Wrestlemania Countdown: 3

(2012 Scott sez:  Honestly, I had almost nothing to add to the original rant and was even boring myself, so we’ll skip it and move to the redone version, which has much more stuff for me to comment on.)  The SmarK Retro Re-Rant for Wrestlemania III: Championship Edition – This is another one that needed a redo, and with the “digitally remastered” version playing on 24/7 right now, this is as good a time as any. This version has pop-up video facts and cut-in interviews with the people involved, which is pretty neat and is something lacking on their DVD releases, especially historical ones. (This is still the only time they ever did this, and I don’t know why.  It was a brilliant idea.)  And hey, I work cheap and would gladly do text commentaries for all their catalogue releases in my spare time. At any rate, this is the complete PPV version, rather than the more briskly-edited Coliseum version most of us old farts are more familiar with.– Live from Detroit, MI. – Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura (both inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame according to the trivia track). Bob Orton & Don Muraco v. The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) Man, there’s a position you don’t necessarily want — opening the biggest show of all time in front of the biggest crowd of all time. Martel grabs a headlock on Muraco to start, but gets pounded in the corner. Martel comes back with a monkey flip that looked like a headscissor attempt, but either way did the job. Over to Zenk for a double-team monkey-flip and the heels regroup outside. The Can-Ams likely would have won the tag titles from the Hart Foundation and held them for like 10 years had they not self-destructed. They were that over. (They could have bought a “I’m So Over” shirt from WWE.com and worn it without a SHRED of irony.)  Zenk controls Orton via the arm and they trade full nelsons, which sets up a heel miscommunication spot with Muraco hitting his partner by mistake to break it up. Back to Martel, who stays on the arm of Orton, and then Zenk goes after Muraco’s arm before a cheapshot from Orton switches things up. Orton drops an elbow for two off a Muraco neckbreaker, but Martel quickly gets the hot tag to keep things moving. It’s BONZO GONZO and the heels get whipped into each other, which leads to Martel finishing Muraco in the melee. (The Can-Am Connection d. Muraco & Orton, Martel bodyblock — pin Muraco, 5:35, **) (Oh man, not another “new format” rant.  Why did I ever go through that phase?) This was fine for what it was — a shortened tag match to get the crowd going. A note on the pop-up notes for this, however: It said that Martel held the WWE tag team titles with Tony Garea, which shows the danger of changing history. Going by the current naming conventions of the tag titles, Martel & Garea held the WORLD tag titles, whereas the WWE tag titles only have a lineage dating back to Angle & Benoit winning the tournament in 2003.  (Now it doesn’t matter, both are the same thing.)  Billy Jack Haynes v. Hercules Hernandez Lockup battle to start, which make sense given the buildup, and Herc gets a cheapshot in the corner and clotheslines him. Herc misses a charge, however, and Haynes presses him and goes for the full-nelson, which sends Herc into the ropes early. Haynes slugs away in the corner, but walks into a lariat and Herc pounds on him. For some reason we get comments from Ron Simmons, who was barely even active as a wrestler when this show happened. (They should have Ron pop up on a little video screen now and go “Damn” at opportune times, just to complete the self-parody.)  Suplex from Hercules, but he picks up Haynes at two, which is generally a bad move. Remember that, kids: Don’t pick a guy up at two, unless it makes you look REALLY cool. Then it’s OK. Herc gets his own press slam after working the back, and that means full-nelson time. The pop-up lets us know that the move is named for Admiral Nelson. Really? That sounds like something you’d read on Wikipedia. A quick check reveals that they probably did get it from there. Billy Jack breaks loose and makes the comeback with clotheslines and a legdrop, and the psychology is actually sound on both parts here — they’re setting each other up for the full-nelson. And indeed, Haynes gets it and locks it in, but he’s no Chris Masters and Herc makes the ropes, which puts both of them on the floor for the double countout. (Hercules draw Billy Jack Haynes, double countout, 7:52, **1/4) Another very likable match, although it could have used a finish and the feud never really had a payoff on TV or anything. Hercules won most of the house show matches, though, if it helps you sleep at night. Hercules lays him out with the chain and we get color from Haynes as a result. King Kong Bundy & Lord Littlebrook & Little Tokyo v. Hillbilly Jim & The Haiti Kid & Little Beaver. Into every life a little midget match must fall. Bundy had a pretty dramatic dropoff from main-eventing Wrestlemania 2 to this. His pop-up continues the fallacy that he beat SD Jones in 9 seconds, which I still don’t know how they can continue to say when anyone with a stopwatch can tell the real name is more like 30 seconds. They’ve apparently lost the rights to “Don’t Go Messin’ With a Country Boy” too, for those like James Fabiano, who keep track at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopthemonster. Midget sequence to start with the rowboat spot before things start proper with Beaver smacking Tokyo around. Littlebrook comes in and brings Beaver into the corner, but he fights out with a shot to Bundy added in. Bundy tags in, which means that Jim has to come in too. He clotheslines Bundy and drops an elbow for two, but even a pile of midgets can’t hold him down. Bundy elbows him down, but Beaver comes in and continues egging Bundy on. Jesse votes for the big midget squash. Avalanche for Jim, and Bundy has finally had enough Beaver and drops the big elbow on him. (Hillbilly Jim, Little Beaver & Haiti Kid d. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook, DQ, 4:00, 1/2*) Normally I don’t rate midget matches, but Bundy counts for like 17 of them. King Harley Race v. Junkyard Dog My confusion escalates as “Grab Them Cakes” is left intact, unlike on an MSG show from last month, and in fact mentioned by name in a pop-up during the song. This stuff is so hideously confusing. They slug it out to start and JYD runs out after the Brain, which allows Race to slug away. He makes the mistake of hitting JYD in the head, however, and Dog fires back with a headbutt. Race recovers and dumps JYD, but misses a headbutt on the floor and gets dragged back into the ring before bumping out again. Dog slams him back into the ring, but tries an abdominal stretch and Race hiptosses out of it. Dog sends him over the top AGAIN, as Race is just bumping like crazy tonight, but JYD goes after Brain again and Race suplexes him for the pin. (Harley Race d. Junkyard Dog, belly to belly suplex — pin, 3:22, *1/2) Well, Race was trying, but it was just too little time and too much JYD to get anything out of it. The Dog shows some pretty poor, Hogan-level sportsmanship, attacking Race with a chair afterwards after doing a perfectly fair and clean job. These days, that would have turned him heel. (EMBRACE THE HATE, JYD!) The Rougeau Brothers v. The Dream Team Greg Valentine’s pop-up interview looks it was from 1987. Does this guy AGE? The Rougeaus quickly double-team Beefcake, and Jacques slugs it out with Hammer, and Raymond gets a bodypress for two. Jacques gets an elbow for two, but whiffs on another bodypress attempt and Valentine drops an elbow and brings Beefcake back in. Beefcake backbreaker sets up the figure-four, but Jacques makes the ropes. Hammer tries a piledriver, but Jacques reverses and makes the hot tag to Raymond. Backdrop for Valentine sets up a sleeper, and Beefcake accidentally hits his own partner trying to break it up. The Rougeaus hit Hammer with the Rougeau Bomb, but Dino Bravo nails Raymond off the top and puts Hammer on top to finish. (The Dream Team d. The Rougeau Brothers, Valentine pins Raymond, 4:01, *1/2) Another victim of time. And what was with the Dream Team going over during their breakup angle? Common sense says that they lose to set up the change of partners. Bravo and Valentine leave Beefcake alone in the ring, setting up his official face turn in the next match.  (As a rule I’m never a fan of passive face turns.  Brutus worked out OK in the long run, but generally turning babyface because someone beat you up just makes you look like a pussy.)  Rowdy Roddy Piper v. Adrian Adonis This was Piper’s first retirement match, of many. Loser gets their head shaved. This was one of the defining feuds of my youth and remains one of my favorite all-time matches. Slugfest to start and Piper just uses his belt to whip Adonis, but that comes back to bite him pretty quickly. He recovers and whips Adrian out of the ring, then drags him back in and we get the old double noggin knocker before Hart and Adonis end up on the floor again. Back in, Piper slugs away in the corner and slams Jimmy onto Adonis, but Hart gets revenge by tripping Piper up. Adonis uses the FINGERNAILS OF DEATH and elbows Piper down, but Piper goes to the eyes in the Three Stooges spot. To the floor we go, which allows Hart to give Piper a cheapshot. Back in, Piper wants more, so Adonis pounds on him, and Jimmy adds perfume in the eyes to blind him. This sets up Adonis’ sleeper, but Piper keeps fighting him. Finally he goes down, but Adonis releases prematurely, admittedly a problem for guys hi age, and that allows Brutus Beefcake to run in and revive Piper. Adonis hits himself with his clippers and Piper gets his own sleeper, and the crushing force of irony proves to be too much for Adonis to survive.  (This was interesting too because it immediately elevated Beefcake and gave him a more active role in his own babyface turn by avenging himself against Adonis.  The story had a beginning, middle and end.)  (Roddy Piper d. Adrian Adonis, sleeper — submission, 6:48, **) As I’ve noted before, the match is like ** for the wrestling, but for a cathartic blowoff to a great feud, it was ***** for entertainment value. Plus it tied into the Beefcake storyline, as Adonis had accidentally cut his hair in a six-man match shortly before this, thus annoying the vain Beefcake and setting up his revenge when he became the Barber. Seriously, do yourself a favor and look up the stuff with Piper destroying the Flower Shop on YouTube, because it’s the kind of super-intense character stuff you don’t get much of outside of Mick Foley these days. Piper could ACT, man. (He’s no Rock, of course.)  The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis v. The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana This really should have been that 2 out of 3 falls match on SNME for the tag titles, in retrospect. And in fact the pop-up before the match notes that this is one of only two Wrestlemanias without a tag title match, the other being 21. The arena has started to darken at this point. Tito is pretty pissed and attacks the Harts on the floor before the bell, then starts beating on Bret Hart in the ring. Bret tags out to Anvil, but Davey Boy Smith overpowers him and the Harts work him over in the corner. Tito gets some ineffectual offense, and Smith comes in for a backdrop. Bret tries an elbow off the middle and misses, which allows Dynamite to come in with the hairtoss and the corner whip. Headbutt gets two. Bret comes back with a cheapshot and slugs away in the corner, and blocks a snap suplex attempt. Neidhart comes in with a rear chinlock, and the Harts drop a Demolition elbow on Kid, and that’s finally enough to lure Danny Davis into the ring for a stomp before he gets out again. The Harts continue pounding on the Kid, with Davis adding his two kicks. The Harts slingshot Davis in with a splash, but that proves to be a big error as it hits knee and Tito gets the hot tag. The crowd is popping like it’s the rapture, as Tito gets the flying forearm and beats the hell out of Davis, but Neidhart breaks up the figure-four with a wicked clothesline. Back to Davey Boy, who also gets to beat up Davis with a clothesline, and then gives him the most awesome tombstone piledriver ever. I mean, Davis took that one like it broke his neck. Vertical suplex and powerslam kill Danny dead, but the Harts break it up and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa. Danny gets a hold of the megaphone, however, and it’s all over. (The Hart Foundation & Danny Davis d. The British Bulldogs & Tito Santana, Danny Davis megaphone — pin Davey Boy Smith, 8:54, ***) Kind of an abbreviated version of the usual Bulldogs-Harts match, but Davey Boy sadistically torturing Danny Davis was tremendous fun.  (They got a shocking amount of mileage out of Danny Davis as a worker before it ran out of steam for good.)  Butch Reed v. Koko B. Ware Entrance music update: “Piledriver” is used here for Koko, whereas it’s generally edited out these days in other releases. Furthermore, I’m pretty darn sure that it wasn’t on the original show, because the record didn’t even come out until after this show. So does that mean they edited out Koko’s previous “Birdman” entrance music and subbed in “Piledriver,” a song they normally dub OUT? Holy crap, you need to be a lawyer just to figure out the entrance music for these shows. Reed gets a cheapshot off a lockup, and here at least it’s appropriate for Ron Simmons to comment on the match, although he doesn’t actually mention Doom and neither do the pop-ups. Koko comes back with a shot to the gut, but gets pounded down and Reed rams him into the turnbuckle. Jesse makes a joke about Gorilla wrestling Jack Dempsey, and the pop-ups helpfully clarify the timeline. Koko comes back with a small package for two, but a bodypress is reversed by Reed to finish. (Butch Reed d. Koko B Ware, pinfall reversal — pin, 3:40, *) This was just a setup for Tito Santana running out and beating up Slick to further his feud with Reed. Reed, it should be noted, was scheduled to win the Intercontinental title from Ricky Steamboat (whoops, spoiler alert) a couple of months following this, but no-showed the TV taping and Honky Tonk Man ended up with the belt instead.  (I keep repeating that one and it’s still wrong.  It’s more like Reed was the guy Vince wanted, but Honky talked him into changing his mind.)  Intercontinental title: Randy Savage v. Ricky Steamboat No shock here as “Sirius” is edited out of Steamboat’s entrance, since it’s a commercial piece from the Alan Parsons Project and thus would cost a TON of money. You know the story here by now, but if you don’t, Savage was defending against Steamboat on TV and decided to crush his throat with the ringbell,and Steamboat was “injured” for a few months and returned PISSED. They decided to have the greatest match ever and spent three months planning out every spot to the smallest detail. Steamer uses his speed and armdrags Savage, then chokes him out and Savage bails. Back in, Savage suckers him in and chokes him out on the ropes, dropping an elbow for two. Blind charge misses and Steamboat goes to work with a wristlock and works the arm. Ricky Steamboat pops up on a video clip as well, listed as being “Ricky Steamboat,” so I guess they must have settled with Bonnie. Also of note: He says “buyrate” for the first time I can remember on a WWE release. Savage backdrops him out of the ring to take over while George Steele pops up and comments in a totally normal voice, which is just totally weird to hear. Steamboat goes to the apron and Savage stomps the crap out of him, then snapmares him in over the top. Elbow to the head gets two. Kneedrop gets two. Steamboat comes back with a chop and Savage gets tied up in the ropes, but escapes, only to walk into a bodypress from Steamboat that gets two. He shoulderblocks Savage down for a pair of two-counts, but Savage lays into him with a high knee to the back and tosses him. Steamboat skins the cat back in, however, so Savage (right on the same level with Steamboat in a nice touch) clotheslines him right back out again. Savage knees him in the back again while he’s regrouping, sending him crashing into the front row, and the Animal rescues him and brings him back in. And Savage tosses him right back out again, and follows with the double axehandle. Back in, another axehandle and he elbows him down for two. Necksnap gets two. Atomic drop gets two. Suplex gets two. They slug it out as Steamboat starts with the chops, but Savage pulls out at gut wrench suplex for two. Backdrop suplex is reversed by Steamboat and he keeps chopping, but puts his head down. Savage charges and Steamboat dumps him, showing that he’s also thinking a few steps ahead, and the flying chop from the top gets two. Running chop gets two. Chops to the head and Savage bails to the apron, so Steamboat hammers him to the floor and chases him. Savage tries to sucker him in again, but Steamboat sunset flips in for two to counter. Rollup gets two. Jackknife pin gets two. Small package gets two. Catapult into the post gets two. Rollup gets two, and Savage reverses for two. It’s so great to see guys just trying to PIN each other and trying a whole variation of moves to do so. Steamboat charges again and hits the post, and the ref gets bumped when Savage sends him into the corner again. Clothesline sets up the big elbow, but there’s no ref. Savage grabs the ringbell in a nod to continuity, but Steele steals it from him in another nod to continuity, then shoves him off the top rope. Savage is dazed and tries to slam Steamboat, but he reverses for the historic pin and the title. (Ricky Steamboat d. Randy Savage, small package — pin, 14:34, *****) Many have dubbed this the greatest match in history, and although you can pick nits and offer alternatives, I wouldn’t argue terribly much against any strong case made for it being so. It was pretty much the perfect match in every facet, from the storyline buildup to the execution (with nothing even resembling a missed or blown spot) to the crowd reaction to the historic nature and long-term influence it had on the sport in general. Every fan should see this match at least once in their lives.  (You just need to buy a couple of WWE DVD releases and the laws of probability say that you’ll get either this or the Shawn-Razor ladder match fairly soon.)  Jake Roberts v. Honky Tonk Man Alice Cooper as Jake’s second is the kind of perfect celebrity usage that they’re not very good at anymore. (To be fair, they’re not good at a lot of things anymore.)  Honky’s original theme song is left intact here, rather than dubbing in the more familiar song from “Piledriver”. This was a pretty hot feud back in the day. Jake attacks and drags him into the ring to start, then kneelifts him out of the ring and sends him back in again. Honky runs away, so Jake slams him on the floor and they head back in again, where Jake charges and hits knee. Honky pounds on the arm, but gets hit with a short clothesline as a result and bails again. Jake follows him for the brawl on the floor, but gets rammed into the post and Honky won’t let him back into the ring. Back in, Honky slams him to set up the fistdrop, and he slugs away instead of going for the finish. Elbow and he continues pounding away and wasting time, and finally it’s Shake Rattle N Roll, but by then Jake is easily able to reverse out of it. Jake comes back with an inverted atomic drop and slugs away on Honky, which puts Honky into the ropes for the rocking chair spot. DDT time, but Jake gets distracted by Jimmy Hart and Honky rolls him up and grabs the ropes to finish. (Honky Tonk Man d. Jake Roberts, rollup — pin, 7:11, **1/2) Quite a decent little match, especially for having to follow the greatest match in history up until that point. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff v. The Killer Bees Jim Duggan prevents Volkoff from singing his country’s anthem, because America is the land of the free! The heels attack to start, probably upset at Duggan’s treatment of them, but the Bees whip them into each other and clear the ring. Sheik gets back in and the Bees double-team him with an elbow and work on the arm, adding a double hiptoss. Brunzell gets a dropkick for two. Over to the heel corner, where Brunzell gets caught by Volkoff and worked over. Sheik elbows him down for two. Volkoff with the bearhug and Sheik with a gut wrench for two. Gorilla notes that you don’t get to be tag champions by accident, but in fact Men on a Mission won the belts by accident in 1994 from the Quebecers due to a blown spot. Just saying. False tag to Blair and the heels go for the finish, with Sheik putting Brunzell into the camel clutch, but Duggan runs in for the DQ. (Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff d. The Killer Bees, outside interference — DQ, 5:48, **) Going along fine, if unremarkably, before the bad finish. WWF World title: Hulk Hogan v. Andre The Giant Hogan pops up to claim that Andre was introduced at 500 pounds, but was actually “closer to 700 pounds” that night. SAY WHAT? He’s not an SUV, he’s a person, brother. I’m kinda surprised he didn’t also add that he was scared about Andre shooting on him. Staredown to start and Hogan goes for the slam, but Andre falls on top for two. Hogan immediately starts selling the back like death and Andre pounds on him and slams him. Andre whips him into the corner, barely mobile at this point in his career, and slowly headbutts the back before missing a headbutt. Hogan slugs away, but can’t knock him down, and makes the mistake of charging, which allows Andre to get a boot up and then go to the BEARHUG OF DOOM. That goes on for a while until Hogan slugs out of it, but still can’t knock Andre down. Andre puts him down with a boot and another one puts Hogan on the floor and they slowly brawl. Andre headbutts the post and sportsman Hulk pulls up the mats and tries to piledrive his longtime friend on the concrete (Just because he asked for a title shot after 3 years!) but Andre reverses out of it. Back in, Hogan finally knocks him down and hulks up, and it’s slam bam thank you ma’am. (Hulk Hogan d. Andre the Giant, legdrop — pin, 11:58, 1/4*) History-wise, it was huge, but as a match it was slow and dull and just generally awful. The bearhug spot in particular sucked all the life out of the match. Andre would of course get the last laugh in 1988, winning the belt at the first Main Event. The Pulse: This is definitely one of those shows that you owe it to yourself as a fan to see even once, just to say you’ve seen it. The quality of wrestling doesn’t necessarily match up with today’s (although in some cases, it exceeds it by quite a lot) but the sheer history and new comments from the participants make this one well worth checking out on DVD or 24/7, whatever the case may be for you. Highest recommendation.

Smackdown – March 2, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Orton is back tonight and he’s facing Daniel Bryan after Bryan gave him the concussion that put him out. I don’t remember if I ever heard how legit that injury was. Anyway, that’s the main event and it should be good, but I’d be shocked if we got a clean finish to it. Expect more of the Bryan vs. Sheamus build as well as some more Ace vs. Long stuff. Let’s get to it.

We open with what looks more like a commercial for the show than an opening video. It’s about the main event.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is bronchitis.

Here’s Sheamus to open the show. He says he’s thinking about Wrestlemania and being in front of over 80,000 members of the WWE Universe. FANS. THEY’RE CALLED FANS. When did that become a dirty word? I know “Members of the WWE Universe” has been their term for it for years now, but why is fans such a bad thing to say? Anyway he can’t wait to face Bryan. Bryan has become a changed man since he won the title, just like Sheamus did two years ago.

When Sheamus won his first world title, he became wrapped up in his own ego. However, he was lucky. He should have known that the WWE Title was the greatest trophy he could have earned. He became a bully instead though. You mean like he was before he won the title? What Sheamus needed was for someone to knock his block off. Bryan needs the same thing.

This brings out Vickie and Dolph for some reason. She liked his story but her favorite part was when Sheamus stopped talking. Ziggler says the people deserve to see him in the main event, not Sheamus. He says Sheamus’ hair is on fire. Sheamus says that joke is as old as Dolph’s grandmother Vickie. For some reason this leads to Vickie talking about Ace/Teddy and saying she’s the only non-McMahon to be GM of both shows. Teddy comes out and makes Dolph vs. Sheamus right now. I liked Sheamus’ promo here. He’s not the best talker in the world so keeping it simple is something that works well for him.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

The match is joined in progress after a break but it doesn’t look like we’ve missed much. There was an ad talking about how Ace will run Smackdown next week so the announcers talk about that for awhile. Ziggler hits a dropkick but Sheamus keeps smiling. Sheamus comes back with forearms to the back and the ten in the ropes. The fans clearly really like Sheamus but they’ve given him no character development at all. It’s a lost art in WWE anymore.

Ziggler goes to the floor. Booker says stay on your bicycle Dolph. There’s an image for you, complete with Benny Hill music. Ziggler grabs a neckbreaker coming back in to take over. Another neckbreaker gets two so Dolph drops some elbows for the same result. Sheamus fights out of a chinlock and hits his power shots to come back. Powerslam gets two. Ziggler locks on a sleeper but Sheamus powers out of it by ramming Ziggler into the corner and out to the floor.

Dolph comes off the top but jumps into the Irish Curse. It gets two as Vickie puts the foot on the ropes. Sheamus loads up the Celtic Cross (Sheamus’, not Finlay’s). Irish Curse The Sequel gets two. Sheamus pounds his chest and shouts Brogue so Vickie calls out Swagger. The Kick takes him down but Ziggler hits a Fameasser. That only gets two so he tries the Zig Zag. Sheamus holds the ropes and catches Ziggler in the new finisher which is now called the White Noise.

Rating: B-. Pretty good match here with Sheamus continuing to roll over the upper midcard. Since they’re not going to give him and Bryan a concrete story, this works as well as anything else. Also it makes Sheamus look a lot stronger going into the PPV. At the end of the day though, he needs to pin Orton clean to really make himself look like the top challenger on Smackdown and I’m not sure I can see that. The other problem is that Bryan needs to be made to look strong also and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

We recap the Bryan vs. Punk stuff from Raw with the Battling Bosses.

Ace and Otunga are in Teddy’s office when Teddy comes in. Ace wants an apology for the attack by Teddy on Raw. Apparently Ace has a bad back now and its because of Teddy. Otunga is considering a civil suit against Teddy. Ace says an apology will do instead. Teddy says no because it made Ace look like “a cow on ice crossed with Sesame Street Big Bird.” Otunga vs. Khali on Monday. Ace suggests Teddy try yoga.

Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella

Santino attacks to start but the headbutt lands on knees. The announcers talk about Ace and Teddy. Cole: “See how tough he is?” Booker: “He used to have a skateboard. That’s how tough he is.” Anyway, Slater hits a Harlem Side Kick for two. He goes up but gets crotched and the Cobra ends it at 1:53.

Video on HHH vs. Undertaker, the same from Raw. The match simply isn’t as good as they’re trying to make it out to be. It’s very good. It’s a great match. It’s not this masterpiece that they’re pushing it as.

Natalya yells at Eve about Zach. Eve goes off on her about it and guess what Natalya winds up doing. You either want the Divas to be serious or you don’t. Pick one.

Natalya vs. Eve Torres

Natalya controls with a headlock and Booker has a thing for Eve. Now Booker diagnoses Natalya’s stomach issues. Eve slaps her so Natalya takes her down and pounds on her. Eve reverses a rollup into one of her own for the pin at 1:32.

Here’s Cody who has held the title for a very long time. If my math is right, if he holds the title until April 10, he’ll have held if for the longest reign since Rock’s in 97/98. Cody talks about Big Show’s Wrestlemania losses and shows some stills from the Akebono and Mayweather matches. Cody says Show should be thanking him for keeping Show out of Wrestlemania because Show would just floudner again. He’s got another Wrestlemania clip but Show cuts him off.

Cody runs into the crowd as soon as Show gets to the ring. Show says hang on a second. He wanted to watch the new clip with Cody like friends. Since Cody won’t come back though, Show better go get Cody. Cue Teddy who says hang on a minute. This isn’t Pamplona, Spain and Show can’t be running into the crowd like a bull. Show vs. Cody for the title is announced for Wrestlemania. That’s the second time the IC Title will be on the line at Mania since 2002.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Show takes him down to start but Henry fights back and clotheslines Show to the floor. The fans chant Sexual Chocolate as Show is sent into the timekeeper’s area. He gets back to the apron at 8 but Henry rams him into the exposed buckle as we take a break. Back with Henry pounding him down and Cody on commentary. Back to the floor and Henry rams Show’s back into the post.

With Show still against the post, Mark throws the steps at him. Since that would result in probable death, Show moves. Henry knocks him down again and hits a Vader Bomb for two. Show hits a superkick and a “spear” (it was a shoulder block) to take Henry down. Show sets for the chokeslam but gets caught in the Slam for two. So long Henry, hope you enjoyed your time in the main event. Henry charges into the corner but walks into the WMD for the pin at 5:22 shown of 8:52.

Rating: C-. It’s such a shame to see someone like Henry who has raised his game so much over the last six months and shocked the world by becoming a legit world champion to be sent down to this because of the way the WWE main event pushes work. Instead of going and feuding with a midcard face, they need to have him against other top good guys and losing, making his whole summer of dominance seem like it was nothing at all. Such is life in the WWE anymore.

Teddy tells Drew if he loses he’s fired. Again.

Orton says he’s back to normal, which means angry and wanting revenge. Bryan decided to pay the price and tonight Orton is going to collect.

Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel

Drew starts by blocking a kick and getting a clothesline for two. Another spin kick misses and Drew hits a big boot for two. Into the corner but Drew’s tilt-a-whirl slam is countered into a DDT. Gabriel goes up and hits the 450 for the pin at 1:44. Justin hit two moves the whole match.

Teddy pops up on screen and fires Drew. At least until next week when Ace rehires him because he sees a lot of potential in him or something. They mentioned that Ace discovered Drew and brought him to WWE in the first place during the match.

We get ALL of Rock and Cena from Monday. The version I watch is divided into 6 fifteen minute parts. I literally skipped all of part 5 because of this. There was NOTHING in there they could clip?

Daniel Bryan says he hasn’t changed since he won the title. He’s still the same down to Earth person who was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. However he moved to Vegas as soon as possible. He calls himself a role model and talks about how he beat Giant and Henry in a cage and five others in the Elimination Chamber.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The fans are split on Bryan. Orton sends him to the floor quickly and throws Bryan into things. He sends Bryan into the steps and kicks Bryan’s head into them. Back in Orton loads up a superplex but Bryan shoves him off and takes over. Knee to the head gets two as we take a break. Back with Bryan working over the arm and shoulder. Booker says that he’ll never call Bryan D-Bry again. Bryan stays on the shoulder but Orton hits a dropkick to get some seperation.

Booker runs down AJ now, calling Bryan her meal ticket. Is AJ really a heel, or does she just associate with one? I’m not exactly sure. The dropkick gets two. Bryan kicks him in the shoulder so Orton throws him into the Elevated DDT. RKO is countered twice and Bryan heads to the floor. Orton follows him and loads up the Elevated DDT on the floor….but here’s Kane. Didn’t see that one coming. The bell rings, presumably for a countout since Kane hasn’t touched anyone, at 6:30 shown of 10:00.

Rating: C. Well we knew it wasn’t going to be a clean finish. I’d assume this is going to set up Kane vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. That’s a feud I’ve always wanted to see as I’m a fan of both guys. It’s as good as anything else they’re going to get and it gives them both something to do. The match was just ok though as they didn’t have the time to get anything good going.

Orton goes straight at Kane for no apparent reason. Kane might have been coming to ask Booker if he wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies. They go into the ring but Kane is clotheslined to the floor. He pulls Orton out and they brawl on the floor for a bit. Back inside and Orton’s shoulder goes into the post. A chokeslam puts Randy down and Kane wants a mic. He says welcome back Randy and that’s it.

Ace says it’s Kane vs. Aksana next week.

Overall Rating: B. I liked this show a lot. This is more the Smackdown style: steady as it goes and set up matches for the PPV. Here we set up the IC Title match, Kane vs. Orton and they furthered the Smackdown world title match. With four weeks to go until the PPV, that’s a pretty solid show as far as building to the PPV. I could have done without 1/6 of the show being about Cena vs. Rock though. They could have cut that down to about five minutes and it would have been fine. Better show than most recent ones here though.

Results
Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler – White Noise
Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra
Eve Torres b. Natalya – Rollup
Justin Gabriel b. Drew McIntyre – 450 Splash
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton went to a double countout

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Smackdown – March 2, 2012

Smackdown
Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Key Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Michael Cole, Josh Matthews, Booker T

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

Orton is back tonight and he’s facing Daniel Bryan after Bryan gave him the concussion that put him out. I don’t remember if I ever heard how legit that injury was. Anyway, that’s the main event and it should be good, but I’d be shocked if we got a clean finish to it. Expect more of the Bryan vs. Sheamus build as well as some more Ace vs. Long stuff. Let’s get to it.

We open with what looks more like a commercial for the show than an opening video. It’s about the main event.

Do You Know Your Enemy? Mine is bronchitis.

Here’s Sheamus to open the show. He says he’s thinking about Wrestlemania and being in front of over 80,000 members of the WWE Universe. FANS. THEY’RE CALLED FANS. When did that become a dirty word? I know “Members of the WWE Universe” has been their term for it for years now, but why is fans such a bad thing to say? Anyway he can’t wait to face Bryan. Bryan has become a changed man since he won the title, just like Sheamus did two years ago.

When Sheamus won his first world title, he became wrapped up in his own ego. However, he was lucky. He should have known that the WWE Title was the greatest trophy he could have earned. He became a bully instead though. You mean like he was before he won the title? What Sheamus needed was for someone to knock his block off. Bryan needs the same thing.

This brings out Vickie and Dolph for some reason. She liked his story but her favorite part was when Sheamus stopped talking. Ziggler says the people deserve to see him in the main event, not Sheamus. He says Sheamus’ hair is on fire. Sheamus says that joke is as old as Dolph’s grandmother Vickie. For some reason this leads to Vickie talking about Ace/Teddy and saying she’s the only non-McMahon to be GM of both shows. Teddy comes out and makes Dolph vs. Sheamus right now. I liked Sheamus’ promo here. He’s not the best talker in the world so keeping it simple is something that works well for him.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler

The match is joined in progress after a break but it doesn’t look like we’ve missed much. There was an ad talking about how Ace will run Smackdown next week so the announcers talk about that for awhile. Ziggler hits a dropkick but Sheamus keeps smiling. Sheamus comes back with forearms to the back and the ten in the ropes. The fans clearly really like Sheamus but they’ve given him no character development at all. It’s a lost art in WWE anymore.

Ziggler goes to the floor. Booker says stay on your bicycle Dolph. There’s an image for you, complete with Benny Hill music. Ziggler grabs a neckbreaker coming back in to take over. Another neckbreaker gets two so Dolph drops some elbows for the same result. Sheamus fights out of a chinlock and hits his power shots to come back. Powerslam gets two. Ziggler locks on a sleeper but Sheamus powers out of it by ramming Ziggler into the corner and out to the floor.

Dolph comes off the top but jumps into the Irish Curse. It gets two as Vickie puts the foot on the ropes. Sheamus loads up the Celtic Cross (Sheamus’, not Finlay’s). Irish Curse The Sequel gets two. Sheamus pounds his chest and shouts Brogue so Vickie calls out Swagger. The Kick takes him down but Ziggler hits a Fameasser. That only gets two so he tries the Zig Zag. Sheamus holds the ropes and catches Ziggler in the new finisher which is now called the White Noise.

Rating: B-. Pretty good match here with Sheamus continuing to roll over the upper midcard. Since they’re not going to give him and Bryan a concrete story, this works as well as anything else. Also it makes Sheamus look a lot stronger going into the PPV. At the end of the day though, he needs to pin Orton clean to really make himself look like the top challenger on Smackdown and I’m not sure I can see that. The other problem is that Bryan needs to be made to look strong also and I don’t think that’s going to happen.

We recap the Bryan vs. Punk stuff from Raw with the Battling Bosses.

Ace and Otunga are in Teddy’s office when Teddy comes in. Ace wants an apology for the attack by Teddy on Raw. Apparently Ace has a bad back now and its because of Teddy. Otunga is considering a civil suit against Teddy. Ace says an apology will do instead. Teddy says no because it made Ace look like “a cow on ice crossed with Sesame Street Big Bird.” Otunga vs. Khali on Monday. Ace suggests Teddy try yoga.

Heath Slater vs. Santino Marella

Santino attacks to start but the headbutt lands on knees. The announcers talk about Ace and Teddy. Cole: “See how tough he is?” Booker: “He used to have a skateboard. That’s how tough he is.” Anyway, Slater hits a Harlem Side Kick for two. He goes up but gets crotched and the Cobra ends it at 1:53.

Video on HHH vs. Undertaker, the same from Raw. The match simply isn’t as good as they’re trying to make it out to be. It’s very good. It’s a great match. It’s not this masterpiece that they’re pushing it as.

Natalya yells at Eve about Zach. Eve goes off on her about it and guess what Natalya winds up doing. You either want the Divas to be serious or you don’t. Pick one.

Natalya vs. Eve Torres

Natalya controls with a headlock and Booker has a thing for Eve. Now Booker diagnoses Natalya’s stomach issues. Eve slaps her so Natalya takes her down and pounds on her. Eve reverses a rollup into one of her own for the pin at 1:32.

Here’s Cody who has held the title for a very long time. If my math is right, if he holds the title until April 10, he’ll have held if for the longest reign since Rock’s in 97/98. Cody talks about Big Show’s Wrestlemania losses and shows some stills from the Akebono and Mayweather matches. Cody says Show should be thanking him for keeping Show out of Wrestlemania because Show would just floudner again. He’s got another Wrestlemania clip but Show cuts him off.

Cody runs into the crowd as soon as Show gets to the ring. Show says hang on a second. He wanted to watch the new clip with Cody like friends. Since Cody won’t come back though, Show better go get Cody. Cue Teddy who says hang on a minute. This isn’t Pamplona, Spain and Show can’t be running into the crowd like a bull. Show vs. Cody for the title is announced for Wrestlemania. That’s the second time the IC Title will be on the line at Mania since 2002.

Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Show takes him down to start but Henry fights back and clotheslines Show to the floor. The fans chant Sexual Chocolate as Show is sent into the timekeeper’s area. He gets back to the apron at 8 but Henry rams him into the exposed buckle as we take a break. Back with Henry pounding him down and Cody on commentary. Back to the floor and Henry rams Show’s back into the post.

With Show still against the post, Mark throws the steps at him. Since that would result in probable death, Show moves. Henry knocks him down again and hits a Vader Bomb for two. Show hits a superkick and a “spear” (it was a shoulder block) to take Henry down. Show sets for the chokeslam but gets caught in the Slam for two. So long Henry, hope you enjoyed your time in the main event. Henry charges into the corner but walks into the WMD for the pin at 5:22 shown of 8:52.

Rating: C-. It’s such a shame to see someone like Henry who has raised his game so much over the last six months and shocked the world by becoming a legit world champion to be sent down to this because of the way the WWE main event pushes work. Instead of going and feuding with a midcard face, they need to have him against other top good guys and losing, making his whole summer of dominance seem like it was nothing at all. Such is life in the WWE anymore.

Teddy tells Drew if he loses he’s fired. Again.

Orton says he’s back to normal, which means angry and wanting revenge. Bryan decided to pay the price and tonight Orton is going to collect.

Drew McIntyre vs. Justin Gabriel

Drew starts by blocking a kick and getting a clothesline for two. Another spin kick misses and Drew hits a big boot for two. Into the corner but Drew’s tilt-a-whirl slam is countered into a DDT. Gabriel goes up and hits the 450 for the pin at 1:44. Justin hit two moves the whole match.

Teddy pops up on screen and fires Drew. At least until next week when Ace rehires him because he sees a lot of potential in him or something. They mentioned that Ace discovered Drew and brought him to WWE in the first place during the match.

We get ALL of Rock and Cena from Monday. The version I watch is divided into 6 fifteen minute parts. I literally skipped all of part 5 because of this. There was NOTHING in there they could clip?

Daniel Bryan says he hasn’t changed since he won the title. He’s still the same down to Earth person who was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. However he moved to Vegas as soon as possible. He calls himself a role model and talks about how he beat Giant and Henry in a cage and five others in the Elimination Chamber.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The fans are split on Bryan. Orton sends him to the floor quickly and throws Bryan into things. He sends Bryan into the steps and kicks Bryan’s head into them. Back in Orton loads up a superplex but Bryan shoves him off and takes over. Knee to the head gets two as we take a break. Back with Bryan working over the arm and shoulder. Booker says that he’ll never call Bryan D-Bry again. Bryan stays on the shoulder but Orton hits a dropkick to get some seperation.

Booker runs down AJ now, calling Bryan her meal ticket. Is AJ really a heel, or does she just associate with one? I’m not exactly sure. The dropkick gets two. Bryan kicks him in the shoulder so Orton throws him into the Elevated DDT. RKO is countered twice and Bryan heads to the floor. Orton follows him and loads up the Elevated DDT on the floor….but here’s Kane. Didn’t see that one coming. The bell rings, presumably for a countout since Kane hasn’t touched anyone, at 6:30 shown of 10:00.

Rating: C. Well we knew it wasn’t going to be a clean finish. I’d assume this is going to set up Kane vs. Orton at Wrestlemania. That’s a feud I’ve always wanted to see as I’m a fan of both guys. It’s as good as anything else they’re going to get and it gives them both something to do. The match was just ok though as they didn’t have the time to get anything good going.

Orton goes straight at Kane for no apparent reason. Kane might have been coming to ask Booker if he wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies. They go into the ring but Kane is clotheslined to the floor. He pulls Orton out and they brawl on the floor for a bit. Back inside and Orton’s shoulder goes into the post. A chokeslam puts Randy down and Kane wants a mic. He says welcome back Randy and that’s it.

Ace says it’s Kane vs. Aksana next week.

Overall Rating: B. I liked this show a lot. This is more the Smackdown style: steady as it goes and set up matches for the PPV. Here we set up the IC Title match, Kane vs. Orton and they furthered the Smackdown world title match. With four weeks to go until the PPV, that’s a pretty solid show as far as building to the PPV. I could have done without 1/6 of the show being about Cena vs. Rock though. They could have cut that down to about five minutes and it would have been fine. Better show than most recent ones here though.

Results
Sheamus b. Dolph Ziggler – White Noise
Santino Marella b. Heath Slater – Cobra
Eve Torres b. Natalya – Rollup
Justin Gabriel b. Drew McIntyre – 450 Splash
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton went to a double countout

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The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

The SmarKdown Rant – 03.02.12

Live from Seattle, WA

Your hosts are Michael Cole, Booker T & Josh Matthews

Sheamus joins us to start, reminiscing about what a douche he turned into after winning his first big title and how the same thing is happening to Daniel Bryan, and he once again spreads the fallacy that the title match is the main event of Wrestlemania.  He hates bullies, you see.  Dolph Ziggler interrupts and then Teddy Long makes the match NEXT.  See, now why do we need the GM character for this stuff?  Back in the good old days you’d just get the two guys going “I’m better” “Then prove it” and boom, they fight.  The GM trope just makes everyone look ineffective.

Sheamus v. Dolph Ziggler

We’re JIP as Sheamus takes him down with a headlock, but Dolph comes back with the dropkick.  Another one misses and Sheamus pounds him in the corner and uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS OF DOOM on the apron, and a suplex back in for two.  Dolph bails and catches Sheamus coming back in with a neckbreaker for two.  Standing neckbreaker gets two.  Zig with elbows for two and we hit the chinlock.  Dolph pounds away, but Sheamus overpowers him and comes back with the forearms and a powerslam for two.  Ziggler jumps on him with the sleeper and hangs on through a trip to the turnbuckles, but Sheamus finally dumps him out of the ring to break.  Back in, Sheamus with the backbreaker for two, but Vickie puts the foot on the ropes to save.  Sheamus goes for the Celtic Cross, but Ziggler reverses to a sunset flip for two.  Sheamus hits him with another backbreaker for two.  He sets up to finish, but now Jack Swagger runs in, distracting him long enough for Ziggler to hit the fameasser for two.  Dolph tries the Zig Zag, but Sheamus catches him and finishes with the newly named White Noise slam at 8:23.   Good name.  Good match too, they have some mad chemistry and could do something together after Wrestlemania.  Sheamus keeps beating dudes leading to the title match, and that’s OK with me.  ***1/4

Meanwhile, it’s another confrontation between Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, which ends up with David Otunga v. Great Khali booked for tonight.  I’m very over this feud already.

Heath Slater v. Santino

Thank god, a payoff from last week’s angle.  I was losing sleep.  Santino slugs away to start, but a splash hits knee.  Slater pounds him, but Santino makes the comeback before running into a leg lariat that gets two.  Heath goes up and gets crotched, allowing Santino to get a TOP ROPE COBRA to finish at 1:54. Basic house show match.  *

Meanwhile, Natalya thinks that Eve Torres is mean to Zack Ryder.  And we get the farting payoff.

Natalya v. Eve Torres

So I guess that’s the face turn for Natalya.  Natalya gets a pair of rollups, but Eve takes her down and we get dueling kip-ups. Eve dropkicks the knee and uses a straightjacket hold, then rolls Nat up for the pin at 1:55.  I don’t really get the endgame with this Eve thing.  *

Cody Rhodes joins us for another Big Show Wrestlemania Moment, but Big Show interrupts before he can reveal it.  Cody runs into the audience, but Show wants to make peace and watch it together.  So Teddy Long comes out and makes Cody v. Show for Wrestlemania.

Big Show v. Mark Henry

I never thought I’d feel bad for Mark Henry, but given his treatment following the injury I really hope he just leaves and finds something more productive to do with his life than risking further injury by working every week with a torn groin.  Henry overpowers Show and tosses him, giving him a beating outside and then running him into an exposed turnbuckle on the way back in.  And we take a break.  Back with Henry chucking the STEEL stairs at Show’s head, but it misses and they head back in.  Henry with an avalanche and a pump splash for two, but Show comes back with a big boot and spear.  Henry comes back with the World’s Strongest Slam for two, but Show knocks him out for the pin at 7:09.  Another day, another job for Mark.  Good, non-bullshit power match here.  **1/2  Show gives us our first WRESTLEMANIA POINT of the night, and this Show v. Rhodes feud does nothing for me.   Especially if it leads to Show getting the IC title that he wouldn’t need or want.

Drew McIntyre v. Justin Gabriel

Drew must win or get FIRED.  Uh huh.  Drew clotheslines him for two and gets a big boot for two.  Even Michael Cole, a guy with zero credibility, is pointing out the logical gap that has seen Drew lose for TWO MONTHS and still not leave the show.  Gabriel puts him down with a spinkick and flying splash for the pin at 1:41 to fire Drew for REAL this time.  Although given they were talking about how Big Johnny gave Drew his big break at 21 years old, it seems obvious that Drew will resurface on RAW as one of Ace’s minions.  *

I haven’t commented on the numerous plugs for Bending The Rules yet, and we’ll keep it that way.  OK, I will note that they desperately need someone to come up with better names for their movies.

Daniel Bryan v. Randy Orton

Daniel’s attempt to draw a cheap face pop in the pre-match interview was tremendous.  Orton tosses Bryan and runs him into the boards, then gives him the old “head stomp on the stairs”.  Back in, he continues kicking Bryan’s ass in the corner to set up a superplex, which Bryan blocks.  Orton retreats to the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and single arm DDT, for two.  We take a break and return with Bryan working the arm with some nice kicks.  Orton slugs back and dumps Bryan to the apron, but D-Bry necksnaps him and goes up.  Orton catches him with a dropkick on the way down and makes the comeback with the powerslam for two.  AJ totally has that Summer Glau thing going on here and I’m digging it.  Draping DDT and he stops to eye up AJ before going for the RKO.  Bryan escapes and takes a walk, but Orton catches him and beats on him outside.  Orton tries a draping DDT off the apron, but Kane interrupts at 6:33 for the DQ.  Why is he so upset at Orton?  Randy’s all about embracing the hate!  He’s the Apex Predator™!  So they brawl to end the show and Wrestlemania has another midcard match.  Fun match before the weak ending.  **3/4

The Pulse:

Another hell of a show this week.  Given that I skip all the video packages and assorted crap on the DVR, this one flew by and I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully they can keep this up until Wrestlemania.

Wrestlemania Specialty Matches: Wrestlemania 2

You know a show is a total bust when the owner of a sports entertainment outfit, who tends to defend everything, will allow his worker to bust freely on said show in a documentary.

Wrestlemania 2 is that show.

What made it a bust exactly? The horribly short matches? The triple venue disaster? King Kong Bundy in the main event? Surely it’s a little of everything, although I really thought the Hogan-Bundy build was fine and they did everything possible to make people think Bundy could win.

Anyway there was little doubt as to which match I was going to do which sort of gets to the rating of this match. I don’t believe everything should be rated on the same premise. I can’t look at a Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper boxing match the same way I look at Savage-Steamboat. The former is clearly gimmicked and is trying to get me to smile and be entertained while the latter is there to amaze me with their timing, athleticism and performance.

So when I watched this match I judged my own level of entertainment and realizing that this isn’t there to try and bring back memories of the Thriller in Manila. And I was very entertained.

Wrestlemania 2: What the World is Watching
From the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Susan St. James

Boxing Match: Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T

Backstory is simple. They hate each other. And in many cases where perception is reality, Piper said that he wasn’t crazy about Mr. T off the script either. The reasons he gave in his DVD were a little disjointed. He didn’t like the fact that Mr. T came to the arenas with his entourage and in a limousine. I understand him not being impressed but it’s pretty silly too because Mr. T wasn’t a wrestler. He wasn’t one of the boys in the back. He was quite a TV star at the time and he probably didn’t think anything of it as he traveled tons of places by limo and with his little crew. And he’s hanging out and doing the promotional tours with Hogan, who probably traveled the same way and didn’t really explain the culture of the locker room. Piper was also angry about Mr. T trying to make certain demands on the match and that I understand, that definitely isn’t his place, but the other part seemed a little silly. Mr. T wasn’t a wrestler and shouldn’t be expected to understand their culture. He was paid and promoted like a star and his involvement made them all plenty of money so really Piper should be over it by now.

So Round 1 begins. Piper’s stance isn’t one of what I would expect from a former amateur guy because he’s leaving himself open. Mr. T has more of a closed, defensive stance that I would expect from a novice. It looks better. Piper does have good hand speed considering and lays in some dirty shots off the break. Piper backs Mr. T on the ropes but swings wildly and gets caught with counter punching. It’s a little funny because Piper is somewhere in between trying to do what he knows is correct form and what he’s expected to do as a performer. In the final minute they brawl and Piper does more dirty boxing in between landing a couple of good clean shots. They continue to fight about a minute after the bell and everyone has to separate them. Luckily they didn’t try to goad Joe Frazier into the theatrics because if he landed a legit punch it would be over. Piper talks trash during the break.

Round 2 and Piper has to wipe the grease off his face. Mr. T works to the body while Piper tees off to the head with both connecting. Piper backs Mr. T up to the corner again and clocks him about a half dozen times and Mr. T falls to a huge face pop. It was this match that Piper basically started a face time. Piper awesomely kicks Mr. T while he’s down. Mr. T gets up at 8 and he’s ready to go. Piper continues pressuring Mr. T as the round ends with the crowd solidly behind him. Piper lands another rabbit punch well after the bell. During the rest period Orton runs over and dumps a bucket of water on Mr. T and Frazier. This is hilarious.

Round 3 starts and Piper is feeling it. He starts working the jab but Mr. T counters and starts drilling him in the body. Mr. T in the corner and smothering Piper. Ref breaks them but Mr. T comes back with a ridiculous haymaker that would have killed him if this were a shoot. Piper collapses but rises at 8. With a minute and a half left in the round the fighters continue to battle with Mr. T holding the upper hand and then knocking Piper square out of the ring. It’s clear that Mr. T is completely blown up at this point so Piper’s theatrics are probably part improvisation. They brawl some more for the rest of the round and its clear both guys are exhausted. Frazier has to almost carry Mr. T back to the corner after the round. Mr. T talks a little trash to Piper so Roddy picks up his stool and tosses it across the ring. Wow that was pretty dangerous actually.

Round 4 and they just stand in the center of the ring and exchange haymakers as the entertainment level is increasing by the second. Roddy knocks Mr. T mouthpiece out and Mr. T returns the favor and hits Piper about six more times. Piper finally shoves the referee and bodyslams Mr. T to get disqualified. A huge brawl starts as Mr. T is announced the winner. Awesome stuff here in terms of entertainment. Or I’m just easier to please as I get older.

(Mr. T def. Piper, disqualification, ***1/4 on the entertainment rating scale, this was classic good guy vs. bad guy stuff and Piper was awesome in his role. Oddly enough he was so good in trying to be the ultimate bad guy Piper heard the cheers, knew he wanted to get into movies and figured it was time to turn. Smart man as he put as much passion into being the biggest babyface as he did when he was a heel and the people loved him.)

Wrestlemania Specialty Matches: Wrestlemania 2

You know a show is a total bust when the owner of a sports entertainment outfit, who tends to defend everything, will allow his worker to bust freely on said show in a documentary.

Wrestlemania 2 is that show.

What made it a bust exactly? The horribly short matches? The triple venue disaster? King Kong Bundy in the main event? Surely it’s a little of everything, although I really thought the Hogan-Bundy build was fine and they did everything possible to make people think Bundy could win.

Anyway there was little doubt as to which match I was going to do which sort of gets to the rating of this match. I don’t believe everything should be rated on the same premise. I can’t look at a Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper boxing match the same way I look at Savage-Steamboat. The former is clearly gimmicked and is trying to get me to smile and be entertained while the latter is there to amaze me with their timing, athleticism and performance.

So when I watched this match I judged my own level of entertainment and realizing that this isn’t there to try and bring back memories of the Thriller in Manila. And I was very entertained.

Wrestlemania 2: What the World is Watching
From the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York
Hosted by Vince McMahon and Susan St. James

Boxing Match: Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T

Backstory is simple. They hate each other. And in many cases where perception is reality, Piper said that he wasn’t crazy about Mr. T off the script either. The reasons he gave in his DVD were a little disjointed. He didn’t like the fact that Mr. T came to the arenas with his entourage and in a limousine. I understand him not being impressed but it’s pretty silly too because Mr. T wasn’t a wrestler. He wasn’t one of the boys in the back. He was quite a TV star at the time and he probably didn’t think anything of it as he traveled tons of places by limo and with his little crew. And he’s hanging out and doing the promotional tours with Hogan, who probably traveled the same way and didn’t really explain the culture of the locker room. Piper was also angry about Mr. T trying to make certain demands on the match and that I understand, that definitely isn’t his place, but the other part seemed a little silly. Mr. T wasn’t a wrestler and shouldn’t be expected to understand their culture. He was paid and promoted like a star and his involvement made them all plenty of money so really Piper should be over it by now.

So Round 1 begins. Piper’s stance isn’t one of what I would expect from a former amateur guy because he’s leaving himself open. Mr. T has more of a closed, defensive stance that I would expect from a novice. It looks better. Piper does have good hand speed considering and lays in some dirty shots off the break. Piper backs Mr. T on the ropes but swings wildly and gets caught with counter punching. It’s a little funny because Piper is somewhere in between trying to do what he knows is correct form and what he’s expected to do as a performer. In the final minute they brawl and Piper does more dirty boxing in between landing a couple of good clean shots. They continue to fight about a minute after the bell and everyone has to separate them. Luckily they didn’t try to goad Joe Frazier into the theatrics because if he landed a legit punch it would be over. Piper talks trash during the break.

Round 2 and Piper has to wipe the grease off his face. Mr. T works to the body while Piper tees off to the head with both connecting. Piper backs Mr. T up to the corner again and clocks him about a half dozen times and Mr. T falls to a huge face pop. It was this match that Piper basically started a face time. Piper awesomely kicks Mr. T while he’s down. Mr. T gets up at 8 and he’s ready to go. Piper continues pressuring Mr. T as the round ends with the crowd solidly behind him. Piper lands another rabbit punch well after the bell. During the rest period Orton runs over and dumps a bucket of water on Mr. T and Frazier. This is hilarious.

Round 3 starts and Piper is feeling it. He starts working the jab but Mr. T counters and starts drilling him in the body. Mr. T in the corner and smothering Piper. Ref breaks them but Mr. T comes back with a ridiculous haymaker that would have killed him if this were a shoot. Piper collapses but rises at 8. With a minute and a half left in the round the fighters continue to battle with Mr. T holding the upper hand and then knocking Piper square out of the ring. It’s clear that Mr. T is completely blown up at this point so Piper’s theatrics are probably part improvisation. They brawl some more for the rest of the round and its clear both guys are exhausted. Frazier has to almost carry Mr. T back to the corner after the round. Mr. T talks a little trash to Piper so Roddy picks up his stool and tosses it across the ring. Wow that was pretty dangerous actually.

Round 4 and they just stand in the center of the ring and exchange haymakers as the entertainment level is increasing by the second. Roddy knocks Mr. T mouthpiece out and Mr. T returns the favor and hits Piper about six more times. Piper finally shoves the referee and bodyslams Mr. T to get disqualified. A huge brawl starts as Mr. T is announced the winner. Awesome stuff here in terms of entertainment. Or I’m just easier to please as I get older.

(Mr. T def. Piper, disqualification, ***1/4 on the entertainment rating scale, this was classic good guy vs. bad guy stuff and Piper was awesome in his role. Oddly enough he was so good in trying to be the ultimate bad guy Piper heard the cheers, knew he wanted to get into movies and figured it was time to turn. Smart man as he put as much passion into being the biggest babyface as he did when he was a heel and the people loved him.)

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed. 

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed. 

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed. 

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed. 

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed. 

The Comics Thread

Light week, so I finally got around to catching up with stuff from the past few weeks and then promptly forgot about them.  This writing gig can be tough when you’ve got a short attention span.  Mainly I want to talk about how much I’m loving Amazing Spider-Man since picking it up with the goofy time travel two-parter.  The Point One issue a couple of weeks ago was probably the best one I’ve read yet, as it actually explained the new status quo for Spidey in a way where I felt like I, as a new reader, was being welcomed into the comic without years of backstory needed.  Plus Spider-Man scoring off Michael Morbius by comparing him to Edward was fantastic.  It really shows that you don’t need to put a new character into the suit in order to breathe new life into it, you just need a writer who gets him and get what works about him.  Then issue 680, with Spider-Man and Human Torch IN SPACE, was great too, especially the bickering over SPOILERS and Johnny lamenting all the TV he missed while dead.  I love light-hearted Spidey, so this and Avenging are a great combination for me.  Justice League #6 was kind of a tiresome end to the initial arc, as we’re finally to the end of the “Five Years Earlier” formation, and it really didn’t feel like it earned the big finish.  Like I’m sure Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will craft some wonderful big-selling stories when they get to the present time, but there wasn’t anything here that couldn’t have been summed up in a one-page secret origin deal instead.  Plus the ending with the world suddenly accepting “super heroes” felt like they were muddling their muddled continuity even further.  But I liked it well enough, Jim Lee’s army of inkers aside.  That’s all I got this week, except to add go out and buy Atomic Robo now that it’s completed.