WWE: Retro feud: CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy

2009 was the year where raw was turning into Saturday night live because of the media guests hosts and Smackdown has become way better that raw. Jeff hardy was on the top of the mountain on smackdown along with edge, the undertaker and more.  at Wrestlemania 25, cm punk has become the only person to win the money in the bank ladder match for 2 years straight. on the wwe draft a few months later, he was drafted to Smackdown and had a short feud with Umaga and went on to Jeff Hardy.the feud started when after Jeff won the world heavyweight title from edge in a ladder match at extreme rules. cm punk took advantage of the situation and cashed in his money in the bank and defeated Jeff Hardy(i should also note that Jeff became the first wrestler in the WWE to kick out of the G.T.S during that match) to become the new world champion.His heel turn didn’t begin yet because punk was slowly doing it. so 3 weeks later at the bash ppv, they had their rematch but it was declared a no-contest due to cm punk selling the “eye injury” on that smackdown, cm punk started to bring up Jeff Hardy’s past drug issues.

cm punk would cut promos about him being straightedge(sound familiar, look up his ROH promos) and about him bringing up Jeff Hardy’s firing in 2003 for failing a drug test. the feud went on to cm punk and Jeff Hardy attacking each other on Smackdown for a number of weeks and Jeff hardy got the upper hand when he re-captured the world title at night of champions.a few weeks later on Smackdown, cm punk had a rematch clause, and Matt hardy was the special referee. Jeff won the match and cm punk brutally attacked him again. then teddy long gives him a rematch at SummerSlam in a tables,ladders and chairs match.Matt hardy who was a heel at the time turned face, and the next week at Smackdown, there was a 6 man tag match putting cm punk and the hart dynasty vs John Morrison and the reunited hardy boys in which the Hardy’s and Morrison won. then on Sunday at SummerSlam, cm punk did the unexpected and won the world title for a 3rd time(then the lights went out and went on with the undertaker choke slamming punk)   and on the following Smackdown,punk said exactly what he was going to do and banish Jeff away forever in a steel cage match. Jeff’s final image was when he went to the ramp and cm punk hit him over the head with the title. it was also reported from the dirt sheets that both punk and Jeff did not like each other at all in real life, whenever they are backstage, they would not talk to each other and punk always wanted to kick his ass. in a late 2010 video posted by both the Hardy’s (see video at the  link)  Jeff take some shots at punk. but look where punk is and look where Jeff is LOL. but anyways, this was a great feud and won the award for the best feud of the year by the wrestling observer newsletter.

WWE summerslam 2012 preview and predictions

Here’s what should happen:

Antonio Cesaro becomes new U.S. Champion in a 5 minute Santino-style spot fest where he hits everything but still loses to the challenger due to shenanigans. Then I do fist pumps for several hours.

Here’s what will happen:

See above, but Santino overcomes shenanigans to retain, I throw my remote through my TV and hate everything for the rest of the night.

Winner: Santino

Cesaro has owned Santino in non-title matches on SmackDown. That means logic would dictate that he’d walk out the new champion. Right? Wrong. It’s one of WWE’s Favorite things to do, having champions lose non-title matches. The sad part is that they could put the title on Cesaro, push him and make the title matter but they won’t. Santino is a comedy character that shouldn’t be carrying a title.

 

WWE Tag Team Championships: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil)

The fact that R-Boom have been tag champions this long tells me two things:

1) Creative has nothing better for either of them to do, and probably never will again.

2) Creative have no real plans for the tag belts other than “Let the black guys wear them,” and when someone asks “Which black team?” and another guy says “I dunno, flip for it.”

I think that The Prime Time Players are an ok team , and I don’t really care that A.W. is gone because Young and O’Neil made me laugh before he was in the picture. I really don’t think they need him as much as everyone else thinks. Besides, it’s time for new blood to carry those belts.

Winners: The Prime Time Players

AW or no AW it doesn’t matter to me. The Prime Time Players seem like the more permanent team so they should win. Hopefully that’s the case and we finally get a good tag division again.

Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

I think is right on the money; lose on TV, win at the PPV. Mysterio doesn’t need the IC title like Miz does, because he doesn’t really need to re-establish his credibility. As unfortunate as it is to say, Miz needs a crutch until he can stand on his own two feet again, and the IC title is that crutch right now. Mysterio is a good foil for Miz right now, and it’s a good feud that’ll give these guys something to do. It has legs. Three legs mind you, but an Intercontinental title feud is never a bad crutch to have.

Winner: The Miz

Good booking by WWE getting two guys and a title on PPV that should be on PPV. If former WWE Champions are going to hold and contend for the Intercontinental Championship then it should be treated like a big deal and this is a good start. If given 15 minutes this could be great but Miz should retain. Rey could walk away champ but Miz really needs a long winning streak to build back his credibility after losing basically from WrestleMania XXVIII up until he won the Intercontinental Championship.

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan

Readers of the Smacking Of Smackdown will know I’m no fan of this feud, but I love Bryan and I like Kane enough to where I think this match will be fine to watch. There’s no such thing as a bad Daniel Bryan match, there just isn’t. Don’t argue with me on this, because you’re wrong. No, stop it. Stop it. No, no, listen to me, just listen:

STOP. IT.

You’re wrong.

What happened with the Charlie Sheen involvement? Are they so scared that he may not show up if they advertised him that they just dropped the whole thing together or will he actually be there? I’m not sure. They’ve made it a point to say “anger management” on Raw every week as a way to plug Sheen’s TV show, but there’s been no mention of him being at Summerslam since they teased it at Raw 1000 on July 23.

I really hope Daniel Bryan wins this. Kane is in his mid-40s. He has turned heel and babyface about a dozen times in his career. He doesn’t need wins. Bryan’s out of the World and WWE Title picture right now. He should be at that level. If they do a post match angle with Sheen at ringside that’s fine, but don’t let it affect the match.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Chris jericho vs dolph ziggler

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

What a simple yet effective story. The young, hungry upstart questioning what the old veteran lion has left in the tank. Both men have something to prove in this match. Jericho wants to show he can still hang at an elite level and Ziggler wants to prove he belongs at an elite. This has match of the night written all over it and I’m very excited to see it. This should be a passing of the torch moment and that’s what I expect.

 

NoDQ.com > Columns > The John Report: WWE Summerslam Preview
Posted by John Canton on 08/18/2012 at 11:00 AM
John: Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE Summerslam Preview. There are eight announced matches including the pre-show, which is more than the usual four or five announced matches that WWE usually has at PPVs. This could also be the first WWE PPV of the year where the WWE Title match may go on last. I thought that would happen at Money in the Bank, but it didn’t end up happening.

Joining me for the preview as always are TJRWrestling’s resident Smackdown reviewer Andrew Johnson and our former Smackdown writer who is now a retro PPV reviewing kind of guy, Christian Michael. Let’s roll.

 

United States Championship: Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro (Pre-show)

Andrew: Here’s what should happen:

Antonio Cesaro becomes new U.S. Champion in a 5 minute Santino-style spot fest where he hits everything but still loses to the challenger due to shenanigans. Then I do fist pumps for several hours.

Here’s what will happen:

See above, but Santino overcomes shenanigans to retain, I throw my remote through my TV and hate everything for the rest of the night.

Winner: Santino

Christian: Cesaro has owned Santino in non-title matches on SmackDown. That means logic would dictate that he’d walk out the new champion. Right? Wrong. It’s one of WWE’s Favorite things to do, having champions lose non-title matches. The sad part is that they could put the title on Cesaro, push him and make the title matter but they won’t. Santino is a comedy character that shouldn’t be carrying a title.

Prediction- Santino Marella retains

John: I think they need to book a title switch at one of these pre-show matches, so why not here? Santino does nothing for the title. He would be popular with the fans whether he had it or not. The US Title is booked so poorly that it’s basically useless these days. Get the title on Cesaro here. Perhaps it would freshen up the US Title a bit.

Winner: Antonio Cesaro

 

WWE Tag Team Championships: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil)

Andrew: The fact that R-Boom have been tag champions this long tells me two things:

1) Creative has nothing better for either of them to do, and probably never will again.

2) Creative have no real plans for the tag belts other than “Let the black guys wear them,” and when someone asks “Which black team?” and another guy says “I dunno, flip for it.”

I love The Prime Time Players, and I don’t really care that A.W. is gone because Young and O’Neil made me laugh before he was in the picture. I really don’t think they need him as much as everyone else thinks. Besides, it’s time for new blood to carry those belts.

Winners: The Prime Time Players

Christian: AW or no AW it doesn’t matter to me. The Prime Time Players seem like the more permanent team so they should win. Hopefully that’s the case and we finally get a good tag division again.

Prediction- The Prime Time Players become the new champions

John: It’s a shame that AW’s firing garnered so much attention because it has taken away from the fact that the tag team division in WWE has improved greatly in recent months. I think there’s been a push to make it better since WrestleMania. Over four months later here we are. The PTPers have done a good job of developing their gimmick as cocky heels who think they’re on their way to something great and at Summerslam they have a chance to prove how good they are. I think the Kingston/Truth team was put together to give some credibility to the division because they feature two long term babyfaces, but long term I doubt they will team together that much. I think it’s time for the titles to change hands.

Winners: The Prime Time Players

 

Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

Andrew: John has a standard rule that I don’t always think is correct but in this case I think is right on the money; lose on TV, win at the PPV. Mysterio doesn’t need the IC title like Miz does, because he doesn’t really need to re-establish his credibility. As unfortunate as it is to say, Miz needs a crutch until he can stand on his own two feet again, and the IC title is that crutch right now. Mysterio is a good foil for Miz right now, and it’s a good feud that’ll give these guys something to do. It has legs. Three legs mind you, but an Intercontinental title feud is never a bad crutch to have.

Winner: The Miz

Christian: Good booking by WWE getting two guys and a title on PPV that should be on PPV. If former WWE Champions are going to hold and contend for the Intercontinental Championship then it should be treated like a big deal and this is a good start. If given 15 minutes this could be great but Miz should retain. Rey could walk away champ but Miz really needs a long winning streak to build back his credibility after losing basically from WrestleMania XXVIII up until he won the Intercontinental Championship.

Prediction- The Miz retains

John: There’s not much heat in this feud. It’s happening because Miz needs a credible opponent that most fans will think has a chance to win even though in reality that person (Mysterio) is very unlikely to win. Putting the IC Title on Miz is about building him back up after booking him so poorly since his run as a main event level guy over a year ago. Mysterio will give him a good matchup, but Miz will get the win after about ten minutes of action.

Winner: The Miz

 

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan

Andrew: Readers of the Smacking Of Smackdown will know I’m no fan of this feud, but I love Bryan and I like Kane enough to where I think this match will be fine to watch. There’s no such thing as a bad Daniel Bryan match, there just isn’t. Don’t argue with me on this, because you’re wrong. No, stop it. Stop it. No, no, listen to me, just listen:

STOP. IT.

You’re wrong.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Christian: We’ve seen this match 100 times over the summer. It can be good but it’s not fresh. I don’t know what, if any role Charlie Sheen will play in the match so it’s hard to figure a winner. If he’s there he’ll likely cost D-Bry the match. If he’s not there, Kane will still win since they like having Bryan lose all the time now.

Prediction- Kane

John: What happened with the Charlie Sheen involvement? Are they so scared that he may not show up if they advertised him that they just dropped the whole thing together or will he actually be there? I’m not sure. They’ve made it a point to say “anger management” on Raw every week as a way to plug Sheen’s TV show, but there’s been no mention of him being at Summerslam since they teased it at Raw 1000 on July 23.

I really hope Daniel Bryan wins this. Kane is in his mid-40s. He has turned heel and babyface about a dozen times in his career. He doesn’t need wins. Bryan’s out of the World and WWE Title picture right now. He should be at that level. If they do a post match angle with Sheen at ringside that’s fine, but don’t let it affect the match.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

 

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler

Andrew: I’m not going to go on about how much potential this match has to be the show-stealer because I’m sure Christian and John both have plenty of hyperbolic statements already lined up. Also, John also wrote a whole column about it, so there’s very little I can say here that wouldn’t be just a rehash of what he’s already written. I’ll just say this; if Santino retaining doesn’t make me throw my remote through my TV, a disappointing Ziggler/Jericho match will. Which I don’t think is possible, but good news is if Santino wins, I won’t have to find out.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Christian: What a simple yet effective story. The young, hungry upstart questioning what the old veteran lion has left in the tank. Both men have something to prove in this match. Jericho wants to show he can still hang at an elite level and Ziggler wants to prove he belongs at an elite. This has match of the night written all over it and I’m very excited to see it. This should be a passing of the torch moment and that’s what I expect.

Prediction- Dolph Ziggler

John: I already wrote a fantasy booking style column as it pertains to what I want to see in this match. Will it happen? Probably not. In short, here’s what I wrote there. Sheamus beats Del Rio early in the show. Barrett comes out, he destroys Sheamus. Ziggler cashes in Money in the Bank. He becomes World Champion. Ziggler vs. Jericho then becomes a World Title match later in the show. Ziggler retains.

I threw it out there as a possibility because the obvious result of this match is too easy to call. That’s a Ziggler win. I want something more to remember this feud by because Jericho’s reportedly gone from WWE again as of Tuesday, so I want them to give us a memorable moment we will never forget.

You won’t get complaints from me, though. The only way I would complain about this is if they got less than ten minute because it needs to be between 10-20 minutes in order to give us the kind of exciting action we expect to see from guys like this. They’re two of the best workers in the company, so I think this is likely the match of the night as long as they get a chance to have a special match based on how much time they are given.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 

World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

 

I wasn’t on board for Del Rio/Sheamus revisited at first, but I think the build for this has been much stronger than it was for Money In The Bank. This is the best thing to come out of a car theft since Josh and S.A.M. For the first time these two have a legitimate beef with each other that is more than just about the championship. As lame as it sounds, this whole feud is about respect. Sheamus feels disrespected by Del Rio because he mentioned he isn’t rich and Sheamus has feelings too and oh my God guys they hurt so bad right now, so he stole Del Rio’s car as penance. And Del Rio’s mad because…well his car was stolen. I think that’s reason enough.

It’s a better feud than they had a month ago, and the match will be solid. It’s going to be fun.

Winner: Sheamus

Yawn. That’s my reaction to the match. Honestly, it bored me at Money in the Bank and without adding a stipulation to it, I don’t know what they can do differently this time. It’s not like they’re not trying on TV but it’s just not working for me. Booker T took away ADR’s title shot and a week later gave it back to him at Sheamus’ demand. It shows how badly the Champion wants to get his hands on the challenger. Remember at MITB Sheamus beat him rather easily. You don’t think that’ll happen again now that Del Rio has got the Celtic Warrior’s blood boiling? For a major PPV like SummerSlam I just wish they would have done something different.

 

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

I have about a zillion problems with this match because I can see where it’s heading and I hate it. For some reason the WWE is paying Brock Lesnar a billion dollars (or whatever, I’m not good with math) to come in and fake-break a bunch of arms and then lose for the next 12 months or whenever the hell he shows up. I don’t see this match ending any way other than Triple H gaming up all over Brock and taking this guy who is a legitimate MMA fighter who is trained to break arms and ankles and wreck shop and using his powers of COO’ing and winning.

In a real MMA fight if Brock had Triple H in an arm bar Hunter would tap in 5 seconds because arm bars hurt and you want to use it to wipe boogers from your giant nose. But, since this pro-wrestling where everyone’s arms are like f**king steel bars, Triple H will use his willpower and his determination to stay in the hold for 20 minutes and then reverse it or something and find a way to pedigree everyone in the building.

I dunno. I just think if you’re going to pay this asshole to be a legitimate arm-breaking monster, you should just let him be a legitimate arm-breaking monster.

Winner: Triple H

Christian: The song “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” was the theme song for the 2001 edition of SummerSlam and it would be a fitting description of what this match figures to be. There’s no stipulation attached but one would figure this is more likely to resemble a bar fight than Angle/Michaels from WrestleMania 21. HHH’s family and best friend have been involved so he’s out to avenge their honor. While Brock is just looking to destroy one of wrestling’s last active legends. I want this to be a competitive fight for about 15 minutes and then Brock just destroys Hunter in the end making him look like the unstoppable bad ass that he’s supposed to be.

 

WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show

I genuinely have no opinion on this match, because I don’t think a three way is necessary. I was really hoping for Cena/Punk again, but this is the hand we’re dealt because Big Show is still Mark Henry for now, and Mark Henry is a smiling Touter who is going to come back and not be Mr. Hall Of Pain anymore because WWE needs at least two smiling fat guys for one mean one.

I don’t know how I got to talking about Mark Henry here, but whatever, that’s what you’re going to get.

Winner: CM Punk

It’s amazing how adding one man to the match can kill any excitement you had for it. We all know the classics Cena and Punk are capable of but with Big Show there that’s not likely to happen. I’d really like to know what it takes to earn a WWE Championship match these days. When’s the last time Big Show won a match? 1999? Cena became the first person ever to unsuccessfully cash in MITB but you never hear anyone mention it. MITB is supposed to be used to get a guy over the hump and into the main event. RAW’s match was such a waste this year. They used it as an excuse to get Cena back in the title hunt but that wasn’t necessary. He’s John Cena. All he has to do is ask for a title shot. He doesn’t need a briefcase to be a top contender. Things like that annoy me to no end.

Punk’s been on the heelish side since RAW 1000 because he feels despite being WWE Champion the spotlight isn’t on him, and he’s right. Punk’s been champ since November so you have to figure any day could be the day for him to lose it. Add in the fact that Cena is in the match and Punk doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the title, it almost seems likely. It would fit in with the new direction of Punk’s character where he can moan and groan about losing the belt without losing the match. The only thing throwing a curveball in the equation is that The Rock is lurking at Royal Rumble. Do they want to do Rock/Cena II knowing Rock would go over again? Or do they want Rock to face the by then 14 month reigning champion? I know they could switch the title again before the Rumble but why would you have Punk hold the title this long just to start switching it like a dirty pair of underwear again? But, like I always say, when in doubt pick Cena.

 

Final Thoughts

I am definitely interested in Summerslam. I’m most interested in the Jericho/Ziggler and Lesnar/Triple H matches while the finish of the main event (assuming WWE Title goes on last) has my interest as well. While I don’t know if it will top Extreme Rules as my PPV of the year, it could be very close to that. We’ll find out on Sunday night.

Jeff Hardy: then and now..and “test run” with certain wwe wrestlers

I wrote a little bit about this a few months ago, so I will repeat a few points right off the bat.

WWE loves to give talent a “test run” in the main event scene before giving them a real run at the top. They have been doing this for years and are continuing the stance in 2012. I will simply list a few examples.

While it was under the elder McMahon, Hulk Hogan was given a “test run.” Remember, he fought Andrew the Giant well before Wrestle Mania III. The man passed with flying colors, went to do other business, and Vince McMahon knew he could trust him. A year later, Hulkamania was running wild folks.

Ultimate Warrior was given a few “test runs” as IC champion and teased some major feuds for him. Obviously, fans were ready for him to take the top spot. At WM VI, they trusted him enough to be one of the few men to beat Hogan clean and win the title.

Shawn Michaels feuded with Bret Hart over the WWE Title at Survivor Series in 1992. Not 1997! Earlier in the decade, HBK was given his “test run” as IC champ and some matches near the top of the card. He did great, so WWE trusted him with the top spot. Years later, the company was all about Shawn.

The Rock, Stone Cold, and many others all got little “tastes” of the main event scene before being given the ball officially. WWE must know if guys can be trusted on top. You rarely see somebody just thrown into the main event and STAY there. Here are a few recent names to think about folks:

Alberto Del Rio – he got a “test run” leading into WM 27. He did great, so WWE trusted him with the title months later. As we saw, Edge beat him, Del Rio built himself up a little bit more, and got his moment at Summerslam later on in the year.

John Cena – in 2003, he was given a little bit of a run against Brock Lesnar. He did a fine job, went on to feud with Underaker and Kurt Angle afterwards, then started his rise to the top. WWE knew they could trust him after he passed his initial “test.”

The Royal Rumble is often used for “lesser known” talent to get a shot at the WWE or World Title. I won’t name names, but just look at the Rumble history. Take a look at the title matches! Clearly, some of those are not major matches – just a way to “test” guys out in the main event scene for a few months.

Dolph Ziggler got a chance last year against Edge to shine. Since then, he has been a constant mid-card to upper mid-card to SOON main event wrestler. All because WWE gave him an opportunity, and he did well. Again, I could go on and on, but the fact remains. From Randy Orton to CM Punk, most big names are given a little “test” before officially given the main event spot.

Others tried but failed. William Regal was pushed to the moon in 2008 and was hugely over as a heel, in great shape, and firing on all cylinders…then failed his 2nd Wellness test.

Carlito, Chris Masters, Shelton Benjamin, and MANY others were given a chance. Even The Brian Kendrick was in a WWE Title match on PPV! Either fans did not buy into them or they flopped for others reasons. Nonetheless, WWE was giving new stars a chance to shine.

That brings us to Jeff Hardy.

Hardy had some successes during his first WWE run, but this a new ball game. When he came back to WWE in 2006, it was clear the company had big ideas for him. He was given some vignettes, and major buzz was around his return. Within a few months, he was the IC Champ. After a nice run, he and Matt Hardy had a fun tag team title run in 2007. That was a “nostalgia” run which was destined to be very short-lived.

During all of this, WWE had to be very hesitant in “pushing” Jeff too much. Obviously, it was because of his past drug/behavior issues. Some fans love to just ignore these things, but you can’t. When you run WWE as a publicly traded company, somebody’s life style is a huge, huge factor. By the time, Hardy was catching on with the fans again in 2007, WWE had no choice but to give him a chance.

In 2007, the following stars got injured and/or missed time: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho (already gone), Ric Flair, John Cena, Undertaker, Edge, and many more. WWE HAD to give a new star a huge run to the top of the card. Their roster was becoming thinner and thinner. Hardy was worth the shot.

In a rare sight, he defeated Triple H clean at Armageddon 2007 to become the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. With Randy Orton in the middle of a long title reign, Jeff had no shot of winning the gold. However, this was all about gauging the audience’s reaction to Jeff Hardy as a main event player. If it bombed, no big deal. He would be moved back down the card. It it caught fire, WWE knew they could always go back to him down the line.

In the weeks leading up to Royal Rumble 2008, the video promos and actions of Jeff Hardy MADE him into a star. During that time-frame, he was a made man. The fact is that Orton was not going to lose his title just a few months away from WM24. With John Cena coming back later on that night, Hardy had to lose. While some cried foul on that decision, it was a MAJOR win for Hardy. He proved he could hang with the “big boys.” he was no longer just some bit player in WWE. Jeff was a major player that money could be made from down the road.

After yet another suspension and a WWE Draft in the summer of 2008, he was moved to Smackdown for the push of his lifetime. Again, he was not just given the title on his first chance. He had to EARN it. He had to FIGHT for it. He had to scratch and claw for it. Losing time after time to Triple H on pay-per-view may seem ridiculous, but it was something that HAD to be done for this story to be properly told.

Fans were just dying for him to get the title at this point. In yet another rare sight, Jeff Hardy defeated Undertaker on a Smackdown episode in late 2008. The momentum was gaining. Fans were loving his chase. People wanted something “new” for the Blue Brand. When Armageddon 2008 rolled around, Edge was defending his WWE Title against Triple H and Jeff Hardy in a triple threat match. This was the final PPV of the year and just the right time to pull off a ‘shocking’ move.

Jeff Hardy pinned Edge to win the WWE Title.

It was never going to be a long reign. It was never going to be some huge run. It was always going to be a nice, little moment for Hardy fans that dragged fans into the following year. Hardy was not going to main event a WM event. Again, his history and tainted past would not headline WrestleMania. However, Hardy was champion. WWE does this kind of thing a lot to close December.

You saw it with Daniel Bryan last year. He was given his “test” with the World Title and did a good job. In 2009, Sheamus was given the WWE Title for a short “test run” on the top. Look at where those two are now…top of their game.

In late 2008, it was Hardy’s turn. Again, his title run was never a long-term project. It almost reminds me of Austin Aries in TNA right now. The momentum was just so large, it had to be done despite other plans. As most remember, Hardy lost the title to Edge a month later. Jeff went onto feud with Matt (brother) for a few months before going right back to the main event scene. Now, WWE TRUSTED him. He had passed his tests with flying colors. No more need to beat around the bush…Hardy was OVER!

He feuded with Edge once again to win back the WWE Title to begin the summer. After that, he had an epic feud with CM Punk where they traded the title back and forth up to Summerslam and Hardy’s final WWE match days later. It may seem like I am over-exaggerating when I state this, but I am dead serious…

In mid-2009, Jeff Hardy was one of the top stars in the entire industry. Behind John Cena, Undertaker, and DX, Jeff Hardy was THE man on WWE TV. If you did not live through that year, you would think I am lying. I’m not. Just three years ago, he was in the main event scene (closing PPV events as well), selling more merchandise than over 95% of the roster, as over as any other top star, and WWE Champion.

That is what makes today so sad to see Jeff Hardy in an Orlando sound-stage in front of 1,000 NON-paying tourists each week for 1.0 television ratings. My, oh my…

wrestling observer newsletter awards 2011(for the people who never read the results)

The awards are based on the time frame from December 1, 2010 through November 30, 2011.

“CATEGORY A” AWARDS – WINNERS

DETERMINED BY POINTS ON A 5-3-2 BASIS.

FIRST PLACE VOTES Is number 1.

LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD (WRESTLER OF THE YEAR)

1. HIROSHI TANAHASHI (417) 2,718 (new japan pro wrestling)

2. C.M. Punk (248) 2,102 (wwe)

3. John Cena (68) 946

4. Masaaki Mochizuki (9) 493

5. Randy Orton (2) 388

6. L.A. Park (51) 326 (cmll)

7. Mark Henry (8) 269

8. Averno (9) 191

9. The Rock (9) 188

10. Davey Richards (14) 185

MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER

1. DAVEY RICHARDS (201) 1,511

2. Hiroshi Tanahashi (165) 1,112

3. Daniel Bryan (104) 948

4. Prince Devitt (5) 785

5. El Generico (67) 598

6. C.M. Punk (43) 452

7. Akira Tozawa (19) 363

8. Averno (49) 359

9. Eddie Edwards (22) 353

10. Dolph Ziggler (14) 351

BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW

1. THE ROCK (319) 2,222

2. Georges St. Pierre (244) 2,035

3. John Cena (53) 1,244

4. C.M. Punk (2) 273

5. Anderson Silva (10) 211

6. Jon Jones (11) 146

7. Cain Velasquez 51

8. L.A. Park 40

FEUD OF THE YEAR

1. JOHN CENA VS. C.M. PUNK (190) 1,551

2. Randy Orton vs. Christian (74) 747

3. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards (61) 701

4. Blood Warriors vs. Junction Three (75) 673

5. Kevin Steen vs. ROH (56) 485

6. Michael Bisping vs. Jason Miller (45) 458

7. Briscoes vs. All Night Express (8) 352

8. Sanada & Soya vs. Sekimoto & Okabayashi (16) 344

9. Georges St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck (41) 295

10. Mark Henry vs. Big Show (17) 145

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR

1. GIANT BERNARD & KARL ANDERSON (233) 1,678 (new japan pro wrestling)

2. Mark & Jay Briscoe (174) 1,632

3. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi (87) 894

4. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (104) 674

5. Young Bucks (41) 425

6. Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi (19) 362

7. Cima & Ricochet (13) 311

8. Bobby Roode & James Storm (29) 295

9. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne (23) 215

10. Manabu Soya & Seiya Sanada (2) 116

MOST IMPROVED

1. DOLPH ZIGGLER (224) 1,478

2. Mark Henry (86) 828

3. Ricochet (79) 527

4. Cody Rhodes (24) 419

5. Zack Ryder (9) 314

6. Tetsuya Naito (28) 295

7. Wade Barrett (10) 236

8. Seiya Sanada (6) 196

9. Tama Tonga (19) 191

10. Kyle O’Reilly (2) 161

BEST ON INTERVIEWS

1. C.M. PUNK (338) 2,594

2. The Rock (178) 1,381

3. Chael Sonnen (137) 1,360

4. Kevin Steen (23) 490

5. Mark & Jay Briscoe (3) 361

6. Steve Austin (29) 228

7. The Miz (7) 161

8. Mark Henry (3) 112

9. Bully Ray (2) 106

10. Nick Diaz 92

MOST CHARISMATIC

1. THE ROCK (315) 1,906

2. John Cena (53) 1,151

3. C.M. Punk (81) 978

4. Hiroshi Tanahashi (51) 863

5. Georges St. Pierre (19) 359

6. Kevin Steen (26) 271

7. Chael Sonnen (26) 231

8. L.A. Park (15) 145

9. Clay Guida (2) 128

10. Zack Ryder (3) 126

BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER

1. DANIEL BRYAN (263) 1,829

2. Davey Richards (247) 1,655

3. Prince Devitt (30) 910

4. Yuji Nagata (29) 590

5. Eddie Edwards (13) 568

6. Zack Sabre Jr. (37) 254

7. Dolph Ziggler (3) 166

8. Kurt Angle (6) 154

9. Mike Quackenbush 106

10. C.M. Punk (4) 89

BRUISER BRODY MEMORIAL AWARD (BEST BRAWLER)

1. KEVIN STEEN (161) 1,082 (pro wrestling unplugged)

2. Togi Makabe (89) 718

3. Mark & Jay Briscoe (63) 626

4. Sheamus (50) 545

5. Bully Ray (45) 517

6. L.A. Park (94) 499

7. Sami Callihan (49) 487

8. Masato Tanaka (25) 461

9. Mark Henry (59) 452

10. Randy Orton (32) 186

BEST FLYING WRESTLER

1. RICOCHET (116) 1,473 (cmll)

2. Kota Ibushi (131) 1,092

3. Pac (125) 992

4. Evan Bourne (59) 600

5. Prince Devitt (38) 472

6. El Generico (42) 393

7. Sin Cara (35) 383

8. Rey Mysterio (23) 224

9. Mascara Dorada (2) 221

10. La Sombra (17) 197

MOST OVERRATED

1. CRIMSON (127) 1,011 (tna)

2. Mason Ryan (54) 756

3. Kevin Nash (97) 735

4. Mr. Anderson (83) 727

5. Jeff Hardy (34) 477

6. HHH (32) 369

7. Sin Cara (39) 328

8. Matt Morgan (6) 174

9. C.M. Punk (14) 114

10. Randy Orton (5) 112

MOST UNDERRATED

1. DOLPH ZIGGLER (119) 942

2. Daniel Bryan (112) 840

3. Alex Shelley (82) 741

4. Tyson Kidd (31) 622

5. Drew McIntyre (35) 376

6. Yoshi Tatsu (15) 277

7. Jack Swagger (6) 237

8. Christian (24) 217

9. John Morrison (2) 157

10. Chris Masters (27) 153

PROMOTION OF THE YEAR

1. ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP (313) 2,049

2. New Japan Pro Wrestling (275) 1,935

3. Dragon Gate (44) 914

4. Ring of Honor (61) 846

5. World Wrestling Entertainment (15) 659

6. CHIKARA Pro (41) 584

7. PWG (18) 580

8. Bellator (1) 239

9. All Japan (2) 110

10. CMLL (5) 108

BEST WEEKLY TV SHOW

1. WWE SMACKDOWN (188) 1,790

2. Ring of Honor (214) 1,603

3. Dragon Gate Infinity (108) 1,092

4. Ultimate Fighter (64) 838

5. Bellator Fighting Championships (43) 648

6. WWE Tough Enough (45) 404

7. WWE Raw (12) 360

8. CMLL (9) 197

9. WWE Superstars (15) 196

10. TNA Impact (2) 145

MATCH OF THE YEAR

1. JOHN CENA VS. C.M. PUNK 7/17 CHICAGO (333) 2,292

2. Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards 6/26 New York (112) 1,362

3. HHH vs. Undertaker 4/3 Atlanta (51) 890

4. Jun Akiyama vs. Suwama 10/23 Tokyo (75) 808

5. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata 4/3 Tokyo (39) 538

6. Kota Ibushi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi 6/10 Tokyo (15) 343

7. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito 10/10 Tokyo (6) 305

8. Kevin Steen vs. El Generico 12/18/10 New York (14) 183

9. Averno vs. La Sombra 9/16 Mexico City 107

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

1. DAICHI HASHIMOTO (552) 3,018

2. Uhaa Nation (23) 650

3. Takumi “Sho” Soya (24) 509

4. Obariyan (17) 315

5. Archibald Peck (15) 242

6. Fenix (3) 235

7. Dragon Lee (11) 185

8. Tommaso Ciampa (15) 111

9. Mike Dalton (2) 78

10. Dark Dragon 72

BEST NON-WRESTLER

1. RICARDO RODRIGUEZ (335) 2,357

2. Vickie Guerrero (191) 1,910

3. Jim Cornette (44) 532

4. Karen Jarrett (31) 430

5. Barrister R.D. Evans (6) 269

6. John Laurinaitis (14) 227

7. Truth Martini (8) 185

8. Michael Cole (11) 126

9. Ric Flair (7) 120

10. Teddy Long (6) 117

BEST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER

1. JOE ROGAN (214) 1,386

2. Kevin Kelly (77) 1,058

3. Michael Schiavello (113) 983

4. Jim Ross (112) 952

5. William Regal (65) 733

6. Mike Goldberg (22) 355

7. Scott Stanford (7) 344

8. Jimmy Smith (16) 242

9. Josh Matthews (6) 219

10. Nigel McGuinness (5) 188

WORST TELEVISION ANNOUNCER

1. MICHAEL COLE (568) 3,133

2. Booker T (37) 1,201

3. Jerry Lawler (27) 861

4. Taz (8) 334

5. Mike Tenay (7) 159

6. Josh Matthews (12) 124

7. Matt Striker (1) 92

8. Mauro Ranallo (2) 85

9. Gus Johnson 54

10. Todd Grisham 37

BEST MAJOR WRESTLING/MMA SHOW

1. WWE MONEY IN THE BANK 7/17 CHICAGO (374) 2,391

2. UFC 139 11/19 San Jose (40) 700

3. ROH Best in the World 6/26 New York (32) 542

4. ROH Final Battle 12/18/10 New York (15) 483

5. PWG DDT 4 3/4 Reseda (24) 378

6. UFC 129 4/30 Toronto (19) 274

7. WWE WrestleMania 4/3 Atlanta (12) 197

8. K-1 World Grand Prix 12/11 Tokyo (29) 188

9. New Japan G-1 Finals 8/14 Tokyo (4) 180

10. CHIKARA High Noon 11/13 Philadelphia (11) 129

“CATEGORY B” AWARDS – WINNER

DETERMINED BY FIRST PLACE VOTES

WORST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW

1. TNA VICTORY ROAD 3/13 ORLANDO 405

2. TNA Turning Point 11/13 Orlando 55

3. WWE Capitol Punishment 6/19 Washington, DC 20

4. TNA No Surrender 9/11 Orlando 19

5. WWE Night of Champions 9/18 Buffalo 18

6. WWE Vengeance 10/23 San Antonio 14

7. TNA Against All Odds 2/13 Orlando 12

8. AWE Night of Legends 10/15 Fisherville, VA 10

BEST WRESTLING MANEUVER

1. RICOCHET DOUBLE ROTATION MOONSAULT 174

2. Daniel Bryan LeBell lock 127

3. Randy Orton RKO 55

4. Daisuke Sekimoto German suplex 35

5. Prince Devitt Bloody Sunday DDT 31

6. Akira Tozawa delayed German suplex 29

7. Evan Bourne shooting star press 27

8. Kota Ibushi double moonsault 19

9. Pac 360 shooting star press 18

10. AR Fox Lo Mein Pain 18

MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC

1. WWE ANTI BULLING CAMPAIGN AND MISTREATMENT OF JIM ROSS 183(FIRST TIME THIS AWARD GOT A TIE IN THE RESULTS)

2. TNA sending Jeff Hardy out while under the influence on PPV 178

3. Perro Aguayo Jr. faking cancer 140 (AAA promotion)

4. WWE never letting up on twitter during Raw 43

5. matt hardy teasing suicide video on youtube 25

6. Jarrett/Angle feud putting up custody of kids in match 22

7. Michael Cole burying talent in commentary 15

WORST TELEVISION SHOW

1. TNA IMPACT 430

2. WWE Raw 197

3. WWE NXT 88

4. Hogan’s Micro Championship Wrestling 15

WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR

1. STING VS. JEFF HARDY 3/13 ORLANDO 317

2. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole 4/3 Atlanta 199

3. Kevin Nash vs. Ricky Morton 10/15 Fisherville, VA 35

4. john cena vs the miz 4/3 atlanta 9

WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR

1. HHH VS. KEVIN NASH 151

2. Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler 94

3. Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross 81

4. Sin Cara Azul vs. Sin Cara Negro 48

5. Winter & Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky 32

6. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan 29

Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff vs. Dixie Carter 29

8. Samoa Joe vs. Pope 19

9. Edge vs. Kane 16

10. Sting vs. Immortal 15

WORST PROMOTION OF THE YEAR

1. TNA 564

2. WWE 67

3. AWE 14

4. Strikeforce 13

CZW 13

6. Urban Wrestling Federation 12

BEST BOOKER

1. GEDO & JADO 287

2. Joe Silva 223

3. Mike Quackenbush 128

4. Hunter Johnston 109

5. Gabe Sapolsky 26

6. Konnan 20

7. Vince McMahon 10

BEST GIMMICK

1. C.M. PUNK (anti corporate wrestler)160

2. Archibald Peck 107

3. Zack Ryder (long island ice z)83

4. Briscoes 51

5. Kevin Steen 35

6. Alberto Del Rio 33

7. R-Truth 31

8. Sin Cara 19

9. Mark Henry 16

10. Fake Sin Cara 12

WORST GIMMICK

1. MICHAEL COLE (heel commentator) 298

2. Zack Ryder(long island iced z/internet sensation) 52

3. Eric Young 49

4. Cody Rhodes (the mask gimmick) 31

5. Johnny Curtis 25

6. John Laurinaitis 19 and chrismon 19

8. Hunico 18

9. Fake Sin Cara 10

BEST PRO WRESTLING BOOK

1. CHRIS JERICHO “UNDISPUTED” 345

2. Stan Hansen “Last Outlaw” 154

3. John McCarthy “Let’s Get It On” 51

4. Jerry Jarrett “The Best of Times” 28

5. Joe Laurinaitis “The Road Warriors” 18

6. Brock Lesnar “Death Clutch” 10

BEST PRO WRESTLING DVD

1. BRET HART VS. SHAWN MICHAELS 335

2. Wrestling Road Diaries 143

3. Memphis Heat 128

4. History of WrestleMania 22

5. Steve Austin Bottom Line 13

Top 12 Final Fantasy villans

12. Gilgamesh (FF5)
Gilgamesh is a recurring character in the series, but he made his debut in Final Fantasy 5 as the main boss, Exdeath’s, right hand man. The main characters run into Gilgamesh a total of 6 times in the game, and all the genji equipment can be stolen from him. Eventually, Exdeath sends him into the void for repeatedly failing to defeat Bartz and the other characters, where he has a change of heart. The party runs into him again and he attacks them, mistaking them for monsters, but he eventually ends up helping them defeat one of the final bosses.

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11. Yu Yevon (FF10)
Yu Yevon is a jerk summoner that is responsible for Sin, the giant jerk that has been destroying civilizations for 1,000 years. Yu Yevon isn’t a cool boss, and he’s not prominent in the game, but he is particularly villainous for being responsible for the mess of a game that Final Fantasy 10 was, and that’s enough to put him on this list.

https://i1.wp.com/images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/archive/4/4a/20110517005523%21200px-Yu_Yevon.jpg?w=840

10. Ultimecia (FF8)
Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future, bent on combining all time periods into one, because that sounds like a great idea. She sends her consciousness back in time, and takes control of Edea, then Rinoa, then Adel. The party eventually travels to Ultimecia’s time to destroy her. As time returns back to normal, Ultimecia finds her way to Edea, possessing her, and restarts the chain of events that leads to her ultimate defeat.

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9. Rufus Shinra (FF7)
The son and eventual successor to President Shinra, Rufus is even more diabolical than his father. He was the main financier for the rebel group AVALANCHE, because he wanted to see his father taken out, so he could have control of Shinra Corporation himself. He eventually gets his wish, as President Shinra is killed by Sephiroth acting through Jenova. When first encountered by Cloud, Rufus proclaims that he will rule by fear, instead of ruling by money which his father did.

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8. Garland (FF9)
The creator of Kuja and Zidane, Garland is directly responsible for the events in the game. He was created by the Terrans and given the task to find a new planet for them to live on. When he couldn’t conquer Gaia, he created Kuja to be his Angel of Death, killing Gaians to make room for the Terrans’ souls. Kuja eventually sends Garland to his death, but afterwards, a formless Garland reveals Kuja’s mortality, which sends Kuja over the edge.

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7. Professor Hojo (FF7)
Professor Hojo is a sick individual that is mostly responsible for all the events in Final Fantasy 7. He injects his son with Jenova cells while he is still in the womb. This son ends up being Sephiroth. He ends up shooting Vincent Valentine over his objection to Hojo’s experiments on humans and leaving him in a coffin after conducting experiments on his body. He also performs tests on unwilling subjects including Cloud, creating more than a handful of failed Sephiroth copies. The party eventually encounters him in Midgar, where he injects himself with Jenova cells, turning himself into a powerful monster that is ultimately defeated by Cloud and Co.

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6. Ultros (FF3/6j)
Ultros is a comedic octopus enemy that the party encounters multiple times in Final Fantasy 6. The party first defeats him on a raft, causing Ultros to invest his time in paying the returners back. He runs into the party at the opera house and tries to drop a 2-ton weight on Celes, but is promptly defeated. The best encounter comes after this, when the returners run into Ultros in the Esper Cave trying to steal the Warring Triad statues. During battle, Relm shows up and paints Ultros’ portrait, leading to his statement, “I’m nothing but a…stupid octopus!”

https://i1.wp.com/images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060217224042/finalfantasy/images/f/f2/Ultros_battle.png?resize=201%2C147

5. ExDeath (FF5)
Exdeath was a tree that housed evil souls, until the souls made the tree so self-aware it took on a human form. Exdeath was originally sealed by Bartz’s father along with the other warriors of dawn, however he manages to break the crystals that seal his power, and he rises to terrorize the world again. He eventually takes control of the void and returns to his form as a tree, before being beaten and consumed by the void. After this, he turns into Neo-Exdeath, whose sole purpose is to erase existence.

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4. Zemus (FF2/4j)
Though Golbez is the main antagonist through most of Final Fantasy 4, the party eventually learns he is being controlled by a more sinister being known as Zemus. Zemus is a Lunarian who wants to conquer Earth. He was sealed away by the other Lunarians, who longed for coexistence with the inhabitants of Earth, but his psychic powers allowed him to reach out to the two characters on Earth with Lunarian blood, Cecil and Golbez. When Golbez is released from Zemus’ power, he kills him along with help from FuSoYa, however this just unlocks his ultimate form: Zeromus.

https://i2.wp.com/images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120706164004/finalfantasy/images/9/94/Zemus.jpg?resize=427%2C625

3. Kuja (FF9)
Kuja is a genome created by Garland to kill Gaians and speed up the process of the Lifa Tree. His early goal is to harness the power of the eidolons to defeat Garland and conquer Terra for himself, however this plan changes after he learns that he is a mere mortal. His next goal is much greater, as he wants to eradicate all life, with the justification, “Why should the world exist without me? That wouldn’t be fair. If I die, we all die!” After Kuja’s final defeat, the party encounters the final boss, Necron, who is a being awakened by Kuja’s fear, despair, and hatred.

https://i2.wp.com/images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb57525/finalfantasy/images/d/de/AmanoKuja.jpg?resize=290%2C523

2. Sephiroth (FF7)
Sephiroth is the son of Professor Hojo and Lucrecia, given superhuman strength due to being injected with Jenova cells before birth. He was an accomplished SOLDIER until coming across Shinra research about his creation, whSephiroth, Kefka, Kuja, Zemus, Exdeath, Ultros, Professor Hojo, Garland, Rufus Shinra, Ultimecia, Yu Yevon, Gilgameshich drove him to madness. He thinks that Jenova is his mother and was one of the Cetra, as did Shinra, which would make him the last surviving Ancient. This causes Sephiroth to believe that he is better than humans. Sephiroth eventually manages to control Jenova’s body, killing a bunch of people in effort to find the black materia which would summon the ultimate spell, “meteor”, to destroy the planet. He may be the most popular Final Fantasy baddy, but the top spot on our list belongs to:

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1. Kefka (FF3/6j)
Ahh, Kefka. While Sephiroth was driven mad when he learned he was the result of a scientific experiment, Kefka is just flat out crazy. Kefka derives joy in causing chaos and pain. Kefka’s first awesome display of insanity is when he poisons the water supply of Doma, effectively ravaging the entire nation. After this, he learns how to harness the power of magicite and kills almost all the remaining espers to turn them into magicite, making himself even more powerful. Kefka overthrows Emperor Gestahl, takes control of the Warring Triad, and becomes the God of magic, changing the entire face of the planet. Kefka rules from his newly built castle, leveling entire towns that oppose him. Eventually, the party catches up with Kefka and manages to destroy him, but not before he could cement his legacy as best Final Fantasy villain of all time. Thanks for reading, we’ll leave you with one of Kefka’s elegant

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quotes: “I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE YOU!”