My thoughts of AJ Lee retiring from WWE

My thoughts on AJ Lee’s “retirement”.  

First and foremost, as a fan that has watched wrestling for 20+ years, I can honestly say that AJ Lee was one of the most overrated & overhyped performers that I’ve had the displeasure of viewing on a weekly basis. Everything about her from her look, to her in-ring style to her promos were average at best. She wasn’t the worst, but was nowhere near as good to be as pushed as far as she was IMO. If you are an AJ Lee fan, more power to you, but she was never my cup of tea and I will not be misisng her at all. She basically got over being “The Crazy Chick” which is one of the most overused characters in female wrestling. Luna was crazy. Sensational Sherri was crazy. Mickie James was crazy. Victoria was crazy. Daffney was crazy. This isn’t anything new and fans were treating it like it was with her.  


  

Despite my feelings for AJ as a performer, I at least respected her because I understood what she was trying to do. She understood that nobody took the Division seriously and she also understood that something needed to be done with that. She was trying to bring about change and I will give her props for that. The unfourtunate relaity is that AJ herself had become a liability to the Divas Division. How so you ask?


  


Do you remember WrestleMania 29? Remember the mixed tag match that was supposed to happen, but got bumped due to time constraints? That’s been the common trend and theme for the Divas Division for years. When short on time, it affected the Divas 90% of the time. That is the entire point of Total Divas(although i do not watch the show because i hate reality TV). Total Divas allows Divas to get more time on TV. Whether you like Total Divas or dislike Total Divas, you cannot deny that it has led to Divas getting more to do because the stories on that show (with the exception of anything involving John Cena and Nikki for whatever reason) are eventually told on RAW and Smackdown and often leads to week or month long feuds. Total Divas is WWE’s way of giving Divas more to do….but AJ Lee had no interest being a part of that show. OK, that’s fine, so as the show gets more popular off E Network, WWE began adding more divas to the show while AJ Lee again remains to be one of the few Divas on the show. It gets worst…Total Divas goes into the personal life of all the Divas on the show which can include their family, their boyfriends and their husbands…but who is AJ Lee married to? Exactly. Not only is her husband the guy that blackballed himself from WWE, but its also the very same guy that went on a podcast and basically told WWE to f*** off. For God’s sake, he’s being sued by a WWE doctor. Speaking of that, you mean to tell me if AJ Lee gets injured the same doctor that sued her husband has to help heal her? Awkward. Speaking of CM Punk, everytime AJ is on TV the fans can’t help but chant his name. 

I could say more, but I’m sure most get the deal. Best of luck to AJ in her future endeavours. I’m sure she’ll do fine in whatever she decides to do, but this wrestling fan will not miss her at all.


follow me on twitter @julianexcalibur

The Wrestling Court Episode 53- listener questiomns and “i just wat to win lol”

Join me, Rob and Jaydee as we do a show dedicated to listener questions including rob putting the haters of connor in their place, indy wrestlers,who will get released this year, cm punk and brock lesnar and more

follow me @julianexcalibur

link to episode is right here

(http://thewrestlingcourt.podomatic.com/entry/2015-03-14T18_04_07-07_00)

Video Game Reviews: WWE 2K15

With the last gen versions of WWE 2K15 (Playstation 3/Xbox 360) getting a universal negative reception, can the current gen versions (PS4/Xbox One) deliver the hype? I am Julian Cannon and I am reviewing the Playstation 4 version of WWE 2K15.

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This game looks more close to real life than ever this time. From the camera angles to the lighting and the arenas along with the detailed look on the superstars and divas, this is the best looking WWE game to date. Most of the superstars and divas had their entire body scanned for the game. The ring was even scanned so it can look exactly like it is on TV. Everything may look a little smaller than the previous games but it will grow on you in time.

The roster is actually a huge let down. Compare the roster on last year’s WWE 2K14 to this game and you will notice that last year’s game had the better roster. It is good to see the addition of new NXT superstars such as Sami Zayn, Adrian Nevelle, Bo Dallas, Rusev and more, the rest of the roster is the weakest since Smackdown vs. Raw 2008. Many of the superstars are very outdated with their attires and music. Most notably, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have their shield attire and music. However there are a few legends in the roster such as Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kevin Nash, Ultimate Warrior and some good ones including The Wyatt Family, The Usos, Xavier Woods, Big E and more but some of the superstars in the game are exact copies of themselves (for example, current Batista and retro Batista should be just one character with a costume change instead of two separate characters).

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The gameplay has changed drastically for this year’s game. A new chain wrestling mini-game has been implemented to make matches play out more realistically. Pressing the grapple button at the beginning of the match will initiate a collar-and-elbow tie up. From there, each opponent will press one of three face buttons to place their opponent into a side headlock, a wrist lock or a waist lock with a rock-paper-scissors style outcome. (Headlock beats Wrist lock, Wrist lock beats Waist lock, Waist lock beats Headlock.) Whomever wins will place their opponent in the corresponding hold while both players rotate the right analog stick to find a “sweet spot”. If the attacker finds it first, they’ll perform a move, if the defender finds it first, they’ll gain the upper hand. Additionally, the attacking wrestler can strike or wrench the opponent’s limb, making it harder for them to find the sweet spot. This mini-game only happens 2-3 times during the match and can be turned off via the options menu. Strikes have returned to their normal speed with improved collision and selling animations from the opponent. Unlike in previous games, superstars will not stand up immediately after taking a bump or slam, the player must rotate the right analog stick in order to stand up.

The stamina system returns in this game but it has changed as well. It is a three-tier stamina meter which controls the pace of a match. Each move that is performed, especially striking and running, will drain the stamina meter. During the first tier, the wrestler will be full of energy and perform moves easily. During the second tier, the wrestler will begin to slow down. In the third tier, the wrestler will be completely exhausted, even being unable to perform their finishing moves should it drop too low. Although the stamina meter cannot be turned off, stamina will slowly regenerate as long as a meter is not depleted and can be adjusted to drain more slowly. The game’s submission system has been revamped. The “Breaking Point” submission system has been replaced with a two part circular gauge. The mechanic of the system remains mostly the same, but players only have to mash a single button rather than all four.

Wake-up taunt finishers are now known as “Charged Finishers” which combines the taunt & finisher into a single animation by pressing the finisher button when the opponent is grounded. Signature moves can now be stored as well. Catch and Catapult finishers have also returned. Both fighting styles and skill sets have been brought in to ensure that the characters behave more like their real-life counterparts. For example, high flyers like Rey Mysterio will not do power moves and will focus on diving and springboard moves while giants like Big Show cannot climb the turnbuckle and will focus on power moves. Superstars who cannot climb to the top rope can climb to the second rope and deliver moves such as Bret Hart’s elbow drop or Big Show’s slingshot body splash. The gameplay changes take some time to get used to so you will have to play around with it for a few times but if you do not like the new controls, you can revert to the controls from last year’s game.

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The 2K Showcase focuses on two rivalries. One of them focuses on the Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud which began in SummerSlam 2002 and ended in Bad Blood 2004 and the other is the CM Punk and John Cena feud that began in the summer of 2011 and ended in February 2013. I personally liked the HHH/HBK feud more than Punk/Cena but there should have been more feuds added to this mode such as Rock/Austin, Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage, Bret Hart/Kevin Nash and more that can fill up this mode but choosing only two out of many raises more questions than answers. The way you play these feuds is the same dragging style that was featured since WWE 13. Fight until a certain part of the body changes to red, do objectives, cutscene and repeat. I felt that this style of cut and paste should have not happened in this game. Two games to have this style is enough, three is overdoing it.

The MyCareer mode is the best mode in the entire game period. You take your created superstar and you build his career (cannot create divas on this version of the game). You start all the way at the bottom in the performance center, then to NXT. After you reach the ranks there, you will then head on to Raw and Smackdown and eventually to main event WrestleMania and become a WWE Hall of Famer. During this mode, whatever you do, outcomes in the experience such as wrestling as a Babyface or heel, forming alliances, and etc. there is a never ending cycle to this so it can get repetitive down the line. Also, There is a 1-5 star match rating system that will rate matches based on technique, pacing and momentum, with squash matches getting lower ratings and back-and-forth matches getting higher ratings.

There is new feature that allows you to import images from your computer to the game for created wrestlers but I couldn’t access this feature at the time I was reviewing this game due to the servers not being open yet. Also, returning from WWF No Mercy a very long time ago, every superstar and diva in this game is editable. You can change their entire look but you cannot change their hairstyles. The biggest blunder is that you can only create 25 superstars.

This is the point where it gets very disappointing. Players can no longer create divas, arenas, championships, finishers, use custom soundtracks (although an update to next gen consoles will fix this soon), and the only preset custom entrance for custom superstars is the one where the superstar is carrying the phone.

There are also many and I mean MANY matches removed on the current gen consoles

1 vs 1:

– Inferno
– Ladder
– I Quit
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– Special Referee (yet is in the showcase mode)
– Casket (yet is in the Showcase mode)
– 3 stages of hell (Yet is in the showcase mode)
– Backstage Brawl

2 vs 2:

– Tornado Tag
– Extreme Rules
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Elimination Tornado
– Elimination Table
– Mixed
– Backstage Brawl

Triple Threat:

– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– TLC
– Backstage Brawl

Fatal 4 Way/4-Man:

– Battle Royal
– Hell in a Cell
– Ladder
– Steel Cage
– Table
– TLC
– Falls Count Anywhere
– 2 out of 3 Falls
– No DQ
– Backstage Brawl

6-Man:
– Elimination Chamber Tag
– Championship Scramble (Was removed in 2k14, but notable still)

Handicap Matches:
– All handicap matches

Final thoughts: if you want this game, the only good things are the MyCareer mode and the new gameplay features. You cannot hype a game this much for 6 months and then give us a half-assed game with missing features. 2K showcase is just a copy and paste of 30 years of WrestleMania from last year’s game and the Attitude era mode from WWE 13. I cannot find a reason why to spend $60 plus tax on a game that presents only half of what last year’s game had. If they kept all of those features in, this would have beat out last year’s game. I know this year’s game engine is built from ground up but that is no excuse to remove many features especially for the ones in the create suite community. The decision to take away the ability of creating divas is a slap in the face to every women who plays WWE games. Although you can create divas on the last gen version, that is not the point. My conclusion is that everyone should wait for next year’s game instead or keep 2K14 until next year. This game gets a final rating of 5.5/10

12 days of Christmas: WWE December to dismember review

Julian Cannon back for another post. Before i write the review, i would like to thank everyone for the feedback to my emails. I have received the most for the Jarrett/Hogan controversy that happened in July 2000. Some people thought that it was time for Booker T to shine while others claim it was not. I went back and fourth with the Emails and the conversations went pretty well.Now to my review of one of the most controversial pay per views in recent memory. WWE presents: ECW December to Dismember

When Vince brought back ECW, there were some who were hoping against hope that, with Heyman’s involvement, it would slightly resemble the ECW of old. Well, here we are, almost a year and a half later from the first One Night Stand, and it resembles some of the worst of WWE and is a pale imitation of what ECW used to be. In fact, they’re slowly phasing out the majority of the “extremists” that they brought back for the first “One Night Stand” two years ago.
Well, this ain’t your daddy’s ECW. Heck, this isn’t even entertaining wrestling. Before I get carried away, I’ll tell you that this PPV is an anorexic two hours and fifteen minutes. That’s right – TWO hours and FIFTEEN minutes. It also took place at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Georgia on December 3rd, 2006. Here’s the card:

One Night Only [the Hardyz vs. MNM] – How fitting that the latest ECW PPV get started with a match between MNM and the Hardyz! After the Hardys issued an open challenge to any tag team, MNM reunited and accepted their challenge. Now, I like the Hardys. I really, really do. I also like MNM – as a team though, not individual wrestlers. However, this match dragged and dragged and dragged. There were the usual Hardy spots and MNM did their best to keep up, but there wasn’t much that held my interest. Did I mention that this match really dragged?

Rob Van Dam Comments On the Extreme Elimination Chamber

Balls Mahoney vs. Matt Striker – After getting some caffine in my system to make sure this PPV doesn’t put me to sleep, I see Balls trying to take Matt and his pink vest to school and show him what ECW used to represent. Considering the amount of offense Balls gets in, I have to say that I’m surprised with the outcome.

Brian Pillman: Loose Cannon DVD Promo – Why this is here, I have no idea.

CM Punk Warming Up In the Hallway – Blink and you’ll miss Punk warming up, because we immediately head over to an unconscious Sabu, pulling off one of the tried and true WWE cliches and thereby eliminating Sabu from participating in the Elimination Chamber match. I have to agree with the audience when they immediately start chanting “Bullshit”.

Elijah Burke & Sylvester Terkay vs. F.B.I. -This match was not that bad but could have been booked better. Most people would not know who Sylvester is because he rarely did any matches during that time period.Elijah was starting to get his rise at this period but the match did not pay off.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Daivari – This isn’t a knock on Dreamer or anything, but this was a bad match that culminated with an out-of-nowhere pinning and then a spot where Dreamer, Tazz and Mercury do their damnedest to sell Khali’s monstrosity.

Paul Heyman Talks To Hardcore Holly – So, they decide to take Sabu out of the Elimination Chamber and replace him with Hardcore Holly? Mmmkay.

Mike Knox & Kelly Kelly vs. Kevin Thorn & Ariel – Kelly…Kelly? Ohhhhh wait…she’s the “exhibitionist” that (as far as I know) hasn’t “exhibited” a damn thing, right? Well, I’m familiar with Shelly Martinez and, even though she’s saddled with this pathetic “vampire” characters, she’s still pretty damn hot. In fact, if I were to start watching ECW, she’d be the only reason I’d watch. Anyways, her and her Vampy boyfriend take on the exhibitionist and some other dude. I could really care less about the shocking “turn” in this match and mainly focused on Shelly’s curves. I know she’s been wrestling for a while now, it’s a shame she couldn’t show off her skills in a REAL match.

Rebecca Interviews Bobby Lashley – Boy, Rebecca’s cute.

Extreme Elimination Chamber For the ECW Championship [Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam vs. CM Punk vs. Test vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Bobby Lashley] – So, lemme get this straight – after two successful years, this is why the elimination chamber was taken away from New Year’s Revolution? Oh, but wait – this is the extreme elimination chamber! This one has comes with a chair, a crowbar, a table and a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire! After the fellas take their pods, Holly and RVD get the wrasslin’ started in a fairly slow and boring manner (by RVD’s standards), until Punk is released right as RVD treats Holly to a nifty Rolling Thunder. Now, I realize it’s supposed to be every man for himself, but as far as I know, both Punk and RVD are faces, right? Yet, Punk spends the majority of his time kicking RVD’s ass instead of Holly’s (and eventually RVD is responsible for Punk’s ejection from the chamber – but not before Holly gets a very slow moving superplex of Punk off the top rope). Once Test came in and an eliminated RVD, I could care less who won and was glad this PPV was over.

In addition to all of those matches, we’re also treated to these extras from this year’s WrestleMania:

Post Chamber Interviews [RVD – Hardcore Holly – CM Punk – Test – Lashley – Big Show]

Rematch For the ECW Championship [ECW 12/5/06 – Bobby Lashley vs. Big Show]
Video: Unfortunately, there weren’t too many issues with the picture quality on December To Dismember. Even though the picture did have a slightly muted color and there were the usual slight compression issues due to all the pyro and graphic elements, it was still watchable and presented in the WWE’s standard full frame 1.33:1 ratio.

Audio: Even the crystal clear Dolby Digital 5.1 sound that enveloped my living room while I was watching, couldn’t help me from being terribly bored during this 2 hour PPV. However, viewers are also given the option of being bored in Spanish too.

Conclusion: When I originally started typing this review, I composed it the same way I do with every WWE product I review. Half way through, I realized that I really didn’t have much to say about the matches and everything was pretty negative. So then I thought about just listing the chapters (sans comments) and typing up a paragraph or two explaining why the review is different. Well, as you can see, I followed the template and posted some comments about each match.

Also to note out, Paul heyman did not book this pay per view, Vince McMahon booked 100% of this pay per view, in which in a few days, they both clashed at an airport, and Heyman was fired because of it. Heyman originally wanted CM Punk to eliminate the big show by submission, Big show had no problem with it, but Vince McMahon did. Also Heyman wanted Rob Van Dam to win the match but Vince was against it too. I think the ppv would have been better if Paul Heyman booked the entire ppv because you can tell from the fans at the arena that the show was going to flop. Overall, i will give it a 4/10

Wrestling News :10/22-10/26/ short review of the CM Punk dvd

MR. Cannon is back for another post, this time it will be a news weekly in the wrestling world in case if nobody knows whats going on behind the scenes

1. WWE Raw Rating Plummets…Again

I tried to warn you all. I tried. I really did. From June to September, the storm was coming folks. It was rolling in, whether fans wanted it or not. We are now in October, and the results show it all. There is nothing more that I can add that hasn’t already been said a million times.

You can blame the MLB all you want. You can blame the NFL all you want. You can blame a political debate all you want. You can blame new Fall shows all you want. In the end, it does not matter. Sports and other programming are on every year, and politics pop uo every few years…

There was NFL on in 2000 (plus every year).

There was MLB on in 2000 (plus every year).

There was a President’s debate on in 2000, 2004, 2008 and so on.

New shows were on in 2000 (plus every year).

Yet, ratings for WWE were just fine then.

Excuses can only go so far. I will repeat it once again. The three hour format is NOT going to be a permanent move. It just is NOT going to last. The sooner WWE/USA Network accepts this, the better! For anybody still wanting to wait out this three hour Raw experiment

2. Ryback – This Sunday

Make no mistake, this will be the biggest night of Ryback’s professional life. Maybe even his entire life? I don’t know. In any event, this is going to be a HUGE night for his future. It is not exactly a “make or break” match for him, but it is VERY close. If he bombs out there in his match, it could be a disaster. If he can work a solid match with CM Punk, he will be just fine going forward. It is a BIG, BIG, BIG test for Ryback. I always discuss how guys are given opportunities to sink or swim in WWE. Once they are given a spot to succeed, it is up to them to deliver. Well, WWE has given Ryback the chance of a lifetime. Now, he has to come through.

3.CM Punk DVD Thoughts

I viewed the new CM Punk DVD and enjoyed it. Many extras and matches are still waiting for me, but the documentary is all done. As expected, it was very well done. The entire thing is just amazing to see, as it features “other companies” and some rare wrestling footage. Clearly, this was a different kind of set. It not only focuses on the business but plenty on life as well. Great job from everybody involved. I do not buy wrestling videos a lot (two this year), so kudos to getting my purchase! For those wondering, I heard a rumor the DVD was selling VERY well. Absolutely NOTHING has been reported as such online, but I expect that to change soon. Eventually, the official numbers will roll in, and WWE will be pleased.

4.Samoa Joe To WWE?

From WrestleNewz.com:

“Because he’s currently signed to TNA, there is quiet talk within one WWE inner circle about trying to bring Samoa Joe in.”

Interesting. I wonder what “one WWE inner circle” that is. Perhaps CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and the other former ROH stars?

Just a guess.

In any event, this news report comes up every few months. As always, it goes nowhere. Plenty of guys backstage at WWE would probably love to see him join the company. However, it has yet to happen and likely never will. Too many chances have come and gone already. Too bad! TNA ends up signing Joe to a new contract, pushes him for a few months, and then he goes to the background once again for a couple of months. Looking at the TNA roster page, it looks like Joe just got the TV Title. Well, this story seems to explain why he suddenly got a belt. Just like Jeff Hardy, TNA wants to keep him on board.

I can understand that thought, but it is pointless right now. Until the WWE/TNA lawsuit comes to an end, nobody is “jumping ship” with any reasonable name value. Jeff Hardy can’t go to WWE. Samoa Joe, whether the rumor is true or not, is NOT heading up north anytime soon. The same goes for any other talent down in Orlando. However, once that ridiculous lawsuit ends? My, oh my! Look out…

5.Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara update

from the wrestling observer newsletter,

It’s said that the relationship between Rey Mysterio and WWE officials is strong right now. WWE has given Rey a lighter live event schedule because of his knees and they are happy because they know he has been helping out Sin Cara a lot.

Regarding Cara’s status, he has turned around in a lot of people’s eyes since being put with Mysterio. People now see him working hard as trying to adapt to the American style of wrestling.

6.And finally, Jeff hardy comments about CM Punk

Jeff Hardy was asked about the recent fan incident with CM Punk during a media conference earlier this month.

“I have not seen it but CM Punk is great wrestler but we are on different pages with our beliefs and who we are. I need to check that out. He is crazy talented but we do not keep in touch. I have nothing bad to say about him.”

everybody should remember that 3 years ago, they had a feud on Smack down  that made them personally dislike eachother to this day. Maybe if Jeff Hardy comes back to the WWE, their feud will continue.

What do you all think, ill be back next week for another newsletter

follow me @julianexcalibur

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…