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WWE Royal Rumble

Today’s topic: the 2014 Royal Rumble, sucked or shone? Lets see what FACE and HEEL thought of the show…

FACE: What an amazing Rumble. Let’s start at the beginning. We had an incredible match between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. We saw Brock Lesnar destroy the Big Show. The New Age Outlaws turned back the clock and won the tag team titles 15 years after last holding them. That’s a record. Randy Orton and John Cena tore the house down until a distraction by the Wyatt Family cost Cena the match. That’s all before the Rumble itself. There we saw Roman Reigns break the record for eliminations in a match. We saw surprises galore and we saw a great win by Batista.

HEEL: Are you kidding me? What show did you watch? I’ll concede the Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt match was excellent. But Lesnar and Show? It wasn’t a match it was just a beating (watch and judge for yourself). And having the announcers describe it as “borderline criminal?” Beating a man with a chair when it’s not part of a sanctioned match is criminal! That’s not the sort of thing you should talk about. Cena and Orton put on an okay match but the crowd was crapping all over it. Orton didn’t get a decisive win over Cena so he still looks like a weak champion. Don’t get me started on the Old Age Outlaws holding a title. And, as for the Rumble, most of it was a bad joke. Kevin Nash entering? JBL entering as a joke competitor? All the while taking up spots that could have gone to guys like Xavier Woods? Disgraceful. Roman Reigns was impressive, so impressive the fans cheered him over your supposed face winner, Batista. The fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan in that match. The fans wanted Daniel Bryan to win that match. I sincerely hope Bryan wins the Elimination Chamber and faces Batista, or both Batista and Orton, at Wrestlemania or you’re going to find there are a lot less people interested in that show that you’d normally expect.

FACE: It’s okay to have some humor in the Royal Rumble. It breaks things up, it breaks things up. It entertains a portion of the fanbase.

HEEL: A midget in a bull costume does not belong it the Royal Rumble. A retired color commentator does not belong in the Royal Rumble. Especially when the announcer says “the JBL character has never entered the Royal Rumble.” You don’t refer to wrestlers as characters. You say something along the lines of “JBL has never entered the Royal Rumble since adopting that moniker.”

FACE: It’s easy for armchair quarterbacks and fantasy bookers to criticize, but the creative team has a lot of factors to deal with. They have to plan for the future. CM Punk was being built up to face Kane, then HHH. Cody Rhodes and Goldust have lost the tag titles. It makes sense for them to feud with each other. Having Goldust eliminate his brother, even if it’s by accident, builds towards that feud. Roman Reigns is going to be a face when the Shield breaks up. That’s something else WWE built towards.

HEEL: No matter how you try to spin it WWE did not give the fans what they wanted and the reaction showed it. Creative needs to get their heads out of their collective rears and start focusing on the right people.

That’s it for this column of World of Wrestling. The one thing Good Cop and Bad Cop agree on is that we welcome your comments, requests and opinions!

Royal Rumble

I think it is pretty obvious that WWE has screwed the pooch with this year’s Royal Rumble. What’s the main attraction of the Royal Rumble? Anyone can see that it is the Royal Rumble match!

Yet here we sit, a week from the event and I’m not sure they’ve announced even half the people in it. Who have they announced? Dave Batista, a man I’ve never been impressed with, who has finally decided to come back because, apparently, it’s not so easy to become a movie star. And beyond him? Alberto Del Rio, a man who has fallen so low down the card he jobbed to Sin Cara about a month ago. Then you throw in Kofi Kingston, a man who nobody thinks has a shot, yet they muddy the waters by giving him a win over the champion. Who does that help? Is Kingston going to become number one contender? Not with “Captain Ego”, Brock Lesnar in line first even after Superman Cena.  Right now there is not one credible person in the Rumble other than Batista, and if you go into the match knowing who is going to win then what’s the point? Other entries include CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and Roman Reigns.

What else does the Rumble have? Well, we’ve got John Cena versus Randy Orton in a rematch of one of the most historic matches in fifty years, the unification of the WWE and the World Heavyweight championships. And there is Big Show versus Brock Lesnar. With the launch of the WWE Network just about a month away, WWE needs to be bring their A+ game more than ever. They unified the titles a month early. They’ve paid barely any attention to the Royal Rumble match and they’ve let Brock Lesnar just crown himself the next #1 contender. The Royal Rumble is going to decide one half of the main event at Wrestlemania. There’s only one champion left for the winner to challenge. Turning it into a throwaway match is just like throwing away money.

I was watching NXT about a month ago, if my research is right it was the 200th episode. The NXT Tag Team champions, a title I hold in slightly higher prestige than the TNA Knockouts Tag Titles, known as The Ascension, had issues an open challenge to any tag team in the world. They were answered by The American… Pitbulls? Here are some highlights.

The Wolves

Now any Ring of Honor fan, or fan of indie or Japanese wrestling knows The American Wolves. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards have been as famous as you can get without working for TNA or WWE for years now. Which means, of course, once they come to WWE they must be “repackaged.” I’ve never understood why WWE has come to believe every wrestler they hire needs a new name, a new gimmick and near whitewash of their history. I can understand WWE not wanting to acknowledge TNA. TNA at least passes for a vague shadowy ghost of a spectra of a wisp of a challenge to them. But Ring of Honor?

WWE uses RoH as much as a development territory as they do NXT. Where do you think CM Punk came from? Why was CM Punk the last guy they let keep his name? Punk got over in WWE by being the same guy he got over as in the indies and RoH. Bryan Danielson and Daniel Bryan are all but the same and Bryan became Superstar of the Year as voted by the fans. Even worse the pair became Derek Billington (Richards) and John Cahill (Edwards). WWE changed their names and, of course, came up with what my Irish friend Conor could only describe as “shite names.” However that is not the worst news of this story. WWE let the Wolves go. Rather than signing one of the best teams of the modern day, they let them go to TNA. It’s maddening for me to learn this. What’s even more upsetting is I may have to start watching TNA again just to see them.

WWE Monday Night Raw recently had its 1000th episode [SEE: WWE Raw’s 1000th Episode Review] and I have no doubt that WWE SmackDown will eventually make that milestone. Week in and week out you can always count on the WWE to deliver new programming in their never ending “sports entertainment/soap opera”. They book end the work week airing Raw on Mondays and SmackDown on Fridays. This week continues the march to this years Summer Slam, which is this Sunday and will be presented live on pay per view from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The spotlight is on Sheamus and the question of who he will face for his World Heavyweight title.

Official description: A look at challengers to Sheamus’s world heavyweight championship at SummerSlam.

The new wrestling episode airs at 8pm over on the SyFy channel. There isn’t much else on tonight…

8PM

FOX: NFL Football Exhibition: Lions at Ravens (sports)
CBS: Teacher Rock (concert)
PBS: Washington Week/Need to Know (news)
DISNEY: Shake It Up (teen)
HGTV: Green Home Giveaway 2012 (reality competition)
MSNBC: The Ed Show (political news)
CNN: Anderson Cooper 360 (news)

9PM

LIFE: America’s Most Wanted (help catch the bad guys!)
DSC: Gold Rush: The Jungle (docu)
DIY: King of Dirt (docu)
HGTV: Extreme Homes (docu)
CNN: Piers Morgan Tonight (interviews)
.
.

10PM

HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher (talk)
ABC: 20/20 (news showcase)
NBC: Deadline NBC (news showcase)
CINEMAX: Strike Back (action)
DYI: Man Caves (docu)
E: Fashion Police (docu)
FOOD: 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay (food reality)

Posted on August 17th, 2012 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Entertainment

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.

Maybe the cast and crew broke in to an executive’s house and stole some incriminating documents? Somehow the Fox series Breaking In has survived being cancelled twice (yeah, I said twice). The series from Adam F. Goldberg and Seth Gordon has been picked up for a second season of 13 episodes. The show is actually really funny and witty, it stars Reaper‘s Bret Harrison, Christian Slater, Michael Rosenbaum, Odette Annable, and Alphonso McAuley. Not to mention a great line up of guests including Alyssa Milano and Mike Tyson. The series centers around a high-tech security firm that uses extreme and questionable methods for their clients.

The success of the brilliant cable series Mad Men has made Broadcast Networks mad for period dramas. Next season of television will include Pan Am, set around airlines in the sixties, The Playboy Club, Hugh’s famed club during its heyday (also in the sixties), and Gilded Lillys, which is set in the 1980s at a New York City hotel. Now you can add into the mix an untitled wrestling drama from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer for NBC. This one is set in the world of wrestling during the 1980s. While the show will be set in a fictional world, in the real world the eighties was the rise of Hulkamania and when the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE) excelled wrestling from a sport to entertainment. Personally I think there are so many places this series could go and I’m very excited about it. The Rock is a perfect producer on this as he is a third generation wrestler who not only grew up through this time period, but also even had his hand wrestling against Hulk Hogan.

Hey everyone, sorry for the slowing down of updates lately, but we’ve had some Internet connection issues we’ll we have been traveling. Things should stabilize soon (…hopefully). In the meantime, here is an all new Pit!

After a pretty epic Wrestlemania match, Edge shocked WWE fans by retiring. Taken out of the game by a reoccurring injury that has been getting worse with every match. The fan favorite has had a pretty awesome career and if he is being forced to retire, at least it is after an impressive last match.  Hopefully he stays with company and on camera as a GM or announcer. But there are a ton of roles he could ultimately take on, including as a trainer, road agent, manager, etc. Whatever he decides to do, we wish him all the best and thank him for years of entertainment!

Scream 4 came out this past weekend and I can’t express how happy I am to have a horror movie that is not torture porn in theaters. I’m a big fan of the series and Ghostface, and to see them on the big screen after so many years just felt great. Big props to Wes Craven, Kevin Williamson and everyone involved for delivering an entertaining thrill ride. Finally, a worthy end to the series.

Out of all of Neil Gaiman’s works, American Gods wouldn’t by my first choice to get adapted for TV, but regardless it is on its way to becoming a fantasy series for HBO. Gaiman is working with Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson to bring the series to life. Sadly, there is no new word about a Sandman series coming at us anytime soon. Maybe if Gods does well enough?

After taking American Wedding off, Chris Klein will be returning for the next theatrical American Pie flick, American Reunion. He joins Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy and Alyson Hannigan, who have all signed on to return. The franchise has been releasing a steady stream of American Pie Presents… titles straight to DVD, but this is the first sequel to go the theater route since Wedding in 2003. I can’t wait to see the gang get back together.

Want to impress clients with your production office, then Install hardwood floor and make them remember you!

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.

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