Friday, July 29, 2011

7/29/11 Smackdown

Christian vs. John Morrison: **

Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, & Tamina vs. Natalya, Kaitlyn, & AJ: 1/4*

Mark Henry vs. Bobby Howard: N/A

David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty vs .Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (Tag Team Titles): 1/2*

Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Ezekiel Jackson: 1/2*

R-Truth vs. Randy Orton: **1/4

HHH opened the show. Christian faces Orton in a No Holds Barred match at SummerSlam, which already sounds damn good to me. But what the hell...R-Truth on Smackdown now? So HHH said Truth faces Orton tonight. Christian gets...John Morrison? Guess Morrison's been cleared to wrestle.

Wait...WTF, Zack Ryder on Smackdown? Guess the brand extension is moot -- not like it was really ever relevant the last few years anyway. Woohoo! Zack Ryder's been promoted to Teddy Long's assistant!

Liked the Morrison/Christian match...JoMo hasn't lost a step. But dammit, Coleis so freakin' annoying. He really needs to tone his character down big time. I wish Bobby Heenan could give him tips on how to act as a heel commentator.

Jinder Mahal buys a luxury box to watch the action? Sure, whatever.

Wade Barrett in the ring. Pretty much disses Daniel Bryan, so of course DB comes out to Cole's dismay. Nice punch from Barrett...connected real well. But of course, DB gets the upper hand. Cole is pissed. I hate Cole's guts.

I liked the video package on Gabriel and his return to South Africa. Really liked him comparing South Africa as a cross between Miami and the state of Colorado...mountains and beaches in one country. Pretty vivid imagery for me.

Divas match time. Respectable stuff between Natalya and Tamina, I'll say that. Finish looked botched. Doesn't surprise me.

Nice video package to hype Mark Henry's destruction of Big Show and Kane. Vader Bomb FTW! Kool-Aid Bomb! Yeah, he's still the Kool-Aid man to me. Welp, another squash for Henry tonight.

But wow, Sheamus as a potential face to feud with Henry? Interesting.

Tag match was a big letdown. Is this really how the tag titles will be defended? Geez. Same with the handicap match with Zeke vs. Cody/Ted.

I had no clue what the heck Jinder and Khali were saying. The main event was next anyway and basically served a purpose to show how Christian will need to be scared of Orton's "anger management" at SummerSlam. R-Truth just "got got," Little Jimmy! I wanted that table to break dammit! Seems like only the Spanish announce table would ever get broken these days...and even that's not a given anymore.

7/28/11 Impact

Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam: *3/4

Crimson vs. Bully Ray: *

Winter vs. Tara: 1/4*

Brian Kendrick vs. Abyss (Ultimate X; X-Division Title): *1/2

Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson (Cage): **

Gunner/RVD pitted two of the top four people in the BFG Series standings (Gunner was second with 28 points and RVD was T-4th with 21 points). Tenay said there was an update on Matt Morgan, to be revealed later in the show. Decent match here with good crowd reaction. RVD won to move into a tie for second with Gunner.

Did I mention Sting is a nutcase? Just checkin'. And now he's the "network executive" for TV purposes? Not really caring. (And yeah, we find out later that he's not the network executive...figures....)

Ultimate X Match with Abyss in it? Sounded intriguing, really.

Morgan reveals the bad news: he'sout of the BFG Tournament with a torn right pectoral injury. Reading reports, I think it's actually a legit back injury of some sort, but whatever. Whatever the case, it's really a shame for Matt. Works hard, trains hard, and not the time to get an injury.

BFG Series update: Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, Gunner, James Storm, and Scott Steiner scored points (Roode getting 14 points due to two pinfall wins). Crimson still leads with 31 points coming into the night. Crimson with another win over Bully Ray. Average match there. Ray basically carried the match and then Crimson abruptly hits his finisher for the win.

Whatever Sting has in that covered cage, he scared Madison Rayne with it....

Angelina is definitely super skinny. Not gonna put the anorexia sticker on her, but still, she is pretty thin. I liked Earl Hebner banning Tessmacher and Angelina from ringside before the match started, which I liked. Liked the tarantula move from Tara. The finish was looked like Winter did a low blow, which I wouldn't think works on females. In either event, not very entertaining.

Ultimate X match on free TV -- especially with a big man involved -- means the match will likely be short and not too great. Well, I was wrong in part. The finish was pretty creative.

Knockouts segment between Traci/Velvet/ODB/Jackie. Basically just a way for Velvet to look more the babyface role, but hell, she was already quite firmly established as a face (at least for a Knockouts reaction). Not much to that segment.

Time for Angle and Anderson in the cage, which brought back memories of their epic cage match last year. For some reason, I just couldn't get too much into this match. It was definitely the best match of the night, though. No contest there. Basically Fortune and Immortal (predictably) brawl on the outside, then Mexican-America comes on in. Bully Ray also interferes. Angle pulls out the win. Yeah, OK, sure.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

7/28/11 Superstars

Heath Slater vs. Trent Barreta: **1/4

David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty vs. Santino Marella & Chris Masters: *1/2

Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger: **1/4

Barreta continues to impress me. Slater isn't the worst on the roster, either. Decent stuff in this one.

Tag match was mainly basic stuff, and Santino's presence amped up the crowd reaction and the rating.

Swagger with an A-Bomb is basically almost like Cena's Five Knuckle's a basic move with theatrics. Really don't care for that. At least Kofi gets good height on his Boomdrop, for comparison's sake on theatrical moves.

Pretty solid week of matches for Superstars.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7/26/11 NXT

Derrick Bateman vs. Titus O'Neil: *1/2

Tyson Kidd vs. Yoshi Tatsu (Necklace on a Pole): ***

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 7/26/11:
Titus O'Neil: 11-7
Darren Young: 7-13
Derrick Bateman: 3-0

Conor O'Brian: 6-6 (eliminated)
Lucky Cannon: 6-6 (eliminated)
Jacob Novak: 2-5 (eliminated)
Byron Saxton: 2-8 (eliminated)

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 28 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling; Power of the Punch; King of the Hill; Talk the Talk Part 2; Talk the Talk Part 3; Dummy Demonstration)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Derrick Bateman: 0

Jacob Novak: 6 (Pull Through; Know Your Pro) (eliminated)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia) (eliminated)
Conor O'Brian: 3 (Tag Team Turmoil) (eliminated)
Lucky Cannon: 0 (eliminated)

This Week's Challenge: None.
Is there any point to these challenges anymore? Titus will probably win each week from now on anyway.

We're in Philly tonight...advertising a Necklace on a Pole match between Yoshi and Tyson.

Bateman is rocking the "Rocky Balboa" trunks tonight. Darren Young is at ringside for the match, much like how Bateman was at ringside last week. Bateman's deranged look reminds me a bit of Edge. Predictable ending, and the finish didn't look too good (Titus needs to work on taking that finisher). Bateman needed the win here to keep momentum going.

Dammit, I am so jealous of Hornswoggle. He gets to work a storyline with AJ!

Hey, Kozlov isn't saying "double-double-E" anymore! At least he didn't in that segment with JTG.

Necklace on a pole match. Another great, physical match here. They really got great chemistry together. Really liked Tyson using the Boston Crab in the ropes, taking advantage of the No-DQ rule. A little confusing finish, but it was pretty good. Yup, gotta love that they fight over a piece of plastic, just like Regal said.

Finished the show off by replaying the Cena/Mysterio match from RAW. I thought it was damn excellent. Crowd was really into this one.

Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25/11 RAW

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz (WWE Title): ***

Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne: *1/4

Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres vs. Maryse & Melina: 1/2*

Zack Ryder vs. Michael Cole: N/A

Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio: *3/4

John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio (WWE Title): ***3/4

WWE Title match started things off, and a great match it was. I also liked Del Rio attempting to cash in MITB...he's basically playing Miz's role from last year. Woohoo, Rey got a champagne bath afterward.

I'm very interested to see how HHH does in his new on-camera role. Definitely a surreal moment and I think it will produce quite a few highs for the business.

Dolph Ziggler came out to a remixed theme of his old music. So far, so good on that. A theme song can definitely help in establishing one as a main eventer. I had a hard time believing Dolph as a main eventer with the old theme. Interesting that Dolph hit the Zigzag but chose to use the sleeper afterward to finish Bourne off. Perhaps to further establish the sleeper as a finisher.

You know, I really liked the Bellas/Eve segment. Quite entertaining. As for the divas match, it was pretty standard, quite ordinary.

HHH with his State of the WWE address. A second WWE Title match...Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena. Love the decision. Holy crap...Jim Ross?! Never expected that. Loved the entire segment as Cole is now booked into a match.

HHH was awesome in his segment with R-Truth. Woohoo John Morrison! Looks like the neck is better now as he even did pulled off Starship Pain. Even if the neck isn't fully 100 percent, he has a few weeks to do more non-wrestling segments.

ROFL, I just did a spit-take when Cole came out in HHH's gear and "King of Kings" music. Classic. Anyway, he lost to Zack Ryder in about 25 seconds. Good to see Zack on RAW.

Kofi/Del Rio was decent. Good finish there.

During Rey/Cena, there were split Cena and CM Punk chants. Amazing at the following Punk has gotten. Just amazing. The damn guy wasn't even in the match and he's getting the loudest chants of the night. I didn't ever think Cena could go that long without throwing a punch. Wow, Mysterio put Cena in the STF? Damn. And Cena actually sold an injury. Amazing. Excellent match.

But dammit, why the hell do they treat Rey as a transitional champ? He has had ZERO meaningful world title reigns. Zero.

Anyway, LONG LIVE CM PUNK! The ending was awesome. I LOVE Punk's new music. Cult of Personality!

Friday, July 22, 2011

7/22/11 Smackdown

Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson: **

Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater: **1/4

Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett: *1/2

Randy Orton vs. Kane (Street Fight): ***3/4

Cold open to start the show...Orton in the ring for a promo to address both the Vince situation and the World Title picture. Orton wants his rematch, Christian doesn't want to give it to him. Orton eventually gets a few shots on Christian on the ramp. Sounds about right. Christian carried Zeke to a passable match there.

Loved it when a reluctant Cole interviewed Daniel Bryan in the ring. DB goofed though...he's not the first guy to tell people when he'd cash in MITB (guess they forgot about RVD at One Night Stand in 2006 vs. Cena). But Daniel Bryan is smart...wait until next year's Mania! Love that he will guarantee himself a main event spot. And Cole (his character) is so full of himself that he deserves to be treated with pisses me off. He's been getting X-Pac heat from me for the last few years anyway.

Good victory for Daniel Bryan. I like that they are giving DB a second submission finisher (guillotine choke). But dammit, I want to see Cattle Mutilation again!

I skipped over the Vince/Cena/HHH segment from RAW this time. Saw it already...didn't really feel like seeing it again.

Double countout for Barrett and Sheamus. Good hard-hitting brawl that carried over after the match.

Excellent street fight. Don't think Orton was supposed to step in that hole in the announce table (where the monitor normally is), but Orton basically did his best to make it like it was part of the act. Wow, Kane kicked out of the RKO...what the hell?! Punt...nope! Chokeslam from Kane...near fall! Damn this is awesome. RKO on the chair was great, although Orton hit the back of his neck on that chair too. Handshake after the match was unexpected, but I felt this made this match even better.

Oh, the handshake makes sense now! Because we can't forget about Mark Henry! He beats the crap outta Kane for heel heat and finishes it off with the Vader Bomb to the injured leg, just like he did to Show. Vader Bomb really getting over as a big move for Henry, much like the punt did for Orton. Kane established as more of a face with the handshake, Henry capitalizes on this and gets big heel heat for taking out the Big Red Monster.

Good way to end Smackdown, in my book.

7/21/11 Superstars

Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd: *1/2

Alicia Fox vs. Natalya: 1/2*

Santino Marella & Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty: *3/4

Evan Bourne vs. Primo: **

Gabriel/Kidd was good for what it was. Gabriel being pushed as a face, apparently?

Divas match basically stemming from the other week when Alicia's hair extensions were ripped out and Natalya's fake nails were pulled off. How mature, huh? So this week, Alicia puts her hair up. And Alicia's belt comes off...oops. I woulda wanted Nattie to at least struggle to get out of that inside cradle, but whatever.

Good tag match. Ryder and Santino are definitely both over with the crowd. Love it when the crowd is alive and kicking!

Good grief, I forgot Primo was even on the damn roster anymore. Anyway, this was the best match of the show. Nice athleticism here folks! Loved the camera angles on the Air Bourne finisher!

The Vince/Cena/HHH segment from RAW finished the show. Still a big moment in WWE history, as we may have finally seen the end of the Mr. McMahon character after numerous attempts to kill it off.

As a note, CM Punk vs. John Cena was given the FULL FIVE STARS from Dave Meltzer. This is the summary taken from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

‎6. C.M. Punk pinned John Cena to win the WWE title in 33:42. Punk was super over. Lawler said he’s never seen this much home town emotion in his career. Yes, Jerry Lawler, who got this kind of a reaction every time he challenged for the world title in Memphis over a dozen year or so period said this. Punk was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Best in the World,” which is kind of gimmick pilfering. The announcers were pushing this as one of the biggest matches in the history of the promotion, and at the end, you probably could make a great case for it. Fans started with a “You can’t wrestle” chant at Cena. Punk was great at working the crowd, making a facial like, “You’re chanting this at me,” sarcastically, and then pointing to Cena. Cena took Punk down and Punk put Cena in the guard. Cole then announced that Punk had Cena in the Anaconda vise. Yes, the freaking guard was called the Anaconda Vise. Made worse that at the finish, Punk actually used the Anaconda Vise and Cole had no clue what it was. Then Cole put over Chicago, saying it’s been one of the greatest WWE cities for the past 40 to 50 years. If that’s the case, where are Crusher and Bruiser’s Hall of Fame plaques. Punk used a hiptoss, dropkick and headlock takeover spot. The announcers then brought up the 1997 Survivor Series. They noted that happened because Bret Hart wanted to leave the company with the championship belt. You’d think when he came back and they settled everything, that they wouldn’t keep telling that story. Cena tried the Attitude Adjustment, Punk tried the GTS, and both escaped.

Punk threw some kicks and Cena clotheslined the hell out of him. Dueling chants. Even here, the women were cheering for Cena, even though this was as loud as any pro-Cena reaction ever (RVD at the Manhattan Center in 2006 was as loud, but there’s a difference between 2,500 people and nearly 15,000 people). Right after that chant, Lawler said he didn’t think there was one Cena fan in the building. Thank God the crowd was so great because this announcing was pure shit. Punk put Cena in a triangle (three announcers, not one had a clue what he was doing) and Cena stood up. Punk started throwing elbows before Cena could drop him, and then tossed Cena out of the ring. Punk went outside, and gave a high-five to Colt Cabana. This led to a “Colt Cabana” chant, which wasn’t acknowledged. Punk used a kneedrop off the middle rope onto Cena’s back while Cena was on the apron. Punk landed some knees, whipped Cena into the buckles and Punk missed a tackle and flew into the post. More dueling chants. Cole quoted Gorilla Monsoon, saying, “If you’re not in this business to be champion, you’re in the wrong business.” He may have said that as a worked quote, but the Monsoon quote he always said, because he hated people who were in wrestling to gratify their egos and not get business, was “If you’re not in this business to make money, you’re in the wrong business.” Punk came off the top rope with a crossbody block, but landed low, and instead of landing on Cena’s chest, landed on his knee. Cena appeared to injure his right knee. Cena tried to walk it off. It was apparently legit and not serious, because it didn’t play into the rest of the match. Cena then suplexed Punk from inside the ring to the floor. Cena, when taking the fall, twisted completely to land on his left side and protect his right knee. Cena with a fisherman suplex. Booker T talked about how Cena is turning the crowd toward him. He said the same thing about Orton, and it wasn’t true in either match. Cena got a near fall with a powerslam. Punk started throwing punches with the crowd popping for each punch. Cena used a form of abdominal stretch, but Punk eye raked and hip tossed out. They knocked each other down with simultaneous clotheslines. Punk got a near fall with a schoolboy, but then missed a knee into the corner. Cena slammed him and the crowd was booing like crazy. Cena went into his usual comeback phase. Punk crossed him up with a kick to the head. Crowd went nuts. Punk landed a flying knee that knocked Cena out of the ring. Punk followed with a tope. Punk went for a springboard move but Cena moved and Punk fell into the ring. Cena did the five knuckle shuffle, and went for the AA, but Punk landed on his feet, kicked Cena in the face and swept his leg for a near fall. Punk went for the GTS, but Cena reversed into a gut wrench for a near fall. Punk with two flying knees, the second of which looked like it landed right on the chin like an MMA blow. He followed with a bulldog and a springboard clothesline for a near fall. Punk threw some kicks to the chest, but Cena countered with the STF. Punk made the rope. Punk came back with a kick to the head and Cena kicked out. Punk used a crossbody and Cena rolled through and picked Punk up and put him on his shoulders for the AA again. Punk escaped, went for the GTS, but Cena reversed back into the STF in an awesome spot.Punk went to the ropes, but Cena pulled him into the center of the ring. Punk put his hand up to tap, and then got a look on his face as if he mentally said to himself, “I’m not tapping.” He then reversed out of the STF into the Anaconda vise.

Crowd was going crazy. Cena ended up breaking the hold, and landed the AA, but Punk kicked out. Place was electric at this point. Cena came off the top for his leg slice, but Punk side stepped and went for the pin, but Cena kicked out. Punk did the Frank Shamrock sleep deal (the one Mickey Rourke used in “The Wrestler”) and went for the GTS. Cena got out again, and snapped Punk’s neck on the top rope. Cena hit the leg slice for a near fall, hit the AA, and Cena kicked out a second time. Cena put Punk on his shoulders and climbed up to the middle rope for another AA, but Punk started throwing elbows to get out of it. Punk used a Frankensteiner off the top rope, then hit a flying knee and the GTS, but Cena flew out of the ring. Cena got back in the ring. Vince and Laurinatis came out. Cena got the STF on and Vince yelled to ring the bell and sent Laurinaitis to the ring to ring it. Cena broke the hold, cut off Laurinaitis and punched him. Punk used the GTS and got the pin. Vince started screaming to cut the music and that this isn’t going to end this way. He screamed for Del Rio to come out. Del Rio ran to the ring and got kicked in the head. Punk then ran into the crowd and the show went off the air. After the show ended and Laurinaitis got up, Vince decked Laurinatis again. This was more than just a great match, but a career making moment. *****
- Dave Meltzer

7/21/11 Impact

Rob Van Dam vs. Scott Steiner: *1/4

Tara & Miss Tessmacher vs. Sarita & Rosita (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): *1/2

Matt Morgan vs. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Gunner (Ladder): **1/4

Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley (X-Division Title): *3/4

Mickie James vs. Velvet Sky (Knockouts Title): N/A

Sting & Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson & Bully Ray: *1/2

Sting has become a damn mega nuthead. RVD/Steiner was an OK match with a lame finish. Angelina and Winter cut a pretty good promo.

More Knockouts brawling between Tara/Tessmacher and Sarita/Rosita. Kayfabe reason for Sarita's face guard was a broken jaw and orbital bone sustained in a fight last week. Real reason...facial paralysis of some kind. Sarita looks like the female version of Abyss, and the cameras make sure to not get too many closeups of Sarita's face. Good aggression from Sarita. Tag match wasn't too bad, actually.

4-way ladder match in BFG series...winner gets 10 points. Pretty good match with a bunch of action. Morgan gets 10 points. Wish it went longer, though.

Eric Young...and D'Lo Brown! What a bizarre piece of crap this was.

OK X-Division match. A few unique moves there. Aries interferes for some reason, and that confused the heck outta me.

I think Mexican America is annoying as heck on the mic. Oh finally we get to see Sarita's face guard better. Thankfully Beer Money saved the day on the promo.

Knockouts match never happened. ODB and Jackie again? Really? WTF, Traci Brooks is there? Now I'm real confused. At least I'm jealous of all the refs that get to break up this fight. Woohoo, don't think I've ever seen women taken off in handcuffs before on a wrestling program.

Main event time. Basic stuff. Whoa, and an Angle Slam won this? How far has Mr. Anderson fallen? He went from world champ to basically a jobber in a couple weeks.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7/19/11 NXT

Vladimir Kozlov vs. JTG: *

Titus O'Neil vs. Darren Young: *1/4

Here are the official NXT rookie's records as of 7/19/11:
Titus O'Neil: 11-6
Darren Young: 7-13
Derrick Bateman: 2-0

Conor O'Brian: 6-6 (eliminated)
Lucky Cannon: 6-6 (eliminated)
Jacob Novak: 2-5 (eliminated)
Byron Saxton: 2-8 (eliminated)

WWE Redemption Points:
Titus O'Neil: 28 (Talk the Talk; Keg Carry; Arm Wrestling; Power of the Punch; King of the Hill; Talk the Talk Part 2; Talk the Talk Part 3; Dummy Demonstration)
Darren Young: 7 (Obstacle Course; Battle of the Mic)
Derrick Bateman: 0

Jacob Novak: 6 (Pull Through; Know Your Pro) (eliminated)
Byron Saxton: 4 (Trivia) (eliminated)
Conor O'Brian: 3 (Tag Team Turmoil) (eliminated)
Lucky Cannon: 0 (eliminated)

This Week's Challenge: Dummy Demonstration (3 points)
This was just as bad as when Mick Foley took on a cardboard cutout of Rocky Balboa. Fail. Titus only won because he's over with the crowd.

We got a challenge to start the show. Bateman looks more jacked than when he was on NXT last season. I loved Michael Cole's picture on that dummy. Other than that, I hated this segment.

Kozlov/JTG was underwhelming. JTG pretty much botched that missile dropkick.

What the heck was that delivered to Hornswoggle? It looked like Pikachu....

I like the Tyson Kidd/Yoshi Tatsu matches. Keep that feud going!

Titus and Darren battled in a match that at least got good time. Bateman, of course, had to stick his nose into the fray. To me, the finish was just horribly constructed. What was the point of Bateman's involvement? I guess I'll find out next week.

The whole Vince/HHH/Cena segment that closed RAW was shown again. Another great segment that really gives HHH a new TV character role.