Inside Pulse Wrestling » Kelly Floyd Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:19:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling no Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling » Kelly Floyd 10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! FLOYD STYLE 10.12.12 — Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Alberto del Rio Sat, 13 Oct 2012 17:34:11 +0000 Hello there, ladies and gents of the Pulse Realm! Goji is dealing with that pesky statutory charge…I mean vacation to Virginia…

Anywho, I’m reprising my role as 10 Thoughts on Smackdown Wizard for the day because every member of my family is in town and I’m trying to simultaneously clean. Bear with me.

1. NXT FLASHBACK — Sheamus and Show are instructed to demonstrate their finishers on the silly arcade punching bag that measures strength by square inch. Sheamus brings in an impressive 1322. Big Show brings an 1809. And I’m at a 1.3. Oh wait, that’s my BAC.

2. Hey look! My Niners are in attendance. Is this worthy of one whole thought? No? Okay um…I like JBL and Mathews as a commentary team. There.

3. I guess it’s a good thing that Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew Mcintyre are working together these days. That means I can zone out for only one segment, instead of multiple. I do really like Santino and Zack Ryder, so I’m torn. Too bad my last hope for intrigue died because they weren’t victorious against these pretenders. Wah.

Sidebar: The WWE13 commercial with Punk is epic.

4. The chemistry between Dolph and Kane was delectable. They really seemed to hate each other from start to finish. And the tension between Daniel Bryan and Kane? Even more delightful. Loved when they worked together to destroy Matt Striker. This team may even rival JeriShow’s awesomeness, but let’s not jinx it.

5. Am I the only one who’s completely bored of Big Show? I can’t be alone in this. Even against a generally fun competitor like Kofi Kingston, he’s more dull than a Mitt Romney promise.

6. I don’t like ADR coming off as a scared little girl in these backstage segments, but I do like that we get to see a match between him and Daniel Bryan tonight!

7. Are we seriously still pretending like we care about who “attacked” Kaitlyn? All this bickering and screeching is giving me a headache. Give me a real Divas division match!

8. Oh, I forgot about the Rhodes Scholars. They, along with Hell No, are restoring my faith in the tag team division. It’s actually interesting again! Sandow looked great against Sin Cara, even with a surprising loss.

9. Daniel Bryan is fascinating. He is just amazing to watch, and knows how to do what you love to see, while simultaneously throwing in some innovative maneuvers that really make you go, “WOW!” I wish we had more wrestlers like him, but maybe being a gem in a heap of gravel is what makes him so great. Though I can’t say I’m happy that he tapped out to Alberto del Rio. Especially so quickly. Blarg.

10. Can’t say I’m surprised that Orton showed up while ADR was mocking him. However, the way Randy appeared was great! As well as the beatdown afterwards. A good way to end the show, I must say.

Well, we go back to normal next week. And good thing, too. I actually have to pay attention when I’m flying solo.

Goodnight, folks.

]]> 3
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE SummerSlam 2012 PPV (John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus) Sun, 19 Aug 2012 18:01:20 +0000 Santino Marella (c) vs. Antonio Cesaro
United States Championship

Matthew Harrak: As Roddy Piper once said, the only people who need a “strap” are ones who can’t get over on their own. Cesaro fits that description perfectly.
Winner: Antonio Cesaro

Rhett Davis: Let’s face it. Santino has done absolutely nothing to help the prestige of this title and has made it even more of a prop (as if it needed the help). Antonio Cesaro winning will at least give the title to someone who is on the up instead of someone like Santino that I’m not even sure ever defended it. Except against maybe David Otunga. And I thought he was supposed to win this title from him? Well anyways, I hope Antonio hits him with another solid uppercut for the three count.
Winner (and NEW United States Champion): Antonio Cesaro

Mike Gojira: It’s about damn time Santino defended this belt.  I really wish they’d bring back the 30-day defense rule for television purposes.  In any case, we’ll know once and for all if the WWE thinks Cesaro has that It Factor if they pull the trigger on him winning the title tonight.  If he doesn’t win, I’m not too keen on his future.
Winner and NEW Champion: Antonio Cesaro

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)

Matthew Harrak: If they are smart, they will re-establish Brock Lesnar as a monster threat. If he loses to Triple H after losing to Cena, his character just might be too damaged to be worth anything.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Rhett Davis: The Game versus The Big Thing. This is supposed to be a huge feud, but generally it really feels slowly developed and dragged out. Plus I don’t want to see the same promo over, and over, and over like we have been involving these two. As for who wins? I have my picks on Brock. He needs it to re-establish him as an ‘Ass-Kicker.’
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Mike Gojira: The only outcome of this match MUST be Lesnar’s domination of The Game.  Anything else makes zero sense and is an insult to our intelligence.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

CM Punk (c) vs. The Big Show vs. John Cena
Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship

Matthew Harrak: There’s been so much talk about John Cena facing The Rock at the Royal Rumble, which makes perfect sense. But IT’S AUGUST! There’s plenty of time to get the belt on Cena before then while still giving Punk credibility as champion. Plus, I’m expecting the new rumored WWE title at Summerslam or the more logical, Night of Champions, next month.
Winner: CM Punk

Rhett Davis: Well Big Show is there to pick up the pin. They ended last year’s Punk/Cena angle with controversy and they want this year’s SummerSlam to end with controversy surrounding it again? Weird. Oh! And be happy… this is the first PPV in awhile that Cena will not be main-eventing. Thank Brock and HHH for that one.
Winner (and STILL WWE Champion): Chris Masters’ Punk

Mike Gojira: Yawn.  Punk’s right about wanting to cancel the Triple Threat, but not for his heelish reasoning.  It should be cancelled because NO ONE wants to see Cena or Big Show in the title hunt anymore.  Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t see a Rock run-in tonight.  If he did, the next time he’d show up would be prior to the Royal Rumble (four months away), so any heat he’d have with Punk would dissipate by then.
Winner: CM Punk

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan

Matthew Harrak: Kane doesn’t need the win at all but Bryan is getting even MORE over with this paranoid, crazy character, loses could actually help him. I can see AJ getting involved and costing him the match.
Winner: Kane

Rhett Davis: Ugh. I hate to see Daniel Bryan getting used in this angle instead of being in a legitimate feud where there is no celebrity interruption. Kane wins thanks to either interference or Sheen actually attack Daniel Bryan while the ref isn’t watching.
Winner: The Big Red Monster

Mike Gojira: Charlie Sheen.  That is all.
Winner: Kane

Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho

Matthew Harrak: Jericho has the reputation of feeling the most useful by putting over new talent that has a future in the WWE. That man is Dolph Ziggler and I honestly can’t see him losing.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Rhett Davis: This is definitely my vote for MOTN, but I also feel the outcome is easy. Jericho wins and disappears for awhile only to come back to challenge the World Champion Dolph Ziggler. See if Jericho wins then he already has a claim on why he deserves a shot at Ziggler. Jericho wins after Sheamus runs down and distracts Ziggler like Dolph has done to him. Dolph will then act as if he is cashing in in the World title match leading to Del Rio winning.
Winner: Y2J

Mike Gojira: The match of the night and, in my opinion, the last step before propelling Ziggler into the main event spotlight.  Based on what’s happened for the past week, Ziggler has been one-upping Y2J in each encounter which would lead one to believe that Jericho gets his revenge tonight.  However, Jericho has been known to put over his rivals even if he’s earned the right to get some payback (see: Triple H, John Cena).  Based on his recent comeback attempt, Jericho needs the win more since he hasn’t won on PPV at all this year.  Ziggler can lose gracefully with a Codebreaker or get cheated out of a victory by the wily veteran.
Winner: Chris Jericho

The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
WWE Intercontinental Championship

Matthew Harrak: Why the hell would Rey Mysterio win the Intercontinental Championship?
Winner: The Miz

Rhett Davis: I feel like they just looked at the roster and thought who was a face who they could use to put over The Miz and came to Rey Mysterio who has done absolutely NOTHING since returning. Anyways, I have a lot of heels winning so I’ll probably be wrong on a lot of these.
Winner (and STILL I-C Champion): The Miz

Mike Gojira: As I’ve stated before, there’s no story here; Rey’s in his home state so he gets this match.  I don’t think hotshotting the belt is a good idea here, so either The Miz wins via cheating and gets his comeuppance after the match, or Rey wins via DQ.  Hmmmm……..
Winner: The Miz

R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (c) vs. The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Tag Team Championship

Matthew Harrak: I don’t care for either of these teams but I think they are finally realizing that Kofi and Truth aren’t getting over as a team whereas O’Neil and Young are as heels, even without AW.
Winners: The PTP

Rhett Davis: They finally get their match with the tag team champions. It seems like forever since I’ve actually seen R-Boom team together. I know they teamed in a 8-man tag a few weeks ago, but forget about that. I mean just a two-on-two tag match. Maybe I’m forgetting something. Anyways, the PTP have been going on strong so it’ll be interesting to see if they go ahead and give them the gold. I think they will.
Winners (and NEW WWE Tag Team Champions): The ‘Unstoppable’ Team

Mike Gojira: With the loss of their mouthpiece, the PTP has become just another generic tag team.  However, if Triple H is as high on the tag scene as I’ve heard, they need the win here and a big push to remain credible.
Winners and NEW Champions: The Primetime Players

Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio
World Heavyweight Championship

Matthew Harrak: Sheamus has defeated Del Rio cleanly numerous times already and there’s no reason to put the belt on a heel while a heel (Dolph Ziggler) carries the Money In The Bank briefcase. Honestly, I can see Del Rio losing, beating up Sheamus post match and Ziggler successfully cashing in the briefcase.
Winner: Sheamus

Rhett Davis: *Yawn* Is this over yet? I really hoped that they would at least add a stipulation to this match after cancelling it, but nope. They just left it a singles match. Everyone seems to be thinking that Dolph will cash in after this match, but I’m thinking they will let Mr. Ziggles hold on to that for a little while later. Sheamus should win this, but they were discussing that ADR wanted a title run so why not give him the title here? He could win through shenanigans and then have Sheamus chasing and earning a title match.
Winner: (and NEW World Heavyweight Champion): Alberto del Rio

Mike Gojira: It will be interesting to see where the company places this match on the card.  If it’s toward the end of the night, we could be in for a cash-in of the briefcase.  Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it opens the show, Ziggler cashes in, and his match with Jericho becomes a title match so he can attempt to literally “win the big one”?  Even better: what if del Rio wins only to get screwed out of the belt by Ziggler?  Imagine the crowd reaction!  Regardless, I think we all know Sheamus will retain and then…..
Winner via Cash-In and NEW Champion: Dolph Ziggler

Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow

Rhett Davis: Two men that have really been on a roll this year, but neither has really had a legitimate PPV match. I don’t count Brodus’ pre-show match. It’ll be interesting to see if they give Brodus a little nudge after totally forgetting about his undefeated streak and having him lose to Big Show easy. Or if they continue to give Damien Sandow the push by having him go over the behemoth that is Brodus Clay. I vote the later. Or better yet just have Damien Sandow destroy Brodus, but lose by DQ.
Winner (By DQ): Funkasaurus Clay

Kevin Rudolf Concert

Mike Gojira: No Divas match, no Brodus Clay vs Damien Sandow, no Randy Orton, and no Cody Rhodes vs Sin Cara.  We get stuck with the theme song for Summerslam shoved down our collective throats.  Hey, maybe he’ll wear a trashbag like Cee-Lo did last year.  That would make this more entertaining.
All of us.

Closing Statements

Matthew Harrak: It would be interesting if the World Title match took place before the Ziggler/Jericho match and then changing that match to a World title match. If that was the case, I would absolutely see Jericho winning the World title (especially after all this talk of “winning the big one”.) While this would suck for Ziggler, he could very easily win the title back at Night of Champions, running Jericho out of the WWE and moving onto a feud with Sheamus who never got a rematch.

Although we’re supposed to think Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H is the biggest match, Triple H won’t take the stiff shots Cena took at Extreme Rules and I think a lot of people will be let down. Extreme Rules was not a wrestling match for Lesnar so he’s going to be rusty and as good as Triple H is, he is over 40 and carrying a rusty, MMA trained Lesnar through a decently long match might be too much.

CM Punk/John Cena/The Big Show is going to be the story of the night. While I still hold firm that this storyline would have been stronger without Big Show, CM Punk’s recent teases of a heel turn have added the intrigue this match needed. Punk’s character is already pissed that he hasn’t been in the main event for months and now the first time he is in the main event, it’s with John Cena. It’s time to pull the trigger and bring back the CM Punk of last summer and let the fans choose whether or not boo him. I think we’ll be seeing a CM Punk standing tall over a beaten down Cena by the end of the night.

Rhett Davis: Overall it looks like an OK SummerSlam with about half of it looking great and the other half just looking really dry. I guess we’ll see what happens!

Mike Gojira: There’s not much to go on in the way of excitement, apart from the Jericho/Ziggler match, but we could possibly see a number of title changes.  Definitely NOT one of my favorite Summerslam cards.

]]> 2
The Stomping Ground: Kelly Floyd Edition (WWE vs Indies) Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:30:28 +0000 Good news, everyone! I’m on vacation in Florida this week and since I promised that The Stomping Ground would run uninterrupted as long as I’m with Inside Pulse, I’ve decided to give Kelly Floyd a shot at the action. I’m sure she’ll do a great job replacing me as host, mostly because there’s a distinct lack of tits on this site (unless you’re one of those Jabba-types living in a dank corner of your parents’ basement). Take it away, Kelly!

And try not to leave skidmarks.

It seems that simply adding boobs is a quick-fix for Mike’s…er…uniqueness? So why don’t we try to remove him completely from the equation, and let me ramble on about nothing for a change? No? Oh well, I’m going to do it anyway.

Now, we all love/hate/tolerate/just-need-to-talk-about WWE, but how does the global entertainment company fare against our local favorites? What are the true pros and cons of each, and who would win in a fight? Let’s find out.

Welcome to the first (and likely only) Indy vs WWE Super SlammerFestMania!

Match #1
WWE Universe vs an indy following

I had to open the show with this match. Sure, the WWE Universe is gigantic, with viewers all over the world, whereas indies usually remain fairly local. But it’s not quantity I’m after, it’s quality.

WWE fans more often than not have a loyalty that dates back to single digits. Through each and every change, they were usually right there, buying the merch and ordering PPVs. But what about the PG era? The veteran fans still tune in, still buy t-shirts, still order the big Sunday events. But why? Do they just hold on to the hope that their favorite past time will pick up where it left off? Or is it more superficial than that?

On the flip side, you have those darn indy fans. I’ve observed these eccentric people for a few years, and no two are alike. Each joined the cult following for different reasons, different needs. But what they do share, is passion. These people take responsibility and credit for popular chants, if a wrestler gets over, and ultimately their successes. And rightfully so, most of the time. They aren’t simply a part of the companies; the companies are a part of them.

Winner: Indy following

Match #2
WWE angles vs indy storylines

Now, in this matchup, many different people have many different opinions. It should be difficult to decide a winner. But screw you guys. Get your own column. Love ya!

WWE has had some questionable angles in its esteemed past. Mae Young giving birth to a hand. The anonymous Raw general manager. KERWIN WHITE. These memories still make you cock your head and wonder… But with the bad, comes the good. DX going toe to toe with Mr. McMahon. The crumbling of Evolution. The Undertaker doing…well, almost anything. When they really put their minds to it, WWE was capable of grabbing your face and forcing you to care about anything and everything they did. They’d offer the time, the twists, and the dedication it deserved.

With indies…it’s a little different. You may have a heated rivalry between two wrestlers for weeks and then BOOM. One wrestler’s car breaks down, and he can’t drive the 200 miles to your city for the show, and he’s gone. Suddenly, the wrestler who can make it is targeting someone else. There’s no resolution. And sometimes, you’re given matches based on who was able to show up that night. I’m not condemning them for it…that’s just how it rolls sometimes.

Winner: WWE angles

Your Main Event
Match #3
WWE talent vs indy talent

Now this match is tricky, eh? I mean, a lot of the WWE’s talent swam in indy pools before a contract fell in their laps. But which one, under which contract, is superior?

It would be a damn lie to say that WWE Superstars aren’t talented. They all have different styles, but ultimately have fine-tuned and perfected their craft. These men (and some women) have had a lot of practice and time to see what works and what doesn’t. And if they lack a little in the ring, they make up for it on the mic. There’s always something that keeps that person employed. But you have to factor in the long work days, the constant traveling, and general wear and tear. How many are capable of tearing the house down, but know that their name on the card is enough to keep the fans happy?

The indies, on the other hand, are the yin to that yang. Their skills (or sometimes their lack thereof) hides in the shadow of their passion. These are men who will work for almost nothing in order to do what they love, and that trait in itself sucks fans in. Sure, they’d love to make it to the WWE, but when it comes down to it, they’re happy. Need to dive into a bathtub of ice in the morning? “No big deal, the crowd has never chanted that loudly for me!” Though most are just as talented as anyone else I’ve seen on TV, it’s truly their heart that takes center stage.

Winner: The fans.

Of course, my local indy company (Future Stars of Wrestling) has become my steady boyfriend. You could say they dragged me away from WWE due to an affair of the heart. I know where my loyalty lies, but I can’t deny the empire that WWE has built. Nor can I deny that they sparked the initial attraction. But I can say that FSW is the only company I’m making sandwiches for and bringing beers to. But that’s just me.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

]]> 7
Rasslin’ Roundtable — Our Favorite WWE Monday Night RAW Moments Mon, 23 Jul 2012 08:00:12 +0000 Chris Sanders: April 23rd 2007, in London. It was a match between then-champion John Cena and Shawn Michaels. It was a few weeks removed from their great match at Wrestlemania 23. But this wasn’t your typical little-meaning Monday Night Raw match. No, this was different, this was special.This was a great back and forth match where both men were countering or kicking out of finishers. This a match where both men wrestling like we had to pay to see it. Just by length alone, I don’t think any match on Raw has match up with that and definitely none since.

The sentiment behind it was simple for me. Just like Chris Jericho stated in his DVD, this match brought me back. I was a casual wrestling fan when I was younger but by the time I got to high school and the beginning of college, I stopped watching. I’m not sure exactly why I stoppe, probably because I was a punk teen that thought he was too cool for everything. But I had seen an ad for Wrestlemania 23 and saw that my old favorite, Shawn Michaels, would be having a match for the WWE championship and I was confused because I never thought Michaels would come back to wrestling. So I watched WM23 and enjoyed it and so I kept watching but after a couple weeks (and a few moments of ridicule from my friends) I started to not really want to watch anymore. And then I watched this episode and this match. All of a sudden, I felt like that kid that watched with excitement and I knew that I didn’t care what my friends said (they all ended up becoming wrestling fans anyway) and that I would forever be a wrestling fan.

Ryan Brown: There are so many potential moments here – especially those where you saw something that you never expected (The 1-2-3 Kid beating Razor Ramon), the ones that were so powerful (RAW is Owen), a match that made you proud to be a wrestling fan (The Two-Man Power Trip vs. Jericho and Benoit) or just astonishingly awful (THAT Jackie Gayda match).

But it comes down to two moments –

First, Mankind winning his first WWE championship, which was – and this is a word that gets thrown around way too casually – unbelievable.  I can remember watching Cactus Jack in World Class Championship Wrestling and the old WCW.  I remember the goof who had two versions of his music – one for his entrance, and one when his match was over.  The one-eared wonder who seemed like the perfect mid card guy – and now, he was heavyweight champion of the world.  The moment when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s glass shattered, I popped out of my chair and marked out.  When the ref hit the mat for the count of three, I jumped into the air.  I’m getting goosebumps writing this just thinking about it.  It was unbelivable.  Truly, truly unbelievable.

Second – and this is 1% for the event, and 99% for Jim Ross’s commentary – Kurt Angle attacking the Alliance with the milk truck.  Ross’s call of “He’s bringing out the heavy artillery!  It’s homogenized!” is one of the best calls I’ve ever heard – and I’m not exaggerating in the slightest.

Matthew Michaels: I’ve told this story before but if imagine most of you haven’t read it. Let’s face it, wrestling fan turnover is one of the rules of the game. It’s why WWE is always trying to hold on to the kids – the Cena fans who hopefully like my generation’s Hulkamaniacs – will watch their entire lives. And it’s why fans my age – over 30 – get so upset over seemingly little things. Why Cena hasn’t turned heel yet, why story lines get repeated, why (insert favorite wrestler X) doesn’t get a chance… why things from when we were younger seem better for one reason or another.

But here’s why I still watch. The moments. The chance that something big will happen on live TV that other wrestling fans – or maybe even some non fans – will be talking about later that night or on Tuesday morning. This could be as silly as Vince Mahon’s limo blowing up or as emotionally charged as Punk’s pipe bomb promo in Vegas or anything to do with Steve Austin, The Rock and a beer truck.

I had stopped watching wrestling throughout most of the 1990s. Tuned in here and there but never got hooked like when I was a Hulkamaniac. Then I heard Hulk Hogan himself along with some other stars from my youth were popping up on Nitro. Maybe someone told me, maybe I saw an angle on Leno. So I tuned in to WCW. To watch the stars I grew up idolizing. And got hooked by a young guy I had never heard of before. He called himself the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. WTF? Loved it.

So I followed him to Raw when the Internet told me he might be showing up there. And then the Countdown happened. And Raw was Jericho. And I had a moment I would never … EVER forget againe. To this day I keep watching, hoping for the next one.

CB: The crazy part about picking one favorite moment from Monday Night Raw’s first 999 episodes is coming to the realization that I have actually watched every single one of these shows. No matter how I felt about pro wrestling, Raw was and always will be can’t-miss television for me (especially now in the DVR age, but I remember setting up a weekly recording on my old VCR as well).

To pick one moment can pull me in a million — or at least 999 — different directions. On one hand, there was nothing quite like Mankind’s first WWF championship win over The Rock (with a lot of help from DX and Stone Cold, of course), the infamous night where WCW spoiled the surprise and people changed the channel en masse to see it. On the other hand, the spectacle of The Undertaker’s “Black Wedding” to Stephanie McMahon — with Stephanie hanging on the black cross of DOOM — was a scene you just never forget.

However, those two moments I just gave you are actually my second- and third-favorites, respectively, from the history of Monday Night Raw.

I actually thought about this long and hard, and while the Attitude Era was obviously an incredible time period for the WWF/E, my personal favorite Raw moment came before any of that.

That’s right, my favorite Raw moment comes from January 25th, 1993, when Ric Flair (with Bobby Heenan) faced Mr. Perfect in a Loser Leaves WWF match. I was 13 going on 14 years-old at the time, and I’d loved Mr. Perfect ever since his “Absolutely Perfect” vignettes debuted. I also thought the Perfect Plex was just a great finishing move, one that should be talked about more when folks make to those lists or spit the bit with their friends talking about wrestling.

Back then, I hated Ric Flair. I didn’t know anything about his pre-WWF history at the time, and I just thought he wasn’t all that great, or maybe he just wasn’t my cup of tea.

So when this match came to pass and Perfect had separated himself from Flair and they where now fighting for their WWF careers (I didn’t know until later on that Flair was going back to WCW where he really did belong), I viewed this as one of the most epic and emotionally charged matches EVER, in my 13 year-old mind.

And when Mr. Perfect did the unthinkable and won “the big one” over Ric Flair, well, I still remember that feeling of joy and relief and happiness that this landmark moment brought me.

This match was one of the reasons I kept watching wrestling from 1993 to 1996, why I always tuned into Raw.

And to think that Mr. Perfect — now a WWE Hall of Famer — to think that Curt Hennig never won the WWF title, well, it makes this victory of his stand out even more as I look back.

That’s all from me — CB.

Kelly Floyd: Everyone knows that I’m a newer fan, who has been watching for about seven years now. Unfortunately, things went downhill quickly after they won my heart. Does that make me bad luck? I sure hope not. Anyway. There have been many moments on RAW that will stick out to me…for instance, I pretty much ate up anything Randy Orton could possibly do to Triple H. But only one can be my favorite. And what stronger memory than the one that MADE me a wrestling fan?

I had just gotten off work and was headed to a buddy’s house. I was 16 at the time–rebelling like we all do–and wanted to hang out, despite the fact that it was a “school night”. That friend said he just wanted to finish something called RAW. Now, I had never known a single person that could tell me what WWF/E stood for until that moment, so I was lost. And, I admit, I rolled my eyes.

It was the main event when I arrived. Some little squirt named Rey Mysterio was going to take on a behemoth named Big Show in what was billed a “David vs Goliath match”…I was intrigued. The match itself sucked me in so much, that I was cheering and booing in the exact places I was supposed to, even though those few minutes were the most I’d ever seen of a wrestling show. So imagine my mark-tastic reaction when Kane suddenly appears and teams up with Big Show to squish little Rey. But wait, it’s not over! The Undertaker arrives to rescue him! Finally, Randy Orton and Bob Orton run out to take care of Undertaker, using the lowrider Mysterio entered in as a tribute to Eddie Guerrero, by flooring the car right into the speaker system.

So much happened, so many men were involved, they captivated me from the start, and ended it with a giant explosion. I knew right from that moment, that I would love this sport for the rest of my life.

Martin Shaw: This is going to sound like a cop-out because they covered it on RAW in the run up to episode 1000, but it has to be Jericho’s début back in August of ’99.

They had been teasing us for weeks, maybe even months. When the countdown finally ended and JERICHO flashed on the Titantron as the music started, i reached uncharted levels of markdom.
I was a massive fan of Chris during his WCW run and he pretty much kept in character after the jump. He had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand for the first 30 seconds,  got them to turn on him in an instant, talked about “sports entertainment” ruining the show, mentioned plummeting buyrates and ratings, called the roster boring… he really set the tone in those three minutes.

Great countdown, great music, great début of a great wrestler and my favourite RAW moment.

Mike Gojira: I believe I already covered this moment in an early column of mine, but who the hell remembers old crap that I write? It happened on April 17, 2000. The show opened with Chris Jericho challenging Triple H for the WWE Championship….and he won the match! My friends and I were jumping up and down (and hitting our heads on their basement ceiling) doing the “Happy Happy Joy Joy Dance” as Jericho celebrated his first world title reign.

And then….the decision was reversed.

The. Decision. Was. Reversed.

That was the most emotional roller coaster I’ve ever been on watching Monday Night Raw, and I don’t think anything can top that.

]]> 19
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE Money in the Bank 2012 PPV (CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Chris Jericho) Sat, 14 Jul 2012 16:00:09 +0000 Kofi Kingston and Truth vs Hunico and Camacho

M.C. Brown: So far all I know is Sin Cara black and Haku’s son have a unicycle in common. This doesn’t bode well for their chances.
Winners: R-KaBoom

Matthew Michaels: If they want to establish the tag division they should keep the belts on one team or a bit longer. With Raw going to three hours soon and Main Event in October they need a strong tag division.
Winners: kk and kkwik

Rhett Davis: Well I don’t mind the match-up because we always need some tag team action, but I’m surprised this isn’t on the card as there are only four matches thus far. That’s minus a Ryback squash and perhaps a divas match. Anyways, this isn’t even for the title and R-Truth was injured so they may be hiding him for the time being by putting him on the pre-show and then in big tag team matches. Even with that injury, does anyone seriously think that Hunico and Camacho have a shot in the dark of winning? When was the last time they won anything?
Winners: Truth in Paradise

Big Show vs Kane vs Chris Jericho vs John Cena
WWE Championship Money in the Bank Match

M.C. Brown: Cena needs to be the 1st won to win it, cash it in and lose.
Winner: John Cena

Matthew Michaels: Only four people in this one? Well this is too easy.
Winner: Cena

Rhett Davis: Yeesh. Originally I thought Alberto del Rio was going to be in this MITB match so the number looked a little better. Once I discovered there were only FOUR combatants in it, I really thought this match looked weak. First we have Kane who has the record for most MITB matches (aka we have nothing more important for you to do) so I don’t see him winning although he did once before. Then we have Big Show who could just absolutely murder Punk if they were to battle so why does he need the advantage of having this briefcase? Jericho would be the most ideal candidate as a Jericho/Bryan/Punk match at SummerSlam sounds AWESOME, but it’ll most likely be choice d. That being John Cena winning the MITB for the first time and cashing in his opportunity like RVD did for a match at SummerSlam as Vinny Mac still wants Cena in the title picture. Lucky us.
Winner: John Chaina

CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan
WWE Championship Match

M.C. Brown: With a rumored Punk vs. Cena rematch looming, I say they go the other route, AJ turns around and joins Bryan in heelish bliss and they feud with Cena. Punk will probably win, but I still hope Bryan does.
Winner(and New Champion): Daniel Bryan

Matthew Michaels: I sense screwy ending due to AJ factor. MITB is where Punk won vs Cena last year so there will be fans thinking Cena challenges Punk here tonight for a surprise ending. I don’t buy that. Punk keeps the title here and it’s CM vs Cena or a triple threat at SSlam.
Winner: Bryan by DQ?

Rhett Davis: This is really an interesting match-up as we have the dynamic of AJ as the ‘special’ guest referee. Will she aid Bryan in overtaking Punk to become the new champ? Or will she simply let Punk win over Bryan? They’ve left it completely in the air so it’s all speculation. With that being said, I think AJ won’t help anyone, but will just prevent Bryan from doing something dastardly which will distract him long enough for Punk to win.
Winner (and STILL WWE Champion): CM Punk

Damien Sandow vs Tyson Kidd vs Christian vs Santino Marella vs Tensai vs Dolph Ziggler vs Cody Rhodes vs Sin Cara
World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Match

M.C. Brown: Despite big things for Kidd in his future, Dolph is my pick to win the match.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Matthew Michaels: two former champs in this match and I think only one obvious winner. Plus after those looks on Monday from Guerrero I think Tensai will help him win it.
Winner: Ziggler

Rhett Davis: This is probably the most unpredictable match as there are many different ways this could go. I was slightly surprised they didn’t add Zack Ryder as he’s been getting the nod lately. But our options show us Damien who is brand new and would be taking an approach out of Sheamus and del Rio’s book by being shot to the top if he won it. Kidd who seems just content to be the star of the show. Christian who is there just to say they have a veteran in the mix. Santino who is there just to have a comedic spin on it. Tensai is there so they have a monster to destroy people. Sin Cara is there for the big shocking move if Kidd doesn’t beat him to the punch. That leaves the two most probable winners: Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Both of these men have desperately trying to solidify themselves in the heavyweight scene. Dolph has been fighting the likes of Punk and Sheamus while Cody has been dueling Show and Christian. A win in this match could be just what either man needs to finally move up.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio
World Heavyweight Championship Match

M.C. Brown: I don’t see Sheamus losing for a while. Not while Triple H is coherent.
Winner: Sheamus

Matthew Michaels: Sheamus
Winner: Sheamus

Rhett Davis: I’m sick of Sheamus as a champion. Granted, he looks like a champion and he’s had a successful run (minus the 18 seconds in which he won it), but it’s time to move on. That being said, I’d be shocked if del Rio wins this one. Your winner by the Brogue Kick…
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Sheamus

Final Thoughts

M.C. Brown: Would have loved to have gone to the show locally, but no money and me and local WWE shows don’t have much luck for various undisclosed reasons. I usually have to go to Tucson or Las Vegas for a better show. But I will take my chances with TNA Bound For Glory. Bryan vs. Punk and the World title MITB sound the most interesting. Would love to see Bryan and Kidd win, but one of them winning would be nice. I do think Dolph will win, so that would be a good choice as well to help take the Hashtag Heel and Show Off to the next level.

Rhett Davis: Not a bad show and it’ll be interesting to see how crazy these new guys get in the World title MITB ladder match. The WWE title is screaming Russo finish and the World title picture is screaming help. We need some new top stars and the SmackDown MITB ladder match seems to be the way to go to get them. It would’ve made more sense to have two younger stars win this year, but meh… we’d rather have Cena as a MITB winner. Sigh.

]]> 5
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE No Way Out PPV 2012 (John Cena, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, AJ) Sun, 17 Jun 2012 19:39:35 +0000 Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga

M.C. Brown: Still can’t think that Otunga would get a big meaningless win on the pre-show.
Winner: Brodus Clay

Rhett Davis: Yes! The Pre-Show that no one will see continues! Yawn. Otunga attacked Clay on SmackDown to establish this ‘feud’. However, I don’t see Otunga ending Clay’s streak on a web-show that no one will see. Do you?
Winner: The Only Funkasaurus in Captivity

Mike Gojira: Next.
Winner: Brodus Clay

John Cena vs. Big Show
Steel cage match

M.C. Brown: Not wise for Show’s push to be derailed with a loss of any sort, even if he’s not pinned.
Winner: Big Show

Rhett Davis: So Cena wins, Show is fired. Show wins, and Cena will be fired by Johnny Ace. Yeah that’s intriguing. Remember when Cena was fired the first time? It lasted no longer than a week. Anyways, I don’t see Laurinaitis getting fired right now as he is so over. Big Show will win with some great visuals of him grating Cena’s face on the cage. Then either Cena will not be fired despite the promise that Ace gave on SmackDown or Cena will be fired and then return next week or two weeks from then. Big Show wins by destroying Cena with the WMD.
Winner: Big Show

Mike Gojira: Seven years ago, this might have mattered, but no amount of spit polish is going to make Big Show look good.  I suspect a repeat of Valentine’s Day Massacre, where Big Show throws Cena through the cage wall and accidentally gives him the victory.
Winner: John Cena

Sheamus (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
World Heavyweight Championship

M.C. Brown: Swagger’s “interference” possibly later deemed intentional leads to Ziggler’s loss and eventual face turn.
Winner: Sheamus

Rhett Davis: Alberto del Rio gets a concussion two weeks before the PPV and Dolph wins a who’s-who of a fatal-4-way to become the next #1 Contender. With almost no build and no reason for Dolph to win the title at this point, I see Sheamus going over Dolph Ziggler as he has been doing on SmackDown a few weeks ago.
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Sheamus

Mike Gojira: Normally I’d be excited for this one, as I know Ziggler can put on one hell of a show, but we’ve seen these two battle before.  It’s the same formula: Sheamus dominates early, Ziggler fires back and gets some extremely near-falls, but Sheamus wins definitively with the Brogue Kick.  Why should I pay for this?
Winner: Sheamus

CM Punk (c) vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE Championship

M.C. Brown: Even before Punk’s tweets(unless they are about Dolph not winning, lol), I feel it’s a swerve where AJ goes back to Bryan and he wins the WWE title for the first time.
Winner(and new Champion): Daniel Bryan

Rhett Davis: Who knew that this storyline would go as whacky as it has gotten? And the entire storyline revolves around AJ Lee. It seems that she will be the factor that decides who wins Sunday and I see it going differently than expected. AJ turns heel and aids Daniel Bryan in winning. Plus it would set-up next month’s re-match between Bryan and Punk.
Winner (and NEW WWE Champion): Daniel Bryan

Mike Gojira: I’m looking forward to this for two reasons: more Punk/Bryan goodness, and finding out where AJ’s allegiance lies by the end of the night.
Winner: CM Punk

Christian (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
Intercontinental Championship

M.C. Brown: Cody needs to be gunning for a world championship. Not sure if him in an I-C feud still is a good idea. Christian should go over.
Winner: Christian

Rhett Davis: It’s time for Cody Rhodes to move on from the Intercontinental Championship as fighting the likes of Big Show and Christian isn’t doing much good at this point as it just feels like a holding pattern. Christian should win here so Cody could move on and really there isn’t anything better for Christian to do with Sheamus as World Champ on SmackDown.
Winner (and STILL Intercontinental Champ): Christian

Mike Gojira: Christian should win here so Cody can move on to bigger and better things.  Honestly, I would have preferred keeping the title on Cody, as his run (before Big Show ruined it) was entertaining and lengthy.
Winner: Christian

Layla (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
Divas Championship

M.C. Brown: I’ll keep picking Beth until she wins.
Winner(and new Champion): Beth Phoenix

Rhett Davis: Yeesh. When does Kharma come back? Please tell me it is tonight. Layla wins because she needs some more legitimacy.
Winner (and STILL Divas Champion): Layla

Mike Gojira: Why should I care, honestly?  We saw this match last month.  There was no reason to put Layla over Beth then, and there sure as hell is no reason to do so now.  With Kharma still out of the picture, a rumored Kelly Kelly departure, and the absence of anything other than 30 seconds of a Divas match on any show, this match matters to me slightly less than the tuxedo match.
Winner: Beth?

Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
Tuxedo match

M.C. Brown: Scary. Just scary.
Winner: Santino Marella

Rhett Davis: Well… it should be a quick comedy match and I’d rather see this than a Ezekiel Jackson/Wade Barrett match. Eh Santino will win because why should a heel win a comedy match?
Winner: Santino Marella

Mike Gojira: Let me get this straight: one of these guys is currently a title-holder.  The other is a manager/valet/announcer for a guy who’s out with a concussion.  And yet, through all of this, Zack Ryder can’t get his United States Championship rematch?
Winner: Santino

M.C. Brown: Something is ominous about this event. I’ll admit I’m not up on everything going on, but I don’t get a good feeling coming into this event. There seems to be a severe lack of stories worth investing in. The AJ story seems to be the most intriguing, but I still feel they’ll screw that up somehow. Reuniting with Bryan this time as a cheating valet instead of a human shield has the most potential to me. It would be very cool to see Bryan exploit her instability and psychotic nature that he helped harness while babyfaces tried to get her away from his control once again. That has the most money potential. The Triple H and Johnny stuff wouldn’t get me to buy this, even if I had money to burn.

Rhett Davis: Overall it looks like a weak show with the exception of the WWE title match. The tuxedo match could be funny and the World title match could possibly steal the show. Should be the worst PPV for the WWE since Mania.

Mike Gojira: There is absolutely nothing here that makes me want to buy the PPV.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking Ziggler, Punk, or Bryan’s abilities to deliver where it counts.  I’m knocking the WWE’s pathetic attempt to sell me on a cage match nobody wants as the main event of a show with THREE title bouts on the card.  Maybe the company will try to shake things up with a title change, but other than that, i’m avoiding this like the plague.

]]> 0
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Slammiversary 2012 PPV (Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Sting, Bobby Roode) Sun, 10 Jun 2012 23:35:18 +0000 Christopher Daniels and Kazarian (c) vs. A.J. Styles and Kurt Angle
TNA World Tag Team Championship

Steven Gepp: Remember the days when TNA had a tag title scene that made WWE’s look like the second-rate crap it has been for too long? Remember how we thought Joe & Magnus would be the makeshift team that would restore TNA’s tag team division? Where are Joe & Magnus? Where’s their rematch? Instead they have gone the WWE route and are using the tag titles as mere story enhancers, without giving any thought to the titles themselves. This isn’t to say Daniels & Kazarian should not be tag team partners or even champions, but it has become merely a rather forgettable backstory to the rather forgettable front story of AJ and Dixie snogging. Despite that, this has the potential to be a match of the year (if you can ignore the stupid story-lines), but I have a feeling we’ll see Serge, Dixie, Nascar driver Will Power, and the returning Ric Flair all interfere to create an absolute clusterf**k. You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: Daniels/Kaz

Rhett Davis: Well this is a whacked out angle in which AJ has been distracted by the relationship with Dixie and the unraveling of it by Daniels/Kazarian. I think that A.J. will be distracted by either Dixie or Daniels threatening to harm her so Kazarian will get the win for his team. This could possibly lead to a Angle fighting A.J. in order to get his head on straight.
Winners (and STILL TNA WOrld Tag Team Champions): Formerly Fourtune or Daniels and Kaz

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Sting
TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Steven Gepp: Of course! A man we haven’t seen for months comes back and is thrust into the main event title scene! Because heaven forbid we get real challengers and whatnot. The World Title is supposed to mean something, but I guess TNA have been watching WWE and want to reduce it to the status of just another glorified crap prop. This is Slammiversary! This is one of their big shows! How about giving Storm his rematch? Or maybe give Aries a chance to tear the house down with Roode? No, we need to have a wrestling senior citizen in the title scene because that worked so well for WCW! And I have the awful feeling that they are going to do more WCW crap. But surely Sting will insist on doing the right thing. You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: (and I hope I’m wrong) Sting

Rhett Davis: Well lets do the math, Sting has gotten the upper hand at every occasion and Sting does not need the belt. Plus how would Sting totally burying Roode for three weeks and then winning at the PPV do for the IT Factor? They’ve built him up for over 200 days as the World Champion only to get buried by an old man? Nope. Roode wins through dastardly deeds.
Winner (and STILL TNA World Heavyweight Champion): The IT Factor

Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park

Steven Gepp: I don’t think this stupid excuse for an angle will result in this match. Abyss will come out, maybe they’ll even get Penn Jillette to play Joseph for a brief period, and the match will just be one huge waste of PPV time. Or they could go the “it runs in the family” psychological route, and make some deep and meaningful statement about the nature of mental illness and show that Joseph is just as twisted, sadistic and moronic as Abyss and have a match that way. You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: No contest

Rhett Davis: This is the greatest angle on television currently, and I’m intrigued to see how they run the Abyss appearance. Will it be a backstage segment that’s edited? Or will it be another person in the role of Abyss now? It’ll be worthwhile even if this match absolutely blows. As for who wins, a loss can’t hurt Bully as he went without a blemish after losing to Austin Aries last month. So Joseph Park wins perhaps due to outside distraction by Abyss.
Winner: The Attorney Behind the Mask

Devon and Garrett Bischoff vs. Robbie E and Robbie T

Steven Gepp: Devon’s looked good since his return… I think. The problem is he’s fought Robbie E (who is crap), Garrett Bischoff (who is green and crap), and Robbie T (who isn’t as crap as he appears in TNA, but is booked that way). For God’s sake, give him some other opponents Help give the title the prestige (… mmmph… sorry, almost choked on my cornflakes) they want it to have. You mean only 4 people in the whole company want this belt? Okay, that I can believe, but still… You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: Devon & Garrett

Rhett Davis: Ugh. Devon and Garrett Bischoff? Really? Anyways, they are teaming up against the Robbies for nothing really. This match will probably be just passable as none of these guys are really phenomenal in the ring. Let’s hope that the faces win so we can just move on from Devon/Robbie E.
Winners: Team 3B (Bischoff, Bad, and Boring)

Gail Kim (c) vs. Brooke Tessmacher
TNA Women’s Knockout Championship

Steven Gepp: So… what did I miss? She’s no longer Brooke because apparently wrestling fans can’t have two people with the same first name (despite there being two Robbies on the roster). Challengers for the Knockouts Title are chosen randomly. And Gail Kim is still champion. Right. That’s about all this deserves. Now, look, this is going to be better than anything WWE has put out this year, but will still not hold a candle to the RCW women’s title match. You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: Gail Kim

Rhett Davis: This wasn’t a bad women’s match at the last PPV so this shouldn’t be too bad. This time I see Gail Kim narrowly getting by again by using some dastardly deed.
Winner (and STILL Knockout Champion): The Kong Conqueror Kim

Crimson vs. TBA
Open Challenge

Steven Gepp: The mystery opponent will be either (a) Matt Morgan, or (b) Joey Ryan. Either way, this so-called stupid streak thing continues (I’ve counted at least 3 losses; Goldberg even won battle royals) because, well, they don’t have anything else. You know, I already miss Russo.
Winner: Crimson

Rhett Davis: Hmm… not really sure who this could be, but it may be the return of Matt Morgan since these two have unfinished business. However, no matter who it may be, I think Crimson will continue his winning streak.
Winner: The Amazing Red’s Brother

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe

Steven Gepp: Please just let these two tear the house down, even if just for the hell of it. Please. This is one match where I don’t care about the non-existent back story; I just want to see if Joe is motivated again, and if Aries really is the best wrestler in TNA. It’s a throw-away match, but should be good anyway.
Winner: Joe

Rhett Davis: I expect this match to be awesome. As in ‘This is awesome’ chants will be heard throughout this match. As for who wins… why should Austin Aries lose? He’s on a role and Samoa Joe is losing everything. Sounds like a good man for Austin to win and look great doing it.
Winner: Double A

Jeff Hardy vs. Mr Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam
#1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

Steven Gepp: The screw-up against the over-rated against the unmotivated. Wow – this should be a match for the ages! Goddam it, James Storm should be the number 1 contender! But I think I can see where this is headed. RVD looks like he’s come back for the money and easier travel schedule, because since his return he’s been sleepwalking through TNA. Anderson is just a waste of ring space. After as many years as he’s been in the business, shouldn’t he have improved in the ring by now? But it’s Hardy who brings the girls and the merch sales and some of the money, so, well, ladies and gentlemen, here’s your next TNA champion. And a pretty piss-poor decision that’ll be as well.
Winner: Jeffles

Rhett Davis: Well Sacrifice’s match between Anderson and Jeff sucked so maybe RVD can make this watchable. Regardless, I can’t believe we’ve had Anderson out of the title picture for so long. Then again we have Hardy who we love to thrwo in the title scene too… Hmm… I just know RVD isn’t winning. So I guess we’ll see Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy both pinning RVD so we get a three way match at the next PPV.
Winners: The Charismatic Enigma and The Asshole

Hernandez vs. Kid Kash

Steven Gepp: Wha? Why? I mean, seriously, why? You know, I already miss Vince Russo.
Winner: Hernandez?

Rhett Davis: What? Is this a Pre-Show match on YouTube? Where have these guys been? Have they been on TNA’s version of Heat or something? Anyways… we have a match here… for no reason.
Winner: The Mexican Musclehead

Final Thoughts

Steven Gepp: You know, I already miss Vince Russo. Since he’s gone the story-lines have either become more confusing, more convoluted or just straight-out dumbed-down versions of WWE or WCW story-lines. This show has two potentially good matches in the tag title match and Joe/Aries, a potentially watchable one in the women’s title match and a whole heap that I am cringing just thinking about. This new ear, new evolution, new freakin’ chocolate bar of TNA has produced something new – more stupidity than ever before. I want TNA to succeed. In the past 3 years TNA have produced more awesome PPV matches than WWE. But 2012 has been a ten-year celebration to forget. Remember Wrestlemania X? Well, Slammiversary X is going to be the anti-Wrestlemania X. It’s like that opposite DC universe where Superman wore black and was evil and crap like that. Only even that makes more sense than half of this card. Come on, TNA – you can do better than this!

Rhett Davis: Well it looks like a pretty good show. The Aries/Joe match looks promising and I’m interested to see how the Bully/Parks match goes. The Styles/Angle vs Daniels/Kaz match could be good if the storyline doesn’t screw everything up. The triple threat also has promise. The rest just looks okay with the exception of the Roode/Sting match which really seems to be overrated.

]]> 6
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE Over The Limit 2012 PPV (Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Sheamus, Chris Jericho) Sun, 20 May 2012 19:38:37 +0000 Preshow: Zack Ryder vs Kane

Steven Gepp: Come on! The only way Ryder could conceivably beat Kane is if 10 or 20 other JTTS-es from FCW or NXT attack and help with the beat down, thus kicking off that epic ‘young blood’ vs ‘ old established guys’ feud that worked sooooo well for WCW in 2000-1.
Winner: Kane

Rhett Davis: So I guess this is a monthly thing eh? Well at least… nope can’t quite find the upside to this. I mean, we have Ryder vs Kane. Who cares about this match? Sure give this to us back in February or March and maybe. But now it’s May. This is months too late and with no real spark to bring this feud back to the forefront. So boo and is anyone really going to YouTube to see this? Really? Anyways, Kane destroys Ryder.
Winner: Kane

M.C. Brown: Ryder has been rendered meaningless. Kane Smash.
Winner: Kane

Mike Gojira: Great job furthering this angle, WWE (that was a bit of smarkasm).  I don’t quite understand how they expect people to care about a pre-show that’s free which MIGHT entice them to buy the whole PPV if they don’t hype the match besides the obligatory, “Oh, by the way, there’s a dark match on Youtube.”  Without some sort of gimmick or last-minute stipulation, I don’t buy a Zack Ryder victory.  He’s been booked to look more pathetic than ever.
Winner: Kane

CB: Welllllll it’s the pre-showwwwwww, it’s the big bad pre-showwwww tonightttt. I miss Big Show already!
Winner: Kane

Layla (c) vs Beth Phoenix
Divas Championship

Steven Gepp: I don’t care what other say, Layla is not a good wrestler. The only good ‘wrestlers’ in WWE’s women’s division are Nattie, Beth and, in theory, Kharma. But the good wrestlers are relegated to farting and losing and crying, so I see a disappointing outcome here.
Winner: Layla

Rhett Davis: Well. Layla is back. That’s something. Beth is injured? Or something. And well. Layla needs legitimacy. So we’ll go with her winning by a roll-up.
Winner (and STILL Divas Champion): Layla

M.C. Brown: Any other Diva outside of Kharma defeating Beth Phoenix is not believable. While Layla like others have worked hard to be taken as a credible contender, Beth is just too far a cut above the rest to be even upset by a barbie doll. I even like Layla, but not over Beth in a match. A Natalya/Beth feud could have had legs, but they dropped that ball a while ago.
Winner(and New Champion): Beth Phoenix

Mike Gojira: Let me get this straight: the original plan was for Beth to have a kayfabed injury to keep her away from a rampaging Kharma who, over a year ago, decreed that she would murder the Bella Twins.  Well, the Bellas have come and gone and now Layla, who I think is decent, is champ in Kharma’s place.  I really hope the rumors aren’t true about how Creative has no plans for her, because that’s just absurd.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.  Layla probably retains.
Winner: Layla

CB: I think Layla was just a placeholder champ so Beth could heal up. Beth wins and we FINALLY get a Beth-Kharma program.
Winner: Beth Phoenix

Kofi Kingston and Truth (c) vs Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Tag Team Championship

Steven Gepp: At least, when motivated, all 4 of these guys can actually do things in the ring. Still, thrown-together teams do not a tag division make. At least this one should be fun.
Winner: Ziggler/Swagger

Rhett Davis: This should be a quick entertaining match. So are we just putting Kofi with random druggies until he gets caught with it or are we just being lazy and throwing random teams together? Well regardless of the reason, this team seemed hastily put together when they started teaming together and I’d love to see Zig Swag win the gold if for nothing else just to give them something else to do. However, they just won the titles so sorry Zig Swag. Not to mention there are more possibilities for opponents with R-Boom as they have Titus/Young, Primo/Epico, and Zig Swag.
Winners (and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions): R-Boom

M.C. Brown: I can’t believe Ziggler and Swagger are still teaming up.
Winners: Boom Truth

Mike Gojira: I don’t care.  Seriously.  Primo and Epico will get their rematch against Kofi and Truth, so there’s no point in betting on the heels.  And that’s a complete shame, since Ziggler works his ass off and he gets stuck with Swagger’s waste of space.
Winners: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth

CB: So we have R-Boom against Los Non-Guerreros. I think Truth and Kofi win with help from Little Jimmy, of course.
Winner: R-Boom

John Cena vs John Laurinaitis

Steven Gepp: Don’t care. Nope. I really don’t. Expecting Big Show, Brock, Heyman and the entire Los Angeles Dragons Australian Football team to do ran-ins and interfere outrageously because we have already established that no interference will be tolerated or allowed.
Winner: Sting (who comes down from the rafters, kills both guys with a baseball bat, while wearing a Blue Blazer costume in a final FU to Martha Hart, and then pins them both, as counted by HHH, who is the special guest referee they have when special guest referees aren’t allowed)

Rhett Davis: So this match is happening. When will they realize that no one cares about a Johnny Ace match? They tried this with Punk and it didn’t work. Just because it’s Cena doesn’t mean it’s going to be better. Big Show was fired on Monday… so I can see this going two ways. Either Big Show helps Johnny Ace as a favor to him for his job back and returns as a relunctant heel. (re: HBK to JBL) Or Big Show could actually return to help Cena and then Brock levels the field leading to Ace winning. Either way, Johnny Ace wins due to adding all of the stipulations Monday.
Winner: John Laurinaitis

M.C. Brown: If Ace’s life is on the line, then it’s Big Show who helps. They could even go Tensai than Big Show for the “supposed” save, only to turn on John. The Cena John, that is. Cena is coming off the big Lesnar win and can afford the screwjob.
Winner: Johnny Ace

Mike Gojira: Clearly a match deserving of the main event.  This will be full of stalling, with an early appearance from Big Show that will turn things into a veritable handicap match since Show is technically not an employee.  Big Cena comeback, Show cuts him off with a WMD, and Johnny Ace capitalizes.  There; I just spared you 25 minutes of predictability.
Winner: Johnny Ace

CB: As I speculated earlier today, SOMEONE will interfere in this match to cost Cena and save Big Johnny’s job. It could be anyone from Brock Lesnar or Vince McMahon to Lord Tensai or Kevin Nash, but in these situations WWE almost always goes for the most obvious and predictable choice. In this case, that choice will be the recently fired Big Show, who will save Big Johnny so that he can be reinstated on Raw.
Winner: John Laurinaitis

Sheamus (c) vs Randy Orton vs Jericho vs Alberto del Rio
World Heavyweight Championship

Steven Gepp: This is a tough one to call. I reckon they could all do it. And I’m actually looking forward to this one. I was debating with a mate as to whether it would have been better elimination rules, but we decided no, a clusterf**k is definitely the way to go. Strangely looking forward to this one.
Winner: Jericho

Rhett Davis: This match could actually be fun and looks a lot better than the originally planned Sheamus/Del Rio match. This could be a way to get the title off of Sheamus, but really… why would they at this point? He’s only had the title since ‘Mania and he is currently getting shipped to the top tier. Sheamus wins by hitting the Brogue Kick on Del Rio for the win.
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion): Sheamus

M.C. Brown: Sheamus wins the title. Everybody is talking about Bryan. Nice job, WWE. It’s easy to not make a Champion look weak losing in these matches and the title could use a fresh face back on top.
Winner(and New Champion): Chris Jericho

Mike Gojira: I was surprised (pleasantly) with the main event of Smackdown this past Saturday, and normally I’d be concerned with Sheamus’s clean win.  However, he’s still fresh as a champ and Orton doesn’t need the gold.  I would love it if Jericho won the title here just to validate his return; let’s face it, he’s done nothing earth-shattering like he’s promised since January.  Del Rio?  Back to the mid-card with you. Hmmm……should I go with logic or my heart?
Winner and NEW Champion: Chris Jericho

CB: Since Orton’s face is on the Over The Limit cover and he scored an emphatic show-closing RKO on Sheamus after Sheamus rolled him up to get the pin in what was a PPV-quality match on SmackDown!, I have a feeling that Orton and Sheamus are both *NOT* going to win here. Since he’s come back to WWE, Chris Jericho really hasn’t done anything “world-changing” as we know it, despite having a solid feud that put CM Punk over. It’s Y2J’s turn to get some “thanks for coming back” gold around his waist, plus I think he’d be a good heel champ for a couple of months and feud with both Orton and Sheamus before he drops the belt around SummerSlam time so Fozzy can go on tour.
Winner: Chris Jericho

CM Punk (c) vs Daniel Bryan
WWE Championship

Steven Gepp: Please, WWE! Give them 30 minutes and tell them to go out there and just tear the house down… Actually, I don’t think they will. I reckon this is part one of a long series, and part two will be an iron-man match, part three will be some stipulation match, part four will be a submissions-only match and the final blow-off will just be the ROH-like extravaganza work-rate junkies (like me) are hanging out for. However, I have the horrid feeling that Punk will win in 3.3 seconds.
Winner: Bryan

Rhett Davis: This match could/should be a MOTY candidate. I’m getting a stream merely just to see this. What else is there to really say about this? Let’s hope they get an hour considering there are only five matches. I just don’t see Bryan being the guy who ends Punks lengthy streak as champion. Punk wins barely.
Winner (and STILL WWE Champion): CM Punk

M.C. Brown: Potential Match of the Year if given the proper time which by all rights absolutely should here. Enough Said.
Winner: CM Punk

Mike Gojira: These two should tear the house down.  Punk himself has claimed the match will “Go the distance,” so perhaps we really will see an amazing bout.  What part will AJ play in all of this?
Winner: CM Punk

CB: Forget match of the night, this should be a candidate for match of the year (barely losing out to Undertaker-Triple H at WrestleMania when all is said and done). I know Punk and Bryan have a lot of history to play off of, so I am ***HOPING*** the announcers don’t screw this up since they have so much material to draw from. Hell, let JR and Regal call the match as a way of promoting the new NXT, and with Regal being Bryan’s mentor and JR being JR, that would make for AWESOME commentary. As for the match, I think AJ Lee plays a huge part in costing Bryan the match here, after a bunch of believable near-falls and amazing in-ring action. Therefore…
Winner: CM Punk

Final Thoughts

Steven Gepp: On paper, this feels like a 2-match card… but those matches should be very, very good. I just hope – hope beyond hope! – that WWE has actually looked at TNA and doesn’t go and screw everything up with too-cute booking and senseless swerves. I so want to like this PPV, I so want to be able to watch wrestling with a sense of enjoyment again. And for the first time in 3 years, nearly all the best PPV matches have come from WWE. I see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Please don’t let it be the headlight of an oncoming freight train.

Rhett Davis: Well there is a lot of room for add-ins with only 5 matches announced for the card. I could easily see another Brodus squash/dance-along, Ryback squash, Antonio Cesaro squash, or a possible Cody/Santino champion vs champion match. Altogether it looks like it could be an okay show with Bryan/Punk and the fatal-4-way matches looking the most promising.

Mike Gojira: I hear people say this constantly: “Why should I pay to see Punk vs Bryan when we got it for free three weeks in a row?”  Honestly, I don’t consider those encounters to be “matches” per se because they all ended questionably.  It’s a shame that we’re getting this marquee match-up on an otherwise lackluster PPV, because I’m not spending $65 for the other crap.  Yes, I’m currently jaded.  How can you tell?

CB: Not the worst card in the world, and I’m sure there will be a couple of filler matches and a couple of filler segments to flesh out the PPV. Like everyone else, I’d be fine with Punk-Bryan and the Fatal Four Way BOTH going 45-60 minutes and not having any filler segments or matches, but I doubt that will be the case. This could be a decent show with two solid title matches and a guaranteed swerve at the end of the Ace-Cena match, but I don’t see this being a must-buy PPV either for the price WWE charges these days. Maybe if gas goes down to $0.97 per gallon like it was at the Sunoco station when Tony Soprano was driving through New Jersey during The Sopranos’ opening theme, but not in this economy, that’s for sure.

]]> 5
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Sacrifice 2012 PPV (Bobby Roode, RVD, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy) Sun, 13 May 2012 17:18:41 +0000 Bobby Roode (c) vs. Rob Van Dam Ladder
TNA World Heavyweight Championship

M.C. Brown: While RVD might be a good choice to dethrone Roode, it’s also a way for Roode to win without pinning a top face. I also think RVD eventually should return to a cocky heel, so maybe after a loss here, it might start the swing that way for him.
Winner: Bobby Roode

Steven Gepp: This feels like a throwaway title defence against a credible opponent to make the champ look good. I actually don’t have high hopes for this one. Roode isn’t a ‘ladder match’ type of guy, and is it just me or does RVD look out of sorts, ring-wise? Maybe a step older or slower?
Winner: Roode

CB: There is no reason RVD should win the title in this spot. I don’t love Roode but TNA should keep building him up to an eventual rematch with Storm at some point.
Winner: It pays to be Roode

Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles

M.C. Brown: Not sure who is the heel here since I’ve missed some of the last few Impacts, but I’ll go with Kurt.
Winner: Kurt Angle

Steven Gepp: What, no Dixie carter on a pole match? What is this? I think some sort of schmozz will happen, involving Dixie, Hulk, maybe Flair and possibly a hamster (who will immediately be over with the crowd when he suplexes Flair off the top rope, which will cause Flair to bleed buckets). I actually think this could be a good match, but it will be ruined by extraneous crap.
Winner: Angle

CB: I actually saw these two lock up last July at a TNA BaseBrawl house show in Coney Island. It was a less than memorable match and I didn’t like the chemistry they had in the ring. I expect more of the same here, with some Kaz and Daniels interference to continue the Dixie-AJ storyline that was revealed on Impact.
Winner: Kurt Angle

Samoa Joe and Magnus (c) vs. Daniels and Kazarian Tag Team
TNA World Tag Team Championship

M.C. Brown: Still have to keep building up Joe and Magnus
Winners: Joe and Magnus

Steven Gepp: Something involving AJ Styles – even though he’s wrestling Angle – looks set to happen here. Does Dixie come down and screw Kaz/Daniels out of the win? Does AJ interfere (either Styles or DB’s ex)? Will the hamster ever play piano again? These questions and more most likely will not be answered. Anyway, this should be MOTN, given limited shenanigans, carryings-on and whatnot.
Winner: Magnus/Joe

CB: I love Joe and Magnus together, and I hope they keep the belts for a long time while kicking ass and taking names, leading to a MCMG vs. Magnus/Joe showdown once Sabin is fully recovered. Man, this PPV is sounding like a placeholder more and more.
Winners: Joe/Magnus

Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson

M.C. Brown: Jeff needs a PPV victory here.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

Steven Gepp: Who cares?
Winner: Hardy

CB: Haven’t these two wrestled each other enough in TNA? I don’t really understand the point of this rehash either, so this is bathroom break material for sure.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray

M.C. Brown: If the title isn’t on the line, then A-Double probably isn’t winning this one. At least this time. Same with Ray needing a PPV win and to stay both relevant & in the title hunt.
Winner: Bully Ray

Steven Gepp: People have been going on about how Bully has a new lease on life as a single’s wrestler, blah, blah, blah. Well, on the mic he has been great. But in the ring, he’s still Buh-Buh Dudley, and Aries will still have to slow down to make the match watchable. Expecting mediocrity.
Winner: Aries (I hope)

CB: Yes, Steven, Bully Ray *does* have a new lease on life as a solo heel, and I’ve enjoyed his mic work. Ray vs. Aries will be a fun match and I think they work well together. I think Aries should go over, but wouldn’t be surprised either way.
Winner: Austin Aries

Gail Kim (c) vs. Brooke Tessmacher
TNA Women’s Knockout Championship

M.C. Brown: Would love to see Brooke win. Maybe so much that I might even pick her here for this one.
Winner(and new Champion): Brooke Tessmacher

Steven Gepp: This feels like a throwaway title defence against a credible opponent to make the champ look good. I actually don’t have high hopes for this one. Just a placeholder until Mickie James is ready to rumble.
Winner: Kim

CB: The clear winner here is Joseph Hargrove … and Brooke Tessmacher. It’s time for Gail to drop the Knockouts title, and TNA has been pushing Brooke pretty hard lately, so…
Winner: Brooke Tessmacher

Devon (c) vs. Robbie E and Robbie T
2 on 1 Handicap match for the TNA Television Championship

M.C. Brown: Why? Heaven Only knows WHY?!?
Winner: Devon(Please?)

Steven Gepp: What, these 3 have been fighting for a worthless title for 2 or 3 months now. No one else is on the roster? Just let it end! Rob T gets screwed by Rob E, turns face to the indifference of everyone.
Winner: Devon

CB: Devon had his little “thank you” run with the TV title, and now TNA will move on to crown a new champion … in Robbie T. That’s right, Rob Terry has “the look” that has kept him employed, and by giving him the TV title they will get to put him in the ring every week in title matches — faults and all — to force-feed him to the Impact Wrestling fans. Not that I want to see this, but…
Winner: Robby T.

]]> 2
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE Extreme Rules 2012 PPV (Brock Lesnar, John Cena, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan) Sat, 28 Apr 2012 23:35:01 +0000 Wrestlemania feels like a century ago. A lot of the matches stay the same, except Cena has moved on to another nostalgic piece of history. While most of our writers put some serious thought into it, Matthew Michaels will be taking a different approach. Matthew will choose whichever wrestler’s name comes first in the alphabet. Genius! Are you ready? Here we go.

The Miz (c) vs Santino Marella
Pre-show YouTube match for United States Championship

Rhett Davis: Well this is a weird addition. Why are we having this match as the advertised pre-show match? For Extreme Rules? My only guess is that Miz is going to get fed up and destroy Santino leading to a DQ finish and then move into a more meaningful feud.
Winner (by DQ): Santino Marella

Steven Gepp: Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Who would’ve thought that Santino, at the height of his popularity, would be forced to face the Miz in an Internet match? Mind you, I don’t care about either guy, so who cares?
Winner: Santino, because Miz’s burial must continue!

Mike Gojira: So The Miz’s reward for putting Johnny Ace in charge is a match on a pre-show with absolutely zero build?  I don’t really care about this one bit, and the company hasn’t given me any reason to.  I guess Miz will win so the company can shout, ‘Hey, look at what could happen live on Youtube!”
Winner and NEW Champion: The Miz

Kelly Floyd: I’m still not sure I fully understand the point of this. It’s essentially a dark match…online…for the title…with Santino? But they love that faux-Italian bastard, so…
Winner: Santino

M.C. Brown: Actually Miz still seems stale and Santino fresh, even though at first glance looks like a Miz win. But of course he’s been there and done that.
Winner: Santino Marella

Matthew Michaels: The Miz

Nikki Bella (c) vs Beth Phoenix

Rhett Davis: Well if Beth is legit injured then why have this rematch? Why not just let the Bella fight against Kelly or Alicia and then have Kharma destroy them both? Who knows. Maybe Kharma will just destroy all three sending the Bellas to the Land of Future Endeavors and Beth to the IR.
Winner: Bella

Steven Gepp: Twin magic, Beth injured, Kharma’s lurking somewhere… who cares?
: One of the interchangeable Bellas, because heaven forbid the better wrestler and physically stronger person should go over

Mike Gojira: I expect Beth to “further injure” her ankle so she can disappear for a while and let Kharma destroy everyone in her path for a few months.
: Nikki Bella

Kelly Floyd: I’ve actually gotten on board the whole Bella thing in the last year, because those girls really do seem to try hard, and it is definitely paying off. They don’t make me cringe while I watch them…well, until I see their outfits or that damn “switch-a-roo” nonsense. However, seeing the complete mistreatment of people like Beth Phoenix as champions kills me. Once again, the Divas played musical chairs to determine the next champion, and Nikki found the final seat. Oh well. I’m curious to see what they do, if anything at all.
Winner: Bella #1

M.C. Brown: Is this a match to convince the Bellas to stay? Even if you are selling a phony injury it has to be sold to prolong the feud. Still waiting for Beth vs. Karma.
Winner: Nikki Bella

Matthew Michaels: Nikki Bella

Big Show (c) vs Cody Rhodes
Intercontinental Championship

Rhett Davis: This really is lose-lose for me. I want Cody to move on, but with a loss to the Big Show isn’t the way to move on and Big Show certainly doesn’t need the I-C title now. So let’s be hopeful and say Big Show wins and then Cody snaps and destroys Big Show by smashing him through a table or on the steel steps.
Winner (and STILL I-C Champ)
: The Big Show

Steven Gepp: While I appreciate the effort to give the IC title some sort of status, these two don’t seem to have great chemistry in the ring. Outside the ring, sure, but once they start wrestling it feels flat. Let’s hope for something better.
: Cody Rhodes, because nothing restores prestige to a title like lots of title changes

Mike Gojira: Get the belt off of Show.  Now.  I don’t care how.  Let Cody run with it again and give him an opponent young enough and hungry enough to deserve it.  Unfortunately, there are so few wrestlers on the blue show with that kind of credibility.
Winner and NEW Champion
: Cody Rhodes

Kelly Floyd: My reverence for Cody Rhodes has always been obvious, dating back to his stint in Legacy. But I cannot summon the fucks to give about this match. I hate Big Show. The only time I felt anything less was when he was involved in JeriShow, and come on, that was mainly because of Chris. He’s a big, strong dude that moves considerably well for his size and better than most others (cough…Mark Henry…cough), but he bores me. And they try to make him seem like more than he is, which is just rude. Because of this, I think I know who will come up victorious.
Winner: Big Show

M.C. Brown: Show should lose this back to Cody. Prolly won’t happen, but it should.
Winner(and new champion): Cody Rhodes

Matthew Michaels: Big Show

Kane vs Randy Orton
Falls Count Anywhere Match

Rhett Davis: Still feuding? Jeez. Okay well Kane won last time so let’s go with Orton who is rumored to fight Lesnar at SummerSlam so some legitimacy is needed.
: Randy Orton

Steven Gepp: At least these two are fighting one another so it’s only one match I can ignore, not two.
: Randy, because, well, just because, okay?

Mike Gojira: Randy wins the rubber match.  Kane goes on to randomly abuse some poor shmuck.
: Randy Orton

Kelly Floyd: This is still happening?
Winner: When in doubt, Randy Orton

M.C. Brown: Revenge match for Orton maybe a spectacular RKO off the stage.
Winner: RKO

Matthew Michaels: Kane

Brock Lesnar vs John Cena
Extreme Rules Match

Rhett Davis: Another match we thought we’d never see so soon? It’s crazy but this definitely is the biggest draw of this card and should bring some good numbers for this PPV. Anyways, everyone and their grandmothers have discussed this so I’ll just keep it short. F-5! F-5! It’s Vintage Brock Lesnar!
: Brock Lesnar

Steven Gepp: After the build-up for Rock/Cena, this seems rather rushed. But, oh well, who cares. Should be an entertaining, if not a throwaway match.
: Brock, because people must think Cena can lose all the time and isn’t superman.

Mike Gojira: If you’ve read ANY of my work over the past three weeks, you’ll know what I’m expecting here.  Lesnar dominates, Cena mounts a comeback, screwjob finish.  Brock is NOT jobbing in his first match back.
: Brock Lesnar

Kelly Floyd: Well, at least Brock is actually doing something, as opposed to Cena’s last feud. I haven’t been paying too close attention to these guys because, let’s face it, I don’t care. But I agree with Goji. Brock won’t lose this one. I’d love to see a powerful, demolishing finish.
Winner: Brock

M.C. Brown: I think the expected would be that Brock destroys Cena. I think Brock will do just that, but will do so in a way where the decision gets reversed and Brock gets suspended for a brief time.
Winner(reverse decision): John Cena

Matthew Michaels: John Cena

CM Punk (c) vs Chris Jericho
Chicago Street Fight for WWE Championship

Rhett Davis: A Chicago Street Fight? I think Ralph Hardin and I should have a Little Rock Street Fight. Anyways not sure how Chicago is going to come in, but since it’s his home town and this feud really needs an end, I’ll say Punk comes up with the win to retain.
Winner (and STILL WWE Champ)
: CM Punk

Steven Gepp: Should be match of the night if given enough time, and the extraneous silliness is kept to a minimum. I have a feeling an alcohol bottle will get involved, and maybe Stone Cold Steve Austin.
: Chris Jericho, because the money’s in the chase

Mike Gojira: If the WWE intends to get more mileage out of Chris Jericho and keep Lesnar as far away from the title until necessary, the only way I see that happening is by having Jericho defeat Punk in Chicago for the gold.  Punk’s had a lengthy run, and a loss here as well as the resulting chase will be good for business.  plus, a Chris Jericho title run is always a good idea.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion
: Chris Jericho

Kelly Floyd: I started to think that Jericho doesn’t really need to hold a belt, but…let’s face it, neither does Punk, really. Jericho seems to have had held the power over the last few weeks, and the PPV is in Punk’s hometown, but WWE loves to crush hearts like a recently scorned hot girl with big tits.
Winner: (please, oh please, oh please, oh please…) Chris Jericho

M.C. Brown: Punk won’t keep winning in his hometown. This assures a loss here under controversial standards.
Winner(and new Champion): Chris Jericho

Matthew Michaels: Chris Jericho

Sheamus (c) vs Daniel Bryan
2 out of 3 Falls Match for World Heavyweight Championship

Rhett Davis: Maybe the WWE has learned that Bryan is much more over than Sheamus. Not. Sheamus will win this match after AJ costs him yet another match-up. Although the first two falls should be interesting as long as they are longer than 18 seconds.
Winner (and STILL World Champ)
: Sheamus

Steven Gepp: In, pin.
: Sheamus in 3.001 seconds, because it worked so well last time

Mike Gojira: With the WWE apparently intent on pushing Bryan out of the title scene so his fanbase doesn’t boo the shit out of whomever he’s facing, Sheamus is going to win here and move on to face del Rio and Christian in the coming months.  I expect a tease of the 18 second-match from Wrestlemania as well as an AJ run-in.
: Sheamus

Kelly Floyd: It’s obvious that WWE wants to make Sheamus work as a top star. They hand-selected him and transformed him into what we see now, especially with such a quick victory. I think they’re going to take this one as far as it can go, and knowing how they roll, about twenty feet further.
Winner: Sheamus

M.C. Brown: I’d love to see Daniel Bryan come out of this with the belt, but this is for him to get one fall and maybe AJ cost him the final one(again).
Winner: Sheamus

Matthew Michaels: Daniel Bryan

]]> 16
FSW Adrenaline Rush 4.12.2012 — Johnny “The Bull” Stamboli, Alkatrazz, Sergio Vega, Mike Da-Lite Mon, 16 Apr 2012 04:59:31 +0000 Hello, everybody! Kelly here, to bring you the sweetest taste of Southwest indy delight. What are my boys from FSW up to these days? Well, let’s find out!

1. I try to avoid talking about dark matches because, well, let’s face it, they are what they are. But this match in particular caught my eye, and not in a good way. Clutch has become useless fodder for the guys in need of hype…not that I’ve always been a Clutch fan, but it’s a shame to see him sparsely used to get over. And Julian (whose name will forever be forgotten based on my ears betraying me) seemed to be able to fall back on fan support, despite a shaky debut. Never mind the fact that I want to rename him Murphy after all the drop kicks. But I do have to say, I got that “indy feeling” when he entered, and expect great things from him once he finds a rhythm.

2. It’s remarkable. A year and a half ago, I was forgetting Moshpit Mike’s name after his disastrous “Spike Match” with Chuey Martinez. I know I keep mentioning that rocky beginning but damn. DAMN. So much has changed. Not only has he managed to trim down in a way that makes women hate him, but he just brings so much life to each of his matches. Especially against the charismatic Johnny Manson. I always look forward to his matches.

3. When Tyshaun Prince’s name was announce, I leaned over to the buddy I’d brought to the show only twice before, and said, “wait until you see this big mamma jamma.” I’d remembered him from the Las Vegas FSW show in January as a big, bad, (for lack of a better term) mother fucker and knew what he was capable of. I have no idea who “The Playboy” is, but Primo Chukky Jr. was always intriguing to me. I especially loved how Prince asserted his power by continuing his hold on Chukky, forcing the locker room to empty. And, the fans! They were on board with the behemoth, but he managed to turn them against him in the most brilliant of ways. Honestly, I can’t wait to see more.

4. Hawaiian Lion’s match with Ray Basura was…cute. But the tension was so thin, you could only assume it achieved that status through an eating disorder. You could definitely tell that the match was obligatory, considering Lion’s challenge extended towards Lawrence Tyler. However, I am greatly looking forward to their bout at Xtreme Measures 2.

5. Nearly a year ago, Mike Da-Lite faced Kyle Hawk at the first Xtreme Measures, and I deemed it the match of the night, easily. Now, one short month before the second Xtreme Measures, the two men faced each other one more. As a result, hopes were high. Hawk has always been impressive, and Da-Lite had become a favorite since day one. Even if there wasn’t a jaw-dropping plank from Da-Lite (though, there was a Landshark, which was god-like), the rest did not disappoint. Could it have been bigger? More powerful? More sexual? Of course. But honestly, it was one of my favorites of the night. Once again.

6. The moment I heard Dexter Verity announce that he would begin a hetero life partnership with Andrew Hellman, I squealed. The two were so dynamic on their own, I could only hope that as a tag team, they would dominate. Let’s not forget, Dexter was a tag team champion with Val Venis. Which was truly amazing. But this alliance feels very real, very interesting, and very dangerous for future opponents.

7. Speaking of excellent tag team partners, Jayson Cash and Cutler Wright have been ridiculously incredible in recent weeks. Wright was the first person in FSW (formerly Elite Xtreme Wrestling) that made me say, “huh…this might be something” in his match against Khan Kussion. But aside from making me wait outside the bathroom at the Vegas FSW Arena, Cash has done nothing but make me smile the entire time I watch him. Whether it be his uncanny resemblance to the CM Punk/Kevin lovechild that could possibly exist, or his absolute draw once he steps out of the curtains. Suddenly, these two have replaced the large, Tombstone-shaped hole in my heart. Weird!

8. Sergio Vega’s bout with Jay Garland followed some sort of playbook, but they made it worth my while. I especially loved the twist of Garland following Vega underneath the ring, and suddenly, a wild Mike Da-Lite appears! The countout was a little dull, but I was genuinely entertained.

9. When I first heard Miracle Mike James fire his manager, Johnny Roxx, I was floored. I thought it was an excellent swerve. Because the two seemed more compatible than Harry and Ginny. But now, I wonder what on earth they’ll do next? I hope they find a genius way to connect all the people, but it seems a little strange for this drunk girl.

10. Oh boy. How I enjoy watching Alkatrazz do his thing. Well, not as much as I like headbanging to his entrance tune, but still. The main event was interesting, and exciting. Not sure what outside influence clouded my memory of this match (I blame the Bud Light I had to order when they took away my normal beer…gross) but I remember being excited. Tyson Tyler’s involvement was small enough, and important enough, that they made it work. The finale of the entire sha-bang was so enthralling, that I truly had no idea what would happen. If there was a better way to finish the show, I can’t think of one. Strong showing for the boys of FSW.


These guys are something to see, and it’s not limited to Arizonans. Look them up on GoFightLive, the website, and Facebook to keep up with the best in the Southwest.

]]> 0
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Lockdown 2012 PPV (Jeff Hardy, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle) Sun, 15 Apr 2012 19:39:18 +0000 Well, I guess Roundtable may be a bit of a misnomer today. It’s actually more of a cozy booth. Regardless of size, two of Pulse’s brightest got together to discuss…Lockdown!

Bobby Roode (c) vs. James Storm Steel Cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship

M.C. Brown: I think it’s time for Storm to ascend back on top. The build up continues to be strong for Storm.
Winner(and new Champion): James Storm

Steven Gepp: Okay, it’s not exactly hidden knowledge, but I have been looking forward to this one for months. All I want is for these two to be allowed to get into that ring and just fight. No run-ins, no outside interference, no stupid Hogan/Sting/Bischoff crap, just two guys showing “this is wrestling”. Please. It’s all I want. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
Winner: James Storm

Team Eric (Eric Bischoff (Captain), Gunner, Bully Ray, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. Team Garett (Garett Bischoff (Captain), A.J. Styles, Austin Aries, Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam) Lethal Lockdown match; If Team Eric wins, Garett must leave TNA. If Team Garett wins, Eric must leave TNA and renounce his name.

M.C. Brown: It seems like logically with Eric Bischoff having a new project in the works that he would be taken off TV, which might not be a bad thing, but I think a better way to leave this feud would be for RVD to turn on his team, cost Garett a job(which he’d either have to beg or work for his Dad either as a face or eventual heel to come back to after/as he trains) and then RVD can feud with AJ and other faces where the matches will be more fresh. It might be a bit of a tough sell with RVD as a heel, but if he can get his edge back as the ultra cocky heel, I think it would provide a reason for him to return and a lot better matches moving forward, especially with whoever they pit him against.
Winner: Team Eric(after a RVD turn)

Steven Gepp: Is there a way to have both teams lose so both Bischoffs can just leave? Please? Okay, let’s see, you’ve got AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, 4 guys who can go in the ring and put on a great match by themselves. Then you’ve got Bully Ray, who’s in-ring work has surprised me, but he’s still just Buh-Buh. You’ve got a returning RVD, who might even be motivated. You’ve got the over-rated Mr Anderson. You’ve got the not yet improving Gunner. And you have a pair of Bischoffs. 50-50 for good v crap. I have no expectations for this match being anything but a mess all round.
Winner: Eric, because heaven forbid AJ Styles should ever be on a winning position

Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle Steel Cage match

M.C. Brown: I think Jeff gets his revenge here and if Kurt doesn’t take time off, he’s going to be in even rougher shape after this one way or another.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

Steven Gepp: 4 years ago, a match that would have been a good spectacle. 8 years ago, a match that would have stolen the show. Today… it’s a match. It’s just a match. That’s all it feels like. I have no interest in it. Provided both guys turn up in a fit state, it will most likely be entertaining and all that, but it’s still just a match.
Winner: Kurt

Magnus and Samoa Joe (c) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) Steel Cage match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship

M.C. Brown: Too soon for the new champs to just go over, but it could be a great opportunity for the Joe/Magnus team to cement a heel status in the cage.
Winner: Magnus and Joe

Steven Gepp: One of only 2 matches on the card worth seeing, on paper. Do they pull the plug on the Joe/Morgan title run yet? Or does something else come into play? Having broken up Beer Money., here’s what I think is going to happen: This is the start of the long road to MCMG breaking up and doing a series of 1-on-1 matches to determine who the best is. However, at the end of it, they will realise they need each other, MCMG will be stronger and better than before, and THEN they’ll get their next title run.
Winner: Joe Magnus

Gail Kim (c) vs. Velvet Sky Steel Cage match for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship

M.C. Brown: I think while Velvet could win here, now is also not the time for her to dethrone Gail just yet.
Winner: Gail Kim

Steven Gepp: The Knockouts are quickly devolving into Diva territory. And any match featuring Velvet Sky is only going to further that perception. My God, in Australia alone we have at least half a dozen female wrestlers who look good and could wrestle rings around nearly every woman in TNA (Gail Kim being the only exception). That’s not even looking at Shimmer. Maybe mainstream US wrestling should just a big sign up saying, “We don’t care if you can wrestle or not, just look good in Maxim magazine and be prepared to strip for Playboy. No experience wanted. At least, not wrestling experience.”
Winner: Kim

Matt Morgan vs. Crimson Steel Cage match

M.C. Brown: Crimson can still lose and say he’s never been pinned or submitted, but it makes sense for him to cheat his way to victory here and not have Morgan pinned by escaping the cage.
Winner: Crimson

Steven Gepp: “Yet to improve after how many years in the business” versus “Still green after how many years on TV”. Bleh.
Winner: Crimson

Devon (c) vs. Robbie E Steel Cage match for the TNA Television Championship

M.C. Brown: Sadly a meaningless match and I’m surprised Robbie E. is still being on PPVs in his current persona.
Winner: Devon

Steven Gepp: It’s got Robbie E in it, I don’t care. Devon looks fit, so there’s a positive, but Robbie E’s still Robbie E, and… I don’t care.
Winner: Robbie T (yes, I know what I typed)

Closing Statements

M.C. Brown: From the last time I watched there were some of these match ups lacking the proper build or emotional investment, outside of the Main Event of course which has been given such a great build up from the start. The lower matches will have to work hard to sell their portion to me, but I’m particularly interested in the predictable Bischoff contest. I really hope there is a RVD turn there as TNA is in desperate need of a shocker. If they aren’t going to sign some new fresh talent then there isn’t much more they can do here that they haven’t already done. RVD needs to turn heel.

Steven Gepp: On paper, this looks like a mediocre showing, but should the two matches that could deliver – Storm/Roode and tag titles – deliver, then it’ll be a not bad show. But, really, this is a one match show. The Roode-Storm match *is* Lockdown this year. Unfortunately, the clusterf**k that is the Lethal lockdown is probably going to be the centrepiece, and, well, I have low expectations going into this one. Dammit, TNA! Wrestling matters! Doesn’t it?

]]> 4
10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! 4.6.2012 — Sheamus, Alberto del Rio, Daniel Bryan Sat, 07 Apr 2012 05:35:51 +0000 Hello, everybody! Kelly here, back with a Smackdown that actually consisted of more than two matches! Perhaps I’m just giddy because I watched this after witnessing the Diamondbacks’ opening day victory over the Giants, but I actually enjoyed the show greatly!

1. Can I just say that I no longer care about Teddy Long in the least. Eliminate him.

2. I know I said that I enjoyed this show, so forgive me when I say a second negative comment in a row. Mark Henry and David Otunga against R-Truth. Forgive me, but I just couldn’t summon the fucks to give on this one. Am I alone in this? I’m sure I am, considering how much everyone else on this site likes to give Mark Henry the puppy dog eyes.

3. The match between Randy Orton and Kane followed the same Viper Formula, but somehow they made it work. The tension between the two was quite spicy and they really sucked me into it. Though the “now we’re even!” trading of victories is a little boring, I still like this feud.

4. Skip Sheffield returns to WWE, and the only bummer is that you cannot properly enjoy my happy dance. And no, there’s not an ounce of sarcasm in that statement. I always liked him and was bummed when he had to leave Nexus due to injury. With a strong comeback like this, I’m wondering what he’ll be doing now.

5. Can we finally say goodbye to AJ? Or is this just the beginning? Seriously, I can’t be the only one who wants to see how many thumbtacks I can puncture her face with.

6. Considering all involved and the short length…I’m surprised by how enjoyable Show/Slater was. Short, sweet, and to the point. It said what it needed to without dragging it out and making my fingers itch for the fast-forward button.

7. What happened to Beth Phoenix? Seriously? She’s the one woman selected as the champion of the Divas, and she participates in matches that make me cringe. I guess it’s better than watching Natalya fart, but not by much. Give her a legitimate feud, please.

8. Very sad to hear about Chief Jay Strongbow. I feel like we’re losing so many greats, lately. Stop it!

9. Who is Damien Sandow, and why should I care.

10. Sheamus and Alberto del Rio is one of my favorite Smackdown main events in quite some time. It had everything you could want, and wasn’t just the same recycled stars doing the same recycled moves. Maybe I’m biased, because I adore both. But wow! I loved it. Sheamus reminded us of his absolute power while Alberto reminded us of why we fell in love with him in the first place. If it were to receive a grade…I’d give it a B+.

Make sure you check out what Gojira and I had to say, as we recap this Smackdown play by play. Ew. That rhymed.

]]> 0
10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! 3.30.2012 — Wrestlemania 28 Hype, Chris Jericho, Big Show, and not much else Sun, 01 Apr 2012 19:35:04 +0000 See, they told me I was crazy, and I never believed it until today. Because only a crazy person would decide that the Smackdown before ‘Mania was a good time to come back from a hiatus. Did I remember what happened last year? Nope. Sure didn’t. Oh well, it’s good to be back!

Since there were only two matches, and one in-ring promo that didn’t seem to serve a purpose, I’m going to have to throw some thoughts together. Maybe I’ll offer my Wrestlemania 28 opinions, since I’m absent from the Roundtable. Maybe I’ll tell the fun stories from when ‘Mania was in Arizona two years ago. Maybe I’ll talk about my feelings and what’s been making me feel sad lately. Ha! No, actually, I don’t have feelings. So you’re good.

1. We kicked off the show with a bout I actually enjoyed. I’ve always really liked Zack Ryder’s shenanigans. The match itself dragged in spots, but both men really packed some punch when it picked up. Overall, not bad.

2. Fan Axxess looks essentially the same as it always does, but there were a few things I saw that I liked. For example, that ring full of foam that the little kid jumped into…looks like a hell of a lot of fun, especially if you add alcohol. Also, the Money in the Bank section would be awesome! Though, I’m petrified of ladders, I’d man up for a few moments to scale that thing.

3. I’ll share my excitement here, since Gojira wasn’t too receptive yesterday about it but…seeing the BFF Women’s Championship Belt that LayCool had created made me giddy! I don’t know why I loved those girls so much, because you can bet I would be picking a fight with anyone who acted like them at a bar. But damn it, they made my heart sing.

4. You know, I want to complain about Maria Meno-whatever is competing at Wrestlemania in lieu of a legitimate Diva’s title match, but hell. It’s a giant, moon-leap up from Snooki’s ridiculousness.

5. The only other match was between Chris Jericho and Kofi Kingston. I think I liked this more than I was expecting to. Jericho is…well, Jericho, so that speaks for itself. Kofi…I love that dude. He’s exciting to watch. And we have a special bond from the two times we’ve met. But that’s a whole big story for a different day.

6. Actually, I’ll tell it now, since I’m running out of thoughts. In January of 2010, Kofi Kingston did a signing. I owned the DVD of Bragging Rights since it was the only PPV I had missed in a few years, thanks to a seasonal job. So I brought it for him to sign, which he did, and he told me all kinds of stories of how hard he “hit his head on the mat that night!” while I laughed and chatted. Then I looked at him and asked a favor. I had this weird thing I did with all the sports bar promotional posters for the PPVs that I decided to take home…draw a mustache on Cena. A kind way of defacing his picture, if you will. So I explained that to Kofi and asked if HE would draw a mustache on Cena. His reply was, “…can I draw a beard, too?” in a very excited tone. So I held up the line for a few more minutes as Kofi drew a mustache, beard, black eye, mohawk, drool…

7. Just like I’m sure a lot of others do, I usually look forward to the non-main event matches at PPVs since I get sick of the hype for the others. But today, I’m REALLY looking forward to Jericho/Punk and Bryan/Sheamus. I think all four involved are just tremendous wrestlers, and are capable of putting on a damn good show. Everyone expects the Heavyweight Championship to pale in comparison to the others, but I think if people can look past the hype, they’ll see something amazing.

8. Anyone still with me? Anyone? Bueller?

9. Now I want to give my (possibly controversial) opinion on The Rock and Cena. I am rooting for John Timothy Cena (note: fake middle name added for dramatic effect) and that is surprising for me. I think it’s because that, beyond all the shit I generally dislike about him, he really bleeds the business and makes his passion for it very obvious. But when you look at his opponent, a man who walked away years ago for greener pastures, you don’t see that. All you see is the nostalgia, and the greatness that was. I not have an issue had he put in the proper time for it, but showing up every once in a while to chat and flex doesn’t cut it for me. The entire thing just feels…fake to me. And I hate using the “f” word with wrestling. Whatever, it’s one match. When it’s done, it’s done. And we can move on.

10. All in all, I’m looking forward to Wrestlemania tonight. WWE has really diminished in appeal for me in recent months, and I have found that I don’t get excited about much that they do. But come on. This is Wrestlemania. Maybe they’ll win back my heart. Or, the thing sitting in my chest emulating a heart.

Thanks for reading! If you made it this far, you’re either really bored or really crazy. Either way, I thank you.

Make sure you check out what Goji and I thought while watching this show. The show may have been boring, but we sure aren’t. And definitely check out the monstrous Roundtable for tonight!

]]> 0
Rasslin Roundtable — WWE Wrestlemania 28 (The Rock, John Cena, Chris Jericho, CM Punk) Sun, 01 Apr 2012 02:33:48 +0000

Randy Orton vs Kane

James Alsop: This is actually the most important match on the card. Fact.
: Kane. After a Shooting Star Press. Afterwards, Cena and Rock will both come out and shake Orton’s hand, saying “we can’t top that, Randy” and then there will be a huge fireworks display, and then Undertaker will come out, ring the bell, and lie down in the centre of the ring for Orton to pin. The crowd leave with smiles on their faces.

I do actually think Kane will win.

Chris Sanders: The match that was created by a handshake? Or the match created because they didn’t have time to come up with something for Orton because of injuries. blah blah blah Orton is gonna look good in this.
: Randy Orton

Steven Gepp: So we’ve got 2 former world champions, see? And one of them’s a golden boy, despite literally shitting in people’s bags and being a general douche backstage, right? And the other one’s a good company man who does whatever they ask of him, okay? But they don’t have feuds for Wrestlemania due to injury/crappy booking/no one caring about them. So what do we do? Throw them together, while ignoring the history they had with one another! Perfect! Book it, Danno!
: oh, who the hell cares? Kane, for giggles

Rhett Davis: I have a feeling that everyone will be jumping on the Orton bandwagon for this match so I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Kane will win. Sure Orton is a big baby face that hardly ever loses, but Kane has lost a ton of momentum since he returned as the Masked Monster. After all, Cena AA’d him off of an ambulance. Then he came back and beat up Orton, and then Orton has really dominated him. Kane wins this one on a whim.
: Kane

M.C. Brown: Kane hopefully will have a brand new look for this match. It won’t mean much more than that.
: Randy Orton

Kue: If we were to compare today’s roster to the previous, Orton would be the current ‘Taker. With that said, why not cap off that comparison with a slow-paced and boring match with Kane? Face victory would make the crowd happy. Let’s go with that.
: Randall

Mike Gojira: Even diehard Orton fans are saying, “Why the fuck should I care?”  This was a terrible way to get both guys on the card and we have to suffer as a result.  Kane’s pyro has been more intimidating than his wrestling prowess these days and Orton’s not in the title hunt, so……
: Randy Orton

Ralph Hardin: This is as good a way as any to get both of these guys on the card, I guess (and I have no idea where either of these guys goes from here, although an Orton vs. Jericho feud would be cool). So, this will probably get pretty brawly and should be pretty good, but let’s face it, Kane is pretty close to being done and Randy is the default back-up top guy should something happen with Cena (sorry, Punk), so I’d be surprised by anything that doesn’t end in R-K-O and 1-2-3.
Winner: Randy Orton

CB: Orton vs. Kane is one of those get it out of the way matches, and I hope it is the quickest match of the night. They are feuding for very tenuous reasons, and while I’ve enjoyed some of their back and forth, the real objective for this match should be to put Randy over and build him back up into the title picture.
Winner: Randy Orton

Cody Rhodes (c) vs Big Show
Intercontinental Championship

James Alsop: I’m just happy that the IC Championship is finally getting a worthwhile singles defence at ‘Mania! Let’s hope it isn’t a repeat of the last such instance, which Rey Mysterio won in about ten seconds after JBL fell on his arse.
: Big Show.

Chris Sanders: Sigh, the match that should never be. I know that statement seems a bit over-dramatic but I really had bigger hopes for Cody at WM. Even if he wasn’t facing Goldust, there are so many other better choices for an opponent. But my complaints aside, they’ve laid it on thick with Show and I think they’ll give it to him. Emphasis on the word “give”
: Big Show

Steven Gepp: I’m torn on this one. There’s a part of me that thinks that Cody Rhodes has played enough mind games so that the Big Show collapses in a crumpled heap of mental anguish here and he ekes out the win. Then there’s the other part of me that thinks it all backfires and Big Show goes on to win in 30 seconds with a series of WMDs. I think this match will surprise people, will be watchable and enjpoyable, and we will have a new champ-een.
: Big Show

Rhett Davis: When this match was first announced, I thought it was a dead giveaway that it was yet another ‘get-me-over’ win for Cody just as his match with Rey last year was. However, after reading a news article about Big Show holding every title in the WWE with the exception of this title, I began to have doubts. I’m not sure the victor is as easy as I originally thought, but alas I’m going to go with my gut and say that Cody pulls out the win amid dastardly deeds like using the belt when the ref isn’t looking.
Winner (and STILL I-C Champion)
: Cody Rhodes

M.C. Brown: Cody should hold the belt longer than Honky Tonk and Show could use the I-C win, but he still
has 3 wins @ Manias.
: Cody Rhodes

Jonah Kue: This will be a true test to whether or not Cody can carry a match. There’s so much hype behind him and so much dissatisfaction behind not pulling the trigger when it comes to his pushes that, if he fails to make this match watchable, it pretty much guarantees another year under the glass ceiling of the midcard. Personally, I think this match will sink rather than swim. Sorry, Rhodes.
Winner (and STILL Champion)
: Cody Rhodes

Mike Gojira: I’m not sure how much mileage Cody will get out of Big Show, but I suspect it will be something similar to how Rhodes handled Great Khali a couple of weeks ago.  As much as I’d like to see Show get his ‘Mania Moment and complete that milestone of holding every title, I’d much rather enjoy the lengthy title run of Rhodes the Younger.  I think the ‘E will choose the sentimental route.
: Big Show

Ralph Hardin: As much as this seems to be building toward Show giving Cody his commuppance and getting a Wrestlemania win, I just don’t see any reason to take the belt off of Cody, and it’s not like Big Show needs a run with the I-C title. They could go either way here. I suppose Rhodes could ber dropping the belt in order to move on to a feud with Sheamus should he walk away with the Big Gold Belt, and if Show wins, he could continue his feud with Bryan over the I-C belt. You know, I think I’ve talked myself into that idea.
Winner: Big Show

CB: Big Show will simply be on a mission to shut Cody Rhodes up and knock him out after Rhodes’ not-so-flattering trips down memory lane where Show at WrestleMania is concerned. I can see Cody Rhodes cutting a pre-match promo making fun of both Big Show and everyone in Miami. Of course, that will lead to a camera cut to retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal — who confirmed he will be attending WrestleMania — and after Rhodes insults Shaq, Big Show will come out to his entrance. And, well, during the climax of the match, Rhodes and Show will be fighting near Shaq and he will deliver a Knockout blow of his own to Rhodes before Show finishes him off to the crowd’s delight.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: Big Show

Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, and Booker T) vs. Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre)

James Alsop: On the one hand, there are several guys involved in this match who have no real place to be there. On the other hand, there are several guys involved who really deserve a WrestleMania payday in a match with high stakes and a clever hook. I actually prefer this kind of thing to the MITB match – at least when it’s done properly. It means that rather than one guy emerging from a mass of broken ladders and potential injuries, we get six men emerging victorious and with real bragging rights. Furthermore, considering that the winning GM becomes manager of both brands, it seems safe to assume that the men on the victorious team will all get heavily featured post-‘Mania in reward for their efforts. And that’s definitely a good thing. Especially because I think it’s obvious who the winning team will be.
: Team Johnny. A wily Otunga will get the pin on Santino by surprising the latter after Santino hits Mark Henry with the Cobra. The perfect double-bluff, bittersweet heel victory.

Chris Sanders: What this comes down to is what makes sense for WWE. Johnny Ace is the new authoritative figure character that they’re super high on and Teddy has been around for quite a while and has grown stale as a character. This match is just a way to further the character to the point that we’re suffocated with him (like most new characters pushed…del rio comes to mind).
: Team Johnny

Steven Gepp: I give this one 8 minutes, tops, more than half the people won’t even get into the ring, and the winner will be team Johnny because Zack Ryder turns on Booker T, thus giving Miz the final pin and setting off that next feud for the ages. The ‘make sure as many people as possible get a payday’ Wrestlemania match.
: Team Johnny

Rhett Davis: I called this match for awhile before it was announced, but, with no money in the bank, it’s only logical. It gets a ton of talent on the show and gets the crowd invested in a big spot fest. I really don’t see Long going over here as Laurinitis just has too much heat to just get rid of now. Plus Teddy has been around awhile and it’s time to shake things up as Vinny Mac would say. I’ll say Johnny’s team wins after Ziggler hits a big Zig Zag on Booker.
: Team Talent Relations

M.C. Brown: Like a weak Survivor Series team, I see no chance for Team Teddy.
: Team Johnny

Kue: I can’t think of a better match to open the show with and hype the crowd. This should be a pretty decent spotfest. If booking means anything, then the past few weeks of Miz failing will culminate in him getting the final pin for Team Johnny. That is, if booking means anything.
: Team Johnny

Mike Gojira: There’s a hell of a lot more mileage out of John Laurinaitis as GM at this point than there is with Long, who has been in charge far longer than I can remember.  The heel authority figure always provides a better dynamic in the long run, so I’m gonna go with Johnny Ace and his team of misfit heels.
: Team Johnny

Ralph Hardin: So, did Christian get legit injured or something? How Drew McIntyre (in storyline terms) gets a spot on the biggest show of the year after his abysmal showing as of late makes no sense. Oh well…this should be a fun mess, with plenty of comedy and hopefully some fast-paced action…the less Khali the better. From a storyline standpoint, the “Authority Figure” gimmick only really seems to work with a heel running the show, so I guess we’re going to get “Big Johnny” on both shows for a while. I’d expect Miz to score the pinfall, probably over Zack Ryder, because hey, why not?
Winners: Team Johnny

CB: With me booking two heel World Champs by the end of the night, I have a feeling that Team Johnny will win this match so that WWE can give Raw and SmackDown a “sense of urgency” with all of the heels in charge at the moment. Besides, Teddy Long has been SmackDown GM for a very long time, and Vince usually jumps at the chance to shake things up when the opportunity presents itself.
Winners: Team Johnny

Beth Phoenix and Eve vs Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos

James Alsop: I’m ok with this match. It’ll be fine for what it is – a cooldown between Hell in a Cell and Rock vs Cena. It’s also the match you’ll be pleased to point out to your girlfriend, because she might recognise one of the competitors. And celebrity endorsements like that – even when the celebrity is minor – really does help wrestling feel more mainstream. Which is no bad thing, even if the IWC disagrees.
: Beth and Eve, after Maria turns on Kelly to side with the heels. That’d surprise everyone, wouldn’t it? And Beth and Eve would both be given a nice boost by it. They’re the two girls that WWE is currently building its Divas division around, after all.

Chris Sanders: They always make the celebs look good
: Kelly Kelly and Maria Meningitis

Steven Gepp: Well, with recent news that this person I have no idea about has injured herself in a serious dance-related mishap which resulted in seven cracked ribs and contusions… who the hell was she dancing with? The entire Green Bay Packers defensive team? Don’t answer that… Okay, anyway, this Maria Menopause person comes out in a form-fitting lycra body-cast, and Kelly Kelly Kelly’s new partner is revealed to be Natalya. However, 10 seconds in, Natalya turns on KKKK and it’s 3-on-1. Hang on! The Bella twins come down, and now it’s 5-on-1. Finally Trish Stratus comes out, and it’s 6-on-1. That’s when the Hell in the Cell cage is lowered. And then Maria Menonononous turns on KKKKK, so now it’s 7-on-1. 23.4 seconds later and Kelly K has taken them all out, pinned the women’s champion Beth Phoenix in the middle of the ring and stands triumphant, basking in cheers for 5 minutes while all the rest lay on the ground dead. Yes, they’ll steal the WCW Uncensored 1996 main event, but without the Randy Savage character (because WWE seems to think that the only place Mr Savage exists is on CM Punk’s tights), and with only 7 bad guys (because WWE doesn’t like to admit Lex Luger ever existed either).
: The USA’s sewerage system, as surely that many people going to the toilet at once cannot be good for it
: Kelly Kelly and that TV chick

Rhett Davis: Well this match sure is happening. I’d rather have seen Beth vs Kharma or Beth vs Trish, but this is what we got instead. I digress. The Beth/Kharma would be a huge draw and it needs a huge build-up so I hope they build it for next year’s WrestleMania. It’d be interesting to see them stare-off several times through the year and then finally come to a head at Mania. Back to the match, no way that Maria is losing so we’ll say that Beth and Eve get into a fight and Beth gets rolled up by Maria. This would motion Beth and Eve into a battle and possibly Kelly Kelly as well.
: K-Squared and Maria M.

M.C. Brown: If Snooki can help get a victory, you would think Maria could, but the faces winning does nothing either. So I think this sets up a Kharma attack after Beth and Eve win.
: Beth Phoenix and Eve

Kue: Really?
: Kharma kills them all. Or puts me out of my misery.

Mike Gojira: The company could pull a rabbit out of its ass and have Kharma replace Maria, citing her rib injury as a reason, and let her destroy Phoenix and Eve.  It doesn’t matter either way because the celeb team is going over.
: Kelly and Maria

Ralph Hardin: It’s very difficult to feign even the slightest interest in this. I guess Kharma is being kept off TV a little while longer after what happened with her baby or something. Or was this the best they could do to draw some mainstream publicity via use of a celebrity this year? I don’t know, but I do know that the celebrity never, ever loses, so expect a win from KK and MM, with maybe (hopefully) a post-match beatdown wherein Kharma makes the save to give Beth a credible challenger (or I gues Nattie Neidhart could run out and fart on her or something).
Winners: Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos

CB: The second of the two get-this-out-of-the-way matches, and this one’s even worse because as we figured out together in the comments section a couple of weeks ago, this will actually be Maria Menounos’ THIRD match in WWE. Therefore, there’s just nothing novel to this and Menounos is nowhere near as much of a mainstream pop culture draw as Snooki was last year. Like everyone else, I would have preferred an actual Divas Championship title defense, perhaps with a little something “special” like Trish Stratus returning to face Beth. Oh well…
Winners: Beth Phoenix and Eve, and then Kharma returns again to squash three of them as Beth sneaks away…

Daniel Bryan (c) vs Sheamus
World Heavyweight Championship

James Alsop: Two years ago, Daniel Bryan was being depicted as the biggest loser on NXT. One year ago, his WrestleMania match with Sheamus was booted from the card at the last minute. This year, Daniel Bryan isn’t just on the WrestleMania card: he’s the WWE’s hottest heel and current World Heavyweight Champion. And Sheamus is an extremely deserving opponent. This clash is already the dark horse pick for Match of the Night honours.

Also, given that Bryan vs Sheamus never really happened at last year’s ‘Mania, this bout has also, in a very real sense, been a year in the making. By accident or design, then, that’s THREE matches on the biggest card of the year which can claim to have been a year or more in development. Who says that wrestling doesn’t do long-term booking anymore?
: Sheamus. Because Bryan is so good that he doesn’t need the belt, while a Sheamus win will help restore the legitimacy of the Royal Rumble.

Chris Sanders: Daniel Bryan has reached a point where he doesn’t need the belt anymore to carry a storyline. He’s established himself as a heel and he can move on from here. Sheamus is the guy that’s over with the fans as a face and (more importantly) over with the guy’s making the decisions. WM will be a vehicle to push Sheamus more to the top level.
: Sheamus

Steven Gepp: Am I allowed to say I’m looking forward to a Sheamus match? Well, I am. I have a feeling – and I said this a few times last year – that Daniel Bryan is some one they throw people against to see them have a good match. He is the WWE’s current broomstick champion (an analogy I stole from Scott Keith, who said Flair could have a match with a broomstick and get 3 stars). Will he stay chamopion?> Well, I see AJ getting involved somehow, and an ending that won’t sit real well, because…
: Sheamus, by DQ, so still champion, Daniel Bryan

Rhett Davis: This is one match in which I generally think everyone is wrong on. I think D-Bry is actually going to win this match. Sheamus has been on a huge role and with nothing but faces winning after this match (for me), I think D-Bry will actually pull off the win although through sneaky means. Sheamus can then continue to pound Bryan’s brains in at Extreme Rules, or whatever the next PPV is.
Winner (and STILL World Heavyweight Champion)
: Daniel Bryan “YES! YES! YES!”

M.C. Brown: Another predictable match with a Sheamus title victory. I think they do the opposite
: Daniel Bryan

Kue: This has been very reminiscent of Trips and Jericho at ‘Mania 18. The focus has been centralized on the relationship between AJ and Bryan. With that said, good booking would dictate that Bryan would win using AJ as a victim. But ‘Mania usually favors face victories in these big events. I’ll hope for the former.
Winner (and STILL Champion)
: Daniel Bryan

Mike Gojira: Both guys are being overlooked thanks to the more promising main events to come, which can only mean that they’ll pull out all the stops to get people to notice them.  And really, what more can you ask for?  Sheamus should win to put an end to the Royal Rumble Curse.
: Sheamus

Ralph Hardin: Hey, it’s the first of our four “Main Events” of the evening. Why not just say we have EIGHT main events and then everyone can say they main evented Wrestlemania? Anyway, I’d love to see DB keep the title and maybe feud with Orton or even Cena. His smarmy yet somehow oblivious heel persona is one of the better developed personalities on Smackdown right now. And, I’m not really sure how awesome World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus would be anyway. They would feed him all the lumbering big men and those matches would likely not be very good, so I’m gonna go ahead and call it for the little guy. And yes, I know this goes against my booking plans laid out in the Cody/Show match. Call it hedging my bets.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

CB: One of the four main events has to go first, and they need to be spaced out a little bit. The number 3 spot is good for Bryan vs. Sheamus because Bryan’s “YES! YES! YES!” entrance can really draw solid crowd heat to keep the viewers engaged during what otherwise could be a lull in their respective energy levels. Honestly, I hope Daniel Bryan remains the World Heavyweight Champion for a long time, and I think this is NOT the right time at all for him to drop the belt to Sheamus. Bryan’s still gaining a ton of momentum and he really has proven he can deliver the goods for WWE in this role. Sheamus is OK and all, he’s just not on the same level as Bryan. At the same time, I also think it would be a travesty if the Bryan-AJ relationship is blown off here to get to the end result, as that storyline has been extremely entertaining and I think they can do a whole lot more with that over the next few weeks or even months before finally coming to a head.
Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan

Triple H vs The Undertaker (Special Referee: Shawn Michaels)
Hell in a Cell

James Alsop: I could say more about this match than any other, but I don’t think it needs my adulation. This will be the Match of the Night, and probably the Match of the Year. Like Rock vs Cena, this match has been over a year in the making – two, if we include Undertaker’s classic with HBK at ‘Mania 26. The story is timeless, HBK’s inclusion makes perfect sense, and both Triple H and Undertaker should be heading into their final match together in excellent shape. I can’t wait.
Winner: Undertaker. Because that’s how this story needs to end.

Chris Sanders: I wasn’t thrilled about another Taker/HHH match but adding a Cell adds a little spice in it. Last year, I wasn’t expecting the bumps both men took last year so I won’t go with my original assumption that the cage won’t make any difference. I see heel shawn ruining HHH chances in the end and leading to something at WM29.
: Undertaker

Steven Gepp: Part 3. I wasn’t overly fond of parts 1 and 2, why should I watch the next sequel with high hopes? Oh, that’s right, it’s in a cell. We have a cripple and a guy who sits behind a desk fighting in a Cell with another semi-cripple reffing. Should be a classic! I think the Undertaker matches have been overrated at WMs for a long time. I think the Shawn Michaels pair, while good, were not the greatest matches evahhhh! And last year’s was dull. But we have to have the obligatory Undertaker match, so I guess it’s better he stinks up the ring with another “era” guy than destroying the career of an up-and-comer, or fighting a new generation “star” that the crowd believes could conceivably have a chance of winning.
: Undertaker (foregone conclusion match)

Rhett Davis: Honestly, this is the biggest title on this card. No matter who wins between Bryan, Sheamus, Punk, or Jericho, this match is the one that people will remember if Triple H somehow defeated The Phenom. Luckily, I don’t think we’ll see that day. The Undertaker will successfully defend his Streak. How is that? Well let’s see… I believe that the Deadman will be dominated and put through hell for most of match, but in the end Undertaker will take back over and then Tombstone Triple H in an attempt to end it. He’ll cross the arms and when HBK goes down for the three count, he stops. Taker glares at him and then HHH low blows Taker. DX then starts to team up on the Deadman under the deafening boos of the audience. Suddenly, the lights go out, come back up and Taker is standing behind them. The Undertaker then proceeds to kick both of their behinds and then Tombstones HHH and Last Ride HBK. He covers HHH and slaps HBK’s hand on the mat ala Austin vs Dude Love with Shane as a ref. Just my take on a cool situation, but it will be the Deadman going over Triple H as both men’s swan songs probably.
Winner (and NOW 20-0)
: The Undertaker

M.C. Brown: First, Brock Lesnar is coming in and F5ing the Undertaker due to their UFC dispute. Shawn Michaels will refuse to count. Then, Batista will come in and instead will attack Triple H. Undertaker will have Triple H pinned. HBK will again refuse to count the 1-2-3. This will lead to a final sequence where Undertaker wins.
: Undertaker

Kue: Call me a mark, but I’m looking forward to this match so fucking much. I’ve been wanting this match to happen, Hell in a Cell stip included, since 2001. And it finally is. HBK as the ref is simply icing on the cake. Undertaker and Trips, they’ve been my numero uno and dos fave wrestlers, respectively, since the Attitude era. So, all I want and expect out of this is a grueling, drama-driven match with a clean finish. And the streak intact. Hopefully, my expectations will be fulfilled.
: The Undertaker

Mike Gojira: Undertaker wins.  It’s the only logical way to go.  The cage is just a gimmick to hide Taker’s ring rust and general inability to maneuver (which we saw in spades last year) and HBK’s involvement is just to add some intrigue.  I’m not bashing this, mind you; I fully expect it to be an emotional roller coaster ride with plenty of close calls but there’s no way Taker goes 19-1.  What would be the point of the Streak if it ends with a loss and not retirement?
: Undertaker

Ralph Hardin: I really have to say that this should NOT be the Main Event. Both guys are basically retired at this point and this is really nothing more than a Specail Attraction. I could be a bit biased, though, as I have never been a fan of HHH and the Undertaker hasn’t been interesting to me in more than 15 years. Having said all of that, this should be AWESOME. They might even be allowed to bleed. HBK will no doubt figure heavily in the drama. I suspect he will come down firmly on the side of HHH but even the combined power of DX will not be able to end the streak. In fact, I’m hoping Michaels actually inadverdently leads to HHH losing and that in turns leads to a HHH/HBK “one more match” deal down the road (SummerSlam maybe). Anyway, no way ‘Taker doesn’t make it to 20-0. The only real question, I think, is does he come back for a shot at win number 21 next year (and against who)?
Winner: Undertaker

CB: Let me set the record straight right now in terms of where I stand: THE STREAK WILL NEVER END. I can’t put it any clearer than that in terms of the result, but what I do like about this match is the same thing I’ve liked about the Taker-HBK and Taker-HHH series: It’s not about the result, it’s about the journey. For example, I’ve seen the movie “The Usual Suspects” a million times, and it’s one of my all-time favorites. The beauty of this film is that even after you know the end result, you immediately want to go back through it and find all of the clues along the way that you may have missed the first time around. And no matter how many times I see it, I am still mesmerized by just how amazing the whole thing was put together. I attribute those same feelings I have for “The Usual Suspects” to any of Undertaker’s recent defenses of THE STREAK at WrestleMania, and I’m sure there will be at least one or two moments where I will “suspend my disbelief” and think the impossible will happen. But it won’t, because that would be like the cop actually arresting Kevin Spacey, and then we’d be deprived of that brilliant moment where he lost his limp and Keyser Söze was revealed. I don’t want to be robbed of that moment at WrestleMania, where Undertaker somehow did it again. And I won’t be…

Winner: The Undertaker, hopefully clean, but likely thanks to an “inadvertent” assist from Shawn Michaels

John Cena vs The Rock

James Alsop: Firstly, let’s just talk about match quality. The crowd will be hot – incredibly so – and that makes all the difference. The question is, and has been for some time, “can Rock and Cena put on a compelling match?” To which I respond as follows: OF COURSE THEY BLOODY WELL CAN! Ring-rust be damned! If anyone knows how to put on a main event match it’s The Rock, and ring psychology isn’t something that a third-generation wrestler – even an out of practice one –just forgets. We didn’t see the best of Rocky at Survivor Series, but despite what people thought at the time, the match wasn’t about making Truth and Miz look good – it was about establishing Rock as a force once again. And it did the job! I can’t see him giving anything but a top-notch performance.

As for Cena, it’s often been noted that although John is poor in main events on Monday Night Raw, he frequently puts on damn good pay-per-view matches. Why? Because Cena likes it when the stakes are high; he likes it when fans have a powerful reason to get invested in his work. Whether that reason is the WWE title or whether it’s the end of an epic grudge, Cena always makes the payoff count. This truly is the biggest match of his career, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Ergo, he’ll work his socks off on Sunday night.

Furthermore, Rock’s rabble-raising, brawling style complements Cena’s extremely well: both men like strike hard and fast, with plentiful offence and high-impact moves. Science, submissions and ‘long games’ aren’t what either man is famous for, and definitely aren’t what the fans are paying to see. Rock has worked this style of match extremely well with Stone Cold in the past, and we’ll probably see a few nods to Rock’s previous ‘Mania main events as the match unfolds. The closest Cena will have come to someone matching Rock’s style is his match two years ago against Batista, and that was a minor classic.

In short, a worthy main event. I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.
: John Cena. This match is about passing the torch, and if the end is booked correctly, both guys will emerge looking like stars. Dwayne Johnson doesn’t want to win: all he wants to do is entertain. The victory will be Cena’s, but the standing ovation will be The Rock’s.

Chris Sanders: Gotta say that I’m kinda stoked for this match…or at least for them to get on with it. I do think that whoever wins this match will more than likely face Brock Lesnar at WM29 (just a guess). That being said, I’ve never seen WWE cater more to one man than Rock over the past year and I don’t think it ends here.
: The Rock

Steven Gepp: Okay, I’m already over this one. You have to remember, the Rock was a big star when I was in my 20s/30s. My fandom was based on Steamboat and Savage, and so-called Attitude Era was just a mess to my mind. For every cool moment people want to point out, there were more than a dozen not-cool moments. Puerile dick jokes did not a humourous show make, and T’n’A that was much better to watch elsewhere did not a wrestling show improve. To me, that was ‘Attitude’. Wrestling took a backseat to external crap. So while the Rock is probably my favourite wrestler from that era, it’s like saying “my favourite American congressman” because there are so few good ones to choose from. As for Mr Cena, his by-the-numbers matches have bored me for a long time. If they let him wrestle like he did back in OVW, it could be good, but he is just dull. And the promos have been lacklustre. Why are people saying they’re good? That’s right – that congressman analogy. There’s so few good ones that one that actually sounds better than most is seen as great. Look, I expect the match to deliver, and I expect it to deliver because the crowd will make it, but I don’t expect a 5-star classic. I just hope I’m entertained.
: Cena

Rhett Davis: I’m just ready to see this underway. I won’t even lie, after such a terrible WrestleMania last year, I am willingly suspending my disbelief a ton this year. This match in particular is really making me anxious for this Sunday. On one side, we have The Rock who is in his hometown and can be a bit egocentric at times. But on the other hand, we have John Cena who is the top guy in WWE and Rock knows it. I see John Cena going over The Rock as Rock went over Hogan ten years ago. The crowd should be going insane for this one. I’m just ready to see the fight.
: John Cena

M.C. Brown: There should be a straight up winner here and I believe a rematch will be set the next day. Makes me believe John Cena will cheat to win since Rock would have no good reason to return unless Cena does something to insure his victory.
Winner(by hook or by crook)
: John Cena

Kue: So, we’re finally here. One year and an intense cooling down of this feud later, we’re at this “once in a lifetime” match. Well, until next year at MSG at the rematch. There’s a reason why this match is in Miami. ‘E is counting on the heavy bias from the fans towards the Rock. I know, I’m beating the dead horse of Cena’s heel turn, but I think something logical can happen here. Cena doesn’t have to change character drastically. Just get frustrated enough to cheat to win. And that’s what needs to happen. In order for Cena to stay relevant after this match, his character needs to that push to cross that line. And the Miami crowd is exactly the push that he needs. But that probably won’t happen.
: John Cena

Mike Gojira: The whole point of this match is to give the fans an underdog to root for.  I expect that by the time this is all said and done, the audience will be cheering for Cena because of his never-say-die attitude.  Either that or they could shit on him the whole match.  No matter what happens, the crowd reaction is the true star.  I sort of feel bad for Rey Mundo after his last column, which screamed “My life is riding on The Rock winning!”  Sorry bud, but perhaps you may have bet on the wrong horse.
: John Cena

Ralph Hardin: Wait, this has to be THE Main Event, right? Or does the logistics of the Cell mean it has to go on last? Well, this should be the finale, and it should be phenomenal. These guys have cut some very personal and edgy promos on each other on the lead-up to the big match (a year in the making, you know?). Both guys are true professionals in the ring, and the crowd will definitely be a huge part of this match. Cena will likely get booed heavily by much of the Miami crowd, but he’ll have his supporters, too I’d imagine. Now, as for the match, there’s really no reason for Rock to win this. He’s Hollywood bound again eventually, probably sooner rather than later, and Cena is the Face of the WWE now and for the foreseeable future. Unless there are plans for an extended feud or something, I’d say Cena wins this clean, probably followed by a handshake from Rock to “pass the torch” or whatever. I guess Rocky could get the win, though, and finally push Cena over the edge toward a heel turn…nah.
: John Cena

CB: Ah, yes, The Rock vs. John Cena. If you didn’t know, this match has the following tag-lines… ONCE IN A LIFETIME! … TEAM BRING IT VS. THE CENATION!! … THE TOOTH FAIRY VS. FRUITY PEBBLES!!! …but I digress. As for what I would like to happen or what I think will happen, I’m still on the fence. On one hand, John Cena NEEDS to win this match to keep the credibility he has established over the years and to prove he can hang with The Rock in the ring. At the same time, however, The Rock can’t be made to look like a total chump because that would be unfair to his legacy. An unclean finish here would just be horribly disappointing and I think some fans would be lost forever if WWE went that route. Instead, I’d like to see a well-fought, solidly executed one-on-one match with no interference that keeps the crowd equally engaged every move and writhing in anticipation for the end result. As for what that result will be, well, here goes nothin’… JOHN CENA WINS. So why does Cena win out here? Partly because The Rock cost him the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 27 last year, but mostly because it’s just better for WWE’s future to give John Cena a victory over The Rock that he can carry with him for the rest of his career. As for HOW CENA WILL WIN, I still haven’t quite figured that out. I was toying with the idea of Rocky locking in a Sharpshooter that gets reversed into the STFU, but I can’t see The Rock agreeing to tap out to Cena on the WrestleMania stage. What I do know is they will likely kick out of each other’s finishers (and/or use each other’s finishers) at some point to sell the suspense. Ultimately, the most logical result from where I sit would be to simply use Rock as Cena’s clearest path to a full-on heel turn. Cena can just get so frustrated with The Rock kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment and refusing to tap to the STFU that he finally SNAPS with the stakes so high because he knows he has to win at all costs because this match means EVERYTHING to him. Maybe Cena then cheats to win, but he does it WITHOUT ANY OUTSIDE HELP. I am not saying that will happen because of WWE wanting to protect the money they make with Cena as the ultimate good guy and Make-A-Wish Foundation wish-giver, but that’s how I would book it for the purposes of giving the viewers something shocking and buzzworthy — yet very reasonable given the story being told — to close the night.
Winner: John Cena

CM Punk (c) vs Chris Jericho
WWE Championship

James Alsop: Sometimes amid all of the whining and pettiness, we wrestling fans forget just how lucky we are. Have we all forgotten that CM Punk is WWE Champion? And not just in name – in actions as well. Punk has been booked as the most dominant heavyweight champ since John Cena c.2005. He’s won everything – and what he’s lost, we’ve all been allowed to forget. Remember him losing to HHH last Summer? Me neither. The guy has been kept consistently interesting, too. He is a Grand Slam champion. He has a compelling character. He wins in varied, interesting ways – pinfall, submission, flash wins and surprise kicks to the head – and as far as I can recall, the only men in the company with more recognised signature moves than Punk are Sheamus and Undertaker. The IWC’s favourite wrestler is currently being promoted as The Best in the World. How amazing is that?

In fact, the only man who can match that level of love among wrestling’s hardcore fan-base is Chris Jericho. Who is facing Punk. At Wrestlemania. For the freakin’ WWE Championship and title of Best in the World. How lucky are we? Very, I’d say.
Winner: Jericho. Jericho as champion is the natural progression of a story which has only just started.

Chris Sanders: I’m sure this doesn’t need to be said but match of the night. I’m more looking forward to this than Rock and Cena, to be honest. I keep going back and forth on whether WWE would want Punk to continue his reign or have Jericho win to continue the feud. Jericho is being advertised as still being around post Mania and booked for matches against Punk, so who knows. Punk hasn’t really gotten his retaliation so I’m gonna go with that angle.
: CM Punk

Steven Gepp: I was fine with this being about the best in the world, but then the whole ‘Punk’s family are screw-ups’ thing came into it and I graoned. Then I stopped. Remember Savage v Flair, WM8? That was going along swimmingly until the whole ‘she was mine before she was yours’ storyline involving Elizabeth came in to play. Many groaned about that, but it was revealed to be Flair mind-games and still resulted in an absolutely awesome match. Fast forward 20 years (yes, 20 years!), and we have the same thing with, I am really hoping, the same result: an awesome match.
: Punk

Rhett Davis: This match will probably be the match of the night and rightfully so. Both of these men love to perform, and neither will stand for this match to be a dud. I’m probably most anticipating these three main events, but this one will most likely be the most technically fun to watch. Rock/Cena brings the wonder, Taker/HHH brings the brutality, and this will bring the mat base technical wrestling. Punk will most likely win this match as this match probably wouldn’t be happening unless it was to put over Punk.
Winner (and STILL WWE Champion)
: CM Punk

M.C. Brown: If the feud continues, what’s the point if CM Punk just beats Jericho clean? Sure he can kick him in the nuts and get a rematch, but this match is too predictable otherwise.
Winner(and new Champion)
: Chris Jericho

Kue: Let’s face it. Since Cena, Punk has not had a substantial victory to really put him over as the new face of the company. This is his chance. Jericho is the rival he’s needed. The taunting promos from Jericho about Punk’s family was understandable, as it was a way to get the crowd emotionally invested in the feud. It also did one more very important thing: it made Punk seem like he’s at a disadvantage. And with him seemingly fighting out from under, it will make his victory that much more poignant. Should be a great match, either way.
Winner (and STILL Champion)
: CM Punk

Mike Gojira: I hope this match gets anywhere from 30-40 minutes on the card.  These two are kings of the near-falls and their story is simple: proving who’s the best in the world.  That should be all the reason they need to put on the match of the night.
: CM Punk

Ralph Hardin: I’m just doing these in the order they were listed on the post for the roundtable, but it’s entirely possible that the WWE Title match (you know, the most prestigious title in the business) will be on the card THIRD FROM THE TOP! Well, it should at least be an awesome match. The build for this did get a little heavy-handed over the last few weeks. I was perfectly okay with the “I’m the best wrestler in the world/No, I am” idea they started with. So, Punk has been champ for a while, and I’m already calling for the other champ to retain, but Jericho doesn’t need another title run necessarily. But Y2J really hasn’t made much of an impact since his return. Also, giving Jericho the belt could lead to a program with Cena, and I like that idea. Those two have a good deal of history going back to Cena’s debut as a generic babyface. Maybe then Punk and Bryan could tear it up over the WHC? I don’t know. It’s hard to call, but I’m going with…
Winner: Chris Jericho

CB: A few weeks ago, I was ready to write off the execution of this feud as a little bit of a disappointment. However, Punk and Jericho have certainly kicked things up a few notches in the intensity department, though I still would have preferred them feuding over who is the “best in the world” exclusively over the “it’s now personal” mantra they’ve adopted over the past two weeks. With that said, this match could steal the show and I’m sure Punk and Jericho are hoping to do just that. I do too, and I also want this match to get the time it deserves to tell the story IN THE RING, meaning I’d like to say 25-30 minutes of solid wrestling (especially with the GM match next on my card). At the end of the day, there’s two conflicting theories at play: 1) Punk is the future and should win over an established guy like Jericho to solidify his championship reign; or 2) Jericho couldn’t have returned for nothing and so he should win here to cash in on his “end of the world as you know it” promises he’s failed to deliver on at the last two PPVs. After much deliberation, I feel like if the Punk-Jericho feud is extended for a few more months, it can really do wonders for both Punk’s career and Jericho’s comeback. Therefore…
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Chris Jericho

Closing Statements

James Alsop: Assuming that WrestleMania goes as planned and that Randy vs Kane doesn’t go lastq, I’d like to go out on a limb here and say that I think this could be the top-to-bottom best ‘Mania in many, many years. Undertaker vs Triple H will steal the show, but Cena vs The Rock will set the tempo in the WWE for years to come. The best thing is, regardless who any of the winners in the four main events are, I can’t see a downside. Every road leads to a whole world of interesting possibilities. Some have said that WWE has backed itself into a corner this year – I beg to differ. As far as I can see, the future is bright, unpredictable, and begins this Sunday. See you all on the other side!

Chris Sanders: I must admit that I have very high hopes for this year after the colossal ‘wamp wamp’ that was WM27. Although, aside from the matches, expect wacky April Fool’s Day backstage segments…most likely involved Hornswaggle, Natalya farts, or William Regal tell a story about his conjoined daughters in his basement (one of those would be amazing, take a guess). We’ve got rappers playing in rock and cena and (after I rewatched the last outdoor Mania) expect plenty of fireworks. Lets have some fun

Steven Gepp: Looking on this after writing it up, 2 matches look like must-sees – Sheamus/Bryan and Jericho/Punk – 2 matches look like potentially okay – Rock/Cena and Show/Rhodes – 1 match looks like no matter what people say they are going to be abused, but could well be intriguing – Taker/HHH – and the rest look like being crap – chicks, teams, Kane/Orton and tag titles. So, about on average for recent Wrestlemanias. My biggest issue is that I can see these matches taking a grand total of 2 hrs, 5 minutes of match time, leaving 1 hr 55 of extraneous crap. A long night. It’s Wrestlemania, so it’s going to be a spectacle, but I have a feeling it’s going to be an average show.

Rhett Davis: After last year’s dreadful show, this WrestleMania looks to be a complete opposite. I was almost ready to give up on the product last year after Mania. This year looks like it could possibly be the best card of all time! Most of my picks were on whims and just because there need to be some shocks and the ones I chose weren’t really devastating so we’ll see how it goes this Sunday. Oh and Rey Mundo…. #CenaNation #ToothFairy.

M.C. Brown: I am sure my heel heavy picks won’t go down like this, but I just think it’s too predictable to go with Punk and Sheamus. If Punk and Bryan both were to win by some chance, then for sure I think Big Show would win the Intercontinental Title. I believe one title will change hands. With Rock vs. Brock tease, I clearly think that’s a ruse. The interference needs to be in the Hell in the Cell match. No matter who or how, Triple H will have Taker pinned. HBK won’t make the count though. That should be the automatic dramatic near fall. Could it be a reason to bring back HBK vs. Triple H for next year for a final farewell match to them both? Never say Never. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar next year. I’m calling it.

Mike Gojira: Last year’s Wrestlemania held so much promise but was dogged down by too much Rock (if you can believe such a thing is possible).  This year we have four solid main events and an “okay” undercard.  It’s practically a guarantee that this year’s event will trump last year’s in every way possible.  What’s not to love?  Enjoy the show, folks.

Ralph Hardin: Is that the whole card? This show is four hours long, right? No tag title match? No Funkasaurus squash? Hey, why not have Brodus Clay single-handedly destroy Primo & Epico to go ahead and put the tag-titles out of their misery? Surely there will be some kind of filler, unless a few of these matches are going 45 minutes or something. It does look to be a very good show, and none of the winners seem exceptionally obvious (even the Streak at least on paper looks to be in jeopardy). All in all, a pretty stacked card, and the kids and I will be watching it all unfold. As far as my predictions, I try to keep possible long-term storyline ideas in mind when making my picks, which is probably pointless, because I’m not sure the WWE writers do. Enjoy the show!

CB: This will be one of the best WrestleMania shows … ever. Last year was pathetic to say the least, and with all of the hype for Rock-Cena and three other awesome main events to supplement the show-closer, there is no way WrestleMania 28 won’t deliver SOMETHING for everyone. I really have an optimistic feeling this year, and so I say let’s just enjoy the ride and I’ll WE’LL see you on the flip-side!

]]> 28
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Victory Road 2012 PPV (Sting, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode) Sun, 18 Mar 2012 03:04:31 +0000


Sting vs. Bobby Roode (c)
Non-Title Match, No Holds Barred

CB: Sting has really taken to using FACEPAINT OF DOOM as his foreign object of choice, and with the way Impact ended on Thursday I think Roode HAS to win here to get his credibility back. I really hate authority figure vs. reigning champion matches, but since Victory Road is merely a placeholder PPV for LockDown in April, I guess that’s why we’re getting this as the main event. Oh well…
: Roode

Kyle Fitta: I watched 20 minutes of Impact the other night and saw Sting talking to himself in the mirror segment. I must say it was one of the lowest points in TNA, which is saying a lot. Their promo the other night was awfully written. Roode, who comes off just like Triple H circa 2005, cuts a long promo on how Sting isn’t what he used to be and is washed up. Sting then painted up and kicked the shit out of Roode after he said all these things that made Sting look like nothing but a joke. The only thing it proved was Roode got his ass kicked by someone he said sucked. If Roode doesn’t go over in this match, TNA has officially become completely inept.  Even TNA, despite how dumb they are, cannot put Sting over here.
: Bobby Roode

M.C. Brown: While it would be cool to see Sting win, I don’t know what purpose it serves especially if hypothetically we see James Storm win next month. Seeing Roode lose a month before would be like taking the wind out of the sails.
: Bobby Roode.

Steven Gepp: You know, I see Aries’ point about Sting putting himself in this situation. But if he does “the right thing” and the champ wins, it will help Roode. I hope a motivated Sting turns up. I like Roode as champ. His promos might be a little dull, but I believe he is world champion material. That’s all I want from a champ – believability.
: Roode

Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy

CB: Can we stop having storylines where Kurt Angle references his kids? At this point, I feel awful for them being thrown around in angles and now being slandered as Jeff Hardy fans. This is simply a case of a horribly constructed arc to give two “names” something to do, but there is no juice to this contest other than what happens to be flowing through Kurt and Jeff’s veins at the time the bell rings.
: Kurt Angle, as Hardy gets “screwed” again

Kyle Fitta: I heard the winner of this match gets a reduced sentenced. All kidding aside, I heard they had an incredible match last year (or was it two years) ago. Although from what I hear, Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy quickly fallen in the past year. If they bring it, this could be really good. If they don’t, well, it still could be decent. All and all, if I watch this PPV (which I might because I don’t have much to write about Monday), I’m looking forward to this match the most.
: Jeff Hardy

M.C. Brown: Kurt Angle’s reputation needs to be built up here and they also need to prolong this feud
: Kurt Angle

Steven Gepp: Don’t care. But at least the druggie and the drunk are beating each other up and not some poor young guy. Angle, what happened to you? Time off to go to London in 2012 might be just what he needs.
: Angle

James Storm vs. Bully Ray

CB: My favorite match on the card between two guys who get it. Ray is hilarious lately with the “best calves in wrestling” gimmick, and Storm gives us someone kickass to root for who is more grounded in reality than Ray. Since Storm has a title match at LockDown…
: James Storm

Kyle Fitta: From what I’ve heard and saw, Bully Ray is a breath of fresh air in the dump called TNA. I am also a big fan of Storm as well. If Ray has improved in the ring, this could be a good match. Although a match like this usually doesn’t do well in TNA because they put it together like speds. Well, actually, most matches in TNA don’t do well. Who am I kidding?
: James Storm MUST go over

M.C. Brown: James Storm needs the momentum on his way to defeating Bobby Roode in a cage at Lockdown.
: Cowboy James Storm

Steven Gepp: I have the horrible feeling this match is just setting up for Bully Ray to be inserted into the Lockdown main event, ruining what would be a potentially great clash between Beer Money. Look, Ray’s promos are gold at the moment, but his in-ring work is not a match for Storm and Roode, and he would just bring calves to the battle and little else.
: No Result or DCOR

Mr. Anderson and AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian

CB: Anderson being thrown into this kinda sucks. I’d have preferred a Triple Threat and *gasp* an actual resolution on a TNA PPV to the whole Daniels-Kaz-Styles mystery angle. Alas…
: Kaz and Daniels with help from Anderson

Kyle Fitta: This could be really good. Styles and Daniels have so much chemistry together and Kaz isn’t that bad.  As long as Mr. Anderson does nothing more than be serviceable, this match has a chance of being good. Booked well and given time, this could be the best match on the show.
: AJ Styles and Mr. Anderson

M.C. Brown: Sincere lack of babyfaces or true babies on the card by default makes this match AJ and Anderson’s win.
: AJ Styles and Neo

Steven Gepp: What was looking like an intriguing feud has now had… Mr Anderson added. Why? To give him something to do? Because TNA originals can’t do anything without a WWE reject? Or is it to try and teach Anderson finally how to work? Nah, that last one would mean something. This has completely wiped out my enthusiasm for the match. I expect Anderson to turn on AJ (because he’s an asshole, after all) in another nonsensical occurrence.
: Kazarian and Daniels

Samoa Joe and Magnus (c) vs. Matt Morgan and Crimson
TNA Tag Titles

CB: Joe and Magnus are now being booked as faces because the crowd is simply more behind them than Morgan and Crimson. Jeez, ya think? This will be the spot where Morgan takes the pin, Crimson turns on him, and their tag team mercifully breaks up.
: Samoa Joe and Magnus

Kyle Fitta: Samoa Joe was one of the three people who helped put TNA on the map in 2005. He has done better buyrates than anyone on the roster when he’s on top of a PPV card. His reward was a shitty title run where they wouldn’t even allow him to beat “bigger” stars than him cleanly and then shuffled up and down the card. At least he’s doing SOMETHING now…even if it’s wrestling with 3 terrible wrestlers. Seriously, they don’t have any other tag teams who could be facing Magnus and Joe? For instance, a team that can actually put something on that won’t make me want to fall asleep. I don’t see any reason about why they would want to put the titles on Crimson and Morgan, but stranger things have happened. As for the match itself, unless Joe works his ass off, it will suck.
:  Samoa Joe and Magnus.

M.C. Brown: This match will complete the Crimson heel turn.
: Samoa Joe and Magnus

Steven Gepp: I think Magnus/ Joe is a great tag team, and I hope they stay together for a long time before the inevitable break-up. I try not to think about Crimson/Morgan, and the break-up means that they’ll fight each other for a while, so we can fast forward through one match with them involved. I watched Lockdown 2009 recently – Morgan has not improved in all that time. And Crimson’s not as good as Morgan. I hope Joe/Magnus just kill the Goofs of Greenness, and this sparks a revitalisation of the tag team division.
: Joe/Magnus

Austin Aries (c) vs. Zema Ion
X Division Title

CB: Aries keeps the longest ever TNA X Division title reign going easily in this one as Zema Ion is clearly / merely fodder here.
: Aries

Kyle Fitta: I don’t know much about this Ion guy, but I know Aries is perfectly capable of putting on a fine match. I haven’t seen it yet but I heard Aries vs. Sabin (or was it Shelly?) put on a great match. I doubt this Ion guy is like Sabin or Shelly, but Aries is a good worker all around nonetheless.
: Austin Aries (the longest running x-division champion in history)

M.C. Brown: There is still no one good enough imo, to unseat the longest reigning champion in TNA>
: Austin Aries

Steven Gepp: Aries is one of the best in the ring anywhere today, his promos are gold and, well, he is awesome. Zema Ion is not. This match is, I believe, to test Aries’ “Flair-broomstick” abilities, and I am sure he will carry Ion to a very good match. And Ion is not a bad wrestler, not by a long stretch, I just think a bit more work in-ring is what is needed. Working with Aries can only be good for him.
: Aries

Gail Kim (c) vs. Madison Rayne
TNA Knockouts Title

CB: I don’t get why this match needs to happen, ever. Madison just isn’t in Gail’s class, but at the same time, this is exactly the kind of match where TNA will flip the script just for the hell of it, so…
: Madison Rayne in a Marchandise Madness upset, which gives us our only title change of the night.

Kyle Fitta: Do I even have to talk about this match? I don’t know what it’s about and frankly do not care. Gail is apparently the champion. I didn’t even know she was back in TNA. That’s how much I follow this company these days.
: Gail Kim

M.C. Brown: Gail as she morphs into a babyface maybe
: Gail Kim

Steven Gepp: I have just seen the best women’s match I have seen in at least 7 years, maybe longer, in Riot City Wrestling. Two women who made you believe in everything they were doing. Now, Gail Kim is a good wrestler as well, but I do not rate Madison Rayne. I am expecting something that will be watchable, but that is about it.
: Kim

TNA TV champion Robbie E. with an Open Challenge

CB: Insert wrestler here.
: Robbie E.

M.C. Brown: Not Robbie E.
Winner(and new Champion)
: Not Robbie E. Possibly John Morrison?

Steven Gepp:I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s actually one of those morons from Jersey Shore – as in a real one – who’ll come out. And be killed by Rob Terry.
: Robbie E

Closing Statements:

CB: This really is a placeholder PPV for LockDown in April. I still contend TNA needs to have 4 to 6 PPVs max per year, and in the alternating months simply do live Impact Wrestling TV specials with PPV-quality feel. Also, there is no reason Sting needs to be in the main event here vs. Roode. I didn’t like COOHHH vs. CM Punk, and I don’t like this either. The Knockouts match would be better if Madison Rayne wasn’t opposite Gail Kim, and I’d have really preferred almost anyone else on the Knockouts roster. Bully Ray and Storm should be good, but ultimately nothing is must-see by any means whatsoever.

Kyle Fitta: The card has at least two, possibly 3, matches that could be good, which is more than what you could say of the recent TNA cards. If TNA books this PPV well, it could be good. But if TNA could book well in the first place, they wouldn’t be as terrible as they are. Plus, I don’t even think TNA cares about this PPV. It might be just a filler PPV since Lockdown is a month away. If you can watch it for free and just like watching wrestling, even if it sucks, go ahead and watch it. But please don’t order it. Save your money.

M.C. Brown: TNA needs a surprise here and it’s doing a couple risky heel vs. heel matches to spice things up. For some reason I’m not feeling a lot of anticipation for this one, but I hope I’m wrong and some matches surprise me. Kurt vs. Jeff has potential and Aries vs. Ion should be good as well as the Fortune + Anderson has some potential, but there seems to be a lot of filler on this card. A lot of the wind has sailed out of Sting vs. Roode already which in some ways reminds me a lot of the build ups they have done for previous Sting matches. I’m more disappointed that Sting never faced Undertaker than I ever could be excited for a Sting match in TNA at this point in his career. I’m hoping it can’t be any worse than Sting vs. Jeff Hardy or Sting vs. Hulk Hogan, though.

Steven Gepp: A placeholder PPV, getting ready for Lockdown. On paper, some matches look okay, but there is nothing here that screams out for me to buy the PPV. And, to make it worse, I have seen some great indy wrestling, and so this will actually be a step down. I will watch, but I am not excited for it.

]]> 7
Rasslin’ Roundtable — WWE Elimination Chamber PPV 2012 (Chris Jericho, John Cena, CM Punk) Sat, 18 Feb 2012 21:07:01 +0000 CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston
Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE Championship

James Alsop: I couldn’t care less about this match. It’s Punk vs Jericho and bunch of guys that Punk has proven his superiority to on a number of occasions. It might as well be a singles match. And that means that whoever wins, we’ll still get the same match at ‘Mania: Punk vs Jericho for the WWE title. So… flip a coin.
: Jericho

M.C. Brown: I think Mr. Elimination Chamber Chris Jericho will get the upset here to shake things up. This really would give a reason for Punk and Jericho to fight at Mania. Also, two years ago Jericho won the Chamber and won at Mania. This year will be different. If Jericho takes time off as rumored, he’s here for the big match vs. CM Punk and then drop it back to him at Mania.
Winner(and NEW Champion)
: Chris Jericho

Martin Shaw: Why did they throw Truth & The Miz into this when they could’ve had their own match & end the whole betrayal storyline? Both of them were in the title race last year & kinda failed, so I can’t see them coming out on top. Jericho’s gimmick seems to be failure-based and we know Dolph won’t win until he ditches Vickie. Kofi doesn’t have much going on in terms of story at the moment & I can’t see them throwing him into the semi-main event at Wrestlemania…

Steven Gepp: Three of these could win it. First, I don’t think Kofi is in it for any other reason than to have a holy sh*t moment. R-Truth is in it because he’s over at the moment. The Miz… well, he’s an interesting case. Apparently in the doghouse, and looking like he’s lacking motivation, I am assuming he’ll be first out. So that leaves the rest. Ziggler could win to put a good question mark over the title, just to shake things up. But I would not expect him to be champion come Wrestlemania. Then there’s Punk, who could easily walk out retaining. And then there’s Jericho, who’s done it before at the Chamber (thanks to Shawn Michaels), and this would give the face chasing the heel, a dynamic which often works well, especially with guys of the calibre of Punk and Jericho.
: Chris Jericho (new champ)

Ralph Hardin: There are really only two possible outcomes here the way I see it: Punk retains and Jericho gets a one-on-one at ‘Mania, or Jericho gets the win through some kind of shenanigans and Punk earns a rematch at ‘Mania. The other guys will get moments to shine (except maybe Miz), but it really will just come down to Punk and Y2J in the end.
: CM Punk

Kelly Floyd: I really can’t imagine Punk losing, but I can’t imagine Jericho losing either. It’s times like these that I predict winners based on sheer hope.
: Christopher Jericho

Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show vs. The Great Khali vs. Santino Marella
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

James Alsop: Look for this to be the worst Chamber match since December to Dismember. Santino isn’t going to drop the goofy stuff and become a serious competitor for the night: he’s going to job to Khali. Khali is barely mobile and he’ll job to Big Show once he’s absorbed a finisher from everyone. If there’s any justice in the world, it’ll be Bryan vs Barrett as the last two. Except they’re both heels, so it won’t happen. Instead we’ll see Big Show no-sell everything and dominate Bryan, and then some shenanigans will ensue to keep Bry as champ and initiate Big Show’s ‘Mania feud with some NFL guy.
: Big Show.

M.C. Brown: Something in me just doesn’t think they are going to do Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at Mania for some reason which is solidified by the fact that WWE just gave it away for free on Smackdown. I think a Cody run could happen, but not yet. Look for another heel to come out on top here. Hell, if not for Shaquille O’Neil, Show would be poised for a big time match up vs. Sheamus, but that’ll probably happen after Mania. Barrett’s momentum could lead to an after Mania feud with Sheamus, but for Mania? I don’t know. It’s too bad this match isn’t going on second with all the question marks. They are in dire need for a wildcard for this match to replace Great Khali. I’m thinking Orton’s concussion is a work, he’ll replace Great Khali and turn heel. WWE replenishes the face side of Smackdown after Mania and the draft. Or the wildcard of Orton winning makes Bryan complain and somehow Long makes it a 3-way. Orton was supposed to be in the World Title match anyways if he had his St. Louis Rumble win.
Winner(wildcard)and new Champion
: Randy Orton

Martin Shaw: While I’m happy they didn’t replace an injured Orton with an injured Mark Henry, this match just looks horrible on paper. They really need to develop some of the guys they have on the roster in order to prevent shit like this from happening, how many people will kill themselves if they start the match with Khali & Big Show. Cody doesn’t need another title right now & Wade needs about 100 things, so i’d say it’s between mah boy D-Bry right here & Santino. How good would it be to see Santino main-event Wrestlemania? Fucking fantastic, am I right? That’s probably why WWE won’t have him last more than 30 seconds once he enters.
: Daniel Bryan

Steven Gepp: Now, I’m going to guess Sheamus is going to go after this belt, so that means a heel has to win it. I think Rhodes is happy at the moment in the IC ranks, getting more confidence and improving, and the talk of his brother facing him is something I like the sound of. Wade Barrett is a possible. But I think we have an opportunistic retention.
: Daniel Bryan (still champ)

Ralph Hardin: I would love to see the look on my son’s face if Santino can pull the major upset, even if he drops the belt back to Bryan in time for Wrestlemania, but I don’t think the WWE brass has the guts to pull the trigger on that one. So, I suppose Bryan will retain through nefarious means. The only other possibility that makes sense would be Barrett to set up a showdown with Sheamus, but I think they need to save that feud for down the road.
: Daniel Bryan (with fingers crossed for Santino)

Kelly Floyd: This match has taught me to never again talk shit on the Raw Chamber match for including R-Truth, because they’ll retort with Khali. I hope M.C. is right, and that he won’t actually be in this match. How atrocious. Anyway, I’m fairly confident that Bryan will keep it. I mean, honestly. I am a little afraid for another Big Show monstrosity, though. But I’m going to remain optimistic.
: Daniel Bryan

Kane vs. John Cena
Ambulance Match

James Alsop: This is so stupid.
: Cena. Then he’ll probably rut Eve on top of Zack Ryder’s hospital bed.
Fortunately, Kane’s already promised that if he beats Cena, John will be back in three to four weeks. So no worries.

M.C. Brown: While I still believe Cena beats the Rock at Mania and they COULD have him lose here, I highly doubt it. Ryder comes back to attack Kane and set up Ryder vs. Kane at Mania. Cena wins to take the momentum to Rock. Cena still could lose here if Rock makes a surprise return and Ryder you know will get involved although are that many people crying over Ryder’s “injuries” at the hands of Kane? Kane vs. Ryder at Mania doesn’t do much for me. I’d actually want to see Kane get a makeover(classic Kane) and destroy him at Mania.
: John Cena

Martin Shaw: I think Eve will get thrown into the mix again & maybe it’ll be revealed that The Rock was controlling Kane via satellite or some shit. They should’ve made this a “Zack Ryder on a Pole” match.
: Super Cena

Steven Gepp: Interesting match, with the teasing of a heel turn… maybe in time for Wrestlemania? Because there is no way the crowd is going to treat the Rock as a heel. This would still give him plenty of time to become a face again in time for the Wrestlemania 29 pizza party. So I think the heel turn, anger and hatred will result in death to Ryder (figuratively), and something being called for for years…
: John Cena (and a turn to the Dark Side)

Ralph Hardin: A lot of people are down on this angle, and I can see why in some ways, because we really seem to have passed by the “mystical, magical, supernatural, dark and scary” types of characters and storylines, and masked Kane seems to harken back to that and I don’t think today’s audience wants to see all that nonsense. It’s especially hard to get into that idea with practically every other storyline and angle seemingly going for more of a realism slant. The fact that a big portion of the audience has really just completely turned on John Cena doesn’t help, and there just seems to be a lot of apathy here. As for the match itself, I think we already saw this last month, and adding the ambulance stipulation doesn’t add much, espeically since we know there won’t be any blood. Look for Cena to win, but probably not before “embracing the hate” or whatever. The question then becomes, does anyone care?
: John Cena

Kelly Floyd: Don’t care.
: My beer

Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Tamina

James Alsop: Beth needs to win, and win strong, to set up a match against Kharma at ‘Mania. That’s the ideal situation. With that said, Tamina is being set up extremely strongly right now. It’s actually the most convincing push going on in the WWE right now, which is sad. Will Natalya’s flatulence be a factor?
: Beth.

M.C. Brown: Kharma will have to be lurking around here and rightfully so as this should lead to a big time match. Perhaps Beth wins and says there is no competition.
: Beth Phoenix

Martin Shaw:  Where’s Beth v Nattie in order to set up the first ever “Divas” Ladder match & why hasn’t Kharma been squashing “Divas” left and right in order to look like a powerhouse when she eventually wins the title?
Seriously, where the fuck is Kharma?
: Beth Phoenix

Steven Gepp: Placeholder while we wait for Kharma or Nattie to challenge for Wrestlemania.
: Beth Phoenix (retaining)

Ralph Hardin: You know, they could have pulled the trigger on a Diva’s Elimination Chamber. I’m not saying it would have been any good, but they could have done it. Oh well. This should actually be pretty watchable, but I imagine this is just to pass the time until Kharma is ready. I am glad they are acknowledging Tamina’s pedigree. Someone recently commented it’s a shame they can’t do the same for Joe Hennig. I agree.
: Beth Phoenix

Kelly Floyd: A Divas match I don’t hate? Well, I’m sure they’ll find a way to fuck it up.
: Beth Phoenix

Closing Statements

James Alsop: This ppv does nothing for me, it won’t do anything for the live fans, and we’ll be extremely lucky if it does anything for Wrestlemania either. I simply don’t see how this year’s Elimination Chamber is supposed to increase anticipation for the biggest event of the year. Who knows – maybe Rock will interfere and make things slightly interesting?

M.C. Brown: Probably a reason they gave away Sheamus vs. Bryan on Smackdown and Punk vs. Bryan on Raw while he was still Champion. It doesn’t mean he won’t be in the title picture. Predictable match ups would have had Punk retaining vs. Jericho at Mania and Sheamus winning the title. Now we have a possibility of Orton winning, could stay a face and then turn at Mania to preserve his title in a 3-way and Punk WINNING his belt back from Jericho at Mania. Orton needs to get back in the Smackdown Chamber match, tho unless Bryan wins and they find a way to make that happen. I just think the injury is a work and Khali doesn’t belong there. Kharma should return and there should be one more thing to get people talking. I know Shaq should show up on Raw for the pub there, but if only they could have a major surprise here. It’s too bad they are entrenched in this 3rd Taker vs. Triple H match up. This would have been perfect to have Taker come back with an interview while Heyman and Lesnar were guests in the crowd to stand up to him as he passes like Taker did to him at the UFC event. What a swerve it would be. And while I’m dreaming, how cool would it be if the swerve also led to HBK coming out of retirement to face Triple H at Mania? Sure make anyone forget about Taker vs H3 part III. Not gonna happen, however and overshadow Rock’s return, I know. But all the potential match ups would blow the roof off in Miami, if it had a roof. And that’s what Mania would be all about. That being said, they need a surprise or two here and I expect it.

Martin Shaw: This card is atrocious.

Steven Gepp: A bit of a placeholder PPV, and yes I have heels winning the lot (shades of WCW, 1999, I know), but only if Cena turns. But I think it will set up perfectly Wrestlemania, and that has the potential to be a good one after a number of years of the lacklustre…

Ralph Hardin: That’s it, huh? Four matches. I’d expect a Tag Title match (Primo & Epico vs. The Usos probably) or something else to be added to the show, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. The Road to Wrestlemania should be a lot clearer after the ppv, and hopefully some of the non-winners involved in the chamber matches will get elevated by their showings.

Kelly Floyd: Still, the only thing about this PPV I’m excited for is my FSW boys appearing for an autograph signing. Hopefully, I’ll be wrong. But I doubt it. Not because I’m a woman…I just know WWE too well.

]]> 12
10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! 2.10.12 — Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Big Show Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:05:11 +0000 1. Stepping away from the wrestling aspect for a moment, I have to talk about the anti-bullying angles in WWE right now. Cena seems to be doing a bit for it with his shirt and other things, but now Sheamus is verbalizing it so nicely. I love this. Of course I thought the BA Star campaign was just another positive story for the press, but am impressed that they’re actually doing something with it. Bullying runs rampant through our kids’ lives right now, and that evolves as we grow. Where adults verbally harass other adults through Facebook, Twitter, and even on this site. Perhaps this initiative can help to prevent future generations from ending up like us. Okay, that’s out of my system…

2. Was there anything more painful than watching Jinder Mahal take on The Great Khali?

3. Daniel Bryan’s rant about being better than everyone else because he’s a vegan reminds me of Punk’s rants on being straightedge. Except, Punk’s actually pissed people off, whereas I think people just kind of shrug when Bryan does it.

4. I’m to a point where I wouldn’t raise any hell if they just eliminated the Divas division entirely. Honestly, their matches are the most painful thing I’ve ever sat through, and I’ve seen FOUR movies with Sarah Jessica Parker in them.

5. For some odd reason, I didn’t hate Show’s involvement in the tag team match. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it wasn’t terrible. Granted, I love Sheamus, Wade Barrett, and Cody Rhodes so much that my heart nearly burst at the site of all three together, but hey. Beggars can’t be choosers.

6. Okay, I honestly don’t understand AJ’s appeal. I’ve seen better acting in porn. Can someone explain? Sure, she’s cute as a button and could probably fit right inside your pocket, but aside from that, what is it?! (Mike Gojira is banned from answering)

7. Teddy feuding with Hunico is something I’ve been enjoying thoroughly. Hunico was a big deal for 28 minutes last year and then died. But these two do a lot for each other, in my opinion, and I’d like to see it really heat up.

8. I’m sick of John Laurinaitis. Mainly because I’m sick of trying to spell his name.

9. The main event did not have me excited at the start, but really pulled itself together by the end. I enjoyed the dynamic of Orton and Bryan and might have changed my mind about their match next week. I think I could get on board with it. But what do I know.

10. Guess I ran out of thoughts. So, uh…how are you guys? Well, while we’re chatting, I’m going to recommend that you check me and my hetero life partner’s obnoxious Smackdown collaboration. Some people have already deemed it the greatest column on Pulse. And by some people, I mean me.

]]> 8
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Against All Odds Sun, 12 Feb 2012 16:23:45 +0000 Crimson and Matt Morgan (c) vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus
Tag team match for the TNA World Tag Team Championship

M.C. Brown: This could be a placeholder feud to justify them wrestling again, but Morgan and Crimson could easily feud with Crimson being mad over a tag team loss tainting his record. Crimson turns before or after. New Champs. That feud has more potential than a singles Joe vs. Magnus and that’s what would happen if they lose since they lose steam.
Winners(and new champions): Samoa Joe and Magnus

Adam Mason: Magnus and Samoa Joe have a lot of chemistry together. I have to admit I still don’t see the big deal about Joe, I’ve been more impressed by Magnus lately. Crimson and Matt Morgan could dissolve into focusing on their singles careers and not skip a beat. I see Magnus and Joe being completely on the same page while Crimson and Morgan may suffer from some dissention. They’ll lose the titles.
Winners: Magnus and Samoa Joe

Steven Gepp: Well, something’s inspired Joe to put some effort into his matches, and I’ve liked Magnus from the word go, so this is a team I can get behind. I think Russo was going for his staple “wacky tag team partners who don’t get along” (TM Scott Keith), but they actually have some cool chemistry together and are actually working as a good unit. That and the fact I almost think Crimson and Morgan won the titles just to lose them and break up in order to feud, not as a long-term partnership or anything, means, well, nothing, really. This is TNA, after all.
Genesis song soundtrack: “The Return of the Giant Hogweed” (1971)
Winner: (and new champions) Magnus Joe

A.J. Styles vs. Kazarian

M.C. Brown: Originally had Kaz pegged to win, but then I thought that maybe next week after losing, Daniels berates Kaz until Styles tries to make the save and then a further beat down. So for that to happen, AJ wins.
Winner: AJ Styles

Adam Mason: AJ and Daniels had a very good match that was marred by a bad finish. AJ lost that match and there is no way he wins here either. Daniels won’t reveal the influence he has on Kaz, not yet anyways. That has to come before AJ can prevail. Kaz will win, likely through some dirty deeds done by Daniels.
Winner: Kazarian

Steven Gepp: If they’re given some time, then I think this match might be a show-stealer. However, there are several “buts”: First, Daniels obvious interference; second, Kazarian’s apparent reluctance, being spurred on by apparent blackmail; third; this is TNA. So I expect to see a Cliff’s Notes version of a match between these two in eight minutes, and a not clean ending.
Genesis song soundtrack: “Throwing It All Away” (1986)
Winner: Kazarian

Austin Aries (c) vs. Alex Shelley
TNA X Division Championship

M.C. Brown: While this seems like the time for Shelley to win and take the title, I still don’t think all the titles are changing hands this evening.
Winner: Austin Aries

Adam Mason: This is the match I most want to see. A Double is not going to lose, not yet anyways. Alex Shelley just a few weeks ago rejoined the singles ranks, his chase of the X Division title has only begun. Shelley even pinned Aries with the Sliced Bread this past Thursday, so I see Aries winning with the brainbuster. Long live the wizard cape!
Winner: Austin Aries

Steven Gepp: This will be match of the night and should be one of the contenders for match of the year. Having said that, it’s their first outing together, so maybe they’ll keep this one toned down, ready for the inevitable money match later on when they’ll pull out all stops. This is only the start of things between these two, and I expect Shelley to get the title at Destination-X (I know that’s June, but I’m going to give them some long-term booking credit here).
Genesis song soundtrack: “Turn It On Again” (1980)
Winner: (still champ) Austin Aries

Gail Kim (c) vs. Tara
TNA Women’s Knockout Championship

M.C. Brown: Tara with the big non-title win basically sets up that Gail should win, even if Madison’s interference backfires.
Winner: Gail Kim

Adam Mason: This should be a very good contest as both women can “go”. I really do not have a good sense yet of how TNA wants the Knockout division to progress so this is more of a gut feeling.
Winner: Gail Kim

Steven Gepp: Not sure about this. These two women can certainly wrestle, but all women’s wrestling on TV is so watered down that I think backstage orders will hamper what should be a good match up. I mean, this will be better than anything the WWE’s given us for the past 6 months, but still won’t be as good as what I see at RCW every month. Which is a shame.
Genesis song soundtrack: “Where The Sour Turns To Sweet” (1969)
Winner: Gail Kim

Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion
Number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship

M.C. Brown: I can’t see them doing Sorensen vs. A-Double again and if Zema wins he can feud with either A-Double or Alex Shelley, if I’m wrong there.
Winner: Zema Ion

Adam Mason: I have yet to see Sorensen in action but I’ve done my homework. Sorenson has had some chances at Aries in recent months. Zema Ion, meanwhile, reminds me of John Hennigan with his athleticism and body type. Ion has not had much success lately and I think that continues here.
Winner: Jesse Sorensen

Steven Gepp: Hopefully this won’t be the source of the latest botchmania release on YouTube. These two can certainly go, but they seem to just get a little sloppy at times in the ring, and with no one else in there to rein in such proclivities, this could be interesting for all the wrong reasons.
Genesis song soundtrack: “Blood On The Rooftops” (1976)
Winner: Jesse Sorensen (because I see Aries retaining)

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy Four Way
TNA World Heavyweight Championship with Sting as special enforcer

M.C. Brown: Not sure if this is Roode’s time to lose, but I can’t see Jeff winning this way, either. Same with Storm. So I see either Roode or Bully stealing a win from each other or on each other. Bully could win and then Roode get it right back, but I think if Roode is to be continued to be built up, he stays champion.
Winner: Bobby Roode

Adam Mason: I loathe Jeff Hardy; setting that aside I don’t think TNA is willing to, or should, take a big chance on Hardy again…at least not yet. That’s good news for me. James Storm has literally had Sting on his side as of late but I just don’t see TNA swinging the World Heavyweight Title his way right now. That leaves Bully Ray and Bobby Roode. Bully Ray has been a real badass as of late. Bobby Roode has been doing strong work as the champ and even got an admiring tweet sent his way from the Rock. Roode retains here…AGAINST ALL ODDS!
Winner: Bobby Roode

Steven Gepp: Look, I know Bully Ray has been impressive in his heel role, and Jeff Hardy is the returning, all-conquering hero, but, really, neither of these two deserve to be in this match. I think Storm-Roode would have been a great match on its own, and they should have let Hardy-Ray have a #1 contender’s match, and then they could have relegated Gunner/Garrett to Impact or the pre-game show, where it belongs.
Genesis song soundtrack: “There Must Be Some Other Way” (1997)
Winner: (still champ) Roode

Gunner vs. Garett Bischoff

M.C. Brown: Garett being pushed to the moon. He was already “crippled” by Gunner. Possibly Hogan save to preserve the win. They traded annoying pushes from Gunner to Garett.
Winner: Garett Bischoff

Adam Mason: Eric Bischoff is in Gunner’s corner and Hulk Hogan is in Garrett’s corner. Something smells like shenanigans here but I cannot figure it out. Hogan just became “good” again, I don’t see Eric and Garrett resolving their differences, and Gunner is just Gunner. I think Garrett will win because TNA really wants to launch him strongly however swerves and shenanigans would not surprise me at all.
Winner: Garrett Bischoff

Steven Gepp: Let’s look at this positively – Hogan’s not wrestling. Now let’s look at this realistically – Gunner and Garrett are. And your first contender for worst match of the year…
Genesis song soundtrack: “I Can’t Dance” (1991)
Winner: Not the audience… oh, okay, Gunner, because Hogan turns on him because everything that happened with Sting last year means nothing… brutha!

Closing Statements

M.C. Brown: Not sure how predictable tonight’s PPV will be. See my column for latest thoughts, but there should be some good action and if TNA doesn’t overbook this and let the wrestlers tell the stories they need to, that predictable or not, there are numerous potential show stealers on this card and some definite solid match ups to look forward to.

Adam Mason: I won’t be able to view the PPV but I really, really wish I could. I’ve been strictly a WWE guy since about ’99 and here I am legitimately excited for a TNA PPV. Only took 3 weeks too! Against All Odds has 6 of 7 matches (Gunner/Garrett is weak) that I am interested in. Hogan has been rambling like he has dementia lately but he just may be right about TNA heading for greatness. This show could be one small step on that path. Smell ya later!

Steven Gepp: On paper, this could be good. I said I was giving Genesis the make-or-break treatment, and, well, I’m back for another go-round. But this is month-by-month now. You see, at the moment, the WWE has storylines that I am finding compelling (CM Punk’s reign, Daniel Bryan’s heel turn) while TNA is only drawing me in by match quality. And WWE is catching them there as well. Their fascination with WWE cast-offs is annoying, while their own talent (I won’t say home-grown, because let’s face it, the indies are where they’re all grown nowadays) has languished. The card of this PPV is showing the way. Of the 18 competitors, only 5 have been in the WWE, and one of them (Kim) went to the ‘E from TNA, then came back. However, 2 of those 5 are in the main event. This, however, is a good sign for TNA. I just wish they would stop trying to be WCWv2.0 or WWE-lite and start trying to be TNA. Then maybe we would see what they are really capable of.

]]> 7
10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! 2.3.12 — Randy Orton, Wade Barrett, Sheamus Mon, 06 Feb 2012 03:53:43 +0000 Sorry for the delay guys. I was suffering all morning from a wicked illness called I-Drank-My-Weight-In-Beer-Last-Night. Of course, I also got pretty wrapped up in the Super Bowl, today. I hate the Giants, and I hate the Patriots, so I was more rooting for my gambling money all day, but hey. It works.

1. Teddy Long has always been the obnoxious stereotypical black man who just appears to spell out what we already know. But I like that he seems to suddenly have a badass backbone.

2. Did anyone else completely predict the participants for the Elimination Chamber? How boring. At least there’s some young talent in there, and Mark Henry was removed almost immediately. And, you know, no Truth. There’s a win for the Blue Crew.

3. Cody Rhodes’s moonsault from the top rope was so majestic. I haven’t seen do a real big spot like that in quite some time. I like that he can venture out of his comfort zone to wow the crowd.

4. Remember those five minutes when Hunico was kind of a big deal? What happened to that?

5. It was very, very odd having Duggan and Santino pair up. But why put them up against the tag team champs, as they’re being pushed? Obviously, the crowd eats up everything Santino does, especially with the nostalgia pop for Duggan. I’m curious why they didn’t use the Usos instead.

6. I don’t care about Michael Cole. At all. His involvement does nothing for me, the storyline, or the Superstar in question. If we could devote half the time and brainpower that we do for Cole on other storylines…we could change the WORLD!

7. Here’s where I strain your eyes with a disgustingly long paragraph. So, this whole Natalya farting thing. What is the point of this? Are we all that stupid? Are the fans so stupid, that the writers actually thought this was a good idea? I feel like this is a stepping stone to the scene in “Idiocrasy” where there’s the movie called “Ass”…where it’s nothing but an ass farting, and it wins Oscars. I can’t even believe it happened once, let alone having it become an actual gimmick. We all know that WWE doesn’t give a shit about the Divas…that much has been painfully obvious for years. But now they’re almost mocking the female fans. I spend the same amount of money on WWE merch/events as any male counterpart. I sit my ass in the seats and cheer just as loud. And who do I have to look up to on the estrogen front? I’m sick of it. If WWE wants to put up a “No Girls Allowed!” sign on the front door, then mission fucking accomplished. Assfucks.

8. While we’re talking about the Divas, how pathetic was that match with Beth and Nattie against Tamina and Aksana? It was over before I knew it. It’s pretty awesome to see the champ get rendered completely useless.

9. Orton and Barrett were a little lackluster for me. Randy kind of stuck to his usual formula which is fine, I guess. But I expected a whole lot more, which was my mistake, I suppose.

10. So, now that Bryan has become interesting with a heel turn that surprisingly works for me, it was only a matter of time before it hit a familiar bump. We’ll see Orton in the main event scene again, which I can’t say is shocking. More disappointing. But we’ll see what the great Daniel Bryan does with it.

I hope you all enjoyed this episode of Smackdown as much as I didn’t. It was a dull showing of some of the better WWE talent. Here’s hoping for a better one next week!

If you haven’t already (which, you’d be crazy not to…) make sure to check out the greatest team on the Pulse Wrestling front today…me and Mike Gojira as we discuss this week’s Smackdown as we watch it…SIMULTANEOUSLY. Critics give it two thumbs up, dubbing it the greatest idea since the breast implant! Okay, I made that up. But still, check it out!

]]> 2
10 Thoughts On WWE Royal Rumble 1.29.12 — Sheamus, CM Punk, Road to Wrestlemania Mon, 30 Jan 2012 16:51:08 +0000 It’s that time again! Where the material briefly intrigues and we get amped up for Wrestlemania to roll around. It’s a night of endless possibilities, as the mystery of the 30 entrants engulfs you. Okay, enough nonsense. Let’s get to it!

1. I’m really curious as to why we keep throwing Henry and Show into stipulation matches. Didn’t they just do this dance on Smackdown recently? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love steel cage matches. Honest. But how frightened were you when Show was teetering on the top? It feels like they need a stipulation to take away from the fact that neither really packs more than a giant set of biceps. I will say that I liked the spot where Bryan was only holding on to Show before dropping.

2. The booty pop that Eve seems to always be doing now infuriates me. It goes to show that the Divas aren’t just a set of tits…they have asses, too!

3. Kane and Cena had quite a bit of buildup for this match, and it just kind of…ended. I guess the backstage/Ryder part was supposed to be the focal point, and I’m definitely not complaining about cutting Cena short.

4. It is really cool to see Zack swimming in this big ocean. I love the guy; he’s really silly and entertaining. But I’ve always kind of wondered how he would fare in a serious feud. But, going head to head with the super serious Kane has proven him worthy, in my own opinion. He’s making it work and selling the angle. He finds new ways to prove himself, and I’m on board!

5. Can someone explain to me why they threw Brodus Clay into a match simply to squash his opponent in seconds? The PPV ended about fifteen minutes early…they couldn’t just squeeze in an extra minute or two to make the dancing buffoon look strong against the recently rehired McIntyre who can’t even beat Santino?

6. Dolph and Punk really tore the roof off. I could feel the stress smacking the fans in the face both live at the Rumble and in my bar as Punk made Dolph tap out to a missing ref, and pinned him twice with a missing ref. And the whole Laurinaitis bit was subtle enough that it didn’t steal focus. Frankly, I’m a little sick of him.

7. It is entirely possible I’m mistaken, but Miz and Truth seemed to be the only feud hyped for the Rumble, with Miz’s entering at #1. Indeed it was pretty interesting, but quite short lived. Truth was #3, so they really cut to the chase.

8. I have to admit, I about fell over when Socko and The Cobra faced off. Gold.

9. So, as usual, a certain chunk of Superstars returned or made special appearances as entrants. That is the best part of the Rumble, if you ask me. It was really cool to see Road Dogg, and definitely Duggan. The Alberto del Rio/Ricardo Rodriguez psyche-out was amazing, as well. Oh, and I guess Khali returned, huh. Oh well. But the biggest pop of the night (at least in the bar) was when Kharma’s maniacal laughter erupted. You couldn’t even hear her music over the cheers from the fans. Great to have her back!

9.1. Speaking of returns…is The Undertaker ever coming back?

9.2. While it was a pretty solid group for this year’s Rumble, I have to wonder why they essentially wasted three entry spots on the announce team. Are we still trying to get them involved? Booker, I understand. I totally get that. But even Lawler, it’s like…what is being in this doing for you? Nothing. And even worse when Cole was announced, though it was lovely to see Kharma make a real woman out of him. Call me crazy, but I just thought at least one of those three spots could have gone to pretty much anyone else.

10. Ahhh, good ‘ol Sheamus! I was completely surprised when Jericho’s feet hit the ground. I thought Jericho was doing a great job of putting Sheamus over, but would ultimately best him. But nope! Though I would have loved to see Jericho win it, who better than Sheamus? I was terrified for a moment when Randy was in the final four, but thankfully that was done quick. I think it’s great that recent winners have been somewhat newer, getting a chance to sink or swim at Wrestlemania.

Royal Rumble Entrants (in order):

1. The Miz
2. Alex Riley
3. R-Truth
4. Cody Rhodes
5. Justin Gabriel
6. Primo
7. Mick Foley
8. Ricardo Rodriguez
9. Santino Marella
10. Epico
11. Kofi Kingston
12. Jerry Lawler
13. Ezekiel Jackson
14. Jinder Mahal
15. The Great Khali
16. Hunico
17. Booker T
18. Dolph Ziggler
19. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
20. Michael Cole
21. Kharma
22. Sheamus
23. Road Dogg
24. Jey Uso
25. Jack Swagger
26. Wade Barrett
27. David Otunga
28. Randy Orton
29. Chris Jericho
30. The Big Show

]]> 10
Rasslin’ Roundtable — 2012 Royal Rumble Sat, 28 Jan 2012 19:58:18 +0000 John Cena vs Kane

Mike Gojira: On one side of the ring: a heel turn desperately in the making.  On the other side of the ring: a guy in a mask who returned to his Big Red Monster gimmick five years too late.  I honestly could not give a shit, because the only fallout from this disaster of a storyline is the complete destruction of Zack Ryder for reasons I can’t possibly comprehend.  Cena will probably be on the verge of snapping until his conscience gets the best of him and he lets Kane live, thereby thwarting the evil Sith lord.  I think this is the first time since Cena’s United States Championship match against the Big Show at Wrestlemania that he’s curtain jerked, so that in itself will be interesting.
Winner: Cena Skywalker

JAMES ALSOP: Here’s how this normally works: I think of something that makes good narrative sense, summarise how things should turn out with much gusto, and then weep into my Kleenex (Man-Size, of course) as Vince and co. proceed to do the exact opposite.

So. What should happen is that John wins this in epic underdog fashion after being beaten like JR’s government mule for twenty minutes, like the Umaga Last Man Standing match in 2007. The match should play out as an in-ring reflection of the rivalry so far: Kane should beat the heck out Cena, who should be intimidated and overpowered at every turn. John needs to sell Kane’s offence like he’s never sold before. Given that making his opponents look like believable threats has always been the weakest part of John’s act, I’m not really asking much. But Kane needs to look like an absolute monster here so that the audience really care about Cena’s eventual heroic comeback. John should then win cleanly after reversing a tombstone into an AA.

Then – then – the magic should happen. Picture this: Cena, having won clean, goes to leave. But turning, he sees Kane getting up. Full of rage, he flies back into the ring and hits Kane with everything he’s got. Another AA or two, a prolonged STF, steel chairs and the ring bell. Referees are unable to stop the onslaught; Eve runs in and Cena shoves her down; John places a steel chair around Kane’s throat and applies another STF. Kane is bleeding from the mouth… In short, Cena needs to beat Kane so badly that it goes above and beyond anything Kane may have done to deserve it.

And then the crowd will turn on him like they’ve wanted to since 2005. It’s not just about the violence per se… it’s about Cena turning his back on the very principles which won the match for him. The crowd will see a man willingly abandon his moral code and become the thing he hates.

Just like that, Cena will look more dangerous than he ever has. He’ll be more three-dimensional than he’s ever been. He’ll be that wonderful thing – a sympathetic villain. And finally, he’ll be ready for The Rock.

Which is exactly why Eve will run in instead and cost John the match, to set up a return bout at the Elimination Chamber. Come on. This is WWE, here.

Winner: Kane

Steven Gepp: This feud means nothing to me. Seriously. I just don’t get it. It’s all “Come to the Dark Side, Luke,” and Cena (as the young Skywalker personage) starts to succumb, but doesn’t, thus making the universe safe for endorsement deals and merchandising contracts. Amen.
Winner: Cena

Chris Sanders: Kane has had the upper hand the entire time and for that fact plus its Super Cena added onto that WWE will, in no way, make Cena look bad leading up to the biggest match in their recent history. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of hate embracing will happen from this but the outcome is a no-brainer.
Winner: John Cena

M.C. Brown: I think it’s a surprise Zack Ryder run in, but it backfires and costs Cena. Kane has more fuel to instigate Cena to be mad at Eve and Ryder. Where does The Rock come in tho? See Rumble.
Winner: Kane(he needs it more)

World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan vs Big Show vs Mark Henry

Mike Gojira: I heard it through the grapevine that Henry hyperextended his knee during the Smackdown taping.  Combine that with his limited mobility when he’s healthy as well as Show’s lethargic movements and you’ve got one stinker of a match.  The cage gimmick is just to limit both big men and allow Bryan to get the cheap victory.  I never understood how a cage match was supposed to END a feud, since the object is to run away from your opponent and escape the cage.  Yeah, a real manly way to say, “I beat you decisively by climbing a chain link fence or opening a door.”  Anywho, expect DB to retain and hopefully move on to a legit opponent; although the way the Smackdown roster is being handled, the only guys waiting in the wings are Sheamus and Randy Orton.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

JAMES ALSOP: The first title match of the night is, believe it or not, the one I’m most looking forward to. It’s well structured: two bad guys against one good guy. It’s got Daniel Bryan in it, and he seems to bring out the best in Henry and Show. It won’t have any run-ins. It’s the last match (hopefully) in the never-ending Show-Henry feud, which probably means that it’ll have a decisive, if not a clean, finish.

Bryan will win this so that he can defend at the Chamber, where he’ll likely lose to Randy Orton. The finish will probably involve him pinning Henry after a Big Show knockout fart.
Winner: D-Bry.

Steven Gepp: Not sure, but I’ll go safe. Daniel Bryan steals the win after Show takes out Henry. This will then make Show and Henry become a tag team, they’ll win the belts, implode at the next PPV, and we have Show v Henry at Wrestlemania because we certainly haven’t seen enough of that feud!
Winner: Daniel Bryan

Chris Sanders: The cage match may seem like it benefits the two giants with the little guy but that would only ring true if it were a hell in a cell match. With Bryan squirming his way out of matches lately, him scampering over the cage seems perfect in this scenario and may likely happen.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

M.C. Brown: It’s easier for Daniel Bryan to steal a win here after one of the big men hits a big move on another. Not sure he’ll make it to Mania as Champion, but that’s what Smackdown Elimination Chamber is for.
Winner: Daniel Bryan

WWE Championship w/ Special Referee John Laurinaitis: CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler

Mike Gojira: Ziggler, even with four “wins” under his belt, is still being booked as a pathetic cheating heel.  Let him win some matches legitimately, like he did while United States Champion, to at least make it seem like Punk is truly against the odds.  But I guess with the added stipulation of Laryngitis as ref, the heel doesn’t really need to get over, does he?  I was looking forward to this until they shoved the GM into the equation.  It should still be a good match, but the ending sequence will probably be a mess.
Winner: CM Punk

JAMES ALSOP: I’m not as excited about this as you may think. See, WWE have booked themselves into a real corner here, and now they’re in a situation SO sticky it’d make even Kelly Kelly blush.

If Ziggler loses here, all his credibility will have gone down the dunny. He’ll be that one guy who gets a world title shot once a year and blows it. On top of that, Johnny Ace will also have been made to look like no match for CM Punk for the umpteenth time, and any heat that the angle once had will be gone forever.

If, on the other hand, Dolph wins, WWE will either begin the road to its biggest Wrestlemania in years with an untested world champion at the helm of its premiere show, or they’ll have to slur Dolph’s credibility by hotshotting the title to someone else straight away (thereby adding another transitional reign to the WWE Championship’s history).

Moreover, Dolph would only win, surely, with help from Ace. But while that means that Johnny’s angle with Punk can continue, where will it end? Wasted in a throwaway match at Elimination Chamber? Or – Lord have mercy – in a match at Wrestlemania?

The wrestling will be good, but Ace’s involvement all but guarantees shenanigans. The best case scenario here is probably a Punk win. But Ace will no doubt cost him the belt next month.

Winner: CM Punk.

Steven Gepp: Sorry, but I think Punk wins this one. Interference from Vickie backfires, also from Swagger, and this sets up Ziggles v Swagman at Wrestlemania, because the people are just clamourin’ to see that one!
Winner: CM Punk

Chris Sanders: It seems as if they’ve been stacking the pile against Punk, although the only one to seem down and out is Laurinaitis. Ace will try and fail to screw Punk, I don’t know how but he will because I still think WWE will keep the belt on Punk til Mania.
Winner: CM Punk

M.C. Brown: This will be an awesome match, but stories have to be built around Punk on this one. It would be cool to see DZ win, but maybe this Summer. There is a possibility of an attempted screwjob where Triple H ends up hurting Punk instead of helping, but I think that might be a bit much.
Winner: CM Punk

2012 Royal Rumble

Mike Gojira: There are currently four guys being built as the possible winner of the Rumble: Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Wade Barrett, and Sheamus.  Barrett is unlikely, so I’m not going to bet the house on him.  I would like to see Jericho victorious, especially after the hype for his return and his cryptic message last Monday night.  Orton is in his hometown but he’s not making the famously overused “returning from injury” surprise appearance this year.  Sheamus is more likely, but I’m gonna go with my gut instinct here.
Winner: Chris Jericho

JAMES ALSOP: Yeah, that whole “every WWE superstar is eligible” thing? That either means that we’ll see the can’t-miss return of Bill DeMott, or it means that Undertaker is coming back.

There are no other big-name top-prospect returns to speak of. Orton is already back, Sin Cara (big name? Psh.) is immobile, RVD and Angle are tied up with TNA… We might just see the start of the Rey Mysterio Comeback Tour 2012, but he won’t win the thing.

Perhaps Ryback will debut, or Seth Rollins or Antonio Cesario? We may get a smattering of legends to advertise the WWE Network reality show. We may even see John Cena, Big Show, Henry and Ziggler pulling double duty. (And if John Cena enters the Rumble, you can guarantee that The Rock will run-in to eliminate him.)

But we will see Undertaker return. And it’ll be excellent. And where there’s Undertaker, Triple H will surely follow to set up their third Wrestlemania encounter.

Jericho and Taker will be the final two, but Triple H shenanigans will spell the end for Taker before Jericho even gets a shot in.

Final four: Undertaker, Jericho, Sheamus and Christian.

Winner: Chris Jericho, to round off a career of accolades.

Dark Horse Pick: Christian. (You’d love to see that, admit it.)

Steven Gepp: The Royal Rumble is my favourite WWE PPV. Even when I was in an anti-WWF place (late 1990s to WM X-7), I did not miss a Rumble. Yes, that meant I saw Vince McMahon won it by spending half the match on commentary, and Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog go the distance in the 60-second Rumble, but I also saw the good ones, and the only one I missed was the very first one, which was never released in Australia. So, of course, I am in mark heaven this week.

Okay, so the Rumble. Here’s some predictions:

Surprise entrants: Road Warrior Animal (to help further the Johnny Ace story-line – he’s not in it to win it, but to do his brother’s dirty work), Matt Hardy (he’s been quiet lately and I’ve read that it’s the WWE’s dollar sending him through rehab), a Horseman (for that HoF pop… but obviously not Paul Roma or Chris Benoit, and probably not Ric Flair or Ole Anderson), Tim Tebow (celebrity, to get some of that mainstream publicity they like so much, and leading to the now mandatory celebrity match at Wrestlemania).

Surprise return: as well as Chris Jericho, I think Rey Mysterio Jr will come back for this one. A part of me also thinks John Morrison will make his return.

No longevity records will be set, and, likewise, no quick eliminations after Santino’s effort to defeat the Warlord. But I think the Miz is going to be the longest in this Rumble.

I think Booker T will cost Cody Rhodes. I think Goldust will get involved as well somehow, maybe the one to eliminate Cody when Booker does his distraction (leading to the rumoured WM match between Book and Cody. Book will come out with Goldust, who will then turn on him, and big Dusty will come out, and we’ll have the Rhodes Family Treehouse).

Final 4: I reckon we’ll have Mick Foley, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Sheamus.

Mick Foley: won’t win. He’s there for the nostalgia pop, really, and maybe to give Randy something to do at Wrestlemania, maybe even referencing the ‘legend killer’ stuff and the Rock/Foley team that battled Evolution at WM20.

Randy Orton: well, of course he could win. And there is a part of me afraid he will. Why afraid? Because Orton bores me. His RKO is a good move (though DDP’s Diamond Cutter seemed more likely to come out of anywhere), but the way he thumps the mat and his constipated facials and the way he sells bores me.

Chris Jericho: my favourite to win, just because I think it was the only way they could get him back into the fold. That and his whole current schtick just says he’s going to win. And he still won’t say much.

Sheamus: A bit of a dark horse, but could win just to ram home the “anyone can win and headline Wrestlemania” aspect of the Rumble. That, and the crowds seem to be getting behind him, and a face win is always good for business. This would mean he would face a heel, potentially Daniel Bryan, at WM, and we could have an interesting match on our hands. I didn’t say good, just interesting.
Winner: Chris Jericho (who goes on to face Punk at WM)

Chris Sanders: tis time for the best WWE moment all year, screw wrestlemania…this is it. Of course I won’t be the first and only person to say that surprise appearances/returns can’t be completely accounted for so I usually just go with whom is known to be entered already.My final four is gonna venn diagram into my three picks and I don’t have much reasoning for them other than its what seems most likely.
Final Four: Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, Miz
Winner: 1)Jericho (backup picks are Orton and Sheamus)

M.C. Brown: Surprises will be 1st Rumble Winner Hacksaw returning for the 25th one, Alberto Del Rio, Undertaker, possible appearance by Brock, but I think that will be saved for Elimination Chamber to give Brock more time to rest. Ryder’s return might take place in the Cena match just as Triple H already being announced for Raw kind of hurts a surprise there, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be in it. Cena in the Rumble happen and should be good for a middle of the Rumble storyline where I think it’d be perfect to have The Rock make a surprise return and eliminate him or Rock Bottom him causing someone to eliminate him(Ryder would be bittersweet if he was the next entrant or there when it happened). Undertaker throws out 5 guys to get to at least 40 eclipsing Kane and Michaels as the man with the most Eliminations. That might be a reason why Kane might not be in this one.
Final Four: Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton
Winner: Chris Jericho

Closing Statements

Mike Gojira: This should make for an interesting Rumble.  The final 4 seem to be obvious, but any of them could win the whole enchilada so it should be exciting and unpredictable…the way a Rumble should be.  The undercard doesn’t hold my interest, with the exception of the WWE Championship match, and that’s only if the ref interference is kept to a minimum.  Hopefully I actually make some money this year.

JAMES ALSOP: When the only match on the card that doesn’t look like it’ll have an unsatisfying ending is a Big Show match, it doesn’t really say a lot for the rest of the card. Punk-Ziggles will be fine, but the ending is going to need some serious consideration from Vince and co.

Elsewhere, look for the 30-Man Royal Rumble to be one of the dullest in recent memory. The roster has never been so thin, and Randy Orton will be the ring general for 99% of it. That should tell you all you need to know.

Steven Gepp: As I said, I love the Rumble. But on paper this show looks lacklustre. I would half-expect a tag title match or a women’s match to also make an 8-minute appearance somewhere on the card, but, of course, the Rumble might end up being an epic 3-hour extravaganza all on its own!! Or maybe not. This show, though, shows something that has been happening for a while – the lack of serious attempt to build up strong wrestlers to be consistently over and believable to face the duo of BatOrton and SuperCena. Challengers come and challengers go, and while we have a current face champ in CM Punisher, he’s just not a viable long-term option. I mean, Punisher is a much cooler comic book character, but in the popularity stakes Superman and Batman are in a different stratosphere, and their films are better, too. Why? He does not market well to the demographic. For a start, he’s intelligent. Where’s the 3 to 5 word catch phrase (and not “It’s clobberin’ time!” as he stole that one)? The t-shirts are cool, but the body shape? Where’s the ripped muscles and over-developed traps? And his finishing move is not one kids can pretend to hit on their friends; an RKO and AA can be done while the GTS is hard. And, on the other side of the coin, where are the over heels? The Ric Flairs, the Tully Blanchards, the heels that may not have the title but you know they are a threat each and every time they step into the ring? As much as they are building up Mark Henry, too many of us remember Mae Young and Sexual Chocolate. The Miz has been up and down the card so much you’d think he was on a bungee cord. And Daniel Bryan? Too small… although his new heel persona is the closest I’ve seen some one come to Ric Flair. He could be a heel just because he is “that damn good”, and I would actually lay down money to see he and Punk go at it in a WWE ring with a title (or 2) on the line. So long as they were given 20+ minutes. Ah-hem. Sorry. So, anyway, it will be interesting to see what this Rumble will bring and, by extension, what 2012 will bring for the WWE.

M.C. Brown: Jericho winning the Rumble makes sense. He never has won it. It’ll give him a reason to speak at length and challenge the Champion, CM Punk at Mania. However, the good part of it is that while this match could be teased and followed throught, Triple H could still end up costing Punk at Elimination Chamber and Undertaker could still win the belt and make it Jericho vs. Undertaker at Mania if Brock Lesnar doesn’t make it to Wrestlemania. But I just still feel there was more to that WWE ’12 meeting with Lesnar and Paul Heyman. It just seems more likely at this point that Lesnar would return at Elimination Chamber if he’s coming back not here. Sheamus and Triple H II should happen then with a role reversal of face/heel or Triple Heel comes out of the “Respect” rematch. Del Rio and Orton could be a Mania match and seeds would be sowed here after a double elimination brawl. How does Jericho beat the Undertaker? That’ll be the million dollar question. Heyman distraction as he gets up from his seat in the crowd? Never say never. WWE needs to really go all out for this Rumble and let people know they missed something special if they didn’t see it.

]]> 12
10 Thoughts on WWE Smackdown! 1.20.12 — Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Sin City Sat, 21 Jan 2012 21:08:40 +0000 1. So, Smackdown came to us from Las Vegas this week, eh? I’ve never been too keen on the whole “Roulette” thing, but assumed since this is Smackdown–where wrestling outweighs fluff–that it would be fine. Man…I hate being wrong.

2. The show started off wonderfully, with a short and sweet promo from Bryan. I never really picture him owning the heel status, but it definitely suited him today. Though, I can’t say I’m thrilled with AJ’s involvement. That girl needs to fall into a crack in the sidewalk and stay there.

3. Let me get this straight. Justin Gabriel was essentially the right-hand man in Nexus, and in Corre. And now he’s…Hornswoggle’s brawn? Maybe I’m missing something. I’ve never fully understood the whole appeal of the little leprechaun. And his entrance music is a tease. I always expect Finlay to strut out.

4. Michael Cole and Booker T need to settle down. Cole was especially eccentric today. To a point, I know what they’re trying to do, but CHILL. You’re a voice wrapped up in a suit. Stop trying to take over the show and talk about the damn match.

5. Last weekend we all heard about Epico and Primo winning the tag team belts against AirBoom. At a houseshow. What a filthy situation this has become, right? On the one hand, I love Evan Bourne. He’s the epitome of a breath of fresh air (see what I did there?). But jeez, bro…

6. For the first time in the evening, I had eye-rolling, head-shaking embarrassment for my Blue Crew. A dance-off. Like, really. Didn’t we do this a year or so ago? Wasn’t it Kozlov and Santino? My memory sucks…I drink a lot. Anyway. But I’m already over the whole “Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay shenanigans, Vickie didn’t even pretend to make it look like she was trying, and my hopes for sanity were dashed when instead of remaining serious, William Regal took the ugliest crossbody in the world after shaking his ass. I felt really dumb when it was over. And this is coming from the girl who was fifteen when she realized that New Orleans was in Louisiana. Seriously.

7. The backbreaker Sheamus delivered to Wade Barrett was majestic. Absolutely magnificent. I want to watch it over and over again.

8. Oh, that Hunico. I simply adore him. I want to put him in my pocket. And I actually kind of liked the Flag Match stipulation. But he’s just floating right now, I think. No real direction. Which is unfortunate, because he was so hot for a minute there. But what do I know.

9. Sadly, the dance-off was not the worst part of the evening. A blindfold match? It feels like the WWE is having a good laugh about just how stupid we fans are while simultaneously punishing Drew “McIntosh” (okay, I loved that part) and giving the kiddos something to chuckle at. It was almost painful to watch.

10. What a boring main event. All Henry did was stand there and stare as Bryan yapped to all the Lumberjacks. Perhaps the only good thing about it was the absolute brawl at the end, and the fact that we got to see some old favorites who I assumed were dead. Yoshi Tatsu, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Tyson Kidd…etc. And we’ll get to see Bryan and Henry do it all again in a steel cage at the Rumble. Why do they keep doing this to us? Mark Henry can barely maneuver a turnbuckle. How is he going to do anything in a steel cage?


Join me next time! Or don’t. Whatever.

But be sure to check out the magnificent Mike Gojira’s Smackdown Report when it posts, and definitely check out what I think about the incredible FSW.

Like me? Hate me? Want to tell me off? Then, follow me on Twitter.

]]> 4
10 Thoughts on FSW Adrenaline Rush 1.13.12 — Tyson Tyler, Johnny Stamboli, Shaun Ricker Thu, 19 Jan 2012 02:24:22 +0000 Get ready for something different! It’s been about six months since the last time I brought my favorite Arizona promotion to the Pulse Realm. Many may have seen that EXW was an option for “Favorite Indie Promotion” on the Pulse Year-End Awards. Well, take the same awesomeness and repackage it under the name Future Stars of Wrestling, a partner to the incredibly elite Las Vegas promotion of the same name. Suddenly, the Southwest is looking pretty good!

1. I’ve always really liked Shadow Fox and Lucha Starr separately. They’re some of the most entertaining wrestlers on the roster with a quickness and fluidity that can’t be beat. But I’ve really, really been enjoying watching them work as a tag team. They almost stand out more sharing a corner than they did on their own.

2. This is my first time seeing Beast in Arizona, and I liked what I saw. He was somewhat of a big dude, but could still move with some ease in the ring. His opponent, however, was a forgettable. No, like seriously, I forgot his name. Had to look it up.

3. What prompted me to begin reviewing for FSW again was finding my old EXW reviews. While going through them all, one thing that stuck out was my complete disapproval of Moshpit Mike for the first few months. But here we are a year and a half later, and wow! He’s become so captivating, so entertaining. Easily one of my favorites to watch. Just a few months ago, people were shouting “You can’t wrestle!” Now, all the fans are chanting is his name. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

4. It’s still kind of crazy how much Rave really does look like Shawn Michaels. Anyway. Not sure why he was representing The New Kliq alone, but he did not disappoint me. Especially because his opponent was Shane Stratmore. Ridiculous chaps aside, Shane is one of my favorites. And these two really gave each other hell.

5. When Josh Carey was announced as Andrew Hellman’s opponent for the next match, I was a little…apprehensive. I like them both, don’t get me wrong. I mean, shit, I never shut up about how much I love Hellman. But they almost seemed too different to be able to square off comfortably. However, they made it work, even though it seemed to drag in spots.

6. Another combo I didn’t really expect to work was Mike Da-Lite against The Prophet. It seemed strange, but ended up being one of my favorite matches of the night. Prophet never seems to miss a step with his high-flying spots and Da-Lite strikes with a power you always forget he has. This is one match I look forward to watching again when it airs.

7. Everyone remembers my usual dislike for Fatal Fourways and Triple Threats, right? So I don’t have to explain that again? Okay, good. So, Ray Basura, Cutler Wright, Rexx Reed, and Shaun Ricker all wanted the opportunity to face Willie Mack for his Elite Title. Wright wowed the crowd once more with his stellar 450 Splash to eliminate Basura, despite being eliminated minutes later. Ricker’s pin on Rexx to win it by using the ropes as leverage was spectacular. I love when they get dirty! Even though Ricker sounds a little like Frito from “Idiocracy” when he talks, he’s been quite impressive in his two appearances in Arizona and I’m curious to see how he’ll fare when he faces Mack.

8. Ricker sat down in the crowd to watch Mack defend his title against Dexter Verity, which I thought was genius. However, the match itself didn’t quite pack the punch I would have liked for an Elite Title defense. Not sure if the match that preceded it was just a lot to follow or if the spice just wasn’t there. Neither really did anything wrong, I guess my expectations were just higher.

9. The whole “douchebag” thing fits Tyson Tyler like a glove, which is surprising. He was so obnoxious alongside Stamboli, that I was damn near booing him, which says a lot as I’ve always been a huge fan of his. It’s nice to see him thrive outside of his good-guy comfort zone. But I digress. Tyson and Stamboli facing Garland and Castellucci was an excellent way to close out the show. It was all over the place, in a good way, and at one point there was a broken and battered Garland at our feet. It’s also fun to see how involved the fans get, considering their complete adoration for Castellucci and hatred of Tyler and Stamboli. It also left quite a few doors open, which is always a solid way to end it.

10. Once the show was over, Kyle Hawk—a beloved cruiserweight since nearly the beginning—made an announcement in the ring. After his incredible, jaw-dropping match against Sergio Vega earlier in the evening, he declared it would be his last with FSW, as he is joining the military. I’ve never quite seen eye-to-eye with this guy, but it is truly a shame to lose such a talented and remarkable wrestler. FSW fans, as well as Inside Pulse fans, want to wish Hawk luck, thank him for all that he has done for us, and hope to see him again very soon.

Make sure you acquaint yourselves with these two elite companies, because they’re about to take over. If you live in Arizona, catch FSW Adrenaline Rush on AZTV Saturday nights at 11:00 pm. If you live in Nevada, catch FSW High Octane on the CW Saturday nights at 2:00 am. Or you can go to their websites, either for Arizona or Las Vegas.

But, if you’d rather watch Cena bounce around like a cartoon or watch Brodus Clay shake what his momma gave him, I’ll understand. Sort of.

]]> 2
Rasslin’ Roundtable — TNA Genesis Sun, 08 Jan 2012 17:55:57 +0000 It’s that time again! Time for Pulse’s finest to gather ’round and discuss the upcoming PPV…Genesis! TNA doesn’t exactly draw the quantity of the writers, but they are some of the wisest, nonetheless! Excluding myself, who was challenged to take wild stabs at these picks, since the last episode of TNA I watched was when they aired on Mondays and I’m much more of a WWE and indy girl. Needless to say, challenge accepted.

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
TNA World Heavyweight Championship

M.C. Brown: Hardy winning might be too storybook and Roode’s selfish reign shouldn’t end this quickly when he has been so good in his role. I expect a controversial finish, hopefully not a stupid one, tho. No Main Event of a PPV should end on a DQ, so it’s hard for me to predict a Hardy victory because of one. So by hook or by crook…
Winner: Bobby Roode

JAMES ALSOP: Roode will win this. It’s an absolute travesty that Hardy has been allowed back into the main event so soon after ruining his last, embarrassing the company, and serving jail time. What kind of example does this set other wrestlers? That’s not why he’ll lose, though. He’ll lose this battle because you can’t have a trademark Jeff Hardy “underdog-triumph-against-the-odds-overcome-adversity-seeking-redemption” story without a nice long chase. This is just the start.
Winner: Roode, via screwjob finish.

Kelly Floyd: Well, it’s Jeff Hardy. Are they still treating him like an old sofa and scrounging around the cushions to find some quarters?
Winner: Jeff Hardy

CB: I can’t believe I am saying this, but Jeff Hardy is about to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship less than a year after the whole Victory Road debacle. That’s right, Hardy will win to cut Roode’s title reign short because just when you think TNA is on the right track, they do stuff like this. The CREATURES OF THE NIGHT — you know, all five of them — will celebrate tonight.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

Kurt Angle vs. James Storm

M.C. Brown: Kurt’s revenge match that he absolutely needs to win here.
Winner: Kurt Angle

JAMES ALSOP: Storm needs this win more than Angle, but it’ll be a great match either way. I love what these two men bring out in each other. Angle hasn’t looked this dangerous since his feud with Joe – and Storm now looks like a true top dog in TNA. Storm wins so that he can dethrone Bobby Roode asap.
Winner: The Cowboy.

Kelly Floyd: You know, Kurt Angle appeared for Shape Up US at the EXW booth (now, FSW – AZ), so now I’m just plain rooting for him.
Winner: Kurt Angle

CB: Angle has mentally checked out of TNA, and Storm still actually cares. So let’s hope that the Tennessee Cowboy wins, even though Angle is likely due.
Winner: James Storm

D’Angelo Dinero vs. Devon

M.C. Brown: Disappointed in the lack of build on Impact from this past week which kind of kills momentum, but of course maybe they pushed this on X-Plosion. Pope gets help from Devon’s boys to win or it’s a beat down after a surprise Devon roll up. Or my gut is telling me maybe that Team Double Trouble interfere early to cause a DQ since there hasn’t been too much build up since the turn and a DQ on a lower card match may not be great, but the world isn’t expected of this match either.
Winner: Devon by DQ

JAMES ALSOP: I want Dinero to win this, and I want him to win decisively. And please please please let this dull, drawn-out story be over with. I don’t want to see Devon’s kids again, I don’t want to see Devon in singles matches again, and I don’t want to see Dinero being wasted like this. Only one of these men has any long-term value to TNA, and it isn’t Devon, sadly.
However, Devon’s the good guy here, so….
Winner: Devon.

Kelly Floyd: Devon is a beast. And even when I watched TNA, Dinero never did much. Boom boom, squash squash.
Winner: Devon

CB: The storyline that just keeps on going, and going, and going, and going, and going … AND GOING … sees Pope face off against Devon tonight. Pope will proves he’s Devon’s daddy, you know, like he’s been Devon’s kids’ daddy lately, too. But question, what’s so PIMPIN’ about that?
Winner: Pope

Gail Kim (c) vs. Mickie James
Knockouts Championship

M.C. Brown: If they can give the effort that was given on their Main Event TV match, plus turn it up a notch, then this should be an early Female match of the year candidate. I can only hope as I’m rooting for two of my favorites here big time.
Winner(and new champion): Mickie James

JAMES ALSOP: Mickie needs some believable competition, and Gail needs to be re-established as a threat. TNA should make the most of having Google’s Most-Searched Diva as a champ, though (and I’m sure that particular stat has nothing to do with Mickie’s previous career as a fetish model), which is why Mickie will win, but Gail will dominate.
Winner: Have the “HARDCORE country” jokes already been done?

Kelly Floyd: Well, James and M.C. both picked Mickie, so I’m inclined to pick Gail. Just ’cause. Plus, she’s hotter. Oh wait, that’s how we pick Diva’s champs, not Knockouts…
Winner: Gail Kim

CB: This could easily be the match of the night. I think Mickie and Gail will get ample time when facing each other, and they seem to have good in-ring chemistry. I would love to see NO INTERFERENCE as a rule for this match, but in TNA-Land that just doesn’t happen. Mickie will survive 25 different run-ins, however, and win nonetheless.
Winner: Mickie James

Abyss vs. Bully Ray Monster’s Ball match
If Abyss loses, he rejoins Immortal

M.C. Brown: They already did the bully Abyss angle in Immortal, which is barely even a faction at this point. It’ll be brutal, but I pick…
Winner: Abyss

JAMES ALSOP: How do Monster’s Ball matches work these days? Do they still lock the contestants up “in isolation” all day beforehand? However they do things, these matches work best with three or more participants, so I predict a dull, dull ten minutes punctuated by the sound of aluminium dustbins hitting flesh and at least one painfully predictable table breaking beneath Abyss.
Abyss looks more and more like a giant loser these days, and it’s a shame. Remember how dangerous he used to appear? Now it’s a stretch to see him coming close to a win.
Except, if he loses, he rejoins Immortal. What’s the logic there, by the way? “Hey, Abyss! You’re a giant loser! You can’t even beat B-B-B-Bully Ray! Want to join our supergroup?”
So… I predict that Abyss gets put through I table (fire optional) but pulls off the win.
Winner: The Monster

Kelly Floyd: I always liked Abyss. He’s a powerhouse from what I remember. But I do drink a lot.
Winner: Abyss

CB: Like most bullies, Bully Ray doesn’t like to get punched in the mouth, and when he does he tends to not be able to rebound. However, Ray is definitely the smarter of the two combatants, and I like his chances in a hardcore match regardless of Abyss being extremely comfortable with the Monster’s Ball format.
Winner: Bully Ray

Austin Aries (c) vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion
Four-Corners match for the TNA X Division Championship

M.C. Brown: I can’t bet against Austin Aries, tho he does need some more new blood in the form of babyfaces in the division. Perhaps that’s why they should have had Anthony Nese in the match to further build up a feud between those two.
Winner: Austin Aries

JAMES ALSOP: Aries still has a lot of mileage in him as champ. Kash et al do not. But hey, as long as Kash gets paid, he’s happy, right?
Winner: Aries.

Kelly Floyd: I’ve never really heard of any of these guys. Is it breaking the rules to just go with my fellow writers are saying? Oh, I make my own rules. Right, got it!
Winner: Austin Aries

CB: Zema Ion looks a lot like Carlito, doesn’t he? Other than that tidbit, all I have to say here is that I think Aries will be the easy winner. Unless, of course, they let Sorensen take the ball and run with it <--- get it? :)
Winner: Austin Aries

Crimson and Matt Morgan (c) vs. Samoa Joe and Magnus
TNA World Tag Team Championship

M.C. Brown: Would love to see Crimson cheat to win to keep his streak and Morgan disagree to start some tension there. I do expect Joe and Magnus to do better than most probably expect for a makeshift tag team and their teaming shouldn’t stop after the loss.
Winner: Red, white and Blueprint

JAMES ALSOP: Say what you like, but I think that Crimson and Morgan as a tag team are fine together. Neither one is ready for a singles push, but TNA need to keep them warm somehow. This way, they’re both kept in prominent positions, and they both get to work with more experienced guys. My old mate Nick Aldis, however, is in the same position, and lord knows that if TNA don’t do something with Joe soon the IWC will suffer a collective aneurism…
Winner: I’m gonna give this one to Crimson and Matt. They need it more than Joe and Magus. Both of the latter need to move on somehow, though. Perhaps, in order to facilitate character advancement, THIS could be the long-awaited event where Joe finally flips and destroys everyone in the ring before becoming a singles star again! Magnus can go on to team with Eric Young, while Joe moves onto Roode, Hardy, Storm and chums!

A guy can dream, right?

Kelly Floyd: I literally flipped a coin.
Winner: Matt Morgan and Crimson

CB: Magnus and Joe are an interesting little makeshift tandem, and I have a feeling they’ll win the belts thanks to some tension between Morgan and Crimson that leads to their inevitable split and revisiting of their singles rivalry so TNA can start re-marketing Crimson’s undefeated singles streak.
Winner: Magnus and Joe, which will be the beginning of a big push for Samoa Joe in TNA, right Blair?

Rob Van Dam vs. Gunner

M.C. Brown: I expected it last Thursday, but this is where I think Garett Bischoff returns for revenge to cost Gunner the match.
Winner: Rob Van Dam

JAMES ALSOP: RVD will be back with WWE in time for a Wrestlemania payday. Perhaps even (but probably not) a spot in the Royal Rumble?
Winner: Gunner.

Kelly Floyd: I’ve run out of jokes. So, for this number, I’ll just tap dance until it’s over.
Winner: RVD

CB: RVD has mailed it in worse than the U.S. Postal Service’s fight against bankruptcy. Besides, URGH, ROAR, UP AND COMER GUNNER is all the rage in the Impact Wrestling world.
Winner: Gunner

Closing Statements

M.C. Brown: Hardy seems to be a focal point of these Genesis PPV’s but I don’t think his Road to Recovery is going to end with a Championship this quickly, regardless if it’s rewarding a man who still gets some of the biggest cheers in TNA. Keep Hardy in the chase especially since he still has a lot to prove. And hopefully they don’t overbook the match. I know Roode isn’t going to win clean, but that still doesn’t mean a million shenanigans should occur. With Bully Ray having Roode’s back, perhaps that’ll mean a Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy singles feud after Genesis. The other matches all have some serious potential that has me excited to see what goes down. Hopefully 2012 continues to raise the bar for TNA in terms of Impact and PPV quality matches. The show has been improving and that really should inspire the wrestlers to really up their game for these PPV’s to start getting the wrestling world talking and make them must see.

JAMES ALSOP: This will be a fun PPV, even with one or two duffers on the card. The crowd will be hot for Storm, Angle, Hardy and Roode, and moderately enjoy everything else. In the grand scheme of things, though, this ppv is the definition of “placeholder.” The most noteworthy thing about it is Jeff Hardy’s inexplicable return to the main event. Here’s hoping that TNA don’t come to regret this in six months’ time.

Kelly Floyd: In all seriousness, this PPV does sound interesting. I wish they would show it at the local bar I go to that shows WWE’s. But, as you can all see, I’m so behind on TNA’s angles and feuds that I would just be lost. Hope you all enjoyed my picks. And I promise, I really do know a thing or two about wrestling. These picks are not examples of what goes through my head when I write. Honest!

CB: Genesis actually doesn’t seem so bad for a wrestling show, it’s just I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay to see it. However, to be fair, WWE only got me to buy three PPVs last year: the Royal Rumble (OK), WrestleMania (UNEVEN if not AWFUL), and Money In The Bank (EXCELLENT). I think that Jeff Hardy will win tonight, and that will be very interesting because if Hardy really isn’t recovered and he falls off the wagon again, he could take TNA all the way down with him. Gail Kim and Mickie James have revitalized the Knockouts a little bit for me, too. Not that they are anywhere near the level that Gail and Kong were a few years back, but it’s light years better than Karen Angle running the show doing a horrible Vickie Guerrero impression while Madison Rayne shrieks and Winter and Angelina Love make out while hopped up on vials of each other’s blood. Overall, Genesis will be a decent show, but with the Rumble also slated for the end of this month, it’s simply bad timing to get people to open their wallets to tune in.

]]> 15