Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31/11 RAW (Rock + Muppets)

Mark Henry vs. CM Punk: N/A

Divas Battle Royal: DUD

Cody Rhodes & Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne: *1/2

Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio: DUD

Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger: 1/4*

Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler: *1/2

John Cena vs. The Miz: **1/2

Rock appeared via satellite and in tremendous shape. Amazing promo here as usual. Froot Loop troop! Yes! Of course, as expected, Rock accepted Cena's offer. Like the hype...Rock and Cena teaming up. Never before, never again.

I liked how the cameras did Mark Henry's entrance. To me, it's very imposing and puts more emphasis on him being champ. Hoarse-voiced Laurinaitis comes out before the match between Henry and Punk. Alberto comes out during the match and tells Ricardo to hit Mark Henry so Punk loses. Ricardo got nuked for his troubles.

Miss Piggy and Kermit! Oh great, Jack Swagger and Vickie Guerrero. ROFL, Santino says "John Laryngitis!" I think that's the best one yet. Wait, a Divas Battle Royal now? Oh that's all we need. Anyway, the muppets segment was great.

Divas all in costumes for the Halloween-themed RAW. Beth being the champ gets to sit and do commentary. At least Alicia made it to the final four. It was really only a matter of whether Eve or Kelly would win here, and it was Eve this time. Match really was a yawner.

Beaker and Sheamus! Yeah, that was awesome as well.

Tag match was fine for what it was. Looks like Barrett is getting a push here.

Show and Del Rio didn't work for me, sorry. Too slow and too long. The finish had potential, but it wasn't ideally timed. Punk gets Alberto to give him his title match. Oops, Punk and those pipe bombs not working....

Fozzy and Gonzo in a segment with Vickie, Dolph, and Swagger. Not that great, but whatever.

Seriously, how many adjectives was Vince feeding Cole during Santino/Swagger (when describing Vickie)? Spit-take with Dr. Bunsen's energy drink! At least the Ryder/Ziggler match was better. Ryder wins! Ryder wins!

Replaying Nash's beatdown of HHH. These two are meeting soon, trust me. Laurinaitis re-signed Nash...really? Really?

So no Michael Cole challenge this week. Great, I'll have to listen to Cole's ramblings another week.

Entertaining segment with Morrison, Miss Piggy, Hornswoggle, Kermit, and Cody Rhodes.

Miz and Cena was the match of the night. Split chants as usual for Cena. R-Truth in that Scream outfit got taken out anyway.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

10/28/11 Smackdown

The Miz & R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne: *1/2

Wade Barrett vs. Trent Barreta: 1/4*

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler: ***1/2

Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd: *

CM Punk vs. Christian: ***

Woohoo, Super Smackdown! Houston crowd is rockin'. HUGE pop for Punk when he came out, nice surprise there. Whoa, how many times did Punk say "bitching" in about 30 seconds? Punk rules.

Ha. WTF is up with Chimel introducing "The Miz" like "Da Bears"? Really? Exciting stuff here. Love the Air Boom moves and Awesome Truth's finisher.

Nice, Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd. Talk about countless Shawn and Bret references. Santino playing peacemaker? Sure....

WTF...Hornswoggle is a Little Broski? Sorry, I'd rather look at Aksana.

Vintage pre-match taped promos with Wade Barrett! Facing Trent Barreta...yeah, a guy with a similar last name. Match was more of a semi-squash.

Since Swagger was banned from ringside, Cody is out to mess with Orton. Liked Orton hurdling Vickie to get to Ziggler on the outside. Nice match here that got time. Orton twitched after that superplex...hope he didn't do anything to his neck. I could watch this again for sure.

So is Hunico going by that name now? I like the look. As for Brodus, nice video package. Maybe I'll see him in a match next week?

Can DB and Kidd wrestle a bunch and twice on Sunday? Just wish it was longer, though.

The more Cole rants, the more that I just feel Cole will lose Monday. Maybe Cole would become a manager if so. But yeah, just can't totally envision Cole losing. He'll cheat, at the very least.

ADR comes out during the main event. At least it made the match go longer! Great stuff after Del Rio came out. Woohoo!

I'm reading that the Boogeyman is trying to get WWE to allow him a cameo on RAW's Halloween show on Monday. Not a bad idea.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

10/27/11 Superstars

Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase: **3/4

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jinder Mahal: *

Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. JTG & Primo: *1/2

Kelly Kelly & Eve vs. Brie Bella & Nikki Bella: *

Having three former Divas champs in the ring at the same time? Is that supposed to impress me? Really?

Great opening match between Cody and Ted. Yes, they got time, and yes, they got talent. Must be in the blood. Good one by Striker: Cody is "psychotically brilliant."

Regarding Zeke's win, I wonder why more people don't try to rake Zeke's eyes when up in the rack. Doesn't take much energy to do that.

Air Boom back on Superstars. Again, really? They release Maryse but Primo's still there? Ugh. Bourne basically pulling an RVD nowadays selling the impact of the Shooting Star.

Average stuff in the divas tag match. Nothing that really blew my mind or anything.

10/27/11 Impact

Rob Van Dam vs. Christopher Daniels: *

Gail Kim vs. Tara: *1/2

Eric Young vs. Robbie E (TV Title): 1/4*

Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray: *1/2

Bobby Roode vs. Samoa Joe: **1/2

Storm came out to new music, and I liked it. Nice of Storm to want to give Roode the first crack at the title. Of course, Joe comes out and says he deserves the title shot. So Sting settled that pretty fast: Roode and Sting for the #1 contender spot.

So Daniels says AJ did the whole deal with audio over the PA system (a la Rock/Mankind) for the "I Quit" match. Figures. And hi, "Bob" Van Dam! That match was OK as usual, given the time they had, but of course, the lame DQ finish. Liked AJ on commentary.

So Karen Jarrett is responsible for Gail Kim coming back. And you know what? Being a heel will make her more of a force a lot faster. Let's just hope she doesn't get lost in the shuffle over time. Gail is one of the few talents that can actually work great matches (see her feud with Awesome Kong back in the day).

Wait, Tara didn't come out on her bike. She's serious tonight! Yeah, these two, if given time, could really pull off some great stuff. I'm also just waiting for the day Traci Brooks snaps and just goes crazy on Gail, Karen, and Madison Rayne. At least Gail kept her "Eat Defeat" finisher for TNA.

Oh God. The two Robbies! Yeah, don't waste your time with that TV Title match.

Kaz now trying to play peacemaker with Daniels? Interesting.

I'm not sure if I'm gonna like this Bischoff father-son feud. Is Garrett gonna become a full-time wrestler out of this? If not, it'll probably just be a waste of my time. To be fair, I'll give it more time to materialize. At least Eric is good on the mic. In the back, leave it to Flair to talk to Garrett and talk about respect. Yup, Ric shall be responsible for fanning the flames.

On the other hand, a Jeff Hardy comeback would be one of the better feel-good stories in pro wrestling -- if Jeff can stay out of trouble and not miss dates to wrestle. Not bad here for this match. Anderson and Hardy vs. Bully Ray and Jarrett next week, perhaps?

Main event was very good, with main event intros from Borash. Could always get more time, in my book.

And fitting that we end the show with two old guys beating up a guy who started as a ref.

Finally, I can't help but think...does wrestling really matter to TNA? In large part...nope. It has good stuff at times, but obviously could be way better. But hey! At least there was more wrestling this week than last week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

10/26/11 NXT

Percy Watson vs. JTG: *

Jey Uso vs. Tyson Kidd: *1/4

Kaitlyn vs. Tamina: DUD

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

Whoa, Bateman and Maxine, get a room. So is this another talk the talk challenge? Bateman basically indirectly talks about the Cowboys in Houston, so I'm sure the Texans fans were miffed. Titus backs the Breast Cancer Awareness deal, which is cool, but man he even messed up saying "WWE" -- at least twice. Then again, Jericho was not always saying WWE clearly, right? Titus has 42 redemption points? Amazing we have people who are still counting that.

Percy and JTG get into it, so they get a match. I'm glad Percy lost the Urkel glasses. His athleticism and natural charisma should get him a more prominent spot on the main roster in time. The whole gimmick thing can be revisited at a later date anyway. Everyone talks about Percy's dropkick? Guessed I missed the memo -- along with a few thousand others. "Percecution"...really like the name.

Still loving the Usos entrance. Hawkins with an ankle injury and has a cane or something. Lethal kicks from Jey Uso. Kidd has a rather lame finisher, in my book. Stick with the Sharpshooter or something, please. Or you know what? He shoulda been given the superkick instead of Ziggler. How interesting would that be...a guy with ties to the Hart dungeon (and Bret Hart) using a move HBK made pretty damn popular (at least on the WWE scene anyway).

Got AJ and Kaitlyn talking, and Tamina comes in saying she's too good for this show. You know, hopefully these three actually have successful careers, because I'm getting tired of seeing beautiful ladies enter WWE, only to leave due to being underused, burnt out, etc. Tamina has a great superkick as well. Must be the Polynesian blood and all.... Lame finish.

AJ and Maxine on commentary during Bateman/Titus. Regal egging on the women to fight, awesome. Bateman also using the feet well. I guess a lot of people with kicks nowadays. Pretty clear Bateman had to win here to not get completely buried in Titus' "push" on NXT.

Man, we're doing the whole engagement/wedding angle again? Ugh. Again, Bateman and Maxine should get a room. I will say that was one of the most unique marriage proposal acceptances I've ever seen. But yeah, get a room. In the meantime, I wonder if AJ is still single....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/24/11 RAW

Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Christian & Cody Rhodes: **1/2

Dolph Ziggler vs. Santino Marella: 1/4*

Alicia Fox vs. Natalya: DUD

Wade Barrett vs. John Morrison: *1/4

John Cena & Zack Ryder vs. The Miz & R-Truth: *

We're at the University of Texas for this one! And you know, that explains JR not being out there. Don't need him to get booed as the Sooners music plays.

HHH basically comes out and mentions the Kliq members, and now wants to kick Nash's ass. Laurinaitis comes out and says Nash isn't here. HHH is pissed. Laurinaitis now with orders to offer Nash a contract so HHH can beat the crap out of him. Nash is here and nails HHH with the sledgehammer! HHH collapses backstage and paramedics take him away. Nash with another shot in while HHH is all tied to the gurney.

Tag match time. Real good stuff here. I think the Brogue Kick was originally supposed to be the finish, but it wasn't hit real well (so Celtic Cross in for good measure).

Cena gets a match tonight against Miz and Truth. Cena gets a partner of Laurinaitis' choosing. I was more amused with Cena calling Otunga "Carlton."

Dolph faces Santino. Not much of a match here. Numbers game caught up to Santino. Mason Ryan comes out all jacked like usual to help Santino.

Zack Ryder is Cena's partner! Yeah! Wait, are the Bellas face again? They were all happy for him....

Ricardo announcing Alberto. I'm amused that Ricardo is not still a soprano after Vengeance. ADR gloating about his win, and that no one is better than him. Cue CM Punk. Man, Punk is gold on that mic. Poor Ricardo gets nuked once again.

Man, Beth is looking amazing again tonight. Natalya faces Alicia. Alicia got some new music, and I'm gonna have a damn seizure if I listen to it too long. Wasn't really into the match here, but it was nice to see Alicia get the win.

Barrett and Morrison in an OK match here. Finish was a bit botched, but still acceptable.

Cole embarrassing JR. Cole vs. JR next week in the "Michael Cole Challenge" next week, and if Cole loses, he quits. Must mean Cole's winning. Vince is high up on Cole, apparently.

Zack Ryder assaulted by Awesome Truth. So much for him being Cena's partner. So it's now a handicap match.

HA, that same guy from the Vengeance PPV (with the "We Hate Cena" shirt) is in the front row at RAW. Average stuff again, ending with the DQ. Water bottle to the skull. Cena gets Miz and Truth at Survivor Series, and Cena gets to pick his partner. Cena picks Rock! Woohoo! Otherwise, a fairly uneventful show.

Monday, October 24, 2011

10/23/11 Vengeance

Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (Tag Team Titles): Vickie more annoying than ever in introducing the challengers. It appears Air Boom has new music. I can't understand a damn thing the Spanish announcers are saying. Kofi starts off hot on Dolph. HUGE monkey flip on Ziggler, damn. Good tag moves from Air Boom early. Nice move from Swagger catching Kofi into a slam. Bourne gets the hot tag and goes to town on Swagger. Huge kicks for  two. Swagger and Ziggler collide. Air Bourne countered by Swagger. Two count broken up by Kofi. Good pinning counters from Bourne and Ziggler. Dolph continues to work on Evan. Good job by Evan fighting back, Swagger tries for the ankle lock but countered. Swagger prevents the tag and isolates Bourne some more. Swagger tries for his splash again, but gets hit in the face. Hot tag to Kofi. SOS blocked but pendulum kick in the corner from Kofi. Kick to Swagger! HUGE crossbody for two...I think Dolph leaped about two feet in the air as well. Trouble in Paradise blocked...SOS! Two count and Swagger nails Ziggler by accident. Trouble in Paradise to Swagger blocked...ankle lock! Bourne off the top! Double knee to Swagger! Ziggler tries to steal the win with the rollup (with tights) but only gets two. Trouble in Paradise! Tag to Bourne! Air Bourne! Three count! That was fun. ***

Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder (U.S. Title): Oops. Ziggler's title match is next! Air Boom is still at ringside. Ryder goes to town on Ziggler, very aggressive stuff. Zack with a couple of near falls. Crowd behind Zack now. Air Boom puts Ziggler back in the ring, so the ref boots Air Boom from ringside. Huge flapjack on Ziggler for two. Ryder flies into the ropes and now Dolph on the offensive. Dolph hits one splash in the corner, then misses the next. Broski Boot...misses! Rocker Dropper by Ziggler for two! Ryder comes back...Broski Boot! Swagger tries to get involved but Zack fights him off. Zigzag countered. Swagger gets hit again. Superkick out of nowhere by Ziggler! Hey, if HBK is retired, I'm cool with Ziggler using it. Three count! *3/4

Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres (Divas Title): So before the match starts, some exclusive is shown with Kelly Kelly getting assaulted by Beth and Natalya. Eve comes in and all hell breaks loose. Was that the Usos helping separate the divas? Eve comes out to a remixed theme. Beth asserting herself at the start getting a couple of two-counts. Enzuigiri to Beth Eve "handcuffs" Beth with Beth's own outfit...huh?! Kicks to Beth, who retreats to the outside. Eve on the apron and Beth sweeps her down. Rest holds from Beth in the ring. Unique gutbuster from Beth gets two. Beth now using a body scissors. Eve fights back and gets a couple near falls. Eve with a unique submission move, on the shoulders of Beth and hyperextending the right arm. I guess it's part choke and part armbar. Beth uses her leg strength to power her way to the ropes. Glam Slam countered! Rollup by Eve for two! Crowd really thought that may have been it. Eve misses the moonsault. Glam Slam gets three. That was actually way better than I thought. *1/2

Christian vs. Sheamus: Sheamus pumps his chest as Cole relays a story Sheamus apparently told him about the origins of that gesture. Sheamus pounds away on Christian, then a delayed vertical suplex for two. Christian counters and gets on the offensive. Sheamus tries to get shots in but Christian continues the beatdown. Christian with impressive moves, finishing with his second rope forearm for two. Missile dropkick from Christian. Christian misses the headbutt. Tilt-a-whirl slam from Sheamus. Fallaway slam gets two. Low bridge and Sheamus to the outside. Christian gets caught, Sheamus with a slingshot shoulderblock for two. Christian with a slap, reverse drop DDT but only gets one. Christian looking for Killswitch, countered. Sheamus has Celtic Cross blocked. Pendulum kick by Christian countered. Sheamus putting the hurt on Christian and gets two. Celtic Cross countered, pendulum kick! Christian caught, Irish Curse by Sheamus for two. Brogue Kick...NO! Spear by Christian for two! Booker's made-up names are trending on Twitter! Sheamus gets caught on the top rope.Hurricanrana from the top! Christian looking for the spear...BROGUE KICK! Three count! OK match here, but didn't get the crowd reaction I wanted. **1/4

The Miz & R-Truth vs. Triple H and CM Punk: Punk and Miz start. Punk gets to Miz and kicks him a few times. Tag to HHH but Miz scampers away to tag in Truth. HHH works on Truth for a bit. Truth does some acrobatic moves but pays the price from HHH. DX crotch chop. Punk works on Truth, suplex for two. Punk then works on Miz. Good double-team from Punk and HHH. HHH works on Miz. Figure-four on Miz! Punk and HHH cheating multiple times! Epic win! Punk and HHH wishbone Miz's "injured" legs and now Punk works on Miz's arms. Truth gets in and works on Punk. HHH gets the tag and works on Miz and Truth. Vintage HHH moves. Crowd into it now. Numbers game gets heels in control on HHH. Heels work over HHH. Lie Detector from Truth, but that gets two. Big knee from Miz for two. Neckbreaker combo (vintage Miz!) for two. HHH with an electric chair drop on Truth. HHH to the wrong corner, but decks Miz with a clothesline! Truth in. He misses the scissors kick...DDT to Truth! Hot tag to Punk! Punk flies in the ring like a house of fire. Knees, clotheslines, kicks! Two on Miz. Punk to the top but Truth interferes. HHH takes care of Truth and they go through the crowd. Punk to the top...Savage elbow! Wait...Nash assualts HHH! Miz and Truth with "Little Jimmy's Finale" for three. **3/4

Nash continues to beat up HHH. Jackknife powerbomb on HHH. Nash looks good.

Ricardo Rodriguez sporting a black eye, but not Alberto. Lovely.

Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes: Have I mentioned that I love that classic IC title? Orton with the upper hand early. No letup from Orton. Beautiful Disaster missed, but Cody headbutts Randy with the mask to take control. Knee to Orton's neck. Nice dropkick for two. Boston Crab from Cody. Orton gets back on his back and kicks out. Nice move from Orton into a victory roll for two. Slugfest ensues. Alabama Slam from Cody for two! Cody to the top. NICE moonsault but Cody misses. Orton now starts the comeback. Cody to the top but Orton catches him with a dropkick! Two count there. Orton tried for the gutwrench but Cody with the Beautiful Disaster for two. Orton looking for the DDT, Cody counters, but Orton counters back with a backbreaker for two. Gutwrench into a side slam for two. Headbutt by Cody and he HITS the moonsault this time for two. Rhodes misses a knee from the second rope. One of the baggers interferes, Orton decks him. Cross-Rhodes! WTF, only two?!?! Cody mocking Orton and wants the RKO. Orton hits a dropkick, then the hangman DDT. Orton now getting into the RKO mode. The other bagger on the apron. Orton throws Cody into the bagger. RKO for three! **3/4

Mark Henry vs. The Big Show (World Heavyweight Title): No main event intros here, but these two are ready to get it on. Henry showing his strength early, but Show with the huge punches. Show tosses Henry in the ring the hard way. Huge kick to Show's got some agility. Henry is frustrated. Henry goes low on Show to take the man down. HUGE slam on Big Show! Elbow to Show's back. Henry slowing things down (hell it was already slowed down). Show gets out and tries a power move but leg gives way and Henry gets a two-count. Mark back to the leg. Two trucks collide in the center of the ring with a double clothesline. Tons of Big Show headbutts, then a few clotheslines. Big Slam from Show! Chokeslam, but only two! WMD countered! World's Strongest Slam from Henry, but only two! Wait....Henry to the top?!?! Show caught him at the top...chokeslam from the top! Only two! Show looks like he's gonna cry. way. Show to the top?!?!?!?!?! Henry meets him up there! Oh God. Superplex!

OH SHIT THE RING COLLAPSES! WOOHOO! Crowd goes bonkers. Shades of Lesnar and Show from yesteryear. Now some EMT guy in the ring. Both Show and Henry getting assisted. They're both woozy. I guess there's no better way to end this match, huh? I liked that finish...pretty impressive stuff, actually. **

Laurinaitis still says the WWE Title match will go on. I like it.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (Last Man Standing; WWE Title): Hey, Cena has a new shirt. "Rise Above Hate." Justin Roberts with the glorified intro for Cena. ROFL, there's a guy in the front row with a shirt "We Hate Cena." Cena also with camouflage shorts now. Ricardo runs interference to let ADR take control first. Oh, Lawler with a Lesnar reference! Cena into the post. Bodyslam from Cena, and a few elbow drops. That's right, Cena will have to do some new moves now. No five moves of doom tonight!

Side slam from ADR. Ref starts counting, but Cena gets up. More offense from ADR, but Cena still got fight in him. More snap suplexes from ADR, but Cena blocks another one and gets a suplex of his own. Oh, I guess we have a modified five moves of doom! AA countered...German suplex from ADR. Not bad for working in a busted ring.

Cena misses a clothesline. ADR with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Both guys are gasping for breath. ADR places Cena under one of the collapsed ringposts. ADR stomps the ringpost on Cena! Cena up at eight. ADR runs right into an AA! Ref counting both guys now. Cena up at 4, ADR up at 8. Cena for another AA, but Ricardo comes in. Cena kicks Ricardo to the outside. ADR with a sleeper and body scissors. Ref doing the hand-drop-three-times spiel, but why? Ref must count to 10 here! Gaffe by the ref, maybe? Cena's out cold. ADR releases the hold and the ref starts the count. Cena up at 8, Cena tosses ADR into the barricade outside! Ref counts ADR but Alberto gets up at 6. ADR reverses and whips Cena into the steps. Ricardo again tries to interfere, but Cena crotches Ricardo on the post. OW.

ADR works on Cena in the ring. Drop toehold to ADR on the post. ADR's face hits the post, and the post crotches Ricardo again. Double ow. Cena moves the other set of steps. Cena wants to use the steps again, but ADR moves and works on Cena. ADR uses the steps now on Cena. Ref counts Cena. Cena up at 8 and starts punching ADR. They go to the back! ADR thrown on a table. Ref starts counting. Cena tries to drop the whole huge TV equipment container on ADR but ADR moves out of the way. ADR now working on Cena. Slam on that container. Ref counts Cena. They make their way to the interview area. ADR now tossing all those plexiglass structure things on Cena. Cena fights through the rubble and gets up at 9! Ricardo AGAIN with interference. ADR throws Cena through the "V" structure on the entranceway! ADR now sets up a table. Alberto climbing the structure, but Cena throws ADR through the table! ADR up at 8. Back at ringside, Cena tossed into the announcing team. ADR now clearing the Spanish table! But Cena fights back, tossing ADR into the barricade and knocking Ricardo out AGAIN. ADR goes for his running enzuigiri but smacks the post! Cena gets the steps and places them near the Spanish table...I know what's coming. Cena going for AA on the Spanish table! He hits it on ADR! Ref starts counting.

Wait! Miz and Truth assaulting Cena! Skull Crushing Finale! Little Jimmy! Now the ref counts both guys. ADR is up. Cena is stirring and gets up at 9! ADR with the title belt and nails Cena. Cena tries to get up, but doesn't make it. ***3/4

Final Thoughts:
It was decent, above-average show. A fun tag match started the night, and a very impressive LMS match closed the show (elevated a bit more because they had to "improvise" without ring ropes). The first time I saw such a spot with Lesnar and Show, it was freakin' awesome. This time around, still awesome, but not as shocking. It's still cool to see, but obviously it has to be with two huge wrestlers.

No titles changed hands on this PPV, which I like. The current champs should all hold onto the belts for a bit more. Survivor Series is around the corner anyway, and of course, this means Rock should be back for that one (he's been advertised for the show for months now). ***

Friday, October 21, 2011

10/21/11 Smackdown

Mark Henry vs. John Morrison: N/A

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan: *3/4

Sheamus & Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger: *1/2

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara (Mask vs. Mask): **3/4

The Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio: **

Alberto Del Rio came out to a HUGE pop in Mexico. Gotta love those international crowds.

I didn't get any commentary during the Henry virtual squashing of Morrison. Didn't really miss much anyway. Not gonna rate this one.

Three more matches signed for Vengeance. Christian/Sheamus, Ziggler/Swagger vs. Air Boom, and Ziggler/Ryder (U.S. Title). Yup, Ziggler wrestles twice in one night. But whoa, Zack Ryder made it to a title match on PPV!

Hyping the Mask vs. Mask match between the two Sin Caras -- later tonight!

Two NXT Season 1 alums collide! Clearly the best two of the group (Bryan and Barrett) squared off here. I just passed by Aberdeen, Washington, the other day while driving to (and from) Seattle. Made me think of taking more pictures there just because it's Daniel Bryan territory. Very intense, physical match. Looking forward to seeing what this "Great Barrett Uprising" will be like. Anyway, Daniel Bryan continues to job on Smackdown.

So they're doing more of these informal interviews now, conducted by some random dude off camera -- starting with Vickie Guerrero. The whole "call me" thing at the end really makes her look like a cougar, eh?

Tag match tonight was OK. Christian plays scaredy cat again, leaving Ziggler to eat the Brogue Kick. Does this mean Christian wins Sunday?

Brawl between Cody and Orton. Orton even takes out the baggers. Did I mention before that the Classic IC title rules?

The Sin Cara in the black mask (Hunico) talks and can actually speak English. Sin Cara azul (Mistico) gets the subtitle treatment, but it's OK apparently because they're in Mexico. Amusing that even though "Sin Cara negro" spoke Spanish, those words weren't subtitled. Crowd was into this match because they're more familiar with this style of wrestling. I liked Hunico going after Mistico's mask here. Good match here.

Beth and Natalya promo in the ring. Pinup Strong is the name of the submission move? Decent name, I guess. Eve comes out. She's not a Barbie doll? Oh really? Never knew that. Eve pushes Beth down...oops, we nearly had a wardrobe malfunction! Beth and Eve at Vengeance on Sunday, and I guess Beth's winning here.

ADR comes out in his awesome car and gets a huge pop. Did Chimel announce Big Show's weight at 397 pounds? Yeah, I don't think Big Show's that light. A variation of that cross-armbreaker this time from ADR. Sucky DQ finish. But three WMDs later, the crowd goes home happy.

10/20/11 Superstars

Jinder Mahal vs. Ted DiBiase: *1/2

Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater: *

Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre & Michael McGillicutty: **1/2

Mahal basically came out to very little crowd reaction. And "DiBiase Posse"? Really? Yay for rhyming, I guess. Not bad here. "Sands of Time" is a nice name for a finisher. The move itself -- a full nelson slam -- I don't care for it.

This was probably Slater's last match before getting hit with his 30-day suspension. I find it amazing how such a simple (and lame) move can get so much crowd reaction. Yeah, I'm talking about the Cobra.

McGillicutty apparently either has a new tag partner in McIntyre (Macs unite!) or could be buried in singles. By the way, Otunga now has a role that better suits him: being a legal advisor to Laurinaitis (although I'm unsure if that's official). Anyway, the son of Mr. Perfect is just that...he has not been able to escape the legendary status of his late father. Part of that is due to shoddy booking, but Michael needs some sort of spark, make a huge impact somehow. I think his current finisher is lame, and his mic skills are average at best. I guess WWE decided to put these two guys together for the hell of it.

As for the tag match, I really liked some of the tag moves Air Boom had. Some were really quite innovative. Good match here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/11 Impact

Tara & Brooke Tessmacher vs. Angelina Love & Winter (Knockouts Tag Team Titles): *

Abyss vs. Gunner: N/A

James Storm vs. Kurt Angle (World Title): N/A

Crowd was going nutso at the start with Sting and Hogan. Hogan in Hulkamania colors. Sting and Dixie then do a segment. This should be interesting that Dixie asked Sting to help her run the day-to-day operations.

Crowd was very vocal on Angle. Roode comes out. They had to bleep "bullshit" here. Crowd chanting for a rematch. Sting gives it! Angle says no can do, because Angle/Roode could only happen once. Cue James Storm. Angle now has to face STORM for the title tonight! Crowd loves it, but man, let's watch wrestling.

Hey, the Knockouts Tag Titles exist again! Tara and Tessmacher in the black and pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Fast start in this one. Not a bad match here.

Jarrett and Hardy segment. Crowd again going nutso for Hardy. They go at it and security separates them multiple times. Another D'Lo Brown sighting! Jeff kicks Hardy in the nuts for a cheap shot. Should be interesting to see where this goes.

Gunner and Abyss in a match. Gunner gets his ass kicked and bails. Lame. Gunner even runs like a scaredy cat to Immortal.

Velvet Sky's childhood brought up in a video package; basically she was bullied growing up. Velvet with the typical face promo thanking the fans. Cue Karen Jarrett. She's very good at her dominant overbearing boss role. Here comes the kiss-up Madison Rayne. But wait! Gail Kim! Awesome! Now this should be good stuff.

Immortal time. Bischoff calls Hogan out and basically blasts him for coming between a father and a son. Hogan hulks up, Immortal comes in the ring, but backs off when Sting hits the ring with the baseball bat. Garrett Bischoff out to confront his dad. Garrett drops his dad with a right hand!

Main event, complete with main event intros from Borash. Angle beats Storm down for about a minute, and then Storm KOs Angle with a superkick for three?! WTF? Major celebration for this one, but I guess now we could possibly get Storm vs. Roode? That would be cool.

Crowd really hot for this episode, although I wonder how much of that was fake pumped-in sound. This was a horrid episode if you wanted wrestling (like me). I think I counted just three matches or that right? Meh, I'll just head to bed now.

10/19/11 NXT

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Tyler Reks: *1/4

Kaitlyn vs. Maxine: 3/4*

Percy Watson & Titus O'Neil vs. JTG & Derrick Bateman: *3/4

You know, I finally watched that opening NXT redemption intro with "Wild and Young" playing. I've forgotten that those already-eliminated guys were even on the show already.

Whoa, we have a challenge? Remember, Darren Young was suspended, so it's just Titus and Bateman for this Capture the Flag challenge. I don't even give a crap about the Redemption points anymore. Do they even matter? Striker made this challenge 15 Redemption points. The worst part in all this is Bateman now doesn't care about the points. Fifteen more points for Titus. Are you serious, bro?

Yoshi and Reks had a relatively average match. I dunno, I'm not a huge fan of Yoshi's top-rope spin kick finisher. I liked the high standing kick to the head, but maybe Punk wants that move for himself? Anyway, Hawkins and Reks tried to beat up Yoshi but the Usos saved the day.

AJ and Kaitlyn on NXT, probably the best choice for them right now. Maxine and Kaitlyn in this one. Whoa, wait, Kaitlyn's gonna cut a promo? Hey, promo partly in Spanish! OK, hopefully they won't remind me of the catastrophic match they had on NXT Season 3. Nice move by Maxine with the standing dragon sleeper. I liked Kaitlyn's submission finisher. Vastly improved from their NXT rookie days, but then again, they coulda only gone up from where they were.

JTG basically volunteers to be Bateman's tag partner tonight.

Titus wearing the black and pink trunks tonight to support Breast Cancer awareness, nice gesture. If he keeps wearing that, maybe he can claim to have ties with the Hart family. Wait, JTG's been in WWE for six years? No freakin' way! Titus gets the hot tag tonight. Titus really on a roll here. He's pretty over with the crowd and Percy will only help him out in that. I think Titus is ready for the big time right now.

Monday, October 17, 2011

10/17/11 RAW

Randy Orton, Sheamus, & John Morrison vs. Mark Henry, Christian, & Cody Rhodes: *1/2

Eve Torres vs. Natalya: DUD

CM Punk vs. The Miz: **1/2

Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger: DUD

Mason Ryan vs. Dolph Ziggler: *

John Cena & Jim Ross vs. Alberto Del Rio & Michael Cole: **

Mexico City tonight!

Laurinaitis starts the show, teasing that Mysterio would be there but of course, Rey's hurt and not in Mexico. Laurinaitis brings back JR...the crowd cheers while Cole rants big time. Tag match tonight! Cena/JR vs. Alberto/Cole.

Six-man tag involving six main eventers (or future main eventers). Mark Henry has "Hall of Pain" on the titantron as he walks to the ring. Not sure what to think about Henry/Big Show for Vengeance. Orton and Rhodes fight to the back so it became a tag match. Sheamus and Christian brawl in the crowd, basically leaving Henry to nuke Morrison. Very impressive ending.

Alberto not happy with the tag match, so Laurinaitis says the winner of the match (either Alberto or Cena) will pick the stipulation for the title match at Vengeance.

It's Eve's turn to wrestle this time. Seems they just have the same combinations of matches each week. Boring. It's Eve and Beth at Vengeance. Tonight, it's Eve battling Natalya. Hey, Eve gets a win! Guess this means Beth wins at the PPV, right?

Punk gets a huge ovation. Miz with a little Spanish before Truth starts rapping. Trash-talking to Punk. HHH comes out, oops! Decent match going when Laurinaitis stops the match and tells HHH that his paperwork is messed up and he has to leave with customs officials. Laurinaitis and Otunga look on as HHH is escorted away. It would probably intrigue some people to follow this one, huh?

Oh, Punk and Miz still going on! Awesome! OK finish here with Punk getting the rollup win. Awesome Truth with the beatdown on Punk and no one there to help Punk.

First show on the WWE Network is WrestleMania Wait a sec, WWE legends reality show?! Oh hell no.

Vickie dressed like a true mamacita. Tag title match at Vengeance between Ziggler/Swagger and Air Boom. They do the whole U.S.A. rules thing in Mexico. Jack Swagger sucks at singing. Yes! Zack Ryder with more air time! And in about a minute it's over. Zack wins! Mason Ryan comes out for his match with Ziggler! Damn, Mason is huge as heck.

Vickie slapped Mason. Yeah, that was smart. Mason basically gets all pissed and takes it out on Ziggler. Mason is DQ'd but he doesn't care.

Main event time. Josh Mathews and King are on commentary. Cole out in his amateur wrestling gear. JR with his Sooners jersey. JR decks spot ever. Cena really has a high vertical leap there. Real good stuff between ADR and Cena. Crowd definitely into it, being more pro-ADR for obvious reasons. ADR tagged Cole in when he was in trouble, oops. Cole plays the cowardly heel very well. Nice touch with JR getting Cole to tap out. Based on the post-match antics, Cena picked a Last Man Standing stipulation for Vengeance. Good grief, does this mean Cena wins for the eleventy billionth time? Geez.

Reviews for other WWE and TNA shows will likely be delayed a bit more than normal the next few weeks. Hitting a busy time with work and my food blog. I'll ultimately catch up, don't worry about that.

10/16/11 Bound for Glory

Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick (X-Division Title): Nice match to start this show off. This 225-pound weight limit thing should be good, although I'll miss seeing guys like Samoa Joe contend for that belt. A pro-Aries crowd in Philly...likely remembering his ROH days. Mat wrestling, then Aries decides to call a timeout, but Kendrick flies onto Aries. Kendrick with a couple monkey flips before Aries counters. Kendrick staying pesky with the offense but Aries continues to get his shots in. Suicide dive from Aries gets more pops. Kendrick with Sliced Bread #2 but Aries got the foot on the ropes. Cheap shot + brainbuster for Aries ends it. Solid here. **3/4

Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (Full Metal Mayhem): It's physical from the start, filled with counters and strikes. Ladders, tables, chairs, yup, they're all involved here. Dropkick from Lynn to the ladder catches RVD in the face. Yet RVD comes back. Corner dropkick w/chair to Lynn. Vintage RVD! Rolling Thunder on ladder! Haha, EC-Dub chants! Lynn comes back and gets RVD to lie on the ladder. Lynn goes for a senton or something off the second rope, RVD moves, and Lynn's back now hates him more. RVD misses Van Daminator, Lynn throws the chair in RVD's face. German with a bridge for two. RVD suplexes Lynn on the ladder again. Moonsault onto Lynn for two. Lynn looks for another ladder. Ladder propped up like a ramp on the outside. Suplex by RVD? Nope, countered. Lynn sunset flip powerbombs RVD into the ladder! Lynn landed awkwardly, lucky break because it coulda been real bad there. Lynn misses chair shot...Van Daminator! Only two! Lynn down in the corner. Ladder placed on top. RVD grabs a chair...Van Terminator attempt! Oh damn he hit it! ROFL, "Oh Shit!" chants! That's all folks! ***1/2

Crimson vs. Samoa Joe vs. Matt Morgan: Joe wants Crimson and Morgan to fight, but they work on Joe instead. Crimson then (inadvertently?) elbows Morgan. Morgan stunned, and Joe takes advantage to work on Crimson. Joe again tries to get Morgan to fight Crimson, but that didn't work either. Crimson low bridged to the outside, and Joe works on Morgan. Joe backdrops Crimson to the outside...landing on Morgan Suicide dive by Joe! Whoa, WTF? Morgan to the top?! Flying crossbody (sorta) onto Crimson! Looked like he was going for Joe, but Joe had moved out of the way. Joe with shots to Crimson again. Crimson fighting back. Mostly a boring match with some OK spots (thanks to Joe). Crimson and Morgan pulling each other off Joe when the other goes for a pin. Fire's been lit! Joe's back in and starts working on both guys. Muscle Buster on Crimson...nope, Morgan breaks that up. Carbon Footprint misses, Crimson hits the spear on Joe for three! **1/2

Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray (Philadelphia Falls Count Anywhere): Anderson doesn't do the mic intro today, it's fast start between these two! Anderson gets moves in on Ray. Vintage airbag shot to Ray! Damn, huge kick by Ray there to gain control. Nasty chops from Ray, double ow. Enzugiri from Anderson! Anderson gets a sign..."Welcome to Philly, Asshole." Anderson nukes Ray with it...whoa, not just your regular ol' sign. It's a Dead End sign underneath! One more shot! Ray tries to get away, but now they fight on the floor. Oops, there goes the beer! Ray whips Anderson into the steps for two. Tables! Yes! Table set up near the ring. Anderson and Ray fight up the ramp. Ray suplexes Anderson on the ramp for two. Ray is cut on his head. He signals for Anderson's mic and mocks Anderson. Anderson's up! Microphone shot to Ray for two! They're backstage. Ray misses with a lead pipe. Oh shit! Ray delivers a piledriver on the concrete! Only two? How was Anderson not dead there? Chair across Anderson's throat. Now they go to the crowd! Back to the ring, and Anderson continues the assault. Anderson grabs part of the steel barricade! Ray gets a clothesline in and...another table?! He sets that one up in the ring. Anderson backdrops Ray onto the's bent now! Kenton bomb from Anderson misses! Anderson hit the back of his head on that rail. Bubba Bomb on the table! Only two?!?! Anderson placed on the barricade again. Bully with a back splash...misses and Ray's back hates him now as well. Mic Check on the steel! Only two!!! On the outside again. Garbage can shot to Ray! Ray is on the table on the outside. Anderson goes to the top! Anderson with the Kenton bomb to Ray...but he overshot the table just a hair and the table didn't break. Crowd didn't like that. Improvise that finish! Mic Check on the table! Three count! ***3/4

Looks like they've finally just come out and admitted Jackson James is Bischoff's son. Not surprisingly, Tenay and Taz play dumb on this.

Velvet Sky vs. Winter vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne (Knockouts Title): Nice hat, Mickie. Karen Jarrett out in the ref's outfit here. Madison sucking up to Karen and giving her the crown. Looks like it's one-on-one only, so the other two can tag in whenever. Good sequence from Winter and Mickie. Winter to the outside, and Madison in with something that she brushes in Mickie's face. Mickie goes outside and Velvet comes in to tango with Madison. Karen's slower to make the count than a sloth. Winter and Madison want to go at it, but Karen says no...she wants Mickie and Velvet in? Um, sure. So they try to go for pins on each other and Karen doesn't care (of course).Mickie with some moves, then decks Madison. Velvet comes back with her offense, and she decks Winter. Ha. Winter and Madison pull Velvet and Mickie outside, respectively. Winter and Mickie go at it inside the ring now. Angelina slips the mist to Winter. Oops! Winter gets Karen in the face! Jumping DDT to Winter! No ref! Here comes Traci Brooks! Madison and Velvet now go at it. Velvet hits her version of a facebuster/Pedigree on Madison...three count! *1/2

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels (I Quit): Yeah, this should be good. Styles with new music. Quick start here. Nice and physical to start. AJ comes back and tries to get Daniels to eat the microphone. Gutbuster again by Styles. Abdominal stretch to Daniels. No quit yet. Daniels counters out. Delayed suplex by AJ, then a Chancery move! Daniels doesn't quit. Daniels gets out of that, but into an armbreaker! This is what's awesome about this business...stuff like this. Chops by Daniels. Vinatage Styles with the dropkick and the helo over the top rope. Daniels grabbed a toolbox...threw a wrench at AJ that missed. Screwdriver! Daniels tried to stab AJ but that was blocked. Crowd still fairly dead at this point. Daniels with some move on the apron...AJ went into the ropes, then the apron. Ouch. Good camera shot of the screwdriver in the turnbuckle. BME to AJ's back. One more time? Nah, single-leg Boston Crab this time. AJ literally clawing his way to the ropes and gets there. AJ tries more offense, but a backbreaker from Daniels. Faint split chants from the crowd. Daniels with a chair. He puts it on AJ's throat. AJ's cut on his forehead. Love how Daniels stopped short of saying "I Quit" himself. Daniels taunting AJ's wife and kids. Daniels misses the KO chair shot. AJ fighting back now. Moonsault into a inverted reverse DDT.Springboard clothesline. Style Clash blocked into uranagi. BME missed, Pele! Styles Clash! But pinfalls are irrelevant! AJ with the chair! He tosses that aside...screwdriver! Daniels cowers to the corner and quits, then runs away. Crowd deflated and so am I. ***

Post-match, Daniels with the attack. Angel's Wings on the stage and Daniels gloats more. "He didn't beat me!" Um...I guess he means AJ didn't force him to quit? Or AJ didn't win by pinfall or submission? Yeah, whatever will keep this feud going, I guess.

Jeff Jarrett talking about Jeff Hardy and how no one wants Hardy back. Calls "Nero" (Hardy's middle name) out. Hardy with new music again. Hardy comes in and basically starts pummeling Jarrett. JJ fights back but Hardy with a clothesline. Jarrett's shirt ripped off as security separates the two. Woohoo! D'Lo Brown sighting! Al Snow sighting! Chants for D'Lo! Yes! Yeah, I'm down with the Brown!

Sting vs. Hulk Hogan: I'm calling it now...this should be ugly. Jackson James is the ref, of course. Dixie Carter at ringside. Sting rockin' the Hulkamania T-shirt. Hogan gimping around the ring in an Impact Wrestling shirt. Hogan thinks this is a boxing match or something. Oh, well, of course someone's gonna have to fight for Hogan -- or at least help him out. Flair comes out looking all spiffy. So they finally lock up after an eternity. Hogan with a shoulderblock and the crowd goes nuts just for that. Oh Sting's shirt is off...they're both fired up! Back to lame restholds from Hogan. More punches, clubbing blows from Hogan. Sting has to watch out for Flair on the outside. Sting tossed to the floor so Flair gets involved as Hogan occupies the ref. Hogan and Flair with low blows, and even if the ref saw that, he ain't calling it. Hogan biting Sting. This is absolutely putrid. Flair passes foreign object passed to Hogan...a spike or something. Hogan clubs Sting with that spike and punches Sting about 20 more times. Sting's busted open now because that's the only way that the crowd will stay in this one. Sting with punches to Hogan, then chases Flair. Sting decks Flair a couple times and then nails Hogan with that spike a couple times. Hogan's bleeding now. Stinger Splash to Hogan, a shot to Flair, then another Stinger Splash to Hogan's surgically repaired back. Scorpion Death Lock! Hogan's basically on his side because of the back surgery. Hogan taps, but Jackson James is reluctant to call for the bell but eventually does. Thanks for wasting my time with this crap. -****

Flair assaults Sting, and Immortal now in. Bully Ray with a chair shot. Gunner with a chair shot to Sting. Steiner with a chair shot. Abyss peering through the curtain in the back. Jackson James takes the chair from Bischoff! Whoa! And then Bischoff whacks his son in the back with the chair. Beatdown continues. Flair with the most pathetic looking punches ever...worse than Cena. Sting asking Hogan for help? WTF? Crowd all riled up now.Hulk tearing the shirt! Hogan taking everyone out! Sting and Hogan united? I'm with Taz, what's going on here? Bischoff cowering in the corner now. Hogan KOs Bischoff! Apparently...the "real" Hulk Hogan is back? Sting wants Hogan to do his vintage Hogan poses! Jackson James holding his back and raises Hogan's hand. This was a complete waste of my time. Ugh.

Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode (World Title): No main event intros here...huh? Roode going for the crossface early but Angle got the ropes. At least Angle's worked with Benoit before. Yeah, I said Benoit's what? Angle works on Roode in the corner, then a suplex for two. Angle trying for more pins but that won't work here. Angle now with a bearhug, Roode gets out, but then multiple German suplexes from Angle gets two. Angle moonsault...gets caught! Roode tosses Angle, Angle pretty much lands on his head, BIG ouch. Big clothesline from Roode. Bobby on the second rope with a blockbuster move for two. Chops from Roode now. Belly-to-belly from Angle gets two. DDT to Roode for two, and man Bobby landed on his head that time. Straps come down from Angle. Angle Slam countered into RR spinebuster for two. Angle caught Roode on the top with a throw and gets two. Crossface to Angle! Nice ring position. Holy cow, what a counter into the Ankle Lock. Back into the crossface! Great sequence here. Angle tries to pin RR and gets two. Back to crossface! RR telling Kurt to tap. Roll-through into the Angle Slam for two! Ankle lock countered...RR spinebuster again! RR with a fisherman's suplex for a CLOSE near fall. Angle with the ankle lock again, countered into a victory roll for two. Angle Slam countered, RR to the second rope. Angle uses the ref as a shield. Ref tossed aside, Angle low blows RR behind the ref's back. Angle Slam...and only two! Multiple German suplexes from Angle again. RR counters! Crossface again! Angle crawling closer to the ropes. Angle didn't see the ropes but got underneath them so the hold is broken anyway. Angle with a spear(?!) for two. Angle to the top, gets caught in the crossface again! Again Angle slips out. Angle Slam countered, Fisherman's countered, Angle Slam! RR's hand was under the ropes, Angle had the ropes for leverage, and the ref missed ALL that. Really tainted a potentially good match here. I liked how RR was able to catch Angle in the crossface so much (and counter a bunch of Angle's stuff), but for me, I really wanted that crowd more alive, especially in a world title match. **3/4

Final Thoughts:
Apparently, Hogan lobbied for Angle to retain because he felt RR wasn't ready for a title reign yet. Yeah Hogan, way to not have faith in your younger talent. One day, Roode will become a champ, I just know it.

Speaking of talent...has Hogan ever had any in the ring? He makes John Cena look like Shawn Michaels or Davey Richards out there. By far the worst "match" I've seen in a long time, and frankly, I never want that on TV or PPV again. Hell, I'd go so far as to say this was worse than Jenna Morasca and Sharmell (taking into account the ages of Sting and Hogan, wrestling experience, and especially the fact that Hogan should have stopped all this wrestling stuff years ago).

And AJ/Daniels can entertain me all they like. Post-match attack was nice to keep the feud going and I expect more great things from them. The finish here was a huge deflating moment, so I'm hoping for better next time.

A few good matches here, although if this is supposed to be the biggest show of the year, it didn't meet my expectations. Not by a long shot. **

Saturday, October 15, 2011

10/14/11 Smackdown

Battle Royal: *1/2

Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly: 1/4*

Sin Cara vs. Justin Gabriel: *

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus: *1/4

Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger: *3/4

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Title): *1/2

We're in Dallas for this episode! Long and Laurinaitis start off the show. They've passed Gunsmoke for second place for the longest weekly running episodic show stuff (behind RAW). So of course, epic battle royal time! And I liked the winner's prize...title shot against anyone of the wrestler's choosing.

I lost count of how many people are in there, but at least a lot of people get screen time. I didn't expect Cody to be the first guy out, but whatever. It lasted through THREE commercial breaks! Woohoo! Anyway, I'm not really a fan of this battle royal stuff. Royal Rumbles are different because superstars enter one at a time instead of his crazy battle royal melee dealie. I'm glad Mason Ryan got a little time to shine here. Hopefully he can impress in a good storyline...push that guy and see what happens. Good finish between Miz and Orton. And of course, Orton picks Mark Henry.

KK wearing some Dallas sports apparel gear to the ring to cater to the hometown crowd. Beth and Natalya are the "Sisters of Salvation" now...make up your mind on the team name, WWE! Well, that match didn't really hold my attention much.

And we have Sin Caras dueling! Interesting with the whole mask removal deal. I like Sin Cara negro putting on Sin Cara azul's mask. Justin Gabriel should be a good fit for Sin Cara negro (although he's wearing the blue mask) here.

Alberto gets another win, thanks to Christian. At least Cole admits Christian screwed Sheamus again.

Yeah! Zack Ryder is on the show! And he won! Woo woo woo! You know it!

Orton and Henry finish the show. But Cody interfered again. Damn interference.... Uh oh! Big Show! Faces stand tall on this episode. A very average show at best.

Friday, October 14, 2011

10/13/11 Superstars

Santino Marella vs. JTG: *

Alex Riley vs. Drew McIntyre: *3/4

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Heath Slater: *1/4

Santino is Captain Cobra? Oh, you can do better than that.... The guy can entertain, but the Cobra has to be one the lamest finishers ever. Not really impressed by all this. At least Santino is way over with the crowd.

Good match between Drew and A-Ry. Started a bit slow, but they worked a fairly lengthy match here.

Zeke wins again. Not a match I was really into, sorry. Slater needs someone else to work with -- and Zeke should also work with someone else, for that matter..

Basically, the stuff between HHH, Lauranaitis, and the rest of the main eventers ended the show.

10/13/11 Impact

AJ Styles & Rob Van Dam vs. Christopher Daniels & Jerry Lynn: **

Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe: DUD

Brian Kendrick & Jesse Sorensen vs. Austin Aries & Kid Nash: *3/4

Mr. Anderson vs. Scott Steiner: DUD

Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Jarrett & Gunner: *1/2

Great segment with Angle and Roode at the start. Very emotional and intense, and both showed huge respect for the other. The crowd was into it big time. And of course, Roode is booked in a handicap match. Typical heel move.

Daniels and Styles in an "I Quit" match at BFG sounds good to me! But on this show, tag action also involving two other guys in a different (yet fairly intense) storyline...Jerry Lynn and RVD. Lynn and RVD in Full Metal Mayhem (I guess basically anything goes) at BFG. Another match that looks solid on paper. Very good stuff here, and I liked the ending. Good storytelling.

Time for Joe and Morgan to fight. Lame finish, really. I guess it was all about the post-match attack anyway so Joe could send a message to Crimson. Ooh, Joe's the "Alpha Asskicker." I like that one. I also liked the Triple Threat idea...I'd like to see that one.

I don't know who that woman is that helped out Neal and Shannon Moore, but she's pretty hot.

Decent tag match between X-Division foes. Not sure if the Sliced Bread was supposed to be on the belt, but that was kinda neat.

Knockouts all in street clothes or real nice clothes. So Karen now has a VP role? At least Karen gets heel heat pretty well.

Wait, Steiner's still with the company? Guess so. Bully Ray out to support Steiner in his match against Anderson. Low blow in front of the ref, Abyss hits the wrong guy, lame finish. Yeah, this one sucked. Abyss gets nuked by Immortal after the match. Yup, saw that one coming. And Anderson gets nuked for good measure as well.

TNA showed the card for BFG. Looks solid on paper. Will it deliver?

Handicap match time. Roode flipped the bird and it got censored...really? They can say a lot of TV-14 stuff, but the bird is blurred out? Weird. I like how the crossface is being put over more as a submission finisher for Roode.

Whoa, Jeff Hardy saves the day! He really didn't miss any on-air time because he did TV tapings, then went to jail for 10 days, then is back in time for any involvement at BFG. Crowd definitely behind Hardy, so that's a good thing. So Hardy now has two more allies in Beer Money. Hopefully Hardy continues to stay clean. It would be one of the best feel-good stories pro wrestling can offer. We don't need another Scott Hall free-fall tragedy, please. Jarrett basically tries to ban Hardy from getting to BFG, but we all know Hardy will get there.

I really don't give much crap about these contract signings. Frankly, Hogan and Sting is probably gonna suck. Hopefully it doesn't, but seriously, do we really think Hogan will pull off something stellar with all those back surgeries?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10/12/11 NXT

AJ vs. Maxine: *1/4

Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks: ***

Percy Watson vs. Derrick Bateman: **

In Dallas, Texas, for this one! For those that don't know, Darren Young got a 30-day suspension, so we won't be seeing him for the next month or so. But does it matter? The season will still likely be going on when he returns anyway!

Bateman and Maxine start off the show and does the usual heel promo to suck up to Lauranaitis, diss the Cowboys fans, and woo Maxine. So wait, is Percy Watson gonna be Titus' "pro" now? Titus making sounds like he's leaking oil. Percy looks very presentable without those glasses.

Wait, Titus brought up his 30 redemption points! Maybe they do matter!

Wait, WTF? Striker's coming out again? Hey, he's the host again! Zing for Striker with the Sherri Martel reference. Divas match next!

Maxine's degree in criminology interested me. Very little crowd reaction while Maxine was on offense, but then the crowd finally got into it after AJ mounted a comeback. Shining Wizard is a good non-submission finisher for AJ.

Usos have one cool entrance...really like that stuff. Impressive dives to the outside by the Usos...channeling their inner Undertakers there. Nice long match here. Great last few minutes of action there. One of the best NXT matches in the show's history. Considering NXT has had a ton of paltry stuff, it was a nice treat to see.

Percy and Bateman had a respectable match here. Not a bad finisher for Percy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

10/10/11 RAW

Sheamus vs. John Cena: N/A

Christian vs. John Morrison: 1/4*

Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry: *1/2

Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres vs. Tamina & Rosa Mendes: 1/2*

Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, & Mason Ryan vs. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, & David Otunga: *3/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk: N/A

Alberto Del Rio & CM Punk vs. The Miz & R-Truth: *1/2

I LOVED the start to the show. No wrestlers or talent in the building...they're all outside for a solidarity rally. HHH comes in the building. A lot of "you knows" from HHH. He ain't quitting. Oops. HHH wrestling a broomstick for two hours would be amusing. But yeah, thankfully, all the guys who didn't walk out last week all come out one by one. Whoa, Cena mentioned Bischoff! I got a good laugh when Cena even mentioned Mike Adamle (sucks that the crowd didn't react on that one). Sheamus  comes out, then Punk.

Sheamus vs. Cena. HHH refs. Punk gets to talk! Epic win! Wait, Vince comes out?! WTF? Faint "You got fired!" chants from the crowd. Guess the match is over just like that. Citing possible financial catastrophes, HHH is no longer running RAW (via board of directors). Instead...enter Lauranaitis as the interim GM! Uh oh. Epic staredown!

JR, Lawler, and Cole all get their time to come out. They actually do this before the show starts at TV events, but now people get to see it around the world. Cole of course takes all the credit for this change, which makes me want to kick him in the nuts.

Morrison hates Lauranaitis, so he gets a match. Christian sucks up to Lauranaitis and gets to face John now. Both in street clothes. Ziggler, Swagger, and Rhodes run interference and the match is over in a few minutes.

Mark Henry acknowledges Big Show again after what happened on Smackdown. Orton! Not a bad match here, but wow, Rhodes again showing up! He's getting a lot of air time tonight. Orton then eats a World's Strongest Slam...and then another. Cody's doing the whole paper bag routine...similar to the Beautiful People thing in TNA. I think Cody needs to take some evil laughter lessons from Kane.

Divas tag match. Hey, Eve can do more than a one-legged dropkick and moonsault!

Lauranaitis comes out and makes Del Rio vs. Cena for Vengeance. He then fires JR, which shouldn't be a surprise, given the history -- and hell, Lauranaitis needs the heel heat. Wait, Lauranaitis didn't wish JR the best in his future endeavors? Just fired? Fail!

I hope Mason Ryan gets a good push. Excellent size and great potential. Hopefully the entrance music will grow on me. He's in a six-man tag tonight. Ziggler, Swagger, and Otunga are the "Agents of Change," according to Cole. Not a bad name. Otunga didn't get much action here, and that was for the better, I think. Good job letting Mason get the hot tag. Well, maybe it was more of a warm tag with the crowd reaction. Good power finisher from Ryan.

Brodus seems to be getting a promotion to a non-Superstars, non-squash match situation soon.

"The Reunion" is promoted because Cena is in it.

Main event. Lauranaitis interrupts everything mid-match? Oh, of course! Miz and Truth get reinstated by Lauranaitis, the last piece of the puzzle! I actually loved the Truth/Miz rap duet, even though I hate Cole's overzealous reactions. At least ADR and Punk worked as a team for part of the match, then a convenient knee injury from Alberto makes Punk go at it alone. Of course. Premature DQ bell.

I guess HHH is a wrestler again. Looks like we have four guys for the Survivor Series elimination match. In the meantime, those four will be in tag action at Vengeance. Meanwhile, Otunga gets to sip a beverage with Lauranaitis. Yeah, whatever.

Friday, October 7, 2011

10/7/11 Smackdown

Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara: *1/4

Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne (No Countout): *

Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox: N/A

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Jinder Mahal: DUD

Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Christian & Cody Rhodes: **

Glad that Teddy Long will run Smackdown to keep the HHH walkout storyline intact. Frankly, I've seen a ton of HHH already, so trust me, I won't be missing him too much.

The show started with Christian and company talking about the walkout. Cody got a nice heel reaction...he plays the role extremely well. Del Rio has become the leader of this anti-HHH faction, and I like it. Heck, he's the WWE champ, so who better to lead the team, right?

Del Rio  faces Sin Cara! Should be good because at least ADR speaks Spanish. I guess he's working with Mistico (blue Sin Cara comes out). But of course, Hunico (black Sin Cara) cannot be forgotten! Oh! Michael Cole said "negro" on TV! Yeah, I know, it means "black" in Spanish. ADR German suplex put Sin Cara on his head...ouch. It earned two replays instead of just one! Average match here, but the whole point was to keep the storyline going between the two Sin Caras.

Air-Boom on Smackdown now as well. Ziggler and Swagger got their shots in before the bell. Not much to really comment on here, other than it's much-needed momentum for the heels.

Divas time. Wait, Alicia Fox is still on TV? And apparently she also beat Booker in golf and Cole will never let it go now. So much for Alicia, getting thrown to the wolves here. Too short a match to rate.

Hey, Big Show's back from his vacation! I think he gained more weight while on leave, but eh, he's the Big Show, right? He's probably the most gentle, sensitive big man I've seen on camera. And then he turns serious and is gunning for Mark Henry. Do I really want to see two giants battle? Usually no.

Oh, Big Show indirectly referenced his WCW title run when he was 23! Yeah, that was cool.

Mark Henry came out and basically said Big Show might get a title shot...on Mark's terms. Yup, whatever happened to fighting champion? Oh, that's right, we're not supposed to know about this continuity or to believe what heels say. Sounds about right.

Orton asked why he wasn't a part of the walkout. Good response, I'd say. Stays true to the Orton character.

Mahal runs his mouth on Zeke, so Zeke punches Mahal. Ha, that was cool. First Santino on RAW, then Zeke on Smackdown. I guess any sort of push is over for Jinder, at least for right now. Dammit, how many slams did Zeke give Jinder? That was boring as heck.

Oh great, Lauranaitis on Smackdown too? Yup, you can count on Lauranaitis. Insert eyerolling here.

Oh, what the hell?! Seriously? Hornswoggle does a spinaroonie? One of the few times I agree with Cole there. Give me some wrestling.

Main event time! Not bad here. Wish they got more time.

Mark Henry came out and basically says no. Big Show runs down to the ring and lays big time into Henry. Security comes out, but yeah, good luck with that. Spear by Big Show! Show nukes all the security guards. Henry still won't give him a match. Yeah, wrong answer. Clear the announcing area! Chokeslam through the announce table! Teddy Long gives Show his title match before he could break Mark's ankle. So no broken ankle, but instead, a busted back for Henry! Emphatic statement by Big Show tonight.

10/6/11 Impact

Gunner vs. Kazarian: *1/4

Winter & Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James & Velvet Sky: *

Crimson vs. Samoa Joe: *1/2

Bobby Roode vs. James Storm: ***1/2

In Knoxville tonight. They got killer BBQ there, and I'd be going to every damn BBQ joint they got.

Oh, a Beer Money promo this time! You mean the faces (other than the likes of Sting and Anderson) get to open the show with mic time? No way! Tonight, Roode and Storm go one on one, and RR wants everything Storm has. I'd pay good money to see those two wrestle for 20-30 minutes.

They replayed Hogan's arrival from January 4, 2010. So he's been in TNA almost two years and Impact went next to nowhere in the grand scheme of things. Ratings still suck, the bookings are as confusing as ever, and I'm still not sold that TNA will ever get to the point where they can be taken very seriously as a pro wrestling promotion.

Interesting armbar submission from Gunner. Pretty weak way to reverse the decision. I've seen post-match attacks lasting longer where the decision never got overturned. Lame. Kaz either sold a shoulder injury well or was legit hurt there.

Anderson promo to apologize to his fans and to call Bully Ray a douchebag. Cue Bully! Anderson wants one more match, and since BFG will be in Philly, Anderson wants a Philadelphia Falls Count Anywhere match.

Knockouts tag match. Interesting stuff to come out of this one. Madison gets the fluky win, while possible storyline stuff is in the works for Angelina and Winter.

Bischoff and Jeff Hardy in the ring. Bischoff basically calls Hardy the biggest screwup ever and says Hardy's done. But hey, a Twist of Fate before leaving! At least Hardy can get his 10-day jail sentence over with now.

Crimson and Joe have had a decent storyline going. Just straight-up physicality. Too abrupt a finish for me, though.

Yeah, I skipped through all that Roode/Angle video package stuff. Seen it already, and frankly, the whole Roode part of the video was too cheesy for me.

What's not cheesy is the Roode/Storm match. Complete with main event intros. Very exciting match here. Crowd was just about the loudest it was all night for any match. Lots of counters and extreme near falls. Ref bump leads to Angle coming out. Angle...throws Storm into the steps? I was with Tazz and thought Angle would rough up Roode instead. Nice false finish there. I was hoping for a real big finish, but it felt just a little flat. It sorta gets a pass here because the two were beaten to shreds. What I wish didn't happen was Angle coming out. Just can't give it four stars due to Angle's involvement.

I'm seeing Roode more as a main eventer with each passing week. Having a submission finisher is always great to have. Heck, people have two finishers (see John Cena). It's all versatility, folks.

Hogan's little "retirement" speech was all a ruse (of course), and Sting naturally had it all figured out. Hogan and Sting at BFG, and if Sting wins, Hogan gives the company back to Sting and Dixie! Frankly, not sure where to go on this one, but I do know this: the match will be ugly. Hogan's very limited in the ring.Two guys over 50 years old. Why couldn't these two take a damn backseat? Let guys like AJ, Roode, Storm, etc. all shine instead.

10/6/11 Superstars

Alex Riley vs. JTG: *1/2

Michael McGillicutty vs. Percy Watson: *1/4

AJ vs. Tamina: 1/2*

Ted DiBiase vs. Tyson Kidd: *3/4

Hadn't seen A-Ry get a pop like that in, well, pretty much ever. And I like the theme he comes out to. Again, he's got great size, pretty ideal in my book. Oh, so A-Ry now has Edge's impaler DDT? Hopefully he gets a good push. Can't take anything away from JTG, he also showed me a few moves in this one. Scott Stanford needs to get a bit more excited when A-Ry hits his finisher. Then again, Stanford needs to get more amped up for the entire match.

McGillicutty gets his own entrance theme and generic music. Dammit, why can't he just have the Hennig name already? It worked for Cody Rhodes. Percy got a warm reception here. Respectable showing from Percy here.

Tamina has rock music now. Huh? Doesn't matter, she got no reaction anyway. I'd give her at least a version of that Usos theme. And why the hell did WWE break Tamina and the Usos apart? Geez. Too many rest holds in this one. I got bored. Neat finisher from AJ, but I'd want her to have a submission move instead.

Kidd and DiBiase had a good match. A few new moves from Ted in this one...a flying knee?! Not bad here, but I wish they got more time.

A replay of the RAW walkout ended the show.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

10/5/11 NXT

Derrick Bateman vs. Titus O'Neil: *

Yoshi Tatsu vs. JTG: *1/4

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

Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *3/4

NXT has moved to Wednesdays now. For me, it didn't really matter much, but perhaps this was done to assure the show could be edited if necessary. From that standpoint, a good move, in my opinion.

Hawkins and Reks start off the show. Yeah, two more guys that had ZERO ties to NXT Season 5 when the season started. They sit on the top rope and didn't impress me at all on the mic. Whoopee, they referenced walking out on HHH on RAW the other day. Usos come out and do a generic face promo with cheap pops. Yeah, looks like we got great fashion sense here. Love the street clothes...not much of a suit guy, honestly.

And frankly, I facepalm at the lack of logic here. Reks said he liked walking out on HHH, yet he's a WWE ring to compete. I guess it's because HHH is not there? Same goes for anyone else who was on NXT that participated in the walkout on RAW.

Oh, finally! Two NXT rookies get to fight one another! Titus and Derrick tonight! Maxine looked like she wore a damn green satin bedsheet around her body. Titus should be well at home, since Biloxi is still SEC country (college football reference). Not really a thrilling match here by any means.

Video package of the RAW walkout. I thought it was pretty well done. Hope this is used to elevate a ton of superstars instead of being all about HHH and Vince.

JTG and D-Young calling Yoshi Tatsu "Lucy Liu." Pretty much the only thing I got out of that segment. Oh, and Yoshi's makeup/face paint (Yoshi's sign of pride) got stolen. The deal with the "H8"...hope that's not construed as racist. Really walking that line there fella. In any event, I'm digging Yoshi's new look. He just needs new music.

Yoshi (sans face paint) facing JTG.  D-Young taunts Yoshi and gets kicked in the head. So much for Darren. So Yoshi's got some of the hardest kicks in WWE...but man he's got some pretty nice chops as well. Average match here. Thought D-Young (who got up and stayed around ringside) would interfere at some point, but didn't.

Daniel Bryan and Heath Slater back on NXT. Love that they remember their WWE roots anyway. DB growing out the beard, but still a lukewarm pop at best. At least it's better than Slater, who got no reaction (aside from a few guys near the aisle). DB taking a page out of AJ Styles' book with the leapfrog-hurdle-dropkick sequence. Nice intensity in this one. DB shaking the ropes like Ultimate Warrior! I loved DB using the Regal Stretch with Regal on commentary.

Love the Usos entrance with the Siva Tau (or Manu Siva Tau). Reks is now the Dreadlock Demolition Man? Eh, it's OK, I guess. Some flashes of brilliance from all parties involved. Good finish, although the crowd (predictably) deflated at the end.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10/3/11 RAW

Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre: *

Mark Henry vs. John Morrison: 1/4*

Kelly Kelly & Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya: N/A

Santino Marella vs. Jinder Mahal: N/A

John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, & Mason Ryan vs. Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, & David Otunga: ***1/4

Whoa, a match started the show off? Orton gets a nice reaction, while Drew gets a mere mention from Justin Roberts. McIntyre gets nuked on the outside of the ring. McIntyre gets offense in before succumbing. And how the heck has Michael Cole been in the company 15 years? Post-match, I liked Henry coming out for another melee with Orton.

Uh oh, Big Show coming back on Smackdown. Guess this means Henry will be watching out for that.

Poor Morrison. Another loss -- and then nuked post-match. Henry's kicking out of a bunch of finishers now. He's making a huge statement.

Rhodes, Ziggler, Otunga, Christian, Swagger, Vickie, and then Alberto Del Rio in the ring. They all want HHH ousted because he can't control the company. HHH comes out. 12-man tag tonight. The six guys in the ring against Kofi, Evan, Sheamus, CM Punk, and Cena. Wait, I think he forgot one guy.

Divas time. Again, Kelly and Eve vs. Beth and Natalya. I guess the divas division will pretty much be focused on these four for a while. You know, that was awesome if even to see Kelly go nuts. She reacted as if Beth killed her family or something. Holy crap.

Lauranaitis takes responsibility for Miz and Truth's actions last night. HHH smells a rat.

Jinder Mahal in the ring. Oh, Santino's back! JR: "Well, the closed captioning person just walked off the job."  Ha! JR with an awesome line there. Match was too short for me to care.

Miz and R-Truth apologize via YouTube video, just saying they wanted to make a statement and get their jobs back.

Punk's wearing the ice cream bar shirt! Yes! Oh, by the way, the sixth man on the faces side that HHH forgot to mention was Mason Ryan. Ryan is huge, damn. This was a great match here. It got time, and the crowd was very loud in this one. Why Cole calls Ziggler's Rocker Dropper the "Zigzag" is beyond me. I thought the Zigzag was his jumping neckbreaker move. That was an excellent end sequence.

HHH holds his vote of confidence with all the superstars at the end. I liked Mike Chioda on the mic. He's not the center of attention and I didn't necessarily think he'd be good on the mic, but he was good. I like Lawler coming in at the end to be as objective as possible, but he does side with everyone confidence. Interesting that people walked out in groups. Even the camera guys walked out. The last holdout...Jim Ross, the man HHH brought back. And he leaves as well. Does this pave the way for Lauranaitis to take over? It was a great end segment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

10/2/11 Hell in a Cell

Sheamus vs. Christian: Christian felt Sheamus had cost him a chance to win the World Title, so Christian cost Sheamus the IC title twice in five days in retaliation. Miz and R-Truth have tickets and get ringside seats. Lauranaitis comes out and basically boots them out of the arena. Conspiracy continues! Match now underway. Good mat wrestling to start, which should mean they get time to do their thing. Christian really has a good slap. Vintage Sheamus with the clubbing chest shots while Christian is in the ropes. Christian tries for an aerial move, but Sheamus catches him for a fallaway slam. Christian gets the upper hand on the outside. Second-rope forearm shot by Christian. Sleeper countered by Sheamus. Christian on offense but Sheamus keeps coming back. Sheamus cathces Christian off the ropes with a tilt-a-whirl for two. Killswitch blocked. Christian tries for his sunset flip but Sheamus hits the Irish Curse for two. Celtic Cross countered. Christian to top, but he gets caught. Christian tries for Killswitch again, Sheamus counters. Sheamus skins the cat and gets to the top, then hits his shoulder tackle. Impressive there. Brogue Kick attempt, Christian backs away and tosses Sheamus to the outside. He catches Christian with a shoulder to the gut. Christian tries again witha baseball slide but gets caught. Spear by Christian outside the ring! Sheamus gets back in the ring somehow...spear again! Only two! Christian frustrated. He goes to the top, misses the headbutt! Celtic Cross attempt countered, Killswitch...countered! Brogue Kick hit! Sheamus gets the three! ***1/4

Sin Cara vs. Sin Cara: This should actually be fun, unlike Taker/Taker from the 90s. Mistico is out first to the usual Sin Cara music. Hunico (Sin Cara #2) comes out to a little different music and a black outfit. Both do the trampoline somersault entrance. Sin Cara lights for the match...why am I not surprised? At least these two know each other's styles well. Lucha style at the start, as Mistico gets the upper hand first. Test of strength, Hunico gets the upper hand. Good bridging from Mistico. Flying head scissors from both Sin Caras. Crowd with a warm applause. Mistico with a neat springboard arm drag. Hunico to the outside. Mistico with a tope con hilo to the outside. Mistico with a baseball slide. Asai moonsault, but no one home. Hunico takes control now. Hunico with a senton to Mistico for two. Mistico to outside, Hunico flies (kinda like Taker at WrestleMania) onto Mistico. Hunico with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Double KO spot. Mistico kicks. Hurricanrana sends Hunico to the outside. Mistico off the top flies onto Hunico. Couple of near falls for both guys in the ring. Hunico to top but gets caught, Mistico arm drag from the top! Kick by Mistico, then goes for senton but misses. Mistico rolls through. Nice sunset flip countered into a powerbomb by Mistico for three! Real cool lucha stuff, but the crowd was mostly dead, sorry. *3/4

Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (Tag Team Titles): Vickie introduces Ziggler and Swagger. I laughed when JR commented that his glass just broke when Vickie was on the mic. Air Boom wearing blue tonight. Good offense from the faces at the start. Heels get the upper hand and work on Bourne. Bourne tags Kingston who tries to come off the ropes but Swagger low bridges Kingston out of the ring. Ziggler gets Kingston back in the ring and covers for two. Heels working on Kingston now. Good isolation of Kofi here. Vickie continues her animated managing outside the ring. Bourne gets the hot tag and flies big time. Ziggler tries a rocker dropper but Bourne counters. Standing moonsault onto Ziggler for two. Swagger is in, ankle lock on Bourne but Kofi flies in to break that up. Zigzag (or a variation of it anyway) on Kofi. bourne rolls up Ziggler for two. Hard lariat by Ziggler. Swagger tagged in and he sits on the top rope. Ziggler places Bourne on Swagger...powerbomb? Hurricanrana by Bourne! Kofi takes out Ziggler and Bourne gets the three! Vickie is pissed. **1/4

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell; World Heavyweight Title): Henry out first, then Orton. Main event intros from Chimel. Orton right on Henry as the bell rings. Henry goes into the cell. Henry does get the upper hand and rams Orton's back into the post and the cell. Huge running powerslam from Henry for two. Man, that looked painful. Orton to the outside, and Henry continues the punishment. Powerslam again on the floor. Henry tries to throw the steel steps into Orton, but misses. Orton trying to fight back, but Henry rams Orton's head into the cell again. Henry splashes Orton in the ring for two. Henry now working on Orton's spine. Henry standing on Orton's chest...big time ow. Orton tries to fight back again, but Henry just tosses Orton to the outside. World's Strongest Slam to steps? Nope...countered! Orton hanging on the cell to kick Henry! DDT to Henry on the steps! Thesz Press to Henry! Dropkick to Henry. Hangman's DDT from Orton! Crowd into it now. Signaling for RKO! He hits it! ONLY TWO?! Orton trying to figure out what to do next. Punt time! Henry catches Orton! World's Strongest Slam for three! Not bad, but this is pretty much the best I think most people will get out of Mark Henry in a match. **3/4

The cell is raised. Uh oh. Henry's not done. Chair put on Orton's leg! Vader bomb attempt, but Orton moves the leg out of the way. Two chair shots to Henry! More chair shots on the ramp! Orton's going mad again. Henry gets away.

Cody Rhodes brings back the classic IC title! That was just awesome. Lauranaitis comes out and says Cody is defending the title tonight, and of course, Cole is livid.

Cody Rhodes vs. John Morrison (IC Title): Rhodes is still in his suit. Guess he's gotta take off the jacket and wrestle. Morrison gets the upper hand early. They get to the outside. Morrison takes off Cody's shirt and continues the punishment on Rhodes. Rhodes first tries to get counted out by walking away, but Morrison brings him back to ringside. Rhodes then hangs onto the ringpost on the outside to get a countout win, but that didn't work. Cody using that mask to gain control again. Figure four to Morrison, but John gets to the ropes. Morrison fighting back. Morrison with a cool backflip move thing for two. Starship Pain blocked. Morrison stomps on Cody's midsection. Pele kick from Morrison. Morrison goes for the flash kick and misses. Oklahoma Roll from Rhodes for three. Cole overreacts and calls it the greatest win in WWE history. Yeah, keep being an ass, Cole. *1/2

Truth and Miz take out Air-Boom. Zeke and Riley tend to Air-Boom. HHH basically saying Lauranaitis is in deep s*** if it happens again.

Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly (Divas Title): Beth out first (w/Natalya), Kelly comes out with Eve. Kelly comes out firing. Forearm shots, then a Thesz press. Top rope clothesline for two. KK tries for that hurricanrana but Beth counters into a backbreaker and gains control. Beth with a bunch of power moves. KK tries a surprise rollup for two. Beth with a slingshot suplex. Beth tries the powerbomb, KK into that hurricanrana victory roll again (that won it for her at NoC in Buffalo), but only gets two this time. Beth with a quick clothesline for two. KK with a neckbreaker! Sunset flip by KK blocked, Beth gets two. KK counters for two as well. Glam Slam countered. KK tries a backslide but Beth blocks it. KK rams Beth's face into the turnbuckles. Cartwheel back elbow from KK. KK goes to top and hits a bulldog and almost got her. Natalya up on the apron, Eve intervenes but gets sent into the barricade. KK goes for K2. Beth hangs her on the top rope and kicks KK in the...low stomach area, me thinks. Beth gets KK in that unique torture submission as Natalya taunts on the mic. KK refuses to give up. Ref restrains Beth and Natalya clocks KK with the mic. Glam Slam for three. Beth crying tears of joy. Actually quite good here. Nice storytelling. *1/2

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena vs. CM Punk (Hell in a Cell; WWE Title): Alberto out first, then Punk, and Cena last. Intros and entrances basically took up about six minutes of time. First to gain a pinfall or submission in the ring gets the title. And of course, anything goes in the cell. ADR plays keepaway at the start. Both Punk and Cena go after ADR. Punk sneaks a two-count on Cena. AA, GTS, and STF all countered. Cena goes for AA on ADR, but Punk flies through and lands on both guys. Punk now working on ADR in the ring. Crowd chants for Cena and Punk. Cena whips Punk into the steps but Punk avoids that. ADR comes from the other side and pushes Punk into the cell. Cena and ADR both go for the chair in the ring but the chair gets knocked out of the ring. ADR works on Cena in the ring. Cena gets his usual comeback moves on ADR. Cena tries for the AA, countered. ADR tries for the armbreaker and Punk kicks ADR in the head. Double offense from Punk...neckbreaker to Cena, DDT to ADR! Two on Cena. Punk's back is all cut up.

Table set up on the outside! Punk hits his running knee to Cena and looks for the bulldog on the table. Cena tosses Punk into the cell! ADR with a chair to Cena's gut! ADR back suplexes Cena on the chair for two! ADR taunts Cena. ADR props Cena on the top rope and hangs him in the tree of woe. Kicks to Cena. ADR charges, Cena pulls himself up, and ADR crashes shoulder-first into the post. Cena to the top for his legdrop, but Punk pushes Cena off. Punk with a Russian Leg Sweep on ADR for two. ADR gains the upper hand on Punk. Cena out of nowhere with a top-rope legdrop and he gets two-counts on ADR and Punk. Cena tries for AA on ADR, but countered into a backstabber! Punk kicks ADR in the head. Double KO in the ring. Ricardo trying to revive ADR by fanning him with the towel. Haha.

Cena and Punk trading shots in the ring. ADR back in and assaults Punk and Cena with a chair. Two on Punk and another two-count on Cena. Punk launches ADR over the top and into the steps. Ow. AA to Punk, but ADR breaks up the count. ADR with the cross armbreaker to Cena, but Punk breaks it up. GTS to Cena,but ADR breaks it up! ADR takes out Punk on the outside. ADR tosses the chair into Punk's knee. Cena inside cradle for two, but eats an ADR clothesline. Cena tossed into the steps and the cell. Crowd not into it as much as I would like right now. Punk now working on ADR. Punk with the Savage elbow for two! Cena comeback offense on Punk now, but Punk kicks Cena in the head. Punk to the top for another elbow, but ADR pushes Punk off into the table! STF on ADR! Ricardo takes the ref out on the outside and gets into the cell! He has a pipe! Cena catches Ricardo and gives him an AA. ADR with a pipe shot to Cena's ribs. ADR locks Cena out of the cell! Genius move. ADR now focusing on a wounded Punk.

ADR German suplex with a bridge for two! Punk with a rolllup for a LONG two count! Punk on the second rope, but a running enzugiri from ADR gets two! Cena trying to get to his feet. Cross armbreaker countered, Punk kicks ADR multiple times. Leg lariat from Punk! Cena realizes he's locked out. Punk with a bulldog to ADR. Cena's looking for the key but it's nowhere to be found. Punk setting up for a springboard move. Clothesline for two. Cena's trying to muscle his way in the cell, to no avail. ADR on the outside. He grabs the pipe and clocks Punk with it, then taunts Cena. Nice storytelling there. Punk tries for the GTS! Another pipe shot to the ribs,then a pipe shot to the neck! ADR covers Punk for three and the title! ***1/2

Cell is raised. Cena gets to ADR. WTF? Two guys with hoodies attacking Cena?! It's Miz and Truth taking out everyone! HHH and Lauranaitis out, but the cell's lowered! Who lowered that cell? HHH tells Lauranaitis to get the cell raised. Beatdown still occurring in the ring. The entire locker room now trying to get the cell open. Loved Truth punching the cameraman while the broadcast shot was using that camera for the live feed; made it more vicious. Cops are out now trying to get the door open. Bolt cutters get the door open, but only 2-3 security guys go in (other cops hold HHH and other wrestlers back). Miz and Truth give in. Miz and Truth led away. HHH attacks both Miz and Truth -- and even shoves Lauranaitis away! HHH is restrained and Miz and Truth are led away. Now THAT was a kickass ending.

Final Thoughts:
JR, Booker, and Cole called the action tonight. Lawler was still selling his injuries from Mark Henry's attack a few weeks back. I liked that...makes Henry's dominance that much better.

I hate all these title changes. My only hope is that WWE will legitimately give Mark Henry a long world title reign. That WWE title is changing hands too many times, to the point where Cena's gonna have at least 30 world title reigns before he's done.

I LOVED the Cody Rhodes segment where he brought back the late 80s to early 90s IC title. It's the belt I grew up seeing as a kid on the likes of Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. Frankly, I loved that title more than the winged eagle WWF title. The pop that belt got showed that there are a bunch of people my age that still remember that belt and love that it's back. And it's a WHITE belt too! Yes! Just like the HBK days there.

The show overall was above average, but the main event and the post-main event incident was the best part. Miz and Truth are bringing back a lot of the Austin attitude era stuff, complete with getting led away in handcuffs. The entire locker room coming down to get in the cell was surreal. The whole deal with "who lowered the cell back down?" will resonate with fans for a while. Thinking Lauranaitis, Otunga, and Christian had to be all in on this one. It was brilliant stuff that really makes me love watching WWE. ***

Saturday, October 1, 2011

9/30/11 Smackdown

Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali: 1/4*

Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne: *

Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater: 1/2*

Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya: DUD

Cody Rhodes vs. Sheamus (IC Title): **

Zack Ryder vs. JTG: *

Randy Orton vs. Christian: ***1/4

We're in St. Louis for Smackdown!

Booker T starts off the show to interview Mark Henry. No extension strap for Henry (like they did for Big Show), but then again, Mark is not wearing the belt around his waist anyway. Henry's sending a message to Orton: Randy's next for the Hall of Pain at HIAC. Funny how they don't mention Kozlov in that Hall of Pain, but I guess it's only because he's been released. Another strong promo from Mark, and I love it.

Khali comes out for a match with Henry. They replayed the massacre on RAW between the two. Khali gets offense in this time. Two huge Punjabi chops only get a two-count, so I guess that's all she wrote for Khali. And in less an a minute after that, Khali is out for the count. Henry looking for a chair looking to injure Khali. Vader Bomb to Khali's leg. Khali not selling too well here. But I guess now Khali can go do some more promo work in India or something.

They are carting Khali to the ambulance. Mahal gets in Khali's face. Teddy Long breaks that up.

Air-Boom time! Bourne gets the hometown pop! Amusing that Swagger is coming out to Ziggler's music. The usual entertaining stuff here. Ziggler interfered but Kofi eventually took out Dolph. Vickie gets involved because there's strength in numbers. Bourne loses in his hometown much like Beth did. Ouch.

Sin Cara time, and I think it's Mistico under the mask this time. He's facing Slater. Nice senton to win it for Sin Cara. Short match here. Sin Cara #2 (Hunico) rips off the identical Sin Cara mask to reveal a blackened version, so now we can tell them apart. God, this reminds me of Taker/Taker, but at least these two got moves. And Hunico can speak English, so I'm glad he's doing the damn talking.

Christian, Otunga, Lauranaitis, Vickie, Dolph, and Cody all gathering backstage. I'm liking Otunga in his lawyer role. He's mediocre in the ring but can at least find a place on camera with this role.

Divas time between Kelly and Natalya. Natalya only getting a mention that she's in the ring. Beth on commentary out of nowhere! Kelly's got a candy stripe-inspired outfit going tonight. This was a short, lame match. Whole point was to beat down Kelly post-match anyway. I like Natalya's new submission.

IC Title match next. Cody's defending the title under protest and insults Sheamus. I like that flying battering ram from Sheamus. A simple aerial maneuver, but obviously very effective. Match really picked up steam when Sheamus started his comeback. And just like that, Christian (predictably) interferes again.

Zack Ryder is on TV again! And for once, he's not the jobber! JTG did put up some decent offense, anyway.  Broski boot for two. "Are you serious, bro?!" Love the catchphrase, it's really taken off. Rough Ryder wins it for Zack.

Oh, finally, HHH on camera with Lauranaitis. John is sucking up to HHH, but it doesn't look like HHH buys it for a second.

Christian out first, because Orton gets the huge hometown pop afterward. They're facing each other for the gazillionth time, and I'm cool with it. The two are very comfortable working with one another. "RKO" chants from the crowd. And yes, they got time to shine as usual. Another phenomenal match here. Orton and Christian "knew what was coming" from the other, so they threw in some new moves as well. I love that stuff. Spear only gets two from Christian, nice. It shouldn't be his finisher anyway. Orton transforming to signal for the RKO. Christian tries to get away, but Orton brings him back to ringside. Ref was still counting in the ring, so double countout here. Doesn't matter to Randy.

Orton sending a message to Mark Henry, but Cody races down to help Christian. Sheamus comes down! Brogue Kick to Cody. Sheamus chases Christian through the crowd. Uh oh. Poor Cody is left with Randy. Nope! Mark Henry comes down! RKO countered again! World's Strongest Slam! Mark Henry is looking more dominant than ever. Henry grabs a chair again. RKO to Henry! Crowd loves it and goes home happy. Unfortunately, this should mean Mark retains at HIAC.