Sunday, 25 December 2011

2011 Lo-Down Wrestling Awards

Hi everyone, I hope you had a Merry Christmas. It’s Boxing Day and that means that it is time for the inaugural Lo-Down Wrestling Awards. All winners will get well...nothing. Well, a picture of their award and a mention on twitter. It’s the least I can do. What I done is list the winners, with a brief explanation. However, for Moment of the Year, Wrestler of the Year and Match of the Year, I’ve gone into more detail about them and they will be published over the next few days. So, here we go. If you want a look at the nominations, click here.

PPV of the Year

Money in the Bank
Can anyone think of a PPV that had almost universal praise, an awesome atmosphere and one of the best storylines in years going into it? No, me neither. Everything about this event was excellent, from the atmosphere throughout to the matches, which had a brilliant ending. Even the commentary, which has been abysmal at times throughout the year, was pretty decent. This is one of the best PPVs WWE have done in years; and the fact that it had LDW Nominations for Match of the Year (twice), Promo Video of the Year and Surprising Moment of the Year, speaks for itself.

Moment of the Year

The Promo by CM Punk
I have an in-depth article about this moment but here is the video.

Promo Video of the Year

The Miz, Wrestlemania XXVII
At Wrestlemania for the main event, WWE decided to do something a little different. Instead of doing a promo video, they showed a video showcasing each wrestler. For The Miz, it showed clips of various famous wrestlers and Wrestlemania moments interspersed with moments with Miz’s career. It showed on the Real World, being on Tough Enough, being the host of Friday Night Smackdown, and winning the WWE Champonship. The music that they used was “Hate Me Now” by Nas and Puff Daddy, which really fitted the video and Miz’s character. To me, it showed that The Miz had arrived as a main event player and really emphasised how awesome he is.

Feud of the Year

CM Punk vs John Cena June – August
Even though this feud only lasted a couple of months, so much happened during that time. You had Punk doing his shoot promo; Cena getting Punk reinstated and getting threatened with losing his job by Vince; Punk leaving the company with the WWE Championship; Vince McMahon being replaced by Triple H; and Punk returning just after Cena wins the “WWE Championship”. While I feel that Punk should have waited a bit longer before returning, this feud made people want to watch wrestling again.

Match of the Year
CM Punk vs John Cena, Money in the Bank.
This match had a brilliant storyline going into it and with it, a lot of pressure. This match truly delivered. There will be an in-depth article about it during the week.

 “Ok, I Did Not See That Coming” Surprising Moment of the Year

Alberto Del Rio winning the Royal Rumble
Alberto Del Rio had only been in the WWE for a few months so hardly anyone expected to win his first ever Royal Rumble. However, despite a brief scare when he forgot that Santino Marella had not been eliminated, Del Rio did exactly that and he went on to have a tremendous year culminating in becoming a 2-time WWE Champion.

Douchebag of the Year

Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy gets released from his contract at TNA, gets arrested twice for driving while intoxicated, goes into WWE-sponsored rehab and then gets kicked off and arrested for failing a breathalyser test.

Then Hardy puts up a video on YouTube, implying that he was going to commit suicide. This prompts phone calls to the police to check Hardy’s wellbeing. This drew criticism from Jim Ross and Hardy’s sister-in-law.

Worst Match of the Year

Sting vs Jeff Hardy, TNA Victory Road
This wasn’t so much a match as a complete joke. The main event at Victory Road was for the TNA World Championship between Sting and Jeff Hardy. Hardy comes out completely out of it on painkillers, spends ages finding somewhere to throw his T-Shirt. Sting, obviously pissed, hits Hardy with a Scorpion Death Drop and pins Hardy in 88 seconds. Although it was a joke of a match, there was one funny moment when Sting is going back up the aisle and he hears one fan’s bad feelings about what happened, Sting replies “I agree”. Looking back on it now, I don’t know what pisses me off more about Jeff Hardy and TNA: the fact that TNA allowed Hardy to compete in that match in the first place; or Hardy has become No. 1 contender a few months after he returned.

 Most Improved Wrestler of the Year

Mark Henry
You can remember what Mark Henry was doing this time last year? No? Me neither. The most memorable that Henry did in 2010 was him coming out to his “Sexual Chocolate” gimmick at the Old School RAW. Since Henry was drafted to Smackdown and he turned heel, he has been slowly destroying people and inducting people into the “Hall of Pain”, resulting in him defeating Randy Orton cleanly at Night of Champions to become the World Heavyweight Championship. Henry had a domnating run as Champion defeating Orton and The Big Show (twice) before losing it to Show at TLC. Henry has had such a meteoric rise this year and I hope that he continues to be like that in 2012.

Female Wrestler of the Year

Beth Phoenix
Beth Phoenix has proved one of the most dominating female wrestlers in the WWE right now. Aligning herself with Natalya to form the Legion Divas of Doom, Beth defeated Kelly Kelly (at the third attempt) at Hell in a Cell to become Divas Champion. Despite challenges by Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres, Phoenix has ended the year as the Champion and looks to be that way for the foreseeable future.

Wrestler of the Year

CM Punk
Without a doubt, this has been Punk’s year. While many people have had amazing years, I don’t know that they have had a much of an impact as CM Punk. A more in-depth article will be published during the week.

There are the awards. I will edit the article during the week to include the links for the articles for Moment of the Year, Match of the Year and Wrestler of the Year.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Daniel Bryan: Hypocrite or Opportunist?

Bryan with the MITB Briefcase

Daniel Bryan surprised a lot of people by winning the Smackdown Money in the Bank match. The following Smackdown, Bryan announced to Michael Cole, who has always been critical of him, that he would be cashing it in at Wrestlemania, making him the first person since Rob Van Dam to actually cash it in for a match.

However, since then Bryan seemed to go on a losing streak. He lost to Wade Barrett at Summerslam and wasn’t featured on PPV, only wrestling in the dark matches beforehand. It seemed that his decision to cash in his contract at Wrestlemania was coming back to haunt him.

Show persuading Bryan to cash it in his MITB contract on an unconscious Mark  Henry
Opportunities in which to cash in the contract came when The Big Show started feuding with Mark Henry over the World Heavyweight Championship. Show tried to get Bryan to cash it in after he had laid Henry out on Smackdown at the beginning of November, only for Henry to take out Bryan with a World’s Strongest Slam before he had a chance. After Bryan cashed it in two weeks later and won, it was overturned by General Manager Teddy Long, and it looked like it was increasingly unlikely that Bryan would keep his promise to cash it in at Wrestlemania.

At TLC last Sunday, The Big Show finally defeated Mark Henry in a chairs match to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Henry, understandably, did not take that too well and DDT’ed Show onto a chair. Bryan, after reading Edge’s manual: “How to be the Ultimate Opportunist”, could not resist and cashed in his contract to become the new World Heavyweight Champion to raucous cheers from the Baltimore crowd.

In your face Cole!!
Michael Cole has said since that Bryan is a hypocrite and, although he’s saying that because he doesn’t like Bryan, he does have a point. Bryan had promised that he would cash in his contract at Wrestlemania and not do what most MITB winners have done and take advantage of the champion being attacked by someone else. Bryan was, in effect, going to give the champion a chance to fairly defend his title.

However, to be fair to Bryan, if he did cash in his contract at Wrestlemania, he would be facing either The Big Show or Mark Henry. Both of those guys are over 400 lbs and are twice Bryan’s weight. Bryan is one of the most technically gifted wrestlers that I have ever seen but it would be no contest in terms of strength and he will be easily overpowered by either one of them. Bryan probably realised that he might struggle to defeat them and knew that, in order to become World Heavyweight Champion, he would have to seize the next available opportunity. If the Big Show is unhappy about what happened to him, he only has himself to blame. He was the one who effectively planted the seed in Bryan’s head about cashing in his contract early.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here. They could turn Bryan heel, which judging by the very positive crowd reaction would be insane; or turn Show heel, which might not be advisable since we already have one monster heel on Smackdown. One idea that I saw would be really good and you don’t need either of them to turn heel. The Big Show could say that he respects Bryan cashing it in but he wants a rematch to see if Bryan deserves to be the Champion. Bryan  beats Show cleanly at the Rumble and Show raises his hand as a show of respect.

In terms of Bryan being a hypocrite or an opportunist, I would say that he is both. Yes, he is a hypocrite because he didn’t cash in his contract when he said he would. However, the feud between The Big Show and Mark Henry gave him way too many opportunities to resist. Judging by the crowd reaction at TLC and the following RAW, the fans seem to be happy enough that Bryan is the Champion. For those people who are unhappy for Bryan’s hypocritical behaviour, I’m sorry but if you had the MITB contract and you could either cash it in to give the 400+lb Champion a chance in a proper wrestling match or cash it in when that guy has no chance to defend himself, what would you choose?

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

WWE TLC 2011 Review

The final WWE PPV of the year took place at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, home of the Ravens (and The Wire). Did the WWE end the year in style? Let’s take a look

Woo Woo Woo! Zack Ryder finally gets another opportunity to challenge Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship. I’m not really a big fan of opening PPVs with a title match but these two are guaranteed to get the crowd pumped up. The fans in the arena were cheering for Ryder and he got the early momentum before Ziggler took control for a while with ten consecutive elbow drops. There was a good Scott Steiner-inspired move by Ziggler when he decided to do sit ups using Ryder’s body to keep his feet down. Total dick move by Ziggler. After Ryder hits Ziggler with a Broski Boot and covers him, Vickie Guerrero puts Ziggler’s leg on the rope. However, like Survivor Series, the referee figured it out and ejected Vickie. In the end, Ziggler got hit with the RoughRyder and Zack Ryder becomes the new United States Champion. There was a great shot of Ryder’s dad and best friend celebrating the win. Michael Cole wasn’t happy (tho I don’t really get why) and the crowd were loving it. It is exactly what Zack Ryder deserved. Ryder took it upon himself to get a push, the WWE noticed and he has been eventually rewarded with a title reign. I hope he holds on to it for a while and not lose it in his first defence. As for Ziggler, hopefully he can go onto the main event scene as I can see him being a future WWE Champion. However, it’s time for Ryder to now introduce himself as the US Champion. Congratulations Zack. Woo Woo Woo! You did it!
Winner: Zack Ryder Predictions: 1for 1 (good start!)

 After a backstage segment in which Booker T is attacked by Cody Rhodes, Air Boom make their return after Evan Bourne’s suspension to defend their tag team titles against Epico and Primo. I wish that WWE made these matches earlier in the week so I can make a prediction.  I don’t know much about Epico and Primo but I can see this being a high-flying match. Epico and Primo get the advantage focusing on Bourne. Eventually, Kingston gets the tag, destroys his opponents and hits Trouble in Paradise on Primo to get the win.
Winners: Air Boom Predictions: N/A

After we go backstage to see Hornswoggle gets a Christmas present from Teddy "Santa" Long (with some casual racism thrown in), we have a tables match between Wade Barrett and Randy Orton. Barrett, in the early going, tried to put Orton through a table with a pumphandle slam but it was reversed. Orton then tried to suplex Barrett through a table from the steel steps but it was blocked. Barrett almost won it when he tried to kick Orton off the ring apron through a table but unfortunately, Orton just fell where he was. Barrett then tried to hit Orton with a Wasteland through the table but Orton managed to fight out of it. In the end, Barrett laid Orton out on a table and attempted to splash him through the table from the top turnbuckle. However, Orton got up and hit Barrett with a RKO in mid air to send Barrett through the table and get the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton Predictions: 2 for 2

Backstage, Teddy “Santa” Long decides to make a match between Jack Swagger and Sheamus. Ok then, don’t quite get why but hey, no argument from me.

Next is another match that WWE didn’t announce until after I made my predictions, Kelly Kelly taking on Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship. I don’t know what Kelly had done to become the No. 1 contender but hopefully Beth can destroy her and go on to someone else. It had an interesting beginning with Beth daring Kelly to slap her in the face (Kelly slapped Beth at the Slammys when she tried to steal Kelly’s award), which Kelly did, giving her the early advantage. Beth gets some momentum and, despite a brief fightback, gets the win after face planting Kelly Kelly.
Winner: Beth Phoenix Predictions: N/A

After Alberto Del Rio and The Miz get into a slagging match, we have Booker T versus  Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship. Er...wait, no we don’t because Rhodes attacks Booker during his entrance and is stopped by the referees. It looks like Rhodes really doesn’t want this match and it seems that he succeeded.

Next is the sledgehammer ladder match between Kevin Nash and Triple H. There was some early back and forth between the two and Triple H got some momentum when he started using a ladder to attack Nash’s legs and then did a figure-four leglock with Nash’s legs through the ladder, which was a cool moment. Nash then decided to use the (mumerous) ladders to his advantage, hitting Triple H into them at every opportunity. After Nash tried (and failed) to powerbomb Triple H through the English announce table, Triple H tries to get the sledgehammer but is foiled. Nash brings out a table (it’s not a table match, Kevin) and they both go up the ladder to get the sledgehammer. Nash’s idea to bring out a table comes back to haunt him as Triple H uses the sledgehammer to knock Nash off the ladder and through the table.  Triple H gets the sledgehammer and beats the crap out of Nash with it, does the Pedigree and, despite Nash’s attempt to make peace, hits him in the face with the sledgehammer and gets the win.
Winner: Triple H       Predictions: 3 for 3

After an interview with CM Punk, which was interrupted by John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the interim RAW GM?), we had another filler match with Jack Swagger taking on Sheamus. The match was enjoyable, just not really special. Swagger had Sheamus in the ankle lock at one point, which Sheamus countered and then he hit the Brogue Kick to get the pinfall.
Winner: Sheamus      Predictions: N/A

Next is a chairs match with Mark Henry vs Big Show III for the World Heavyweight Championship. After the last two matches between these two hopefully, we can get a clean finish for once.  The start of the match had Show go out and throw a ton of chairs into the ring (almost hitting the referee a couple of times). Henry decided that he didn’t want to take part in a chairs match after all and attempted to leave. Show thought differently and hit Henry with a chair. Henry managed to get some momentum later on and proceeded to injure Show’s right hand. However, Show managed to hit Henry with the WMD out of nowhere and get the win. Ok, I wasn’t expecting a long match but that was what, about 5, 10 minutes?  I guess my wish to see Henry stay champion until Wrestlemania isn’t going to happen. Anyway, congratulations to the Big Show for becoming World Champion for the first time since losing the WWE Championship to Kurt Angle in December 2002.
Winner: Big Show Predictions: 3 for 4

Unfortunately for the Big Show, Mark Henry didn’t take losing the World Heavyweight Championship too well and proceeds to destroy Show with chair shots and a DDT, driving his head into a chair. Then Daniel Bryan, after reading Edge’s manual: “How to be the Ultimate Opportunist”, takes advantage, cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase, pins the Big Show, and becomes the new World Heavyweight Champion. Wow! Even though Bryan has had plenty of opportunities to cash it in, I thought that he would do it at Wrestlemania as he promised. Now this could go in so many different directions; Bryan could turn heel or he could have a match with Show to prove that he deserves to be the Champion. I’m looking forward to see where this will go. Congratulations to Daniel Bryan on becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion and I did enjoy him rubbing it in Michael Cole’s face afterwards.

You know that I wrote earlier that the match between Booker T and Cody Rhodes was off. it turned out that it was postponed as Booker is going to have another go at it. Booker goes flying out the blocks and goes after Rhodes and it turned out to be a decent match. Despite Booker getting a lot of offence in, the earlier attacks by Rhodes took their toll on him and Rhodes kicked him in the head twice to get the pinfall.
Winner: Cody Rhodes Predictions: 4 for 5

It's now time for the main event, a TLC match between The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk for the WWE Championship. Quite a lot of stuff happens in this match, so I'll go through it the best I can. After Punk goes through a table, Del Rio puts him in a cross armbreaker through a chair. Later on, Punk tries to go up the ladder but Ricardo Rodriguez attempts to stop him and ends up handcuffing Punk to the ladder. That's an unique way to prevent someone from collecting the title. However, it only slows Punk down as he manages to break the ladder. Rodriguez decides to grab the title on Del Rio's   behalf. However, he is stopped by Miz and Punk, sending him crashing to the tables below. After a little bit of back and forth, Miz handcuffs Punk again, this time to the middle rope. That should stop Punk. But that doesn't stop Punk as he dismantles the middle rope, breaking the ring in the process. Punk fucking rules!!! In the end ,they were all up on ladders, Miz and Del Rio get thrown off but Miz pulls Punk off the ladder. Punk responds by giving him a GTS and Punk goes on to win and retain the WWE Championship. This was a really fun match and I really liked the way that, despite being handcuffed twice, Punk just wouldn't give up.
Winner: CM Punk Predictions: 5 for 6

TLC had some good wrestling matches with a great opening match and a really fun main event, although it was weird not having John Cena there at all. However, there were too many backstage segments for me, although I know why they did (to prepare the equipment for some of the matches). Overall, I enjoyed this PPV and it was a good way for WWE to end the year. And the best bit is, since I only got one prediction wrong, I ended the year being over 50% in my Average Prediction Rate. Yay me!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

WWE TLC 2011 Preview

It’s the last PPV of the year and will WWE end the year on a high? Only 6 matches that have been announced, so let’s look at the card.

Randy Orton will take on Wade Barrett in a tables match and there’s a possibility that this might open the show. I know people might complain that a former World Champion shouldn’t open the PPV, but he did that with CM Punk at Extreme Rules and they both ended up winning Championships. This is quite a tough one as I can see both guys winning. However, I don’t see Orton losing two PPV matches in a row, so I think that he will win.
Predicted winner: Randy Orton

Zack Ryder, thanks to a petition and some help from John Cena, gets another chance for the United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler. If you’ve seen Ryder’s show Z! True Long Island Story, you would have seen this feud develop over the last few months. I’ve enjoyed Ziggler’s reign as US Champion; however, I think it’s time for Ryder to stop introducing himself as the Internet Champion and say “the United States Champion” instead.
Predicted winner: Zack Ryder

The Intercontinental Championship is on the line as Booker T takes on Cody Rhodes. While Booker’s commentary has been...interesting, I do prefer him as a wrestler and he might be the best person to help Rhodes push onto the main event scene. I can see this feud going past the Royal Rumble. Therefore, I think that Rhodes will retain.
Predicted winner: Cody Rhodes

In a “sledgehammer on a pole (kinda) match”, Kevin Nash will take on his former friend (and COO) Triple H. Even though, he’s one of my favourite wrestlers, I can see Triple H losing. After a bit of thought, Triple H has been out for a while thanks to Nash and I think he will get revenge at the PPV.
Predicted Winner: Triple H

Big Show vs Mark Henry III is the match for the World Heavyweight Championship. I’m not really looking forward to this one but with it being a chairs match, we are at least guaranteed a winner. I think that Henry will retain and then go on to induct a new person into the Hall of Pain.
Predicted Winner: Mark Henry

The WWE Championship is on the line in a triple threat TLC match with CM Punk defending against Alberto Del Rio and The Miz. It’s good to see The Miz back in the WWE title picture and Del Rio is always a joy to watch. However, I believe that CM Punk will remain the champion for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I’m going for Punk to win.
Predicted Winner: CM Punk

So there you have it. It’s a bit weird not having a PPV with John Cena in it so I expect that he will be involved at some point. Otherwise, it looks to be a decent show. I hope you enjoy it and a review of the show will be up during the week.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

2011 Lo-Down Wrestling Awards – Nominations

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time for me to release the nominations for the inaugural Lo-Down Wrestling Awards. I would like your input so feel free to give your options by placing comments at the end of this article or sending me a message via twitter (@lodownwrestling).

Here are the nominations:

Wrestler of the Year
·         Mark Henry.
·         Alberto Del Rio.
·         CM Punk.
Most Improved Wrestler of the Year
·         Cody Rhodes.
·         Mark Henry.
·         Zack Ryder.
Female Wrestler of the Year
·         Beth Phoenix
·         Kelly Kelly
·         Mickie James
Match of the Year
·         Undertaker vs Triple H, Wrestlemania XXVII.
·         Layla vs Michelle McCool, Extreme Rules
·         Randy Orton vs Christian, Smackdown, 6th May 2011.
·         RAW Money in the Bank match.
·         CM Punk vs John Cena, Money in the Bank.
Promo Video of the Year
This is for the video that you see before certain matches, describing the feud up to that point.
·         Undertaker vs Triple H, Wrestlemania XXVII
·         The Miz, Wrestlemania XXVII
·         CM Punk vs John Cena, Money in the Bank
PPV of the Year
·         Elimination Chamber
·         Money in the Bank
·         Summerslam
Moment of the Year
·         The return of the Rock as he’s announced as the host of Wrestlemania
·         Christian winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules
·         The Promo by CM Punk, RAW 27th June 2011
“Ok, I Did Not See That Coming”
Surprising Moment of the Year
·         Alberto Del Rio winning the Royal Rumble
·         Daniel Bryan winning the Smackdown Money in the Bank match.
·         James Storm becoming TNA World Heavyweight Champion
Feud of the Year
·         Edge vs Alberto Del Rio, January – April.
·         Randy Orton vs Christian, May - September
·         CM Punk vs John Cena, June - August
Douchebag of the Year
This requires some explanation:
·         Matt Hardy. Hardy managed to get himself out of his contract at TNA like he did at the WWE the year before; got arrested for DUI; then implied on Twitter that he was planning suicide, prompting tons of phone calls to the local police. Hardy goes into rehab then gets kicked out when he decided to relapse.
·         Hulk Hogan. Hogan was highly critical of Edge’s retirement due to a neck injury, which was a slap to the face from Edge’s childhood hero; stops Bobby Roode from becoming TNA Champion at Bound for Glory; and, after wanting his face turn to be the main focal point, making Roode become a heel champion in the process, then has not been on TV since.
·         Michael Cole. Cole has become the most annoying person in wrestling at the moment, taking part in some terrible matches; continually embarrassing Jim Ross; and, especially on Smackdown, the constant bickering making the commentary almost unbearable. I feel sorry for Booker T, Jerry Lawler and Josh Mathews for having to put with it.
Worst Match of the Year
·         Sting vs Jeff Hardy, TNA Victory Road
·         Michael Cole vs Jerry “The King” Lawler, Wrestlemania XXVII
·         Sin Cara vs Falso Cara (Hunico), Hell in a Cell

So, there you have it. I will be announcing the winners on Boxing Day at about 12pm (GMT) so, if you wish to have your say, you have until Christmas Eve. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Consequences of Turning Heel

I have written a couple of articles about the journey of Bobby Roode, from tag team wrestler to TNA Champion in the space of a few months. Roode had a title match against Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory and, thanks to some cheating, Angle had won. The following Impact, Roode’s tag team partner, James Storm, defeats Angle to become TNA Champion. Two weeks later, Roode defeated Storm to become TNA Champion. The match wasn’t without controversy as Roode hit a beer bottle on Storm’s head to gain the victory.

Since then, Roode has risen to become one of the top heels in the company which, considering that TNA is where heels can prosper is quite an achievement. While Roode’s behaviour has been that of a typical villain, Roode can have a valid argument to betray his best friend. He can argue that he had been betrayed first when Storm took the TNA Championship that should have been his.

Since that time, Roode has managed to alienate his friends at Fortune, Sting and Dixie Carter. While that was expected, Roode had also managed to alienate his family. In an interesting video, Roode’s family and his childhood friend talked over how disappointed they are with the way he has been behaving since becoming TNA Champion. Roode’s reaction to it was that it shouldn’t matter as long as he’s putting money on the table.

While I have been extremely critical of the reason behind Roode’s heel turn, I like what they have done here. TNA showed videos about Roode and his family before Bound for Glory, really building him up. I thought it was a great idea by TNA to add a real life element to what Roode has done. I liked the bit in the video when Roode’s wife had to try to explain to their 2 young boys as to why their father had to cheat to become TNA Champion, betraying his best friend in the process. Yes, we all know that professional wrestling is more of a performance but the children are too young to know that. They believe that it is real and I really felt sorry for Roode’s wife having to deal with that situation.

TNA can go in a few directions on this. You could have more videos like this over time as Roode goes further into darkness and in danger of tearing his family apart. You could have Roode’s family involved in a storyline where they are trying to stop Roode from alienating everyone.

It would be nice if TNA could do more things like this, adding a real life element to their storylines. It makes them more interesting and can make the company seem less of a joke, as viewed by some people.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Survivor Series 2011 Review

The 25th Survivor Series took place at Madison Square Garden last Sunday. With the return of The Rock, was it the most electrifying event in sports entertainment? Let’s take a look.

After a quick introduction by John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s the executive vice president of talent relations?), the United States Championship was on the line first as Dolph “Perfection” Ziggler was challenged by John “Parkour” Morrison. This was a very good match and a great way to open the event. I was disappointed that Zack Ryder wasn’t in this match and the crowd showed that as well by chanting Ryder’s name throughout this match. It was a high flying, fast paced match and there was a bit that Vickie Guerrero put Ziggler’s leg on the rope, the referee figured it out and sent her back to the locker room. Eventually Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag and retains the title. Afterwards, Ryder ran out and attacked Ziggler. Hopefully, we have a match between the two at TLC.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler                                                Predictions: 1 for 1 (good start!)

Good job Dolph Ziggler wasn’t in the next match so he might have been screwed. Instead, we got a lumberjill match with Eve Torres challenging Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship. Eve was quite impressive the last time they had a match; unfortunately, that seemed to be a one off as she didn’t really have a good performance in this one. Nothing really much happened which seem to result in a waste of time for the Divas surrounding the ring. Despite the relatively poor standard of the match, it had a really good ending with Beth hitting the glam slam on Eve from the top rope. The question now for Beth is, to borrow a phrase from Goldberg, “Who’s next?”
Winner: Beth Phoenix                                                 Predictions: 2 for 2

After a backstage segment in which David Ortunga requested that CM Punk apologise to Michael Cole for putting him in an Anaconda Vice, followed by an awesome promo by The Rock; we had the traditional Survivor Series match with Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus and Goliath Mason Ryan) taking on Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Falso Cara Hunico, Cody Rhodes, Dolph “Perfection” Ziggler and “AAA” Jack Swagger). It didn’t start well for Team Barrett as, surprisingly, Ziggler was the first one to be eliminated by Orton with a RKO. Team Orton then suffered a major blow to Sin Cara. Sin Cara has been botching on a semi-regular basis since he made his debut in April. I had the feeling that if Sin Cara kept on doing this, then someone would get hurt, and that’s what happened here. Sin Cara and Kofi attempted a double dive to Hunico and Rhodes outside the ring, Cara seem to injure himself as he was doing the run up, caught the top rope and ended up in a heap outside the ring. After a stoppage in order to give Sin Cara medical attention, the match continued with Sin Cara now being eliminated due to injury.  Mason Ryan gets eliminated by Rhodes followed by Barrett eliminating Kofi Kingston. Sheamus decided to pummel Rhodes in the corner, completely ignoring the referee’s continual 5 counts. The referee eventually had enough and disqualified Sheamus (er...ok then), leaving Orton all by himself. Sheamus hit Swagger with a brogue kick and Orton took advantage to eliminate Swagger. Orton temporarily became “Super Cena Orton” and eliminated Hunico with a super RKO (a RKO done when the victim is in the air). Unfortunately, Orton’s plan to eliminate the rest of the Team Barrett didn’t end well as Orton hit Rhodes with a RKO but Barrett hit the wasteland straight afterwards, getting the win and leaving himself and Cody Rhodes as the sole survivors. I really enjoyed this match and it would be nice if we could have more of these matches next year.
Winners: Team Barrett                                                Predictions: 2 for 3
(Survivors: Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes)

Speaking of Sin Cara, it was revealed after the event that he is out for 6-9 months with a ruptured patella tendon. I recommend to Sin Cara that he doesn’t wear the white costume again as the last time he wore it, it was at Money in the Bank and he got powerbombed through a ladder by Sheamus. Anyway, hope he gets well soon.

After a backstage segment involving Del Rio, the Bella Twins and John Lauriniatis (did you know that he’s the executive vice president of talent relations?), Big Show took on Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship. WWE had the foresight to reinforce the ring just in case they decided to do an 850+lb superplex again. However, if that did happen and the ring collapsed, I would have realised that my suggestion to reinforce the ring with adamantium wasn’t taken under advisement. This match was ok but not as good as their last match. I’ve enjoyed their feud, especially with Daniel Bryan being an unwilling third party in this. However, you can’t really have two consecutive goliath versus goliath matches as they are quite slow paced as shown here. The end had Show missing Henry with the WMD and Henry kicking Show in the balls getting himself disqualified. Henry keeps the title but Show inducts him into his own Hall of Pain by hitting a leg drop on Henry’s ankle after trapping it in a chair. I believe that we will have Show vs Henry III at TLC which, due to the fact that their matches have not ended cleanly, I’m not really looking forward to.
Winner: Big Show (DQ)                                              Predictions: 2 for 4

Next was an interview with Wade Barrett interrupted by the Awesome Truth. It was really good and I couldn’t stop laughing when R-Truth started talking about having an argument with pigeons. Matt Striker’s face said it all with it saying “ what the fuck are you talking about?!” Really, really funny.

Next up was the WWE Championship match with John Cena once again challenging Alberto Del Rio. Wait, hang on, it’s not John Cena? Sorry, I have been so used to Cena always being in the WWE Championship match. It’s CM Punk being the challenger. This match had a great beginning with Punk bringing his own personal announcer, Howard Finkel!!! I like Justin Roberts as a ring announcer but it’s always great to hear the Fink do his announcing. The match had a slow pace to begin with but got better as it went on. Both guys tried to hit their finishing moves and there was one bit when Punk tries to hit the GTS but Del Rio managed to reverse it into the crossed armbreaker but Punk got to the ropes. In the end, Punk put on the Anaconda Vice and Del Rio, despite clawing at Punk’s face, tapped out, making Punk the new WWE Champion. Even though I thought that Del Rio might be the champion for a little bit longer, I’m glad that Punk won it. Hopefully, we have a relatively long title reign as we have had the WWE Championship change hands 8 times since Money in the Bank.
Winner: CM Punk                                                       Predictions: 2 for 5

Now, the match we have all been waiting for, R-Truth and The Miz take on John Cena and The Rock. While I was looking forward to this, I was slightly worried about how the Rock would perform. I needn’t have worried as it looked like the Rock had been only out of the ring for 7 minutes, never mind 7 and a half years. The Rock started the match and was dominating Truth and Miz. Eventually The Miz wanted The Rock to tag in Cena, which he did. Cena was being pummelled by Truth and Miz, which seemed to go on forever. Cena finally tags in The Rock, who cleans house and hits the Rock Bottom on R-Truth and the People’s Elbow on The Miz to get the victory. Afterwards, Cena and Rock get into a little argument which ends with Cena receiving a Rock Bottom.
Winners: John Cena and The Rock                             Predictions: 3 for 6

I really enjoyed this event. Although I got some of my predictions wrong, I get where the WWE are perhaps going with those decisions. As we approach the road to the Royal Rumble followed by the road to Wrestlemania, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Survivor Series 2011 Preview

Survivor Series this Sunday returns to where I believe is the home of WWE live events, Madison Square Garden, fresh from its refurbishment. With it being the 25th Survivor Series as well, will WWE pull out all the stops to make it the most electrifying event in sports entertainment? Let’s look at the card.

The Divas Championship is on the line as Eve Torres once again challenges Beth Phoenix. While I like the Legion Divas of Doom, they have been stuttering with slightly inexplicable losses, especially with Natalya. I have a feeling that it may be on its last legs; however, I think that Beth Phoenix will retain.
Predicted winner: Beth Phoenix

The only traditional Survivor Series will be between Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sin Cara, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston and Goliath Mason Ryan) versus Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Hunico, Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler). Quite a lot of talent on show here so it should be a good match. I’m going for Team Orton, with Orton being one of the last men standing.
Predicted winners: Team Orton

Dolph Ziggler must have liked doing two wrestling matches at the last PPV, Vengeance, as he’s doing it again as he defends the US Championship against John “parkour” Morrison. I feel sorry for Zack Ryder as his petition seems to have been unsuccessful. This is quite a interesting one as Ziggler could be one of the last men standing and could go into this match straight afterwards; or he could be eliminated early in order for him to get a bit of a rest. Also, Ziggler is currently the longest reigning champion in the WWE, so it might be time for a title change. However, I believe that Ryder will be the next US Champion; therefore, I think that Ziggler will retain the Championship.
Predicted winner: Dolph Ziggler

The World Heavyweight Championship is on the line as Mark Henry will be defending his belt against The Big Show. Hopefully, they will have reinforced the ring in case they decide to do an 850+lb superplex again. It would be nice if the Big Show could hold the title for a while, but I don’t think that will happen, so I think that Mark Henry will defeat him cleanly.
Predicted winner: Mark Henry

Alberto Del Rio will be defending the WWE Championship against John Cena CM Punk. Sorry, I’ve still not gotten over the fact that John Cena is not involved for once. This is quite a tough one, as I can see both guys winning. I would like Del Rio to stay WWE Champion til Wrestlemania. However, I would like that to happen to Mark Henry as well. The WWE won’t let both guys be champion til then. I think that Henry is more likely to lose the title (and hopefully regain it) before Wrestlemania so I think that Del Rio will win this, but I suspect that Kevin Nash might lend a hand.
Predicted winner: Alberto Del Rio

Now the main event with The Miz and R-Truth taking on the team of John Cena and The Rock. While I’m really looking forward to this match, anyone who thinks that Miz and Truth have any chance of winning, are deluding themselves. They are the macguffins (basically someone/thing to help the plot along) to the upcoming Cena/Rock Wrestlemania feud. To me, it’s a no-brainer with Cena and Rock winning. I suspect, however, that The Rock will celebrate by giving Cena a people’s elbow.
Predicted winners: John Cena and The Rock

There are only 6 matches on the card at the time of writing this. Survivor Series, due to its format, is an opportunity for some wrestlers who don’t normally wrestle on PPV some extra TV time. Therefore, there might be another match announced on the day.  I won’t get to see al of it until Tuesday so my review won’t be up til then; but with the return of The Rock, this looks like to be a thoroughly enjoyable event.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Cody Rhodes Unmasked

The last year has been a big one for Cody Rhodes. He had been performing quite well as a singles wrestler and I was quite enjoying his “Dashing” gimmick, although it took a while for it to get over with the fans.

That all changed when Rhodes faced Rey Mysterio on Smackdown at the beginning of the year. Mysterio hit the 619 and broke Rhode’s nose, resulting in Rhodes missing the Royal Rumble and requiring reconstructive surgery. When he returned a few weeks later, Rhodes was a different man, being reluctant to show his face to the crowd and wearing a protective mask. Understandably, Rhodes blamed it on Mysterio and it led to a really good feud between the two, with a brilliant segment on Smackdown with the American Dream Dusty Rhodes acting as peacemaker then turning on Mysterio (one of my favourite moments of the year); then having matches at Wrestlemania and Extreme Rules.

I thought it was a big risk for Rhodes to change his gimmick so dramatically when he was just getting over with the “Dashing” persona. However, Rhodes pulled it off brilliantly, making it one of my favourite gimmicks ever. So much was put into it which I loved: the newspaper headlines saying “Grotesque!” and “Disfigured!” as part of his titantron; his coat with the hood, inspired by the computer game Assassin’s Creed; the way he would push away the camera as he made his way to the ring so that they couldn’t show his face; his theme tune being changed slightly to make it more darker; and the paper baggers. It helped that Rhodes had taken acting classes before he became a professional wrestler as he made it seem so real. You knew that there was nothing wrong with him, but he made you see his viewpoint.

Over the year, he had various mini feuds, resulting in Rhodes becoming Intercontinental Champion in August. He had a feud with the “Million Dollar Failure” Ted DiBiase and got into a feud with his former Legacy partner Randy Orton, which resulted in a thoroughly enjoyable street fight on Smackdown two weeks ago, with Orton defeating Rhodes and damaging his face mask. I thought that Rhodes would simply get a new one. However, last night on RAW, Rhodes came out to new music, new titantron, no paper baggers and acting as if his whole masked gimmick had never happened.

It really disappointed me that Rhodes had got rid of his masked gimmick so quickly. I was expecting a transition period between the two with perhaps Rhodes wearing one of his paper bags over his head in order to not show his face; or, like Beauty and the Beast, have a Diva show him that he doesn’t need the mask, as he is fine without it.

This shows to me some of the creative problems that I think is going on with the WWE. Over the last few months, they have made creative decisions but don’t seem to have put much thought into them. It’s like they have decided to go from one city to another, but instead of showing us how they get there, we are instantly teleported there instead. Another example is the anonymous RAW GM, who we had not heard from since July and then suddenly dismissed with John Laurinaitis (did you know that he’s Executive Vice President of Talent Relations?) becoming interim RAW GM.

I don’t know if the creative decisions over the last few months have resulted in TV ratings and PPV buy rates declining, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They need to put more thought with their storylines, especially on RAW, in order for things to improve.

Friday, 4 November 2011

TNA Problems Personified

 I know that I haven’t written about the WWE for a while, but the way TNA has been going recently has been very interesting, so I’ve been writing about it.

I wrote about how TNA seemed to have completely screwed Bobby Roode over by giving him a four month build up and then changing their mind (thanks to Hulk Hogan) and giving his tag team partner James Storm the title four days after Roode’s defeat to Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory. Roode defeated Samoa “Sore Loser” Joe the next week to become the No.1 contender. I thought that it would take place at the next PPV, Turning Point; however, it was decided to have the match on Impact this week. I heard what had happened so, instead of waiting til Sunday to see the match on Challenge TV, I trawled the internet to see it (thanks You Tube).

I really enjoyed the match. I had some doubt about whether Storm would be a good champion but I was glad to be proven wrong and he and Roode worked well together. The ending had Roode irish whip Storm into the corner, who stopped before he ran into the referee, Brian Hebner. Hebner had to dive out of the ring in order to stop Roode ramming Storm into him but he got injured landing on the floor. Roode in the process went out of the ring as well and spent a good 30-45 seconds debating whether to use Storm’s beer bottle or not. Storm attempts to bring Roode back into the ring, Roode smashes him with the bottle and promptly pins Storm to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

While I’m happy that Roode has won the Championship, unfortunately, it does seem to personify a lot of what is wrong with TNA. First of all, I was surprised that this match took place on Impact instead of on Turning Point. TNA, like WCW as it approached its end, seem to have all their big title changes and matches more on TV then on PPV. WWE right now will have The Rock having his first wrestling match since Wrestlemania XX at Survivor Series. Would the WWE have that match on RAW or Smackdown instead of a PPV event? Of course they wouldn’t! I know it’s unfair comparing one of the popular wrestlers of all time to a TNA Championship match but the point I’m making is that, if Vince McMahon was in charge of TNA, to help generate more money for the company, he would have had that match at Turning Point, hopefully getting more buy rates for the PPV.

Another thing is that James Storm has just become the TNA version of Christian. In May, Christian finally won the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules only to lose it two days later to Randy Orton on Smackdown. Storm, while having a slightly longer reign than Christian, has lost in his very first title defence. Also, if the plan was to have Roode become the champion anyway, why didn’t he win it at Bound for Glory, especially since Kurt Angle was carrying an injury?

However, my main problem is they seemed to have crammed an angle that could lasted 2-3 months into 2 weeks. The reason for this seem thanks to, once again, Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.  Rumours are going that Hogan wants his face turn to be the main focus at the minute so, to do that, they need a heel champion. Based on what I saw from last week’s Impact, TNA seem to want the main angle to be between a man who has never wrestled regularly (Eric Bischoff), a 62 year old wrestling legend who shouldn’t be wrestling anymore due to heart problems (Ric Flair), and a referee (Jackson James Garrett Bischoff). Rumours are going round that Hogan might be involved to back up Garrett, so TNA are adding a man who is 57 years old who retired due to numerous injuries but wants to get back in the ring.

I seriously believe that Dixie Carter want to make TNA a better wrestling company, they need to get rid of Hogan and Bischoff. They are stuck in past glories and are unwilling to step aside and let the young talent like AJ Styles, Roode and Austin Aries shine. Add Vince Russo to the mix and you have a company that a lot of people view as a joke. Bruce Pritchard has been promoted to head the writing. However, Bischoff and Hogan have too much creative control. Unfortunately, professional wrestling is at times a selfish business, especially when you have main event wrestlers in charge of the booking. When that happens and it starts to damage the company, you know you have a problem. The question is, does Dixie Carter know that, and if she does, what will she do about it?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A Slap to the Face

In an earlier article, I wrote about what TNA will do with Bobby Roode after his Bound for Glory match with Kurt Angle for the TNA World Championship. If you haven’t read it (and you should because, not being biased, it’s a great article), the two options that I gave were for either Roode to continue on his quest and eventually become World Champion; or for Roode to go back to tag team wrestling with Beer Money Inc.

On the following Impact after Bound for Glory, TNA decided to go with a third option: completely fuck Bobby Roode over. I heard about this on Friday afternoon but I had to wait until Sunday to see how it went down.  With the company now back under the control of Dixie Carter, she appointed Sting to run the day to day operations of Impact. Kurt Angle came out to boast about cheating beating Roode, prompting Roode to come out. Sting made a match between Angle and Roode for later on that match. Unfortunately, that match was shot down almost instantly, as Angle pointed out that the contract for the match at Bound for Glory said that Roode could not get a rematch if he lost. James Storm came out and promptly challenged Angle instead, which Sting agreed to.

The match itself was a joke. It consisted of Angle continually beating the crap out of Storm in the corner and arguing with the referee. Angle put his arms in celebration, turns round and walks into a Last Call by Storm and he gets the pin becoming TNA Champion. It lasted less than 90 seconds. Understandably, the match couldn’t last long due to Angle’s injury, but I hate matches in which one man would be completely dominant and then have his opponent do just one move to win the match.

This makes no sense to me and I feel really sorry for Bobby Roode. The Bound for Glory Series took place over 3 months and when Roode won that, TNA had videos of him speaking about his family, his background and the match with Angle. I thought it would be crazy for TNA to do all that and then let Roode lose. Apparently, it was all set for Roode to become the TNA World Champion, but Hulk Hogan thought otherwise and it was changed at the last minute.

If I was Bobby Roode, who has been with the company for years, I would feel that it was a slap to the face. TNA had plenty of time to decide who was going to win the Bound for Glory Series and to see if that person would win the TNA World Championship. More importantly, Hulk Hogan had plenty of time to decide if Roode was ready or not. If Hogan thought Roode wasn’t ready, he should have told TNA a long time ago, and that way they could have arranged for someone else to win the Series. For that to happen to Roode, and then have his partner win the title a couple of days later, must be heartbreaking.

There’s no doubt that this will result in a feud between Roode and Storm. This could go one of two ways with one of them turning heel. You could have Roode slowly turning heel as he gets jealous over Storm being the champion; or you could have Storm turning heel by him becoming arrogant and saying that he doesn’t need Roode or his Fortune teammates any longer, perhaps developing his character away from the cowboy persona.

It might seem as if I’m shitting all over James Storm and I’m not. I’m interested to see how he will do as champion. However, the fact remains that Roode has been completely screwed over by one man. I don’t even get why Hogan did it as he didn’t do it in order to benefit him. Hogan, due to his success, has a massively overinflated ego, which has been damaging to other people (WCW being a prime example). If TNA want to become anywhere near as successful as WWE, they need to start building new stars and take risks. Hogan needs to realise that, otherwise TNA could end up like WCW.

WWE Vengeance 2011 Review

Sunday night was Vengeance, making its return after 3 years. The card looked good but was the event itself? Let’s take a look

Opening the event was for the Tag Team Championship with Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger challenging Air Boom. Their match at Hell in a Cell was pretty good so I’m hoping for a repeat performance. Kingston and Bourne were completely destroying Ziggler at the beginning. Swagger and Ziggler started to get some momentum when Swagger caught Kingston coming off the top turnbuckle and then slammed him onto the mat. A bit of back and forth between the teams and Ziggler thought he won it with a roll up while holding Kingston’s tights. However, in the end Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler followed by Air Bourne to get the win.
Winners: Air Boom                             Predictions: 0 for 1

The night could get a lot worse for Dolph Ziggler is immediately challenged by Zack Ryder for the US Championship. I didn’t know about this match until the day of the PPV so I was unable to make a prediction on it (same for the Sheamus/Christian match). Can someone explain to me when Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long made this match even though both wrestlers and the belt are on RAW? Anyway, I was expecting this to be a squash match and for Ryder to win as the tag team went on for a good 15 minutes. It was actually quite a good match with Ryder trying to get the win as quickly as possible. Ziggler decided to leave the match early but he was thrown back in by Air Boom, who had stayed behind to watch the match. The referee didn’t take that too well and sent Air Boom back to the locker room. Over time, Ziggler started to get the upper hand. Ryder had a brief comeback and stopped Swagger from interfering. Unfortunately, he then walked right into a superkick and Ziggler got the win. Fair play to Ziggler for wrestling two matches back to back. You rarely get to see that and I thought he performed well in both of them.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler                        Predictions: N/A

The Divas were next as Eve Torres challenged Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship.  Due to an backstage fight between Beth, Natalya, Kelly Kelly and Eve; both Kelly Kelly and Natalya were barred from ringside by John Laurinatis (did you know that he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations?) I would like to say that Beth doesn’t need help to beat Eve but she needed Natalya’s help to win the title so I’m not so sure. Eve had Beth on the ropes and used her own belt to tie her to the middle rope which I thought was a nice spot. I was loving the taunting between the two of them, which really showed how much they don’t like each other. I thought that Eve won it when she reversed an attempt at a glam slam to bounce Beth off the ropes and into a roll up. The end was when Eve misses a moonsault and Beth takes advantage to hit the glam slam to retain the Divas Championship.
Winner: Beth Phoenix             Predictions: 1 for 2

After a backstage interview with the Big Show, Christian took on Sheamus, which is another match that I didn’t predict (sorry!)Like at Hell in a Cell, it was a good match and it had lot of back and forth between the two. Christian came close to winning with a spear but Sheamus gets the win when Christian attempts another spear and receives a brogue kick instead.
Winner: Sheamus                    Predictions: N/A

Next was the tag team match with R-Truth and The Miz taking CM Punk and Triple H and, due to the fact that it involved 3 of my favourite wrestlers (sorry, Truth), I was looking forward to this.  Considering it was their first tag team match together, Punk and HHH were working well. They were completely dominating Truth and Miz in the early going and cheating like fuck as well. Eventually, Truth got the upper hand and started to work on HHH. HHH got the tag to Punk who cleaned house and hit the Macho Man elbow drop while HHH was beating up Truth at the timekeeper’s table. Suddenly, Kevin Nash turns up and hits HHH. The commentary here showed once again why they suck as Michael Cole didn’t seem to know that it was Kevin Nash, even though they’re right near him. Booker T knew who it was and it led Lawler to go, almost annoyingly at Cole: “It’s Kevin Nash”. With HHH out of the way, Truth stopped Punk doing the GTS on Miz and hit the “Lil Jimmy’s Finale”, which is basically both their finishing moves done at the same time, to get the win.  Afterwards, Kevin Nash decides to destroy HHH, ending with a jack knife powerbomb.
Winners: R-Truth and The Miz            Predictions: 2 for 3

Randy Orton faced the wrestler formerly known as “Dashing” Cody Rhodes next in a non-title match. Rhodes had the early momentum but attempted a moonsault and missed giving momentum to Orton. Thanks to some attempted interference by one of his paper bag carriers, Rhodes almost won it with a Cross Rhodes. Another paper bag carrier attempted to help Rhodes but Rhodes ran into him and then got hit with a RKO, giving Orton the victory.
Winner: Randy Orton                          Predictions: 3 for 4

The penultimate match was a battle of the super heavyweights as Mark Henry and the Big Show clashed for the World Heavyweight Championship.  Show was all over Henry at the beginning prompting Henry to get out of the ring. Henry decides that he had enough and attempts to leave with the title but Show had other ideas and attacks him outside the ring. The momentum shifts to Henry for a while, with Henry focusing on Show’s leg. Show came back and hit a choke slam for a count of 2 followed by Henry hitting the World’s Strongest Slam for a count of 2. They both decide to attempt aerial moves, which is not advisable when you’re over 400lbs.  The end had Show going onto the top turnbuckle then being hit by Henry, who then hit a superplex, collapsing the ring. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the same ending that Show had with Brock Lesnar on Smackdown several years ago. The referee decides to stop the match and both wrestlers get medical attention. I find it funny that the ring can cope with a 41-man battle royal on Smackdown a couple of weeks ago, yet can’t cope with an 850lb superplex. It looks to me as if we’ll have a rematch at Survivor Series, hopefully with a reinforced ring (they could use adamantium). I have never predicted a match that ended in a no contest before so I’m not sure whether to count this as a loss or void it. I need a second opinion. I’ll get back to you on that. Going back to the PPV, the question is what’s going to happen with the Cena/Del Rio match?
Winner: No Contest                 Predictions: 3 for 5 (under dispute)

The main event, luckily, doesn’t necessarily need a ring as it’s a last man standing match between John Cena(yawn) and Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship. John Laurinatis (did you know he’s the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations?) said the match will still take place, so it was interesting to see how it would play out in a badly damaged ring. The beginning had Del Rio throwing Ricardo Rodriguez into Cena, who attempted to AA him and Del Rio hit Cena in the stomach to gain some momentum. After a while, Cena was about to hit Del Rio with the AA but Rodriguez stopped him, allowing Del Rio to hit a sleeper, giving him a count of 7. Cena then threw Del Rio from the ring into the barricade, giving Cena a count of 7. The match continued backstage and Del Rio had a good chance to win it when he threw the interview set on top of Cena, which resulted in a count of 8. The action then moved to the titantron where Del Rio threw Cena into the giant ‘V’ that was part of the set, which the referee didn’t count for some reason. Del Rio put Cena onto a table and started to climb the set in order to splash Cena. However, Cena got up and pulled Del Rio off the set, sending him through the table, which gave Cena a count of 8. The action returned to ringside, where Del Rio threw Cena into the English announcers, resulting temporarily in no commentary (not always a bad thing!) Del Rio tried to kick Cena in the head but missed and hit the ring post instead. Cena then did the AA, sending Del Rio through the Spanish announcers’ table. The match looked like it was over but, before the referee had a chance to start the 10 count, The Miz and R-Truth came out and beat the crap out of Cena. The referee then started to count both men; Del Rio, who was out for a good 30 seconds, managed to get his feet by the time the referee counted to 4 and Cena got up just before the ref counted to 10. Del Rio immediately hit Cena with the WWE Title belt and gets the win in the end. It was a better match than I thought it was going to be. Yes, you can argue that, once again, Cena didn’t lose cleanly but there are no rules so, do I care? Not really, no.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio                                 Predictions: 4 for 6 (possibly)

Overall, I thought it was a decent PPV. After the last two PPVs and possibly one of the worst RAWs ever, they needed Vengeance to deliver and I think it did. It was weird that no titles changed hands and it would have been nice if Zack Ryder won the US Championship but I enjoyed this PPV and I’m now looking forward to Survivor Series and seeing the Rock in action.