Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keep Me In Your Prayers

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.

Thank You,


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday Night RAW: Tag Team Turmoil

(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

Night of Champions: Why I Didn’t Buy

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

Monday Night RAW: I'm A Paul Heyman Guy

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

On The Road Again

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!