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Friday, 9 November 2007

Just some random thoughts......

We’re at the halfway point (ish) between Cyber Sunday and Survivor Series, and since I promised you my thoughts on the last PPV, I thought I’d combine that with some thoughts about the current product leading up to Survivor Series.

The concept of Cyber Sunday, and formerly Taboo Tuesday, is a good one, but the execution is less stellar, as only the most foolhardy and ‘green’ of WWE fans will believe that they have very much influence. There was really only one surprise in the voting, and that was a largely unwelcome one. The Miz was never a very credible number one contender to CM Punk’s ECW title, so any mystique as to whether Punk would drop the strap was gone. If Morrison had won the vote, it may have been a different story.

There were two BS finishes to championship matches. Randy Orton was intentionally disqualified in his defence against the fans’ choice of Shawn Michaels, and we were robbed (through no fault of WWE’s) of what would have likely been a great contest, when Kane replaced Matt Hardy in the US title match.

I can’t say whether Hardy would have taken the belt from the Ballin’ Smackdown superstar, but whichever match was chosen – be it wrestling, boxing or MMA – would have likely been a good’un. These two have been the strongest pairing on any brand in the last few months.

The highlight for many will have been Batista going over the Undertaker in the main event. The fans choice of Stone Cold Steve Austin as ref was again very much a lame duck selection, as although he had some physical interaction with Mick Foley and JBL before the bell rung, he had no bearing on the match itself.

Although I have been impressed with the whole Batista v Undertaker storyline, particularly the Pay Per View matches, stretching back to Wrestlemania and beyond, I thought the decision to put Batista over so strongly was strange.

I’ll concede that the way the match was put together worked extremely well, making Batista look amazingly strong rather than Taker looking weak. However, I can’t help but feel that Undertaker losing cleanly could have been saved for someone else. I’d be delighted if someone could prove me wrong, but I don’t think Taker lost cleanly (I mean pin or submission, no interference) since No Mercy 2006, when he lost to Kurt Angle. Prior to that, I can only think of Brock Lesnar that’s been allowed to cleanly defeat the Deadman in the last few years.

To me, Batista is as big, popularity-wise, as he will get. In fact, I think in his initial run with belt after he beat Triple H he was the most over wrestler in the company, but that was his first run as a babyface. Now that he is a more established name, his star has faded a little. Plus, let us not forget that he is no spring chicken. Big Dave is 38, the same age as Triple H.

I would have thought that Undertaker would have been better served putting over Edge, Kennedy or Orton, or someone like that. Look at the face to heel comparison on the roster: (Ignore injuries)

For the face side of things, you’re talking Cena, Lashley, HBK, Triple H, Mysterio, Undertaker, Batista, and Punk. Heels of note are Orton, Edge, Kennedy, Umaga, Khali, Henry, Finlay, Big Daddy V.

I might have missed a couple out, but essentially I think you’ll agree that the balance is out of proportion. Of the heels named, several really are not up to it in terms of putting on a great match. There of course is a big name to come back in Mr Jericho.

So you’d be looking at nine high level faces looking for opponents, and finding the numbers coming up well short. I think The Game may well be overdue a heel turn, possibly for one last run with HBK (I’d say after Wrestlemania) but unless they push Kennedy or Edge to the moon, they are struggling to balance the books in terms of the good v the bad guys.

Speaking of Jericho, one can’t help but feel he’ll be back any time now, with the night after Survivor Series being touted as the most likely date. But with whom does he feud? Will they take a gamble and thrust him straight back into the title picture? Or will they offer up a midcarder for him to squash first. Maybe a Royal Rumble win is on the cards? Armageddon follows Survivor Series by 4 weeks, and then it’s a six week gap until The Rumble. That could very well be the destination for a major Jericho triumph.

As someone said (it may have been Chad Kroeger) - they say that a hero will save us..........

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