win the title at Wrestlemania. That means Miz will have to drop the title and my money is still on Cena. One media darling to another. Edge interview; Edge brings the sarcasm like a pro. He honestly admits he has no idea how to retain his title tonight.

Vladimir Kozlov wants revenge against Justin Gabriel of The Corre. Heath Slater eats a Cobra on the outside but Gabriel hits the 450 Splash for the win. Santino eats a Wasteland after the match and Jackson slams Kozlov. No Sting signing sadly. The promo is for Taker. We still don’t know his Wrestlemania opponent, but we expect Shawn Michaels to be involved in a non-wrestling capacity.

How did Chris Masters escape NXT and Superstars? I’ll say “to lose to Drew MacIntyre”. Drew blames Edge for Kelly Kelly getting fired. The match isn’t even long. Mysterio vs. Barrett is up next. Cody Rhodes has had reconstructive surgery. Rey doesn’t see what the big deal is. It’s just a broken nose. Wade Barrett gets a chance to speak too but it’s nothing to write home about. Rey seems to be wrestling fine despite his reported injuries but Justin Gabriel’s interference is enough for Barrett to pick up the win. A Corre beatdown is interrupted by the Big Show who kicks Corre ass. Ezekiel Jackson is able to turn the tide which leads to Show being beaten down yet again. Jackson shows off his power yet again by Suplexing Show.

Seriously why is JTG still on the roster? Just to job to Kane? Kane hits a mediocre Flying Clothesline so at least he’s earning his pay before his quick win. Vickie and Dolph are not happy with Lay-Cool. Layla has to take on Eve and it’s a poor match with a weak finish with Eve picking up the win.

Main event time and the Spear is still banned. There’s no illusion of fairness as early on Vickie stops a covering by putting Ziggler’s foot on the ropes. There’s actually a really funny bit where Vickie tries to Spear Edge and just bounces off. But that hurts Vickie enough for Edge to hit a Spear of his own on Ziggler. Edge is desperate for a new ref and he gets one, somebody from the Green Bay Packers counts the pin. But Vickie saw a Spear and Edge could be in trouble next week.

Speaking of next week, it’s the 600th episode of Smackdown and we’ll see a huge 12-man tag match featuring the big names of RAW and Smackdown. Could be good. The recap is pretty short this week but most of the wrestling was uneventful. Plus, I’m going to be writing a bit less as we move forward and, I’m sorry to announce, I’ll be retiring this column with my Wrestlemania live blog. I’m just too busy to keep it going forever. So enjoy the road to Wrestlemania as I head off into the sunset. See you for RAW!

Posted on February 12th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/12/11
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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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Dedicated to Craig Rose, a shining light has gone out in this realm.


I do like the Smackdown opening credits. We’re in Long Island. Too bad Zach Ryder is on RAW. Alberto will throw another party tonight.

Can you dig it sucka?!

It’s Booker T, in a suit, being introduced as an announcer. He stops by the ring to deliver a Spinaroonie. Did I ever mention I once saw Lance Storm do a Spinaroonie? And it was live.

Here comes Vickie, with Dolph. Josh Matthews is saying Teddy Long might never be back. Tonight qualifying matches for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match, where the title is on the line. Dolph and Lay-Cool have a match tonight against Kelly Kelly and Edge. And Vickie wants Kelly out here RIGHT NOW! Huh? The title is on the line in this match? Vickie plans to humiliate KK and make her the reason Edge loses his title. Kelly goes off on Vickie and it comes close to acting. Dolph gets some mic time too. Dolph is the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion, according to him. KK slaps Dolph clean off his feet but Lay-Cool come  to Vickie’s rescue. That draws Edge. Everyone backs off and we go to commercial.

It’s the tag champs and who I now know spells her name Tamina. We recap the punt to the skull of Husky Harris who is apparently off camera indefinitely. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater of The Corre get a non-title match. Heath Slater still needs to go away. 450 from Justin Gabriel on Kozlov earn The Corre the winn.

The first qualifier is Kofi Kingston versus Drew McIntyre. Edge and Dolph Ziggler get in the chamber automatically so we only need 4 qualifiers. Booker T is anti-Cole. I like him. He still needs to find his feet though. He does seem to focus on the match though. Cole does his best to distract from what turns out to be a decent match by running down Jerry Lawler and discouraging anyone from getting the Pay Per View. Alberto Del Rio gets an introduction even when he’s just on the Titantron. Kofi falls victim to the distraction and a Future Shock DDT and Drew McIntyre gets a big push all of the sudden.

That awesome western promo plays again.

Rey Mysterio is getting into the ring despite his very real injuries when he’s supposed to be sparing himself for Wrestlemania where he faces his handpicked opponent, Cody Rhodes. He’s facing Jack Swagger in a qualifier I hope Swagger wins. Rhodes is never far from the announce team’s lips.

I have to pause the show to let a friend know of Craig’s passing. Not fun.

Again, a decent match but Mysterio winning means he’s going to submit himself to an Elimination Chamber.

Edge thinks Kelly will cost him his title. Kelly is not happy and also not over Drew McIntyre. Out comes Hornswoggle with Rosa Mendez. Now Roberto Rodriguez is announcing Alberto Del Rio. He has such swagger. Alberto clears up that he is interrupting the midget. He needs to be reminded where they are. He’s offering the piñata to Hornswoggle. It’s about 8 feet up how is this supposed to work? He does bring it down after a while. Hornswoggle crotches Del Rio with the stick. When he recovers he kicks the leprechaun in the head. Then he beats down the poor little guy until Kofi Kingston makes the save and drives Del Rio off. Nope he sneaks back and attacks. A good old fashioned caning follows. Then a Cross Armbreaker that needs a host of referees to break.

The Elimination Chamber was designed by the Devil himself. So I guess Eric Bischoff really is in the WWE doghouse now.

Okay I do not buy Chavo Guererro making the Elimination Chamber. So I’m betting heavily on Kane. Yeah, it’s a squash. Last qualifier is Big Show versus Wade Barrett and the whole Corre is out to support him. We’re not far into the match before a ref bump allows Jackson to level Show. Show manages one kick out but a DDT on a kneeling show finishes it and Barrett is in the Chamber. The Corre beats down Show after with Jackson again Bodyslamming Show. Big Show’s problem these days is when they want someone to look tough they have them take down the Big Show. He’s the Worf of the WWE.

The western promo again? Eh, that’s okay.

Main event time. Vickie again bans Edge using the Spear. Edge starts of course but it’s only a matter of time before Ziggler tags out and, as Josh Matthews puts it:

Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Kelly is defending the World Heavyweight Championship.

Once Kelly is in Lay-Cool have no reason to tag Ziggler when they can just keep trading places and double teaming Kelly Kelly. When Kelly is finally able to tag the ref misses it. But Kelly hits a Spear on Layla and gets the win! Vickie only banned Edge from using the move. But Vickie fires KK. Vickie gives Dolph yet another rematch next week with Vickie as the special guest referee. And Dolph punctuates it all with a Zig Zag.

I can respect the idea of doing something different. But defending the World Heavyweight Title in a handicap mixed tag match? I’m not a big fan. Three of the qualifying matches were good. Booker T needs time to improve and losing Matt Striker was not that good. Let’s hope Booker wrestles at least as often as Jerry Lawler. Dolph Ziggler is getting tired in the title picture and needs to turn face. Del Rio feuding with Kingston until Elimination Chamber works. Post-PPV shows often stutter a bit and this was no exception. But at least the overall direction is working.

?

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/5/11
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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 Royal Rumble night.

7:13 No one is here yet and I’m trying not to eat all the snacks before they get there. The sensor pad has quit on my brand new laptop. It’s not a hardware issue because it works before I log in. So I keep having to move my mouse to my laptop then back to my PC.

7:15 Hugh arrives.

7:25 We discuss spoilers and TNA. Hugh spills chips.

7:30 Here’s Justin. Very little chance of Nicole showing up at this stage.

7:38 Nicole begs off by email.

7:35 Beer #1.

7:41 Hugh gets confused because we are watching the WWE Experience not the PPV preview.

7:47 Ordering pizza becomes problematic.

8:00 We begin. Justin can’t believe I don’t like rum.

8:01 The road to Wrestlemania begins with a promo video.

8:03 Edge starts the show defending his title. Since the champ is coming out first I’ll assume we will hear from Vickie Guererro.

8:05 Yep. Vickie  reminds us the Spear is banned.

8:10 We send Hugh to fetch the pizza to avoid delivery and tip charges.

8:11 Edge is just nto somebody I buy being limited to one move.

8:15 Justin describes an Indian wedding as we await Hugh and food. The match is still in the early stages so there’s not much to say about it.

8:18 The simultaneous Cross-Body taking both men down seems popular lately.

8:22 Pizza makes us miss stuff.

8:26 Some nice false finishes.

8:28 Kelly Kelly attacks Vickie.

8:29 A ref bump allows Edge to hit the Spear.

8:30 The ref wakes up and Edge hits an Unprettier for the win. Nice, but a pretty tame match.

8:33 We’re going right into the WWE title match now.

8:45 None of us like Michael Cole’s persona.

8:50 If a heel brings a lackey that lackey should interfere but I’d like to see Miz get a win on his own.

9:00 Miz tries to walk out. It is not to be.9:02 The Viper is coiled when the New Nexus, minus CM Punk himself, shows up for no apparent reason. Orton actually throws Reilly into the lot of them. Orton hits an RKO but Punk  suddenly appears to hit Go To Sleep on Orton and Miz is able to cover and pin him. Hugh is completely baffled as to the reason.

9:06 Todd Grisham reads a prepared statement from Cody Rhodes.

9:09 Divas time. Two-on-one Handicap Match for the title?

9:11 E-GM pipes up. There are two clowns, literal clowns, behind Cole and even they are telling him to shut up. He changes the match to a Fatal Fourway and adds Eve.

9:15 Lay-Cool come face to face but nothing comes of it.

9:16 Double Sharpshooter.

9:18 Eve pins Layla while Michelle has Natalya pinned too and the ref only sees one so Eve becomes the new champion.

9:19 Beer #2.

9:20 Crap with Dnaiel Bryan, Gail Kim and The Bellas.

9:27 Rumble!

9:28 CM Punk has to come out at #1.

9:30 The Corre show up and surround the ring. The New Nexus comes out to turn it into a brawl.

9:31 Here comes E-GM again. He demands everyone return to the locker room.

9:33 The real #2 entry is Daniel Bryan.

9:34 Cole “Who cares about the Internet?” Justin “The government of Egypt.”

9:34 Justin Gabriel is now out for real.

9:35 Justin misses a 450 Splash and Bryan ELIMINATES him.

9:36 Enter Zack Ryder.

9:37 Bryan takes out Ryder too.

9:37 William Regal.

9:39 #6 Ted Dibiase Jr.

9:41 #7 John Morrison

9:42 john Morrison get thrown out but lands on the ring barrier and jumps back to the ring steps and back into the ring. William Regal gets dumped in the meantime.

9:43 Yoshi Tatsu.

9:44 Husky Harris comes out to join Punk. New Nexus is certainly outshining The Corre so far.

9:46 #10 Chavo.

9:47 #11 Mark Henry.

9:48 Henry takes out Chavito. Then Yoshi Tatsu.

9:48 JTG. When do we see some more good people?

9:50 Another Nexi, Michael Maguillicuddy.

9:51 JTG is out.

9:52 Harris and Maguillicuddy take out Ted Dibiase.

9:52 Chris Masters is #14.

9:53 David Otunga, another New Nexus man, is in the mix to help Punck.

9:54 Punk takes out Daniel Bryan. Then Nexus take out John Morrison.

9:55 Nexus takes out Mark Henry to leave just them in the ring. Tyler Reks has to try to fight them next. He doesn’t last long.

9:56 Vladimir Kozlov. He barely lasts a minute.

9:58 R-Truth. He also lasts a minute.

9:59 Marks the return of The Great Khali. Khali actually fights off the New Nexus and tosses Harris.

10:01 #20 Here comes Mason Ryan the last member of the New Nexus.

10:01 Ryan takes out Khali to return control to The Nexus.

10:02 BOOKER T!

10:04 Spinaroonie! But it gets him dumped almost right away.

10:04 #22 John Cena. This should break Nexus’s dominance. Yep, Cena takes out the whole gang except Punk.

10:07 #23 Hornswoggle!

10:08 Surprisingly, Cena dumps CM Punk and the story of Nexus is done for this Rumble.

10:09 Tyson Kidd.

10:10 Hornswoggle actually manages an Attitude Adjustment on Kidd  who Cena dumps later.

10:10 #25 Heath Slater. Hornswoggle and Cena continue to engage in crazy antics.

10:12 Cena and Hornswoggle’s alliance continues to dominate as they take out Cena.

10:12 Kofi Kingston.

10:14 Lucky #27 Jack Swagger, he’s not going  to win.

10:15 More antics with Hornswoggle.

10:15 Sheamus, who does not like Hornswoggle.

10:17 Sheamus finally takes out Hornsqoggle.

10:17 Rey Mysterio.

10:18 Mysterio takes out Swagger.

10:19 #30 Wade Barrett.

10:20 Dolph Ziggler enters despite losing a title shot earlier tonight.

10:22 DIESEL!!! He kicks ass but no eliminations.

10:23 Drew McIntyre. He and Sheamus team up.

10:24 Diesel has huge heat.

10:25 #34 Alex Reilly, accompanied by The Miz.

10:25 Barrett takes out Diesel and the crowd is not happy. Neither is Hugh.

10:26 Miz joins commentary.

10:26 Big Show.

10:28 Show takes out Ziggler. Not sure why he was in there.

10:28 #36 Ezekial Jackson. McIntyre goes, Zeke dumps Big Show without too much trouble,

10:30 Santino Marella.

10:31 #38 Alberto Del Rio.

10:32 Reilly went at some point while Del Rio was stalling on the way to the ring.

10:33 Orton enters before Del Rio even gets to the ring.

10:34 Sheamus and Drew McIntyre are gone.

10:34 #40 is Kane in his 13th straight Tumble.

So who is left?

Barrett, Orton, Cena, Mysterio, Kane, Ezekial Jackson and Del Rio.

10:36 Jackson gets dumped by Kane. Mysterio manages to flip Kane out but Wade Barrett knocks him out immediately,

10:38 Cena and Orton finally come to blows.

10:39 Miz and A-Rei combine to take Cena out of the match.

10:41 Was Santino ever eliminated?

10:42 Orton dumps Barrett  and Del Rio dumps Orton! Del Rio is announced as the winner but Santino climbs back into the ring and hits the Cobra! But he can’t get him over the ropes and Del Rio reverses and Santino is out. Nice joke. Del Rio’s ring announcer gets to go wild announcing him.

As much as I love the ending the Rumble wasn’t that much. The two surprises mad no difference whatsoever, the stable wars never emerged and Nexus was out by the middle. Miz ticked off Cena so Del Rio can face Edge while Cena faces The Miz even higher on the card. No sign of HHH or The Undertaker, who I was expecting. The undercard was weak so I’m not that impressed overall. As Rumbles go it just didn’t seem special.

Now to bed.

Posted on January 30th, 2011 by Lucian | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment
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