Friday, April 29, 2011

4/29/11 Smackdown

Sin Cara vs. Jack Swagger: *1/4

The Big Show & Kane vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel (Tag Team Titles): *1/4

Rey Mysterio vs. Mark Henry: *1/2

Michelle McCool vs. Layla: N/A

Randy Orton & Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay: **3/4

Alex Riley went from sharing Miz's theme music to getting his own generic music. Lovely.

Guess Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston is slated for Extreme Rules after Sheamus assaulted Kofi as Kingston was coming out to the ring (presumably for a match).

Too bad The Beautiful People are feuding with one another. I would love to hear comments from them regarding how Cody Rhodes uses the paper bag on his opponents (for those that don't know, TBP used to do that as a heel tag team on other TNA Knockouts).

LayCool in a No-DQ-no-countout match at Extreme Rules. Got a larger crowd reaction than pretty much any divas match lately. And now the loser leaves WWE. I'd have to go with McCool winning this one if so. I have not read anything as of Friday regarding the real-life plans of either diva.

Solid main event. Not a bad Smackdown this week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4/28/11 Impact

Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky: -*

Anarquia vs. Chris Sabin: DUD

Gunner vs. Daniels (TV Title): *3/4

Crimson vs. Samoa Joe: 1/2*

Sting vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray (World Title): *1/4

I hope Sabin is OK. Found out that he did indeed suffer a knee injury in his match. Luckily, Alex Shelley appears to be back.

I'm still interested to see who plays Angle's mistress. This storyline is keeping my attention, and I like how they really don't fight unless it's a PPV. We already know these two are great performers, and it doesn't really do anything to have them have "warmup" matches anymore.

Mickie's promo...sappy and short.

The show was very average again, at best.

4/28/11 Superstars

Tyson Kidd vs. Trent Barreta: ***

Zack Ryder vs. David Hart Smith: ***

Natalya & Gail Kim vs. Melina & Alicia Fox: *1/2

Whoa, what the hell happened this week? Two great matches from midcard talents. See, this is what happens when you give midcarders the time to do their thing. I don't think I've even seen Melina do a Dragon Sleeper. We must be getting some good stuff because talent will be getting cut soon....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/11 NXT

Titus O'Neil vs. Darren Young: *1/2

JTG & Jacob Novak vs. Vladimir Kozlov & Conor O'Brian: *

Lucky Cannon vs. Byron Saxton: *

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 4/26/11:
Titus O'Neil: 6-0
Lucky Cannon: 4-3
Conor O'Brian: 3-2
Jacob Novak: 2-4
Darren Young: 2-5
Byron Saxton: 1-5

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 13 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling, Power of the Punch)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Jacob Novak: 6 (Pull Through; Know Your Pro)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia)
Conor O'Brian: 0
Lucky Cannon: 0

"How Well Do You Know Your Pro?" Challenge (4 points):
I still remember the awesomeness from Derrick Bateman and Daniel Bryan last season. This one was just horrible. Can Lucky Cannon just leave? Thankfully there were only two questions. Novak/JTG got the only match.

Anyway, Novak gets Regal next week. Should be at least something to watch on this otherwise-boring show.

4/26/11 Supplemental Draft

Quick thoughts on each Supplemental Draft pick:
Daniel Bryan to Smackdown: Love the move here. DB was basically getting lost in the shuffle since losing his United States championship, and his short stint in APPLE was just horrible. I hope he gets a fresh start to showcase what he can do on Smackdown. Perhaps an IC run could occur?

Jack Swagger to RAW: A logical move, considering he had been training Michael Cole in Cole's feud with Jerry Lawler (a RAW talent). Not sure if Swagger will be pushed despite the brand change, but at least the move is official now.

Great Khali and Ranjin Singh to Smackdown: I guess they wanted to make sure Big Show and Khali are kept on different brands, so now Khali can have bad matches and at least attempt to entertain on the blue brand.

Usos to Smackdown: At least they are being kept together (or so it seems). Doesn't necessarily mean they will be getting more TV time or a shot at the tag titles, but we'll see.

Kelly Kelly to RAW: Sounds good to me. KK gets a nice reaction from the crowd (at least compared to most other divas) and I can definitely see her working well with the RAW heel divas and generate fresh feuds.

JTG to RAW: The guy is still on WWE TV? Yeah, I don't count NXT. Ever since Cryme Tyme broke up, he's really been hardly used. I would seriously "future endeavor" him at this point.

Alicia Fox to Smackdown: Not sure how she benefits from this. She's not a TV regular, but maybe things will change with the move to the blue brand. No guarantee at a Divas championship run either.

William Regal to Smackdown: Not really much impact here, but maybe he can do hilarious backstage skits on the blue brand while still doing NXT commentary.

Yoshi Tatsu to Smackdown: Um, sure. Can't see Yoshi as anything more than a midcarder right now anyway. I still envy him for getting to work a storyline with Maryse.

Drew McIntyre to RAW: Good move. McIntyre got lost in the Smackdown shuffle and needed some sort of a fresh start. Perhaps a United States title run could occur in the future.

Natalya to Smackdown: Again, with the case of divas, it's generally hard to tell if the brand move will benefit that person. Not sure how fresh the feuds will be on Smackdown but we'll see.

Curt Hawkins to RAW: Not really caring here. Unless he impresses me soon, I'd "future endavor" this guy.

Chris Masters to RAW: Now he can entertain with his pecs on the red brand!

Kofi Kingston to RAW: Love the move. Could lead to fresh feuds, but I want that attitude to come out like it did against Orton a year or so ago. That will push him to really being a star.

Ted DiBiase to Smackdown: Good move. He was basically jobbing the last few months on the red brand.

Tyson Kidd to Smackdown: Good move for a talented performer. But will this translate to a push?

Tamina to Smackdown: So I guess this breaks her and Santino up. Now maybe we'll actually see Tamina wrestle. Or do I want to see that?

Tyler Reks to RAW: Hmm, sure, I guess. Now we get to see the Burning Hammer on RAW -- maybe.

Alex Riley to Smackdown: A-Ri finally gets separated from Miz. Did he learn anything from Miz besides knowing how to handle a briefcase?

Beth Phoenix to RAW: This was pretty much leaked from a few days ago when had Beth's profile under the RAW brand listings (or at least the URL was changed to reflect that anyway). I liked Beth more as a heel, but a feud with Kharma (the former Awesome Kong) would be neat to see if done right.

Sheamus to Smackdown: Does this mean Sheamus loses his U.S. title soon, or will it be Wade Barrett losing his IC belt? It might be the latter. I like this should give Sheamus some new feuds.

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25/11 RAW (WWE Draft)

20-Man Over-The-Top-Rope Battle Royal: *1/2

Eve Torres vs. Layla: N/A (Michael Cole is an ass)

Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus: 1/2*

Jim Ross vs. Michael Cole: N/A

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler: *

Rey Mysterio vs. Wade Barrett: *

The Miz, CM Punk, & Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena, Christian, & Mark Henry: *3/4

I liked the battle royal to start to see who would get the first draft pick. It makes for a nice fast start to the show and puts the wrestling aspect first. Yes, I know WWE doesn't want to be equated with wrestling, but too bad, this is my blog. The Kofi/Bourne sequence on the ring apron was sweet. Smackdown won...thought it was an anticlimactic ending.

JOHN CENA goes to Smackdown! I really like the move. He will bring ratings to Smackdown, and he's been on RAW for six years already. It's time for a change. Smackdown just got their #1 face to replace Edge -- and then some.

Does anyone else see how fitting it is that Cena is going to Smackdown -- a show with a name made famous because of...The Rock? Talk about an opportunity to add fuel to their supposed year-long hype for next year's WrestleMania.

I thought R-Truth cut a very good promo. This feud with John Morrison should be good for both men, but especially for R-Truth.

We finally got a intro video of the former Awesome Kong that gave the audience a good shot of her face. She will also be called "Kharma" -- and WWE did a great job of putting the emphasis on the word "harm" in Kharma. I really like the buildup, and it's only a matter of time before she's killing divas dead.

I have the admit, I'm actually interested in the LayCool storyline. It has gotten good response from the WWE Universe.

REY MYSTERIO goes to RAW! I like RAW a much-needed face star with the departures of Cena and Orton.

Well, that Kofi/Sheamus match was short.

WHAT? RANDY ORTON is going to Smackdown as well?! So much for him being the #1 face on RAW. Smackdown has just won the lottery when it comes to beefing up their roster.

I won't even bother to rate the JR/Cole deal. It was never meant to be an actual match. I must say though, I loved seeing Cole get a little bloodied up. King using that belt on Cole was awesome too.

JR/King vs. Swagger/Cole in a Country Whipping tag team match? Um...sure.

Orton and Ziggler in an average match. Smackdown gets two more draft picks! But wait! Punk interrupting the draft pick was nice. Last Man Standing betwen Punk and Orton. I like it...hoping for a four-star match between these two.

We're told in passing that MARK HENRY and SIN CARA go to Smackdown. Good move for Sin Cara. He's still learning the WWE style and will benefit from both the editing of a taped show and a more wrestling-oriented program to really show the WWE what he can do. And as for Mark Henry...I wonder if he can still be called the Kool-Aid man if they put him in blue wrestling gear.

So after Rey beat Barrett, RAW gets two draft picks....

BIG SHOW and ALBERTO DEL RIO to RAW! Basically, Del Rio to RAW was not a surprise anyway, as he had been on RAW for some time now to get more exposure.

The main event really showed how different the roster is now, as compared to the last few months.

With ADR moving to RAW, Christian is actually in a good spot to win the World Heavyweight Title on Sunday. I hope he does...or he will get lost in the shuffle on Smackdown. Of course, I could also live with Christian turning heel in the future to make sure he stays in that main event status. The man has paid his dues and  then some, and while some people say he may get the big belt now because of Edge's retirement, Christian still is widely respected and a great talent.

Ooh! Mark Henry heel turn! Maybe he's getting a push after all!

So RAW gets the last draft pick, and it's...JOHN CENA?! So basically, Cena stays put and now Orton can actually be the #1 face on Smackdown. It all worked out evenly in the end.

Average show this week at best.

4/25/11 Tough Enough

I'm wondering if that's the last time Rima will ask for extra training. Bill was basically taking her to school...the school of pain. In all seriousness though, I give Rima a lot of credit for even doing what she's doing. I know I wouldn't last one day in there.

Damn,.loved the Bret Hart appearance! Growing up, he was my favorite wrestler...not Hulk Hogan, not Ultimate Warrior. It was just something about the pink glasses and the way he connects with the fans.

The challenge today was basically agility...springing yourself over that top rope, much like how you'd see Tyson Kidd or Tara/Victoria do. Christina did pretty well. Luke and Jeremiah really impressed me and the trainers. I also loved seeing the contestants on roller skates.

Skills Challenge was basically your basic starting sequence of a wrestling match. Rima botched it and got out (no surprise there). Eric's conditioning let him down again. For Jeremiah, it was the little things that got him out. Luke and Martin again were at the top of the list. Right now, it's Luke's competition to lose. Martin got Luke in this one, but it was because Luke was "selfish" and tried to do too much, at least in Bill's eyes.

Andy, Martin, and Luke are the top three guys right now (not in any particular order). Christina is very good on the women's side. Even before the cuts were made, I'd just cut Rima at this point. She has heart, but it's getting to the point where this is just not her time yet.

As expected, Austin cut Rima and did not even pick two others in the bottom three. Again, I do applaud her for trying out. She lasted longer than I thought she would, and it really was because of her heart.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11 Smackdown

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: **

Jack Swagger vs. Trent Barreta: N/A (squash)

The Big Show & Kane vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel (Tag Team Titles): *1/2

Chris Masters vs. Drew McIntyre: *1/4

Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston (IC Title): *1/2

Very solid opener between Rhodes and Mysterio. These two have great chemistry together in the ring. I also liked how both men got offense in on each other post-match -- instead of one person beating down the other. Sure, Cody ultimately got the upper hand, but it was good to see Rey fight back a little. It was announced on the second half of Smackdown that Rey and Cody will go at it at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match. This should be good again. I got high hopes for this feud. It's been very good so far, and I hope it keeps delivering.

LayCool segment was good to watch. I'm actually a bit interested in how this turns out. The whole couples therapy deal...not sure how I feel about that segment, but the storyline is noteworthy to me, seeing as how the two have been paired together for some time. Obviously McCool is playing the heel in this one. I think Michelle plays a pretty flawless heel pun intended.

Poor Trent Barreta. Lots of talent, but jobs to Swagger.

Ha, so does Big Show have a stinkface-like maneuver now? So he basically sat on Heath Slater in the corner, but it was still a pretty good touch to have the announcers indirectly mention people like Rikishi who have used similar moves.

So it looks like there will be more tension in the Corre, now they lost the tag team titles. I personally did not like the decision to have Corre drop those belts so fast. They won't be taken seriously if they lose a bunch. I wanted them to have a decently long title reign. Even though Barrett retained his title, there's definitely notable tension between him and Ezekiel Jackson. I'm not really liking all this tension in the group. The original Nexus group started out so well because it was basically 7-8 guys taking out everyone and looking like a team when doing it. When the group fragments and tension builds, only weaknesses tend to show. To me, this is just bad booking of Corre, what could have been a potential powerhouse group. The same goes for New Nexus. I hope the WWE Draft repairs all this. Seriously.

IC Title match was OK. Liked Kofi's high-flying attack as usual.

Overall, the show was average. I'd probably give it somewhere around a 5 out of 10.

Anyway, the WWE Draft takes place next week. It was supposed to be in June, but moved up likely due to Edge's sudden retirement. I've read reports on how Alberto Del Rio was supposed to get the World Heavyweight Title and then get drafted to RAW, while Miz would go to Smackdown. It could theoretically still happen, since technically the WWE will probably hold off on fully enforcing brand switches until after Extreme Rules. Again, I think Randy Orton would be an ideal choice for Smackdown as its top face. People like Daniel Bryan (midcarders with no real storyline and are getting lost in the shuffle) would benefit from switching brands as well. We'll see what transpires next week!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21/11 Impact

James Storm & Robert Roode vs. Rob Terry & Murphy (Tag Team Titles): *1/2

Sarita & Rosita vs. Madison Rayne & Tara (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): 1/4*

Abyss vs. Rob Van Dam: *

Sting vs. Matt Hardy (World Title): *1/2

I didn't think this was a good show. Then again, I can't remember the last time I thoroughly enjoyed an episode of TNA Impact. Perhaps the only nice segment for me was the ongoing saga between Jeff Jarrett, Karen Jarrett, and Kurt Angle. Angle finally made mention of a "mistress" that would love to meet Karen. This should get pretty interesting as the events unfold each week.

4/21/11 Superstars

Tyler Reks vs. JTG: *3/4

Maryse vs. Natalya: *1/4

Mark Henry vs. Ted DiBiase: **

Not much this week from Superstars, but I did see that Bret Hart would be making a guest appearance on Tough Enough next Monday. That makes the episode a win right there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19/11 NXT

Conor O'Brian vs. Jacob Novak: 3/4*

Hornswoggle vs. Darren Young: 1/4*

Tyson Kidd & Lucky Cannon vs. Yoshi Tatsu & Byron Saxton: **1/4

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 4/19/11:
Titus O'Neil: 5-0
Conor O'Brian: 3-1
Lucky Cannon: 3-3
Darren Young: 2-4
Byron Saxton: 1-4
Jacob Novak: 1-4

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 13 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling, Power of the Punch)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia)
Jacob Novak: 2 (Pull Through)
Conor O'Brian: 0
Lucky Cannon: 0

Pull Through Challenge (2 points):
Lucky Cannon continues to be a douche and keeps intentionally losing challenges. Can I cut Lucky right now, please?

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18/11 RAW

John Morrison vs. R-Truth: *1/2

Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne: 1/2*

John Cena & Sin Cara vs. The Miz & Alex Riley: *3/4

Eve Torres vs. Nikki Bella: N/A (Wait, a match occurred? I never noticed.)

Sheamus vs. Santino Marella: 1/2*

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: **3/4

R-Truth's heel turn has finally occurred. It's about time. I was getting tired of his "What's Up?!" thing all the time. Sure, the fans really got into it, but if R-Truth is to become anything more than a midcarder -- any shot at all of moving up the food chain in the WWE -- he needed to turn heel. Looks like Morrison, who took R-Truth's place in the WWE title match with his win tonight -- is not winning on Sunday. I think Morrison and R-Truth feuding has promise.

I laughed when Ziggler came out with his new haircut. Why? Because now he and Evan Bourne could pass for brothers. But in all seriousness, Ziggler needs to run with this and really become a big-time force. I preferred the blonde curly locks because that made him stand out. Now he's just another face to me -- at least for the time being.

Loved the Edge video package.

Another Awesome Kong promo aired, this time ripping a brunette Barbie-like doll to shreds. I like the buildup for her debut.

Brie's short speech before the divas match puzzled me. At last check, couldn't divas from both RAW and Smackdown vie for the Divas Title? I guess it's the champion's choice then?

The Cole knighting segment stunk.

Nice main event this week. I like it when the crowd is into a match.

WWE Draft next week! With the face side very thin on Smackdown right now, I would think Orton moves to Smackdown. Christian could also finally get his time to shine in the main event role, but we'll see.

One last thing: I love the name WWE has apparently picked for Awesome Kong in WWE. I will not post it here for now, since it's apparently a spoiler as of this posting. However, several sites do have it up, and if you want to know, do a search for it.

4/18/11 Tough Enough

Right now, Eric is an embarrassment. He's not close to being in shape. Miss America beat all the girls and a couple of the guys. Rima is impressing early in this episode.

I thought it was great to have Big Show come in for a guest appearance. He's high on Eric as far as appearance goes, so hopefully that will give him more inspiration to step it up.

Michelle missed her daughter so much, she bowed out of Tough Enough. I also respect that decision. As Austin said, family is the most important part of our lives, and it is always tough to be away from them, especially over 300 days a year. Best of luck to Michelle.

Also nice to see Stacy Keibler again. She's looking amazing, as usual.

Martin (a.k.a. Donny Osmond) did a great job in the Skills Challenge. Once again, Eric's conditioning is the reason for him falling just short of victory. At some point, that will come back to bite Eric in the ass if he doesn't get it in gear. I must say, at least Eric did show signs of hope at the end of the show.

Mickael, Ryan, and Rima are in the bottom three this week. Ryan's promo against Mickael was very good. I like the serious, mean streak in him. Mickael is gone.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

4/17/11 Lockdown

Max Buck vs. Jeremy Buck vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Robbie E. vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jay Lethal vs. Amazing Red vs. Suicide (XScape Cage): A pretty fun match here. I was on the phone for much of this match (so I turned off the sound), but I still watched it. I liked how they weaved the Bucks feud a little during the match. Basically, this was there to also use eight guys. **3/4

Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal vs. Scott Steiner & Crimson vs. Douglas Williams & Magnus vs. Orlando Jordan & Eric Young (Cage): Steiner must be loved in Cincinnati because of his earlier were chanting to get him in the match. To me, a typical four-team tag match, not much more than that. *1/2

Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne (Cage; Hair vs. Title; Knockouts Title): This was basically a squash because of Mickie's shoulder, but this was disappointing because of its brevity. All this hype, and we're given a match that doesn't even last 30 seconds. I guess it was time for Mickie to get the title, but this could have been on Impact instead of a PPV. I refuse to rate this (and that's being polite, because I would be tempted to give this negative stars for TNA management even thinking of putting a short match -- especially a title match -- on a PPV). N/A

Samoa Joe vs. D'Angelo Dinero (Cage): I have basically forgotten what this feud was about and who's playing the face/heel role. I guess I'll just say Joe is the face because he's getting major pops (shows how much I cared about this one). Pretty good match here; good intensity in this one. **3/4

Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez (Cage): Another match that really didn't impress me. Some OK back-and-forth action. Cage use was there, but still was pretty damn basic for me. Mexican-America tried to interfere, and Morgan hits a Carbon Footprint as Hernandez tries to come off the top. Solid finish at least. The largest pop had to be Velvet Sky coming out post-match. *1/2

Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle (Cage; Ultra Male Rules (2 out of 3 Falls: Submission, Pin, Escape Cage)): Finally, a match that I looked forward to. TNA hyped this match pretty well, and at least there is smart booking here to just have the match on PPV instead of free TV. And wow, did they deliver. You knew that this match would go the full three falls. I loved the spot where Angle contemplated leaving the cage on the third fall. He could have won right there, but, with Jeff looking on from all fours, chose to lock himself in with Jeff to continue the punishment. That storytelling earns bonus points from me. I totally jumped up when Angle's head pretty much got planted on the power bomb. I marked even more when Angle got up and caught Jarrett with the Angle Slam from the top rope. I thought the last 10 minutes was perfectly booked. It took numerous dirty tactics from Jeff and Karen to finally put Kurt away. I really do want one more match between the two, but because Jeff has taken two straight in this feud, I'm not sure how it will be booked. ****1/4

Outstanding wrestling spots, lots of time for storytelling, awesome fan reaction. See, it's not that the performers in other matches are horrible. If the proper feud is made and there's time to tell a great story, a phenomenal rating can result.

Sting vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson (Cage; World Title): Pretty action-packed from the start; really liked the Double Scorpion Death Lock spot (seen Natalya use it on two divas before, though). Double Mic Check was nice, although I thought both guys kicking out hurt the finisher's impact. Another disappointing match here. Sure, all the finishers were hit, but the real story centered on Hogan's involvement (bringing the pipe into play). At this rate, I'm just gonna say Sting joins Hogan's side in another "ruse" because no one else is budging. *1/2

James Storm, Robert Roode, Kazarian, & Daniels vs. Matt Hardy, Bully Ray, Abyss, & Ric Flair (Lethal Lockdown): They really transitioned fast from the World Title match to Lethal Lockdown, likely because TNA wanted as much time for this as possible. While I'm not a fan of Flair continuing to wrestle at his age, he still gets major crowd reaction and is great at what he does. Flair bled very badly in this one, a crimson red face. But did we have to see Flair's ass again? Leave it to Daniels to do the crazy spots...I loved it. AJ came out to a nice pop there to help Fortune (or is it Fourtune?). So basically, was Flair in there just to job so the other Immortal members didn't have to look as weak? Perhaps. ***3/4

This show was largely a disappointment. There was a clear Match of the Night (Jarrett/Angle) and a clear runner-up (Lethal Lockdown). Everything else -- even the two other passable matches that got around **3/4 -- could have occurred on Impact on any given day, sans the cage. This is also the second PPV in a row with a very disappointing World Title match. Not good, my friends, not good.

Lockdown is supposed to be TNA's second-biggest PPV of the year. If that's the case, I would really be that much more concerned about the product. The company's been bleeding money for a long time, and the quality of shows has decreased considerably. I sure as hell hope change is coming, because TNA badly needs it. Not the worst PPV, but it needed to be better than this. **1/4

Who fills the void?

John Canton has put up a nice article regarding who are the more likely candidates to replace Edge as the top face on Smackdown. You can view the article here:

Here's my take on several candidates:

John Cena: First of all, Cena will be on RAW for a while, at least the foreseeable future. It's also unlikely he's turning heel, since he moves so much merchandise. Basically, Vince gave Cena the ball and Cena ran with it. Cena is a RAW lifer right now.

Randy Orton: I would love for Orton to move to Smackdown. Otherwise, he's basically RAW's #2 face. His feud with New Nexus has basically died off (I wish Punk and his cronies had more momentum in that feud). Orton is way over with the crowd, and I'd like for him to continue in his main event role. A very good choice here, perhaps the most ideal right now.

Triple H/Undertaker: Both men are winding their careers down and will not be on TV each week. Not going to happen -- or if it does, Vince is not a smart man. I feel the new face of Smackdown needs to be younger and able to run as the top guy for at least the next few years.

Christian: Probably the sentimental choice, since he and Edge are real-life best friends and it's been well-documented on WWE programming. Extreme Rules may very well be Christian's best chance to capture the World Heavyweight Championship, if really only due to Edge's retirement. But much like HHH, Taker, and even Chris Jericho (see right below), Christian is also past his mid-30s (turning 38 in November) and Vince has not been too high on him all this time. While wrestlers have obviously wrestled amazing matches well into their mid-40s (see Shawn Michaels and Undertaker as examples), the guys like HBK and Taker were main eventers for years before hitting age 40. So it makes me wonder: is it too late for Christian to get a legit chance as a main eventer in WWE? Hopefully not.

Chris Jericho: I read a report where Jericho may be back in WWE after his run on "Dancing with the Stars" is over. Obviously, with his excellent mic work and in-ring abilities, he can put anyone over (face or heel) and is a huge asset to the company. Another great choice for Smackdown, if available. The only problem I may have is how long Jericho has left on a wrestling career. He does take some time off -- which is not a bad thing -- but again, I would prefer a younger star to become the face of Smackdown, much like how the likes of Cena, Orton, and Miz are on RAW.

Kofi Kingston: First of all, he's already on Smackdown. Second, he has the great athleticism that fans love to "ooh" and "ahh" about. The problem comes with mic skills and any sense of attitude he can bring that will complete the package. Basically, Kofi is a good pick, but I think he just needs that fire he had when he briefly feuded with Randy Orton a year or so ago.

John Morrison: There's no denying Morrison's athleticism. I really like the Parkour moves he uses; they are interesting and make him stand out from the rest of the roster. Unfortunately, there are apparently one too many negative reports stemming from the locker room (usually involving him and Melina), and Vince is also rumored to not be very high on him right now. I would love for Morrison to also hit Starship Pain better, but that can be easily fixed. Morrison back to Smackdown would be great for a fresh start again.

Alberto Del Rio: Not going to be a main eventer as a face. He'll likely win the World Heavyweight Championship and hopefully have a good run as a heel champion. (Basically, I just threw his name on here because he is a rising star and somehow I do see him as a face in the future.)

The Miz: I like his work on RAW as the top heel. Miz has earned his spot and really done an awesome job (pun sorta intended). He's not going to Smackdown.

Rey Mysterio: His work is still great despite all the knee injuries. And of course, he really moves merchandise with the Mysterio masks and his ties with the Latino community/lucha style. Rey technically is still one of the top faces on Smackdown already, but his best matches are definitely behind him. It's time to push younger talent, and Rey is best suited for that #2 face role right now.

Sin Cara: WWE has really marketed Sin Cara to no end, announcing press conferences, showing impressive videos to hype the debut, and doing some fancy trampoline entrance into the ring. I really would have hoped WWE put Sin Cara on Smackdown just because Smackdown is more wrestling-oriented and that's obviously where his strengths lie. A major issue yet to be touched on (at least on TV) is Sin Cara's mic skills. I have no idea how much English (if any) Sin Cara knows, but to become a top face in WWE, mic skills are a must.

Daniel Bryan: I shook my head when I saw Daniel Bryan going from a feud with Miz and becoming United States champion to...a part of Apple? I know WWE is really dropping the ball by having Daniel Bryan "demoted" to lower midcard status and feuding with the Corre. One of the major knocks on Daniel is the mic work (promos he's cut after his Miz feud have been average to below average in my book). He could be a good choice to move to Smackdown, but for some reason, I'd rather see him as a heel if he's pushed. Then he can do the "I have till FIVE!" bit again.

Jack Swagger: Swagger deserves better than this. He's gone from World Heavyweight champion to Michael Cole's trainer. Then Cole decides to slap Swagger in the ring on RAW for losing to Jerry Lawler, further showing how far down the totem pole Swagger has dropped. I would love for Swagger to turn face here, but somehow I do think that this could just be the next installment of Cole getting the better of Lawler at Extreme Rules (basically Swagger will tease the face turn but help Cole win anyway and show it was all a ruse). So in a nutshell, Swagger could be a good choice for the top Smackdown face, but it is unlikely to happen.

Big Show/Kane: Both are in supporting roles now. Big Show and Kane are also up there in age, which, to me, works against them. Not going to be the top face on Smackdown.

R-Truth: Fine, I'll mention him because he has a title match at Extreme Rules. But his face gimmick is far more entertainment than anything else, and I find it hard to take his act seriously. Unless he turns heel, I cannot see him as anything more than a midcarder.

Nutshell Determinations:
(1) Moving Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, and/or John Morrison to Smackdown would be great choices.

(2) Chris Jericho is always an excellent choice, if he's available.

(3) I would love for WWE to finally push Christian all the way to the top, but that is Vince's call -- and if Vince doesn't pull the trigger on Christian this time, I can't see it ever happening.

(4) Kofi Kingston is also a great choice for top Smackdown star, but I want that extra attitude (like when he feuded with Orton) to come back if so.

(5) Rey Mysterio should stay on Smackdown as the #2 face, giving up-and-comers like Cody Rhodes a great feud to launch a nice singles career.

(6) I'll hold off any more opinions on Sin Cara until I see more in-ring work -- and perhaps his ability to speak. Sin Cara will not be the top Smackdown star right now, that's for sure.

(7) And no, HHH and Undertaker should not be considered for this role, given that their careers are winding down.

Smackdown's newest top face, in my opinion, must be young (or relatively young), charismatic/over with the crowd, and a great mic worker. Currently, Randy Orton is the closest to filling that, but I'd also like Christian, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, and/or John Morrison to get a shot. If any of the latter four names get at least a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship (and hopefully win it) at next year's WrestleMania, then WWE should be in very good hands. Edge's sudden retirement only confirms the need for WWE to build new stars when they can. As the old saying goes, anything can happen in the WWE.

Friday, April 15, 2011

4/15/11 Smackdown

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Kofi Kingston: 1/2*

Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre: **3/4

Kelly Kelly vs. Layla: DUD

20-Man Over-the-Top-Rope Battle Royal: **3/4

Great farewell speech from Edge. Even better that his mother got screen time.

The last few days when working out, I've had Edge's entrance theme on repeat. When he first debuted, I was unsure if Edge would be more than a midcard wrestler or a tag team champion. What a stellar career he had, and, like I stated on Monday, it's only a matter of time before he's in the WWE Hall of Fame as well. I'd likely give it at least a year, perhaps two, before he's inducted. It would be great if he were inducted the same year WrestleMania is in Toronto -- or anywhere in Canada.

The end to Smackdown was awesome. The perfect way for Edge to go out. He's earned the respect of everyone in the locker room and the respect of fans all over the world. Thank you, Edge, for all that you've given to us.

4/14/11 Superstars

(First week that the show moves to

Chris Masters vs. Curt Hawkins: *3/4

Natalya & Gail Kim vs. Maryse & Melina: *1/2

The Great Khali vs. Zack Ryder: 1/2*

Why is The Great Khali even wrestling right now? Personally, the 1/2* I gave that match was more attributed to the crowd reaction than anything else. If WWE was really a wrestling organization -- which they are really not anymore (they want to be an entertainment business) -- Khali would have either been gone a long time ago or not even signed in the first place.

Zack Ryder is not bad on mic skills, and he does have a look/gimmick to help him stand out from other wrestlers. But personally, instead of being stuck in midcard purgatory, couldn't they have just kept him paired with Curt Hawkins? Come on Vince, what do you have against tag teams anyway?

(NOTE: This post was updated on 4/15 to give more reviews and thoughts for this episode. Even the future PPV entries will use this format from now on.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

4/14/11 Impact

Crimson vs. Douglas Williams vs. Jesse Neal vs. Orlando Jordan: -1/2* (What in the world was this?!)

Matt Hardy vs. Kazarian: **1/4

Jeff Jarrett, D'Angelo Dinero, & Hernandez vs. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, & Matt Morgan: *1/2

Abyss vs. James Storm: *

Mr. Anderson vs. Immortal (Gauntlet): *1/2

Did Sting really use the word "jabroni" in his promo with RVD and Immortal? Don't be stealing the Rock's catchphrases!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/12/11 NXT

Titus O'Neil vs. Darren Young: 1/2*

Jacob Novak vs. Byron Saxton: 1/2*

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Lucky Cannon: *1/4

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 4/12/11:
Titus O'Neil: 5-0
Conor O'Brian: 2-1
Lucky Cannon: 2-3
Darren Young: 2-4
Byron Saxton: 1-3
Jacob Novak: 1-3

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 13 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling, Power of the Punch)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia)
Conor O'Brian: 0
Jacob Novak: 0
Lucky Cannon: 0

Power of the Punch Challenge (4 points):
Titus wins, woohoo!

Monday, April 11, 2011

4/11/11 RAW

Brie Bella vs. Eve Torres (Divas Title): 1/4*

Sin Cara vs. Primo: **1/4

Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Santino Marella, Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, & Evan Bourne: *1/4

Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger: 3/4*

John Cena vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler (Gauntlet): ***

The first vignette for the "Diva Formerly Known as Awesome Kong" aired tonight before the divas match. She basically flicked a blonde doll's head off the rest of its body and had a sinister laugh. Based off this, Kong (or whatever her name will be once she debuts) will be a heel upon her WWE debut. She is currently in FCW, likely learning WWE style and shaking off any ring rust. Since there is only one Divas Title right now (held by Eve), it doesn't really matter what show Kong will be put on.

I personally see one of two roles for Kong: (1) be a "bodyguard" of a heel wrestler and take out several divas that way; or (2) just debut and take out a ton of divas (both heel and face), much like how Lesnar debuted and nuked everyone in sight. Debuts must be impressive, and WWE just has to decide which route to go.

Very nice debut match for Sin Cara. I liked that WWE chose Primo to job to Sin Cara for two reasons: (1) Primo knows the lucha style; and (2) Primo also knows Spanish, so Sin Cara will be able to communicate with his opponent without much trouble. They did botch the first attempt at the finish, but they recovered quickly and completed a fun match with some nice spots.

Edge has apparently called it a career because of a serious injury. As of now, I am unsure as to whether it is related to a past injury (i.e. neck, Achilles) or just a completely new one. I've read several reports that this is legit and NOT a storyline. Obviously, this affects the World Title picture, but only slightly, in my book. It would be one way for ADR to capture the title he should have won (in my opinion) at WM27. Edge will vacate the belt on Smackdown, so I'm assuming ADR will face Christian for the vacated title at Extreme Rules, and ADR will win. ADR can use Edge's legit retirement and turn it into a storyline, going back on his spiel about how it truly was his destiny to win the World Heavyweight Championship and perhaps say something similar to how karma comes back to bite someone in the ass.

Anyway, assuming the news I've read is true and Edge is indeed done, it was a pleasure to have watched Edge compete for roughly 14 years. He's been a part of many memorable matches -- including TLC II, a match I gave five stars to. It truly is time for new stars to be born. We have Miz right now, and it's only a matter of time before the likes of Alberto Del Rio and Sin Cara shine as well.

In my opinion, it was a great retirement speech. The fans gave him a warm sendoff, and the WWE superstars all broke character to do the same. I wish Edge the best. It's only a matter of time before we see him in the WWE Hall of Fame.

4/11/11 Tough Enough

Just a few thoughts from this week's episode:

(1) Having John Cena on the show was a good way for the show to get some ratings. Tough Enough was moved to before RAW instead of after.

(2) Running from the attack dog was pretty neat. Several guys at least managed to stay on their feet, almost like they were dragging a small linebacker or cornerback with them.

(3) It was cool to see Bill squashing people in the corner -- even when it came to the divas, it looked like he showed no mercy. Everyone seemed to do pretty well on this one.

(4) I totally agree with the trainers. Luke is definitely a frontrunner to win this thing right now. Eric has really not shown me much. Rima shows promise, but it won't help in being late. A bit surprised that Matt went home, but Austin has a point: no charisma and no personality generally means no WWE career.

Friday, April 8, 2011

4/8/11 Smackdown

Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, The Big Show, & Kane vs. Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, & Ezekiel Jackson (2 out of 3 Falls): **1/2

Cody Rhodes vs. Trent Barreta: N/A (squash)

Kelly Kelly & Beth Phoenix  vs. Michelle McCool & Layla: *

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian: **3/4

I love how WWE is getting Sin Cara on both shows. At first, I thought it would just be limited to RAW, but allowing Sin Cara to also showcase some of his moves on Smackdown will really get the WWE Universe buzzing. Good job there, WWE.

4/7/11 Superstars

(WGN America Finale)

Drew McIntyre vs. JTG: *3/4

Tyson Kidd vs. Yoshi Tatsu: **1/4

Santino Marella vs. Ted DiBiase: **1/4

4/4/11 ROH (HDNet Finale)

Davey Richards, Jay Briscoe, & Mark Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong, Chris Hero, & Claudio Castagnoli: ****1/4

Loved the video packages on each participant (or tag team) before the match. A great way to end the HDNet run with a phenomenal match. I hope another channel -- preferably a channel that I actually get -- will pick it up.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4/7/11 Impact

Hernandez & Anarquia vs. Tommy Dreamer & Devon: 1/4*

Samoa Joe vs. Murphy: N/A (squash)

Sarita & Rosita vs. Angelina Love & Velvet Sky (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): DUD (Then again, was this even a match?! Atrocious. I get the whole point of what Winter is doing to speed up the damn storyline and stop having the same matches just about every week!)

Brian Kendrick, Chris Sabin, & Suicide vs. Max Buck, Jeremy Buck, & Robbie E.: *1/2

Bully Ray vs. Christopher Daniels: *1/2

Rob Van Dam vs. Sting: 1/2*

Another horrible Impact, in my opinion. I didn't think this show was even watchable -- I had the TV on in the background and did other things while the matches went on. There was nothing to excite me, period.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4/5/11 NXT

Conor O'Brian vs. Jacob Novak: *

Hornswoggle & Titus O'Neil vs. Chavo Guerrero & Darren Young: *1/4

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Ted DiBiase: N/A

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 4/5/11:
Titus O'Neil: 4-0
Conor O'Brian: 2-1
Lucky Cannon: 2-2
Darren Young: 2-3
Byron Saxton: 1-2
Jacob Novak: 0-3

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 9 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia)
Conor O'Brian: 0
Jacob Novak: 0
Lucky Cannon: 0

WWE Trivia Challenge (4 points):
Darren Young had the brain fart of all brain farts. Other than that, nothing of note in my book. Good job, Saxton.