Saturday, June 30, 2012

6/29/12 Smackdown

Layla vs. AJ: 1/2*

Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder: *1/4

Tyson Kidd vs. Jack Swagger: *1/2

Christian & Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes & David Otunga: **1/4

Ryback vs. Dan Barone & Brendan Burke: N/A (Ry-squash)

Tensai vs. Justin Gabriel: 3/4*

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Title): ***3/4

Whoa, a divas match starts the show. AJ finally gets in-ring wrestling action. Oh, and Layla has Tiffany's old "Insatiable" entrance music now (I think she's had it all week). AJ eliminated Layla in the RAW battle royal, hence we have this match. Daniel "YESYESYES" Bryan with a ton of "YES" chants. AJ distracted, and Layla with a rollup for the win.

Dueling "YES" chants for DB and AJ, even throughout commercial. Vickie finally gets her rear out there. Talk about repeating annoying catchphrases. Basically, Vickie is the complete suckup to DB and to the Board of Directors. Oh look, AJ's the special guest ref in the WWE Title match! YESYESYES.

World Title will have participants selected by a series of qualifying matches. After all, Smackdown seems to have more of the wrestling stuff anyway. The World Title MITB match is open to anyone, while the WWE Title MITB match is only for former WWE champs. Gee, doesn't that place the WWE Title above the World Title? How lovely -- and predictable.

Zack Ryder and...Damien Sandow? This can't end well for Ryder because you don't want to kill Damien's momentum as a rising star. Sure enough, Damien with the victory. Doesn't mean he's winning MITB, but perhaps you can pencil him in as the dark horse candidate.

DB wants to speak with AJ. Kaitlyn says AJ's nowhere to be found and that the little girl's mentally unstable. Yup. And I dig the crazy chicks.

Tyson Kidd with only a mention in the ring. He faces Swagger for another MITB ladder match spot. Cole says it's a good opportunity for Kidd to break out and be out on his own, away from relying on that Hart legacy. I agree. Kidd has amazing talent, but eventually, he has to craft his own mark in WWE. Kidd will be able to do just that, pinning Swagger. Nice counter out of the ankle lock, and that Blockbuster from the top is money for Tyson. Again, I don't think Kidd will win it, but we need a guy to do some crazy aerial spots anyway.

Dolph and Vickie in the back. Vintage shouting about each wanting what they want (Dolph wants the title, Vickie wants to be permanent GM); it all culminates with a Vickie slap. Awkward tension afterward.

Tag team match next, with the members of the winning team both going to the MITB ladder match. Better match than I thought it would be. Should have expected that, since Christian was in it. Spear got three on Otunga. Santino and Christian both now in MITB. Christian for now is the likely favorite.

Daniel Bryan finds AJ. Want the doc's number for professional help? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Can I be the doctor?

Two more jobbers for Ryback where the combined weight is 353 lbs. Can't they actually get better guys for Ryback to squash? I mean, at least squash Jinder Mahal or Camacho or something. Ugh. At least I learned lately that the designer for Ryback's gear also does RVD's designs.

It's Teddy Long's turn to run RAW and Smackdown next week. First order of business: Antonio Cesaro and Aksana vs. Great Khali and Layla. Put that for Tuesday's Super Smackdown, Great American Bash Special.

MITB qualifier again. Gabriel faces Tensai. Oh man. Hard-hitting offense by Gabriel not enough. You mean Tensai will actually get a MITB shot? I've only heard negative feedback on Tensai's return, so he's doubtful to winning the whole thing.

Cody Rhodes files a "protest" in his match because he wasn't the one pinned. Maybe it'll become relevant and he gets in the ladder match somehow. He's agile enough for me to want him in there.

Triple threat title match ends the show. Action spills to the outside, where Del Rio and Ziggler team up to take out Sheamus. Then the ol' "heels turn on each other" spot allows Sheamus to do the comeback. Last half of the match was outstanding. Ziggler pushes ADR into Ricardo, then rolls up Alberto, but a beautiful Brogue Kick to Ziggler allows Sheamus to retain the title. Best match of the week. Each guy had a legit shot to win.

Friday, June 29, 2012

6/28/12 Impact

Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson: **1/2

Sonjay Dutt vs. Rubix: **3/4

Bully Ray vs. Samoa Joe: **1/2

Rashad Cameron vs. Mason Andrews: **3/4

Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. AJ Styles & Kurt Angle (Tag Team Titles): ***1/4

Video from last week, but basically the main thing is they let the world know there's no affair going on. The whole thing now...will Claire factor more into the storyline than what we currently see?

We start with a BFG Series match. Great job to start with RVD and Anderson to get the crowd pumped. Lots of quick pin attempts and mat wrestling to start. Love the unique submissions from RVD because submission wins get three more points than a pin. Nice counters and a good flow. Crowdin the front row kept throughout the match. Wow, a crucifix wins it for RVD...7 points. Shows RVD's leg strength a little more.

BFG Series matches also include house shows, so more people have points now. Storm is still in front for the moment.

Austin Aries promo. I'm still impressed that TNA put such a prestigious stipulation on that X-Division Title: relinquish the title at Destination X for a shot at the World Title. I honestly never would have thought of it, and didn't see it coming. It also helps build excellent hype for the PPV. Destination X will have a tournament to crown a new X-Division champ. Will include past stars. Love this move. Aries might have a mixed reputation backstage, but this is probably the best thing to happen to TNA in a while.

Roode interrupts the promo to intimidate Aries. They tease a fight, and Roode backs off. What this really should mean (and hopefully become reality) is that we'll finally have a new champion at Destination X. Aries should be the one to topple Roode. It would have tremendous long-term benefits for the X-Division Title and set a precedent for future X-Division champs to see it can be done. Think of it as TNA's version of Money in the Bank -- but this particular "briefcase" is defended throughout the year. Furthermore, an Aries win boosts his stock that much more, considering how long Roode's held the gold.

Backstage interview with Claire and Dixie to uncover more info. Typical "heel gets information and twists it to make others look bad" explanation. Kaz is pissed at Daniels, just 90 minutes or so before their rematch for the tag titles.

X-Division qualifying matches begin tonight. We see Sonjay Dutt and Rubix, who both basically wrestle on the indie circuit now. Rubix is a masked guy billed from the Bronx, so Taz is able to make some comments there. The match is predictably fast-paced, tons of counters and insane athleticism. Sonjay with the win, a top-rope backflip into a double-foot stomp for three. Sonjay moves on in the tournament. This is what I want to see more of. Call me a sucker for fast-paced, lucha-style matches, but this is highly entertaining, my friends. Good passionate promo from Sonjay after the match. Glad to see him back in TNA.

Bully Ray faces Samoa Joe. Good matchup here. Bully intimidation tactic doesn't work tonight. Hard hitting, as expected. Tenay finally mentions that you get MINUS 10 points if you get disqualified during a match. Remember that was RVD's problem last year when he feuded with Jerry Lynn. Lengthy match between Bully and Joe. Bully works on Joe's left arm. Bully's even got a Rock Bottom in him nowadays. Joseph park comes out, gets on the apron, and slaps Bully. Joe crawls back in for a chokeout submission win. 10 points for Joe.

Joseph Park issues a challenge to Bully Ray. They fight again in two weeks on Impact. Bully's probably accepting. Or they basically settle it at Destination X somehow. Either way works. The fans are buying into it, and you can really thank Bully Ray for getting so much heel heat that practically any face will benefit working against him.

Kaz basically goes to Hulk and throws Daniels under the proverbial bus. Doesn't work with Hogan.

Madison goes to Garett Bischoff. Madison apparently lets Garett know who the crush is. Garett wishes Madison well with that. Nice and cryptic.

Brooke Hogan shows Tessmacher promotional pictures with Direct Auto Insurance. The claws basically come out, but no physicality. Gail gets her title rematch next week.

More X-Division action with two guys I've really never seen before. Cameron looks like a shorter Kofi Kingston with the old Darren Young afro. Mason's style is aerial-MMA hybrid, which sounds awesome. Mason nearly undershoots Cameron on the corkscrew plancha. Pace slows down later, but still some nice moves. Love that both guys had a chance to really fly here. Mason with a sick vertical. Impressive body scissors hurricanrana from the top gets two. Cameron with a move like R-Truth's Little Jimmy finisher gets three. More of this, I say! Thank you, Philly 215.

It's Gut Check time to find out if Taeler Hendrix gets her Impact Wrestling contract. I missed the part about Taeler's cancer being a misdiagnosis last week. Pritchard is all "would you buy a PPV to watch Taeler?" Um, problem, Bruce. You have NO KNOCKOUT on the roster that has that type of storyline and clout working in tandem right now. The star power's there, but female storylines are still second fiddle to the men.

The way Borash announces, it feels like a damn game show. Let's go to the judges. The crowd is basically becoming like WWE, with fairly big "YES!" chants. Taz wastes no time in voting yes.

Oh snap, Joey Ryan sighting in the front row, right before Al Snow votes! Taz and Al confront Joey. Security escorts Joey out. Basically, it's another storyline brewing. TNA would be smart to keep Joey Ryan and his gimmick. This also gets Taeler a bit more nervous for the voting, so it works overall from that standpoint.

Anyway, Al votes him, Taeler's not ready yet. Of course, it has to be a split vote so that the third guy is actually relevant. Taeler gets some promo time to"kick out" and impress Pritchard. Pritchard builds up the tension, then shows how she's much classier than Joey Ryan. Pritchard votes yes. Taeler's got a contract! Note that there was really no mention of the fan vote, which still (from what I heard) was largely in Taeler's favor anyway.

BFG Series standings: James Storm with 36, Samoa Joe with 27, and the rest have 10 points or fewer.

Next week, James Storm faces Jeff Hardy. TNA will also conduct an interview with Chris Sabin. Video shown from that Ultimate X match a few weeks ago where he tore his left ACL. Second knee injury in two years. That's just extremely unfortunate. Wishing him well for a speedy recovery.

Tag title match is the main event. Still tension between Kaz and Daniels. Angle nukes Daniels in the ring. Angle tags AJ, and somehow it looks like AJ and Daniels botch that hurricanrana from the apron. AJ gets planted like a powerbomb, but Daniels flips over anyway to try and sell the move. AJ then pops right back up like nothing happened. But anyway, this is the usual wrestling clinic these four provide. Tenay and Taz miss Kaz decking Daniels while Daniels was trying to fight out of the German suplex barrage. Kaz with a nice TKO for a near fall. Fade to Black countered into ankle lock. More action from AJ. Ref bump. Daniels with the chair, Kaz takes it away. Bird flip to Daniels. Kaz tells AJ to finish Daniels off. Kaz sneaks back in and decks AJ with the chair. Ref thrown back in to count the pin, and we have new tag champs. Was Kaz's actions earlier on this episode all a ruse?

Daniels on the mic. Yes, we've seen Claire is pregnant. The daddy's AJ Styles? Claire sulks in her chair and starts crying, basically admitting guilt. Man, this is fit for Springer! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!

6/28/12 Superstars

Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty: **1/2

Darren Young vs. Epico: *1/2

Hunico & Camacho vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *1/2

Kane vs. Heath Slater: 1/2*

Kofi starts the show against McGillicutty. Kofi with his usual high-flying stuff to pump the crowd up. Was Scott Stanford dissing Brodus' dancing ability? Gasp! Turned into a pretty exciting match after the Kingston comeback spot. A few counters and near falls.

AW introduces the Primetime Players. Darren faces Epico tonight. Whoa, a tag team storyline! AW has one of those mics that goes around the ear like some singing dancer wears. He has his mic on the entire time. Epico does a trifecta of belly-to-back suplexes. AW with interference, Titus gets involved, and Darren's Gutcheck finisher gets three.

Camacho sees some rare in-ring time, tagging with Hunico here against the Usos. Nice finish from the Usos to get the win here. Basically one Uso elevates the opponent up, and that poor victim meets a superkick on the way down.

Kane vs. Heath Slater in the main event? Who the hell is WWE trying to kid here? Yup, Slater's gonna be on fire for sure. Slater's gotten noticed, all right -- noticed on how he's the man that will be jobbing to some former star or some current main eventer. At least Heath got some offense in. Chokeslam ends it. No AJ because Kane basically dumped her on RAW. Oh well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

6/27/12 NXT

Seth Rollins vs. Jiro: 1/4*

Jinder Mahal vs. Jason Jordan: DUD

Leo Kruger vs. Aiden English: N/A (squash)

Conor O'Brian & Kenneth Cameron vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *1/4

Richie Steamboat vs. Rick Victor: *1/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. Dante Dash: N/A (squash)

Derrick Bateman vs. Johnny Curtis: *1/2

Byron Saxton on color this week, alongside the awesome play-by-play of Jim Ross.

Seth Rollins starts the show off, and I swear, he has the old CM Punk look and acts in a crazier way. He's one of the guys being hyped in video packages, so he's probably going over here. Rollins faces a Japanese jobber. Lots of chops. Rollins' finisher is basically stomping the guy in the back and the guy falls to the canvas. Blackout is the name. A little bonus rating for all those chops and kicks (otherwise, I'd just give it an N/A and move on).

I'd like to say that's at least a way to keep the "Tyler Black" name alive. I hope he still performs that Phoenix Splash and God's Last Gift in future matches.

Mediocre promo from Rollins after the match. Awkward moment on the stage between him and Jinder.

Promo from Jinder, but seems like Jason Jordan is the one to showcase here, since JJ is the newbie on TV. Jordan didn't wrestle last week because Sandow refused to compete. Jinder takes control early on and thwarts any Jordan offense. Camel Clutch wins it. So much for my theory. Not the best way to debut for Jordan. Crowd largely didn't care.

Video package on Leo Kruger. He's billed from South Africa, apparently treated like a god there, and an alpha male lion. Sounds like a heel persona to me. He's got some great moves, can't wait to see this next. Nice fanfare entrance music. Aiden English to job tonight, it appears. Basic stuff, Kruger finishes the job with a sleeper/choke and body scissors.

Richie Steamboat video package again. Looking forward to his NXT debut.

Usos relegated to NXT again. Oh, now William Regal is on color. Nice way to edit the episode and change color guys out of nowhere (sarcasm). They job to The Ascension, who I think has the coolest entrance this side of the Undertaker. Don't try to headbutt Samoans. Jim Ross with a great line: "a revolving door of disaster" in the corner. The NXT Universe is much smaller, unfortunately. Jimmy Uso with the hot tag, so at least it's not a total squash. Downcast (facebuster into a one-man flapjack) is the Ascension finisher getting three.

Saxton back on color for Richie Steamboat's NXT debut. Generic rock music entrance. Richie's got his father's arm drags perfected. Oh look, Ricky's conveniently in the front row! Match seemed to take forever; a lot of basic moves here. Double elbows in the corner like Matt Morgan did in TNA. Slingblade is Steamboat's finisher. Versatile, but I have a hard time believing that for a finisher. Then again, Ricky Steamboat "only" had a crossbody for a finisher, so we'll see how this one goes. Not bad here.

Antonio Cesaro video package. Aksana still with Antonio, so that hasn't changed. Dante Dash will job tonight. Impressive deadlift gutwrench from Antonio. Lots of physicality from AC. AC's finisher is called the Neutralizer. Thank you, J.R.

Bray Wyatt video again. His speeches remind me of Dusty Rhodes. When working dark matches, Wyatt played a heel. We'll see what his TV persona is like. He's still billed as "coming soon," so WWE apparently is investing highly on him.

Curtis and Bateman main event this show. Weird hit-and-run start from Curtis. Curtis targets Bateman's left knee. Bateman sold respectably well. Bateman with the short comeback and his modified DDT for the win. Ross says it's called the "DBD."

This was a largely forgettable show. Mostly debuts with squash matches, not much crowd excitement. Next week, Ross said NXT female competitors debut, as well as Kassius Ohno (Chris Hero).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6/25/12 RAW

Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk vs. Kane (Elimination): **1/2

Big Show vs. Brodus Clay: 1/2*

Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger (U.S. Title): *

Sycho Sid vs. Heath Slater: N/A (squash)

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio (Contract on a Pole): *3/4

Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal: DUD

John Cena vs. Chris Jericho: *1/2

AJ appears to be talking to Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Punk, but she's practicing talking into a mirror about probably dumping all three of them. Cole thinks she's talking to herself. Yeah, she's crazy. Nice intro to the show. Meanwhile, Cena has a major announcement for later in the show.

Vickie Guerrero is the interim GM this week for RAW and Smackdown. Yes, you are excused. Nice heel heat.

Triple threat elimination match to start. And DB's in it! Yes yes yes! Crowd agrees. Twitter poll on who AJ should be with. I'd vote #AJALL. Punk and DB double-team Kane. Nice Punk curb stomp to DB after teasing a sharpshooter. Kane ready to chokeslam Punk but AJ comes out to skip around the ring. No Kane mask tonight. Still, it allows Punk to hit the GTS on Kane. Kane gone. DB with that KO Tajiri-like kick to Punk for three. YES!

Alberto with roses for Vickie. Ricardo apparently forgot the vase. Meanwhile, ADR and Dolph are in a World Title Contract on a Pole match to determine who faces Sheamus for the World Title on Smackdown. Ricardo's back with the vase, and Dolph sends that into next week.

Two huge guys in Show and Brodus battle. Brodus selling that injured left knee. Show nearly slips on the ropes, but delivers that Vader Bomb to the knee. Naomi and Cameron are concerned, as they should be. Brodus attempts a slam, Show falls on him, and Show gets the pin?! Um, OK. Odd finish, but whatever. Good job attacking and selling the knee. Brodus gets helped to the back, and Show KOs him with the WMD. Does this mean Brodus goes off TV and loses the dancers? That guy seriously needs to be a heel. The damn Funkasaurus gimmick was odd from the start, and it's not getting him anywhere right now. So what, feud with Show and ultimately lose? Show's being built as this dominant giant with the ironclad contract. Brodus wouldn't be going over here, not now.

Cena gets a video package for all those Make a Wish grants he's done (over 300). Bob Barker's guest host deal from RAW also shown -- which was probably one of the most enjoyable guest host RAW episodes ever.

Lesnar answers HHH's challenge next week. Of course Lesnar will eventually say yes. But with all the drama I read about concerning Lesnar, it's doubtful he wins. Maybe he's been training and looks even more jacked by the time SummerSlam comes around.

Kane has feelings he never thought were possible. Let's just ignore all those human transformations he's had over the years. Best line was Kane admitting that, even to him, AJ's mentally unstable. Basically Kane dumping AJ. AJ with a mixture of crying and laughing. What, no random Kaitlyn to attack?

Swagger doesn't even get a TV entrance anymore. Meanwhile, he jobs to Santino in a U.S. Title match in less than three minutes. Yeah, Santino finally defends the gold. Poor Swagger. He's got good moves and athleticism, but just doesn't have that "it" factor right now. #jobbingjack

Cena and Ryder throw a "People Power" T-shirt in the trash. Cena comes out to start hour #2. Some Star Wars stuff intermixed with WWE superstars. Have to admit, that was great. Before the historic announcement, here comes JERICHO to save us all. He grew his hair out just a little more, still short, though. Thank you. No mention of the Brazilian flag incident, just the European tour he went on with Fozzy.

Jericho with his vintage "just cut to the chase" statement for Cena. Cena says he's in the MITB ladder match to prevent Show from winning. Suitcase? Thought it was a briefcase. Fudgin'? Yeah, way to cater to the PG crowd. Jericho then enters himself in the MITB ladder match. Vickie comes out to say there are TWO MITB ladder matches at the PPV. Jericho pokes fun at himself with the "suspension" line.

MITB ladder match now only for former WWE and World champs. Vickie announces Kane, Big Show, Jericho, and Cena. Vickie books Jericho and Cena tonight, and I like it.

Time for another former RAW superstar to show his face to commemorate RAW's 1000th show. Two weeks ago, it's Vader. Last week, it was Cyndi Lauper, Wendi Richter, and Roddy Piper. Before Lilian announces the legend (apparently a former 2-time WWE champion?), Heath Slater gets to job again! Great job with the "rule the world" line to lead into the former star's entrance....

...AND HOLY CRAP IT'S SID! WOOHOO! Marked out there. I watched the WCW Sin PPV over 10 years ago where he had that horrific broken leg. Frankly, I don't want to watch that again. Slater at least remembered to attack that same leg Sid broke many moons ago. Doesn't matter, though. Powerbomb ended it quickly. As basic a match as you'd expect. Sid has clearly aged, so I doubt he's doing many more of these.

Time for the Contract on a Pole match to see who faces Sheamus on Smackdown. Nice show of agility and athleticism here. Nice second-rope Samoan drop from ADR. Interesting stuff with Ziggler pulling the clipboard down, and it's basically a mad scramble for "control" of that clipboard. Even Ricardo gets nuked trying to get to it. They fall out the other side of the ring, Sheamus comes out, and basically says he'll take both of them on for the title. Triple threat. So what the hell was the point of this match?! Grr.

Foley's "This is Your Life" segment from eons ago plays. Classic.

Divas have a summertime beach battle royal. They are all in bikinis. And Vickie is a part of it. I think many of our viewers went blind. I think Alicia Fox actually rolled out of the ring to eliminate herself. AJ, Layla, and Vickie were the last three. AJ wins. YESYESYES. Oh, and Punk guessed King Kong Bundy before in his segment with AJ. Brilliant!

Cena and Jericho in a short main event. Cena's been in the company 10 years (yes, really). Signature moves hit, with some counters. Big Show then comes out. Cena in the Walls of Jericho. Show legdrops Cena, so I guess Cena wins by DQ. Jericho hightails it. Show chokeslams Cena. Hey, Cole remembers the Colossal Clutch! Cena choked out to end the show.

Mostly forgettable second half of the show. Nice to see Big Show booked strong.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

6/22/12 Smackdown

Ryback vs. Frank Venezia & Jared Wachtler: N/A (squash)

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian: ***

Kane vs. Daniel Bryan: **3/4

Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater: N/A

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *1/2

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler: ***1/4

Teddy Long says Foley is the GM tonight. Big Show interrupts, thanks to his ironclad contract. Show only cares about himself, not even Laurinaitis. Show predicts a lengthy title reign. Brodus Clay comes out and I guess we're having a fight. Brodus with some body shots, but Otunga takes out Brodus' left knee. "You can't wrestle!" chants at Big Show. Wow, they do that for someone other than Cena? WMD to Brodus. Otunga taunts Brodus and does a pathetic dance.

Ryback squashes two more opponents. Jared looks like a shorter, pudgier Kofi Kingston. Keep these jobbers off the mic. No, don't feed Ryback more. Feed him a storyline. At least he's now a Mastodon. Wasn't Vader the original Mastodon?

Vickie's officially running RAW and Smackdown next week. Meanwhile, Foley and Khali dance. Sounds about right.

Daniel Bryan relives the time HBK threw Marty Jannetty through the Barber Shop window. Then that IC title match between HBK and Jannetty on RAW. Yeah, the one that Meltzer absolutely loved (over four stars, I believe). YESYESYES. Really helped launch HBK's singles career and catapulted him to the Hall of Fame.

Christian with a new shirt, basically representing an element on the periodic table. He has control of Alberto early, then ADR targets Christian's shoulder. Real hot crowd on the Christian comeback. Didn't know ADR had a superkick in him. Ricardo plays interference, and cross armbreaker gets Alberto the submission win. Very good match. Big statement.

Cody Rhodes ambushes Christian after the match. Armbar from Cody. Christian's shoulder into the post.

Kane comes out for action. AJ is the special guest timekeeper?!?! Um, OK. Yeah, give the delusional chick a tiny hammer and a bell, that's real smart. Kane with the power moves, DB with the speed, kicks, and submission attempts. Not sure if DB slipping off the top was planned (probably not). DB gets Kane in the YES lock, Kane lunges twice for the ropes, which causes AJ to ring the bell prematurely. DB thinks he won, but ref says no. Kane with a chokeslam for three. Another great match. In a bizarre storyline, at least AJ's role made perfect sense to me. Kane with a smirk at the end for AJ.

Foley promo, complete with a cheap pop. Heath Slater comes out to protest what happened on RAW. Slater faces Ryder tonight. Yup, there's that Long Island connection between Ryder and Foley. Slater jobs again. I feel bad for know, he's got some good moves in the ring, but really needs to get back in a tag team role.

Damien Sandow in a backstage skit this week. You're welcome.

AW leads his Primetime Players against the Usos. AW with a little interference to allow Titus to get the pin. Titus and D-Young getting pushed now, perhaps. Good for them. And to think, their tag team partnership started with an NXT rivalry.

Primo with the left hook to AW in the back, and we got a brawl! Woohoo! A tag team storyline?! In Vince's world these days? Never woulda thunk it.

Santino on the mic. We're gonna see some signs in the crowd. The signs are not that creative. He sees an I [heart] Santino" sign, and the lady -- complete with cobra sock/sleeve -- gets in the ring. Wow, the lady is bigger than Santino?! Vintage liplock! So Santino now has Khali's old job.

Time for Sheamus and Ziggler. Josh Mathews says Sheamus is not 6'4" and 272. So he can gain or lose a few pounds, and apparently shrunk a couple inches. Hard-hitting match as usual, very physical. Vickie gets involved, and Dolph takes over. Sheamus with the comeback, but wow, nice jumping DDT from Ziggler. Ziggler ate a huge Brogue Kick, and Sheamus gets the three. Another quality Ziggler match. The guy's seriously on fire.

I'm still disappointed that Vickie didn't side with Swagger, but perhaps there's a time to do that in the future. Eventually, Ziggler's gotta be turning face. Whether that's in a couple months or next year, I certainly see it happening. And hey, if Ziggler goes face, maybe Orton can finally get his wish and turn heel (given that the Viper doesn't get a third Wellness Policy violation).

Friday, June 22, 2012

6/21/12 Superstars

Hunico vs. Ezekiel Jackson: *1/4

Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks: ***

Zack Ryder vs. Drew McIntyre: **1/2

Big Zeke starts the show, still with that imposing physique. Zeke runs pretty fast for a big man, but dropped by a Camacho clothesline behind the ref's back. Hunico tweaks his knee at some point, but still hits his top-rope senton for the win.

Kidd and Gabriel again team up against Hawkins and Reks. Kidd and Gabriel already showing great double-team chemistry. Kidd gets to punt people in the face from the ring apron, and several people get to do dropkicks to the face, but Randy Orton can't punt people in the head? WTF. Gabriel with the hot tag and more kicks. I love the Kidd-Gabriel tag finisher. Exciting match, and the crowd really appreciated it. More of this, please.

Ryder faces McIntyre in the main event. Good use of the post and the outside to get physical. Ryder's back hit the edge of the apron, ouch. Methodical beatdown from McIntyre. Ryder on the comeback with his usual moves, leads to a couple of near falls. Crowd into this one. Rough Ryder from the second rope gets three. Nice finish. Ryder's parents in the stands, nice to see them supporting their son.

Before I forget, some additional thoughts on the new NXT:

(1) I like the smaller arena. I dunno why, other than I'd feel like I could sit closer to the action.

(2) Good use of the non-main event guys. It's no secret that NXT is really more the "D" show of all WWE shows, filled with new stars or established midcarders that are really there to boost the watchability of the product. It allows stars to get involved in some type of storyline and get more properly used, instead of showing up on RAW or Smackdown for a squash. Look at Kidd and McGillicutty. They work so well together and have had amazing matches on NXT. They'd get lost in the RAW or Smackdown shuffle.

(3) I have high hopes for guys like Bo Dallas and Seth Rollins. I've seen their work and they could easily be main eventing in the next couple of years. The same with Dean Ambrose, although he hasn't been featured yet (from what I saw) and might just shoot to the main roster (bypassing NXT).

(4) I feel bad for Derrick Bateman. It seems like all the guys around him have either gotten that "promotion" to RAW or Smackdown (i.e., Titus, D-Young), or got repackaged into that neat gimmick (i.e., Conor O'Brian). What the hell was Bateman's gimmick in the first place? Or what makes him stand out? Yeah, I don't know.

(5) The Ascension has one of the coolest entrances in pro wrestling today. I love the aggression in the ring. Conor O'Brian struck gold here. Better than being labeled a rat.

6/21/12 Impact

Mr. Anderson vs. Christopher Daniels: *1/2

Kurt Angle vs. Robbie E: N/A (squash)

Magnus vs. AJ Styles: *

Tara vs. Taeler Hendrix: 1/4*

D'Angelo Dinero vs. Bully Ray: *1/4

Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam: **1/4

It's Open Fight Night and Gut Check! We're gonna have our first female Gut Check contestant!

Hulk Hogan starts the show, a surefire way to get the crowd nuts from the start. We are going to find out Aries' decision right now: (A) hand over the X-Division title and face Roode for the World Title, or (B) keep the X-Division Title and bypass Roode for now.

Aries is torn on what to do, so he comes up with Option "C": every year, at Destination X, whomever the X-Division champ is can trade the belt in for a shot at the World Title, bringing more prestige to that X-Division belt. Wow, I LOVE that idea. LOVE IT. Hogan loves it, too.

Roode comes out to protest. Aries and Roode brawl. Anderson comes out?! Anderson says he's gonna win the BFG Series. He calls out Daniels on his open fight night. Aw, Daniels has to put down the appletini. Joseph Park again shown in the stands. Decent short match between the two. Anderson wins with a neckbreaker and then a Mic Check for three.

AJ Styles and Dixie Carter in the back. AJ now reluctant to share the truth and wants to find another way.

Brooke Hogan now has her own office. Must be great to be Hulk's daughter. She says "make your work your boyfriend." In a way, that's true. Actual relationships in this business typically don't last long, or probably exist with your co-workers. Anyway, Brooke has Velvet, Mickie, ODB, and Madison in her office. Brooke quickly eliminates Madison.

Two Robbies in the ring. He challenges any of the guys in the BFG Series. Oops, Kurt Angle accepts! Angle squashes Robbie. Bonus points for a submission win! 10 points for Angle.

Video package of our first female Gut Chck contestant, Taeler Hendrix. Great background story, overcoming her cancer diagnosis (diagnosed when she was 21). Good clips compiled from the indies. She's driven, and she would be a great addition to the Knockouts Division. Hoping she impresses.

Magnus wants to call someone out. Whoa, cutting the heel promo tonight. He calls out AJ Styles. Styles missing moves and being more indecisive than normal. Daniels and Kaz distract Styles, and Magnus hits a Michinoku Driver for three. Very short match, but good stuff during that time. That'd be 7 points for Magnus that go toward the BFG Series.

Gut Check time for Taeler Hendrix. She faces the most experienced Knockout, Tara. Great pairing here, like a professor mentoring the student. Hendrix with a couple of good moves, but nothing real special overall. Glad they kept the match short. Tara basically with the Widow's Peak for the win.

You know, you'd think Joseph Park's character would be smarter than to put up with Bully's antics. Coulda sued Bully multiple times by now, but instead plays the coward. Apparently, that's just way too easy.

Samoa Joe calls out James Storm. Storm eliminated Joe in that battle royal last week to get 20 points. Back and forth here. Joe decides to try for the submission win and get more points, but Storm catches Joe with the last Call for three. 7 more points for the Cowboy. Storm with the celebration. Joe comes in with a beer bottle, looking like he's gonna hit Storm. Instead, Joe just hands the bottle over. More celebration.

Brooke Hogan eliminates ODB next. No surprise there. Down to Velvet and Mickie to see who faces Tessmacher for the title.

Bully Ray is right, he's the most hated bully ever. He picks Pope because Bully thinks it'll be an easy 10 points for a submission win. Far from it. Pope looked good here. Sure enough, Abyss shows up in the crowd. Ref coulda easily called for the DQ when Abyss put his hands on Bully, but didn't. Pope gets a clothesline and a pin for 7 points. Abyss chases Bully to the back.

Hardy and RVD didn't get called out tonight. So Hulk says they will face each other in the main event tonight.

We get a lengthy clip of Montgomery Gentry's new music video. That's the one Velvet Sky is in, thanks to Brooke Hogan. You can go online for the full video.

Time for Tessmacher to defend her Knockouts title. Brooke Hogan makes her decision, and it's Mickie James tonight. Fair move, considering Velvet got to do the music video. Fairly competitive here, with Tessmacher scoring the win with a rollup. I'm more interested in Mickie's actions after the match, showing more angry emotion. Probably a heel turn waiting to happen. Would be great for the Knockouts Division to have her and Gail (two very experienced Knockouts) as heels to help the less experienced talent. TNA's trying to build Tessmacher up right now, and they still have a couple of veterans in Tara and Velvet on the face side anyway.

Main event time with RVD and Hardy. Again, 10-minute time limits for all BFG Series matches. Quick pace, very competitive. Hardy misses the Swanton, RVD breaks out a 450(!) and misses. Hardy DDT for two. Twist of Fate gets three for Hardy -- 7 points. Only maybe a bit over 4 minutes in match length, but very good.

BFG Series after this week has Storm well out in front with 27 points. Angle has 10. Anderson, Magnus, Hardy, and Pope each have 7. The others (Daniels, Joe, Styles, Robbie E, RVD, Bully) have 0 points.

Tag title match next week with Angle and Styles facing Daniels and Kaz.

Styles and Dixie to the ring, no music. Dixie with a more monotonous, nervous tone here. AJ then basically takes her aside to say they can just leave the building. They start to exit the ring, but some unknown woman comes out. She introduces herself as Claire Lynch. She's a recovering (drug?) addict that AJ and Dixie have apparently been secretly trying to help. Daniels is fuming that Claire is in the building spilling the beans. There's no AJ/Dixie affair.

I honestly thought Claire would be someone portraying AJ Styles' wife to keep the storyline going. They could have easily held off on this for several more weeks. But now what? The episode ended with that closure feel to it, instead of keeping the suspense up. This could mean AJ and Angle retain next week, but if this storyline is to continue (as I've read that it will), I'm hoping there's more twists to this one.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6/20/12 NXT (Season 6 Premiere)

Bo Dallas vs. Rick Victor: *

Damien Sandow vs. Jason Jordan: N/A (no match)

Conor O'Brian & Kenneth Cameron vs. Mike Dalton & CJ Parker: N/A (squash)

Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty: ***1/2

FINALLY, a new season of NXT, meaning fresh talent, storylines, and venue! Full Sail University in Orlando will be the permanent site for NXT for now. Nice video package to open the show and debut the new season.

Some female announcer introduces Jim Ross...and he has a goatee. Interim NXT GM is Dusty Rhodes. In the meantime, William Regal is the voiceover guy and color commentator for the show.

Video package on Bo Dallas. Huge pedigree, being a third-generation star. He'll be in the first match of the season. Guess they'll really be pushing this guy. His opponent gets mentioned as the last Hart Dungeon guy. Wait, what about Tyson Kidd? Bo's finisher is a spear. Pretty straightforward match. Bo knows how to win. I like it.

Video package on Seth Rollins. Yup, the guy formerly known as Tyler Black. We'll see him in action next week. Antonio Cesaro also on NXT next week. Probably a good move for both guys who might initially get lost in the shuffle on RAW or Smackdown.

Damien Sandow also appears this week. He faces Jason Jordan, one of the guys otherwise on the FCW roster. "What?" chants are awesome in a smaller building. Of course, Sandow refuses to fight. So much for that.

Great video package on a new tag team: The Ascension. Yes, that is the same Conor O'Brian that didn't make it on two prior seasons of NXT. The other guy is Kenneth Cameron. I really like the look of this tag team.

I found it fitting that -- at least on the video I saw -- there was also a short video package of Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio. Ricardo is a former Ascension member, at least before he transitioned to the main WWE roster.

Ascension's ring entrance is a dark, strobe light-filled mix of live entrance and clips from the entrance video. Suspenseful music. It's already become one of my favorite ring entrances. Dalton and Parker are their opponents. Lots of kicks and great tag teaming in the corner from Ascension. Parker gets nuked and the other guy doesn't even sniff official action. Downcast is the Ascension's tag team finisher.

Video package hyping Bray Wyatt. You may remember him as Husky Harris. I have no freakin' clue of what to think about that video package, other than he says monsters and Boogeymen are real. Somehow, it needed worms to really drive that point home.

Bateman and Curtis are still on NXT. The bathroom is Curtis' office, so is he supposed to be that much more like the Fonz now? Curtis and Bateman will main event NXT next week.

Because we apparently still can't get Kidd and McGillicutty off NXT, they main event the season premiere. Not that I'm fully complaining. Kidd with a bunch of exciting moves for the crowd. MM showing a few new moves, at least to me, and also getting the heel heat from the crowd. Great second half to the match, with several near falls. Note that MM locked that Sharpshooter in wrong. Perfect-plex countered, inside cradle...which man's shoulders are down? Doesn't matter. Kidd rollup, into the Dungeon Lock for the submission win. Awesome main event, one of the best matches these two have had to date.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/18/12 RAW

CM Punk & Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane: **3/4

Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger: **

Alberto Del Rio vs. Santino Marella: 1/2*

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

John Cena vs. Big Show, David Otunga, & John Laurinaitis: *1/2

Cyndi Lauper's gonna make an appearance. I dunno what to think about that.

But MICK FOLEY starts the show! Looks like Foley hasn't lost the cheap pop talent. Mick's also hosting RAW and Smackdown this week, as they rotate interim GMs. Huge tag match tonight with DB and Kane vs. Punk and Sheamus. It's next!

But wait, we have a Laurinatis farewell address now! Big Johnny is even more busted up now. Long Island sucks! Crowd boos. Laurinaitis books handicap match: Cena vs. Big Show, Otunga, and himself. Can he still do that? Guess so. Have a nice day!

Sheamus and Punk come out, then Kane and DB. Wondering if AJ comes out after what we saw at No Way Out. We see AJ and Kane from last Monday, and I'm still jealous of Kane. DB gets huge "YES" chants from the LI crowd. Sheamus continues that mat wrestling against DB. Cole mentions Punk's rather lengthy WWE title reign. Of course, Cena's had two reigns that lasted longer, as well as JBL. Sheamus with a hot tag, but Kane and DB take over again. Punk gets a hot tag and works on DB. DB superplex from the top. AJ comes out...IN KANE ATTIRE. A Kane costume never looked so good. Everyone's bewildered. Punk tags Sheamus. GTS into a Brogue Kick. DB pinned for three. Nice opener.

Who wants Vickie's admiration, respect, and affection? Ziggler or Swagger? I don't! This should hopefully be a good match.

Amateur wrestling stuff to start, no surprise. Ziggler tweaks his left knee a few minutes in, and Jack attacks that. Swagger panders to the crowd. Ankle lock from Swagger. Crowd continues to get behind Ziggler; he's really won the crowd over with his great matches. Ziggler really sold the ankle lock well. Zigzag out of nowhere gets three. Ziggler gets a kiss from Vickie. Good job, Dolph. Join the others in line who've experienced that one.

I feel bad for Swagger because he seriously needed the win more. Ziggler's fine on his own, and he can officially turn face at any time.

Lawler's favorite moment was the Vince McMahon and Austin bedpan incident. Also introduced Mr. Socko to the world.

Lesnar's music hits, but again, it's Heyman. No dropped lawsuits and no Lesnar/HHH at SummerSlam. That's it? Nope. HHH comes out. HHH shows the SummerSlam promo poster with Lesnar, front and center. All Lesnar has to do is step up and fight HHH. Money talks. No dice from Heyman. Lots of trash talking, and Heyman goes there with mentioning Stephanie. HHH eventually decks Heyman. Loved the segment. Great buildup.

Alberto appears to be cleared to compete again; he faces Santino here. Not much work here, Santino jobs to Alberto. Ricardo gets a shot in after the match.

Layla introduces Cyndi Lauper. Lauper comes out with Wendi Richter. Richter's put on a bit of weight. Crowd doesn't like this segment. Heath Slater time? He's gonna sing? Oh no.

IT'S RODDY PIPER WOOHOO. He gives Lauper a gold record, because a long time ago, he hit Captain Lou over the head with one. A touching moment. Slater sings bad again. Piper with fingers to the eye. Lauper decks Slater with the gold record. Cool...

Primo and Epico want revenge because AW screwed them at No Way Out. AW with the intro for the Primetime Players. Backstabber to Darren, but Titus pulls him out of the ring. They bolt so the cousins get a countout win. Lame.

Jericho hyped to return next week. Woohoo!

Laurinaitis with his farewell address. To him, everyone is a loser. You'll see him next when he's inducted into the WWE HOF. So that means we're not seeing him again?

Show comes out and thanks Laurinaitis for that contract. Then Show ditches Johnny and Otunga. Oops.

Teddy Long at ringside. Cena comes out and goes to town on Otunga. Laurinaitis doesn't want in because he's injured. Otunga basically takes the beating, then gets the upper hand. Mixed chants from the NY crowd. Laurinaitis tags in and shows he's not really hurt...what a surprise. Otunga doesn't like it and ditches Laurinaitis. Nice knowing Big Johnny. Cena finishes Laurinaitis off with three AAs and an STF. Long loves it. Crowd goes home happy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/17/12 No Way Out

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Title): ***1/4

Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez (Tuxedo): *

Christian vs. Cody Rhodes (IC Title): ***1/2

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Primo & Epico vs. Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *1/2

Layla vs. Beth Phoenix (Divas Title): *

Sin Cara vs. Hunico: *1/2

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (WWE Title): ***3/4

Ryback vs. Dan Delaney & Rob Grymes: N/A (squash)

John Cena vs. Big Show (Cage): *3/4

We start off in New Jersey with the World Heavyweight Championship! Sheamus the champ out first, then Ziggler. On paper, it already sounds great. Main event intros. Ziggler getting pumped in the's his time now! Ha, just adopt HHH's old theme already. Vickie with a kiss good luck. Kiss of death?

OH SNAP Brogue Kick attempt misses. Just as I thought, shades of WM. Ziggler tries the amateur wrestling, to no avail. Sheamus actually doing some takedowns at the start. Ziggler with a good job of wearing the champ down. Counter after counter, Ziggler nails a rocker dropper for two. Lawler says crowd chants "Let's go Sheamus!" but I'm positive it's "Let's go Ziggler!" Crowd has been very pro-Ziggler in this one. Sheamus skins the cat to the top, Ziggler meets him up there with a top-rope facebuster. Only two! Crowd really into it now. Ziggler holding his left knee. Zigzag countered into Irish Curse. Huge punches on the apron. Sleeper countered into White Noise! Brogue Kick gets three, champ retains. Very good opener, and it could have even been better.

Josh Mathews tries to get a word with Laurinaitis. Yeah, Josh originally tried out as a wrestler on the original Tough Enough series. Decent announcer, at least.

Tuxedo match between Santino and Ricardo. Good grief. Ricardo with some fun music tonight. Cole really thinks Ricardo has the advantage because he wears a tux all the time?! Sleeve ripping, whole tux ripping, facewashing, etc. Santino plays bullfighter and Ricardo lands outside of the ring. Cobra sleeve thrown into the crowd. Aw. Santino's pants, socks, and shoes go. WTF, another cobra sock on Santino's right FOOT?! Stinky cobra! Kip up and a cobra! ROFL, Alberto Del Rio underwear! OK, that gets a star just for the entertainment.

AJ with a good luck kiss to Punk. Punk mentions that luck is for losers. What is up with these kisses tonight?!

IC Title match time. Yeah, the IC Title gets defended, while the U.S. Title doesn't. Guess we know which belt is more important. Cody works on Christian's left arm. Christian's head and shoulder into the post, ouch. Good counters here to show Cody "scouted" Christian well. Hurricanrana from Christian out of the corner nets two. Killswitch only got two?! That got a "YES" chant going. Well, that further cements the frog splash as the new true finisher, right? I'm sure that Killswitch will remain a secondary finisher, though. Frog splash countered, Disaster kick ducked twice, SPEAR for three! Another fine match in the first hour. I thought it was slightly better than the world title match.

#1 contenders Fatal Four Way for the tag titles. That rematch clause for Primo and Epico apparently expired, and I didn't realize there were 30-day expiration dates on those suckers. Crowd wasn't as into this as the previous matches. Some good tag-team moves from all four teams. Looks like Kidd and Gabriel were really in there for high-flying spots, if anything. Nice hurricanrana by Kidd on Primo to everyone on the floor! That finally got the crowd awake. Note AW preventing Epico from saving Primo at the end of the match. Primo, Epico, and Rosa don't like what happened (duh) and the cousins get assaulted for their troubles. Millions and millions and millions of dollars!

Money in the Bank next month. Not sure if there will be two MITB matches or just one.

Video package of HHH, Lesnar, and Heyman. Oh, apparently, Madusa was attending No Way Out. She posted ringside pics of the event and mentioned Heyman in another tweet.

HHH comes out to a nice pop. As expected, HHH calls Brock out to fight at SummerSlam. Given what's transpired lately behind the scenes, if all that's true, HHH goes over Lesnar at SummerSlam. It'll just be some no holds barred fight again, I guess. Blood likely happens, even though we're still supposed to be in the PG era.

AJ and Daniel Bryan. Another good luck kiss. Another kiss of death?

Divas title match next. Again, Layla is beautiful, but is not getting those face pops I want her to get. I think I heard "We want Kharma!" chants. Beth with a bunch of trash talking. Now Layla mocks Beth. Chasing around the ring. WTF. Vintage mind games. Good near falls in the second half of the match, I must say. Unfortunately, I feel like there was little flow to this one; most of the moves seemed thrown together for some reason. Layla hits her neckbreaker (out of nowhere!) for three. The crowd didn't seem to know it was over.

AJ with Kane. Good luck kiss for Kane. Kane with the makeout session on AJ. Damn you, Kane. Damn you. Vintage envy...

Well, they got probably the one guy Sin Cara could work very well with: Hunico. Of course, we get Sin Cara lighting; why they keep doing this, I have no clue. For some reason, I want to hear the Spanish guys announce this one. Nice power from Hunico helps ground Sin Cara. Sin Cara with that whirly-bird finisher for three. OK match.

WWE Title triple threat match next. Kane out first, then DB, then Punk. Lots of "YES" chants. Main event intros. HUGE Punk chant. Punk and Bryan with kicks to Kane. "Goat-faced" actually trended on Twitter, which was awesome. Kane works on Punk's ribs. DB on the top, Punk wants a superplex, and Kane pulls Punk down -- along with Punk's trunks so we almost get a full moon shot. Great DB spot with kicks to Punk and Kane. Then a Punk sequence with knees and neckbreakers. Just back and forth, everyone did their spots well. AJ on the apron, Punk pushes Kane into AJ. Punk with GTS for three. Match of the night here for me. Wish DB had a bit more say in the end of the match.

Good stuff on the next twist in this love "square." I'm now wondering if this allows a channel for Punk to turn heel if need be. Right now, it looks like they are showing that human side of Kane again to possibly turn him face. I like the heel Kane better. But I must also take note of AJ purportedly smiling at Punk as Kane carried her off. Yay crazy chicks!

Ryback squashes two more guys who make me never want to listen to the old WM theme ever again (Linda McMahon's theme at one point). Oh, and there were more "Goldberg" chants and a belly splash from Ryback. Now I hear Ryback will be squashing jobbers three at a time, possibly four at a time. Next!

Time for the cage match. Laurinaitis and Vince come down to watch at ringside. Show arrives to a chorus of boos, then Cena. Booker mentions Cena's best bet is to escape the cage. Show dominant early on Cena. WMD hits the cage. Cena tries to escape but Show yanks him down. It's a slow beatdown for several minutes. Cena with a few comebacks but Show manages to keep Cena in the cage and/or grounded. Show with a HUGE elbow drop that missed. I'm surprised the ring didn't break. Show goes for the door and is halfway out, but Cena channels SuperCena to pull Show back into the cage. Laurinaitis and Vince get involved with the cage door. Leads to a Show chokeslam...TWO?! Right, because it's SuperCena.

Armstrong the ref gets a WMD. Then Cena gets KO'd. Even the ref on the outside is out because Laurinaitis took out that ref. Show plays to the crowd. Show about to walk out of the cage, and Brodus Clay is there with a chair. So much for that. No way out for Big Show. Santino and A-Ry come down but get taken out. Same with Ryder. Then Kofi comes out and is successful. Cena's stirring. Show stops Cena, but AA out of nowhere! Show's trying to climb out the door. Cena goes over the top of the cage. Laurinaitis tries to stop Cena, but Brodus manhandles Laurinaitis. Show crawling out the door. Cena hits the floor before Show, so Cena wins. Exciting ending, I'll admit, but man, was this otherwise painful to watch.

Vince tells Laurinaitis he's fired. Cena with an AA for Laurinaitis through the Spanish table. Crowd goes home happy. Except Cena haters, who riot.

Typical Cole to suck up to Cena now that Laurinaitis is no longer the boss.

It was an above-average PPV. The two title matches were fantastic and lived up to any hype. Ziggler has amazing potential to help carry the company in the future. He's already helping big time now, but just wait until he gets his true main event runs. The WWE title match was the best match for me. Having AJ at the end makes perfect sense. It extends the whole storyline -- and who doesn't love crazy chicks?

I'm not surprised Cena won, but I'm wondering who runs RAW now. Possibly Foley? It could also be a good way to introduce Dean Ambrose to the main roster, since they've had those Twitter wars. Eve's been conspicuously absent (probably doing promotional work elsewhere) so it'll also be interesting to see what happens to her for on-camera work.

We'll likely see Eve, Otunga, and possibly Vickie Guerrero campaign to HHH or Vince to run RAW. Another logical pick is Teddy Long, but he's been GM of Smackdown already and it's basically returning to a form of square one. Again, I'd like Foley to be in the mix for GM. He'd be my top choice. ***

Saturday, June 16, 2012

6/15/12 Smackdown

Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler vs. CM Punk & Sheamus: **1/2

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater: N/A (squash)

Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox: N/A (squash)

Christian vs. Jack Swagger: *1/2

Ryback vs. Ari Cohen & Mike Testa: N/A (squash)

Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd: N/A (squash)

AJ starts the show. Huh?!?! A diva starts the show, and with a promo, no less. I hate Kane. I envy that guy like no other. That was a serious liplock AJ had on him. Before AJ can explain anything, Vickie interrupts. Booooo. Knew it was too good to be true. But hey, if Ziggler gets to talk and wrestle, I'm all for it. AJ calls Vickie a grandma. Punk comes out and cuts a great promo as always.YESYESYES, it's Daniel Bryan coming out, then Sheamus. We're gonna have the tag match now! AJ wants to kick Vickie's ass but Punk cuts AJ off. Aw, I wanted to see carnage.

Very good opening tag match. Ziggler got the much-needed win, even if it was by heel tactics. Sheamus is pissed and chases Ziggler through the crowd. AJ gets her hands on Vickie but the cougar gets away. Kane comes out and takes AJ away. Punk to the rescue? Kane nukes both DB and Punk in the ring. AJ looks on from the stage. I want to say she got turned on by that in her psychopathic mindset. Psychogasm? Sure, that's a good word.

Brodus in the ring on the mic. He wants competition. Instead, he gets Heath Slater, the guy who lost to Vader on Monday. Yeah, I'm perplexed as well. Slater's done in 23 seconds. Time to dance. Not so fast. Otunga takes Brodus' left knee out. I forgot they had a pre-show match at No Way Out. OK, now I remember. Meanwhile, Naomi and Cameron just stand around doing nothing. At least call for help or do something, please.

Layla on commentary while Beth fights Alicia. Beth nukes Alicia in under a minute. Vintage statement making!

Hornswoggle's favorite episode was when the muppets hosted RAW.

Laurinaitis "apologizes" to Vince and tells him to stay away from Big Show. Big Show with a good heel promo. Cole says Cena will be on Smackdown later tonight.

Christian faces Swagger in a routine match. Frog splash gets Christian another win and good momentum.

Ryback nukes two more smallish guys in about two minutes. Good grief. Too repetitive. At least I get to see Ryback and chant "GOLD-BERG!" all the time. I saw a "RY-BERG" sign! Awesome.

Video of Sandow's attack on Tyson Kidd last week, so Sandow and Kidd actually fight for real this week. Then again, it's more like a squash with a few cool spots.

Cena kicks in Laurinaitis' door, but no one there. How funny that they show one of those "Be a Star" anti-bullying videos right after. Facepalm. Cena calls Show out, but gets Laurinaitis instead. Big Show sent home to "protect Cena" and to ensure the match happens at No Way Out. If Cena loses at No Way Out, Laurinaitis fires Cena. Cena decks Laurinaitis with the mic. Doesn't matter, because the match must happen anyway.

Oh, I finally realized Cena's back to wearing those "jorts" again. Ugh.

Too many squashes for my liking on this episode. Not that great a show, aside from the opening match and post-match entertainment.

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/14/12 Superstars

Zack Ryder vs. Michael McGillicutty: **

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *1/2

Hunico vs. Justin Gabriel: ***1/4

Ryder and McGillicutty go at it to start the show. Good, lengthy match following the usual pro wrestling match style. You know, face with the upper hand first, then the heel, then the comeback. Several good near falls after the Ryder comeback. Hot crowd. I still don't understand why McGillicutty doesn't just use the Hennig name. Seems like many sons and daughters of famous past WWE superstars have done so.

Titus now styling D-Young's hair before the match? Guess tag partners gotta go the extra mile these days. Anyway, match against the Usos was quite basic. Hot tag to Jimmy produced the usual Uso moves that basically bore me more often than not. Primetime Players (that'd be Titus and Darren) hit that Demolition-like finisher for three.

Yes, WWE is on YouTube. Nine different shows. I don't watch any of them. Although Santino's show is reportedly pretty entertaining....

It shouldn't be surprising that Gabriel and Hunico got the longest match. These two guys are pretty damn talented. They fly pretty frequently. Each guy with restholds focusing on the shoulders. It's these two guys I'd like to push for titles. Wish WWE would actually pull the trigger on that fairly soon. They give all those lights to Sin Cara and all the pyros/squash matches to Ryback, but I'd rather watch two or more guys work a great, competitive match every week. Camacho played a big factor at the end. Hunico with an impressive pinning move for three.

Yes, Gabriel pulled a move out of AJ Styles with that backflip off the ropes into a reverse DDT. Hunico showed some deceptive power. All that versatility, all those reversals and near falls, are gold to me. I just wish the crowd was into it a bit more.

6/14/12 Impact

Austin Aries vs. Chris Sabin vs. Zema Ion (Ultimate X; X-Division Title): ***1/4

Devon vs. Hernandez (TV Title): **

Bound for Glory Series Gauntlet Match: **3/4

Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne: *1/4

Bobby Roode vs. Mr. Anderson (World Title): **1/4

Ultimate X is back tonight! Also, the Bound for Glory Series commences! Remember, that BFG Series is what Roode won last year and started his huge main event run.

Aries gets a full entrance and a nice pop. Chris Sabin and Zema Ion are already in the ring. Sabin with almost  an "I don't care" look on him.Very hot crowd, excellent wrestling. Aries again shows why he's the best in that  X-division, and one of the best overall on the roster. Fun match to start. With Sabin reportedly headed out the door in a couple months, TNA was unlikely to put the title on him. It's unknown to me if Ion is in the doghouse for severely injuring Sorensen several months ago, but I wouldn't be surprised. Zema hasn't been on TV much lately.

Aries with a post-match promo, saying he's not satisfied with just the X-Division Title. He wants Hulk, and he gets him. Aries wants to be the main event, the top guy in TNA. Hulk is willing to do that and book him in a match at Destination X against Bobby Roode for the World Title. One condition: Aries must give up the X-Division Title if he accepts. Hulk gives Aries one week.

I LOVE that. It's clear the fans are behind Aries, and I personally have become a fan of his in-ring work. With Roode firmly the top heel and having enjoyed a lengthy reign, it's the perfect time for someone to step up and take Roode down. Who better than a person claiming he's the greatest man who ever lived?

Joseph Park enjoys a meal with people, but they scatter when a pissed-off Bully Ray shows up. He wants Abyss. Well, this storyline will be continuing for a while. Now that we see it's possible to have "Abyss" and Joseph Park on camera at the same time, it should be interesting to see how this one progresses.

Pretty hard-hitting match between two bulls in Devon and Hernandez. Crowd again very much into it. Hernandez couldn't get the right footing for his top-rope shoulder tackle. Devon hits a spinebuster for three. Nice lengthy reign for Devon continues.

Looks like more will be revealed later in the show regarding AJ and Dixie. But first, the BFG Series starts off with a gauntlet match! 20 points to the winner. It's basically an over-the-top-rope battle royal.

Gauntlet match begins with AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy. RVD enters a few minutes later. Magnus enters during the commercial, then Bully Ray comes down after commercial. Angle's the next guy in. Hey, D'Angelo Dinero is back from filming movies! Bully eliminates Hardy for the first elimination. "Abyss" comes from under the ring and eliminates Bully. Pope basically eliminates RVD. Robbie E and Daniels enter the gauntlet next. AJ accidentally kicks Angle, and Daniels eliminates AJ and then Angle. Here comes Samoa Joe next. Robbie E is gone. Joe and Magnus working as a team, but not for long. Joe with a low bridge to eliminate his tag partner. James Storm is the next guy in and quickly dispatches Pope and Daniels. Now just Joe and Storm. Nice sequence, Last Call superkick nets Storm 20 points.

There is also a 12th guy for the BFG series, and it'll basically be the loser of the Roode/Anderson title match later tonight. Storm with a great promo after the match. He's on a mission now to regain the title and he would love to take down Roode as a bonus.

Angle with a pep talk for AJ to get focused. Nope, AJ will still be all messed up with this Dixie stuff. Guaranteed.

Knockouts time with Tessmacher and Rayne. Not bad here. Tessmacher with another finisher, almost a stationary discus clothesline of sorts for three. Gail Kim turns down being part of Open Fight Night for the Knockouts Title and wants her one-on-one rematch, but apparently now Brooke Hogan gets to decide when that rematch happens. Gail gets a vacation (a.k.a. probably honeymoon with Robert Irvine).

Main event intros for the world title match. Anderson works on Roode's right arm. Roode later attacks Anderson's neck. Anderson caught in the crossface for a long time and had to tap. Convincing win for Roode.

Looks like we'll actually get more stuff on AJ and Dixie next week. They will apparently come clean with all this hubbub. Meanwhile, Open Fight Night also includes BFG series matches. Also, Gut Check returns. Can we actually have a guy who is ready for the main roster?

Sting promo closes the show. During his humble promo, then he gets jumped by three large masked guys with vests and jeans. End show. Awesome cliffhanger. I'm certainly interested as to what's up.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/13/12 NXT (Season 5 Finale)

Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks vs. Percy Watson & Derrick Bateman: **

Kaitlyn vs. Natalya: 3/4*

Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Johnny Curtis & Michael McGillicutty: **

FINALLY, this is the last episode of Season 5! Starting next week, new taped episodes will air from Full Sail University and highlight more of Florida Championship Wrestling's talent. FCW is WWE's version of the minor leagues. From what I read, four episodes have already been taped. Now we'll have fresh faces to look at. Thank God.

Hawkins and Reks are wearing "People Power" shirts. Dynamic Dudes reference from Regal, since Laurinaitis was one half of that Dynamic Dudes tag team back in the day. Good tag match here. Both Bateman and Watson showed their agility. Hawkins with a kick, Reks with his power finisher for three. There are only so many tag teams to pay tribute to, so that whole deal from Hawkins and Reks may get old quickly. I'd just stick with the Dynamic Dudes stuff so they'd be in Laurinaitis' good graces for a tag title shot.

Teaser airs for the all-new NXT Season 6, starting next week. As stated above, new faces and a fresh look for this show. If it means we see guys like Bo Rotundo, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, etc., then hell yes. I'm willing to give new people a shot to shine. Looks like a good mix of men and women are finally getting more national exposure.

Footage of Cena and Show brawling at the end of RAW, plus Show's whiffed WMD on Vince. Again, at least it looked better on the second (replay) camera angle.

Divas match between Kaitlyn and Natalya, two of the "power" divas (although Nattie also has the technical skills). Great submissions again from Natalya. Heel tactics from the Canadian at times, getting frustrated. Kaitlyn reverses a rollup and gets three. Nattie's better as a heel, in my book. Pinup Strong with Beth was a great way to get heel heat. Why did they stop that momentum?

New NXT Season 6 people are mentioned. Among them is Bo Dallas, a.k.a. Bo Rotundo. I watched his FCW match against Seth Rollins the other week, and it was fantastic. Very much looking forward to his NXT debut.

Another NXT rookie is Richie Steamboat, son of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Again, son of a legend. Haven't seen him in action yet, but the video package of him looks great. He does look like his dad a bit.

Main event tag match closes the show. Usos take control early on, as expected. Heels work on the leg of one of the Usos (probably Jey). Just a beatdown for several minutes. Jimmy finally with the hot tag. Good stuff after that tag, a few superkicks from the Usos. Big top-rope splash gives the Usos the final victory of the season.

I guess all this "old" NXT talent now gets moved to RAW or Smackdown? Can't wait to see the new crop of talent debut next week!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6/11/12 RAW (3 hrs; Vince)

Sheamus vs. Tensai: *3/4

Santino Marella & Layla vs. Ricardo Rodriguez & Beth Phoenix: 1/2*

Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian vs. Jack Swagger vs. Great Khali (Elimination): ***

Ryback vs. Willard Fillmore & Rutherford Hayes: N/A (squash)

Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston (Cage): *

Sin Cara vs. Curt Hawkins: *1/4

Vader vs. Heath Slater: 3/4*

CM Punk & AJ vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane: *1/4

Hartford, CT, hosts this 3-hour RAW. Laurinaitis and Vince basically kick the show off. Johnny's no longer officially VP of Talent Relations, for the record. Vince gets a huge pop. Johnny initially flubs and says "100th" RAW episode coming up, when it's 1000th. "Fire Johnny!" chants throughout the arena. Man, Vince is all over Big Show and makes fun of Johnny. Sheamus gets a pop. Nice time to take shots at Laurinaitis. #FireJohnny trending #1 on Twitter! Vince basically says if Johnny doesn't impress him tonight, Johnny's fired. Johnny now must pick Sheamus' opponent next. Vince leaves on that Hoveround, but runs it off the stage. Awesome.

They are making Khali responsible for ADR's concussion. Alberto will miss No Way Out, so a new #1 contender will be crowned tonight.

Sheamus faces Tensai. Tensai shoves Sakamoto. "Albert" chants from the crowd. This is not the most technically sound match, but was it ever physical. Tensai with a Vader Bomb for two. Two-handed chokeslam from Tensai only got two. So much for that move's effectiveness. Brogue Kick out of nowhere gets three. Again, Tensai seemingly de-pushed and virtually getting buried.

Vince wants to know how Johnny determines the new #1 contender. Vickie wants Swagger and Ziggler to both face Sheamus at NWO. Vince seeks a better idea, if any. Johnny's flustered. Teddy Long gets a say. Fatal Four Way between four former world champs: Ziggler, Swagger, Khali, and Christian. Johnny basically takes credit for that and tells Teddy to go get coffee. Can I have a cup as well? Fist bump? Vince says Johnny's got small hands. ROFL.

Tensai attacks Sakamoto. He shouts at Sakamoto in Japanese. Crowd doesn't really buy it.

RAW moment: Seth Green. WTF. Remember that 6-man tag? I don't. A bitchslap to Cody Rhodes. How fun.

Poor R-Truth has a broken foot. And then he gets WMD'd by Show. Sucks.

Vintage Santino power walk. Mixed tag match here, and Layla's his tag partner. Lucky guy. Beth basically drags Ricardo to the ring. I must say, Ricardo's hilarious...does his job very well. Ricardo wins simply for screaming like a girl and "embracing" Beth for security in the corner. Santino goes for the Cobra on the outside. Ricardo runs into the post. Classic. Meanwhile, in the part of the match that matters, Beth takes care of Layla. Hey, Ricardo wins!

Ricardo gets his dress shirt stripped off. JUSTIN BIEBER. OH GOD. Most of the fans probably didn't care anyway. But that was great.

Kofi finally shows a little attitude. He wants Big Show. Johnny gives him Show in a cage. Sounds good. oh, and Vince hates lawyers. Yeah Otunga, he hates us, but sucks more to be you.

Time for Daniel "YESYESYES" Bryan. Both Punk and Kane have AJ as a weakness. YES AJ, you had a shot to be with all of that. Probably the most hilarious DB promo in a while. Enter Punk. War of words. Calls DB a goat-faced moron. Wow. Vintage Kane pyros scared the hell out of DB. Who can ever forget electrocuting Shane McMahon's testicles? Hey, it's AJ! She sees Kane has a heart. Gotta love crazy chicks! YES! #GoatFace trending on Twitter! YES!

Johnny makes a tag match. DB and Kane vs. Punk...and AJ. Interesting. That'll be the main event, I guess.

Fatal Four Way Elimination match next to determine that #1 contender. Christian's back from Dallas after making that TNA appearance at Slammiversary. A zillion Khali chest slaps. Boring. Thankfully, Khali was gone in about two minutes. Ziggler and Swagger take out Christian. Good sequence from Swagger and Christian. Loved Ziggler pinning Swagger after Christian hit that Killswitch. Every man for himself! Vickie is pissed. Best two technically sound guys left. Ziggler with a great job on Christian's ankle. Near fall after near fall. Vickie with distraction, Zigzag for three. If Christian and Ziggler just had a singles match, that woulda been 10x better. Showdown between Sheamus and Ziggler on the stage.

Natalya with the reference to the Hart family nuking Vince at WM a couple years back. Random Vince dancing with Naomi and Cameron. Classic Zack Ryder stunned look. Out of the blue enough for a good chuckle.

Ryback time. He faces two jobbers who practically got their names from former U.S. presidents. Jobbers came out second this time to talk trash. End result doesn't matter.Crowd seemed to frown upon this one. Should be very clear this act got horribly old eons ago.

Vince and Hornswoggle. Vince mocks Jim Ross. Vince doesn't like other guys who kiss ass. Perfect cut shot to William Regal. Awesome again.

Cage match. You can escape to win if you can. Show clubs Kofi for a while. Trouble in Paradise, but Show with one of the biggest kickouts ever. Nice hangtime, Kofi. Kofi can't escape the cage. WMD shot and it's over. Ref actually waved the match off, but Show walks out of the cage for the official win via escape.

No Way Out pre-show on YouTube, Facebook, and Brodus Clay will face David Otunga. Hey, it's something.

Sin Cara faces Curt Hawkins. Hawkins doesn't get an on-screen intro. Vintage Sin Cara lights. Not many guys here can smoothly work that lucha style. Hunico was probably Sin Cara's best bet for an opponent. Or maybe the guys like Epico and Primo. Where are those Puerto Rican guys anyway? Fans were largely silent. Tough crowd.

Ziggler looks back at the debut RAW episode. I guess Ziggler said he was 13 at the time. Bobby Heenan trying to get in the building was fabulous.

Johnny apparently got a past RAW superstar to face Heath Slater. Slater says it's Slater Time. Perfect entrance for...VADER! YES! IT'S VADER TIME. Nice pop for Vader. Looks like he put on a few more pounds, but he was already a super heavyweight anyway. LET'S GO VADER! I would give him one star just for doing a moonsault again. Didn't get that, but we got a classic Vader Bomb for three.

Aj with a kiss for Punk in the back. Kiss of death? Punk pretty much worked over for a few minutes, although he got a few moves in. Ref apparently sees a tag, so AJ is now the legal combatant. She smiles, skips, circles Kane, jumps into his arms, and lays a HUGE liplock on him. Hell yeah, that easily gets a YESYESYES from me. Damn you Kane. You now are the envy of three billion dudes out there.

Kane tags in DB, Punks tags himself in. Punk tags DB with a kick. Savage elbow drop gets three. Yeah, that was one of the most bizarre things ever. Kane on the stage is flummoxed. Punk is trying to put one and one's clearly three, like in your entrance theme. DB is on the other side, although I'm sure he's just thinking "YESYESYES."

Time for Vince's decision on Laurinaitis. Johnny makes his plea. Vince is ready to fire Johnny, but Big Show comes out to defend Laurinaitis. Vince should be worried about Cena instead. Yeah, that white knight, golden goose, cash cow, etc. Enter Cena. Mighty strong words from Cena to Show. Chaos ensues. Show with the WORST WHIFF OF A WMD EVER to Vince McMahon. Wow. Pathetic. Laurinaitis orders Show out of the ring.

At least on the replay from a different angle, it looks better. And you gotta add the sound effects!

Oh, so Iguess we're led to believe that if Show loses at No Way Out, Laurinaitis is fired. Obviously, Show now should win this. Laurinaitis has been a good heel GM here. Fans really love to hate the guy. Keep it up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

6/10/12 Slammiversary

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe (X-Division Title): ***3/4

Hernandez vs. Kid Kash: **1/4

Robbie E and Robbie T vs. Devon & Garett Bischoff: *1/2

Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy: ***1/2

James Storm vs. Crimson: *

Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim (Knockouts Title): *3/4

Joseph Park vs. Bully Ray (Anything Goes): **

AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian (Tag Team Titles): ****

Bobby Roode vs. Sting (World Title): ***1/4

We're in Dallas for Slammiversary! Celebrating 10 years. Who woulda thunk TNA would have lasted this long? A bunch of people in the stands. How many free tickets did they have to give out? Heard the Meet & Greet was a flop.

Hogan starts the show. He's going old school tonight from the first match. Joe vs. Aries for X-Division Title. I like that. Joe ruled in the X-Division before. I'm glad he's back where he should be. X-Division Title is what separates TNA from WWE. Hype that stuff. Don't try to just be a WWE carbon copy, because you'd get screwed that way.

Aries and Joe was fantastic from the start. Crowd super hot throughout the match. Incredibly hard-hitting throughout. Tons of chemistry between the two. Numerous counters. Great flow. Basically, this is how you start a PPV. Aries pulled off a 450, sweet! Last sequence was awesome. Joe took a dropkick in the corner right to the face, then got dropped on his head via Aries brainbuster. Awesome opener. Joe coulda had a broken nose there. Mutual respect shown after the match. THIS is how you start a PPV. I can just imagine the rating if they had even five more minutes. Both names trended on Twitter.

Kid Kash returns for this one; hadn't been seen in many weeks. He faces Hernandez, who's also back after a hiatus. Another great bout here. Best spot for me was easily the Hernandez dive to the outside. For a guy his size, just amazing athleticism. Top-rope splash gets three for Hernandez. Kid Kash trended on Twitter as well. Win.

Countdown for the first 10 years. #3 is AJ Styles becoming the first X-Division champ, pinning Jerry Lynn on June 19, 2002 (part of a four-way match). WHY did they have to deviate from all those quality PPV matches? They didn't have to follow WWE's mold and do a bunch of free TV. I'm confident they would have been fine -- perhaps better off -- to keep mostly PPVs, if not 100% PPVs. That is, assuming they played to their strengths and just kept dishing out incredible matches all the time.

The two Robbies face Devon and Garett, stemming from the last couple weeks. Devon gets the hot tag, and the crowd responded accordingly. Devon spinebuster wins it. Random dancing post-match.

I'm unsure right now what this does for Garett, other than to give him screen time. I'm hoping he turns on Devon at some point, once GB gets more comfortable in the ring. Note Madison Rayne all dolled up on the stage. I hope she's eyeing Garett Bischoff. It would give the young man a (possibly good) storyline to work from to establish himself. Garett doesn't even have to turn heel if that happens. Riding Devon's reputation and veteran leadership is fine for now. I just hope, with all this slow buildup (which I really love), it actually turns into something worth watching. Madison left the stage by the time the match was over, so the slow build continues.

Borash with a short interview for Daniels and Kaz. All three are basically TNA lifers. Celebrate!

Three-way match to determine World Title #1 contender is next. Hardy flips a coin, attacks RVD anyway, and we're off. Anderson trends on Twitter during the match. Again, a very good pace throughout. Awesome balance of aerial offense and ground moves. "This is wrestling!" and "This is awesome!" chants from the fans. Credit all three guys in this one, but I continue to marvel at RVD's cardio and flexibility. Mic check from Anderson gets the win. Ending surprised me, a bit abrupt there. Wish the match went longer.

Crimson interviewed, confident as usual. Heel promo before his open challenge. OOPS, James Storm! Crimson is livid. Usual offense from both guys. Storm Last Call superkick ends the streak at over 470 days. One star for the crowd reaction. After, Storm celebrates with showering the front row with beer.

I'm on the fence as to whether this was the best way to end Crimson's run. This basically turned into a squash for Storm overall. Is that really how you want a streak to end, one that you had hyped the last few months? It wouldn't have been so bad had Crimson gotten more offense in, but it was short and mostly all Storm in this one. At least for me, it would have been better to end it via a fluke. Then it can at least generate more smoothly into a storyline.

Countdown for the first 10 years. #2 is signing Hulk Hogan to the TNA family. It was a blockbuster move, that's for sure. Arguably the biggest name in pro wrestling generates a big buzz. Questionable moves during Hulk's tenure, but also some good ones (i.e. signing Aries). Hoping more good comes out of this over time.

Dixie Carter comes out. This PPV is the largest U.S. live crowd in TNA's history. Not a huge surprise. She calls out the entire roster for a standing ovation. Well deserved. Note AJ Styles was the first guy out there, not just for being one of the original talents, but perhaps for storyline purposes.

Goes right into the first TNA Hall of Fame inductee. STING! I love that HOF logo. Wonderful tribute video. Sting first debuted in the company in 2003, and it's been nine years. I'm sure TNA wanted to pull the trigger first on inducting Sting before WWE had a chance to. ROFL, THEY GOT A "YES!" CHANT GOING! That was golden. Formal induction ceremony will be at Bound For Glory. Sting with a short speech, seemingly impromptu.

Knockouts Title match followed. Tessmacher is no longer called "Brooke" anymore because Brooke Hogan is officially on the roster. Tessmacher's home state, so she's clearly the crowd favorite. Gail shows some deceiving power in this match. Several submissions and rest holds from Gail. A couple of shaky spots (perhaps botches) from Tessmacher. Tess into the guardrail. Gail wants to pin Tess in the ring. Gail teases Eat Defeat, then tries Tess' finisher. Tessmacher counters into a pin for three. New champ! Thank God. I really wanted this to happen, given the push she's gotten over the last few months.

Well, I hope this whole Joseph Park character gets axed after this one. Park faces Bully Ray. Park basically comes out in workout sweats. "Yankees Suck!" chants from the crowd. Match basically starts with Bully taunting and Park whiffing on haymakers. Each time Park has an opening, he turns his back and Bully attacks. How freakin' stupid are you, lawyer boy?! Chair shots to Park's back. Big "New York sucks!" chants, which I'm glad Taz acknowledged. Table is in play. Nut shot to Bully, then a kendo stick to the head for two. Park knocked to the outside, then goes under the ring. Yup, Abyss comes out. Who didn't see that one coming? Abyss chokeslams Bully through the table, then goes back under the ring. Duh, Joseph Park then reappears a few seconds later to get the three. Not the most technically sound match, that's for sure. But the crowd was great.

For the record, there was a separate guy playing Abyss for the PPV. Fittingly, it was a student from the Team 3D wrestling school.

Hulk comes out to reveal the #1 TNA moment in the first 10 years. WTF, CHRISTIAN IS THERE?! Wow. How much did TNA pay Vince for that one? Huge "YES" chants again. Christian pokes fun at TNA going from the six-sided ring to four corners. He presents the #1 TNA moment: Sting returning in 2006 as Christian's tag partner to face Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown at Final Resolution. Really?! That's #1?!

Glad Christian got to appear. It was in TNA that he got a main event push. When he returned to WWE, Vince practically had to pull the main event trigger himself. Edge's retirement merely sped things up.

Tag title match is next. Great video package to hype this. One of the best storylines going right now. Styles with new music and entrance video. "P1" for "Phenomenal One." Fast start here because Styles wants to kick some ass. It quickly went back to a traditional tag match, but that's not bad when you have four of the top wrestlers in the company. Great double-team moves from Daniels and Kaz. Angle hot tag. Sweet double German by Angle. Crowd appreciated that one. Hot tag to Styles now. Reverse DDT-traditional DDT combo for Styles. Another awesome spot. Some new stuff from everyone, which is already amazing considering the vast moveset of all four guys. Outstanding spotfest ensues. AJ WITH THE SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR! Haven't seen that in years. Fade to Black countered into Ankle Lock! Kaz taps and we have new champs. Best match of the night right there.

Sting video package. With Sting being the first TNA HOF inductee, you think he HAS to win the title now.

Sting out first to an enormous pop. Roode comes out with a new entrance video and a new robe. Borash with the main event intros. Bunch of stalling from Roode. Some offense from the champ but Sting keeps frustrating him. Roode tries to walk away, but that doesn't work. Sting has complete focus. Roode gets the upper hand eventually. Sting with the comeback. Scorpion Death Lock applied! Great stuff from Roode by teasing the tapout multiple times. Roode tries to run and Sting just attacks him anyway. No countout tonight. Stinger Splash to Roode on the guardrail! Now on the broadcast table. Scorpion applied again. Roode taps on the announce table, but duh, ref doesn't count it. Sting plays dumb and is like "how does that not count?" Roode grabs the six pack of beer from Storm's celebration. Sting blocks one, then gets nuked with another. Yeah those were real bottles, not some breakaway crap. Roode gets three and the crowd boos.

Sting then gets up all busted open. Takes out Roode and the ref. Suplex on the entrance ramp to Roode. Scorpion Death Drop off the stage onto probably a padded table. Roode escaped, but the feud looks like it will continue. While I liked Roode retaining, Sting just may win the rematch, if there is one. That I continue to not be a fan of. It would be a feel-good story for the new Hall of Famer to win the gold, but what else does that do? Sting's career is winding down. It's the young faces who need to be lining up to topple Bobby. This is why I wanted Storm to come back against Roode, instead of ending Crimson's streak.

The PPV was overall a great one. Several prime matches here. Solid opener, strong finish. Crowd explosive throughout. Christian's appearance was a nice surprise, and for all those reasons, it merits a nice rating. ***3/4

Saturday, June 9, 2012

6/8/12 Smackdown

Alberto Del Rio vs. Great Khali: 1/2*

Brodus Clay vs. Derrick Bateman: N/A (squash)

Sin Cara vs. Drew McIntyre: *1/4

Ryback vs. Tony Andriotis & Kevin Mahoney: N/A (destruction)

Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler: *3/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. Jimmy Uso: N/A (squash)

Sheamus vs. Kane: *3/4

Smackdown is from the University of South Carolina!

Alberto with his grand entrance with a promo directed at Sheamus. Ricardo comes out dressed as Sheamus and makes a fool of hjimself. Real Sheamus comes out and they brawl. Ricardo allows ADR to get several shots in, even as they battle on the stage. Refs come in a few minutes after the brawl starts. Were they all getting something to eat? Teddy Long acts on Laurinaitis' behalf tonight. Sheamus faces Kane later. ADR faces Khali now. Ugh.

Alberto is smart to attack Khali's knees. Khali gets in maybe 2-3 different moves. Just a simple match to make Alberto look strong. Nothing else really to take away here.

Teddy Long with the Funkadactyls and Funkasaurus. Brodus no longer on RAW ("to protect (Brodus) from Big Show") but they are on Smackdown now. Good move if it gives Brodus a push. Unfortunately, Vince seems set on pushing Ryback to the moon first.

Brodus in action against Derrick Bateman. More NXT guys get nuked. Ruthless aggression from Brodus, no more of this playing to the crowd during the match. Bateman is squashed. At least Brodus and the ladies all dance afterward. Next!

1000th RAW episode countdown. WCW Title defended in July 2001, Booker vs. Buff Bagwell.

Sin Cara next. Glad they got rid of that trampoline jump over the top rope. Less chance now to blow a knee out. So how do people slow Sin Cara down? Take his legs out, duh. Drew McIntyre gets a passing mention as Sin Cara's opponent. More lucha stuff from Sin Cara. Amazing finish with basically three counters on one sequence. DDT counter basically gets the win for the masked one. Otherwise, not too much offense from McIntyre.

Ryback gets to nuke two more guys! The two poor jobbers are billed from rival Clemson. OK, enough's enough. This guy better get a feud soon. Ryback's impressive. I get that. A lot of people get that. Now serve up some real opponents. And WHY do they have to get on the stupid mic? They absolutely suck cutting promos. It's probably on purpose, but still....

The announcers are horrid at playing dumb. Ryback picking up two jobbers for his finisher? Of course he's done that before! He's only done that the past several weeks!

Peep Show time? Cody is the guest but comes out before Christian. Christian basically explains the reason for his face turn. Christian wants to nuke Cody, but Ziggler comes out for his match. Ziggler has gotten excellent at selling moves; reminds me a lot of Shawn Michaels. Decent match, even though I woulda loved it to have more time. Christian looking strong heading into his IC Title match with Cody at No Way Out. That frog splash has gotten serious build as a new finisher.

Video from RAW where Cena humilates Cole at the end of the show. Very entertaining, but I want wrestling! Cole addresses the crowd, but Hornswoggle comes out dressed as Jim Ross to poke more fun at Cole.

Damien Sandow with words for Hornswoggle. Tyson Kidd to the rescue. Sandow backs off, then comes back and jumps Kidd from behind. Neckbreaker finisher and a little posing for the camera. Not bad, merely to get Sandow more heat.

Striker interviews Kane. He only cares about winning the WWE Title. AJ comes out of hiding behind one of the metal production crates. Gotta dig the crazy chicks!

Jimmy Uso faces Antonio Cesaro. Teddy Long painstakingly announces Cesaro. Squash win for Antonio, pretty much about a minute here.

Sheamus' favorite RAW moment: winning that "breakthrough battle royal" in November 2009 that ultimately propelled him to his first WWE Title win over Cena.

Sheamus/Kane closes the show. Physical match here, as expected. Sheamus and Kane do the double KO spot. Ricardo and Alberto storm the ring. Ricardo gets in first and gets nuked, so Alberto stays away. Ref throws the match out. Kane gets up to knock Sheamus down. AJ comes out?! She distracts Kane, Sheamus with a Brogue Kick. Alberto retreats. Ricardo gets a Brogue Kick. Message sent. End show.

Interesting they're staying with AJ and Kane. Haven't we been down this road before with Kane eventually having feelings for a diva? Oy....

Friday, June 8, 2012

6/7/12 Impact

Crimson vs. Austin Aries: *1/4

Miss Tessmacher vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Tara: *1/4

Devon vs. Robbie E (TV Title): 3/4*

Sting, Kurt Angle, & AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, & Kazarian: *3/4

Show starts with a recap of the AJ/Dixie stuff. Video after Impact went off the air last week. Dixie was pissed and went to the director of the show. Nice realism to all this. Now Dixie's in the ring this week. Dixie wants to just tell the truth. Enter Daniels and Kaz on cue. Verbal harassment, and then a bit pf physicality. AJ storms the ring. Daniels and Kaz bolt.

There's Serg, Dixie's husband. He throws one of the WORST "all-out knockout" punches I've ever seen a supposedly enraged husband deliver. To make it worse, AJ flops, then gets back up for a virtual no-sell. Dixie was fine in her role. Fans sound like they chant "photoshop!" which was amusing. AJ and Dixie leave the arena, but wait, he's supposed to be in a six-man tag later tonight...

Crimson now undefeated for 16 months. Aries is his opponent tonight. Love how A-double has gone from heel to face without really changing anything about his character. Nice pace again, typical of an Aries match. Joe and Aries had an altercation before the match, and Joe basically distracts Aries here. Aries' head hits the apron. Crimson covers for three to keep his streak alive. I'd say Joe's as much of a tweener as a wrestler can get.

Crimson promo post-match. He's been undefeated for 468 days, "one longer than that Goldberg guy." Crimson open challenge at Slammiversary. Would be a nice time to debut a new guy. I wonder if John Morrison is available....

Brooke Hogan with the four top face Knockouts. Four-way match to determine #1 contender for Gail's title. Velvet gets to shoot a music video, and Mickie looks rather miffed. Don't think I should really look much into that one, but who knows.

Hulk Hogan plugs Slammiversary and that next week's Impact will be live. World Title to be defended on that Impact no matter what. Roode, of course, doesn't like it. Roode verbally laces into Hulk. Sting comes out. Sting beats Roode down and the champ bolts.

Four-way Knockouts match next. I especially like Tessmacher's ring gear to represent Texas. Even before the match begins, she'd be my pick to face Gail in Dallas. Gail makes an appearance on the stage to do commentary and watch the proceedings. Nice triple submission spot with all four ladies. Tessmacher indeed gets the win -- over Mickie. Semi-botch on the finisher, though. Good way to elevate Tessmacher. I actually hope it results in a title change.

Bully Ray and Joseph Park contract signing. Bully has a new contract for Park to sign. No standard wrestling match. Hold harmless clause for Bully Ray. Clearly Park has several contract defenses if he really was a lawyer. Park goaded into signing. ABYSS ON THE SCREEN. Taped speech, of course. Abyss coming to Slammiversary. It might as well read Abyss faces Bully Ray. Bully with a cheap shot to Park to end the segment.

There was a Joey Ryan segment after the Gut Check portion of the show aired last week. Joey basically rants, Al Snow puts him in his place.

TV Title match again. Garett Bischoff out to support Devon. Crowd really behind the champ. The end was just lame. Small package with a couple reversals from Robbie T and Garett. Devon retains. Bleh.

Hulk's back out, but here's Mr. Anderson. Hulk brings RVD down, then Jeff Hardy. Three-way at Slammiversary, winner faces the champ for the World Title on the live Impact. Hulk's voice is all hoarse.

Six-man main event. AJ's not there, so it's really a handicap match. Daniels and Kaz attack Sting and Angle. No surprise that Roode doesn't want to be involved. Double submission early! Sting beaten down by the heels. Roode with the crossface. Styles hops the guardrail and here we go with the face comeback. Sting with the Scorpion Death Lock on Roode for the submission win. Crowd liked that ending, that's for sure. Not bad overall.

Pretty average Impact show, but a couple of good storylines for Slammiversary. That'll be on Sunday in Dallas.