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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

And another thing...........

As an addendum to the previous points about John Cena being part of the Big Show and Floyd Mayweather programme,:

John Cena's upcoming WWE film project is called.............12 Rounds.

I'm just saying.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Floyd Mayweather in WWE. Pretty exciting, and boy will that mean Money!

For those of you that didn't see No Way Out, I expect you know by now that Floyd Mayweather got involved in the Big Show's return.

As Show hoisted the injured Rey Mysterio in the air for a chokeslame, Floyd ran to the ring, hopped over the ropes and got in Show's face.

After some typical jostling of entourages etc, Big Show went onto his knees to give Mayweather a free shot. And the man known as Pretty Boy, the WBC Welterweight Champion, landed at least two clean blows to Big Show's face. Show chased Floyd & co away as Shane McMahon appeared to try to placate Big Show.

The above is not a wrestling commentary. It is genuine account fo what happened. Mayweather hit Show legit, and while I don't think for a second it wasn't planned, I do think that when Show appeared in front of the camera with a bloody nose and mouth that it was a hardway piece of juicing.

So what now? Perhaps this was a one shot event, although I doubt it. Mayweather is a huge deal, and possibly the biggest name in World Boxing right now.

This is not Pacman Jones. This is much bigger, and is, like, so totally Wrestlemania, dude.

Initial thoughts were a boxing match between the two. Boxing has been done before at Wrestlemania. One with Roddy Piper v Mr T (work) and once with Butterbean v Bart Gunn (shoot, and an embarassing one at that). We have also seen Sumo at Mania, with Big Show taking on Japanese Sumo star Akebono (work). Also, don't forget the involvement of a huge sports star in a main event at Mania - see Lawrence Taylor at Wrestlemania 11.

WWE may choose to go down the Pacman route, and make Mayweather's contest a tag match. This is a traditional method of involving celebrities, from Jay Leno to Dennis Rodman in WCW, and has been reported as the most likely method seeing Mayweather in the ring, sans big red gloves.

So how would the match pan out? Well, with Show on one side, his partner could very likely be Shane O Mac himself. For the purposes of making the bout look even, if Show's partner was Umaga or someone pretty tough, it would make Mayweather's involvement seem less plausible.

Especially since Floyd's partner might be lined up as Rey Mysterio. This, of course, may be in jeopardy, thanks for Rey's bicep tear. So if we have Big Show and Shane McMahon on one side, and assume that Mysterio cannot join up with Money Mayweather, who is going to step up? I have the perfect answer.

John Cena.

Its perfect. Cena didn't win the title last night, and although the rumoured Mania main event of Triple H v Cena v Orton could still be in the works, its not an essential component. You can take Cena out and still have a reasonably intriguing contest, no matter what the Hunter-haters may think.

If Cena is not in the title match, then I fail to see how any other match can be big enough for him at Wrestlemania if it is not something like this. Cena is by far and away WWE's biggest and most marketable star, no matter what people think of his in-ring ability. He would be able to carry the feud vocally, he always steps up for big matches, and this would give him the extra mainstream publcity, alongside Mayweather, that he would surely crave.

Rey might be semi-fit and try to gut this one out, as he did last night, but a biceps tear will not heal in 42 days, and I can't see Mayweather being able to carry this one alone if Mysterio does not make it.

If he cannot, then there would be no better replacement than John Cena.

No Way Out live notes and instant reaction

If the Road to Wrestlemania starts at the Royal Rumble, I guess this is the late night car park which we got lock into, just off that road. What with it being called No Way Out and all. We just have to sit back, watch the cars bound for Glory Orlando to drive by, and wait for the attendant to unlock the car park in the morning.

So, since we are going nowhere for a bit, we may as well watch a bit of telly.


As usual, we have had the video introduction. And as usual, when the Chamber is involved, it is the most evil structure eve conceived, and nothing could be worse.

That is, of course, until we get to Vengeance, or something, and we have a Hell in a Cell, and the same adjectives are rolled out again. Also, we need to keep an ear out for Michael Cole doing a reference to the chamber being a wild animal or a carnivore or something.

To start with, we are going with the ECW title match. Yeah, that’s an equal brand. Of course it is.


Joey Styles does the usual countries run down. That means King won’t do it. Which might mean no Liechtenstein reference tonight. Boo.

Match is ok, by the way.


A surprisingly over Chavo wins this one clean, which I’m a little surprised about. I thought that Chavito would be the man to keep the belt here, but I’m surprised at Punk being cleanly pinned, without at least getting a false finish in.

I’m sure the whole world will now say this is because Punk is in the doghouse. That guy should invest in a kennel if those rumours are true every time


Backstage, Rey Mysterio is interviewed by Mike A-dumb-guy, who asked Rey about his injury. Rey says it is torn by he will still win. Interesting to see that they have addressed Rey’s injury, and I suspect that may mean that Edge beats him due to the arm breaking down.

Mysterio is interrupted by boxer Floyd Mayweather Jnr, who talks to Rey. Except he didn’t, because both men simply said things at one another, which did not answer the other’s questions. Hard to know the point of the current WBC Welterweight champion turning up. He did shake Rey by the hand. Which ripped his bicep a little more.


Khali and Big Daddy V just about fit into the pods, and do so along with MVP and Finlay. It will be Batista and Undertaker to start this off.

Finlay’s music is now the same as Hornswoggle’s.


Generic battling by Undertaker and Big Dave, before the countdown starts and the spotlights flicker.
Big Daddy V is next into the match. Despite the spotlight falling on Great Khali. Hmm. Someone will get hell for that.


Big Daddy pushes Taker towards the wall of the chamber........and the Deadman falls through the door, falling awkwardly on his arm. I’m fairly sure that was unintentional. This match was always going to be a bit slow anyway, but that’s two (I think) mistakes not halfway through it.


Big Daddy V is pinned by Batista before Great Khali’s light shines, and this time the big man is in to a big “You can’t wrestle” chant.

He is soon eliminated thanks to the undead zombie knowing shoot fighting submission holds.

Finlay is in now, and this match is far from a classic, but at least they had the good sense to get the two big lumps out the way. But why book them in it in the first place?


Coach and Cole describe the glass comprising the cell as ‘bullet-proof’. But not Taker proof, as within 90 seconds of them saying this, Finlay throws Undie straight through it.


After a neat spot where Taker was waiting for MVP to enter, so Porter tried not to come out, MVP has completed the line up, and four men remain.


We are down to the two who started it, Batista and Undertaker, but two cool spots to eliminate MVP and Finlay have livened the match.

First, Taker did a modified chokeslam from the top of a pod on MVP, getting rid of him, then after Hornswoggle appeared to give Finlay a shillelagh to pound the others, Taker managed to chokeslam him over the rope and onto the grate.

Both men are bleeding, and the crowd are eating up the action. Reactions just for punches right now.


Predictable outcome, as Taker wins, but with an amazing counter into the tombstone which description cannot do justice.

That actually turned into quite a nice match, although I found to hard to get emotionally into the match, as I was so sure that Taker would win.

Backstage, Teddy Long bans The Edgeheads from ringside. Next up is Kennedy v Flair.


For what it was, a great little match. I would have liked to have seen it go longer, but what there was of it was extremely good. Save for two moments. Firstly, Flair’s ass. Possibly the only man as proud of his ass as Vince McMahon, Ric managed to air his rear to the world on PPV yet again. Secondly, there was a very obviously spot where Kennedy pulled Flair into an inside cradle while the Nature Boy was trying to put on a Figure 4.

But I’m picking. Kennedy broke out the figure 4 round the post, as JR brilliantly called it having been not sued since Bret Hart. And it was fitting that there was a man wearing black tights, who is excellent on the mic, with bleached blonde hair, playing the heel role to the hilt. And that man was Ken Kennedy, not Ric Flair.

I enjoyed this, but I would have liked to have seen Kennedy be the one to end it for Flair at Mania.


Edge v Rey was next, and to be fair it was quite poor, but that is understandable. The pace was very slow, considering the combatants, and it seemed that they were simply going through the motions to set up a few spots. Rey looked in genuine discomfort.


Well, it’s the Big Show. Paul Wight is here, and he is smiling. I thought for a moment that he was here to annihilate Rey Mysterio, who was still at ringside recovering when Show’s music hit.

And I’d be right. After some generic waffle about winning titles and losing weight, Show grabbed Mysterio and threw him in the ring. He taunted Mayweather, at ringside, and as Show lifted Mysterio in the ring for a chokeslam, Pretty Boy Floyd, brother of Freddie Joe (not really) hit the ring.

It wasn’t quite Austin/Tyson, as the two faced off, but eventually Mayweather landed one on Show, who had bend down to challenge the Welterweight champ, who then scarpered with his entourage. Show gave chase, and was stopped by Shane McMahon. Show was bleeding a ton from his nose. Cool visual

Mayweather v Show at Mania? Surely not...........

Amazing segment, providing it leads somewhere. If Mayweather is involved with Mania, it’s going to draw a ton of publicity. Seriously, if you did not see this, is was played magnificently. Think a combination of Lawrence Taylor and Mike Tyson’s build to Mania.

Interesting that the commentators said nothing after Show began talking. Straight after the segment there was a Wrestlemania vignette, a shot of Jeff Hardy backstage, then it was thrown to the WEF’s Mike Adamle – that’s what he said instead of WWE. My God he is hopeless –who built up Orton v Cena. The Floyd/Show encounter was not mentioned.


King did a countries run down. Still no Liechtenstein. L

Oh, and Orton and Cena are in the ring. WWE title match is now. Raw chamber last it seems.


Terrific match. Slightly lame ending, but once again totally understandable taking into account where they are trying to take this. Also, this probably explains why it was not on last.

Basically, Orton played his heel role marvellously, although Cena got his usual mix of cheers and boos. (Not to be confused with Ron Simmons, Jake Roberts or Scott Hall. They said “Cheers” too much. And drunk too much booze. And our PPV money is helping [ay for their recovery.)

A very good ‘Cena’ match, if you know what I mean, with the story being that Orton tried to get out of the match but getting Cena counted out, then himself, then Cena again. When he didn’t think he could win it, he slapped the ref who had to throw the match out.

The build of tension was great in this match. In fact, it’s been very good all night. Orton is a terrific heel. They call Batista an animal, but Orton’s actions remind me of a Lioness in a nature documentary, stalking prey and acting the carnivore.

If you are going to book finishes that are not clean, this is basically the way to do it. It made total sense, storyline-wise.


The chamber match will begin with Michaels and Jericho. For some reason Lillian introduced some men with weights and some without. Ross said that the Chamber “has been called Satan’s Structure”. Yes, but only by you Jim. The rest of us say “Elimination Chamber” – because that’s its name.


Great start to this contest with one blip. Umaga is in as the third man, after a terrific exchange between HBK and Y2J for the opening sequence. Umaga predictably dominates, hitting an amazing double Samoan Drop.

However, he did try to do a modified Bansai Drop on HBK using the steel, but missed by a few inches. Unfortunately for him, the camera was in close up. I think the live audience missed it though.


JBL is in, and bizarrely breaks up a double submission that Y2J and HBK have on the man they (Regal) call Yoomanga.

Michaels is bleeding bucketloads, but no-one knows why. They keep showing replays of people beating on Michaels, but its hard to tell when he bladed. But man is he juicing.


Triple H in next an on fire from the outset. Jericho and Michaels are bumping like crazy in this one.

JBL is the first one out. Trips was about to pedigree Y2J when JBL hit the clothesline from hell on the game. Jericho interrupts with the Codebreaker. JBL brings a chair in to clean up on everyone in anger at his loss. Hmmm. I thought he might have just done Jericho, to avenge the pin and lead to a Mania date, but he landed everyone, even Umaga. Actually, he didn’t hit Hunter, who was already down. Jericho and Michaels got their hands up, Umaga took an unprotected one. Jericho has now bladed too.


Jeff is in last, with only Umaga standing.


Umaga in gone. And how. After an ass crash to Jericho through a pod, he sets up Y2J for a spike, but gets hit with Chin music. Y2J hits the Codebreaker, the Triple H with a pedigree. Just to ram it home, Jeff hits a Swanton from the top of a pod. Can’t see him winning now. If he was going to win, he’d have ended with that.

Bodies fall quickly now. Chin music to Jericho and a pin by Hardy gets rid of Chris, and after a twist of fate to Michaels, Hunter throws Hardy away but then pedigrees and pins his DX colleague.

Hardy and Triple H left, and the crowd are pro-Jeff.


Oh my. A bloody Hunter is shocked in the ring because Hardy kicked out of a pedigree. Who does he think he is, Ultimate f’n Warrior? Could he do it?


Err, no. Its over, and Triple H wins. The chair that was brought in earlier was placed centre of the ring, and Jeff tried the twist of fate on it. Trips countered, sending Jeff back first onto the chair. Pedigree on the steel next, and its over.

Fabulous match. Amazingly booked. And Hardy still looks a million dollars. He has to win the belt after Mania. Has to.


End show, and it was an absolute belter. Terrific Pay Per View event, with only really Edge v Rey a letdown, and that was more than understandable.

Two outstandingly good Chambers, booked almost impeccably considering the talent inside, a quality WWE title match with a forgivable DQ ending, and two serviceable matches with Flair/Kennedy and Punk/Chavo.

Two out of two for WWE in 2008 so far. 42 days to Mania............

No Way Out - Preview

Tonight is No Way Out, this year the only Pay Per View between the annual curtain jerker of the Royal Rumble and the main event Wrestlemania. We shall have to see whether No Way Out will prove to be a perennial mid-carder, or a surprise show stealer.

I thought the Rumble was a superb event. Although some of the undercard could have better, it was probably only a slight letdown because the quality of talent was so high, huge things, possibly too huge things, were expected.

I wrote in Fighting Spirit Magazine a couple of months ago about how Pay Per Views are far to frequent now, and I stand by this theory, despite the quality of the Rumble in Madison Square Garden. Three weeks is a very short build up, and when the next event after this is Mania, this seems like even more a lame duck Pay Per View.

The card is stacked though. Another Flair career decider, Orton v Cena and two Elimination chambers set up a decent looking show, despite doubt over Rey Mysterio’s participation in another contest. But with the rumoured Wrestlemania card taking shape, it seems possible to predict the outcomes of most contests..............or is it?

The main reason why I so loved the Rumble was that they sprung a major surprise with John Cena. There was not even a hint of a whisper about his sudden return, and it made it seem very special indeed. It was virtually set in stone, in many experts’ eyes, that Triple H or the Undertaker were nailed on to win the Rumble. But neither man did. Once again, The Game and the Deadman are tipped to end the night victorious. Will this be the case?

Let take a look at each match individually.

ECW World Title – CM Punk v Chavo Guerrero.
Not only does this title mean increasingly little – it is the only one defended on TV, Chavo was in the Rumble – but these guys have clashed loads of times already. It hardly sets pulses racing. Punk has hit a flat point in his development right now, but is still very over. I’d say that his destination is more likely to be the Money in the Bank ladder match for Mania, assuming they have one, and would be a very real candidate for winning it.

I see Chavo winning this, possibly with interference from somewhere within the Guerrero/Edgeheads faction.

In fact, throwing it out there, Punk is the only man with any current, or recent, issue with Edge apart from Mysterio and Undertaker. Perhaps Punk could be involved in the picture for Edge’s title? Just a thought.

Prediction: Chavo Guerrero.

Mr Kennedy v Ric Flair – Career threatening match.
I’ll go back to what I said for the Rumble, when I was looking at the booking of that. Then, Flair took on MVP, and I suggested (not predicted) a storyline for Flair.

It seems to me that you could do a great angle by having Kennedy win the match in controversial fashion. It pulls a swerve on those thinking that Flair will keep winning until Wrestlemania. You then have a Ric Flair Tribute on Raw looking back on his great career and highlights. You have Shawn and Hunter console Ric and plead with Vince not to make Ric retire. Vince then says he will close the show by openly firing Flair, but during his doing so, he is interrupted. Last time I said by Linda, but I’d now have Hornswaggle do it, with Finlay. Using Horny’s power as a McMahon, somehow, the decision is overturned because Flair’s leg was under the ropes or something. Vince goes nuts and we’d end the show with Flair putting Vince in the Figure 4.

However, the likelihood of WWE creative channelling my thoughts or reading my blog is pretty slim, so I’d say that, for now, Ric will win in very much the same fashion he beat MVP.

I’m a little worried about the rumours that Ric Flair will face HBK in his final match. I’d really like for Flair to put over an up and coming star in his last encounter, so unless they have Ric go over at Mania and retire somewhere down the line, I’m a bit disappointed that it might be Shawn to retire Flair. It doesn’t seem to lead anywhere, and Michaels doesn’t need the rub.
Prediction – Ric Flair

Smackdown/ECW Elimination Chamber – Undertaker, Big Daddy V, MVP, Batista, Finlay, Great Khali.
This looks anything but a classic, and hopefully will not be too torturous. I would guess that Khali, Big Daddy V, Batista and Undertaker will start in the pods, allowing the two WRESTLERS to open the match. I’d expect a big heel to be out next, followed by a face, then heel then face, to allow the reaction for the big cleaning of house.

Expect Finlay to have a strong showing, since he is involved with Vince at the moment, but not to win. They won’t headline Wrestlemania with Khali or V, and MVP is simply not at that level yet – although Money in the Bank could well beckon for him, depending on Matt Hardy’s progress. Its down to Taker and Batista, and you really do have to side with the Deadman here.

Prediction – Undertaker

Raw Elimination Chamber – Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, JBL, Chris Jericho, Umaga
The line-up in this chamber is far more appetising, and things could happen in any order really. I’d expect this to be a decent encounter, with only JBL really not in my mind a great worker, and it will be interesting to see where in the card they place this one.

Rumours continue that Jericho will face JBL at Mania, but with Jericho beating his rival on Raw last week, cleanly, I’m not so sure. It will be interesting to keep an eye on these two, and whether they affect each other’s progress in the match.

We can dust off the old McNichol Eliminator 2.0 (one more than Matt Hardy) here to get rid of Umaga, who will not be in a position to headline Wrestlemania. Jericho v Cena makes no sense, and we have just seen Orton v Jericho, so you can scratch Y2J off. JBL is nowhere near being ready for a match of that magnitude, so he’s out too.

That leaves Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. I’d say given that HBK v Cena was the programme last year, and that he was had a long run not long ago with Orton, that it won’t be the Showstopper.

Just Hardy and The Game left.

Common sense says it will be Hunter, doesn’t it? Triple H v Orton v Cena is the rumour, but The Game taking on either man in a singles would also make sense. As much as I would like to see Jeff Hardy given he nod, I just can’t see it. If they were going to go with him, big-time, they would have done it at the Royal Rumble.

I’d love for a big surprise. But I can’t see it. Hardy the most likely apart from the obvious, but as much as I’ve analysed this looking for another answer, I have to write the following..........

Prediction – Triple H

World Heavyweight Title – Edge v Rey Mysterio..............maybe
This match is in danger because of a possible bicep tear for Rey. I’m not sure whether it is a good thing for him to wrestle here or not.

On the pro side, this match has the potential to be good, and will be the match a lot of people have bought the PPV to see. Rey has a big following.

However, if he is not 100%, three things could happen. One is that he wrestles half-tilt, meaning the match is sub-standard. The second is that he wrestles too hard, making the tear worse. The third is that he breaks down mid-match, forcing a quick and untimely end to it.

Obviously it all depends on the severity of the injury, but if it is not right, I’d say that it is best he doesn’t wrestle at all. The WWE came up with a genius storyline when Triple H and Orton wrestled twice against each other after Cena’s injury. I don’t see why they couldn’t come up with another clever story for Edge to have an alternate opponent or something.

Knowing Rey, I’d say he’ll try to work through the pain, and since he isn’t going over anyway, they’ll likely cut the match a bit short and let Edge take the win he is scheduled for in any case.

Prediction – Edge

WWE Title – Randy Orton v John Cena

I’d say that they’d go with this as the main event, and although many are saying that a bullshit finish will take place, I’d be more inclined to guess that we will see a clean ending. And a new champion.

Logic dictates to me that if Triple H wins the Chamber, then he is due to face the champion at Wrestlemania. If Orton were to win, in whatever manner, there is no real sense in having Cena added to the match at a later stage. You lost, you had your chance, now skedaddle.

Orton losing, on the other hand, allows the use of the ole’ rematch clause, one which Orton’s character has effectively used before. I’d expect Cena to will this one clean, and for Orton to try to invoke his rematch clause for Wrestlemania, antagonising Triple H, and thus making for the triple threat that is expected.

Prediction - John Cena, cleanly.

Enjoy No Way Out, guys, I’ll be back in the minutes following the PPV with my live notes.