Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31/12 Smackdown

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: **1/4

Kaitlyn vs. Natalya: 3/4*

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: *1/2

Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Titus O'Neil & Darren Young: *3/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane: *1/4

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler: ***

In Green Bay for Smackdown. They must all be excited football's starting up again.

Good grief, we're getting the HHH promo from RAW again? Ugh. Anyway, Sheamus starts the show to praise HHH. Enter Damien Sandow who flaps his lips and refuses to fight Sheamus. Booker doesn't care and books the match anyway for later tonight.

Rey Mysterio and Cody face off. Cody can't seem to get away from the whole mask dealie. Cole brings up the history between the two, including the whole deal with breaking Cody's nose and starting Cody's climb up the midcard ranks. The "Dashing" gimmick was doomed for permanent midcard status, but now I can see Cody main eventing soon. Good match, Rey counters into a rollup for three. Rhodes attacks post-match. Sin Cara to the rescue. They put a Sin Cara mask on Cody? Interesting....

Maybe Sin Cara can turn heel and he can face Mysterio. They teased a Sin Cara heel turn for a very brief time last year before he got sidelined with that knee injury.

The anger management skits with Daniel Bryan and Kane was gold. Best part of RAW.

Eve on commentary for the divas match. Yup, Natalya's jobbing to Kaitlyn now. Would never have imagined this happening last year. It was better than average in diva match quality, but still not saying very much.

General managers attacking employees? I mean, it's pretty much the same as boss and employee, so we've seen that before. Anyway, yay for AJ attacking Vickie. Booker doesn't condone AJ's actions. Vickie just may take matters into her own hands. Yay suspense.

Sheamus/Sandow next. Pretty formulaic, typical physical Sheamus match. Sandow runs away at the end. Boo.

Green Bay Packers in the house. Donald Driver front and center.

Kidd/Gabriel vs. Primetime Players next. Tag division finally getting more screen time. Included touts from Usos and Twitter mentions from Primo/Epico. D-Young with the gutbuster on Gabriel for the win. Makes sense, since we got face tag champs (Truth and Kofi).

Be sure to watch Kane's speech from his anger management session. Epic. Just epic. So funny.

Josh Mathews interviews Alberto Del Rio. ADR wants to nuke Josh. Kane pyros so they all hightail it. Apology for Josh as part of anger management! Damn, I want violence! How many times will they humanize Kane?! Oh, and Alberto faces Kane. Sucks to be Del Rio.

Josh basically playing scared on commentary throughout the match. Ricardo interferes and a backstabber from Del Rio wins it. Kane kicks Josh's ass and is sorry for doing so. Vintage two-faced devil's favorite demon! OK, that was fine with me. Cole pleads to AJ and Booker to do something about this. Wonder how long before there's a walkout again like they did with HHH.

Speaking of HHH, they do the whole damn promo from RAW. I loved the promo, but why so much hype? Plus, HHH is a lock for the WWE Hall of Fame anyway, and he basically delivered his Hall of Fame speech right then and there. Shoulda let it wait for when he's formally inducted. HHH wrestles part-time now, if at all. He's a corporate guy now. Let the young guys do their thing and let HHH run the company behind the scenes with Stephanie.

Ziggler and Orton close the show. Great stuff. Several near falls, good counters, and a strong finish. Nice to see Orton get the win, better than having him do long jobbing duty before going off to film his movie. Vickie tries to get some heel heat at the end by grabbing the mic and praising Ziggler as MITB winner in her annoying voice.

8/30/12 Impact

James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam: **

ODB vs. Madison Rayne: N/A (squash)

Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles: **3/4

Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle: ***1/2

Aries sporting a cast from the A&E attack. Oh, and it's common practice to attack the non-dominant side for a reason (in this case, Aries' right hand because he's left-handed). Sting and Hulk come out. Aries wants one A&E member in a fight. A&E says nope, on their terms and when they want to. But they'll be out later in the show.

Still no Eric Young, so I guess another ODB video mentioning fried chicken to pass the time.

Again, top 4 advance to the BFG Series semifinals at No Surrender PPV (that's where the cutoff point is). Leader of BFG Series gets to pick his opponent (any of the three guys still eligible) in the semifinals at No Surrender. Storm leads with 66 points, then Joe at 61. RVD and Bully Ray tied for third with 55. Styles in fifth with 50, while Angle has 48.

Storm and RVD battle here. RVD needs one win to clinch a spot in the semis. Not many sell a DDT like RVD, just looks so lethal. Last Call superkick in the corner was really just a straight kick to RVD's lower gut. Storm gets 7 points and officially has a spot in the semis. Even the replay edited the kick out. Probably not good enough to be seen again.

Note that James Storm has no more BFG Series matches. A guy like Joe can still pass him in the standings.

Knockouts match time. Taryn Terrell already in the ring as ref, so I guess TNA finally gave up trying to make her a real big deal (but she'll still be mentioned more than refs not named Earl Hebner). Rayne wants Tessmacher, but gets ODB instead. Thank Brooke Hogan for that. Liquid Courage to Rayne's face leads to an ODB squash win.

Eric Young in a suit, and he has beer and chicken. Guess celebration is in order! EY strips down to his underwear again. USA underwear? Isn't he Canadian? Sure, OK.

Sting and Hogan scare the crap out of Kaz and Daniels. Apple-tini on the ground. Not the apple-tini!

Styles and Joe next. If Styles wins, BFG Series gets a bit interesting on who joins Storm in the final four. But nope, Joe wins because AJ already has a date with Daniels, Kaz, or both (not officially made yet, but it's pretty obvious). If you're a fan of counters, you'll love this one. Two guys that just know each other so well.

Gut Check time. Judges talked about Kris Lewie earlier. Great back story, but just horrible performance last week. Not surprisingly, Taz and Pritchard say no. Don't even need to get to Al Snow. Joey Ryan appears again and throws water in Snow's face. Here we go again....

Joseph Park is back for more legal stuff. Fun.

Time for Hardy and Angle in the main event. Must-win matches for both Angle and Hardy. Main event intros from Borash. Crowd really into this one, as expected. Signature moves kicked out of. Kicked out of finishers. Angle is a master at kicking out at the last minute. Bravo. These two easily stole the show tonight. Angle's mathematically out of the BFG Series, and Hardy still has a shot.

Borash announces the top five: Storm, Joe, RVD, Bully Ray, and Hardy. Storm is already in, as stated earlier. Hardy vs. Joe and Bully vs. RVD next week. Nice booking to have this come to the final week of round-robin matches.

TNA vs. A&E close the show. Aries to fight one A&E member in the ring. Hogan on the mic with a few of the big TNA guys. Large A&E guy to fight Aries. Aries takes him down, and all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden, some random guy puts on a mask, wields a flapjack (leather with steel inside), KOs Aries, and runs. A&E gets away. Good twist here. Anything that allows A&E to keep getting the upper hand is fine by me.

8/30/12 Superstars

Ryback vs. Johnny Curtis: *

Primo & Epico vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: **3/4

Jinder Mahal vs. Alex Riley: *3/4

Ryback's starting Superstars? Cool. It's been a slow push for Ryback, as he's having more competitive matches with midcarders now. "Feed me more!" chants really over with the fans. Ryback nukes Curtis, no surprise.

Primo/Epico face Usos next. Longer match than I expected. Usos flew in this one early on. Good tag wrestling from both teams. Jimmy with a splash at least 2/3 across the ring, barely made it. Rosa-ference allowed the cousins to steal one.

Saturday Morning Slam will be on at 10 on the CW Network. Completely original programming? I'll probably give it a look if someone tosses it on YouTube or something.

A-Ry's left forearm taped up as he faces Jinder in the main event tonight. Mahal has been a very good midcarder; he put over Rollins on NXT (match was taped weeks ago, only shown this past Wednesday) and now he goes back to his matches against A-Ry.

Simple main event here, far from the excellent stuff WWE allowed for the NXT Gold Rush tournament finals. A-Ry with a fleeting chance to win, but Mahal's knee and Camel Clutch ends it.

8/29/12 NXT

Jason Jordan & Mike Dalton vs. Hunico & Camacho: *1/2

Big E Langston vs. Jake Donovan: N/A (squash)

Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal (NXT Title): ***3/4

Been real busy lately, so this week's reviews (after RAW) will be shorter.

Finals of the Gold Rush Tournament tonight. Still hoping for a Rollins win.

First, Dalton/Jordan face Hunico/Camacho again in a rematch because the latter team basically called it a fluke. Glad WWE is finally getting Camacho more in-ring time instead of being a lackey for Hunico. Hunico and Camacho do indeed get the win, but Jordan and Dalton looked pretty strong. Love Dalton's agility. Rubber match coming, perhaps?

Usos call out Ascension. Ring entrance music and lighting distraction and ambush from out of nowhere. Not even a match. Two high-lows on the Usos and it's done. Nice way to build up Ascension.

People were talking about Big E Langston's debut? I doubt a lot of people outside of wrestling sites and message boards were doing that. Super squash here. I love the finisher, I'll say that.

Dusty Rhodes carries the NXT Title to the ring. All the talent on the stage to get a firsthand look; that's more NXT stars than I originally thought.

Even Fink does the ring intros! Yay special moment! Jinder doesn't shake Dusty's hand. Vintage heel!

They gave a lot of time for this match, probably about half the show. Goes back to WWE seemingly wanting to really place a lot of importance on the belt. Crowd was the loudest it's been for any NXT match since they moved to Full Sail University.

I finally got to see more of Jinder's potential in WWE here. He really controlled the majority of the match. Rollins did his part as well, great agility. Excellent end sequence. Rightfully so, Rollins is the first NXT champ. Great spark to this guy's WWE career.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

8/27/12 RAW

Ryback vs. Jack Swagger: 1/4*

Layla vs. Natalya: DUD

John Cena vs. Miz: **

Santino Marella vs. Heath Slater: DUD

Sin Cara & Brodus Clay vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow: *

R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan: *

Sheamus & Randy Orton vs.Alberto Del Rio & Dolph Ziggler: *3/4

Zack Ryder vs.David Otunga: 1/2*

CM Punk vs. Jerry Lawler: *1/2

Opening segment starts with Lawler wanting Punk to apologize for the head kick at the end of the show last week. Punk now out with a buzzed haircut. He basically refuses and slams Lawler more. Sounds like a fight coming at the end of the show. Oh god.

Swagger jobs to Ryback. Ryback botches a back body drop (how?!) and Swagger basically landed on his head. Oops. And how many times has Swagger even won this year? I'm sure you can count it on one hand. Geez.

Layla comes out to almost zero reaction. Natalya didn't even get an on-camera entrance. I'm glad Kaitlyn isn't on commentary again. Vickie stands on the steps throughout the match, which itself was a snoozer. Not that I wanted to hear what Vickie had to say, but the crowd couldn't have cared any less.

Vickie calls AJ Lee's stipulations from Ziggler/Jericho last week an abuse of power and unfair? Not often you see someone complain after the person they manage WINS that particular match. Basically, Vickie wants to be GM and even calls AJ mentally unstable. AJ comes out and attacks Vickie. Sounds about right. I think that's been the best part of the show so far.

I don't care about the whole HHH situation. You'd be stupid to think that's his last match in WWE. There will be another match for him.

Daniel Bryan in anger management class! First segment: boy arrives in a goat mask. YES YES YES!

Social ambassador is Dominic Moaghan. Who? Don't care. Next!

No surprise, Lawler accepts Punk's challenge to fight. He leaves to go change, I guess. Josh Mathews eventually joins Cole.

Cena and Miz next. Decent here, at least they got some time. Looks like Miz now does a Matt Hardy-like Side Effect as a signature move. Usual Cena five moves of doom wins it.

Daniel Bryan anger management class part 2. Last patient arrives. KANE! ROFL! Complete with his black Darth Vader-like mask. And he has the chair next to DB. This just got real awesome.

Slater and Santino in a snoozer. Bad dancing involved as well. Fans chanted "BORING!" at one point in the match. Never a good sign. Aksana predictably shows up, but hey, cobra struck anyway so Santino wins. At least Santino has a storyline to work with.

Tag match next: Cara/Clay vs. Rhodes/Sandow. Pretty basic match, Clay pins Rhodes here. Fyunkadactyls go nuts. Even Sin Cara dances. Can we get Naomi to wrestle anytime soon? I mean, she wasn't too bad on NXT....

Final anger management skit. Kane tells his life story. EPIC WIN. I was legit LOLing all the way through. Kane wins. He just wins.

DB and Truth with a fist bump. Woohoo! Code of honor? Sorta? "GOAT FACE" chant. Tag division on fire? Um, nope. But at least it's better than last year. ROFL at Truth and the "Milwaukee" reference (remember he botched the whole deal with Milwaukee and Green Bay last year). Truth with a lot of "YES" and DB snaps. A "YES NO" war with a fan, and DB is counted out. Sounds about right.

Finally, we hear from HHH. Left arm in a cast again. Sick of all the "did he have his last match?" crap that littered the show. Even the announcers for whatever reason are told to stand. He's moving his casted arm a lot. He cuts the heartfelt, break-kayfabe promo and doesn't directly answer whether he's done or not. It's a great feel-good moment, but I'm certain he'll wrestle again at some point.

Jericho's music plays but it's Ziggler. Yeah, figured. It's time for Ziggler/ADR vs. Sheamus/Orton. Not bad here. Ziggler gets the briefcase but Orton thwarts that. Brogue Kick gets three on Dolph.

Kane on commentary. Josh Mathews runs for his life. Win.

Poor Zack Ryder has been in midcard purgatory again. Rough Ryder out of nowhere to get three in a boring match. Kane grabs Ryder by the throat, but instead chokeslams Otunga. I think the therapy is working.

Orton and Ziggler in the main event on this week's Smackdown. Woohoo.

AJ then picks Cena to face Punk at Night of Champions. Like that was ever in doubt.

Twitter used to determine gimmick match for Punk/Lawler. Tables, Cage, or No DQ. Cage match wins with 48% (No DQ got 32% and Tables got 20%). Can also win by escaping cage here. Punk carried this one, as Lawler got some basic and signature stuff in. Punk got legit busted open near the end of the match, yay blood! Punk with a Rock Bottom but Cole missed the cue. Anaconda Vice wins it. Just very basic stuff, really.

Punk post-match locks himself and Lawler in the cage. He wants to hear Lawler say Punk is the best in the world, but not smart to knock him out...then Jerry can't say it. Cena comes out. Why doesn't he just scale the cage and get in that way? Oh right, because then Punk couldn't do a chicken thing and escape...they'd have to fight somehow and that doesn't work in the WWE world. Good segment to give Punk more heel heat, even though he'll still be cheered. Facing Cena won't help that.

RAW wasn't that great, save for the DB/Kane anger management segments. Now those had me laughing big time.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

8/24/12 Smackdown

Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal: 1/2*

Layla vs. Alicia Fox: N/A (Kaitlyn should not be on headset)

Heath Slater vs. Sin Cara: 1/2*

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler: **

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Primo & Epico: *

Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton: **

Orton basically stakes his claim to be the #1 contender and dares anyone to confront him otherwise. Shemaus agrees with Orton. Booker comes out to address the title picture, but then Alberto comes out and goes on about how there's a conspiracy. Conspiracy? Like R-Truth? C-O-N-spiracy? Bottom line, now it's a #1 contender's match on Smackdown again between Orton and ADR. Yup, that somehow took 10 minutes to relay.

Michael Cole alone on commentary tonight as Josh Mathews continues to sell his injuries from RAW. OK, maybe not. Teddy Long says guest commentators for every match. He just happens to be out for the Ryback/Jinder match. Cole tries to get under Long's skin but that didn't work. Ryback beat Jinder in about three minutes. Mahal did get some offense in, but that probably just about killed any momentum Jinder could have had on this feud.

Kaitlyn on commentary for the divas match. No hug for Cole, hahaha. Cole again plays instigator to Kaitlyn during the match. Kaitlyn was horrible on reacting to all that stuff. Why the hell was she even allowed on the headset?! Meanwhile, Layla faces Alicia Fox so the champ can get some momentum for the upcoming divas title match. Layla kicks Alicia in the head and gets three. Good, now Kaitlyn can get off headset. She stumbled WAY too much trying to find the right words. Prevented me from really even paying much attention to the match.

Eve then comes out and raises both Kaitlyn's and Layla's hands. Awkward. Just Eve playing the part of "I'm gonna reluctantly comply with Booker and Teddy."

Dolph's cashing his MITB briefcase in when he wants to, but Teddy relays the message that Ziggler and Sheamus face each other tonight. Oh, and first pint is on Sheamus.

Cody Rhodes on commentary so at least he knows how to talk. Sin Cara faces Slater. Sin Cara does his usual lucha spots. Cody turns Sin Cara's mask around when the ref's back is turned, so now the masked one can't see. Slater gets the win with his finisher. Yeah, not much to see there. Cody then tries to unmask Sin Cara but refs to the rescue.

Vickie gets to do commentary during Sheamus/Ziggler. Vickie seriously sounds like she's getting it on with someone, not the picture I wanted to visualize. Good match between Sheamus and Ziggler, best match on the card so far by default. Ziggler then gets the MITB briefcase and gets blatantly DQ'd. Cole plays dumb on why he'd do that, but it's clear Ziggler wants to beat down Sheamus and then cash in the contract. Before the ref rings the bell, Ziggler takes the briefcase back. Predictable.

Santino had a long reign as champ, but seriously, he didn't defend it a lot. Cesaro has new rap entrance music, which I like a TON better than that previous generic theme. In a way, it reminds me a bit of the Kings of Wrestling theme he had with Chris Hero (a.k.a. Kassius Ohno). Aksana lures Santino's cobra again, so Cesaro beats Santino down again.

Primetime Players and Cole do the whole "Millions of Dollars" dance on commentary. I think I threw up a little. Meanwhile, Primo/Epico face Kofi/Truth. Oh, and Cole's dog bark is pathetic. Basic match here, Truth blocks a Backstabber and then hits Little Jimmy for three.

So we finally see just how many tag teams WWE created (not counting Ascension on NXT). Random tag team brawl in the back. I guess we'll have a #1 contender's tag team match deal in the future.

Eve has Booker's stuff organized, Teddy is flummoxed. Priceless Teddy Long face.

Orton and ADR in the main event. Sheamus on commentary. With Orton going off TV again in the future to film another movie, this allows ADR to pick up the win. Good stuff with a few counters. In what is likely another sign ADR could be champ soon, ADR with a clean win on Orton. Not the best main event, but still solid.

ADR gets Ricardo's shoe and decks Sheamus with it. A much more aggressive Alberto these days. Love it.

Oh, and Ziggler comes out to cash in MITB! Oops, Orton nukes him with an RKO. Not tonight, Ziggles.

8/23/12 Impact

Tara vs. Miss Tessmacher: 3/4*

Robbie E vs. Rob Van Dam vs. AJ Styles: **1/2

Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Terry: 1/2*

Gunner vs. Kris Lewie: 1/2*

Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray: **3/4

Aces and Eights shown rolling into the parking lot on the motorcycles. They finally revealed at the end of last week that Storm likely wasn't behind the Aces and Eights attacks.

Tonight, it's Open Fight Night and Gut Check. Speaking of Gut Check, when will those people that actually WON the TNA contracts actually start wrestling for the damn company?

Sting leads the TNA posse out (faces and heels) to call out Aces and Eights. Fans want Hulk Hogan. Note that Storm still came out separately. Two Aces and Eights members came down and got beat up. One of them unmasked. Initial theory: just a way to get the TNA roster comfortable before the real beatdown begins.

Tessmacher is the champ again and calls out her mentor and best friend, Tara, for Open Fight Night. Taryn Terrell is the ref again and gets her own entrance. Why? And she still gets basically no reaction. Note to the talent: if you don't have a good vertical leap, do NOT do a leapfrog. Tara with a superplex for the win. Nothing of note here, really. Just the whole "master beating the student" deal.

Pope out with a legit broken collarbone (storyline was Aces and Eights taking him out). AJ, RVD, and Robbie E were all supposed to face Pope, so put the three in a three-way BFG Series match. People probably thought Robbie's really there to play third fiddle in all this and make the other two look good. Lots of action here that you'd expect. Good swerve of sorts to let Robbie get the win so his point total doesn't look as crappy. He still plays a big role in who gets into the top 5, so it's a significant win in that regard. And technically, Robbie isn't last (Pope has fewer points and is out of the BFG Series).

Jeff Hardy calls out Rob Terry to get some revenge. Some fans chant "Steroids!" at Rob. Swanton wins it for Hardy in a short match.

So we have the whole paternity test deal to finally kill off this atrocious Claire Lynch storyline for good. The lady portraying Claire quit the company a couple weeks ago. Yes AJ, I hope TNA is sorry for even crafting this storyline. AJ with a face promo before the results. Daniels and Kaz come out for their heel promos. Daniels' reason for Claire not being there for the segment: in a Florida hospital after suffering a placental disruption. Insert a picture of me doing a huge facepalm. Ugh. Big ugh.

Anyway, randomly, a middle-aged woman comes down as attorney for Claire Lynch. Now she was real good in her role. Oh, no surprise here! Claire never was pregnant! Now this whole thing can be forgotten! Things would have been much different had they gotten Julia Reilly (Claire Lynch) for the attorney role instead.

Hogan's back and KOs three Aces and Eights members with Sting's baseball bat. Something about cutting out hearts and feeding it to his dog. And he's grunting like a dog. Wait, he's not a cannibal here right? No bath salts? OK, just wanted to make sure.

Gut Check time. We saw a vignette last week of this possible feel-good story in the making. Guy's name is Kris Lewie. He faces Gunner. Horrible start with what possibly was a botched attempt at a rollup. Match didn't impress me at all. Gunner ends things with his version of the F-5.

Oh, and I'm glad they updated us on Alex Silva, the first "winner" who really was supposed to lose but Flair broke from the script and changed his vote. he's in OVW (the TNA minor leagues) and honing his craft. I'm sure he'll be a solid star, but we'll see when (or if) he gets the opportunity.

Basically, ODB and Eric Young haven't defended their titles because EY is filming his show. ODB keeps asking for fried chicken and probably just wants to get it on with someone. Well, gotta do what you gotta do, I guess?

Anderson comes out and calls out Bully Ray for a BFG Series match. Good and competitive here, some very close near falls. Bubba Bomb (Bully) and senton (Anderson) didn't get it done. Mic check gives Anderson 7 points. Meanwhile, more TNA guys take out Aces and Eights members.

Again, Sting and the TNA posse out for the end of the show. War breaks out. Gradually, we see more Aces and Eights members. It's not completely made obvious, but they just seem to never go away. They manage to take Aries out and injure his right arm. In what was the most obvious previously recorded segment ever, they are shown getting away on their bikes.

At the start of the show, I feared that this would be a show where the A&E faction would get shot down, which if even for one night can have huge consequences on momentum (see Nexus at SummerSlam a couple years back). But A&E got the upper hand, and I really liked how the end segment went. It was not like A&E just showed up with 1,000 members and totally destroyed the roster. It started like TNA would get the upper hand and have the crowd go home happy, but instead rightfully turned into getting to the most powerful person on the active wrestling roster, the world champ Austin Aries. The next few weeks to months should be pretty good.

8/23/12 Superstars

Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu: **

Drew McIntyre vs. Alex Riley: *1/2

Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel: ***

Josh Mathews selling his injuries from RAW, so he won't be on Superstars and Smackdown this week.

Sandow faces Yoshi Tatsu this week. Forgot Yoshi was still employed; his screen time has gone way down since last year. Good match here, Yoshi had good offense, but Sandow with his signature moves to end it.

WWE shows the fallout from Lesnar/HHH at SummerSlam. Good job to put Lesnar over and have him "leave" with a win. And yes, he will be back. It will be done somehow. Lesnar helps on ratings and media coverage enough for WWE to care.

McIntyre and A-Ry is next. Two very good talents that unfortunately can't break through the glass ceiling. McIntyre still with that cast on his left wrist and hand. Too bad they only got a short match; McIntyre is deceivingly great in longer bouts. A-Ry with a rollup for three here.

Punk and Cena stuff from RAW. Great segment to clearly show Punk's heel character. Promos were all outstanding.

Gabriel and Cody close the show with a lengthy match. Impressive technical wresting from Gabriel this week. Gabriel wears the two forearm sleeves so people won't tell which one was the surgically repaired one, but all anyone has to do is listen to the commentators say it was the left arm. Yeah, gotta love how that makes sense. Blame the announcing? Cody with a great job working on JG's left arm throughout the match. Nice simple counter into the Cross-Rhodes for three.

8/22/12 NXT

Antonio Cesaro vs. Derrick Bateman: *1/4

Tamina Snuka vs. Sofia Cortez: 3/4*

Kassius Ohno vs. Jake Carter: *1/4

Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel vs. Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis: **1/2

Another extremely busy week for me is the reason for me only getting to watch this week's NXT now.

Cesaro faces Bateman in singles action here. This match was taped before Cesaro captured the U.S. Title. Cesaro with a nice aggressive style. Cesaro with the Neutralizer for the win.

All the WWE Superstars are praising the NXT Title because (1) they're getting paid to do it and (2) it's good buildup for the finals between Rollins and Jinder. I think the belt looks hideous. Whatever happened to the styles that showed up in the 90s? Those looked real good.

Tamina and Sofia in divas action. This was before Sofia's release from the company, reportedly due to a bad attitude (which Sofia denied). Basic stuff here. You can really tell the difference in how the crowd sounds between these events at Full Sail and those arenas that pack thousands of people. Tamina wins via the superfly splash. Post-match, it's Raquel Diaz with the blindside attack. WWE invested well in Diaz despite being green in wrestling skills, so we'll see how that goes.

Ohno with another win this week, as relative unknown Jake Carter jobs here (we've seen him on TV before; he is Vader's son). Ohno with the rolling elbow KO for the win. Richie Steamboat comes out after the match and eventually challenges Ohno to a match. Glad to see all these little feuds starting between the new guys.

Tag match basically ends the wrestling portion of the show. Some young great talent in the ring here. Very good tag wrestling and experienced tag team techniques here. Sure, Kidd and Gabriel in a match can't be bad, but this was still a much better tag match than I anticipated. Tag team Blockbuster (with a bit of Hart Attack setup) gets Kidd/Gabriel the win.

Face-to-face showdown between Rollins and Mahal ends the show. Contrasting styles in more ways than one. Seth comes to the ring all jacked up to hard rock/metal, while Jinder calmly arrives with his Punjabi (Hindi?) music. Rollins may incorporate a risky wrestling style, while Mahal mostly stays with basic effective moves. Mahal with a cheap shot to start the fight. I'd hope Rollins wins this one because it would really show a new crop of talent has arrived. We'll find out next week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8/20/12 RAW

Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, & Sin Cara vs. Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, & Cody Rhodes: **

Ryback vs. Mike Skinner & Andy Takarez: N/A

Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio: **1/4

Damien Sandow vs. Brodus Clay: *

Big Show vs. David Otunga: N/A (squash)

Kane & Zack Ryder vs. Daniel Bryan & Miz: *1/2

Divas Battle Royal: DUD

Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho: **3/4

We're at Fresno State University for the RAW after SummerSlam. I wish my college campus held RAWs and Smackdowns....

Lesnar and Heyman start the show. Nice mention from Heyman to reference HHH finishing matches with torn quads but having to tap out to a broken arm. Scott Armstrong moment was intentionally awkward. Heyman with more praise for Lesnar. Master of the Brocktagon? Ha, nice one.

Khloe Kardashian is tweeting throughout the show. Not the Kardashians again...dammit.

So now Cole is all happy Kofi and Truth are playing with the brawling buddies. New shirts for PTPs. Cody obsessed with unmasking Sin Cara costs him. Good for what it was worth.

Otunga is back without the facial hair. He says the word "crazy" to AJ and so he gets a match. Punk gets to pick his next #1 contender, but AJ has to approve.

Ryback faces two jobbers again?! Not sure on the jobbers' names, but that's what I heard. Jinder with the interference at the end, but Ryback still overcomes that. Well, at least the two of them got a feud.

Del Rio gets to rant in the ring next. He wants a title rematch against Sheamus now. AJ gives him Orton instead. WWE considered adding Orton to the World Title match, but ultimately felt the match already had good star power. Sheamus still at ringside on commentary. Solid match between ADR and Orton here. Good chemistry and nice counters. Sheamus alerts ref that Orton's foot was on the ropes -- and NO Michael Cole that was NOT what Sheamus did last night. RKO from Orton gets three. Possible triple threat at next PPV?

WWE continues to push Tout, as now they use it to show Cesaro and Aksana celebrating in the ring right after the U.S. Title match ended on the SummerSlam preshow.

Brodus faces Sandow this week after Damien took Clay's knee out two weeks ago. Annoying Cole commentary, not surprising. Sandow wins with the tights in a basic match. Clay squashes Sandow like a bug afterward so the kids can dance in the ring.

Great emotional HBK promo via satellite. Reaffirms the friendship between HBK and HHH, showcases HHH's legendary career, and puts Lesnar over. No matter what the situation, I think it serves as a great narration for the true end of HHH's career.

Oh, so who was Otunga's opponent? A pissed Big Show. Nice knowing ya, counsel. Cringed at those Big Show slaps.

Tag match next. In another case of strange bedfellows, Ryder and Kane on the same team. DB with a nice job taunting Kane. Lots of kicks from DB. DB and Miz get out of there, so Kane chokeslams Ryder and goes bonkers. Timekeeper takes a good bump. Sounds normal.

Punk picks Cena as his next opponent for the title -- on one condition to be determined later. I'm sure respect falls in there somewhere. Hustle and loyalty anywhere to be found?

In yet another example of Divas not getting good airtime, there's another #1 contender's battle royal as Layla sits at ringside. Crowd largely didn't care. Honestly didn't expect Kaitlyn to win that one. But really, does it matter? Listen to the crowd. Or don't listen. You can hear a freakin' pin drop.

Lesnar uses Tout to say he's leaving and not coming back. That's obviously BS...he'll be back in a few months.

Ziggler and Jericho next. If Ziggler wins, Jericho's contract is up. If Jericho wins, he gets Ziggler's MITB briefcase. Doesn't take a genius to figure out this was the way to get Jericho off TV so he can tour with his band. Another solid match that I wish had more time. Jericho gets one more parting shot before leaving.

Punk promo to determine the #1 contender. More golden stuff worthy of the pipebombs he dropped last year. Cena gets the title shot if he admits Punk is the best in the world. Cena refuses, but cuts one hell of a promo in doing so. Nice reference to Cena's 380-day reign from a while back. I'd call it one of the best promos Cena's ever cut. Punk ends it all with a kick to Lawler's head, just to add more heel heat to the fire. Yup, I love this stuff.

Monday, August 20, 2012

8/19/12 SummerSlam

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella (U.S. Title): N/A (preshow match, did not watch)

Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler: ***3/4

Daniel Bryan vs. Kane: **1/2

Miz vs. Rey Mysterio (IC Title): ***

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Title): ***1/2

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (Tag Team Titles): **1/4

CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show (WWE Title): ***1/2

Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (Street Fight): ***1/2

As expected, Antonio Cesaro beat Santino Marella to win the U.S. Title. Didn't watch that preshow match.

Good choice to have Ziggler and Jericho start the actual PPV. Jericho with the taped-up ribs. Hot crowd for the opener. Ziggler worked on the ribs through most of the match. Jericho's still got the big moves as Y2J. Check out that top-rope hurricanrana. Zigzag didn't finish Jericho, Codebreaker out of desperation. Lion Tamer wins it. Didn't think they'd have Jericho go over if he really was leaving to go touring with Fozzy, but seems like they could always have Ziggler take Jericho out later to do an injury storyline. Vickie looked like someone stole her prized poodle or something after Ziggler lost.

Cole and Lawler say HBK is not at SummerSlam, but is tweeting instead. Must be pretty good to tweet with one good arm.

So it's the Goat Bryan and Kane next. "YES! NO!" Love how that's gotten over. Just look at the crowd when DB goes to the top rope for the headbutt. Crowd's just going berserk. Great spot from the headbutt to the chokeslam, since DB had to launch himself perfectly into that one. DB wins by countering the tombstone into an inside cradle for three. Not the smoothest finish, but passable. Yup, got that one wrong too. Don't worry, doing pro wrestling predictions isn't my day job anyway.

As if Kane wasn't mentally unstable enough, there you go. Another rampage in the back. Poor Josh Mathews goes flying. GM AJ Lee says she will deal with Kane on RAW.

IC Title match next between Miz and Mysterio. Miz now gets the "Awesome" bubble letters on his ring entrance. Mysterio has a Batman-like mask. Has Miz really evolved his game a lot? Maybe slightly, but not significantly like Undertaker has. Look to Taker for how he has lasted so long. Nice counters here, another solid match. So indeed, it was a fun match that made Miz look good. SCF wins it for Miz.

Punk and AJ with the whole awkward exchange in the back. Vintage trance-like state for AJ!

No bandage on Sheamus' left arm despite all the "damage" ADR's done to it. Hard kicks from ADR for most of the match. Steel turnbuckle ring exposed in the match, so that should play a factor. Sheamus showed great power deadlifting ADR to counter the armbreaker. Sheamus into the exposed turnbuckle and that didn't work, either.

The finish was interesting. ADR went bonkers on Ricardo in frustration. Sheamus used Ricardo's shoe. Ref missed ADR's foot on the ropes. Sheamus knocked ADR's foot off the ropes. Finally, the crowd appeared to boo Sheamus (but many were still cheering). I thought possible double-turn here, but not the case. ADR also tried to tell the ref he got hit with the shoe, but hopefully it was only to get the match restarted or something. DQ win doesn't help you, Alberto. At first, I also thought the ref failed to count to three, but replays showed he did. Either way, ADR gets screwed again. That part could be predictable, but hard to predict Sheamus using the shoe.

HHH tells Scott Armstrong earlier in the day that his match with Lesnar is basically a street fight again, no countouts and no DQs.

No mention of AW as Primetime Players come down for their tag title match. Understandable. Above-average tag match here with a nice ending. Again, I woulda bet the farm PTPs would have won the titles had AW still been with them. Alas, still got that prediction wrong. Seriously now? Kofi and Truth don't even need the titles, get it off them already.

Triple threat WWE Title match next, so again, no main event slot for Punk. Cena out first to mostly boos. At least the fans didn't throw the hat back. Show out second. Punk out last and he still gets the cheers. Punk's lengthy title reign again mentioned. Amazed Cole actually said Punk's last match in the main event slot (last match on the card) was December -- and Punk's been champ the entire time.

Slower pace for a significant portion of the match. Show got a lot of offense in. Cena and Punk had their spots to show strength on Show. Good job putting in spots where Punk could have lost the title without being a factor in the actual pin or submission. Show actually hit one of those Vader Bombs for a change.

I marked seeing Punk use the Koji Clutch on Show. The double submission and "who really won?" spot was a good idea. WWE did a heck of a job booking Show so strongly, even if many smarks knew he wouldn't win. Punk retaining by taking advantage of Cena's work was the right call.

I knew I said Cena would win in my prediction video, but after recording the segment, I could see why having Punk retain still could keep him a more heelish champ. Also, he doesn't have to go full-on bad guy. It's all about two things: (1) Punk needs the title more than Cena, and (2) Punk's title reign should keep going so announcers can keep talking about how it stands up in WWE history. Chances are Punk keeps the title until the Rumble, where he likely loses to Rock. Punk can then set the rematch for WrestleMania. This means the Royal Rumble winner would face the World Heavyweight champ, whomever that may be.

Celebs in the crowd. Fred Durst flips the bird. Classy. David Arquette with the World Title! Or was it his WCW Title. Sorry, I want to keep looking at Maria Menounos.

Footage of the ending to Cesaro's U.S. Title win. Aksana got involved, as one would have expected. Yes, Cesaro personifies greatness.

Since there's no divas match, Kevin Rudolf (who did the all-divas NXT season 3 theme song) and his band performs. Divas all come out to dance. Well, at least it's entertainment filler before the street fight brutality.

Cole mentions UFC by name as Lesnar comes out in his UFC-style gear (but with black boots on as well). Main event intros different this time; lights only on to spotlight Lesnar and HHH (otherwise the other lights remain off).

Lesnar focused on that left arm he "broke" a few months back, but he also showed he hasn't lost any technical wrestling skills. Fairly slow pace, yet very effective moves and a ton of physicality. HHH got to Lesnar's stomach, and we all know the diverticulitis he had a few years back. I'm not a huge fan of having people kick out of finishers barely after the two-count. Lesnar practically no-sold the second Pedigree, then "re-broke" HHH's arm in the Kimura again for the tapout win. HHH refused any medical help. "You tapped out!" chants at the end, but hey, given the spot they planned, HHH had to do it.

Torn on whether it was good to put the spotlight on HHH to close the show. Probably so, since Lesnar won't need to do any more appearances for a long time. Could be a scripted reason for HHH to end his in-ring career, but I'm sure there will be a future match somehow.

Two reasons why I'm happy with Lesnar/HHH. First, Lesnar won, something he desperately needed. Don't want two straight PPV losses in official matches. Second, they really kept it a weapon-free fight. Sure, they sent each other into announce tables, ringposts, and the steps, but we didn't see the kendo sticks, chairs, tables, and other stuff WWE matches may use. This was as physical a fight without weapons as it really could have been.

Overall, I'm very happy with the PPV. A solid showing from top to bottom. ***3/4

Sunday, August 19, 2012

8/19/12 SummerSlam Predictions

Since I'm unsure at this point at what my future schedule holds, I decided to start a new webseries on my YouTube channel devoted to talking about pro wrestling. The frequency of these shows is also currently unknown, but will focus on anything in the sports entertainment world. Ideas for the show include PPV predictions, perhaps looking back on the free TV shows from the past week, and/or other noteworthy stories floating around the rumor mills.

The first video focuses on SummerSlam 2012 predictions, which airs at 8 pm ET (preshow match at 7:30 pm). I taped this video Sunday morning (8/19), several hours before showtime, using the scheduled card that was posted on at the time.

With that said, here's the video to the first show. Didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped, but I don't think it was too bad for a first show.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8/17/12 Smackdown

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Miz & Cody Rhodes: **

Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks vs. two unnamed jobbers: N/A (WTF?)

Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn: 1/2*

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan: **3/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder: 1/4*

Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio: **1/2

We're at the University of Texas for this one. Alberto Del Rio starts the show. Typical "let's hold the show hostage until we get answers" promo. Booker shows up. Alberto spoke to lawyers. Wait, JERICHO?! Typical Y2J face promo. Jericho with a nice Spanish lesson. Jericho and ADR tonight. Good move, Booker.

Mysterio and Sin Cara team up tonight, woohoo! Cody still all obsessed with masks after all these months. Sin Cara still with the lucha stuff. Rey gets the hot tag here. Cody still goes for Sin Cara's mask and it costs him. 619 to Cody, then the splash gets three. Fun match, crowd loved it. Miz tries to get Rey after the match, but gets a 619 as well. I can't see Mysterio with the IC Title, he doesn't need it.

Reks and Hawkins come out to no music and in street clothes. Random choreographed dance spot and they actually do have ring gear underneath. Just think Brodus Clay-like stuff, really. Those are either wrestling trunks or underwear, but whatever. There's a lot of gyrations from Hawkins. They still have that powerslam-neckbreaker tag finisher, and they get three on two unnamed jobbers. So the dance music is the entrance music. Well played, fellas.

Regal has to be the world's best-dressed janitor when talking with Eve. He's awesome.

Divas match. Eve and Kaitlyn, winner gets to be Booker's assistant. Kaitlyn in her home state of Texas, so my initial guess is that she loses. Still feels weird that Eve's a heel but has such upbeat music...and Eve has a new Titantron where it's no longer heavy on the "executive assistant" clips. As expected, Eve hits a snap swinging neckbreaker-like move and she's the new assistant.

Daniel Bryan is getting such awesome crowd reactions, thanks to the whole "YES" and "NO" stuff. ROFL at DB having the "YES NO" war with a fan. Very physical match here. They work pretty well together. DB worked on Orton's left knee all match. DB gets the NO lock in, then Kane pyros, lights, and music! No Kane. DB gets back in the ring and eats an RKO to end it.

Santino at ringside. #1 contender's match tonight with Antonio and Ryder. Antonio says "loser" in five languages. Short match that we all knew Antonio would win. A pieface and a shove to Santino after the match. Just give Cesaro the title already. Santino's virtually done nothing with the belt.

Main event time with Jericho and Del Rio. Josh Mathews calls Cole "Stephen A. Smith," which is basically an insult to Smith. ADR targets Jericho's ribs. Oh yeah, Ziggler's at ringside too. Walls of Jericho applied to ADR. Jericho kicked off, and low bridge from Ziggler sends Y2J outside. Ziggler tosses Jericho back in. Running enzuigiri basically missed Jericho but still gets three.

ADR with cross armbreaker on Jericho after the match, as Ziggler taunts away. Sheamus to the rescue. Sheamus wants the title match back on, and Booker relents. Perhaps this is how ADR wins the title at the PPV.

8/16/12 Superstars

Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis: *3/4

Alex Riley vs. Drew McIntyre: *1/4

Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel: **3/4

Usos take on McGillicutty and Curtis to start the show. Figure this is a good way to keep MM and Curtis on TV in some capacity, since it's unlikely either will break through in singles action at this point. Heels doing decent as a tag team here, but Jey gets the hot tag and it's pretty much a done deal after that. Big top-rope splash gets three. Usos have done well to get over with the crowd.

McIntyre apparently has a broken left wrist (has a black cast), but was medically cleared to face A-Ry. A-Bomb is a flying top-rope clothesline. Final Score finisher changed from a TKO to a snap swinging neckbreaker of sorts. Wait, A-Ry WON?! That's what...two wins in 2012 now? He's on a roll!

Sandow makes Matt Striker feel like a mental midget. Now that's a visual. Anyway, Sandow and Gabriel main event Superstars this week. Gabriel has a more balanced in-ring style now, but still likes to fly around the ring. Gabriel still not using the 450 as often, though. Sandow with that nice Russian leg sweep and elbow signature moves. Very exciting match, back-and-forth action. Gabriel doing the springboard moonsault more often. Gabriel injected a lot of life into the match; otherwise, it was really not too far from slightly above-average. Sandow getting away from or countering Gabriel's finishers is just a play off his intellectual gimmick.

Friday, August 17, 2012

8/16/12 Impact

Samoa Joe vs. Magnus: *1/2

AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels: ***1/2

Miss Tessmacher vs. Madison Rayne (Knockouts Title): *1/4

Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy: **1/2

Aries promo to start the show and he tells the doubters to go "fluk" themselves. Love it. Enter Jeff Hardy, who calls out Aces and Eights because Hardy feels they cost him 20 points. Bully Ray next to state his case for the title. Aces and Eights with the promo and the altered deepened voice. They'll be making their presence felt later in the show.

Magnus and Joe in a BFG Series match, former tag partners collide. Good mat wrestling here, hard-hitting and straightforward. Magnus got out of the choke, but Joe with a nice rollup for three. Seven more points for the pin, 61 overall for Joe. Magnus "snaps" and hits Joe's arm with the chair. Yeah, I'm not caring much about this. Magnus frankly has turned face and heel several times during his time with the company. He's good as a heel, but really needs a push to make it worth it.

Madison Rayne is the Knockouts champ again, and Tessmacher meets her in the ring. But first, Madison and Earl Hebner again! Brooke Hogan comes out, and what the hell kind of outfit is that? Short enough? No more Earl in Knockouts matches. Tessmacher gets her rematch. And a new female ref tonight.

Aces and Eights come for Brooke Hogan. TNA roster to the rescue, and Storm lags behind just to show his face. Sting promo afterward. Open Fight Night next week, and Sting's team calls out Aces and Eights at the top of the show. Good move, love that.

Now AJ, Daniels, and Kaz are all bad-mouthing the Claire Lynch character. Styles and Daniels in the ring tonight. If AJ wins, he gets a paternity test. If he loses, he accepts that he's the dad. WTF. Stipulation makes no sense. Really? Just accept you're the dad? That's just weak. Horrible storyline.

Kaz is banned from ringside for the match. Love it, gotta let AJ and Daniels go one-on-one. Nice kick from Daniels, wonder if he ever tried to be a kicker for the football team. This is wrestling here, fellas. Modified submission holds, nice innovative stuff -- and unlike WWE commentators, I don't use the word "innovative" very often. I'll never get tired of watching these two go at it. I just wish we had a better storyline. Anyway, Kaz tries to interfere, but Brian Hebner saw what happened. AJ wins with that Pele kick. Yay paternity test. But we all knew that was how this had to go down.

Storm will be out there when Hardy and Bully go at it, you know, just to make sure no Aces and Eights.

Roode promo. Gotta give it to him, he and Aries really put on a show at Hardcore Justice. But now, no more title shots if Aries is champ. Roode basically on a long-winded, rant-filled promo. Basically, now Roode has no idea what to do for goal aspirations. Tosses the mic down and leaves. He'll get a title shot again, but let Aries run with the belt. It's the normal cycling of main eventers.

Gut Check next week. Tragic background story involved, but would make for a great moment if he got a contract. At least the people TNA picks are good choices in that sense.

Knockouts title time. Brooke Hogan slips as she introduces Taryn Terrell. Yeah, you know, she was once with Drew McIntyre and had that "Tiffany" character in WWE. Love the female ref outfit. Taz needs more visuals because Velvet Sky is no longer there to let the pigeons loose. Madison now can't get away with anything, so Tessmacher got the win. Unfortunate. I actually wanted the Hebner deal to keep going so Madison can have a good reign. Otherwise, why even take the title off Tessmacher in the first place?

BFG Series standings top five: Storm with 66, Joe 61, RVD 55, Angle and Bully with 48. Top five move on, which is why you want to be there. Unfortunately, Pope has a broken collarbone, which is why TNA had Aces and Eights take him out.

Main event time with Bully and Hardy. Bully kicked out of the Swanton, wow. Hardy lands on Storm because Bully pulled Hardy in the way. Whisper in the Wind leads to double KO spot. Enter two of the Aces and Eights members. Aries, Styles, Sting, and Angle chase them away. Hardy with Twist of Fate and rollup for three. Bully no-sells it later and immediately decks Hardy.

Last Call superkick hits Hardy instead of Bully. Aces and Eights back in the ring -- four guys this time. Slow clap to Storm, then they take him out as we all figured they would. End show.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

8/15/12 NXT

Jinder Mahal vs. Richie Steamboat: *1/2

Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Heath Slater: *1/4

Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Conor O'Brian & Kenneth Cameron: *1/2

Seth Rollins vs. Michael McGillicutty: **1/2

Two semifinal Gold Rush Tournament matches on this week's episode, as we continue to see who will become the first NXT champ.

Jinder takes on Richie Steamboat to start the show. Very good chain wrestling in this one, but damn, the crowd largely doesn't care. Steamboat misses the missile dropkick and Jinder wins it with the camel clutch.

Heath Slater's on NXT now. Oh, so he's facing yet another WWE Legend. Scotty 2 Hotty returns for a night! Why not, they're in his hometown (Orlando). The guy's 42, according to Wikipedia, but still looks pretty damn good. S2H with the Worm for three.All we needed was one of those fancy hats and some facial hair to really bring back vintage S2H.

Ascension in action next against the Usos. Really like that "pack mentality" and team beatdowns in the Ascension corner Real good double-team moves. Jey Uso gets the hot tag. Ascension in trouble. Usos look to get the win, but O'Brian knocks Jey Uso off the top. WTF, THAT CAUSES A DQ?! Makes zero sense, since this was a tag match and such interference happens very often in front of the ref. Ascension beats down Jimmy Uso post-match.

Hunico explains he was sick when Dalton and Jordan beat him and Camacho.

Raquel Diaz talks in the mirror for her backstage segment. Nice horrible outfit and tattoo.

Rollins and McGillicutty in the second semifinal match. Another pretty short match here. Finally, a good back-and-forth encounter. Ropes looked a bit looser than normal here; MM almost slipped when doing one of the big corner spots with Rollins near the end. Nice finish. Rollins with the Buckle Bomb and Blackout stomp for three.

Mahal and Rollins meet at ringside to close the show. They'll be the two guys in the finals. Rollins gets the upper hand on the message-sending tonight.

Money should be on Seth Rollins to take the title. He's the up-and-coming star, and NXT needs to keep the focus on pushing the very new talent. Jinder's fine for what he brings to the table, but Rollins is the more exciting star that will give the title more appeal in the early going.

Meanwhile, HHH is still high on McGillicutty; apparently we'll see a repackaging in the future. Hopefully they'll give the Hennig name back. It's something they should have done from the start.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

8/13/12 RAW

CM Punk vs. Big Show: *1/4

Ryback vs. JTG: N/A (squash)

Sin Cara vs. Tensai: 1/4*

Dolph Ziggler vs. Miz vs. Chris Jericho: ***1/4

Layla & Kaitlyn vs. Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix: *

CM Punk & John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan & Big Show: **1/4

Damien Sandow vs. Christian: 1/4*

RAW in Dallas tonight!

Punk and Show start things off. Superstars just came back from Asia, so Cole and King mention the jet lag. Methodical beatdown from Show, as expected. Double KO spot. DB comes out so the crowd goes all nuts chanting "YES." DB causes the DQ. Cena comes out to take Show out. What does this mean? Tag match at the end of the night. Strange bedfellows type of match. How original!

JTG says "crazy" around AJ. Oh, is that all it took to get a match? Have him do that every week! Oh wait, Ryback's gonna get destroy him. Never mind. Still wondered if JTG was still employed. At least Kaitlyn won't have to worry about someone like Kharma to destroy her. Oh, and Ryback has new music that has lyrics. Fans still love to chant "Goldberg."

Mark Henry on Tout! He looks good and seems like he'll be returning as a face.

Pauly D is the social media ambassador tonight. Who? Something about Jersey Shore? Oh, then I don't care.

Booker hands down punishment to Alberto Del Rio for beating down Sheamus on Smackdown. No more title match. They'll be having a "discussion" on Smackdown. Money's on it getting physical.

Sin Cara faces Tensai tonight. Sin Cara still has those lights. Not caring anymore on that front. Very short match. Sin Cara with a tornado DDT for three. Tensai beats Sakamoto up afterward. Sounds normal here.

Piper's Pit time. Twitter poll on who should be the guest tonight. Jericho convincingly wins with 55% of the vote (Miz for 21% and Dolph got 24%). Jericho's out in his ring gear, so I guess he's having a match soon. Piper's Pit segment was not great, so Vickie comes out and generates heel heat. Vintage Y2J material. Jericho wants Ziggler at SummerSlam. Miz somehow wants in all this. Jericho takes Miz and Ziggler out.

AJ then says triple threat now: Jericho vs. Miz vs. Ziggler. Also, Miz vs. Mysterio at SummerSlam for the IC Title.

Match was typical on how it looks like a handicap match but then the heels get into that whole disagreement on who should win. Jericho can still launch himself over the top rope. Nice Tower of Doom spot. Great finishing sequence as Ziggler goes over Jericho. Crowd enjoyed that one.

HBK has his own WWE Hall of Fame shirt. Woohoo! Meanwhile, we get another Barrett return video.

Divas tag action, and Beth is finally back on TV. Actually, I'm just thinking Eve wins against Kaitlyn on Smackdown to become Booker's assistant, but she'll really get the role Teddy Long had under Laurinaitis. Tag match was not great. Just felt too much like random spots thrown together, not much flow to it. And poor Beth does jobbing duty KAITLYN. Wow. Did Beth do anything wrong to be jobbing (or otherwise be off TV) like this? As a note, WWE had Eve's music and Titantron instead of Beth's on their intro.

Punk/Cena vs. Bryan/Show next. Cena and Punk tag themselves in early on. Same with DB and Show. Too slow when Show is in the match. Eventually Show takes a seat at ringside and DB gets beaten up. Funny to watch Punk and Cena do the other's signature moves. Cena wins with the AA because he's Cena.

Damien Sandow and Christian next. Video shown of Sandow taking out Brodus Clay last week. Sandow real physical on Christian. Brodus Clay comes down. Christian doesn't get Sandow on the rollup, and a Sandow neckbreaker ends it. Vintage staredown between Brodus and Sandow. At least these two now have a feud.

Contract signing between HHH and Lesnar next. Nice job by Heyman to tout Lesnar as one with ultimate (fighting) credentials. Heyman with another hold harmless agreement. Heyman badmouths Texas and HBK comes out. HHH then enters and signs the contract. Lesnar signs the contract and leaves.'s official.

So Heyman cuts HBK off as Shawn tries to drive away. Lesnar then apparently beats up and kidnaps HBK while the camera goes black (but audio still fine). Windshield of HBK's car all shattered. Well, it's pretty much what people expected, although the whole "kidnapping" thing is probably not gonna help Linda McMahon for her political campaign. I don't care if Vince wants WWE and the campaign separate...Linda McMahon will always be tied to WWE, mainly because of Vince.

Lesnar then takes HBK to the ring. Lesnar still has the awesome standing vertical leap from the floor to the ring apron. F-5 to HBK in the ring. Kimura on HBK. HHH comes out, but Heyman warns HHH to stay away or HBK's arm gets broken. Yeah, it got "broken" anyway. Good buildup for SummerSlam. Liked the ending. Otherwise, it was pretty mediocre aside from the triple threat Ziggler won.

8/12/12 Hardcore Justice

Hernandez & Chavo Guerrero vs. Gunner & Kid Kash: **1/4

Rob Van Dam vs. D'Angelo Dinero vs. Magnus vs. Mr. Anderson (Falls Count Anywhere): **1/4

Kazarian vs. Devon (TV Title): **1/2

Madison Rayne vs. Miss Tessmacher (Knockouts Title): *1/2

Bully Ray vs. James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E (Tables): **3/4

Zema Ion vs. Kenny King (X-Division Title): ***3/4

AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels (Ladder): ***3/4

Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode (World Title): ****

This will be more of a shorter, to-the-point review, since I have been very busy otherwise.

Chavo curtain jerks the PPV. Opening tag match basically started with Hernandez welcoming Chavo into the company, but guys like Gunner and Kash not too thrilled with the Guerrero name. Crowd hot for Chavo throughout the match. Leave it to the ring vets in Kash and Chavo to control much of the match. Fairly methodical match, but crowd stayed into it. Hernandez with a drop-down version of a Dominator nearly put Kash on his head. Good opener with Chavo hitting the Frog Splash for three.

With that said, I feel for Anarquia, Sarita, and Rosita in all this. It's like Hernandez forgot Mexican America existed for storyline purposes. From a heel stable to a face tag team, just like that.

First of the four-way BFG Series matches, with 20 points to the winner of each. Falls Count Anywhere time. Aces and Eights got to Pope, so apparently he's out of this match. Pope, to his credit, sold the attack well and clutched his left shoulder. Funny how Magnus and Anderson came out next unscathed. Match starts as a three-way dance. Didn't take long for the match to spill to the outside. Again, good crowd reaction. RVD with the chair throwing (literally) and legdropping. Tower of Doom looked botched, so they nixed it. magnus awkward moment with a fan trying to get a chair? Van Daminator from RVD to Magnus on the stage gets the Whole F'n Show 20 points. Good three-way match, but seen better.

Madison Rayne interview. Going into the PPV, she's a three-time Knockouts champ and two-time Knockouts Tag champ. Is it sad that I know that?

But first, TV Title match between Devon and Kazarian. Loaded water bottle shot from Devon not a DQ? Gotta love ref discretion. Crowd still very interested in the match, but slightly less than the first two matches. Methodical heel beatdown, then Devon with the comeback. Nice crucifix counter from Kaz when Devon tried one of those Rock Bottom-like moves. Fade to Black countered and Devon spinebuster gets three. Solid finish.

Knockouts title match next, and of course, Earl Hebner is the ref. I still hate Earl Hebner because he gets to work one of those relationship storylines with Madison Rayne. It's a decent storyline because Earl isn't blatantly biased in Madison's favor. He calls the match down the middle, with the finish being the only controversy. Oh, and the whole Madison Rayne scissors stomp should only be done by a woman, thanks.

Anyway, finish controversial as expected. Madison's foot was on the ropes, so Earl right to stop the count. However, he "didn't see" Madison using the ropes to pin Tessmacher. Good for the storyline, but it comes at the expense of Tessmacher's title reign, which I had hoped would be longer to show she'd be a serious contender in the division.

Tables match next. Bully Ray apparently got an ace and 8 of spades. Bully continues to pin Aces and Eights blame on Storm. Poor Robbie is only in there to get mauled. Love how Bully just manipulates Robbie to get him a table anyway. And Robbie totally BOTCHES the spot where he was supposed to completely get the table out of the way -- Bully went through the corner of the table and the refs had to awkwardly say that didn't count. Would think Storm and Hardy coulda just gotten 10 points each, but nope. Crowd really shat over that one. Only means someone like Bully Ray was supposed to win, and that's exactly what happened. 20 points there. No Joseph Park, eh? In the process, Bully shows Robbie how you really move the table out of the way. WHY THE HELL did Hardy fly OVER the table to Rob Terry when he coulda won the match? Weird logic.

Nice job with the Aces and Eights spots to seemingly help and align themselves with James Storm. I've never seen Bully jump that high over the ropes or scamper away so quickly.

X-Division Title time. Crowd solidly behind Kenny King, although it remains to be seen whether his defection to TNA will really help him in the long run. At least he's gotten good exposure for now. Solid mat wrestling from King on top of his high-flying stuff; KK seems to have the entire package. Easily the best match on the PPV of the matches watched so far. Ion and King work well together. Great finish with the Gory Special. King is something special; I'm confident he'll get his time soon.

BFG Series Standings: Storm still in front with 66 points, RVD now into second with 55 after winning earlier. Joe now third with 54. Angle and Bully Ray now tied for fourth with 48 after Bully won earlier.

BFG Series Ladder match now. Can't go wrong with these four guys. Such a fun match, and the crowd loved it. Daniels nuked early. Leave it to Joe to bring the intensity all match long. Nice "USA!" chants for Angle. Action all over the place, never a dull moment. Kept laughing seeing Angle and Joe nuke Daniels like that. Styles springs out of nowhere to grab the clipboard and win the match. Outstanding. Styles still in 7th place after all that (36 points), but at least he's closer to that cutoff point now (top five).

World Title match closes the show. No rematch clause for either guy. Borash with the main event intros. Aries with the upper hand early with offense and mind games. Roode got several near falls on offense, but couldn't keep A-double down. Aries even got Roode in the crossface, which Roode has used to win matches. Nice ref bump from Brian Hebner. Then second official nuked. Brainbuster, agonizingly slow Hebner count gets two. Great stuff there.

We get the double pin spot with two refs counting at the same time. Somehow, it takes a few minutes -- and the presence of Earl Hebner -- to figure out to restart the match. "Bullshit" not censored from Roode because we're live. Aries with the "miracle" rollup for three.

Another solid PPV, consistently good from top to bottom. Best matches saved for last, in my opinion. ***1/2

Saturday, August 11, 2012

8/10/12 Smackdown

Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes: *3/4

Jinder Mahal vs. two unnamed jobbers: N/A (squash)

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Primo & Epico: N/A

Christian vs. Antonio Cesaro: **1/4

Rey Mysterio vs. Miz: **

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Title): N/A (no match)

We're in Houston tonight, and Smackdown GM Booker T starts the show in his hometown. Would have hoped for a bigger pop for Booker. The GM's in a tux tonight. Spinaroonie for the fans!

Booker lays down the law and tells Sheamus to apologize to Alberto for what happened on RAW. Sheamus does just that, but Alberto isn't satisfied. It leads to a world title match tonight! Hey, I like that start.

Sin Cara in a match next against Cody Rhodes. I still don't get why they have to keep the Sin Cara lights on for the match. Cody references his whole disfigured mask gimmick thing that started a nice push to his career. Cody went after the mask a few times in the match, and it ended up costing him a win. Not bad here.

Another video promoting Wade Barrett's return. I'm intrigued how big a push he'll get on his return.

Gotta hand it to WWE for capitalizing on this whole "YES" deal. Much larger reaction than Booker T. DB and Kane look like they're gonna fight, but AJ shows up on Smackdown. Power suit! AJ wants the two to shake hands. Yeah, that wasn't happening.

Jinder Mahal faces two scrawny unknown jobbers, to play off what Ryback did. Mahal takes one guy and defeats him with the camel clutch while mocking Ryback. Then a cool double camel clutch. Enter the real Ryback. Jinder bails. Cole tries to justify Jinder's actions. Ryback sends a messageback to Jinder. Sounds about right.

Jericho's Highlight Reel is next. Special guests are Ziggler and Vickie. Vickie says no Ziggler, so Jericho makes fun of Vickie instead. Footage of RAW where Ziggler lost to A-Ry and Jericho on commentary. Y2J gimmick is back. Ziggler attacks Jericho from behind and gets the upper hand tonight. Even a briefcase shot for good measure. Vickie's laugh into the mic reminds me of Kharma's entrance theme. Good storyline progression.

Again, Truth and Kofi on commentary. They haven't wrestled much lately. Primetime Players and Primo/Epico fight again in a #1 contender's match. Match largely irrelevant. AW throws water onto the champs, and that somehow causes a DQ win even though AW isn't a legal participant in the match. Ref probably will cite he lost control of the match or something. Still a clever heelish way to get AW's clients the title shot.

Turns out this was AW's last TV appearance. WWE released AW on Friday, August 10. Likely stemmed from the Kobe Bryant remarks he made on RAW the other week.

Antonio Cesaro again shows his fluency in five languages. Great match against Christian. Cesaro impressive with a fallaway slam into a bridge. Christian really flew when Cesaro gave him that European uppercut. Christian also may have covered up a botch at the end with that reverse DDT. Spear barely got Christian the win. Cesaro attacks Christian post-match and gets the last laugh.

Kaitlyn vs. Eve next week to be Booker's assistant. Well, at least the divas will have wrestling time on the show.

Miz and Mysterio next. Usual good match involving Mysterio. One thing about those kicks to the head: remember when Tajiri was doing those in WWE and it really was a devastating thing to see? Now it's still effective, just more commonplace. Miz goes for SCF but Rey turns it into a victory pin for three -- barely.

World Heavyweight Title match last. Actually not a match. Six cops come down that turn out to be hired guns for ADR. Just about sending a message and weakening Sheamus for the PPV. Title match never meant to take place.

Friday, August 10, 2012

8/9/12 Impact

Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus: **

Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Devon & Garett Bischoff (Tag Team Titles): *3/4

Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles: ****

Miss Tessmacher vs. Gail Kim: *

Bully Ray vs. James Storm: **1/4

Basically, the whole Aces and Eights angle and the Claire Lynch storyline are the two biggest storylines right now. The Bully Ray/Joseph Park deal is still on, but moved more to the backburner.

Bully Ray is a Twitter machine as he tweets to the ring again. Bully Ray is now the leader of the Bully Nation. Bully's contract is also expiring, and hopefully TNA re-signs him. Bully with a promo on Joseph Park and James Storm. Storm out again to prove he's not behind Aces and Eights. We see a video with one guy speaking in a deep voice, probably digitally slowed down. Bully points the finger that the person talking is Storm. Sting invited Aces and Eights, but the group will be there on their time and terms.

The four-way BFG Series matches at Hardcore Justice are 20 points each.

Updated BFG Series standings: Storm in first with 66 points, Samoa Joe with 53, Angle with 41, and Anderson with 40. Disagree with Pope...winning 20 points won't get you back in anything. He'd still only have 27 points and still be in the bottom half of the standings.

BFG Series match between RVD and Magnus. Anderson on commentary. Magnus' career has stalled again since his tag title run with Joe ended. Magnus is still a powerful guy, and showed a couple of impressive moves against RVD. RVD gets the win with the five-star frog splash and 7 points; he's now at 35 overall.

Roode mentions lawyers and contract language he's not happy with. Vintage heel.

Tag title match. Garett and Devon now united as a tag team. Why not still defend that TV Title dammit? Yup, the world tag champions of the world! Redundant! Kaz and Daniels with good tag team moves. Devon with the hot tag, but distractions allow Kaz to nail Devon with the tag title belt and steal the win. Not bad.

Robbie E promo. Who really believes Robbie's winning that tables match? No sense to have him win any more matches. He cuts a promo on Jeff Hardy. Hardy comes out to get some. Vintage slap to Robbie E. Rob Terry to the rescue, putting Jeff through a table.

AJ Styles says he's jetlagged from his long plane ride from Australia, but I couldn't really tell in that match against Angle. Claire Lynch still in the crowd, but you'd think Daniels and Kaz would at least also get her a backstage pass. Claire reminds me a bit of Daffney, but without all that paint and tattoos and stuff. Nice, fluid match here. It's really what people come to expect from these two. Back and forth, kicking out of signature moves. I was convinced AJ had it after hitting the Styles Clash. Huge moves missed, Angle takes advantage with the Angle Slam for three. Outstanding. Yes, more of this. One of the best free TV matches you'll see this year. AJ goes to the back, and Claire has some weird perplexed faces.

Aces and Eights have another target tonight.

Tessmacher and Gail Kim next. Kim interrupts the champ's entrance. Gail in control for much of the match. Tessmacher with a new way to show her finisher, gets three. Finisher is called Tess-Shocker. Still thinking Madison Rayne gets a controversial win at Hardcore Justice. Keep the momentum of the whole Earl Hebner thing going. Madison comes out post-match and plants one on Hebner. Message sent to Tessmacher.

Oh, and by the way, "Wedding: Impossible" will air on Food Network on August 18. Will detail the wedding of Gail Kim and Robert Irvine.

Contract signing with Roode and Aries. Sting oversees everything. Roode has a problem that he doesn't get another shot at Aries as champ if Roode loses. Aries with his own proposal: if he loses the title, no rematch clause for him, either. They shake hands. Roode with the water to Aries' face and runs like a girl. Aries retains somehow on Sunday. Need to keep the Aries momentum going, and hell, TNA just signed Aries to a long-term deal. They're real invested in this guy.

X-Division takes a backseat this week, but Kenny King faces Zema Ion for the title at Hardcore Justice.

Bully Ray and James Storm in the main event. Bully seems off his game, worried more about Aces and Eights. Bully showing more submission moves with a legbar. Good match here. Bubba hits a cutter for three and the win on the BFG Series leader. 7 more points for Bully (now 28). Bully grabs the chain.

Nice cryptic video from Aces and Eights at the end. They will be seeing more of Bully at the PPV. Interfering in the tables match, I guess? A good way to get people to buy the show.

8/9/12 Superstars

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

Santino Marella vs. Michael McGillicutty: *3/4

Zack Ryder vs. Tensai: **1/4

Again, Kidd and Gabriel start the show off in tag team action. Great way to utilize them, since it looks like they won't be pushed in singles action anytime soon. I'm glad Striker still hates Hawkins and Reks for what the team did to the teacher on NXT (although NXT is never referenced). Kidd endures a bunch of punishment here. Good tag team heel tactics from Hawkins/Reks. Nice elevated flatliner move from Reks after Gabriel got the hot tag. Interesting that Hawkins and Kidd stayed down for a bit after that hot tag. I love the tag finisher from Kidd and Gabriel. Really good match here.

Santino is still the U.S. champ, but he's really still champ because he doesn't defend the belt often. He's been losing his fair share of matches. I still facepalm at people backing away when Santino motions for the cobra. And who shakes hands with the left know there's something devious going down if that occurs. MM ironically taking a Bret Hart move with the second-rope elbow. Pretty slow match. Saito suplex really making a comeback thanks to MM and now Santino. Cobra wins it for Santino.

Tensai and Ryder in the main event this week. Obviously, Zack needs to do the ol' stick-and-move routine. Tensai with the methodical and power moves. Nerve holds may be effective, but man it's boring. Sakamoto now getting pushed around by Ryder. Tensai gets the win this week, so hey, WWE management is not totally frowning upon his abilities. Still though, to be brought in with all those vignettes and to really go nowhere is disappointing, to say the least. See Sin Cara and Kharma (the latter now released) for more examples.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8/8/12 NXT

Michael McGillicutty vs. Justin Gabriel: **1/2

Kassius Ohno vs. CJ Parker: *1/2

Tamina Snuka & Paige vs. Kaitlyn & Caylee Turner: 1/2*

Jinder Mahal vs. Bo Dallas: *3/4

We start off with the next Gold Rush tournament quarterfinal match to crown a new NXT champ. Gabriel and McGillicutty here. Fans saw a new side of Justin Gabriel, going a lot more to the ground game early, being more technical a superstar. The second half was vintage Gabriel. Awesome, in my opinion. He becomes a more well-rounded competitor and an even bigger threat. A bit more unpredictability never hurt anyone here. MM couldn't win with his dad's finisher, but gets it with his neckbreaker. The finish shows how one mistake can be the end of you.

Kassius Ohno back in action this week. Fear the beard! Ohno in control for most of the match, and rolling elbow wins it. Love that finisher.

Another video package for The Ascension. They will be in action again next week. I've got high hopes for this duo.

Divas tag team action on NXT, and we see the first match for Caylee Turner, the (real-life) younger sister of Alicia Fox. We've seen Paige before; WWE is pretty high on her to help be part of the next wave of divas to blaze a trail. Not sure who the faces really are anymore, aside from Tamina, and I'm not too concerned about that anyway. Funny how they push Kaitlyn and Tamina as two of the strongest divas in WWE, ignoring the likes of Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Not saying the former two divas are weak, but it just implies ignorance from the commentating team. Caylee with a couple of botches, but she'll get better. Paige rolls Caylee up for the win, and in an awkward spot, Kaitlyn just stands there on the apron thinking nothing of it. Come on, it's the little things that help make a match a bit more believable.

Bateman pulls a bit of the jealous/peeved card that Bo Dallas qualified, McGillicutty qualified, and he didn't. On top of all that, commentating team really praises Bo and pegs him the front-runner to win the Gold Rush tournament.

So naturally, it was obvious Bo would lose this match. I was just wondering if Bateman would interfere to cost him the victory (didn't happen). Bo and Jinder have family pedigrees in pro wrestling, so both have the genes to be in the business. Unfortunately, the crowd again was quiet and didn't seem to care much. Mahal got the win with a flatliner and a camel clutch.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

8/6/12 RAW

CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio: **1/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian: *1/4

Big Show vs. Randy Orton: *3/4

Ryback vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks: 1/2*

Primo & Epico vs. Titus O'Neil & Darren Young: ?

Damien Sandow vs. Brodus Clay: N/A

Kelly Kelly vs. Eve Torres: 1/2*

Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler: *1/4

Kane vs. Miz: *

Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena: **3/4

Love the new WWE RAW openings. Still prefer the Smackdown theme song. It's Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night in San Antonio!

AJ skips to the ring in a white business suit. More matches! Big Show vs. Orton. Daniel Bryan vs. Cena. Punk comes out to apologize to AJ for last week, which AJ accepts. Now, back to heel Punk and his attempt to cancel the Triple Threat SummerSlam match. Lots of "NO" chants. AJ refuses to cancel the match. Cena comes out with all the split chants. Cena says gotta earn respect, not demand it. Punk with the Gray's Sports Almanac reference! Yes! AJ puts Punk in a match, opponent to be determined by fans (Miz, Kane, or Mysterio). Fans wanted HBK, but that's not happening. Match is next!

I love heel Punk right now. It's basically reverting to the character he was last year when delivering the pipebomb promos, but done in a more heelish fashion.

We get the poll results that apparently lasted all of five minutes. It's Mysterio with 47% of the vote, closer than what I woulda thought. But hell yes for this one. Cole still mentioning Punk with the 14th longest WWE Title reign in history, so I'm still thinking Punk weasels his way out of SummerSlam with the gold. Great match here, as Punk wins with the GTS.

Vignette promoting return of Wade Barrett soon. He's been out for months after dislocating his elbow in a match. Storyline here is that Barrett returned to his roots as a bare-knuckle fighter to get tougher. I guess that means he'll be getting a nice push on his return. He has excellent mic skills and was pegged to win MITB at WrestleMania when he got injured (so no MITB match happened at Mania). Will be great to see him back.

Alberto Del Rio wasn't scheduled for a match, then mentioned the word "crazy" around AJ, so ADR ends up in a match anyway -- against Christian. How nice that ADR had his wrestling gear under his suit. Boots were probably undone just to pretend he wasn't ready. Nice superkick from ADR; HBK would be proud. Ricardo with interference, ADR smacks Christian with his boot, and cross armbreaker ends it.

Sheamus then takes ADR's car on a joyride. I want that job!

Hour #2 starts with Orton and Show. Orton now back to a crew cut this week. Fairly average match to start. Orton kicks out of the chokeslam. Orton to outside. Show gets him back in. Chokeslam attempt blocked again, so Show tosses Orton outside again. RKO countered, and Big Show spear on the outside. Double countout because WWE doesn't want either to lose clean. Back in the ring, Orton hits the RKO anyway.

Reks and Hawkins are facing Ryback in another 2-on-1 handicap match. This time, Hawkins and Reks have to tag in, not face Ryback at the same time. Ryback nukes Hawkins this week. Ho-hum here. More of Ryback looking strong.

AW still gets to flap his gums even after last week's Kobe Bryant sexual assault reference. Primetime Players against Primo and Epico this week. AW's Mother Teresa reference to D-Young was a lot better, that's for sure. PTPs want out, but Kofi and Truth block all that. Epico hits the backstabber on D-Young and gets the win.

Didn't look like Rosa Mendes was at the show. From what I read, she's been involved in a domestic assault deal (she's the victim) with boyfriend Jackson Andrews.

Sandow vows to defeat Brodus. Sandow jumps Brodus on Clay's ring entrance, taking out Funkasaurus' left knee. No match.

DB with a new "NO! NO! NO!" shirt. DB faces Kane at SummerSlam. Dueling NO and YES.

Kelly Kelly is back after her time off, facing Eve. Not bad here, typical divas match. KK wins with a hurricanrana into a victory pin for three.

It's time for HBK and Appreciation Night to begin. Even Cole and Lawler with the silent claps to pay respects. Enter Lesnar for yet another one of his limited appearances -- this time, Heyman is with him. HBK will be in HHH's corner at SummerSlam. Lesnar is seriously sweating under the lights. HHH comes out to get some of Lesnar. Lesnar retreats. He'll see HHH at SummerSlam, but see HBK before then. Looks like a moment for Brock to take out Shawn somewhere.

Ziggler faces A-Ry with Jericho on commentary. Jericho as a face back to calling Cole "Mitchell." Ziggler's got one of the best dropkicks in pro wrestling today. Nice way to promote Tout and further the storyline between Jericho and Ziggler. And A-Ry wins! Yes!

AJ makes a match with Kane and Miz because they weren't picked to face DB and they should be on the show anyway. Crowd really not into this one a lot. Kane knocks Miz off in about 4 minutes.

Genius move to have DB get on the WWE Universe for chanting "YES." It'll get them to chant it more. And hey, those "NO!" shirts will sell well too!

Sheamus brings ADR's car back all smelly and smoky. Looks like Sheamus lost his lunch somewhere.

DB is now a NO man. The goat face is in full force!

Main event time with DB and Cena. Pretty good stuff again, as we've come to expect from a DB match. Nice guillotine choke from DB, countering AA. Benoit headbutt from DB hits, but only two. Yeah, I said Benoit headbutt (although I guess I coulda also said Dynamite Kid). Great end sequence, from STF, to NO lock, to guillotine to AA for a Cena win. Best match of the night, in my book.

Here comes Punk out. Cena pushes Punk aside to take Big Show on. Cena gets Show up for AA but Punk comes in so Show lands on Cena. More fuel to the fire. Punk with a message on the headset, but Show is standing tall this time. WMD to Punk, then one for Cena. Just a way to say don't count Show out for SummerSlam, but it's really not Show's time here. Focus should be on Punk keeping his title by any means, especially when Cole's been constantly bringing up how long Punk's title reign has lasted.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

8/3/12 Smackdown

Sheamus vs. Tensai: **1/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella: *

Miz, Daniel Bryan, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho, Christian, & Kane: **1/2

Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal: N/A

Darren Young vs. R-Truth: 3/4*

Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio: **

Cole and Josh Mathews on commentary. Vince quickly starts the show and names Booker T the new Smackdown GM. Since Cole's been so high on AJ's performance, it only seems fitting he'll crap all over Booker's GM tenure. At least Cole's happy Booker's no longer on commentary and that Teddy Long's not the GM.

ADR calls Sheamus a red-headed hooligan (well, as a kid Sheamus apparently was one). Booker quickly puts ADR in his place. Alberto's competing tonight against Orton. Sheamus faces Tensai now.

Did you really think Sheamus was losing this? It gives Tensai more reason to keep beating up Sakamoto. Mathews now says Sheamus is 6'4". Did Sheamus shrink a couple inches from all the fighting? This whole "international sensation" deal is backfiring on Sin Cara and Tensai, isn't it? Awkward spot with Tensai on the second rope just waiting to get hit. Sitdown powerbomb only got two on Sheamus, so you knew that was it for Tensai. Running Brogue Kick off the ropes scores three. Sakamoto subject to another beatdown later, I'm guessing.

Eve now sucking up to Booker T, predictable. Teddy Long gets a job and Eve doesn't. We all saw that one coming. Senior Advisor FTW!

Antonio says hello is five languages. I'm sure even I can do that one. Cobra strikes early, but Cesaro's foot under the bottom rope. Antonio hits Neutralizer and pins the U.S. champ. Not that has meant much lately.

While Daniel Bryan is the latest to go mentally unstable, we get a six-man tag. Crowd only chants "YES" even louder. Gotta love it. Oh, and DB's finisher is now the NO lock. What's next, the I DON'T KNOW lock? Great six-man tag. Jericho looks like he's gonna win, then Vickie distraction and DB rollup for three.

With Jinder Mahal being a big asset for the Indian population now that Khali is again sidelined after more surgery (something about a growth on his pituitary gland to prevent that disease that led to Andre's death), I'm not too sure if feeding him to Ryback is the best move. But then again, if it actually means more screen time for Mahal, then I don't think he'll mind very much. Just watch out for the stiff lariats.

More chicanery from Mahal, resorting to using a microphone to lose by DQ. Still no effect. Good way to build the feud (which is what I'm assuming is happening) while keeping Ryback strong. No rating here.

Primetime Players with AW are back on. AW got reprimanded for his Kobe Bryant sexual assault reference on RAW (and heat from the locker room), but I guess it didn't stop him too much otherwise. Darren Young in singles action against R-Truth. Numbers game catches up to Boom Jimmys. D-Young hits his gutbuster for three. Match was what...2-3 minutes?

Layla congratulates Booker on the GM job. Cody gets Sin Cara next week. So Booker, how about rejuvenating a divas division that coulda actually meant something by now? Can we get Sara Del Rey to the main roster pronto? How about more Beth Phoenix?

Orton now has more of a shaved mohawk look since returning on RAW. ADR with a few big shots on Orton, including a big kick right to the face in the corner. Ricardo causes the DQ when Orton tried to make the comeback. No RKO tonight...never mind, Sheamus throws ADR back into the ring, and there's your RKO.

Booker T with a nice job as a face GM. I guess AJ's more of a tweener GM for now, being rebellious on heel Punk but not necessarily making decisions favoring just "good guys" or only "bad guys."

8/2/12 Impact

Austin Aries & Kenny King vs. Bobby Roode & Zema Ion: **3/4

Bully Ray vs. Robbie E: N/A (semi-squash)

Madison Rayne vs. Tara vs. Gail Kim vs. Mickie James: **1/2

Chavo Guerrero vs. Kid Kash: *3/4

James Storm vs. Kurt Angle: **

So that whole Aries/King vs. Roode/Ion match that was the main event? Yeah, the brawl begins at the beginning of the show. Crowd was nuts throughout the match. Roode stays scared of Aries once the match begins, but at least came in for offense on Kenny King. Typical heel tactics keep Aries at bay. Aries still got in to take Roode out. King hits his finisher on Ion for three.

Sting, James Storm, and Angle further the whole Aces and Eights storyline. From what I'm reading, the main guy behind everything is still supposed to be Jeff Jarrett, and Storm will just be the on-screen guy to blame everything on until then. If only the Nexus storyline went more like this and didn't lose all that momentum....

Who the hell keeps a damn martini glass in a locker?! Keep classy, Daniels.

Three big four-way BFG Series matches at Hardcore Justice. First, a Ladder match between Styles, Angle, Daniels, and Joe. Falls Count Anywhere match with Anderson, RVD, Pope, and Magnus. Finally, a Tables match between Hardy, Storm, Bully, and Robbie E.

BFG Series match between Robbie and Bully. Bully is now a Tweet machine. Whatever happened to the calfzilla thing? Bully with a quick win on Robbie.

Earl Hebner gives Madison Rayne gifts. Aww. Madison says Earl would never screw the ring. DOUBLE LOL.

A great four-way Knockouts match between Madison, Tara, Gail, and Mickie. Tessmacher on commentary. Lots of counters, and the match flowed pretty well. Earl's questionable officiating took center stage at the critical moments, but he otherwise called it down the middle as usual. It's a great way to make things seem innocuous, yet so effective and sneaky. Even Tessmacher got fooled with the decision, but hey, the smarks in Internet land knew better. Mickie pinned last week, Tara pinned this week, Gail screwed at least twice during this match.

Knockouts tag titles haven't been defended in eons. Eric Young's debuting a fishing show. Why haven't they taken the titles off him and ODB yet? Then again, why are the titles still existing? With people like Velvet and Angelina Love now gone from TNA, the roster's taken a serious blow, and frankly, they're better off just having the Knockouts singles belt and nothing more.

Time for Chavo's first TNA match against Kid Kash. Can't go wrong with two veterans. Even Grandma Guerrero is in the house. Hernandez and Gunner are also out to watch. Not bad here. Three Amigos and Frog Splash win it.

Wes Brisco shows up with Kurt Angle. Brisco probably now a lock to be one of the Aces and Eights members, especially after Devon and Garett Bischoff show up to tell Angle they'll be down there during the match. Oh, and whatever happened to defending that TV each week? I miss that.

Claire Lynch baby shower by Kaz and Daniels. AJ Styles in Australia. Claire has the creepy look down pat. Crowd's pretty much not too interested right now. Do the right thing, AJ! God, I'm really not caring for this storyline right now....

Tweetfabe? That's a new one.

Storm and Angle in a BFG Series battle. 2nd and 3rd place square off in the main event. More matches next week. Sting, Aries, Devon, Garett, and Bully out there as promised. Your usual Kurt Angle match here. Angle holds Storm in the ankle lock for eons. Storm with a kick to the head, then Last Call on one leg for three. Wished the crowd actually cared more about the match, but I'm sure they were all waiting for Aces and Eights. Seven points for Storm.

No Aces and Eights tonight. Roode quick to explain Storm won so he didn't need any help. Frankly, while watching, it was the only good explanation I could think of myself. Crowd seemed to lose the fire and passion they had at the start of the show, though.

8/2/12 Superstars

Tyson Kidd vs. Heath Slater: ***

Layla vs. Natalya: *

Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel: ***1/2

Kidd and Slater start things off this week. Nice to see Kidd get a nice pop from the crowd. Major props for the lengthy match. Back and forth things went. Both guys had chances to win. Crowd into it. No complaints.

Divas match next between Layla and Natalya. I keep forgetting Layla is still the Divas champ; shows just how much Vince cares about the title. Nattie plays an OK whiny heel. Match had some flow, but still scattered at times. Layla wins with a kick to the head.

Gabriel and Cody in the main event. Cody countered with a sick powerbomb on the floor, and Gabriel barely made it back in. JG growing his hair out, kinda looking like a smaller Mason Ryan now. Not sure why JG slapped his hand on the mat three times after (sorta) hitting that corkscrew on Cody...maybe just didn't like that he almost missed it? Impressive main event and an awesome Superstars.