Sunday, 21 August 2011

The Summerslam Conspiracy

The ending of Summerslam with Kevin Nash attacking CM Punk and then Alberto Del Rio cashing in his MITB contract to become the WWE Champion was one of the most unpredictable endings to a Pay Per View in ages. The following RAW, despite Triple H’s denials, Kevin Nash said that he received a text message from Triple H asking him to “stick the winner for me”. It looks like there are conflicting stories going round and I can’t see this being solved for another couple of weeks. So, how are the suspects in asking Nash to attack CM Punk?

Triple H
It certainly looks that way, doesn’t it? Kevin Nash received the text message from his phone. He may have intentionally missed Cena’s foot on the rope to make sure that Punk won the match. However, while he can be angry at CM Punk for effectively holding the company to ransom; if it wasn’t for Punk, Triple H wouldn’t be the COO now. I don’t think it’s him and he’s being used as a scapegoat, but there are rumours going round of a Punk/HHH feud going into Survivor Series, so you never know.

Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio was the RAW MITB contract holder. However, each time he tried to cash it in, it didn’t go well. Del Rio probably needed to make sure that the next time he would try to cash it in, his opponent wouldn’t be in a position to recover. The best way to do that is to get a hired gun (Nash) to do that for him. It would be something different. Each time, except for Rob Van Dam, the MITB contract has been cashed in, it has been when the holder has taken advantage of an attack on the champion. Del Rio has the money to hire someone to take out the champion and then he can come in and pick up the pieces. However, I believed him when he said that he saw the opportunity and took it. It’s possible but unlikely.

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
Stephanie probably wanted revenge for what happened to her father and she has the ability to get access to Triple H’s phone (being married to him and all). It’s a long shot but more likely, it wasn’t her.

John Laurinatis
John doesn’t like either Punk or Cena. He could have gotten access to Triple H’s phone and it could be that he could use this situation to his own advantage to get more power. It’s possible but unlikely.

And the most likely suspect is...

...Vince McMahon
If you think about it, it’s perfect. Vince has beef with Punk, Cena and Triple H. Punk held the company to ransom, Cena got the match at MITB back on while Punk was suspended when he threatened to quit, leading Vince to employ desperate measures at the Money in the Bank PPV to ensure Punk didn’t win. First, he tried to get Laurinatis to ring the bell when Punk was in the STF, which was foiled by Cena. He then tried to get Del Rio to cash in his MITB contract, which Punk foiled before running off into the sunset. Vince’s actions meant that the board had to get him to step down from the day to day operations and let Triple H take over. If Vince let all of that slide, then I would be very surprised. Vince probably wasn’t there but he could have got Laurinatis or even Stephanie to send the text message to Nash on Triple H’s phone, creating a scapegoat.

So, there are the suspects. We will find out soon enough who the culprit is.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Summerslam 2011 Review

It’s Summerslam baby! I’m watching bits of this inbetween doing 12-14 hour shifts at work so my apologies for putting this up a few days after the event. Will all the hype surrounding this event be worth it and will I improve on my 50% prediction record from Money in the Bank? Let’s see.

After a guitar version of the Star Spangled Barrier by Adam Jones of the Tool, the Awesome One kicks things off and could Michael Cole be anymore excited?! I mean, I love the Miz as well, but I’m not on the verge of an orgasm whenever I see him. The Miz is teaming up with Alberto Del Rio and R-Truth to take on Kofi Kingston, John Morrison and Rey Mysterio. It was an enjoyable match with some impressive teamwork between Morrison and Kofi on the Miz, and Kofi getting worked over by Del Rio and the Miz. At the end, Rey Mysterio got the pin by splashing R-Truth and giving him, Morrison and Kofi the win
Predictions: N/A

Backstage, CM Punk gives a mocking apology to John Laurinitis over what happened at the contract signing on RAW and Stephanie McMahon returns to wish Punk luck in the match.  Good segment and it was nice to see Stephanie back.

Sheamus vs Mark Henry was next and Sheamus was dominant at first before Mark Henry threw him out of the ring and was dominant for a little while. Eventually, Sheamus brogue kicked Henry out of the ring, went out after him (never a good idea) and Henry slammed Sheamus onto the ring post and then through the barricade giving him the win by countout.
Predictions: 0 for 1

After a mini concert by Cee-Lo Green, Beth Phoenix vs Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship was next. I was expecting a 3-4 minute match with Beth destroying Kelly but I was pleasantly surprised by this match. Kelly Kelly, while nowhere near as strong as Beth, is a lot quicker and she put in a good performance against her, getting the win by reversing an attempt at a Glam Slam into a small package.
Predictions: 0 for 2

Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett was a very entertaining wrestling match. Daniel Bryan’s style of wrestling is always enjoyable to watch and he and Wade worked well together. Wade Barrett got the win by hitting the wasteland.
Predictions: 0 for 3

Right, once again, I’m not doing well with my predictions. However, I’m hoping like last time that I get some right with the World title matches. Randy Orton vs Christian V for the World Heavyweight Championship is no holds barred and, whilst I’ve been enjoying their matches on Pay-Per-View, it would be nice to see a different World title match next month. Christian revealed his secret weapon in the match to be Edge! However, any plan for Edge to help Christian in his match was ruined by Edge saying he wasn’t happy with what Christian had become and walked out. It’s ok, Christian, you don’t need your best friend to defeat Randy Orton.  The match was enjoyable, taking me back to some of the matches that you had during the Attitude Era. Some of the highlights include Christian using a kendo stick on Orton, and Orton finally mastering the art of putting people through tables by RKO-ing Christian through the Spanish announcers table. I thought Christian won it with the killswitch but Orton kicked out. Orton then sent Christian through two tables and DDTed him onto a dustbin. At the end, Christian attempted a move from the top turnbuckle and got RKOed onto the steel steps, giving him the win. Ok, I’m sorry but what the fuck?! Why does Orton have to become the fucking champion again?! That sucks! That really really sucks! I mean, seriously...

...ok I’ve calmed down now. My apologies for that rant. As you can tell, I didn’t want Orton to be the World Heavyweight Champion again. I don’t see why he has to be the champion right now. Ah well, bad luck Christian. It looks like you might have needed Edge to help you after all. You will be champion again, just (hopefully) not next month.
Predictions: 0 for 4 (wtf?!?!)

Now it comes to the main event CM Punk vs John Cena for the Undisputed WWE Championship with Triple H as the special guest referee. This was a great match. It’s hard to say whether it was better than their match at Money in the Bank but it will be up there with some of the greatest Summerslam matches ever. There were lots of great bits in the match, one of them was when both guys were out on the floor and Triple H counted up to 9 and then got both Cena and Punk back into the ring to prevent a double count out to the cheers of the Staples Center crowd. Punk kicked out of the AA and then Cena kicked out of the GTS. At the end, Punk hit the GTS again and got the win even though Triple H, who had been completely neutral up to this point, missed Cena’s leg on the bottom rope. I’m sorry Cena, while I see your point, Triple H didn’t see it and CM Punk is now the undisputed WWE Champion.
Predictions: 1 for 5 (alleluia!)

Hang on a minute, Kevin Nash has come to spoil the party and powerbombs CM Punk. What was that about?! And then, Alberto Del Rio, taking a leaf from Edge’s manual to how to be the ultimate opportunist, takes advantage and cashes in his MITB contract. One kick to the back to the head later and Del Rio is the new WWE Champion. CM Punk becomes the second person to have not only cashed in the MITB contract but to have him cashed in on him. What an awesome ending!

Overall, it’s hard to give an opinion on this Summerslam. Summerslam, like Wrestlemania, will be compared to not only the last Pay-Per-View, but also the last Summerslam. Is it better than last year’s Summerslam? Most definitely. Is it better than last month’s event, Money in the Bank? It’s hard to say. Money in the Bank was, in most people’s mind, the perfect Pay-Per-View. Summerslam this year seemed to be more polarizing to the fans and I tend to agree. I really enjoyed the event but I don’t quite see why the WWE decided to go with some of the results. I may have to look at the bigger picture to see how the aftermath of this event will go.

Oh, and Kevin Nash, prepare to have CM Punk get his revenge on you. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Summerslam Predictions

Summerslam is this evening and it’s shaping up to be a good show. I was 3 for 6 at Money in the Bank. Will I do better this time? Let’s take a look at the matches.

Sheamus vs Mark Henry will be a very physical contest. Mark Henry has been destroying wrestlers (and WWE technicians) over the last few months very impressively. However, I think that Sheamus will win this match and complete his face turn.

Beth Phoenix vs Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship should be interesting with the recent heel turns by Beth and Natalya. If Beth Phoenix doesn’t win this, I’ll be very surprised.

Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett should be a good match and thoroughly entertaining. I’m going to go for Daniel Bryan to win this and start a feud between the two over the autumn.

Randy Orton vs Christian V in a no holds barred match for the World Heavyweight Championship should be a good contest. While their matches have been good, I think that this will be the last match between the two for the foreseeable future. For that to happen, I believe that Christian will retain the title.

CM Punk vs John Cena to determine the undisputed WWE Champion will be the biggest Summerslam main event in years. There’re rumours going round of a potential CM Punk/HHH match at Survivor Series and with the Game being the referee, my shenanigans sense is tingling. However, I think that CM Punk will become the undisputed WWE Champion.

I know that Cee-Lo Green is playing, but unless he’s performing a concert, I don’t get why there are only 5 matches are on the card for the second biggest event of the year and the Awesome One is not taking part (Boo!). Therefore, expect one or two bonus matches in this event. Unfortunately, due to work, I won’t get to watch all of it for a few days, so you won’t get the review until during the week. I’ll find out the results and publish them first before I write my review. Hope you enjoy the show.

Friday, 12 August 2011

My First Ever Summerslam

Summerslam is less than a week away and the second biggest WWE event of the year is shaping up to be an enjoyable show. I thought that I would take a slightly different route about it and write about the first Summerslam that I ever saw.

The first Summerslam that I ever watched was in 1992, which was extra special for me because it took place at Wembley Stadium, London. Due to the fact that I didn’t see the event live, I had to wait almost 4 months to watch it on VHS. The way the video releases work in the UK is that we have to wait 3/4 months after the event before it’s released on DVD. The commentators were Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan, who was pretending to be the King of England, and they were good, I just missed the excellent chemistry that Heenan had with Gorilla Monsoon.

Even though I have not seen the show for over 15 years, I still remember so much about it. The Legion of Doom going down the aisle to face Money Inc. in motorcycles and wearing white shoulder pads; the Natural Disasters defending their tag titles against the Beverley Brothers; Shawn Michaels and Rick Martel fighting over who should take a fainted Sensational Sherri back up the aisle; and the WWF Championship between Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior with Ric Flair and Mr Perfect teasing them over which corner they were going to be in.

The most abiding memory is the main event with the British Bulldog challenging Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship. I still think it is one of the best matches that I ever seen and it was a pure technical masterclass in wrestling, which is something that you don’t really see anymore. You had Diane Hart, Bret’s sister and Bulldog’s wife, watching the match and the cameras constantly cutting to her to see her reaction to certain buts of the match. The ending was amazing with Bulldog reversing an attempt at a sunset flip by Bret Hart to get the win.

From what I remember, it was a really good Summerslam. After that, it was 7 years until I saw my next Summerslam and another 11 until I first saw a Summerslam live on TV. While everyone looks forward to Wrestlemania, I look forward to Summerslam with the same amount of enthusiasm. I thought that this year’s Wrestlemania was slightly disappointing, and I hope that Summerslam 2011 will be an awesome show.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

“Enough is Enough, and it’s Time for a Change”

Sorry that I haven’t updated this blog. I’ve been working in Edinburgh for the last week without access to a computer. I finally had the chance to see last week’s RAW and Smackdown yesterday and I’m interested in what’s happening with the Divas so here’s an article about it.

While I like women’s wrestling, I feel that in the WWE, it has seemed to have stagnated over the last few years. At the minute, they seem to have 4-5 minutes on TV and have the occasional Divas title match. If you look at TNA, they seem to have a better women’s division because not only do they have a decent roster, they seem to do wrestling and they have actual storylines. In the WWE, you have the Bella Twins saying that women their own size are fat and behaving more like bitchy teenage schoolgirls than women in their mid-20s.

There were signs that that could change with the arrival of Kharma in May. She was destroying Divas almost indiscriminately and, without having a match, was proving to be the dominant alpha female. Her pregnancy meant that the storyline could not continue and it looked like the Divas would continue to do the same old thing for the foreseeable future.

That all changed last week with the battle royal on RAW to determine the No.1 contender to the Divas Championship on Summerslam. Champion Kelly Kelly was on commentary and, until the end, I wasn’t liking it. Most of the field were eliminated within 90 seconds and the commentary seem to consist of Kelly Kelly and Michael Cole bickering. The ending was good with Beth Phoenix putting both Bellas on her shoulders and throwing them over the top rope. Kelly Kelly, in an act of sportsmanship, congratulates Beth for winning. Beth does her own act of sportsmanship by completely destroying Kelly Kelly. Later that week on Smackdown, Natalya destroys Kaitlyn after beating her in a match and announces that she is aligning herself with Beth and announces that: “The days of the cute, perky, little princesses are over!”

I’m excited to see how this plays out. Beth Phoenix is undoubtedly the strongest women in the WWE since Chyna, and she has competed in two Royal Rumbles. Natalya comes from possibly the most successful wrestling family ever, and, having been trained in Stu Hart’s dungeon, the most technical women in the division. I can see them dominating the Divas for the near future with either one of them being the champion and that could develop into a fued between the two.

If I have a slight gripe, it’s that I wish that they were two women’s titles. You could have Beth being the Divas champion and Natalya being the Women’s champion and being completely dominant. Then Kharma can return, destroy them both and you can unify the titles that way.

These events and the fact that the Divas title is being defended not only at Summerslam but for the second consecutive Pay-Per-View means that the women’s division seems to be coming more than just a sideshow. I hope that it will continue to progress and be enjoyable again, especially when Kharma returns.