Monday, October 27, 2008

Where does Jeff go from here?

Cyber Sunday was actually a pretty fun show. I had a good time with it...

Let me start by saying, I was pretty shocked, as were most I’d imagine, that the fans voted in Cryme Tyme vs. M&M 2.0 over the tag title match. I think this speaks to Cryme Tyme’s popularity, but Kofi/Punk vs. Priceless was one of the matches I was looking most forward to. Cryme Tyme have stepped up their in-ring game, but this match would have been a better fit as the hour one main event on tonight’s RAW rather than on a PPV. They actually tried to sell it as a dot com rivalry, which was nuts.

Nice showing by Evan Bourne and an even better showing by his opponent Matt Hardy. Hardy’s performance in that match is what makes him a “smart” favorite, but what sometimes keeps him under the radar to casual fans. He let Bourne go and made Bourne look like a legitimate superstar. He sold the shit out of each and every high impact move and pretty much worked a flawless and very un-selfish match.

The match of the night, for me, was Taker vs. Big Show in the last man standing. Being pretty sure going in that Show was going to have to do the job, I really didn’t want him saying “I Quit” and the knockout match had exactly zero appeal, so this stip was one the fans got just right. The crowd, however was DEAD during this match, which was a shame because for a big man match it had a lot of great moments. It seemed like Taker took everything and just kept getting up, which could be seen as a slight to Big Show, but it’s the Undertaker – that’s been his gimmick forever.

Was Taker fucking with Charles Robinson, though? He just wouldn’t get up and he kept forcing Robinson to slow down his count to the point that Robinson started to look biased. Maybe he was just gassed, but it seemed like it may have been a power move. Either way, I had a lot of fun with this match and I keep becoming a bigger and bigger Big Show mark.

The low point of the show was certainly the Divas costume contest, though it was nice to see the fans vote for Mickie James who looked great.

Santino’s bit was not so great, through no fault of his own. They gave him and HTM no time to wrestle and then everyone came out and beat up on Santino, which is probably annoying to those who paid to vote.

I am a huge Goldust fan, I think he’s one of the top three wrestling characters of all time, but he looked like shit last night. Is he coming back? He better get in shape if he is.

On a side not, my girlfriend told me that it sounds like I’m doing a racist Asian impression when I try to say “64 weeks” like Santino. I, on the other hand, think it’s spot on.

Oh, Rey and Kane was a passable opener.

Did you see HHH’s face when the fans picked Hardy? Did you see Hardy’s face when the fans picked Hardy? Neither one of those guys was happy about it. Hardy knew he was going to have to do a pretty devastating job, which I’m sure he didn’t want to do and even further, I don’t think Game wanted to be the one to do it to him.

This match was good…really good. Not as good as No Mercy, but good. Truthfully, I can watch those two guys wrestle each other any day of the week – but the clean Jeff Hardy job is a tough one to swallow.

Everyone involved wanted this triple threat so Hardy wouldn’t have had to be pinned and HHH could have kept the title. Hardy getting voted in just made him seem like a guy who will never be WWE champion. Like a guy who is just not ready.

Memo to creative, though – the fans want Jeff Hardy to be champion!

I’m not even suggesting HHH should have dropped the title last night, but I didn’t want to see him get the clean pin. It didn’t look as though Trips was too happy about it either. I think Trips genuinely respects Jeff Hardy and knew that getting the win here was going to really hurt Hardy’s future in the title hunt and really didn’t want to be the guy to do it.

Where’s Jeff going now that it’s pretty clear creative is moving towards a Game/Kozlov feud?

Turn him heel? Take him off TV for a bit?

As for the RAW main event, I loved it. It was booked a bit like TNA what with all the run-ins, but here it worked. There are so many people outside of Big Dave and Jericho involved in this story, and none of their names are Stone Cold Steve Austin, that it made sense to have all those guys in there.

I love Jericho. I really do, but I actually think the title is on the right guy. I do wish it would have happened at Survivor Series, but in all fairness Batista has been placed in a number of title matches only to loose. Batista should be running the show on RAW and this sets up a sure-fire Cena/Batista main event at Wrestlemania 25.

It was a decent show all around, though I am worried about where Jeff Hardy goes from here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Impact Thoughts

Alright, alright everybody hated Impact last night. I mean everybody. There was very little wrestling and when there was it was pretty bad - with the exception of Awesome Kong vs. Taylor Wilde which was awesome.

I don't know how I feel, really.

Yes, the show stunk. It was really bad. It made last week's Raw look like the Raw when CM Punk won the title from Edge. Well, maybe it didn't, but it made Raw look much better in comparison.

Sure, Foley's "shattering" announcement wasn't all that shattering, but the problem with that was the hype more than the execution. I like the idea of Foley as the boss, I loved it when he as commish in WWE. The big problem here is this feels like a rehash. Foley being the boss is a double edged sword. On one side you've got Mick Foley for god's sake and who can complain about that. Foley is a top five promo guy and even when he's not on the top of his game, like last night, he's still pretty great. But when he is, shit, he's the best in the biz. Remember the promo he cut on Edge the night before he left WWE? Well, I submit that to you as exhibit A.

Having said that, Foley is still going to be a glorified GM and if we've learned anything from the past it's this - babyface GMs are pointless. Which leads me to question, does Foley turn heel and join forces with the newly dubbed main event mafia?

Which brings me to said Main Event Mafia. As a gimmick, I hate it. As this gimmick with these guys on this particular show, I love it.

It's no secret this Vince Russo program is essentially a do-over of what turned out to be a really bad Vince Russo program. WCW had the New Breed vs, The Millionaire's Club which was a disaster, but some are forgetting one very important factor. That program was booked horribly! The Millionaire's Club - the rich, old veterans hell bent on holding the younger talent back were booked as the BABYFACES! This made no sense whatsoever.

This time around it's being done right. The Main Event Mafia are the heels, though I suspect Sting is going to try his damndest to straddle that line as much as he can. Further, there aren't fifteen people in the MEM, just five (counting Sharmel) and none of them are named Jim Duggan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger, Sid Vicious, Hulk Hogan or DDP.

No, the MEM are actually quite a force. Both Sting and Kevin Nash were in the original Millionaire's Club - but, right now Sting is playing pretty close to the top of his game. Sure, he can't work the ring like he used to, but his promos have been great and when Sting is good everyone's good. As far as Nash - he's definitely the weakest in-ring performer of the four, but he also has the most personality. I've never soured on Nash because of that charm and when it's being used for evil, I like it even more.

Which leaves Kurt Angle and Booker T. I happen to be a huge Booker T. fan. Book can get anyone over (case in point - The Boogeyman. Boogey's feud with Book has been the only positive thing he has done in WWE and it was all Book). Booker runs with whatever gimmick he's given and if he can get this Idi Amin thing over, then there is nothing the man can't do. Plus, he's still solid in the ring and can work with anyone.

Kurt Angle really seems like he may be a crazy person. I can't tell. Is this whole UK Sun/Jarret's wife thing a work? No one seems to think so, therefore I am falling on the side of crazy. But, you've gotta love that about him. He's unpredictable and intense as hell and he is, without a doubt, one of the best workers in professional wrestling.

I'm not 100% this will work and I have to say I'd like to see Christian in the MEM with these guys, but not because he's forced to be. Rather because I love him as a heel and I like that he gets the respect of even being asked in the first place. It does seem like this feud is these four guys vs. Joe and AJ which is not great. There need to be some more guys thrown into this mix and Abyss, by the by, is not the guy. I'd love to see Jay Lethal thrown in here and maybe even Matt Morgan.

Is it groundbreaking and brilliant? Not really. Does it have the potential to be entertaining? I think so. I like the talent involved and I like that they're all actually on the same page rather than just talking about being on the same page. Plus, it's been a long time since we've had a fun stable in pro wrestling and I've been waiting for one.

Is this it? We'll see.

Will I continue to ask questions and then immediately answer them? Absolutely!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My first wrestling blog post is about Cyber Sunday, apparently. Sorry for that.

People who know me well are sometimes fascinated by my love and admiration for professional wrestling. It’s not in a condescending way either, most of my friends who are not fans see my dogged dedication to it and often wish aloud that they could get into it because they see how much joy it brings me. I’m not one of those glass is half empty internet fans, either. I watch it all. I’m certainly a smart fan. I know who can work a great match and who can’t. But, I hate shitting on wrestling because even when it’s bad, it gives us something to talk about and correct me if I’m wrong but I’d say a PPV Sunday is always better than a non-PPV Sunday.

People who constantly gripe are missing the point. If you decided to sit out last months No Mercy because you were fed up with seeing JBL or thought that the Jericho/Michaels program had run it’s course, well then you missed a show with two spectacular main events that will be fighting each other for the top spot on match of the year lists. Hell, even TNA’s Bound For Glory PPV was entertaining.

Therefore, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape about Cyber Sunday. There are some things I don’t need – another Kane/Rey match for example (that’s not to say bad on those performers who I like, it’s just been a poorly booked program) – but there are some things to get excited about...

If you’re not into the prospect of Dibiase and Rhodes vs. Kofi and Punk for the tag titles, well then you don’t like wrestling.

We’ll probably get Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne. It may be a little early to be putting young Evan in a main event caliber match, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun to watch. It will.

Santino vs. whoever should be a great time.

And, I’m a sucker for this HHH/Hardy program. I, for one, am hoping it’s a straight one on one. I’m not completely sold on Kozlov yet. I like the guy, but I’m not sure if I’m ready for him to infiltrate the main event just yet. I stand firmly behind the belief that Ron Killings should have been brought in as a heel and immediately been thrown into a program with the Game. But, that’s probably just me.

As for Jericho and Batista – I wish there was a bit more build up for this one. I may be in the minority among smart fans on this matter (in fact some may say I’m not a smart fan just by virtue of feeling this way) but I’m a huge Batista mark. I think he is a legit force and has really studied and learned how to have a great match and an even better program. Coincidentally, I am also a mark for Jericho. In my eyes, these are the top two guys on Raw and while I’m expecting this match to be great, I think the second one between these two, when there’s a little more substance, could be a classic. I do hope HBK is voted in to ref this thing. Listen, I love Austin and it will be great to see him but it makes no sense story-wise, not that this always matters at a show like Cyber Sunday, but when you’ve got a guy who is steeped in this story, I think it will make that match all the more interesting.

Now since I’ve said all these positive things, I am going to complain a bit. I know, I know I said I’m not a glass half empty fan and it’s true I’m not, but wrestling fans complain. It's what we do. It’s the caliber of complaint, however that makes them either a good fan or just a curmudgeon. I think this complaint make me the former.

Here’s what pissed me off about Raw this past Monday night – William Regal:jobber. Wasn’t it rumored that Regal was going to be a starting a well-deserved main even program with HHH prior to his suspension? Now they’ve resorted to dressing him in a woman’s bathing suit, wrestling Jamie Noble (who I like) in a third tier program week in and week out and now they're just feeding him to Batista like he was Kenny Dykstra. Really? Isn’t Snitsky back there? I’d rather not see Regal at all, than see him job like that. I don’t even mind a guy doing a job – especially a job to the top two guys on the show – but a squash like that? I hated it.