Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Backlash Thoughts

Well, with PPV's being 40 dollars apiece, this will be one of the few PPV reports you're going to see on this site. By "you're" I mean whoever the second subscriber to this site is. Thanks for signing up! Decent show, I thought, and I was 5/7 on my predictions. Didn't know that Foley was taking over color on Smackdown, but that was a welcome surprise. He has the knowledge, the in-ring experience, and the sense of humor necessary to do the job right. Let's take a look-see at the show . . .

MVP vs. Matt Hardy (US Championship, 1/1)
Hardy won like he should have. Seeing as how the WWE had to basically press the Pause button on this feud, it was good to see some closure, and now these two can move onto other storylines.

Kane vs. Chavo (ECW Championship, 2/2)
Kane retains, which makes sense. This match was somewhat lame, because Chavo didn't really adjust his offense for a much bigger man. Trying to suplex Kane? What?! I guess Chavo focused on Kane's knee that was beaten with a chair less than a week before, but that should have been the focus of Chavo's offense. For that alone, Chavo deserved to lose.

Big Show vs. Great Khali (3/3)
Loved the long-ass pause before Show's theme hit (WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL . . . ). This wasn't too bad, considering that Khali was involved, but I really think the fact that Show won made this match more tolerable. If he had lost, it would have meant more Khali on my TV, but that's a moot point.

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista (3/4)
OK, I thought that Batista was going to finally turn heel along with some sort of Jericho interference. Instead, Michaels won with the Superkick Out Of Nowhere and Jericho called the match right down the middle (baby). Bizarre. My co-author here at the Stunt Granny offices thought that Michaels had legit injured his knee and that was the reason for lack of guest-ref interference, but that doesn't seem to be the case, according to the internet. Very weird. Maybe Jericho just wanted to be a ref for fun.

Divas Tag Match (4/5)
Evil Divas won via Victoria's finisher, the Widow's Peak, which is one of the best finishers in the WWE. Looks super brutal and has a good setup: you know its coming and then it actually has some sort of impact. Good to see her use it for a PPV win. No heel turn like predicted, but after looking at all of the divas in one place, it wasn't obvious who would turn, so it makes sense that it didn't happen.

Undertaker vs. Edge (World Championship match, 5/6)
'Taker retains. Seemed obvious. Also seems like they're getting ready to interject CM Punk into a feud with Edge, maybe. Those two could have some awesome matches, but I'm worried about his rapid ascension in the ranks. There are still 11 months left for Punk to cash in the Money in the Bank thing, so let's hope the E is smart about this.

Fatal Four Way (WWE Championship, 5/7)
Well, I was right about it coming down to HHH and Orton, but I predicted with my heart for Orton to retain and HHH won instead. Bummer. Nice to see the same type of elimination as the finish of 'Mania . . . still getting the boot-to-the-head as a finisher that you just can't get up from. Don't quite understand why the RKO and the boot have been built as being so unstoppable just to have HHH win the belt.

Overall, decent show, but I would have been happy all day at work on Monday if Orton had retained. He should have kept the belt all year and lost it at 'Maina. He's so much fun to hate! Like on the PPV, when he was talking shit to his opponents backstage, Orton would get in their faces, but not look them in the eye. Brilliant.

Oh, well. I'll keep watching anyway.
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Week 2

More thoughts from this week in WWE history!


Great show overall. Loved the way the tournament was set up for Regal to coast and Punk to get his ass beat repeatedly. Excellent, simple way to get Regal over as a huge prick and also reinforce the fact that heels always look to manipulate their situations any way they can to work towards their advantage. Regal is great at being a jerk, so hopefully his run as King of the Ring is as prosperous as Booker's was.

The political angle was, um, not great. Amazing that the three candidates actually appeared (albeit in taped segments) on the show to try and get us hicks to vote. Of course, McCain got the main event segment, but re-used the Rock's catchphrase with not-as-good results. The match between "Obama" and "Clinton" was fast-forwarded through due to my inability to tolerate such filler. Seeing as how McCain wasn't involved in that part of the political angle, it makes me wonder if Umaga is how Vince sees the Republican party: ruthless, non-English-speaking savages with taped thumbs and the ability to deliver punishing Samoan Drops to their opponents. Either that, or Umaga was raised a conservative Republican and that was a total shoot.

Main event was once again meh. I understand that you want all of your major story lines to converge in the main event of your last flagship show before a PPV, but Edge spearing Kane - a man twice his size - for the pin? Why not have Orton RKO him? Or have Chavo deliver a frog splash after the spear for the pin? Like it either takes one big guy's finisher (the RKO) or two smaller guy's combined finishers (spear/frog splash) to take down the Big Red Missile? Whatever.


Did this show even happen? So un-memorable!

Opener saw Dreamer/Kelly Kelly vs. Knox/Layla in a tag match. Knox beatdown on Dreamer post-match. Was this because Knox was still in love with Kelly Kelly, or because Dreamer is friends with Colin Delany, who Knox pinned last week and now hates for no reason? Chances are, no mention will be given to the fact that Knox and Kelly Kelly used to have a thing (and that she seemed to fall for CM Punk . . . and then Balls Mahoney). Okaaaaay.

Yang over Morrison in a singles match. Miz on commentary burned Adamle by asking him if Yang was "Jamaican him crazy." Huge.

Speaking of Jamaicans, Kofi Kingston defeated the Gold Standard, Shelton Benjamin with little effort. I guess Shelton is only the Gold Standard of wrestlers not getting pushes. So depressing to see Shelton jobbed out to Kofi, but Shelton's lack of mic prowess/charisma is really starting to catch up with him.

Mark "the Human Candy Bar" Henry over Nunzio. Seriously.

Main event saw a "rare" edition of the Cutting Edge on ECW. Love a good Promo Event. Kane had his Big Red Leg worked over with a chair courtesy of Chavo, helping to set up what will most-likely be an injury that will be forgotten when those two meet at Backlash.

Adamle was slightly better this week, but still clearly has no idea what most of the moves are, what the wrestler's names are, or who is mad at who and why. It's clear why he was the choice to succeed one of the most knowledgeable commentators in wrestling.


On the only non-three-letter show, things were pretty entertaining, overall.

Good to see Punk in the main event mix. His challenge and subsequent strong showing against Edge had the crowd going insane for every near fall, like there was any chance that Punk was actually going to get a win over the number one contender two days before a Wrestlemania rematch. Still a good match, though, and Edge only got the win on a distraction from Hawkins/Ryder, so Punk still looked strong. Also - it's worth noting that Edge's Spear looks good against someone his size like Punk, which is a nice same-week contrast to Kane. Finally, is Punk even on ECW anymore?

Speaking of main events, the final match on this show made no sense, pitting Batista against the Undertaker in a no-DQ match for the belt, even though Batista is already involved in that silly feud with Shawn Michaels (whose Superkick gave 'Take the opportunity to Tombstone Batista for the obvious win). So dumb. So if Batista were to win the belt on Smackdown, Edge would face Batista for the Championship and Michaels would just stand in the ring with guest-referee Chris Jericho at Backlash?

Natalya Neidhart beat up on Cherry for her first match, winning with a Sharpshooter. Funny that her finisher is the same as her dad's old tag team partner, Bret Hart. Cherry shouldn't be split off from Deuce and Domino, by the way. She was effective as the sister/girlfriend and was able to interfere nicely. She just seems too small to hack it as a Diva.

MVP/Matt Hardy segment was simple in its setup for their US Title match at Backlash. Of course, MVP blasted Hardy with the belt, because that's what you do when you're a heel champion.

Vladimir Kozlov goes four weeks undefeated against jobbers. Amazing feat! Still digging the no-entrance-music gimmick, though. He should feud with Snitsky until they both fade away into obscurity. How can you take a Russian powerhouse seriously when he's destroying guys half his size that you've never heard of? It's like Vince owed the Russian Mafia a favor or something.

Backlash Predictions

All in all, decent week from the E, and the PPV is shaping up nicely considering that 'Mania was only four weeks ago. If WWE can build a halfway decent PPV like Backlash in four weeks, think what they could do with a few less PPV's every year. I'd want to buy them all instead of just 'Mania, the Rumble, and one or two others. That sill leaves eight un-bought PPV's per year. Anywho . . . interesting that Punk isn't in a match at Backlash, but maybe they're giving him the night off after the King of the Ring tournament.

Diva tag match, Good vs. Evil
I predict the evil ladies win with some sort of heel turn.

Batista vs. Shawn Michaels
I'm going to say that Batista pulls this one out using some sort of deviousness, as they've been teasing a heel turn since the beginning of this "feud." Obviously, Jericho will be involved somehow, although it would be more shocking if he wasn't.

Kane vs. Chavo
This is a tough call. Does Kane retain and keep his "thank you" belt for a while longer or does Chavo get his belt back for La Familia? I'm going to pick Kane, and then wonder who he will feud with. Vladimir, maybe?!

Fatal Four Way (Orton, HHH, Cena, JBL)
Here's to hoping that Orton will retain and continue the Age of Orton. unsure as to why JBL is in the mix . . . maybe to give him the rub and remind fans that he's a serious contender down the line? Seeing as how this has been changed to elimination-style, I'm going to predict HHH/Orton as the final two with Orton getting the win.

MVP vs. Hardy
Going with Hardy on this one. It just makes sense that MVP and him finally end this feud and move on to other opponents.

Big Show vs. Khali
Big Show wins to remind us why he's the giant we actually like having around. Fucking fire Khali, already!

'Taker vs. Edge
Another tough call, but I predict Undertaker keeps the belt to get back his title run that got fucked due to injury after Wrestlemania 23.

Matches not on this show that should be:

-Some sort of Women's Title defense
-Some sort of Tag Team Title defense (either Holly/Rhodes or Miz/Morrison)
-IC Title defense instead of a guest-referee spot!

Now playing: Winter - Winter
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Jamaican me crazy, Kofi!

Just a few random thoughts from WWE programming this week. Trying to get the wheels in motion over here.


-Nice to see Mickie James with the belt again, even if the win sorta' came out of nowhere. Almost seemed like it happened to to have something noteworthy happen on the trip to London.

-This whole Chris-Jericho-getting-involved-with-(Dave)-Batista-and-Shawn-
Michaels-for-no-reason angle is getting on my nerves. Jericho is the IC champ, so why is he bothering to get in the middle of this beef that has nothing whatsoever to do with him? It's like everyone involved in that angle is caught somewhere between face and heel, and the writers have no idea what to do with any of them.

At first, Batista seemed like the logical heel, right? Pissed off that Michaels retired Flair - his "mentor," apparently - Batista was just acting like a selfish prick and the fans were clearly beginning to turn on him. Now, this could have evolved into a decent little feud, but after Michaels and Batista had the same exact conversation on Raw, Smackdown, and then Raw again the next week, it was obvious that something else needed to be added.

So Jericho is thrown into the mix for some inexplicable reason. Why would the IC Champ even care about what these two main-eventers were doing. Shouldn't he be protecting his belt against potentially legitimate mid-card threats like, I don't know . . . Mr. Kennedy? Umaga?

Now, the fans have no idea who the heel is. Is it Jericho because he's getting in other people's business? Is it Batista, due to his unjustified prick-like nature, or is it Michaels, the shortcut-taking, backstabbing ladder-climber? Chances are, this match at Backlash will end with some Jericho interference, and the fans won't give a shit.

-Good to see some revitalization of the stagnant tag division with Santino and Carlito getting a win over London/Kendrick. Post-match establishment of Santino/Carltio as a team was very welcome. In other tag news: please don't break up Cade/Murdoch. Such a bad idea. A good idea would be to just have them feud with London/Kendick. Maybe even throw Crime Time into the mix and have some good big-team-on-big-team matches along with big-team-on-small-team bouts.

-Paul Birchill took enough time off from ogling his sister to defeat Hacksaw. Awesome.

-Regal and Orton was an excellent way to keep Regal strong even though he succumbed to the ever-brilliant RKO. The suplex Orton received was just insanity. Always good to see Regal in action.

-Main event was OK. Everyone beating everyone down at the end was OK. Seeing HHH get his ass beat was OK.


-ECW is now officially worth watching because of Mike Adamle. The former American Gladiators host really has his work cut out for him. Amazing how brilliant Taz(z) sounded comparatively.

-In other ECW news, Kofi Kingston is getting clean pins over the likes of Domino and got the pin in that eight-man tag match that contained every notable ECW star. Wonder if this is part of the E's new kid-intensive direction. Unsure how I feel about Kofi . . . they should turn him heel. Make him a huge pothead and have a feud with Punk.

-Mike Knox got a win over Colin Delaney. Good to see Knox slowly slipping down into "all future endeavors" territory.

-Undertaker and Kane (unsurprisingly) got the win over Miz & Morrison. Didn't see that one coming!


-Show/Mark Henry happened. Khali came out and attempted to make a Big Show beatdown look feasible. This match was brought to you in part by Tivo! Fast forward through life!

-MVP/Dreamer was OK. Matt Hardy on commentary was meh. He needs to do something about that hairline and its recession.

-Chavo/Jamie Noble was meh. Chavo's new bodyguard, Bam Neely (being billed as a former border patrol agent!), came in and delivered a weak-looking slam to the vulnerable Jamie Noble. Whatever. The (recently) former ECW champion beating a C-level wrestler? Exciting.

-Cherry/Victoria was surprisingly decent, although I saw the Cherry surprise victory coming a mile away. Victoria's trash-talking made this match, really.

-Vladimir Kozlov came out, defeated Local Indie Worker Leroy Kincaid, and left. Love the fact that Kozlov has no entrance theme, though.

-Main was lame. Edge and his cronies did the "we paid for front row tickets" gimmick, which of course led to 'Taker yanking him out of his seat, Chavo and Neely running down to the ring, yadda yadda. Hawkins, Ryder, Chavo, and Neely all got beatdowns from 'Taker and Batista, letting Edge slink away like usual. Oh, Batista and undertaker had a useless match that was just a setup for the post-match shenanigans.

-Smackdown was the worst show this week, Raw was the best, and Mike Adamle is on ECW.
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