Polybagged Ultron!!!1!!

Of course this thing would come in a polybag, considering how overhyped and ridiculously awful it's been.  That being said, I'm pumped for the finale to see what a trainwreck they can possibly finish with to make it any more ludicrous than it already is.  To sum up thus far, we've had 9 issues of an Age of Apocalypse ripoff where nothing happens and we still don't even know what Ultron did, Ultron hasn't even appeared in the series for more than a page or two, Wolverine has changed history (TWICE), killed an alternate timeline version of himself (Twice, although one didn't stick) and mostly NOTHING HAPPENS.  Oh, and Captain America sulked for a while.  It is epically awful, although in such an overly dramatic and stupid way that you just have to keep reading to find out what "shocking" twist they can top themselves with.  Apparently Angela from Spawn comes into the Marvel universe in the finale.  I've never read an issue of Spawn in my life and wouldn't be caught dead doing so, so this shocking twist means nothing to me.  
June 19.  Seriously can't wait.

Shawn Michaels last match

Hey Scott!

In your Wrestlemania 26 rant regarding the Michaels/Taker match, you said:

"If this was Shawn’s last match (which it’s not), he went out with
another Wrestlemania classic."

Over three years have passed, and although he's injected himself in
several matches since, he has not actually WRESTLED (err…SPORTS
ENTERTAINED?) another match.  It seems that WWE has plenty of ways to
trot out Michaels whenever it is necessary without having him
technically wrestle in a match, and that seems to be satisfying enough
to both parties.

So are you finally willing to say that Wrestlemania 26 was, indeed,
Shawn Michaels' final match?

Nope, he'll be back.  There'll be a match big enough and enough money dumped on him for one more match at some Wrestlemania.  He's still healthy and marketable and Vince is Vince, so unless his spine was fused again or something like that, I guarantee he'll wrestle again.  

Mid-year Evaluations, A through D

The first half of 2013 is rapidly coming to a close and it seems like a lot of WWE superstars are on the verge of some changes, so I decided to go down the main roster alphabetically and share some thoughts on everyone’s current state starting with letters A through D:

Alberto del Rio: I didn’t think there was much to like about ADR as a face, but he slowly seems to be growing into the role. He had been on record as saying he wanted to be a face from the get-go, so he’s probably more comfortable working as one. He just needs something more to tack his character onto; right now he just seems like his prior millionaire character slumming it.

Alex Riley: This poor prick. Blackballed for standing up for himself. He should really just quit because its obvious they see nothing in him, and I think he has potential. At the very least, team him up with Curt Hawkins and let them be a jobber team.

Antonio Cesaro: Lotta rumors surrounding old Claudio. The rap from day one was that Vince thought he was boring and HHH saw potential, so he got a chance. Then I heard some talk that HHH invited him to work out and Cesaro turned him down. I REALLY hope that’s just some newsboarder’s overactive imagination because otherwise, really? How dumb could you be? What little fragment of character they gave him was all about his strength and his unique workout routine. If your boss wanted to go share his favorite activity with you, obviously he sees something there and maybe wanted to learn something about your workout. Hello! HHH pushes his gym buddies, dipshit! Maybe its not true, but either way all I can say is that I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another ROH match with Claudio Castagnoli in the future.

Big E. Langston: What do you call a big, ripped musclehead that you hire to be pushed as such only to find out that he has untapped reserves in the comedy department and great facials in the ring? Well you could call him Titus O’Neill, but Big E. is a little younger and a little better. Despite looking like some horrific House Party slashfic where Kid ate Play, Langston is probably going to be breaking out as a singles star soon, and won’t be with Dolph and AJ much longer.

Big Show: Big Show’s been having some of the best matches of his career, and I really think that he’s cementing his legacy as a great worker and an all around professional. Unfortunately, Show’s not getting any younger, and giants have shorter life expectancies than most of us. While he’s barely touching his 40s, he could be in his twilight years very soon. I know its morbid and sad to say, but its the truth. I get the feeling it might even be like a Joe Paterno situation for him, where once he stops it all catches up to him and he won’t make it much longer. That’s why, even though Brock is being held for the bigger stars, I’d love to see him and Show have one match on PPV. Between their prior history, Brock’s MMA style, and the fact that Brock is strong enough to lift Show and Show is believably strong enough to throw Brock around, we could feasibly see a 5 star Big Show match.

Bo Dallas: I’m not sure he really counts yet. Either way, being the new Freddie Joe Floyd might not be the best career move for him.

Bray Wyatt & the Wyatt Family: I was a mark for this character from the second I saw his first promo, and I called it by saying they should ditch Eli Cottonwood as his flunky and use Luke Harper. Husky wasn’t a half bad worker and Brodie was a pretty great big man worker, so they should have good things to come. I haven’t really seen Erick Rowan but his beard is excellent. And since their vibe is basically Max Cady leading The Devil’s Rejects, we are in for some fun.

Brock Lesnar: All I really want out of Brock is for him to have great, bloody MMA hybrid brawls every once in a while and put people over. At this point there are tons of money matches with Brock: Big Show, Punk, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Ryback, a Cena rematch. How many of them we actually see is up to fate and Brock but hopefully he’s done wasting time with HHH.

Brodus Clay, Tensai, and the Funkadactyls: Tons of Funk as the new Men on a Mission is okay with me. They can be a feel good team to challenge for the tag titles and make heel teams look good. Like Khali, they may not be serious threats, but it always means something to beat someone that big. As for Cameron and Naomi, they’re going to have to face the facts that Naomi has a future as a singles Diva and Cameron is the Jannetty (Jannette?)

Chris Jericho: What more could you ask for? Add me to the list of people who’d like to see him get one last run as champ briefly, to eventually pass the torch to someone. God knows he’s earned it, and he has a patina of fame around him, plus the crowds go apeshit for him.

Christian: Unfortunately, his prime has peaked. From the stories I’ve heard he’s another hard luck case: strong-armed into appearing at Slammiversary last year as an exchange for the Flair deal when he really didn’t want anything to do with them, and then looked down on by some people for not outright refusing to do it and appearing with the competition. Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Couple that with age, injuries, and a lack of motivation from creative to find anything for him, and I think the writing is on the wall.

CM Punk: He can do no wrong. I just want him back on TV, although I’m glad he’s taking time to heal. Anything at all will be great with him.

Cody Rhodes: His whole gimmick is having a mustache. I think they should have someone forcibly shave it, and then have him freak out and go back to his old Dr. Doom character. It’d serve the character even more to overreact to something so vain and minute.

Curt Hawkins: Lost cause.

Curtis Axel: Here’s my problem with this chode. Besides the fact that he isn’t a great wrestler, they’re pushing his legacy of being Hennig’s son. I’m in my late 20s, and I’ve been watching wrestling for over 20 years. Curt Hennig retired for the first time within a year of me starting to watch; he seemed over the hill to me most of the time I was watching. He’s also been dead for a decade or so. So if he seems that old to an old fart like me, what does the average kid watching have to relate to? And if that kid did happen to bone up on his wrestling history and had seen Mr. Perfect’s dvd or whatever, he’d be able to see how his creepy son doesn’t match up. So its a lose lose scenario.

Damien Sandow: I like the darker elements they’re adding to his character. Rather than just acting smart, he’s using his intelligence to mess with his opponents. He’s basically The Riddler, and that has lots of potential for great villainy.

Daniel Bryan: It’s happening. They can’t ignore the reactions he gets. He will be on top or damn near. Just you wait.

Darren Young and Titus O’Neill: The PTPs got a little crowded out of the tag scene, but they still have potential to impress. Since their comedic promos are their strong suit (and not so much wrestling) and since Titus is a little old, if I were them I’d just put a lot of focus into YouTube videos.

David Otunga: He’s not gonna stick with this. Plainly his heart isn’t in it, and he is stuck in the limbo of being untalented enough to suck as a wrestler but too jacked physically to just be a manager. Time to quit and go be a house husband.

Dean Ambrose: All they could do more with him is give him some more vignettes where he can fill in the background of his character like he did in all those excellent Moxley promos. The mysteriousness of The Shield is fine but there is more to him than that. But those are small complaints, and he is the top heel of the future.

Dolph Ziggler: If I were him I’d beat the piss out of Swagger when I came back. The biggest run of his career has lost all its momentum due to Swagger being a sloppy goof, and it doesn’t make him look good that HHH is out there acting as though coming back from a concussion is just a matter of toughness. Dolph has a case of terminal bad luck, and he is starting at a severe deficit. It also says something that in the time he’s been gone the World title hasn’t really been missed too much.

Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, and Jinder Mahal: 3MB are the three worst wrestlers on the roster, give or take a Khali or Ezekiel Jackson. And they don’t really do much “comedy” per se by coming out and acting like rockstars. Heath is an effective JTTS but has no good offense, Drew is the dreariest wrestler I’ve ever seen, and Jinder is just awful all around. Scary to think that Drew was at one time supposed to be the “next big thing”.

Stay tuned over the next few days for thoughts on the remainder of the WWE roster.

Cucch’s Book Review: Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart

Sunday Night, May 23, 1999. I had just returned home from a couple of tough weekend shifts at the restaurant I was working. 12-12, followed by 9-6. I was exhausted, sore, and in need of some frosty liquid refreshment. I did have small solace that night in the form of a WWF PPV I was not particularly forward to. Over The Edge 1999. I was at the peak of my wrestling fandom at that point, but truth be told, I was not thrilled with the WWF product in 1999. As someone who always enjoyed a really good match, the WWF wasn’t providing many of those at that point, instead focusing on risque and insidious storylines, slaves to the almighty Neilsen Ratings. The era was deemed “The Monday Night Wars” and never has there been a more apt name for an epoch in wrestling history. By the end of the wars, the body count would be staggering. Great wrestler after great wrestler, mid carder after mid carder, jobber after jobber, all lost their lives in the war to make money for themselves and organizations, to put their bodies through inhuman torture which could only be sustained night in and night out by copious amounts of pain killers and PED’s.

Back to the original point. I fixed myself a small snack, cracked open the first of my six pack of Rolling Rock (Oh, those days when, not only did underage me drink Rolling Rock, but could get TIGHT on a six pack) and proceeded to lay in my recliner and watch the latest offering from the high rolling WWF.

The card looked completely unspectacular. The Main Event was a WWF Championship Match between champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker (part 423 in a series of 1,295 matches, approximately) with Shane and Vince McMahon as the guest referees. Other sure to be classic matches on the card were Val Venis and Nicole Bass facing off with Jeff Jarrett and Debra, The Union vs. The Corporate Ministry, and the blow up of the wildly popular, wildly overrated New Age Outlaws. Fans, like myself, who were looking for some great in ring action, were almost certain to be disappointed with the card that had been outlined. There was another match, almost an afterthought, especially to me, for the Intercontinental Title. It would be the Godfather defending against the mysterious Blue Blazer.

Now, anyone who knew wrestling at that time knew just who damn well the Blue Blazer was. It was the alter ego of Owen Hart (Although, sometimes his tag partner, Jarrett, would dress up in the masked outfit to try to throw people off of Owen’s scent). As a longtime Hart family fan, I was always interested in seeing what a Hart would do in the ring. Granted, I was always more of a Bret and Davey Boy guy, but that didn’t stop me from following the great heel stylings of  Owen throughout his WWF tenure. He was tremendous fun to watch, just a great chickenshit wiseass heel. Owen also was probably one of the most naturally gifted wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle, so he had that working for him as well. He was an absolute joy to watch, but I wasn’t holding out much hope for his match with the Godfather.

Owen had always been great as just plain Owen Hart. Much like Chris Candido in ECW, there were no gimmicks needed. Sure, the monikers of “Rocket”, “King of Hearts”, and “Two Time Slammy Award Winner” didn’t hurt. But all of that was attestable to the genius of Owen Hart. His Blue Blazer gimmick was certainly silly, harkening back to his early days in WWF in 1988 and 89, as a masked babyface JTTS. Owen had recently revitalized the gimmick, and, while may smart fans hated this treatment of one of their heroes, some, like myself, saw Owen putting 100% into the gimmick, as he always did. Whereas in 1988 it was meant to be almost a form of hero worship to Tiger Mask (maybe the wrong choice of words…but its my article, deal with it), Blue Blazer v. 1999 was mostly a parody. It was a parody of WCW superheroes like Sting. It was almost certainly a parody of his own brother Bret, who detested the filth WWF was devolving into. But some would also say it was a parody of Owen himself, who also, like Bret, hated the direction of the WWF, and had refused some risque storylines simply because he was a family man with young, impressionable children whose minds, along with countless other children tuning into WWF broadcasts, he did not want to warp.

So the Over the Edge PPV begins with a fairly nondescript tag match of Kane and X-Pac vs. D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry. Smell the workrate. It was followed by a hardcore match between Al Snow and Bob Holly. That wasn’t a bad match, but certainly not a good one either. The third match on the card was scheduled to be the Godfather vs. The Blue Blazer. Here is where that PPV becomes indelibly etched into my psyche.

They went to a video package, highlighting the fact that everyone was in on the Blue Blazer joke, that everyone knew it was Owen Hart. Even the announcers. It was a fairly quick package, Pimp against Superhero looking for justice and morality, more or less. That is when shit got weird.

The camera panned back to a wide angle of the audience, while Jim Ross was struggling to collect his thoughts, it seemed, and he kicked the feed back to the dressing room for a pre taped Blue Blazer interview. But not before he stammered out “We have big problems out here.”

The promo that followed was classic Owen, declaring that his “arch nemesis” The Godfather made his “blue blood boil.” Owen finished his Blazer interview with his Hogan rip off credo: “Say your prayers, take your vitamins, and drink your milk. WHOOO!”

It was sadly the last words we would ever hear from Owen James Hart.

Now I don’t have to tell anyone what happened next. We all know. Moreover, I would be hard pressed to even attempt to match the namesake of this site to write a definitive, tell all story on Owen Hart. So that is not happening. I was shocked at the moment when Ross said there was an accident with Owen, but, wrestling being wrestling at that point, I honestly didn’t know WHAT THE FUCK to think. I stayed up for a couple of more matches, all the while recording it on my VCR (I mean….the fuck I did…I did no such thing. That’s illegal. Would never do that. Ever.) I conked out for the night, and missed Ross’ announcement later in the night. What alerted me to the severity of the whole thing was my mother calling me the next day. Honestly, I thought the accident was real, but every fiber of my being wanted to believe it was a bad Russo stunt. So when my mom called me that morning and said “Did you hear about that wrestler who died last night?”, the gravity of all of it hit me. And hard. I immediately turned on CNN, and was shocked to see a wrestler being the lead item on a news network. Owen Hart. Dead. At 34. Unreal.

Enough of my personal recollections of that horrific night. To the book. “Broken Harts” is Martha Hart’s attempt into discussing the man that she loved and adored, her attempt to convey just how great a man was lost on that sad May day in 1999. The book’s full title “Broken Harts: The Life and Death of Owen Hart,” is actually misleading. There is some talk on his life, very little on his career. The book is more about Owen and Martha’s almost Thoreau or Emerson Walden type existence together. But, it is less about the life of Owen Hart, and more about the death of Owen and the seedy aftermath of those events in Kansas City, MO.

Martha Patterson and Owen Hart met in high school, as Owen’s wrestling team happened to be practicing a few rooms over from Martha’s gymnastic squad. It was truly a case of love at first sight, Romeo and Juliet embodied in the flesh as opposed to characters leaping off the page. They began their storybook romance in relative squalor. Owen was the youngest of the Hart children, and, as I am sure many here are aware of, especially if you have read my review on Bret’s book, that existence was far from idyllic. Martha grew up in similar circumstances. Her mother had 11 children by two husbands, Martha towards the bottom of the age totem pole. Both families had dysfunctional home lives, both taking in vagrants, the disillusioned, the poor, the destitute, the transient. The Hart family did it with wrestlers, the Patterson family with vagabonds. Martha and Owen were young members of their respective families who yearned for a more simple, structured, normal life. To that end, they began dating, and found absolute true love that neither of their families could understand. Owen never really wanted to be a wrestler, but once he fell head over heels for young Martha, he realized he needed a profession where he could provide a comfortable living for his soon to be bride and soon to be budding family.

Owen was an absolute natural, and Martha was perennially by his side. From Germany to Japan, USA to Ukraine (oh God, I sound like Rod Trondgard) Owen and Martha traveled side by side. They were married in 1989, and it was then that Owen decided to quit wrestling and become a fire fighter. Well, Calgary didn’t really give him a fair chance, so, with brother Bret now at the top of the profession as WWF Champion, Owen reembarked on his wrestling career.

People who are looking for inside dirt on Owen’s WWF career or his ribs, stop. Martha offers nothing too much in this book. She instead speaks of how proud Owen was at the births of his son Oje and daughter Athena. It is a truly amazing look into the at home psyche of a great family man. Sure he was gone a lot of days because of his WWF commitments, but this is a guy who truly got it. As Mick Foley said in the Owen documentary by Paul Jay: “Some people say they live for wrestling. Not Owen. Owen lived for his family, and used wrestling to help them live.” Amen brother.

Most wrestling fans are going to be disappointed with this book, because his entire WWF run lasts roughly, maybe, 30 pages. Its the death and aftermath that dominate it.

As we know, Owen fell to his death, 78 feet, from the top of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO, May 23, 1999. Here is where the book becomes must read. And it pains me to say that. Bret and Martha were absolutely a united front, as those two knew Owen better than anyone. Unfortunately, Diana Hart, Ellie Hart, and Bruce Hart were a united front as well. And they saw Owen’s death as cash. Cold hard cash. How? In pity employment from Vince McMahon. Most of this stuff is pretty public domain, especially in Canada, but rest assured, it still remains lurid and detestable. Martha also writes about how awful and pornographic Diana’s book was, and how it became her mission to censor it. Good for Martha.

Out of the respect this writer has for the Hart family, well, Bret, Owen, and some…Kieth should be included, I will not give an opinion on some of the shit that appears in this book. That is up to the reader, and in these reviews, I try not to slander too much when its a subject I am intimately familiar with. Sometimes.

The lawsuit is mentioned in full detail here, except for the settlement amount. Based on my limited knowledge of what happened, I believed, and still believe, that Vince McMahon and WWF were grossly negligent. And the tribute show they had the next night? Bad. The fact they kept Over the Edge going after Owen fell? Unforgivable. It shows the true tastelessness, the lack of tact, the lack of sympathy of one Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

There are many other things I could discuss about this book, but, hey, what is the point of writing a review where I ruin everything and you do not seek out and read the fucking thing? The best part of this book is that all proceeds from the sales of the book go towards the Owen Hart Foundation, which Martha Hart founded shortly after the settlement with WWF.

My own conclusion is this: WWF was absolutely negligent in the people they hired, and the devices they used, in the stunt that killed Owen Hart. I leave it to you, the well informed reader, to peruse the book, study the facts on his death, read between the facts that Martha clearly did hate and will always hate, wrestling, and make your own determination. That is the point of all this. Educate yourself.

This book is an absolute must read. As for Owen questions, refer to the man running the blog.

Bray Wyatt

Hey Scott, been a fan for a year and so and I'd like your thoughts on Bray Wyatt. That his character is awesome, we can all see, but do you think in-ring wise he's at the same level or close? Since you can see/predict that they're gonna push him big time, you think his in-ring work is ready for this?

Thank you!

Oh yeah, from what I've seen on NXT he's absolutely ready.  Him and Kassius Ohno should have been called up MONTHS ago, if not sooner.  His flunkies are another thing entirely, but if they're keeping the Wyatt Family gimmick intact then it'll get over pretty much instantly and they can disguise the limitations of the flunkies.  

Going for the hatrick with Randy Orton

Hey, speaking of Jesse…. > Since you have two people writing in about Randy Orton, might as well give you a lucky number three on the subject in terms of a third email on him.
>
> Any reason why the WWE refuses to turn Randy Orton heel? With the ascension of Punk, the WWE has been struggling with the need to find heels and let alone those who are big enough to be credible threats. And as it has been said, Orton seems to know that his days as the top face is over what with him wanting to go heel.
>
> This is most notable when you consider that Sheamus has effectively upstaged Orton as a top face on Smackdown and the fact that Orton would have been tailor made for a rival for Punk during his time as a good guy world champion, far better than Jericho in terms of a filler feud during the first half of 2012.
>
> Does Vince fear that turning Orton heel might hurt his merch sales? Or is it more or less him being contrary simply for the sake of being contrary, especially since Orton himself has requested a return to the dark side for his character?
>
> Jesse He just turned on Smackdown, didn't he? Unless he was possessed by Dr. Octopus.

A new Kliq?

> Jesse Baker Mode: ON
>
> Noticing that HHH has been "high" on certain talent over the years (Sandow, Sheamus, Ambrose) and Bryan being HBK's "star pupil" do you think that a new Kliq: TNG could form in the the next 2-3 years? Uh, let's leave Jesse Baker mode off, please.  Unless you want me to troll you with how awesome Superior Spider-Man is.  Because its pretty fucking awesome. Anyway, the total neutering of talent combined with HHH's bullheaded ego pretty much guarantees that there won't be another Kliq any time soon.  That would mean that someone else was on his level, you see.

Smackdown – June 7, 2013

Smackdown
Date:
June 7, 2013
Location:
Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Commentators:
Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
coming up on Payback with the big story at the moment being the rise
of Daniel Bryan. Since HELL NO lost the tag titles Bryan has been on
a rampage to prove that he isn’t the weak link, which has provided
some very entertaining moments from him in the past few weeks. Other
than that we have Orton teaming up with whomever he can find to fight
the Shield. Let’s get to it.

The
opening recap is a video of the contract signing for Jericho vs. Punk
at Payback. We also see Bryan yelling at Orton about not being the
weak link.
We
open the show with MizTV with guests Randy Orton and HELL NO. Bryan
thanks Kane for being the best partner he could ask for and not
helping him in the match against Ryback on Raw. Miz talks about
Bryan cleaning house of the Shield last week and we get a loud YES
chant. Bryan thinks people still look at him like a goat faced vegan
troll so Orton and Kane think that Bryan’s head is a bit messed up.
Kane
insists that everyone respects Bryan although Orton is getting tired
of Bryan whining about respect. Bryan blames Orton for the loss to
the Shield on Monday, so Orton says we’re back in crazy town. Kane
tries to get Bryan out of there but Bryan yells that Kane should have
his back. Kane says he always has Bryan’s back but he’s tired of
Bryan not trusting him.
Bryan
wants to know why he should trust Kane. That’s a good question given
Kane’s history. He also wants to know why Kane doesn’t come to his
aid more often and thinks Kane is only teaming with him because
there’s no one better for Kane to hook up with. Kane bails and Miz
thinks we just saw the breakup of HELL NO. Bryan says yeah we did
but NO he is not to blame for this. Teddy Long comes out and makes
Orton/Bryan vs. Shield for later. Pretty solid opening segment
actually.
Chris
Jericho vs. Curtis Axel
On
the way to the ring, Heyman brags about Axel beating HHH and Cena
twice with Axel saying that Jericho will learn what it means to be
perfect. Paul jumps in on commentary as the guys in the ring run the
ropes a bit. Jericho takes him down with a dropkick and chops away
at the chest. They head to the floor with Jericho ramming Axel into
the announce table before heading back inside. We take a break and
come back with Axel chopping Jericho for two and hitting the Hennig
Necksnap for two more.
Axel
hooks the chinlock as Heyman guarantees that Punk will be in Chicago
for Payback. Jericho elbows his way out of the hold and drops him
with a top rope ax handle. Axel kicks out of the Walls but Jericho
takes him down with a quick bulldog. The Lionsault misses and Curtis
hits the McGillicutter for two.
Jericho
gets up an elbow in the corner and hits a top rope cross body for two
of his own. The Walls go on this time but Axel gets to the ropes
before too much damage can be done. Jericho dropkicks him to the
floor so Heyman shouts IT’S CLOBBERIN TIME! Punk’s music hits and
the arena explodes, but it’s a ploy allowing Axel to roll Jericho up
for the pin at 7:05 shown of 10:35.
Rating:
C. This was fine and it’s a
pinfall win for Axel which is what he’s been needing for awhile.
Jericho is still perfect in his role as the king of the jobbers since
he’s never going to fall down the card because of losses. It sets up
the Punk match even better and we get some credibility for Axel.
Even if it wasn’t an entirely clean pin, Heyman can spend a week
bragging about another world champion losing to Axel.
Post
match Jericho charges back into the ring and hits Axel with a
Codebreaker.
Ryback
comes up to Kane and brags about beating Bryan last week. A match is
made for later tonight. Ryback says he rules, but Kane says he’s
tombstoned a priest and buried his brother alive, so the rules don’t
apply to him.
The
Wyatt Family is coming.
Video
from Raw on the McMahon family drama with Vince and Stephanie trying
to talk HHH out of fighting anymore.
Alberto
Del Rio vs. Heath Slater
Well
at least it’s not Langston. All three members of the Band jump Del
Rio but he fires off kicks to throw them out. There’s the armbreaker
on Slater but I don’t think the bell ever rang to start the match.
Del Rio and Ricardo clear the ring with Ricardo hitting a dive off
the top to take out Mahal and McIntyre.
With
Alberto still in the ring, Ziggler pops up on screen and says he’ll
be back on Monday.
Ryback
vs. Kane
Ryback
shoves him into the corner to start and tells Kane to do something
about it. Kane comes back with an uppercut but Ryback runs him over
with a shoulder block. Kane clotheslines him down and hits the low
dropkick for a quick one count. Ryback comes back with a gorilla
press in a very impressive display of strength. Kane no sells a kick
to the chest but can’t chokeslam him down. The side slam gets two
for Kane and a clothesline puts Ryback on the floor.
They
head outside with Kane being pulled into the barricade with Ryback
ramming the masked head into said barricade over and over. It’s
table time but Kane comes back with uppercuts to slow Ryback down.
Back inside and the top rope clothesline misses but Ryback takes too
long walking around and Kane hits the chokeslam for two. Now Kane
gets the table but Ryback rakes him in the eye and powerbombs Kane
through the table for the DQ at 5:45.
Rating:
D+. This was a decent power
brawl and much like Jericho, Kane doesn’t lose anything by losing the
match here. Having Ryback powerbomb anyone he can find through a
table is a decent enough idea to set up the 3 Stages against Cena.
If nothing else they can use the people he’s attacked as the
lumberjacks to get revenge on him.
Here’s
Sandow to talk about the mental challenges he’s been giving Sheamus
lately. Sandow insults the people of Long Island, saying that
they’re a bunch of checker minded people living in a chess world.
The only thing that can match Sandow’s intellect is a supercomputer,
so meet Deep Blue, a computer which won a major chess match several
years back. The computer tries to talk but is quickly silenced by
Sandow. Damien is going to recreate the chess match against Kasparov
(one of the best chess champions ever) right here for us tonight, as
long as there is SILENCE!
The
computer compliments Sandow for his opening move but Sheamus
interrupts the game. Sheamus says he’s going to interrupt the chess
match (Sandow: “That is obvious. Baby steps Sheamus, baby steps!”)
and thinks he can beat Deep Blue in one move. Sheamus can’t figure
out what move to make so he Brogue Kicks the computer. Damien gets
in a cheap shot and actually lays Sheamus out before sending him into
the computer’s table. He rams Sheamus’ head into the table over and
over and stands tall. I still don’t get why they’re wasting Sheamus
in this feud.
Fandango
vs. Zack Ryder
Miz
is on commentary. The triple threat title match is announced for
Payback with Wade Barrett defending against Miz and Fandango. The
place goes NUTS for Ryder who is growing his hair out for the first
time in years. Fandango pounds Ryder down to start and hits a hard
European uppercut. Miz says Skittles Boy needs to quit looking at
him before he makes Fandango taste the rainbow of a Skull Crushing
Finale. Ryder comes back with a middle rope dropkick and the Broski
Boot for two. The Rough Ryder is countered into a powerbomb and the
guillotine legdrop gives Fandango the pin at 2:17.
Miz
and Fandango stare each other down.
Video
on Ryback destroying Bryan and Cena from Raw.
Kaitlyn
and Natalya are in the back. The secret admirer are going to show up
on Raw but Natalya isn’t as happy as Kaitlyn thinks she should be.
The meeting should be private instead of on national television
because the guy could be a creep. Kaitlyn thinks if he was a creep,
he would be texting Natalya instead of her.
Seth
Rollins/Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton
Non-title
again here. Daniel’s arm is taped up after the attack on Raw. Bryan
starts with Rollins and fires off those hard kicks to the chest. Off
to the surfboard with the double stomps to the back of Rollins’ legs
to keep Seth down. Bryan cranks on the arm and drives some knees
into Rollins’ ribs for extra damage. Rollins fights up and brings in
Reigns to pound on Bryan in the corner. Reigns whips Rollins into
Bryan for a splash and clotheslines Daniel down for two.
Roman
hooks a headlock as Seth talks trash from the apron. Bryan fights up
but is almost immediately stomped down in the corner to stop his
momentum. Reigns misses a charge into the corner and it’s hot tag to
Orton for some house cleaning. The Elevated DDT hits Rollins and
Shield bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with Rollins
taking Randy down before bringing Reigns back in for a chinlock.
Orton
quickly fights up with a belly to back suplex but Rollins breaks up
the tag to Bryan. Reigns is quickly back in but misses a charge into
the corner, allowing for the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel comes in with
a double dropkick off the top before kicking both guys in the chest
for two. Reigns is sent to the floor and Bryan backflips over
Rollins to hit a German suplex.
Shield
heads to the floor and the FLYING GOAT takes them both down. Back in
and the flying headbutt gets two on Seth. The RKO takes Reigns down
but Bryan accidentally dropkicks Orton in the corner. There’s the NO
Lock on Rollins but Ambrose runs in for the DQ at 9:00 shown of
12:30.
Rating:
B-. Solid tag match here which
has become the norm for the Shield. Usually people would get tired
of the same bit where the team gets close to getting pinned but only
gets DQ’ed etc, but the Shield matches are so good that no one seems
to mind. This was another solid match as you can pretty much take
any two top level guys and throw them against Shield for the same
result.
Post
match Orton hits the RKO on Bryan, likely setting up a Payback match.
Overall
Rating:
C+. They did a good job
of setting up Payback this week and thankfully Ziggler will be back
on Monday to further the feud with Del Rio. It really is amazing how
much more entertaining Smackdown can be than Raw without all the
hammer fisted drama and the stupid WWE App nonsense you have to sit
through. Good show this week.
Results
Curtis
Axel b. Chris Jericho – Rollup
Kane
b. Ryback via DQ when Ryback powerbombed Kane through a table
Fandango
b. Zack Ryder – Guillotine Legdrop
Daniel
Bryan/Randy Orton b. Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins via DQ when Dean
Ambrose interfered
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Feedback Feedbag–04.12.2002

The Feedback Feedbag! Four-11 Edition! Greetings and welcome to a new era here for the Feedbag, as I mock my readers on 411wrestling.com for the first time! Smell the ratings! I’m pretty backlogged, so if anything here is horribly out of date, you know why.  (Man, I wish my inbox was only as “backlogged” as it was in those days.  Currently sitting at 192 mails dating back to January.)    We start out with Daniel, who goes right for the jugular by asking the philosophical equivalent of “What is the meaning of life”…

Oh well. Thanks for the short(if not to the point) reply about it. I was just curious to know if you could answer a question I have concerning your star ratings: They seem to be totally different then most puro heads. For instance, i see people give the ladder match from WMX ***3/4, while they give matches from NJPW and AJPW higher ratings then you do. Is there some kind of weird acquired taste that you reviewers have in regards to these matches, because I just don’t understand why there is a rarely a match that is universally given the same rating.

Geez, don’t give me a HARD question or anything, dude. Why can’t anyone ask me for my top 10 Friends episodes or something? (Before you e-mail, that answer will follow at the end of the e-mail) Anyway, match ratings vary WILDLY according to personal taste, experience, state of mind, drugs taken, alcohol consumed, time of day, number of times watched and who you voted for in the 2000 election. For instance, when you read my reviews, you’re reading someone who didn’t get introduced into the real hardcore puro stuff until fairly late in the game (and by hardcore I mean “40 minute Misawa matches” not “Atsushi Onita”) so when I’m watching the heavily-historically-influenced AJPW stuff, my thoughts on the match don’t tend to include all the little nuances like such-and-such psychology being used to negate such-and-such a move that was used in such-and-such a match 5 years ago type of thing. Plus I fucking hate the whole NJPW heavyweight style outside of a couple of guys, so I just tend to ignore it altogether. As for the ladder match, most of the people who give it ***** were watching it live on the PPV in 1994, and most who give it lower only saw it afterwards. That’s my generalized take on it. It’s a very powerful match the first time you see it, but if you’re watching it compared to the more psychology-driven AJPW stuff or the more spot-heavy late 90s ladder stuff, I can see where it might get dragged down as a result. But that’s the wonderful thing about subjective star ratings — what people give different matches helps you, the reader, determine for yourself what their tastes are going to be, and you can adjust your own mindset towards their work accordingly. If star ratings were objective and truly universal, it’d be pretty boring and stifling, creatively speaking. In my opinion only, of course. John Ratchford writes to ask…

I am writing a piece about pro-wrestlers in feature films, with specific reference to WWF wrestler The Rock’s upcoming role in The Scorpion King. As the author of ‘The Buzz on Professional Wrestling’, I was hoping I could ask you a few questions: The Rock has shown he can be a proven draw in the wrestling arena. Do you think this popularity will transfer across to the box office? Is The Rock getting film roles purely because of his popularity as wrestler, or does he have some genuine acting ability? Can The Rock transcend the stigma of being a wrestler and become a legitimate actor, or will his Hollywood career resemble Hulk Hogans (star of ‘Santa with Muscles’, quite possibly the worst movie ever made)?

Yay, lists, everybody loves questions in the form of a list. 1) Box office is a different animal than wrestling completely. No one has any clue what causes people to draw at the box office, despite what industry weasels may claim while relentlessly shilling the latest Brendan Fraser vehicle before it tanks. I mean, for proof of that, try to explain the popularity of Robin Williams or Adam Sandler. For instance, if movies were wrestling, someone like Fraser would become a draw, because he’d get pushed and repackaged until he got over due to having the “movie star look”. Hollywood is in some ways a lot more unforgiving, and if something tanks once, sometimes you don’t get another chance at it, no matter how you look or act. Personally, I don’t think Rock can carry a $200 million blockbuster, but god knows I’ve wrong about stuff like that before. (Yeah, I was wrong about that one, for sure.)  2) Rock is getting roles due to his incredible natural charisma and sucking up to the right people in the right places at the right time. Rock was put into a very public Hollywood position early on, and he carried himself like one of the homegrown LA parasites and as a result he’s part of the “in club” now. And good for him. I’d rather see Rock making $20 million a movie and having his biggest concern be the temperature of his bottled water, rather than wasting his time carrying the WWF through bad times and killing his body. 3) I think if any wrestler can transcend wrestling, it’s the Rock. He’s one of the only ones to not get caught up in the politics of being a wrestler, and not take themselves so seriously in such a ridiculous profession. People who think that online fans take this shit too much to heart should talk to a worker, even a low-level one, sometime. The biggest marks are the ones in the ring, and Rock is so far above that sort of nonsense that leaving the business doesn’t have to be like leaving the Mafia, like with every other guy who “retires”.  (And good for Rock, he did transcend wrestling.)  MR FTW writes…

“The replay is obviously doctored by the biased American production crew in order to simulate someone holding the tights.” …You do realize this doesn’t really make any sense considering both Edge and Jericho are Canadian don’t you?

That’s exactly the sort of response I was expecting from those trying to throw me off the scent! The truth is out there, I knew it. GBK from AOL writes…

I’m sure others have covered this better, but why were d’lo brown, DDP and Sean ‘o Haire burried like they were. It doesn’t make any sense. I love the rants and keep up the good work.

Okay, here we go… 1) D’Lo Brown was buried, fairly or not, because he broke Droz’s neck with a botched powerbomb, and politically speaking the only way to keep everyone happy was to punish him. I don’t necessarily agree with that move, but that was their decision to deal with it, and there’s nothing to be done about it now. Personally I think they had high hopes for Droz which were totally unfounded in reality and D’Lo is paying the price despite being a better long-term prospect, but Droz is a tall, muscular white guy who played football while D’Lo is a short, chubby black guy who used to be an accountant, so draw your own conclusions. 2) I go over the DDP situation in the new book, Tonight…In This Very Ring, in great detail, but basically my own theory is that DDP got buried as a message to those from WCW who used their political influence to get their spot, rather than “hard work”. This is of course a bunch of crap, and hypocritical crap at that considering who the WWF champion is today, but then DDP is the one who signed the lucrative deal in WCW while the buyrates were dropping faster than Missy Hyatt at a Viagra testing lab, so he knew what he was getting into. 3) Sean O’ Haire is another one of those Mafia-type “messages”, and in this case the message was “WCW wanted to push this guy to the moon, so we don’t want to.” They might spew crap about how he can’t work “WWF style” and he’s “not ready”, but I’ve got two words: Big Show. Hell, you’re telling me that Brock Lesnar is such an original and difficult idea to pull off that Sean couldn’t have been used in the same role? Of course not, but O’Haire is a WCW product, so he has to be deprogrammed and buried to let everyone know that indeed Vince has a bigger dick than Bischoff.  (Turns out there was other stuff with O’Haire, like his total inability to cut a promo outside of the pre-taped vignettes, but then that’s what pairing him with Roddy PIper as a mouthpiece should have solved.  O’Haire should have been HUGE.)  Mr. DHS has some stuff on his mind…

Hey, Scott, just wanted to submit my two cents about this week as well as say that I think you’re still the most right-on ranter/recapper/columnist in the internet biz. You may not always be right, but you at least have the most thought-out and rational complaints of anyone out there. First off, I enjoyed Wrestlemania thoroughly. Okay, Rock-Hogan was a workrate nightmare, but I was predicting that from the start. Hulk can’t even take a punch or a simple back bump worth a shit. But the reaction he got in Toronto was truly awe-inspiring, and I give him credit for letting himself be emotionally affected by it instead of just acting like he deserved it. The match was well-booked for who was involved, and that will make it worthy of going down in history like it will. The rest of the card was lackluster, and the crowd wasn’t buying it. The bands? Bad fucking idea. I always say above all else remember: it’s the World WRESTLING Federation. Need I say more? As for Monday, Hogan’s inability to execute the legdrop with the left leg or just do the extra rope bounce to right himself was rather pitiful for me to endure. I am sick of nWo finishes. Really sick. I really dig RVD. He deserves 20 minutes and free reign to attempt as many suicidal spots as he wants every week. Well, maybe not, but he at least should get 15 minutes to work with Christian again. Give Edge-Angle 15 while you’re at it. I hate Stephanie. And she isn’t even hot. The boob job makes her look fat, that’s it, I swear. And Thursday? I’m already sick of Brock Lesnar. Beating up on Spike, Hurricane and Molly does NOT impress me, nor should it anyone. I hate to say it, but they’re actually wasting Heyman with this mongoloid. He isn’t even as BIG as Goldberg (or Jewish), how is he gonna get over like Goldberg? Hey, I think Nash actually worked better than Hogan, call me crazy. Well, except for that Fucking Bearhug of Hideous DiscomfortTM he pulled out. X-Pac looked in good shape, and the new duds are really working for those nWo boys. And that’s…about it for them. If not a SPLIT, at least fucking call it a DRAFT. Who knows, you might pull in a couple of random sports fans instead of driving away lots of confused wrestling fans who think “brand extension” means the WWF is gonna start selling breakfast cereals and toiletries on Monday. With all that said, you have continued to be fair and either postive or negative depending on your honest opinion of things throughout everything, and that is why I remain loyal to your rants and refuse to give in to the negativity that surrounds your good name. Maybe you can escape the AOL Criticism Zone by switching places with a Mirror Universe Scott Keith who types all his rants in pure white on black backgrounds and offers to sodomize Vince Russo for his benevolent brilliance at the end of every column. Just a thought.

Even the Mirror Universe Scott would not want to sodomize Vince Russo, of that I can assure you. I think Paul Roma might need the money, though, so perhaps he’s available in my place. Stephen Osborne asks…

Since this isn’t about me, it’s about you, let’s ignore the facts that I’m not a big fan of AOL and that I’m not taking the Scaia ground on your original Monday column… All the credit in the world to you for finding a way to entertain yourself when Monday’s show certainly couldn’t do it. My only disappointment with the column is that I was looking forward to your bashing on Tuesday and had to wait an extra day for it. At this point, do you think the WWF needs something of the same magnitude as when the nWo was introduced or a “Montreal”? Or what kind of small steps can they take? Lastly, if the WWF is on a WCW-like slide, do you think there will be some promotion there to pick up the slack? Or is it time to stick the proverbial fork in wrestling / sportz entertainment as we know it?

I don’t think this is a “WCW-like slide” at all, my point has always just been that you can see vestiges of WCW in what they’re doing, and following WCW’s lead on ANYTHING cannot possibly lead to good. I think it’s easily turned around in the long run, they just need to tweak the product with some Pride-like realism in terms of the in-ring action and train the fans to accept the wrestling portions of the show as important again. (Which they did.  It was a LONG re-training period to get Attitude era Russo fans back into stuff like submissions and long matches on RAW.)  Not to say that everyone should go around working the arm with cross-armbreakers for the whole match, but using high kicks instead of punches can go a long way towards dispelling the whole stereotype about “stomp stomp punch” type of lame matches and establish that indeed there’s something new and different on the horizon. Wrestling is a change-or-die industry, and if nothing else, at least the split shows SOME willingness to admit that a major change was necessary to prevent the business from getting too stagnant again. You never would have seen that from WCW — it would have been lost in the beancounting bureaucracy and filed in a manila folder under a mayonnaise jar in the basement of CNN Center before anyone knew it existed. Chris Tayler writes…

“I’m kinda suprised you didn’t at least enjoy that Benoit was the fifth overall pick, ahead of hogan and kane and such. That has to at least hint that the WWF has plans for him. Plus, they put him in the same division as Angle, which can only lead to good things. A quick questions. Who do you think is a better technical wrestler, Benoit before he was hurt or Angle. I’m not really sure myself, although I think Angle gets more out of his opponents(witness his KOTR match with Shane). At any rate, I enjoy your work, you’re one of the few I still read, and, god help me, actually look forward to your next book. Later.”

Well, Angle WAS an Olympic gold medalist, so I’d say he wins that one by default. I don’t actually agree that Benoit’s placement means anything in terms of plans, it was just one of those weird political things to keep everyone relatively happy. And on that note, we close up the Feedbag Feedbag!

Random Promos that no one talks about

Long time reader and fan have all your books and have read you since the Nail rant, which needs to have a 2013 Keith Says, but anyways I know I am not the only person that is getting excited for the War Games that comes out soon and I saw that they have the GAB 88 match and you said something about unless you are a big WCCW fan you dont know about this match type.  Well I have been looking for it and I came across these two gems:
WCW Thunderdome:


WCCW Triple Dome of Terror:


But one thing I couldnt understand is no one ever talks about how bad the Thunderdome promo is

W

ell maybe it's because it actually led to a great match.  
As for the World Class one, all I can say is MISSION: HIGH RISK.