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Monday, 14 December 2009

TLC Live Notes


Interesting opening gambit - ECW title match and all babyface effort aiming to steal the show.

Still no ECW commentary team it seems - Cole, Lawler and Striker. Makes sense, I guess.

Enjoyed that opener, although there were quite a lot of setup spots where you could see one man was getting to where he needed to be.

Interesting to see Christian getting patched up (sort of) for the blood flowing and then the crowd chanting for the blood to increase!

Christian's retention makes sense. He has done almost all he can in ECW now - he is crying out to brought onto another roster - Smackdown I would think.

Great moment. Morrison went for Starship Pain and grazed his opponent, and rather than insist it was devastating, Matt Striker called that it only just connected. Then, looking for a pin, Morrison got two before the ref spotted a foot under the ropes. Good continuity and logic.

Wow, and thats it - title change. Odd finish to the match, as Morrison took his belt off for apparently no reason - I thought he was going to smack McIntyre with it, but he simply threw it down, distracted the ref, allowing Drew to poke his foe in the eye and then plant him with the double arm DDT.

Teaser for Raw's Slammy awards. "What will be the Match of the Year?" Oh, that's a tricky one........

Oh, another awesome moment - for us Brit fans anyway. A confident new IC champ Drew McIntrye is interrupted by Sheamus, who says he will also win gold tonight. Two mainstays of the UK scene for years on the up and on the TV - great stuff.

Time for more title action, as it's Mickie v Michelle.

Side note - I know I hardly hide the fact that I think Striker is great, but what I like about him tonight is that he is being really heelish, defending every heel action, but doing it intelligently. I genuinely would have Grisham and Striker on Raw. I really would.

Realistically that's the wrong result (Michelle retained), but I'll give them credit, it was a better match than I'd anticipated. The story was very well told, with Mickie out for revenge and the jock girls belittling their rival. I'd like to have seen Mickie win, and so would the crowd by the sound of it - their sigh when Mickie rolled Michelle up for a near fall was the loudest reaction in a girls match I have heard in ages.

Nice Sheamus and Cena video package. Cena's line "You impress me, but not for one second do you intimidate me" was money.

Did Striker just say that the last champ born outside the US was Yokozuna? How about Bret? How about Edge? If you include the World Title you've got (whisper it) Benoit and The Great Khali.

TLC - The Lucky Charm?

Wow - Sheamus is the champ! That's shocking, I have to say, although I did consider it due to the position of the match in the middle of the show.

The downside was that it wasn't the best match. In fact it was quite sluggish and rather the slow. The end in particular seemed to take forever to come, and it didn't make Sheamus look amazing.

Nice post-match touch, as Cena took, it appeared, a shard of the broken table - it has to be Cena v Sheamus next up, which I assume is the Royal Rumble. (I'm actually a little annoyed that Sheamus won't be in the Rumble, unless there is a change of plan before that.)

Batista v Undertaker next. DX v Jerishow for the main event, then, I guess.

Still a few cheers for Batista. I think they should change his ring music, it's upbeat babyface music. I'd have something slower and more menacing.

Hmm. I didn't care for that particular. If you didn't see it, Batista won after hitting Taker with a low blow and a chair shot to the head, before Teddy Long ordered the restart because of the low blow. Taker swiftly hit the tombstone and won.

The thing is, why didn't Long come out and make the McIntyre/Morrison match start again? That had a misdemeanour behind the ref's back - not very fair on Morrison.

The match itself wasn't great. Like the Tables match with Sheamus and Cena, I think the stipulation actually hindered the wrestlers. They have affected the matches negatively.

Orton overcomes Kofi, and again I enjoyed that without it being outstanding. There have been a couple of intricately put together matches tonight. The story to that one was really good, with a few moments in it which made you sit back and say wow, namely Orton's dropkick when Kofi was coming from the top rope to the floor.

It puts Orton in a strong position again, and I'd suggest he'd go into the Rumble now, claiming he wants to win it again. Kofi, I'll say again, is going to win Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Raw Thoughts - November 23

  • Jesse walked to the ring and said "Hershey, Pennsylvania" and I was already longing for the days when he was in the colour commentator's position. There has barely been anyone like him for fifteen years, with the exception of JBL.
  • I'm watching Raw early afternoon Tuesday, UK time, but I've had a spoiler as to who wins the "Breakthrough Battle Royal" that I've just seen Jesse announce. I'll try not to let it spoil things.
  • Nice covering by Cole for Randy and Kofi simply having a stare-off and not fighting in the aisle by saying that perhaps Randy has gained a measure of respect for Kofi.
  • I like the concept of different brands' wrestlers fighting each other and then facing their respective champ.
  • We have an issue with the tourney straight away. Kofi and Ziggler are both talented individuals - and what did that match take? Four minutes? I don't set stopwatches, but that wasn't very long at all.
  • Now I don't mind Sheamus and Finlay being short. Not because they couldn't have a good match, but because it fits Sheamus' current push to dominate like that.
  • I enjoyed that Cena/Punk match. I don't think there was a lot of doubt that Punk would be losing the match, but they at least let Punk get to the ropes out of the STF and then it took a supersize version of Cena's finisher to polish him off. Did Punk no harm, that.
  • That was AWESOME! Great promo by Jesse on Vince, classic McMahon double-taking and adams-apple-bobbing - I can't wait for these two on the mic.
  • I don't like that concept - the six man tag with all winners progressing. Seems ludicrous to me.
  • I give him enough abuse, I think I ought to say that Cole is on great form tonight. He just zinged Lawler for not being made Mayor of Memphis. Made I laff.
  • Match itself was ok. I thought for a second that Henry and Porter were going to turn on Truth, but not to be.
  • That DX segment was so poor. Two of the WWE's premier performers, amongst the top five biggest names in the business currently, both lost a title match last night, but rather than bemoan their bad luck, express their desire to win the title, Shawn played his "goofy Shawn" routine and they made Midget jokes. I don't know if DX are booking themselves at the moment, but they are doing a terrible job if they are - and I'm a DX fan.
  • Sorry Cole, my kind words were short can Orton 'stalk' Bourne, lying in wait for him......then hit an RKO "out of nowhere", exactly?
  • I wonder if WWE poached Hector away from TNA to put him in the Gooker suit.
  • AAAARGH. What am I supposed to do? I love Pilgrims, but now McCool is dressed as one. What do I do?
  • So, where to start on that Divas aftermath? Why was King scared of Maryse? Why didn't Kelly and Mickie come back to help? Gooker's music and a video played, so therefore the conceit is that he was booked to be the timekeeper - so they knew it would be Maryse? King doing the interview in the ring? You have to do that often with no recriminations for it to actually be a surprise.
  • Should Nattie make her surname "Brake" just for one night. Since Hart and Kidd are doing such a great job of killing Shawn - Hart, Brake and Kidd would be awesome. Actually, maybe not.
  • Hell of a lot of punishment by the Dynasty on DX, before the sudden ending. Looked like Shawn Superkicked Hunter in the arse until I realised it was on Harry.
  • A chair match? The winner straps his opponent into a high chair?
  • That was hilarious - "I'm sick of your catchphrases.......I'm the best in the world at what I do." I wonder how intentional that was.
  • Batista should have come out with a lucha mask on.
  • You can tell that very few people remember Vince as a commentator. Muted response. I want to hear "The cover, the count, yes he got him! Wait, no he didn't."
  • Mini Me as guest host - surely a face-off with Hornswoggle.
  • Sheamus v Cena then, in a tables match. I see three major problems here.
  • One is that Sheamus may not quite be ready to step up and put on a great match with Cena. He might, but it's a lot to ask of both men.
  • The second is that his push would work much better as a slow burn over a reasonable amount of time. He would be better off beating some midcarders dominantly before stepping up. Loads of great superstars spent years building their character by battering people to build their aura
  • And there lies the third issue. Do you beat Sheamus on his first major PPV singles match, and retain the SuperCena aura? Or do you give an inexperienced guy (in WWE terms - Sheamus has paid dues elsewhere) a World Title within two months of hitting Raw?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Survivor Series Live Notes

Here we go, then, Survivor Series 2009, and it's from DC. I didn't realise that. I wonder if there will be any kind of mixed reaction for Batista.

Robo-Roberts reads out the rules for the Survivor Series matches, but says that the "remaining teammates on the team will be sole survivors." Erm, no. If there is more than one remaining guy, that isn't a 'sole survivor' is it? I fear this is an unwinnable 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania argument again.

Miz leads out his team, with Swagger, Ziggler, Galloway and O'Shaunnessy for company. Sheamus might well be an interesting element to this match. Might he simply attack someone and walk out, or get DQ-ed for excessive punishment? Odds on it's Evan Bourne who is his scapegoat, and a squash will follow on Raw.

By contrast, Morrison brings up the rear for his team, with Bourne, Finlay, Hardy and Benjamin preceding him. Finlay can't seem to make his mind up whether he wants his original music or his "diddley-dee" Hornswoggle music.

Hate to be picky, but Cole reckons that because this match features many future superstars that we are "looking into a mirror". OK. That means I'm a future star, because I have a mirror next to my desk, and when I look into it I see my handsome mug looking back. I think he means crystal ball.

Air Bourne to Ziggler gets rid of him, but McIntrye follows with his cradle double arm DDT to make it 4-4. Good to see finishers being used to eliminate, and not the usual soft moves which would normally only just warrant a two count.

Sheamus eliminates Finlay with a bicycle kick after a staredown. South defeats North there. 4-3 to the heels.

Swagger is gone after Starship Pain, and we have a new ref in the ring. Seems Scott Armstrong has got injured. They didn't make enough of it to be storyline, so I'm guessing it was legit. I hope the guy is alright, but goodness knows we can cope without him.

3-2 in the heels' favour after Miz rids the ring of Shelton after an SCF and an assist from Sheamus. Incidentally, they have shown Armstrong getting a knee to the back of he head from Sheamus.

The highly-thought of (by me, at least) Drew McIntyre hits his DDT on Matt Hardy and it's 3-1, with only Morrison remaining. King says John has a 1 in 3 chance.

Actually, he doesn't, because statistically, using equal probabilities, he has a 1 in 2 chance of winning the next fall. Then, should he win that it is a 1 in 2 of the next, and the next. Accumulative, it's 1 in 8. Clearly Matt Striker wasn't a Maths teacher, or he's have picked King up there.

Remember AJ said that Morrison steals moves? He just hit a Pele. Offense was short-lived, though, since Sheamus then laid him out. Game over, and the heels win with three men - Miz, Sheamus and McIntrye - remaining. "Sole" survivors, apparently.

Cool little segment with Christian acknowledging he was 'different' from his team mates. The elephant in the room was the fact he was the only white guy, but he said it was because he was the only ECW guy or the only Canadian. He then said Canadians could rap, and went on to (try and) prove it.

"Team Kofi Kingston, looking for a fight.
Four of us are black, and one of us is white.

Awkward moment, then they all joshed with each other. Some will sniff at this, and say its racist or a lame attempt at humour, or maybe that the white-run WWE are trying to pretend they are cool. I tend to think that we ought to accept that this is a kids show now, and that this is actually a reasonable message to kids - that the good guys all get on despite any superfluous differences.

Rey in the ring, and it's grudge match time next. Fair enough little storyline this, but I'm so fed up of Rey wrestling big guys. He has spent the last two years wrestling Kane, Mike Knox, JBL, now Batista...... save for a great feud with Jericho, Rey has had to work very hard with limited bigger guys. His match with Morrison before his suspension showed he can still go and create awesome matches - I wish he was allowed to do it more.

Matt Striker is a superb, vaguely heel, colour guy. He is a majr asset to tonight's broadcast team, which is Cole, Lawler and Matt himself. Here is a gem.

Striker defending Batista's actions prompted Cole to remark "I'm glad I'm not your friend." Striker shot back with - "You are." Brilliant.

Batista wins after hitting a methodical combo of spear, spinebuster and three Batistabombs. Ref had to stop it rather than a pinfall occuring.

Post match, big Dave gets a chair and spinebust Rey on said implement. The irony of all this was that the cheers for Batista, in his hometown, remember, actually grew as time went on.

Orton, along with his team - Cody, Ted, Regal and Punk - are out first, with Cole making a nice deal of Orton having a good record of being a survivor at this event. I like that, it's what proper sports commentators would do.

All the faces - MVP., Henry, KR-Truth Krush Kwik, Christian and Kofi - are out, and Punk does a brilliant job of going after Truth, still mad at him after ruining his fun on Smackdown.

Heels gang up, and Henry is gone without even tagging anyone else into the match.

Very Kwikly, Killing the Truth is gone, thanks to Punk. 5-3 now, and the heels look great so far. I'd expect Cody and Regal to go soon though, possibly to an incoming Kofi.

Nope, it's the second Marine who departs, falling to Christian's sunset flip. Meanwhile, Cole uses the nonsense phrase "controlled frenzy" and gets called out by Striker, who says "What does that mean?" Cole can't explain. Striker is AWESOME tonight.

MVP does for Regal, and nearly rolls Cody up, too. This match, despite the added star power, has not been as good as the first SSeries match thus far - and the first one was no better than ok.

Painful looking CrossRhodes to MVP, and it's 3-2, with Kofi and Christian battling Cody, Punk and Orton.

Equilibrium restored, as Christian pins Cody. Could go either way this.

Killswitch looks to have Randy beaten, but Punk makes the save before and RKO gets shot of the Legend Killer. Kofi is left, but Orton tags out to avoid the confrontation. Former tag partners Punk and Kofi to face off.....

The Kingston bandwagon rolls on. A reversal of a roll-up for three on Punk leads to Orton coming in, and getting met with a Trouble in Paradise. Kofi beats both men quickly, and wins the match for his team.

The cheer was major, the announcers went crazy. They are doing GOOD job with Kingston. Next step is a solid PPV effort with Orton. I wouldn't say he'll win the Rumble, but he ought to have a big run in it. Kingston for the Money in the Bank, I'd say.

Three main men in the ring for the World title match. Smart money has to be on Taker's retention after Jericho accidently (or otherwise) costs Show the match.

Should go back and mention that the Survivor Match we just had did pick up from the point where I said it was inferior to the one before. From the point where it was Christian and Kofi v Orton and Punk it was very sound indeed.

I don't really know what to make of that. It was very watchable, and reasonable executed, but it was like most Triple Threats you'll see. Quite slow, methodical, and unable to really shock or grip me.

Undertaker wins after a succession of finishing moves didn't do the job, and reversed a chokeslam by Big Show into a Hells Gate. I would fully expect the Raw triple threat to top that.

Here comes the girls, now. Kelly eliminates Layla quickly. Pathetically, the talentless Michelle McCool quickly gets rid of Gail Kim. I think the success of Michelle McCool is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing in WWE right now.

An unco-ordinated section between Eve and Jillian ends with the former hitting a top-rope sunset flip, before Beth demolishes Eve then Double Kelly. Surprisingly, though, Beth is pinned via a Mickie crucifix. Beth decks Mickie before leaving.

Mickie removes Alicia with an untidy Thesz press from the top, before Striker undoes his night's good work in one fell swoop by suggesting that McCool could be in the Hall of Fame one day. Urgh.

Melina puts this one away with her (much) modified Canadian Destroyer. Mickie and Melina survive - and I suspect the Verizon Center just sold more beer and popcorn, with people nipping out for the last time before the main event.

DX Music hits. I'm surprised. I would have said this match merited seperate entrances for Triple H and Shawn Michaels, and not the DX music and hoopla. No video package building up the storyline for this one.

Because there hasn't been one.

I was just in the process of typing that Cena has this one wrapped up because Michael Cole just led the commentary trio in declaring that either Trips or Shawn HAD to win.......when HBK turned and kicked Hunter in the face. Great moment.

Shawn and Hunter now battling away, but the real story is when HBK gets back in.

Correction to the above, I obviously got my HBKs and my Hunters the wrong way around.

O-ho! Hunter is back up, saves Shawn from Cena who was about to plunge HBK through the announce table, then a heavy duty spinebuster sends Michaels and the table sprawling.

It's interesting, no doubt, but it's taking away from the match a little because they are doing the old trick of having one of the three lie down for a while as the other two duke it out.

Cena gets the win after a tense one. Lots of finishers and pauses as we approached the finish, before Michaels Superkicked Hunter, only to walk into an Attitude adjustment. Cena dropped HBK onto HHH, and the champ pinned The Game.

The intrigue in the match superceded the action here, and I would say that the booking of Shawn to kick Hunter in the face at the start of the match was an inspired decision. It's hardly an original or clever point to make when I say that the build to this was weak, but as soon at that first bar of chin music played you had to tune in.

So will they continue the DX break up? Possibly, and if they do it remains to be seen if it is a gradual or quick thing. I'd do a jump ahead to Mania and suggest that Michaels v Helmsley would be a great match at Mania, along with Cena v Taker and Edge v Jericho. I'd suggest you get to DiBiase v Orton by then, too, and you are in good shape for the PPV when March in Phoenix rolls around. Won't be long, you know.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Bragging Rights live notes

Ok, I’ll be generous, you get some comments, but they’ll be snappy, hopefully pithy ones. Not massive reviews – you’ll have to go to tomorrow for that.

Oh, terrific, they’ve told us it’s best two out of three in the Raw v Smackdown matches. That means it will be 1-1 after two, with the tag being the rubber match.

I'll go for Miz to win this. Makes more sense for Miz to win this with shenanigans, and then the SD girls to tie the series, before the tag is the decider.

I bet the boys are happy to be watching the show on a monitor, at an angle, in character.

I really like the ring, by the way, with the mixture of blue and red ropes.

Hmm, pretty not surprised at the winner, but a little about the method. I'm not unhappy though. Miz needed a win more, and Morrison is flashy enough to get back over some more.

Has Finlay ever won a match in WWE without the Shillelagh?

I am most amused by the fact that R-Truth sounded more like Dusty than Cody did.

"That's the truth.......and the truth hurts" is a better catchphrase that "truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth, which is a mouthful and, well, stolen.

Speaking of stolen, Michelle now appear to have nicked AJ's hooded robe as well as his finishing move.

About three weeks ago Beth was complaining about being traded to SD, now she is fighting for their pride?

Kelly did a great Ricky Morton - right down to the haircut.

Springboard suplex into a rolling small package? NICE! Great work Beth and Melina!

Smallest of points, shouldn't Harry Smith and TJ Wilson (fuck their screen names) have been front and centre in the SD locker room rather than Jericho, Kane and Hardy there?

I enjoyed that backstage pep talk/DX comedy bit. But then I like DX more than most.

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster? Never heard of them. You couldn't do better than "Sons of Disaster"? Here's a tip Maylene, if you want a great bandname, don't picked one that sounds like it could go after "Harry Potter and...."

A four way match seems perfectly placed to take the belt off of Taker, relieve his burden of being top dog in the yard while injured, and get the belt back on Punk without Taker having his shoulders counted down. I forecast something happening to shift Taker's focus.

"These guys are literally throwing bombs." Erm, no they are not, King. They are figuratively throwing bombs.

Hmmm, seems odd to me to have Taker win a fourway. I guess they just had nothing to do for Rey and Batista and wanted to put them out there in a PPV match. Also, there was probably motivation for a tease of a falling out between Batista and Rey.

I hope Rey is ok. He was (Literally?) launched by Batista onto Punk, and looked to land back and neck first. Hopefully it was flat enough, and not at a poor angle.

As I speak, Rey is on his feet, speaking to Josh. He looks ok.

I think that would have been better if Batista had clotheslined Mysterio out of his boots out of nowhere, rather than telegraph it. Now we know why these two are in the match.

That was pretty well done. I think Batista's heel turn is long overdue, frankly. He'll shine now.

When they were doing that 'Team Raw!' 'Team Smackdown' thing with fans, I'd have loved one little weedy bloke to jump in the middle and, in a high pitched voice, shout 'Team ECW'.

Have they once mentioned the video game while hyping this as Smackdown v Raw?

I rather liked that ending. It's a bit of a copout, and celebration was a little over the top, but I like Show turning on people that he has had his differences with, and it leads into a presumed DX v Jericho and Show feud.

That then leaves something else to ponder. If this really is the end of Orton v Cena, forget who will win - who will the winner face next? Who else is there to step up?

2-2 and nearly twenty minutes in. This has been tremendous thus far. Surpassing my expectations already.

Legacy interfere to earn Orton a fall. Kofi arrives with a chair to chase them off, and gets a massive cheer. Huge moment for Kofi.

I would change one thing. I'd have had Orton pass out and the ref award a fall to Cena. It simply wasn't logical for Orton to hold out for nearly a minute and then give up with six seconds to spare.

That said, it was a marvellous match. If Match of the Year voting ended here, Undertaker and HBK would still win, but this will be on the shortlist.

Orton was amazing in this match. Utterly brilliant.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Rob Update

Guys, at the risk of sounding like Dragon's Den, let me tell you where I am right now.

I have just come back from California having been out there for TNA Bound For Glory. It was a great show, BTW. I hope you saw my review on

Since being back, I've had a number of things to deal with at home, and have a mega busy week or two coming up.

I will endeavour to post here when I can, but just to warn, it will not be business as usual for a few weeks.

I may be able to do my usual as-live PPV notes tonight, but in all honesty, probably not.

I urge you to keep your eyes on The Sun's wrestling page this week - I'll be all over it, with PPV and Raw reviews, plus a couple of exclusive TNA interviews.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Raw Thoughts: October 12

· I hated that opening segment, with only a few exceptions.
· The phonecall to Michaels was really quite lame. Not funny, didn’t go anywhere, and even the plug for the book didn’t work.
· The Bragging Rights exposition did not work at all. Not in my mind, anyway. I was under the impression that there would be a bunch of matches on the show and whoever won each match went onto a team for the end of the show. That didn’t resemble what Jericho, the apparent Smackdown captain said. Nor did it sound like what Triple H said, especially when he told Show there were no spaces. If the team is already made up, then surely it doesn’t matter about the winners of the matches?
· I think the only bit I liked was when Jericho said he would fight Bob Barker anytime anyplace. Other than that even Chris couldn’t save this segment.
· The forced infighting between Show and Jericho was ludicrous. Why have Show say they are equals, then say he carries the team? I don’t want to see them wrestle, because at some point I’d like to see a team actually be a team for more than a couple of months.
· Making the match didn’t make sense. How was Triple H, and therefore guest host Nancy O’Dell, able to know that Show and Jericho would a) interrupt him and b) start bickering. She should have come out at that point and made the impromptu match.
· Most of all, I hated Triple H’s little burial of Smackdown. Are you kidding? Smackdown has been superior for a long while now, and I fail to see what business sense it makes for Triple H, a major babyface with influence over the minds of impressionable fans, to bury the show. And to say they have great wrestling, then cite Great Khali, is pathetic.
· I’ll allow the Big Show/Jericho match. At least it looked like a spat rather than a falling out.
· Oh my God, that Divas section was HIDEOUS.
· Goodness knows what Mickie has done to deserve that (although her matches haven’t been great lately). Unless she is injured I guess. The first match was terrible, and Jillian of all people gets a three-minute reign. To make matters worse, guest hosts are now trading, and Melina appears on Raw. To cap it off, Melina and Jillian botch the big move. Credit to them, though, because I’m assuming they called an audible and changed the finish.
· So Cena will face both members of Legacy in a Triple Threat? That would mean if he wins he would be in an iron match AND the seven-on-seven?
· Wait, I got that wrong. Apparently Cena has no real motivation here.
· The only redeeming feature of the triple threat was the finish. I liked Cody sneaking the win by pinning Ted and causing contention, and I liked Randy Orton slithering in and out of the ring. Other than that, it was the usual SuperCena garbage, followed by an announcement of Cena/Orton v Legacy. Just..........what?
· So we get to see Cena AGAIN, Legacy AGAIN......MVP and Swagger are in the ring while I’m typing this bit and....wait, it’s finished. A throwaway match lasting about four minutes. We have to see double Cena and Legacy, all of whom are over. But only a few seconds of MVP and Swagger, who need assistance.
· Kofi and Evan didn’t even get to start on TV? Just add this to the point above.
· As a contrived main event, that was just about passable. I guess the most important thing was that after all the double crossing and second guessing, Ted DiBiase was the one who emerged with the high ground. He pinned Orton with a surprise roll-up in the main event.
· Just an odd show. No logic, and flaws up the yin yang.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Hell in a Cell live notes

Hi all. Sorry about the fact that there was no predictions before the show today. Have had a hellishly busy few days, and simply did not have time. I'm here now though.

I've been that busy that I have not had a lot of time to follow the ins and outs of the wrestling world this week. So rather than catch up on one or two things, I've removed myself completely. So if there are any spoilers out there, I know not of them. Trying it as an experiment, because sometimes I can ruin PPVs by knowing little titbits of info.

Interesting start to the show. Long, long preview of Taker v Punk following a great opening from the announcers (note sarcasm). Cole asked if it was the end of an era (i.e DX losing) or the beginning of a Legacy (which would mean, erm, DX losing....idiot).

Here comes Punk. Wow, opening the show with the match that closed the last PPV? In a Cell? The conspiracy theorist would say another screwjob and Punk somehow retains. Otherwise why wouldn't this close the thing?

Taker wins. Surprised that's gone on first, I have to say. Ok match without being great, but it's an unenviable position. The crowd know Taker will win, barring screwjobs, and Punk and Taker can't go all out because they have to leave something for the matches yet to come.

JR mentioned this being the 17th HiaC match ever. I seem to remember the 1st was late in 1997. So they've had 16 in 12 years - then they want to do three in one night? Don't they realise that devalues things? No, apparently not.

Morrison v Ziggler next. Should be fun.

Morrison beats Ziggler after a long back and forth match.

I really enjoyed that. It wasn't as good as Morrison v Rey, and the fans didn't get behind Morrison like they did when Rey faced Ziggler, but it was a really good match. It maybe went a bit long without picking up a pace, and I'm stil not sold on Starship Pain (looks flashy, but doesn't like it would hurt. The Chuck Kick, meanwhile, looks devastating)

Master Shredder for Raw Guest Host!

Alicia v Mickie now. Don't expect anything other than a Mickie quickie vickietory.

And there we go. Mickie wins in a poor divas match, interesting only for the DDT which ended it. Alicia took a hell of a bump on her head. Hopefully she's not too badly banged up

If you consider for a moment who was involved in that match, then Big Show/Jericho v Batista and Rey wasn't too bad at all. The Show and Rey match-ups in the ring were fun, there were some fun spots (I liked Show catching Jericho but Batista spearing them down) overall. I didn't care for the ending, because Show's right hand ought to be illegal and makes no sense.

All that considered, that was on the good side if acceptable for me.

I like that theme music by the way. Could actually be a good TV show theme. Better than SDs, I think.

Looks like Cena v Orton next. Assume DX v Legacy to close.

After long entrances, we're underway. Trevor writes and suggests Cena is like Marmite - love him or hate him. I agree - and so do the live crowd. Sounds like the most negative Cena reaction in quite some time.

An observation watching Cena and Orton fight on the near side of the cell. I see foot holes. Someone may well be climbing tonight........

Well well, new champion. Orton beats Cena in a decent Cell effort. Not a classic, again, but some decent psychology in this, and Orton's ruthlessness wins the day. I could have lived without the tap out the ref didn't see, but other than that I'm happy to see Orton with the belt again. The punt didn't look as good as previous ones have done. Expect to see slo-mo and other angles used creatively on Raw.

Plenty of discussion in the comments section, reaction to Cena/Orton but also questions about the finale tonight. A suggestion that HBK could turn on HHH? I'd love that, and predicted it would happen weeks ago. The problem with it is twofold. One that he has fought side by side with Hunter, so to turn now makes no sense. He needed to turn after that initial chef nonsense.

The second issue, pointed out below, is that the DX Reunion tour is imminent. Unless WWE are going for ironic branding.

Also mentioned is HHH being a better heel than babyface. I agree to a point, but we've seen heel Trips v Face Shawn. I'd like to see it the other way around.

Drew McIntyre beats R-Truth, in a bout which felt like a Smackdown match. I don't mind it being on PPV, though, because if Drew is to get a push, then he needs to get wins on a big stage.

Kofi celebrates being finally billed as from Ghana by retaining his US title. OK triple threat, but again it felt like a pretty good TV match and not a PPV spectacle.

This PPV, with the exception of the Divas match, has been almost entirely populated with avergae to pretty good matches. Individual hard to complain, but as a whole this has been an unispiring event thus far.

That was pretty good. DX win after a drawn-out, intricately plotted Cell match. A legacy pre-match jump saw a fight outside the ring for several minutes, with Cody and Ted laying out Hunter on the stage and locking Shawn inside the Cell. Many minutes of beating preceeded Trips disappearing and re-emerging with bolt cutters. Back inside, he evened the score, threw out DiBiase, and then DX polished Cody off.

DX winning is the right thing, but it needs them to address on Raw the fact that Legacy ran them very close.

I'd expect DX v Show and Jericho soon.

Orton got Tombstoned on SD last week.........Randy v Taker at Bragging rights?

Generally very average indeed.

Thanks for joining me - good night!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Raw Thoughts - 28 Sept

· Oh no, tell me Lillian’s replacement isn’t that drone from Smackdown. Justin Roberts, the man with the random stresses.
· Someone tell those people holding the “Y-2-J” signs they’ve got it the wrong way round.
· Another guest host who I’ve never heard of, but it was very strange after a nice build up from both teams – Jericho/Show, MVP/Henry – that Rev. Al Sharpton got booed. I don’t know who he is that he got booed, but there you go.
· I don’t quite get why you would book these men in a title match just days before a PPV. Makes no sense.
· Reasonable tag match, I guess. Cole announced that Batista and Mysterio will now face Show and Jericho. The problem with having Show with Jericho, although it gives the team a good dynamic, is that matches become slow. Henry, and now Batista, will compound that. I hope Batista and Rey will, so that Jericho can go back to singles action.
· Matches like Mickie v Rosa just show there is very little depth to the Divas division.
· Legacy and DX – good exchange, but dragged a little. I am, though, very much looking forward to their cell match. Their falls count anywhere was really, really good.
· Although I’m fed up of Chavo and Hornswoggle, at least we saw a little development this week. God knows what it means, though.
· If you accept that matches like Bourne and Swagger are going to last three minutes, then that was more than acceptable.
· Gauntlet match was quite dull, really, although come bits of Cena/Jericho perked things up. Cena recovering to best Orton was ludicrous. The whole thing was a setup to lower the cell. I’m not sure why the cell was lowered from a storyline perspective, and it made no sense in a match context, but the reasoning was surely the visual.
· Cena and Orton taking to the top of the cell was spectacular, and WWE will hope that it convinced a few people that ordering a show with Hell in a Cell. I think it will.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Raw Thoughts - Sept 21

· Triple H is opening Raw? Wow, when did that last happen. In a match I mean.
· An okay match, but really good booking post match. Legacy are being positioned well as a threat to DX. Even if they lose in the Cell, they are being treated as genuine threats, as an entity. The next step is getting themselves taking seriously as individual wrestlers.
· Santino is getting gayer. Still quite funny, but too camp.
· Oh my! Cedric said Wrestling. He won’t be invited back. Don’t say Wrestling, Ced. They don’t like that.
· Mickie looks.........all fixed
· How much sense does it take to bury the Divas champ like that?
· Alicia is not the greatest worker in the world, but that Scissors kick is AWESOME.
· Miz, Swagger, Kofi.....United States belt........that makes no sense at all. Not one iota. Nonsense.
· I don’t know who Cedric the Entertainer is.......and I don’t know who Reverend Al Sharpton is either.
· The best bit of Raw was Lillian’s promo. I would have totally brought out Viscera, though.
· I like it when main events have something on them that affect next week’s show.
· What a good guest host Koko B Ware was.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Raw Thoughts - September 14

· Really solid opening segment between Batista and Randy Orton. I never really bought the retirement, but I suspect many did. I may be wrong, but I think Batista actually hurt his right arm, not his left one. As I recall they did the attack on Raw on Batista’s left arm, but his was really hurt the other side. So the fact that he had the brace on his left suggested to me it wasn’t needed.
· Was it just me or did Trish seem a bit lost? Maybe I’m being harsh. Interesting note about Barker “nearly making Jericho cry” – a little back reference to Wrestlemania 20?
· OK tag match. I liked seeing Swagger get a pinfall to boost him a little. There was no reaction for Primo at all.
· Mickie James on Alicia Fox: “Every dog has her day”. King quickly asserted that she wasn’t referring to Ms Fox as a dog. She said no. Good job too. The Korean Ms Kim would eat her alive. Ahem.
· Mickie v the Wedding Planner coming soon then.......
· I thought Mickie was great as guest commentator by the way. I like people doing that. I think they should have someone on guest commentary more often, especially newer blood trying help get their character over.
· Nice little seg with Trish being faced in her office by Beth and Jericho. Nice interplay between Jericho and Stratus, although interestingly no namedrop for Captain Charisma, who was instrumental in the ‘break-up’. Nice to see a little nod to history though.
· I hope Trish chooses Santino as her partner! Or at least they have a seg where he is campaigning to be her partner.
· I was really disappointed that HBK v Ted didn’t have a finish, but I guess I understand why.
· Oh wow, Hornswoggle wins again (note sarcasm). Chavo asks “What do I got to do?” Firstly, learn English, Pedro, because it’s “What do I have to do?” but secondly I got the feeling he was addressing that to more than just the little midget fella he’s been wrestling for the last seventeen years or thereabouts.
· I get whole thing of Trish having a win in her hometown, but it strikes me it would have been a big thing for Beth to beat her and use it to have an achievement to boast of, rather than Trish getting a fun, but ultimately fruitless, win.
· Ordinary Batista v Orton match. Actually an ordinary Raw overall. Nothing to write home about, although the initial Batista head fake was quite neat. If someone came up to you tomorrow and asked you what the story was from Raw, what would you say? Batista to Smackdown, and they announced a couple of matches we knew were happening anyway for HiaC.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Breaking Point Live Blog

Shall I start with a moan? Yeah, why not.

What are the point of those little packages at the start of PPVs? Who has ordered the PPV that doesn't know the storyline or the matches? Even if they haven't watched, you've got 'em anyway. I don't mind if they are really arty or hard hitting, but that was just wishy washy standard dialogue with generic music in the background.

I won't be negative all night, it's just I really want to see Christian v Regal, and I'm still pissed off that they wasted time at Summerslam with tanks and all that nonsense then didn't let Christian and Regal do their thing.

Slow start to the match, but I'm more interested in the crowd. Very mixed. Mixed reaction for JeriShow, decent pop for MVP then a really good reaction for Henry. All this on entrance.

No discernable support for Jericho in Canada, then a Big Show chant, now a Y2J one. Cool spot with Henry catching Show in the corner.

Meh. Passable opener. MVP's flip onto his feet followed by a DDT was special, but the rest of the match was largely forgettable.

I am not a big tag team wrestling guy, so I'm biased, but I can't help watching Jericho and thinking he is wasted doing this. Nothing too much against the Big Show, it's just Jericho is THE man for my thinking. The biggest thing about Taker winning the World Title is that he might get to face jericho soon. It's not brand new, but Y2J could do big business with Cena, Triple H or even Batista if he comes back. Any brand, any babyface.

I hate the big punch as a finisher. Why wouldn't he just punch someone all the time? It isn't stopped for being illegal.

Interview with Cody and Ted. Cody is getting much better on the mic. What the hell did Ted DiBiase have in his ear???

Miz and Kofi in the ring. Nice little bit of average French to get the crowd against him. Seemed to work.

I'm surprised at the retention of the title, but not as surprised as I am about the quality of the match. I said I thought it would be alright and that Miz is improving, but this was beyond my expectations. Really, really good action. Well done. Potential show stealer there.

Credit to Montreal for not ponly being a hot crowd, but one with timing. They waited until Triple H paused during his standard rallying speech to do a "You Screwed Bret" chant. To Hunter's credit, after a pause, he came up with an answer (pointing at Shawn and stating "it was all his fault") which I think he ad-libbed. Also, he was careful not to diss Bret and get the crowd even more offside.

Oh me oh my. Where to start? So what was that, the best past of a thirty minute match? That was a fantastic brawl. It so perfectly illustrates the art of the gimmick match if sparingly used. That kind of arena-wide brawl was ten a penny eight or nine years ago, but now they are rare, and this was brilliantly put together.

And chalk one up to me for predicting a Legacy victory. Miz has let me down, otherwise I'd be 3-0. That could be a career maker. It had all the ingredients of a great match for Legacy. Give and take was evident in the match, the heels gradually got the better of the situation, and the babyfaces had mini-comebacks to spike the crowd. Perhaps Shawn's fire was a little overdone, but on the whole that was a terrific effort. I liked how Legacy looked like proper bullies while going about their business.

Whoa, tremendous promo from Randy. I thought he was channelling the Godfather early on. I thought that was captivating, and you had to sit up and take notice. I still think he'll lose, but it was a great promo.

I took Khali to equalise this feud, but I prefer Kane winning. It makes more sense, because he can go on to now work with some mid-to-top babyfaces rather than Khali being elevated.

Match pretty much sucked, as you'd expect. Bad enough for them without following DX/Legacy.

Nice speech from Punk backstage. Very sarcastic and condescending. Still taking shots at Hardy, even mentioning the mugshot. Doing the Jericho thing of coming up with words to have a go at the local fans (he called them derelicts). Cool effect for JWY (Yang) turning lights off and then getting his head kicked in.

There is a trivia question. Striker says Regal would be the 9th person born outside the US to win a world title in the last 15 years. I'm assuming that doesn't include TNA, so lets try to work it out.
I've got Benoit, Bret, Christian, Edge, Khali, Eddie, Masato Tanaka, Chavo Guerrero. That's eight. Have I missed one, or are they being accurate?
Yokozuna is just outside 15 years, Rey and Jericho born in the US.

Someone sent a tape of this to Lance Storm, he'll be delighted with this effort. Good match.

Well, I predicted four out of five title changes tonight, so far none through three matches.

Pressure on the big title matches, because aside from the combined bulk of Henry, Show, Kane and Khali dragging things down, the undercard has been very good.

Pat Patterson hit the ring in his hometown to presumably bring out Morrison, but Ziggler came out to humiliate Pat with various age jibes. Crowd went with "shut the f up" and "what" taunts. At least they were reacting. Ziggler kicked Pat in the stomach and then shaped to do more, but Morrison interupted. I would have had Ziggler then attack Morrison from behind, because then Morrison would have more of a problem with Ziggler.

Small point, why was Dolph in his gear and Morrison wasn't?

You know what, that Cena v Orton match will have it's critics, and I certainly won't rush out to buy the DVD for this one match, but I'll give them a lot of credit for doing something different.

I surmise that they must have taken a look at the show as a whole seen this: DX/Legacy were doing a big brawl, Miz/Kofi the fast pace, Christian/Regal the wrestling and one assumes Punk and Taker will have a more typical main event. They couldn't match any of the other styles, so they did their own thing. They played off their facial expressions, used Orton's sadistic character and Cena's resiliant equivilent and built the match around emotion.

It might not be your thing, you might not have enjoyed it, but you have to, surely, give credit where it is due.

I guess that was sorta creative. It looks very much like WWE just did Montreal in Montreal. Having Long come out and reverse the decision on Hell's Gate was a terrific idea. I love the continuity in that, and was a great get out for not having the Undertaker win. To have Scott Armstrong call for the bell quickly and everyone to scarper was odd, but presumably done to once again recall the incident of November 1997. (Oh Google it if you don't know - everyone else does)

Storylines sit easily enough don't they. Brace yourself for a bunch of rematches in three weeks time. Punk and Taker are unclear of how they stand - rematch in the cell. Orton demands a rematch. It happens in the Cell. And now DX and Legacy are one apiece. Into the Cell for them too. To accompany - Ziggler v Morrison, Christian v one of Regal's henchmen and perhaps Batista and a partner v Jericho and Show?

Hope you enjoyed that folks. I did more than I expected to. Creative stuff, if nothing else.

Good Day to You.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Unforgiv.....dah, I mean Breaking Point Preview

Haven't a lot of time today, so very little intro, straight on with predictions.

Oh, but before I do, a reminder that I will be following the action with my usual live blog, if you'd like to stop by and read my ongoing thoughts on the PPV.

Singapore Cane Match - Kane v Great Khali
No, this is not a submission match, as many have pointed out, but I'll point out at this stage that most of the hype for the event has stated that 'main event matches' will be submissions based. Not the whole card.

Anyway, from what I gather, the Singapore Cane match basically means a normal match but the cane is legal, and I would think it will be suspended on a pole in the corner of the ring.

WWE had the sense to only give this match a short amount of time on the last PPV, perhaps sensing each man's lack of mobility.

Prediction: Khali. I'm going with the big Indian to even the score after Kane won at Summerslam

Kofi Kingston v The Miz
This kind of match might suggest that there is a lack of long term planning in WWE right now, since it comes from Raw, but was not even promoted or announced on Monday's show. On the other hand, perhaps we ought to cut a little slack, because this match is ostensibly replacing John Morrison v Dolph Ziggler, which is in turn replacing Rey Mysterio v Dolph Ziggler.

I think the Miz will win here. I like Kofi, and I think WWE are high on him, but his limitation is his ability to vocalise his part in a feud. He is over by virtue of being a babyface in the early 90s mould. Smiley, wearing bright ring gear and executing flashy moves, Kofi would have been over fifteen or twenty years ago. However, the fact that his is a Ghanaian portraying a Jamaican and an unconvincing accent holds him back. He gets no interview time, and it is hard for him to generate a long term feud with anyone.

Miz, however, is the opposite for the most part. A heel for the new millenium, he is cocky, spouts modern buzzwords verbosely and rubs people up the wrong way with words and not action. His wrestling, though, has improved greatly. He makes more sense as a United States Champion.

Prediction - He might do so by way of cheating, but I'd expect Miz to win gold tonight

Mark Henry and MVP v Big Show and Chris Jericho
A couple of interesting notes by way of Firstly, in talking about Jericho and Show's opponents, the site says that they beat Rhodes and DiBiase, but then refers to Cryme Tyme as "younger opponents". Hmm.

Secondly, and more importantly, I can't see a reference to this match being a submission encounter. If it is, it'll be interesting to see how they work the stipulation in. Jericho obviously has the Boston Crab varient we are all familiar with, and Show has been known to use a take on the Camel Clutch.

Henry due to his size and power could probably be effective with a submission hold, but MVP doesn't have a recognised hold in this ilk. I'm suprised, if this is a submission match, that they haven't attempted to build something.

If this is not a submission match, then it says a lot about the tag titles (even unified Tag titles) if they are not considered to be part of a main event set of matches, especially considering the prestige of the current champions.

I can't see MVP and Henry winning, with or without this being a submission match. It doesn't make sense to me, unless they decide to go with Jericho as a prospect for a World Title challenge. This wouldn't make a great deal of sense, because by rights he ought to go back to Smackdown, and it appears that Taker and Punk are set for the next month or two.

Prediction - Jericho and Show to retain

Christian v William Regal.....finally
The match that I was most looking forward to last time now occurs at Breaking Point. I considered this a blessing in disguise at one point, since a submission match seemed right up Regal's alley. But once again I can see no reference to that stip being upheld in this one. It seems ECW is considered a 'World title' but not a 'main event'.

The match ought to be good though. Just let the men wrestle for 12-15 minutes and then work the finish. As long as they don't constanly feature Jackson and Koslov I'll be happy. Use them a bit, possibly, but not overkill. I wouldn't be surprised to see one or both interject early, and then one of two things to happen. Either they are sent to the back, much to Regal's consternation, or two babyfaces, perhaps Dreamer and Reks, emerge to sit in Christian corner.

I think there is a real possibility of a title switch. Regal has all the momentum in ECW right now, and it would make sense to have babyfaces fighting the smug champion rather than the three-strong group being made to look like fools.

Prediction - Regal, probably with a little help from his big friends

Triple H and Shawn Michaels v Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase
Here is the big question: Are Cody and Ted hurt by not beating DX? Are their careers elevated solely by working with these two (go on, say it) legends or are they made to look small time?

I personally think that in the last couple of weeks they've come over quite well. Perception is the key here, not fact. Because, well, fact isn't fact in wrestling, is it? It's about making the audience believe that Cody and Ted are equals, or at least stand a chance. I can't speak for the world and say whether this has happened or not, but it strikes me that their characters have built nicely in the last few episodes of Raw.

Will they win tonight? Possibly. Maybe not, but possibly. If I was forced to wager money then the safe bet is always Triple H, but I smell an exchange win to lead to the structure known as Hell in a Cell. (hold that thought, back to it later)

I'm interested in the stipulation. That this is a Falls Count Anywhere submission match, and their little brawl on TV, suggest to me they will explore the arena a little tonight. If they do so, perhaps there is scope for others to get involved. Perhaps Orton helps his proteges - or perhaps Brett DiBiase shows up and helps - getting initiated to Legacy the following night on Raw.

Prediction - Going deliberately against the grain, I'll take Legacy for the upset

John Cena v Randy Orton (WWE Title)
There are two major aspects to this which heavily point to Cena coming away with the belt. One is that any interference on Orton's behalf would lead to him being stripped of the title, and the other is the nature of the I Quit Match.

The loser has to, as far as I am aware, say the words "I Quit" into a microphone. Cena isn't going to do that just to Orton. The only way I can possibly see Cena not winning is if somehow he does the Austin-Bret pass-out-rather-than-tap-out finish, but even then that means Orton has dominated him.

Tonight has to be Cena's night. Although logic suggests to me a heel keeping the belt because of all the challengers being babyface, I can't see how Orton comes out of this match with a win that doesn't hurt Cena. Hey, I'm not saying Orton shouldn't win - why shouldn't he show he is a great wrestler, a nasty heel and get the win? - but tonight has to be Cena's night. And he, despite his detractors, deserves it too.

Prediction - JC all the way.

And another thing.........The next PPV is Hell in a Cell, right? Here's a thought - Orton, DiBiase and Rhodes v Triple H, Michaels and Cena. If you are going to have a HiaC themed show, I think it is a stretch to have two one-on-one Cell matches, and you'd think Punk v Taker was nailed on for the SD main event. Would be an idea to have a six man on the either side of the bill.

You could take this in many directions. One would be for Cena to cost DX the match and them to get pissed off at him, leading to either Shawn or Hunter getting the next shot at him. You could even throw in some sort of "If DX wins, Legacy disbands" and vice versa stipulation to the mix.

CM Punk v The Undertaker (World Title)
This is a little similar to Cena in a way. Would they really put Punk over Taker cleanly?

I'm not looking forward to this as much as I'd like to, because I think they'll either just limply end Punk's reign by him losing to Taker as normal, or they'll have Punk somehow obliterate Taker with help, chairshots or something, because I simply cannot see Undertaker ever losing a submission match. It doesn't scan.

Prediction - short and sweet. Taker wins. Punk taps. Yet another new champion.

Enjoy the show, folks. Come back for the live blog.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Raw Thoughts: September 7

· So I guess Bruce Forsyth will be guest host in the UK?
· “I wish I had a refrigerator for every one of you” might be one of the oddest opening lines I have ever heard on a wrestling broadcast.
· To American readers, you should know that in the UK we have no idea who this guy Barker is.
· I can’t wait to see him come off the top rope, mind you.
· Santino coming out of the crowd was hilarious. I could watch him for hours.
· I’d have a game show every week.
· Not as good a match as last week with MVP and Jericho, but I was impressed wit how they played the crowd with some believable near falls, getting a tremendous reaction. MVP is starting to become a bigger player.
· Oh my Lord – an actual, real match for Chavo??? Surely not.
· I suppose it was too good to true to hope that Hornswoggle would stay hidden, but at least it is a step in the right direction.
· AJ Piersinski (that’ll be spelled wrong, don’t write in) is a TNA guy isn’t he? Why didn’t I read about his defection on the sheets?
· That Santino section of him winning the Price is Right was a little dull. A little too much Barker.
· Uh-oh. Big Show and Mark Henry was also a bit of a drag, and now it seems to be a sit-down interview with Josh Matthews? I enjoyed the start, but its starting to drag now.
· I’m fairly certain that Triple H just did a gay innuendo and then, without irony, said that he’s going to get ready to suck it.
· An extremely odd decision to put Masters in the main event with Orton, yet no Carlito, Miz or Swagger on the show. The last named being the most obvious candidate.
· Quite a slow main event, and another bizarre moment as Orton just hovered around the stage for a couple of minutes.
· The backstage brawl with Legacy and DX made sense, but you almost feel it should have happened a couple of weeks ago, and then the stipulation added because of it.
· In the end, the Bob Barker stuff got boring, what him plugging a book and talking about his career. I guess it helps if you had heard of the guy before last Monday when they said he’d be hosting this week.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Raw Thoughts - August 31

· You heard what Cody said. It’s “thrictly bithneth”
· Hard hitting opening to the show. You get this when you have a wrestling GM, rather than a celeb. We got a quick announcement of two matches later on, followed by a match booked to create intrigue in this show and also to help sell the PPV. That’s a strong start, and it is genuinely interesting to see where they go in this main event.
· Did you notice the camera work during the long Kim v Hall portion of the battle royal? The camera was in a close focus all the time so that you didn’t see Beth lying on the apron, heightening the sense of surprise.
· Sound-as-a-pound, give and take match between Jericho and MVP. Did the job, had the right outcome and built for the tag match nicely. Did you notice the really subtle Jericho touch as he went to put his foot on the ropes for momentum, but didn’t quite do it.
· DX and Dusty plug the rise and fall of WCW DVD. Do you think Dusty had more to do with the rise or the fall? Or the fall before the rise?
· Did you notice Cade and Murdoch’s music playing while Hornswoggle was walking backstage?
· We want Mantaur! (clap-clap-clap-clap) We want Mantaur! (clap-clap-clap-clap) Poor Chavo.
· I’m a DX fan, but their inclusion is a little laboured this evening.
· Really fun fatal fourway. It’s a good way of using the fact that they have loads of titles, to have regular showcase matches with titles on the line. If they can re-establish the US/IC titles as ‘workers titles’ then it will greatly help the product.
· Kofi’s stock is rising all the time. I don’t really see that he has the total package to be a world champion, but he’ll be a huge asset to the company where he is.
· Wow, there was no atmosphere during that Divas title match whatsoever. And it was a decent match, too.
· I enjoyed that Shockmaster bit, but they have to be careful doing stuff like that. What percentage of the audience know anything about Dusty, let alone know that his tenure in WCW creative.
· SA-WERVE, Baybeh! I bought that. The Dusty finish takes new meaning.
· That was a fun Raw. Plenty of action, twists and turns.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Raw Thoughts - August 25

· Interesting to open with explaining who the ‘fan’ is. I thought that might have been a hook through the show.
· Hey, Vince is out here. Maybe he’ll fire Lillian for last night.
· That should have been Edge and Christian’s fat Elvis.
· Cole said it was the Honky Tonk Man, which is as funny a thing as Cole has said.
· That was largely quite funny, but admittedly it did drag on a bit. There will plenty of people who say it is self-indulgent DX nonsense, but I genuinely find them amusing, and we forget this show is supposed to be entertaining and, as WWE say and genuinely mean, about putting smiles on faces.
· That was funny to dress Jillian up as Marilyn Monroe, but she actually sang TOO well.
· The trouble with Mayweather having that many guys with him is that he looks weak. Wrestlers don’t have ten men for backup, so you build this guy as a really tough fighter, but Freddie Prinze jnr and Jeremy Piven didn’t bring all these men.
· Shaq and Floyd v Jericho and Show? Maybe not.
· The trouble is with Mayweather is he is a natural heel. To have Jericho and Show after him and MVP backing him up somehow feels wrong.
· To MVP’s credit though, that was a good babyface promo telling Jericho to shut up.
· I’m not too embarrassed to tell you that the last time I saw MVP and Henry together was at the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge. Oh, I get to go to all the big things, you know.
· Crowd were HOT for MVP. Maybe he is nearly ready to step up.
· End the pain with Chavo and Hornswoggle, please.
· I like the fact that they said “you never know what to expect with Randy Orton” at the very second he slapped on a rear chin lock. You can always expect that, can you not?
· A bit of a nothing main event. You get the feeling they might just fill the next couple of weeks until Breaking Point.
· Interestingly, they didn’t announce next week’s guest host did they?

Monday, 24 August 2009

Summerslam Live Notes

Summerslam is upon us folks. We're in LA. Glitz, glamour, razzmatazz.........and Khali v Kane

Many will fart all over that opening, but it was original as hell. Mind you, Shawn saying he could fix the camera.....he should have superkicked it.

Straight in with Rey and the IC strap. Poor Rey has to go so early on PPVs. I wonder if it is because WWE are thinking of his fan base being kids and putting him on before they have to go to bed. Anyway, he's out here to face Dolph Ziggler. I wonder if Mum, before she puts little Frankie to bed after this match answers his question.
"Mum, why is that guy called Dolph Ziggler?"
"Well, there's this film called Boogie Nights....."

Only a minute or two in, but two stunning moments. Rey hits a phenomenal moonsault after a balancing act on the top rope that needed to be seen to be believed. Then, a diving huracanrana to the floor which catapulted Ziggler into the barricade and the cameraman, making Ziggler look like he was falling into your living room (well, I'm in my office, but you take my point.)

01.11am (Nelson)
This match is the best advert for 7-11, since they seem to spend the whole time showing replays because of various spots.

JR bigs up Kane v Khali?! Only an idiot would mentioned this match firs......oh bad.

Now that was very, very good. Everyone on top of their game here. The fans in LA, presumably with a large hispanic portion cheering on Rey all the harder were loud as anything; JR and Todd were excited and incisive in the right moments; most importantly, though, Mysterio and Ziggler were on fire.

That was a really sound match. Fast, exciting, told a reasonable story, and I think had the right outcome. To me, Ziggler didn't lose anything by, well, losing. He gained status, I think. You don't always have to win to get over. Terrific start to the show.

MVP and Swagger next. Nice backstage promo by both men - can't help but think it would have been better on Raw, and cut out 90 seconds of Hornswoggle and Chavo playing the fool.

Can't say that one really clicked. It was ok, there was nothing wrong with it, and it probably suffered mainly from having to follow Rey and Ziggler. I'm mainly disappointed with the result, because it seemed more apt for Swagger to win for me, but I'm happy for MVP, who is a solid hand too.

Coincidence that the Tag Champs emerge after all the talk about Guest Hosts? I think not. Second title encounter up next. Nice remix of Show and Jericho's themes, by the way.

I probably shouldn't have built my hopes for Shaq. That was a very average tag match, with very little going on outside of traditional two-on-two action.

Pretty interesting, I think, that CM Punk's promo is one I completely agree with. More to the point, it'll convince a lot of people who needed convincing to boo him. Good stuff.

Kane v Khali now. This is almost a lost cause, so it will be very interesting how they pick the pace up afterwards. An awesome start to Summerslam, almost too good, and a gradual deterioration since.

Maybe these two will surprise me........

Reasonable enough. I'm glad Kane won, since to me he is worth far more than Khali in my mind.

DX next, apparantly. So no main event for them. C'mon Shawn, chin him. Drop Hunter like he was Chyna and you were doing the boss's daughter. OK, that was a little cheap, but if Hunter insists with the shoot comments every week. I'm sure he'd dig that.

Tanks huh? Quite the entrance. I guess the tanks were there to remind us of the PPV buyrate which has been tanking for the past couple of years. OOOOH, have that one. There's just something about Triple H that drags these comments out of me. And I actually like the guy.

I guess the key is to be patient, am I right? It'll be fun to someday see HBK turn on Triple H, but I have to concede that it's probably more in WWE's short term interest to have DX as a united force for a bit. Never mind.

Good match though. Basic tag team match which then developed and grew an extra seven or eight minutes. Legacy got to go for a long time on an even keel. I definitely think we'll get a rematch with a stip at Breaking Point.

While I was typing that last entry the ECW title match came and went. Here's what pisses me off. Actually two things. Firstly that pathetic little two minute segment with a seven second match was immediately succeeded by a video package hyping how awesome WWE are. Don't get me wrong, I think the stuff WWE does for their fans and most importantly for charities is genuniely awesome. I'm serious here, not joking. WWE's work in charitable fields is amazing and is genuinely good hearted.

But, that section was longer than an actual match I wanted to see. They could show that clip of charity and Axxess on Raw to a larger audience. In fact, they'll probably show it again then anyway. I was looking forward to Regal and Christian, but I got duped. So Christian got slammed by Zeke and Vlad. Big deal.

Did we have to have Kane and Khali go six minutes and that match get nothing. What about that pointless shit with Nancy someone and Freddie Prinze junior speaking but saying nothing. I'll actually let the tanks and stuff go because you need spectacles like that. The live crowd deserve something to differentiate their experience, and I remember the entrances of HBK, Taker and Cena from Wrestlemania very vividly. It was awesome to be there and see great matches, but those entrances remind you that this is special.

Seven second matches do not, especially when those involved are people I want to see wrestle. Really disappointed.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Poor Lillian. And in her last week. Called the "I have just heard word...." then said "NEW Champion" as a giveaway that Cena will win, and finally mumbled her way through saying that Mr McMahon has ordered the match to start again. The second "I just heard word..." was just sad.

A count-out, reversal of decision, feet on the ropes, pin, reversal of decision........the sign says "This is why I watch Smackdown" Ahem.

Seriously, what the f... is going on? Was that a real intruder from the crowd? I guess it was. But wasn't Cena winning and Orton tapping before that guy came in? So was that scripted? That was seriously bloody weird. Maybe they called it on the fly. I have no idea at all.

I tell you what, say what you like about the quality of the match, that was damn sure memorable. I can only think that the guy that ran in - who is a grade A moron, by the way, if a real intruder. An epic, f'n idiot- wasn't part of the plan.

I know that more than once announcers have pretended like it's shoot and then it turns out otherwise, but that felt eerie. When they cut to the guy being dragged backstage I thought for sure he had to be kayfabe, because why show him. But if it was planned, it would be in the replay package, right?

Jesus that was strange. Newsworthy and remarkable, but not in a good way, really.

Now JR's headset isn't working. What the hell is going on here? I reckon Vince might be hyperventilating right now. JR calls Punk the Second City Saint, which is a really cool callback to an old alliance with Cabana (and Ace Steel) but I am fairly certain there is deeper irony here.

Chicago (remember I'm English, so I'm nto certain about this) used to be the Second City of America, and cultivated this as an image. When I was in Chicago for Bound For Glory I even went to the Second City Comedy venue. I think that Chicago no longer has this title, and it is now.......LA. I may be wrong, though. Sorry for wasting your time whichever way is true. Back to the car crash that is Summerfestslamtime.

Sorry for the lack of quick updates in that last half-hour. I'm just a bit shell-shocked with all that's gone on.

Punk v Hardy is over, and Punk has the belt back. It was a good but not great match. I am glad they ended with this, and you can see why after the chaos of Orton/Cena and also the post match activity.

Before we get to that, though, it has to be noted that it was the best ending for Jeff. It'll be interesting to see if they acknowledge his disappearance for a bit, either by saying he's off or by faking an injury. I wondered if they were just going to wheel him out on that stretcher for a bit, and not bring him back, allowing Punk to climb the ladder unopposed. That would have been creative, but Punk deserves to win and claim a legit title reign after sneaky MITB wins. How ironic he should now reign after a clean win as a heel, while his earlier sneaky ones were as a face.

Post match, there was a brief light flicker, which Punk sold but the announcers didn't, which I initially thought was going to be one of many for a long while. Not to be though, as a gong soon sounded. Taker was beneath Punk when the lights came back on in one of the more creative visual effects I've seen in a while. I spotted it was Taker when they cut to a wide shot, but many won't have. Cleve booking to push Punk straight into a programme with Taker and let everyone forget about Jeff Hardy.

Overall, an odd show.

Great opener, really good DX tag match and pretty good closing bout. Jericho/Show v Cryme Tyme average, same for MVP/Swagger. Kane v Khali and ECW matches a joke for different reasons. Orton v Cena is one of the strangest matches I have seen, for about twenty of the oddest minutes I have ever lived. Just crazy. Bizarrely it actually helped the finale of the night.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Two Brief Summerslam Build-up notes

Two things I wanted to bring to your attention:

1) Various reports are suggesting that DX v Legacy will headline tonights Summerslam, perhaps because they don't want the sour note of Punk going over Hardy.

But how about my suggestion that HBK turns on Triple H? (Read more in the preview below) If you follow that logic and they end with the most newsworthy item on the agenda, that may be a big hook for Raw. Add in Mayweather hosting and Vegas and then could post a big number tomorrow night for the Red Brand.

2) The site has a caption talking about a wrestler by the name of Christ Masters.

Please select your punchline. Is it:
a) fans see him emerging and say "Oh, Christ.....masters."
or perhaps
b)We should bring back Carlito's old bodyguard and team him with Masters. "Ladies and Gentleman, weighing in at a combined weight of 627lbs, JESUS CHRIST".

They make a startling babyface in peril comeback, but it takes three days.

SummerFest Preview

The Hottest Night of the Summer is upon us, so are you feeling like this is the little brother of Wrestlemania?

WWE have shown indications that they want the August PPV to become second only to their flagship event, but this is hardly a stellar card that makes you salivate and feel excited in a way that Wrestlemania does, that usually the Royal Rumble does, and even events with a hook like the Elimination Chamber do.

For this reason, I’d like to stipulate at this point that this predictions piece will be littered with elements of hope – suggestions of turns of events that may occur in the Staples Center this evening that will give this ordinary looking show a degree of excitement to match it’s alleged billing.

Before the predictions start, let me remind you that I’ll be doing my usual live notes blog tonight during the PPV, so be sure to stop by and keep refreshing your page to see what I’m making of what’s unfolding at Summerslam.

MVP v Jack Swagger
To be honest, when you look at this feud, it begins to explain to you a few things that don’t make sense......I was going to say in WWE, but mainly on Raw.

It is Raw that has the depth problem, and Raw that has three guys on top we are al bored of. Therefore, exceptional effort ought to be going into these two getting over. However, since one face-off on the VIP Lounge which was captivating, this feud has been stop start. It looked like it was ending, with speculation that Swagger would be Jericho’s mystery partner, but has been resurrected. Even then, they had about thirty seconds on Raw to wrestle to a DQ, “setting up” this match.

To me, the logical man to be progressing is Jack Swagger. I think his presence in the ring – both as a talent and a character – is very good. You really feel he can handle himself, and although he has an element of cowardly heel about him, he has won enough matches cleanly to be taken seriously.

There is also the match he had with John Cena in March/April time to take into consideration. I personally remember not caring for the match too much, but I will bow to a) the majority who did and more importantly b) those in the business (including John Cena when I spoke to him) who were mightily impressed with Swagger. I get the feeling that Cena could do a lot more for Swagger, seen as a legit athlete, than he did for The Miz, whose strengths lie in a similar area to that of Cena. Swagger would be able to dominate Cena in a wrestling sense, definitely helping his cause.

Whether this feud is Cena v Swagger for the title or simply as a semi-main, I think it ought to happen. For this reason, I’ll take, and I want Jack Swagger to win this one.

Prediction – Swagger.

The Great Khali v Kane
A match we’ve seen before, but with roles reversed (a theme I will come back to later). We all know roughly what we are getting here. I think they’ll know well enough to not let this go too long, and just have a couple of the usual big man face-off spots.

I hope they let Kane get a clean victory. I don’t really see the value of Khali winning this, because they surely realise that his value is not as a serious contender, whereas Kane, while I’m not saying he ought to be world champion, is more suited to a spell near the top of the card in proper feuds.

Prediction (although it’s hope as much as anything): Kane

ECW Title – Christian v William Regal

I think this could be a little hidden gem on the card. You have a couple of wrestlers who, while neither has been hugely critically acclaimed, rarely have a bad match.

I wouldn’t think this will be one for the ages. They’ll likely be given a nothing spot on the card and no exciting plot twist, but I would expect a well crafted ten-minuter with some nice chain wrestling and decent psychology, culminating in Christian getting the better of the man from Blackpool.

The contrary argument, of course, is that Regal now has a couple of big dudes in tow, and there is an out for having Christian drop the title due to interference and then have him chase again. But I’ll stick my original thought.

Prediction – A solid, if unspectacular event. And Christian to win it.

Intercontinental Title - Rey Mysterio v Dolph Ziggler
It seems rather odd to book this twice in successive PPVs only to have Dolph lose again, so it’s easy to simply say he’ll win this time. However, we mustn’t forget that in WWE’s eye simply being in the ring with established superstars is enough of a rub, and in reality what Ziggler needs is to give Mysterio a close match. If he looks like he might win, it’ll help him. That was the old Flair philosophy.

Maria is a major factor to bring into play, here. She is, I guess, Dolph Ziggler’s girlfriend, but she is still ostensibly a babyface. Maria has been in WWE for over five years, and although she has largely dropped the ditzy gimmick of asking stupid questions, she is still essentially the wide eyed, innocent, good girl next door. It might be fun to see her be the bad girl. That was one of the great attributes, among many, that Trish Stratus had. She was a easy to get behind (steady...) as a babyface, but also a really believable, sexy heel.

They may well be feeling that this is a time for Maria to make this transition. I can see her being the story of the match. Perhaps appearing to rebel against Dolph, making taking a bump which draws Rey’s attention to see if she is okay, and then Ziggler nailing him while his guard is down. Maria then celebrates, showing it was all a ruse, while Grisham plays along like a chump.

Or, Mysterio will win in seven minutes.

Prediction – Rey Mysterio. I think they’ll simply have Rey win. But all that speculation on Maria and Dolph’s win was fun.

Tag Titles - Chris Jericho and Big Show v Cryme Tyme
(I’m sick of saying Undisputed Tag Titles, so to me this is just the Tag Team Championships now. )

I can’t help but feel a little sorry for the participants in this match, because the underlying seam of gold under this match’s surface is Mr Shaquille O’Neal. Rumours of Show v Shaq have refused to go away, and with this show taking place in the Staples Center, home of the LA Lakers, O’Neal’s former team, it would make for an enormous news story if he were to emerge and get involved.

I want to believe something like this will happen. It would be a major fillip for the show, and for the audience. It isn’t by any means certain though, so we need to look at how things may pan out either way.

If Shaq does appear, it may be to cost Show and Jericho the belts, but I’m not sure that would be wise. For one it would mean that if they did look for a Show v Shaq showdown at any point the mainstream build wouldn’t feature a belt. That means a lot when you are trying to attract a non-traditional wrestling audience. Secondly one of the benefits of having undisputed champions is that they can appear on two shows. Think of Miz and Morrison’s versatility, The Colons wrestling prowess, and then the star power of Jericho/Edge/Show and what that gives all brands that use them. Would all brands really benefit that greatly from having Cryme Tyme on the show? I don’t think so.

Maybe Show and Jericho win, beat Cryme Tyme down afterwards and Shaq comes out to save. But why? If he has travelled to the show, wouldn’t he help before this stage? He could be in the crowd I guess, and then be invited in. There are multiple ways of doing it. I just hope they use one.

If there is no Shaq, it seems pointless having the match at all, but assuming he isn’t there, you just can’t see Cryme Tyme winning. Therefore.....

Prediction – To make it simple, Big Show and Jericho to win. And then we hope Shaq gets involved, not because a Show v Shaq will rule, but because there are multiple benefits including the spectacle and simply the element of something different.

Legacy v DX
Here we go, this is my almost monthly major PPV theory, and it has to be said these are normally absolutely miles off the mark. The best one I had, in terms of it playing out in reality, was Matt Hardy, not Christian, being Jeff’s attacked, but I wanted Edge and Matt to be in cahoots and for Christian to help Jeff, mixing up the old E&C v Hardys battles.

Since then, I’ve periodically come up with a big idea ranging from Christian as Jericho’s partner to JBL buying Raw. All have come to naught. Now, though, this really will be it.

Essentially, what I’d like to happen is for HBK, at a crucial point, to Superkick Triple H’s face off. Not because I have the bizarre hatred for Triple H that most of the net does, but because if Michaels really is going to call it a day soon then I think he ought to have one more go round with Triple H at the top of the card, and for HBK to be the heel and Triple H the babyface has not been done, to the best of my knowledge.

The turn could occur in many ways. We could simply have a regular match for while before Michaels simply kicks him. He could do the old Owen Hart at the Calgary Stampede injury and disappear for ten minutes before emerging to help Trips, although that would mean the same old handicap match we’ve already seen.

Perhaps Triple H could be seen on camera wondering where his partner is, because he is late. He then arrives mid-match to cost Hunter the bout. He might get ‘injured’ backstage then emerge midway through, selling an injury, before BOOM! A little chin music.

Whichever way it occurs, I think it would awesome. Yes we’ve seen these two wrestle before, but I’d seen Jericho wrestle Mysterio plenty of times, it was still brilliant when they did again.

Of course, this may not happen. If it does not, then I would anticipate DX winning. I don’t see that as an overly negative thing, as long as Legacy are allowed to wrestle an even fight, and not just roll over.

Interestingly, the UK tour later in the year is called the DX Reunion Tour. It would be really interesting if they were battling each other on that trip.

Prediction – Yeah, what the hell! HBK turns, and Legacy win.

WWE Title - John Cena v Randy Orton

It is hardly a new observation to say that these two wrestling again is the same old stuff. I will offer a slight counter-argument that they have often had very good contests, so let’s hope that they can really raise it tonight.

It’s worth having a look at who these men may move on to feud with after tonight, if indeed this is a one-shot deal. If you assume that even if DX don’t split they carry on battling Rhodes and DiBiase, then Cena v Swagger becomes the possibility mentioned earlier. That leaves Randy Orton with several options. He could assist Legacy in a battle with and we get a three-on-two handicap match, maybe in a Cell or something. He could battle a stepping-up Mark Henry or MVP, with the former being more likely in my eyes. Or, if DX are a-feudin’, then they may push the button on the Legacy break up and have Orton v DiBiase sooner than we thought.

I think that the better option of the two is to keep the belt on Orton. As maligned as Mark Henry has been over the years by critics, including me, his babyface turn has been reasonable, and he would be a legitimate contender for Orton. It would also be a welcome chance for Orton to win a title match cleanly. I don’t see Swagger v Cena being as good a prospect for title bout as Orton v Henry.

Prediction – Via that blatantly flawed and questionable process of logic, it’s Orton to win. Presumably by foul means.

World Title - Jeff Hardy v CM Punk – TLC Match

This ought to be the main event really. It’s certainly the one most people will be excited about, certainly above Cena and Orton. The main talking point, as it has been for a couple of months, is the imminent disappearing act of Jeffrey Nero Hardy. He’s the champ going in, with CM Punk chasing his former possession, the Big Gold Belt.

Firstly, you feel this ought to be a cracker. These two have been tremendous in their programme, some great matches, solid promos and an effective turn by CM Punk. The blowoff match, with two passionate an innovative competitors, ought to top it all off.

Logic would dictate Punk winning. They may well try and throw things up in the air by having a surprise win, but it does seem more likely that Punk will take it, and quite possibly via a rather sizable fareweel bump by Jeff.

If Hardy does indeed do a runner after this, then it will help Punk immensely. They could make Punk an enormous star in the next two months if they choose. They have him go over Jeff, the gloat at getting rid of him. “I’m the man who retired Jeff Hardy,” he’ll say, and talk of his pride of being the clean-living Straightedge guy prevailing over the flawed hero. Punk has the ability to be very self-righteous and smug, and this will definitely help his cause as a major heel.

So who to face Punk? Well how about him being forced to have a title defence, maybe against Matt Hardy or John Morrison, in which he prevails. Then, at the height of his gloating.........BONG! Back comes Taker in due time to scare the living daylights out of Punk, and if they feel like it Punk can get the better of Taker. He’d be the biggest star in the company.

Leave the title on Punk for the foreseeable, and then when the time is right, from the perspective of both parties, get Jeff Hardy back to take the title back from Punk, maybe at the Royal Rumble.

Prediction – CM Punk. Tonight, and hopefully for the future.

Well, I’m looking forward to this slightly more now. Hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to join me just before the show starts, and I’ll be providing you with my thoughts live.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Raw Thoughts - August 17

· When WWE has these odd little fetishes about using certain words (i.e Skull not head and so forth) you wonder why. They now seem to be all over the word “group” Orton says it for Legacy, and now they are taking about DX being the most controversial “group” ever. I understand them not using ‘stable’ but why not faction or something? Group sounds so weak.
· Awesome to see Santino back doing what he does best. So, so funny. I loved it when he told Lillian not to laugh because Terrorism was very serious. Nice, fun, relaxed opening. That was really cool.
· I like the Orton thing too. I like it when incidents happen that make you go ‘wow’ and then wonder how it will be resolved. Admittedly it will probably end in Prinze putting himself in the tag match at the end somehow and more ordinary folk pretend to be wrestlers, but it was a cool spot, to be fair.
· I like how Jerry Lawler went to check on the Guest Host. Kind of like the King checking on the Prinze.
· There’s another one – Medical facility, not hospital. Who is in charge then, if Prinze is out of here?
· While we’re on it, I heard Goldust quite fancied the guest host. Dustin for Prinze?
· Good, solid match between Kofi and Carlito. A decent enough length. I like both of these guys, but I’m sure they would look any better in a longer effort. That said, good set of false finishes, even if Lawler and Cole did ruin one, after a neckbreaker by Carlito, by giving it the old “that must do it....” Whenever they exclaim that a match is surely over, then it surely isn’t.
· Shouldn’t the Miz have to be the Calgary Kid, since that is what it would say on the contract?
· Shame that Bourne had to lose in his home town (in fact, shame he lost, in general) but it made sense to lose to Miz, who deserves a run, and it was another good match. Huge thumbs up for Raw thus far.
· That being said, very little has been said about either Orton or the state of the temporary GM. I might have kept updating that.
· They’ve managed the DX deal well tonight. Two good video packages – the first a good look back on stuff they’ve done, and then a set of clips that actually made the chef skit from last week look good, which it most certainly was not.
· I love Jillian, she’s so over-the-top she’s hilarious, and that was a fun little walk through the back. I am really, really enjoying this show so far.
· That’s good booking with Legacy and DX. Tease the reunion and the usual antics, only to have the heels beat them down. Straightforward wrestling booking. Make the heels nasty, evil bastards who spoil the fun. Then hope people pay to see the babyfaces kick their arse all over SummerFestSlam
· Wow, I wasn’t expecting to see Mickie v Kim this quick. It strikes me they could have saved this for a future PPV. Maybe they’ll start a build with this.
· That was a decent divas match until what looked very like a botched finish. Real shame. The other note from this is that the crowd was dead, and the wrestling was very, very good for much of it. These are as good as women wrestlers get on this scale, and nothing. I hope no-one in the back holds this against Gail and Mickie too much, because the crowd are dead due to them having nothing to care about. Build up a several week programme between them, which they did very effectively with Mickie and Maryse, and the crowd will care.
· I don’t care for that kind of Cena promo. Too stupid and too reliant on ‘poop’ jokes and that old standard of Big Show eating somebody. But if that is what we get rather than Hornswoggle and Chavo being ridiculous, that’s not too bad. A little Jericho saved the seg.
· Strikes me that there isn’t enough mention of Cryme Tyme challenging Jericho and Big Show for the titles. I don’t think it’s been mentioned.
· I don’t mind Swagger and MVP only going seconds before the DQ, but I’d had have them fight to the back.
· Spoke too soon on Horny and Chavo, then.
· You could have had them run under the ring, the ref follow, and count the three. It says anywhere.
· Horny wins. He beats Chavo. He wouldn’t have beaten Joe Pesci though.
· I swear I wrote that before I saw.......Macauley Culkin! That was a fantastic cameo. Really, really funny.
· Speaking of Joe Pesci, his children stopped Freddie Prinze doing a Scoopy Doo follow up. If it wasn’t for those Pesci kids........
· Wasn’t a bad main event, but a bit muddled at times. It was too hard to work out who was face and heel, so the crowd didn’t know who to cheer.
· I didn’t really care for the end. Cena did for Jericho and Show a little too quickly and easily for my liking. I thought the RKO out of the celebrations was terrific, but Cena getting up soon after to rid the ring of Jericho and Show didn’t sell the big RKO spot whatsoever.
· Enjoyed the show overall, Prinze undersold the role really, but worked in context.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Raw Thoughts - August 10

· After Orton said “You people”, “Skull” and “Each and every one”, followed by Cena confronting him, including the head to head touching, I thought it was a formulaic opening to the show. However, thank goodness for the Unified tag champs, and the always hot Canadian crowds.
· King said early on that this is Bizzaroland, since in Canada they have a tendency to cheer for heels, particularly in Alberta, Bret Hart country.
· Jericho v Cena is a great booking as a main event – the crowd reactions will be amazing - but the trouble is I can’t see anything but a ‘schmozz’ ending.
· At least Jericho and Show making those challenges shook it up. I like that.
· Look for a Jericho Sharpshooter on Cena for cheers, or maybe Cena Sharpshooter to get heat.
· Hey, did they just mention Savage on Raw? Cool.
· Did Lillian say Alicia Keys?
· Gail looked amazing in that match. They can’t turn her heel, because she wouldn’t be able to do all that high flying stuff and not get cheered.
· Sarge heel turn!! Awesome. I love it.
· That’s a really good, tight little match by Swagger and Bourne, but it’s just too short. If that’s a serious rubber match, they have to be given longer.
· “The Search for Shawn Michaels”? Even just hearing that you have to think that it will be ridiculous and not at all a serious look at the guy who is perhaps the most respected performer in the industry, and who had one of the greatest matches of all time with perhaps the other candidate for most respected performer in the industry.
· Nope, as I thought. It’s complete nonsense. Vaguely funny gay joke, and then Michaels violently overacting as a chef. Just.......what?
· I am not down with this, and I have three words for you........”Lost in Cleveland”
· Hey, Eugene’s back. No entrance for him. Calgary Kid? I was sort of expecting Miz there, but it doesn’t look like him.
· Oh. Ok. It’s him. Hell, how gullible was I there?
· Did you expect Show and Orton to go any other way?
· The Tater Tot throwing girl’s timing was off. Too big a pause. Mind you Shawn sold the snack’s blow really well.
· How many more ticks in the ‘con’ column do you need? Why would Shawn, who was nearly penniless some months back, drop his high-paying wrestling job for one in a kitchen? How come he didn’t have anyone else working with him in his kitchen? How come he could chat to Hunter at lunch time? Isn’t he in breach of his WWE contract?
· Most importantly, why hasn’t there been a wrestling chef before? I can’t remember one, anyway. I would have thought that during the mid 90s there ought to have been one.
· Was that on that list of sites has beaten? Wow, UFC and Savage mentioned on the same show?
· I’ll give you the SummerFest and Hickenbottom lines. They were pretty funny. But overall that was horrific. Thank God they did it in one week.
· Do you reckon that was in the cafeteria at Titan Towers and the extras were all WWE staff?
· Fair enough, the MVP/Masters/Swagger stuff. Gotta find something for these guys, and for Raw week-to-week.
· The Duggan/Hart thing was unnecessary. Shouldn’t have played Bret’s music.
· I’m not sure I’d have done that Jericho swerve. Didn’t have a great deal of effect. In fact if anything it numbed the crowd a little, as those that were not going to cheer for Cena still didn’t, they just didn’t cheer for Jericho either.
· Ending to the main event was terrible. The timing during the match was a little off, too. Tag team announcement for next week made sense. The RKO on Jericho looked amazing, but Jericho’s legs went really high. Hopefully he’s ok.
· Barely a whisper about Show and Shaq this week, by the way. Little bit at the start with Cena, but not much from commentators.