THE CUBED CIRCLE NEWSLETTER – CM Punk Wrestling’s Hottest Angle Gone Cold
Welcome to the second issue of the Cubed Circle Newsletter, today’s issue includes: CM Punk Wrestling’s Hottest Angle Gone Cold Part II, a review of ROH on Sinclair from this week and an updated top 50 matches of 2011. As with last weeks issue, if you haven’t downloaded it already there is a link to a full PDF above this post.
Cubed Circle Wrestling Newsletter Rating System
*- Horrendous match, bad booking, bad pacing, botches left and right, poor work rate and bad crowd reactions can all lead to this.
**- Below average match, forgettable, couldn’t have added much for the show unless there was a great angle, before after or during the match.
***- Good match, there were some really good points in the match, had fun watching it, it had some points missing, the crowd possibly wasn’t into it or it didn’t go long enough. But, the match was still good.
****- Great match, well worked, the crowd were most likely into it, this match was a highlight of the show. The match would most likely be in the top 50 matches of the year.
*****- Almost guaranteed match of the year, ticked all the boxes well worked, well booked, great crowd, had some amazing spots, very few botches or no botches that really affected the match and the match could influence the business in a major way. This is a prestigious rating and it is the highest acclaim I could possibly give for a match, this rating is only given out with extreme thought and consideration.
CM Punk Wrestling’s Hottest Angle Gone Cold Part II
Four months ago, in July WWE put on one of the hottest angles in recent memory. We had one man, CM Punk who was claiming that he would bring change to this stale, washed out, paint by numbers product. Those promises were delivered at WWE’s July pay-per view Money in the Bank, it is now four months later and have we witnessed change? The answer to that question is no, we have not. Yes, this angle was hot and yes it could have gone far, but now it is ice cold. In fact, the angle is just a hollow, empty shell of its former self.
The Punk character is no longer a savior, nor is he a revolutionary, he is just a man that spits out an insider references that go over most of the fans heads every few weeks. And the reason for this is simple, the original rendition of the Punk angle, the CM Punk before the return had a definite focus, a goal a to achieve. That focus was to capture the WWE championship and leave the company with the championship around his waist, it was that simple. Yes, it all began with a six minute long promo that got everybody talking, but the fact that Punk could leave with the championship is what really drew people in. Unlike a lot of angles and gimmicks in the WWE, this angle spawned from something very real and that was the real politics that go on, on a daily basis in the WWE and Punk’s real life contract was up at the time. Even if casual fans never understood all of what Punk was saying, in that original six minute long promo, those fans still understood that this was something he wasn’t supposed to say and that he must have been talking about real life issues, from the way it was delivered by Punk. Things like Vince’s body builder preference, and the fact that he was never pushed come across as irrelevant, because instead of suspending peoples disbelieve like in the original promo, promos like these do the opposite. Furthermore you can’t have a serious debate between Punk and Triple H and not have them go all the way, sure they let him get the references in, but Triple H immediately shot them down. Without any opportunity for Punk to get in a counter argument.
All these points made are part of an underlying issue and that is the blatant lack of future planning and long term booking in the WWE. This becomes evident in the way that Punk was brought back, as well as the reasons given for his return, two weeks after he supposedly left forever with the championship. The reason given for his return still feels a little hazy, but the just of it was that the only way that he could create change, was from the inside. This came across as just a blatant disregard for the finish of the Money in the Bank pay-per view and if he was going to create change from the inside, then why would Triple H, the new COO of the company, want to give him a new theme song, t-shirt, and except him into the company to begin with. Triple H said that it was all about business, but if he was so focused on business, why didn’t he know that Punk was going to return in the first place?
If you like at the time line of the angle it has been a very slippery slope, from the moment they brought Punk back, just two weeks after he left. And maybe even before that, possibly from the RAW after Money in the Bank, the RAW that Triple H as COO was introduced. And ever since that angle started, the Punk angle fell to the way side. Yes Punk was incorporated into the angle, but it never meant as much, because there was nothing on the line. The problem was only escalated, by the Kevin Nash run in at SummerSlam, and the subsequent Del Rio cash in. Both the run in and cash in by Del Rio and Nash could have been held off for a few months. It wasn’t the right time or the right place for either man, and I am not quite sure if the text message angle or Kevin Nash ever had a place to begin with.
If fans are going to invest in Punk’s gimmick, and see it as more than just the average angle, they need to see results. And right now what results are they seeing from the Punk angle? Cena is the WWE champion again, for the tenth time and the third time this year, we are stuck with the same angles and same guys on top. Yes, Henry holds the World Heavyweight Championship at the time of writing, but is he really the top guy on Smackdown? Of course not. It’s the same with Punk, he might hold the championship again eventually, but he won’t be the top guy, Triple H and Cena will be. Even if Triple H isn’t wrestling on a regular basis. Punk says he holds a pipe bomb and that he says things that he is not supposed to say, but really does anything stem from those statements?
I am aware that WWE and Ring of Honor are two completely different products, with different channels of distribution, a huge difference in audiences and obviously the size disparity is vast. But, you would be lying if you didn’t see parallels between the Punk and Steen angles. They have different motives and the background of both angles are different, but the execution of both angles should have been similar. For example Kevin Steen made his first appearance back six months after his departure, we are now approaching two years that the overall angle has been going on, and one year since his departure, and they continue to build on the angle. They have been adding layer upon layer to one character and they are finally reaching the culmination of the angle after two years. And what will they gain after two years of build? They will gain a legitimate new maineventer in the promotion, this is obviously the huge difference between this angle and the Punk angle. And guess what, Steen is still the man that is trying to overthrow the promotion from the outside, he is on a one man crusade and is getting huge reactions because of that.
Punk on the other hand is just another guy, with a gimmick that doesn’t match up with his actions, a few months ago he was the focus of the wrestling world. The angle started cooling when they brought him back, but in the first part of this series I said that they could still salvage the angle and we should wait and see. Now a few months on from that article, I am pretty sure that this angle is dead, and that it is not coming back. This is a really disappointing situation, since everyone had such high hopes for the angle, but unfortunately the angle will remain wrestling’s hottest angle gone cold.
Ring of Honor On Sinclair Broadcast Group 2011/09/24 Review
The show kicked off with a really good intro, it was much better than the HDNet intro, there were really great graphics as well. Kevin Kelly opened the show, saying what the mainevent was The Kings of Wrestling vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Kevin Kelly introduced Nigel, he came off as a big star, with streamers and loud welcome back chants. This was edited really well and if I didn’t know better I wouldn’t think that this was the second time the opening was taped. Nigel said that he had to be on the new ROH show and that he is not the focus of the show, the guys in the back were. This was presented like an old school wrestling show, with the mainevent already scheduled and no shenanigans in the opener, what a novel thought. We had a promo with Future Shock and the Bravado’s, both teams were decent, but the best part was the Bravado’s saying that Future Shock gave the one brother a concussion and that was bad sportsmanship, it was funny. We also had a tale of the tape in both matches, with the announce team highlighting the differences between both teams, which was a nice touch.
1. Future Shock vs. The Bravado Brothers
Future Shock started off in control, when the Bravado’s got control of the match there were loud Justin Bieber chants which were funny. They hit some good looking combos, that would impress a viewer not familiar with Ring of Honor. Cole got the hot tag to O’ Reilly, the Bravado’s got the advantage briefly and taunted with their backs turned to Future Shock. O’Reilly hit the butterfly suplexes and a double team with Cole. The Bravado’s rolled to the outside, where Future Shock nailed suicide dives to the outside and O’ Reilly hit the missile dropkick to a Bravado in the chair. The crowd were really hot at this point, once both teams were back in the ring, Future Shock hit their newly christened finisher Ride the Lightening for the win. This was a really good opener for their debut on TV, it introduced the new viewer to this style of wrestling, as well as kept them from changing the channel.
We then had an interview with Davey Richards, he plugged their shows in Sinclair cities and he said that Ring of Honor has the best wrestlers in the world. We had a video package for Best in the World, Kelly interviewed fans outside of the Hammerstein Ballroom, the fans came off well and the event looked like a pretty big deal. Kelly explained the elimination tag match, they showed highlights and the Briscoes beating on Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the ANX save. They then went to the mainevent, they captured just how much of a war the match was, both men looked like stars. They showed the awesome post match promo, I think it came of as a bit cheesy to a new fan, but with the crowd and highlights of the match I think it came off fine.
We then had the first in a line of weakly segments entitled inside Ring of Honor, this week we had the Code of Honor highlighted. Jay Lethal, was interviewed, he said he spent six years somewhere else trying to be someone else, obviously referring to TNA and Black Machismo. A good package, highlighting a relatively important element of the ROH package.
They aired a video package of the fourway from Best in the World, it wasn’t really necessary since we already saw the match in the Best in the World video feature. And we saw some repeated footage, I don’t think it would have made people change channels, but they could have put something else in its place. Nigel interviewed a fan, he asked him who was going to win, he said Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, it came across as fine didn’t detract from anything.
2. The Kings of Wrestling vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
The fans were really hot for the introductions of both teams, just before the match started, we had another commercial for ROH events in Sinclair city’s and the Briscoe Brothers were interviewed, the Brisoces are who they are that’s for sure. We had both teams exchanging holds for around five minutes, the Kings gained control and we had the final commercial break. The Kings played good heels and Benjamin played a really good face in peril, with Haas being even better on the apron. They continued to wear down Benjamin, Benjamin finally made his comeback with the double neckbreaker and made the tag to Haas. Haas hit a great German and hurricanrana, among other moves, but he was knocked down by the elbow of Hero. The Kings hit the helicopter crash, The Kings went for another double team, but it was countered by a wonky looking spear by Benjamin and a subsequent roll up by Haas. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team then hit their new finishing move, Wrestling’s Greatest Finisher, a spear cloths line combination. It’s good that they finally have a finisher, since all of their matches lately have been ending in an anti-climax, due to them not having a finisher. It was a good fifteen minute mainevent and it was a pretty good TV mainevent, it wasn’t their best match by any stretch of the imagination, but it was still a pretty fun match, for the first tapings.
Overall Show Thoughts
A good first outing for ROH on Sinclair, they only had two matches on the show, but they packed a lot of information into a short space of time and the show was really easy to sit through. My only gripe with the presentation was the lighting, it was very dark in parts, but the set up in the Frontier Field House was still pretty good. The main event and the opener were two very different matches, neither of which were bad and they introduced 10 members of the Ring of Honor roster Future Shock, The Bravados, The Kings, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Eddie Edwards, and Davey Richards. Lethal, the Briscoe’s, ANX, and Generico, were all mentioned in one way or another, either through previews or interviews. The fans were into the matches and came off well, none of the fans came across as bad and they weren’t trying to get themselves over. The announce team was good, Kelly carried the show, but Nigel was decent. I was afraid he would be a train wreck, much like Booker T, but he only made one or two mistakes, but for the majority of the show he was fine. Everyone seemed to be working for the good of the product and if I was a new fan I would definitely tune in for the second week.
TOP 50 MATCHES 2011
1. John Cena vs. CM Punk WWE Money in the Bank *****
2. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards ROH Best in the World **** ¾
3. Undertaker vs. Triple H WWE Wrestlemania 27 **** ½
4. Christian vs. Randy Orton WWE Over The Limit **** ½
5. Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards Ring Master Challenge ROH DBDIX Dishonor IX **** ½
6. Kotaro Suzuki vs. Eddie Edwards NOAH 2011/01/29 **** ½
7. Jay Briscoe vs. Roderick Strong ROH 2011/01/15 **** ½
8. Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards ROH Manhattan Mayhem IV **** ½
9. Randy Orton vs. Christian No Holds Barred SummerSlam **** ¼
10. Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio Castagnoli Chikara CFTTS **** ¼
11. Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kota Ibushi NJPW BOSJ Final 2011/06/10 **** ¼
12. 1-2-3 Kid vs. El Generico Chikara King of Trios Night 3 **** ¼
13. Kotaro Suzuki vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima NOAH 2011/03/05 **** ¼
14. KENTA vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 2011/01/15 **** ¼
15. The Kings of Wrestling vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team ROH 2011/01/28 **** ¼
16. SD Elimination chamber WWE Elimination Chamber **** ¼
17. YAMATO vs. Austin Aries DGUSA Mercury Rising II **** ¼
18. Kyle ‘O Reilly & Adam Cole vs. The American Wolves **** ¼
19. Colony vs. F.I.S.T. Chikara King of Trios King of Trios Night 3 **** ¼
20. SmackDown MITB WWE Money in the Bank **** ¼
21. The Kings of Wrestling vs. WGTT vs. ANX vs. The Briscoe’s ROH Best in the World **** ¼
22. Chris Hero vs. Eddy Edwards ROH 2011/05/07 **** ¼
23. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw vs. the Colony CHIKARA CFTTS ****
24. The King’s of Wrestling vs. The All Night Express ROH 2011/02/26****
25. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio WWE Extreme Rules 2011 ****
26. The Briscoes vs. The All Night Express Ladder War Death Before Dishonor IX ****
27. John Cena vs. CM Punk WWE Summer Slam ****
28. F.I.S.T. vs. Osaka Pro Chikara King of Trios Night 2 ****
29. Christopher Daniels vs. Eddie Edwards ROH 2011/02/26 ****
30. Kenny King vs. Eddy Edwards ROH 2011/02/25 ****
31. Kotaro Suzaki vs. Ricky Marvin NOAH 2011/05/08 ****
32. RAW Elimination Chamber WWE Elimination Chamber ****
33. Ronin vs. Blood Warriors DGUSA Mercury Rising II ****
34. Kings of Wrestling vs. The American Wolves ROH 2011/05/06
35. Richards & WGTT vs. Roderick Strong & The Kings of Wrestling ROH 2011/02/25 ****
36. PAC vs. Akira Tozawa DGUSA Mercury Rising II ****
37. Christopher Daniels vs. El Generico ROH Best in the World ****
38. TJ Perkins vs. Davey Richards ROH 2011/01/28 ****
39. The American Wolves vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin ROH 2011/07/08
40. Roderick Strong vs. El Generico ROH 2011/05/06 ****
41. Roderick Strong vs. El Generico ROH 2011/01/28 ****
42. Chris Hero vs. Davey Richards ROH 2011/01/15 ****
43. Mercedes Martinez vs. Angel Orsini WSU Final Chapter ****
44. Roderick Strong vs. El Generico vs. Homicide vs. Jay Briscoe ROH Defy or Deny *** ¾
45. Champions vs. All Stars Match ROH 2011/01/14 *** ¾
46. Eddy Kingston vs. El Generico Chikara 2011/01/23 *** ¾
47. Christopher Daniels vs. Claudio Castagnoli ROH 2011/01/15 *** ¾
48. RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match WWE Money in the Bank *** ¾
49. Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team ROH 2011/02/26 *** ¾
50. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio WWE Capitol Punishment *** ¾
Star Ratings Given September 2011
Night of Champions
Tag Team Championship Match
Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz & R-Truth
Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Ted DiBiase
Fatal Fourway for the United States Championship
Alex Riley vs. John Morrison vs. Dolf Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton
Divas Championship Match
Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
WWE Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena
Triple H vs. CM Punk
Tag turmoil 2011/07/08
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O’ Rielly
The Bravado Brothers vs. The Briscoe Brothers
Mike Bennett vs. Kenny King
Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Adam Cole & Kyle O’ Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers
The American Wolves vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin
ROH NO ESCAPE 2011/07/09
Mike Bennett vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge
Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King/ Jay Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus
Kyle ‘O Reilly & Adam Cole vs. The American Wolves
Michael Elgin & Chase Owens vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Colt Cabana vs. Chris Hero
The Bravado Brothers vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Steel Cage Match: Roderick Strong vs. El Generico
DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR IX
Rhino & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Homicide & Jay Lethal
Mike Bennett vs. Shelton Benjamin
Three Way Elimination Match
Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle ‘O Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers vs. The Young Bucks
El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Michael Elgin vs. Charlie Haas
Ring Master Challenge Match
Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards
Ladder War 3
The Briscoes vs. The All Night Express
ROH ON SINCLAIR 9/24/2011
Future Shock vs. The Bravado’s
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Kings of Wrestling
Next weeks issue
Next weeks issue will feature a review of this weekends Hell in a Cell pay-per view, as well as a review of ROH on Sinclair from this weekend. As well as other content to be announced later on.
Any Questions or queries: Rubyclouding@gmail.com
And the home of Cubed Circle Wrestling www.cubedcirclewrestling.blogspot.com