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Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Raw Thoughts - July 27

· Blimey, that Shaq is a big lad isn’t he?
· Shaq shows more charisma and ability to cut a promo in his first sentence than ZZ Top did all last week.
· Would Shaq O’Neal really book a “beat the Clock challenge?” Really? It’s one thing having guest hosts and pretending they are booking, but it’s quite another booking the same old concepts and attributing them to NBA stars.
· Loved the face off with Big Show. Made sense to do it, and Jericho was priceless refusing to fight Shaq when he hadn’t been challenged.
· Good opening seg. Don’t like the beat the clock idea, but Shaq was very at home on the mic, did some decent babyface schtick.
· Part of me wonders if Henry might win this. The way things have gone lately, it would make sense to have him face Orton at Summerslam while Trips and Cena sort themselves out. I’m not saying I want to see that, but that’s the corner they’ve booked themselves into.
· Massive flaw in the Beat the Clock format. Shouldn’t you put 10 men in the game, rather than five. You are simply telling everybody that Henry, Triple H, Cena, MVP and Swagger will win. You could book the same matches, but just say whomever wins get to post the time.
· Love the Ludvig Borga sign. There should be more obscure 90s wrestler signs.
· That was as good a Mark Henry match as I’ve seen in a long time.
· I’ll give them this about the beat the clock concept. We might be getting a fair amount of wrestling. That went nearly seven minutes, which despite not being an Iron Man match was longer than most Raw matches. We could end up with significantly more wrestling than usual this week.
· Better than average women’s match, probably because they gave Mickie, Gail and Beth plenty of time in the ring. Subtle annoyance from Mickie that Gail tagged herself in. Seems Gail v Mickie for Summerslam?
· I spoke too soon. Perhaps it’s not to be all predictable as to who wins. MVP draws with the returning Chris Masters, whose modified music made me think it was Goldust at first.
· Poor old Kendrick. He could be used as a talented jobber getting ten minute matches out of people, but nope, simply a comedy act getting beaten in seconds.
· I loved the attack on Triple H. Not because it might have put the kibosh on his chances, but it was unexpected and a bit different. I might have actually gone a little further and had DiBiase run away and not talk to Trips, with the camera only getting a sleeting glimpse, so you weren’t sure if it was him or not.
· Really enjoyed that Triple H v Cody Rhodes match. Not catch-as-catch-can classic but it was full of psychology. They injured the leg, and Cody continued to use LOGIC and follow it through. Triple H was chasing the win and clock, and the heels got the job done. That is really, really solid booking. Not writing, BOOKING.
· “How did you get some many ‘z’s?” is one of the greatest lines I’ve heard in ages. Santino was BACK this week.
· Actually popped a little bit when Bourne won. Not that I dislike Swagger, but because that was a legit shock, legit surprise and a really nice feelgood moment. I take back everything I said about the ‘stupid’ system of Beat the Clock, as it is actually proving rather effective thus far. This is a high quality Raw.
· Great Miz promo before the match, having a go at the crowd but linking to the match itself. He just has a great manner that makes you want to see him get his backside handed to him. Vince even got a little shot in Obama, which I’m sure he was delighted about.
· Actually, what I am I saying, of course it doesn’t absolve the Beat the Clock system. Why doesn’t Evan Bourne now have the fastest time? What kind of loopy system gives the opportunity for a man to beat Miz or Carltio to get a title shot, but beating Swagger doesn’t do anything for Bourne.
· I can’t believe I was actually hoping for a comprehensive Mark Henry win, but it would have preferable, at least so that someone different got a run at Orton. It would have done so much good. Someone fresh(ish) at the top, a new babyface promoted, and Orton could have beaten him clean and looked strong again, rather than Triple H and Cena’s bitch, which is all he has become.
· A just there main event, really, with the excuse of putting Shaq into that face-to-face situation with Show, with the hope for WWE that it’ll be on Sportscenter. Bit different from the face off with Mayweather, eh Paul?
· Plot holes abound and a frustrating booking trick for Summerslam, but otherwise an enjoyable Raw. Shaq was a very good guest host.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Night of Champions Live Blog

I'll admit to you now, I'm ill prepared for tonight. I haven't got my normal PPV gear on (Tracksuit bottoms and WWE T-shirt) and I've forgotten to stock up with masses of Junk Food. I'll struggle on though.

Short intro promo, and I think I saw a clip of Orton, Cena and Trips from back at last year's Mania, not even a current one. You can tell by the t-shirts.

Oh for goodness sakes. This is the one match I was looking forward to. And it's on first?? That doesn't bode well for the level of the surprise does it? Jericho is on his was to face Legacy. Does Jericho have a curfew on a Sunday or something. His matches with Mysterio went on second or third, and now he jerks a curtain despite the build up for this. This basically rules out Christian, Ziggler or anyone else not on the show already, doesn't it?

Jericho with the mic. And its..........Edge explaining why he got hurt.

Small pop for the video, more bad words for Edge and its.........

THE BIG SHOW???? OH COME ON! I don't mean to swear, but the fucking Big Show?

Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea? Anybody? Big Show hasn't had an entertaining match in five years. Jericho has been providing gold at every turn, and now he has this big lummox to deal with.

What does this achieve? What in the hell does it achieve? It makes matches worse; it lets down people expecting an exciting mystery partner; it drags Jericho down; it elevates no-one. Absolute bullshit.

Crowd are basically dead. Imagine how they would be if this was Christian.

A small chant for Y2J. He is the best heel in the business, and yet people are chanting for him. That's not because the rest are great heels, its that Jericho is the only one over.

This is a heel v heel match. I can't believe the amount of idiocy involved in this booking.

A couple of move notes - Legacy did the old Cade and Murdoch high-lo move, and Cody just broke out a gorgeous moonsault to a standing Jericho. And Teddy hit a powerslam, not as good as his old man's. And Cole called it a scoop slam. Because he is an idiot. Or because he told in his ear to be one.

I have to be fair, the crowd popped nicely for the finale. They got into to it as it went along. It wasn't a bad match by any means. But it will not be remembered for very long.

Top promo by Punk (except the single parent line, which was uncalled for). Remember the theory about the heel believing what he says, or at leats feeling it could be true. Everything Punk says could make sense. He delivers it tremendously. This is a proper heel turn. Don't turn on another midcarder no-one cares about, call the fans on their love for a top star. This live crowd will be hugely behind Hardy in the title match.

I wonder if they did that because Punk has been mega over in Philly before, and since they are a notoriously raucous crowd, his pious promo would turn them completely against him.

ECW now. This could be fun. Dreamer back in Philly, we could get quite the split crowd here.

OK, that was a pretty cool pop for Christian. Maybe he's the favourite.

I quite enjoyed that. Hard to get a face v face match going after a heel v heel one, but it was done reasonably. Crowd were slightly in favour of Christian, but it was tapered because of their liking for Dreamer.

As an aside, I really enjoy listening to Striker. He is a great analyst. He'll not go much highly up the ladder, because he isn't a big enough name, but he adds far more to an individual match than King does. Matt actually talks abouot why moves happen, and what effect they have. King can do this, because he used to. He should be allowed to do it more. I miss the (even vaguely) heel colour commentator.

Six pack challenge next. I wish they'd get Sean Waltman to at least make a cameo.

Swagger out first, followed by Carlito and a pretty decent reception for Miz, I think. I've predicted Kofi, but I'd love to see Miz win this by sneaky, foul means.

Primo out next, so he's replacing The Big Letdown. Then MVP TV has just gone black..........

Shit, I've just realised what I typed. I didn't mean that to sound bad. My TV genuinely lost signal, and came back just as Kofi entered the ring. Please don't think I've started talking like Bill Watts or something.

This one is like a TNA X-Div opener. You can decide for yourself if that is a positive.

Great exchange of nearfalls with Kofi, Carltio and Primo. Well deserved round of applause.

I quite enjoyed that. I always think each PPV should act like the old circus theory. You know, if you don't like the clown, you might like the juggler. (I don't mean 'insane clown' and 'juggalo') I mean that it might not all be for you, but something will be. And you need variety. Three hours of the same stuff gets boring. I see no problem with throwing out six guys and having some fun.

No-one looked weak. Swagger got some good dominant spots in. MVP build the crowd up some. Miz was sneaky. Carlito backstabbed his bro. Kofi looked athletic. All fine by me.

I am not a Michelle McCool fan. I was not looking forward to the McCool v Perez match.

But that opening spot was f'n awesome. Great stuff.

I tell you what, I'll give them credit for that. I enjoyed that match. It was way better than I expected - far exceeding my expectations. I didn't care for a touch of Melina overselling (noise) and then underselling (taking a DDT on the barricade then fighting back seconds later) but it was creative, it was intense, featured some innovative spots.

I am very pleased to be wrong. Very well done, ladies.

Favourite part of the match, though, was Todd forgetting the divas marketing slogan "Smart, sexy and.....whatever the other word is." Unintentionally hilarious - but I think he might get a little telling off for that.

Four matches, one title switch so far. How many more?

Triple threat next. Interesting positioning. Cole says it all started a few short weeks ago. No it didn't, it started years ago, and hasn't bloody changed. That's the problem.

I may sound like Mr Predictable, but I'm afraid I didn't care for most of that.

I'll start with some postives. I liked the opening where Cena and Triple H worked together to get to Orton. I liked the fact that they addressed the double tap-out and the ref didn;t know what to do. I like the creative RKO to finish.


I didn't like Orton winning but Triple H and Cena having claims at the title still - suggests we won't get rid of them yet.

I didn't like the double run in prompting a comment that it was no DQ. If it is no-DQ why don't they use low blows and weapons and all kinds of shit?

I didn't like the pace of the match. It was very slow, featured little or no creativity, and had the standard one man outside, two men in format.

I didn't like the hokey Cena fightback. That legdrop/leaping fameasser move is horrible.

I didn't like the length it was given to achieve very little indeed.

Apart from that it was fine.

Nice backstage seg with Maryse and Miz. I like the fact they are developing this relationship in a slightly different manner to the usual wrestling romances. Miz actually showed a small element of babyface in his comeback to the French Canadian. Maybe he'll start to court another diva, with Maryse getting jealous?

That would be title switch number two tonight, then, as The Divas Title joins the ECW Championship in jumping to the challenger.

Mickie James being champ is fine. I like Mickie, and I would like to see her be given enough time to work with Gail Kim. That would be great. Also a possibility that they may look at the stupidity of having two female titles and unify them, especially now that both champs have been Diva's and Women's champions, for what that is worth.

The match itself was ok. Maybe. It certainly wasn't as good as Michelle v Melina, which I'm surprised about, but I have to go with the evidence of my eyes. To me, this was the match the girls should be allowed to have on Raw from time to time rather than their crappy little three minute tag matches.

Really, really good match. Best on the show by a country mile, and without a doubt Ziggler's most impressive outing to date. It has to be. Massive credit to Mysterio, who is a terrific seller, especially given the fact that he cannot use facial expression to help him.

I thought the outcome was correct. Mysterio is over with the kids and having a belt helps his image. It also helps the IC strap, because it needs star power and stability. The result is also the right one, because it underlines my point that I made last month (about Miz and Cena) that you don't have win to be put over, and you don't always get over if you win.

Ziggler will have gone up in many folks (on sofas and backstage) estimations, and will come back again. Great job.

Interesting promo for the Tag Team DVD. Billy and Chuck getting a viewing was incredible, and interesting that Championship wrestling from Florida and WCCW got mentions, but ECW didn't. No Public Enemy?

One to go then, and just two title changes thus far. I think we'll get one here though.

Did JR just call Jeff Hardy a "High risk junkie"? Ouch. Shouldn't have said that, Jim.

Anyway, the aforementioned Jeffrey Nero Hardy is the World Champion. The ending was a little anti-climactic. I thought Punk deserved a little more than a rather limp finish where he was dragged back to the ring and beaten.

The match in general was good. It wasn't spectacular, but it was plenty solid, and I would suggest this issue may not be finished. I still spy a gimmick match blow off for these two at Summerslam.

Credit to Punk here, I think, for his facial expressions, really helping to convey emotions and his character. Credit also to the cameramen and directors for picking this up. Not easy, that.

Overall, that's an ok show. A couple of missteps, but mostly a parade of stuff which was a touch above average. Three title changes is a reasonable amount, and plenty of viewers, especially the young, will go home/switch off happy with Rey and Jeff picking up wins in the last two matches.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Night of Champions Preview

Every title on the line in one night. What a fantastic opportunity to explain to the entire “WWE Universe” (yes I used that sarcastically) that the company has too many titles and too many title holders that don’t hold the public attention.

You can see why they turned me down for that marketing job with WWE can’t you?

By the way, if you go to the WWE website and get asked to do a survey, it’s all about Gillette. I just went there and expected to be asked searching questions about their TV shows and storylines, but instead it asked me about my Razor.

“What do you think about the Razor?” it said.

“He was awesome in his ladder matches with Shawn, but I didn’t care for the Goldust programme” I replied.

Anyway, it is Night of Champions tonight, where there is a possibility that I have opened up the prospect of looking forward to something which will likely be a massive letdown. The old mystery partner thing. More on that later. Let us now run down the card.

Michelle McCool v Melina (Divas championship, I think) (Frankly, Who cares?)
Oh dear God I have to sit through another Michelle McCool PPV match. When you have about 12 divas in the company, and about 4 of them can actually work, it is so pathetic having two title. Have a unified one like the tag titles, and let one of the talented girls work all brands.

Melina is the kind of worker who can add to a match with a talented worker. In fact, her matches with Beth Phoenix have been some of the best women’s matches of recent times. McCool, though, is torture to watch. I hate saying things like this sometimes, because she may well be a very nice person, and I’m sat behind a computer screen slagging her off. Well, I’m a jolly nice chap, and she may hate my writing style. I don’t care. Her prerogative.

Anyway, this match is not going to be the highlight of my evening. I think they’ll spin Maryse v Mickie out for another month (I’m giving away my future predictions here, aren’t I?) with a Maryse win, so I’ll take Melina to have this one to balance things out.

Prediction – Melina

Maryse v Mickie James (the other female title, probable the Women’s one)
Err, I’ve already said, haven’t I?

To be fair, this has been a tidy little programme, at least giving the impression they’ve given some thought into it. I still want to see heel Mickie again, because she was really awesome, but I’m glad that her babyface character is back in high profile again. Lord knows what Beth has done to piss someone off.

I’ll take Maryse to win by foul means, foot on the ropes or something similar.

Prediction – Maryse

And another thing.......All participants in female matches at Night of Champions have names beginning with M. And I believe they are all their real names. There you, hard hitting wrestling journalism at its very best.

Christian v Tommy Dreamer (ECW Title)
I’ll have to view this as though my theory that Christian could be Chris Jericho’s mystery partner is incorrect, I guess, because it is admittedly unlikely.

The thing to look at with this match is really how long they want to run with Dreamer as champion. Fair enough that they didn’t get rid of him as champ straight away, because they needed to give the run a bit of credence, but if they have him as the top man for too long, the pudgy fellow who has been a jobber for about five years will start to make the rest of the roster look bad.

In multi-man match it makes sense to have Dreamer go over, but in a one-on-one, it just makes no sense to have Dreamer best Christian.

But then, am I seriously thinking that Christian will be looked after by WWE?

Perhaps I’m being naive, who knows? It just seems highly unlikely to me that Dreamer would be booked to cleanly defeat Christian. I hope that is the case, anyway.

Prediction – Christian

Rey Mysterio v Dolph Ziggler
And here is another candidate for the Jericho partner. No, no, silly, not Rey Mysterio, but Mr Ziggler.

Ziggler has rather suddenly been given a sizable push, but could be really be put over Rey Mysterio? I wouldn’t think so, but I am suddenly looking forward to this match, so credit to WWE for positioning Ziggler as a genuine threat. After all, that is actually what wrestling is supposed to be about. Not Leprechaun embarrassing Mexicans, but two WRESTLERS competing and the audience having an interest in who wins.

I think that Ziggler is more likely to be given the spot as Jericho’s number two than the IC Champ, however. I just hope that this match is a good one, because it has the potential to be.

Prediction- Rey Mysterio

Kofi Kingston v Big Show v Miz v Carlito v Jack Swagger v MVP – US Title, six pack challenge
Firstly, apologies for calling Kofi the IC champ and not US champ this week.

But will he still be champ after tonight. I think he probably will, because I don’t see a lot of value in swapping a title in a match like this. To me, a wrestler should win a title to either underline his dominance, or to add value to his character. If the former, then you don’t really want to show how rubbish the opponents are.

To me, the only man who can win to show dominance is Big Show, and since a) no one wants to see that and b) it would ruin the rest of them it would be a pointless step.

Anyone else wins they are basically getting a bit lucky, due to the nature of the contest. You have four wrestlers in the match who you could make by giving them a title. Miz, Swagger, Carlito and MVP (especially the first two) would all benefit from a title win, but surely winning it in a straightforward one-on-one contest would hold more sway, and give them a better rub.

Anyway, that’s a convoluted way of saying that I don’t think they’ll switch the title. I can see the finish being Big Show destroying Swagger, Miz, MVP and Carlito, and then walking into a spinning Kofi Kick (I always forget its name – is it trouble in paradise?)

Prediction – Kofi Kingston to retain.

Tag Team title match – Chris Jericho and his mystery pal v Legacy

I’m not going through a big long look at the possible partners again, but realistically it’s Swagger, Christian, Miz or Ziggler, I would think. Somebody suggested Punk, but I don’t buy that. Can’t see it being Kendrick after his squash by the King.

A returnee? Chris Masters perhaps? Or Eugene? That second one is a joke, but surely Masters could be possible.

After that, it’s left field stuff, including Rick Steamboat and Shawn Michaels. I’m not saying they are likely, but they are possible.

These, though, would need a leap of faith that Jericho would turn face again, and this make so little sense it is untrue. Having lost Edge as a top heel, Jericho has to keep him place I would think. Even more so with the promise of Edge to come back as a babyface to feud with Jericho, possibly to Wrestlemania.

I think the most likely candidate, realistically, is Swagger. He has the smart-ass persona that would ingratiate himself to Jericho. I don’t see why they blew off the MVP feud as quickly as they did unless Swagger was lined up for something else. Perhaps even the Swagger Raw debut was with this in mind (although that probably falls down, since I think it was before Edge got injured). Character-wise Swagger simply compliments Jericho the best, and the fact that he is an up-and-comer who will benefit from the association would be even more reason to give him the gig.

Miz is possible, and I wouldn’t complain. It’d be entertaining. I hope it’s not Ziggler. I don’t see him as deserving as the last two mentioned. I’d love to see it be Christian, but I’m not overly hopeful. Not as much as I was when I tipped him nearly two weeks ago.

Oh fuck it, it’ll probably be bloody Great Khali, won’t it?

As for the match, I would assume that Jericho and partner win. Makes no sense otherwise.

This may well lead to Legacy being rebuked by Orton, and a further DiBiase babyface turn tease.

Prediction – Jericho and Swagger to win

World Heavyweight Title – Jeff Hardy v CM Punk
I thought there might have been a stipulation attached to this one, following on from the match last time. Because if CM Punk wants to get DQ-ed again, what is stopping him?

Here’s what I forsee happening. I will take Jeff Hardy to win the World Heavyweight Title this very evening, and he will do so after another restarted match.

This time, as opposed to Hardy defeating Punk only to see his foot under the ropes, we’ll get CM Punk once again getting disqualified, but since Teddy Long is still trying to impress Vinny Mac, he’ll controversially restart the match, saying to Punk that he doesn’t away that easy. Hardy hits a Swanton, new champion.

We then get Punk bitching about the decision on Smackdown and telling Long and Hardy what a cheap way to win a title that was, with the obvious irony being that he won it cheaply in the first place.

We then book Hardy v Punk III, perhaps in a cage or simply no DQ, for Summerslam.

This would tick all boxes. You’d have a victory and a title run for Hardy before he has a hiatus. You have Punk getting a couple of comeuppances, but still maintaining his stance of doing nothing wrong.

Prediction – Hardy to win, eventually

Randy Orton v Triple H v John Cena

I’ll give you the prediction I’ve had in my head for ages, but I’ll temper it at the end with a new thought.

I’ll go with Cena to win the title here. The fact that Triple H said that as long as Orton loses he’ll be happy might have been more important than we initially realised. I’d say Cena wins and becomes champ, opens Raw, and is cut off by Triple H, demanding a shot at him. This would eventually lead to Game v Cena at Summerslam. It’s been brewing, and although we’ve been there before, I actually think it would work right now.

To add a little bit of spice, I’d have a guest host (Maybe Shaq tomorrow) book Orton v Cena in Randy’s mandatory rematch on Raw to have a hot main event on TV. Cena can win this reasonably clean, after DiBiase screws up a run in, and then Randy has no logical claim to have number one contendership.

That’s how I projected things last week, but suddenly I realise that leaves nothing for Orton at Summerslam. He is too big a name to leave off the card, but has no logical opponent. You can’t suddenly have him wrestling MVP for no reason, and they best not pull out DiBiase v Orton now and have a Lergacy break up. They could roll this all the way to Survivor Series or even beyond.

Perhaps it makes more sense for Orton to retain, and Cena v Triple H to just be a grudge match. Orton could then face a new challenger for the belt (Oh God it would be Mark Henry, wouldn’t it?) with less need for a backstory for the match.

I wouldn’t like to see Orton win, mainly because it would mean the same winner that came from the Wrestlemania 24 match between this trio. WWE are getting enough grief (some of it from me) for rehashing the same old stuff, they need to make sure they don’t tread even closer to the line they have already drawn.

Prediction – John Cena.......I think

Enjoy the show folks, I’ll be back with my patented Live Blog for this one.

LATE UPDATE – I’ve seen on Chris Jericho’s Twtter page that he says his partner will be EVIL. That hints towards Kane.........or Taka Michinoku.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Raw Thoughts - July 21

· Funny how these guest hosts keep booking main events which are exactly how WWE normally books things.
· Haha, I love Cena saying several things which make the crowd cheer, then says that the title match at Night of Champions will be one of the greatest of all time – silence!
· Good use of history, though, explaining that the three-way happened at Wrestlemania and Orton boasting that he won.
· Orlando must be pissed off. Hottest crowd in ages last week on Raw, and now Cena is buttering up this crowd saying how awesome they are. They may well be, but no love for Orlando. Poor souls.
· Cena and Triple H are getting more and more pally. I spy the old “I respect you” thing before one turns on the other and they wrestle at Summerslam
· Ridiculous – absolutely ludicrous – promo by Triple H, saying he doesn’t really care about the belt. The Hobbit exchange with Cena was reasonably funny, but to say he doesn’t want the belt, when he has spent ten almost solid years chasing it, is so daft. So that’s Jarrett in TNA and Triple H in WWE who don’t want the belt. Aren’t these people meant to be running things?
· Six man match for the IC title should be fun. The tag setup made perfect sense.
· And, to be honest, that was a very good six-man tag. Interesting, though, that a man not in the match got the pinfall
· That’s two ZZ Top segments now, and even Chris Jericho couldn’t save that one. Doesn’t that say something to you? That even Jericho didn’t make a segment interesting. Turns out he’s wrestling Mark Henry tonight, and no mention of his mystery partner.
· So what did that achieve? Lawler beats Kendrick, who presumably is either about to be canned, or has annoyed someone backstage about something.....again.
· Ooh, waitress at a Waffle House – is that a thinly veiled pop at a certain former superstar who ended up flipping waffles.
· The WWE Players recreate Jake Roberts and Rick Martel for your viewing pleasure. Maryse v Mickie in a blindfold match??
· Oh dear, Lillian, spit it out. Nope, not good enough. Best resign.........
· Dear God, somebody save Chavo from this pain. And us, the viewers, for that matter.
· Triple H and Cena are being way too pally. There has to be a destruction from this, possibly tonight.
· that Jericho turning face again? Or is it just for the bit against Legacy. Nice feel to that three-man exchange, though.
· Couldn’t be Steamboat as Jericho’s partner, could it?
· Shaq – nice coup, should get some good mainstream sports publicity. But surely more wrestling legends would bolster the audience for ratings purposes?
· Ordinary main event – just the same as last week, really, except the match ended in a pin and not a DQ.
· Another nothing Raw. Very little to right home about in terms of action or storyline. ZZ Top’s involvement corny, and they are in danger of watering down the guest host concept if the host just books the same old matches we see every week.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

So who will Jericho's mystery partner be....?

Ah, the old Mystery Partner. Usually such a great concept, and so often punctuated by a crappy pay off.

Now, we have a mystery partner angle involving Christopher Keith Irvine, better known as Chris Jericho. Formerly the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla. Formerly Y2J. Currently calling himself simply “The best in world at what he does.”

And he may be right.

Jericho has been nothing short of awesome for the last 16 months or so, with quality encounters with Shawn Michaels and Rey Mysterio punctuating this period. His emergence as half of a Smackdown “Dream Team” which netted the Unified Tag Titles, along with Edge, seemed to signal a fun coalition and a logical use of Edge and Jericho on all shows.

Now, though, Edge is kaput. He is broken. On the shelf.

Hence the quick rewrite this week. Jericho emerges with a document stipulating he can choose his partner, who will become his co-champion. It remains to be seen whether his cohort will be named next week on TV or at the PPV itself.

In the meantime, I offer you three options for who it could be. The first is, I think the most likely. The second less likely, a little less logical, but a bit more fun, in my opinion. The last, though, is unlikely, won’t happen, and is a flight of fancy. But it’s my favourite, and would be a terrific idea.

1) Jack Swagger

Jack Swagger has two major negatives about him. One is his stupid nickname, “The All-American American.” It’s nonsense, get rid of it. The second downer is his ricockulous (thanks CJ) pantomime as he heads to the ring. I don’t mind the press ups, but the cross between an epileptic fit and King Kong is ludicrous. Lose it.

That aside, the guy is clearly a keeper. He has the WWE physique and look which is a bonus, of course, but more importantly he can wrestle, has character, is a good heel, is young, and has already had a number of very decent matches.

His move to Raw is very obviously an indication that he is moving up in the world, and a clean win over MVP further evidence of his upward mobility. My instinct was that blowing off of a potentially feud with MVP was ludicrous, but thinking about it, it was probably done to allow Swagger a free run at being Jericho’s upstanding partner. Who better than Jericho than Swagger to learn from and who better than Young Jack to be given a boost from this position?

It’s the most likely scenario.

2) The Miz
This is less likely, but not impossible.

Let’s look at the evidence. Miz has been in a brief little angle with John Cena, which although it didn’t go fabulously, most definitely gained respect in certain quarters. He, like Jericho, is a genuinely over heel thanks to the almost lost art of being a complete prick (and I mean that in the nicest of ways).

Miz is an experienced Tag Team wrestler, after his successful stint with John Morrison (my Mizorrison nickname never took off, did it? Everyone went with “JoMizzy” instead. Rubbish) and would be good from a logic perspective, since Jericho would likely pick someone like Miz, as a bit of a trailblazer and a successful Tag Team guy.

Other factors would be Miz’s little Twitter battle with Jericho. This is clearly something that they are doing for a joke between the boys, but it would indicate that they are good friends, I would think. Jericho is a man who is known to have respect backstage and gets a lot of input into his own angles. I can envisage the powers that be going to Chris, asking his advice, and his request to work with Miz.

They would be a stunningly over heel team. They would be really hated, and if WWE actually had any (and I mean, ANY) tag teams then a babyface one would have a perfect opportunity to get the fans behind them, since folks really don’t like Miz and Jericho (Mizco?).

When you think about this combination, some of the promo and segments ought to be absolute dynamite. I’d like to see Miz emerge as the partner.


3) I’ll tell you in a minute.......

So then, Chris Jericho needs a partner. He needs someone he’d like to work with, someone who is a skilled worker, someone who needs a direction, could do with a change of scenary, and can work as a cocky heel if necessary.

Can you see who I mean? Can you see what I’m getting at?

‘You’ll see if you just close your eyeeeeeeees. If you just close your eyes’

Now open them again (which, I suppose, you have if you are reading this again) and think about Christian finally, FINALLY being given a chance to shine again on a proper scale, and not the bloody ECW.

The problems here are plentiful, and I understand how unlikely this is. But wouldn’t it be fun?

WWE don’t appear to be that high on Christian, perhaps as a knock on him for disappearing to TNA before returning, but it ought to be remember that Jeff Hardy did this too, and long at the push he has had over the last couple of years.

Yes, Christian has a match scheduled for Night of Champs, but don’t forget Jericho had wrestled already when he emerged with Edge to grab the belts in the first place. That shouldn’t be a stumbling block.

The logic holds through here (mostly). Jericho wants someone he can trust, and since he knows Christian and has a history with him, can claim that he trusts him. Admittedly, Christian turned on Jericho and went off with Trish, who Jericho had a thing for. Incidentally, this was probably the last ‘boy meets girl’ storyline that has been done successfully.

Christian and Jericho have always had an onscreen chemistry, and are friends in real life. It would work nicely.

And here’s the clincher. Christian as the new partner. Christian, replacing EDGE, as a partner. Play up the idea that Christian is the superior one of the old E&C duo. Then, if you can keep a certain focus on Christian and Jericho as a duo for long enough – not necessarily as a tag team, but at least as allies – when Edge is ready to return, you have a plethora of options.

Edge can come back to conquer Jericho and Christian, with his own partner. Christian and can turn on Jericho and reform his partnership with Edge. Jericho could turn on Christian and once again align with the Rated R Superstar. Any man could be heel, any man could be face, in any combination.

I am aware that my last big idea was about Christian and Edge, but I’d like to point out that I was half right. While the world was all about Christian being Jeff’s attacked, and Vince apparently all anxious about a leak, I said Matt to be the culprit all along. Admittedly I then fantasy booked Edge and Matt to be in league, with Christian returning to assist Jeff, but you can’t have everything.

It should be Christian. It’ll be cool if it’s Miz. It’ll likely be Swagger. And that would be fine too, but I prefer one of the other options.

If you have your own idea, I’d love to hear it. Comment beneath or send to robthegreen (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Raw Thoughts - July 13

· That wasn’t over the top and exaggerated at the top of the show. That really was an incredible ovation for The Game.
· Is that Seth Green or is that Rey Mysterio without the mask?
· Guest Host booking himself in the main event. Cool, so at least Seth is following the example of bookers throughout history.
· Poor Primo. A during the break ring entrance already, and with a new song too.
· I have little interest in the Carlito Primo thing, despite it’s good start last week. Mainly because the brother v brother thing has been done too much now, not to mention the tag partner turn angle.
· This is a painful Raw so far. “One million dollars” Austin Powers reference? Hmm, topical.
· MVP v Swagger? Match thrown away. That could have been a several week build after a terrific opening gambit last week in the VIP Lounge. On the positive side, it looks like MVP is a little more over as a babyface.
· Swagger has to lose that mime coming down the aisle. The press-up is ok, but the hitting the chest thing is ludicrous.
· Tidy match for what we saw – the break came too early and I’d sooner it didn’t come during the match at all – and I think it’s fine Swagger getting the win. I’d really like to see him with Kofi for the US Title.
· Interesting promo from Jericho. Slightly weak excuse that he had a clause written in about Edge getting injured, but I’ll let it go. It was a tough one to write themselves out of.
· I like the idea of the slow burn of the partner. Let’s speculate and then tune in to find out. My initial guess would be Swagger, since we are looking for a man who Jericho would consider an honest man and so forth.
· I actually have a fantastic idea for a partner for Jericho – and I’ll tell you on a separate blog.
· Also liked the burial of Edge by Jericho. Suggests Edge may return, whenever that may be, as a babyface.
· Poor Chavo. So this is another Guerrero getting embarrassed is it? Hardly seems right to me.
· There wasn’t any exaggeration about that Big Show spear to Evan Bourne. That did look awesome and devastating.
· Aside from the wrestling for a second. I don’t know what Robot Chicken is. Nor do I want to. That is all.
· From a ‘don’t do this at home’ perspective, Green ought to get pummelled within an inch of his life.
· I think Orton does that DDT off the middle rope too often. That ought to be a dangerous finisher, not just some move that goes in the middle of a match.
· I tell you what, that was a really, really fun main event. I think the show overall has been quite dull and at times cringeworthy. However, they obviously limited the activity of Seth Green, but managed to include him well. The breaking up of the cover after an RKO was genius, because it got the move over, didn’t pin Triple H and got the celeb involved. The cheer after Cena broke up Orton attempted punt was deafening. I don’t even mind the DQ finish because it was secondary. The brawl taking over was the story, and then a near sledgehammer shot to Cena, which both Trips and Cena sold the motion of well, was a nice coup de gras.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Raw Thoughts - July 6

· Ah, it’s good to see the Million Dollar Man again. Its presumably his choice, but you wonder why he didn’t stick on for longer. Wrestling misses managers like him.
· They need to do the slow burn with DiBiase jnr – they need to be careful pushing his babyface side TOO much.
· Interesting booking for tag titles at next PPV. Heel v Heel, Legacy v Edge/Jericho. Of course, that won’t happen, because of Edge’s injury, but strange they’d book that kind of contest
· Bah – this is why I don’t like taped Raws. This bloody piped in cheers for people. IF THEY ARE NOT OVER, YOU ARE PUSHING THEM WRONG, OR WE DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM. DON’T PRETEND THEY ARE BEING CHEERED.
· Now that is what you call a sudden and vicious heel turn. Loved it. Believable anger from Carlito and I like Primo trying cover up rather than fight his brother. I’d expect this break-up to take a while longer yet.
· I love that Ted Snr plays up disliking Dusty. Nice little callback to the polka dots too.
· That match (Orton v DiBiase jnr) was the match John Cena and The Miz should have had. Maybe not with so many babyface-like spots for Miz, but certainly the extra nearfalls and moments when there was a prospect of the underdog getting the W.
· Nice little segment – the VIP Lounge. Those talk show segs are supposed to help people’s characters get over. That was one of the better babyface reactions for MVP in a while, and it was a chance to allow a new audience to see Jack Swagger, especially after his odd debut last week.
· Enjoyed that Bourne v Kofi match, but two problems with it. One was that Kofi doesn’t really need to be getting beat. Two was that it was too short. The amount of reruns, recaps and other needless bits that take ages, you could let them have three more minutes and have some fun with the match.
· I think Big Show is getting ‘X-Pac heat’ now. To me, crowds are booing him because he is boring not because he is an effective heel. He has always been slow, but he used to be menacing. Now, he is a slower version of the same giant we saw ten years ago.
· Is there no Miz at all this week? Nor Santino?
· I tell you what, say what you like about Hunter and Cena (and I have done) but they had a reasonable match there, and you’ll do well to find too many other wrestler sin the company who could have a match on Raw and get the crowd cheering and booing mere punches.
· That ending would be understandable and perfectly sensible booking.......if it didn’t happen EVERY BLOODY WEEK. I am so sick of them protecting guys in ridiculous ways. Just book the triple threat. Don’t come up with daft ways of doing it with crappy finishes. Just book the triple threat. I tell you what, have Batista book Hunter v Orton for the PPV. Then have Million Dollar Man get pissed off by Hunter, so he puts Cena in there too. Next week’s guest host could then get Hunter and Cena to pick each other’s opponent, or better yet get Randy to pick their opponents and if either man loses their match they lose their place in the match against Orton. If both lose, Orton gets the night off.
· The trouble is, if you keep booking matches like Hunter v Cena, and just spoil the ending (don’t forget this is frequently happening at PPVs too) then people will just get fed up.
· “Hey man, did you hear about the main event on Raw this week? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Are you going to tune in?”“Nah, don’t think I’ll bother. Those matches always end in DQs and shit. I’ll read the reports on instead.” (cheap pop)

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - July 03

· I like the idea of Punk explaining to everybody about what went wrong. He is talking sense, but he is doing it a whiny sort of way, so he may get booed.
· There was a masterstroke of a line in there – Punk telling Jeff that they had to be on the same side otherwise Jericho and Edge, their opponents for the evening, would tear them apart. That makes sense on a couple of levels. One is that is gives proper credit to Edge and Jericho for being good. I hate it when one wrestler run another one down, because if you beat them, what have you beaten? The other was it was perfect sense. ‘Hang on, we need to wise up here’ in effect.
· I thought for a while that Ziggler was going to be a bit of a joke for the company, but it seems they may be getting behind him a little. A win over RK-Kwiktruth and a tease of an alliance with Maria suggest there are plans for him.
· Not sure if you get From the Vault stuff elsewhere in the world, but we do. We’ve now got Batista v Finlay from Smackdown, with Khali wandering to ringside as champion. Wow, things were bleak on SD then, weren’t they? Is their way of saying to us to appreciate what we have now?
· Cryme Tyme were hunting “wangstas” and saw the Asian Redneck. But they didn’t go for a Wang Yangsta joke? I actually thought that segment was quite humourous.
· Rey and Kane? Again? Oh please......
· Ads for Raw in the Sheffield Arena advertise Batista on them, if you are interested. But not Shawn Michaels......
· The Hart Dynasty need to have plenty of mic time and character development. They have a story to tell, and are on a new show. There will be Smackdown viewers who haven’t seen them before, they should be introduced in a deeper way.
· I’m not sure I agree with the Harts being beaten in their first Raw match. Cryme Tyme didn’t need the win as much, and could easily get their heat back elsewhere.
· Bad? That Teddy and Morrison segment was not just bad, it was terrible.
· Decent closing match. It’s nice that SD are in a position to load the main event with high-quality fresh matches.