Saturday, October 31, 2009

10/30/09 Smackdown

Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison: **1/4

Beth Phoenix vs. Jenny Brooks: DUD

Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy: 3/4*

Drew McIntyre vs. Finlay: N/A

CM Punk vs. Scott Armstrong: DUD

Chris Jericho vs. Kane: **1/2

When was the last time they had a Divas match with an actual jobber? Good to see Beth get a push.

Nice opener and nice main event.

Friday, October 30, 2009

10/26/09 ROH

Delirious vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Joey Ryan vs. The Necro Butcher: **

Brent Albright vs. D'Lo Brown: **3/4

Kenny King vs. Eddie Kingston: **1/2

Thursday, October 29, 2009

10/29/09 Superstars

Jack Swagger vs. Primo: *1/2

Alicia Fox vs. Kelly Kelly: *1/4

Zack Ryder vs. Tyler Reks: *1/4

R-Truth, JTG, & Shad Gaspard vs. Mike Knox, Tyson Kidd, & David Hart Smith: **

10/29/09 Impact

Tara vs. Alissa Flash: *3/4

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Brother Ray & Brother Devon: *1/2

Eric Young vs. Bobby Lashley (Legends Title): N/A

Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, & Lacey Von Erich vs. ODB, Christy Hemme, & Hamada: *

Abyss vs. Dr. Stevie (No DQ): *1/2

Matt Morgan vs. Rhino: *1/4

Desmond Wolfe vs. Kurt Angle (Street Fight): *1/2

I was hoping for Alissa to win here because she needs the win more than Tara. Now that Melissa Anderson doesn't have to play two characters (Flash and Saeed), this would have been the perfect time to start a push for "The Future Legend."

Ref ruled the Lashley/Young match a no-contest, so thus, no rating.

Eric Young renames the "TNA Legends Title" as "TNA Global Title."

Lacey Von Erich had two spots in the match. She looked bad on both of them. Not surprised.

The show was consistent in terms of ratings, but nothing stood out. Most of the matches were just meant to advance storylines, if anything.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10/27/09 ECW

Sheamus vs. Shelton Benjamin: *3/4

Christian vs. Yoshi Tatsu (ECW Title): ***1/2

New announcer Byron Saxton did a decent job.

Sheamus needs another finisher. The bicycle kick is not that impressive, likely because there's no "sound" to it, at least not like when Shawn Michaels does his Sweet Chin Music. Same goes for Yoshi's kick to the head.

Monday, October 26, 2009

10/26/09 RAW

Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho: ***

Santino Marella & Melina vs. Chavo Guerrero & Jillian: 1/4*

MVP & Mark Henry vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase: *1/2

Evan Bourne vs. The Miz: *

Sheamus vs. Jamie Noble: DUD

Triple H vs. The Big Show (Lumberjack): **

Moving Sheamus to RAW? Interesting. We'll see how that pans out.

The mixed tag was amusing when Santino was in the ring, and then turned ugly when the divas tried to duke it out. Meh.

Looks like they are pushing Kofi into a feud with Orton and Legacy. I love it. Push the African to the moon!

Sheamus' mic work needs work. And no one cared about his match. Didn't realize Jamie Noble was still with the company.

Lumberjack match was good entertainment.

I have to say I'm disappointed with the WWE Title match for Survivor Series. Having Cena go against HHH and HBK only cements the point that we have a glass ceiling on RAW and it is practically impossible for anyone not named HHH, HBK, Cena, or Orton to break through. I would have rather held a small tournament to see who faces Cena, not just hand it to DX on a silver platter.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10/25/09 Bragging Rights

The Miz vs. John Morrison: ***

Michelle McCool, Natalya, & Beth Phoenix vs. Melina, Kelly Kelly, & Gail Kim: *3/4

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Title): ***1/4

Chris Jericho, Kane, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Tyson Kidd, & David Hart Smith vs. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, & Mark Henry: ***1/4

John Cena vs. Randy Orton (Iron Man; WWE Title): ****

Match of the Night: John Cena vs. Randy Orton

Trash of the Night: None. To me, all five were pretty good for what they were.

Three Stars: Cena and Orton share the top spot, as their rivalry ends. Their match was one of the best WWE has offered this year. Also, kudos to Batista for turning heel.

Analysis: I liked that there are only five matches on the card. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the Iron Man Match and the 7-on-7, but still, it gives a lot of time for each match to fully develop.

Miz/Morrison was an entertaining match with some good stuff. Love that two Tough Enough guys have are really doing well in this business. Nothing real mind-blowing, but a nice way to open and it was extremely solid all around.

The Divas match was good for what it was. I'm just happy that they went through with my prediction: this match was merely to further the storyline between Beth and McCool for a future title match.

The World Title match was very good and filled with action, but felt too short. Taker basically limited the match (because he's so banged up), and while everyone had their time to shine, the match was over quicker than I wanted it to be. Everyone did hit their signature moves and there were a few false finishes, so it did its job. Again, it was nice to have Batista do a heel turn; his face run was just stale already.

The 7-on-7 was again fine for what it was, but it just seemed too rushed because it's hard to get 14 guys in the match legally. Everyone did hit their moves though, so that was nice. Swerve by Big Show at the end was predictable. And Jerishow will likely brag about it on RAW that this was the plan all along. Cue DX for a feud.

The Iron Man match was likely one of the better WWE Iron Man matches ever, but only because it was "Anything Goes." Regardless, it still did a great job of delivering on almost all levels. The pyro spot was original (to me) and I marked for that. Carnage all over the place (at least for a PG show) and a nice ending. Great storyline buildup as well. So why did it not get any higher?

First, there were (predictable) slow points midway through the match. Second, the movesets of both wrestlers were very limited and unimpressive. Cena basically used three different forms of the Attitude Adjustment (regular, off the ropes, and off the steps into the announce table), along with his usual moveset. Orton didn't fare that much better with his moves.

Very nice PPV. Worked for me with four of the five matches at three stars or above.

Overall Rating: ***3/4

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bragging Rights Predictions

We only have five matches on the card, mainly because the 7-on-7 match should get at least 20+ minutes and the Iron Man Match will take at least 60 minutes (could have sudden death, who knows).

John Morrison vs. The Miz: A much-anticipated match in the eyes of yours truly, and I would pick this one to start the show. The fact that this is champion vs. champion makes it better because this feud really takes on the theme of "Who is the best of the best?" Again, because there are only five matches on the card, this should get some good time, likely around 15 minutes max. Expecting Morrison to pull out the win. Match will get at least *** to ***1/4 here.

Melina, Gail Kim, & Kelly Kelly vs. Michelle McCool, Natalya, & Beth Phoenix (RAW Divas vs. Smackdown Divas): It will be an OK match with basic stuff. These are six Divas that actually have wrestling talent, so it should be at least passable. As a note, Kelly's match with Gail Kim on Superstars was one of the better Divas matches I've seen lately. A winner? With all sorts of scenarios running through my head, I think the best one in terms of storyline progression would be Beth Phoenix pinning Melina to further gain the attention of Michelle McCool (setting up a future Women's Title match). I'm predicting something around *1/2 here, maybe *3/4.

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, & Mark Henry vs. Chris Jericho, Kane, R-Truth, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Tyson Kidd, & David Hart Smith (RAW vs. Smackdown 7-on-7 Bragging Rights Match): Should be a good match that gets at least 20 minutes. I like the five guys (not named Jericho or Kane) brought in to replace the original five because now it really seems like a best-of-the-best match. With that in mind, I like that guys such as Drew McIntyre and Eric Escobar were on the team at the start because it gives them at least some credibility. After all, those guys had to win a match to get on the team, and ultimately that win is more important than being on any Bragging Rights team. There are various ways on this ending, but because HHH and HBK will likely try to pull some backstage clout again, RAW will likely prevail. Match should get around ***1/2.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Title): Punk is in the doghouse (as champ, Punk talked back to Taker when Taker wanted Punk to represent the company better by dressing nicer), so he's not winning. Rey is not winning because Vince is likely hestitant again to put the belt on an undersized person (his World Title reign a few years ago was not great at all). Batista is turning heel against Rey so putting the belt on him now would not be a good idea. By process of elimination, Taker retains. How will the match pan out? Batista has the win, Rey breaks the count up (rightfully so because he wants to win too), Batista gets pissed, Punk comes in and takes both of them out, and then Taker gets Punk with a Tombstone or Hell's Gate for the win. Should be a good match that gets about ***1/2 max.

John Cena vs. Randy Orton ("Anything Goes" Iron Man Match; WWE Title): This feud has been running for a few years (off and on), and the video package really does a tremendous job of setting the stage. While I like that the match is anything goes, I am not expecting blood because WWE is supposed to be PG. However, I think that, if there is any time a match needs blood, it's this one because it's the blow-off match to an extremely long feud, and the carnage each have put themselves through in the process has been noteworthy. I know that neither of these two have the moveset of a person like Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, etc., so it could be difficult to keep the match fresh.

Here, I'm torn with a winner. I don't want Cena to lose because Smackdown is fine as it is (and RAW would be arguably losing their biggest draw). On the other hand, I don't want Cena winning because him getting the title back just cheapens the belt more. But John Canton of The Oratory makes a good point: DiBiase should basically come out and cost Orton the match in some way. Cena wins, but it paves the way for Orton/DiBiase, which is the high-profile name DiBiase needs to become a full face. This has four-star potential and could go as high as ****1/2. It all depends on what they decide to do.

So Bragging Rights should be a great PPV in terms of match quality. It should be getting some good ratings because each match will have sufficient time.

10/23/09 Smackdown

Finlay, Matt Hardy, R-Truth, Tyson Kidd, & David Hart Smith vs. JTG, Dolph Ziggler, Eric Escobar, & Drew McIntyre: *1/2

John Morrison vs. Mike Knox: *

Batista & Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho & Kane: **1/4

Mickie James vs. Layla: *

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk (Submission; World Heavyweight Title): **

Mae Young FTW!

Friday, October 23, 2009

10/22/09 Superstars

Kelly Kelly vs. Gail Kim: *3/4

Tommy Dreamer & Goldust vs. Ezekiel Jackson & Vladimir Kozlov: *1/4

Drew McIntyre & Eric Escobar vs. R-Truth & Matt Hardy: **1/4

10/19/09 ROH

Kenny King vs. Jerry Lynn: **1/4

Nigel McGuinness vs. Sal Rinauro: 1/4*

Colt Cabana vs. Claudio Castagnoli: **1/2

Austin Aries vs. Bryan Danielson (World Title): ***3/4

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10/22/09 Impact

Homicide vs. Amazing Red: **

Matt Morgan vs. Scott Steiner: -*

Samoa Joe & Kevin Nash vs. AJ Styles & Daniels: *3/4

Awesome Kong vs. Raisha Saeed: *1/2

Hernandez vs. Rhino: *1/4

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed (Ultimate X): ***1/4

Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams vs. James Storm & Robert Roode (Cage; Tag Team Titles): **3/4

I like those new graphics TNA is using. Very informative, especially for a first-time viewer. Design is not bad, either.

Awesome Kong speaks!

Nigel McGuinness debuts as Desmond Wolf! Talk about getting put on TV immediately. This was mere days after signing a contract with TNA. PWInsider reports that McGuinness will have a major role with TNA.

Ultimate X match was good. Those four have chemistry.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10/20/09 ECW

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Zack Ryder: **

Sheamus vs. J.T. Quinn: N/A

Christian vs. Chris Jericho: ***1/2

Chris Jericho appearing on ECW too? Win!

Monday, October 19, 2009

10/19/09 RAW

The Big Show, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, & Cody Rhodes vs. MVP, Evan Bourne, Primo, Chris Masters, & Chavo Guerrero: 3/4*

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase: 1/4*

Triple H vs. John Cena: ****

The Miz vs. Marty Jannetty: -*

Melina vs. Jillian Hall: DUD

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels: N/A

Good job to set the stage for Bragging Rights. Other than the HHH/Cena gem, the DX opening skit, and the Snoop Dogg segments, this was a forgettable show.

DX opening segment was awesome. Didn't seem like a lot of people got the Katie Vick reference.

The 10-man tag was just flat to me. Orton and DiBiase told a great story and got the crowd involved, which is why it got the 1/4*. However, everything else was just stalling and a couple moves.

Marty Jannetty should not be wrestling anymore. He was obviously out of shape and appeared like he put on a few more pounds. A few botches later, Miz mercifully ends the debacle. And no, Cole and King, Marty does not have it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10/18/09 Bound for Glory

Amazing Red vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley vs. Suicide vs. Homicide vs. Daniels (Ultimate X; X-Division Title): ****1/4

Taylor Wilde & Sarita vs. Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): *3/4

Eric Young vs. Kevin Nash vs. Hernandez (Legends Title): **1/2

Brother Ray & Brother Devon vs. Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams vs. James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Booker T & Scott Steiner (Full Metal Mayhem; TNA Tag Team Titles and IWGP Tag Team Titles): ****

ODB vs. Awesome Kong vs. Tara (Knockouts Title): **3/4

Bobby Lashley vs. Samoa Joe (Submission): **1/2

Abyss vs. Mick Foley (Monster's Ball): ***1/2

Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan: ***3/4

AJ Styles vs. Sting (World Title): **3/4

Match of the Night: Ultimate X. Damn.

Trash of the Night: I honestly thought there was no trash tonight. If anything, I felt the Knockouts Tag Title match was too short and the ending to AJ/Sting was a little abrupt with the way they were going, but I can overlook those.

Three Stars: (1) All Ultimate X participants (especially Daniels because he landed in a sickly manner at the end and thought he was dead); (2) Kurt Angle; (3) Matt Morgan

Honorable mention to Daffney for another sick bump.

Analysis: The card, on paper, looked great. I was just concerned that, with the high number of matches for a 3-hour PPV (nine), I felt the quality would suffer.

First of all...HOLY CRAP the crowd is loud.

Ultimate That's all I can really say. Amazing stuff.

The Knockouts Tag Title match was good for what it was. Entertaining and kept relatively short. I would have liked more time for it, but whatever.

The Legends Title match was better than I thought. Good stuff by Eric Young to steal the title.

Full Metal Mayhem was another winner. Everyone got involved and carnage ensued. Oh, and no one died. Kudos to Scott Steiner for all that offense.

The Knockouts triple threat was another match I did not have high expectations for. However, the match was very good. Awkward moment with Tara seemingly occupied with a fan and security (which stopped the match for a bit), but overall a fine match. ODB showed some awesome strength on Kong. Finish was awesome too. The Kong/Saeed split continues.

The Joe/Lashley match was also better than I thought. Great use of submission moves and counters.

Monster's Ball was a sick spotfest. We knew we'd get the blood, and Abyss got lacerated pretty good. Daffney took yet another sick spot (through the barbed wire bed), and Dr. Stevie got the tacks in a very entertaining match.

Angle/Morgan was one of my favorites. While Angle did prevail, Morgan was booked extremely strong.

AJ/Sting was a bit of a letdown (pointing to the finish), but the match delivered because it was Sting's home state and everyone was buzzing about whether Sting would hang them up.

So this means AJ/Angle is next? Woohoo!

Overall this PPV was the best TNA has put on this year, and definitely in my top five of the year. The crowd was red hot all night. The worst match was still very much watchable, and TNA's booking staff did an excellent job in giving matches the perfect amount of time. We had two four-star matches, two matches over three stars, and everything else was still consistently good. Hats off to TNA for a great PPV.

Overall Rating: ****

Friday, October 16, 2009

10/16/09 Smackdown

Dolph Ziggler vs. Finlay vs. Mike Knox: **1/4

JTG & Shad Gaspard vs. Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith: *1/2

Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy: *

Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth: *1/2

Rey Mysterio vs. Batista: *3/4

I love the fact that Smackdown is trying its hardest to elevate new stars. I like all the people picked for the Smackdown Seven...except one. I am not fond of putting Eric Escobar on Team Smackdown mere weeks after he debuted. He has only had one match on Smackdown so far, and he hasn't proven anything to me yet.

Dirt Sheet was awesome again, as usual.

10/12/09 ROH

Austin Aries vs. Alex Payne (ROH World Title): *1/4

Necro Butcher vs. Bison Smith: 1/2*

Tyler Black vs. Rhett Titus: **1/4

KENTA vs. Chris Hero: ***1/2

10/15/09 Super Impact

(Special 3-hour Super Impact)

Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne, & Lacey Von Erich vs. ODB, Awesome Kong, & Tara: 1/2*

Amazing Red vs. Suicide (X-Division Title): *3/4

Hernandez vs. Doug Williams, Brutus Magnus, & Rob Terry (Gauntlet): *1/2

Daniels vs. D'Angelo Dinero: **1/4

Hamada vs. Alissa Flash (Falls Count Anywhere): **

Bobby Lashley vs. Rhino (Stretcher): *

AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle: ****1/4

Styles/Angle is TNA's Free TV Match of the Year. No doubt there. I cannot recall the last time a match got 20 minutes on Impact. Come to think of it, not many matches on TNA PPVs get 20 minutes.

Some may think I rated the six-Knockout tag match too low, but Lacey Von Erich didn't actually get tagged in; Awesome Kong attacked Tara and ODB, then left at the start (to further storylines); and then Tara kicked ODB to lead to The Beautiful People's win (again furthering storylines). The match, in of itself, was pretty junk.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10/15/09 Superstars

Mark Henry vs. Chris Masters: *1/4

Vladimir Kozlov vs. Tommy Dreamer: *1/4

CM Punk vs. John Morrison: **1/2

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10/13/09 ECW

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Goldust: *1/4

Paul Burchill vs. The Hurricane: **

Christian & Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal & Zack Ryder: **1/4

Seemed like the crowd was dead most of the night, and that affected my match ratings.

Monday, October 12, 2009

10/12/09 RAW

The Big Show vs. Chris Jericho: DUD

Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James (Divas Title): DUD

Melina vs. Jillian Hall (Divas Title): DUD

Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase vs. John Cena: *1/2

Jack Swagger vs. MVP: 3/4*

Kofi Kingston vs. Evan Bourne: *1/2

Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix, Rosa Mendes, & Alicia Fox: 1/4*

Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. John Cena & Randy Orton: *

This show epic fails.

How, you ask? Simply put, it somehow got me to rate Jericho's match a DUD. Also, divas got air time to wrestle, and that failed (no surprise). It's hard to say this show was any good when:

(1) The highest rated match doesn't even get two stars, and
(2) The average match rating for the night was HALF A STAR. Seriously.

Melina was the first Diva to be announced as part of a seven-Diva, tri-brand trade made possible by guest host Nancy O'Dell. But seriously, did we really need Jillian to be a transitional champ for all of about five minutes? It just cheapens the belt. And let's face it, the Divas Title was actually one of the titles that had actually been doing well in giving champions long reigns (likely moreso because there is a lack of true wrestling talent).

In the end, three DUDs started the show off, which is a first under my ratings system. And technically, those matches were bad enough such that, if the Divas matches went longer than four minutes, I'd be giving them negative stars.

Hey, how do you botch a 24-second match? Ask the Divas!

Kofi's Trouble in Paradise hitting a flying Evan Bourne was pretty cool in an entertaining match that got too little time for me to enjoy fully. It got the same rating as the long-winded Triple Threat. Even with the Triple Threat getting a stronger crowd reaction (due to Cena), the offense of Legacy was just boring. I could have worked on my law memo and come back and not missed much.

The best part of the night? Santino. A close second would be Hornswoggle delivering "Sweet Chin Music" to a Shawn Michaels cardboard cutout. Hell, Hornswoggle has given new meaning to the term "Sweet Shin Music."

As noted earlier, seven Divas are changing brands in that tri-brand trade. Here they are:

(1) Melina traded from Smackdown to RAW
(2) Beth Phoenix traded from RAW to Smackdown
(3) Mickie James traded from RAW to Smackdown
(4) Rosa Mendes traded from RAW to ECW
(5) Brie Bella traded from ECW to RAW
(6) Nikki Bella traded from ECW to RAW
(7) Eve traded from Smackdown to RAW

Friday, October 9, 2009

10/9/09 Smackdown

Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho: ***

Michelle McCool vs. Eve Torres: *1/4

John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler (IC Title): **1/2

Kane & Drew McIntyre vs. Matt Hardy & R-Truth: *1/4

CM Punk vs. Batista: *3/4

Rey + Jericho = win. Morrison + Ziggler = win again. The other matches were watchable but nothing really that impressive. Overall, the show was good.

10/5/09 ROH

Sonjay Dutt vs. Delirious: **1/2

Eddie Kingston vs. Kyle Matthews: 1/4*

Roderick Strong vs. Joey Ryan: **1/4

Tag Team Honor Rumble featuring Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe, Ernie Osiris & Jimmy Rave, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson, Jon Davis & Kory Chavis, Rhett Titus & Kenny King, Brent Albright & Erick Stevens, Kevin Steen & El Generico, and Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards: **3/4

10/8/09 Superstars

Ted DiBiase vs. Evan Bourne: **1/4

Shelton Benjamin vs. Sheamus: *

Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith vs. JTG & Shad Gaspard: **

Thursday, October 8, 2009

10/8/09 Global Impact

Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley vs. Yujiro & Naito (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles): ***1/4

Kurt Angle, Kevin Nash, Masahiro Chono, & Riki Choshu vs. Giant Bernard, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii, & Karl Anderson: *3/4

Brother Ray & Brother Devon vs. Togi Makabe & Toru Yano (Hardcore; IWGP Tag Team Titles): **1/4

I thought this show was not bad at all. Pretty good, in fact. Of course, if you expected a lively crowd, you were likely very disappointed. Japanese pro wrestling fans are different from other fans; they are very respectful and are not as rowdy.

10/8/09 Impact

Hernandez vs. Kevin Nash (Legends Title): 1/4*

Amazing Red vs. Samoa Joe (X-Division Title): *

D'Angelo Dinero & Homicide vs. Daniels & Suicide: *1/2

Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky, Alissa Flash, & Traci Brooks vs. Taylor Wilde, Sarita, Hamada, & Christy Hemme (Elimination): *1/2

ODB vs. Tara (Knockouts Title): *

Abyss & Matt Morgan vs. Mick Foley & Kurt Angle: *3/4

Not that good of a show.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10/6/09 ECW

Ezekiel Jackson & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Tommy Dreamer & Goldust: *1/4

Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal: -1/2*

Christian vs. Zack Ryder: **3/4

Regal/Yoshi was a horrible match. Regal tried to cover up for Yoshi's major errors, but even a ring veteran like Regal can't cover everything up. The match slowed down to an agonizing crawl, and the crowd really could not get into it until the end. Maybe it was because the crowd could sense the match was ending.

You could sense a DQ finish coming in the Christian/Ryder main event. Tiger Bomb from Ryder was awesome. Good match, abrupt sucky ending.

Looks like the new ring announcer (Lauren Mayhew) made her on-camera debut tonight. She did not impress me at all. She'll get better, though. After all, Lilian Garcia did not start out the best either (and made many flubs along her 10-year run), but turned out fantastic overall.

Monday, October 5, 2009

10/5/09 RAW

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Melina, & Maria vs. Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Alicia Fox, Layla, Rosa Mendes, & Jillian Hall (Diva Bowl): *1/2

Jack Swagger vs. Primo: *

MVP & Mark Henry vs. Chavo Guerrero & Chris Masters: *1/4

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston (U.S. Title): **3/4

Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho & The Big Show: ***

At first, I thought Gail Kim was in the doghouse because she was only the ref for the Diva Bowl. However, I then learned that Gail, like Mickie James several weeks ago, busted one of her implants. The match, by the way, was actually entertaining.

Cena/Orton (for the eleventy billionth time) will (likely) end once and for all in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match? Well, slap me silly. Then Orton added the stipulation of "anything goes" and if Cena loses, he leaves RAW forever? I LOVE this. I'm not promising this match will automatically get over four stars from me, but it has a legit chance to garner Second Best WWE Match of the Year (behind Taker/HBK). I figure as long as we don't have a 1-0 Sudden Death deal, the sky's the limit.

Miz is the new U.S. champ. And now, I want Morrison vs. Miz at Bragging Rights!

This was a very good RAW. Kudos to Ben Roethlisberger, his O-Line, and WWE.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10/4/09 Hell in a Cell

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk (Hell in a Cell; World Heavyweight Title): **1/4

John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler (IC Title): ***1/2

Mickie James vs. Alicia Fox (Divas Title): 1/2*

Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Batista & Rey Mysterio (Unified Tag Team Titles): ***

Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Hell in a Cell; WWE Title): ***3/4

Drew McIntyre vs. R-Truth: *

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger (U.S. Title): **3/4

Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase (Hell in a Cell): ****

Match of the Night: Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. Special mention must go to Morrison/Ziggler for a job well done.

Trash of the Night: If you want to go by ratings, it is the divas match (Mickie James vs. Alicia Fox). Hell, McIntyre/R-Truth were not far behind, and shouldn't have even been on the card to begin with.

Yet again, I cannot help but think that Undertaker/Punk has to be mentioned here. For all the hype that was created, for all the airtime Smackdown gave it, for all the hoopla to unban Taker's Hell's Gate finisher and to give Taker another shot at the title, and especially the fact that it was contested inside Hell in a Cell, that match was another letdown. I'm not saying the match was bad; it was just nothing spectacular and should have been a lot better. If anything, WWE was pushed for time and Undertaker/Punk was the sacrificial lamb. They should have nixed R-Truth/McIntyre and given Undertaker/Punk about 10 more minutes.

Three Stars: Here, I will actually go with four young upcoming stars: John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase. Each of these four individuals showed me something tonight. The future of WWE is in great hands.

Honorable mention goes to Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio for their work.

Analysis: I was shocked to see Taker/Punk start. It reminds me of when WWE bookended the Elimination chamber matches. It was not a bad match. Punk had some nice counters, and I liked the suicide dive onto Taker and crashing into the cell. Taker hit signature moves and Punk kicked out of almost all of them. The finish was pretty much standard: Taker hits the Tombstone and wins in 10 minutes. However, you could tell WWE really held the two back again. Lame, especially for all the buildup it had. We didn't need the unbanning of Hell's Gate. We didn't even need the cell for this. A No DQ match would have accomplished practically the same thing.

Morrison vs. Ziggler was a fantastic match showcasing the future of WWE in about 15 minutes. I hope this feud lasts a while longer, because this is real good stuff. I'm glad the Smackdown brand is doing something right and pushing a guy like Ziggler. I may not care for his ring attire or his ring entrance theme, but the guy is damn good. I just hope Ziggler breaks through soon, or else he will become labeled as "that guy who choked under pressure again."

Mickie and Alicia wrestled a predictable basic match where the crowd didn't care. I didn't care much for it either. Alicia hit a Northern Lights Suplex...that was cool. Oh yeah, Mickie retained her title. I managed to care for the last 10 seconds of the match.

The Unified Tag Title match was also good. I loved watching Jericho and Mysterio go at it again, and having two people like Batista and Big Show actually worked out. Nice solid finish with Big Show punching Mysterio when Rey was trying some springboard move.

Orton and Cena had a very good Hell in a Cell match, but I don't think it was the best match they've ever had. Each of them hit their finisher and I liked how the ropes don't break a submission hold; that really helped this match out. The cell was used well, but I marvel at Orton's use of the ropes to help take Cena out. The punt was fine to end the match, although, again, the match seemed too restricted.

The problem I have with the Orton match: WHY put the belt on Cena in the first place?! I would have been fine with having Cena pass out from the pain at Breaking Point and let Orton retain. Cena could still claim to not quit, and Orton would have the belt, so everyone wins. But here, the belt switches back and forth, and this hurts the credibility of the WWE Title. I could care less on how many world title reigns someone has. To me, another way of looking at a multiple-time champion is that he had to lose the belt just as many times.

Drew McIntyre and R-Truth wrestled. OK, fine. Did I really care? Nope. And the crowd didn't care much either. It was a basic match, way better than the divas match. Honestly, this should not have been anywhere NEAR this card. So what if these two brawled on Smackdown the last few weeks? That doesn't mean these two earn a PPV spot over the likes of Christian, William Regal, and, dare I say it, even Zack Ryder.

U.S. Title triple threat was also good. I liked that each of them hit their finisher (Kofi more than once). It had a decent flow, and I thought the match was as good as it could really have been. As much as I like Kofi retaining (so the belt doesn't just become what the WWE Title has in being exchanged so frequently), I wouldn't mind letting Miz or Swagger step up.

Match of the Night honors, by a slim margin, went to DX vs. Legacy. The proverbial fast start meant chaos from the outset. I really loved the divide-and-conquer deal locking one person outside while a 2-on-1 beatdown took place. Rhodes and DiBiase proved yet again, even in defeat, that they are top performers who will one day lead this company. While the crowd was deader than Orton/Cena, it made up for that with great storytelling. As a note, I do miss the days where it was standard on PPVs for the table to break, especially the Spanish table. Nonetheless, it is a Match of the Year candidate in my book.

On paper, the card looked very good. The only question I had left was whether the actual matches would live up to the hype. For the most part, I was satisfied. Four of the eight matches were at least three stars. Morrison and Ziggler impressed me a lot, and two of the three HIAC matches delivered. I say the PPV was above average, but I can't help but think how much better it could have really been if they had one less match on the card and given Taker/Punk more time.

Overall Rating: ***

Friday, October 2, 2009

10/2/09 Smackdown

A Decade of Smackdown Celebration!

Batista vs. Kane: *3/4

Dolph Ziggler & The Miz vs. John Morrison & Kofi Kingston: **

Michelle McCool vs. Melina (Lumberjack; Women's Title): 1/2*

The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, & John Cena vs. CM Punk, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase: **3/4

Trashed Michael Cole + grossed out Chris Jericho + queasy Big Show = entertaining segment

And Santino also rules.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

10/1/09 Superstars

Shad Gaspard vs. Tyson Kidd: **

Sheamus vs. Tyler Reks: *1/2

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz: **1/4

Interesting that they are now billing Kofi Kingston from his true home of Ghana, West Africa.

10/1/09 Impact

Amazing Red vs. Jay Lethal vs. Consequences Creed vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Kiyoshi (Ladder): *1/2

Kevin Nash vs. Dr. Stevie: 3/4*

Christy Hemme vs. Traci Brooks: 1/2*

ODB vs. Awesome Kong (Knockouts Title): 1/4*

Hernandez vs. Kurt Angle: **

Matt Morgan vs. Eric Young: *

Brother Ray, Brother Devon, & Bobby Lashley vs. Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams, & Rhino: *3/4

So far, I like the feud between the Main Event Mafia and World Elite, mainly because it is helping elevate people in World Elite.

Lacey Von Erich joins The Beautiful People. I did not read the spoilers, but this is not a huge surprise. Lacey definitely fits in well with TBP's gimmick, and her bombshell look is a pleasant sight for male viewers. I'd honestly take her over Angelina Love any day. However, I do agree that Lacey Von Erich has historically not been the best worker (WWE hired her in the past, but she got released within four months for laziness issues). Von Erich is known for her great looks and her storied family history, but she has to prove her in-ring skills to me. Iron claw? Big deal.

This seems to be the reason for Internet reports stating that TBP will be used more in backstage segments and other types of skits instead of in-ring work.

I hope Madison Rayne overcomes her confidence issues. She has looked timid on the microphone, and in order for her to realize her full potential, she needs to break out of that shell.

9/28/09 ROH

Tyler Black & Jerry Lynn vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus: ***

Sara Del Rey vs. Nikki Roxx: *

Sonjay Dutt vs. Alex Payne: *1/2

Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Cage): ***1/2