The Stomping Ground: A Few Bright Spots in a Sea of Crap
by Mike Gojira on June 2, 2011

What’s up, pimps and pimpettes? Ye olde host Mike Gojira is here with a few new thoughts on the state of the WWE. And no, I will not provide you with 100 new thoughts of randomness because it made my head hurt the last time I tried that. And yes, I am aware that I may have padded the list with a few ramblings of nonsense and tomfoolery…but then again, I don’t see you haters typing out a column once a week like yours truly, so “nyah.”

On a side note, go on the Green Lantern coaster at Six Flags. I took the little lady there last weekend and we had a blast.

And now for the part everyone loves: my opinions and how they clearly are above and beyond those of all of you. Jeez, I’m starting to sound like Rhett Davis here.

Let’s be honest and jump on the Hate Wagon now, shall we? The WWE has been in a lull for some time now. You’ve got great talent like Alberto del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre…….hell, let’s just say most of the midcard is stuck in a rut. I already covered how the company has written themselves into a corner with a ridiculous amount of heels overcrowding the roster, and it’s starting to show. However, there have been glimmers of hope that the company is attempting to right their wrongs, and I came to this realization after watching Raw this week.

Ask me 6 months ago if I thought Alex Riley would ever amount to a hill of beans and I would have laughed in your face. He became the quintessential Miz clone, complete with arrogance, mannerisms, and physical appearance. When Riley was drafted to Smackdown, I envisioned a disaster of Kenny Dykstra proportions. I questioned why he was still on Raw week-in and week-out, and the seeds were clearly being planted for Miz to drop his protege.

What I never would have guessed was a Riley face turn.

When he beat the hell out of Miz last week, it was akin to Austin stunning McMahon for the first time. The crowd was eating it up, rooting for Riley to turn on his mentor and beat the ever-loving crap out of him. His intensity, his passion, his fire…it all came out in that one instant. When he did it again, this time at the expense of Michael Cole, the crowd continued to support him.

Could this be Riley’s moment to shine? Or is he just getting a slight push only to be jobbed out to Miz at Capitol Punishment? Quite a few WWE Superstars have gone down this road of taking on a top wrestler and getting the best of them every week, only to lose decisively at the next PPV. Kofi Kingston’s feud with Orton comes to mind. Is there a chance that Alex Riley could be the next breakout face on Raw? The fact that the GM has apparently “bought” him out of his Smackdown contract (a throwaway line mentioned during the Riley/Cole segment) and that Riley has new theme music might give us insight into the company’s long-term plans for him. Then again, this is the WWE here, and logic is often lost on Creative, or the higher-ups who give the final say.

Color me crazy, but R-Truth is entertaining on the mic as a paranoid heel. I want a shirt that says “I’m a Little Jimmy” ASAP. By the way, how hysterical was the back-and-forth between Truth and that fan who said Zack Ryder has a t-shirt but Truth doesn’t? It appears that the company is still not high on his in-ring work yet, as he’s being overly protected for a guy who has quite a few years in the business. First he’s taken out of a number one contender’s triple threat match; then he’s put in a tag match where Punk handles the work load; now he spends most of his time in a match with Cena pandering to the fans on the outside. Perhaps the R-Trigger is being pulled too soon?

Yeah, that was the kind of pun Chris Sanders would throw at you. I’ve stooped REAL low this week.

My final shout-out goes to Ezekiel Jackson, a man who truly epitomizes Vince’s hard-on for hosses. The guy’s got a great look and a couple of moves that fire up the crowd. He needs some mic work, but other than that I’m enjoying his feud with the Corre and can’t wait to see where he goes once he takes the Intercontinental Championship off of Barrett (come on, you know it’s gonna happen).

Things have been looking grim lately for the most recognized wrestling entertainment company on the planet, but there is a chance for them to escape the TNA doldrums.

Random Thoughts

There goes Kharma’s heat. Suddenly the most dominant woman in the Divas’ division is a babyface. Does that mean we have no choice but to deal with the Bella Twins for at least another year until Kharma destroys them? Ugh. And now the Divas are back to being unwatchable.

Michael Cole is still finding his “voice” ever since he returned to the announce table. I thought we were done with the over-the-top heel version and were just going to get the color commentator. Hopefully this attitude is reserved for Cole’s relationship with The Miz, and that’s it.

Is there ANYBODY out there who thinks Christian is going to stay a face for much longer? I hope this is a swerve to the IWC and Captain Charisma’s Peeps and Christian remains a face, but I won’t hold my breath. My question is this: if Christian turns heel, who will take his place as number 2 face on the Smackdown brand?

Did I miss something? Are we getting a rerun with Evan Bourne vs Jack Swagger? I could have sworn we’ve seen this feud before. With the same outcome on the horizon. :(

Could Daniel Bryan have a high-profile feud with Cody Rhodes in the near future? Or was his big win last week a one-off just to further Cody’s heat? I’m rooting for the former. It would only serve to improve both men’s standing on Smackdown.

Cheap Plugs

Matt Harrak brings us another edition of Creatively Endeavored, this time with a retrospective and fond memories of Macho Madness.

My favorite commenter, Chris Biscuiti, is back with another taste of CB’s World. His topic this week? The current lack of character development in wrestling.

Chris Sanders hits us with another dose of The Rager, focusing on the results of Raw this week.

Patrick Spohr delivers Part 2 on his thoughts about women’s wrestling.

Steven Gepp has returned with a brand new View From Down Here with an interesting take on emotional support for past generations versus the current crop of wrestlers.

Kelly Floyd has her regular Top Ten Thoughts on Smackdown as well as her other fine columns which you should check out.

Joel Leonard reviews Tough Enough this week.

Andrew “Don’t Call Me Andy” Wheeler has his Judicial Review of Raw up this week.

Blair Douglas has his always hilarious That Being Said up for TNA Impact Wrestling from last week. By the way, Blair: I read this week’s spoilers. I feel sorry for you.

We’ve got Jonah Kue, Rhett Davis, M.C. Brown, and every other MoFo under the sun, so check ‘em out.

As usual, so long…and thanks for all the fish.




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Mike Gojira

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  • Patrick Spohr

    Great column as usual.

    I agree with you on the whole Alex Riley face turn; he’s done a good job so far. I guess I wasn’t so surprised that he would get this kind of opportunity considering he’s the kind of guy that Vince sees as main event material (read: absolutely yoked).

    I don’t see the Bella twins lasting much longer. The way I saw things going, Kelly Kelly was going to win the title from them and then get squashed by Kharma. I think the ‘E was keeping Beth Phoenix in the background because they wanted her to feud with Kharma later in the year (and probably finish healing up), so I see Beth winning and holding onto the Divas belt for a while. The Bellas will then hopefully be returned to semi-obscurity.

    I did think the Kharma speech was a bit lazy, but I don’t know if the ‘E didn’t want to do some kind of injury angle because of her pregnancy or what. Like most fans will remember a one-off threat against the Bellas in a year.

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