Tuesday, 28 February 2012

This is an Example of Being Smart, WWE

The John Cena/Eve Torres segment on RAW last week personified to me the problems that I have with the way that WWE are treating their women. All Eve had done was reveal that she was using Zack Ryder and then was now going to use John Cena. Moving away from Cena’s hypocrisy for the purpose of this article, I don’t get why Eve would suddenly do that. Also I really didn’t like what Cena was saying to her implying that she was a disease-ridden skank, even though she had not even kissed Zack.

At the minute for the Divas, you have the following: 60-90 8-person tag team matches on RAW where only 2-3 of them get involved; the Divas Champion Beth Phoenix saying that there is no competition left for her, yet never saying that on TV; and probably the most technicial wrestler in the division and member of one of the most famous wrestling families of all time (Natalya) going through a farting gimmick. The WWE always say their Divas are “Smart, Sexy and Powerful”. However, I cannot remember for the life of me an example of that being shown by any Diva.

I think that, if you are a woman and want to make it big, it would be best to go to TNA. There, you get to see them actually wrestle for more than 2 minutes, speak on TV and actually have storylines. A really good example of this happened over a week ago on Impact. There was a battle royal to determine the number 1 contender for Gail Kim’s Knockouts Championship between Rosita, Sarita, Angelina Love, Winter, ODB, Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Tara and Brooke Tessmacher (and this was a proper battle royal, not the shitty WWE Divas version). Before the match started, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne went down to observe the match and Madison goes in to speak to the wrestlers and said the following:
“Out of the goodness of her (Gail Kim’s) heart, she is giving each lady in this ring right now the opportunity to become the number 1 contender for her Knockouts Title.”

The match was pretty good and it was between Sarita and Velvet at the end. Velvet wins the match by sending Sarita over the top rope, or she thought she won the match. Madison runs in and eliminates Velvet, leaving her and Gail wondering what the hell is going on. It took Mike Tenay to announce to the TV audience that when Madison said her statement before the match, she included herself. Therefore, Madison became the number 1 contender.

What Madison did is, while a typical heel thing to do, is an excellent example of a woman being smart.  She tricked everyone including her friend Gail Kim into becoming the number 1 contender. I’m not a big fan of heel versus heel storylines because the crowd don’t know who to cheer for. However, the added fact that they are also the Knockouts Tag Team Champions (in case you were wondering what those belts they were carrying were) does give it the potential to make this a very interesting feud going into Victory Road.

If the WWE want their Divas to be “Smart, Sexy and Powerful”, they need to give the women the opportunity to show that. Madison’s actions were a perfect example of that. I know that the WWE may not view TNA as serious competition, but I see no harm in them looking at TNA to see how they can improve their Divas division.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 Review

It’s time for the last PPV before Wrestlemania. Last year, Elimination Chamber helped to solidify the great television that we were seeing in the WWE. Will this year’s event continue in that vein?

The first match was an Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship? Wait, what? When Justin Roberts announced that, I was shocked. I thought that this match would end the PPV. Anyway, let’s put my shock to the side and watch this match. CM Punk was defending the title against Chris Jericho, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. We all know that Jericho had a huge advantage as he was going in at number 6, and Punk and Kofi started the match. There was a couple of nice bits with Kofi leaping over the ropes and Punk slingshoting Kofi into Jericho’s pod. After 5 minutes, Dolph Ziggler entered the Chamber and went after Punk and, being the show off that he is, starting doing knee raises while hanging off the cage followed by a leg drop. There was also a cool when Kofi and Punk tried to do jumping clothelines on Ziggler. Ziggler ducked and they collided in mid air. R–Truth then enters the fray and starts attacking Ziggler. However, a couple of minutes later, Punk eliminates Truth with a Macho Man elbow drop. After Kofi hits a Tornado DDT on Ziggler on the outside of the ring, The Miz enters the Chamber and attacks Punk before concentrating on Kofi. After Kofi and Ziggler get temporarily incapacitated, we get a few minutes of Punk and Miz fighting it out.

Just before the 10 count for Jericho to come in, Punk hits Miz with the Anaconda Vice but lets go of it when Jericho enters the Chamber. Jericho hits Punk with a Lionsault for a near fall. Ziggler comes back and tries to pin Jericho with a roll up but Jericho kicked out and hit Ziggler with a Codebreaker to eliminate Ziggler. Punk and Jericho continue their fight and Punk starts to get some momentum before Jericho pokes Punk in the eye then puts himself back into a pod to get some breathing room. Unfortunately, Punk gets the pod open and they fight it out in there before Jericho starts to use the pod door against Punk. Jericho hits Kofi with a DDT then Kofi and Miz have a brief battle between each other. Punk gets back into it and there was a nice spot when Kofi climbed onto the top of a pod and hit a crossbody on Punk and Miz. A couple of minutes later, Jericho puts Kofi in the Walls of Jericho and the way that he put Kofi in the move with his knee on the back of Kofi’s head, effectively immobilising him made sure that Kofi had no choice but to tap out.

Jericho then decides to humiliate Kofi further by throwing him out of the Chamber himself. However, after he done that and the Chamber door was being closed, Punk hit Jericho with a kick to the back of the head, sending him out of the Chamber, colliding with the cameraman and hitting the aisle barrier. After being checked over, referee Scott Armstrong deems that Jericho is unable to continue. On a side note, you can tell that the referees don’t give a fuck about the cameraman as they didn’t take a look at him for a good few minutes. With Jericho unable to continue, the match is now between Punk and The Miz. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but only gets a 2 count. Despite the Miz’s best efforts, Punk managed to get the victory after hitting the GTS and retain the WWE Championship. I really enjoyed this match and it was a great way to start the PPV. It also gives Jericho a reason to challenge Punk at Wrestlemania as he wasn’t technically eliminated. It’s just that I’m not a big fan of World Championship matches starting a PPV (Royal Rumble excepted) and I’ll get onto that later on in my review. Anyway, well done to Punk on retaining the WWE Championship.
Winner: CM Punk                                         Predictions: 0 for 1

After a backstage segment with Santino and a video of John Cena about his match with The Rock at Wrestlemania, we get the Divas Championship with Beth Phoenix defending against Tamina Snuka. Beth decides to be a nice person and offer Tamina the chance to walk away. Tamina graciously declines by attacking Beth. Tamina tries to go for the Superfly Splash early but Beth pushes her out of the ring and starts to gain some momentum. After a while, Tamina fights back with a Samoan Drop and later on hits the Superfly Splash, in which Beth just kicks out. A couple of minutes later, Beth hits the Glam Slam to get the victory. This is one of the best matches that I seen from the Divas in quite some time and with Beth, Tamina, Natalya and Kharma, they have the potential to create a strong Divas Division.
Winner: Beth Phoenix                                   Predictions: 1 for2

Next we get David Otunga along with John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the interim RAW GM?) who starts to go on about Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long being possibly under review when he is interrupted by the arrival of Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio suggests that Laurinaitis not only be the permanent GM of RAW but also of Smackdown as well. If it happens, does that mean that I have to write did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, the RAW GM and the Smackdown GM? Del Rio’s suggestion gets some support from not only Mark Henry but a returning Christian. I really like the idea of Laurinaitis being the General Manager of both shows as I’ve never seen anyone do that before. This could be a great storyline with Laurinaitis now effectively having his own stable full of former World Champions. The best bit for me was when Otunga gets a picture of them and this is it:

A great moment and Otunga’s smile for me just makes it so much better.

After an interview of The Big Show by Josh “Bad Timing” Mathews, we get the Smackdown Elimination Chamber?! Wait, so we’re having the Ambulance Match as the main event?! Seriously, why the fuck have the WWE done that? You know what, I’ll bitch about that later and I’ll focus on this match. Daniel Bryan is defending his World Heavyweight Championship against The Great Khali, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, The Big Show and Santino Marella(?!) Unfortunately, my dream of someone attacking Santino during his entrance and taking his spot was unfulfilled (bollocks!) The Big Show and Wade Barrett start off the match and they were pretty decent then Cody Rhodes (reluctantly) enters the match.

Rhodes starts to go into with Show before Show sends him over the top rope onto the steel. Barrett and Rhodes briefly team up against Show before they go up against each other. Santino then enters the match and goes after Barrett before encountering The Big Show. Show sends Santino flying across the ring before we get a bit of back and forth between all the wrestlers. The Great Khali enters the match and hits the Punjabi Plunge on Rhodes then Barrett. Show then spears Khali and eliminates him. Show then decides that Bryan, who is the only one left in a pod, should enter the match a bit earlier by breaking the chains at the top of the pod and destroying Bryan inside. Bryan manages to get out of the pod with Show in hot pursuit. Show sends Bryan back into the pod by throwing him head first through the bulletproof (but not wrestler proof) glass. Eventually, Rhodes hits a DDT on Show followed by a elbow drop by Barrett to eliminate Show. Rhodes starts to celebrate but that comes back to haunt him as Santino eliminates him with a roll up. Rhodes doesn’t take that too well and hits Santino with a Cross Rhodes before leaving. After a while, we get a mini match between Bryan and Barrett with Barrett powerbombing Bryan into the chains then using the pod door to choke Bryan before slamming the door onto Bryan’s head. A few minutes later, Bryan hits a splash on Barrett and Santino pins him, eliminating him. This now leaves Bryan and Santino (?!) Bryan dominates to begin with before Santino hits the Cobra and gets a very, very near fall. Bryan puts on the LaBell Lock and, despite Santino almost powering out of it, he had no choice but to tap out, meaning that Bryan is still the Champion. Afterwards, Sheamus congratulates Bryan by hitting him with the Celtic Cross, solidifying his challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania.

The match was not as good as the RAW match but it was still entertaining. I have to give credit where it’s due and I thought that Santino was really good in this match. I feel that with a bit more skill and an evolution of his character, he could be at the upper mid card level. My one criticism was that Bryan entered the Chamber last. I feel that Bryan should have entered the Chamber earlier was it would have made him look stronger.
Winner: Daniel Bryan                                     Predictions: 2 for 3

Next we go backstage with Natalya continuing the bullshit farting gimmick with Hornswoggle followed by Justin Gabriel arguing with Jack Swagger, which was defused by Teddy Long; who made an impromptu match between the two for the United States Championship.

Hey, look at that! The match between Jack Swagger and Justin Gabriel is on now. This match wasn’t that long and it was pretty decent with Swagger eventually getting the win after applying the ankle lock.
Winner: Jack Swagger                                  Predictions: N/A

Now we come to the main event with John Cena taking on Kane in an Ambulance Match. The match quickly goes to the outside, up the aisle to near the Ambulance and Cena uses a back board against Kane. The match goes back to the outside of the ring when Kane gets thrown into the steel steps and then thrown into the ring. Kane starts to dominate the match for a while before Cena fights back with a 5-knuckle shuffle. Kane smothers Cena, knocking him out. Kane then drags Cena out of the ring and brings out a wheelchair to help get him to the ambulance. Cena comes to when he is at the aisle and tries to get out of the wheelchair and starts beating up Kane. Cena slams Kane against the ambulance, grabs the wheelchair and starts using that as a weapon. Cena then puts Kane into the wheelchair and sends him into the technical area located to the side of the titantron. They both start using various pieces of equipment against each other.

The match goes through the crowd ending up back to the outside of the ring. Cena hits Kane twice with a microphone, then hits him with a monitor from the Spanish Announcers table then the steel steps twice to the head of Kane. Cena sets up the steps next to the Spanish Announcers Table, lifts Kane up and carries him up the steps in order to AA Kane through the table. Kane manages to get out of it and chokeslams Cena through the table. Kane goes to the ambulance and grabs a stretcher planning to use it to carry Cena to the ambulance. Kane puts Cena into the ambulance and almost shuts the door when Cena starts to rally against Kane then taunts Kane to follow him to the top of the ambulance. Kane attempts to chokeslam Cena off the ambulance but Cena countered it and AA-ed Kane off the top of the ambulance to the floor (well, some padding I assume. We don’t see Kane land). Cena then puts Kane into the ambulance, closes the door and wins the match. I enjoyed the match and it made both Kane and Cena look strong going into Wrestlemania.
Winner: John Cena                                       Predictions: 3 for 4

This was a decent event. All the matches were pretty good and I really enjoyed the RAW Elimination Chamber. I was impressed with Santino’s performance and he shows how good he actually is. I was also impressed with the Divas match and I hope that this could be the beginning of building a strong Divas division.

However, this event emphasised to me how important the match order is. I always believed that the main event should be a World Title match. There will be times when other matches will be the main event (Cena vs The Rock at Wrestlemania is a prime example), but those are special matches that deserve to be the main event.

I really don’t get why Cena vs Kane was the main event. I kinda get why as the WWE wanted the last image of the PPV to be a victorious John Cena standing near the Wrestlemania logo. However, the match, while good, was not a main event. It would be nice if the last image that we had would have been Sheamus crushing Bryan and having him standing by the Wrestlemania logo. It would have put the focus back on the Royal Rumble being an important event on the Road to Wrestlemania. Because of WWE’s decision to make the Cena Kane match the main event, they made what could have been a good PPV into an okay PPV.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Elimination Chamber 2012 Predictions

Elimination Chamber will take place at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How will the event fare? Let's look at the (small) card.

Beth Phoenix will take on Tamina Snuka in a match for the Divas Championship. This, if given enough time, can be a very good match considering that it involves two talented wrestlers. Tamina has the potential to be a future Divas Champion but I think that Beth will be victorious and possibly take on Kharma at Wrestlemania.
Predicted Winner: Beth Phoenix

John Cena will face Kane in an ambulance match, which is exactly what it says on the tin if you require an explanation. In hindsight, their match at the Rumble was a disappointment and thankfully this cannot end in a no-contest. It will be interesting to see if Zack Ryder or Eve Torres will play a role in what could be a brutal match. Cena has The Rock at Wrestlemania and he needs to look strong going into it. Therefore, I think that he will win
Predicted Winner: John Cena

The Smackdown Elimination Chamber has Daniel Bryan defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Wade Barrett, The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, The Great Khali and Santino Marella(?!) I can this being really shit to begin with then get better as the match goes on. I hope to God that Santino gets attacked and replaced with either Drew McIntyre or Christian. I think that it will be Daniel Bryan versus Shaemus for the title at Wrestlemania, so I'm going for Bryan to be victorious here.
Predicted Winner: Daniel Bryan

The RAW Elimination Chamber for the WWE Championship will have CM Punk being challenged by Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho and R-Truth. While all of them are capable of winning the match, I can only see either Punk or Jericho winning. The question is which one, and that's a really tough one to answer. A lot of people think the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania will be between Punk and Jericho and if Jericho loses this match, I can't see that happening. Therefore, I'm going for Jericho to win and have Punk challenge him at Wrestlemania.
Predicted Winner: Chris Jericho

Due to the fact that only 4 matches were announced, I expect to see 1 or 2 bonus matches. It will be most likely a tag team with Epico and Primo; and Royal Rumble winner Sheamus facing some random wrestler to squash. Whilst I have my doubts about the Smackdown Elimination Chamber, I'm quite looking forward to it  and I think that it will be a good event.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Elimination Chamber Contenders

The Elimination Chamber takes place at 1am on Monday morning (UK time) live from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Let’s take a look at the contenders.

Smackdown – World Heavyweight Championship

This has erm...a very interesting (?) lineup.

Daniel Bryan (Current Champion)
Record: First time
Daniel Bryan has been the best thing on Smackdown with his very scuttle heel turn. Bryan at the minute is a person who uses his head as well as his technicial skills to get out of very tricky situations. It will be hard for him as he is effectively stuck in a cage with 5 other wrestlers, including 2 7-foot giants. However, I think that he will find some way to prevail.
Chances of winning: Very high

The Big Show
Record: 0-3                            Eliminations: 3
The Big Show, while unsuccessful in his 3 matches, has the most experience in this match. He can use that to his advantage. However, Bryan has gone into his head and Show needs to focus on winning the match and not just on Bryan if he wants to be successful.
Chances of winning: Possible

Wade Barrett
Record: 0-1                            Eliminations: 0
Wade Barrett took part in the RAW Elimination Chamber last year so has some experience. However, while I think that he will be a World Champion in the near future, I can’t see him winning it this time.
Chances of winning: Potential dark horse

Cody Rhodes
Record: First time
Cody Rhodes aims to be the first person since The Ultimate Warrior in 1990 to be the Intercontinental Champion and World Champion. Like Barrett, I think that he is a potential dark horse and a possible World Champion. However, maybe not this time.
Chances of winning: Potential dark horse

The Great Khali
Record: 0-1                            Eliminations: 0
The Great Khali is a former World Champion like The Big Show. However, he is not very mobile and because of that, he is very limited. Khali was my pick to be the first eliminated until I saw what happened last Friday.
Chances of winning: No chance in Hell

Santino Marella (?!)
Record: First time (gee, wonder why?)
I know that I have been very critical of Santino being anywhere near this match and it’s nothing against him. I know that he’s a popular character due to his antics, but do you really see him as a main event player?! I pray to God that either someone takes a leaf out of Edge’s manual: “How to be the Ultimate Opportunist” and takes Santino’s place; or he is the first one to be eliminated. If Santino lasts more than 10 minutes, I will be surprised and very pissed off.
Chances of winning: What the fuck do you think?! No chance in Hell!

RAW-WWE Championship

Thankfully, the RAW Elimination Chamber looks like a more exciting contest, with the most experienced wrestlers.

CM Punk (Current Champion)
Record: 0-3                            Eliminations: 3
CM Punk knows what he is up against having been in 3 previous matches. It will be tough for him but I think that he could prevail.
Chances of winning: High

Chris Jericho
Record: 1-5                            Eliminations: 8
Jericho has been in, not only the most Elimination Chambers, but also has the most eliminations with 8. While there are other wrestlers who have taken part in this kind of match, Jericho is the only one that has actually won an Elimination Chamber (with help from Shawn Michaels). I think that it will be either Punk or Jericho who will be victorious but I’m torn over which one.
Chances of winning: High

The Awesome One AKA The Miz
Record: First time
It’s been tough for The Miz recently, being (weirdly) blamed for the lower than expected buy-rate for Survivor Series and also being winless since the turn of the year. As I’m a big fan of The Miz, I hope that he will get some wins soon. Unfortunately, barring a major upset, that won’t start at this match.
Chances of winning: Slim

Dolph Ziggler
Record: First time
I love Dolph as he is a great wrestler and an enjoyable entertainer. Along with Barrett and Cody, Dolph will be World Champion one day (I don’t count him being rewarded the World Heavyweight Championship last year for11 minutes). However, I can’t see him winning it this time
Chances of winning: Slim

Kofi Kingston
Record: 0-1                            Eliminations: 1
Kofi is a possible dark horse in this match. I think that his time will come and he could do well in this match. However, I don’t think that he will be successful.
Chances of winning: Potential dark horse

Record: 0-2                            Eliminations: 0
I have liked the insane (in a good way) R-Truth and it would be interesting to see where WWE go with that kind of person as the WWE Champion. However, I don’t think that will happen. How about the US Championship instead?
Chances of winning: No chance in Hell

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Joke-Down Elimination Chamber

On Sunday, we will have two Elimination Chamber matches for the World Championships. The WWE Championship match looks pretty strong with CM Punk defeating his title against Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, The Miz and R-Truth. This look like this should be a good match as you have 5 people (sorry,R-Truth) who are capable of winning the match.

On Smackdown, however, you don’t really have that. It looked well enough to begin with Daniel Bryan defending his World Heavyweight Championship against The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Randy Orton and Mark Henry. Or, so we thought. Henry has been suffering from injuries since December, so was suspended (in storyline)  and was replaced by the Great Khali. Khali, whilst popular, is a limited wrestler and he doesn’t seem to very mobile. Then, on the last Smackdown before the PPV, Teddy Long revealed that Randy Orton suffered a concussion and was unable to compete. Therefore, Long decided to have a wild card battle royal in order to determine who would be the sixth entrant. Santino Marella won after eliminating David Otunga.

I’m sorry, but What. The. Fuck?! Santino in the Elimination Chamber?! For the World Heavyweight Championship?! Really?! Really?! Really?! I don’t know what to say about this. I really don’t. I know that the roster is a bit thin with all the injuries on Smackdown. We have Mark Henry, Christian and Randy Orton all out of action. Plus, the fact that the one person you could replace Santino, Sheamus, already won the Royal Rumble so doesn’t need to be there.

As for Santino, I know he is popular with the fans and he was cheered when he won. However, you can’t hide the fact that he doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the main event level. The problem is that the WWE has a limited roster, especially on Smackdown, and with people with Santino and The Great Khali being involved in a World title match, and the farting gimmick with Natalya; it might be understandable if some people are viewing Smackdown as more of a Joke-Down.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Elimination Chamber History

This Sunday is only the third ever Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. However, there have been 13 Elimination Chamber matches ever since it made his debut almost 10 years ago at Surivior Series. Let’s look at the history.

Survivor Series 2002
This match was for the World Heavyweight Championship
Participants: Triple H (c), Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane, Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels
Won by: Shawn Michaels

Summerslam 2003
This match was for the World Heavyweight Championship
Participants: Triple H (c), Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Kevin Nash, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels
Won by: Triple H

New Year’s Revolution 2005
This match was for the World Heavyweight Championship with Shawn Michaels as the Special Guest Referee. The Championship was declared vacant after a triple threat match between Triple H, Chris Benoit and Edge.
Participants: Triple H, Chris Benoit, Edge, Chris Jericho, Batista, Randy Orton
Won by: Triple H

New Year’s Revolution 2006
This match was for the WWE Championship
Participants: John Cena (c), Kurt Angle, Carlito, Chris Masters, Shawn Michaels, Kane
Won by: John Cena, who then promptly lost it to Edge when he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase that he had won at Wrestlemania 21.

December to Dismember 2006
This match was for the ECW Championship
Participants: The Big Show (c), Bobby Lashley, Hardcore Holly, CM Punk, Test, Rob Van Dam
Won by: Bobby Lashley

No Way Out 2008
The first match was to determine the No.1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV
Participants: Batista, Big Daddy V, Finlay, Great Khali, Montel Vontavious Porter, The Undertaker
Won by: The Undertaker. Undertaker went on to defeat Edge to become World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania XXIV
The second match was to determine the No.1 contender for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV
Participants: Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, John Bradshaw Layfield, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Umaga
Won by: Triple H. Triple H took on John Cena and WWE Champion Randy Orton at Wrestlemania XXIV, in which Randy Orton won to retain.

No Way Out 2009
The first match was for WWE Championship
Participants: Edge (c), The Big Show, Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov, The Undertaker, Triple H
Won by: Triple H
The second match was for the World Heavyweight Championship
Participants: John Cena (c), Edge, Chris Jericho, Kane, Mike Knox, Rey Mysterio. Kofi Kingston was supposed to take part. However, he was attacked by Edge during his entrance. Therefore, Edge took his place.
Won by: Edge

Elimination Chamber 2010
The first match was for the WWE Championship
Participants: Sheamus (c), John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr., Kofi Kingston
Won by: John Cena. However, Vince McMahon announced that Cena would immediately face Batista for the WWE Championship. One Batista Bomb later and Batista is the new WWE Champion.
The second match was for the World Heavyweight Championship
Participants: The Undertaker, R-Truth, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, CM Punk
Won by: Chris Jericho

Elimination Chamber 2011
The first match was for the World Heavyweight Championship
Participants: Edge (c), Drew McIntyre, Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett, Big Show
Won by: Edge
The second match was to determine the No.1 contender for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania XXVII
Participants: Sheamus, John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, John Morrison, R-Truth
Won by: John Cena. Cena took on The Miz at Wrestlemania XXVII but was defeated thanks to The Rock.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

TNA Against All Odds 2012 Review

It’s time for another TNA Pay-Per-View as Against All Odds comes from the Impact Wrestling Zone in Orlando, Florida. Let’s take a look at the event.

Before I continue, I noticed that Taz was not commentating alongside Mike Tenay, it’s Jeremy Borash instead. It turned out that Taz is dealing with a bereavement in the family. My best wishes and condolences to Taz and his family.

The first match was to determine the No. 1 contender for the X-Division Championship as Zema Ion takes on Jesse Sorenson. At the beginning, Sorenson hands his American football to a child on the front row. Ion tries to give the same kid some hairspray and Sorenson starts punching Ion to start the match. As always with X-Division matches, there’s a lot of high-flying offence, which is a great thing to see. Ion steals the football from the child and Sorenson hits a baseball slide dropkick. Sorenson rolls out of the ring and Ion hits a move that legitimately injures Sorenson. I would assume so because that move was edited out by TNA (I'm watching this on tape delay). After watching it on You Tube, Ion does a moonsault and instead of Sorenson effectively catching him and falling to the floor, Ion lands on Sorenson’s head. Ion goes back into the ring and wins by countout. It turned out that Sorenson suffered a crack in his C1 vetrebra and will luckily make a full recovery. Fair play to TNA for their quick response, especially with could have been a very serious injury. It shows how dangerous professional wrestling can be and accidents can happen. While it probably wasn’t planned for Ion to win, well done on him becoming the No. 1 contender.
Winner: Zema Ion                                                                   Predictions: 0 for 1

After an interview with Bobby Roode, the next match was an open challenge by Television Champion Robbie E. Shannon Moore accepted the challenge for the Championship. Shannon dominates to begin with and Robbie E decides to leave with his bodyguard Robbie T. Shannon stops Robbie E and throws him back in and that gives Robbie E the opportunity to dominate things for a while. The ending had Shannon doing a sunset filp, Robbie E kicks out pushing Shannon to the ropes. Robbie T punches Shannon on the top of the head and Robbie E hits a DDT to get the victory.
Winner: Robbie E                                                                    Predictions: N/A

The next match was Tara taking on Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship. I was very surprised that Tara is the No.1 contender and this should be a decent match. For the first part, Gail was arguing with her lackey Madison “Screamer” Rayne. Eventually, Rayne storms off and leaves Gail to it. Gail hits Tara with an Octopus Submission but Tara gets to the ropes. Tara hits a Tilt-a-Whirl into a side slam for a near fall. Tara hits a moonsault but it looks like Tara injured her right knee in the process. Gail focuses her offence on the knee before hitting her finisher, Eat Defeat, for the victory. It was a decent match and it was to see a title match without any shenanigans happening, which seems common place in TNA.
Winner: Gail Kim                                                                    Predictions: 1 for 2

The Tag Team Championships were on the line as Crimson and Matt Morgan defend their title against Samoa Joe and Magnus. The match went back and forth for the first part before Samoa Joe and Magnus start to wear down Crimson. There was a nice combination of moves by Joe and Magnus to get a near fall on Crimson. Eventually Crimson manages to get the hot tag to Matt Morgan who proceeds to clean house. Joe breaks up a pin attempt which leads to Crimson getting back into the match. Joe and Magnus try to go for their snapmare/elbow finisher but it is stopped by Crimson. Crimson then accidentally spears Morgan, giving Joe and Magnus the opportunity to hit their finisher to become the new Tag Team Champions. This was a pretty good match and, whilst I did predict their victory, probably 85% of me didn’t think that Samoa Joe and Magnus would actually win. Congratulations to them on winning the titles.
Winners: Samoa Joe and Magnus                                           Predictions: 2 for 3

After an interview with Bully Ray (who is a hero for wearing a Liverpool football shirt at Impact), we get Austin Aries (the best thing in TNA right now) defending his X-Division Championship against Alex Shelley. Aries acts cocky to begin with before Shelley starts to get some momentum. Aries decides to go under the ring to the other side, deceiving Shelley, to get back the momentum. Aries tries to hit his pendulum elbow drop but misses. Aires continues his assault before Shelley fights back. Aries repeats his under the ring trick but the crowd gives the game away and Shelley is able to counter it and continue his assault. Aries drops Shelley back and neck first onto the ring apron followed by a splash to get the near fall. Shelley hits the Sliced Bread but Aries manages to grab the bottom rope. Aries hits a dropkick to Shelley in the corner followed by a Brainbuster, which Shelley manages to kick out, shocking Aries. After a few very close near falls by both guys, Aries hits the Last Chancery, which is a Brainbuster followed by an Indian Deathlock, to get the victory. This was a really good match, which was the Match of the Night. It was really entertaining and it showcased why Austin Aries is the best thing in TNA right now.
Winner: Austin Aries                                                               Predictions: 3 for 4

After an interview with Jeff Hardy, we get Kazarian taking on AJ Styles. I’ve been intrigued by this storyline with Christopher Daniels effectively pulling Kazarian’s strings for an unknown reason and hopefully we will get to see what Daniels has to effectively blackmail Kazarian. The match starts with Styles ripping off Kazarian’s shirt and start to get some offence in. Styles throws Kazarian out of the ring and focuses his attention on Christopher Daniels before continuing his assault on Kazarian. Kazarian hits a monkey flip and he starts to dominate the match for a while. The match goes back and forth when Styles hits a moonsault on Daniels. Styles goes back in to attack Kazarian. However, Kazarian hits the Fade to Black to get the pinfall. I enjoyed the match and I enjoyed the ring psychology involved with Kazarian being reluctant to do Daniel’s bidding.
Winner: Kazarian                                                                    Predictions: 4 for 5

We get an interview with Eric Bischoff then we get Gunner (with Bischoff) taking on “The Future of the Business” (no fucking joke) Garrett Bischoff (with Hulk Hogan) in what could be an early contender for LDW Worst Match of the Year. Can someone explain why the fuck this match is on second to last? You know what, I really don’t care. I want to just get through it. The match starts with Garrett doing simple wrestling moves and Gunner getting slightly frustrated before Eric Bischoff grabs his son’s leg. This gives the opportunity for Gunner to get the advantage. Garrett gets a front facelock followed by an Inverted Atomic Drop (haven’t seen that move in years). Gunner starts to take control of the match and hits an impressive slingshot suplex for a near fall. Eric gets in a cheap shot before Hogan decides to attack him (honestly, who really didn’t see that coming?) Gunner starts hitting Garrett with multiple neckbreakers , worrying Hogan to the point that he was going to get Garrett to give up. Garrett waved him off but unfortunately, he walks into a DDT by Gunner and Gunner gets the 3 count. I’m really torn by this match. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be, although it was weird seeing moves like an Inverted Atomic Drop in 2012. I also quite liked Hogan’s role for most of the match, giving encouragement and advice to Garrett. However, I felt that the match was not only way too long but it seemed like the focus was more on Hogan and Bischoff than on the two wrestlers taking part. Anyway, time to move on and focus on the main event.
Winner: Gunner                                                                      Predictions: 4 for 6

We now come to the main event with Bobby Roode defending his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray and James Storm. Sting has installed himself as the Special Ringside Enforcer to prevent any shenanigans. If that’s the case, then why is my Shenanigans Sense still tingling like mad? Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s a TNA Main Event where my Shenanigans Sense is always tingling. Bully Ray decides to act like a dick and interrupts Christy Hemme’s introduction and do his own introduction. I quite liked that as it shows how much of a dick Bully Ray, although I did feel sorry for Christy. Roode pleads with Bully to work together on the other two in order to make it a one-on-one match. Bully decides that he doesn’t and goes out of the ring leaving Roode to get his ass kicked all over the place by Hardy and Storm. They both work together on Roode before they hit each other with sunset flips. They attack Roode together again which gives Bully the opportunity to enter the match and take out Storm and Hardy. Roode once pleads with Bully to work together but Bully attacks him and gets a pin attempt broken up by Storm.

As the match continues, Bully inadvertly splashed the referee Brian Hebner, leading to Sting getting involved for the first time by trying to revive the referee. The referee gets up and Storm hits The Last Call on Roode. However, the count by Hebner is stopped by Bully. Sting goes over to sort Bully out with Bully putting Hebner. Unfortunately for Hebner, Storm does a Springboard and lands on Hebner, knocking him out again. Roode, after getting hit with a Twist of Fate, grabs the title and attempts to use it on Hardy. Sting grabs the title off him and they get into an argument which ends with Roode spitting in Sting’s face. Incensed, Sting attempts to hit Roode with the title but Roode ducks and Hardy gets hit instead. Roode covers Hardy and demands that Sting counts. Sting reluctantly does so, while screaming at Hardy to get up. Alas, it was not to be and Roode gets the 3 count. Roode, overjoyed, decides to rub it in Sting’s face and gets Sting to raise his hand. I don’t really mind this finish even though we’ve had dubious finishes over the last several PPVs.
Winner: Bobby Roode                                                             Predictions: 5 for 7

I thought that this PPV was quite a good event. The wrestling was quite solid and I really enjoyed the match between Alex Shelley and Austin Aries (the best thing in TNA right now). In terms of the booking, at Genesis, we had the referee involved in almost every match and so much shenanigans taking place. There was less of that here except for the last match (but that’s to be expected now) and I don’t know if that is because of Vince Russo leaving the company. I hope that Russo leaving and Dave Lagana taking over as head writer will lead to TNA being the type of company that I know it can be.

Are You Serious Bro?!

Just thought I share a picture that I created which I think would have been the best opportunity for Zack Ryder to say his catchphrase (no, not Woo Woo Woo!) Hope you like it.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

TNA Against All Odds 2012 Predictions

It’s time for another TNA Pay-Per-View in front of a free audience in the Impact Wrestling Zone in Orlando. The last PPV wasn’t too bad so will we get an improvement at this one? Let’s look at the card.

Crimson and Matt Morgan will once again defend their Tag Team Championship against Samoa Joe and Magnus. This is quite a difficult one to predict as I can see a title change taking place at this event. The last time a Championship changed hands at a TA Pay-Per-View was when Robbie E won the TV Championship from Eric Young at Turning Point. I can see Crimson and Matt Morgan winning but I do sense a title change so, I’m taking a punt and going for Samoa Joe and Magnus to become the new TNA Tag Team Champions.
Predicted Winners: Samoa Joe and Magnus

Austin Aries (the best thing in TNA right now) will defend his X-Division Championship against Alex Shelley. Aries has been dominant since becoming Champion and has been in very entertaining matches on TNA. I can see him staying Champion for a little bit longer.
Predicted Winner: Austin Aries

Zema Ion will take on Jesse Sorenson in a match to determine the No.1 contender for the X-Division Championship.  This is quite an interesting one to predict as it depends on who wins the match between Aries and Shelley. I have a feeling, based on his performance at Genesis, that Sorenson might be the next X-Division Champion, so I think that he’ll win this one.
Predicted Winner: Jesse Sorenson

AJ Styles will take on Kazarian in what could be a very interesting contest. Christopher Daniels has been effectively blackmailing Kazarian to help him in his feud with Styles and I think that he will help Kazarian win this match and we will hopefully find out what Daniels has over him.
Predicted Winner: Kazarian

Gunner will take on Garrett Bischoff and yes, you did read that right. I honestly don’t care about this match and, while Gunner has been pretty decent recently, I don’t think he will have a decent match with Garrett. I can see Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan being at ringside and stealing the spotlight from the two wrestlers. Whilst I can see this being a contender for the LDW Worst Match of the Year, I have to make a prediction and I think that Garrett (with some help) will get the win.
Predicted Winner: Garrett Bischoff

Gail Kim will defend her Knockouts Championship against Tara. I’m surprised that Tara became No.1 contender and I can see this being a good match. I expect Madison Rayne to help Gail out and for Gail to retain her Championship.
Predicted Winner: Gail Kim

The main event will be for the TNA World Championship as Bobby Roode will defend his title against Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy and James Storm. I can’t see Roode disqualifying himself out of this one and he won’t get much help from his new cohort, Bully Ray. I hope that we get a clean finish for once and for Bobby Roode to win and stay Champion.
Predicted Winner: Bobby Roode

So, that’s the card. Just to remind you that it won’t be shown on TV in the UK till Wednesday night so my review will be up on Thursday morning.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Why Isn't John Cena Challenging for the WWE Championship?

Wasn't this supposed to be Cena's dream at Wrestlemania?

One of the biggest matches in the history of the WWE will take place at Wrestlemania when The Rock, wrestling at Wrestlemania for the first time in 8 years, will take on John Cena. The match was made the day after Wrestlemania XXVII and the week after, Cena announced that he wanted his match with The Rock to be for the WWE Championship.

Now, I, along with probably the majority of wrestling fans, really don’t want that to happen. However, I do find it weird that John Cena is not at least challenging for the WWE Championship. We all know that The Rock sure as hell isn’t going to be WWE Champion before Wrestlemania, so if Cena wants that, he has to win the Championship.

Even though Cena has had to deal with a re-masked Kane, he has had at least two opportunities to challenge for the WWE Championship. Cena did not enter the Royal Rumble and he is not in the Elimination Chamber match. Cena has not been in a WWE Championship match since he lost to Champion Alberto Del Rio at Vengeance. While I feel that the line up for the RAW Elimination Chamber is a strong one, if you added Cena and Kane to the match, you have an opportunity to effectively kill two birds with one stone. You can have Cena and Kane end their feud and have Cena challenging for the WWE Championship at the same time.

While I didn’t really like Cena being continually in the title picture for over the last year and a bit, it makes sense here. Cena wants this match to be the biggest possible and he feels that, with the WWE Championship on the line, that will happen. Depending on Rock’s schedule up to the end of February, you could have him screw Cena out of winning the Championship, adding fuel to the fire between them.

It’s obvious that the match between Cena and The Rock doesn’t need the WWE Championship, but it would be nice to Cena try to get the Championship to fulfil his dream. I sometimes wonder if the WWE think that we have short memories and they just assume that we don’t remember Cena’s declaration last year. It would be nice if they sometimes realise that we do have long memories and use it (if done right) to enhance their storylines.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Is John Laurinaitis Really a Bad Guy?

John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the interim RAW GM?) had his job review on RAW this week and was about to be fired when he was saved (inadvertently) by the arrival of the Undertaker. While Laurinaitis spoke to the crowd and apologised for his actions, he was booed mercilessly. This led me to wonder whether Laurinaitis deserves this vitriol.

A lot of people are comparing his feud with WWE Champion CM Punk to the feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin but there are a lot of differences between the two. The only similarity between Laurinaitis and McMahon is that they don’t believe the current WWE Champion is the right face for the company. With McMahon, he  had to deal with a person who was a beer drinker and hell raiser who was the complete opposite of the WWE were during the late 80’s and early 90’s. With Laurinaitis, he is dealing with a person who left the company with the WWE Championship and I feel that Laurinaitis doesn’t understand why the fans are cheering a man who disrespected the company by his actions. Not only that, but Punk’s actions had extremely significant consequences involving the upper echelons of the company. In a way, it can be argued that Punk’s actions over that time were far worse than Austin ever did in his feud with McMahon. If you think about it, yes, Austin did continually embarrass Vince McMahon but did Austin ever leave the company with the WWE Championship? Did Austin ever deliver a promo in which he tore through the entire company breaking “the fourth wall”?

John Laurinaitis’ actions since becoming interim RAW General Manager haven’t really been that bad. Laurinaitis is not the head of the company. He may have a lot of power in that company but he is effectively middle management. Laurinaitis doesn’t have any beef with any of the wrestlers except for Punk and, for the reasons that I mentioned earlier, that’s understandable. Nor has Laurinaitis given any favouritism to any wrestlers recently. I know that Laurinaitis was supportive of Kevin Nash, R-Truth and The Miz last year, but that was to help him become interim RAW General Manager. Since then, especially with The Miz, he hasn’t been supporting them as they are no longer needed to help him. As for Dolph Ziggler, Laurinaitis has not shown any favouritism towards him either. Ziggler is effectively a pawn in Laurinaitis’ feud with Punk only because he doesn’t want Punk to be the WWE Champion. The only person that has legitimate beef with Laurinaitis is Triple H. It was obvious (not wrestling obvious where it’s all revealed as if we’re 5 year olds) that Laurinaitis was helping Miz and R-Truth distrupt things with Triple H, which resulted in Laurinaitis getting his current position.

Laurinaitis is not as bad as people think. I mainly think that the reason that the fans boo him is not only of his feud with arguably the number one person in the company, it’s because of his real life role as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations. It doesn’t help that he took over from the extremely popular Jim Ross. One of his responsibilities is releasing people and wishing them well in their future endeavours. He has released a lot of good talent  over the years (Mickie James and Gail Kim come to mind as they’re two of the best female wrestlers around at the minute) but that’s not entirely his fault. If the Creative Department don’t have anything for you, no matter how talented you are, there is a high chance that you will be released.

In summary, I say give Laurinaitis a chance. He has made mistakes and is a jerk but what boss isn’t? At least he is man enough to admit them and try to rectify them. Plus, he has given you some good moments and matches over the last few months. How is that a bad thing?