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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.