Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My god - this show is so awesome/not-awesome. I guess there's some sort of time issue as WWE's contract with SyFy is expiring or something, so this show is progressing at a much greater clip than it started at.

Two weeks ago, we were supposed to have one rookie voted off, but instead we got three guys dismissed, two of which because they answered the previous weeks' question, "Who do you think should be eliminated?" with, "I should go home." According to the storyline, the WWE brass didn't like that answer, claiming that it lacked confidence, so Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver got the boot. Then, so did Skip Sheffield via the Pro's Poll.


Seems pretty obvious that Wade Barrett is gonna' win this thing. Overall - it's nice just seeing some younger guys in the spotlight, a statement that extends to seeing Swagger as the champ on Smackdown and guys like Sheamus taking it to Cena on Raw. Pretty cool!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Gotta show some love for our sweet local indie, AAW. The crowd reaction to the women's match made me feel ashamed to be a guy, but otherwise it was a solid show, as always. Colt Cabana was at his best, and is always a sentimental favorite of mine since I've seen him wrestle at a bunch of local shows over the years.

My sister Maggy and our friend Lauren came along to the show. Neither of them has ever had any interest in watching wrestling, but they enjoy cheap beer and realized that along with that they could watch muscular men in tights and enjoy some fantastic and at times horrifying people watching. AAW should hire Maggy and Lauren to do the commentary on their DVDs. Hearing the perspective of two outsiders to wrestling who appreciate it in completely different ways in an ongoing sarcastic commentary is really fun.

Silas Young is a phenomenal heel. So is Mason Beck, who, mark my words, is going to be a huge star. He seems to totally understand how to be an effective big man. I swear he's been studying Undertaker tapes or something similar. That's a good thing in my book.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

RIP Kanyon

I never really saw this guy much, but it's sad that another wrestler has gone to the stone garden. Rest In Peace!

In other news, Jack Swagger did the capitalize-on-the-beaten-down-champ thing and is our new world champ on Smackdown. His mic skills aren't the best because he's not very forceful, vocally, but reading directly from his notes and making people backstage look at his new belt were both pretty dick-like (that's good). Also, when he beat Jericho and was announced the winner: no smiles. Finally, his brief interaction with Shelton backstage was interesting: "Maybe they should start calling ME the Gold Standard!"

I like that WWE is starting to mix shit up with putting the belt on younger guys, even though I may not necessarily agree with their choices. At least they seem to be trying. With Michaels out of the picture and Undertaker doing satan-knows-what, there's some room at the top for fresh faces.

Meanwhile, Cena is champ again over on Raw. Who cares?! They should have let Batista retain and have someone new challenge him for the belt, as Sheamus is preoccupied with beating down HHH every chance he gets. Whatever.

NXT continues to make it up as they go along: we got our first taste of the rankings this past week (Bryan on top, Darren Young at number eight), and it's been revealed that after the next vote, whoever is number eight is getting let go. So . . . when's the next vote? Is there a non-elimination vote in between every elimination one? We've been trained to not think about what's going on for so long, and now there's a show that NEEDS some sort of structure (even if it's pre-determined) to make sense.

We also had a battle royale to determine next week's guest-host of Raw. It's David Otunga. This dude was ranked number five, which is pleasantly surprising. He's got a lot of big connections in real life, but he hasn't impressed me one bit in the ring or on the mic. He looks good, but . . . I guess we'll see how he does as a main character on Raw this week.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NXT - Week Three

This show is now the one I look forward to every week. Then, Smackdown. Haven't even watched the 3/8 Raw because I've been busy doing constructive things, like working and playing drums and listening to music and getting high on illegal drugs.

First segment had Daniel Bryan & the Miz losing a tag-team match against R-Truth & David Otunga. Of course, after the Miz told Bryan not to fuck up and cost them the match, Miz fucked up and cost them the match. Bryan has lost three weeks in a row (the first three weeks of the show), but already had the crowd chanting his name (albeit quietly) and has wrestled the current World Champion, Chris Jericho. Best part was post-match when Bryan made like he was going to slap Miz but pulled back, making the Miz flinch. Crowd loved to see him get punked.

Speaking of, CM Punk and his crew have been putting the slow burn on Darren Young. Dissing him the first week, Punk hooking the foot of Otunga to give Young the win the second week and this week Punk talking about him right in front of him, but facing opposite direction. This dude has a hairstyle begging to be shaved. His "party-guy" gimmick pales in comparison to Zach Ryder's, so ditching the hair, weird tan and big smile could be a good move, but would it make Punk's stable too big? We've already got the enforcer (Luke Gallows) and the vixen (Serena), so what role would Young play?

Carlito jobbed to Heath Slater after spitting apple in his face at the very end of NXT Week Two. Amazing. Who did Carlito piss off? Slater, by the way, needs to do something about his hair, and his happy-go-lucky, "rock band without the instruments" gimmick has no depth whatsoever. Harsh, I know, but it takes more than just being positive to stand out in the world of wrestling.

Main Event featured Matt Hardy's rookie, Justin Gabriel versus Chris Jericho's "protege" Wade Barrett in a good match. Jericho proudly strode around ringside exclaiming the virtues of his influence over Barrett, including a great moment that saw Jericho yelling in Josh Matthews' face about how great Barrett is, Matthews' suggesting that Jericho join them on guest commentary, and Jericho responding, "Maybe I should!"

Gabriel won with his crowd-pleasing 450 splash, but Jericho hit a post-match Codebreaker and stretched him out in the Walls Of Jericho. Like last week against Bryan, Barrett has targeted his opponents' back preceding a Walls Of Jericho from, um, Jericho after the match. Speaking of, this week saw a cool, brutal spot where Barrett lifted Gabriel like in an Atomic Drop, but bounced Gabriel's legs off the top rope and dropped him into a back-breaker. Springboard Back-Breaker? Modified Atomic Drop?

Once again it was interesting to note the difference in Jericho's, um, Walls Of Jericho between NXT and Superstars. He's used the Walls twice, now, in NXT, and both times really bent backwards the Rookie and put his knee to the back of their heads. Just brutal-looking. Meanwhile, over on Superstars, Jericho just put Goldust in a Boston Crab and Cole announced it as the Walls.

Overall, Week Three was another fun show, a good balance of storyline and matches. It's already becoming clear who the standouts are, but a few rookies (Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield) have yet to get a chance to shine.

No news on the voting process that was mentioned during Week Two. Here's what we know: at some point, the Pros will vote on the Rookies, the only rule being that the Pros cannot vote for their own Rookie. Also, some of the Rookies have alluded to the fact that only one of them will win this competition. What we don't know: if it's elimination-style or just one vote at the end, and when the competition ends. Basically, the two most important pieces to the puzzle.

Without this information, it's hard to root for any of the Rookies. One has to imagine that the voting will occur once the season ends, as not every Rookie gets to wrestle every week. Still, without a definitive end date, the audience can't get nervous for their favorite. If I knew that the show was only six weeks long, for example, I'd be worried that Bryan wouldn't make it because he's already lost all of his matches on 50% of the shows.

NXT could have been a great reality-competition knock-off from the start if they'd established the ground rules immediately, retaining an iota of kayfabe. Slowly leaking out information over the course of a month just reminds the crowd that this is just another predetermined WWE show.

The irony, of course, is that while the WWE probably has a good idea of who they want to bring up from FCW, every week really is competition between the Rookies to show what they've got in front of millions on TV.

Now listening:

Saturday, March 6, 2010


What is happening? There's voting of some sort, Daniel Bryan is main-eventing against Jericho, Carlito is spitting apples in people's faces that press their hair straight, Jennifer Hudson's husband is botching his shitty finisher, the Miz is a fabulous prick, holy fuck!

Vince is brilliant and has been on a tear with this less-than-awesome Bret Hart storyline. Where is the Hart Dynasty? So much opportunity wasted. BUT, Vince has been on fire as Mr. Antagonist-Scumbag. The camera shot on Raw where you could see McMahon's reflection in Hart's aviators was amazing. Vince just chewing him out, so funny.

Superstars was amazing this week - Regal stretching out Bourne (and then losing) was great.

Regal to crowd, while pointing at a downed Bourne: "He's pathetic. Just like all of you people!"

Regal while re-applying a brutal arm-bar thing after Bourne tried to muscle out of it: "Oh, no . . . he's not going anywhere!"

Then, an excellent main event between Jericho and . . .GOLDUST? I love the fact that we actually have a fighting champion in Jericho. Although the belt wasn't on the line in either of the aforementioned matches, they were both solid, gave his opponent plenty of offense, and reminded us why we love Jericho. It was interesting to see the Walls of Jericho applied to Bryan properly (with the knee to the back of the head and everything) and then to Goldust (Boston-Crab style) and have the announcers call it by the same name. Whatever.

Although the Batista/Cena feud is pretty entertaining (because of Leather-Daddy Heel Batista), it sucks never seeing the champ wrestle. At least Orton would have matches all the time (and some damn good ones with Kofi, to boot). Same with Undertaker. He was the Smackdown champ for months and would only pop up on the TitanTron or to cut an evil promo. Hail Jericho!!!

Now listening:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No more ECW!

So it's being reported that in three weeks, ECW will be no more, replaced by a new WWE show that will "change" TV, etc.


My esteemed colleague Bobek and I had - in real life - discussed the possibility of me lying to my cable provider in an attempt to gain access to OVW via some sort of special feature available to RV's traveling around the country. After growing out of its initial, bizarre phase (Kevin Thorn, Mike Knox & Kelly Kelly), it sort-of evolved into a place where we could see the newest WWE signings . . . that were ready for TV. Now - why not air a show that runs in smaller venues and features the even newer talent showing what they've got?

If the 'E can learn anything from indie feds and especially Ring Of Honor, it's that you can run in limited venues and people will still come because they like to watch wrestling. Keep the feuds basic and the match-ups fresh, that's all we ask! If WWE had aired their weekly OVW program in the Midwest along with their PPV-style events, I would have watched that more than Raw.

Chances are, though, that the new Tuesday-night show will just be all Elimination Chambers every week or something.

Now listening:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bret Hart

I forgot to address Bret Hart's appearance on Raw. I'm a big Bret Hart fan, so it was a big deal to me. All of the other things in my update were just on my mind more recently.

Like Hoffa, I think Bret was underused a bit, but also agree that since he'll be around until Wrestlemania it's not a big deal. The Hart/Michaels confrontation was a huge markout moment for anyone who's been a fan for more than ten years or so. And man was that hug awkward! But, it was a good segment, though it couldn't help but be given the occasion.

The Vince/Bret confrontation was a bit underwhelming. Hoffa and I actually had a conversation about how I thought the ballshot was okay, since they needed to do something that would keep Bret down, without being anything so big that bigger moments down the road don't matter less by comparison. So, in that sense it worked. Not a great segment, but again, there'll be plenty of time for Bret/Vince fun between now and Mania. From the sounds of it, the feud'll be picking back up this coming Monday... let's hope they don't screw this one up!