Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The WWE Draft

This week saw a draft episode of Raw, and although these have a history of being actually quite dull despite the surrounding hype, this was a pretty good show.

Mind you, I had to block out a great deal of nonsense through my well-developed, patented McNichol Wrestling Filter, which is available from the same company that make my McNichol Eliminator. – (don’t try the URK, it isn’t real)

An irony with the fact that Michelle and her Simply Flawless moniker would end the first Draft match, as this concept and match was completely flawed.

I can’t believe they are persisting with the Raw v Smackdown, whomever wins gets a draft pick routine. It makes no sense. Why would you want to win and bring more competition to your spot? That is even more apparent with the Divas, because the division is so much smaller.

Then, to add to the feeling of this, Maryse refused to tag Eve at the first opportunity. Storyline-wise this is because they dislike one another, but it immediately made you think that she doesn’t want to win the match because of the draft, rendering the rest of the show pointless.

The first draftee was Kelly Kelly, and that’s a reasonably sensible move. It just mixes things up a little, and Kelly Kelly is a likable enough figure to go to Smackdown for LayCool to oppose.

After CM Punk beat Evan Bourne in one of those matches which just about gets you warmed up then ends, Smackdown gained Big Show, who got drafted to Smackdown. To be honest, I thought he was on Smackdown.

(Hang on, you did try that URL, didn’t you? You fool. I did tell you not to.)

I guess it’s my peculiar paranoia over certain usage of words, but at this point I’d like to declare my annoyance at the word ‘decimate’ or a variant of it used three times in the first hour. Technically, decimated means to kill one person in ten, and although modern usage just has the word to mean ‘almost destroy’, I still don’t like the overuse of it.

Back to wrestling.......and John Cena declares that the only person who can name a number one contender is the champion? Really? Really? (/Miz) Since when, and why, does the champ have that authority? He could just pick Hornswoggle and be done with it.

Is it just me, or when the five Smackdown superstars were walking backstage, did it look like McIntrye was holding Rey Mysterio’s hand?

R-Truth, Morrison and Edge were all superstars moving to Raw which were foreseen, but they mostly make sense, so no complaints. Morrison might be the man who comes out worse, because after shining on Smackdown, there is a chance he could be in Evan Bourne country, maybe not losing as much as Bourne, but wrestling three-minute undercard matches and not the lengthy ones in a nice spot as he was on the blue brand.

Kofi Kingston was next to switch, moving to Smackdown after Chris Jericho beat Christian in a really tidy TV match. Kingston’s switch is, to me, the most logical of all. I’ve been talking about Kofi going to SD for months, because I really feel it will reignite him, and he has a better chance of being taken seriously as a wrestler. Great move.

After another very good match – Swagger v Morrison – SD got themselves another pick after The World Champ got his hand raised, and Christian headed to Smackdown. I’m not crazy about that, I have to say, mainly for the fact that Edge just went to Raw. They seem hell bent on making sure there is absolutely no association between Edge and Christian and I have no idea why.

As the draft wore on, the commentators kept updating the viewers on the moves that wrestlers had made. Good call. They also talked up the individuals who were moving. Again, nicely done. Sensible behaviour.

However, they suggested that both brands had done well. How exactly is that possible? If one brand has picked up some great superstars, it means the other has lost some. So why would other brand be happy? They would either both feel things are fine, average, mediocre, ok.....or one is doing better than the other.

Nice little backstage segment with Ted DiBiase, Carlito and R-Truth, with a hint that perhaps DiBiase was trying to recruit Carlito as part of a ‘fortunate sons’ stable as has been heavily rumoured. I liked the interaction with Truth, and thought DiBiase showed a lot of character and is developing nicely as a heel.

Dolph Ziggler v Hornswoggle? Really? (Ok, I have to stop doing that.) You know what, it wouldn’t have bothered me if Dolph had lost because he was jaw-jacking with fans or acting cocky outside, but it was the fact that Hornswoggle was allowed to throw a helmet at his opponent and not be disqualified that bothered me. I should learn to lighten up, really.....

A reasonable triple threat closed the show, with Batista inserting himself into the already booked match between Randy Orton and Sheamus for the number one contendership. It wasn’t a stunning wrestling match, but it was exciting to watch by virtue of the fact that it was very hard to pick a winner.

In the end, Edge interfered and speared Randy Orton, allowed Batista to drape an arm and get the win. I assume that’s the Edge heel turn that desperately had to happen, and it was a surprise to see Batista get the win and the number one contendership. Career on the line, anyone?

Better than usual draft, if you can get past some head-scratching logic throughout.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

TNA - Titles Not Appreciated.

Many people have said over the years that TNA is a terrible name for wrestling company. Since here in England we don’t really have the phrase “T&A”, meaning tits and ass, it doesn’t particularly bother me that much. But lets run with the idea that the name should change – I have the perfect alternative.


Aside from the obvious abbreviation, that stands for “Why This” Federation,because way too often that’s exactly what I find myself uttering. “Why This?”

I could spend a very, very long time on this, and frankly I don’t have the energy to go all the way, through. Instead, I’ll simply focus on a couple of issues that bothered me greatly this week, specifically involved the tag division, X-division and the women’s division, specifically the titles.

Let’s start with the tag division. Now I might have this totally wrong, but there was a match at Destination X between The Motor City Machine Guns and Generation Me, and MCMG won, to give them a number one contendership to the tag team titles, right? Have they had that title match yet? I don’t think they have, unless they had it during a pre-show or post-show or TNA today online segment that nobody watches.

So why have a tag team match between the Motor City Machine Guns and Team 3D TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS?? It’s ludicrous.

To add to that, who won? Did Team 3D win due to a DQ from interference? Was the match thrown out? I didn’t hear an announcement. It’s madness. What’s the point of any of these matches if a) they contradict stuff which has already happened and b) the match’s conclusion means nothing going forward.

Meanwhile, the tag team champions are........Matt Morgan. Morgan laid out partner Hernandez a couple of weeks ago, and we were promised an explanation of why. We are yet to receive one.

Instead, we got Morgan referring to himself as “we” and apparently will defend soon against the number one contenders, which might be the Guns, might be Team 3D or might be no-one. Who knows?

Any explanation of why he laid his partner out? If the belts will be vacated? If he gets to choose a partner? Nope, nothing. Just a vague hint at schizophrenia. OK then.

Let’s go to Destination X again. Do I remember a Ladder match? A Ladder match which Kazarian won? So where the hell is he and why was he not mentioned once as Doug Wllliams’s number one contender during Doug’s appearance on Impact?

Shannon Moore came out and asked for a title shot at Lockdown, in a way in which we normally find ends with exactly that happening. There will be people that now have in their mind that Moore will wrestle Williams at that PPV, despite them facing off at the last one.

It may well be an excuse to make this a three-way involving Kaz, Moore and Doug, and I have no problem with that. But at least acknowledge the existence of a number one contender during the segment put aside for the division.

And then there are the Knockouts. The poor, undervalued females of TNA who get no respect from those who ought to be showing it. They draw good ratings for the company every week, and many have called for them to have more exposure (in a storyline and angle respect, I mean) on television.

Now, I don’t want to scream “conspiracy”, but it didn’t half seem to me like the booking of the Knockout’s on Impact was deliberately tacky and absurd, so that if they fail they say “yeah, we tried the KOs in the main event /overrun slot, and they failed. Experiment over.” If they succeed, however, it shows that sex sells – so lets do more of it.

I’m taking a punt here, but this reeks of WCW, and so it wouldn’t be a wild assumption to think that perhaps Russo and Bischoff (particularly the former) are responsible.

If you didn’t see it, there was a 4 on 4 match - Velvet Sky, Lacey von Erich, Madison Rayne and Daffney v Tara, Angelina Love, Ayako Hamada and ODB. There would be four falls, and whenever one happened, the scorer of the fall would get a key, and both they and the loser would drop out of the match, until all were finished. Confused yet? You will be.

Then, the four keyholders would each open a box containing a ‘prize’. One was the TNA Knockouts title. Think of that. The women’s title belt was a prize which one person scoring a relatively nondescript pin in an eight-person tag would win. Someone achieving the same feat would win a spider. (how exactly that came to be TNA property is unknown, as is why they didn’t just simply hand it back to Tara)Another would be forced to take their clothes off. That’s classy.

Actually, I don’t even care that one of them was going to do this. Let’s not even worry about whether this ought to be passed off as entertainment or not. The problem is that people ought to earn a world title, or a world title shot. I don’t even mind them winning the world title in a tag match, although I’d prefer it otherwise. But this meant that a world champion (for that is what Tara effectively was) won a match, or at least did all that could be asked of them, and then lost their title. That’s madness.

That’s three titles IN ONE SHOW that were devalued. The ‘Legends’ title – stupid name, by the way, is being carried by Rob Terry. Really nice guy, and this is absolutely not his fault, but he is not good enough to be being pushed in the manner he currently is. That isn’t to say he won’t become an effective big guy. But he isn’t there yet.

None of TNA’s secondary (or tertiary) titles mean a thing. They are just treated like accessories, not prized possessions. Tara cares more about a spider than a belt. Now I’m not saying she shouldn’t love a pet, but it just makes the belt look trivial.

I could be here a long time, bemoaning the terrible booking of Desmond Wolfe, chairshots to the head, the insignificance of Hardy, lack of need for “The Band”, Bubba, swearing, lack of Joe, ladder matches with keys, Orlando Jordan and plenty more. But I won’t.

I may do soon, though......