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!

Last week or so of wrestling

- Lot of ground to cover since last Monday night, so hopefully I don't ramble on too long...

- Trying to figure out what WWE is thinking from a business perspective can be taxing. Not only do you have Mike Tyson, a name that's still a draw, hosting Raw, he's also doing a match. Mike Tyson who hasn't boxed in years. Mike Tyson who is a character straight out of pro wrestling. You can advertise "MIKE TYSON RETURNS TO THE RING ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW!" the entire week leading up to the show, probably get coverage on ESPN, and draw a lot of eyeballs. Instead they announce the match about 30-40 minutes into the show in the middle of a backstage promo. Seriously, how can a wrestling promoter miss the fact that Mike Tyson having a wrestling match is a big deal and could make money or at least get some of the mainstream media attention Vince so desperately craves, if it were actually advertised in advance? This seems like the easiest booking decision ever, and they still messed it up.

- Of course, one of the other advantages of promoting the MIKE TYSON MATCH in advance would have been an opportunity to showcase some of your up and coming talent to new fans. Like, say, the new WWE Champion? Sheamus really isn't established with the fans yet, but since he's champion, the company should be focusing all of its energy on pushing him and getting him over; as an inexperienced guy, he needs all the help he can get. Any champion needs the full backing of the company. Sure, Sheamus was in the opening promo with Tyson and did a decent job, but that was it. He may have popped his head in after the number one contender's match for a staredown or something, but that's all. Even last week, where he cut a decent promo and squashed Evan Bourne, it was his only segment on the show. I don't understand why a company would put the belt on a guy and not push him. I try to avoid the glass ceiling/conspiracy stuff, but with WWE making decisions that make absolutely zero business sense, sometimes you can't help but wonder what other motivations are at play.

- Speaking of bad decisions, the Monday night Impact and return of Hogan were enough to get me to give TNA another chance. I don't think I've ever so much as mentioned TNA on the Stunt Granny; I rarely watch it. I generally find it to be a poorly presented product. Still, the return of Hogan/Bischoff is at least potentially interesting, and I'm curious to see what they do with the company.

- And right off the bat, they blew the Jeff Hardy debut. I think a pretty strong argument can be made that Hardy's been the top star in WWE the last year or so, and even if not, he'd certainly be in the conversation. That was the one really huge surprise TNA had, but they debuted him at the end of a nothing cage match. Then again, Hardy wasn't even mentioned on Impact this week (although I did do some fast forwarding), so maybe it was a one-shot deal. Even if so, you're telling me you couldn't come up with something bigger for one of your rival's biggest stars to do than randomly walk in on a dying match, then hang out in the back with a jobber PAINTING. I know I'm using a lot of CAPS but this shit is maddening.

- And let's not forget TNA's brilliant use of Ric Flair so far. Not like he has any name value or anything. TNA has Ric Flair show up on the Monday night Impact, walk into AJ Styles's locker room, come out to watch Styles's match for five minutes, then randomly head to the back, with the match still going on. Huh? But, sure, there was a lot happening on last week's show, so maybe save Flair's debut promo for this week, hype it up a bunch beforehand? No, he came out and sat in on commentary for the Styles/Tomko match, where he said he wasn't really familiar with Styles and Tomko's backstory (I'm not either, but way to put over the product), and said he had never met AJ before. Strange they didn't cross paths when Styles was in WCW for over a month near the end (and it's not like that was circa-1999 WCW with about 250 guys under contract). From the end of this week's show, it does look like Flair's leading Styles towards a heel turn, so I can see building up this angle a little bit. Still, TNA is just trying to seize some momentum off the relative success of the Monday night show... wouldn't you think one of the two biggest names in the last 25 years would maybe be somebody you could use in a prominent manner to garner some attention for your growing company?

I'll conclude this portion with a line you used to see on signs at wrestling shows: "Who booked this shit?"

- Meanwhile, some less rant-y positives:

- Miz really delivered with his promo on Raw. He really put some feeling into the portions about being hazed and taunted by JBL (his intensity describing it all sure had the ring of truth). Also good to see that a talented guy like Miz delivering something true to his own life is far more compelling than the same old scripted crap he and the rest of the roster have to spout every week. MVP's promo, while weaker overall, also peaked with some real-life stuff that was intense and sincere and also came off great. Both guys looked like superstars and showed more intensity than I've ever seen from either of them on the mic. I felt like that segment really elevated the US title, as well as both Miz and MVP.

- I've been really enjoying the Kane/Ziggler series on Smackdown, against all odds. The storyline has really elevated Ziggler, although I didn't like him taking the loss tonight. Hopefully this loss doesn't cut the legs off his push like the IC title push from a few months ago that just fizzled out. I haven't really been sold on him until now, but I think Ziggler has serious potential. He does all the little things right, and I'm really liking this college boy/thinking man's wrestler direction for his gimmick. I always enjoy the heel who doesn't necessarily cheat to win matches, but is just smarter and craftier, and maybe in some ways better, which makes you hate the dickhead even more. It's been a pretty successful style for Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho in the past. Hope it keeps up and he keeps improving, although remembering back to Nick Nemeth (a.k.a. Ziggler) back in OVW, I can't help but wonder if Ken Doane or Johnny Jeter, who showed a lot more potential back then, will ever get another shot.

- Nice to see Elijah Burke and Nigel McGuinness on TNA, though I was surprised Elijah beat McGuinness so quickly. It seems like Wolfe/Nigel's been booked like a legit badass, while Elijah/Pope is, while extremely entertaining, still pretty much a midcard gimmick, at least until he's more established. That's the only reason I don't get putting him over Wolfe in a short match, it hurts Wolfe more than it helps Pope. Oh well, good to see them both on TV. I never did understand why WWE gave up on Elijah.

- I've been on a big wrestling kick lately, so I've actually busted out some of my old tapes for the first time in a while. I'm in the middle of a fun Pro Wrestling NOAH show from 2002 right now, but what I'm most excited about is discovering that I can get LUCHA on cable at home! Really wish I'd thought of checking sooner (I did a few years ago but didn't get any then), but I'm looking forward to getting my first episodes on the DVR this weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jeff Hardy TNA theme

Modest to the top
Modest at the top
straight to the top and then keep headin up
stars shine for why we shouln'd give a fuck
about what is real
and how real is still the only way to feel the pain it sometimes deals
in a way that survives the struggles we face
in this life there's alot of time can't erase
showcase the skills you were givin at birth
live your life here for what it's worth
show off the style you perfect in life
show all the way to make it right
make it to the top of mt. profession
rule it until you feel theres nothin more for you to do
or say none of you better get in my way
comin down if u do you'll be back on level ground
modest to the top
modest at the top
still modest past top

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bret Hart on Raw

An event so big that even the Stunt Granny didn't fast forward through it!

I thought Bret was underused, although since he'll be around through 'Mania, I'm not worried about it. Vince's kick to Bret's nutsack was pretty weak, though. I guess it gets across what a tool Vince's character is supposed to be, but it rivaled the 619 in terms of lack-of-impact.

Wish the Hart Dynasty would have been around, but they'll come into the picture soon as Bret's cronies, I bet.

I recorded TNA Impact for the first time since I realized they have a six-sided ring, and although I haven't read any detailed spoilers, it certainly seems like the show should be called OFW: Old Fart Wrestling. Impact.

Considering it's not a sweeps week, I find it odd that this huge comeback correlates with a giant All My Children reunion thing with Kelly Ripa, her husband and some other people I've never heard of. Ask my girlfriend for more details.

In other news - scored a copy of the AWA DVD from work for a few bucks. Add another onto the pile for when I retire/am buried with my possessions to enjoy in the afterlife.

Next up? Kane!