Inside Pulse Wrestling » awesome truth Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:37:08 +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 » awesome truth No Chance – A Series of Unrelated Thoughts (Featuring Daniel Bryan, R-Truth, and Mark Henry) Mon, 16 Jan 2012 12:00:24 +0000 At the end of every column I have a thought or comment that is unrelated to the rest of the column. It’s usually something that is a smaller concern, and while it’s not worth dedicating an entire week to, it’s something that I still want to get off my chest. As it would be expected, topics for these smaller, unrelated thoughts tend to build up a lot faster than those for full-blown columns. So that I get through them before they start to get out of date, I occasionally dump a whole load of them into a single article. So what follows is a series of unrelated thoughts.

Everybody is glad that The Rock came back last year. I am, and I assume you are. But there was another wrestler who returned to WWE last year that I was probably just as excited about but for some reason, WWE has barely used the newly returned Mick Foley. Now I know that the man has had other engagements (ones he committed to before returning to the WWE) and maybe as those come to an end this concern will turn out to be all for naught. But for now I have concern. I remember last year a certain Kevin Nash returning to the WWE in January as Diesel only to disappear for eight months before finally getting a feud that was plagued by bad storytelling, poor wrestling and ended with a whimper a by the end of the year with a botched pedigree. I don’t want this to happen to Foley; so WWE, I hope you have something great in store for the guy.

Due to my Friday schedule, I usually start watching Smackdown around the sixth or seventh minute into the show. This isn’t a big deal as usually the only thing I miss is a recap of the previous week or possibly the entrance theme of the first wrestler of the night. However this week I happened to tune in early enough to see the entire show including the theme song. And I couldn’t help but notice that when the phrase “Blinded by the Light.” Is sung the graphic on the screen is a pearly white Sheamus grinning stupidly at the camera. He gets the joke.

Speaking of Sheamus, that man cannot seem to keep a good feud going. It seems that for the past several months now he has been floating from one half formed feud to another changing rivals at least once a month. And what’s more none of these feuds seem to be based on anything more substantial that somebody backstage saying “Sheamus need a feud.” Right now he’s in the middle of another “just cause” rivalry with Jinder Mahal but already it’s looking like Wade Barrett is already waiting in the wings because we all know that this feud won’t last. Hopefully with Orton currently out, Sheamus will actually get an opportunity to step up and have a real extended feud develop.

I have to say that my biggest disappointment of the year 2011 was WWE ending the partnership that was The Awesome Truth. I know that R-Truth had to sit some time out for his violation but so did Evan Bourne and look at Air Boom still going strong. Surly you didn’t have to break up your most entertaining duo over this. Why not have someone else take out R-Truth and then Miz could feud with them for a month before R-Truth returns and they can reunite their tag team. The biggest problem with all of this is that it looks like R-Truth is a face again. Yes he’s still crazy R-Truth but crazy R-Truth works so much better as a heel than a face. Every week, the crowd yells “What!” at him with all their might but to no avail. Now Truth simply welcomes it and is friends with Little Jimmy. I long for the days of a heel R-Truth.

Is Daniel Bryan a heel yet? He sure got a solid round of boos from the audience on Smackdown last week. But even though he’s starting to show heel tendencies, he still seems to mostly have the characteristics of a face. He claims he’s a fighting champion, something no heel seems to want to be. He offered a handshake of sportsmanship at the beginning of his match on Smackdown and it was Big Show who took advantage of that. I do think Bryan is on his way to becoming a full-blown heel, but he’s taking the scenic route to get there. I don’t think he’s killed the younglings quite yet. (That was a Star Wars reference)

Has anybody given a much thought to what might happen with the Rock after WrestleMania? I doubt anybody out there is expecting anything close to a full time return for the Rock, but I would like to think that his promises to “never leave us again” as well as his inclusion in the Raw theme song video might mean that he’ll still come back for a few weeks every now and then to have a little mini story. But after a WrestleMania match with John Cena what could possibly be a big enough deal for the Rock to come back? My guess is that after April 1st (or maybe the Monday after that) the next time we see Rock in the ring will be right about the time that he has a new movie to promote.

Because Mark Henry’s “Hall of Pain” character is probably the best thing of his entire career I’m glad to see that WWE looks to be doing there best to keep him relevant during his injury. They keep him around the World Title storyline so we can assume that as soon as he’s able Mark Henry’s going after the title again. But who’s he going against. If Daniel Bryan keeps the belt then he’s going to have to face another giant character as soon as he gets through the big show. I’m not sure that we need to see another “Tiny Daniel Bryan Fights a Giant” feud so soon after this one. But if Big Show wins, that means we get another Big Show vs. Mark Henry feud and I know we don’t need another one of those this soon after the last one.×120.jpg

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No Chance – Survivor Series gives us a new champ and Rock’s return Mon, 21 Nov 2011 21:00:59 +0000 Survivor Series. It’s supposed to be a big deal. It’s one of the big four PPVs of the year. It’s the 25th anniversary of this event. The Rock is going to get back in the ring. Yes, everything is set up for this to feel like a big time, big deal, event. So was it?

The first match of the night was one for the United States Champion. A match that was originally supposed to go to Zack Ryder, John Morrison was given the title opportunity at the last minute causing us all to question the past three months of Morrison’s career. After all wasn’t his contract as good as expired? What was he doing, getting a PPV match? Not too much it turns out because even though he gave a solid match with Ziggler, he didn’t manage to grab the title. I don’t know what storyline the company has for Morrison, or if he even does have that future with WWE, but getting a change to have an impressive title match might mean something. Of course, the whole match was set to the soundtrack of “we want Ryder” from the audience, a request that was filled at the end of the match when Ryder go to run down to the ring and attack Ziggler in his moment of victory.

The night’s bathroom break came early as the second match of the night. As has become something of “the usual” for Diva matches, Beth Phoenix looked to do everything that she could to carry the match. Beth usually has the ability to bring out the best in her opponent. After all, Kelly Squared’s greatest performances were all against Beth. However, Eve seemed to give her usual level performance in this lumber Jill match that barely used the outside the ring divas. Though to be fair, the match was able to come back a bit at the end. Beth slamming Eve off the ropes was one of the most impressive spots in any recent Diva matches. And we are two for two of titles retained so far tonight.

It’s promo time where CM Punk gets to yell at Otunga and make fun of his bow tie. It seems that Johnny Ace wants Punk to apologize to Michael Cole for his actions on Monday Night Raw. Well we all know that surely Punk will do this. After all being prone to offering apologies has always been a big part of his character right? We then get a promo from The Rock. And quite a promo it was, including The Rock reminding everybody of this outfit, a slip where he said WWF, a listing of The Rock’s many, many catchphrases, a moment where The Rock got thousands of people to chant “lady parts,” and some singing from The Great One.

The next match was the traditional Survivor Series match, an elimination Tag team match. Now this is one of my favorite types of match but without any story it’s harder to get involved in this match. The buildup for this match was little more than, we need to have a tag team elimination match. After all, it is Survivor Series. That being said, its impressive that WWE was willing to let team heel beat team face when there’s no story here. A few points about the match:

  1. This is the second PPV in a row where Ziggler is in two matches. But this time around, Ziggler’s second match didn’t do very much for him as he was eliminated just a few minutes into the match. I guess they can say that Ziggler was too worn out from his title match to be any real threat for Randy Orton but I would have liked to see more Ziggler in ring action as he is my current favorite in the “up and coming” category.
  2. Oh what is this? Everybody storming the ring? How did this happen? What an unexpected thing to have happen in a match such as this. (This is the time where there is a great need for a sarcasm font)
  3. If anybody came out of this match looking good, it was Wade Barrett. After a year of fighting with Cena in the main event, Barrett has been stuck in mid card territory on Smackdown with the failed Corre experiment and his single matches. Will impressive actions at Survivor Series, plus getting to deliver the final move to win the match be enough to give Barrett an extended storyline? We will find out.

We move into main event territory with the World Champion, which, as expected, was the slowest paced match of the night. When you have two giants in the ring, there’s only so much you can do and nothing is going to look more impressive than breaking the ring, something that these two already did last month. This time around, they went through the crowd barrier, which, no surprise, was much less impressive than a collapsed ring. The match ended with a low blow disqualification from Mark Henry making Big Show the first face of the night to win, but still without any belts changing hands. But during the match something happened, something unexpected and truly amazing. As I watched this match I heard something that I never again expected to hear during a WWE match. All three commentators were talking about the match. Not talking about how much they hated each other, not calling each other names, talking about the action happening in the ring as we watched it. Sure it wasn’t the best commentary that I’ve heard, not by a long shot, but it was a reminder of how commentating used to sound. Maybe this means we could be inching back to commentators just commentating, and we can slowly forget that Michael Cole ever got in the ring.

We next get what is far and away the greatest singles match of the night, and arguably the best match of all of Survivor Series. Two guys with a boatload of in ring talent between the two of them with the biggest title in the company on the line. Add to this how invested the company and audiences have gotten invested in Punk over the past several months. I’m not the biggest fan of the rematch clause. Too often it opens a door where we end up getting the same match again and again for a span of several months until the feud has been run way into the ground. But if these two can put out another match like this one, I hope that Alberto’s rematch isn’t forgotten in that black hole of dropped storylines that WWE seems to have.

Then it was finally time. The Rock was back in ring action. He was teaming up with Cena. This was the match that had been hyped and with good reason. Unquestionably, the Rock’s return to the ring was going to be the big deal of the night, so it was a good thing that Rock was first in the ring from his team. And without missing a beat, The Rock starts the match off like his last match was yesterday instead of seven years ago. Rock takes out both opponents showing pretty much zero ring rust with the crowd giving a “you still got it” chat of approval. Of course Cena did most of the in ring action for the night, and while it was probably Cena’s best match since SummerSlam or even MiTB, It was frustrating to see Rock standing on the apron the whole time not getting involved. But then we get a bit more Rock action at the end, just in time for a people’s elbow to Miz for a win. But that’s not the real story is it? No we have to have some angry looks and non-mic words between Rock and Cena to close out the show, though Rock does stay behind to thank the fans and strike one last pose for us.

And we’ll close with a few more unrelated thoughts about Survivor Series.

-I loved the giant banners of the wresters on the side of the jumbo-tron that changed from match to match, my favorite entrance setup in a long time.

-Even with The Rock getting mic time, R-Truth ranting about pigeons may have been the most entertaining promo of the night.

-Thanks, Howard Finkel for another giant blast of nostalgia for the night.

-I’m constantly impressed by the video packages that WWE is able to put together to hype wresters or big matches. Even after complaining for a month that Awesome Truth hasn’t looked at all threatening to Cena and the Rock, the video before their match made them look great.

-Boy New York crowds sure do love to start chants. I lost count around the “Daniel Bryan” chant during the heavyweight championship match and that was with almost half the show to go.

-One more time, this is what The Rock looked like fifteen years ago almost to the day. Same Event, same location.×120.jpg

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Mike Gojira’s 10 Thoughts on WWE Survivor Series 2011 Mon, 21 Nov 2011 19:50:32 +0000 It is now one o’clock in the morning as I type this, following an extraordinary weekend that began with an awesome night out for my birthday bash (Glazer knows what I’m talking about) and ended with seeing The Rock live at MSG for the first time in over 7 years. I am physically and mentally exhausted, but because you guys clamor for me so much, I will gladly provide you with some commentary I jotted down on my phone as the night progressed.

1. Dark Match: Santino Marella vs Jinder Mahal
*My Indian friend in front of me lamented the fact that his fellow Indians are treated like jobbers in the WWE. He was unaware of Santino’s finisher as I warned him that the humiliation would only get worse. True to form, the Cobra came out to play and my friend had a priceless expression of horror and disbelief on his face that I’ll never forget.

2. John Laurinaitis Addresses the Crowd
*We couldn’t understand Laurinaitis when he came out for two honest reasons: we were booing too loudly and his voice is just impossible to hear unless there’s complete silence.

3. United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison
*The New York crowd absolutely adores heels, and this certainly rang true when Dolph came out.
*We collectively booed the hell out of Morrison every time he had some offense.
*”We want Ryder!” was the most prominent chant all night.
*When Ryder came out after the match, the crowd went ballistic.

4. Lumberjill Match: Beth Phoenix vs Eve
*Mass exodus to the bathrooms.
*One of my buddies commented on the Divas’ Championship: “It’s still there?” Priceless.
*Even the cameraman in my section packed up shop when the Divas came out.
*The Glam Slam off the top rope was awesome.

5. Rock’s Promo
*When The Rock name-dropped the Tag Team Championship his father once held as the “WWF” titles, the whole crowd went “Ooooooh” as though he said something that was taboo.
*The crowd chanted “Lady Parts” which made Rock grin from ear to ear.

6. Elimination Tag Team Match
*Cody Rhodes had the biggest pop out of all the heels on his team.
*I tried to start a “BatisTwo” chant for Mason Ryan but it just turned into “Batista.”
*Sign idea for next time: “Hey Orton! I’ve got a bag you can shit in.”
*That Sin Cara failure was brutal. Apparently you can lose not only from pinfall, submission, count out, or disqualification, but from botching as well.
*I guess this means we’ll have a third Sin Cara soon enough.
*Can someone explain to Sin Cara that the term “suicide dive” should not be taken literally?
*There was an odd chant for referee Mike Chioda during the match.
*The crowd loved it when Rhodes defeated the Green Monster…otherwise known as Mason Ryan.
*I jokingly teased some kids on the train ride into Penn Station that Team Barrett would win. Guess I was right.

7. World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry vs Big Show

*Blair, say what you want about Mark Henry, but the crowd LOVED him at MSG.
*The following were all chanted at some point during this match: Mae Young, Sexual Chocolate, D’Lo Brown, Ahmed Johnson, Daniel Bryan, and even Undertaker.
*I honestly thought Big Show was about to kill himself with that top rope elbow drop.
*The low blow DQ finish did not sit well with us.

8. Awesome Truth Promo
*R-Truth struck gold with his rant on pigeons. He’s hysterical.

9. WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio vs CM Punk
*Great move with Howard Finkel as Punk’s personal ring announcer.
*The crowd sings along with “Cult of Personality.”
*Colt Cabana’s name is chanted.
*The crowd was super-hyped for the finish, especially the crowd surfing.

10. Main Event
*I have never in all my years heard a wrestler get booed quite like John Cena. Most heels do everything in their power to get booed and can’t hold a candle to the raw hatred the fans have for Super Cena. It’s unreal.
*Crowd chants “Don’t Tag Cena!” when Rock is the legal man…then they say “We Want Rocky!” when Cena’s in.
*The Spinebuster made everyone stand up in anticipation for what was to come.

Bonus: The Rock’s Post-PPV Promo
*After the cameras stopped rolling, Rock asked for some water. The crowd started a “Get Him Water” chant! Someone finally gave him water, but he gave it back and said it was too warm.
*The crowd is split between chanting “Welcome Back” and “You Still Got It.” Rock says, “Shit, I always had it.”
*The crowd chants for Ryder again and Rock says he’s a big fan of Zack Ryder.
*As Rock thanks the fans, someone yells out that he’s gonna cry. This prompts The Rock to say, “I’m The Rock; I don’t cry. I was about to thank the crowd and this guy here says I was gonna start crying. Clearly there’s some good weed in NYC!”
*Rock says the only reason he came back was to entertain us. And the money is quite good.
*The promo ends with Rock saying that tonight was the greatest night of his career.

Overall, it was a great experience. Well worth the money I spent (I was seated level with the ring, facing the entrance ramp). I’ll catch you guys later in the week with a Thanksgiving edition of The Stomping Ground.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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WWE Survivor Series 2011 Results…Simulated By WWE ’12` Sun, 20 Nov 2011 21:05:36 +0000 Here are the results of Survivor Series, simulated by the brand new WWE ’12!

Here are your results.

Beth Phoenix (with Natayla) beat Eve (with kelly kelly) via the glam slam (No lumberjack option)

Dolph Ziggler beat John Morrison with the sleeper

Randy Orton, Sin Cara and Sheamus beat Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes and Jack Swagger in a six man elim match

1. Orton pinned Swagger after a punt to the head.
2. Wade Barrett eliminated Orton with Wasteland
3. Sin Cara eliminated Cody Rhodes by DQ after a sledgehammer shot
4. Wade Barett pinned Sin Cara after a chop block
5. Sheamus pinned Wade Barrett after a Razor’s Edge
Sole Survivor: Sheamus

CM Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio with the Anaconda Vise to become WWE Champion

Big Show beat Mark Henry by countout. Henry retains World Heavyweight title

John Cena and Brock Lesnar (Rock is only available as a pre-order and they didn’t give me a code with my review copy) beat R-Truth and Miz via an F-5 to Miz.

Of course, these are not the real results, for those keep it with Inside Pulse Wrestling for live play-by-play coverage!

Big thank you to Alex Lucard of Die Hard Gamefan for use of his review copy to simulate tonight’s PPV event!×120.jpg

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Suspension of Disbelief: Dastardly Heels and the Marks Who Heart Them (Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio) Fri, 11 Nov 2011 17:00:34 +0000 Before I get started…

So, thanks to some shenanigans, be they thievery or just a forgetful Papa, I can’t find the adapter to my laptop. Therefore, I’m typing this column in an e-mail and relying on my Brother From Another Mother, Aaron “Giddy Up” Glazer to post this. Hopefully we’ll be able to find an adapter type residual for my lappy soon because autocorrect is sure to wreak havoc at least twice during the writing of this column.

(also, officially, just for the record, I haven’t ruled out Gremlins or Future-Me-In-A-Bill-And-Ted-Scenario as the culprits in the Missing Lappy Cord Caper)

Anyhoo, thanks for all of the positive feedback on last week’s column. I had fun writing, I had fun reading, and I’m giddy to be back here at Pulse Wrestling.

I had a good day at work, a good week overall, and while I’m letting my stomach settle after eating something from Taco Bell that had a bunch of steak and zero nutritional value, I’m gonna focus on rasslin’ today.

(also, autocorrect just tried to turn “rasslin'” into “tweakin’,” but I caught it. you’re welcome.)

Suspension of Disbelief begins… Now!

As I watched this past Monday’s Raw, filmed before a live studio audience in a town called Liverpool, famous for being the home of a rock band called The Oneders, I took particular joy in the performances of the heels on the show. It got me to thinking about how much fun it is to root for the bad guys nowadays, and even the ones in the past.

My favorite heel today is probably Dolph Ziggler. He loves the heck out of being a heel. He’s not a chickenshit or a cool heel, he’s just a flat out dick, like Paul Walker’s character from, “She’s All That,” which, yes, would make Zack Ryder Freddie Prinze Jr.’s character. He’s a jerk and he’s cocky and he walks around calling himself the best and a show stealer and it’s great because, well, he is.

Also of note is the current WWE Champion, Alberto Del Rio (or as my buddy James calls him, “Alejandro Del Taco.” Don’t worry, James is half puerto rican so it isn’t racist.

Alberto is your classic arrogant, cheating, short-cut taking heel. He reminds me a lot of “The Model” Rick Martell, only instead of a giant sprayer of Arrogance cologne, he’s got an Uncle Fester lookin’ ass ring announcer with an alliterative last name. I love Del Rio’s mean streak, his meaner-than-most-in-WWE promos (the best insults coming en español), and how devastating his cross arm breaker submission hold looks.

Of course, WWE doesn’t have a monopoly on good heelery. TNA might have more “shades of grey” than the first twenty minutes of Pleasantville, but their bad guys are stellarly bad.

Right off the bat you have your typical trendy douchebag heel Robbie E. This dude cracks me up. Sure, his is a pop culture gimmick that will be dated this time next year, but his obliviousness and sense of entitlement are highly entertaining.

Also on TNA’s roster is Bully Ray. Some of his act falls in the “Tries Too Hard” category, but he also does a lot of classic heel stuff that the bad guys from the “WWF Wrestling Challenge” days did. He thinks he’s the best, he talks smack about his former tag team partner, That Piece Of Crap Devon, he relishes sneak attacks, and he’s even got his trusty wallet chain that he uses to gain an advantage.

There are other notable heels in both companies:

The Awesome Truth (so much fun to watch), Jack Swagger (“How ’bout a ham sandwich, Wocka Wocka?” is mean and hilarious. He’s cutting a promo on Kermit The Frog and insults his best friend and his girlfriend in one statement. Kudos, Mr. Swagger.), Mark Henry (gigantic, mean, unstoppable, and his off the cuff banter with the crowd is ten times better than his in-ring speeches), Christopher Daniels (your classic whiny, “what about me?”, jealous of his more beloved and/or more successful friend heel), Mexican America (completely racist, but the fact that they’re cashing a check thanks to xenophobia is amusing), and Jeff Jarrett (smug, cowardly, and makes us put up with his annoying wife) all make for bad guys you can’t wait to see, and then can’t wait to see get beaten up.

Call Reynolds, cuz it’s a wrap.

Alright folks, that’s it for today. If you have any heels from today or from your youth, feel free to leave them below in the comments section.

You can also leave your picks for cinematic or television bad guys too–villains you love to hate it villains you kind of agree with.

(for me, it would be Gaston from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. He was a complete and total narcissistic jerk, and he succeeded in personally killing The Beast, who was only saved by the cartoon love of my life, Belle. He’s the only Disney villain to pull off killing a star of the movie, and don’t you dare say Scar killed Mufasa because he had wildebeasts do his dirty work!)

Anyway. Comments below, and if you want to get to know the man behind the Mundo, you can follow me on Twitter: @ElKatook

Thanks for checking in!

This has been Suspension of Disbelief

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The Stomping Ground: Fantasy Booking (And Why I Suck At It) Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:02:20 +0000 Here’s what Shad Gaspard had to say about me in a recent interview:

“Mike is Mike…you know? Mike, you know what I mean, that’s just the short end of the answer. Mike Gojira is Mike Gojira. And he’s not going to stop being Mike Gojira today, he’s not going to stop being Mike Gojira tomorrow. You know, Gojira is Gojira. And Gojira is the best Gojira he can be, you know what I’m saying? Whether that’s good for your business or my business, or anybody else’s, that’s something, that’s something you’ll see in the future. But you know Mike is Mike, some people hate him, some people like him, you know. Me? I accept everybody for who they are. You know, so…”

Uh, thank you?

Nah, just kidding. He didn’t really say that about me…but that really should become a new Internet meme based on the sheer ridiculousness of his “non-comment.”

Anywho….welcome back to the latest edition of The Stomping Ground! Last week there was a big ol’ dispute between Pulse Glazer and Blair A. Douglas concerning Sheamus’s current position in the WWE which quickly devolved into name-calling from both camps. I’m not recapping it all; search through last week’s news posts for the war of words. Suffice it to say, during the brawl CB invited both teams to take part in a Survivor Series challenge/questionnaire but that whole idea fell apart.

One question did stand out in my mind: How would you book the WWE from Survivor Series through Wrestlemania?

That’s a tough call to make. We all have great ideas about who should hold what title, and who should be feuding with whom, but in all honesty it takes a lot of work and it’s not something to be taken lightly.

What better place to throw my shit upon the wall and see what sticks than here at my Stomping Ground?

A word of caution: you will probably NOT enjoy my booking decisions and won’t give two shits about what I think. You should probably quit reading this now.


I’m gonna start now.

Last chance.

Your funeral.

Post-Survivor Series through Royal Rumble
1. WWE Championship
With CM Punk currently chasing del Rio for the gold, it’s important to establish Punk as the savior of the people and del Rio as the smarmy, obnoxious, calculating heel. I think the only way for us to proceed with this is to have del Rio beat Punk at Survivor Series and TLC via shenanigans. Johnny Ace obviously does not want Punk to represent the company and will do anything to stop him. He has an army of heels at his disposal and I can definitely see him using sleazy tactics to keep the belt on Alberto for as long as he can. Besides, the chase for the title is what brings in the most interest, so Punk needs to chase for as long as possible. This further establishes del Rio as a powerful heel with powerful allies, and along the way he can beat other challengers clean to keep his heat. When the Rumble comes around, Punk will go the distance and win a title shot at Wrestlemania.

2. World Heavyweight Championship
What bothers me about Mark Henry’s current run is not that he’s the champ; it’s that his challengers lack credibility. The only over faces on the Blue Show are Randy Orton, Sheamus, and to a lesser extent Big Show and Daniel Bryan. DB has been treated like garbage since Summerslam and Big Show is no fun to watch in the ring. Sheamus is STILL in a feud with Christian (damn holding pattern!) and Orton lost to Mark twice already. I would venture to guess that Show takes the title from Mark at Survivor Series (a “thank you” gesture) but lose it back to him at TLC in a gimmick match. They can then feud until the Royal Rumble. What would make things more interesting would be the return of Kane, eager for revenge on Henry. He can get involved in the title scene and make it a Triple Threat for the Royal Rumble, which Henry should come out of as the victor.

Post-Royal Rumble through Wrestlemania
1. WWE Championship
Through the machinations of Johnny Ace, CM Punk should lose his title shot and have to earn it again at Elimination Chamber against The Miz, R-Truth, Kevin Nash, Triple H, and Zack Ryder (as the guy who doesn’t stand a chance). Punk can win the Chamber and then head to Wrestlemania, with the deck stacked against him, and win the WWE Championship to begin a new era in the WWE.

2. World Heavyweight Championship
The Smackdown Elimination Chamber will be for the World Heavyweight Championship, and will involve Mark Henry, Big Show, Kane, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, and Christian. Henry should eke out a victory to continue his dominance…but all the while Daniel Bryan has been improving since his battle with Mark in November. He finds the courage to challenge Henry just as he planned at Wrestlemania and in the most amazing underdog match ever, DB fells the behemoth to become World Heavyweight Champion.

Other Storylines Leading to Wrestlemania
Focusing on the midcard is tough when it comes to all the possibilities that can happen between now and April, so I’ve condensed this to my fantasy match-ups for Wrestlemania XXVIII.

1. Randy Orton vs Undertaker
Short of Jericho returning to challenge Taker, or Sting jumping ship between now and then, this is the only match I can think of that deserves to be Taker’s swan song. The last time Orton fought Taker at Mania, he was not at the top of his game. Now that the crowd is behind him AND he’s built to be more dangerous than ever, there’s no reason why the Viper should be overlooked as the guy that could end the streak. He won’t end it, of course; but the “What If?” factor is certainly there.

2. Sheamus and Triple H vs Wade Barrett and Kevin Nash
Sheamus is at an odd position at this point. He’s been built to be Face # 2 on Smackdown, but Daniel Bryan has the spotlight on him as Mr. Money in the Bank. Had DB not announced he’d cash in at Mania, I’d definitely see Sheamus in the title picture. Since that’s not the case, I envision some sort of team-up between Sheamus and Triple H against Barrett and Nash at the behest of Johnny Ace.

3. Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes vs Justin Gabriel
Keep the belt on Cody for the foreseeable future and build up Gabriel in the midcard. When the time is right, he’ll take the gold from Rhodes and look like a million bucks in the process.

4. Money in the Bank:
Christian vs Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder vs Big Show vs Kane vs Sin Cara vs John Morrison

Put Money in the Bank back on the biggest show of the year and give Ziggler the win.

5. Tag Team Championship: Air Boom vs Awesome Truth
Awesome Truth should dominate the tag scene after their inevitable loss to Rock/Cena in a couple of weeks. Air Boom can then chase them until Mania for the big payoff where they win the gold back.

6. Divas’ Championship: AJ Lee vs Beth Phoenix
AJ can win the title from Beth in a huge upset and then declare her love for me. Kelly Floyd will get in the ring and celebrate with her.

7. John Cena vs The Rock
I guess if there’s room on the card they can throw this match on here. I don’t see how anybody would think this would be a draw.

And there you have it. My Road to Wrestlemania is complete, and there’s nine matches on the card for the Showcase of the Immortals.

Rhett Davis’s Fave Five

This is the part where I remind people that I’m looking for your FAVE Five, and you send me a list. Leave it to Rhett Davis to send me a list that involves his “Worst Five.” Sigh. This is what you get when you ask for quality from a college freshman.

Welcome to The O’Really Report aspect of this dreary column. Gojira practically begged me to do a Fave Five for him so here ya go! Throughout the years, we’ve had some crazy PPV names, but what’s the epitome of horrible? What just made you roll your eyes when you heard it? Well let’s see… what’s the Fave Five… WORST WWE/F PPV names.

5- In Your House- Yes there are many different titles scattered throughout this series that are cringe-worthy, but they all were ‘In Your House’ so I just included them here.

4- Hell In A Cell- Honestly you could have entered Money In The Bank, TLC, Elimination Chamber, Fatal-4-Way, or Extreme Rules here. All of those PPVs are horribly named just for the mere fact that they are so blunt. For instance, they replaced One Night Stand with Extreme Rules which was a less unique PPV name with the exact same consequences for the match styles. Elimination Chamber replaced No Way Out which is a much more menacing title than the blunt Elimination Chamber. Etc, etc. The names role on, but the worst among these bluntly named PPVs to me is Hell in a Cell. With HIAC, they could’ve kept SO MANY of the already existing or previously used titles. No Mercy, Unforgiven, and No Way Out are perfect examples of PPV names that aren’t so cookie-cutter that would fit the theme just perfectly.

3- Over the Limit- C’mon… Over the Limit? What’s that even supposed to mean? The wrestlers are so quick through their matches that they are exceeding some kind of speed limit? The Star-Power exceeds the limit of being able to fit on one card? Or how about the price is far too great for the quality of the title and the show? Over the Limit is a really illogical name and really makes you wonder how this PPV replaced Judgement Day.

2- Capitol Punishment- As for the number 1 & 2 worst named PPVs, the award goes to Capitol Punishment and Taboo Tuesday. The choice as to which is worse is up to you. Taboo Tuesday is a worse PPV/concept to me, but, before we get there, let’s discuss why Capitol Punishment is worse. First off, this PPV replaced Fatal-4-Way so maybe the creativity at this point in the summer is just out the window, but the main apeal to this PPv was that it was in Washington D.C. and all the political figures were invited. Who did we get? I believe all that turned out was an Obama impersonator… so yeah. Next year will we have Battle on the Bayou with a Drew Brees impersonator?

1- Taboo Tuesday- The fact that it was on Tuesday by itself makes it a terrible concept for the show. Later it was turned into Cyber Sunday with the same ‘unbiased’ voting scheme. The main problem with this PPV is that it hyped its self up very nicely and then backfired. Hmmm… do I want to see Batista vs The Coach in a Street Fight, a Verbal Debate, or an Arm Wrestling Match? The choices were terrible and really the PPV suffered from the lack of creativity. Give me a choice of a Steel Cage/Last Man Standing/Best of 3 Falls or anything that really seems like a difficult choice. The epitome of it was when the vote was proved to be ‘broken’ on the special edition of Raw when Sin Cara didn’t win the vote to challenge Evan Bourne and they recompensed it the following week. So that makes you wonder… was it rigged? Well of course it was. But why do a PPV where the voting is based off the audience… and it’s rigged? Seems to me, it would just be an easy way to anger some more wrestling fans.

Thanks for that lovely list, Rhett. Perhaps one day you’ll grow a set and write your columns again so I can use you as a measuring stick for how NOT to write professionally.

Once again I’ll be back for the Smackdown Report this week. Check out last week’s report as well as Kelly Floyd’s Top Ten Thoughts on the same show. You’ll love ‘em both!

We’ve also got the latest Interinactivity and Morning Backlash if you’re interested.

That’s all from me. See you this weekend for another Not-So-Live Smackdown Report.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.07.11 Tue, 08 Nov 2011 06:00:45 +0000 The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 11.06.11

Live (on tape) from Liverpool, England.

Your hosts are Michael Cole& Jerry Lawler

John Cena (with an epic heel reaction from the crowd) comes out for the opening promo and lets us know that Rock can’t make it tonight, but he’ll of course be at Survivor Series to team up with him.  This brings out Awesome Truth.  It’s a tag match tonight, with Cena & Zack Ryder against Miz & Truth, and the heels are pretty upset about a lot of stuff.  They go to take it out on Cena, but Ryder makes the save and goes Woo Woo Woo.  Good enough.

Dolph Ziggler v. John Morrison

Good thing PPVs are only two weeks apart, because otherwise Ziggler would probably never defend the US title.  The announcers play up the huge losing streak that Morrison is on, and that’s always a great way to get someone over.  Why not book him to catch herpes and listen to Rebecca Black on his Zune while they’re at it?  They trade holds on the mat to start and Morrison flapjacks Ziggler for two.  Ziggler takes him down and drops an elbow for two, while the announcers now start talking about how Zack Ryder’s petition for a title shot is the biggest social media petition in history or some nonsense.  Jesus, not everything has to be the BIGGEST OF ALL TIME.  We take a break and return with Ziggler working on the arm.  Standing dropkick gets two.  Morrison comes back and hammers away in the corner, but Ziggler pounds him back down for two.  We get some resting and Morrison gets a rollup for two, and now the crowd is actually cheering for Ziggler.  Morrison catapults him into the corner and makes the comeback, and a hurricane DDT gets two.  Starship Pain misses and Ziggler gets a sunset flip for two.  Rollup gets two, and the fameasser gets two.  At least Cole didn’t call that the Zig Zag.  Morrison blocks the Zig Zag and hits the flash kick, but the ref is distracted by Vickie, allowing Ziggler to get a rollup for two, but Morrison reverses to a crucifix for the pin at 11:28.  So now Ziggler’s the one on the losing streak.  RAW is filled with losers, apparently.  Good match, apart from the slow spots, but of course they wrestled a million times on Smackdown so it should be.  ***1/4

Mason Ryan v. JTG

I don’t know what the T stands for, but J and G stand for “Job guy” now.  Ryan overpowers JTG and destroys him with a clothesline, then works him over with a backbreaker.  JTG tries a sad comeback, but Ryan boots him down and finishes with Uncle Slam at 2:18.  Had this been 30 seconds it would have been an awesome squash, but Ryan somehow managed to get worse as the match went on.  DUD

Alberto Del Rio v. Kofi Kingston

Kofi tosses ADR to start, but misses a dive and gets beaten down.  Back in, Del Rio works the arm, but Kofi gets a high cross for two.  He misses the wacky kick and ADR sends him into the post, and finishes with the armbreaker at 2:00.  Eh, Kofi’s in a holding pattern for 30 days anyway, so might as well squash him.  *  CM Punk prevents any further beatdown, and we get a promo from them.  Del Rio argues that he was coerced into agreeing to the title match, but apparently Johnny Ace has given Punk the opportunity to be the bigger man and cancel the match.  Punk has now changed his tune, by the way, using the “You beat me at Summerslam when I was already injured” argument now after weeks of saying he didn’t hold that against Del Rio.  He promises to make the WWE championship interesting again and halt weeks of people fast-forwarding on the DVR when ADR appears.  Hopefully he starts by getting a new belt.  They tussle and Punk reverses the armbreaker into the Anaconda Vice, and then he kicks Ricardo’s ass for the millionth time too.  Punk’s got no chance, but they did a better job of making the title match seem important here than they have as of late.

The Muppets reflect on RAW last week and plug their movie.

Jack Swagger v. Santino

I sense some 50/50 booking coming.  Swagger takes him down and works him over on the mat, despite the threat of the cobra, and powerslams him out of the corner for two.  Backdrop suplex and Swagger chokes him out on the ropes, but he misses a legdrop while Cole won’t shut the fuck up about Jim Ross.  He sends Santino into the post and finishes with the anklelock at 3:00.  Total squash.  ½*

Kelly Kelly comes out to reveal her Maxim cover, but the DIVAS OF DOOM interrupt because this feud can never, ever, end.  They’re now back to the “Kelly is a Barbie doll” thing that they forgot about months ago.  Sadly, the bullying is stopped by Eve and Alicia.

Kevin Nash returns, relating the story of how he first met HHH in 1995, and he bitches about HHH not calling him back after Royal Rumble and then offending him by giving him a Legends contract instead of real money.  So now he’s taking matters into his own hands by booking his own main event program instead of depending on his friend to bring him back.  THANK YOU, finally an explanation as to what he was doing there the whole time.

Meanwhile, Johnny Ace and Bowtunga brush off the Brodus Clay debut that was supposed to happen this week and was advertised as happening, and Bowtunga mouths off at CM Punk in between sips of coffee.  This leads to a brawl between Punk and ADR, and as usual it’s the craft services table that suffers.  So for those keeping track, that’s two advertised matches that are not happening this week.  I know that JR not being able to catch a flight is hardly their fault, but it just reeks of disorganization when you announce something one week and then glibly mention it’s not happening the next.

The Miz & R-Truth v. John Cena & Zack Ryder

Cena chases off the heels and the fans want Ryder, so he comes in against Truth.  Flapjack and he tosses Truth, and we take a break.  Back with Ryder hitting a Buff blockbuster for two.  The faces double-team Miz, but Cena gets caught in the heel corner and plays face in peril.  Truth misses a charge, however, and it’s hot tag Ryder.  I’ll say he looks totally comfortable in this kind of position, and hopefully they don’t screw it up.  Cena and Ryder get stereo broski boots on Miz, but the Rough Rider misses and the heels take over in the corner again.  This triggers another “Let’s go Ryder, Woo woo woo” chant, and that’s a major piece of the main event puzzle for someone.  Miz cuts off the ring and Ryder gets a small package for two, but Miz hits him with a corner clothesline to put him down again.  Truth comes in and hits the chinlock, but Ryder makes the hot tag to Cena, and it’s a TEN KNUCKLE SHUFFLE.  Man, they’re really trying to give Ryder the rub here.  Miz escapes the FU and boots Cena down, getting the pin while Truth holds Cena’s foot down at 17:00. **1/2  What a lame fucking finish that was.  Cena is so upset that he laughs it off, and Michael Cole is like “Maybe Miz and Truth can steal one at Survivor Series!”  Aim gun at foot, pull trigger.

At least they’ve progressed from “actively offensive” to “just kind of dull” this week, so there might be hope yet.  I could not possibly care less about the PPV at this point though.

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Suspension Of Disbelief: Little Moments (Zack Ryder, CM Punk, Mark Henry, James Storm) Fri, 04 Nov 2011 16:00:01 +0000 Before I get started…

It seems like I write this paragraph a lot. The, “Okay, so this is where I’ve been during my hiatus” paragraph. I talk about what I’ve been up to, what kind of real life stuff has been whoopin’ my ass, and a promise to never leave you guys again.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but I’m not gonna write that one this time.

Fact is, I don’t know if this will be the first, or the only in this latest resurgence. I just know that it’s been far too long, and I miss the outlet. I miss being creative. I miss having an audience (hush, I’m a Leo). I miss reading comments. I miss the flutter of excitement I get when I see the link for this on Twitter, or Facebook. “Oh my gosh! That’s ME!!”

That feeling never gets old.

So here we are again. Older. Wiser. Some of us have had a great time since I last checked in. Some of us have had a miserable time. Some of us have just kind of maintained the status quo. All are well and good. The pertinent fact is that we are all still here, the lucky ones of us.

Anyway, if you must know, I’m doing better. Got over a break-up. My father beat cancer. The job I started in 12/2010 is going very well. F.R.E.D. is still good. I still like boobs. I’ve traded my crush on Lacey Von Erich for a torrid love affair with Alison Brie, aka “Annie Edison” from my newest obsession, Community.

But again–I’m here. You’re here. We’re all here. Let’s get on with it.

Suspension Of Disbelief begins… Now!

There are lots of little things I enjoy about the two major companies what produce Pro Wrestling Programming. There are lots of little things that drive me absolutely box-of-frogs bonkers about the two major companies what produce Pro Wrestling Programming. For those glass-half-empty folks, here is the latter:

1- Eric Bischoff and his son feuding. Snoozeville.

2- The perpetual state of ass whooping John Morrison is receiving. Remember his awesome showing from the Royal Rumble skraight through WrestleMania? Those days are gone. #NSync

3- C.M. Punk since a week or two after SummerSlam. Nice one, WWE. You almost had a cross-over superstar and a wrestling resurgence. Now you have another top guy who will sell merchandise to people who would’ve already bought a t-shirt and no audience growth.

4- Anything Karen Jarrett does ever.

Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright. Hey Ladies! (Yeah?) What’s cooler than being cool? (Focusing on the positive!) I said WHAT’S COOLER THAN BEING COOL? (FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE!)

So let’s do that. Here’s the list of things I am really enjoying about rasslin’ nowadays:

1- James Storm, TNA World Heavyweight Champion. I was genuinely happy for dude. Charismatic, talented, over, and “Sorry about your damn luck” is an all-time great catchphrase.

2- Zack Ryder, Internet Champion. So happy for dude forcing people to notice him. Plus, he’s a Long Island guy, so here’s to hoping I’ll convince him to come to the Candlelight Diner in Commack to hang out one day he’s lonely and pining over Princess Leia at home (pause).

3- A.J. Styles. Goodness. He’s so effing impressive it’s ridiculous.

4- Mark Henry, World Heavyweight Champion. Someone was listening to Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, because The Artist Formerly Known As Mizark is a motherfucking monster. I’ve loved every second of his run, and while I’m not enthused about his feud with The Big Show, he’s redeemed his entire career and routinely impresses me.

5- Hulk Hogan, reformed bad guy. I know, I know. I’m not supposed to like Hulk Hogan, whose crimes include *gasp* GETTING HIS FRIENDS JOBS! and *gasp* BURYING GUYS IN RADIO INTERVIEWS! but I have been a Hulkamaniac since I was 6 years old and I shan’t stop being a Hulkamaniac now because dude has an ego and looks out for his friends. Allllll of us would do the same, and denying it would be daft. Anyway, I love rooting for The Hulkster and I’m sure a lot of you guys do too. Smart move by TNA, as Immortal was starting to look like the toy section from Brent City, with a lot of Officially Licensed toys and accessories no one was asking for. I’m talking “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” weapons kits, “Batman” color forms, “Transformers” carrying cases and the like. When Jeff Hardy was part of it, it was neat, but now it’s just filled with cast-offs and people trying too hard.

6- C.M. Punk’s Summer. Yep, the ol’ “Guy Who Ends Up On Both Lists” gimmick. Look, I know we’re all disappointed that punk didn’t become the new Stone Cold, but we’ll always have Summer 2011. They can’t take that from us. I’ve been a Knicks fan since 1992, and they finally have a team that can compete for the first time since 2001. FINALLY. That’s like 10 years of not even mediocrity, but rather awful, uninspired, insulting play. Wrestling might make us mad, but several times a year we get moments that make us “mark out” (a phrase I detest, but hooray for pandering!) and come alive with excitement. SEVERAL. TIMES. A YEAR. This is why wrestling will always be more fulfilling and satisfying than sports. Imagine if the InVasion angle lasted TEN YEARS. That’s what I went through with the Knicks. WWE (as Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz can attest to) doesn’t go on strike or get locked out, so even if Summer of Punk 2011 didn’t take you where you wanted to go, at least they didn’t shut down and can still provide you with exciting moments.

7- I shaved my chest today. Not sure why. (okay, that had nothing to do with wrestling, but I did, and I was compelled to share)

8- Eric Young, TNA TV Champion. He’s so entertaining it’s ridiculous. His fight with Scott Baio on the golf course was funnier than 90% of anything I’ve seen on Raw, Smackdown, or Impact.

9- The Awesome Truth. Sure, the exile and return of The Miz and R-Truth was resolved quicker than it takes the cool black dude at Chipotle to make my double steak burrito, but I love those two. R-Truth has been a revelation, and if you don’t chuckle at, “Boat? I ain’t got a boat! Lil’ Jimmy got a boat!” then I suggest you hook your nipples up to a car battery and crank up the juice because you need the jolt.

10- I got to take a picture with Kelly Kelly at Comic Con back in July.

It. Was. Awesome. Hot in person, if a bit skinny, so super nice. She wasn’t signing or interviewing, just walking around and she stopped to take a photo and was so gracious about it. Guys, I don’t give two flaming poops who she might or might not’ve hooked up with in WWE. The double standard (guys = studs, girls = sluts) is the main reason aliens won’t land during a time out in the SuperBowl. They know we’re dicks about stuff like that, and are probably sharing the secrets to peaceful eternal life with some other Earth-like planet whose genders don’t base a person’s worth on how many partners they’ve had. “___ is a whore” jokes are the lowest form of comedy–I don’t care who makes them. (also on the “Lowest Form Of Comedy” list: Non-Weird Al musical parodies, and anyone who utters, “That’s what she said” and isn’t providing clarification regarding a misheard statement from a female).

11- Jeff Hardy and his 56th second chance. I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I believe in helping people who need help, whether it’s the 1st time or the billionth. Sure, I might get tired of helping someone eventually, but that’s because it’s taking a deep toll on me that will cause me harm. I might be tapped out, but you better believe I’ll give them another option, another avenue. If someone needs help, you effing help them. If they need another chance, you give them another chance. I have wanted the same. I have received the same.

12- Finally… The Rock… HAS COME BACK… To WWE! I can’t explain what happened on that night back in February. I can’t explain why I felt the incredible rush I felt when his music hit and the people chanted his name and he re-entered our lives. I just know that I identified with his speech. When he said, “For seven long years…”, my heart broke and reformed. You see, for seven years, from February 2004 thru February 2011, I had been homeless, depressed, unemployed, told I was the father of a child that, as it turned out, was conceived a month before I had become intimate with the woman, I had friends turn their backs on me, my baby brother moved to California, I was lied to, lead on, forgotten about, and tossed around like John Cena’s t-shirt back at One Night Stand 2006. I had been to hell and back again, and things went from bad to worse to, “Oh dear please God let this end one way or the other.”

So when The Rock said, “It’s been seven long years…” I couldn’t help but think of that time and how many thick, ugly scars I have acquired since then. I couldn’t help but think of that time, and then a funny thing happened: I thought to myself, “This is a sign. This time of suffering is over. “And ya know what? It wasn’t. Yep, more fucked up stuff happened. More disappointments, more setbacks, but even though my time wasn’t, I knew that something special started that night. I knew that I wasn’t going to be a loser for much longer because I had joined a new team.

I had joined Team Bring It.

I don’t care if Team Bring It is a marketing ploy, a haven for “marks,” a nonsensical hashtag, or just a slogan that got picked over “Pie Devourers Local 645″ or “Electrifyers, Inc.” When The Rock started tweeting about Team Bring It, and tweeting inspirational things about hard ass work and training and pursuing dreams, I identified with it. I embraced it. For 7 years I had conversations with wrestling fans about how great it’d be if The Rock came back, never really believing he could, but hoping he would.

For seven long years I had conversations with friends waxing philosophical about The Good Old Days that saw me happier, that saw me with a girlfriend who cared about me, that saw my brother home, and my father a bit less tired. I thought to myself how amazing it would be to get all the way back from that, never really believing I could, but hoping I would.

Well, we are in the closing months of a year that saw bad things happen, but I feel better than I have all year. I’m back at the gym, hashtagging “#TeamBringIt” on pictures of my elliptical numbers. I’m wearing my “I Bring It” shirt on nights I want to feel strong. I feel like anything is possible, and that the promise of that February night where The Rock came back is *finally* coming true.

So the twelfth and final entry is in honor of The Rock, the guy who came back and brought my Hope back with him. The guy who tweets things that help me pick my head up and keep working hard. The guy who keeps me going at the gym and has me excited about Raw on 11/14 and Survivor Series on 11/20. The guy whose #TeamBringIt hashtag has inspired and motivated me to create a hashtag of my own, one that I use on Facebook and Twitter every nite–when I send out my last thoughts for the day, the last thing I want to focus on before sleep takes me.


This has been Suspension of Disbelief.

–Rey Mundo×120.jpg

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The Stomping Ground: Survivor Series Expectations Thu, 03 Nov 2011 12:00:45 +0000 It’s time once again for the most consistent columnist on Pulse Wrestling, yours truly, Mike Gojira! I’ll soon be pulling double duty here at the Pulse as I’ll be in charge of the Smackdown Report beginning this Friday. I can promise you the report will not be live as (contrary to popular opinion) I do try to have a social life on weekends.


Anywho, I’ll be attending Survivor Series this year at good ol’ Madison Square Garden and I have to say I’m a little disappointed at the way the card is currently being built. Originally, the plan was to have an all-star team of CM Punk, John Cena, The Rock, Triple H, and Sheamus against the team of Alberto del Rio, Awesome Truth, Christian, and Kevin Nash in a traditional elimination tag team match. We also would have gotten a rumored Championship Scramble for the World Heavyweight Championship.

As it stands, Cena and The Rock will still team up, but they’ll be facing Awesome Truth (a team Cena completely made a fool of this week on Raw). It should still be a great showing, but I would have liked to see them in the elimination tag match.

Speaking of the traditional Survivor Series signature bout, it looked as though we’d have Air Boom, Sheamus, and possibly Randy Orton face Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Cody Rhodes after the original plans were scrapped, but Evan Bourne is out due to a Wellness Policy violation. It looks like Cody will be preoccupied with Booker T, so where does that leave our old school Survivor Series match?

Based on what’s been going down this week on WWE television, Big Show will get his rematch for Mark Henry’s title. I am NOT looking forward to that.

Finally, we have our prerequisite Divas match in Eve vs Beth Phoenix…again.

All is not lost, however! On the plus side of things, Punk will finally get his one-on-one match against del Rio, which is the only match I’m looking forward to besides the Cena/Rock match. Here’s how I expect the card to shape up in the next few weeks (especially since I paid to see this damn show):

1. CM Punk vs Alberto del Rio: After del Rio’s clean loss to Big Show on Monday and his “bitch out” by Punk immediately after, he needs to regroup and booked to be dangerous again. To tell you the truth, I originally thought del Rio would be treated as a Mexican Kurt Angle on his way to the top: cocky and nearly unbeatable. That’s clearly not the case; he’s been accused of being a paper champion and I was hoping to refute those claims for the foreseeable future but I now have my doubts. Here’s to hoping that changes in the next three weeks!

2. Mark Henry vs Big Show: Their first match was actually quite decent, but there is NO WAY they can repeat that and hope for similar or better results. There has to be a gimmick or stipulation attached. Otherwise, this is my Piss Break.

3. Cody Rhodes vs Booker T: If this is indeed on the card, Cody needs the win. There’s no reason for him to put over the Bookerman without some real payoff. Cody needs a legitimate PPV victory over a Legend.

4. Eve vs Beth Phoenix: If you read my column last week, you’d know Vince doesn’t give a shit about the state of the Divas division. Ha ha, what am I saying? Of course you read my column last week! Who doesn’t? Anyway, this is apparently the best the company could do. How very sad.

5. John Cena and The Rock vs Awesome Truth: As I said before, the heels need to be built up as a force to be reckoned with. Having Cena beat Miz despite Truth’s interference and then besting Truth as he tries to sneak up on him is NOT the way to handle this. They need more credibility now.

6. The rest of the card: It looks like the only other match on the card will involve some variation of Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, and Randy Orton against Team Guerrero, Christian, and Wade Barrett. I’m not sure how Orton fits into the picture yet, but perhaps they’ll use Barrett as his foe. Where does that leave Daniel Bryan? I guess the same place we’ll find John Morrison and Drew McIntyre: in a dark match or not on the card.

Long story short: the build to the show needs to improve, and focusing on The Rock’s return is NOT the way to go about it. That’s my take.

Random Thoughts

*How hot was AJ in that Kitana costume? Rrrrowr. (Love ya, Kel! :p)

*The longest match on Raw was an oddly clean del Rio/Big Show bout. It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t have made it the marquee match of the night. The clean win also baffled me. As Scott Keith mentioned in his Raw Report, putting number one contenders vs champions is a no-win situation. You either make your champ or your challenger look like a chump, or you do the old-fashioned DQ finish.

*I heard Drew McIntyre beat Morrison in a Superstars match. Guess we all know where John Boy falls on the pecking order. Hey, Michael (the commenter)! You keep saying Daniel Bryan and Christian are on their way out the door. What about Morrison?

*I suppose Triple H’s “injury” is a blessing in disguise. Looks like he’ll be back in time for TLC.

*Beaker + Sheamus = Comedy gold. That is all.

*I enjoyed the Muppets on Raw this Monday night. I know some people hated the show, but at this point if you’re going to hate on the Muppets, you have no soul.

CB’s Fave Five Wrestling Songs

5. Grab Them Cakes, Junkyard Dog — This absolute classic from “The Wrestling Album” taught me how to G-R-A-B T-H-E-M C-A-K-E-S, whatever that means. But man, what a hook!

4. Self High Five, Diamond Dallas Page — I just used to LOVE how WCW would rip off riffs from popular rock songs and no one cared. DDP’s Nirvana knockoff was especially endearing since he was in my fave five back then and it also contained a crucial element in a wrestler’s theme song that continues today: the catch phrase insert. (Sidenote: my fave catch phrase insert: Booker T’s Can you dig it, Suckaaaaaaaaaaa)

3. Pain and Destruction, Demolition — Just the perfect kickass theme song off the kickass Piledriver album. Best straight tag team theme song EVER. Sorry, DX.

2. nwo Black and White theme / Hollywood Hogan Hendrix theme — I put these two together, and they both are simply iconic. This represents WCW at its peek, and for the stable of the nwo and Hogan to get over, they HAD to have signature entrance music, both for the group and for their leader. The music may be misused now with Nash and Hogan definitely overdid the guitar riff motion in WWE and TNA, but when it was all new and fresh, it was just amazing the reaction that each entrance could invoke.

1. Pomp and Circumstance, Macho Man Randy Savage / Also sprach Zarathustra, Nature Boy Ric Flair / Graveyard Symphony, The Undertaker — These three are in a class by themselves, instrumental compositions that will always remind us of these three legendary figures in pro wrestling that have become synonymous with each song. People talk about the shine coming off pro wrestling today, and that’s definitely true. But one of wrestling’s biggest advantages is its rich history, filled with larger than life characters who were our heroes, regardless of their flaws. I liken it to our fathers and grandfathers looking back at their favorite major league baseball players of all-time by remembering the great moments and glossing over the forgettable times. As much as we rag on wrestling, we are all here, ready and willing to be drawn in if the mood is right, if the proper cord is struck.

And with these three songs, one strike of the cord was all it took for us to forget about everything else going on in our lives, and simply stand, and clap, and chant, and cheer (or boo).

After all, music moves us in so many ways, and pro wrestling is no exception.

That’s all from me — CB.

Thanks for that, CB. Keep your Fave Fives coming, guys and gals. That’s all from me this week, at least in terms of The Stomping Ground. I’ll see you this weekend for the Smackdown Report.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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No Chance – At This Rate, Does Super Cena Even Need The Rock’s Help? Wed, 02 Nov 2011 20:00:01 +0000 We’ve all known that the Rock was going to team with John Cena at Survivor Series for a while now. We heard about it on the internet, it was teased by the Rock in a viral video, and we saw the poster advertising the matchup months ago, So last week when Cena announced his desired tag-team partner for Survivor Series, the intended “Oh my stars! This is the matchup of dreams! In all my life I had never dared to dream for such a day!” feeling that WWE was hoping for, was for the most part replaced by a “bout time they finally start this storyline on the show. Geez, Survivor Series is in less than a month” reaction.

Don’t misunderstand me; I am excited to see the Rock at Survivor Series. From the limited stuff that we saw earlier this year, it looks like the Rock still has a good amount of in ring ability and we know he still has the mic presence. And Rock also seems to bring out the best of Cena (before you can say it; there is no best of Cena, yea yea yea, all of that, moving on) on mic as well. It’s a good idea to see him get some ring time before next WrestleMania, to try and show audiences that, yes, this is the Rock that you remember, and here he is back in a WWE ring. It a good idea to have the Rock get some air time so that audiences emotions at WrestleMania don’t have to rely solely on a couple of great promos that will be over a year old by that point. So I am glad that the Rock is going to be at Survivor Series. I am glad that he’s going to be teaming up with John Cena. What I’m not so excited about is this less than stellar storyline that they’ve used to get the Rock and Cena together.

The way that the story is unfolding, its really looking like the tag team was decided first with the story written around that. Yes, I realize that is in fact how it happened, but good storytelling should be able to hide that fact. And that’s what’s missing here, good storytelling. It was rumored earlier that Cena and the Rock would be teaming up as part of a bigger group of faces (one that included Triple H) in order to take on a large faction of heel wresters, which would include Kevin Nash leading. No that that idea has clearly been scrapped, Cena and the Rock still need to team up as promised. And to do that they need a tag team of heels to fight.

In the past few months, not one but two heel tag-teams have started to form. The Awesome Truth, and “Hey look at us! We’re American!” with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Because Vickie’s pair are still pretty much in the sketch comedy territory (Just this past week they beat up a Muppet before losing to the two comic relief wrestlers) Miz and R-Truth were really the only choice. The only problem is, that they don’t seem to pose much of a threat either.

It’s a recurring problem in the company that heels are never really treated like legitimate threats to star wresters. At there worst they are usually little more than annoyances that have through some nefarious means, temporarily cheated the hero out of his title. It’s a problem that has affected The Awesome Truth. Sure they’ve caused some havoc in the WWE, interrupting matches and whatnot, but when it comes to actual in ring skills, they haven’t exactly been posing a threat. Sure they were good enough to hold off Punk and Triple H at Vengeance, but they needed interference from Nash to actually get a pin. And now they’re going against two of the most unbeatable champions in the WWE.

When the match was set up last week, WWE had four weeks to make Awesome Truth look like a credible threat, a threat that could only be stopped by the teaming of Rock and Cena, a threat that might actually be so great that it could even best these two top tier superstars. Four weeks to do all of that. And what did they do this week to help legitimize Awesome Truth as a credible threat? They had Cena lay them both flat in the ring.

If Cena can beat Miz, and then lay R-Truth out with a single Attitude Adjustment right after his match, then does he even need the Rock’s help? I know he was in a handicap match last week, against the two of them but it’s not like Awesome Truth was defeating Cena with any great ease then either? If you are going to advertize that you have one of the greatest tag teams forming at Survivor Series for the first and only time, shouldn’t you give that tag team something worthy of their supposed greatness?” Not a pair of guys that one half of your tag team can beat while the other twiddles his thumbs in the corner.

This whole situation reminds me of Nexus’s SummerSlam match last year when Cena decided to challenge them with the seven of the biggest names in the company. It wasn’t Cena with plucky mid-card faces under his wing; no it was Cena along side Edge, and Chris Jericho. And they were going against seven rookies, three months into the business. Yes the match ended up being a good one, but there was never a great concern that the biggest names in the business wouldn’t be able to beat seven guys who had all been on Raw for less than three months. And this was when Nexus had been portrayed as an unstoppable force week after week. But after the SummerSlam loss, the whole Nexus story started to go downhill.

And that’s probably my biggest concern for Survivor Series. That it could derail any future potential for Awesome Truth. Because right now, that tag team is one of the best parts of Raw. Truth’s heel turn helped him break out of his forever a mid-card status, and gave him a chance to really shine on mic. Miz, who had been floundering a bit since losing the title, (remember when his biggest moment on the show was a bit with Jarred the Subway Guy?) came back into prominence when he jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon. R-Truth and Miz are some of the better things that WWE has right now and it would be a shame if getting squashed by Cena and the Rock killed their momentum.

Unrelated Thought:So WWE is really all about twitter now aren’t they? (By the way a great time to plug my own twitter here) What with flashing up wrestler’s twitter handles when they walk out to the ring and telling everybody to use #Raw and #WWE when tweeting about the show. They’ve even got Michael Cole reading out whenever something WWE related makes it into the trending topics. Well, I’ve been to twitter during Raw. I’ve searched the WWE related hash tags and clicked on the trending topics to see what others are saying, and I would think that if WWE actually realized what sort of comments people were saying when using #Raw and #WWE they would be trying to make sure nobody else read all the negative things that fans had to say.×120.jpg

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The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 10.24.11 Tue, 25 Oct 2011 06:06:40 +0000 The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 10.24.11

Live from Austin, TX.

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler.  A small beef here, as Jerry Lawler puts over the PPV from last night by noting he’s never seen anything like the ring collapsing before.  Which is BS not only because it was only 8 years ago that it originally happened with Show and Lesnar, but it’s also heavily featured on their “OMG” DVD set as one of the most memorable moments in WWE history!

COOHHH starts us out, because it’s been two weeks since he’s done that and we’ve all probably forgotten about him by now.  He talks about losing friends to the business and how money is apparently more important than brotherhood to some people.  Kevin Nash being selfish?  Perish the thought.  Sadly, HHH has suffered a broken heart (wasn’t that why Nash wasn’t cleared in the first place?) and he’s going to take it out on Nash.  Sadly, John Laryngitis interrupts and informs us that Nash is at home watching the show.  HHH clarifies that he’s still COO and Ace still reports to him (these storylines are getting very TNA-like), so he needs to officially sign Nash.  Didn’t Ace already sign Nash during the last angle?  And Nash was all “I have an iron clad contract so I get paid even if you fire me”.  Good angry promo from HHH with a clearly defined story for once.  And of course, Nash actually is in the building, and lays out HHH on his way out of the ring.  The match is gonna suck, but that’s a great first angle to build it up.   Man, if Scott Hall wasn’t on his deathbed, they could pull out of a hell of a money tag match by convincing Shawn to come out of retirement and do D-X v. Outsiders.

Cole & Lawler do their serious voices to sell the angle after the break.  C’mon, he hit him with a sledgehammer, it’s not like he shot the guy or anything.

Meanwhile, Kevin forces the EMTs to drop Hunter’s stretcher, and he proceeds to further beat the crap out of him.  Good old school heel stuff here, even if it was all cheesy and goofy if you stop to think about it for 5 seconds.

And then we watch the whole saga again.  Literally, the entire previous segment gets repeated.

Randy Orton & Sheamus v. Cody Rhodes & Christian

Sheamus is now introduced as “The Great White”.  As nicknames go, I’ve heard better.  They now have a graphic informing us what’s trending on Twitter during the show.  Could they BE any more insecure?  Orton beats on Christian and Sheamus slingshots in with a shoulderblock for two and he gets good elevation on Rhodes with a backdrop.  He hits his “longtime rival” Christian (Cole’s words) with another shoulderblock off the apron, but Cody gets a chinlock as we take a break.  Back with Sheamus getting choked out by Christian, but Sheamus escapes with a backdrop suplex as Cole continues the obnoxious “such-and-such is trending on Twitter”.  Are they fucking sponsored by Twitter or something?  They’re not so big on it when someone posts a drunken rant at 2 AM.  Hot tag Orton, who gets a neckbreaker drop on Christian for two.  Draping DDT sets up the interpretive dance, but Christian escapes the RKO and hits an elbow off the middle rope.  Back to Rhodes, who cuts off the tag and hammers away, then adds a standing dropkick.  Christian works a neck vice and goes up, but Orton counters with a dropkick and makes the hot tag to Sheamus.  Backbreaker gets two.  Cody comes back with the springboard kick, and Christian gets a spear for two.  Orton comes in during the chaos and RKOs Christian, and Sheamus finishes Rhodes with the Celtic Cross at 11:25.  Kind of messy at the end, but otherwise a solid formula tag match.  ***

Meanwhile, Johnny Ace chats with Stephanie on his cell phone, and John Cena interrupts and blows off Bowtunga and his stupid coffee cup.  For this he earns a tag match against Awesome Truth with a partner of Johnny’s choosing.  And Cena is FINALLY the one to make the first skateboard joke.  Thank god, I’ve been waiting months for someone to say something.

Did You Know that WWE had more topics trending on Twitter than the World Series OR football?  WHO THE FUCK CARES?

Santino Marella v. Dolph Ziggler

And now they go to new levels of annoying, with Cole now actually reading tweets on air and saying the word “hashtag” before the appropriate words.  Santino threatens with an early cobra, but Ziggler stomps him down and adds the standing dropkick.  It really hammers home the problems with the company when Cole talks about Santino being a 2-time IC champion and Swagger being a former World champion when they’re all a bunch of undercard comedy acts.  Santino mounts a brief comeback, but Ziggler squashes him dead with the Zig Zag at 1:46.  ½*  Heel beatdown commences, but Mason Ryan makes the save.  How in the world is skinny Heath Slater on a 30-day suspension but Mason Ryan somehow never gets tested?

Alberto Del Rio joins us to give his victory speech.  He’s DONE with John Cena and wants a new challenger.  So that brings out CM Punk, who reminds us that he beat ADR a few weeks ago, and he also never received his rematch from Summerslam.  ADR points out that Punk has lost a lot lately, including the night before, so that puts him at the back of the line.  Indeed, why would you beat Punk if you’re giving him the title match at Survivor Series?  And Johnny Ace interrupts, making Punk v. Del Rio at Survivor Series.  Punk gets the second skateboard joke, but Ace demands that Punk pledge his respect in order to get the title shot.  Punk goes on a great rant against how Ace was always terrible and yet managed to fail through the ranks anyway.  Amazingly, this scathing smart-ass rant doesn’t impress John, and he decides to think about it for a week.  Punk takes out Rodriguez anyway.  Funkhauser is such a drain on these segments, as he stands there like a mannequin no-selling everything with his anti-charisma.  Like, he’s been in the business since the early 80s, you’d think he would have learned to cut a simple promo from the Sheepherders or Shane Douglas or something.  Punk’s shoot rants were much better against Vince, because Vince at least knew when and how to react.

Natalya v. Alicia Fox

Wait, there’s other people in the women’s division?  Natalya pounds Alicia down and stretches her on the mat, but Alicia gets a fluke sunset flip for the pin at 2:15.  No one cares.  DUD

Wade Barrett v. John Morrison

I don’t see this going any better for JoMo than usual.  John throws kicks and adds a dropkick, then tackles him on the outside.  Barrett runs him into the railing and we take a break.  Really?  During THIS?  So we’re back with Barrett holding a chinlock and getting a big boot for two.  Barrett boots him to the floor, and back in for two.  And he goes to a surfboard, until Morrison makes the comeback.  Shining Wizard gets two.  Sunset flip gets two.  Barrett catches him with the Bossman slam for two, however.  He tries Wasteland, but Morrison escapes and misses Starship Pain.  Morrison tries a springboard and was supposed to land in Wasteland, but they fuck it up and Wade has to do it again to finish at 9:00.  Long and boring, and does anyone even think for a moment that Morrison is ever going to win again?  *1/2

And now, Vince McMahon’s favourite gag, as Cole puts up doctored photos of Jim Ross on the Titantron to mock him.  This leads to Cole challenging JR next week in the “Michael Cole Challenge”, which is some sort of loser-leaves-town deal.

Meanwhile, Zack Ryder celebrates his impending tag match with John Cena, but Miz & Truth attack him right after the third “Woo”.  So I’m thinking Cena needs a new partner.

The Miz & R-Truth v. John Cena

Well, it’s a handicap match.  Cena pounds on Miz in the corner, but Miz gets the DDT for two.  Truth hits the chinlock and Cena gets beat down, but makes his own comeback.  He goes for the FU on Miz, but Truth swings at him with a water bottle and draws the DQ at 4:49.  These are some epic lame finishes tonight.  The heel beatdown commences, but Johnny Ace makes ANOTHER appearance tonight, announcing that they’ll have another tag match at Survivor Series.  So this time, Cena chooses the Rock, which might have been surprising if they hadn’t been showing commercials for it all show long and already announced it two months ago.  But is it trending on Twitter?  Is there a hashtag for “WWE trending on Twitter” that they can reference next week and make people’s brains explode?  I guess we’ll find out.

Good start to the show, but as usual it kind of went off a cliff.

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The Stomping Ground: Writer’s Block (Courtesy of the WWE) Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:00:34 +0000 It’s about damn time the WWE pulled the trigger on this one.

I am speaking of the instating of John Laurinaitis as Interim General Manager of Raw, of course. This raises a few questions, but the most obvious one is something I’ll address this week:

Why the hell couldn’t they have done a better job getting the angle to this point?

For the last couple of weeks, the WWE has been lambasted on the Internet as having become stale, ludicrous, and boring. Hell, the “Walk Out” angle caused much controversy among the staff here at the Pulse. I suggested we approach the storyline with a wait-and-see attitude and I still maintain that stance. We need to see what kind of progress has been made in terms of the product itself as well as character development and worker elevation before it’s all said and done.

That doesn’t excuse the inane booking that was shoved down our throats this past Monday night.

There was perhaps no more than 20 full minutes of wrestling on Raw last week, and only TWO matches that ended without a disqualification or outside interference (six-man tag and Diva tag). I feel that the company should have allowed the Sheamus/Cena match to take place and wait until AFTER the bell for Vince to show up. Hell, keep Vince off TV and have Ace himself come out to make the announcement. By the time the match ended, we would have made it through an hour before returning to regular programming.

Some of you might say, “Wait. What about the rest of the Raw roster? With one hour left, what happens to all of them?” Well, take a look at how they were handled anyway and let me know if they fared any better.

1. Morrison jobs out to Christian (a Smackdown competitor) and takes a beating to show the hypocrisy of having Ace in charge. I get it. Morrison’s contract is nearly up and he’s being bitched out of the WWE. That’s all fine and dandy, but more air time was spent on the post-match beatdown than the match itself.

2. Randy Orton and Mark Henry took up a chunk of time just to promote another Smackdown rivalry (Rhodes/Orton). Why? We’re already pressed for time; we don’t need the Supershow concept this particular night.

3. The Divas had their standard five minutes. Nothing wrong there, as that wouldn’t have changed even if the show were its usual self.

4. The six-man tag was okay, as the company is obviously protecting Ryan and Otunga so we can’t see how green they are. However, what’s the point? Otunga is in the Clarence Mason role and the focus should be on Air Boom’s feud with Team Guerrero, not BatisTwo.

5. The reinstatement of Miz and Truth interrupted a singles match between Punk and del Rio and didn’t even have a concrete ending when the match was changed to a tag team bout.

I’m not defending the actions of Creative, but I think I know two reasons why things seem to be spiraling out of control: too many PPVs in a row and a poor job of storyboarding.

The first reason is obvious. The company has to hurry to build up ANOTHER PPV just three weeks after we were assaulted with Hell in a Cell. Storylines need to be rushed along to allow the company to advertise “exciting” matches. This PPV policy needs to change or else things will continue down this path.

The second reason has to do with a lack of creativity and an increase in laziness. Speaking as an English teacher, I always make sure that when my students write short stories they first develop a plot outline. You’ve got the Exposition (where the characters and setting are established), the Rising Action (a series of conflicts begins to affect characters), the Climax (the big moment where everything comes to a head), the Falling Action (what results from the major decision made during the Climax), and the Resolution (how the characters have changed as a result of the conflicts within the story). I instruct my students to jot down a timeline of sorts that pinpoints important moments in their stories which will then be fleshed out in their drafts.

Somewhere along the development of this corporate struggle angle, WWE Creative has decided to put all of their focus on the beginning, middle, and end of their story and not a damn bit of interest in how to reach those critical points. It sort of reads like this:

Step 1: Triple H takes over the company.
Step 2: ?????
Step 3: Johnny Ace is now in charge.
Step 4: ?????
Step 5: CM Punk is the new top guy in the company.

Do you see the flaw in this? It’s a great feeling to run into the writer’s room and say, “I have an awesome idea for an angle!” but then comes the period of depression where you realize, “Shit. How can I flesh this out?” At this point I think the writers are struggling to find ways to pull it all together.

Of course, there’s no excuse if these guys/girls are supposed to be professionals.

Let’s see if they’re ever able to turn this around.

Random Thoughts

*Raw opening was a great concept (No Cole!).

*Sheamus had a shitty excuse for siding with Triple H. Why not just say, “I’m a good guy now”?

*Still convinced this is an elaborate ploy by Vince to regain control (or Steph or Shane).

*Why is Smackdown a separate entity in this, yet SD guys are affected?

*Did JR just call Mark Henry the Calculating Colossus? Not looking forward to Big Show/Henry.

*I’m looking forward to Cody/Orton…as long as Rhodes doesn’t get buried…great line about cutting the head off a viper (maniacal laughter notwithstanding)…Cole said Rhodes bagged Orton…not sure he understands the terminology.

*That was a nasty power bomb to Bourne. If he’s not legitimately hurt, he’s quite the seller.

Mike Gojira’s Fave Five

1 and 2. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger: This team is really starting to mesh well. The past week and a half of wrestling has been sort of lax on the actual “wrestling” but these two are holding down the fort on both Raw and Smackdown.

3. Cody Rhodes: His line about cutting off a viper’s head was brilliantly done. His terrible “Doctor Evil” laugh almost knocked him off this list.

4 and 5. Air Boom: I like these guys as a thrown-together team. I’m glad they changed their music instead of the usual mash-up. Only JeriShow was able to pull that off (and, to some extent, ShowMiz).

That’s all from yours truly this week. I’m off to the NYC Comic-Con this weekend. I’ll be the guy who looks like a normal human being.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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The Stomping Ground: Where is The WWE Conspiracy Heading? Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:00:39 +0000 Welcome back to another thrilling installment of The Stomping Ground! I am your host, Mike Gojira, and, according to Pulse reader/troglodyte Foxxxy, I may or may not be a “cocksucker.” That’s news to me, but I’m assuming it means I’m a really awesome columnist who deserves a reward for brightening up your dull lives.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Good; it’s better that way.

This past Sunday we saw the inevitable, overbooked Dusty Russo finish for the main event of Night of Champions. I have to say that there were only two things that disappointed me, and that was Kelly’s victory over Beth (again) and Cena’s big win over del Rio. I understand that the company is trying to promote that Kelly and Eve are NOT the Barbie dolls everyone makes them out to be by having them beat the Divas of Doom, but wouldn’t there be a better pay-off if Kelly was CHASING the gold instead of defending it? Wouldn’t that make more sense from a storyline standpoint? The underdog is supposed to overcome all the odds and climb her way to the top, not get fluke wins via roll up. It’s like we’re watching what happens to the hero at the end of the movie; you know that “Happily Ever After” deal? Kelly is living that moment in repeats. Show us some vulnerability!

I still don’t understand why the ‘E felt it was necessary to take the belt from del Rio. Cena could have won by DQ and gotten his rematch in two weeks anyway. This especially makes less sense if they plan on giving the gold back to del Rio at Hell in a Cell via controversy. This thought, of course, leads into the meat of my shpiel this week.

We all know what’s coming in the next few weeks. It’s been building ever since Nash showed himself at SummerSlam: the return of the Corporation. The seeds have been planted all over Raw and it’s simply a matter of getting all the elements together in one place.

That location is the Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match in two weeks.

I’m going to take a page out of Joseph Hargrove’s book and fantasy book this angle, so bear with me. In two weeks, CM Punk, Alberto del Rio, and John Cena meet for the WWE Championship. I’m going to assume that Nash, Miz, and Truth will stay off television to sell the fact that they no longer work for the company. Then, in a swerve that everyone will see coming, the three interfere in the Hell in a Cell match and leave Cena and Punk laid out, giving del Rio the victory.

This would make the most sense since the three heels are obviously in cahoots with Johnny Ace, and del Rio is clearly a fan of the McMahon regime. The one issue with this storyline is Triple H’s place in it.

That can be decided in one of three ways:

1. Triple H is behind this all for some bizarre reason, but that would be a tough sell considering what happened last Sunday.
2. Triple H is ousted as COO through some shenanigans.
3. Due to the high volume of embarrassing incidents over the course of the last two months, the Board of Directors places Johnny Ace at equal footing with Triple H and therefore able to throw his weight around without getting “fired.”

The third scenario is the most plausible as it keeps Triple H from becoming a full-time wrestler while also allowing Ace to continue his coup in a more realistic fashion. Regardless of the outcome, this is an angle that should be felt across the WWE landscape, which means Smackdown would be affected. I could see Christian and Cody Rhodes join the faction (possibly Barrett as well), as they would be the most vocal against Triple H.

Of course I could be completely wrong about EVERYTHING I’ve just stated, this being the WWE and all. Sound off in the comments whether you agree, disagree, or have your own ideas where this angle is heading.

Random Thoughts

The thought of CM Punk, Statler, and Waldorf commenting on a WWE match is license to print money. WWE, please do this when the Muppets host Raw!

Sin Cara vs Sin Cara is supposedly leading to a Guinness World Record attempt at Wrestlemania, but how do you keep this angle going for six more months? The heel Sin Cara needs to develop his own identity after their first face-off.

Hahaha. Get it?

Because…because they don’t have faces, is what I’m saying.


You guys are no fun.

Mike Gojira’s Fave Five

1. Mark Henry: I have to give mad props to big Mark. He finally did it! Hopefully he doesn’t get fed to Orton in the cage, but then who does Randy feud with after Henry if he loses his rematch?

2. Dolph Ziggler: The United States Champion has been looking phenomenal lately. Get Vickie away from him; he doesn’t need that heat magnet any more.

3. Sheamus: The Great White is looking stronger and stronger as time goes on. I can see a Henry/Sheamus feud in time for Vengeance…if they keep the gold on Mark that long. Maybe there will be a four-way between Henry, Sheamus, Orton, and Christian by then?

4. Awesome Truth: I called it last week when I said the WWE would make that name stick. These two are great together and I can’t wait to see them take the Tag Team Championship from Air Boom.

5. CM Punk: The WWE Ice Cream Bar T-shirt. I am soooooooo buying one at Survivor Series this year (That’s right; yours truly will be at MSG)!

Before I sign off, here’s CB’s highest-rated column EVAH, an interview with moi.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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The Stomping Ground: WWE Night of Champions Preview Thu, 15 Sep 2011 20:00:02 +0000 Has another week really gone by? Jeez, it feels like I sent out a column yesterday or something.

Yup, Mike Gojira here, still working consistently at the Pulse AND at school teaching the youngsters. Well, trying to, anyway.

So it looks like people have gotten up in arms over this Phil Brooks vs Paul Levesque match this Sunday, eh? Is Punk’s heat dead? Is Nash really gone? How many more packs of cigarettes must Johnny Ace consume before he realizes that’s the cause of his raspy voice?

I guess you’re all expecting me to state my feelings on the whole situation…….which I will in the following PPV preview!

WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio vs John Cena
You want to make del Rio look dangerous and not cowardly? Have him apply the arm bar to Cena on Raw and make him TAP OUT. It doesn’t have to be during a match, but the fact that del Rio has been avoiding Cena since his first assault doesn’t bode well for the champ. Del Rio is a great heel along the lines of Kurt Angle, where he could talk shit and still beat you clean to back it up. Ever since the ‘E put him in this program with Cena, he’s become the overused cliche of cowardly heel champion version 1. I don’t think he’s losing the gold on Sunday, but he needs to feud with someone who can put him over as dangerous or risk becoming Cena fodder a la Jack Swagger.

World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs Mark Henry

Blair, I’m really sorry, but I want Henry to win this match. I’m tired of Orton as the go-to guy and Henry would be an interesting champion. It would definitely shake things up on Smackdown. I obviously don’t think he’d make a great champion with compelling matches, but I often wonder what we might experience with the World’s Strongest Man as World Heavyweight Champion. Let’s face it: Daniel Bryan is going nowhere at the moment, Sin Cara is in the middle of an identity crisis, and Christian is going to be fed to Sheamus. I want something fresh in the title scene and Henry can satisfy that craving.

Divas’ Championship: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Kelly has had her fun as champ and has improved in the ring. There’s no denying that. She even got a big win over Beth at Summerslam. Now it’s the Glamazon’s time to shine. Otherwise this entire angle is pointless.

Tag Team Championship: Air Boom vs Awesome Truth
Just as I claimed weeks ago, the Tag Team Division is merely getting a boost because the whole gimmick of the PPV is that every match is a title match (except the obvious one). I like Miz/Truth, as they are entertaining on the mic, but I don’t think Kofi/Bourne are done yet. I see a victory for Air Boom so that this feud can be extended for the next couple of months. Hell, it’ll keep all four guys busy. There’s no way the division will reach JeriShow levels of awesomeness, but the potential is there.

United States Championship Fatal Four Way: Dolph Ziggler vs Jack Swagger vs John Morrison vs Alex Riley
Not once during the Ziggler/Swagger feud did we get even a mention of the title. Hell, they’re not fighting over the damn thing; they’re fighting over the managerial services of one Vickie Guerrero. Miss Elizabeth she ain’t, I’ll tell you that. I love how this match was thrown onto the card at quite literally the last minute. I expect Swagger to screw over Dolph and take the title himself. Then we’ll see Vickie eventually turn on Ziggler which will effectively kick-start his face turn. Morrison and Riley are currently worth less than Evan Bourne as a singles competitor. They’re involved simply to give the fans someone to cheer for.

Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes vs Ted DiBiase
Yeah, so I didn’t read the spoilers but heard through the grapevine that this match was announced at the Smackdown tapings. WTF? That’s two midcard titles on the line in angles that never involved the belts themselves. If you ever needed more evidence to argue that the damn things are props, look no further than here. Oh, I guess I’ll go with Rhodes since DiBiase hasn’t exactly been made to look halfway decent.

No Disqualification Match: Triple H vs CM Punk

I already expressed my opinion on this for weeks and in comments across the Pulse, but I’ll say it again: Punk is losing his heat because this angle is killing his momentum. As expressed by others here at the Pulse, Triple H is being portrayed as the victim here. He has yet to do anything wrong. Did he hire Kevin Nash? Allegedly, no. Did he cost Punk the title at Summerslam? He counted Cena down for the three count! Did Triple H come out and insult Punk for weeks? Hell no, he rehired the guy! This whole situation is like a bizarro Austin/McMahon scenario. In the beginning, Punk was right about a lot of things he said, but recently he’s come across as whiny and petulant. Triple H is not the overbearing, egotistical prick he was ten years ago. How are the fans supposed to rally behind Punk as the anti-authority figure when the boss hasn’t technically done anything wrong? The only way this angle would have been an absolute success would be if Punk took on a corporate stooge, but since there aren’t any around, he chose Triple H. Bad move. When Austin fought McMahon, Vince was in the middle of a heel turn and the fans ate up everything Austin did. Triple H has honestly (and I can’t believe I’m defending the guy) done NOTHING to show he’s the old Game.

I’m willing to wait until after Sunday to condemn the angle, but I can only see two possible outcomes now that this match is No Disqualification:

1. Triple H wins due to interference from Kevin Nash. This proves that Punk may have been right all along, but undermines the not-so-subtle hostile takeover angle they’re running with Johnny Ace. It also fails to logically explain the backstage altercations between Trips and Nash.

2. CM Punk wins due to interference from Kevin Nash, making Punk look weak because he didn’t beat The Game clean.

I’m hoping for a third option, wherein Punk beats Triple H in a grueling match and they wind up respecting one another, but I won’t hold my breath.

Mike Gojira’s Fave Five

Hooray! A decent Smackdown last week has given me new hope (Episode IV) that Smackdown will strike back (Episode V) in the ratings and provide us with more entertaining matches. Also, Return of the Jedi (Episode VI).

1. Cody Rhodes: The Intercontinental Champion has really stepped up his game in two good matches with Randy Orton this week, going so far as to get the big win over the Viper on Raw. I really hope he can restore the IC title to prominence.

2. Mark Henry: I love how he’s being used as an unstoppable monster and am anxious to see him as champion. Again, I’m not expecting great things from him as World Heavyweight Champion. I’m simply intrigued by the possibility of him capturing the belt.

3. Sheamus: The nickname is cringe-worthy (“Great White”?!) but I’m digging his face turn. NOW is the time to push him as a legit main eventer, not two years ago when he was nowhere near ready for title contention.

4. Air Boom: Good move, putting these two together as a team. The fans love these guys and they’re at least doing something of note.

5. Awesome Truth: The Miz and R-Truth are a great foil for the Tag Team Champions. This should be an interesting time for the tag division. SHOULD be.

One final thought: THE BRAND SPLIT ISN’T OVER!!! Smackdown had THREE Raw stars, and it was only because their titles permit them to show up on both shows (Kelly Kelly and Air Boom). Those of you who thought otherwise:


So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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No Chance – Recent WWE Changes, Will Any of Them Last? Wed, 07 Sep 2011 20:00:12 +0000 I worry that hard times are ahead for the WWE. It’s a reasonable worry. Primetime Television is about to make its return and I’ll admit that there are a few Monday shows that I would like to watch. And, with Monday Night Football returning WWE is about to face one of their biggest yearly competitions for ratings. Add to this that the few months after SummerSlam tend to be full of exciting summer storylines that have run their course but not left yet. (I’m looking at you, Nexus ruining the main event EVERY SINGLE WEEK)  I’m not saying that I’m even close to giving up on watching WWE. For one thing, current WWE content is so much better than some that I’ve sat through that it would be absurd to give up right now when I think back to other things I’ve made it through. But I am at least aware that Raw for the next few months might start to be a bit of a struggle.

Of course, it seems that over the past month, WWE has done almost everything that they can to fight the potential difficult months. In a “throw everything against the wall, and see what sticks” kind of booking, WWE has made several fairly big changes. Complaining about how the Tag Team division is a shadow of its formal self with Nexus remains holding the belts unchallenged for months on end? Well how about some of the more promising mid card guys form not one, but two new tag teams? (Air Boom and the Awesome Truth) Have you regarded the Diva matches as nothing more than bathroom break opportunities for years now? Well how about the two divas that seem to have the most in ring skills start a crusade that seems to be voicing every single complaint you have with the diva’s division?  Missing the icons you remembered watching growing up? Well now not only is Triple H back every week after having disappeared since the week after WrestleMania, but you get Kevin Nash as well. Like Zack Ryder? Well he not only got to be in a mach this week but actually was given the opportunity to pin someone as well.  So many changes have happened in the WWE over the past month or so that the announcement of the newly branded Super Show (which effectively ended the brand split) was not treated as the major announcement that it should have been but treated almost as a “by the way” moment in a Triple H promo about a completely different topic.

Still, so much has happened recently that we have yet to see what, if any of it is going to have any lasting effect on the WWE. Air Boom and Awesome Truth have yet to actually face each other. While those dubbed the Divas of Doom have made bold statements, their words have been backed up by little more than sarcastic clapping at ringside. And Kelly Kelly is still the Diva champion. Even CM Punk’s revolutionary, pipe bomb dropping character is still to new to see if truly has long-term staying power as a main event attraction.  But like the WWE, right now we can do little more than wait. We don’t know which of these “changes” will bring actual positive chance, and which ones will result in more of the same.  Still I appreciate what the WWE seems to be trying to do right now. I’m ok with a storyline not working ever now and then. I don’t expect each and every one of these new stories to work to perfection but the important thing is that the WWE is at least willing to try some different things. It’s the willingness to try that means we don’t get Cena vs. Del Rio main events every week for two months.

Extended Unrelated thought:

Kevin Nash sent the text to himself. Sent the text. To. Him. Self. This is how the big texting mystery is going to end up? With Nash sending the text to himself meaning that he was behind it from the start? I can only hope that this was not the intention of the WWE when the texting plot began. This is not like the Mystery of the Anonymous GM where after a year of emails it has become clear that the WWE had no exit or reveal strategy for the character and seem to be trying to ignore that it ever happened right now. This is a storyline that began just a few weeks ago. Acceptable suspects were hinted at from Steph McMahon to Johnny Ace. Maybe not a great list of suspects, but acceptable nonetheless. Both better than the idea that Nash came back, attacked Punk and then, not only blamed Triple H for the attack, but actually went out of his way to plant evidence that it was Triple H’s fault that Punk was attacked.  I can only hope that this was not the original ending but something forced WWE creative to quickly scrape together a new reveal, maybe somebody failing a physical or somebody having an unexpected and unavoidable conflict, and maybe this new plot line is a result of unfortunate circumstances beyond anyone’s control.

And while we’re on the reveal, we are expected that this reveal was brought to us through some sort of “backup” security? Meaning that the center had less important cameras that they just don’t’ check and as Triple H said, forget about. First of all, if it is the only security footage of a location, it’s not really “backup” security footage since its not backing anything up. It’s just security footage. And then, we are told that this security camera, which remember is the one that’s not important, is the one that points at Triple H’s office? Surly that would be one of the prime places to put your more important security systems. And what was Triple H doing at the time that resulted in him not having his phone anyway? SummerSlam was his first PPV event as COO and we are expected to believe that he didn’t have his phone on him at all times in case anything went wrong?

Of course, there is still the possible later reveal that this was all a lie and Triple H was in on it from the beginning. In fact if this were any other form of storytelling (book, movie, TV show) I would expect this later reveal because the current story is far too bizarre to be acceptable. But for now, this is the end of the texting mystery×120.jpg

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Video of the Week: WWE’s Awesome Truth (The Miz, R-Truth on Raw) Thu, 25 Aug 2011 04:33:18 +0000 On WWE Monday Night Raw this week, The Miz and R-Truth formed what could in theory end up being quite the formidable tag team against the Conspiracy…×120.jpg

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