I haven't been blogging much lately because life has taken over my free time. A little under two weeks ago we checked my mom into hospice as her Lung Cancer was moved into stage 4 terminal. It has been a rough emotional time. She is in a great place right now. The staff is top notch. It puts my mind at ease to know her last days on this planet will be lived as pain-free as possible. I hope to post some ramblings on this site soon enough.
Thanks to all who have tweeted, emailed, and just found a way to reach out to be during this time. Your support has been amazing.
Better days ahead,
Monday, November 19, 2012
Hey it's almost Thanksgiving. Life is slowing down a bit and I'm looking forward to posting new articles, opinions, and flat out rants about pro wrestling real soon. Like tomorrow soon. If you missed Survivor Series (like I did) then you missed the debut of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. I have been geeked about two of these three for years. This is the spark that I was waiting on to perk my interest in the WWE product once again.
Tune into RAW tonight to see where the future of the WWE is headed. Then check back here tomorrow for a RAW review plus I am sure I'll have something to say about something the WWE screwed up. I'm looking at you John Cena's new money grab ... I mean gear.
Until then enjoy this and try to keep your shirt on (or not)
Tune into RAW tonight to see where the future of the WWE is headed. Then check back here tomorrow for a RAW review plus I am sure I'll have something to say about something the WWE screwed up. I'm looking at you John Cena's new money grab ... I mean gear.
Until then enjoy this and try to keep your shirt on (or not)
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Missed in all the hubbub about a fan getting hit was a really good showing by the WWE last week on RAW. The last twenty minutes is some of the best television they have produced this year. The story told by Vince McMahon and CM Punk is a tape that should be studied by new wrestlers to learn how to do so much with so little. It also made me want to watch this week instead of Monday Night Football. I would say that is mission accomplished.
This week was another good episode of RAW. I believe it was the episode to sell fans on the Hell in a Cell PPV. Next week is a programming nightmare as RAW goes head to head with the final Presidential debate and MNF is the Lions vs. Bears. Both will take huge chunks of the audience with them. That meant last night was really the go home show for the PPV with next week being just a week to pad the numbers. There were some road bumps, but overall another step in the right direction for the WWE.
Big Show is an underrated talent. His size alone makes him a draw but he is really good at cutting a multi-level promo. He has done a lot for Sheamus while the WWE creative team treads water with the fighting Irishman until a real feud comes along. I think Survivor Series will be a fork in the road for both men. I’m still pushing for a team up of Henry, Tensai, and Show. Or as I like to call them, “HTS” for Half Ton Savages. Think about those three doing a free bird style tag team.
It’s no mystery that Daniel Bryan and Kane are riding a hot streak right now. They are becoming a true attraction for the WWE. Bryan had that crowd going nuts just walking to the ring. These two had a great opener, and once again Bryan proves he can wrestle any person on the roster to a good showing. Show, Kane, and Bryan are all in limbo as neither is in a real feud. Using the three to push their characters is a nice touch.
It also lets Sheamus work a mini-program with Wade Barrett. What an enjoyment that was. I love their chemistry and brutality. I like that Sheamus has yet to finish a match with Barrett. It keeps building up Wade and protects the champ. When they have their real “first” match it will have tons of buzz going into it. Can anyone else say Survivor Series? If Wade Barrett isn’t World Champ by the Royal Rumble then he is my pick to win it.
What happened to Brodus Clay? No entrance and getting jobbed out in a few minutes, rough. His gimmick is limited, but damn who tied a bag of rocks around his leg and dropped him off the WWE bridge? Del Rio is becoming a top tier heel. Poor Brodus is becoming a victim. ADR is vicious and his arm breaker is a feared finisher. He should get the win against Orton. Should. We all know nothing is certain against Reefer Randy.
Side note: Anyone else notice that the DUI dancer for Clay can’t hide the fact that each time Brodus loses, and gets closer to a gimmick switch, that she is a day closer to unemployment? She really is a dead woman dancing.
Kane vs. Striker, The PTP tag match, and Ryback were a bunch of time wasters. Luckily the WWE put them in a good spots. I am guessing the PTP will be the post PPV challengers for Team Hell No. It is good to build them up now. Kane attacking announcers and the GM abusing her power is getting old. Move the storyline forward. Having Vince take control of both shows seems to be the direction they are headed. I'm guessing before Survivor Series. What about AJ managing Ryback? Not a bad team huh. Poor Ziggler is the real guy in the WWE getting no respect. His career looks like his MITB case, beat up.
When it comes to the Diva division I am going to leave that as incomplete. The WWE has done a lot to salt the earth in this division. Honestly this is the time I did some quick clean up around the house before finishing RAW in bed. This had nothing to offer me at this point.
The lowest point of the show was “The 3 Man Band”. Horrible gimmick. Mahal looks so out of place trying to be two stereotypes at once. Wrestling gimmicks are like the streams in Ghostbusters, don’t cross them. Asian Cowboy didn’t work for Jimmy Wang Yang. Rock-a-Billy Hindu isn’t doing anything for Mahal. I like all three workers. They could be a good team. Just not this team. Also the live vignette in the Nashville bar was stupid. I checked on the MNF game at this point.
Antonio Cesaro on the other hand is a gimmick that is hitting. He is a gifted worker with a great look. His, “I’m the best US Champ because I’m not American”, story is great. It doesn’t do the campy old 80’s anti-America heel stuff. It is a fresh take on an old idea. I like that the crowd chants USA during his match. I would like to see Antonio act like the crowd is chanting for him. Who else would they be cheering for? He is the US champ after all.
Also Jim Ross on commentary did amazing stuff for Cesaro last night. Pointing out the little things on the replay was huge. JR truly is the greatest of all time. How many stars have been made just because of Ross? He gives each WWE superstar depth to their character.
Kofi vs. Miz is interesting. Miz is calling Kofi a sideshow performer when that is what most people have thought about Miz his whole career. I like that this is feud that is playing a bigger role on their ION show. It helps that product grow, and gives this feud more chances to expand. I liked their rushed match near the end of the show. That kick from Kofi was nasty. I’m sure it wasn’t planned to be so stiff, but damn did it look good. I hope Miz doesn’t have brain damage. If he is ok then that kick did a lot to open people’s eyes to this feud. Good mid-card battle here.
The Rhodes Scholars is a great team. I am so excited that tag team wrestling is on the upswing. There really are 5-6 strong teams right now. JR said it best last night when he stated that Team Hell No has restarted this division. I really hope the WWE is going to keep these teams together. They need some guys willing to give up the next 2-3 years to help bring the tag titles back to glory. I think that Hell No vs. The Scholars at the PPV could be the dark horse for match of the night. Next week against Rey and Sin Cara should be a good one too.
I’ve waited to cover the Punk-Vince-Cena story. This whole angle since last week has been the shining light for the WWE. Punk has developed this unique character that is part weasel, part ego-maniac, and part serial killer all mixed together with a sense that at the end of the day the thing that pisses you off the most about him is that he might be right; he might be “the best in the world”. Paul Heyman plays perfectly off Punk with his facial expressions. They are really a good mesh of talents. I hope the WWE doesn’t cut the legs off this beast before it gets a chance to really run its course.
Vince has been top notch the past two weeks. He hasn’t been overused. He isn’t his cheesy dancing make a dick joke self. He has a little of that attitude and swagger about him from a decade ago. You kind of expect that from a guy who two weeks ago was told by a top star that his current product is the drizzling shits. It’s weird that so many compare Punk to Austin, and it is Vince who really helps elevate both men. I would say that Vince makes Punk the anti-Austin. His in ring psychology last week was some of the best in a WWE ring this year outside of Punk and Bryan.
Finally, John Cena has done something that nobody thought possible. He has embraced the hate. He looks to be a man who HATES every bone in CM Punk’s body. He has no respect for the man. He wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire. It has been the one true emotion that Cena has lacked his entire WWE career. When the two hook up in a month or two, this will be something that makes that match up special.
The Cena injury might be the biggest gift the WWE has ever received. First nobody wants anyone to be injured. That is stupid. What I am saying is that the elbow has forced the WWE to slow down the pace of a really good story. It is no secret that Punk and Cena can deliver in the ring. Yet the WWE was ready to hot shot everything this month and leave a hole between now and the Royal Rumble. Now it is unfolding that the path to WrestleMania will be filled with tons of goodies.
This month we get Ryback vs. Punk. A match up that might draw more PPV buys than Punk/Cena Month 3. The big man is a hot ticket right now. Is he WWE championship material? Not yet. He can benefit from playing in the main event. Punk can make him look like a beast and then he can go rip the WWE mid card a new ass. I am guessing somehow Punk gets out of HIAC with his title. Got Brock?
Next Month is the Survivor Series PPV. The last BIG PPV of 2012. It is already being leaked that a classic five man match is going be the selling point here. I am guessing either team Cena vs. team Punk or Team McMahon vs. Team Heyman. They’re kinda both the same, just depends on the angle. Ryback gets to play on team Cena and Brock can hang with team Punk. The rest fills in leading up to the PPV. I for one think having the winning team’s captain name the stipulation for Cena vs. Punk in December would be a smart decision. It adds extra buzz to the match without doing anything.
Like I said December is probably the best month for Punk vs. Cena. Not only is it the end of their feud. Not only is it for the WWE championship. The winner also goes on to face the Rock at the next PPV, Royal Rumble. That is a lot of different factors playing into this B-list PPV. It could be a real boon for the WWE to save this match for such a pay per view. It’s like a bonus pay day for them.
Finally there is the Royal Rumble and the Rock. The winner of the feud will be red hot going into this matchup. The Rock will bring it. A very huge way to start 2013. It is a great place to be heading into WrestleMania, which should be a top notch show this year.
Last night picking Ryback over John Cena, with no fight from Cena, was a move in the right direction. Cena stepped aside because he now wants something more than the WWE title. He wants the destruction of CM Punk. As I said earlier, he has embraced the hate. Now the WWE has the potential for five big PPVs leading into WrestleMania. That is something to get excited about.
Monday Night RAW had a good show for a second straight week. I think next week will be a wash with all the other options on TV. The WWE has shown some life after the shakeup in the creative team. The new blood seems to be paying off. I’m already looking forward to the PPV. I would say with these strong showings the past few weeks that the WWE brass has gotten the kick in the ass they need to finally begin shifting gears.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Earlier this week I talked about the state of the WWE creative team and how Vince McMahon is fed up with the current direction of the WWE writers. I laid out a loose plan for how to fix what is broken. My keystone idea being that the WrestleMania 29 main event should be the Undertaker vs. CM Punk for the WWE title in a streak vs. streak match. With that in mind you can book the rest of your year to build toward that pinnacle point. I said I would go deeper into this idea, and share some of my booking beliefs that I used in starting two different regional wrestling television shows, both highly rated in their timeslots, and a series of nationally distributed DVDs. Let’s dive in.
CM Punk is the hottest talent on the WWE roster today. John Cena is the most established. There is a difference. Cena has a very loyal fan base, but CM Punk has a constantly expanding fan base. Not all of these people are supporters of Punk, but more people are putting eyes on Punk than Cena these days. Even the high brass at Comic Con said that Punk was a better draw for them this year than Cena had been in the past. Be it to cheer for him, or to watch him get beat up, more people are opening their wallets to see CM Punk. That is why he is the WWE champion, and that is why he needs to be at the top of the WrestleMania 29 bill.
The Undertaker is the hottest talent in WWE history. He can stay away from the WWE for months, and with a toll of his bell, the fans are rabid to see him walk the aisle. He might be the greatest persona in pro wrestling history, dating back to the original carnival days. His undefeated streak at WrestleMania makes him a top draw each year. People want to see what is going to happen next, and at 20+ years, they don’t know which match is his last. This built in hype, and near god-like status, makes the Undertaker a necessity for the main event at WrestleMania 29. He’s a draw by just walking out the curtain, and that’s a great foundation to build on.
The two also have a small history. It’s only a few minutes on the CM Punk “Best in the World” DVD, but it was Undertaker vs. Punk for the world title after Summer Slam that cemented the disrespect the WWE brain trust had for Punk. They took a hot talent coming out of a sizzling feud, and fed him to the phenom. On the DVD they state that Taker had no respect for Punk going into their program, but over time that changed. It’s a great starting point given the current “No Respect” card being played by CM Punk. The standard bearer of the WWE is the only man left standing in the way of CM Punk getting the respect he believes that he deserves. The kind of respect that can’t be denied after beating the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
This is one of the many drawing factors for this match. There is the streak vs. streak dynamic. The Undertaker is 20-0. That is something in the current WWE that will never happen again. To get a talent that stays with the WWE for over two decades, and a creative team that handles that talent correctly the entire time, you’d have a higher success rate betting on Tammy Sytch staying out of prison. This will never happen again. Never. The uniqueness of the situation is another draw in itself. It’s like watching a comet that flies by the earth every millennium. It will never happen again during our life time. Things like this make money in any medium.
CM Punk is also doing something that will never happen again. He’s closing in on one year as WWE champion. That is something that doesn’t happen in the era of fans that have a train of thought only 140 characters long. By WrestleMania 29, he’ll be closing in on 18 months. It’s another unheard of situation that on its own draws people in. There will be fans who tune in because they don’t know when and if CM Punk is going to end the longest title reign since Hulk Hogan’s 1474 days between 1984-88. That’s before The Undertaker was lacing up his boots as “Mean” Mark Callous in WCW (1989). It’s a big deal.
As I stated earlier this week, it creates an unstoppable force vs. immovable object type of situation. Fans will tune in because they know something historic is going to happen. Neither looks to be giving ground, but one has to end. The mystery of the unknown has always been the best way to attract fans in pro wrestling, even more now in the “know-it-all” era. Add this dynamic to the draw both CM Punk and The Undertaker on their own have, and this angle has the steam to drive WrestleMania sales to record levels.
Just because you have the angle doesn’t mean you’re going to be a success. Two things have to happen. The build to the match has to be good and the match has to deliver. You can’t promise prime rib, and give the fans tube steak.
The build on this match needs to be drawn out from the first RAW after the Royal Rumble up to WrestleMania 29. The Rock and Punk are fighting at the Rumble. No need to play the Undertaker card until after that takes place. Rock vs. Punk is going to be a good draw on its own, and will play an important role in setting the table for Mania. This is the match that is supposed to get Punk his respect. Beating the Rock is going to change everything for him. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.
Punk beats Rock, but it doesn’t fill the hole in his ego. There isn’t a red carpet when he walks through the arena door. The locker room isn’t kissing his feet as he strolls through the back. Vince McMahon isn’t his personal ball washer. What does CM Punk have to do?
Cue the Undertaker.
Each year the Royal Rumble winner selects which title he is going to challenge for. Usually the winner comes out at the end of RAW and him haws between the World title and the WWE title. Whomever the winner is plays up the crowd, tilting to both sides, until eventually narrowing in on one champion. I would start with this.
The winner comes out and before he can start the Undertaker interrupts. He comes down and lays out that it doesn’t matter who he wants to pick. This year the Rumble winner will be facing the World champion because the Undertaker wants CM Punk and the WWE title. If you’ve got a baby face winner then he does the noble thing, tips his hat to the Taker, and leaves the ring. If you’ve got a heel winner, then he gets tossed out on his ass, and runs to the back with tail between legs. It gets established early than the Undertaker has that kind of clout and aura to bend things to his will. He’s the true King shit in the WWE universe.
Cue CM Punk.
The two meet in the ring. Punk talks respect. Taker lets him know respect is only earned by going to hell and back. They jab at each other for a few minutes. Finally a deal is made with the devil, only hang up is which guy is the Devil? The stakes are high for both, and the buzz begins.
Now you’ve got roughly 9 weeks to build this match up. The Undertaker stays protected. He’ll make appearances here and there for a promo or a vignette, but he isn’t wrestling. You save that for Mania. Punk can carry this feud on TV. He’ll even prove he’s better than the Undertaker by beating those victims of “The Streak”.
The next few weeks on RAW, a former WrestleMania opponent of the Undertaker gets rolled out to be taken down by CM Punk. Do the low hanging fruit first with the older legends like Snuka, Jake Roberts, or Sid that the WWE can send out for a cheap one night pop. Then move into the active roster opponents by having him face all the old opponents in an elimination chamber. That would be Kane, Orton, Tensai, Mark Henry, and Big Show. When Punk comes out champion, he can claim he beat five of Takers “victims” in one night. It also fills the required need for an Elimination Chamber match before Mania.
Finally the homestretch leading up to Mania is Punk being confronted by HHH, HBK, Nash, and Flair. He can run all four men down. He can talk about doing what they couldn’t. He has held the WWE title longer than any of them. Now he’s going to end the streak that claimed their careers. Its four weeks of dueling promos that should help build up the intensity of this match. The last two weeks then are spent drawing both the Undertaker and CM Punk into a collision course, with the closing moments being a face to face showdown filled with pipe bombs and near blows. They shouldn’t physically get involved, just tease it. Both men need to leave the ring with their head held high exuding the confidence that come Sunday they’ll have their hand raised.
The actual match is where the true magic and shock happens. First I would start the match entrances at 9:30 PM. The earlier start will have the smart fans wondering what is going on. They’ll believe that there is something big coming. It’s just too early to begin the main event.
The two will then wrestle for sixty minutes. It’s the kind of match the current WWE audience has never seen. Punk, if you’ve followed his career, is a master at the sixty minute match. He understands the pacing and how to protect somebody like the Undertaker, whose age can limit him. For an entire hour the two go to war. They pull out all the stops with false finishes, brawls outside the ring, etc. Then the bell rings to signify that time has expired. The match is a draw. Punk keeps his title, and The Undertaker is still undefeated. The fight doesn’t stop though.
As the bell rings they keep trading blows. The ref tries to pull them apart, and he’s laid out. They continue to fight all over the place because to them only one man is walking out tonight. More officials and security try to stop it, and they’re laid out too. For a good ten minutes Taker and Punk either fight each other or those trying to get between them. Finally the two fight on to the main stage trading big blow after big blow. Each man trying to finish the other with one big shot, their bodies broken and bloody. Then in the end, on their knees, they trade fists, chops, and head-butts. Finally, leaning on each other tossing noodle fists with both gas tanks empty, Taker and Punk collapse next to each other laid out on the main stage.
As WrestleMania ends officials, paramedics, and staff surround the two as double stretchers are wheeled out. Both men being checked on and eventually wheeled out as Punk holds a thumbs up in the air. He didn’t beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, but he did something nobody has ever done. He survived him.
People will tune in the next night. Sure there will be fans that don’t like a draw finish, but it’s the one thing the WWE can do to protect the Taker’s streak, and pass the torch to the next generation before it is too late. It’s something nobody will see coming, and a moment that will cement the legacy of both men like what happened for Hogan and Andre at WM3.
You keep both men off RAW the next night to sell the brutality. The next week you promote the appearance of Punk the following week on RAW. Finally on the third RAW after Mania, you have Punk come out to address the fall out. This can lead to a new feud or it can start planting the seeds for their rematch at WrestleMania 30, probably both.
No matter what, if this was to happen it would always be remembered as the night Taker met Punk.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I haven’t really been in the wrestling loop the past few weeks. I even took a break from the internet for the weekend. Sometimes it is nice to be hold up in a spot that doesn’t even have cell phone reception. It lets you clear out your head, which is highly recommended at least once a year. Like an oil change for the brain. Then I came back Tuesday and waded back into technology. The first thing I saw was about CM Punk back fisting a fan. That made me hit the dirt sheets to find out more. The second thing I learned was that Vince McMahon verbally undressed his writers and gave the brain trust of the WWE creative team a swift kick in the pants. While the first had more sizzle, the second has more impact.
As far as CM Punk and the fans go, sucks that the guy got hit, but why didn’t he do anything to stop the mob of fans from pushing Punk down the stairs? Change the setting for a second. Take the WWE, Wrestling, and Fans out of the equation and look at it for what it was. If a guy is trying to be pushed down the stairs by a handful of people, and you’re standing less than a foot behind the person then isn’t doing nothing just helping those morons push the person down the stairs? It’s like the end of Seinfeld when they watched a guy get mugged but didn’t do anything about it. They went to jail, and this kid tasted the back of Punk’s hand. Justice is justice.
The kid who got hit isn’t pressing charges. Good for him. He didn’t have the balls to standup to the people around him who were trying to physically injure a person for their enjoyment. Maybe next time he’ll grow a pair and not let a guy get kidney punched & pushed down a flight of stairs. When we were kids and we did stupid shit then a smack on the head reminded us to not be an idiot. Seems this fan got exactly that. Had he stepped in and stopped a douchebag from being a douchebag then he wouldn’t have gotten a smack on the head. Lesson learned here: Grow a pair and don’t get smacked like a bitch.
Now onto the bigger news from the week: Vince McMahon is beyond pissed with the creative team, including preparing to diminish the role of his two senior writers and promoting some of the new blood. If you’ve been visiting this website for the past few months then you know I have no love loss for the creative team at World Wrestling Entertainment. They are old, tired, and burnt out. They haven’t produced a meaningful piece of television since maybe RAW 1000, and that really wasn’t their doing. This could be the transfusion of energy that the WWE as a whole needs to get over this stale hump they find themselves in.
It would seem that the WWE is under pressure from NBC to turn around ratings that have been in free fall since the switch to three hours and the beginning of the NFL season. The biggest issue being with the creative team that has the success rate of a drunken Ray Charles tossing darts. They could barely produce content for two hours of RAW and it hasn’t gotten any better by stretching the show to three hours. Some would say that the lack of compelling content also lies at the feet of the talent, which has a big drop off after the top tier of wrestlers on the roster. I believe that problem is also something you can attribute to the current creative team at the WWE.
There are undiscovered gems in the WWE right now. Their developmental system is stockpiled with future stars. Dean Ambrose, Kassius Ohno, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, and Luke Harper are just some of the future talents that the WWE creative team hasn’t unleashed yet. The main reason being that creative has nothing for them on the main show just yet. How can you call yourself creative if you can’t create? That is why the WWE is in its current situation. They have a whole team that can’t do what their name suggests. It’s like football players who can’t play football.
Now the reboot has started. New minds are being put in charge. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a slew of firings and hirings that take place over the next few weeks. Somebody once told me it is never nice to talk about people losing their jobs. Then again if they did their job right, they wouldn’t be losing it. Nobody has ever a fucked up a situation by doing it correctly.
Since this is an Armchair Booker article then I’m going to lay out how I believe it is done correctly. I’ve never worked for the WWE. I’m pretty sure I’ll never work for the WWE. Not to say I wouldn’t like the job. I just don’t see it in my cards. First off, I’ve never written a sitcom. Second, I still call sports entertainment pro wrestling. In my opinion Sports Entertainment has never pulled a 5 share, but Pro Wrestling has. There is a difference between the two.
To start the WWE needs to build their WrestleMania. I would believe this has happened. It’s creative writing 101. You need to know your destination before you can map out your path. Not to say that the WWE should have the entire show timed out with detailed segments, but a rough idea of the four main events on the show should be hashed out by now. Honestly this should be done before Summer Slam.
Without knowing what you’re building to then what direction are your current shows pushing towards? Without direction you’re drifting. Having your four main events for WrestleMania planned gives you something solid to begin building on. The middle stuff, or filler, can be hashed out later, but these main events need to be what drives the WWE car from day one. If you know you’re doing Cena vs. Rock 2 then Summer Slam & beyond needs to keep that in mind.
I for one would actually stay away from Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania. The Rock is coming back at Royal Rumble. His initial draw for WrestleMania is being used up by that appearance. Some fans will tune in to see him at Mania, but his real effect will be seen at the Rumble. Unless he is going to return fulltime, then his value depreciates with appearances that close together. He has a high burn rate, and two months apart is too close to be a double draw.
From what I can tell you have The Rock signed on for Mania. You also have Brock Lesnar. Add into the mix The Undertaker, HHH, John Cena, and CM Punk. Those are your drawing six. They will sell the majority of tickets and PPV buys. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Albert Del Rio are your second tier draw. They will move tickets and buys on their own, but nothing that tips the needle. I for one think by Mania that Bryan could be a draw, but right now he’s stuck in that limbo between the two. That is the ten talents you can build your show on.
To start I would determine what is the best possible true main event to close the show. This is the match that will sell the most and provides true sizzle. To me that takes HHH vs. Brock & Cena vs. Rock out of the picture. These sheep have both been sheared. They’ll push some sales but they no longer have the shine they once had. In fact I wouldn’t do either match on the card.
The Rock is a one match per talent type of wrestler right now. He gets the most bang for his buck when you can give him somebody fresh to feud with. He also needs to win at WrestleMania. It keeps his ego happy. Who is better for the Rock than Daniel Bryan? Bryan can protect Rock’s ring rust plus he has shown he can get over with any gimmick they give him. Rock vs Bryan has some roots in RAW 1000, and could be a solid 9pm hour main event. This is a really hot match that will blow a lot of fans away and is a possible show stealer. This slot on the card is the best place to put show stealers. It also puts a lot of pressure on your closing, or true main event, match.
John Cena is a draw for a select fan base. He has really burned out a good size portion of the fans. His true value is his hard work. He’ll never mail it in. That makes him the perfect bar setter. He should be the talent that is opening the show. He should be the man who says everyone has to be better than that tonight. That’s why I like Randy Orton vs. John Cena to open the show. They are both established talents. They have good matches with each other. Not putting either in a “Main Event” allows for a rehash of their feud. It’s not meant to be a ticket draw, but both have the ability to set the tone for the evening. That is very important for a big show. It might be why I have always considered the first match of a show as the second most important match behind the main event or closing match.
As for HHH, he’s going to wrestle. I just don’t think it should be Brock Lesnar. Their rematch should happen before WrestleMania. I would much rather see him in the ring with an Albert Del Rio. It’s fresh and the angle writes itself. ADR is HHH when he began. He’s a rich pompous ass with tons of talent. They can do a feud based around ADR being a younger HHH. The young lion will prove that the old lion isn’t who he used to be. The old lion will claim the young lion is him without the experience. They’re both good on the mic, and in the ring it should be a good story. I would say this is tailor made for the 7pm Main Event. Nice solid match up to keep building the night on. It will sell tickets.
With Brock free to fight then he needs to be tossing fists with the man who loves to fight, Sheamus. The young Irishman is being primed to be a top draw. He needs a blockbuster feud. The two would work very well together. Sheamus is a good rough and tough baby face. Brock is a great heartless bully. Their physical styles should mesh well together. Placing them as the 8pm Main Event should help protect them from any potholes. It’s the safest main event slot on the show.
That leaves the closer for the show. I for one would be keeping the title on CM Punk. He is a draw. Simply put, if he and John Cena stopped working for the WWE, then the company wouldn’t have a true ticket seller on the roster. He has a built in big match with Royal Rumble coming up. Punk vs. Rock will have an amazing buy rate. I explained a little above.
Personally I think giving Punk the win at the Rumble does a lot more for the WWE than having Rock win. First it establishes Punk as the man. Second it extends a title reign that will be hard to build again. One year plus makes it so that people will want to see if tonight is the night he drops the strap. Third, it allows for a matchup at WrestleMania that will be a true draw: Undertaker vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship – Streak vs. Streak.
When Mania rolls around the Undertaker has built in buzz. His streak is something of legend. Another big streak is the days that CM Punk has been champion. A matchup that features the immovable object vs. the unstoppable force is always a draw. In this case it is streak vs. streak. If they meet, then one has to end. Will the Undertaker go 20-1, or will CM Punk have his nearly 18 month title reign ended? You’ll have to pay to find out!
Not only are the two names by themselves big draws. Not only are they going to put together an amazing match. They have the mystery about their finish that adds to the fire. Nobody truly knows who is going to win, and in today’s era of dirt sheets that is a rare commodity. It’s the kind of perfect storm that sets WrestleMania sales records.
The CM Punk vs. Undertaker WrestleMania match is something I have thought hard about. I actually have a creative writing mock-up of the feud. I will be putting that out in the next few days. Check back for the details on that. If I was booking it I would do something that no fan was expecting.
These five matches are the loose skeleton that the WWE can use to build their WrestleMania. There is a solid opener, and four top notch main events. The closing match is a draw that pulls from a variety of angles. This sets the table for the rest of the year, and allows for the WWE to begin pushing toward this end result. As I said earlier, they’ll have a destination and now they can map out the path. Just never forget, it’s all about Wrestlemania.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Some people are very loyal to this site. I thank everyone who reads it from my reviews to my rants. I will be taking some time away from writing for GRoW for a bit as I will be with my Mother. Last week she thought she was having a heart attack and went to the hospital. After tests Doctors determined that she didn't have a heart attack. They did find that she has non-small cell Lung Cancer.
I will be travelling home to be with her for a few and to focus on getting her better. She has the best medical team in the world and I am very positive about the outcome. Once things get settled I will begin typing again. Just kind of hard to keep up on Pro Wrestling when I can't even get the days of the week straight in my head right now.
I will be travelling home to be with her for a few and to focus on getting her better. She has the best medical team in the world and I am very positive about the outcome. Once things get settled I will begin typing again. Just kind of hard to keep up on Pro Wrestling when I can't even get the days of the week straight in my head right now.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
(Courtesy of WWE.com)
It’s Wednesday, and I’m a day late on this review. Why you ask? Because Manning on Monday Night Football is a bigger draw than anything the WWE is going to put out right now. They did nothing to really make me want to watch after a lackluster Night of Champions pay per view. After watching RAW on my DVR I know I made the right decision.
I have learned watching on DVR that I am quick on the trigger finger. If something doesn’t catch my interest then I am probably going to fast forward. Mainly that happened in the Divas match. That division does nothing for me right now. I like women’s wrestling. I don’t like pillow fight wrestling, which is exactly what the Divas have become.
I also zoomed through the Ziggler/Santino & Orton/Tensai matches. These should have taken place on WWE Superstars, not on Monday Night RAW. Stop wasting my time with it. Plus I am still pissed Orton went over at the PPV. He shouldn’t be winning this feud. He is a ticking time bomb. Hell he doesn’t even get punished for being a face that flips off fans. He’s one toke away from his 3rd strike, and at any moment is leaving to go film a movie. He must have pictures of Vince McMahon doing naked squat thrusts with HHH or something.
This and the Divas are my new bathroom break matches. I’ll go in the bathroom when they come on even if I don’t have to go. I’ll just sit on the porcelain throne and look at my wall paper. It’s a better use of my time.
What happened to the Brodus Clay and Damien Sandow feud? Is it over? When did it wrap up? I totally missed it. I was really excited about the slow build on this feud. Then it just vanished. I am glad to see Brodus working with Antonio Cesaro in the future. It should be a really entertaining feud. I just want some closure on Clay and Sandow.
On the other hand Sandow working with Ryder is a push. I am guessing this is to keep building Sandow up. Also it looks like he and Cody Rhodes might be forming a tag team to feud with Kane & Bryan (Watch Smackdown on Friday). I really like them as a tag team. In the past weeks the WWE has done a lot to boost their struggling tag division.
Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio is a sign of that. They are an exciting tag team that can work with anyone. Also it helps Sin Cara as he hasn’t found a way to capture the WWE style since leaving Mexico. A feud with the Prime Time Players will benefit all involved. The PTPs will become clear cut heels that should be a great challenge for Kane and Bryan. Sin Cara and Rey will use this to begin their push towards a WrestleMania match. That’s a win win for both teams, and the fans.
Daniel Bryan is the most over guy in pro wrestling right now. Dude doesn’t need to wrestle and he can get the crowd going crazy. Add in that he might be the best wrestler on the roster, and you have a dangerous combination. He and Kane are doing something special right now. I would have never thought Kane could come back, but this team up with Bryan has him red hot again. He also is comedic gold in their skits. I hope the WWE keeps the tag titles on them for months. This thing has so much more to do.
I am hoping they keep fighting but eventually their hate for each other turns into a brother type thing. You know, nobody picks on my brother but me attitude. These two could be a huge face tag team. Having them vs. three or four tag teams at WrestleMania in a ladder match could be off the hook. I am excited right now for a potential feud with Rhodes & Sandow. Also I think Rhodes & Sandow should call their team, “Brains & Beauty”. It plays off their characters.
I like the slow return of Wade Barrett. His manhandling brawler style might take a bit to get over with the crowd. The WWE universe is so used to watching quick fast paced matches. Barrett is great on the mic and he has a unique look. Two things that will set him apart. He just needs guys who can sell for his brutal offense. Gabriel was ok. Ryder will probably be next on the list. I don’t see him in a real feud until after the PPV.
The WWE has a few weeks to build to Hell in a Cell. They’ll need it after John Cena had arm surgery on Tuesday. He’ll be out of action until that Sunday. Be prepared for a lot of mic work between Cena, Heyman, and Punk. I am going to guess that Punk will protest the match at the PPV because he’ll be wrestling every week and Cena will be taking a vacation.
The build during RAW to the SUPER Main Event was ok. They addressed the double pin that people paid 40 dollars to see. Cena did his usual “I agree with everything” dumbass self. He’s so clean cut baby face he won’t let getting screwed by a draw get under his skin. It’s why half the crowd will always hate him. He isn’t real.
The funny interaction between Punk and Del Rio was really well done. Otunga working with ADR has a lot of potential. Del Rio is the kind of heel who really benefits from a gang of lackeys. If he added a Diva to the mix then his little gaggle would be complete. There has to be a good gold digger in that company. (Hint Hint: Ric Flair has a daughter in development. He might be the new multiple show GM. Nothing is better than banging the boss’ daughter.)
The tag match itself was really well done. I don’t know who laid it out but good work. This whole show had really good tag work. I also love the finish. Punk gets screwed, legit, by the ref. He loses his cool as Cena just walks away shrugging his shoulders. My only issue is that wouldn’t super Boy Scout Cena want the match restarted because he could never win like that. I know it is knit picking but that is his character.
I don’t know if the WWE knew they were going to get their teeth kicked in by Manning’s return to Monday Night Football, or if the WWE writers were still hung over from Labor day, but this was a total place holder show. The GM thing is getting old and fast. Remember when AJ used to be the hottest thing in wrestling? Yeah I almost forgot too. They burned her up fast.
She is a great role player, but never a main attraction. Right about now creative is that guy who was jocking a girl real hard. Finally he slept with her, and then wakes up the next day to realize he wasn’t that into her. Yup, we’re at that awkward moment when creative needs to tell AJ it was fun but …
I’ll probably watch live next week because Monday Night Football isn’t that great of a match up in my book. Green Bay and Seattle doesn’t move the needle for me. I am hoping the WWE realizes this will be the week to win back viewers. They need a BIG moment to take place. Cena is on the bench for 4-6 weeks. The World Title picture is going stale. Creative needs to earn their pay this Monday. Instead of a Katie Vick moment they need an Austin with a beer truck moment.
I would try to highlight three things next week. Bryan and Kane in some backstage stuff with more Kane one liners and a good tag team match up against possibly Rey & Sin Cara. Mix in the Prime Time Players and Sandow/Rhodes. The tag division is heating up, and that is a good thing. It’s different and different is good in pro wrestling.
Next they need to establish Ryback as more than a squash machine. I didn’t even talk about him and Miz because really I don’t care. Ryback has never had a real feud to test him. Now he is going against the IC Champ. That’s a big leap to take with a character that hasn’t been tested yet. He needs somebody to take him to the limit before he gets in the ring with the champ. I hear Big Show is returning. Sounds good to me. I’m always a fan of Miz and Show being together because it reminds me of the Million Dollar Man and Andre.
Finally Punk and Heyman are going to have to carry this feud while Cena rehabs. He’ll be on the mic, and he might even take a bump, but he can’t really work. These two will have to make people want to buy the next PPV. This needs to be the week that most of those buys are sold. It can’t be 6 days before the event. If Punk is the top tier hall of famer that I believe he is then this week needs to be one of the memorable moments people play during his highlight reel for years to come. Like I said the “Austin with a beer truck” moment.
I’m looking forward to next week, but I wouldn’t say I’m excited. I will say three hours is becoming rougher to watch. It has really exposed the WWE’s lack of talent and creative ability. Then again it only takes one show to turn it all around. Maybe that will be this Monday … I’m still not holding my breath.
Monday, September 17, 2012
WWE’s Night of Champions is in the books. I can’t really review it because I never saw it. I instead decided to watch the 49ers destroy the Lions. Even if NFL football wasn’t on, I probably still wouldn’t have bought this PPV. It was one match and it had all the stink of being an angle driven PPV.
The WWE rumor mill has been really pushing the Hell in a Cell PPV that is coming down the pipe. First there was the leaked poster for CM Punk as the devil at Hell in a Cell. Then there was a small tease that HHH vs. Brock Lesnar might happen in the cell. Finally, Paul Heyman has been hyping the shit out of Punk’s big October release of his DVD. This all made me feel that this PPV was going to be more about putting heat on the next show than putting asses in the seats for this one. It was like a July show for an indie promotion.
In Indie wrestling the toughest months to promote are between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Kids are out of school and that leads to family vacations, which means extra cash for wrasslin’ tickets is now tied up into the vacation fund. In most places it is really nice outside so you lose out to the weather. Finally the summer leads to a lot of competition from carnivals, fairs, movies, etc. No indie show will ever beat out going to see The Dark Knight Rises or stuffing your face with an elephant ear before puking on the tilt-a-whirl.
So when you’re promoting in the summer you run on a tight roster to cut down on expenses. You also use these shows to push storylines that will become ticket sellers in late September/early October. You will have your hardcore fans that come to shows no matter the season. You’ll get a couple of fringe fans who might have a favorite wrestler or nothing better to do. You won’t get the same house you will get once the temperature drops in November.
It’s why you see a lot of tournaments in the summer. It’s a great gimmick to create short term interest that can set the table for future angles or feuds while saving your promotion money. Promotions having 8 guys wrestling in 7 total matches plus a special attraction match helps stretch the budget that is limited. That is what Night of Champions was. It helped the WWE remind everyone about their champions and it let them sell more buys/tickets for their next PPV, Hell in a Cell.
When it comes to the finish of the show I am not bothered by it because I didn’t pay for it. I like the finish for John Cena vs. CM Punk. I have always liked the “Crappy German Suplex leads to both shoulders being down” angle. The under 20 crowd probably doesn’t remember this old 90’s angle. Hell I am even having trouble remembering when I last saw it, but I know I have. I think it involved Bret Hart. Not really sure. The fact is that when you have new fans who really only know the post-attitude era WWE then all things old are new again. Sorry older fans, welcome to being outside of the money demo.
If you paid for it, and hated it, then it’s your fault for not looking at this card and recognizing all the red flags that this PPV had. The under card was barely a step above Shotgun Saturday Night quality. The main event was being played off as not the finish to a feud, but merely a stepping stone. It was a rushed pay per view with almost a complete lack of promotion. I don’t even know if people working for the WWE knew it was taking place.
So now it’s Monday and you’ve got to get over it. The Main Event was a draw. Flair and Steamboat had a ton of draws. If you’re a fan of good wrestling then be excited for this because it is a feud that is being developed. Punk says he deserves respect. Cena believes he should be champ. Paul Heyman is lurking in the shadows. Now there is going to be a nasty cell match between the two. It’s all coming together for what should be a very good show, too bad you had to pay to watch the angle & not the match. I will ask, “Wasn’t the actual match before the draw pretty entertaining?” From my twitter feed, I would say “Yes”. That should be worth something, just not 40 bucks (54 in HD).
Tonight will tell a lot about the plans for the WWE. They will set the table for the cell, but also they will begin the build for Survivor Series. Will this next PPV be another rung in the ladder for this well planned out feud, or will it be the blow off match that catapults CM Punk or John Cena into their next match up in January with The Rock?
Personally I think this won’t be their last singles match. I think this match will end with Brock Lesnar getting involved. I’m even calling a “Lesnar rips the cage door off” spot. Either that or a group of “Heyman Guys” are going to come help Punk. This will lead to a Team Punk vs. Team Cena match at Survivor Series. If the WWE is truly booking for the long term then make the SS match a winner picks the stip for the December PPV. Team Cena wins and we get the blow off in December that leads the champ in 2013 with tons of heat for The Rock in January.
That is a very loose booking strategy but it might be the future for the rest of 2012. Then again, as usual, I could be wrong. Cena could win at Hell in a Cell and nothing happens at Survivor Series. It all hinges on tonight. The price on RAW is free (kinda) and I’m willing to buy the WWE right now at that price.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I want to start off by wishing Jerry “The King” Lawler a speedy recovery from his heart attack. I still remember when I was 19 and I got the call that my dad had been rushed to the hospital for an emergency quadruple bypass. It’s a long road to full recovery, but if anyone can win this fight it is the king.
Also I want to recognize all those who lost their lives, or their loved ones, on this day eleven years ago when a group of religious zealots acted like cowards by flying two planes into the towers, another into the pentagon, and brave Americans made sure a fourth never made it to its destination. I woke up that morning late for class at college. I rushed to get there without knowing what had happened. I got to class and I was the only person there. This was before smart phones and Facebook. I waited for a half hour for people to show up but nobody did. So I walked out of class and noticed nobody was on campus. I poked my head into the lounge and saw a large group crowded around the TV. That’s when I learned about the attacks.
I later that day got a job delivering pizzas. I dropped out of college, and got back into pro wrestling. I decided that college could wait because I had a dream to be a wrestler, and 9/11 proved to me that at any moment your time to live your dreams can be taken away. I spent five years chasing my dream, making tons of great memories, and then I went back to college to achieve new dreams. To me 9/11 will always be the day my eyes got opened to the reality that the time we have on this planet is shrinking by the moment.
Now on to the lighter side of life: Monday Night RAW. Normally I would break down all the different parts of RAW but really this was the CM Punk show. There was some stuff that quickly developed a few undercard matches for Night of Champions this Sunday, but really this PPV is a one match show.
I am a fan of Daniel Bryan and Kane being a tag team. I like that they are doing the reluctant partners storyline. I have a feeling they become tag champions this Sunday. For a division that has been left to drift, this could be a blessing. I also like them using the choke slam/cannonball as a finisher. Imagine when they come together as team and Bryan runs in asking to be choke slammed. The crowd will pop. Hell, imagine a top rope choke slam bomb by Kane & Bryan. It will be awesome.
Then there was the stupid Sheamus/ADR storyline. Why is a kick banned? It’s a kick. They have dropped the ball on this one. Also the two GMs are stupid. I hope the rumors that they are both getting fired is true. They need to get that whole situation fixed, and quick. Finally Cody looks to be facing Miz for the IC title. Talk about tossing something together quick.
Yeah there is more that happened on RAW but none of it really mattered. It was place holder stuff. Hell I think CM Punk took up almost 40% of RAW last night. He was the opening promo, he was the whole 9 o’clock hour, and he was the show closing promo. Let’s break all of that down.
The opening promo was good. Punk has gone full blown egomaniac. I like that he talks about how if he was the champ back in 97 that he would have sunk the WWE and jumped ship to WCW. Too bad the attitude era wasn’t started in Montreal. Most would say it began when WCW had the NWO and it forced the WWE to go away from campy character wrestling. So Punk would have just been another part of that need to go extreme. He should just ask Paul Heyman about why ECW was brought in for a few RAWs. Overall the opening segment was good, and did what it needed to set the table for the end of the show.
The 9 o’clock hour was a decent match between Punk and Orton, then an angle tag match between Orton/Lawler & Ziggler/Punk. I love how they are handling the Punk and Heyman “alliance”. Nobody knows why they are together. All we know is that Punk is a Heyman guy. We also know that Brock hates Cena because he lost to him a few months back.
Finally it seems that Punk is going to be champ going into the Royal Rumble. There is a Survivor Series PPV between now and then. Imagine an old school Survivor Series match with Punk & Brock on one team and Cena & Rock on the other; then maybe toss in 6 others talents. I suggest HHH, HBK, and Undertaker on team Cena. The other three for Punk & Brock can be other “Heyman” guys.
Ziggs lost to Orton. Again. Hopefully this means on PPV that Ziggs will finally pick up a win against the Viper. If not then I have no clue what creative is thinking. Their MITB winner shouldn’t be jobbing out to the guy who might not be there next month.
The last part of the show was about trying to get Cena over as the face with the help of Bret Hart. John Cena gave one hell of promo to Punk. The two have a great chemistry in every aspect. By the end the Montreal crowd was very pro Cena. It was a really strong finish to the show and probably sold a lot of people who were on the fence about this PPV.
I also like having Bret Hart punch out CM Punk. Cena makes the original save to pop the crowd, and then Hart is on the defense to block the second attempt. It’s one shot from one of the greatest in the world, and Punk peppers out of the ring. It is the perfect way to handle it because Hart shouldn’t be able to hang with the champ, but a good shot to the jaw works at being believable.
This Sunday will be interesting. Traditionally on these middle of the road PPVs, the guy standing tall on the last RAW is the guy losing the match. By that math it would be CM Punk who slithers out after Sunday night. I think there will be more Heyman interaction. I also think the Boston crowd will be a great crowd for this match. It may be the most pro-Cena crowd the WWE has.
Monday Night RAW hasn’t been knocking it out of the park. Last week was a place holder besides the very end segment. This week it was all about Punk. Once this PPV is over, and we move on to Hell in a Cell, I would believe things should pick up to compete with Monday Night Football. If the WWE waits until their build for Survivor Series, then it could be too late. Then again next Monday is coming together as a can’t miss show because something big is brewing for this Sunday. When it comes to good RAWs, I find it’s the mystery that sells the best. That is why I’m a Paul Heyman guy.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
It's always good to be busy. Last week was Georgia and Maryland. This weekend I was in Michigan until late last night. I didn't even get a chance to see Monday Night RAW yesterday. It's on the DVR at home, and I hope to watch it this afternoon. I leave tomorrow for South Carolina, and then finish out the week in Maryland. If I get to watch RAW today, I will try to post a review. I have been avoiding any results before I watch it.
I had my Fantasy Football draft over the weekend during some downtime on Sunday. Here is how it all went down:
QB - Matt Ryan
RB - Matt Forte
RB - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR - Julio Jones
WR - AJ Green
WR - DeSean Jackson
TE - Jimmy Graham
K - David Akers
Def - Buffalo Bills
QB - Jay Cutler, Tim Tebow
RB - Mikel Leshoure, Michael Bush
WR - Mike Wallace, Michael Crabtree, Brandon LaFell
TE - Owen Daniels
Def - Pittsburgh Steelers
I took Tebow as my lucky charm. I don't know if he'll play, but why not have God on your side. My big concern is RB, but I think I can deal one of my stud WR (Wallace or Jackson) for a good RB. I'll post off and on about my season.
Now off to handle some work, and then hopefully Monday Night RAW on a Tuesday afternoon. Check back soon!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
This week Hunter Hearst Helmsley shed a tear, and walked away from the WWE ring. He gave a speech about not wanting to be the guy that stayed past his expiration date. He did it because at Summer Slam, when the fans were supposed to say goodbye to the Game, the crowd chanted “You Tapped Out”. He couldn’t let the faux retirement of HHH go unnoticed and mocked.
The worst kept secret in the WWE is that by WrestleMania Triple H will return to claim his pound of flesh from Brock Lesnar. Hunter, and the WWE creative, needed the fans to know that Brock uncrowned the King of Kings, so that in a few months they’ll care when he comes back to get his crown. Now for the next few months the WWE has a giant hole where their Summer Slam main event used to be as the talents involved are nowhere to be seen.
It would seem that with limited dates in Brock Lesnar’s contract that the WWE is doing their best to stockpile appearances of Lesnar to put together a solid program leading up to the biggest show of the year. It had been talked about that the rematch would happen at Survivor Series but, for the same reason HHH needed to waste 20 minutes of our time this Monday, his ego can’t let him be overshadowed. Just as he needs to go out swinging, he needs to be a part of WrestleMania 29. He needs to be on the same card as The Rock, Undertaker, CM Punk, and John Cena. He can’t sit in the back wearing a suit as others soak up his lime light. Not on Hunter’s watch.
He headlined Summer Slam, and damn it he’ll headline WrestleMania too!
No person truly believes HHH is done. The WWE will continue to sell it. He’ll stay off TV because who cares about the rest of 2012. Yet when the time comes to collect bigger pay checks, the talent showing up every week will be pushed aside for Hunter and his man crush on Brock Lesnar. It simply can’t end the way it did. It can’t end with the fans chanting “You Tapped Out”. It can’t end with the Game walking out, tears streaming from his face. It has to end in the ring at WrestleMania. It’s the only option for a man with a bigger ego than his nose.
Now we will sit and wait. We’ll watch as the WWE prepares for The Rock. We’ll see the twists and turns of CM Punk as he toes the line between good and evil. We’ll hope that the two are on a collision course at the Royal Rumble. Then when we’ve almost forgot about HHH, he’ll come back. He’ll probably even get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Then he’ll do what he does best, and eclipse all the months of work by those keeping the WWE afloat as he picks and chooses his spots.
It is what he has done for the past year. When CM Punk was red hot, who stepped up to face him? Triple H. When the Undertaker needed an opponent to go 20-0, who was there to meet him at WrestleMania? Triple H. When Brock Lesnar threatened the WWE, who stood in his way? Triple H. Now when WrestleMania rolls around who will be there to steal the spot light from the rest of the roster? Triple H!
As the Who song says, “New boss same as the old boss”. Yet unlike the title of the song, the WWE fans will be fooled again. They’ll continue to believe HHH is the top of the heap because he won’t let anyone else climb that high. Which is the same reason the WWE ratings and fan following hasn’t climbed any higher under his watch. Until HHH actually walks away and realizes he has already stayed past his expiration date, the WWE will continue to fall victim to their own hubris. It’s time that Hunter realizes that in 2013 this isn’t a storyline anymore, but a reality. One that is telling him it’s Game Over, and not Over in the way he thinks it means.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I didn’t get to watch RAW live last night, but before going to bed I decided to DVR through the 3 hours. It’s sad when I can get through the whole episode in an hour, and know I never missed a thing. The fact is that World Wrestling Entertainment is getting ready for an international tour, and next Monday is a holiday show, so the WWE is in a holding pattern until September 10th. The matches this week were nothing bigger than anything I would see on WWE Superstars. Even John Cena vs. The Miz, a former WrestleMania main event, didn’t have a big match feel.
I for one am a big fan of the mini-feud between CM Punk and Jerry Lawler. Last night it was fumbled a little bit. Why won’t Jerry Lawler man up right away and why does he need an hour to think about it? I was all for the CM Punk “apology” and how he ran down Lawler. When Punk walked away I expected Lawler to lay out the champ with a cheap shot.
In fact it would have been better than waiting on Lawler to make a decision. They just have Punk do his fake apology and turn his back on Lawler. Then Jerry smacks Punk in the back of the head and tosses him from the ring. Punk storms off and in a backstage interview he challenges Lawler for later. Finally Lawler answers his challenge with a “Hell Yes” instead of the whimper he gave last night.
There were a lot of “eh” matches. Ryback, Layla, Truth, Santino, and Clay were all angle matches. None of these matches moved the needle. Ryback has a sloppy match with Swagger, who should be begging for his release. Layla got a win where the focus was on Vickie on the outside. Santino and his cobra have hormones for a chick with a hand. Clay teams with Sin Cara to get some rub by beating Rhodes & protecting Sandow. Finally Truth gets a win because the WWE wants to further the Bryan anger management angle. That’s like 90 minutes of stuff in a paragraph. See how fast you can DVR through three hours.
I did enjoy the Bryan anger management segments. They are campy and cheesy. I laughed at the Kane part because his character is that quirky. A tip of the cap to his morbid past, and Pete Rose was a big pop. I am interested to see where all this goes down the line. I wonder if it will be a bonding moment for Bryan and Kane? Maybe a future tag team?
Cena and Miz was good. These two have good chemistry. It was simply a match to keep Cena top of mind. The IC Champ is now just a glorified enhancement talent. The WWE just had to remind us that Cena is still around and he is gunning for Punk. Don’t everyone cheer at once.
The HHH segments were good at selling the end of his career. I enjoy the walk down memory lane. He is one of the best in ring performers in the history of the business, and to steal a sports term, a sure fire first ballot hall of famer. His speech was long, but if it is supposed to be his last one, then it should be that long.
Now I don’t for one second believe that he is totally done. As I said yesterday, HHH won’t go out crying. He’ll go out being carried from the ring. He is King Arthur in his mind, and Arthur doesn’t die on his knees, but carried out on his shield. I think they’ll save the dates in the Brock contract, and maybe use HBK to lure HHH out of retirement. How about HBK vs. Brock at Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble, which leads to Brock vs. HHH in a blow off match at WrestleMania? It would be a nice addition to a card that looks to have Rock vs. Cena, and possibly Punk vs. Taker. That is three big matches to sell your 8PM, 9PM, and 10PM hours on the biggest show of the year.
Again Ziggler gets his teeth kicked in, and guess what Randy Orton stands tall. Yes it was Sheamus kicking in his teeth, but of the four men in that tag match, it is Orton who should be looking at the lights. Del Rio is your current #1 contender. Sheamus is your World champion. Ziggler is your money in the bank holder. Orton is fresh off suspension for his second drug violation and about to leave again to film a movie. Which one do you think should be losing? Yeah not Ziggler. Crowd liked it, but Milwaukee isn’t known for their intelligence.
The crowd showed their lack of care during the main event. Jerry Lawler and Punk are facing each other in a cage match, and you could hear a pin drop in that building. Maybe the crowd was tired from three hours of subpar wrestling. The match was limited because Punk at any time could destroy Lawler. He played the cocky heel, including the free shot to begin.
I liked how the match played out because there was a story involved in there. Now most people in the crowd and watching at home don’t really understand how big a deal Jerry Lawler was. They know the puppy loving immature commentator and not the king of Memphis wrestling. It showed last night.
The end was the best part with Punk dismantling Lawler as he demanded respect. He really took a turn towards the dark side. Cena comes out and forgets he can climb a cage, so Lawler takes a few more minutes of a beating. The cage gets raised and Punk walks off with an evil grin on his face. Purpose served even if the crowd didn’t care for the first 90% of it.
Should be interesting to see how next week is handled in Chicago. Punk will be a conquering hero in his hometown. I would assume they will play up the hometown angle for Night of Champions. I’ll put my money on a six man tag next week. It’s the crutch match for WWE creative when they don’t want to really advance a storyline. I don’t think Lawler gets involved because they might sell him being injured after the attack. Then again having him be part of team Cena in a six man would make sense.
Finally, I would think a stipulation is going to be added to the match between Cena and Punk at the PPV. I still say a handshake or respect match but with the loser calling the winner, “The Best in The World” after the match. In Boston that would be some serious heel heat if Cena had to say it to Punk.
It was a quick week this week. I expect the same next week. That means the September 10th show has to be a HUGE event to help cover the coasting the WWE is doing. If not then I might coast past buying Night of Champions.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Long long weekend as I was in Georgia to start on Friday and ended it yesterday in Maryland. That's close to 1500 miles in three days. Life of a road comic, or a pro wrestler. I am excited to take a nap this afternoon. Then when I wake up it is time for Monday Night RAW!
Here is what to look forward to tonight:
- Triple H is going to talk about his future. Many people are playing it off that the Game is going to hang up the boots. I wouldn't be surprised if that happens tonight, but long term I wouldn't bet on it. The rumblings from the WWE rumor mill is that HHH and Brock will lock horns once more at the October "Hell in the Cell" pay per view. I expect him to talk about healing and then taking Brock out. HHH will never be the kind of guy to just say goodbye and walk off into the sunset. I think in a few years his last match will involve being stretchered out of the building. He thinks he is a middle ages knight that wants to be carried out on his shield.
- CM Punk and John Cena will continue their dance. Jerry Lawler will be involved. It looks like Lawler and Punk will hook up in the ring either tonight or next week. That should be good stuff. I have a feeling Cena and Punk is leading up to a respect match. I think once they are done dancing it ends with the loser having to tell the winner that he is "the best in the world" at the Night of Champions pay per view. I just wonder if that happens before Punk cripples Jerry Lawler.
- Daneil Bryan is going to anger management. The WWE keeps teasing that Charlie Sheen will be involved. These should be some entertaining segments for the next few weeks. Kane is going crazy too, but AJ is more focused on Bryan. Some how the Big Red Machine will be involved in this. That's good for Kane because Bryan makes him look better in the ring. This continues to make AJ look more like a face GM doing heel moves. Anybody calls her crazy and they get put in a squash match. If you're her ex, who tried to marry her, then you get anger management. It is a bizzare world we live in.
Now I'm off to bed. Enjoy the show tonight and I'll review it tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
I was listening to the A1 Wrestling podcast, which I recommend to any fan out there. There are some technical glitches, but it is two hours of some good wrasslin' talk. During the podcast the roundtable talks about the on going heel turn of the WWE champion CM Punk as he battles for respect against John Cena and the WWE. It was pointed out that this turn has been handled with a very methodical pace. It hasn't been rushed as Punk has been toeing the line after laying the smackdown on the Rock at RAW 1000. There might even be such an in-depth plan by creative for this turn that the champ hasn't main evented a WWE pay per view in recent memory, something that has given strength to Punk's claims of disrespect. That kind of planning by creative can, and will, be debated.
Since Punk stood over The Rock weeks ago it has been a treat to watch him dance around the direction of his character. For one he has a true reason to feel disrespected. He is one of the longest reigning champions in the history of the WWE. During that time he has had to give up the WrestleMania main event to Cena vs. Rock. To follow up he gave up main events for Brock vs. Cena, Cena vs. Johnny Ace, and most recently to Brock vs. HHH; two men not on the active roster after Monday night. The only thing more insulting would be going on before Michael Cole vs. David Otunga. I mean the WWE's October PPV main event! (Just kidding, I hope)
CM Punk has carried this company through the transfer of day to day power from Vince McMahon to Paul Levesque. The WWE is restructuring itself. They are replacing high ranking officials in the company too. Linda McMahon is taking her second shot at becoming a member of Congress. Also there is a rebuilding of the developmental system. All this happens as CM Punk keeps the company afloat by delivering a solid performance, along with a handful of other talents, be it at a house show or a top tier pay per view.
Now the time has come to begin moving forward. Summer Slam is behind us, and the build to WrestleMania has begun. That means the time for CM Punk to go to the dark side has begun. It's a tricky situation because the champ has a legion of loyal supporters, as seen on Monday night when the crowd continued to chant his name. That is why the slow burn on his current heel turn is essential.
With a few weeks until the Night of Champions PPV, it is time to pull the trigger. That is why Jerry Lawler is involved in the current storyline. For one, Punk is a huge fan of wrestling history and that includes the role Lawler played before his time as the dirty old man on Monday Night Raw. Punk remembers when the world watched as Lawler defended Memphis against Andy Kaufman, including the famous smack heard round the world on late night television. Punk knows if anyone can make him look like the devil incarnate it is the King of Memphis wrasslin.
Jerry Lawler will always be a fan favorite. He can't wrestle like he used to, but he can still tell a story. Short of kicking small babies, there is nothing Jerry can't do that the fans won't be behind. The dismantling of such a character is what is needed to cement CM Punk's heel turn. John Cena is almost as hated as he is loved. Beating on him may make you a villian in a middle school, but it makes you a hero in the frat house. Kicking in the King's teeth makes you dastardly in every corner of the WWE Universe, something needed to silence the chants of "CM Punk".
When it officially happens, and CM Punk crosses the line that can't be uncrossed, it will mean something. It is how pro wrestling used to be. Heel turns took a while to simmer so that when it happened the fans felt an emotional attachment to the action. This current turn of Punk has that kind of simmer. After weeks it has begun to heat up. At, or before, Night of Champions it will boil over. I for one hope it includes beating John Cena.
I've said it for weeks, but beating Cena in his hometown could be the kind of event that visually presents Punk as the personification of evil. Cena doesn't need the title to get over. No fan is going with or against him because he is champ. On the other hand, people will pay to see CM Punk get his. They'll pay all the way up to Royal Rumble when the Rock comes to save the WWE, and get his retribution from RAW 1000.
One thing John Cena has never done is the "over the hill" storyline. No one has ever questioned that his career is on the decline. A loss to CM Punk in Boston ignites that conversation. It is something that leads to Cena rebuilding himself and eventually winning the Royal Rumble to get his shot at redemption, and the WWE title, from The Rock. All of this is only possible with a true heel turn by CM Punk.
With this heel turn the WWE profits twice because Punk vs. Rock is a draw at the Rumble, and the redemption of John Cena leading into WM29 can be bigger than Rock vs. Cena from a year ago. Yet it all stems from where the WWE goes at this pay per view.
One thing is for sure, CM Punk is turning heel. Something the WWE has handled perfectly. Yet will they fumble the long term plans by trying to cash in on Cena vs. Rock II early? This whole scenario makes Night of Champions maybe one of the most important pay per views in recent WWE history because it could be the point we all look back on as a true defining point in the new WWE era. Then again it could also be the point where everything just stays the same, and another year passes where fans hopes are dashed by the WWE's greed and lack of vision.
No matter what, it all depends on CM Punk, which gives me more hope than I've had as a fan in a long long time.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Does the WWE creative team go out drinking after a good PPV and then wake up forgetting they have to write a 3 hour RAW? It seems that way with all the mish mash crap tossed against the wall. They came off a strong showing at Summer Slam and then on Monday night delivered the best episode of Sunday Night HEAT they could come up with. It would seem that after getting people hooked with a good PPV, you would want to follow that up with a blockbuster RAW. If you’re going to take a week off then maybe choosing any night but the next night would be a good idea.
Brock and Paul come out to close the book on their time here in the WWE. Heyman again does a great job on the mic. He made HHH seem like a big deal and that made Brock manhandling him look like an even bigger victory. If you’re learning how to cut promos then Paul Heyman’s promos from this whole run in the WWE are a must watch. He shows how it is done. Only thing that sucks is that now he and Brock are done until Survivor Series or maybe even the Royal Rumble. It is hard to build on a guy with that much of gap between appearances. I mean no person in your main event from Summer Slam is on your current active roster.
The six man is back! You know creative is punting the ball when they pull out the six man tag to do a storyline crossover. The Prime Time Players looked good but they lost on the PPV, and now they lost on RAW. How are they supposed to be a threat to the champs when they are losing more than winning? You can do this with established tag teams, but not one that is still fresh in the minds of the audience. It’s booking 101. I know Rhodes took the pin, but the team lost, and that counts for something.
David Otunga is back and guess what he’s gonna get squashed. Did somebody write that on the napkin at Denny’s after the post Summer Slam bender? Two segments down in one retreaded storyline. Oh and they are really pushing AJ Lee tonight. I guess they are trying to see the burn rate on her character. That’s crazy!
Let’s just put all the squash matches into one paragraph. Ryback kills another jobber tag team, but now Jinder Mahal is getting involved. The whole first hour was an old episode of Velocity. Where’s Funaki? Then later on Otunga gets mauled by Big Show. They used this to build Show’s heat back up after the loss. Wonder where he goes now that Punk and Cena are dancing by themselves? And finally the Divas battle royal, what that wasn’t a squash match? I’m pretty sure that match squashed the ratings. Nothing good can be said about it.
Albert Del Rio is the #1 heel on Smackdown. He is challenging for the World title. He is easily a top tier star. He also joins the list of top guys who job out to Randy “Puff Puff Pass” Orton. I get that Sheamus distracted Del Rio and that led to an RKO, but after getting screwed last night, this just makes his character look weak. This was the first “main event” of the show, and yet it elevates the wrong guy. Sheamus is the heel … oh no he’s just the cheating good guy!
Orton is coming off a suspension, and about to leave to film a movie, maybe the WWE could prove a point and use him to build a few heels. A win over him by ADR, Daniel Bryan, or Ziggler could really catapult those men in the eyes of the audience. Plus it proves a point to the locker room that if you fail your second drug test that you will have to prove your worth when you come back from a sixty day suspension. Again I will state Orton should blaze a fat Cheech & Chong blunt on the way to the ring because he is untouchable in this company.
A bright spot is the Sandow and Brodus Clay feud. It has been handled really well. Sandow is great at getting under the fan’s skin. He takes a good beating from Clay, but he steals a win. When Brodus finally beats Sandow it will pop the crowd. People will pay money to watch Damien Sandow get his teeth kicked in. I look forward to seeing if they let this continue to build up or if they blow it by giving Clay a pin in a tag match. He shouldn’t beat Sandow in any match until after the next PPV. Clay should get close, but always come up short due to some heinous cheating by Sandow. I also popped for the fist full of tights. Old school is cool.
The Shawn Michaels promo was really good. It was just too low on energy. He is trying to sell this “End of HHH” story and the energy on the show was so low already that this almost stopped the show. I personally would have saved this until after Ziggler vs. Jericho so that the audience was pumped up from a good match. It could have had a bigger impact. Still it was a great promo, but again it was wasting time on guys who won’t be in the WWE picture until November at the earliest.
The tag match between the former enemies turned partners was ok. I don’t like the no finish. Ryder could have lost the match for his team and then Kane could have abused him. It would have achieved the same goal, and it would have given Kane a better reason than a slap in the face for losing his mind. Maybe have Bryan beat Ryder then slap Kane. Again same result but it gives a cleaner finish. It’s the little things.
I loved the Ziggler vs. Jericho match. It was sloppy in a few areas, and I am glad Y2J is ok after the botched Frankensteiner spot. These two have a really good chemistry in the ring. Also watching them is like watching a man wrestle a younger version of himself. It’s too bad Jericho has to go tour with Fozzy because this could have been a really good feud over the next few months. The end helped elevate Ziggler, and Y2J’s attack left the door open for a rubber match down the road. WrestleMania? I hope so!
I was hoping CM Punk would name Jerry Lawler as the #1 contender for the WWE title. I’m an old school Andy Kaufman/ Jerry Lawler fan. While the match wouldn’t have been a classic due to Lawler’s age, I believe the two of them could put something special on. It would be funny that back then Kaufman was the guy limited in the ring and Lawler carried him, but now it would be Lawler who is limited and Punk who carries him. In wrestling everything comes full circle.
Cena cut one hell of promo. Normally I would take issue with a guy passing up a title shot, but this plays into the Cena character. He values his integrity more than a title. He preaches to his fans to believe in themselves and he can’t do that if he sells out for a title shot. I really hope this leads to a “respect” match at night of champions where the loser has to shake the winner’s hand, or in this case say that other man is “the best in the world”. If Punk beats Cena in his hometown that could be a great scene with a hyped up crowd. Especially if Punk cheats to win.
The afterwards where Punk pivots back to Lawler was nicely done because he doesn’t waste time on Cena. He wants his respect. Cena won’t give it to him, so Lawler must. This looks to be setting up a match between Lawler and Punk on RAW. I like that a lot. The kick and stare was a good way to end RAW. Would have liked to see AJ come out to address Punk, but I guess she forgot she was GM.
This three hours of RAW dragged a lot. Maybe it was because six hours of wrestling in a 27 hour period is too much. I don’t think that is true if there is good wrestling. I just think when you have a strong show like Summer Slam and then follow it up with a subpar RAW that the weakness becomes more glaring with such a close comparison. Summer Slam was fresh in people’s minds and that meant RAW had to live up to that standard, which it didn’t.
I’m looking forward to next week. There is a lot of talent that has been moved off the WWE roster. Brock, Heyman, HHH, HBK, and Y2J are all gone. Ziggler looks to be moving back to Smackdown as he still is their MITB holder. If he stays on RAW I would hope they use RKO to get him over with the fans. Wade Barrett should fill some of the void, but who does he feud with? Miz?
Here’s to hoping some new talent gets called up as Night of Champions is in a few weeks. We need better tag teams. We need a true challenger for both the IC and US titles. Plus Punk is mini-feuding with Lawler as Cena waits in the wings meaning that match could be a last second announcement. That’s a lot of holes to fill in three weeks. Wasting a week like last night doesn’t do much to help creative fill those holes, it just creates more.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Summer Slam turned 25 last night with a solid showing by the WWE roster. Every year I look forward to this pay per view as it officially kicks off the WWE “season”. If you look at the WWE like a sport then the time between Summer Slam and WrestleMania is the official season of pro wrestling. I would say from now to Survivor Series is the first half, the second half ending at Royal Rumble, and finally after that until WrestleMania is the playoffs. It’s wrestling season once again.
I was a big fan of what happened last night at Summer Slam. There are some internet writers who bashed the show because they never had high hopes for it in the first place. I found it a very entertaining watch from beginning to end. It might not have had the big shocker moment or a true swerve of the audience, but the wrestling was top notch & the finishes played into a grander plan for the future of the company.
The future for Antonio Cesaro is bright. The former Ring of Honor stand out has been laying low on Smackdown. Last night he jumped into the fray when he captured the United States championship from Santino. This is a good thing for all involved.
Cesaro is a gifted wrestler with size and speed, who can do more in the ring than be just a one trick pony like Santino. Not to mention he loves Starbucks coffee and is very European. Santino is very good at comedy and he has a knack for getting over with the WWE audience. He doesn’t need the title to help him, and there isn’t much he could do to help the title. Getting it off his waist and onto Cesaro makes sense to help expand the roster as Santino can do his shtick and Cesaro can begin rebuilding the US title as a legit championship. Also the rumor that he will turn the title into the European title is great. It should garner lots of heat when he bashes the US championship. Also Aksana isn’t a bad thing to have on TV either.
Ziggler and Jericho did an amazing job kicking off the PPV. They are both gifted wrestlers. Their back and forth through the match had the ending in doubt the whole time. Vickie gets great reactions from the crowd, but I think she is being wasted with Ziggler. He, unlike Brock Lesnar, can do all his talking and all his walking without a mouth piece.
If this was Jericho’s last match of the year, as he goes on tour with Fozzy, then he went out on a high note. As Kofi Kingston said on Twitter, these two tore the house down. I don’t know if I agree with Jericho winning as Ziggler could do more with the win, but maybe this means a rematch. In that case, we’re all winners.
No better person to follow that match than Daniel Bryan. He took the energy of the crowd and kicked it into high gear. With just one word he gets the whole place whipped up into a frenzy. He again made Kane look better than he is. Something I could probably write for every Bryan match. His win came out of nowhere as I, like many, thought he would continue to get buried. Giving him the win does a lot for his character and I expect him to start moving up the card building new baby faces to feed to CM Punk. I just don’t know who those people could or will be.
The aftermath with Kane was good to build a bridge to RAW. Kane continues to be in a revolving cycle with his character as this angry monster that shows signs of good, only to become angry again. Will he begin to feud with AJ? Will he and Bryan end up teaming together against her? Will Kane learn Zen? (Ok maybe that’s a stretch). These are good questions to have unanswered because they create interest in a character that hasn’t been fresh for almost a decade. Thumbs up to Kane for this aftermath, and for tossing Josh Mathews like a rag doll.
Miz and Mysterio had a good back and forth match. It was mostly to get the easy pop of Mysterio in LA and to get Miz some credit as he builds his IC title run. They told a nice story with a couple of good new moves from Miz. Mysterio is still good in all his classic spots. They both worked a good match and it did all it was supposed to do. Nothing special, but nothing idiotic, which is all you can ask from a middle card match. It just kept the flow of the show on a good roll.
Sheamus and Albert Del Rio was fun until the finish. I am a big fan of Del Rio’s ring work and character. He comes off as a big timer. Sheamus is good as the bruiser. I still am not sold on him being a big time talent as I see him as more of a talent who is reliant on his opponent to have a good match like a John Cena. I wouldn’t call his World title run memorable.
The end with the shoe and the foot on the rope where Sheamus does the heel move while ADR complains that he got legit screwed doesn’t sit well with me. Del Rio is the new ultra heel, yet he is the one coming off as the man getting screwed. Sheamus is the good guy who cheats and steals to get over. It worked for Eddie Guerrero, but not for King Kong Ginger. I really hope that was a hiccup in his character and not something the creative team relies on in the future.
The tag title match was ok. Neither team has done much to stand out. The Prime Time Players don’t deserve to be champions with their recent record against other teams. Kofi and Truth are a nice tag team that can help keep the division afloat while other teams become established. All four men played their roles well, but the lack of pop from the crowd during the hot tag to Truth tells you all you need to know about how far this division has fallen. This was the bathroom break, grab a new beer, and get seconds on pizza match.
I loved the CM Punk, John Cena, and Big Show match. Unless you’re blind, this whole angle has been about Cena and Punk. Yet it was Big Show who really got the rub in this match, as he should since he took a tap out and a pin cover. The early parts with Show just mauling both men made the audience know why he was in this match. He’s the biggest bad ass on the roster. Also the tip of the cap by CM Punk to Bret Hart was nice.
All the early Big Show mauling set up the middle of the match where Punk and Cena trade moves to try and take down the big man. The double suplex by Show is always a cool spot. I also enjoyed the multiple knees by Punk then the failed Bulldog into the big flying leg drop by Cena. Even the end sat well with me because it really played into the story that Punk and Cena have been telling for the past few weeks.
When both Punk and Cena slapped on submission holds on the Big Show at the same time it was a great way to change things up a bit. AJ was going to get involved in this match, and this gave the WWE the chance without having to stretch for it. Now some will argue it should have been just Punk and Cena, but AJ is a new GM, the easiest thing to do is restart the match, and it takes less explaining to the audience because all you need to say is “restart the match”.
Then as Punk tosses Cena out of the ring as John laid out Show with his finisher, it all came together in a great way to have Punk keep the title. Also Cena keeps his momentum from not truly losing. Finally it had the two keep their heat between them because one out did the other. Cena calls Punk lucky, and Punk can talk about Cena needing to respect him. Now they will move on to Boston and the next PPV, where even money says Cena walks out champ in his home town. Let’s hope that isn’t the future.
If Cena got beat by Punk in his hometown, it could do a lot for both of their characters. Punk would be made an instant heel by the crowd for downing their hometown kid. Cena would have hit rock bottom, thus starting the build to winning the Royal Rumble and regaining his honor at WrestleMania. Also Punk is the cover boy for WWE ’13 and has a big DVD coming out in October. Him being champ helps push both of those. That and Punk vs. Rock at Royal Rumble can do a lot to help get Rock over and save Cena/Rock 2 for WrestleMania as the cap off to Cena’s return to glory storyline. None of that can happen if Cena is champ before Mania.
The main event was what I thought it would be. They played it up to be more of a fight than a wrestling match. It was brutal and methodical. Brock Lesnar is just a massive human being and moves like Rey Mysterio. He beat the living crap out of HHH. I really enjoyed the flipping the announce table and using it to jump off spot. Also using Brock’s known gut injury issues was a good touch to bring the beast down.
The start was a little slow but it almost had to be after following the WWE title match. When Lesnar got “injured” things began to pick up. Near the end I thought Lesnar was going to do his second straight job. Having him pop up after taking that second Pedigree and slap on the Kimura made him look really strong. Nobody kicks out of the Pedigree, yet Lesnar takes two and still can snap HHH’s arm.
I think the end had to be done the way it was. HHH had to have his arm broke, and Lesnar needed to reestablish his mean streak. I just wonder where he goes from here after beating HHH. Is a match with HBK in the future? Is HHH coming back in a few months for revenge? Is Brock coming after Punk to face Rock at Rumble? Again these are all unanswered questions that have me tuning into RAW to find out.
When Summer Slam was over I felt that I got a very enjoyable show. It didn’t drag on and there wasn’t a truly bad match on the card. The two main events delivered. Sure I could have bitched about the movie preview and the music performance, but that’s what comes with “entertainment” instead of “wrestling”. In the end the WWE set the table for the rest of the pro wrestling season and new ground has been broken that plants the seeds going into the Rumble and WrestleMania, which is the trademark of a good Summer Slam.