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wwe nxtThis week on WWE NXT we get very bad immigration advice in a storyline that only detracts from the point of this show, a competition to win a contract with WWE. Four rookies, four weeks left with an elimination next week. Kaitlyn wins a highly staged arm wrestling competition. AJ actually picks up a win over Niki Bella but the focus is on the twins miscommunication and Primo watching for the switch. Thus, the win doesn’t elevate AJ in any way.

The second challenge is kind of fun as the rookies have to identify WWE employees from their high school photos. Jerry Lawler in high school looked a hell of a lot like Cody Rhodes. Which makes the King’s insults of Cody Rhodes’ looks kind of funny. The contest is actually pretty close, except for Aksana sucking, but AJ beats Kaitlyn in a tiebreaker. There’s a recap of Vickie Guererro being hit by a cake from last week. I loathe Vickie being on-screen but I’ll give her props for being willing to do anything on global television.

Aksana and Naomi are the main event with Goldust in Naomi’s corner. Naomi has raw talent and can hit a variety of moves, but she still hasn’t mastered the flow of matches. Aksana is even more limited. Naomi rightfully gets the win. Kaitlyn and Aksana are both deeply enmeshed in the storylines of this show so don’t expect either of them to go home. That puts AJ and Naomi in the danger zone. Naomi’s probably the best wrestler of the pack, but AJ is genuinely likable. Maybe they can drop Aksana and somehow keep her around to play out her story with Goldust. That’s optimistic on my part .. but a man can dream. More importantly, there are only 4 weeks before this nightmare comes to a close and I can start looking forward to the return of Tough Enough.

Posted on November 12th, 2010 by Lucian | Leave a Comment (1)
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Wrestling Recaps

It seems like Survivor Series is still really far away. It’s a long break by modern WWE standards and this is only the second last, not last, RAW before the PPV. Hopefully the show doesn’t just spin its wheels for two hours. Manchester, England across the Atlantic Ocean hosts RAW tonight. We open with John Cena behind a Nexus podium reading from scroll. The prepared statement sings the praises of Nexus. It’s interesting to listen to the Manchester crowd. A vocal segment of them are cheering the hometown boy. Jerry Lawler is out with a knee injury so we get the NXT team of Cole and Josh Matthews. Barrett promises a preview of his championship celebration tonight. Barrett has issues however. First he calls David Otunga on the mat for undermining his authority. He’s madder they failed though.

On to Cena. Cena is actually funny as he gives a rundown of the launch of his career when Barrett asks him “What happened?” Cena renews his vow; once the Survivor Series match is over he beats down Barrett and anyone who tries to interfere. Barrett demands Cena announce him as the new champion as practice for Survivor Series, but Randy Orton won’t sit idly by for that and the crowd can finally get firmly behind someone. Orton knows he can beat Barrett no matter who the referee is. The anonymous virtual general manager finally chimes in to cancel Barrett’s celebration and makes the title match at SS pinfall or submission only. He, or she I suppose, also bans Nexus from ringside. As for tonight it’s going to be a ten-man tag match with the E-GM picking Orton’s team. Once again Cena is to be referee. An angry Cena knocks over the podium, then Otunga, before striding away.

Eve, Niki and Bella (all of whom could stand to go in the rumoured upcoming Diva cuts) take on Maryse, Alicia Fox and Tamita in some silly soccer themed match. It’s just a normal match with outfits and the Bellas make the switch for the win.

There’s one too many people in Nexus for this match. So Otunga gets the boot and faces Cena instead.

The Hart Dynasty face the Ousos in a “Who cares about tag wrestling anymore?” match which the Ousos win as we keep crawling towards the break-up of the Hart Dynasty. Santino has invited Sheamus to a tea party tonight. That could be awesome or awful, we’ll just have to wait and see. Orton hopes his team is the best of the best and we learn The Miz is the first other member. Goldust continues to somehow be on TV as he faces Ted Dibiase again. It’s more soap opera shenanigans as Maryse steals the million-dollar belt, then Aksana shows up to steal it.  Goldust gets the win but his gold digger wife runs off with the belt he rightfully stole.

Nexus accompanies David Otunga to the ring, then Barrett turns them around and they all head back. That leaves Otunga to face an angry Cena.  Otunga tries to run, only to be dragged back in for the match. Considering this match is at the middle mark of the show it’s not very long. Cena wins with an STF and Otunga still isn’t very good in the ring. By the way, next week’s RAW is three hours long and a special old school episode. Post-match Wade Barrett tells Otunga to go to Smackdown again and face Edge. Win or else.

Santino’s tea party with Sheamus (and Vladimir Koslov) is a long comedy segment. Santino trying to play nice with Sheamus, but constantly putting his foot in his mouth is actually pretty funny. The crowd loves Santino too. E-GM pipes up again and books a match between the two. Santino tries to bail but the GM threatens him with suspension so the comedy wrestler tries to psych himself up to fight. Snatino ends up low blowing Sheamus and getting disqualified and Santino celebrates too long, especially for losing, and gets beat down by Sheamus. John Morrison has to make the save again and it will be nice when Morrison gets some mic time in this feud.

The main event entrances begins at twenty minutes before the hour. But with five team members to enter we may not get much wrestling time. The mystery members of Orton’s team are R-Truth, Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry. Otunga doesn’t come out until the middle of the match so there’s a lot of speculation as to his motives. Barrett avoids Orton for most of the match but face each other at the finish. Then, out of nowhere, with Otunga distracting Cena, The Miz turns on Orton and hits him with his finisher, the Skull Crushing Finale. Cena counts the pin and, once again, Orton gets screwed.

I was worried we’d be spinning our wheels this week. It wasn’t a bad show but did anything really change tonight? The biggest development was the set-up for the match on Smackdown. Less focus on just being in England and more on selling other matches for Survivor Series would have been appreciated.

Nexus returns to Smackdown on Friday. Let’s see if it helps sell a PPV.

wrestling-weekinreview

Another week in the wold of Wrestling Entertainment, what did you miss?

WWE Monday Night Raw & WWE NXT
Welcome to another week in wrestling. As always, RAW is our first stop on the sports entertainment wagon train. We open with the champion, who we don’t see as often as you’d expect on this show. He wants to know if Cena is going to screw him over so out comes Cena and even he isn’t sure. Cena reiterates if Orton wins Cena is fired and if Barrett wins Cena is free of Nexus. This writing is more nuanced than we often get from Nexus. Orton runs down Cena, Cean runs down Barrett. That draws Nexus. Barrett doesn’t care what Cena says about him. At Survivor Series Cena will do what he says. Cena promises, one way or the other, at Survivor Series he’s beating the hell out of Barrett. … Click here to read last week’s full recap!

TNA Impact
TNA is entitled “Kung Fu Bischoff” which doesn’t inspire confidence as I never want to see Eric Bischoff fight again. Bischoff wants Anderson to pin him or he won’t get a shot at Jeff Hardy ever, but Anderson is supposedly at home healing. I have no idea if Anderson has a legit concussion after a scary looking chair shot. His phone voice sounds pretty shaky so my gut instinct is that he is legit hurt. That’s what happens when you take unprotected chair shots to the back of the head. … Click here to read last week’s full recap!

WWE Smackdown
Time to try to give Smackdown some attention. Green Day is still an immediate draw to the show no matter what the ratings say. We open with Edge, in a match. So far so good. The opponent is Alberto Del Rio so things continue to look up. We get a decent amount of match but, with Edge setting up for the Spear, Nexus arrives and lays out both competitors. We notice now that Barrett and Cena are not here. Big Show comes to the rescue, and Rey Mysterio shows up, then even Kane joins the posse and Nexus get driven off resoundingly.Click here to read last week’s full recap!

Posted on November 8th, 2010 by admin | Leave a Comment
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Wrestling Recap WWE

Time to try to give Smackdown some attention. Green Day is still an immediate draw to the show no matter what the ratings say. We open with Edge, in a match. So far so good. The opponent is Alberto Del Rio so things continue to look up. We get a decent amount of match but, with Edge setting up for the Spear, Nexus arrives and lays out both competitors. We notice now that Barrett and Cena are not here. Big Show comes to the rescue, and Rey Mysterio shows up, then even Kane joins the posse and Nexus get driven off resoundingly.

Teddy Long books Nexus vs. Kane, Del Rio, Show, Edge and Mysterio. Dolph Ziggler is here without his cougar companion. We even get a recap of events from NXT in case you like to watch television on television. JTG is the opponent. Since I don’t watch Superstars I keep forgetting he is still employed. Ziggler destroys JTG and, just when you think Dolph might be learning to stand on his own, Kaitlyn shows up. That draws an angry Vickie to slap her NXT rookie. They end up with a match later.

We have a triple threat coming up between MVP (who has new music), Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre. Since this match will be on Smackdown next week and not at Survivor Series I’m predicting Rhodes and Drew to cost each other the match letting MVP sneak in for the win. At least at first Drew convinces Cody to gang up on MVP then settle things themselves. But, in the end, MVP does come out on top.

Nexus beats up Rey Mysterio putting his place in the 10-man tag match in question. Wade Barrett is in the UK so it looks like these guys went into business for themselves. Otunga is doing all the talking, setting up more tension between himself and Barrett. The Vickie/Kaitlyn match is a disaster, especially since Vickie wins with her feet on the ropes.

Nexus take down MVP and Kaval too. This kills any heat MVP might have built up in the previous match. Speaking of someone usually on Superstars, Chris Masters has to job to Tyler Reks. This is, in fact, a Superstars rematch with Tyler already up by one. I doubt there will be a third match.

Mysterio is just fine for the main event. Everybody gets along at first during the main event and Nexus carry themselves well enough not to look bad. Edge turns on Kane and Spears him but has another Spear ready for David Otunga to win the match. I’m not sure how any of this really helped Nexus.

Posted on November 6th, 2010 by Lucian | Leave a Comment
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Lucian WWE Wrestling Recap

Welcome to another week in wrestling. As always, RAW is our first stop on the sports entertainment wagon train. We open with the champion, who we don’t see as often as you’d expect on this show. He wants to know if Cena is going to screw him over so out comes Cena and even he isn’t sure. Cena reiterates if Orton wins Cena is fired and if Barrett wins Cena is free of Nexus. This writing is more nuanced than we often get from Nexus. Orton runs down Cena, Cean runs down Barrett. That draws Nexus. Barrett doesn’t care what Cena says about him. At Survivor Series Cena will do what he says. Cena promises, one way or the other, at Survivor Series he’s beating the hell out of Barrett. Which raises the possibility that Barrett will win and Miz will cash in Money in the Bank. Anonymous GM by email books Barrett and partner of choice versus Orton and partner of choice with John Cena as special guest ref to see how he’s going to act.

Tonight, Pee Wee Herman!

The Hart Dynasty get a shot at the new tag champs, Health Slater and Justin Gabriel. Apparently the Harts have been having trouble on B-show Superstars. Superstars was the C show until NXT couldn’t find one single station in the 500 channel universe willing to air their crap. Here, David Hart Smith gets shoved in the way of Tyson Kidd’s aerial moves allowing Nexus to double team Kidd for the win. 450 Splash as usual for the win. And no R-Truth, you aren’t important enough for John Cena to tell you what he’s going to do.

Here comes Sheamus, who had to job to Santino last week thanks to John Morrison, gets on the microphone first. Sheamus claims Santino didn’t beat him; he beat himself. So Sheamus wants a rematch. Santino is out to make jokes, he’s not dressed to compete. Santino begs off after overdosing on candy. So Vladamir Koslov is lined up as a replacement. Koslov is the kind of guy WWE “creative” thinks the crowd will always buy as a threat so it’s hard to tell if Sheamus is in trouble just because he doesn’t totally crush him. Sheamus goes after Santino after the match and comedy boy tries to bribe him with candy, $3 cash and an Amex. In the end it’s John Morrison who comes to his aid.

Why is R-Truth gossiping to John Cena? This just makes Truth look bad. But it does earn him a spot as Orton’s partner in the main event so I guess he’s not suffering. Mark Henry wants a hug from Pee Wee. That nearly crushes the comeback out of him. We waste time with Divas playing Twister. Woah, Lita is here! The Pee Wee’s Playhouse theme gets old fast when you always here the same snippets of it. Zack Ryder is set to lose to Ezekiel Jackson. Is Jackson a face now? Is Ryder? Or is Ryder simply jobber to all? This here is what you call domination.

Pee Wee introduces tonight’s secret word, ring, which the crowd either doesn’t get or doesn’t care about, until The Miz interrupts. Reilly gets it, Miz does not. Standard Pee Wee shenanigans ensue. Miz threatens Herman and he brings out his “Cousin” the Big Show in a Pee Wee outfit. Show cleans house but E-Gm once again wants to see The Miz versus Big Show. I wonder what cheap excuse they will use to not give us a real match this time? Actually, they don’t. We get a decent match out of these two that ends with Miz clobbering Show with the MitB briefcase and getting DQed.

How about Shut Up For WWE?

Barrett tries to humiliate Cena even further to inspire him to want out. But David Otunga, Wade’s partner for tonight, thinks he’s the biggest thing going. Ted Dibiase loses to Daniel Bryan. He blames his loss on not having his million-dollar belt. I blame it on Bryan being way more over. OMG Jerry Lawler just criticized Goldust marrying Aksana because he was robbing the cradle. Jerry Lawler just criticized someone for robbing the cradle. I have no words.

LayCool may finally have run its course. It’s time to turn Layla on McCool and have them finally fight each other. Michelle faces Natalya tonight with a title shot at Survivor Series on the line. Michelle shows that she will actually do a job once in a while. Her husband has been better at that lately and that’s saying something.

Freddie Prinz Jr. is back on the RAW creative team and he shows up playing a doctor. Apparently Vince McMahon has been in a coma for four months. Not showing up constantly on the campaign trail or anything. The weird thing is he comes out when Dr. Prinz mentions Linda spent 50 million on her campaign. Vince and Prinz are the latest comedy duo as Vince gets filled in on everything wrong in the WWE right now. If it were everything wrong with the WWE we’d need a six hour show. Then they do a Dallas and it’s all a dream in Stephanie McMahon’s mind. Well, that was a colossal waste of time.

Finally we get to the main event, at ten minutes before the hour. I find myself easily distracted from the match itself. Only the occasional uncertainty of what Cena will do makes it interesting and Cena calls it fair. He misses a tag by Orton and R-Truth gets the black beaten off him. Don’t take offense I’m quoting Ernie Ladd. But Cena misses a Barrett tag and Orton RKOing Otunga. That lets R-truth crawl over Otunga for the win.

On Tuesday night Linda McMahon lost her big for senate. So there’s some good news before we have to face the Goldust and Aksana wedding. Kaitlyn has a great dress tonight. In fact, all the rookies are looking more stylish than usual. The pros are dressed up too. I hope this black dress isn’t what Aksana plans to get married in. There are two competitions, an elimination and a match tonight. Since Aksana hasn’t won a competition she’s mathematically eliminated and gets excused to go get ready for her wedding.

Competition one is a kissing contest. The men did it too so I guess it’s not sexist. The kissee is Hornswoggle. Kaitlyn has to get on her knees to get a big kiss. Maxine doesn’t even agree to participate then she’s all mean to Hornswoggle and drives the poor little guy off with hurt feelings. Stepping up to the plate? “Dashing” Cody Rhodes, here for his brother’s wedding. They start over so Kaitlyn has to go twice. Maxine goes. Now Naomi refuses. Woah, AJ goes nuts. I so love her. She wins too!

Cole is in a tuxedo t-shirt and running down the show as usual. Primo remembers how to talk? And was jealous of Cody? They want to talk in private but Dusty Rhodes and the Bellas already have the room occupied. We squeeze in a match between two pros, Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox. It’s short but considering how little I think of the participants it’s not bad. Primo and AJ are still searching backstage only to find Hornswoggle and Maxine making out.

We come to competition #2 and Maxine and Kaitlyn compete despite being eliminated. The contest is really dumb. They have a bunch of boxes and a flag hidden in one. It’s a race. Survivor and The Amazing Race are way more clever that this and even they have lost their charms for me. So this is terrible. At least it’s short as Kaitlyn wins but Naomi ends up with immunity as a result.

Once again searching for privacy Primo and AJ come upon Dolph and Kaitlyn making out. And Vickie sees it. Wow, actual plot development on NXT! Vickie comes charging and ends up with a cake thrown on her. Weddings are like that though. Especially WWE weddings.

Cody and his dad form the wedding party and Hornswoggle is carrying the ring. Goldust is in a tux and carries the million dollar belt. Aksana is in a gold dress. That ducks the wearing white issue. They wrote their own vows with Goldust getting in his catchphrase and Aksana not even succeeding in starting a USA chant. The minister is on Dibiase’s payroll and bails on the wedding. Dibiase feeds Aksana to immigration but will let the wedding go ahead for his title belt. But Dusty has a back up minister. It’s Ted Dibiase Sr. And yes, he is an ordained minister. But why is he selling out his son? Just because the look on his son’s face is priceless. Dusty steals a kiss before his son gets up the nerve. But Aksana slaps her new husband in the face as a heel turn. That could have been far, far worse but was hardly an incredible payoff.

Aksana stalking off is not nearly as impressive since she’s back immediately for the elimination. Maxine, the most obvious pick, is gone tonight Off-script for a change Maxine isn’t as eloquent as she has been previously. Four more episodes and this monstrosity ends.

A good friend has offered to take me to see Survivor Series in a movie theater. It won’t be easy to take notes but I should be able to offer some basic coverage. Let’s see if Smackdown can be as good as RAW.

wrestling-weekinreview

Last week was a very good week in wrestling, what did you miss? Check out Lucian’s latest three wrestling recaps to learn everything that happened last week in the world of wrestling entertainment!

WWE Monday Night Raw & WWE NXT
There was a PPV this weekend. Among the winners: Team Smackdown, Daniel Bryan, LayCool and Wade Barrett by disqualification. Word is Barrett was still the planned winner until hours before the show. And, even more weird, John Cena and Otunga are tag champs. Speaking of Nexus, they open this week’s RAW. For no good reason they helped take out Undertaker in the Buried Alive match. Barrett doesn’t want to tell you why. So there. Barrett gets another title shot, special guest referee to be determined by tonight’s main event winner. It’s Orton versus any Nexus member. It takes three seconds before Cena is chosen.Click here to read this week’s full recap!

TNA Impact!
Welcome to the all TNA column! TNA opens with a backstage brawl between Tara and Mickie James. These two are reasonably talented wrestlers and it’s nice to see the women grab the spotlight again. These gals put on a brawl just as good as the men until Madison, Serena and the Beautiful People show up and turn it into a street fight. The talent drops as the participants rise but there’s still some good brawling. They eventually all end up in the ring and Ric Flair comes out with Gunner and Murphy, the security guard newbie wrestlers. Flair takes a whole heap of slaps here but still won’t hit a woman. For some reason Flair is able to book a six-woman tag match for later. I have no complaints whatsoever with how this was handled. … Click here to read this week’s full recap!

WWE SmackDown
Welcome to Smackdown, don’t expect to see The Undertaker. At least not live. I’m sure there will be clips galore. In fact, the show starts with some. Kane gets to pose by a tombstone and claim Taker will never be back. Yeah, right. Of all the people who could interrupt I was not expecting Alberto Del Rio. He’s just out for a title shot and boy does Kane flip out on him. The crowd is against Del Rio so much they still boo him attacking Kane. A face finally shows up as Rey Mysterio chases off Del Rio then hits Paul Bearer with a 619. Last run in goes to Edge, who Spears Rey and trashes the funeral set. Kane looked a little weak here, but it will be interesting to see where they are headed with this. Kane and Rey wouldn’t be a fresh feud and I doubt they would do a four-way at Survivor Series. Del Rio goes to Teddy Long to plead for the title shot. Long counters with a #1 contenders match between Del Rio, Rey and Edge. My money is on Edge. That answers that.Click here to read this week’s full recap!

Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by admin | Leave a Comment
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Wrestling Recap, The Undertaker

Welcome to Smackdown, don’t expect to see The Undertaker. At least not live. I’m sure there will be clips galore. In fact, the show starts with some. Kane gets to pose by a tombstone and claim Taker will never be back. Yeah, right. Of all the people who could interrupt I was not expecting Alberto Del Rio. He’s just out for a title shot and boy does Kane flip out on him. The crowd is against Del Rio so much they still boo him attacking Kane. A face finally shows up as Rey Mysterio chases off Del Rio then hits Paul Bearer with a 619. Last run in goes to Edge, who Spears Rey and trashes the funeral set. Kane looked a little weak here, but it will be interesting to see where they are headed with this. Kane and Rey wouldn’t be a fresh feud and I doubt they would do a four-way at Survivor Series. Del Rio goes to Teddy Long to plead for the title shot. Long counters with a #1 contenders match between Del Rio, Rey and Edge. My money is on Edge. That answers that.

Why is Michael Cole here every week now? Three man announce teams aren’t working for WWE. Dolph Ziggler faces Daniel Bryan yet again, so I’m thinking these titles will be unified sooner rather than later. Still, the matches are so good that who cares? This match is faster paced than the RAW match and Daniel does some nice flipping and flying. With the amount of time these two have been given lately WWE must have more faith in them than I thought. Dolph takes Bryan down with a Zig Zag, but the ref gets knocked down too. Vickie tries to count the pin but the ref won’t allow it. That lets Bryan take Ziggler down with a high side kick and win three matches over Ziggler. Once again, there is controversy to the finish. And hey, Matt Striker knows the difference between figuratively and literally. I like how he occasionally tries to smarten up the trialogue.

Paul and Kane are upset. Cody Rhodes thinks he’s hotter than Kelly Kelly so Big Show wants him in a match. Rhodes claims to be a tag team wrestler now so Show says he’ll get a partner. Being in front of a hot chick gets Cody in trouble as he has to accept, and Show busts out a decent Scottish accent to mock both Drew and Cody at the same time. Jack Swagger, with eagle, faces Kaval. Smart money is on Swagger. Nobody has mentioned Kaval having a title shot in a very long time. It’s not a bad match but it’s short and there’s nothing really memorable before Swagger catches Kaval in the Ankle Lock and the rookie quickly taps out.

The divas have a costume contest for Halloween. Not even a match? A costume Battle Royal? Heh. Just as I complain Teddy Long swerves us with an eight-Diva tag match. The various superhero costumes let the announce team geek out but, mostly, this is a comedy match. I get a snack. Edge and Rey aren’t going to be friends in this match. Drew and Cody think Nexus are pathetic and they want their titles back. Big Show, the man of many partners, calls on Kofi Kingston to join him this time out. For some reason the match doesn’t interest me. The end comes when Drew doesn’t enter the ring to save Cody from a Chokeslam and Big Show picks up the win. Drew and Cody promptly break up their team which is better for all concerned.

The entrances for the main event and the following commercial last until 9:47. The bell rings then, at 9:49, we go back to commercial. That’s just disrespectful of your audience. Once we get back to it the match is quite decent. All three guys get to show their strengths but the crowd ultimately gets behind Edge. There are three false finishes that I would have bought as an ending, but Edge spears Del Rio while Mysterio is on his shoulders and the Toronto native is on his way to Survivor Series as #1 contender. Kane knows it too, and puts on a pyro show to prove he’s not scared.

All in all it was a good wrestling week and Smackdown is the cherry on top. Great in-ring action and very little garbage other than the Divas. And I have to say, I could watch a lot more Daniel Bryan/Dolph Ziggler matches.

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