Thursday, 28 July 2011

RAW: The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same

After the events of Money in the Bank and last week’s RAW, I was looking forward to this week’s RAW with interest. Vince was gone and probably my all-time favourite wrestler was now in charge. Plus, we would be crowning a new “WWE Champion” (we all know that CM Punk is the true champion). Quite a lot happened that I wanted to write about but I was finding it hard to write a full article about them. Therefore, I decided to combine the stuff that I wanted to write about into what was good and bad about RAW.

Good RAW

Rey Mysterio becoming “WWE Champion”
In an enjoyable match, Rey beat the Most Must-See WWE Superstar in Miz-tory to become the “WWE Champion”. Whilst I was gutted that the Awesome One lost, I felt that Rey deserved to be “champion”. He has never won it before and I thought it was a great end to the tournament and then he stopped Alberto Del Rio from cashing in his MITB contract with an amazing dive over the top rope to Del Rio, who was standing by the commentator’s table. I can see Del Rio trying to cash it in for a while and getting frustrated that he can’t as he slowly starts to run out of time.
Welcome back, JR!
Unlike most fans and smarks, I feel sorry for Michael Cole. I think that he is a decent commentator but he had to take over from possibly the most popular commentator ever in Jim Ross. I know that a lot of people love JR but Vince has been trying to replace him throughout the last decade: first with Joey Styles and then with Mike Adamle (Worst. Commentator. Ever). Eventually Michael Cole, who took over in 1999 when JR was ill and has been biding his time on Smackdown ever since, became the primary WWE commentator but he always was going to under the shadow of JR. When Cole slowly started to turn heel, at first I thought that it was a good idea, playing on the fan’s dislike of him. However, recently he seems to be a whiny git and I wasn’t liking it. So, due to the chemistry with Jerry Lawler, I’m glad that JR is back and I’ll be interested to see the dynamic between Lawler, Ross and Cole over the coming weeks.
The Return of CM Punk
I only became a massive fan of CM Punk (in which I have apologised for on Twitter) and I was missing him while he was away. His return made for a great end to RAW with the change in theme tune (Cult of Personality, awesome!) making everyone wondering who the hell it was and then stepping out and getting cheered by the crowd. If it hasn’t set up a match between Cena and Punk at Summerslam, then I’ll eat my hat (as soon as I find one).

Unfortunately, bad RAW is all focused on the “WWE Championship.”

Not the Spinner Belt Again!
When the WWE changed their belt design to the spinner belt, at the time it made sense because it suited John Cena’s character. However, it looked stupid when it was worn by people like Triple H and Randy Orton. In the run-up to Wrestlemania, the Miz did a promo in which he unveiled the WWE Championship belt with the WWE logo inverted to look like an ‘M’. He mentioned that he didn’t want the belt to look like a toy and he was right because it does. The most important title in the company looks more in place in a nursery than a wrestling ring. This was a perfect opportunity to have a new design but the WWE decided to keep it the same.
The Champ is Here (yet again!!)
The first announcement that Triple H made was a match between Mysterio and Cena for the “WWE Championship.” That sucked for Mysterio and you can imagine the conservation between him and Triple H:
Triple H: Rey, because CM Punk left with the WWE Championship belt, John Cena never got his rematch. So, I’m giving it to him tonight, ok?
Rey: Erm... Triple H, I just won this less than 20 minutes ago. I then suffered a sneak attack from the Miz and then I had to stop Del Rio from cashing in his contract. I don’t really think that’s fair that I should face a fresh John Cena.
Triple H: Do you want me to pedigree you through a table?
Rey: No...
Triple H: Then you will do the match.
If I was Rey, I’d be pissed that I was “WWE Champion” for less than 2 hours. The WWE don’t need to have the same guys continually have the World titles. Cena doesn’t need an 11th (!!) title reign but I can see why they did it. More on that in a bit.
The Return of CM Punk
I know that I mentioned this in good RAW but hear me out here.
Whilst I’m happy that Punk returned, it was way, way too soon for him to come back. It would have made more sense if Punk had disappeared at least until Summerslam. It would have been amazing to have the new “WWE Champion” run around for a bit and then randomly have Punk come out and saying “I’m the true champion”. Basically, take the ending of RAW and put it into the end of Summerslam. It would have been the perfect main event for Night of Champions, a match to determine who was the true WWE Champion. I can see why Cena became “champion” because he is supposed to be the hero. However, this would be a perfect opportunity for someone new like maybe Rey, Kofi Kingston or maybe even the Miz in a face turn to be the saviour of the WWE for once with maybe Cena helping them out to defeat Punk. Unfortunately, while I think that Cena has been awesome in this storyline, its things like this that makes me more of a Cena hater than a Cena lover.

Over the summer, the WWE has attempted to try new things with the Punk storyline. However, I feel like that they rushed the storyline a little bit with Punk returning. Only time will tell if that turned out to be a good idea.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Moment of the Year so far?

Is this the WWE moment of the year so far?
Photo credit:
Thanks to TH of the Wrestling Blog for highlighting this.

Money in the Bank Review

Just watched one of the most anticipated WWE Pay-Per-Views in years, did it live up to the hype and more importantly, how many predictions did I get right? Let’s take a look.

As I predicted, the Smackdown MITB match was first. Highlights include lots of aerial moves by almost everyone, Sheamus power bombing Sin Cara through a ladder and Kane chokeslamming Sheamus onto a ladder. It ended up being a 3-way between the wrestler formerly known as “Dashing”, Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett with Daniel Bryan emerging victorious.
Predictions: 0 for 1

Brie Bella vs Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship was next and Kelly Kelly had the sense to bring Eve Torres with her to stop any crap by the Bella twins. Which didn’t happen. After a lot of screaming and some wrestling, Kelly Kelly wins after a K2.
Predictions: 0 for 2

Mark Henry vs The Big Show next and this was a decent match. Mark Henry comes close after a World’s Strongest Slam but prevails after another one followed by two splashes. Henry then proceeds to injure Show’s ankle, resulting in the paramedics coming out (again!)
Predictions: 0 for 3
Ok, it’s not going well for me in my predictions. Hopefully I can get back on track with the RAW MITB match. Highlights of this match include everyone deciding to bring in their own ladder to the ring and then proceeding to bury Del Rio with them, Bourne doing AirBourne to everyone outside the ring, the Miz injuring his knee, and everyone on the top of ladders trying to grab the briefcase. It ended up being between Rey Mysterio and Del Rio, in which Alberto Del Rio pulls it out of the bag after unmasking Mysterio and getting him off the ladder.
Predictions: 1 for 4 (finally!!)

Christian vs Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship up next and Christian had better win this otherwise they have wasted almost four months on a pointless storyline. Mike Chioda was the referee again and I thought it would have been nice if Christian insisted on a change of official after what happened last time. Anyway, back to the match. It was a really enjoyable match except for the ending. Christian spits in Orton’s face, resulting in Orton beating up and then giving him a low blow (?!) disqualifying him and making Christian the new World Heavyweight Champion. Really?! If you’re going to get disqualified, at least use a chair or something! And then, Orton acts like the ultimate sore loser, RKO-ing Christian twice onto the Spanish Announcer’s table. What a dick! Once again, Orton’s actions make me wonder why he’s the No.1 babyface on Smackdown. At least, Christian won. Hopefully, he will be champion for more than two days but I think we’re going to see Orton vs Christian V at Summerslam.
Predictions: 2 for 5

And now, the match that everyone has been talking about, CM Punk vs John Cena for the WWE Championship and, I know it’s CM Punk’s home town, but I have never seen a more partisan crowd ever at a WWE event. The crowd cheered everything that Punk and booed everything that Cena did at the beginning. This was a really fun match with so many near falls and, honestly, from the way the crowd was into it, would have not looked out of place at a Wrestlemania.  The match also had a brilliant ending. Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis come out and when Cena has Punk in the STF, Vince tries to do the Chicago Screwjob. Cena breaks the hold and stops Laurinaitis from getting the timekeeper to ring the bell. Unfortunately, Cena then walks into a GTS and CM Punk is the new WWE Champion. Wow! Even though I predicted this, I honestly thought that the WWE wouldn’t go with it, but they did. What a way to end the show.
Predictions: 3 for 6

Or is it the end? Vince, irate, goes to plan B and calls out Alberto Del Rio to cash in his MITB contract. Del Rio runs in and is immediately kicked on the back of the head by Punk, who promptly runs through the crowd, but not before giving Vince McMahon a goodbye kiss.

Overall, except for Randy Orton acting like a dick, I really enjoyed this Pay-Per-View and the reaction from the internet has been very positive. All of the matches were enjoyable and the crowd was into it throughout the whole thing. I rarely buy wrestling DVDs but I will be buying this one and will be watching RAW with great interest.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Money in the Back Predictions

Money in the Bank is this Sunday and it’s time to do my first ever predictions. Here’s hoping for some for beginner’s luck.
Like last year, I think that the Smackdown MITB will be on first. Only one (Kane) has been in a MITB match before but I’m going to go for Wade Barrett becoming an inevitable World Heavyweight Champion.

Big Show vs Mark Henry is a battle of the two biggest wrestlers in the company. Mark Henry has been impressive not only in his heel turn but in the way he has been destroying people. The Big Show will be looking for revenge after Capitol Punishment so I think that the Big Show will win this.

Kelly Kelly vs Brie Bella for the Divas Championship will probably be a two minute affair. Expect Nikki Bella to interfere and help Brie Bella regain the Divas Championship.

The RAW MITB match has a lot more potential winners than the Smackdown match and has more of big deal to it with the CM Punk storyline. There are rumours going round that the winner of this match will cash it in after CM Punk wins the WWE title but I don’t really think that will happen. I’m going for Alberto Del Rio to win this and maybe tease cashing it in the same night.

Randy Orton vs Christian IV for the World Heavyweight Championship will probably be an entertaining match. However, I’ll be quite indifferent to the result of this match. I have to make a prediction so I’m going for Christian to win this otherwise this whole storyline has been a waste of time.

CM Punk vs John Cena for the WWE Championship will be the main event. This has been an extremely tough call to make because so many things can happen. I thought that CM Punk will win this until the potential Cena being fired part was added in. Now I’m not quite sure. I’m going to go for CM Punk to win this but don’t be surprised if the MITB is cashed in straight afterwards.

Only six matches have been scheduled by the time I wrote this. How many will I get right? You'll find out at the PPV.

Money in the Bank Contenders

The participants of the two Money in the Bank ladder matches have been confirmed and, especially for Smackdown, there are a lot of wrestlers taking part for the first time. Will they have what it takes to be a future World Champion? Let’s take a look.


Heath Slater                                                                           MITB Record: First time
Despite having tag team success, I really don’t see him winning this match. He might have more of a chance than Justin Gabriel but you’ll be an idiot if you think he’s going to win.
Probability of Winning: No Chance in Hell

Justin Gabriel                                                                        MITB Record: First time
The one person who has less of a chance than Heath Slater. He won’t win either.
Probability of Winning: No Chance in Hell

Sin Cara                                                                                 MITB Record: First time
Sin Cara has been impressive in his matches, and I can’t wait to see what he can do in a ladder match. However, it’s way too soon to be him even being considered to be a future World Heavyweight Champion. Also, the WWE might want a champion who can, oh, I don’t know...speak.
Probability of Winning: Slim

Cody Rhodes                                                                         MITB Record: First time
The wrestler formerly known as “Dashing” has been enjoyable since his “disfigurement”. However, unless they do a storyline in which despite being World Heavyweight Champion, he’s still not happy, I can’t see him winning.
Probability of Winning: Slim

Daniel Bryan                                                                         MITB Record: First time
The “American Dragon” is a fan favourite and, if played right, could be a future World Champion. Maybe in a year or two, but I don’t think he’s ready yet.
Probability of Winning: Potential dark horse

Kane                                                                                       MITB Record: 1-2
Kane is the only wrestler here who has not only competed in this match but also won it as well. He has a good chance of winning but I don’t think he will.
Probability of Winning: High but not that high

Sheamus                                                                                 MITB Record: First time
The Celtic warrior has an issue with Randy Orton and, if Orton wins on Sunday, could be the next No.1 contender. For that reason, he might not win it but it’s a very high probability that he could.
Probability of Winning: Bet on him but don’t use the house.

Wade Barrett                                                                         MITB Record: First time
I like Wade Barrett and the best bit about him is that he’s British. I think that he’s ready to take it to the next level and be a World Champion.
Probability of Winning: Bet! Bet! Bet!


Evan Bourne                                                                         MITB Record: 0-2
The high flyer from St Louis is always fun to watch in these kinds of matches. I think that he will be a great US Champion but not a WWE champion.
Probability of winning: No chance in hell

Kofi Kingston                                                                        MITB Record: 0-3
Kofi has been a good champion when he has had the Intercontinental or the US belts and could be a future World champion. However, I’m not sure if WWE see him that way so I don’t think he’ll win.
Probability of winning: Slim

R-Truth                                                                                  MITB Record: First time
I’ve been loving R-Truth’s heel turn portraying himself as a man who thinks there’s a conspiracy against him. Expect that to continue.
Probability of winning: Slim

Jack Swagger                                                                          MITB Record: 1-0
Jack shocked a lot of people (including myself) by winning the MITB at Wrestlemania 26. I don’t know if he can do it again but I won’t be surprised if he does.
Probability of winning: Just above slim.

Alex Riley                                                                                MITB Record: First time
Alex Riley has been extremely impressive since he stopped being the Miz’s “Virgil”. I think that he could be a great World champion but it’s way too soon for him. However, a WWE title feud between him and the Miz could be interesting.
Probability of winning: Potential dark horse

Rey Mysterio                                                                         MITB Record: First time
I’m very surprised that this is Rey’s first MITB match. However, he is the only one out of both matches that has suffered the MITB contract being cashed in against him. Like Evan Bourne, he will be impressive in this match. Unlike Evan Bourne, he has more of a chance of winning.
Probability of winning: High

The Miz                                                                                  MITB Record: 1-0
The Miz is vying with CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio to be the No.1 heel in the WWE. He won last year and could be the first wrestler since CM Punk to win it two years in a row. However, I can see Alex Riley screwing him out of winning it and continuing the feud.
Probability of winning: Very high.

Alberto Del Rio                                                                     MITB Record: First time
Alberto will definitely be a World Champion, that’s a fact. When, however, is a different matter. He has a very good chance of winning this and he’s my pick but it’s hard to see if he actually will.
Probability of winning: Bet on him but not the house.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Orton vs Christian IV? Great...I think.

I was so happy that Christian won the title after a great ladder match against Alberto Del Rio in Extreme Rules. It was perfect because it just felt right. After Edge’s retirement, he was the most logical choice to be the next champion and he has entertained us with so many great matches over the years and it felt deserved.

That all changed when he lost the title to Randy Orton two days later and, like many people, I was pissed. While I was unhappy about him losing, it was also because I hate it when people lose their first title defence; especially after winning the title on the very first time. I know that a lot of people have not watched Smackdown since that happened; however, I wanted to see where this would go (plus the fact that I can watch it at work on a Friday evening). The result has been two entertaining matches at Over the Limit and Capitol Punishment and a slow heel turn for Christian as he becomes increasingly desperate to regain the championship.

The ending of the match at Capitol Punishment, in which Christian was pinned even though his leg was under the rope, has resulted in Christian getting another title shot at the Money in the Bank with stipulations that would make a lawyer proud. Now, whilst I have enjoyed the storyline and matches so far, I’m not sure if I want to see this match again. At Money in the Bank, the match will be go one of two ways.

The first is that Christian finally becomes a 2-time World Heavyweight Champion. While I would be happy for him, I wouldn’t feel the same as I did when he first won it. One of the blogs that I read is Kick-Out Wrestling by Razor and one of his recent podcasts was an interview with Jeff Katz, creator of Wrestling Revolution. Near the end of the interview, Jeff mentioned Christian’s title win as “an earned moment” and he’s right. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it felt that he deserved it. Out of all the people who became World Champion for the first time, I would say that Mick Foley’s was more of an earned character moment than Christian and it turned out of the deciding factors in the Monday Night Wars (thanks to Tony Schiavone and Eric Bischoff). The main difference between the two is that Mick Foley stayed a face when he won the WWF Championship again and, now Christian is a heel, it just wouldn’t feel the same if he wins it again, which is a shame.

The second is that Orton wins yet again, most likely winning in a dubious way that would loophole Christian’s contract. I don’t think that Orton has lost a one-on-one match by pinfall since The Most Must-See Superstar in Miz-tory cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in November. I think Orton is a decent wrestler but I don’t like his gimmick because I don’t get the fact that he behaves just as badly, if not worse, than the heels and yet he gets cheered for it. If Orton wins again, then I would feel like the entire storyline has been a complete waste of time. If it ends with Orton staying the champion, then what was the point of it all?

After their last two matches, a part of me is looking forward to it. However, in a big title match, you want to be happy or unhappy (but not extremely pissed off) with the ending. I won’t feel happy or unhappy with the ending, no matter what way it goes. I won’t even feel pissed off, just in a way...indifferent and you don’t want that as a wrestling fan.

So, to Randy Orton and Christian, I say good luck in the match and I’m sure that you will put on something that will entertain the WWE Universe. However, please accept my apology in advance because, whilst I think it will be a good match, I will be indifferent to the ending.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Have They Ruined a Great Storyline?

I know I said that I would start my blog by looking at the Money in the Bank contenders. However, Sheamus’ actions on Smackdown have made me wait to see how that develops this week before publishing my article. Also, with the CM Punk storyline dominating wrestling news at the minute, I’d be a fool to not comment on it. So, here it is, hope you enjoy it.

Until recently, I wasn’t a massive CM Punk fan. I didn’t hate the guy; in fact, there are only ever been two wrestlers that I hate (Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Ken Shamrock), I was just in the minority of people that didn’t get him. That changed at Capitol Punishment with his interview with Josh Mathews. I’ve heard that he is a great talker but I’ve not seen that many interviews by CM Punk. However, the way that he ended it, promising to do the most honest thing the WWE Universe has ever seen if he won his match, made me curious and made me start to kick myself over why I never got him before. He beats Mysterio in a great match and then, after beating Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio the next night on RAW to become the No.1 contender, announces that not only is he leaving the WWE after Money in the Bank, but he’s taking the WWE Championship with him. I loved the idea of him taking the title and seeing how the company will react to that. Then he did possibly the best promo that I have ever seen the next week. It resulted in CM Punk being suspended and it made big news all over the internet and even in sections of the media in the States. I was loving it and I’m thinking that this could be one of the best storylines ever done. We know that CM Punk did something similar when he was leaving Ring of Honor for the WWE but this seems different. I can see the WWE having the balls to let CM Punk leave with the title and, playing fantasy booker for a minute, maybe have a tournament to determine a new WWE Champion then have CM Punk turn up saying that he’s the true champion and going from there. This could go in so many new directions and I was really being excited over how it would play out.

Unfortunately, a bit of my excitement died last night on RAW. Vince McMahon came out, explaining his decision and he did a great promo with Cena which resulted in Cena not wanting to be WWE Champion anymore and giving the title back to Vince. I’m thinking: “This is great!” and I would have been happy if the show ended there. But it didn’t. Vince storms up the ramp after Cena, gives him back the title and tells him that Cena vs Punk is back on (pissing off Alberto del Rio in the process but he’d get over it). What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, this. Vince said that if Cena loses, that he’s fired (or has Vince would say “FFFIIIRRREEEDDD!!!!”)

Normally, I wouldn’t mind that. However, the Nexus (when they were decent) fired Cena at Survivor Series last year and that wasn’t done well by the WWE. They had Cena do his farewell address and then moments later interferes in a WWE title match between Orton and Barrett and then was attacking the Nexus and interfering in their matches, resulting in people, like me, thinking that Cena’s being a bit of a dick and increasing the number of Cena haters.

I can’t see Cena being fired twice in one year and that has ruined it for me. I still think it has the potential to be an amazing storyline. However, like any film or TV series, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much if I knew how it was going to end. Unfortunatley, with this storyline, I can see how it will end.

Sunday, 3 July 2011


Hello there and welcome to the first ever blog post of Lo-Down Wrestling. After reading many websites, I was surprised by the level of negative reaction towards wrestlers, storylines and people behind the scenes. Then I started reading some websites that talked about creating a better wrestling media and that’s what we need. I got inspired by this and decided to have a go myself. Plus the vast majority of wrestling media seem to come from North America and I thought it would be good to get a British viewpoint of things.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’m Rob who is currently living in Glasgow, Scotland. I’ve been a wrestling fan ever since I watched a VHS tape of Wrestlemania VIII. However, due to my parents not having cable, I was out of wrestling from Wrestlemania X to just before Survivor Series 1998. This was in the middle of the Austin-McMahon feud and that got me back into wrestling.

In terms of favourite wrestlers, there’s quite a few. I was never really a Hulk Hogan fan but I loved Bret Hart, Mr Perfect and Shawn Michaels. During the Attitude Era, I became a massive fan of Triple H and now, I love the Miz, CM Punk and Christian. As you can tell, I’m a massive fan of the heels because, let’s face it, they have more fun and it’s great to watch.

With this blog, I’m not doing reviews of RAW and Smackdown. You will get articles on the current storylines in WWE, occasional stuff on TNA and predictions on the Pay-Per-Views. That’s the general backbone of the blog and I hope to add more stuff to it. With the Money in the Bank coming up, I’ll be looking at those matches and predicting who will be the future world champions. Until then, take care and I hope you enjoy the blog.