Thursday, February 28, 2013

2/27/13 NXT

Dusty Rhodes is with Bo Dallas. Yeah, remember when we thought Bo was gonna be on the main roster full-time against Wade Barrett? What happened with that? Corey Graves comes in. He hands back the NXT Title he took from Langston last week. Dusty makes a triple threat main event tonight: Bo vs. Graves vs. Conor O'Brian.

Justin Gabriel vs. Leo Kruger: Battle of South Africans tonight! Tyson Kidd also at ringside in Gabriel's corner. A bunch of chain wrestling and rest holds to start. Kruger targets JG's left arm. JG with some comeback moves. Kruger again thwarts that. Big lariat from Kruger gets two. Sunset flip powerbomb and then the 450 from JG win it. Slow start, nice finish. Kruger takes Kidd's crutches away and jabs JG with it after the match. **

Emma vs. Aksana: I still don't get this disoriented Australian dancing Emma does to the ring. Am I supposed to think it's gonna catch on like the Bushwhackers march? Emma struggles to get in the ring. OK, did she have six beers before her match? Emma somehow gets some offense in, then stumbles and hits her face on the bottom turnbuckle. She's still able to get a couple of near falls. Emma again goes all disoriented and Aksana hits an impressive spinebuster for three. This went five minutes and probably was about four minutes too long. No. I do not want to see this again. DUD

Bo Dallas has been "knocked out" in the back. This another way of saying he's not really gonna be much of a factor in NXT anymore? It's down to two guys tonight in the #1 contenders match.

Conor O'Brian vs. Corey Graves: #1 contenders match and no Bo Dallas. Conor moves decent for a guy his size and controls things early. Graves attacks Conor's left leg to set up for that 13th Step. Graves with an ankle scissors and a few shots to the knee. Conor breaks that with a body scissors and seated full nelson bombs. More rest holds from Graves. This one is a flat out snoozer right now. Conor starts the comeback again and the lights go out. SHIELD'S HERE! Ref throws the match out. *

Shield promo about how things will get better, but before that, it must get worse. No Tony, that was NOT an unbelievable match. Go watch Cena and Punk on RAW.

2/27/13 Main Event

Kaitlyn's walking through the backstage halls and runs into Cody Rhodes again. The love-stache strikes again! Kaitlyn is uncomfortable and doesn't appear interested. Sheamus comes in for more love-stache jokes. We got a match for Main Event!

We're in Oklahoma City for Main Event. Jerry Lawler joins Michael Cole this week.

Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes: Sheamus in control early, then Cody takes over. Sheamus catches Cody with the Irish Curse to start that comeback. Cody skins the cat on the ropes but then Sheamus with the clubbing blows. Battering Ram for two. Sheamus' shoulder into the ring post. Cody moonsault for two. Crowd gets behind Sheamus now. Cody counters the Cloverleaf and hits a running knee for two. Cross Rhodes countered. Sheamus White Noise countered. Brogue Kick avoided. Cody misses a Disaster Kick. Sheamus Brogue Kick gets three. Nice end sequence. **3/4

We see some footage from RAW where Mark Henry beat Great Khali. Luckily that was short.

Mark Henry vs. Justin Gabriel: OK, who really thinks Gabriel's winning this? Thought so. Just a methodical beatdown of JG tonight. Squash! N/A

The show basically ends with the Vince/Heyman "fight" from RAW (a.k.a. setup for Lesnar and HHH storyline for WM 29), then the epic match between John Cena and CM Punk.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/25/13 RAW (Cena vs. Punk)

Gotta love the crowd in Dallas, TX! King and Cole on commentary.

Vince McMahon starts the show and he's still on crutches. He calls Paul Heyman out. Heyman comes out in workout gear and gets the cheap heat with a Cowboys/Romo joke. Heyman abruptly tackles Vince and targets the hip. Vince takes the crutch away and gets two crutch shots on Heyman.

And here comes Brock Lesnar. He stares Vince down. And then HHH arrives sporting a new shirt. Was there really any doubt that these two would show up? HHH and Lesnar brawl around ringside. Lesnar shoved into the ringpost and he's really cut badly. Lesnar battles back and F-5s HHH on the announce table. Now that was awesome. Been a long time since I've seen a guy in WWE have a wound that bad on TV. Might as well be Lesnar who takes it. you can see Lesnar's blood on the silver ringpost. HHH tossed into the ring, and Lesnar takes a chair with him. HHH with a spinebuster to Lesnar and a loud chair shot. Lesnar retreats but still smiles. Lesnar and HHH set in stone for WM 29. Yeah, I'd pay to see them beat each other up for 20+ minutes.

Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler: Looks like Ryback's back on his own, and that's the way it should be. Ryback dominant early on, as expected. Langston runs over Ryback on the outside so Ziggler can get on offense. Ryback runs into the ringpost and Ziggler with a spike DDT for two. Ryback in the sleeper but breaks that with a stunner-like jawjacker. AJ and Langston try to interfere, to no avail. Ziggler gets Shellshocked and Ryback wins. At least Ziggler bumps like a champ. This felt more like a glorified squash. Ziggler got in his moves, but Ryback was just booked overwhelmingly strong. *3/4

CM Punk promo. He says tonight is not about Cena, Rock, the people, or even WM 29. Tonight isn't even about the WWE Title. Tonight is about CM Punk. "CM Punk is God." Yes, he is, and that sentence even trended on Twitter. Take that, JBL!

Add Donald Trump to the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. Hey, I think he's at least more deserving than Drew Carey. I mean, Trump literally let it rain real money on RAW. Still won't forget Trump shaving Vince's head at WM 23. RIP Umaga.

Mark Henry vs. Great Khali: DAMMIT, not again! Overhand chop to Henry but that doesn't do too much damage. World's Strongest Slam ends things rather quickly. N/A

The Marine 3 (starring Miz) is going straight to DVD. Sounds normal to me when WWE stars (at least other than Rock) are involved.

Fitting that this leads to Miz TV. Guests are Jack Swagger, Zeb Colter, Alberto Del Rio, and Ricardo Rodriguez. Miz gives Colter the chance to say what's on his mind, and Zeb goes into a rant on illegal immigrants (a.k.a. undocumented workers). Colter with the quick jab to Glenn Beck rejecting WWE's offer to appear on the show. WWE is educational! 10 years to become a citizen of Mexico, and foreigners can't own property there. Colter says ADR represents the American dream. Colter calls those illegal immigrants "criminals." ADR says America is for everyone and that anything is possible if you work hard enough. ADR challenges Swagger to bring it on. Swagger says he'll see ADR at WM. Yup. Another solid advancement of storyline. So it looks like Swagger's push wasn't affected too much, although I'm not too sure WWE will put the title on him now. Before the DUI and weed arrest, Swagger was penciled to win the title at WM.

During the break, Swagger attacks Miz from behind, so I assume there will be a match later on between these two.

Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro: Cesaro in control early, then the usual comeback moves from Orton. Cesaro to the second rope for what I believe would be a flying Euro uppercut, and Orton hits the RKO out of nowhere for three. *1/2

Daniel Bryan and Kane arguing again. Match against the Primetime Players. DB says he can beat PTPs blindfolded. Kane says he can do it with one arm behind his back. Enter Team Brickie to actually make that happen. Brad Maddox already assuming the role of power-hungry, ego-driven assistant.

We see the WM 21 military courtroom promo between John Cena and JBL. Cena won the title from JBL that year and that pretty much started Cena's dominant ride at the top of the company.

Sheamus in a tux?! Well, that's a new one on me. No, I didn't bother to watch the Oscars. He says the greatest actor of the 21st century is...Wade Barrett! I guess we know where this is going. We again see the movie trailer for Dead Man Down (where Barrett has a supporting role) and Sheamus with more quips that really fall flat. Barrett comes to the ring and he basks in his movie-star glory. Ooh, attending a worldwide premiere! That'll be cool. Barrett misses a clothesline and avoids the Brogue Kick. Gotta look good for the cameras, no broken nose needed. Didn't like this segment at all, frankly.

R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes: Damien Sandow on commentary. Can we keep him there permanently? Cody tries to ground Truth during the match. Cody bounces off the ropes and Truth hits Little Jimmy for three. Short match, nothing real special. Sandow unsuccessful on the post-match assault.

More Swagger/Colter YouTube videos. Swagger had to work at age 14 to support his family because his dad got laid off. That sucks, but it happens in life.

Team Hell No vs. Primetime Players: I've read that Darren Young has a knee injury, but he looked OK to me. DB gets to wear the black hood and Kane's left arm is tied behind his back. DB still tells Kane to get out. We get the "blindfolded guy goes after the ref" spot. Kane tags himself in and does the dirty work. Chokeslam to D-Young and it's over. Another comedy match. Can we have fewer of these? 1/2*

Shield promo. They dare WWE to make another All-Star team to defeat. Sheamus appears on the stage and dares Shield to get him. Ambrose and Reigns do so. Randy Orton comes through the crowd, slithers in the ring, and an RKO to Rollins. Hit and run! Guess there's your next team.

Jack Swagger vs. Miz: As expected, here's that singles match. Miz no longer has the tape on the left shoulder. Miz runs on adrenaline but Swagger catches Miz with a belly-to-belly suplex on the outside. ADR and Ricardo watching in the back locker room. Hmm, no more expensive cars and luxury boxes, eh? Swagger keeps Miz from mounting the comeback. Miz hits his signature moves in spurts, then gets his left leg caught in the ropes as planned. Opening for Swagger to target the leg and slap on the Patriot Lock. Miz taps. Safe to say for now that WWE is still going with Swagger and ADR for WM 29. *3/4

Lawler and Cole doing some promoting for Sonic. Hey Lawler, too much fried food is bad for you. I don't want you to have another heart attack.

Cena backstage promo. Cena wanted his match with Punk to prove Punk wrong. The better man goes to WM 29. No excuses, no second place. Step up, or step aside. Solid, serious promo.

WWE shares via Tout that Undertaker made a surprise return at the live event in Waco this past weekend. Taker now has a noticeable belly. Too banged up to exercise, I suppose. Food must be awesome in Texas.

John Cena vs. CM Punk: A hyped match (one week) for WWE standards. Winner faces Rock at WM 29. Justin Roberts with the main event intros. Chain wrestling to start, which generally signals a long match. Back and forth from the start. Punk keeps countering each of Cena's "five moves of doom." Roll-through on Cena's slam into the Anaconda Vice. Great counter from the STF to the Vice -- then back to the STF so Punk rolls Cena on his shoulders for another two-count. Any wrestling fan has gotta appreciate that. Even MORE counters on Cena's moves of doom. A simple kick on the "You Can't See Me" taunt. GTS countered into a sunset flip but Punk drops down and hooks Cena up for two. AA countered. GTS countered. Cena with a POWER BOMB?! That gets two. Cena to the top and he gets caught. Cena headbutts?! Cena top-rope legdrop for two! If that match ended right there, it still would get at least three and a half stars. Roundhouse kick from Punk. Punk running knee. Cena ducks short clothesline and hits AA for two! Wow. Rarely see this type of match on free TV. Punk to the outside. Cena shoved into the same post that made Lesnar all bloody earlier. Cena with the miracle dive back into the ring to beat the countout. The crowd's been on their feet for the last several minutes. Punk with the GTS, and ONLY TWO! Punk picks Cena back up. GTS blocked! Cena grabs the knee and STF! Punk milks the hold for all its worth and with one final push gets to the ropes. Punk kicks Cena's knee. PILEDRIVER TO CENA WTF ONLY TWO. Talk about going to the unofficial "banned" move list. Punk misses the top-rope elbow. CENA WITH A HURRICANRANA! Who the hell is this guy?! AA for three. Incredible. Best free TV match I've seen in a LONG time, probably ever. I'd probably have to go back to the 4/23/07 RAW main event (Cena and HBK) for another such memorable match. Kudos for the clean finish. ****3/4

Yes, I went that high on a free TV match, and I honestly can't . Amazing chemistry that Punk and Cena have in a rivalry that's spanned about two years. The numerous Punk counters on each of Cena's signature moves were excellent and made this match that much better. Extremely smart to have each counter have its own separate spot. Counters ranged from simple to more complex, but all were effective. Still got goosebumps on all those false finishes. A lot of tweets from current and former WWE talent giving high praise. Love it.

I marked HUGE for the Punk piledriver and the Cena hurricanrana. The piledriver is again on the "banned" list in WWE for safety reasons; note that even Jerry Lawler stopped using it in the matches before his heart attack. (NOTE: Vince was reportedly furious after Punk did the piledriver, but took no disciplinary action because it involved Punk and Cena) No interference at all. Just two guys at the top of their respective games, doing whatever it takes to win.

No Jericho this week because he's with Fozzy. No Rock because he's probably promoting his movies. No Taker because WWE probably doesn't want to show a pot-bellied Deadman. Show still amazing thanks to Cena and Punk epic main event. Greatness vs. Redemption at WM 29.

Next week's RAW is an "Old School RAW." Should be fun.

Oh, and Tensai debuts new ring gear when teaming with Brodus Clay in his Superstars tag match against Primo and Epico.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/22/13 Smackdown

Alberto Del Rio starts the show with a promo. JBL still needs to get someone like Ricardo Rodriguez. ADR goes into a promo about how getting the title is a culmination of an immigrant achieving the American dream. And now Swagger gets slapped with the jackass monicker. As we'd find out after the Smackdown tapings, he'd be a jackass in more ways than one. Randy Orton to the ring. He wants Swagger tonight. Booker to the ring to confirm that, plus Del Rio faces IC champ Wade Barrett in a champion vs. champion match.

Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow: Sandow calls Sheamus a false idol. You're welcome. Sheamus with a couple of vicious clotheslines early. Sandow into the barricade. Sandow in trouble early but retreats to break the momentum. Sandow gets his offense. Competitive match in the last couple minutes with some near falls and a bunch of counters. Sheamus manages to finally hit White Noise and the Brogue Kick for three. Good effort from Sandow as well. **1/2

WM 30 to be held in New Orleans next year. Probably yet another badly kept secret.

Video package of Shield's two wins in a 24-hour span: first over Cena/Sheamus/Ryback, then Jericho/Sheamus/Ryback.

Kaitlyn & Layla vs. Tamina Snuka & Aksana: Layla's offense has turned more and more into joke moves, and I personally despise it. I think the crowd reaction's getting piped in during this match because the crowd doesn't seem to be caring -- plus a huge reliance on non-hard camera angles. Tamina's not impressed with any of this stuff, either. Blind tag to Kaitlyn and she spears Tamina for the win. Probably the best part of the match right there. 1/2*

WWE Active segment shown just before the divas tag match featured an awkward conversation of sorts between Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn. Vintage "love-stache!"New on-screen couple forming? Kinda makes me want Cody to do his "Dashing" thing again just for fun.

A big chunk of time to show the entire Rock championship celebration from RAW again. Really? Coulda easily had one more good match in there. Tell people to go watch RAW to see the entire damn thing. Or make it a 2-minute video package.

Interesting exchange between Wade Barrett and Zeb Colter. Barrett was praising Colter and Swagger, but Colter wants none of it, declaring Barrett (from England) part of the problem because he's "stealing a job from an American." I'm not ready to turn Barrett face just yet, but I could easily see him in that role down the line. A very intriguing future storyline, in my opinion.

Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton: Swagger even has a new Titantron with "We the People" on it. Seriously, Jack?! You had to get a damn DUI and get caught with marijuana? At least from the mugshot, we can now confirm Swagger's a legit 6'6" (well, not sure if he was taking that mugshot barefoot). Anyway, this was a great match; these two were given a solid amount of time. Very competitive match as both guys attacked the other's legs. Orton's shoulder into the steel steps and I'm sure people wondered if he coulda separated that thing again. Orton comes back and back suplexes Swagger on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Swagger pops up and takes Orton's knee out again. Orton still gets his signature moves in. Swagger Bomb avoided and Orton kicks Jack in the gut. Leads to Orton backbreaker and hangman's DDT. Colter finally gets involved slightly, pulling Swagger to the apron. Swagger hangs Orton on the top and gets the rollup for three. Loved this for the prized-heavyweight fight feel, even though there weren't a lot of the close near falls. Unfortunately, I fear the subsequent arrest Swagger got will crush his new push. **3/4

Heard that Darren Young is out for about eight months with a knee injury. Really feel bad for him because he had a solid tag team role with Titus O'Neil. I also feel bad for Tyson Kidd. I personally know that knee injuries of any type just plain suck.

I saw at least one guy online mentioning JTG should pair up with Titus for the "Cryme Tyme Players." HA. Yes, JTG's still employed with WWE as of this blog post.

More video packages of Brock Lesnar taking Vince out a few weeks back. Vickie then announces Brad Maddox as her new assistant on RAW. Vince then challenges Heyman to a fight next week Monday. Might be safe to say that Brock Lesnar and/or HHH will be in the building.

Cody Rhodes vs. Miz: Miz still bandaged up because of the Cesaro attack. Yeah, continuing to wrestle doesn't help treat that. Meanwhile, seems like Cody's channeling a bit of Ravishing Rick Rude each day with the love-stache. Doesn't take a genius to figure out that Cody goes after Miz's injured shoulder. Cody goes for the Alabama Slam but Miz counters and locks in the Figure Four for the submission win. *1/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. Wade Barrett: Swagger and Colter watch the match from the stage. Ricardo mocks Barrett getting hurt in the first minute, so Barrett chases after him. ADR stops that with the dropkick. Barrett takes control by tossing ADR from the second rope to the floor. Barrett continues the onslaught with a few more impactful moves. ADR comeback: clotheslines, backbreaker, superkick for two. Barrett catches ADR with Winds of Change for two. ADR kidney punches and backstabber for two. Swagger distracts ADR. Barrett rollup with tights only two. Barrett misses the Bullhammer and ADR locks in the cross armbreaker for the submission win. ***

Solid episode of Smackdown this week. I love this time of year because it generally tends to give us the best free TV matches.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2/22/13 Superstars

Sin Cara vs. Drew McIntyre: Sin Cara's been banged up a lot, and then on the other side, we got three guys who love playing air guitar. Still don't understand the Sin Cara lights these days. Wheelbarrow roll-through looked botched. Heel tactics allow Drew to gain the upper hand. McIntyre honestly deserves better than this permanent midcard gimmick; you can see the talent this guy really has when he needs to pull off a counter or a big move. Sin Cara did his job to electrify the crowd with the lucha stuff. Slater and McIntyre catch Sin Cara and the ref lets the match continue. Yay for that! Jinder and Slater then have a beef with the ref, so the ref ejects both guys. Sin Cara with air guitar! So he does have a personality. Sin Cara dropkicks Drew to his knees. WTF, looks like a headscissors version of a DDT. Great whiplash effect, Drew's head slammed on the canvas! That's a kickass finisher. Sin Cara picks up the win. **3/4

Cena and Punk promo from RAW. Yeah, Cena and Punk square off next week and Cena's probably winning. Still no official word on Taker's status for WM 29, at least from what I've seen.

Then, we see a replay of the RAW segment introducing Brad Maddox as Vickie Guerrero's assistant and Vince challenging Paul Heyman to a fight on next week's show. Geez, coulda easily had two more matches in there, but nope, we gotta see this crap all over again just for people who might have missed RAW!

Naomi & Cameron vs. Natalya & Alicia Fox: WWE is finally letting Naomi shine by giving her more matches. Brodus still loves the Gangnam Style dance moves. Love the chain wrestling between Cameron and Natalya to start. Brodus with pompoms is just...weird. Natalya and Alicia isolate Cameron well, but that's so Naomi can get the hot tag. I'd consider paying to see a five or six-minute match between Naomi and Alicia Fox after seeing the 30 or so seconds they got at the end. Naomi with the springboard crossbody for the win. Agility FTW. Great stuff, especially for a divas match. **

Show ends with Rock's Championship Celebration (new WWE Title). Cena comes out to the stage and Punk KOs Cena from behind.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2/21/13 Impact

We're in the UK again, and no surprise, Hulk Hogan starts the show. He names Bully Ray the #1 contender after seeing Bully's actions at the end of Impact last week. HH says Bully is the toughest guy in the company. Bully plays the humble guy here. Bully proposes a six-man tag: three guys of Aces & Eights against Bully, Sting, and Hulk. Hulk accepts and the fans go nuts. Don't hold your breath on Hulk doing much of anything.

Daniels, Kaz, Aries, and Roode are partners in an 8-man tag. Major ego trip!

Chavo Guerrero, Hernandez, James Storm, & Joseph Park vs. Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Austin Aries, & Bobby Roode: Loaded with superstar power here. Park somehow got his politicking to work. Lots of action from the start. A bit of comedy mixed in doesn't hurt (i.e. Kaz crossbody backfiring and having no effect on Park). Aries and Roode bicker again during the Park beatdown, so Daniels and Kaz try to do the work themselves. All the heels try to tag themselves in, vintage ego war! Aries and Roode leave their partners high and dry. Kaz eats three different finishers, capped with a Park second-rope splash. **

Tenay announced during the 8-man tag that Bully Ray faces Jeff Hardy for the World Title in a steel cage at Lockdown. A&E probably still a lock to get involved (no pun intended).

TNA keeps mentioning a bunch about King Mo being the two-sport star between MMA and pro wrestling. Remember when they hyped Bobby Lashley that way? Wonder whatever became of him....

Rockstar Spud vs. Robbie E: Spud's first match in TNA, and it's in front of his home country. Robbie of course has the "experience" factor and works on Spud early on. Spud misses a top-rope legdrop. Robbie wants the clipboard but Rob Terry won't give it to him. Spud rolls Robbie up for three. Yup. Good showing from Spud, hope to see more of this guy. *1/2

Robbie's pissed at Terry. OH THERE'S THE SLAP! Terry's pissed and scares Robbie away. Robbie probably made the list for "top things to not do in real life."

Velvet Sky vs. Tara vs. Gail Kim vs. Miss Tessmacher (Elimination; Knockouts Title): Been a tough last few weeks for Tara. It's a Fatal Four Way Elimination, so lots of action throughout. Jesse gets ejected from ringside before the match starts. Brooke Hogan acts as the special enforcer. Several quick pin attempts early. I never understood why people break pins up in elimination matches. Velvet hits her finisher on Tara. Gail steals the pin for the glory. Tara's eliminated so we'll have a new Knockouts champ. Tower of Doom spot! YES! Velvet reverses a rollup and pins Tessmacher, so we're down to two. Gail holds onto the ropes to prevent the sunset flip and Taryn Terrell won't have any of that. In Yo Face again from Velvet and we have a new champ. See what happens when you give the ladies time to do stuff? **1/4

Update on AJ Styles next week. If there was anyone in the company that deserved time off, I'd pick Styles.

Video package on Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco joining A&E and backstabbing Kurt Angle.

Samoa Joe vs. Garett Bischoff: Bischoff plays keepaway early on, then tries to take out Joe's legs. Joe with the comeback. Muscle Buster attempt thwarted as Wes Brisco interferes. Ref tosses the match out. Numbers game on Joe, then Angle makes the save. *3/4

Angle issues the challenge for Lockdown: Angle vs. Wes Brisco in a steel cage. Ouch.

Lethal Lockdown this year will pit members of Aces & Eights against people on the TNA roster. Much like a WCW War Games setup, and I love the concept.

Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King (X-Division Title): Another title shot for Kenny King. KK with the upper hand early. Good offense from Kenny to wear RVD down, then the usual RVD comeback. KK with the double knees and a semi-botched Royal Flush only gets two. Can say bye to KK's chances now. RVD with the rolling thunder and frog splash to retain. **

Devon, DOC, & Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray, Sting, & Hulk Hogan: And in what was probably the most predictable segment of the night, no Hulk Hogan for the match! Bully's quad is also still bothering him. Bully gets worn down as A&E keeps the fresh guy in. Sting gets the tag and unleashes a few moves. Bully set to headbutt Anderson's nuts. Garett and the A&E masked VP come out holding Brooke Hogan. Hulk Hogan shown with a torn shirt and complaining about a knee injury. Sting left alone in the ring as Bully chases the other A&E guys. DOC with a big boot to Sting's face and that gets three. *3/4

Bully tends to Hulk as A&E continue the attack on Sting after the match to end the show. Good booking of A&E again this week.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2/20/13 Main Event

Must be a slow week when this show is advertised to have Big Show air his grievances. Yeah, I went there with Show. Well, it's the big slow! But faster than several years ago, though. Cole and Miz on commentary.
 How's the shoulder, Miz?

And right off the bat, Show's going off on a rant. Show blames Booker for making him look like a joke. It's the ol' jealousy excuse. Show threatens to decimate the entire locker room because there isn't a single guy back there that can lace his boots. So the Usos come out and it's a handicap match.

Big Show vs. Usos: Well, I think we all know where this one is going. Usos won't have to tag in and out, so it's a true handicap match. Still doesn't matter. Usos double-team Show and get the giant down. Show's too much. Double chokeslam to the Usos and a double pin. *

Big Show vs. Brodus Clay: Might as well have another match. Here comes Brodus! No Tensai? Ah, the ol' "test of strength but I'll punch you in the gut instead" move. Brodus uses Show as a heavy bag for sparring practice. Brodus is tossed out of the ring and Show then works on Brodus' left arm. Brodus with two splashes in the corner but Show then kicks him in the face. Brodus splash only gets two so we really know he's doomed. Show decks Brodus with the KO punch and it's over. *

Big Show vs. Great Khali: DAMMIT. Not another Khali match. Yeah, Khali can also chop. I get it. They went to commercial, so the fans probably had more time to go to the bathroom. Khali tries the Punjabi Plunge. Show blocks it, but that big chop from Khali hits. Show rolls out of the ring again and walks around. Yup, barely sold all that. Show tossed into the steps, but then Show decks Khali with a KO punch. Khali's counted out. And that's 5+ minutes of my life I won't get back. DUD

Miz takes off his jacket and unbuttons the dress shirt. He uses his quickness to avoid Show and gets him down with a dropkick to the knee. A few more kicks later, Show bails. Much respect to Show's endurance.

Video recap from RAW where Rock unveils the new WWE Title. I still think it looks great, an improvement over the spinner bling title Cena gave us for the past few years.

We then see Vickie's "surprise" of Brad Maddox being her new assistant. Heyman might not have cared, but he faces Vince McMahon next week on RAW. Expect Brock Lesnar and HHH to return to TV.

Matt Striker interviews Brad Maddox, and again it's the technicalities on what the official job title is. Whatever. Maddox has plans for the company. Nice McMahon-Helmsley and Attitude Era references. It's the Brickie Era! Mega facepalm!!!!

Jack Swagger is WM bound. Or is he? If you haven't heard, TMZ ran a story where Swagger got arrested for DUI and marijuana possession after the Smackdown tapings on Tuesday. Really couldn't have come at a worse time for him. He has a new push, a new manager, and a new fighting spirit. Then the arrest came. But hey, now #WeedThePeople is gonna be trending worldwide on Twitter for a while!

Justin Gabriel vs. Titus O'Neil: For those wondering, Darren Young is sidelined with an injury, so Titus will be getting a few more singles matches under his belt. Titus' first two sacks in college were on Peyton Manning. Hope they weren't his only collegiate sacks. Typical match here. JG has to use the high-flying and his feet to get Titus down. Titus slows things down as a bigger man would. Titus misses the three-point stance shoulderblock in the corner. JG eventually gets the win with the 450 splash. No millions of dollars tonight. Sad face. *3/4

2/20/13 NXT

Ha, saw a sign before the first match; one person came to see Alex Riley. Well, he has at least one big fan. Yoshi Tatsu is in the opening match and that's probably the biggest reaction he's gotten in a long time.

Bray Wyatt vs. Yoshi Tatsu: Finally seeing Bray Wyatt back in action, but I'm hearing he'll be on the "main roster" soon enough. Might as well update the WWE Universe what he has to offer in the meantime. Wyatt no-sells the chops. Wyatt with a modified flatliner and it's over in a minute. Squash! N/A

Wyatt brings his "family" in the ring (Rowan and Harper). Wyatt believes the two let him down when they lost in the tag finals last week. So Bray basically tells the two to go and beat each other up. Brotherly fighting!

So we find out the "secret admirer" for Sasha Banks. As long as it's not Khali, I probably will be cool with it. Oh, Audrey Marie comes in and knocks Sasha down. Meanie! Guess these two will have a match later. BTW, yeah, the whole "secret admirer" thing was a ruse.

Xavier Woods vs. El Local: For those that are wondering, El Local is really Ricardo Rodriguez in lucha attire. Woods really belongs in the 1970s. PBP announcing guy doesn't think Local can really fly, damn portly stereotype! Local moves well in the ring and slowed Woods down. Oh, and PBP guy, there really isn't much to the translation of "El Local." It's not like "Sin Cara." Woods with the up-tempo comeback and he wins with the tornado DDT. Decent five-minute match. *3/4

Some doc gives an update on Paige. Biceps tendinitis or AC separation. Yeah, neither sounds good.

Audrey Marie vs. Sasha Banks: At least these divas know what they're doing in the ring. Audrey Marie counters into a wheelbarrow facebuster for three. Sorta similar to a Glam Slam without the double chicken-wing part. Heck, Audrey even used Beth Phoenix's same pinning style. *

I'd just keep almost all the divas on NXT at this rate because they'll get way more time here than on any of the "main roster" shows. A feud that starts over the all-too-often-used "I'm jealous of all the attention you're getting and it should have been my time" diva-esque crap. I mean, Summer Rae just used a version of that the other week.

Speaking of Summer Rae, another backstage promo. Summer's now dubbing herself "The First Lady of NXT." Well, at least there's a nickname to work off of. Good work on the diva attitude, gonna like where this feud is going with Paige.

WM 30 will be in New Orleans next year. YES!

Tyson Kidd comes out to address the NXT Universe. He'll be sidelined until probably the end of the year with a knee injury. Huge praise for suffering that horrible knee injury and then still wrestling the next night. He will be back. Punk promo mentioned where Punk called Kidd one of the underappreciated workhorses in the company. FACT, a million times fact. Leo Kruger interrupts and threatens to further injure Tyson. Justin Gabriel with the save. Shouldn't take a genius to figure out we'll see Gabriel and Kruger face off on a future show.

Big E Langston vs. Conor O'Brian: Non-title match tonight. Conor has new music but still a neat entrance. I dunno if I would have described this match as a car crash before it starts, but that's pretty much what we got here. The comment didn't make me want to watch, and I probably shouldn't have. Langston gets the "FIVE" chant going. We get the whole "I'm more powerful than you" type of start. Langston on fire early, then he charges into the ringpost. Oops. Steel still wins that. Conor with a few restholds and a good full nelson slam. Otherwise, it was a lame match. Even I can trade blows with someone if I needed to do that spot. Ref gets in the middle and gets knocked down. Ref rings the bell and it's a double DQ. Ugh. 3/4*

Corey Graves through the crowd. He knocks Langston down from behind and takes the NXT Title. Oh lovely. What is it about stealing titles the last couple weeks? There was Punk taking Rock's title, and now Graves on Langston?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2/18/13 RAW (Rock Celebration)

John Cena starts this week's RAW in Lafayette, LA. More WM sign pointing and he mentions the big title matches. CM Punk interrupts as usual and in a pissed-off mood. Punk admits Rock beat him at Elimination Chamber but still wants in the WWE Title match. Punk thinks Cena's taking the easy way out by facing Rock because Cena's never beaten Punk. It all leads to Punk and Cena facing off next week, winner faces Rock at WM 29. Could easily see this being another controversial finish. If anyone's winning, it's Cena.

Smart move to have that match next week. I'm thinking they'll really give that one a lot of time. Plus, the Dallas crowd is awesome. Very lively.

Chris Jericho now takes Cena's place on this all-star tandem to face the Shield. Nice nWo reference, Chris.

Mark Henry vs. Sin Cara: No Rey Mysterio again. Another squash win for Mark Henry in about 90 seconds. Wouldn't want to be facing the big man right now. N/A

Great Khali walks to the ring on his two horrible knees. Henry feigns like he's gonna fight, but then rolls out of the ring at the last minute. Still can't understand why Khali even wrestles anymore.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Miz (No DQ): Rematch here after the DQ finish at the PPV last night. Non-title match. Cesaro continues to target Miz's taped-up left shoulder. Doesn't take long for chairs and kendo sticks to appear in the match. Cesaro with unique ways of using those weapons to inflict more punishment to the shoulder. Miz moves and Cesaro's knee hits the chair. Drop toe hold on the chair. Figure-four by Miz and Cesaro taps quickly. Match didn't take very long. *1/4

Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger with another "We the people" promo. Yay, they have a YouTube account!

More Kane and Daniel Bryan arguing like sibling children. DB faces Swagger tonight. Kane doesn't like snakes. HI RANDY ORTON! So this means Kane faces Orton tonight, I suppose. Oh, and DB and Kane tell each other to stay away from the ring during their respective singles matches. Will that happen? Of course not.

Vickie Guerrero on the phone. Paul Heyman comes in. Vickie has a surprise for Heyman to share in the ring later. Heyman doesn't like surprises and Vickie loves it.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: ADR with the big enzuigiri early to Ziggler. Langston gets a cheap shot in to help Ziggler regain control. Swagger and Colter are watching in the back. Nice reverse superplex from ADR. ADR with the clothesline, shoulderblock, and backbreaker. Loud superkick to Ziggler for two. Ziggler counters the cross armbreaker with a neckbreaker for two. Kidney punches and backstabber to Ziggler. Langston on the apron and ADR with a dropkick to his knees. Ziggler gets trapped in the cross armbreaker and has to tap. Crowd was dead for ADR's entrance but at least perked up for the match. **1/4

Langston gets in the ring and nukes ADR. Ziggler looks on. CASH IN THE BRIEFCASE! Ricardo grabs the briefcase and runs for his life. He drops the briefcase as Langston gives chase. Dude, Big E is fast for a big man. AJ Lee retrieves the briefcase but ADR nukes Ziggler to stop everything. Good tease for the MITB stuff. Was funny just to watch Ricardo run.

Wade Barrett is now a movie star! He filmed scenes for "Dead Man Down," in theaters March 8. Some movie trailers are shown. Sheamus on the Titantron and he correctly points out Barrett isn't really the star of the film anyway. Oh, they're out of time for the segment! Gotta keep moving and plug those action figures!

Brodus Clay, Tensai, & Naomi vs. Primo, Epico, & Rosa Mendes: Six-person mixed tag. Brodus and Tensai are going on a safari and I guess they're hunting Puerto Ricans. Naomi was the obvious choice to represent Funkadactyls. Don't see a diva perform a springboard clothesline every day! YES! Blind tag to Brodus. Primo gets nuked with the double splash and it's over in 90 seconds. More Naomi, I say! Brodus and Tensai dance Gangnam Style in the ring. N/A

Another Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger promo in the ring. We, the People! I love the "Don't Tread on Me" slogan. Swagger says Colter will give a State of the Union-like speech. ADR and Ricardo watch in the back. I'm loving this heel pro-American style. First Amendment, baby! Colter says Swagger's gonna win the World Title and reclaim America. Of course, since ADR is Mexican. Makes perfect sense. Colter is gold on the mic. Daniel Bryan comes out and we got a match.

Jack Swagger vs. Daniel Bryan: Match joined in progress. Gotta love DB's ability to work with everyone on the roster. Swagger shows the power game against the smaller DB. DB's ribs are taped up, so again bullseye for Swagger to attack.DB with the comeback. Suicide dive from DB even with the bad ribs. Logic! DB with the NO lock on but Swagger's tall and can get to the ropes. DB misses the dropkick in the corner and favors the ankle. You know what that means. Swagger with vile shots on the ankle. He locks the Patriot lock in and it's over. No Kane in this match. **

Vickie Guerrero and Paul Heyman in the ring next. Vickie's hired a new assistant. Gee, I wonder who it could be. Brad Maddox! And exactly NO ONE in the arena cares! Heyman doesn't care, either. HI VINCE! Vince doesn't have a heart, and if he does, it's cold and black. Much like my coffee this morning. Oh right, Heyman said he would do anything if he got the stipulation he was granted. Well, time to pay the piper. Vince could fire Heyman right now but won't do that. Instead, Vince and Heyman will fight next week. And the crowd doesn't care. Fail.

Shield vs. Chris Jericho, Sheamus, & Ryback: Well, here we go again with the six-man tags. Lawler called Ambrose "Seth Rollins." Time to get glasses, King. Rollins pulls Roman Reigns out of the way of the Brogue Kick, so Ambrose eats it instead. Sheamus with the hot tag to Ryback and the crowd finally can go crazy. Ryback gets Rollins up for Shellshocked but again, Reigns spears Ryback to thwart that. Love how Shield is being booked, even getting good offense on Ryback. Jericho gets the tag and the fans sorta respond. Reigns takes Ryback out on the outside. Sheamus and Reigns duel. Rollins is still free and delivers a dropkick to Jericho. Ambrose covers Jericho for three. Great booking. **3/4

Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow: Kofi's already in the ring, but Sandow at least gets to do his monologue. Hey, Sandow's family was full of personal advisers to former U.S. presidents. Lovely. No match here, just Sandow beating up Kofi. R-TRUTH IS BACK! He had been out with that deep gash on his knee. Truth unloads on Sandow. So is Kofi back to tag action? Maybe Rhodes Scholars will just reunite full-time. It's best for all parties involved right now. You're welcome. N/A

Josh Mathews interviews DJ Cotrona and Adrianne Palicki. Both star with Rock in the upcoming film "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." The movie will come out on March 29, a little over a week before WM 29.

Randy Orton vs. Kane: Fairly competitive match, but again, the crowd mostly dead. Last few minutes of the match were good. Kane sets up for the chokeslam. DB comes down, as expected, to distract Kane. DB didn't say anything. RKO to Kane and it's over. *3/4

Rock's Championship Celebration starts with the Louisiana-Lafayette marching band. Hey, the crowd came alive again -- sorta. They all line up down the aisle and Rock enters to a nice ovation. Only the drummers are playing as Rock's music blares over the sound system.

In the ring, there's a pedestal with a velvet red cloth covering something. Rock with his usual promo, now counting down the days to WM 29. Note that the WWE Title he holds is the SPINNER WWE Title belt that Cena used to wear; that same title in the past few years has NOT had the spinning logo. But that spinner belt at least gets to go to the Hall of Fame. One that doesn't have a physical place -- yet.

Rock basically unveils the NEW WWE Title belt under the cloth. A large WWE logo, front and center, with "CHAMPION" underneath. The platelets on the side are Brahma Bulls. To me, it doesn't look bad at all. Rock says this belt is worthy of the great champions the WWE has had in the past. Again, a nice Bruno Sammartino reference.

Who's Rock facing at WM 29? Before Rock can say who he's facing, Cena comes out. Punk nails Cena from behind with that spinner WWE Title. Punk points at the sign. Staredown between Rock and Punk. Punk then walks away.

Good setup for next week. Punk and Cena should be given some good time, I'm hoping.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2/17/13 Elimination Chamber (Rock/Punk II)

This PPV is in New Orleans! The usual three-man team of Cole, JBL, and Lawler.

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars: The pre-show match of the PPV. I probably was one of those people clamoring for a RS reunion, mainly because I think it'll give both guys a more prominent role. Fans actually respond and cheer for these guys. I would, too. Tensai's wearing a hat to the ring now! Slowly making the transition, I see. RS with great double-team stuff to get Tensai down. Disaster Kick struck early. Brodus and Tensai with a double splash on Cody for the win after 4 minutes. *1/4

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (World Heavyweight Title): Good way to start the PPV because it's again a card filled with quality matches. First two ADR wins required help from announce tables or duct tape, which won't be the case tonight. Show as usual is dominant from the start. Crowd really loves the "SI" chants. Show with a spear early to get two. Show stays with the slow pace, then a huge Vader Bomb for two again. Cross armbreaker out of nowhere but Show gets to the ropes. ADR hits a hurricanrana and then the suicide dive. I like the babyface ADR moveset, don't you? ADR getting more of Mysterio's moveset, now hitting the seated senton from the top to get two again. Show catches ADR and hits a chokeslam...only two! Show counters ADR sunset flip, but ADR hits a DDT for two. Running enzuigiri in the corner also for two. Cross armbreaker again, but Show with his strength lifts ADR and hits a powerbomb-like move to get out of it. Show sets up for the KO punch. Ricardo runs interference again. Show holds the bucket to his head. ADR slips on the ropes and misses the running enzuigiri the first time, but does it properly on the second try. Another kick in the corner. Cross armbreaker to Show and Show taps. Match was about 11 minutes. ADR's still never pinned Show, but a great opener with several counters and favorable crowd reaction. ***

Antonio Cesaro vs. Miz (U.S. Title): So Miz basically got another title shot even though he failed the first time. WWE logic! Miz still has the taped left shoulder to sell those injuries Cesaro gave him. Cesaro, as predicted, works on that shoulder with an array of moves. Miz with a short comeback, but then Cesaro counters with an armbar. Action spills to the outside. Cesaro catches Miz, but Miz sends Cesaro into the steps. No kneepads for Cesaro so it hurts a lot more. Still jealous of Cesaro's strength. Miz focuses on the knee to set up for the figure four. Cesaro trips Miz up and makes it appear Miz caught Cesaro with a low blow. Ref believes it and Cesaro wins by DQ. Miz then decks Cesaro with a real kick to the jewels. **

Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry (Elimination Chamber): As usual, two superstars start, and pods will open every four minutes. Swagger comes out first to a new remixed Patriotic-like theme. Swagger, Kane, Henry, and Orton all start in the pods. Love that DB and Jericho are starting things off. Good chain wrestling to start. Each counters the other's submission finisher. Cole erroneously says the first EC match was when HBK came back; Shawn had returned three months prior at SummerSlam after probably 4+ years away. More counters on the steel portion of the chamber. Swagger comes out of the pod next and works on Jericho. Swagger Bomb for two. Swagger runs DB into the steel chain structure. Cole notes the multiple-time winners of EC matches (HHH with four, Cena three, and Edge two). Swagger continues to dominate until DB hits a flying knee on the outside and Swagger falls on the steel. DB misses headbutt on Jericho, Y2J covers for two. Next out of the chamber is Kane. Team Hell No reunites and it's virtual tag team action here. DB  then tries to roll Kane up for a pin! Vintage backstabbing! DB backs off but Kane knows better. No hugging it out in the chamber! Jericho back in, DB on his shoulders. Kane with Doomsday Device to DB. Swagger sneaks in but only gets two on DB. Orton is next out of the pod, so Henry comes in last as expected. Orton comes in with the usual "I'm the fresh guy so I get to nuke everyone" offense. Orton with the hangman's DDT to Kane on the STEEL. OW. Double superplexes from Orton and Jericho, probably can't do that in other rings because WWE's is larger. Everyone's laid out and Henry enters, licking his chops.

Henry with WSS to DB and Daniel's eliminated quickly. Henry tosses Orton through the plexiglass pod. Henry catches Kane coming off the top, WSS to Kane and Kane's gone. Henry's booked extremely strong here. Swagger and Jericho team up on Henry. Double suplex on the steel lays out Henry! Swagger and Y2J battle in the ring for a few near falls. Henry catches Y2J on the lionsault attempt and launches him into the chain links of the chamber. Henry eats a Swagger boot, Y2J codebreaker, and Orton RKO and gets eliminated. Henry's pissed and delivers WSS to the three remaining guys. Booker T and Teddy Long come out, and all of a sudden, Teddy's merely an assistant and not the "Senior Adviser" he once was. Y2J and Orton team on Swagger. Swagger into the post and the chamber pod. Jericho and Orton hit signature moves for near falls. Ankle lock to Orton, but Jericho breaks that up for who knows what reason. Ankle lock now to Jericho. Jericho counters into the Walls and Orton now for some reason decides to break that up. ELIMINATION MATCH, DAMMIT! Jericho counters RKO, Orton knees up on Lionsault, RKO to eliminate Jericho. Swagger sneaks in and rolls Orton up for three! Swagger's going to WM 29! Huge win for Swagger. Didn't think he'd win this one, but since ADR held onto the title, it seems fitting that a heel win it. I'm still expecting Ziggler to hold true to his word and cash in MITB by WM 29 -- or at the event to make it a triple threat. ***3/4

Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback: The babyface superheros of course dominate the start with triple delayed vertical suplexes. Just don't drop anyone like Miz did with Punk. Sheamus on fire, and then Roman Reigns stops that. Sheamus explodes with a Brogue Kick to Ambrose and tags Cena. Cena moves of doom to Reigns. STF locked in but Ambrose breaks that up. Rollins with a springboard knee to Cena. Cena gets beaten down for a change; you don't see that every day. Crowd chanting for Ryback to get in the match. Cena with the ugliest back suplex known to mankind. Cena still can't get to Ryback. Shield doing a great job working on Cena. Cena backdrops Ambrose out of the ring. Crowd is going nuts for Ryback as he dismantles Ambrose and Rollins. Sheamus takes Ambose to the outside. Reigns spears Sheamus through the barricade! 3-on-1 assault on Ryback again! Cena pulls Reigns to the outside to thwart the triple powerbomb. AA to Ambrose! Ryback gets Rollins up for Shellshocked. Reigns comes back in and spears Ryback. Reigns fends Cena off and Rollins scores the pin on Ryback! WAIT, THE SHIELD PINNED RYBACK?! Well, I'll be damned. ***1/4

Frankly, I woulda hoped Cena or Sheamus would take the pinfall, but they had to feed Ryback to the Shield this time. Ryback looks at Cena and then storms off. I wouldn't necessarily call that a heel turn, but it could be the planting of one. Could set up something with Cena and Ryback for post-WM 29? I know Vince wants to keep the momentum going with Big Hungry.

Dolph Ziggler comes out and he pretty much complains that he's not booked for a match on the show. Booker T comes out and gives him a match with Kofi Kingston.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston: Kofi with a monkey flip to Ziggler; Ziggler rotates an extra 180 degrees and lands front-first on his left wrist. Ziggler favored the wrist for the rest of the match. Kofi went into the ring post and sold the right shoulder. Ziggler with a sleeper to Kofi. Kofi battles out. Suicide dive to the outside nails Big E Langston. Trouble in Paradise to Ziggler,but Langston looked like he pulled Ziggler out of the ring. Kofi high springboard dive onto Langston again! Kofi with a springboard crossbody onto Ziggler back in the ring for two. Ziggler with an innovative-looking "Super Snake Eyes" from the second rope anda Zigzag to Kofi to get three. Match was maybe four minutes. Langston storms in after the match and nukes Kofi with an avalanche and that modified cutter finisher. *1/2

Brodus and the Funkadactyls are playing with those new WWE Power Slammer action figures. Basically they roll around...yippee. Tensai is now nicknamed "Sweet T," I guess? Brodus asks what all the kanji on Tensai's face means and Tensai doesn't even know. Cameron slaps Tensai's ass and they randomly all dance in the back with the dance lights. Facepalm.

Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka (Divas Title): Match made last Monday after some backstage altercation. So basically zero buildup. Kaitlyn taped promo references an AJ Lee spider monkey and Tonya Harding. Ugh. Kaitlyn on offense and the crowd doesn't care. A few divas watch on the monitor; hoping Natalya actually gets a title reign soon. Tamina with a Samoan drop -- or should it be a Fijian drop? Superfly splash misses and Kaitlyn hits the spear to retain the title at the 3:30 mark. *

WWE Title match closes the show. As a reminder, if Rock gets counted out or DQ'd, he loses the WWE Title.

The Rock vs. CM Punk (WWE Title): Punk still has Rock's title and comes out first. Punk makes Justin Roberts say Punk is the people's champion. Main event intros, and Roberts places more emphasis on Rock's name like he has with people like Cena. Punk with the upper hand to start, then it looked like he flipped off Rock. Rock storms back, so Punk backs off and slows things down. Heel logic! Punk keeps trying to push Rock's buttons to get a DQ. Punk spits in Rock's face! Keep on pushing the buttons! Rock pummels Punk on the outside. Punk rakes the eyes while Heyman distracts the ref. Crowd is split. Kids love Rock. Punk with a bunch of rest holds to Rock, and that bores the heck outta me. A couple of running knees to Rock. Action back to the outside and Punk readies the Spanish table. It's always gotta be the Spanish guys first! Rock fights back. Rock Bottom in the ring countered and a Punk roundhouse kick gets two. Back to the Spanish table. Punk with a Rock Bottom to Rock on the Spanish table! Table really reinforced this time and didn't collapse. Punk tries for the countout win. Rock milks the count and gets in at the last possible moment. Rock with a desperation Samoan drop. Double KO spot and they get up at nine again. Trading haymakers. Rock with the boot and DDT to Punk. Where's the burst of energy coming from, Lawler asks. DUDE, Rock didn't do much for the previous few minutes other than that Rock Bottom on the table! He shouldn't be winded! Punk counters Rock Bottom again with a ton of elbow strikes. Punk with the springboard -- into a Rock Bottom! Only two as Heyman probably avoided another heart attack. Heyman distracts the official. REF BUMP! Rock shoved into Mike Chioda. GTS from Punk but no ref. And again, Punk will argue on RAW how he gets screwed out of the title. Heyman is beside himself. Second ref comes down but tends to Chioda. Punk goes for another GTS but Rock counters with spinebuster and People's Elbow. Ref #2 in the ring...TWO as Punk kicks out. Punk appears to roll up on Ref #2's ankle so now he's down. Another kick to Rock. Punk motions for Heyman to give him the WWE Title. Heyman holds Rock on the ropes. Punk decks Heyman instead. Rock Bottom to Punk! Chioda back in the ring to count three. Rock retains at about 21 minutes. It wasn't gonna be a pretty and clean main event, but it delivered on crowd reaction at the end. It's clear Rock's in-ring conditioning is not gonna be at a level you saw from a Jericho or a Daniel Bryan in the chamber. ***3/4

Rock and Cena is now official for WM 29. Bet the farm that it'll be the last match on the card, and just about everyone is expecting Cena to triumph this time. I'd guess Rock and Cena shake hands to end WM 29 and you'll get the big fireworks and stuff.

WWE seems committed to having Punk wrestle Taker, and we'll likely see Lesnar and HHH part infinity.

Elimination Chamber PPV had seven matches on the main card, plus the pre-show match. Very good PPV overall. Loved the chamber match because the right people got booked solid, such as Mark Henry. Didn't expect Swagger to win, but that's a huge boost for his career. I thought Ziggler would cash MITB in here, but he'll probably save it for WM 29.

I would think Ziggler could cash it in on free TV as well to keep his promise intact, but since he's a heel and heels usually lie, I wouldn't hold my breath. ***1/2

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2/15/13 Smackdown

Big Show starts this week's episode. We again see what happened last week, when Alberto Del Rio got some help to remove the tires off Show's bus. Show says ADR has never pinned him, and he plans to take out his frustrations with a KO punch at the PPV. Chris Jericho comes out to say he's gonna win the Elimination Chamber match and possibly face Show at WM 29. He and Show go back 16 years. Booker T decides to have Jericho and Show face off tonight instead. Sounds good to me.

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton: Orton has to use his quickness to avoid Mark's huge size advantage. Henry with the usual power moves to slow the pace down. A couple of near falls for the big man. Orton manages the hangman's DDT. RKO countered and Henry with an avalanche-like move to send Orton to the outside. Orton avoids the World's Strongest Slam and decks Henry with a chair. Ref calls for the bell but Orton doesn't care. Chair shots to Henry's back. Henry still hits the WSS on Orton. Both guys will be in the chamber on Sunday. *3/4

Mark Henry's pissed and declares the Hall of Pain open for business. He wants all the police and military troops on hand. Yay for heel Mark Henry!

Video package on the six-man tag with the Shield facing the superhero all-stars (Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback).

Tamina Snuka vs. Layla: Tamina's got a Divas Title match at the PPV against Kaitlyn, so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who's winning here. Not many divas matches or segments the past couple weeks. Layla gets tripped up on the apron, triggering thoughts about her legit knee injury that sidelined her for a while. Kaitlyn watches the match from the back. tamina with an impressive Samoan Drop and then the Superfly Splash for three. Match was probably four and a half minutes. *1/4

Footage shown of Punk getting the better of Rock on RAW.

Rock promo, so the fans get another chance to go nuts. Punk still has Rock's title. Rock says Punk merely made a trade: hold Rock's belt for six days and then receive a huge asskicking at the PPV. He calls Punk a spoiled little boy. Punk and Heyman on the Titantron via satellite. Punk reminds Rock of the new stipulations; Rock can lose the title via countout or DQ. Punk says he might just let Rock beat himself at the PPV. Rock with more of the "spoiled little boy" jabs. OK, I get it: you're a man and Punk's a spoiled little boy.

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. 3MB: Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal representing 3MB this week for the tag match. Tensai's still the "I don't wanna dance but sure, let's tag" mentality. Then the match starts. Slater with air guitar, so Tensai with some dancing. No, I don't really want to imagine a double date involving Brodus/Naomi and Tensai/Cameron. The big guys get the win again this week in a straightforward match. JBL calls Jinder "Punjabi MC" for a nice laugh. Jinder eats a sitdown chokeslam and a Brodus splash. Over in less than three minutes. JBL wins for the Natural Disasters reference. *

OH SNAP, here's the Shield. Triple powerbomb to Brodus. Message sent.

Miz vs. Cody Rhodes: Miz's left shoulder still taped up to sell injuries suffered on RAW. Josh Mathews claims Miz will be 100% by Sunday. Simple strategy for Cody to work on the left shoulder. Miz manages to lock in the figure four and get a submission win. Little over three minutes. *

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder: Poor Zack Ryder is gonna job again! Swagger avoids the Broski Boot and slams Ryder's right ankle into the ring post. Patriot Act applied and the "Real American" gets another quick win this week. Again, match took a bit over three minutes. *

Zeb Colter on the mic after the match. More of the "Real American" preaching. I love how WWE can incorporate U.S. history. Frankly, I can see someone like Bruno Sammartino getting behind such a gimmick.

Video package on how destructive the Elimination Chamber can be on a WWE Superstar.

Matt Striker finally with a "normal" interview to ADR and Ricardo. ADR admits he's never pinned Show but will still go to WM as the world champ. SI SI SI!

Big Show vs. Chris Jericho: Kudos to Chris Jericho for having multiple great free-TV matches in the last few weeks. Show is dominant from the start and even tosses Jericho over the announce table. Even when Jericho gets Show on his knees, Show explodes with a huge spear for two. Still cringe at seeing the impact of that. Jericho avoids one chokeslam but can't avoid the second. Y2J to the outside but Show tosses him back in. Show misses a huge elbow drop and Y2J Lionsault gets two. Y2J counters Show with a DDT for two. Y2J can't get the Walls of Jericho on, then walks right into a KO punch (more like a slap to the face here for max audio effect). Show gets the win. **

ADR looks on from the stage. The usual staredown. PPV is this Sunday (which is actually later today).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

2/15/13 Superstars

WWE taped Superstars in Nashville, TN, this week. Titus O'Neil starts the show and gets the SEC college football hate by saying he's a proud Florida Gator. Even tries to get the fans to do the Gator Chomp.

Justin Gabriel vs. Titus O'Neil: A lot of SEC college football talk here. Striker points out that Gabriel is a Peyton Manning fan, and of course, Peyton went to the University of Tennessee for college. JG with the high-flying stuff to start, then Titus slows the action down. JG with another kick on the apron, setting up the win with the 450 splash. *3/4

Replay of the RAW match where Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback destroyed 3MB. Then there was the Shield promo on RAW. The lights went out, and this so-called all-star tandem sent Shield retreating again.

Kaitlyn vs. Natalya: Non-title match here. Natalya showboats a bunch again, but I'd consider it a huge demotion to be in a partnership with Khali. Natalya sits on Kaitlyn for a pin. Kaitlyn with the power kickout to send Natalya flying on her rear. A few counters on finishing moves, then Kaitlyn hits the spear for three. 3/4*

Show ends with Rock's promo at the end of RAW. Punk came out to crash the party, then Punk hits the GTS on Rock and walks off with Rock's title.

Again, not a show really worth watching. It was mostly devoted to refreshing people's minds on the bigger RAW storylines headlining the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday.

Friday, February 15, 2013

2/14/13 Impact

This Valentine's Day edition of Impact is again in the UK.

Hulk Hogan starts the show, getting a huge pop as usual. He addresses the World Title situation. 8 guys, 4 matches. Winners are who HH gets to pick from to decide the #1 contender to Jeff Hardy's title, and that title match takes place at Lockdown. Matches are RVD vs. James Storm, Christopher Daniels vs. Magnus, Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe, and Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode. Hogan picks the #1 contender later in the night. The last two matches interest me the most because of the "friendship" each have -- or I guess it's more mutual respect.

HH next addresses Aces & Eights. Sting to the ring, and HH calls him the greatest wrestler ever. Huge compliment. Sting will captain a team to face A&E, and Sting wants to waste no time recruiting people. Perhaps AJ Styles will become a part of that team since he has to stay out of the title picture until at least October.

Christopher Daniels vs. Magnus: Magnus with the big home-country reception. Taz is still miffed that no A&E members are part of this #1 contenders tournament. Kaz gets involved multiple times in the match. Ref finally catches Kaz and ejects him. So much for that $20 license. Good power display from Magnus. Daniels is doomer after Kaz's ejection, and Magnus hits a top-rope elbow for three. *3/4

Bully Ray isn't in the title picture due to a quad injury during the tables match that aired last week. I've read the injury is legit, but still probably part of a storyline because Bully does wrestle at future TV tapings.

Magnus promo making his plea that he deserves to be the #1 contender for the World Title.

As Kurt Angle walks to the ring for his match, TNA plays a recorded statement Angle made concerning the IOC dropping wrestling for the 2020 Olympics. It's a decision that's been overwhelmingly panned by people everywhere. Even Taz breaks character to voice his displeasure at that decision.

Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe: A good match here that I wish had even more time. Highly competitive match. Big crowd reaction, especially for the Angle suplexes. Angle gets out of the rear naked choke, Joe counters the ankle lock. Double clothesline spot allows Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco to get involved. Ref throws the match out. Angle and Joe fight off the attack this time. Seems safe to say Sting will recruit both Angle and Joe for his team. **1/4

Jesse, Tara, & Gail Kim vs. Party Marty & Blossom Twins: The three other participants in British Boot Camp get some in-ring action tonight. Rockstar Spud might have gotten the TNA contract, but this is a nice consolation prize. Marty showboats to the crowd a bit, while the twins showcase their tag skills. None of the announcers can tell which Blossom twin is which. The knockouts in TNA generally get more ring time than their WWE counterparts, so decent time given here. Marty's gotta work on his suicide dive because he looked like he got the worst of that by crashing into the barricade. Replays showed his face hit the bottom of the guardrail. Gail hits Eat Defeat on one of the Blossom Twins to score the victory. *3/4

Gail on the mic after the match demanding another Knockouts Title shot. Brooke Hogan comes out. Gail gets her title match next week on Impact -- but it's now a four-way elimination match to include Miss Tessmacher and Velvet Sky. Brooke Hogan will watch from ringside. Next week's episode is also in the UK.

Hannah and Holly Blossom (real names Lucy Knott and Kelly Knott) are basically what the Bella Twins were in WWE. Hannah Blossom captured the OVW Women's Title in her first match and it basically became clear that she didn't do it alone. Eventually, her real twin, Holly, is introduced to the wrestling world. They looked pretty solid in the ring. Each started wrestling training at 15 and now have 10 years of experience.

Again, TNA starts going on the road full-time starting March 14. First stop will be Chicago. Impact will also be in Jonesboro, AR, on March 28 and Corpus Christi, TX, on April 11. So perhaps two sets of tapings per city? I'd call that a smart move to again save on travel costs.

I guess Jeff Hardy couldn't make the UK trip (explains why the A&E attack took place), but Dixie Carter mentions he'll be back on Impact on February 28. Hardy scored a long-term deal, which is a great move because Hardy basically gets fans to watch the show.

James Storm vs. Rob Van Dam: Another competitive six-minute match. Several counters and nice crowd reaction. RVD tries that Van Terminator coast-to-coast dropkick and misses. Storm hits the Last Call and gets three. **

Joseph Park gets ribbed on what politicking is in the wrestling world. Fun.

Brooke pleads a case for Bully to somehow get into the World Title picture. Gotta butter up to daddy somehow. Hulk does the "I'll take it under advisement" way to get out of it all.

Austin Aries and Bobby Roode on the mic before the match. They accuse Hulk of being scared and still plan to take all the titles in the company. They say they're on the same page. Yeah right.

Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode: Double Fingerpoke of Doom spot doesn't work. HA. Aries lays down for Roode, but then tries to steal the win himself. More jawjacking. Gotta love massive heel egos. Aries always seems to be the crowd favorite when these two square off, huh? Aries and Roode counter each other multiple times. Aries with a nice counter to the spear and hooks the Last Chancery. Roode gouges the eyes and hooks the Crossface. Aries shoves Roode into the ref, so more time for shenanigans. Roode slams the chair in the ring to make it appear Aries hit him with it, but then Aries does the same. Ref turns around to see the double KO with a single chair. WIN! Funniest part is how AA and RR are pissed at the other but still trying to sell the fake chair shot. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez come down the ramp and lure the tag champs out of the ring. AA and RR then basically prevent each other from getting back in, so it's a double countout. Neither guy in the match was gonna be the #1 contender anyway. **3/4

Hulk comes out to announce the #1 contender. Before he can, A&E comes out to play. Bully Ray and Sting make the save. Sting even brought a few black cricket bats to the party. A&E retreats. No #1 contender announcement as the show ends.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2/13/13 NXT (Tag Title Tournament Finals)

The NXT Tag Team Title Tournament finals conclude on this week's show! Tony Dawson and William Regal on commentary, and the tag titles are right beside them.

As Summer Rae announces the guys for the first match, Paige charges to the ring and Summer runs to the back. Paige wants to hold the show up. Dusty Rhodes tries to calm things down. Summer comes back out and basically uses Dusty as a big shield. Ref has to restrain Paige. Finally, a divas feud stirring in NXT that people can try to get excited about. Poor Axl Keegan and Mike Dalton didn't even get to wrestle on the show.

Axl Keegan vs. Mike Dalton: (No match)

Corey Graves vs. Alex Riley: Byron Saxton is now doing the announcing. Riley in control early, but the crowd appears pretty dead. Graves eventually locks in the 13th Step and Riley taps. Roughly five minutes. Average at best. *

Trainers examine Paige's left shoulder. Paige and Summer Rae will have a match next, so that shoulder should play a factor.

Summer Rae vs. Paige: Paige's left shoulder is taped up, so obvious bullseye there. Paige does what she can, but Summer hits a spinning roundhouse kick to get three. Regal's "shocked" at the victory. I'm not. Sucks that the match had to be just a couple minutes. 1/4*

Sasha Banks' secret admirer strikes again. At least it won't be Khali...right?

Interview with Tyson Kidd to air next week on NXT. Kidd's gonna be out for a while with a knee injury. Hoping he has a speedy recovery.

Adrian Neville & Oliver Grey vs. The Wyatt Family (NXT Tag Team Titles): Dusty in the ring with the tag titles. Did the beards on the Wyatt Family grow even longer over time? Typical agile team vs. big team match, which doesn't look too pretty overall. Rowan showing "inexperience" by allowing Grey anywhere near his own corner, so Neville tags in. Crowd again seems mostly dead except when some cool-looking move shows itself. Bray Wyatt gets involved behind the ref's back, but Dusty sees it and ejects Wyatt. More rest holds from Wyatt Family. Grey worn down, but he gets the hot tag to Neville anyway. Neville a house of fire. Springboard move countered with a Luke Harper big boot. Grey breaks up the pin. Rowan and Grey battle on the outside. Harper misses the discus clothesline and decks Rowan on the apron. Enzuigiri from Neville, then the corkscrew shooting star for the three. In all honesty, the match wasn't that great (seemed to drag on forever) until the hot tag. *3/4

Nice move to have Neville and Grey as the first champs. Spark some life into the tag division. Tony Dawson wants some thoughts from the tag champs but it's basically bro hugs and "we're the first NXT tag champs!" Yup.

2/13/13 Main Event

This week's episode is in Little Rock, AR. Cole and JBL on commentary. Miz is selling shoulder injuries from Cesaro's attack on RAW.

Highlight Reel begins the show. Since Miz is selling injuries, Jericho has a new guest: Alberto Del Rio. Ricardo Rodriguez pops in the ring to announce ADR. ADR says he'll beat Show at the Elimination Chamber PPV. Jericho has respect for ADR's family, but says he's gonna win the EC match and go on to face him at WM 29. They have a war of words in Spanish and Ricardo loses his breath in the fiasco. Dolph Ziggler and company interrupt. Jericho of course has to get in his two cents on AJ Lee and Big E Langston. Ziggler promises he's cashing in MITB between now and WM 29. Tonight, it's Ziggler vs. Del Rio.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: Non-title match. ADR goes shoulder-first into the ring post and Ziggler is able to seize control a few minutes in. Couple of Ziggler dropkicks get two. ADR over the top and his head hits the ring steps. Ziggler crotched on the top and ADR with a reverse superplex from the top. Ziggler with a dropkick again, but ADR with the big moves. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and superkick to a kneeling Ziggler for two. Ziggler counters the cross armbreaker and hits the jumping spike DDT for two. ADR with kidney punches and a backstabber for two. AJ put Ziggler's foot on the ropes to stop the count. ADR distracted and Ziggler hits a Rocker Dropper for two. Crowd's really loving it. Ziggler's pissed. ADR with a kick to the left arm and double knees to that arm. Ziggler avoids the running kick in the corner and gets the sleeper locked in. ADR fights out and the running enzuigiri for two! Holy crap this is awesome. Ziggler again counters the cross armbreaker. AJ distract the ref. Langston decks ADR. Ricardo hits Langston with the bucket and Langston no-sells. Ricardo gets Langston to chase him to the back. Ziggler can't hook the Zigzag and ADR locks in the cross armbreaker. Ziggler taps. Probably the best match in the history of WWE Main Event right there. ****

That's the only match on this episode. The rest of the show was RAW highlights.

First, the end segment where Punk finally got the GTS on Rock thanks to Heyman's interference. Then the Shield segment where they call out Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback. The supposed "all-star team" fights off the Shield again. Should hopefully set up a Shield win at the PPV. I'm picking Sheamus to get pinned, although maybe Cena could stay down as well since it's a virtual lock that Shield win = dirty win. Ryback will get booked strong again.

WWE pre-show match is Brodus Clay and Tensai vs. Team Rhodes Scholars. So Rhodes Scholars mutually decided to part ways, but they're back as a tag team. WWE logic!

Elimination Chamber match is set: Jack Swagger, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Mark Henry, and Kane. I like Jericho's chances here, although Swagger and Henry should also be booked strong.

This should be the time Ziggler ends up cashing in the MITB briefcase. At the time of this blog post, Ziggler's still not booked for a match at the Elimination Chamber PPV. ADR's retaining the title again. Show could easy KO Del Rio after the title match and walk away in frustration. Ziggler can pick the bones, cash in the briefcase, and basically steal the title. Ziggler and Jericho could work. Triple threat with ADR, Jericho, and Ziggler for the title could work.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2/11/13 RAW

In Nashville for this week's RAW. Cole and Lawler on commentary.

Paul Heyman begins RAW in the ring. He had sent a Tout earlier in the day to make an "announcement of a lifetime." He says in the ring that it'll be the last time you'll ever see Paul Heyman. Crowd cheers like mad for that, but many of us know he's a huge liar. He brings up ECW again, which really was awesome. Heyman recalls how he aligned with Lesnar for Brock's debut. Heyman says Punk should still be WWE champ today. Heyman predicts something bad will happen tonight. Heyman should seriously become a preacher the way he speaks. Heyman says all these bad things are pretty much why he's resigning (not re-signing, folks). Crowd again cheers.

CM Punk comes out and basically tells Heyman not to leave. Punk admires Heyman and says the people look up to Heyman. Hey, I'm a Paul Heyman guy! Heyman says he's just in the way and wants Punk to let him go. Heyman just wants to be remembered as Punk's friend. Punk refuses. Punk vows to beat Rock at Elimination Chamber this Sunday. They hug it out in the ring. Great opening segment.

Mark Henry vs. Great Khali: And from that great opening segment, we get THIS debacle. Basically a squash win for Mark Henry in less than two minutes. Mark Henry faces Randy Orton on Smackdown. N/A

Jericho wants in the Elimination Chamber match. Booker T says Y2J must face Daniel Bryan tonight. YES!

Heyman goes to Vickie Guerrero and wants a stipulation added to the WWE Title match. Vickie refuses. Vince McMahon on the phone, so Vickie puts it on loudspeaker. Vince with the "SHUT UP!" to Heyman. Heyman says if Rock is counted out or DQ'd, Punk should win the title. Vince wants it in writing. Heyman agrees. Vince OKs the stipulation and hangs up.

Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan: YES! Still remember their match from the first show of NXT Season 1. Wrestling clinic here. Y2J goes for the early pins. Cole brings up the first EC match but doesn't mention Eric Bischoff's name. Match had a ton of counters, very competitive. Crowd really amped up for it. DB finally hits his headbutt for two. Walls of Jericho applied! DB counters. NO lock can't get locked in. DB counters Walls again countered. Kick to Jericho's head for two. DB goes for the KO kick again but Y2J ducks. Rollup for two. Codebreaker out of nowhere and Jericho's going to the chamber match. Jericho's on fire again with more excellent matches! ***1/4

Rey Mysterio has been ruled out of the EC match due to injury. So we're back to needing to fill two more spots. Jericho, DB, Henry, and Randy Orton are in as of now.

John Cena, Sheamus, & Ryback vs. 3MB: OK, did anyone really think 3MB had a shot here? Obviously a warmup match for Cena and company. Ryback nukes Slater, Sheamus nukes McIntyre, then Cena nukes Jinder. Nice triple finisher at the end. 3MB at least could practice their gyrations on air guitar. Match over in three minutes of pain. N/A

Post-match promos. Ryback can't wait to feast on the Shield on Sunday. Sheamus wants Shield tonight. Cena says justice meets the law when the six guys square off. Nice one. When Cena isn't cutting the stupid funny promos, he actually does a heck of a job.

Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu make fun of Big Show behind Show's back earlier in the day. Show KOs both of them. Oops.

Show to the ring. Nice suit. Matt Striker in the ring to interview Show. Show KOs Striker. Sound about right. Show can't get the words out of his mouth, acting too pissed to talk. Show just throws the mic down and leaves. Point made.

Bruno Sammartino HOF video shown again. Even Bruno admitted in an interview that he was stunned to know people were cheering after that HOF video aired. Bruno's legacy spans multiple generations. Finally, the WWE Hall of Fame adds a true legend.

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder: Another win for Swagger. He says real Americans take what they want. And Swagger's got a new manager. It's the guy formerly known as Dutch Mantel! Mantel is now known as Zeb Coulter. I don't care for the name at all, but you probably coulda guessed that. Ryder gets some offense in early, but Swagger is too much. Patriot Act (ankle lock) ends it in less than three minutes. 1/2*

Swagger says Zeb Coulter is a friend of his. Looked online, it says Zeb resides in Tennessee. Zeb is also legitimately a Vietnam War veteran. It's basically the "real Patriots, real Americans" gimmick (usually a babyface thing) with the heel twist. They want to protect and defend America, kicking unwanted people out in the process. Zeb has solid mic skills. A great pairing.

Booker announces Swagger has been unstoppable and puts him in the Elimination Chamber. Duh, we all saw that coming a million miles away -- at least when he finally returned to TV.

Ziggler wants back in the qualifying for the EC match. He's pissed that Jericho's now in the chamber match because Ziggler "ended" Jericho's last stint in WWE. Booker says Ziggler faces Kane tonight, winner gets in the chamber.

Footage again of Lesnar's destruction on Vince and Miz.

On WWE Main Event this week, the Highlight Reel returns! Chris Jericho's guest will be Miz.

Cody Rhodes vs. Miz: Antonio Cesaro on commentary. He praises Miz's talent, but doesn't like him as a person. Typical match here. Action spills to the outside. Cesaro looks like he's gonna attack Miz, so Miz kicks Cesaro down. Cesaro shoves Miz into the post and the ref calls for the bell. *

Brodus Clay & Tensai vs. Primo & Epico: Well, if this is what it takes for a person to keep a nice-paying job, I'd consider doing what Tensai's needed to do the last several weeks. Tensai is pretty much all business when walking to the ring. A little fun in the ring doesn't hurt. Primo and Epico are basically getting booked like crap these days anyway. Time to dance after the match. Tensai dancing Gangnam Style? Ugh. N/A

Oh, yay for seeing Naomi and Cameron do something wrestling-related!

Shield to the ring, again entering through the crowd. Shield wants some action. There's been a John Cena problem in WWE for the past decade, and the Shield claims to be the solution. Strong promo from Shield. They again keep calling out Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback. LIGHTS OUT! There they are, and it's time to brawl. All six guys fight back through the crowd. Shield retreats again. Solid segment. Should mean Shield wins on Sunday. Shield would really be hurting with a PPV loss.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Damien Sandow: Sandow blasts the fans for listening to music that's not Beethoven or Mozart. Those damn ignoramuses! Ricardo's back for the Del Rio grand intro. ADR wins in a minute with the cross armbreaker. SQUASH! N/A

ADR post-match promo. He says Show can take his tour bus anywhere he wants after the Elimination Chamber PPV. ADR's going to WM 29. Vintage sign pointing!

Bo Dallas jumps Wade Barrett in the back, much like Wade did on Smackdown a couple weeks ago.

Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston: Not bad here. Another match that goes back and forth. Barrett misses the Bullhammer the first time, but suckers Kofi into the ring dressing and nails him with a Bullhammer shot there. Wade gets the win at the three-minute mark. *3/4

Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler: I'm sorry, I wanted to watch AJ Lee during this one. Loved her outfit. Kane basically dominates most of the match. Big E Langston again helps Ziggler get the upper hand. Great stuff in the second half, several near falls and counters. Kane to the top, AJ gets on the apron. Ziggler bounces into the ropes, knocking AJ off the apron. Langston catches her. Ziggler wants to make sure AJ's OK, and Kane delivers a chokeslam for three. Kane's finally in the chamber match. **1/2

Rock to the ring to close the show. Thunderous cheers here. Yes, we want to know WHY. It's story time with the Rock. Rock moved to Nashville when he was 15. No action from the girls in high school because they thought Rock was an undercover cop. Oops, not all good to be 6'4" and 220 lbs in high school then. Rock got a busted-up 1979 Thunderbird from a crackhead in a bar when he was 15. Woohoo! Rock thought the car was stolen so he ditched it at 2 a.m. I never had such a lively life at 15. Rock got his life together at 25 and says he will still be champ after the PPV.

Punk interrupts. Rock with the Twilight love scene reference. Homeless vampire boy hugging a hairy werewolf! Time to settle it in the ring now. Punk walks to the ring. Fight's on! Rock with the spinebuster, but Heyman trips Rock up on the People's Elbow. Punk with the GTS to Rock and stands tall with the title.

Rock should be retaining the title this Sunday. Undertaker's status for WM 29 is still unclear. If Taker can't go, it might end up being a triple threat at WM 29 for the WWE Title (Rock/Cena/Punk). Taker was spotted in Nashville, but didn't appear on the show.

Show had a couple of nice matches, but mostly squashes to advance storylines. Elimination Chamber PPV is this Sunday.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2/8/13 Smackdown

Big Show's bus pulls to the arena in Jacksonville. He then walks to the ring and gripes that he lost the title in a match he couldn't prepare for and then get assaulted in his hotel room. The usual "wah wah wah" stuff. Show then goes to Booker T and says Booker is jealous of Show's in-ring accomplishments. Enter Booker. Show accuses Booker of telling Del Rio where Show was staying. Booker says anyone can find a 7-footer in a hotel room. Still need the damn hotel info, though. Basically, Booker dodged the question. Booker "suspended" ADR, but puts Show in a match against Kane.

Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston: Mustache is still on Cody's face. Kofi on fire early on. Josh Mathews mentions that ADR is still in Jacksonville despite the suspension. JBL calls Cody "Zorro" and "Mark Spitz." Awesome. Cody counters and avoids Kofi's big moves. Cody hits the Disaster Kick and Cross Rhodes to get three. Match went about four minutes. *3/4

Daniel Bryan and Kane in the back. Gotta love how DB passively gloats about how he's in the Elimination Chamber.

We see Lesnar's nukage from the past two RAWs. First to Vince McMahon, then to Miz.

Bruno Sammartino HOF video shown again. Still surreal that HHH managed to get him to agree. Asking price was steep, but Vince OK'd everything. Read online that if Sammartino didn't get in this year, he'd never approve and accept a WWE HOF induction. Not sure how truthful that is, but given Bruno's bad blood with Vince over the years, I'd believe it.

Great Khali vs. Titus O'Neil: And now I hate my life for having to watch this match. I do like Khali's music, but still, don't make him wrestle. Teddy Long and Booker T are watching because Khali's actually a former world champion and could be in the Elimination Chamber. Please don't make that happen. Titus runs right into a Khali chop and it's over in two minutes. DUD

Mark Henry! YES! He tosses Titus into the barricade and destroys Khali. Henry then gets on the mic and reopens the Hall of Pain. He blames Booker T for not contacting him about qualifying for the elimination chamber match. So Mark Henry felt he had to destroy four guys this week to do so. Oops. Mark threatens to destroy the entire locker room. Booker comes out. Mark continues the threats. Booker says Mark's been out nine months. Who gives a crap? Booker will grant Mark a spot in the chamber if he beats Randy Orton. Yes, put Mark Henry in the chamber. Book it. Wasn't Orton gonna take time off anyway? This could be a way to do so.

Big Show wants the proper temperature in the bus, the proper steak, and an unclogged toilet. AlbertoDelRio sighting! He's not in the building so it's OK. Wonder what's gonna happen now....

Big Show vs. Kane: Booker and Teddy are watching this match to see if Kane gets to go in the chamber. Hey, Show hits the Vader Bomb this week! Show missed the second one, though. Kane tweaks his knee on the top-rope clothesline and Show hits the KO punch for three. Match probably went about five minutes (including the commercial break time). *3/4

ADR on the Titantron. He made a new friend,the guy working for Big Show! ADR made some changes to the bus. Show storms outside to see. Back tires got taken off! ADR then dumps orange paint on Show. Ricardo's driving the tow truck! Show cries. Can we not see a 7-foot giant do that, please?

So far, Orton, DB, and Rey Mysterio are in the Elimination Chamber. Three more spots to fill. With both world titles contested in singles matches, it appears there will only be one EC match for the PPV.

Jack Swagger vs. Justin Gabriel: Gabriel's got brown hair now, like it matters. Swagger is aggressive from the opening bell and looks dominant all the way through. Swagger ends it with this gutwrench power bomb and the "Patriot Act" ankle lock. Not sold on the new name for the ankle lock yet, but at least it's something. *

Fandango vignette. I'd hold off on his debut until after WM 29.

Tensai vs. Drew McIntyre: I think a face turn is what Tensai needs to pick up momentum. Pairing with Brodus Clay might look odd, but hey, it probably will sell tickets. Jinder and Heath Slater tackle Tensai about a minute in and the ref calls for the bell. Brodus comes out and the two big men dance. Why not just pull out shades for Tensai so he can "transform" into a dancing machine like Rikishi did with Too Cool? Well, I'm sure people can just skip over this one. N/A

Antonio Cesaro vs. Sin Cara: Short match again. Sin Cara with a noteworthy move, flipping onto Cesaro's shoulders and hitting a big snap powerbomb for two. Sin Cara springboards into a Cesaro Euro uppercut. Neutralizer follows and gets three. Match was about two and a half minutes. *1/4

Striker interviews Miz about what happened on Miz TV. Cesaro comes in and insults Miz so they brawl. Resume the U.S. Title chase!

RAW video package of Shield nuking Brad Maddox. Cena gets the entire WWE locker room to help make the Shield retreat. Six-man tag between Shield and Cena/Sheamus/Ryback at Elimination Chamber PPV.

Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton: Orton has trouble handling Mark. Action spills to the outside and Orton shoves the big man into the ring post. Doesn't really do much but piss Mark off. Orton still manages a clothesline, dropkick, and the hangman's DDT. Crowd all jacked up now. Mark avoids the RKO, splashes Orton in the corner, and hits the World's Strongest Slam for three at 5:30. *3/4

Mark Henry is the fourth guy to be placed in the EC match. Two guys start, and each of the four pods unlocks one superstar "at random" every four minutes.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2/8/13 Superstars

Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater: Zack has a title belt (internet champ) on his trunks. Facepalm. Slater was a former boxer? Ryder with the comeback and Striker adds some big words to his commentary. 3MB gets involved but that turns into a comedy of errors. Ryder hits the Rough Ryder and gets three. *1/4

We then see CM Punk's promo on RAW and the Miz TV segment that ended with Lesnar nuking Miz.

Damien Sandow vs. Justin Gabriel: Sandow does what he can to slow down and ground the high-flying Gabriel. JG with the comeback but appears the tweak his knee on the springboard moonsault. Gabriel keeps the aerial assault going anyway. Sandow with a kick to the injured knee and then hits Terminus for three. *3/4

Show ends with the skit that ended RAW. Brad Maddox calls out Shield. Shield nukes Maddox. Cena and company send Shield retreating.

Straightforward episode of Superstars this week. Nothing special, to be honest.

Friday, February 8, 2013

2/7/13 Impact

Aces & Eights start the show. A lot of "WHAT?" chants in the UK. Garett Bischoff doesn't give any explanation for his actions, but Wes Brisco says he did it because he waited for two years waiting for his shot and Hulk Hogan wanted him to start at the bottom. Brisco saw an opportunity and took it. Devon says the tag match later tonight is fine, because there's always an ace under their sleeve.

Tara and Jesse on full diva mode. Tara faces Tessmacher later tonight, and Jesse's banned from ringside.

Rob Van Dam vs. Kenny King vs. Zema Ion (X-Division Title): Woohoo, X-Division triple threat! Don't blink. Fun match all around with a bunch of counters. King with the Northern Lights on Ion, but RVD hits the frog splash on King. RVD then steals the pin on Ion to retain. **1/4

Austin Aries and Bobby Roode are confident before their tag title match against Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero.

Highlights from British Boot Camp to try to find the next UK star for TNA wrestling.

Bruce Prichard and D'Lo Brown are shocked that Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco would stab Angle in the back and join A&E. Nope, not surprising at all.

Jesse in the ring. He's got his wrestling gear on, so expect a match. Since he's banned from ringside for the Knockouts match, he's gonna do some posing. James Storm interrupts. Storm thinks the fans want to see beer drinking and someone getting beaten up.

James Storm vs. Jesse: Three-minute formulaic match. Storm gets a bloody nose, but hits his usual signature moves. Last Call ends it. Time to drink beer! *

Austin Aries & Bobby Roode vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez (Tag Team Titles): Evenly matched from the start. Aries and Roode continue their "we're on the same page but my ego gets the best of me" mentality. Champs with a nice double suplex on the challengers. Aries with the suicide dive attempt to Chavo, but misses and hits Roode. Oops. Champs work on Aries. Todd Keneley says Tenay likes the Spotted Dick (dessert in the UK, that is). Cue the jokes. Challengers finally get on the same page and isolate Chavo. Good heel tactics used, like the ol' "piss off the face tag team, ref restrains tag partner, heels do stuff behind the ref's back." Double clothesline spot leads to hot tag to Hernandez. Chavo with Three Amigos suplexes. Aries and Roode jawjack again. Roode teases leaving. Champs set up for a Border Toss-Frog Splash combo, but Roode returns and knocks Chavo off the top. Aries dropkick in the corner, RR spinebuster, and Aries 450 splash. We got new champs! **1/2

Bully and Sting are fired up for the tag match. Hulk Hogan arrives. Hulk wants the world to see he was wrong and that Bully's really a good guy. Bully says he's never a good guy, he's a bad one. He just stands up for what he believes in.

Video on AJ Styles' last few appearances on Impact last year. He's basically been taking time off, from what I know.

Miss Tessmacher vs. Tara: Non-title match. Jesse's barred from ringside, but probably doesn't matter because he might still be reeling from the superkick. Tara keeps calling out Jesse's name during the match. Never understood the whole deal of rubbing one's asscrack in someone else's face. Still scarred from seeing Rikishi do that too many times. Tara with the usual heel acts. Didn't really feel like there was a nice flow to this one. Keneley keeps referring to UK foods and it makes me hungry. Tessmacher hits her finisher for three. *1/4

Borash introduces the winner of 2013 TNA British Boot Camp: Rockstar Spud. WTF kind of name is that? Spud's a short guy for pro wrestling standards. Robbie E interrupts. Nice that Rob Terry's still with him. Robbie didn't know TNA was "hiring midgets." Taz quips about how short guys shouldn't be in the business (Taz is also a short dude, if you haven't noticed). Robbie E grows a set when hiding behind Rob Terry. Terry drops the clipboard and Spud decks Robbie E. Terry and Spud apparently love rock. Nice to see the UK countrymen get a nice pop (Terry is from Wales).

Bully and Sting are ready to go. Sting tells Bully to go literally get his game face on.

Bully Ray & Sting vs. Devon & DOC (Tables): Yup, that means Bully's wearing face paint! A brawl from the start. Just gotta put one guy through a table. Sting and Bully control at the start and Taz is pissed Hebner isn't doing anything about it. Bully even does a Stinger Splash in the corner to DOC. Sting with one of his own to Devon. Bully gets to do the diving headbutt to Devon's nuts (same thing 3-D did with their opponents as a tag team). Bully and Sting go get the tables and the crowd loves it. Devon and DOC with the double suplex to Sting, but Bully moves the table out of the way. Sting superplex to DOC but A&E guy (Mike Knox) comes in to move the table. Devon mistakenly nails Knox. Death Drop to DOC. Bully does the Hulk up thing like Hogan woulda done. Big boot to Devon and spinebuster through the table. Yup. Happy ending tonight. **1/4

During Bellator MMA, Dixie Carter made a major announcement that Jeff Hardy has re-signed with TNA, a long-term deal. Hardy's contract was otherwise expiring at the end of the month. Good move here because Hardy = ratings for TNA.