Saturday, September 29, 2012

9/28/12 Smackdown

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella (U.S. Title): *3/4

Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya: **1/2

Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder: *1/2

Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: 3/4*

Ryback vs. Tensai: 1/2*

Big Show vs. Randy Orton: **1/4

Smackdown's in Buffalo this week! Big Show starts things off with wanting to be world champ again. No more of the 45-second reigns and missing out on main eventing WM. Orton says not so fast, gotta go through him. Del Rio's turn to talk trash -- and then he eats an RKO.

Antonio Cesaro has reportedly "dumped" Aksana and now flying solo. Santino doesn't have to worry about that Aksana distraction now in the U.S. Title match. Santino with some Marella Martial Arts to expand the moveset. Cesaro capitalizes on a mistake and hits the Neutralizer for the win. Not bad on the match, good crowd reaction. So um, how many legit challengers does Antonio really have now?

The Kane/DB skits are awesome. I still wish it was Team Friendship, though.

Divas action. Beth Phoenix in her hometown, but they omit all ring entrances. How considerate of Vince. So Kaitlyn said her assailant had blonde hair. Two blondes in the ring. Nice move, Eve. Awesome chain wrestling to start. Edge said on Twitter that this would be a great match, and damn, it was. A couple of false finishes thrown in. Rarely do I say this, but I wish this Divas match got more time. Best divas match of the year, easily.

If they had a few more minutes, it woulda been a VERY rare ***+ women's match. Why the hell can't they do THIS even a little more often?!

Eve crashes the party and says Beth is indefinitely suspended, ignoring Natalya's also a blonde. Hey, it gets heel heat. Mission accomplished. Of course, Beth goes to Booker and it's all reversed. Eve then pins the blame on Teddy Long. Yup. Eve's better as a heel.

Booker with an 8-team single elimination tournament idea, with the winners facing Kane and DB at Hell in a Cell. Love the idea.

Wade Barrett gets a win over Zack Ryder this week. Decent match for its brevity; somewhere around 3 minutes for this aggression-packed match. Slow push back to where Wade was before the injury, I suppose. Souvenir is a nice effective finisher.

Time for Miz TV. Guest is Sheamus, who takes the mic and makes it a comedic scene. Vickie and Ziggler come out uninvited. Dolph reminds Sheamus of the MITB briefcase wild card. Sheamus takes out both Dolph and Miz. Keeping the champ booked strong.

They replay Lawler's interview segment on RAW. Still just a great sight that Lawler's still with us. Could have been fatal anywhere else.

First tag tournament match next. Usos without the war dance this time. I love the "Rhodes Scholars" name a lot. Just wish they used more of the lower midcard talent to fill the gaps. Very short here, Rhodes Scholars with the win.

Other first-round matches we'll see: Santino/Ryder vs. Gabriel/Kidd; Kofi/Truth vs. Primetime Players; and Epico/Primo vs. Mysterio/Sin Cara. Thinking it'll be Mysterio/Cara and Rhodes Scholars in the finals.

Time to feed Ryback more. No Sakamoto? Tensai with some offense, but Ryback gets the win. Ryback's strength is insane.

Del Rio assaults Orton backstage. Targets the ribs and left shoulder. ADR says he's taking Orton's place, but Orton gets some payback and will compete anyway. Show goes right to the injured body parts. Show takes over most of the match, with Orton only getting brief comeback spots. Slow pace as a result. RKO hit on Show but only two. Show with one chokeslam but a kickout! Show with a second one and it's over. Pretty good, but the end was really the only thing I could stomach.

Show with WMD to Orton after the match. Statement made to Sheamus. Still can't see Show winning this feud. Huge feather in Sheamus' cap if he can knock Show off.

Oh, and WWE released Kelly Kelly yesterday (Friday). Not surprised; it was all but imminent. WWE couldn't get the real-life Barbara Blank to re-sign with the company, and so now she's off to greener pastures. Acting is probably next in some way. Wishing her the best.

9/27/12 Superstars

Heath Slater vs. Yoshi Tatsu: *

Ted DiBiase vs.Michael McGillicutty: *3/4

Layla vs. Eve: 3/4*

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston: **3/4

Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre to the ring together. Slater does his flashy showboating air guitar and looks completely out of place next to the other two guys. I'm amused that Yoshi's entrance video still has him with the face paint and Yoshi no longer sports such a look. Slater picks up the win here, as if there really was any doubt. Gotta put over the new group.

DiBiase and McGillicutty next. Very good chemistry here between the two, nice counters and a good pace. Dream Street wins it for Ted. More time and this gets into two-star territory for me.

Eve and Layla on Superstars now in a non-title match. Eve with a nice triangle choke with armbar during the match. All that MMA stuff has served her well. No need for the flashy moonsaults as a heel anyway. You know why? Because they BOTCHED the moonsault miss! Dammit. Layla hits her straight kick for the win. Way to help your champ there, WWE. Not.

The divas roster is so depleted right now; Kelly Kelly's departure didn't help at all. At least Beth and Natalya had a killer match on Smackdown, as you will see on that recap.

I'd seriously consider getting divas like Paige to the main roster. It's not like it'll do her any good in the long term to be on NXT anyway, and Paige has the skills to be on either of the two main shows. Regarding Sara Del Rey, I guess she has some independent dates to fill first before heading to WWE. I've read that WWE does have something planned for the divas in the future. Right now, the focus is the tag division.

Kofi and Dolph in the main event on Superstars. Basically the match of the show by default. Can't go wrong with these two if you give them time. Kofi appears to tweak the left knee during the match, so Dolph goes after that. Trouble in Paradise hit, but Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Zigzag gets three for DZ. Pretty good, could be a lot better for sure, but they're just held to a higher standard.

Friday, September 28, 2012

9/27/12 Impact

Christopher Daniels vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero: **1/4

Tara vs. ODB: 1/2*

Samoa Joe vs. Mr. Anderson (TV Title): *1/2

Austin Aries & Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray & Bobby Roode: **3/4

Hulk Hogan starts the show, black baseball bat in hand. He addresses some other stuff first. First, the TV Title, since Devon's now gone from the company. Samoa Joe, Magnus, Garett Bischoff, and Anderson. Garett?! Seriously? Nice pull, Eric, but your son's likely jobbing. Roode and Storm in a street fight at BFG. Special enforcer for street fight is King Mo, the MMA guy who wants to try his hand at pro wrestling.

Sting's back! Sting going with Hulk to the Aces & Eights clubhouse as backup.

Singles action between some of the guys in the tag title triple threat at BFG. I frankly am looking forward to this one because it reminds me so much of the 2002 Smackdown Six gang. Speaking of which, Angle and Chavo were part of that Smackdown Six ten years ago. Daniels joins the party for this triple threat, and I can't complain.

Kaz trips Chavo up, and Chavo thinks it was AJ who did it. Nice to stir up animosity, but the four faces quickly figure out what really happened. All three non-wrestling tag partners then get ejected. Brian Stifler is the ref? YEAH STIFLER! Quick, fast-paced wrestling match. Daniels steals one with the STO.

Hogan with the four guys to choose from for the TV Title. He takes Magnus out first. Really? Garett shoulda been the first one gone. Then again, I'd have it be a fatal four way just to change it up.

Brooke Hogan and Tara. Stacy Keibler and George Clooney are still together, yeah. Whatever. Tara's match is next so she can earn her title shot. Hey, Tara stood in line for that phone!

Hey, ODB's back as Tara's opponent! The Knockouts Tag belts still exist? Tara plays possum with an "injured" right knee (the one with the knee brace). Slow inside cradle for three. Duh. Lame. I dunno if they had to switch the finish or anything, but it wasn't the greatest finish ever.

Gut Check judges deliberate on Evan Markopoulos. Bruce Prichard and Al also address the whole deal with Joey Ryan, and Al wants to move past it all.

Hogan finally cuts Garett. The look on GB's face makes me want him to go heel and be next up to face the eventual TV champ, whether that's Joe or Anderson.

TV Title time. Fairly basic match. Joe slaps on that choke for a couple minutes and Anderson passes out, so Joe wins the title. Too convincing a win. Wanted it to be way more competitive than that. Ugh.

Wow, Aces & Eights got a woman to blind Hogan and Sting for the ambush. Very cool. Hogan and Sting are hooded and tossed into a white van.

Gut Check time for Evan. Huge YES chants from the crowd. Taz loves the upside and he says yes. Prichard of course says no (citing needs more time). Kickout time for Evan, who's done his homework on Al Snow's career. Al says Evan's basically too young and not ready yet, so it's a no. Can't agree here. I'd rather see Evan on Impact than a bunch of the guys on the current roster. He could really be an addition to the X-Division, at the very least.

Hogan and Sting are tied in chairs as the "leader" talks. Joseph Park shown tied up in another room. A&E wants two of Hogan's toughest guys at BFG. Hogan immediately agrees. Two on two and Hogan must watch. A&E wins, they get full access to the building. A&E loses, they go away. So um, of course A&E is winning. In the meantime, Park is A&E insurance until the match occurs but supposedly nothing will happen to him.

Bound for Glory is October 14 in Phoenix. Really a fan of Southwestern flavors, so I'd love to check out the food there one day.

Main event tag ends the show. Yup, only four matches that I saw. Fun start to the match, then heels take over as usual. Crowd really alive for this match. Interesting Aries didn't make the tag to Hardy when he could have. Brainbuster to Roode. Hardy tags himself in and hits the swanton for three. Aries didn't like that one bit. Tension!

It's still a couple weeks before BFG, but doing some quick predictions for right now:

Aces & Eights: Seems a virtual lock Sting will be one of the guys to represent Hogan's side. Not sure yet who the second guy will be, but this could be the time to reveal the identity of A&E's "leader," whether it's the big masked guy who's been talking all this time, or someone else. I'm still convinced Joseph Park would end up siding with A&E as well. Either way, A&E must clearly win this or all this screentime for the faction will be for nothing.

Aries/Hardy: Hardy's been given a title shot because his contract's expiring and he has interest in returning to WWE. At this time, I still gotta go with Aries retaining. I'd still expect a damn good match. Roode likely will try to interfere and cost Aries just so RR can get a title shot again. It'll be interesting to see, though, if Bully Ray plays a role here, too.

Tag Title Triple Threat: I honestly think this will be the match of the night if given ample time. It could be a great way for Chavo and Hernandez to get the titles, and I'm truly hoping that occurs. The other four guys don't really need it as much. Chavo's the newbie to the TNA roster, give him a good push.

Storm/Roode: It'll be a street fight and King Mo is the special enforcer. It won't reach the 1997 Hart/Austin level with Shamrock as the enforcer, but I'm hoping for a good 20+ minutes here. Storm should get the win in my book.

Tessmacher/Tara: Knockouts roster is severely decimated after several women have put their notice in to leave. I honestly hope there are others waiting to get a shot. Note Gail Kim has been off TV for a bit, as has Madison Rayne and Mickie James (Mickie right now nursing an injury). Tara's trying to become the dominant heel Knockout right now and should garner the win. Cheating virtually guaranteed. Tessmacher's doing fine, but having a veteran heel champ can lead to overall better matches.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

9/26/12 NXT

Michael McGillicutty vs. Bo Dallas: **

Leo Kruger vs. Jake Carter: *1/4

Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno: ***

McGillicutty and Bo start things off. Crowd somehow is alive for least they're chanting stuff with each strike that I'm too lazy to figure out. Good competitive match here. I'd call it a pretty lame heel finish. Holding onto the ropes then capitalizing afterward.

Finally saw a video package on Paige where she actually speaks, really liked it.

Jake Carter is "your girlfriend's favorite." How original. He faces Leo Kruger here. Nice stuff from Kruger, seemingly toying with Carter at times like Jake was some animal in South Africa. Kruger gets the win with his version of a cutter. Crowd wasn't really into it much.

Ryback on NXT to destroy two jobbers. Ryback's singlet got torn, so I guess the big man's pissed now. Fans buying into the "Feed me more" line. Shellshock on both guys for the win.

Steamboat and Ohno go at it. Should be a pretty good feud for NXT. Lots of chops here, Richie channels a lot of his famous dad's moveset. Hard-hitting encounter with several near falls. Nice crowd reaction. Awesome finish. Ohno goes for his rolling elbow, Steamboat ducks, and inside cradle gets three for Richie. Considering the much smaller crowd, it was really good stuff. More than worthy to be put in front of 10,000+.

Kassius with the rolling elbow shot to the back of the head post-match. Crossface-like move we saw last week put on Richie. Need five refs to pull KO off. Should be a nice feud here, fellas.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

9/24/12 RAW

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston: ***1/2

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Santino Marella & Zack Ryder: 3/4*

Ryback vs. Miz: *

Wade Barrett vs. Tyson Kidd: *

Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, & Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio, David Otunga, & Ricardo Rodriguez: **

Eve Torres & Beth Phoenix vs. Layla & Alicia Fox: DUD

Brodus Clay vs. Tensai: N/A

Heyman and Punk at the top of the show, holding the show hostage after the "injustice" that happened last week. Ref Brad Maddox summoned to the ring. Berating of Maddox and AJ from Heyman and Punk. AJ to the ring. Yup, we see the whole AJ proposal rejection again. But hell, Heyman with a marriage proposal? Somehow, I woulda loved to see an AJ/Heyman power trip. But it's a vintage slap here.

AJ with her two-faced happy-mentally unstable persona on Maddox. Yeah, watch Brad screw up again eventually.

Kofi and Ziggler first. Truth throws water in Vickie's face, or maybe that was Little Jimmy's fault. Truth and Vickie (and Little Jimmy) are ejected. Cole's been using the term "glancing blow" a lot lately. Tremendous match between Kofi and Dolph that makes me wonder how the hell these two are still basically in upper midcard at best. Extremely exciting in the last few minutes. Tons of athleticism. Crowd ate it all up.

Criss Angel is the social media ambassador tonight. Yeah, whatever.

Cena's love on RAW later despite his elbow surgery that likely will prevent him from wrestling at Hell in a Cell. You can bet the farm he'll be there in some capacity anyway if that's the case. Cena is a crazy fast healer, though. Not to mention that WWE's doing the "Rise Above Cancer" deal with Cena as the poster boy.

Tag match between Primetime Players and Santino/Ryder. Basic match here. Blind tag allows Titus to hit his sitdown powerbomb on Santino for three.

Mick Foley time! Nice pop for the hardcore legend. Promo on Punk, which prompts the champ's presence. Foley with the question for Punk that many want to know: why Punk aligned himself with Paul Heyman. Foley doesn't actually bash Heyman, but notes Paul does things for himself and that Punk can get much further on his own. Plus, Punk doesn't need the mouthpiece. Foley references the epic 1998 HIAC match with Taker. Long story short, it's an epic confrontation between Foley and Punk. Does Punk want to be a statistic or a legend? Punk goes face to face with Cena later tonight.

Ryback destroyed the Miz TV set last week, impressive. So Ryback faces Miz. Vince has finally pulled the trigger for Ryback to face more quality opponents. Fans still chant "Gold-berg." Fan storms the ring near the end of the match, JR and Cole ignore it. Ryback with a convincing win. Shellshocked is the name of Ryback's finisher.

Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Mae Young(!!!!) with a spoof of the "When Harry Met Sally" classic segment. I'll have what they're having! YES!

Barrett and Kidd next. Wade obviously goes over here. Finisher is called The Souvenir. I don't think it's the greatest name, but it's not bad, either.

Cole conducts a satellite interview with Lawler. The silver lining here is that Cole's commentary has gotten so much better that he's dropped the overbearing heel act. He had great chemistry with JBL, and it's never a bad thing to be paired with Jim Ross.

Interesting that Lawler's last memory of that 9/10 RAW was the opening segment and he thought he was in Aruba with his girlfriend when he really was in the Montreal hospital. So he probably was on autopilot during his match that night. Just a feel-good moment for the WWE Universe. I hope that, when Lawler returns, Cole keeps the toned-down neutral stance he's had lately.

I only now realized Otunga grew his goatee back. Yeah, I'm so observant. Six-man tag next. Ricardo is legally in the match but still wearing his tux. At least RR knows the tag team wrestling basics. Otunga tags RR back in when avoiding the Brogue Kick, and it's basically all over for Ricardo. Huge chest blows, 619, and Sin Cara senton get the win. Otunga eats a Brogue Kick post-match. Ouch.

Identity therapy time! DB gets to eat pasta (spaghetti and meatballs?) and Kane eats salad. Walk a mile in the other's shoes. Kane with a loud belch (sound piped in) and DB hurls on Dr. Shelby. Check, please! LOL.

Twitter to determine tag name of DB and Kane. Choices are Team Teamwork, Team Hell No, or Team Friendship. Easily Team Friendship for me. But Team Hell No wins with 59%. At least Team Friendship got 38%. NO! Sad panda! Rhodes and Sandow with a quick ambush on the tag champs. Terminus (something like that) was likely the name of Sandow's finisher...? Team Rhodes Scholars? I love it. Oh yeah, and Sandow also has ditched the pink tights because pink = Cena now.

Tag division has really boosted lately. You can thank HHH for that one.

Eve and Beth team up for divas tag action. Beth's still rumored to be leaving the company next month, which would bea huge blow to an already-depleted divas division. Crowd not into this at all. Eve with the blind tag so she can basically pick the bones on a weakened Alicia -- not to mention that it wouldn't do any good to have someone on the way out of the company get the pin anyway. Yawn.

Kaitlyn says her attacker was a blonde. So it's point-the-finger time at Beth. Eve takes Beth out. WTF. Makes no sense to me from a storyline standpoint. It didn't help Eve gain any cheers, and frankly wouldn't have done so anyway. If that was a way to get Beth out of the company, they could have handled it much better than that.

I'd look for the "real" attacker to either be Natalya or some other diva wearing a wig (whether it's Eve herself or some other person). With the divas division in desperate need of a strong worker, I'd lean toward bringing Sara Del Rey in as a dominant face ASAP if I had it my way. SDR would be the one taking Beth out, then Natalya. Why? They are former Divas/Women's champs. Heck, I'd have SDR even defeat all the divas not named Eve Torres to send a strong message. Eve's not bad in the ring and does well as a heel. I'm not opposed to her title reign, but working with a solid in-ring indy star could make Eve's matches better and possibly resurrect at least a little life into this division.

Brodus and Tensai this week in a battle of super heavyweights. Or not. Big Show comes down and KOs both guys. Match thrown out. Missed seeing Show on TV. Sucks that Tensai had some good hype coming in, but any push got derailed early on.

Show and Orton on Smackdown this Friday.

Cena closes the show. Right arm in a sling. He plugs the whole breast cancer stuff and then gets down to Punk and his arm. Cena vows to walk into Hell in a Cell to fight. Only a matter of time before Punk and Heyman arrive. Punk gives Cena 'til five to leave. Cena has a lead pipe and decks Punk in the gut.

Punk kicks Foley in the gut backstage and then wants more. RYBACK! Really? That'd be one gigantic push. Probably gonna take place on a future RAW. While it'd be cool to give Ryback a win over the champ, it'll likely end up being some type of no-contest.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

9/21/12 Smackdown

Damien Sandow vs. Kane: 3/4*

Layla vs. Natalya: 1/2*

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

Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan: 1/2*

Brodus Clay vs. Heath Slater: N/A

Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro: 1/2*

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow: *

YES EDGE STARTS THE SHOW. Glad he kept the short hair. So he's no longer under contract, but hey, always cool to make special appearances. Edge has never seen anything like Kane and Daniel Bryan as a tag team. Hug it out! Enter DB. Nice Vickie reference, Daniel. NO YES NO YES NO YES! Hahaha. Kane pyro time. Wait, was Barney a big red dinosaur? Thought he was purple. Don't ask how I know that. HUG IT OUT WITH KANE AND EDGE. That's gold Jerry, gold! GROUP HUG? Damn you, Sandow.

Thus, we get Kane and Sandow. Kane and DB argue on the tag team champions dealie, and Sandow takes advantage for the win. Sounds about right.

I dunno why, but this damn DB/Kane storyline is awesome. I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS.

Eve on commentary as Layla takes on Natalya. Wait, shouldn't Layla get one of those auto rematches as the former champ? Eh, whatever. Poor Nattie doing jobbing duty again.

In related divas news, rumor mill churning that Beth Phoenix is set to retire at the end of October. Would be a shame to lose one of the divas on the roster that can actually wrestle. Then again, the division has been in the crapper for a while now. Where's Sara Del Rey when you need her?

With Cena now wearing pink to support breast cancer, Ziggler has switched to a black shirt. Lots of action here. Great flow to the match, and you could see the chemistry these four have. Ziggler tries to use the MITB briefcase, but eats a Brogue Kick. Faces pick up the win.

Should be interesting to note that Orton could still be on TV even as he films a movie. All depends on the shooting schedule.

DB now in a match against Cody Rhodes. All part of anger management! Kane enters and does the pyros as DB tries to put the NO lock on. Cross Rhodes for three. Yup. Back to anger management! DB belongs in a petting zoo! YES. Sandow and Rhodes aren't amused. Kane and DB obliviously back on the same page. YES.

Brodus is back on Smackdown with both Funkadactyls. Facing Heath Slater. Air guitar time! After some boring stuff, McIntyre and Jinder storm the ring for the DQ. Slater joins in for a 3-on-1 assault.

Santino picks up a win on Cesaro when Aksana falls in the ring trying to grab that cobra sleeve and the had to tend to her. Note the Neutralizer wasn't used, but instead it was the Euro uppercut. Santino with the rollup for the win and he gets to celebrate. Sorry, no title change here.

Tag match is the main event. Talk about strange bedfellows on both sides. Other tag teams surround the ring, almost lumberjack style. Nice tags at seemingly the wrong time. Cody with the chair shot for the DQ. Kane and DB grab the upper hand and start taking out all the tag teams together with chairs. Breakthrough! Brilliant! Damn, I love this storyline. Not the best matches, but it's damn entertaining.

9/20/12 Superstars

Ted DiBiase vs. JTG: **

Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal: *3/4

David Otunga vs. Tyson Kidd: *1/4

Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Titus O'Neil & Darren Young: *3/4

Ted DiBiase returns to TV after all those injuries (ankle. shoulder, wrist) and now hails from Mississippi. Same gimmick. JTG's still from Brooklyn, and the new ring gear hasn't done anything for his career. I wanna go to one of those DiBiase Posse parties. Pretty good match here, DiBiase must have shaken off most of that ring rust. Dream Street wins it for Ted.

Drew McIntyre has a great entrance theme, but he's been stuck in the midcard ranks ever since his whole "Chosen One" gimmick and feud with then-Smackdown GM Teddy Long ended. He seemed destined for a nice rise to the top, but perhaps it's been a blessing in disguise. Drew's had some awesome matches with various opponents since and I find he's one of the more underrated guys on the roster. Decent win for Drew with his Future Shock DDT.

Otunga actually WON against Tyson Kidd? Amazing. Pretty basic match, and thankfully, Kidd's offense made it much more watchable.

Usos and Primetime Players in the main event. Another great tag match with nice crowd reaction. Fairly formulaic as usual, but with a few tag team moves thrown in. Primetime Players with the win. Striker calls it Devastation Inc. Nice name. "Millions of dollars!"

Friday, September 21, 2012

9/20/12 Impact

AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez: ***1/2

Douglas Williams vs. Evan Markopoulos: *1/2

James Storm vs. Bobby Roode: *1/2

Austin Aries vs. Bully Ray: **3/4

Shaq is on Impact! It's also Open Fight Night and Gut Check night.

Styles and Angle start the show, and they call out Chavo and Hernandez. I love it already. Match was a thing of beauty. Lots of great wrestling and reminds me of those tag matches with the Smackdown Six in 2002. Kaz and Daniels ambush the ring and cause the no-contest. But yeah folks, THAT was wrestling.

Hulk then makes official what we all knew: triple threat tag title match at BFG. Another match that should be outstanding. Considering this will be their biggest PPV of the year, I hope to give this match four stars.

Joseph Park has the evidence in his hands and Hogan is stoked.

Gut Check time! Evan Markopoulos is our contestant this month. Nice experience for a kid who's only 18. Awesome pop for Evan. Opponent is Douglas Williams. HELL YES, GREAT PICK.Typical master vs. student type of match. I swear Williams' gut is getting bigger, though. Evan got a bunch of offense in, although it stayed relatively basic. Williams witha submission win. I'd call it the best Gut Check match we've seen so far. I'd give him a contract for sure.

James Storm promo. He calls Roode a coward and calls him out. RR is in his suit. Roode refuses. Hogan gives him three minutes to accept or it's basically no more meaningful wrestling for Roode. Roode reluctantly goes out and Storm goes right to town. Crowd's loving it. Yup, even the beer makes a cameo. Nice fan participation. Both Storm and Roode end up shoving Brian Hebner out of the way, so ref calls the match off. We've got another BFG match....

Hogan wants to know where Joseph Park is. Aces & Eights tell Hogan they have a corporate lawyer. Park deemed to be held hostage.

Tara heel promo on her actions last week. The whole "fans used me to get on TV" reasoning. Christy Hemme called out. Woohoo. Tessmacher with the save. Segment did its job.

Championship Thursday next week. Looks like they even used the TV Title for all that. Wait, didn't Devon leave the company as the TV champ? Yeah.

Hogan promo on Aces & Eights. Park's laptop is smashed and then he's taken out. Good lead into next week.

Aries calls out Bully Ray for the main event. Aries with the hot start, then Bully gets on the offensive. Vintage Earl "I'm sticking up to the bully" Hebner. Ref bump in this one, and Earl misses Bully tapping to the Last Chancery. Bully with the chain to Aries' face and he gets three. Easily the second-best match of the night. Please, do not ever make me see Bully on top of Hebner ever again.

Bully tries a title belt shot, but Hardy makes the save. Staredown between Aries and Hardy in the ring to hype BFG.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

9/19/12 NXT

Trent Barreta vs. Johnny Curtis: *

Paige vs. Alicia Fox: *1/4

Conor O'Brian vs. Jimmy Uso: *1/4

Kassius Ohno vs. Oliver Gray: N/A (squash)

Seth Rollins vs. Rick Victor: *1/2

Trent Barreta finally returns to TV after a torn triceps injury kept him out for six months. Nothing's really changed for Johnny Curtis, still a lame gimmick (can we even call it that?) and not much progress. Crowd largely dead, have a feeling that they pumped some crowd reaction in. Gobstopper Knee gives Trent the win. Not horrible. It honestly looked better than the rating I gave it, but hard to get into it when the crowd isn't real alive.

Ha, Paige seems to be getting a larger reaction than Barreta or Curtis. Good mat wrestling from Paige, numerous pin attempts. Much more vocal crowd here. Alicia still only has like 3-4 moves. Paige with the win after that cradle DDT. Good finisher, nice agility from both divas.

Usos and Ascension continue their singles matches here. Jimmy and Conor square off. Hey Regal, you know why Jey's not doing anything to help Jimmy? Because the ref is watching and would DQ the Usos. So Jey eventually does try to help, ref distracted, Cameron trips Jimmy up. Duh. Conor with a running dropkick to the face for three. Sounds about right. Ascension also beat up Jimmy after the match. Making a statement, good job.

Looks like McGillicutty's next feud is with Bo Dallas. Sounds good to me.

Sparring session with Kassius Ohno. I think the jobber's name was Oliver Gray, something like that. Doesn't matter, does it? Some type of sit-down crossface hold makes Gray tap. Ohno gives him another shot. Ref restarts the match. Rolling elbow and that crossface move again. No rating. Richie Steamboat with the save, so I guess they ultimately will go at it.

Rollins and Victor in the main event. Jim Ross joins on commentary. Victor gets in most of the offense in the early going. Slow pace. Probably one of the best Blackouts delivered here. Seth gets the win after a short comeback. Just a basic match to put the champ over.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

9/17/12 RAW

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Primo & Epico: *3/4

Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix: 1/4*

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

Dolph Ziggler vs. Santino Marella: *1/4

Wade Barrett vs. Justin Gabriel: *

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth: *3/4

Randy Orton vs. Tensai: *1/4

Damien Sandow vs. Zack Ryder: *1/2

John Cena & Sheamus vs. CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio: **1/4

JBL and Jim Ross on commentary alongside Cole this week.

Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara continue their success as a tag team against Primo and Epico. Natural fit that these four would square off, given their lucha backgrounds. I guess there was a ton of Spanish communication here. Still expecting Mysterio and Cara to ultimately win the tag titles later down the road, then a potential WM29 faceoff. Glad to see the tag division has some steam going again. Pretty short, but lots of fun.

Primetime Players ambush the masked ones. Guess they changed the name of Titus' finisher to The Big Deal? Fine by me. Gotta make a statement.

Eve's the new Divas champ and unfortunately, Beth's still on jobbing duty. Match was what, not even two minutes? Hope it's just WWE trying to craft new stars and not something Beth actually did. Layla was on commentary and probably will get her rematch soon. I'd hope for a long Divas run for Eve, but I'm still waiting for Sara Del Rey to appear. I'll probably never understand why SDR hasn't appeared yet, but I hope she eventually debuts and makes it a memorable one.

Oh, and WWE's running an injury deal for Kaitlyn -- a torn tendon. Didn't see any legitimacy to it as of this blog post, so it may be to get her more in-ring training or a little time off TV.

Cesaro on commentary with Aksana by his side. Brodus Clay has both Funkadactyls by his side again, so Cameron's suspension is likely over. Heath Slater jobs here; Antonio distraction didn't work. JBL says Brodus is a Justin Timberlake sea monster. ROFL. Damn, I missed JBL.

Miz TV segment. Miz now has his own talk show. How fun. Smackdown GM Booker T is Miz's first guest. Yup, it was boring. And then Ryback came out to destroy the set. Some "GOLD-BERG" chants. Finally, Ryback's got a potential championship feud.

There will be an interview with Jerry Lawler next week (probably via satellite), which should be awesome. Lawler should get a huge pop.

Ziggler continues his hot streak against Santino. Yeah, he lost at Night of Champions, but I really enjoyed his match against Orton. DZ has clearly won the crowd over. No cobra for Santino tonight, but two Zigzags for Santino end it.

Wade Barrett on RAW to face Gabriel. Yeah, these two know each other well. Nice Corre reference. Crowd chants "We want Nexus!" Smart fans. Wade with his short-arm forearm again for three. Basic match.

Jared the Subway guy is back. Three sandwiches for the Boom Jimmys. Even Sandow got a meatball marinara. You're welcome. Ryder gets an Italian sub. Feed Ryback more! That was cool.

Tag title rematch time. Still say that Gatorade bath backstage spot last night was so awesome. DB and Kane continue their conflicts and keep winning. This time, DB gets the submission win for the team. I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! HUG IT OUT! Un-freakin-real.

Orton faces Tensai tonight. Orton's no longer getting the massive pops he once had. Tensai jobs here in a slow-paced match. Wished the crowd was more into it.

Sandow with his English lesson, but Ryder interrupts Professor Buzzkill. Oh, now Cole is amused with Ryder after being all sick of him a few weeks ago. I guess we have JBL to thank. Sandow's got purple gear this time. Nice Broski Boot from Ryder, but Sandow with his neckbreaker for three.

Main event time. Cena/Sheamus and Punk/Del Rio. Looks like Ricardo has a hard neck brace on this time. Yup, Cena showing he can actually wrestle. Did hell freeze over again? Match got a good amount of time, as the main event should. Can't go wrong with these four. Poor ADR ate another Brogue Kick. Cena with AA to Punk for three. Punk had the foot on the ropes and the ref missed it. Looked like a new ref anyway. Punk berates the ref all the way to the back. Yup, all part of the storyline.

Monday, September 17, 2012

9/16/12 Night of Champions

Miz vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara (IC Title): ***1/4

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (Tag Team Titles): **1/4

Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder (U.S. Title): **1/4

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler: ****1/4

Eve Torres Kaitlyn vs. Layla (Divas Title): 3/4*

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

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

We're in Boston for Night of Champions! Middle rope is pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Oh yeah, and Cena will be debuting pink attire tonight as well.

Cole addresses Lawler's situation, praising the WWE ringside physician and medical crew in Montreal. Lawler to be released from the hospital this week, great news indeed! Joining Cole on commentary: JBL! YES! Big ovation for JBL. Loved his color commentary on Smackdown.

IC Title Fatal Four Way first up. Mysterio's got purple and red attire, while Sin Cara back to the blue and white. Great match here that got a ton of time. Good stuff between Cara and Mysterio, then even Cody and Miz went at it. Really the typical spotfest many people predicted. ROFL at JBL thinking Miz would just be a Kardashian brother. Real good ending. Miz has Cara's (second) mask on and hits Cody with the SCF to win. Miz can use a claim like he didn't know it was Rhodes. Any way you put it, it furthers that storyline. And come on, you knew Rey and Sin Cara weren't winning.

Primetime Players complain to Eve that they don't have their tag title shot. Eve gets motioned to the back. Kaitlyn's in tears saying someone struck her from behind. It's a Nancy Kerrigan-like scene, but at least Kaitlyn's not screaming "WHY?!" Eve deems Kaitlyn unable to compete. Trainer didn't say anything.

Time for tag title match. Daniel Bryan and Kane have awesome chemistry. JBL great as heel commentator. Fans are NUTS for DB. I was rolling on the floor for this one. HUG IT OUT DAMMIT! Yup, only in this match could Kofi and Truth actually get booed against their tag opponents. DB and Kane as new tag champs? YES! Let's hear it for Team Friendship!

Eve tells Booker that Kaitlyn "twisted her ankle." Booker gives Eve the title shot instead. True that Eve beat Kaitlyn in a singles match. But yay bonuses!

U.S. Title match next. Cesaro faces Ryder, who won the preshow battle royal to determine the #1 contender. Fairly short match, but a good pace with great spots. JBL praises Cesaro. Ryder with a couple of near falls. Cesaro with Neutralizer to retain his title.

Ricardo's neck is better. Otunga calls him stupid and forces him to wear the neck brace anyway. Oh yeah, and Otunga's in the state where he went to law school. Fun.

Orton and Ziggler go at it. Woohoo, pretty long match here! Some split chants, but Ziggler fans WAY more vocal. Fans really gravitated toward Ziggler at the end of the match. Yet another reason why I know Ziggler is ready to main event. Awesome RKO spot, tossing DZ up in the air and planting him with the RKO for the win. Orton may have gotten the win, but add this to Ziggler's resume of great matches. DZ's a shining star. Sure, I'd love to have more of these quality matches, but then again, I'd get hella spoiled and may lose my appreciation of such stuff.

Orton did indeed flip the bird momentarily on camera just before going into his pounce-and-mat-pound signal for the RKO. Orton apologized afterward on Twitter. Not sure how that will affect Orton, since he's scheduled to do some movie filming soon. At the very least, it could be storyline suspension fodder. Could still be real trouble, though, since that's "not PG."

Divas Title next, and it's no surprise Eve won. Fans weren't totally silent, but not sure how many actually cared. Personally, Layla's reign was a disappointment. I kinda wish she kept the Laycool theme, since changing music to Tiffany's (Taryn Terrell) old theme didn't help. Now I hope there will be some better matches with Eve as champ. Please?

ROFL! Kane with the Gatorade shower to DB, Dr. Shelby, and AJ. And Kane's going to Disneyland. Now THAT was the best skit in the entire angle. Wow. That deserved at least five more replays.

Sheamus vs. Del Rio next. Sheamus' fans are called "hooligans" now. Sheamus should be right at home with the Irish tradition in Boston. Remember the skit with Ricardo's neck actually being fine? Booker reinstates the Brogue Kick for the match, citing the inherent risks of pro wrestling. DUH. Otunga then eats a Brogue Kick. Officials tend to Otunga. Oops. I honestly wanted the Brogue Kick "banned" for a lot longer. Give that Cloverleaf more time to get over as a legit finisher.

ADR targeted the left arm, as predicted. Great counters on signature moves and finishers. Nice spot with Sheamus' bad arm caught in the ropes and ADR kicking that arm repeatedly. On the second cross armbreaker, the camera angle really made it look like Sheamus was tapping when he was just teasing it. Brogue Kick ended it. Still very solid.

Obviously, Punk and Cena was closing the show. Paul Heyman in the ring to praise Punk and his long reign. Simple reasoning so far...Punk's a Paul Heyman guy. Cena gets the hometown ovation, but there's still the obvious Cena haters. Note that Punk is wearing Yankee pinstripe-like tights, awesome. Main event intros.

A bunch of mat wrestling to start, which usually means it'll be a long match. Hey, Cena's father is there. Wasn't he supposed to be banned or something (according to Cena himself)? Yay lack of continuity! Numerous counters for just about everything in the match. Punk really impressed me with unique ways to counter Cena's signature moves. How about Anaconda Vice to STF to Crossface? That is wrestling. Heyman's reaction on the outside was priceless.

Oh yeah, Punk/Cena match of the night for sure. AGAIN. Several false finishes. Punk even did a moonsault. Not the best looking one, and probably made a bit more awkward that Cena only barely moved out of the way. Made up for it with the Rock Bottom false finish spot -- and Cole caught it this time! More false finishes on finishers. Nice second-rope superplex from Cena to get three!

Or so everyone thinks, including me. Cena celebrates, but the ref said BOTH guys' shoulders on the mat so it's a draw. Punk thus retains because he wasn't actually beat. I guess this means they can go at it again? Either way, it was a great finish for Punk's heel reign.

This was easily one of Punk's best matches. Not just in WWE...of his entire wrestling career. And to think, he's had multiple five-star matches from Meltzer.

Hell in a Cell is the next PPV. October 28 in Atlanta.

For the record, just didn't have time to do a predictions video this week. My channel is devoted to food; wrestling takes a backseat there.

I originally thought the tag titles and the World Title would change hands, and I guess I was half right on that. Still think it was a horrible move to not put the title on Del Rio or Ziggler. In the end, it didn't affect the overall quality of the show. Having JBL on color muted Cole and kept him more impartial. Yeah, that means Cole actually was pretty damn good here. I seriously want JBL on the announce team full-time again. Big thumbs up on this PPV. ****

Saturday, September 15, 2012

9/14/12 Smackdown

Sin Cara vs. Miz: *1/2

Kane vs. Kofi Kingston: *

Randy Orton vs. Tensai: **

Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix: *

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan: **1/2

We're in Ottawa for the last Smackdown before Night of Champions. Alberto, Ricardo, and Otunga are in the ring. Now both Ricardo and Otunga are wearing soft neck braces. Ricardo's been speaking a lot more English lately. Now Otunga blames AJ Lee for his "ruptured vertebrae."

Oh, there's Christian! Didn't realize he again had shoulder surgery; otherwise, I woulda pegged him to win that U.S. Title #1 contender battle royal at Night of Champions. Feel bad for the guy, because he's such a great performer. Christian finally agrees the Brogue Kick should stay banned and that's enough for Otunga.

Enter Daniel Bryan. The goat face has more words to ban the Brogue Kick. Oh, and DB faces Sheamus tonight! YES! "Goat face" chants are awesome. Sheamus arrives with some words to remember, names Danny and Berty, and rips Otunga's neck brace off. More damage to David's neck.

Miz and Sin Cara is the first match of the night. The usual formulaic match with heel taking control for most of the match. Cara gets back on offense and does a couple lucha moves. Not sure if the end was botched and then improvised, as Cara probably wanted to do that tilt-a-whirl faceplant to Miz instead of having to deal with a rollup.

IC Title match at Night of Champions is a Fatal Four Way: Miz defends against Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara. I'd quickly rule Mysterio and Cara out. Miz likely retains by picking the bones, most likely when Cody has the match won. I'd have Sin Cara be the one who's pinned here.

It's the stress ball for Kane and DB! Take out that anger! Yes, Dr. Shelby notices they have balls. Kane says his ball is bigger. ROFL. That's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Kane and Kofi in action next. Probably a bit more than a couple minutes long here, Kane victorious. Dr. Shelby on the stage. Kane with the goozle on Kofi again, and we have a hug! Kofi reaction priceless.

Next match is Orton and Tensai. I'd say it lasted around 10 minutes. Orton got his usual signature moves in. Sakamoto takes a punch from Orton. RKO to Tensai and that's it.

Vickie with words for Orton. Orton knows Ziggler's around and catches him trying for the sneak attack. Good stuff. Let Ziggler win on Sunday. The showoff deserves this push.

Antonio Cesaro doesn't like that a battle royal decides his U.S. Title opponent at Night of Champions. Word of the day is "outraged." Hey, Tyson Kidd gets a home country's welcome -- and gets tossed outside. Brodus Clay sans Funkadactyls comes out. He and Kidd take down Cesaro. I guess it's safe to say these are the two advertised favorites for that battle royal.

Wade Barrett with a short promo. Next week, I guess he nukes someone.

Kaitlyn faces Beth Phoenix next. Not bad here. Kaitlyn with a reverse DDT finisher to get the win. Good momentum for Kaitlyn this Sunday. Still not believing she'll walk out with the title, though.

They showed the entire end segment from RAW between Bret Hart, John Cena, and CM Punk. Outstanding stuff that laid out the foundation for the Punk/Cena feud this time around. Nice pop for Cena when he spoke French.

Sheamus and DB in the main event. DB lasted longer than 18 seconds here. Otunga, Ricardo, and Del Rio watching in the back. Guarantee that the crowd would be into this one. Another nice, physical match. DB attacks Sheamus' left arm. DB can't put Sheamus away, and DB gets livid. Keep thinking about that stress ball. No NO lock this time. Sheamus wins with the Cloverleaf; the move is getting some good screen time.

I dunno, I'm still pegging Del Rio to pull it out by cheating this Sunday. Expect a bunch of interference.

Friday, September 14, 2012

9/13/12 Impact

Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt: **

AJ Styles vs. Kazarian: **1/2

Chavo Guerrero vs. Christopher Daniels: *1/2

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

Aries starts the show, happy he got a piece of Aces & Eights. He shifts talk to BFG and asks his opponent (Jeff Hardy) to come out. Bully Ray comes out and basically makes excuses on why he lost to Hardy. We'll get Hardy and Bully part II tonight.

Another return match first, though. It's Zema and Sonjay again for the X-Division Title. Sonjay a house of fire for the first few minutes of the match. Lots of headscissors takedowns. Sonjay hits the moonsault double foot stomp, but Ion gets his foot on the ropes. Zema catches Sonjay trying to do the move again, then escapes with a rollup for three. Short post-match attack to attack Sonjay's shoulder.

Singles matches for the tag champs tonight. Two other worthy tag teams involved. Daniels takes on Chavo or Hernandez, while Kaz takes on Styles or Angle. Daniels and Kaz both win, no tag title rematch. Either lose, there's a rematch happening.

Roode promo to explain his actions on James Storm. Nothing we haven't already heard from RR; since RR can't get another title shot against Aries, Roode doesn't want Storm to get the title shot, either. Riding coattails for four years. Storm comes out and beats down on RR all the way to the back.

Styles tells Angle he's got this one and will face Kaz. Predictable because Angle has the legit hamstring injury. Yet another variation of the leapfrog-hurdle-dropkick sequence from Styles. Gotta love that. Nasty spot on the apron, looked like AJ's DDT sent Kaz's head into the side of the ring apron. Kaz tried to cheat, didn't work. Styles Clash nets three. Styles and Angle get their tag title rematch!

Joseph Park waiting on one key piece of evidence in his Aces & Eights investigation. It'll arrive for next week's show. Hulk tells Joseph to be a bodyguard for Brooke Hogan.

****Theory here that people may have already figured out: wouldn't be surprised if Joseph Park ended up with A&E. Maybe even Abyss. More credibility for the faction. Joseph Park has very good mic skills to be the mouthpiece of a group that likes to attack in packs -- and he'd be able give reasons in "justifying" those actions. It's really the same reasons I think Bully Ray would also be a great pick.

Hulk promo to mention BFG, but A&E interrupts with their video promo. Still thinking a guy like Abyss (including the Joseph Park character) would be a great next addition to the group. Promo meant for Hulk to feel uneasy. Mission accomplished.

Chavo's facing Daniels tonight. Daniels tries to nail Chavo with the title belt and fails miserably. Three Amigos and Frog Splash get three. Chavo and Hernandez also get a tag title shot. So I guess we're now having a Triple Threat Tag Title match at BFG? Might as well make that happen, Hulk.

Next Gut Check contestant (for next week) is Evan Markopoulos, 18 years old. Trains at Kiler Kowalski's school. Looks good in the ring, humble guy. Hoping he actually gets a good opponent to work with.

Video shown of Gail Kim becoming the first Knockouts champ at BFG 2005.

Goes right into Tara promo. Congratulates Tessmacher, puts the belt on her, then Tara heel turn! YES! Well, figured one of them had to go heel, right? I thought Tessmacher as a heel would have been interesting, but at the end of the day, Tara's the more natural heel of the two. I like that Tessmacher will keep working with a (real life) great friend and in-ring veteran.

Hulk and the brain trust, a.k.a. road agents and executives. Protect the women and children. Trust breaking down. It's a great, effective way to put A&E over without having the group be on camera a lot. Guess Hulk will open the arena up?

Bully and Hardy, winner gets the title shot against Aries. Very good pace throughout. Bully eventually attacks Hardy's "injured" shoulder. Really enjoyed the back-and-forth action. Very exciting moments at the end, several near falls. Double Twist of Fate and Swanton nets three. Not a super long match, but doesn't need to be. Very little wasted motion, all the spots made sense, crowd loved it.

Not much wrestling on the show. Focus was mainly on A&E angle and progressing BFG storylines.

9/13/12 Superstars

Tensai vs. Justin Gabriel: *1/4

Santino Marella vs. Jinder Mahal: *3/4

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox: 3/4*

Cody Rhodes vs. Zack Ryder: **3/4

Gabriel and Tensai square off again. Kept it mostly basic here. Tensai with the win after a two-handed chokeslam and a senton splash.

Mahal and Santino next. Mahal is now the modern-day Maharajah. Fairly lengthy match here. Short Santino comeback for the win. No Cobra malfunction tonight!

Alicia Fox battles Natalya, as the divas continue to fight for whatever limited in-ring time they can get. Some good moves here. They each have good agility. Oh, that's right, Alicia Fox is a heel. Isn't Natalya also a heel? Maybe a tweener role? Anyway, this match felt just plain awkward. A few segments just didn't flow. Natalya catches Alicia and a sharpshooter ends it. It wasn't horrible, but just didn't work for me.

Cody Rhodes and Zack Ryder in a very good main event. A few near falls and several counters. Crowd was OK. Nice end sequence; Cody with Cross Rhodes to get the win.

9/12/12 NXT

Jey Uso vs. Kenneth Cameron: *1/2

Big E Langston vs. Chad Baxter: N/A (squash)

Damien Sandow vs. Garrett Dylan: 1/2*

Michael McGillicutty vs. Tyson Kidd: ***1/4

Singles action for Ascension and Uso members. Crowd really behind the Usos, but Cameron with too many restholds for my liking. Uso refuses to stay down, and a big kick gets three for Jey.

Big E Langston squashes Chad Baxter next. Not quite the NXT debut Baxter wanted. Basic power moves from Langston. Still love his finisher.

Kassius Ohno sparring session next week to show he's dangerous. Yay!

Trent Barreta returns next week. I found the video just plain weird, sorry.

Some guy named Garrett Dylan comes to the ring in country entrance music and no entrance video. He faces Sandow. Dylan doesn't want a lecture, but maybe he shoulda just taken that option. Sandow wins. You're welcome.

But now we get Michael McGillicutty and Tyson Kidd next, and the winner likely faces Rollins for the title. Crowd red hot for Kidd. They've had some very good matches in the past, and this one was no exception. Several near falls. MM using the Perfect Plex more often. MM with a hard-fought win here.

Rick Victor is quickly trying to make a statement of his own to get Rollins' title. Could be good, but I'd like to see more of Victor's in-ring stuff. Maybe we'll see that next week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/10/12 RAW

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Miz & Antonio Cesaro: **

Layla, Kaitlyn, & Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, & Alicia Fox: DUD

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: **1/4

Randy Orton & Jerry Lawler vs. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler: *1/2

Ryback vs. Heath Slater: N/A (squash)

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Titus O'Neil & Darren Young: *1/2

Alberto Del Rio vs. Tyson Kidd: *

Sheamus vs. David Otunga: N/A (squash)

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: **

We're in Montreal, and Bret Hart starts the show. HUGE ovation, well deserved. Even the "Ole ole ole!" chants. Bret was my favorite wrestler when growing up, with Hulk Hogan a close second.

Enter Punk with the pink and black tights. Even the pink and black boots. What if Punk wrestled Bret at Survivor Series 1997? I woulda loved that too. Ha, Punk pulling the whole "I'd jump to WCW" deal if the WWE's Attitude Era never happened. Punk even checks on Lawler on how he's doing. As we'd find out later, how ominous a statement would that be? Great opening segment to get Punk his heel heat.

Who should Punk's opponent be? Lawler, Orton, or Brodus? We'd find out later.

U.S. Title #1 contender battle royal is the preshow match for Night of Champions. Not sure who's in this one, but I'd like Cesaro to really work with someone great, like Christian. Where has he been? Yeah, I've been out of the loop on this one.

Miz and Cesaro faces the tag champs (Kofi and Truth). All four guys have titles here, nice. A good tag match, in my opinion. Trouble in Paradise wins it for the tag champs. Good momentum for the PPV.

So now we have all these legal depositions in this "lawsuit" between Sheamus and Ricardo. Of course, Otunga is representing Ricardo. Sheamus Lipschitz? Now that's a cool name. "If you're Lipschitz, what does your arse do?" LOL. YESYESYES for Daniel Bryan reference. Brogue Kick to the camera. Best deposition ever.

Hey, Beth Phoenix is back! Hope she took all the time she needed to grieve the loss of her loved one (I believe it was a family member?). Six-diva tag match. Note that Layla, Kaitlyn, and Eve are on the same team. Sorta strange bedwomen? Kaitlyn's wearing a singlet here. Unfortunately, I think the guys are only caring about wolf whistling and Alicia can only pull off a northern lights suplex. Eve tags herself in and hits her snap swinging neckbreaker for three. Thank you for the quick finish because the whistling was hurting my damn ears. Vintage Eve enthusiasm post-match!

So who will Punk's opponent be? Lawler's in his gear, ready to go, but Orton wins with 75% of the vote. Sounds good to me! Cole late on noticing that Punk's wearing Bret's colors. Punk, at 296 days, will have the 9th longest WWE Title reign after RAW's over. Cole and Lawler banter on Punk and getting respect. Punk avoids the RKO and tries to walk out, but Orton prevents that. Typical Orton offense at the end. Ziggler interferes for the DQ, but Orton fights DZ off. Powerslam to Punk and then Ziggler gets on Orton. Lawler with the save at the end.

AJ Lee makes a tag match: Orton/Lawler vs. Punk/Ziggler. Ziggler takes a beating, while Punk doesn't care. Heyman comes out and chats with Punk. Vickie's excused. Ziggler eats an RKO and Orton gets three. Any good restaurants on Montreal, Heyman?

AJ Lee asked Dr. Shelby to come to the arena. Uh oh, what's in store for Kane and Daniel Bryan?

But first, Ryback nukes Slater. Too bad, Heath. Woulda been better for you to face Ryder. People loved chanting "Goldberg" here.

Well, Kane and DB are tag partners. How fun! Time to face the Primetime Players. "OUI!" chants tonight! We've gained another language! YES!

****And then unscripted scary stuff happens to Jerry Lawler. Midway through, you notice Lawler's commentary getting softer. Then we don't hear from him again. Cole decreases on the commentary, likely using talkback or otherwise speaking off headset to ask Lawler if he's OK. On some of the camera shots, you can see Lawler bending over in pain. Cole's now obviously not as interested in the match, rightfully so. You can see the fans also turning their attention to the announce table (paramedics start working on Lawler off camera, then take Lawler away so Cole can focus on the match). Cole is likely being told to talk about the match; he can talk about Lawler's situation later.

In the ring, DB refuses to tag Kane in. Kane eventually tags in. Chokeslam to D-Young. Titus sent outside. DB tags himself in. Kane chokeslams DB onto D-Young. OOPS, DB gets the three count! YESYESYES. So now it's DB and Kane facing Kofi and R-Truth on Sunday. Primetime Players get taken out of the title picture again. Having the whole symmetry between Kane and DB take off didn't help Titus and D-Young.

Alberto faces Tyson Kidd. Kidd may be billed from Canada, but there's really not many hometown or home country advantages in WWE. Kidd gets a nice pop for the sharpshooter, but we all knew ADR wasn't tapping. Cross armbreaker quickly afterward so Alberto can have his momentum going into Night of Champions.

Again, Cole's still shocked from what happened to Lawler earlier and is not talking as much. Did some commentary on ADR/Kidd, even less for Otunga and Sheamus. He might also be talking with the guys in the production truck for updates on Lawler's condition and how to address it later (if at all).

Sheamus using Twitter to try get the Brogue Kick reinstated. Very short match here. Sheamus gets Otunga to tap to the Cloverleaf. WWE's trying to get that move over as a new finisher, and I love the use of multiple finishers. Worked well for some people in the past (see Chris Jericho).

Oh, and a Brogue Kick for Otunga. Woohoo, rebelling against the lawyer! Oh wait, does that also put me in danger? I'll sing "Danny Boy" with Sheamus if need be.

Booker tells Sheamus if he uses the Brogue Kick again during the internal investigation, Sheamus will be stripped of the title. Sucks.

Cole's not even commentating now when coming back from commercial.

Now DB and Kane arguing on who should be mentioned first on the tag name. NO TEAM FRIENDSHIP! Progress!

Cole then shown on headset to update us on what happened to Lawler during DB/Kane vs. Primetime Players. He got CPR and now breathing on his own. No further commentary tonight from Cole unless they get another update on Lawler.

Rey and Cody in the last match. A bit weird with no commentary in the match, but still a good one here. Miz with the distraction, Cody hits Cross Rhodes for three. Miz rubbing the IC Title in Rey's face, but Cody nukes Miz with Cross Rhodes. Hmm. Face turn? We'll see.

Update from Cole: Lawler now more responsive, reacting to light. Very encouraging sign. He'll be getting a CAT scan.

Bret interviews Cena to end the show, hoping at least to get fewer boos for Cena. Interesting that he compares Cena/Punk to Bret/HBK from back in the day. Bret calls Punk a "phony little punk." Enter Punk. HAHA, Punk even called Austin a "hillbilly" -- WHAT?! That was awesome. Punk says he's better than HBK, Austin, and Rock.

Cena cuts the golden promo that really highlights the feud. Punk is a man still searching for his identity. Cena cites the differences between Punk and HBK, and even Punk and himself. Cena busts out French, which really got the crowd pumped. He'll kick Punk's ass at NoC. Cena blocks Punk's attempt to punch Bret. Bret then decks Punk with a right. Outstanding.

Cole ends the show by saying Lawler's condition has stabilized. Still getting prepped for the CAT scans.

Obviously a very tough last hour of RAW to watch. Lawler had a bunch of physical activity on tonight's show, from playing the agitated commentator to wrestling in a match. It's certainly stuff we've seen him do before, but it also shows that people are human in the pro wrestling world. The superstars and divas here are all stuntpeople entertaining the fans night in and night out.

There was a Pat Patterson Appreciation Night scheduled for after the show, but that got postponed.

Lawler, who either suffered a stroke or a heart attack (people have said the latter) is also very fortunate that he had his medical emergency in a place with paramedics already on site. Had he suffered this at home, it's not as likely he would still be with us. In fact, one source had Lawler "clinically dead for 20 minutes" before a paramedic restarted his heart with a defibrillator.

Lawler's girlfriend has been contacted and is headed to Montreal to be with him. Lawler will undergo heart surgery later today. Best wishes to Jerry for a full and speedy recovery.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

9/9/12 No Surrender

Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe: ***1/4

Bully Ray vs. James Storm: ***

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

Austin Aries vs. Big Guy from Aces & Eights: N/A

Zema Ion vs. Sonjay Dutt (X-Division Title): **3/4

Rob Van Dam vs. Magnus: **1/4

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

Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray: *1/2

As I thought, we start off with the first BFG Semi (Joe vs. Hardy). Joe plays up a fractured arm from Magnus' attack. Good action on the outside. Fans really behind Hardy early on. Joe kept Hardy grounded in the middle of the match. Split chants during that time. They stayed on a somewhat slower pace early, since this one got a good amount of time. Numerous signature moves on the last third of this bout. Great back-and-forth stuff. Hardy again showing the armbar submission, Joe counters, but Hardy counters back into a rollup for three. Very nice.

Second semi next (Storm and Bully). Bully stalls at the start and beats up a ringside sign. Fans unrelenting in chanting "Devon's better!" Worthy to note that Devon did NOT re-sign with the company, while Bully did. We got some smart fans in the crowd, very vocal ones. Ref bump for Earl Hebner. Stifler(?) a new ref comes in and he took a shot. Storm's real good at taking refs out. Hebner ate another splash from Bully. No ref for Last Call superkick. And yup, Roode came out to cost Storm, like I thought. Beer bottle to the head and Bully wins. Storm and Roode gonna feud again.

Knockouts Title time. Taryn Terrell again as the ref. Tara continuing to counter much of Tessmacher's stuff and otherwise using veteran moves. Tara can't put Tessmacher away, then the champ counters the Widow's Peak into a victory roll for three. Tara obviously frustrated. Good, now set up the rubber match for BFG.

Roode's going to jail? Storm then attacks Roode. Now they both go to jail. Have fun!

Aries not defending his title tonight, he just wants a fight with the armbreaker from Aces & Eights. The big guy comes out. Fight's on. Aries tries to unmask the guy, but low blow stops that. Lots of basic offense and methodical stalking from this big guy. Aries blasts the big dude with powder for the comeback. Bigguy with a bit more offense, but AA nukes him with a roll of coins and the brainbuster. A&E members storm the ring. TNA locker room empties. Big brawl now. Fans loving it. Bully Ray's late to the party, could mean something? Hogan's got his hands full now. Not rating the fight.

Jeff Hardy's been taken out in all this. Left shoulder injury. Bully is the one to point it out and get Hardy medical help, but remember, Hardy's gotta wrestle Bully in the finals later. Coincidence?

X-Division Title time. Sonjay's got a black tape-like brace on his left shoulder, still recovering from the separated shoulder at Destination X. Gotta love all the athleticism and the unique moves here. Crowd not really into the match as much early, but then the pace quickened and the excitement built. Nice Rings of Saturn move by Ion to target the shoulder. Back and forth with the pins. Ion then abruptly hits a Gory Special and gets three. Looks like fans had no clue that would be the end. Great stuff, but the crowd just wasn't as much into it. Oh well....

As trainer tends to Hardy, Magnus takes a shot at Jeff toget more heel heat. He takes on RVD now. Magnus attacks RVD's legs here to keep the man grounded. Cloverleaf from Magnus. That move's been making a nice comeback in pro wrestling lately. RVD with the five-star frog splash for the win. Match wasn't bad, but fans seem spent after being hot for the early part of the PPV.

Tag title match next. They reference the whole Claire Lynch stuff again. Can we put that to bed now? Angle's nursing a legit hamstring injury. Didn't matter. Unreal stuff. Easily match of the night.

Second half of this one just outstanding. Styles and Angle with great jobs on their hot tags. Angle with ankle lock on Daniels. Styles Springboard 450 splash to Kaz only two?!?! Damn. Kaz top-rope belly-to-belly on AJ gets two?!?! Wow. Angle takes Daniels over the top and aggravates his right hamstring injury in the process. Daniels with the drink to AJ's face and they cheat to win. Yeah, that was great stuff.

Fans perked up for this one. These four again showed why they are arguably the best talents on the roster. All-around game from each is top-notch. I hope all tag teams took major notes here.

Bully with a kickass promo. He's not just bound for glory, he's destined for greatness.

Police surround the ring. Bully out first. Hardy's music next, but no Hardy. Hulk Hogan arrives. Promos in the ring. Hogan teases that the finals should just be on the next Impact, but Hardy comes out all beaten up anyway. Left shoulder taped up. Fist bump of respect and the finals are gonna happen.

Bully obviously attacks the left shoulder for several minutes. A somewhat slow beatdown. Again, fans are just DEAD, even as Hardy has a bit of a comeback. Both kicked out of the other's signature moves, but really? Only some clapping? Give the rowdy adults some booze or something, dangit! Finally, after the Bubba Cutter, fans realize there's a decent match going on. Swanton misses. Another Bubba Cutter for two. Two more Twists of Fate. Swanton hit for three! Wow, actually didn't expect that. Fans cheer for Hardy's win, but wow, that deserved so much more crowd response. Affected the rating for sure.

Show wasn't bad. BFG Series semis were good, but the Tag Title match clearly stole the show for me. Would have been better had A&E found a way into the building during the BFG Series finals. Or even have some of the cops join A&E and secretly let the faction in. Here, I felt A&E got knocked down the totem pole too much. **1/2

(Posted 9/912 at 11:22 a.m. PST, a few hours before the show aired):
Here were my predictions for the show (recorded the morning of 9/9)!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

9/7/12 Smackdown

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes & Miz: **3/4

Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder: *

Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow: **1/4

Titus O'Neil & Darren Young vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso vs. Primo & Epico: **

Wade Barrett vs. Yoshi Tatsu: 1/4*

Sheamus vs. David Otunga: *1/2

Ricardo, Del Rio, and Otunga come out of Booker T's office. Ricardo in a neck brace. Vintage heel lawsuit coming up. ADR says the Brogue Kick should be illegal, while the cross armbreaker is artistry. Ricardo is ADR's only friend? Depressing. Yeah yeah, Otunga is a Harvard law guy, whatever. Video showing many Sheamus Brogue Kicks. Booker asks the fans, fans say no, so the kick's still legal. Cole basically goes on a tirade. Vintage Cole.

Masked Marvels (a.k.a. Mysterio and Cara) is a great way to use Sin Cara. Eventually, they will feud by WrestleMania, you'd have to think. Real lethal kicks from the masked team  thoughout. Miz clearly shouting coaching tips to Cody in the match, what a nice tag partner. Crowd really into it, love that. Cody kicked Miz in the head on accident. Sin Cara takes Cody out. Rey's 619 and splash to Miz ends it.

Daniel Bryan in the back. Hornswoggle wants a hug, but settles for a handshake. Kick to the shin. DB pissed. Breathe!

Otunga still at it with Booker on the Brogue Kick. Booker will think about making it illegal. Otunga has more footage in the trailer.

The hugging segment with Kane and DB was awkward, but man, the crowd ate it up. Who knew Miz knew so much about hugging it out? And then it got physical between DB and Kane. Now that ruled.

DB time, so fans go nuts with the "YES!" stuff. He faces Ryder tonight, and Lilian gets Ryder's name right. Ryder gets his offense in. DB backs off and calls for a hug for anger management class. They hug, and then into the NO lock for the win. Yay ring smarts! DB snaps again and refuses to let the lock go. Ref reverses the decision so Ryder wins now. DB snaps even more. Classic DB reaction. Crowd is really letting the "YES" fly now.

Sandow interrupts for a promo, explaining his countout loss the other week. He dares someone to call him a craven to his face, so Orton comes out. He wants to fight Sandow and the ref rings the bell. Ziggler comes out with Vickie to watch. Ziggler now on commentary.

Action spills to the outside. Ziggler distracts Orton to let Sandow get the upper hand. Probably Sandow's longest match to date, showing that he can do fine in a lengthy match when paired with the right person. Typical Orton comeback moves, but before he can go for the RKO, Sandow bails and Orton gets a countout win. Words between Ziggler and Orton. Orton goes for an RKO on Ziggler. Sandow interrupts and eats the RKO instead. Ziggler bails. Perhaps Ziggler and Orton at Night of Champions (or something like that) before Orton taks time off to film his movie.

Otunga shows Booker neck X-rays, one normal and one purportedly of Ricardo. Oh really, another potential lawsuit for WWE? Booker tells Otunga to put on his ring gear and go to the ring to face Sheamus. Logical!

But first, a triple threat tag match to determine #1 contenders for the tag titles. Three guys (one from each team) in at the same time, first pin or submission wins. What, no Kidd/Gabriel? Blasphemy! Good action here, love triple threat matches because of less downtime. Usos a house of fire and really got the crowd buzzing. D-Young gutbuster, Uso splash. D-Young throws Uso out of the ring and gets the pin. Primetime Players are the #1 contenders. They should finally be getting their title reign at Night of Champions.

Nice job by WWE to align Punk and Heyman. Heyman being on screen keeps Lesnar in the back of people's minds and gets people talking about why this particular alliance formed.

Ziggler wants to face Orton again and reminds Teddy Long he could cash in MITB and become champ that night anyway -- perhaps even before he faces Orton. Yeah, that match should happen.

Wade Barrett returns after dislocating his elbow seven months ago. He looks great and should get a huge push now. He faces Yoshi Tatsu tonight. New upbeat rock entrance music for Barrett, who now always has facial hair. Too methodical a match for me, but lots of hard strikes. Nice side thrust kick from Wade. Short-arm elbow strike KOs Yoshi and gets Wade three. I like that, if it's his new finisher. Can hit it on anyone at any time.

Barrett post-match promo stating he wants to be part of the title picture fast. Yeah, push him. He was due for a MITB win before getting injured. Excellent on the mic and he seems to have found a good, rugged look to go with his bare-knuckle fighting style.

Del Rio accompanies Otunga to the ring. Otunga nearly ate a Brogue Kick early on. White Noise hits. Sheamus signals for Brogue Kick, but Booker interrupts to say that move is now illegal. ADR is elated now. Sheamus still gets Otunga in the Cloverleaf and Otunga quickly taps. I say it's a great way to get a new finishing move over with the crowd.

Friday, September 7, 2012

9/6/12 Impact

Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe: **3/4

Tara vs. Gail Kim: *1/2

Bully Ray vs. Rob Van Dam: **3/4

Christopher Daniels & Kazarian vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez (Tag Team Titles): ***1/4

It's the go-home show before No Surrender. Two final BFG Series matches to determine who joins James Storm in the final fatal-four-way of the BFG Series.

Storm in the lead with 73 points. Joe with 68, RVD and Bully with 55. Hardy's in sixth with 49. As a note, AJ Styles is actually in fifth with 50 points, but Styles already wrestled all his matches and thus cannot get into the top four. Actually, Joe's basically clinched a spot unless the whole negative points for being DQ'd still apply like last year.

Joe and Hardy start it off. If Joe wins, he clinches the top spot and gets to pick his No Surrender opponent (any of the other three guys still in the BFG Series). Storm watches in the back. Crowd very much behind Hardy throughout, but Joe gets chants as well. Very loud and enthusiastic crowd. What really surprised me was Hardy's armbar submission to get Joe to tap. Smart to target Joe's "injured" left arm (courtesy of Magnus). Something I've never seen Hardy utilize. It's worth noting that this gets Hardy 10 points and basically clinches a spot in the final four. Storm will be the overall leader and gets to pick his opponent.

Post-match, Magnus cuts the heel promo about Joe being the one screwing up their tag team endeavors. He wishes Joe the best in the BFG Series and then attacks him from behind.

Hulk has to figure out who gets a tag title shot. We got Chavo/Hernandez, the Robbies, and Kash/Gunner. AJ walks in solo and wants a tag title shot. Huh?! No partner? Hulk quickly eliminates AJ.

Tara and Tessmacher at No Surrender this Sunday. Teacher vs. student again. Look for Tessmacher to retain. This would make it one victory apiece, and rubber match could be at BFG. Brooke Hogan still referred to Tessmacher as "Brooke." Meanwhile, Gail complains and so she gets to face Tara next.

Taryn Terrell gets her usual mention, but I still don't care about that. New entrance video for Gail Kim. Looked like a grade-school kid wrote her English name, but hey, there's her Korean name in there, so at least that's cool. Tara with the Widow's Peak for three. Taryn seriously needs to improve her ref skills. I know Hebner gave her a crash course on it, but it's clear she's real green on this.

During the Knockouts match, Tenay mentioned Dave Batista, former WWE superstar who is now trying his hand at MMA. That show is on Spike TV, hence the plug.

History of Joey Ryan shown, from Gut Check to all the stunts from the crowd. They've probably signed him to something in real life, but for storyline purposes, it's just been the whole "disgruntled contestant keeps wanting to irk the judges" deal.

Al Snow calls out Joey to give him another shot. Ryan with his megaphone comes through the crowd. Snow basically says go through Gut Check and Joey gets his contract. Joey accepts, then realizes he must face Snow. Al slaps Joey and Joey bails. He threatens to sue Al. Typical.

Hogan cuts Kash/Gunner next. Sounds about right. Down to the Robbies and Chavo/Hernandez.

Bully and RVD in the last BFG Series match. Yup, two ECW alums who know each other well. Winner moves on, loser goes home. Lots of RVD kicks. RVD goes for the five-star, but Bully hits the cutter for three. Great finish, nice crowd reaction. Bully in, RVD out.

Final four in BFG standings after the round-robin matches: Storm with 73, Joe 68, Bully 62, Hardy 59. Then it's RVD with 55, AJ with 50, Angle 48, Anderson 47, Daniels 33, Magnus 28, Robbie E 12, Pope 7. Pope again couldn't finish the BFG Series due to a legit broken collarbone.

Aries gets to confront the guy (Mike from New York) who flapjacked him last week. He's obviously not talking so he gets some slaps to the face. Pliers to the teeth? Not yet. Hogan works a deal: Aries to face the A&E guy who busted his hand.

Storm promo. He calls out the other three guys and picks Bully Ray to face at No Surrender. So Joe faces Hardy in the other semi.

Magnus talks trash to RVD. Fight breaks out. Yup.

Chavo and Hernandez, no surprise, get the tag title shots. Team Tex-Mex. Holy crappity, this was great. Loved the Chavo hurricanrana to Hernandez so Hernandez ends up doing a senton bomb-like move on Daniels. Hernandez kept on flying even into the late stages of the match. Daniels with the title belt to Hernandez to escape.

Hogan then books a tag title match for No Surrender. Daniels/Kaz vs. Styles/Angle. Yes. Million times yes.

Aries will hand "Mike from New York" back if he gets to fight the A&E guy at No Surrender that tried to break his hand. Mike about to talk but the A&E armbreaker shows up. Armbreaker then nukes Mike with a ball-peen hammer to shut him up. Wow. Aries all over the big armbreaker guy and they brawl to end the show. Looks like they will fight at No Surrender.

Only four matches tonight? Well, the show didn't seem that much better, but it was far from horrible.

9/6/12 Superstars

Antonio Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel: **1/2

Layla vs. Natalya: 1/2*

Damien Sandow vs. Alex Riley: **

Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Primo & Epico: **1/4

Cesaro's word of the day to speak in five languages is "exceptional." He faces Gabriel here in a good back-and-forth match. Cesaro targeted Gabriel's midsection for most of the match. Crowd chants "USA!" even though both guys are international guys. Match got a bunch of time. "Black Diamond" European uppercut (love the name) and Neutralizer win it for Cesaro.

Divas action between Layla and Natalya. Just shaking my head because the divas division has had potential to get better, yet management doesn't do it. You acquire Kharma and ultimately release her, then you acquire Sara Del Rey and she's basically behind the scenes, if anything. Beth Phoenix is on leave to grieve the loss of a loved one. Natalya's become a sideshow act (even after they thankfully got rid of the whole flatulence gimmick) and the champion (Layla) barely gets a reaction in most places. And now we're slapping Natalya's ass outside the ring. SMH. Oh, and a back kick won it for Layla.

Damien Sandow back on the mic. Have to admit, he's real good. A-Ry is more serious coming to the ring this time. Um, can you really score a 1595 on your SAT? Thought the points came in increments of 10 or something. Great match between these two. Neckbreaker wins it for Sandow.

Kofi and Truth face Primo and Epico in the main event. Typical tag match. Kofi got the hot tag here. Just gotta love how Kofi and Truth have connected with the WWE Universe. Made the match even better to watch. Rosa tries for the interference, but Trouble in Paradise wins it anyway to end the show.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

9/5/12 NXT

Richie Steamboat vs. Kassius Ohno: 1/2*

Paige vs. Audrey Marie: 1/2*

Leo Kruger vs. Percy Watson: 3/4*

Brodus Clay vs. Ryan Collins: N/A (squash)

Conor O'Brian & Kenneth Cameron vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso: *3/4

Steamboat and Ohno start the show. Stemmed from two weeks ago when Ohno was beating up Jake Carter and Steamboat made the save. Looks like Richie loaded up on the body oil. Please do not imitate Otunga in that way. Lame finish as Ohno gets DQ'd for raking the eyes. When the hell was the last time that happened? Ohno attacks Steamboat post-match. Lots of unnecessary bell ringing. Rolling elbow to the back of the neck. Richie's Hall of Fame dad comes in and berates the refs.

NXT Divas action here. Audrey Marie and Paige square off. Paige's mother (Sweet Saraya) still wrestles in Shimmer and is their champion. Audrey lost in her debut match to Raquel Diaz a few weeks back. Paige with a banshee-like gimmick at the end (almost a page out of MsChif's playbook). Version of a cradle DDT wins it for the enchanted raven-haired lady.

Ricky Steamboat's pissed at Ohno. Gets a little physical. Good storyline progression. Richie and Ohno will be benefiting quite a bit here.

Percy Watson's back with new music. He finally gets some type of reaction on his entrance! Wow! Kruger now wrestles in cargo pants and boots. Physical stuff from Kruger. Watson's offense barely gets any reaction, which is over half his problem. Modified cutter wins it for Kruger. Another match that I didn't really want to sit through.

Brodus comes to dance and he brings both Funkadactyls with him. He faces Ryan Collins here. Squash here. Dancing afterward. Sounds about right.

Ascension and Usos in a tag action next. Formulaic match, Usos with the hot start, then Ascension goes to their isolate-and-destroy mentality. Good ending to the match. Jimmy cleared the top and dove onto Conor, Cameron takes Jey out with some tornado DDT-like move for three. Not sure if that was botched, looked a bit weird.

Seth Rollins interview to end the show. Jim Ross (with goatee) to conduct the interview. Rollins puts on an NXT shirt. Rollins cuts the face promo and promises to be the fighting champion. Sooner or later, everyone gets blacked out. Nice catchphrase for a future T-shirt. Simple and short, liked that.

9/1/12 Saturday Morning Slam

Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins: *

It's mostly a fun show with WWE superstars and divas breaking character to answer questions or otherwise interact with the WWE Universe a bit more.

As far as in-ring action goes, Josh Mathews is on commentary, joined by Santino for this one. Brodus faces a more normal-acting Curt Hawkins this week. Note that Cameron is there, as she has since been suspended by WWE for 15 days (DUI).

Remember he and Tyler Reks (who got his release from the company a couple weeks ago) did that weird dancing deal? Well, Hawkins tried to dance and do the worm during the match. Hawkins attacked Brodus' often-attacked left knee. A splash later, Brodus still wins. Funkadactyls go nuts. What would they do if Brodus actually won a title in WWE? Santino then joins the three in the ring to dance as well.

Superstar Spotlight this week is Rey Mysterio. He talks about why he started using "619" in WWE, his first WWE match, and more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9/3/12 RAW

Dolph Ziggler vs. Randy Orton: **3/4

Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes & Tensai: *3/4

Sheamus vs. CM Punk Jack Swagger: *

Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn: -*1/2 (yes, that's negative one-and-a-half stars)

Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal: 1/2*

Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella (U.S. Title): N/A

Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater: *1/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (Falls Count Anywhere): ***

Punk takes Lawler out before RAW starts, so Cole's solo on commentary again. I don't mind Lawler off color, but I'd rather have Punk take out some midcarders instead of a commentator.

We're in Chicago. Sheamus starts the show saying he'll beat Del Rio at Night of Champions, but Punk interrupts to a HUGE hometown hero ovation. Naturally, Cena will get booed here. Punk is back with more pipebombs. Sheamus throws down a challenge to Punk, but Punk basically brushes him off. AJ Lee makes two matches: Del Rio vs. Cena and Sheamus vs. Punk. Good stuff.

Great match between Orton and Ziggler. Could really see the chemistry between the two. Nice to have Ziggler steal one via holding the tights. Keep that MITB momentum going.

Miz on commentary. No problems with that.

Anger Management time! YES! Harold switches places with a lady, ha. Anger Collage time! Kane rules again. Vintage Kane pyro from the trash can! Teacher's pet indeed.

Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio teaming together should really help Cara adjust. Could get to the point where Cara turns heel down the road and face off against one another. They face Cody and Tensai tonight. Cody continues to go after Cara's mask. Cara pins Cody with the senton bomb. Looked pretty good out there, kept it short.

Anger management skit #2. Kane catches a falling DB. Harold (a.k.a. wrestler Scorpio Sky) falls back. Daniel and Kane don't catch him. Daniel understands Kane! Progress! YES!

Sheamus and Punk next. Punk out in street clothes. Oh, he's taking the day off. After all, it's Labor Day! AJ gets another opponent: Jack Swagger. Del Rio and Ricardo come out to observe. Sheamus unveils a submission finisher, the good ol' Texas Cloverleaf. Probably will just be referred to as a "Cloverleaf" to reflect Sheamus being Irish. I like the new move. Having multiple ways to win can be a great thing. Match was average.

Sheamus takes out ADR and Ricardo. Ricardo eats the Brogue Kick for Alberto.

Eve and Kaitlyn next. Congrats to Eve who won the Stars and Stripes reality show. Kaitlyn continues to get very little reaction. Layla on commentary. Miz and Layla quarrel on commentary, but at least Cole shut up for a while. Match in the ring was filled with botches and little chemistry. End was awkward. Not sure if Kaitlyn legitimately had the wind knocked out of her, but even the snap neckbreaker finisher was horrible. Frankly, one of the worst matches I've seen in a while. I rarely give negative stars anymore, but this deserved it. Eve shakes Layla's hand afterward. Yay tension?

Swagger's the next to leave, as the whole "losing streak" seems to have gotten to him. Another extension of the "Vickie Guerrero for RAW GM" storyline, citing AJ's losing control of the talent and promoting unsafe working environment.

Anger management skit #3. So DB and Kane eventually will have another match. Yeah, DB and Kane back to quarreling, but the best part for me was the doc flipping out at the end. YES!

Cole's on the mic. NO! Up to fans to see if DB and Kane should have a match tonight. HUG IT OUT? WTF! That's a new one for me.

David Otunga has another client. So Ricardo's suing Sheamus now for criminal assault, I guess? Yet another one to add to the WWE tally!

Jinder and Ryback next. "Feed me more" has really gotten over. Just another short win for Ryback.

DB and Kane in the ring. Tweet from Josh Mathews about likely needing to take matters into his own hands about the Kane situation. ROFL, IT'S TIME TO HUG IT OUT! Poll was completely set up for that, wasn't it? "Hug it out!" chants?! Wow. DB hugs Kane, but Kane doesn't do the same. "HUG HIM BACK!" Kane does that, and DB doesn't hug now. Gotta hug at the same time?! OK, they do. I can't believe this took 8 minutes. And then they fight. Chair involved. One of the most bizarre moments this year, easily. I lost brain cells on this, I really did.

Santino and Cesaro next. More of the cobra problems for Santino. Too short for me to even care to rate. Yeah, nice way to care about your U.S.title matches.

Ryder and Slater now up to fill more time. Rough Ryder wins it, and Vickie quickly interrupts for the next segment. Holding show hostage. Then she talks to an imaginary AJ. Real AJ Lee comes out. So now she can't touch anyone. Leave it to Vickie to fan the flames. Two Vickie slaps and lots of evil laughing later, AJ with a nervous breakdown. Couldn't have just put Vickie in a match? Probably not, because then more complaining would occur.

Cena and ADR is Falls Count Anywhere. Cena comes out to the usual mixed reaction. Cena with a dropkick tonight. Hey, it's a Randy Savage lookalike! Attitude Adjustment countered, and ADR with a back suplex on Cena through the announce table -- only two?! Wow. Nice counters in this one, much better than I thought it would be. They get backstage and destroy stuff there. AA on the TV equipment containers, but Punk right on cue with a kick to Cena's head. ADR with the win.

Punk then drops Cena GTS-style on the hood of the his car, holds the WWE Title up, and gets back in the car. HEY, IT'S PAUL HEYMAN DRIVING! YES! End show. Nice ending there, fellas.

Pro Wrestling Talk Episode 2

On this episode of Spicochist Pro Wrestling Talk (SPWT), I touch on some of the top stories from the past week. Includes some discussion on the WWE and NXT Titles, Cameron's DUI, Claire Lynch, BFG Series, and Aces & Eights.

I hope to make these vlogs more of a regular thing, especially when it comes to PPV predictions. We have TNA No Surrender next Sunday and WWE Night of Champions the Sunday after that. The plan right now is to limit these Week in Reviews to when there is no PPV the following Sunday.

After listening to this particular video, I feel like I talked about too many topics and should limit this stuff to maybe three topics max. If there's any pro wrestling news I should talk more about, please comment and let me know. Please note that I barely have time to catch up on other promotions these days. Thanks!