Cubed Circle Newsletter
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This week’s newsletter is shorter than it has been over the past few weeks, I have been experiencing technical difficulties and originally the finals of the Junior Tag League was covered in its entirety, but the data was lost. However RAW from this week, the Mania buyrate and more. Next week we will be back to the average length of around ten pages.
WWE RAW 2012/04/16
02 Arena London, England
Overall Show Thoughts
All in all this was a productive show building well for the most part to Extreme Rules, there was some bad stuff on the show, but the Lesnar package more than made up for it. In fact the Lesnar package, out of everything that they have done with him so far is the single most important from a build standpoint, because that is what is going to get people to by the show. The Daniel Bryan match was also good and the English crowd continued to chant forBryan.
1. WWE Championship No Disqualification NO Count-out Match
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry
Of course the WWE championship match had to open the show. Henry worked on Punk who was on the outside, Punk then hit a bulldog on Henry off of the barricade. Punk was caught when he came off of the apron and was slammed into the barricade by
Henry. Punk landed some chair shots on Henry and the chair was placed in the corner. Punk landed strikes on Henry, but Henry landed a big clothesline on Punk. The crowd chanted “Yes!” as Punk landed elbows and a DDT. Punk went for a cross body, but he was caught by Henry who went for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Punk landed kicks on Henry who became dazed. Punk landed the knee in the corner, but was pushed away by Henry when he went for the bulldog. Henry ran into the chair in the corner and Punk hit a chair assisted elbow for the win in a good TV match.
Jerichoappeared on the tron sitting in a bar. He said that he could smell something, but it was probably Punk. He said that he was granted a WWE championship match inChicago, but he had to give something up and he declared that it would be aChicago streetfight. I don’t understand whyJerichoreceived the shot or why a street fight would be worse for him, but that may just be my nitpicking. Punk said that he doesn’t see howJerichowill be able to survive, because it won’t be about being the best in the world, it will be about kickingJericho’s ass, in front of Punk’s family members.Jerichosaid that Punk must promise him that he will show up sober and he showed some footage of Punk walking into a bar. Punk said thatJerichoshould have come down, because he was just at the pub eating fish and chips with friends.Jerichosaid that Punk was making excuses and he has lost everything, but at Extreme Rules he will loose the title.Jerichothen went off of the tron without giving Punk time to respond.
I understand that Punk is supposed to be upset aboutJericho’s insults to his family, but from the content that is written Punk just comes off a complete idiot when giving intoJericho’s trolling attempts, because that’s basically what the angle is.
R-Truth was backstage dressed as Sherlock Holmes, Long came out and Truth said that he had found him a job. Long then said that it was the best news he had gotten the entire month. And people expect Long to be a face as a competent GM, after taking that dingbat seriously?
2. Unites States Championship Match
Santino Marella vs. David Otunga
Marella came out wearing layers of soccer jerseys for the opposing teams until finally revealing theEnglandjersey for a pop. Otunga got a three count, but Marella’s foot was on the rope. Marella then hit the cobra for the win, in what feels like the thousandth match between Otunga and Marella.
Lord Tensai was interviewed by Matthews, his manager tried to interfere, but he spoke. He started to speak in Japanese, but he said that he knows that the people are scared and he knows what they fear. In a pretty nothing interview segment, although it fitted in, in hindsight. Cole announced that WrestleMania 28 had broken PPV records, which it probably has, but if it hasn’t most people won’t be the wiser so it was a clever move.
We then had what was by far the best segment on the show, a UFC countdown show style sit down interview with Brock Lesnar. He opened by saying that he is Brock Lesnar and he is an ass kicker, he listed all his accolades while accompanying photos and brief video clips were shown, including his high school and college amateur wrestling background, his run in the WWE and the UFC were shown, where he said that he proved everyone wrong. He said that he didn’t come back because he missed walking through the curtain, because he loved the business or missed the fans, he said that he only cares about Brock Lesnar. This statement is probably very true in fact because Lesnar is more of a gun for hire than anything and it is evident that he has no real emotional attachment to the business. He said that he was tired of all the bullcrap and that if he never left John Cena wouldn’t be a star, he would be caring Lesnar’s bags. He basically said in a much more vulgar manner that Cena had excrement running down his leg and that he had only one objective in mind complete chaos. He said that he will face Cena in an extreme rules match and then closed the interview with the same opening “ass kicker” line.
This was a great segment for a multitude of reasons, first and foremost it didn’t feel like your average scripted promo, Lesnar never shouted he spoke calmly, but firmly and there was no goofy comedy. If anything from Lesnar is going to spike that PPV buyrate for Extreme Rules it will be this, unless of course they pull off something very special.
3. Zack Ryder vs. Kane
I felt like I had gone back three months when I knew that this match was taking place, but in fact it didn’t turn out to be a match. Ryder was kicked off of the apron and chokeslamed. Kane cut a promo and talked about what he did to Randy and Bob Orton, he said that he didn’t expect Randy Orton to go down so easily, but he said that it’s true what they say like father like son.
Kofi Kingston was backstage talking to AJ, whenBryaninterrupted, he said that just because he didn’t want AJ anymore didn’t mean thatKingstoncould have her, in an amazing line. He said that he would putKingstonin the LeBell Lock, when it suddenly dawned on him, he said “who did Gene LeBell ever beat?” and then rechristened his finishing manoeuvre the “Yes!” lock. Because when he locks it in you have no other option, but to scream yes. He then screamed yes inKingston’s face while the fans in the arena chanted along, it was great.
Cena came out still smiling, but why wouldn’t he after being kicked in the genitals and being punched in the face. He said that he was upset with Laurinaitis and that Mania could very well be the end of his era, the crowd chanted yes. He said that Mania was also the end of an era, because Laurinaitis became the GM of both shows. He continued by saying that Laurinaitis wanted to replace him and that Lesnar’s return was the most anticipated event ever, really? Because, Lesnar stands for pain, destruction and torment, but, he said that said that on April 29th he will fight, he will take the biggest ass whooping of his life, but he will fight.
Out came Laurinaitis he said that he would give Cena a taste of extreme rules that night, he then announced a contract signing between Lesnar and Cena for next week and said that he wouldn’t announce his opponent right then and there, because it is the era of people power.
We had more goofiness with Truth, this time featuring Hornswoggle trying to find the secret passage way behind the book shelf.
4. Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston
The English crowd was super intoBryan, he worked onKingston, butKingstonthen landed a splash off of the ropes and tried to get the fans behind him chanting yes, but it didn’t work.Kingstonbegan to make his comeback, hitting the SOS for two.Kingstonwent up top, butBryanfollowed suit and attempted a superplex, but he was headbutted off byKingstonwho landed a crossbody.Bryanmoved out of the way and locked in the Yes lock forcingKingstonto tap, to finish a very good TV match. After the match Lawler said it must beEnglandbecause he thinks that he is in bizzaro land, which came across as stupid in the context of the show.
After the matchBryanapplied the Yes Lock one again, but Sheamus came out and made the save. He went for the Brogue kick, butBryanducked and rolled out of the ring screaming yes.
5. Brodus Clay vs. Dolf Ziggler
Swagger interfered, but he and Ziggler were taken out by Brodus, which was complete stupidity. Vicky was on the apron, one of the funkettes grabbed her leg, she kicked her off and began to laugh. However once she entered the ring she faced Brodus who intimidated her, setting up a conflict between her and the other funkette.
Otunga was talking to Laurinaitis backstage, Eve interrupted and said that they needed to talk one on one and they went into Laurinaitis’s office with Otunga following behind. They showed the same Chief Jay Strongbow video package that they have been showing on SmackDown, it was very classy. There was more junk with Truth, with him telling Long that he was the prefect candidate for the position of SmackDown GM.
6. Primo & Epico vs. Great Khali & Big Show
Washingtoncame out on the apron, while the tag team champions were being destroyed by two giants, one being immobile and neither one of them being challengers. They both landed their finishers and pinned the champions in a very short match, which obviously just makes the titles out to be a complete joke, which they are.
7. John Cena vs. Lord Tensai
Laurinaitis introduced Tensai and wished Cena luck, Cena was dominated by Tensai and thrown into the stares. Cena backdropped Tensai on the floor and hit Tensai with the steps. Tensai’s manager interfered and Tensai hit the reverse piledriver for two. He then locked in of all things a nerve hold, Cena began to make his comeback hitting the shoulderblocks and spinout powerbomb. He went for the five knuckle shuffle, but he was chopped by Tensai, who then landed a big back senton. Tensai locked in the crucifix armbar, Cena locked in a crossface, but Otunga interfered. Which opened up an opportunity for Tensai to hit the chokebomb for the win. After the match Tensai spat green mist into the face of Cena who called for water, closing off the show.
After all the dull matches from Tensai and him being signed with no creative direction I was surprised that he pinned Cena, even if it was with interference from Otunga. Cena is coming off of a loss from the Rock and after being pinned by Tensai I am worried about the Lesnar finish, because I could see them doing something very stupid there.
WrestleMania 28 The Biggest Buy-Rate of All Time
The preliminary buy-rate for WrestleMania 28 came in this week and if these results prove a hundred percent accurate (which they probably won’t given that there is a relatively small margin for error) then this will be the largest wrestling buy-rate of all time. Estimates show that it was on the strong side of 1.3 million buys which would mean that it beat out WrestleMania 23, even if the estimates were a bit low.
The WWE announced this on RAW, which is something they don’t regularly do after Mania, however this time it was a pretty clever move on their part. Instead of waiting for the actual buy-rate to come out they announced it now, meaning that even if the financials come in and it turns out it wasn’t the biggest buy-rate of all time they will still be clear. This is because most people that watch the show probably wouldn’t go scanning through the financials and even if they spend a moderate amount time of the internet the fact of the matter is, this was publicized as a big deal where as the version in the financials will not.
I suppose you can view it in a similar ilk to the WrestleMania 3 attendance, many people do know that the attendance actually wasn’t ninety thousand plus like the WWE claim. However the majority of people do, just because of the shear amount of indoctrination that the average fan was and still is exposed to. Even Wikipedia currently lists the attendance as ninety thousand plus, which just shows you the scope and power of an announcement like that from the WWE.
If the buy-rate does turn out to be the all time record, which seems to be the case, then we can learn two things from it. Number one is that the Rock’s return match wasn’t all that much of a draw. And two, even though some of the build was weaker than expected the match itself coupled with WrestleMania was still able to draw very well.
The amount of revenue that the WWE has gained from WrestleMania 28 will undoubtedly up the financials for the first quarter and the year as a whole, by a highly substantial amount. After all when going with the early estimates the profit that WWE made just from pay-per view buys alone, was over ten million dollars higher than last year’s which will keep everyone happy for the rest of the year.
This also means that the chances of a rematch have increased for next year’s Mania, by how much? I don’t know, but I do know that unless they have some very good ideas planned, the match won’t draw as big as the first. Of course we don’t know if the match is going to take place and right now this is all speculation.
All in all this is very good news for everyone involved and I would say at the very least up until next year they will still be able to draw a very good buy-rate, maybe not as high as this one, but at least on the same level as last year’s, with stars like Rock, Lesnar and Taker all potentially being on the card.
Bits & Pieces
New Japan and All Japan Joint Show
Presidents of both All Japan and New Japan have announced a joint show scheduled for July 1st at Sumo Hall. The idea behind the show is to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the split of the JWA into All Japan and New Japan headed by Giant Baba and Antonio Inoki respectively. The show is entitled “WE ARE PRO-WRESTLING LOVE!”
As far as matches go nothing has been announced yet, although I would suspect either an All Together style format or All Japan vs. New Japan matches. Personally I would prefer the later just from a performance stand point, although I also like the feel good show concept.
I would also like the second concept more because we would then be able to have some sort of IWGP title vs. Triple Crown match, which could create an interesting dynamic between the younger Okada and the older Akiyama who have both defended mainly against members of their own age group.
We will have more on “WE ARE PRO-WRESTLING LOVE!” as news breaks.
AJPW 2012/04/14 Finals of the Junior Tag League
Note: All of the matches in italics were part of the Junior Tag League, with all of the rest being part of the championship carnival excluding KENSO vs. Masao Inoue.
1. BUSHI & SUSHI vs. Hiroshi Yamato & Hikaru Sato (winners: BUSHI & SUSHI) [clipped]
2. Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo vs. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka (winners: Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo [clipped to some extent]
3. KENSO vs. Masao Inoue (winner: KENSO)
4. Takumi Soya vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue (winner: Takumi Soya)
5. Champion Carnival Skirmish Special Eight Man Tag Match: Suwama, Akebono, Manabu Soya & Masayuki Kono vs. Takao Omori, Yutaka Yoshie, Seiya Sanada & Ryota Hama (winners: Suwama, Akebono, Manabu Soya & Masayuki Kono)
6. Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo vs. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs. BUSHI & SUSHI (winners of the Junior Tag League: Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo vs. Koji Kanemoto)
Next Week’s Newsletter
Next week the following will be covered in the newsletter: a three hour RAW, the rating, the breaking news from the week and more! For more on next week’s issue head over to http://www.cubedcirclewrestling.com.
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