Top 10 Worst WWE Draft Moments 

10. Muhammad Hassan and Davari drafted to Smackdown (2005)

To this day, Many fans and wrestling journalists cite the Muhammad Hassan gimmick to have the most genuine heat since Sgt.Slaughter back in 1991. Hassan and Davari made their main roster debut in December 2004 on the Raw brand as they got over with the crowd the minute they cut their first promo. During the 2005 Draft, they were drafted to Smackdown and then the terrorist angle happened between Hassan and Undertaker. It was made worse when WWE could not edit the skit off their show due to the real life London Train Station Bombing that happened a few hours before Smackdown aired. The Network told WWE to remove the Hassan Character off TV as his next appearance was on The Great American Bash PPV as Undertaker beat him in a match and he was never seen again on WWE TV. Hassan being drafted to Smackdown killed his career.

9. NWO drafted to Raw (2002)


Raw’s second pick in the first Draft was the trio of Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac as the NWO. This choice could have done great for them but Hall got fired after the “Plane Ride From Hell” incident two months later, X-Pac being sidelined with an Neck Injury in July during that year, and Kevin Nash tearing his quad during a match. Lets just finish off with the NWO in WWE was doomed the minute Hulk Hogan turned babyface.

8. Every ECW draft pick (2007-2010)
ECW was the worst offender of the WWE Draft since their brand was revived in 2006. In 2007, The Boogeyman got drafted to ECW, feuded with Big Daddy V, and then he got an injury that took him off TV for almost two years. In 2008, the United States Champion Matt Hardy got drafted to ECW and he had minimum success as he won the ECW Championship in September 2008 but by the time his reign started, he was an afterthought as Jeff Hardy was chasing for the WWE Championship on the Smackdown brand in which he eventually won it.

7. Triple H traded back to Raw (2004)


When Triple H got drafted to Smackdown in 2004, it was an shocking and unpredictable move. Everyone thought that his “Reign of Terror” on the Raw brand ended but then we find out the next morning that he was traded back to raw for Booker T and The Dudley Boyz. The only Superstar that benefited from the trade was Booker T as he turned heel and feuded with John Cena, The Undertaker and JBL as the Dudleyz were taken off TV by November of that year and HHH’s Reign of Terror continued on Raw for the rest of that year.  

6. Kane Drafted to Raw (2008)


Kane was the ECW Champion (repeat those words in your head) when he got drafted to Raw and he had to drop the belt to Mark henry who was traded to ECW the day after. While Kane was on Raw during this period, he had an terrible feud with Rey Mysterio, costed an DQ finish to the CM Punk vs. Batista match on PPV, and relegated to just another body on the roster within the next year. Another waste of an draft pick.

5. John Morrison, R-Truth, Edge and Chris Jericho drafted to Raw (2010)


2009 was the first full year of the “PG Era” and while Raw was extremely hard to watch that year due to the weekly guest hosts crap, Smackdown was the best TV show that year due to the top stars like CM Punk, Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho and much more. In the 2010 Draft, Raw’s picks were John Morrison, Edge, Jericho and R-Truth while Smackdown barely got any top stars. This was bad because Smackdown’s viewership before the 2010 Draft has been the highest since 2002-2004 and they took away their 4 biggest Stars away from their brand and what did that amount to? Edge returned to Smackdown later that year, Jericho left the company 5 months later, R-Truth became an joke and John Morrison was in mid card hell until his feud with Sheamus during the King Of The Ring Tournament later that year. What an crappy way to treat the Blue Brand in 2010.

4. The Announcer switch (2008)


So here is how this happened. Melina vs. Mickie James ended via no contest due to Melina receiving an legitimate injury thus we went from one pick to two picks. Jim Ross drafted to Smackdown while Michael Cole was drafted to Raw and from that day on, the commentary team on Raw has not been the same since. Although Jim Ross was about to quit the company, he chose to stay on Smackdown as him and Matt Striker made an very good announce team that year.

3. Kelly Kelly as the first draft pick to Smackdown (2010)


I will go short with this one. Kelly Kelly was the first overall Pick for the Smackdown Brand in 2010 and did anybody cared? no. did anybody got excited? no. It was extremely pointless and that is all i have to say.

2. The 2005 draft structure (2005)
The Draft picks for that year’s draft was not actually bad. But the problem was the way it was structured and i am glad that this only happened once. The Way it was Structured was that once an week, each respective brand has one pick for the entire month of June. During the first week, John Cena was drafted to Raw and Chris Benoit was drafted to Smackdown 3 days later. The Final week, both brands switched it up as they had two picks on their show as Raw drafted Big Show and Rob Van Dam as Smackdown drafted Christian and Batista. Again, not bad picks at all but both brands could have done their picks in one night instead of a span of 5 weeks. 

1. John Cena drafted to Smackdown but then back to Raw later that night (2011)


I do not think anybody who has written an list for the worst WWE draft picks/moments has chosen this moment within their top 5. We all thought that Cena being on Smackdown can boost up its relevance and star power but to only find out that he got drafted back to Raw at the end of the night infuriated me. I remember shutting my TV off when i seen that graphic on the Television as Michael Cole was laughing on commentary. But in retrospect, it was an good move that Cena did not stay on Smackdown or else the best rivalry on Smackdown in 2011 would have not happened (Randy Orton vs. Christian). I hope WWE never pulls off another stunt like that in future drafts.
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In my eyes. The “hate” for John Cena is over

I won’t be sporting the latest in ‘Fruity Pebbles’ merchandise from John Cena but I can honestly say that after tonight, he’s earned my admiration. I’m sure he’s relieved. Even though what he did for Sami Zayn was pretty awesome, that’s not why I’m turning in my ‘Cena Hater’ card. 

   

Cena has been eating crap from the WWE Universe for the better part of about five to six years now and tonight was no different. I’m actually glad somebody came up with a new chant to ridicule him because “let’s go Cena, Cena sucks” was played out two years ago. I watched as he took it all in stride, just as he does every other night, but what struck me tonight and engineered this sudden change of heart is the fact that no matter what, John Cena never flinches. I enjoyed him subtly manipulate the Montreal crowd to the point where the cheers drowned out the jeers. Sure, he was pandering like conservative at an NRA rally, but what else is he to do? Break character and “turn heel” (by the way, if you think that, you’re lost beyond all reason and there is no help for you). No, because you don’t become the top guy and stay the top guy for more than a decade by basing your reactions upon the whims of wrestling fans who are more fickle than a bipolar convention. Besides, in my opinion, him telling the fans what he thinks of them in response to their constant ragging would be the easy way out. The irony would be that those same haters would still give Cena the treatment because their little brains probably wouldn’t be able to process NOT hating him for whatever reason.  
As far as being the top guy goes, sure you can hate him for the way that the WWE stuffed him repeatedly down our collective gullets, but take a step back for a second and ask yourself is that really his fault? Sure, he was positioned as the face of the company and has always played a major role in WWE programming, but isn’t that the kind of dependability you want from your top guy? Save for his injuries, he doesn’t take days off, he still works house shows, and despite his reputed “five moves of death” (plus the new springboard cutter), you can tell that he never phones in his performances. Other wrestlers such as The Rock, Kevin Nash, Warrior, Bret Hart has their “five moves of death” as well. But again, most importantly, he’s still here. He’s outlasted the C.M. Punks and Kurt Angles of the world, and will certainly outlast Daniel Bryan (I hate disclaimers, but I will say if you think I’m throwing shade at either of those guys, you should have a seat next to the “turn Cena heel” guys). 
Who would have believed that the fresh faced Cena, during a backstage segment with The Undertaker after his first match against Angle would still be going strong all these years later? He’s been successful during every transitional phase the WWE has been through throughout his tenure with the company. From Ruthless Aggression to the WWE Universe era, he hasn’t missed a beat. Dear internet promoters and bookers, I ask, would you crown an undependable, oft-injured, locker room cancer YOUR world champion fifteen times? I’ll wait… 
The one thing i will also say is that for the most part within the last few years, anything that touches Cena’s direction is an death sentance to a long road down the ladder. Look at Bray Wyatt last year, Nexus in 2010, Ryback in 2013, and Rusev now. 

Continue to hate John Cena and boo him until your little hearts are content and your voice starts to crack, but don’t ever question his passion, love for the business or his loyalty to the WWE. To do that would only signify that the hatred has consumed and blinded you and you’re incapable of being objective. Will I ever cheer John Cena at a live event? Nope. Buy an armband? Nurp? Chide his haters and tell them they’re wrong? Not a chance. But I won’t continue to be so blind as to just hate him on principle for everything he does. That’s a step in the right direction. I’m sure John Cena will sleep better at night knowing that yours truly is no longer one of his biggest haters. 

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

5 Reasons why wrestling fans should get the WWE Network

Once again WWE has surprised the WWE Universe. Last week at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, Vince McMahon along with other notable WWE superstars and personalities officially announced the launch of the WWE Network.

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The specific details of the Network have been rumored for months, but with the irresistible force (the inclusion of all 12 WWE pay-per-views – including WrestleMania) meeting the immovable object (the “No way, Seriously??” price point), shit just got real. The 24/7 Network + Video on Demand service is the first of its kind.

After listening to the highly entertaining and informative press conference, it is clear that the WWE Network is a monumental step on how wrestling fans will consume content.

Here are five reasons why the WWE Network is a must have for any wrestling fan around the world:

#1: 24/7 LIVE FEED

A 24/7 network that is strictly wrestling. It’s a wrestling fan’s dream come true. You’ll feel the same adrenaline-pumping emotion when you watched Hulk Hogan body Slam Andre the Giant for the first time in front of 93,000 screaming fans.

No more NCIS before RAW or Sharknado (it’s not the worst movie in the world) before SmackDown. The WWE Network will have wrestling related content streaming all day every day, not to mention pre-shows, post-shows, behind the scenes action and interviews from superstars at RAW and SmackDown every week. Never before has there been so much content available to the WWE Universe.

#2: ORIGINAL SERIES ON THE NETWORK

Not a fan of Total Divas? Have no fear; there is no doubt that the WWE Network will have at least one exclusive series tailored just for you. Here is a brief run-down of each series announced at the press conference:

Legends House: A spin-off of MTV’s Real World – 8 former WWE superstars and personalities such as Roddy Piper, Mean Gene Okerlund and Pat Patterson will be living under one roof.  Of course, a camera crew is there to catch all of the hilarious, emotional and heart-stopping moments that these Legends endure in their everyday lives.

WrestleMania Rewind: With WrestleMania Rewind, the WWE Universe will get never-before-seen interviews and reactions from past and present superstars that have performed at the “Showcase of the Immortals”. Superstars such as Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton talk about their all-time favorite WrestleMania moments, Shawn Michaels talks about “the perfect match” he had with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 and Andre the Giant has a sit-down interview after his match with Big John Studd at WrestleMania 1. These are just some of the things that will be showcased on this series.

WWE Countdown: WWE Countdown is a one hour long series that will feature the top…well, whatever you can think of really. The very best matches, factions, catchphrases, villains, entrances, finishing moves, couples, managers, tag teams, divas and moments are just some of the categories highlighted at the press conference.

Monday Night War: Ah, of course, the Monday Night War. Everything you want and need to know about the battle between WWE and WCW will be featured in this series. Get exclusive reactions from superstars such as The Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels as they witnessed the fight right in front of their eyes. Did they honestly think they were going to go out of business? Find out by tuning in!

NXT: What better way to scout future talent and get behind a new favorite superstar than by watching WWE’s extremely popular developmental program NXT? Finally, wrestling fans will have an easily accessible, hassle-free way to watch the young superstars of tomorrow showcase their talents and try to make a name for themselves as they climb the ladder for a spot on the main roster.

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#3: LIBARIES OF WWE, WCW, ECW AND MORE

Get ready for more 80′s, 90′s & 2000′s wrestling action than you can handle. The WWE Network will have over 100,000 hours (4,166 days) of WWE, WCW and ECW footage, including every WWE, WCW & ECW PPV in history – as well as every single episode of RAW, SmackDown that has ever aired.

It would take you 11 years to watch all the footage the WWE Network has to offer – and that’s just what will be available at launch.

The WWE Universe will also have access to replays of RAW, SmackDown, Main Event, Superstars and NXT each and every week with just the simple click of a button.

#2: ALL 12 MONTHLY PPVS INCLUDED

One of the main reasons why the WWE has sold me into subscribing to the WWE Network is their dedication and vision when it comes to showcasing past and present PPVs. With the WWE Network, not only are you going to get all 12 monthly PPVs, but you will have the chance to relive every single WWE, WCW and ECW PPV in history.

In the mood to watch some old Mania’s before WrestleMania 30 airs? Just type “WrestleMania” in the search box and you will see a list of all 29 events. The same goes for any other PPV your heart desires.  That’s right, no more typing in “watch Royal Rumble 2002 for free” into the Google search engine.

Oh, what’s that? I haven’t convinced you into buying the WWE Network yet? The next category might change your mind.

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#1: THE PRICE

This one is the proverbial Stone Cold Stunner that seals the deal and wins you your first WWE Championship in front of 90,000 screaming fans – with your 22 year old fitness-model girlfriend eagerly waiting for you backstage.

For just $9.99 per month, this is what you’re getting if you subscribe to the WWE Network:

  • A 24/7 live stream of WWE programming
  • Over 100,000 hours of archives and exclusive footage
  • New series such as Legends House, WrestleMania Rewind, WWE Countdown and the Monday Night War(s)
  • All 12 monthly PPV’s
  • Every single WWE, WCW and ECW PPV in history.
  • Every episode of RAW and SmackDown in WWE history

It is astonishing how cheap the WWE Network is going to cost considering all of the content that will be displayed on a 24/7 basis.  Instead of paying over $600 a month for PPVs every year, you’re paying just $9.99, and that’s one hell of a bargain if you ask me. The WWE could have charged $20-$25 a month and Twitter still would have blown up. Come on, this is a no brainer for wrestling fans.

At launch, the WWE Network will be available on virtually any platform, including WWE.com, iOS, Android & Kindle devices (via the WWE App), Playstation 3 & 4, XBOX 360. Support for XBOX One and Smart TVs is coming this summer. All you have to do is sign up at WWE.com, follow the simple instructions and you’re all set. It really couldn’t be easier.

As John Cena announced out at the press conference, the WWE Network will officially launch on February 24, 2013 at 11:05pm directly after Monday Night RAW has concluded. The WWE has struck gold with this idea and the network will truly be a one of a kind experience and will change the entire landscape of the professional wrestling industry

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Also to note out, According to a report from F4Wonline.com, WWE sent out a memo stating that  footage of Benoit will be allowed to air on its new network, but with a caveat.  There will reportedly be an advisory played before every piece of video he  appears on.

For the FAQ, click on the link here http://www.wwe.com/help

follow me on twitter @julianexcalibur

retro review: wwe smackdown 10.31.02

Hey i am back for another retro review and every monday night, my posts will be Halloween related.this time is a halloween edition of wwe smackdown back from 2002

 

Opening match: Edge v. Chris Benoit. They work the mat with armbars to start, and Benoit floats into a facelock, but gets reversed into a hammerlock. Benoit pounds away in the corner to break and goes to a side headlock, but Edge escapes and knees him down. Gutbuster and Edge works him over in the corner, leading to a slugfest. Benoit hits him with a short-arm clothesline, but Edge lays him out for two. Benoit gets tossed and they brawl outside, as Edge sends him back in for two. Man, this arena is scary empty. Edge keeps hammering away, but Benoit makes with the chops until Edge suplexes him onto the top rope and out. He follows with a baseball slide, but Benoit rolls with it and drags Edge out of the ring in the process. Punishment to the shoulder follows, and back in he gets two. Edge’s shoulder meets the turnbuckles a couple of times, and Benoit grabs a standing armbar. Edge escapes, but gets elbowed down and sent back into the corner again. Backdrop suplex gets two. Drop toehold into a seated dropkick by Benoit, and a snap suplex gets two. Edge gets sent into the turnbuckles again, and Benoit breaks out the chops again. Charge hits elbow and Edge heads up, but gets cut off. They fight on top and Benoit goes down via an Edge-O-Matic. Both guys are down, and Benoit bails as we take a commercial break. We’re back as Edge comes back with a missile dropkick, but it whiffs and Benoit gets the crossface. Edge makes the ropes, but Benoit keeps pounding him with elbows. Rolling germans set up the diving headbutt, which misses. They start exchanging chops, which can’t be smart for Edge, but he manages to hiptoss Benoit into the corner and get another Edge-O-Matic for two. Faceplant gets two. Flapjack sets up the spear, but Benoit counters into the crossface. Edge gets cute and rolls through, but Benoit hangs on. Edge gets desperate and pulls on the ref, but Angle comes down and breaks up the hold. When Benoit yells about it, Edge hits him with a baseball slide and follows with a dive that misses Benoit and hits Angle instead. Whoops. Back in, spear finishes at 15:41. I sense retribution later on for Benoit. Great opener with good old fashioned wrestling. ****1/2

– Elsewhere, John Cena pays tribute to Vanilla Ice (looking disturbingly like him) while Tajiri hits on Mae Young. This is also the start of the rapper gimmick for john cena

– Elsewhere, Benoit crashes the party while looking for Angle, but it turns out that he was hiding behind the Scream mask. Cute.

– Elsewhere, Brock Lesnar (in his brilliant disguise as Brock Lesnar) meets up with Heyman, who has the balls to compare Brock-UT to Ali-Frazier. Yeah, OKAY. Paul doesn’t think Brock can beat him. Even JEFF HARDY beat the Big Show, which is why this is going to turn into a huge disaster.

– Big Show v. Rikishi. Show attacks on the outside and they head in, as Show drops some elbows and pounds away. Clothesline gets two. The  heat is ridiculously obvious here. Corner clothesline and slam sets up the chokeslam at 2:25. DUD Hey, he still sucks, no matter how many people he squashes. Oh, and it’s a Big Show interview as a bonus, lucky us. He’s winded after TWO MINUTES of wrestling.

– We return from a commercial, and Big Show is STILL talking. He cuts the most god-awful boring promo (well, since his one last week) until Brock finally comes out to make him shut up. They proceed to cut more  promos on each other, and then leave. Wow, that so made me wanna buy the PPV.

– Chocolate Pudding match: Dawn Marie v. Torrie Wilson. The birthday cake rule goes into effect right away, as they hit each other with pastry, and into the pool for some booby-popping action. Torrie suplexes her and pulls off the jacket, as Michael clarifies the rules of the match. They do more rolling around and Dawn Marie ends up on the floor and gets pinned. This was what it was.

– Elsewhere, Mattitude arrives at the party (complete with portable entrance music) and tears Tajiri away from Mae Young. I thought he was supposed to be a heel? That’s a total babyface move in my book.

– Elsewhere, the Guerreros make lewd remarks at Stephanie and Vanilla Cena plays messenger boy.

– Matt Hardy Version One v. Tajiri. Fun facts: Matt always got more Halloween candy than his brother, and he’s seen all the Friday the 13th movies. . Matt armdrags Tajiri and celebrates a little bit out of proportion to the damage done. They fight over a wristlock, which Tajiri wins, and he returns that armdrag, and celebration. Well, now you know Matt means business – you don’t mess with a guy’s gimmick. Tajiri kicks him in the face to shut him up, and Matt bails and gets hit with a quebrada. Back in, Matt catches him with the Side Effect for two. Matt chops away in the corner, but Tajiri fires back. Man, every time they do the camera angle that faces towards the hard camera, it’s like the lights went out or something. It’s getting pretty sad. Matt goes to a neckvice, but Tajiri escapes, only to walk into an elbow and legdrop. The Yodelling Legdrop misses and both are down, and they slug it out. Tajiri hits him with a seated dropkick, and a thrust kick gets two. Handspring elbow and sunset flip, but Matt blocks. Tajiri bridges out and gets another kick for two. Tarantula is reversed to a german suplex for two. Nice counter. Matt gets caught in the move on the second try, however. The Big Kick misses, as does the Twist of Fate, but a good old low blow allows the Twist to finish at 7:35. . ****

– Elsewhere, Stephanie meets with “Vince” in the back , who is obviously Eric Bischoff in a mask, and he unmasks and gives her a Halloween kiss. She seems to like it, however. Just when you thought the storylines couldn’t get any stupider than necrophilia and kidnapping, someone goes and books an angle where Bischoff is attractive to a member of the opposite sex…

– Kurt Angle v. Eddy Guerrero. Eddy sadly decides not to wrestle in his Zorro costume, opting instead for his El Matador tribute green tights. They take it to the mat to start, and Eddy goes to the ropes as a result. Some may call it cowardice, I call it strategy. Angle grabs a headlock and hiptosses Eddy, and gives him a double-leg so dramatic that Eddy ends up on the floor. For strategic reasons, of course. Back in, Eddy gets a cheapshot and stomps a mudhole in the corner. Angle comes out of there with a clothesline, and adds a flying forearm to his moveset for two. Eddy sends him into the turnbuckle and drops him on his head with a backdrop suplex to take over. Choking follows, although he denies doing so to the referee and I believe in Eddy, so I’ll assume that I was just seeing things. Eddy grabs a chinlock while the crowd actually starts chanting for Angle. Ingrates. Angle escapes and fights back, but Eddy goes back to the chinlock in an awkward spot. More alleged choking, although that sounds exactly like the kind of stuff people would say about Eddy in an effort to slander his good name. Suplex back in gets two. Back to the chinlock. Okay, this is getting a bit excessive. Angle escapes, but runs into a knee and we go back to the chinlock. Eddy notices an irregularity in the balance of the ropes, and pulls them down a bit to equalize them again. Somehow this gets interpreted as doing something wrong. Angle reveres to the anklelock, but Eddy breaks and dropkicks him in a seated position. Eddy keeps pounding away in the corner, but Angle returns fire with a german suplex. They slug it out and Angle gets a pair of clotheslines and a backdrop, but can’t suplex him. So he opts for a belly-to-belly instead, and it gets two. Eddy comes back with a brainbuster attempt, but Angle reverses to the rolling germans. The strap is down and the Angle Slam is reversed to a cradle for two. SWANK! Angle charges and hits elbow, and Eddy follows him down with a tornado DDT for two. Eddy hooks the Lasso From El Paso, but Angle reverses to the anklelock. Eddy makes the ropes. Another try at a german by Angle, but Eddy has a leg spasm due to the anklelock and somehow he ends up hitting Angle low. He should see a doctor about that. Brainbuster and Eddy goes up, but Angle shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Eddy. Chavo tries to run in, and then Benoit tries to motivate Angle by showing him the tag title belt, but clumsy Kurt falls into it headfirst and hits the mat again. Eddy’s frog splash finishes at 13:21. This was some fine professional wrestling that you can show to your children and be proud of watching. ***1/4

– Elsewhere, Angle breaks up the party and looks for Benoit. He suspects the guy in the Scream mask, but that turns out to be Brother Love, which is a reference that no one these days is even gonna get. Benoit attacks him and they brawl all over the party until Benoit gets a crossface, which Angle reverses to the anklelock. Angle Slam onto the table and both guys are dead. Man, even the Halloween party is featuring great wrestling tonight.

– Brock Lesnar v. Rey Mysterio. They should do a swerve and have Rey unmask and be revealed as Big Show. That’d be awesome. They could do like Undertaker & Kane in 98 where you never knew which was which. Chase to start and Rey gets a quick legdrop, but gets caught and tossed around. He escapes and runs away again, and tries hiding behind the stairs. Brock thinks he’s smart, but Rey hides under the ring, and sneaks around for a dive off the top to frustrate Brock. Rana is blocked by Brock, and you know this ain’t gonna be good. And indeed, Brock swings Rey like a bag of garbage, into the post. Holy CRAP did that look painful. Back in, more abuse for Rey follows. Brock pounds him in the corner, but Rey dodges him and gets a 619 to the midsection and a seated dropkick. Another 619 is blocked by Big Show, who tosses Rey into the crowd to ruin a perfectly good match at 3:58. * Show manhandles Lesnar and chokeslams him through the table, end of show. You’d think that 12,000 people at a TV taping would tip them off that Big Show as main eventer isn’t going to work, but what do I know, I’m just a wrestling fan?

The Bottom Line:This was a great show and i was younger when i first saw this and i felt that i needed to see it again. also we got a glimpse of what the future of john cena,brock lesnar and edge and many more..but the match of the night was edge vs chris benoit

31 days of Halloween: top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

I am back with another post, this time, the sequel to the top 10 worst gimmicks of all time, This time it will be the top 10 best wrestling gimmicks of all time

10. The Boogeyman

Like many gimmicks on this list, the Boogeyman gimmick remains a cult favorite with a lot of fans. Marty Wright got booted from Tough Enough for lying about his age, but got what he wanted out of the deal anyway. WWE saw potential in him, and he ended up with the Boogeyman gimmick. Wright embraced the gimmick wholeheartedly. You really couldn’t have asked for more. His recitation of nursery rhymes, combined with his mannerisms made what should have been a ridiculous gimmick something not only believable, but occasionally creepy. The crawling, the fantastic makeup, and the mouthful of worms combined to make WWE’s version definitely creepier than the Boogeyman from The Ghostbusters cartoon. Wright lasted nearly four years off and on with WWE with this gimmick, and scored several high profile wins over talent such as JBL and Booker T. Boogeyman remains proof that any gimmick can be successful if talent is willing to sell out for it to make it work.

9.Gangrel

The Vampire Warrior gimmick began in Memphis in the USWA, which has been home to several outlandish gimmicks. He parlayed that into a job with the World Wrestling Federation, thanks to Bruce Pritchard and Vince Russo, who felt that a vampire gimmick had legs. The character was fleshed out a bit by giving it a gothic twist, similar to what fans had seen in the screen adaptation of Interview With A Vampire. However, the true influence for the character came from the game Vampire: The Masquerade. Much like The Boogeyman, the behind the gimmick (David Heath) embraced it wholeheartedly and made it work. He would be given a couple of lackeys – Edge and Christian – in a stable called The Brood. It could be argued that a big part of the success Heath enjoyed is due to the Brood’s intro, because this was the greatest entrance ever. Gangrel could deliver in the ring, though. Everything about this gimmick worked, from blood baths to the spitting of the blood to his participating in the Ministry with The Undertaker.

8.Latin American Exchange

These three men took the world of pro-wrestling by storm, in many ways. They were a very unique team with Konnan on board, as the revolution began in TNA. The team of Homicide and Hernandez would capture many championships, Have their own Commentator table, and along with many bloody battles along the way, with names such as The New Age Outlaws, The Dudleys, Beer Money, and AJ Styles and Daniels. It’s been prove true over the past few years, there is nothing like the original as The Latin American Xchange can never be duplicated.Clearly they were the best group in TNA until the Main Event Mafia in 2008.

7.Sting

ting is arguably the most popular wrestler of all-time. He was named “Most Popular Wrestler of the Year” four times by PWI, which is more than any other wrestler.

He became known as WCW’s “Franchise” and was its most important star from the late ’80s until the company folded in 2001.

Sting is currently the only wrestler to ever win the NWA, WCW and TNA world titles and is considered by many to be the best wrestler to never step foot in a WWE ring.

Sting was WCW’s brightest star in the ’90s along with his trademark blonde flattop and various face paints.

Sting feuded with many of the company’s biggest stars including Sid Vicious, Lex Luger, The Great Muta, Cactus Jack, Vader, Nikita Koloff, Rick Rude and most famously Ric Flair.

Flair and Sting feuded for years and it was Sting who would defeat Flair in the last WCW match ever.The most dramatic moment of Sting’s career happened in 1996. Sting traded in his bright blonde hair and carefree persona and transformed into a gloomy and dark Sting.The new Sting wore all black, covered his face in white paint and would often descend from the rafters during shows. Sting would not speak on WCW programming for over a year.It was during this time period that WCW held a distinct edge over the WWE in the Monday night ratings “war.”Some of WCW’s success had to be attributed to the presence of Sting. Many fans tuned into the WCW programming to find out if and when Sting would make his next appearance.In December of 1997, Sting captured the WCW title from Hulk Hogan in the main event of Starrcade.Sting continued with WCW until the company was bought out in 2001.Sting joined the TNA wrestling company in 2006 where he still competes under the same name.

The man they call Sting is one of the greatest professional wrestling stars ever.

6.Raven

Raven – yes raven this guy was deeply disturbed he wore all black and looked like he would kill you and in his mind he probably was.From Scotty Flamingo in WCW , to Johnny polo in WWF, Raven Would soon land in ECW on January 1995 . Raven IMO is singlely the most underrated, underutilized character ever! Raven was this character that could go in many different directions . He was an ECW hardcore legend he put on some of the most extreme matches in ecw history with Tommy dreamer,The Sandman and Justin credible . Look at the promo work he did to he was able to be well worded with his work to he was able to run with emotions that IMO I believe other wrestlers look back and look to feed on. The funny thing is this guy could work the heel so well his character was made for it but he was able to get the fans behind him. In WWE,TNA,WCW and ECW, this guy had a gift maybe because deep in our minds we understand him. He won quite a few titles but when he got into wwe it seemed like they were to scared to push him I would loved to see him and Kane or undertaker feud I really would

5.Goldust

Yes Goldust I agree with a comment Mean Gene or Mick Foley said Without Goldust you might have never seen an attitude era, But then again it was ECW involvement and Brian Pillman’s “Pillman got a gun” segment.But anyways, I mean he was the man that started it pushing the envelope you never saw anything like it I mean you didn’t know what he was gonna say or do next. He not only should be on there because of that but because he deiced to take himself out of bein dusty son. He was also very good in the ring and I always just wondered that if it wasn’t for back stage politics how far he could of gone. Goldust was able to draw heat and gain fans especially during his rivalry with Lawler and his team up with Booker t.Scott Hall even said in an interview one time that he did not want to work with that guy because of the gimmick. Goldust will never get the credit he deserves – Cody Rhodes. I agree with that he never will I honestly think he should be IMO in the Hall of fame.But we will never know

4.Kane

Kane has evolved through the years, becoming at times a comedic character. He’s been masked and unmasked, heel and face. Way back when, though, the character was inspired by one of the great horror icons. Glen Jacobs himself has said that his portrayal of Kane was heavily influenced by none other than Michael Myers, the antagonist of Halloween. Despite the obvious differences in color patterns, the similarities are there – a slighted brother hellbent on destruction, the mask, remaining silent for years. In his early days, and occasionally in the years since, Kane was an indestructible force that was constantly moving forward. As time has gone by, there have been layers added to the character. At its roots, though, the Kane figure remains a dominant monster in WWE. For me, the night he took of that mask in 2003 is the greatest moment in the history for the big red machine

3.Mankind

The original idea for this character was “Mason the Mutilator”, a name dreamed up by Vince McMahon. Foley himself suggested the change, and the rest is history. Long before Mankind was a lovable underdog, he was a monster. Mankind was originally a masochistic sort that lived in boiler rooms, tucked away from society. Once he was brought into society, he was a force of destruction. Seemingly incapable of controlling himself, Mankind was prone to acts of violence and screeching fits of masochism in the middle of the ring. Mick Foley has always been able to deliver on the microphone, and his eloquent monologues and understanding of the value of vocal inflections allowed Mankind to become a very unsettling character on WWF television in the mid-90’s. Even now, watching the interview segment that results in Jim Ross having the Mandible Claw applied to him by Mankind gives me an uneasy feeling. Mankind is one of the truly great characters in wrestling history.

2.John Cena (rapper)

I’m still in shock over this.

When he debuted in the WWE, John Cena was one of the bland, faceless blue chippers. The only thing that made him stand out were his pastel tights. And then, one day, Stephanie McMahon caught him free-style rapping. Thus, Cena ditched the colorful shorts and put on some jean shorts as he adopted a white rapper gimmick. “Well, that’s it for Cena,” I thought.

And a weird thing happened. Fans started to root for him. This totally blew my mind. A rap gimmick hardly works for black wrestlers. Does anyone remember the No Limit Soldiers? Me neither. It’s even worse for white wrestlers. I mean, when I think of white rappers, I think of pop culture jokes like Vanilla Ice and Snow… and of a barely remembered tag team known as PG-13. How is this black hole of a gimmick actually getting John Cena over?

Then Cena took it to the next level. He started wearing throwback jerseys and pump shoes. He blinged out the US Title. OK, I thought, maybe fans are OK with white rappers since the Eminem thing. But Eminem’s not the kind of guy you associate with the “bling.” And Cena was also starting to do stupid puns revolving around the words “deez nutz.” Fans are going to turn on him soon, aren’t they?

In less than a year, Cena would ride the “white rapper” gimmick all the way to the WWE Heavyweight Title.

Oh, sure, eventually some fans would get tired of the gimmick and start booing Cena. And Cena would gradually drop the more overt aspects of his persona (like the rap offs) to become a superstar reminscent of Hulk Hogan. But that doesn’t change the fact that Cena parlayed a “white rapper” gimmick into one of the longest title reigns in WWF/WWE history.

1. The Undertaker

When the Undertaker debuted, it was assumed that it would be just another cartoonish gimmick that faded away relatively quickly. Instead, the character gained a cult following even as a vicious heel, and survived longer than most gimmicks – cartoonish or not – do in professional wrestling. The Undertaker has become an iconic character, the “franchise” of WWE, and an attraction unto himself. The original look for the Undertaker was based on the morticians of the old west, and the close relationship with death was enough to make people uneasy. His affinity for locking people in caskets and undead appearance furthered the effectiveness of the gimmick. As the years went on, The Undertaker became a cult leader, a biker, returned to his undead persona before becoming something of an undefined supernatural force. No matter how often this topic is revisited, or how far into the future it goes, it’s going to be virtually impossible to knock The Undertaker off this perch.

 

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.

WWE:No Way Out 2012 review

By Julian Cannon

World Title: Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero 

Sheamus entered first to a big pop with Ziggler coming out second. Sheamus used power moves to take him down early while Guerrero cheered on Ziggler. After each guy ran the ropes, Ziggler hit a perfect dropkick to the face of Sheamus. My opinion is that Ziggler has the best dropkick in the business. You can tell early that the crowd is cheering Ziggler, which isn’t a surprise since the NY/NJ area always has smart fans at the show. The early story was how Ziggler kept using his speed, but Sheamus was ready for him and he nailed Ziggler with a sharp elbow to the throat. Ziggler was able to gain control by driving Sheamus’ left arm into the turnbuckle. Ziggler hit a nice DDT for two. There was a nice “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant as Dolph dropped him with a knee to the gut for two. Ziggler did a headstand while having Sheamus in a headlock. Now that’s some showing off. Sheamus put Ziggler on his shoulders and Ziggler ended up countering a power move into a DDT. Ziggler hit him with another dropkick. He followed that up with a body scissors. Ziggler went for a rollup. He held the ropes for leverage, but the ref caught him at two. Sheamus countered him for a two count of his own, which Ziggler kicked out of and then he hit a nice neckbreaker for another nearfall. Sheamus hit Ziggler with his axehandle, but the running knee missed as Ziggler put him in a sleeper. They messed up a spot after Ziggler jumped off the top and that eventually led to Ziggler hitting the Fameasser for another excellent two count. The crowd popped big for that one because they were very supportive of Ziggler. With the crowd clearly chanting “Let’s Go Ziggler” the incompetent Jerry Lawler said “listen to the WWE universe let’s go Sheamus.” WTF? Brutal. Great spot with Ziggler hitting a top rope facebuster for two. The crowd popped big for that one while Booker let out a “you gotta be kidding me” line. Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Sheamus countered with the Irish Curse backbreaker. Sheamus hit his ten clubbing blows to the chest of Ziggler. Ziggler tried to come back with a sleeper, but Sheamus powered out and dropped him with the White Noise. Now the crowd was cheering Sheamus. Brogue Kick finished off Ziggler at the 15 minute mark to get the win. 

Winner: Sheamus 

Post match, Sheamus celebrated his victory with the fans. 

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was a very solid wrestling match that had an exciting finish with Sheamus winning over the crowd by the end of it. It wasn’t a case of the crowd only liking Ziggler. They liked both guys a lot, so it led to an interesting atmosphere. There were a few parts in the match where the action was a little too slow for my liking due to Ziggler grabbing headlocks a little too much, but that’s a minor gripe really. I think Ziggler proved again that he needs to be a permanent main eventer rather than somebody that only gets a title shot due to the injury of another performer. Hopefully Ziggler can free himself of Guerrero, who he doesn’t need by his side. 

Backstage, Vince McMahon was walking while John Laurinaitis walked up to him wearing a red jacket, blue tie and white shirt. He’s the new Mr. America, brother. He’s still selling the injuries from Over The Limit while McMahon shows no sign of injury despite getting KO’d by Big Show on Monday. Laurinaitis tried sucking up to him while bringing up that Vince had a concussion due to Big Show’s punch on Raw. McMahon didn’t say anything. He just walked into his office. Roving backstage reporter Josh Mathews talked to John Laurinaitis who said he didn’t have a problem dealing with pressure. He was rude to Mathews and blew him off by telling him he had a show to run. 

Tuxedo Match: Santino vs. Ricardo Rodriguez 

Both guys are dressed in tuxedos. To win the match you have to strip the tuxedo off the other guy. I have a feeling I won’t need to use in-depth play by play for this one. Santino hit an atomic drop followed by an inverted atomic drop. He took off Ricardo’s jacket, which led to him using the jacket leading to him using it like a matador dealing with a bull. Santino took off Ricardo’s shoes. There was a “boring” chant from the crowd. I don’t disagree with that. Santino took off Ricardo’s shirt and then he gave him a hip toss. Santino took out the Cobra, but Ricardo prevented that and threw the Cobra out. He ripped off the pants and shoes on Santino. The comedy continued as we saw that Santino had a Cobra sock on his right foot. He kicked Ricardo with the Cobra sock as Cole yelled about the Cobra striking. Santino ripped off Ricardo’s pants for the win after four minutes. 

Winner: Santino 

Post match, we found out that Ricardo wears white underwear that has Alberto Del Rio’s face on the back. The announcers laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. 

Anaysis: No rating for a comedy match. It was fun at times, but also embarrassing at other points. I think this would have been better as a Raw or Smackdown match rather than something that deserved to be on PPV. 

Backstage, CM Punk was interviewed by Matt Striker. The camera did a close-up of his brand new “I dig crazy chicks” t-shirt. Punk said he wasn’t thinking about AJ because he was so focused on his opponents. AJ showed up. She wanted to wish Punk luck. She kissed him on the cheek. Punk told her thanks, but luck is for losers. Striker tried to get a comment from AJ. She said nothing. 

Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Cody Rhodes 

The story where Christian turned face because he wants to be remembered the way Edge was is a little faulty because Edge got over as a heel way more than he did as a face. That’s WWE revisionist history, though. It’s the same thing they do with Big Show where they act like he’s never been a heel before. Anyway, they worked a fast pace early with Christian getting the advantage. Christian knocked him out of the ring and then hit a nice dropkick between the middle and bottom ropes. Rhodes was able to come back by dropping Christian face first on the ring apron. Christian got the advantage, but Cody came back by driving Christian’s head right into the ring post. Rhodes worked on the left arm of Christian for the majority of the match by putting it in submission holds and attacking it with strikes. Christian was on the top rope, so Rhodes shoved him down, which sent Christian crashing into the apron and then onto the mat below. That looked painful. Christian threw Rhodes into the steps and then he hit a DDT by off of the steel steps. That was a very creative move. They made their way back into the ring where Christian was able to hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Christian also hit a cross body block off the top, which Rhodes rolled through to earn a two count. Rhodes ended up tripping up him up when Christian was on the middle rope. Rhodes went to the middle rope where he took too much time. Christian hit a hurricanrana for a good two count. Rhodes fought out of the Killswitch to hit an Alabama Slam for another count of two. Christian came back with a reverse DDT. The high quality of their counter wrestling is very impressive. Rhodes countered a sunset flip for another nearfall. Christian came back with the Killswitch for just two. I guess since that’s not his finisher anymore that it’s okay to kick out of it. Christian went up top, Rhodes got knocked down again and Christian went up for a Frog Splash. Rhodes got his knees up. Rhodes went for the Disaster Kick, Christian moved and Christian hit him with the Spear for the win after 12 minutes. 

Winner: Christian 

Analysis: *** I wish the crowd was into it more early on, but the crowd became pretty loud by the end because they realized they were witnessing an exciting matchup. It was what I expected to be. They got about twelve minutes, they told a good story with Cody in control early and then Christian did an awesome job of making a comeback, which led to his win. Like I wrote in the preview of this event, I said that Cody would lose this match so he could move on to bigger things like winning the Money in the Bank match in July. He’s my pick for that. He’s graduated from the IC Title so to speak. It’s time for him to move up the ladder. Christian’s a very good IC Champ because he always has above average matches. That’s what you want to see out of your IC Champ. 

Fatal Four Way #1 Contenders Match: Primo & Epico w/Rosa & AW vs. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Darren Young & Titus O’Neil (The Primetime Players) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) 

The winners of this match get a tag team title shot. It’s nice to see WWE building up a tag team division again. The rules are two guys wrestle in the ring while the other six stand on the apron. The first pinfall or submission wins the match. It was a fast paced match from the get go. There were a lot of quick tags. The Usos hit a nice flapjack into a Samoan Drop on Gabriel. O’Neil tagged in for a pinfall attempt for two. O’Neil slammed down Gabriel and then suplexed his own partner DYoung onto Gabriel for two. Gabriel hit a heel kick, but he couldn’t get a hot tag to his partner Tyson Kidd, who is my favorite person in the match. Nice dropkick by Epico on Gabriel followed by three back suplexes in a row. The crowd is dead silent for the match, which is what happens when you barely have tag team matches on your television shows. Primo missed a dive on Gabriel, who finally got the hot tag to Kidd. Kidd hit a nice missile dropkick on Primo followed by a legdrop to the back of the neck. Kidd hit a Blockbuster off the top. Epico broke up the pin, so Gabriel took him out with a dive. Primo countered an elbow drop by getting his knees up. Then Primo hit the Backstabber for a two count after it was broken up. All hell broke loose at this point. The Usos hit a double superkick on O’Neil. Then the Usos hit dives onto the five guys outside the ring. Young tagged the back of Kidd, so he was the legal man along with Primo. Primo went to the top, Kidd followed him up there and Kidd hit a hurricanrana off the top that sent Primo onto the six guys out on the floor. Wow. What a move that was! There was a “holy sh**” chant for that one. Well deserved. Young and Primo went back into the ring although in Primo’s case it was because AW rolled him in. Young hit his Gut Check finisher. Epico went for the save, but AW kept him out of the ring. Young covered for the win after 9 minutes of action. 

Winners: Primetime Players Darren Yong & Titus O’Neil 

After the match, AW celebrated with Young & O’Neil. Epico was yelling at AW about it. Epico decked AW with a punch. Young & O’Neil easily tossed them out of the ring. Rosa was angry at ringside. I think Epico & Primo will work well as a babyface team especially with Rosa at their side. She’s easy on the eyes. 

Analysis: *1/2 I thought the last three minutes were really well done. The first part of the match was your standard tag team action, but the crowd didn’t care because they’ve barely seen any of these teams. Still, it’s a good sign that a tag match made the PPV. Hopefully more attention is given to the tag division going forward because there’s some potential for greatness here. As for AW’s betrayal of his team, I like it. They already have a manager. Putting him with the PTPers is smart especially if they win the tag titles soon, which I expect. I would guess that they win the tag titles as soon as this week especially since R-Truth is out with a foot injury. 

There was a commercial for Money in the Bank featuring Alberto Del Rio. The date of that event is July 15th. It’s one of my favorite PPVs of the year. 

They aired a recap of the Triple H/Brock Lesnar story. 

Hunter Hearst Suit McMahon Helmsley walked out to the ring to a nice ovation. He talked about how he spent half his life in the ring because that’s all he ever wanted to do. By the way, his left arm appears to be fine. He spoke about the lawsuits against him by Lesnar and Paul Heyman. He said he hates them because he’s not really a corporate kind of guy. “I’m a fighter. I’m an ass kicker. It’s what I do.” Hunter said he had a good idea. Hunter brought up how Lesnar said he was a fighter and ass kicker. Hunter said his arm was feeling better and that in a few more weeks he’ll be 100%. He proposed that they put all of the crap behind them. We get rid of the lawsuits. “Brock, this is not about them. This is about me and you and doing what we do. We’re fighters, Brock. And I want to fight you. Brock Lesnar, I want to fight you bad. Brock Lesnar – Triple H one on one…Summerslam.” The crowd was chanting “yes” while Hunter was saying that they should fight. “Brock Lesnar – let’s fight. Or you can be happy being a quitter. Whatever works for you, Brock. I’ll be waiting.” 

Analysis: It looks like the rumored Triple H/Lesnar match at Summerslam is a go. It’s fine with me. I wonder who will go over. It should be Lesnar, but with this company you just never know. 

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was warming up for his WWE Title match. AJ walked to him. She said there’s still a part of her that hasn’t gotten over Bryan. She was there to wish him luck. She kissed him on the cheek. 

Divas Title: Layla vs. Beth Phoenix 

Beth used power moves early. Layla came back with a dropkick to the knee. Layla took Beth’s headgear and mocked her. Then they ran around the ring where Layla dropped her with a clothesline followed by a dropkick. Layla missed a springboard attempt as Beth tripped her up and that sent Layla crashing to the floor. Beth threw her into the security wall. Layla countered some power offense with a rollup. Beth gave her a backbreaker. Layla countered a submission with some knees to the head. Beth went for the Glam Slam, but Layla pushed herself off the top rope and ended up getting a nearfall for two. Layla hit a cross body off the middle ropes for two. Beth was able to catch her after that with a powerslam for two. The crowd is totally silent at this point. They’re making no noise at all. It’s not like they’re a bad crowd. They just don’t care. Phoenix pressed Layla over her heard, which led to Layla countering into a very nice DDT for two. That was the best spot of the match so far. Beth drove her into the corner. She missed a charge. Layla hit her with her neckbreaker known as the Lay Out (Cole just called it a neckbreaker) and that was enough for the pin at the 7 minute mark. 

Winner: Layla 

Analysis: * They got seven minutes, so that was good to see. The problem is they get such little TV time these days that the crowd had no emotional investment in the match. You can keep putting Layla over Beth, but unless you devote time to getting the Layla character over it’s going to be difficult for her to gain much crowd support. 

Backstage, AJ caught up to Kane. She wished him good luck. She kissed him on the cheek. He didn’t let her leave. He leaned down and kissed her on the lips while the crowd chanted “yes” at that visual. That was a funny chant from the crowd. He left while she reacted to it with a surprised look on her face. No smile. She wished all three guys in the WWE Title match luck, so there’s no sign of who she is leaning towards for the win. 

Sin Cara vs. Hunico w/Camacho 

This is not a new match at all. I was at the Smackdown in Toronto last September when the two Sin Cara’s went face to face and obviously the second one was revealed to be Hunico. Since then, Sin Cara has beat him about 49 times. That may be overstating it, but we’ve seen it before. The mood lighting was present as it always is during Sin Cara matches. He went for a dive, but Hunico countered with his knees into the ribs. Hunico’s offense continued with a rear chin lock. He hit a tilt a whirl backbreaker to counter the high flying offense from Sin Cara. Another headlock from Hunico. You don’t see too many headlocks in Sin Cara matches, so they’re working more of the traditional American wrestling style. Hunico got another slam for a two count. Sin Cara tried to get the momentum with a rollup, but Hunico came back with a hard kick to the face. Then he gabbed another headlock. Powerbomb for Hunico. Cara took him down with a headscissors followed by a kick to the head and a hurricanrana off the top. He hit a couple of nice dropkicks. Sin Cara hit his finisher where he gives his opponent a headscissors and then drives him face first into the mat. The match went about 6 minutes. 

Winner: Sin Cara 

Analysis: *1/4 Like I wrote in the beginning, we’ve seen this match a few times. They worked a different style than we’re used to, though, so it wasn’t the typical match we’ve seen from them. The crowd wasn’t into the match that much. If they want to get the most out of Sin Cara they need to put him in a real feud with an opponent that gives him a test. These formulaic five minute matches aren’t going to help him long term. He needs to be doing more for the crowd to become emotionally invested in his matches. 

We got the long video package reminding us of everything involved in the WWE Title feud with the main focus being on AJ Lee’s actions involving all three men. 

Kane made his entrance first. Not a huge reaction to him either way, really. In Daniel Bryan’s case, the crowd exploded for him. Lots of “yes” chants for him. He’s even rocking a jacket that says “yes” on it. Cole called Punk the controversial WWE Champion. Is he even controversial anymore? Don’t think so. That’s a bit of an issue. Cole did a good job of putting over Punk beating a lot of big names during his reign of over 200 days at this point. 

WWE Title: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane 

Kane tried to overpower Bryan and Punk early, but they countered his power by kicking him repeatedly. Lots of “yes” chants for every kick delivered. This crowd is hot for this match right from the beginning. After a couple of dull matches before this you could tell they were ready to let loose here. Punk dumped Bryan out to the floor with a back drop and then Kane gave Punk a hard clothesline. Bryan knocked Kane out of the ring and he followed it up with his dive in between the middle and bottom rope. Punk hit a crossbody off the top rope onto both guys on the floor. Kane picked up Punk and drove him back first into the steel steps a couple of times. There are no disqualifications or countouts in triple threat matches although it’s rare that anybody ever uses weapons in these kinds of matches. Kane gave Punk a hard whip into the corner turnbuckle. Back in the ring, Kane hit a low dropkick on Punk followed up by a leg scissors on the ribs of Punk. Bryan was knocked out to the floor earlier, so the action slowed down at this point. Punk fought out of it. Bryan hit a running dropkick on Punk, but his attack on Kane failed because Kane dropped Bryan with a side slam. Bryan used a drop toe hold that sent Kane into the middle turnbuckle followed by a kick to the face that sent Kane to the floor. Bryan focused on Punk, who he dropped with a knee. 

They did a nice three way spot with Bryan perched on the top rope and Kane & Punk fighting to see which one of them would take him off the top rope. When Kane and Punk ended up fighting eachother, Bryan hit a double dropkick on each guy. Each guy sat up on their knees, so Bryan destroyed them with hard “Yes” kicks to the chest. He drilled Kane in the head with one of them. Punk ducked a kick and got a rollup for two. Punk hit his running knee into the corner on Bryan and then one on Kane. No bulldog by Punk on Kane, but he hit a neckbreaker on Kane for two. Punk hit a quick powerslam on Bryan. They did a nice spot where Bryan was on Kane’s shoulders and Punk dropped Bryan with a clothesline. Nice to hear Cole mention Legion of Doom there. That earned Punk a two count. Punk hit the top rope Flying Elbow on Bryan. He was slow to cover, so Bryan kicked out at two. Punk wanted the GTS, but Kane kicked Punk in the head to break that up. Punk fought back against Kane, hit a roundhouse kick to the head and missed his Flying Elbow attempt on Kane. Bryan went to the top and he hit a Flying Headbutt to the chest of Punk. Bryan knocked Kane off the apron with a hard forearm to the face. Bryan kicked Punk hard in the face and put him in the Yes Lock. They were right in the center of the ring. Punk was able to fight him off. Punk put Bryan on his shoulders and he hit a GTS. They were near the ropes, though, so Kane pulled Bryan out of the ring. Kane hit his clothesline off the top onto Punk. I wonder how many of those he’s hit in his 15 year run as the Kane character? Kane went for the Chokeslam, but Punk countered with a DDT for two. Punk hit a Flying Elbow on Kane for two. Kane fought out of a GTS to hit a boot to the face of Punk. Kane gave Punk a Chokeslam, but Punk kicked out at two as Booker let out a “what da hayell” in shock. That was the best nearfall of the match so far. Kane went for the Tombstone. All of a sudden AJ showed up. Punk shoved Kane into the ropes and that knocked AJ off the apron. Kane showed concern over AJ falling down, so Punk took advantage with a roundhouse kick and then a GTS to Kane. He covered for the victory after 19 minutes. 

Winner: CM Punk 

Analysis: **** There’s the match of the night. That’s not a shock considering Punk and Bryan always seem to have the match of the night. Kane worked very well with them too. That’s why Kane has been able to hang around for as long as he has because when he’s in there with the best workers his spots work very well. In my preview of the event, I had Bryan winning the match by pinning Kane. I’m not upset that Punk was able to retain because I’m a huge fan of his as well. I just thought this would have been a good time to take the belt off Punk without hurting his credibility too bad. The finish worked very well too. I thought it was smart to involve AJ in the finish because the story is obviously connecting very well with the fans and it’s a story that should continue going forward. I’m hoping we get another Punk vs. Bryan singles match on PPV, but perhaps they’ve moved on from that. At least Bryan can say he wasn’t pinned, so you never know if they’ll use that as a way to do rematches. 

Post match, Kane looked over the fallen AJ. They replayed the finish with her running out at the end of the match when Punk threw Kane into her. Kane picked her up and took her backstage. She smiled without him seeing it while the crowd cheered that. Meanwhile, Punk celebrated with his WWE Title. They showed the AJ replay again. The last time they did it they focused on how she was smiling back on CM Punk. 

There was a commercial for the July 23rd Raw being the start of three hour editions of Raw. They hyped that some stars from the past will be there on July 23 including DX (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) and no other advertised names at this point. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Bret Hart, Steve Austin and Undertaker as well. That’s just an educated guess on my part. 

Ryback vs. Dan Delaney & Rob Grymes 

Delaney & Grymes talked about how after they beat Ryback they would main event WrestleMania 29 in Jersey. Then the classic “WrestleMania” song started as they sang along to it. That was annoyingly funny. Ryback entered to a good pop. Loud “Goldberg” chants from the beginning of the match. He dropped Grymes with a huge back body drop while Delaney received a hard clothesline. He knocked down both guys with hard slams. Ryback hit a splash off the middle rope. That’s an awkward move to have in his arsenal. Ryback picked up both guys and gave them the Muscle Buster (still needs a name) at the same time for the win after about two minutes. 

Winner: Ryback 

Analysis: He continues to impress, but when will he face some bigger name opponents? The “Goldberg” chants aren’t very encouraging. It’s been a few months and nobody is chanting “Ryback” so that’s likely disappointing to the creative team. It should be noted that he said “feed me three” before the finish so I guess he wants to beat three jobbers from now on. 

A video hyped up Summerslam in August. The announcers wondered if Brock Lesnar will answer Triple H’s Summerslam challenge. 

The steel cage lowered, which led to the video package highlighting Monday’s Raw when Vince McMahon gave John Laurinaitis a job evaluation without actually doing anything. 

John Laurinaitis made his way to ringside for the main event. He was using a crutch to assist him and the injury to his left leg sustained at Over The Limit. Big Show was next to enter. He’s so serious that he forgot his toque. Vince McMahon was next to enter. He got a really big pop, which isn’t a surprise since he hasn’t been on TV much of late and the NY/NJ crowd is always appreciative of him. He sat next to Laurinaitis with each man in black leather chairs. John Cena was the last to enter. He told the camera that somebody is getting fired. 

Steel Cage Match: John Cena vs. Big Show 

You can win via pinfall, submission or escape the cage over the top or through the door. I’d prefer it if you could only win by going over the top of the cage, but that’s just me. Show dominated early. He threw Cena into the cage a few times. Show missed a KO punch after Cena moved, so Show hit the cage with his fist. The dueling Cena chants started up. Cena hit a dropkick, but his run didn’t last long as Show gave him a headbutt to knock him down again. Show decked him with a clothesline. Show threw him off the cage. Basically the first five minutes is Show’s really slow offense on Cena. He hit a running back splash on Cena in the turnbuckle. Cena tried to crawl out, but Show prevented that from happing by stepping on Cena’s neck. That works. Cena came back with a bulldog off the middle rope for a count of two. Cena tried to climb out, Show stopped him and then Show ended up being crotched on the top rope. Cena tried to climb out, but Show prevented that by driving his back into the cage and then threw him back to the mat with a suplex that earned him a two count. 

Show moved Cena to the corner and gave him a Vader Bomb off the middle rope. Thanks to Vader for inspiring that move from Monday night. Cena kicked out at two. Show grabbed Cena by the throat. He pulled Cena all the way to the top rope. Cena fought of a chokeslam, but Show knocked him down. Show was on the top rope, but he went to the middle part where he was pushing the ropes down so much that it was as if he was on the middle rope. Cena rolled out of the way of the big elbow drop. Show tried to crawl out. Cena was strong enough to pull him back into the ring. They went back into the center of the ring where Cena was able to knock Show down with a shoulderblock. Cena tried to escape the cage. Laurinaitis threw the ref down, so then McMahon threw Laurinaitis down. McMahon held the cage door open and that allowed Laurinaitis to shove McMahon, which caused the cage door to hit Cena in the head. Show hit a Chokeslam for two. That was a very good nearfall. Show loaded up the fist, Cena ducked and Show KNOCKED OUT~! ref Scott Armstrong, who took a nice bump into the mat. Best ref in the business right there. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment. He couldn’t lift Show. Show KNOCKED OUT~! John Cena. There was no ref in the ring to count the pinfall. Why doesn’t he just walk out the door? Eventually he realizes he can do that, so Brodus Clay showed up with a steel chair in his hands. Is this storyline continuity? That’s just crazy! 

Lawler felt proud to say that there was “no way out” for Big Show. I’m sure Jerry thought that was clever. All of a sudden, Santino & Alex Riley ran out to go after Show. They clibed the cage and Show shoved them off like a couple of jobbers. Keep in mind that Santino is current US Champ. Zack Ryder came running out to a big pop. He climbed the cage. Show punched him while he was climbing, so he bumped to the floor like a jobber too. These are all the guys that Show beat up in the weeks leading up to this match. Tag champ Kofi Kingston ran out there too. He climbed the top of the cage. Show was on the top rope trying to climb out, but Kofi ended up kicking him enough times that Show got knocked down to the mat. Cena tried to climb out. Show was able to grab him by the foot. Super Cena recovered and gave Show an Attitude Adjustment in the center of the ring. Cena covered. There’s no referee available to count the pinfall while Clay still stood by the door with a steel chair in hand. Cena decided to climb the cage. Laurinaitis was there with his crutch, so Clay walked over there to prevent the attack by holding his arms back. Cena dropped the floor. Show was close to getting out, but Cena definitely touched first while Show’s upper body was close to getting out. The crowd popped big for the Cena win after 20 minutes of action. 

Winner: John Cena 

Analysis: *1/2 It was boring early, but it got better. The finish was a lot of fun with all of the people that were attacked by Show getting their revenge on him. It was a smart way to protect Show as a monster because Cena didn’t win clean. It’s rare to see a match where a Cena opponent was actually made to look stronger than Cena was. It’s not like the win made Cena look bad by any means, but it felt different than the normal Cena match. You know how I like to say “it was more of a story than match” sometimes? That’s the best way to describe this one. 

After the match was over, Cena asked Clay to hand over Laurinaitis. Cena put him on his shoulders. Vince McMahon went on the microphone to deliver this message to John Laurinaitis: “You’re Fired!” The crowd loved that. Cena gave Laurinaitis the Attitude Adjustment through the Spanish Announce Table. 

They replayed the key moments from the match as well as the post match with Laurinaitis getting fired. The show ended with Cena celebrating with the crowd. The big cliffhanger is who will run Raw Monday night? 

Five Stars of the Show 

1. CM Punk 

2. Daniel Bryan 

3. Dolph Ziggler 

4. Kane 

5. Christian 

Final Thoughts 

I give this show a rating of 6 out of 10. If you’re being a nitpicker, it’s tied with the lowest rating I’ve given the six WWE PPVs this year although three of them have the same rating. That’s not to say I hated it or anything like that. It’s just that it felt like a very average PPV featuring three good matches and the rest of the show feeling like filler in a lot of ways. 

The two major title matches were entertaining to me. I didn’t think Ziggler had a shot to win, but he’s such a good performer that I can just enjoy his work. Hopefully by the end of the year he does win one of the major titles because there’s nobody in the company that deserves it more. I just think WWE is really behind Sheamus right now as a long term babyface top guy and to establish him in that role he’s going to have a lengthy title reign. 

The interesting thing about Punk’s WWE Title reign is that he’s successfully defended his WWE Title on six PPVs in a row this year. None of those matches were the main event, though. He did main event TLC in December where he retained his WWE Title, but that’s because there was no John Cena match on that show. That’s obviously never happened before. It’s an odd stat. 

I wasn’t shocked by the Cena win. What they did made a lot of sense aside from the fact that Vince McMahon technically shouldn’t be able to fire Laurinaitis since he was stripped of his CEO title last year. Other than that giant logic hole it was fine by me. 

Lastly, the New Jersey crowd was very good. Like I always say whenever WWE is in the NY/NJ area the fans are going to respond well to the action in the ring. I don’t blame them for being dead during the divas match or the Sin Cara match because they’re formulaic matches without much of a story, but for everything else they responded quite well.

Top 5 greatest matches in Wrestling History

by Rob Base

 

# 5 Sabu vs Terry Funk

Number 5 is not so much a wrestling match but a life changing event. Terry funk vs Sabu, May not be the most technical match in the annuals of wrestling. Yet it shaped the face of the 90’s “extreme” movement. After this match, wrestling as we once knew it became Gritty and it felt real. And showed that old school tacticians still can give you a fight!

 

#4 Christian Cage wins TNA heavyweight Title

After a fantastic feud with Chris Jericho and John Cena at Vengeance 2005 Christian was headed for his first WWE title run. That unfortunately didn’t happen and the rug was pulled and Christian was shipped to Smack Down.

CHRISTIAN doesn’t resign and joins TNA, this would be their first real acquisition And it showed that CC can wrestle anywhere against any wrestler and that he is heavyweight material winning the NWA title. This would hopefully be the step to a future WWE championship run but as “fate” aka Vince McMahon would have his say. Let’s bring him back give him the ECW title than piss away the rest of his push! Thanks Vinnie Mac .

 

#3 Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series (1991)

Many things can be said about the Undertaker, But one thing is for sure he made an impact on Professional Wrestling. His debut at SS changed the future atmosphere of professional wrestling. Yes, I said it, without Taker WWE wouldn’t have survived the early days of the Monday night wars. But if there was ever one moment in time that moment that started  it all was Taker pinning Hulk Hogan. Even with Flair interfering, you can see the audience slowly changing and cheering for Taker. Hulk Hogan by 1991 had started leaving a bad taste in the mouths of the fans who are now becoming angry bitter teenagers. They want a change and the demonic Deadman was their first taste of new life and a new way of thinking about gimmick wrestlers!

 

side-note Undertaker is to me the greatest Wrestler of all time and should be #1 on all lists.

 

#2 CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011

Believe it or not, John Cena has had two very good matches in his history as a WWE superstar/ wrestler. The first was his match against RVD for the WWE title at Extreme rules and the second is his match against CM Punk.  proving that CM is the best worker in the world! The match had so much fanfare build up and a finale payoff not seen well almost ever in wrestling. it really was the summer… No, the season of Punk ! And it will go down as the day wrestling was resurrected.

 

#1  Taz vs HHH

One of the most underrated matches of all time.

Not only is this one of my all time favorite matches, but Taz came on strong and never quit. Rumors later came out that Vince regretted Taz losing this match and I agree. HHH had nothing to lose by jobbing to Taz and it only would have help promote Taz as a WWE all time great. But that wasn’t the case and in the end we get Jerry “the king of Memphis” Lawler injuring Taz’s neck and costing him a great WWE career!

 

Let me know your top 5 email me at Rob@AlternativeMindz.com or post a comment below