Cubed Circle Newsletter
In this week’s issue we cover the Hell in a Cell go-home show, Greg Klein’s book on the Junk Yard Dog – The King of New Orleans: How the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling’s First Black Superhero, an enjoyable edition of Impact, the worst non-holiday RAW rating in 15 years (again) and Ben Carass covers NXT and SmackDown!
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The King of New Orleans: How the Junkyard Dog Became Professional Wrestling’s First Black Superhero by Greg Klein – Book Review
Over the past month or so I have had a chance to read Greg Klein’s book on arguably Mid-South’s biggest star, Sylvester Ritter, the Junkyard dog. The book covered the Junkyard Dog’s time in Mid-South, as well as a pretty in depth history of Mid-South itself, Bill Watts, African American Stars and the like. It wasn’t the longest book in the world clocking in at just 178 pages. However, it does an excellent job with the space it has.
The writing style of the book is very similar to that of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter historical pieces and obituaries, written in a manner that sees one topic branches seamlessly to the next, which, made it a free flowing, enjoyable and easy read.
There is a lot of information on Mid-South as a whole, with the history of the promotion being pretty much laid out from beginning to end – the history of the Tri-State territories and Watts’ rise to prominence as a promoter. One thing that I found particularly useful was a chronological outline of many of Mid-South’s Super Dome matches, which makes the book not only an interesting read, but also a good reference, with attendance, mainevents and gates for the shows being mentioned in full.
The book isn’t about JYD alone, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand in 178 pages you are able to get a great account of Mid-South, the sale to Crockett and other Mid-South wrestlers both in JYD’s era and the one that proceeded him. On the other hand the book is only 178 pages and because there is so much information on other topics it felt at times more like an overview of Mid-South, than a history of JYD’s career.
This writing style served me well in particular, because I didn’t grow up with Mid-South, nor was I completely familiar with its history. Sure everyone knows the Junkyard Dog, Bill Watts and Ernie Ladd, but I had never had a chance to experience an overview of the territory like this in the past.
If you are looking for an in-depth account of everything that went on with Mid-South and the Junkyard Dog and are familiar with the product, the book will certainly entertain and inform, but it is meant more for people like me; who don’t know the complete history of wrestling inNew Orleans.
After reading the book I don’t want to say that I view JYD in a new light, but I definitely view him as a Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer at this point. Klein actually goes on at the end of the book about how the Junkyard Dog, out of all the major wrestling halls of fames, has only been inducted into one, with that one being the WWE Hall of Fame.
People often bring up people like Big Daddy as cultural icons, which they were, but they were never proven draws when it came to sheer numbers. JYD was a different story. He wasn’t a good worker, or even a decent one, what he was though was a cultural icon that was able to draw very well until the end of his tenure in the territory with his departure to the WWF in 1984.
The Junkyard Dog is definitely portrayed as a cultural icon and one that in many ways has been forgotten. Klein even brings up a chant that was started and is famous inNew Orleansthat has been attributed to the Junkyard Dog. Unfortunately many people have forgotten just how influential JYD was and in many ways JYD has been forgotten for his role inNew Orleans.
The book even goes into WCW and very briefly into Bill Watt’s booking tenure, with excerpts from Watt’s book being featured throughout the book. It is a welcome edition and that together with many other quotes and sources truly makes everything standout.
As a whole the book was very enjoyable, I wouldn’t put it on the same level as the Bret Hart or first Chris Jericho autobiography, but that would be an extremely unfair comparison. For one, this book was not about a wrestler recounting the tales of his career, but rather by an author retelling the story of a deceased wrestler and an entire territory in 178 pages – and as that this book does a phenomenal job.
My only major gripe would be the fact that the book is so short, as I could have done with easily 50 more pages of quality writing. My gripe is overridden to some extent, because the book in many ways simply didn’t need the extra space, because Greg Klein in someway, and I am not exactly sure how, was able to tell such a long and detailed story in such a short period of time.
If you are looking to learn about the Mid-South territory and the Junkyard Dog, there is no better place to learn. Even if you are familiar with both I would still go and pick this book up. It has some great stories and is written so well that it is very hard not to like. Overall this was an extremely, solid, engaging and easy to read professional wrestling book that I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone even mildly interested in Mid-South.
WWE Monday Night RAW October 22nd 2012
East Rutherford, New Jersey
This show is just so incredibly long that I really wasn’t surprised with RAW’s rating this week. They tried something different this Monday by having longer drawn out segments, rather than many short segments – the result was no difference to the quality of the show or ratings. The fact that AJ is no longer the GM and Vickie has such a wacky title now is just too much. Every few months we get a new General Manager, each one in storyline more incompetent from the last; it is a huge distraction from the show. Unless they are making room for Flair, which I highly doubt given the state of the TNA lawsuit, then I see no point in changing general managers.
While I love Kane and Bryan as an act, having them on for 40+ minutes doing a comedy gimmick was indeed a killer in the ratings and it just didn’t work. The go-home segment was fine, but the fact that they placed champion versus champion on TV with no build when they just mentioned it a few months ago astounds me. Wasn’t that the reason that Punk walked out a few months ago or am I getting ahead of myself? Having a lumberjack match on RAW and SmackDown was also stupid, as it felt exactly like some of the more questionable theme pay-per-views. All in all this was a mediocre show. It had its highlights,Bryanand Ziggler was an awesome TV match, but it just dragged for ages
A tweet was shown proclaiming that AJ had an emergency meeting with the Board of Directors and was not there. It’s strange how these meetings always come up in the middle of RAW.
1. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow
It was nice to see a match open the show for once, particularly a match deciding the number one contenders for the tag team titles. It may not mean much, but it does show that the esteem that the tag titles has been held with has been raised; even if just by a small amount.
Sin Cara landed some leg kicks onRhodesand missed a back elbow. He landed a head scissors and made the tag to Mysterio. Mysterio landed a facebuster, butRhodeswas able to make the tag to Sandow. Mysterio landed a head scissors, he went for the 619, butRhodesmoves Sandow out of the way. Cara landed a splash ontoRhodeson the outside and Mysterio landed a seated senton. All the while Kane and Bryan were shown looking on. Cara landed a double springboard moonsault onto Sandow who was held up by Mysterio in a great spot. Sandow however got the advantage andRhodeslanded a delayed facebuster for two. He and Sandow tagged in and out. Sandow landed a snap suplex and a knee drop. Ross talked about the Texas Outlaws. Cara landed an enzuigiri and they went to a break. After the breakRhodescontinued to work over Cara. Sandow landed his elbow and continued to stomp Cara in the corner. Cara was perched on the top rope byRhodes, but Cara elbowed his way out and landed a tornado DDT. The tag was made to Mysterio who landed a seated senton and elbowed Sandow off of the apron. Mysterio ran wild. He landed a 619. He then landed the splash onRhodes, but Sandow crawled in the way. He was caught with a leaping highkick from Cara, but this allowed Rhodes to land crossRhodesfor the win.
This was a good TV match and the crowd was really into it by the end. This is exactly what the tag division needs – good matches in key spots that feel like they mean something.
Kane and Bryan appeared on the tron and congratulatedRhodesand Sandow. They said “hell no!” to them winning the title. Kane wanted to perform magic in honor of them winning the title. He then shovedBryanbehind him and triggered his pyro. Ryder appeared on the tron and they showed some clips of their first Egyptian tour.
2. Kofi Kingston vs. Michael McGillicutty
Miz was on commentary and they aired a recap of last week’s RAW and their match from Mainevent. McGillicutty went straight afterKingston. He landed a clothesline and backdrop driver. He landed a backbreaker for two and locked in a side headlock. McGillicutty landed some big clubbing blows onKingston. However, he ran straight into Tribal inParadisefor the win. This was a strange match and I didn’t really see the point of bringing McGillicutty up here.
A recap was shown of last week’s mainevent segment. The New York Giants were shown in the crowd.
Cena came out. He pointed out the NY Giants in attendance and that they were next door to the WM 29 venue. Hell in a Cell was also this Sunday. He said they would find out that CM Punk is a man that tells the truth. He had been champion for 337 days, but the truest thing he ever said was before he became champion. His vision was change and at Hell in a Cell they would see change. Change is 6-3 and 290 pounds and the only thing he can hear is feed me more. This led to feed me more chants. Ryback wasn’t a man to complain about politics, he would not promise revolution or ice cream bars – he only stands for destruction. That Sunday the face of the WWE would change. Punk came out.
He wasn’t surprised that Cena introduced the Giants and didn’t tell them that the Giants suck – something that he wasn’t going to do. The crowd popped for this. He was a fan of the San Francisco Giants. Punk said change you could count on was that Cena hadn’t held the title for more than 337 days. He was the best in the world, not Cena, Ryback or the Giants. He said Cena could promise destruction and change, but Punk promised that he would walk out of Hell in a Cell as the WWE champion. He said being Ryback’s cheerleader fitted Cena. He finally realized that he couldn’t beat Punk. Cena said he was excited about the PPV and wanted to share it. He wasn’t allowed to beat Punk, but could. He bent his elbow and said that he was cleared. He wouldn’t mess with the match however, but he wanted to mess up Punk’s face. He said he would give Punk a pre-asswhooping and Punk go ready to fight.
Heyman attempted to stop Punk, and said that he had Ryback on Sunday, he then stepped off of then apron and left. The fans really wanted to see Punk land something on Cena, chanting his name.
They showed AJ’s tweet that said she had been called to an emergency Board of Directors meeting.
3. Antonia Cesaro vs. Justin Gabriel
Cesaro grabbed a mic before the match and said something in two languages. He was then caught with a baseball slide from Gabriel. Cesaro landed a hotshot and landed an uppercut. Jim Ross then proceeded to make a statement that leaves me speechless every time. He said that Cesaro claimed that no American could beat him, but he didn’t say no South American could beat him. Do people not realize whereSouth Africais? It really isn’t that hard – it is in the name! It is in the Southern portion of a continent known as Africa, henceSouth Africa. Cesaro landed a gutwrench slam and double foot stomp. He locked in a cravat. Cesaro then landed the Nakamura style knee in the corner for two and went back to the cravat. Cesaro sent Gabriel head first into the turnbuckle and Gabriel landed a neckbreaker. Cesaro hung Gabriel up on the top rope and this led to a forearm exchange. Cesaro got the better of it, but was caught with a flying forearm from Cesaro. Gabriel landed a leaping highkick and the 450 splash for the win. This was extremely surprising, but I don’t really know where this is going to lead. If it leads to a program I am all for it. VivaSouth America!
AJ was shown arriving with Vince before the break. After the break they were both in the ring. He said AJ met with the Board of the Directors to discuss her tenure. He gave AJ the mic to discuss their decision. She then resigned due to “fraternizing with a fellow superstar”. She said that the allegations were false, but she understood that she could have been fired a long time ago. That is why she was resigning right then and there. She said some of her decisions were unorthodox, but she thought that some people liked a “crazy chick”. She said it was coming to an end earlier than she had hoped and she grew up minutes from there. She grew up with nothing, she had lived in cars and motels. She had gone from being homeless to being the boss. She thought she was going to be poor and never make it, but they accepted her. She said she loved every second of it and thanked them. She thanked Vince and the fans and then gave Vince a hug.
Heyman came out and said that he spoke for everyone there when he said he was ignorant of AJ’s life story. He said there was a one in a million chance of AJ rising up against her lack of intelligence, her lack of education and despite the fact that she was aJerseygirl. He said there needed to be a new GM and the board had to name someone immediately. They needed someone with class, dignity and to demonstrate ruthless aggression when the time is right. He said he was wrong with Vince in the past, but he suggested that he could step in. Vince replied with a simple no. He then brought out the managing supervisor of Monday Night RAW – Vickie Guerrero.
Vickie came out. Vickie thanked the Board of Directors and you could barely hear her over the boos. Heyman excused himself and said that her first decision should be momentous. He suggested that she give Punk an option. He called Ryback a Punk eating carnivore and Vickie responded saying that Punk would face Ryback at Hell in a Cell. She said that she would do things better than Booker T and said the mainevent would be champion versus champion. Heyman said she couldn’t, but she then booked “the largest lumberjack match in the history of RAW” for the mainevent. Heyman then freaked out and walked off.
Vickie said AJ wasn’t right for the job, she was immature and wasn’t appropriate for the job. She was and she was soon to be the GM. She said that AJ had an affair and she disgusted Vickie. She wanted AJ to go pack up her stuff and told her to leave. This led to a catfight.
4. Ryback vs. The Miz
Miz tried to talk his way out of it, but he was thrown in by Ryback. Ryback threw Miz to the outside. Back in the ring Ryback went for a powerslam, Miz got off of the shoulders, but Ryback landed a clothesline and threw Miz into the mat. Ryback went for the clothesline, Miz moved, but was caught with a shoulderblock. Miz went to the top, but was caught with a spinebuster from Ryback. Ryback chanted feed me more. He landed the big clothesline and the marching Samoan drop for the win. Poor Miz.
There was a B.A. Star commercial. Eve was talking about AJ on the phone when she was approached by Kaitlyn. She asked who Eve was to throw stones. She accused Eve of attacking her, but Eve denied it. Kaitlyn then showed Eve a picture of her iPad. Eve freaked out and Kaitlyn told her to calm down. She then called her a conniving witch. Eve slapped Kaitlyn and a catfight broke out with Eve, Kaitlyn and Layla.
Matthews plugged the Brawlin Buddies and interviewed Sheamus. He too plugged the Brawlin Buddy. He talked about how unpredictable the match would be. Matthews asked if it would have a negative effect on Sunday. Sheamus said he wouldn’t worry about what may or may not happen. Big Show came by and told Sheamus to get serious, he said he was going to knock Sheamus out and take his title.
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Dolf Ziggler
Bryanlanded a northern lights take over and chanted no. Bryan and Ziggler exchanged shots,Bryanlanded a boot, but he was caught with a big dropkick.Bryanwent for the No Lock, Ziggler leapfrogged, but he was caught in midair by the leg!Bryanthen went for the surfboard, but stomped on the knees of Ziggler instead.Bryanlanded a dragon screw. Ziggler landed some shots in the corner, butBryanrolled Ziggler into a figure four leglock. Ziggler got to the ropes and landed some elbows on Bryan who was on the apron. Ziggler landed a knee and suplexedBryanto the outside! Just then Kane’s pyro went off, asBryansold the leg on the outside. After the breakBryanlanded a clothesline and then went back to selling the leg. He landed a huge flying dropkick in the corner, but Ziggler kicked out.Bryanlanded the no kicks and went for the No Lock, but Ziggler got a rollup. They exchanged rollups, Ziggler got a sleeper,Bryanwent for a spear, but Ziggler countered it into a DDT. Ziggler landed some shots in the corner, he went for a splash, but Ziggler took an insane pump to the outside. He basically did a topé to the outside over the ringpost. Talking of topés,Bryanflew out of the ring with a topé suicida.Bryanwent to the top, but was caught with a facebuster from the top rope. Both men struggled to get to their feet, Ziggler made it up first, butBryanlanded a dropkick to the knee.Bryanlanded the buzzsaw kick. Kane chanted yes on the outside andBryancomplained and this allowed Ziggler to land the Zig Zag from the second rope for the win. This was just an awesome TV match. Ziggler took some insane bumps, they look great, but I worry about Ziggler. Still, Ziggler got a win andBryantook a loss via distraction.
After the match Kane and Bryan argued.Bryanpushed Kane and they argued. Finally Matt Striker came out to break up the argument. He said Vickie had a surprise for both of them. They would compete for the first time ever in a therapeutic game show – the Newly Tag Game. He asked them to get comfortable, because their opponents were team Road Scholars. It would happen next.
After the break a recap of the AJ segment aired. They cut to the Newly Tag Game. They did some wacky comedy. Kane and Bryan introduced themselves – they were apathetic. Team Rhode Scholars came out. They were outraged that they had to participate in the game show. They weren’t going to participate. They would get to know them when they were beaten for the tag team championships. Kane and Bryan were proclaimed the winners. Striker said that he didn’t wish Kane andBryanluck. He then walked into Big Show who threw him across the stage. What was this?
6. Big Show vs. Kane
The match was joined in progress. Big Show and Kane exchanged shots. Kane landed a splash and went for the boot, but Big Show landed a spear. Big Show worked on Kane in the corner. Big Show landed some more shots in the corner and locked in a bearhug. Finally Kane broke the hold and fought back with some shots. They traded strikes, but Kane got the better of the exchange and brought Show to the ground. He went to the top rope and landed a diving clothesline for two. Kane signalled for the chokeslam, but Rhodes and Sandow appeared on the apron.Bryanwas intimidated and Show landed the WMD for the win. After the match Rhodes and Sandow beat Bryan and Kane down.
Cena was backstage with AJ and Santino. Cena offered AJ help in the future. He said that she shouldn’t have been fired for that. Cena tried to think of a solution, but AJ said it was Cena. They went on a business dinner and that was all. It was all a ruse by Vickie Guerrero you see. Cena then embraced AJ. Clair Lynch version 2. They showed some more footage fromEgypt.
Cena ran to Vince and questioned him. Vince said it wasn’t the time or place. He said there was incriminating evidence. He said AJ was on probation and it was a matter of time. Vince said he didn’t know what a managing supervisor was himself? He said it was what it was. Indeed this was what it was.
7. AlbertoDel Riovs. Zack Ryder
Del Riolanded a kick in the corner and went after Ryder with strikes. He landed a snap suplex for two and the crowd got behind Ryder. Ryder landed some brief offense, but was caught with a superkick for two.Del Riolocked in a crossface.Del Riomissed a splash in the corner and Ryder landed some shots. Ryder landed some knees to the face and went for the broski boot. He missed andDel Riolanded some kicks to the arm. He then locked in the cross armbreaker for the win. He slapped it back on after the match and Ricardo screamed his name.
Vickie was clearing AJ’s stuff away when she was approached by Cena. Cena called her a backstabbing liar. He told her that it was a business dinner. She said that perception is reality and that he cost AJ her job. Cena then walked off. Ziggler was on the tron and said that he thought AJ was a good egg, but you can’t put your hands on Vickie Guerrero. He said you couldn’t have actions without consequences. He said that Cena was to blame and he said that he hoped he was happy with what he did with himself. A video package aired for Ryback versus Punk.
Punk and Heyman were backstage. Punk said the package was disrespectful. He said he was already missing AJ and Heyman would be faced with the fact that he was still the WWE champion next week – the best in the world.
8. Lumber Jack Match
CM Punk vs. Sheamus
Sheamus was sent to the outside and he and the heels faced off. He threw Punk to the outside and he was thrown back in. Sheamus landed some knees and took Punk to the mat with a headlock takeover. Punk took Sheamus down with a headbutt, he went for a neckbreaker, but Sheamus landed a shoulderblock. He bodyslammed Punk and landed an elbow drop. Sheamus took Punk back to the mat and Big Show stared a hole threw Sheamus. Punk was thrown back into the ring and Sheamus landed a backbreaker. Punk landed a springboard clothesline and Sheamus was sent to the outside where the heels landed a bunch of shots. After the break Punk was in control of Sheamus. Sheamus fought out of a headlock, but was thrown back out to the outside. The faces saved Sheamus from a beating and this led to a faceoff. Punk landed a neckbreaker and went to the top rope where he landed a double axe fist. Punk went to the top rope and landed a flying forearm. He went back up to the top rope, but Sheamus landed some big shots. Punk landed some kicks and went to the top rope where he signalled for an elbow, but dropped down and landed one from the ground. Punk landed a neckbreaker for two and went back to the headlock. Sheamus fought out and landed some big shots. He landed the rolling senton and some clubbing blows on the apron. Sheamus brought Punk in with a suplex, but was only able to grab a two count. Sheamus went for the belly to back over the shoulder piledriver, but Punk countered and landed the running knee in the corner. There was some miscommunication with the bulldog, but Punk still grabbed a two count. Punk went to the top, but was cut off by Sheamus who landed a superplex for two. Sheamus missed a splash in the corner and Punk grabbed a rollup for two. Punk landed a highkick, but only grabbed a two count still. Sheamus landed the over the knee backbreaker, but Punk kicked out. He went for the clover leaf, but Punk fought out and bridged Sheamus to the outside. Sheamus fought his way out and landed white noise. He signalled for the brogue kick, but Cesaro ran in followed by Mahal. He delivered two brogue kicks, but Big Show landed a chokeslam allowing for Punk to get the win.
Ryback ran out and Punk attempted to make his way out. He landed a backbreaker and running powerslam, Punk slid out again, but was thrown back in, where Ryback landed a huge powerbomb. Still he was thrown back and he was gorilla pressed to the outside.
RAW Hits 15 Year Low for the Second Time in Two Months
This week’s edition of Monday Night RAW, a show that tried to focus on show long themes rather than many short segments, did the lowest non-holiday rating in the last 15 years. This came as no surprise as the show went up against the Presidential Debate. More homes were watching cable TV than any other night of 2012, but sadly this did nothing for the RAW rating – people were watching other things.
This week’s rating can’t really be blamed on the show itself however. Yes, RAW is too long and we all know that, but content wise nothing would have really been able to save the show. I don’t think that RAW would have been crushed to such a large extent while still being two hours, so the three hour move did make a difference, but odds are they would have still done badly without it.
The unique open of the show, which featured Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara facing off against the Road Scholars didn’t do all too well as an opening segment. The segment opened at a 2.46, down significantly from last week’s 2.82, which was already below average down from the previous week’s 3.06.
Cena’s wacky promo for Ryback gained 530,000 viewers, up from last week’s similar segment which gained 234,000 viewers. The Antonio Cesaro and Justin Gabriel match lost 372,000 viewers, but they were followed by the big AJ segment, which did gain 529,000 viewers to do the best quarter of the show – a 2.91.
The segment with Ryback and the Miz, together with the Kaitlyn/Eve segment lost a big chunk of the viewership; 613,000 viewers. I don’t know exactly what this shows, but Ryback seemed to be holding up pretty well in the ratings over the past view weeks. He gained over half a million viewers with his handicap match against Ziggler and Otunga last week, but they were placed in a traditional growth segment.
I don’t want to say that this increases Punk’s chances of retaining the title, because everyone probably realizes that the ratings have been bad due to the move and competition. However, the fact that Ryback lost so many viewers, probably won’t instil confidence in anyone.
The Ryback match was followed by the awesome Ziggler/Bryan match, which unfortunately didn’t do very well in the ratings. In fact, the two matches together with the Eve/Kaitlyn segment did the worst non-holiday rating in 15 years (or at least up until that point in the show) – a 2.31.
There were some brief gains following the loss. The Newly Tagged game did relatively well gaining just 62,000 viewers. This was followed by the Alberto Del Rio versus Zack Ryder match, which also did well gaining 26,000 viewers. However, after that came a huge drop-off with the collection of a Ziggler promo, Ryback video package and the entrance of the lumberjacks losing 319,000 viewers to a 2.15 rating – the actual lowest non-holiday number in fifteen years.
The segment came off of a really big loss from the Ryback/Miz and Bryan/Ziggler quarter and the gain from the Newly Tagged game and Ryder match just weren’t enough.
The show did however end on a relieving high note, with the champion versus champion lumberjack match gaining a substantial 1,058,000 viewers for a 2.89 closing quarter. Luckily this segment featured such a large gain, because otherwise the show could have ended up with an even lower rating.
As a whole this week’s rating really doesn’t mean much and neither does any individual rating for the most part. What matters is the trend and the current trend is a down turn. However, this rating was a dud and everyone was expecting one.
October 24th 2012 – Full Sail University, Florida.
Dusty Rhodeswas in the back, intently looking through a folder; he was either, going over the format, reviewing the houses he and Sullivan drew at the War Memorial Auditorium or checking to see what was for lunch. Heath Slater walked in and said he had come to NXT to “entertain”; Slater then asked Dusty for a shot at Seth Rollins’ NXT Championship. The Dream told Slater he would have to earn a title shot, which caused Vickie Guerrero to enter; Vicky stated she was, “here to recruit the future of the WWE”. Dusty replied, “you know I don’t wrestle, no more” and Vickie informed him it was the “One Man Band” she was interested in. Dusty then booked Slater in a non-title match, with the stipulation that Heath would receive a title match if he beat Rollins tonight. Slater left with Guerrero and Dusty seemed astounded that Vickie graced NXT with her presence.
After the intro package, Brodus Clay made his entrance with his dancers. Tony Luftman was on play-by-play this week; he claimed the NXT arena was “going crazy” for Brodus. Camacho appeared to face the Funkasaurus; Regal said Hunico won’t be seen for a while due to some “trouble” he got into.
Brodus Clay vs. Camacho
Brodus displayed his strength early by landing a couple of bodyslams; Clay then went for the ten punch gimmick in the corner but Camacho countered and delivered a dropkick. Camacho got some heat then applied a nervehold; Brodus fought up only to take a Samoan drop that earned a two count. Clay’s power sent his opponent through the ropes to the outside from the kick-out; Camacho was distracted by Cameron and Naomi’s gyrations and Brodus chased him back into the ring.
Camacho came off the top rope with an axe-handle, however Brodus countered with his trademark headbutt then scored with a T-bone suplex; Regal called Clay a “suplex machine”. Brodus followed up with his splash for the three count.
Brodus Clay defeated Camacho via pinfall, at 3:55.
This was your typical Brodus match; still it was fine for what it was. Brodus neglected to go for a cover after his big headbutt, but that is of little consequence when he got the win ten seconds later anyway.
Kassius Ohno was in the ring, preparing for a match and Trent Barreta came out to face him.
Kassius Ohno vs. Trent Barreta
After some hold trading and a nice dropdown/leapfrog transition, Barreta executed an O’Connor roll for a two count.Trenttook his foe over with an armdrag and held on for the armbar; Kassius fought up and took over with some shots; Ohno went for a big boot, but Barreta countered with a hurricanrana then followed up with a clothesline over the top.Trentdelivered a huge plancha, only to have his shine cut off when Ohno sent him into the apron.
Back in the ring, Kassius got the heat with some knee drops and a cravat; Barreta fought to his feet then broke the hold with a back elbow.Trentwent for a tornado DDT but Ohno put the brakes on;Trenttried for a sunset flip instead, however Kassius held onto the top rope then scored with a big boot for two. Luftman spoke about Misawa being a big influence on Ohno, then committed puro sacrilege by using “sports entertainment” and “Misawa” in the same sentence.
Barreta fought out of another cravat to hit an enzuigiri for a two count; Kassius countered a springboard elbow in the corner for the shutdown and stomped the babyface in to the mat. Luftman drastically undersold the transitional point in the match and simply remarked Ohno was “applying pressure to the sternum”.
Richie Steamboat ran down to ringside, he threw a towel into Ohno’s face; this causedTrentto hit the Busaiku knee for the victory.
Trent Barreta defeated Kassius Ohno via pinfall, at 6:46.
A nice little match from both guys here; Trent got his shine in and Ohno looked strong by constantly shutting down attempted comebacks. The finish hurt no one and continued the Steamboat/Ohno story without the obligatory weekly beatdown. If you are a perturbed Ohno fan, tune in two weeks from now for the rematch and Kassius’ chance at redemption.
We were at the announce table after the break; Regal welcomed the new guy, Luftman to the show.
Layla and Alicia Fox hit the ring; Luftman called the pair “big time Divas”. Paige and Audrey Marie came out to take on the main roster females.
Layla & Alicia Fox vs. Paige & Audrey Marie
Alicia hit Paige with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker following the early trade off; Paige delivered a monkeyflip and both women made the tag. Layla looked completely ridiculous, trying to get the crowd behind her; Luftman called her a “veteran”.
I don’t think I like this Luftman character; that’s two dumb remarks in five minutes.
Layla and Audrey traded quick pinfall attempts then Marie landed a Winwick throw; the two traded more meaningless pinfalls, until Layla hit a superkick and made the tag. Alicia came in and tried to get some short-lived heat on Audrey; Marie swiftly countered with an O’Connor roll for a two count, before both competitors made the tag. Paige came in and looked foolish as Layla took her down with a clothesline; Layla delivered her springboard crossbody for a two count then inadvertently drilled Alicia with a boot, after Paige avoided the strike.
Paige went for her cradle DDT, however Audrey made the blind tag. Remarkably, Paige did not go for her finish, instead she screamed “what?!” and switched Layla’s position for a bodyslam. Audrey went for the cover and Layla countered with a crucifix type pinning combination for the three.
Layla & Alicia Fox defeated Paige & Audrey Marie via pinfall, at 5:03.
After the match, Paige yelled at Audrey for making her so mad she couldn’t go for her finish.
I assume they are setting up a Paige/Audrey programme, which is fine; the match however, was a psychological nightmare. First of all, we had two babyface teams that, excluding Paige, nobody cared about. The only discernible heat spot was far too short and made inconsequential, as Audrey got a near fall before making, what I assume was the hot tag. Paige looked stupid after receiving the “cold” tag, when Layla took her out immediately. As for the finish, there is no logical reason why Paige turned her cradle DDT into a bodyslam, none whatsoever; I get she was “too angry” because Audrey made the blind tag, but seriously this was stupendously idiotic. I would not want to be the agent responsible for putting this debacle together.
Bronson came out for his first appearance on NXT; his opponent Lincoln Broderick was already in the ring.
Bronson vs. Lincoln Broderick
Bronson immediately locked in a D’arce choke and executed a gator roll; both men got back to their feet after a rope break. Bronson hit some clotheslines in the corner then got a two count with a ¾ nelson; Broderick landed a pair of shots but was quickly cut off with an STO. Bronson locked in a heel hook for the submission.
Bronson defeated Lincoln Broderick via submission, at 1:15.
This was our first look at both guys on NXT and it was strange seeing the big jacked up Broderick squashed by a pasty, ill-defined, Ivan Koloff look-a-like; not that I am complaining. I’m not sure how well the quasi MMA gimmick will do, considering guys like Sylvester Terkay and Dan Severn bombed big time. Bronson looks like a classic pro wrestler, so with the incorporation of more tradition pro wrestling, alongside the MMA stuff he might have a shot. Sadly, I’m not too sure many fans at Full Sail appreciated the D’arce gator roll.
Kassius Ohno was freaking out in the locker room; he threw a chair and kicked a water bottle.
I bet Steamboat is terrified after seeing Ohno going over a plastic bottle like that.
Antonio Cesaro joined us for an in-ring promo; Regal called him the “ultimate catcher”. Antonio said he had taken theUStitle to a level that no American could ever reach then amended JFK’s famous inauguration speech. “Ask not what yourUnited Stateschampion can do for you; ask what you can do for yourUnited Stateschampion”, proclaimed Cesaro. Antonio asked everyone to stand for the Swiss national anthem but Tyson Kidd’s music interrupted the ceremony; Kidd buried Antonio for having a “man purse” then challenged him for aUStitle match. Cesaro yelled at Tyson in Swiss, which caused Kidd to slap Antonio and send him to the floor with a dropkick.
Vickie Guerrero appeared on the stage and introduced Heath Slater; Vickie called Heath, “the future of NXT” then did Slater’s wacky air-guitar gimmick. Seth Rollins came out and Jim Ross joined Regal for the main event.
Non-Title Match: Seth Rollins (NXT Champion) vs. Heath Slater w/ Vickie Guerrero
The two traded holds and counters then Slater scored an armdrag and acted goofy; Rollins took over after some transitional spots, with a dropkick that sent Heath to the outside. Seth went for a tope, but Slater saw it coming and walked out of range; Rollins, however connected with a dropkick through the ropes.
We got the old double crossbody spot after the break; Rollins was dumped on the apron and hit Slater with an enzuigiri, before sending Heath to the floor with a backdrop. Seth landed a topé then threw his foe back inside; Rollins hit a springboard flying knee for a two count.
Rollins came off the top rope, however Slater avoided any contact and delivered the Mind trip facebuster for two; Heath went for a powerbomb but Rollins escaped and hit a standing sliced bread #2 for the three count.
Seth Rollins defeated Heath Slater via pinfall, at 7:32.
Seth celebrated on the turnbuckle with his belt and Vickie chastised Slater as NXT went off the air.
This was a fair effort; Slater bumped around for Rollins and made him look like a strong champion. I have no idea why Vickie was Heath’s valet; perhaps the idea was to pair the two together before the 3MB and “managing supervisor” gimmicks were pitched. Regardless, she will be on the show next week too, unless narrative continuity takes precedent and they edit her out.
The show was considerably better than last week, even with the torturous Diva’s tag bout and the Brodus/Camacho match. Kidd and Cesaro was set up amiable for next week; the Steamboat/Ohno programme looks to be a never-ending story and the feud is more or less the backbone of the entire show. We got an intriguing debut from Bronson and the Champion was booked correctly, so there is not too much to complain about this week.
TNA Impact October 25th 2012
Impact Zone, Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
This week’s edition of Impact was far better than last week’s, and while that isn’t much of a complement it really was an enjoyable show. The two best things on the show by far were the mainevent and Ray segment without question and they were probably my favourite two segments on any wrestling TV show in the last few weeks; apart from the Vince/Punk match of course. Other than that there wasn’t really anything else that stood out on the show, but there wasn’t a large portion of terrible content, which I found relieving.
The Aries/Anderson match was way too convoluted and out of the blue to elicit any kind of reaction; to someone in the crowd it probably made no sense. The Daniels/Kazarian segment was really fun as it almost always is and Chavo and Hernandez played their part well. Ryan and Morgan didn’t do anything for me, but they weren’t really all that terrible. Tara and Brooke were really bad, but that was to be expected.
The situation with the commentary was interesting and I am not really too sure how I feel about it. The commentary team of Jeremy Borash and Todd Keneley were good at points, but awkward in others. I guess that is to be expected from a new team and as a whole they did a fine job of commentating the weaker opening section of the show. Overall, I would recommend going out of your way for the Ray segment and possibly the Hardy/Angle segment, depending on what you want out of it.
The show started off with Hogan talking to Hardy about his first title defence. He said he had to prove to everyone that he was the best and that was why he gave him the challenge. Hardy said he was ready and whomever Hogan chose would be in for a fight of their life. Hardy had both champions over his shoulder and around his waist. This was followed by an introspective video of Hardy walking past all three men, he made comments presumably in his head – obscenely wacky.
Jeremy Borash and Todd Keneley now commentate the first hour and Taz and Tenay commentate the second hour.
1. TNA X Division Championship Match
Rob Van Dam vs. Zema Ion
The fans were behind Van Dam. Both men had an athletic exchange, but Ion backed off in the corner. Van Dam rolled Ion up, got him up in a gorilla press and landed a standing moonsault followed by one from the second rope. Ion slid out to the outside, but he was caught with a baseball slide. He went for a pescado, but he was thrown into the barricade. He went for a topé, but Van Dam caught Ion with a boot to the face. Van Dam missed a splash and landed on the outside as a result of a low bridge. Ion then landed a topé con giro to the outside. Ion landed a DDT and went to the top rope. However, he missed a corkscrew splash, giving Van Dam a chance to land a springboard kick and rolling thunder. Van Dam then landed the five star frog splash for the win. This was a fine, yet pretty pointless opening match.
After the match Matt Morgan ran in with Joey Ryan, landing the Carbon Footprint on Van Dam. Ryan held up the title and Morgan told Hogan to be very careful what he wished for, because now he was going to get it. Aries was backstage, outside of Hogan’s office, saying that everyone was kissing up to Hogan. He made some Hogan movie references and said he would use all of the candidates as his personal amusement.
Daniels and Kazarian came out. Borash called both men miserable, even with the titles. Are we watching the same show? Kazarian said it was fitting that Halloween was around the corner, because they received a lot of tricks, but no treats. They were victims of a conspiracy. Kazarian said Hogan altered Kazarian’s travel and that left Daniels at a disadvantage, and at Bound for Glory their tag titles were taken from them illegally by two men that were in the country illegally. Daniels grabbed the mic and said it wasn’t really Championship Thursday. Ion and Tessmacher would get their rematch, but Daniels and Kazarian wouldn’t get a shot and that was a crime. Chavo and Hernandez knew what buttons to push and names to mention. They knew that Carter was so desperate to cater for the Latino audience that they had them wear ponchos. Daniels recommended that they went all the way with sombreros and the like. Kazarian then went to the crowd with a petition. Chavo and Hernandez came out.
Chavo said that nothing would make them more happy then for Kaz and Daniels to get a rematch, because then they could shove the belts down their throats. Kazarian and Daniels were pushed to the outside and Guerrero said they could have a shot anytime anywhere.
Hogan was backstage with Storm,Anderson, Ray and Angle. He wanted to know why one of them would need a shot. Storm said they saw what he was capable of at Bound for Glory. Hogan asked Ray if he was still steaming aboutDevon– Ray said yes. Angle said he got injured and didn’t get a shot.Andersonwanted to know if Hogan wanted him to grovel and he was sent out of the office. They then cut away from the dramatic music and lighting directly to Aries outside the door. Aries said he would have just givenAndersona title shot, because he would have been easier to beat. He also said he was a better wrestler and “bigger assh*le” thanAnderson. This gotAndersonfired up. Aries splashed water inAnderson’s face and this led to a scuffle, whichAndersongot the better of with a shot to the head of Aries with a framed poster. Aries then challengedAndersonto a match later on in the night.
Devonwas backstage with the Aces & Eights. He spoke to “the president” and he said the masks wouldn’t come off under any circumstances.Devonsaid they would have good times, but they had to take someone out that night. One of them threw a dart at a collection of wrestlers’ pictures. We never saw who it landed on, but they all laughed. Maybe that is how they booked the angle; throwing darts at a board with different scripts and seeing where the dart landed.
2.SamoaJoe vs. Robbie T
They had a battle of strength. T got the better of it with a shoulder block and an elbow. Joe responded with straight jabs and some slaps, but he was caught with the world’s slowest spinkick. Joe landed some big shots and slaps, T went for a chokeslam, but Joe locked in the rear naked choke. E jumped up on the apron, T broke the hold, Joe locked it back in, but T broke it again. Joe jumped straight onto the back with the rear naked choke, T sat down and broke it, but Joe locked it in from the ground for the win. I liked the finish.
A recap aired of the Tessmacher/Tara match at Bound for Glory. They cut to Tessmacher saying how she enjoyed watching Jesse get manhandled by ODB. She would send them packing back to theHollywoodD-list.
They cut back to Hogan’s office. Angle was asked about Ray and Angle said Ray wasn’t focused and he was focused on Devon – if he was backstabbed he would have been focused on kickingDevon’s ass too. Storm said that he had been in the same situation. Ray said he was going to take care of his brother and Hogan told him to go take care of business.Andersonwas backstage being wacky with some random staff member.
3. Austin Aries vs. Mr. Anderson
Aries and Anderson exchanged shoves andAndersonscreamed “come on b***h”.Andersonlanded a strike and Aries rolled to the outside. Once back in the ring they locked up andAndersonshoved Aries. He went for the senton bomb, but Aries got off ofAnderson’s shoulders. He landed some shots on the ground, but Aries rolled back out to the floor.Andersonreached into his trunks and pulled out brass knuckles right in front of the referee. The referee confiscated them and Aries landed a shot. The commentators suggested that Aries planted them inAnderson’s trunks. However, the crowd didn’t get it and chanted “cheater”.Andersonlanded some shots, wearing Aries down. Aries landed a couple of shots of his own and threwAndersonto the outside for the topé. After the break Aries was in control with a headlock. Aries landed some strikes in the corner onAnderson. Aries caughtAndersonwith a boot and landed a big knee to the back ofAnderson’s head. Aries landed a few elbows andAndersonresponded with some of his own. Aries landed a big running elbow, but was caught with a big clothesline turning Aries inside out.Andersonlanded a couple more clothesline and a neckbreaker.Andersonwent for the rolling senton again, Aries got off of the shoulders, butAndersonlanded a leaping highkick followed by a pescado.Andersonwent for the rolling senton again, they bumped into the referee, and Aries grabbed the brass knuckles out of the pocket of the referee. He placed them into the hands ofAnderson, the referee was distracted and Aries landed a shot with the knuckles.Andersonwas knocked out and he landed on top of Aries so that Aries could feign a strike with the knuckles. He then locked in the last chancery for the win. I get what they were trying to do with Aries, but it was just way too convoluted, especially for the introduction of the gimmick. I don’t think the crowd really knew what was going on and that didn’t really happy matters.
Brooke Hogan was talking to Tara and Jesse.Taracomplained about ODB. Brooke delivered some terribly scripted lines and Jesse said that she was also a reality TV star. Brooke sentTarato the ring and wished Jesse luck with ODB. The switch was made to Taz and Tenay and there were congratulations and well wishes all around.
4. Knockout’s Championship Match
Taravs. Brooke Tessmacher
Before the matchTarawas caught with a knee from Tessmacher to the outside. She landed a big kick to the gut ofTarain the ring and covered her for two. She landed some more kicks and slammedTara’s face into the mat. There was a distraction from Jesse and this allowedTarato gain the advantage. She responded with similar offense to Tessmacher. She kissed Jesse on the apron and missed a slingshot legdrop. Tessmacher ran wild with some clotheslines and landed the stinkface in the corner. She landed a wacky x-factor, but the top rope was bridged by Jesse and she was thrown back into the ring for the Widow’s peak for the win.
After the match Brooke Hogan walked out. She said that next week was Open Fight Night and ODB wanted a match with Jesse. Ray was shown walking to the ring.
Park entered Hogan’s office. Hogan said that the Aces & Eights were killers and Park said Hogan wasn’t deprived of basic human privileges. Park had a signed contract stating that Hogan, Carter and Spike TV would be innocent of all damaged inflicted by Park. Hogan said he would think about it.
Ray came out. He thanked Sting once again. He had been in the business for 20 years, not many things shock him anymore, but when he founded out thatDevonwas with the Aces & Eights he was shocked. He said Devon said “a bunch of nothing” last week and he wanted to go face to face with Devon right then and there – he wanted to know why he did what he did. Out cameDevonand the Aces & Eights.
Devonsaid he didn’t owe Ray an explanation; they were no longer a team or family. Ray andDevondid what they did and it had nothing to do with him. It had to do with Hogan; this led to “you sold out” chants. He told everyone what Hogan said about him. He said thatDixie, Hogan and TNA did nothing when he was on his way out; the Aces & Eights had his back. TNA and Hogan did nothing. He would take out each and every one of the people that did them wrong.Devonsaid that Ray wasn’t even a threat anymore. Ray said it was over when he tellsDevonits over. Ray said thatDevonknew why he did what he did. Ray calledDevona “lying sack of crap”. On the night that they were supposed retire, they were supposed to retire as champions, but Sabin kicked out of the 3D. In ECW, WWE, WCW andJapanno one kicked out of their finish, but they kicked out onDevon. When he had his head in the ground in the back, he would never forget what Devon said; he said thatDevonsaid “we’re rich, screw the fans”.Devonsaid it was true. Ray said they were all about fighting. Ray asked forDevonto send the Aces & Eights to the back and he wanted to fight.Devonsaid no, it was on his time not Ray’s. He would letDevonknow when the time was right, but he was going home. They left and Ray said that his whole careerDevonhid behind him. He had “no balls” then and he had “no balls” now. Ray challengedDevonon Open Fight Night and he would beat his ass – someone was going through a table.
I have said so many times that this angle has gone off of the deep end, and to a very large extent it has over the past few months, but my God Ray and Devon were awesome in this segment. I have come to the conclusion that Ray is one of the most underrated people in the business today, as an all around package, he is just so great. To go from heel to face so quickly and pull it off is just astounding. I am interested inDevonversus Ray next week, it won’t happen, but I want to see what they do; and for that this segment gets a huge thumbs up.
Morgan and Ryan were backstage. They were asked why they attacked Rob Van Dam. Ryan said the rules didn’t apply to them and they didn’t scare him. He said it was time for him to get the X Division title. Morgan said the days of Hogan holding him down were over and he would do what he wanted when he wanted. They aired a trailer for Christian York, a man that appeared on NWA TNA as a tag team partner with Joey Mercury. He said it was his last chance – his time.
Hogan made his choice, he said he had something big for Storm, but he called Angle cyborg and sent him out. He said he needed to talk with Storm, because he had something huge for him.
5. TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Kurt Angle
Hardy took Angle to the mat working on the arm. The fans dual chanted. Hardy landed some big shots in the corner and a corner dropkick for two. Hardy was caught with a dropkick to the groin and basement dropkick for two. Hardy was hung up after going for an up and over and then pushed to the floor by Angle. After the break Angle was in control of Hardy with a headlock on the mat. Both men collided with a double clothesline and Hardy ran wild with a clothesline and splash in the corner. He landed a flying head scissors and dropkick followed by a flying clothesline off of the apron. He landed whisper in the wind for two. Hardy went for the twist of fate, but Angle landed the rolling German suplexes. Angle called for Hardy to get up, went for the Angel slam, but Hardy landed the stunner twist of fate and went to the top rope. However, Angle sprung up to the top and landed the release German suplex. Angle landed a big powerbomb for two and locked in an ankle lock. Hardy made his way out and landed an enzuigiri. He went to the top rope and missed the swanton. Angle then landed an Angle slam for two. Hardy wet for a German suplex, landed a stunner twisted of fate and followed it up with the actual twist of fate. He then landed a swanton for two. Hardy went for a clothesline, but was sent to the outside. Angle spat some blood out and went for a powerbomb. However, Hardy was able to roll him up for the win.
This was an amazing TV mainevent, probably in the top portion of the year. Both men really performed at a great level and it was a good action packed match to put on television. It was probably at the **** level.
After the match Aries laid Hardy out after spitting on Hardy’s belt and announced that he wanted a rematch. He said he could do it there, but it would be unfair for him to face Hardy right there and he didn’t want to do it for free on TV. He wanted his match at Turning Point. He was so confident that he would win at Turning Point that he would take the championship with him; and he did just that. They cut to the Aces & Eights who were destroying Angle backstage. Garrett Bischoff and Wes Briscoe made the save.
They really didn’t need to have that Aces & Eights segment close the show off; it just didn’t make sense to me. You had this really great match and a good challenge by Aries; why would you go and override all of that with an Aces & Eights attack? To have the show go off with Aries would have made far more sense. They had a great quality segment with Ray earlier on in the night and that segment was going to sell the angle as much as it will be sold at this point. Going overboard just felt stupid.
WWE SmackDown – October 26th 2012
Dunkin’ Donuts Centre – Providence, RI.
Thankfully this week we escaped having our ears defiled by Green Day, as Randy Orton came out to kick off the go-home show. JBL and Josh Matthews hyped the PPV match between Orton and Alberto Del Rio then footage ofDel Rio’s off-air beat down of Orton aired.
Randy cut an in-ring promo and stated he didn’t despiseDel Riofor the attack, but did for the reason behind the assault. Orton said Alberto tried to cover up his “miserable disappointment” in losing to Sheamus by acting like a “tough guy”; Randy stated he would deliver the “most brutal beating” of Del Rio’s life at Hell in a Cell. Alberto’s music hit and out he came with Ricardo;Del Riotold Orton he is not a viper, but a “little garden snake” he could crush with his foot, then claimed to be the new “Apex predator of the WWE”. Orton called Alberto a “spineless, bottom feeder with no cojones”. Del Rio informed Randy that they would “do this” on his terms then stated, “your time is up”; Alberto began to head towards the ring but suddenly backed up and remarked, “not yet, I’ll see you Sunday”, before heading to the back. Wade Barrett jumped Orton from behind and laid him out with a forearm
After last week’s over complicated opener, this segment was highly enjoyable; it was just two guys with an issue. Del Rio’s heelish tease of heading to the ring and his “I’ll see you Sunday” line was pro wrestling 101. Barrett’s attack was a nice set up for something later in the show and actually took advantage of Wade’s gimmick; the hired gun angle has been waiting to be utilised ever since he returned.
A graphic of a Sheamus/Big Show “face off” aired, followed by a graphic of Cody Rhodes vs. Kane; JBL said the match would take place next.
Del Riowas in the back with Ricardo; Teddy Long entered and facetiously told Alberto to be proud of what he pulled out there.Del Rioclaimed he had nothing to do with any of it, when Barrett entered and asked the aristocrat “is that what you were looking for?” Teddy then booked a match between Orton and Barrett.
Cody Rhodes made his way out and Daniel Bryan was on commentary with Damien Sandow. Footage of the Show vs. Kane finish and the Rhodes Scholars beatdown ofBryanfrom Raw aired.
Kane was out next; Sandow called his pyro “unnecessary” andBryanagreed, stating: “I hate it when he does that”.Bryanclaimed to be the Tag Team Champions and Damien told him, “that is not grammatically correct”, to whichBryanreplied, “shut up”.
Kane (Tag Team Champion) vs. Cody Rhodes
Kane scored with a big boot then unleashed some shots in the corner; Josh askedBryanabout his dysfunctional relationship with Kane.Bryansaid, “Kane is about to dysfunction Cody’s face”; Sandow remarked, “That makes no sense”.
Kane came off the top rope with a clothesline then went for a chokeslam; Cody grabbed the top rope to avoid the move, but ate an uppercut.Rhodescountered a sidewalk slam and took over with a kick to the knee; Cody hit the disaster kick for a one count; nobody on commentary put over Kane kicking out of Cody’s big move.Rhodescame off the top with a dropkick for another one count and Kane tried to fight back, but was cut off with another dropkick to the knee.Bryanburied Sandow for not having a “manly beard”; Damien said his beard was “geometric perfection”.
Cody delivered a side Russian legsweep, however Kane fired back and hit the Chokeslam for the three count.
Kane defeated Cody Rhodes via pinfall, at 3:16.
The most entertaining thing about this was easily Bryan & Sandow on commentary. There are far more enjoyable things to do in 3 minutes than sitting through a Kane match of the same length: making a sandwich, calling your mother, reading some Iron Sheik tweets, watching Silva vs. Bonnar… the list goes on.
Footage of Big Show hitting the chokeslam on Sheamus from Raw aired.
Show was in the locker room and Booker T entered; Book said he wanted both men to be professional during the “face to face” show down later. Big Show told the GM he had nothing else to prove, as he made his point on Raw then informed Booker he’d get his hype tonight and Sunday he’d get a new World Heavyweight Champion.
The Miz made his entrance and a graphic hyping the return Miz vs. Kofi Intercontinental title match at Hell in a Cell rolled. Josh said Miz would be in action next.
Yoshi Tatsu vs. The Miz
The bell rang immediately after the break and Miz scored with a boot to the face; Yoshi was sent to the floor by a basement dropkick and Miz sent Tatsu into the apron, before rolling him back in the ring.
Yoshi fought out of a rear chinlock to land some kicks and a knee strike in the corner; Miz cut off his foe with a back elbow then delivered a DDT, before hitting the skull crushing finale for the victory.
The Miz defeated Yoshi Tatsu via pinfall at 4:02.
This was unnecessary and avoidable; if Miz wasn’t destroyed by Ryback on Raw then he would not need to squash poor Yoshi like this. This is no way to build up to a title match we saw a week ago; a scathing heel promo, a pull apart or a run in would have been more effective than a meaningless squash. Or simply not feeding Miz to Ryback would have been the most obvious choice.
A graphic of AJ and Vinnie Mac from Raw aired, followed by a second hyping CM Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell.
A video package of Ryback’s attack on Punk from Raw aired, followed by footage of Paul Heyman’s interview from Main event.
JBL and Josh were at ringside; they put over Punk vs. Ryback then blabbed about Eve and Kaitlyn.
Footage of Kaitlyn confronting Eve from Raw aired.
Eve, Aksana, Layla and Kaitlyn were all in Booker T’s office; Book asked Aksana if she received an email from Eve at Night of Champions. Aksana replied “yes, but it was a business email”. Teddy Long crashed the party and proceeded to explain the whole digressive plot to the dumbfounded GM; this was like the campy, expositional finale of a Scooby Doo episode, where the evil genius’ plan is revealed upon being caught by those “medalling kids”. Teddy called Eve a “bold face liar” and told her, “the jig is up”. Booker said if this was true then Eve could no longer be a part of his staff; Eve explained she doesn’t have a pass code on her iPad and anyone could have sent the email; the scheming Diva then insinuated Teddy was responsible for this farce. The Booker man said he didn’t know who to believe and booked a triple threat match at the PPV, between Layla, Kaitlyn and Eve then booked a tag match for later in the evening between the four quibbling diva’s.
A graphic hyping Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton aired.
Orton was already in the ring after the commercials and Barrett came down to face The Viper.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Randy started off fast with strikes and sent Barrett to the outside; Orton hit a clothesline before rolling his opponent back in the ring. Wade took a belly-to-back suplex then fought out of a rear chinlock; Orton scored with a clothesline then delivered a suplex for a two count. Wade escaped to the floor, where he caught Randy with a big boot and sent him into the apron. Back in the ring, Orton cut off Barrett on the apron then attempted to hit the hangman’s DDT; Wade countered with a backdrop to the floor. Barrett sent Orton into the announce table before we went to the commercials.
Randy fought up from a reverse chinlock, only to be shut down by a knee from Barrett; Wade then tied Orton up in the ropes and landed some knee strikes. Barrett delivered a backbreaker for a two count then applied another reverse chinlock; Randy fought out, but was cut off by a big boot. Wade hit a short-arm clothesline for two then went up to the second rope; Orton cut off his foe with some shots then landed a superplex for a two count.
Randy began his comeback and caught Wade with a powerslam; after a transition, Barrett nailed Orton with the Traylorslam for the cut off and a near fall. Wade went for the souvenir elbow, however Randy countered into his reverse headlock backbreaker. Orton hit the hangman’s DDT, at which point Alberto Del Rio ran down to ringside; Del Rio jumped on the apron, causing the distraction. Barrett nailed his souvenir for the victory.
Wade Barrett defeated Randy Orton via pinfall at 14:02.
This was fine, nothing special; for a brief moment during the opening stages of the match, Barrett fought from underneath and was shut down. Orton also did the old bootlaces across the face spot; this guy is determined to be a heel. Barrett going over is a good move since he needlessly put over Sheamus last week; at this point Orton could lose every night and still be over with the people. The bad news is Randy will almost certainly get his win back sooner or later.
After the match,Del Riohit the ring and beatdown Orton; Alberto went for an enzuigiri but Randy ducked;Del Riothen tried for the cross armbreaker and again Orton countered. Randy attempted to hit an RKO, however Alberto escaped and fled up the ramp.
Nice interaction between these two here; this feud has been built as strong as anything on WWE TV right now. I have a minor issue with Orton evading Del Rio’s offense after just wrestling a match, but the trade-off was exciting and a great way to head into Sunday.
A graphic hyping the Sheamus/Show face off rolled.
Layla and Kaitlyn were in the ring, waiting for their tag match; Eve and Aksana came out to face the babyface Divas.
Layla & Kaitlyn vs. Eve & Aksana
Layla rolled up Aksana for a quick two count then tagged her partner; Kaitlyn delivered a backbreaker then went after Eve. Aksana landed a clothesline and made the tag; Eve came in with a snapmare then tried to get some heat. Kaitlyn got her knees up to block Eve’s wacky summersault legdrop but was unable to make the tag. Kaitlyn countered a suplex attempt into an inside cradle for two then drilled both heels with some clotheslines. Layla came in and tried to deliver a kick to Eve, who was being held by Kaitlyn; Eve moved and Layla caught her partner with the boot. Eve made the cover and got the three count.
Eve & Aksana defeated Layla & Kaitlyn via pinfall, at 3:35.
This wasn’t as horrible as you might have expected; I don’t know if was down to some serious editing or if the women were just on form. That said, the match was far from good and the finish was a weak attempt to create some conflict for the three-way on Sunday. If the PPV match turns out to be more than a cluster of spots, then I will be satisfied.
A graphic of AJ and Vince from Raw aired.
The Raw Rebound aired and was as needlessly long as ever.
Sheamus was in the back; Booker T approached the World Champ and asked for a “cool head” during the upcoming face to face. Sheamus told Book he respected him, but couldn’t promise anything; the GM just accepted the petulance and walked away.
Daniel Bryan was preparing for a match backstage, when Kane entered and gloated about winning his match. The Big Red Machine toldBryanif he lost then everyone would know who the weak link was and who the Tag Team Champions is.Bryanbegan to head towards the curtain and Kane slapped his backside;Bryanemphatically said, “No!” and came out for his match.
Cody Rhodes and Kane were both on commentary; Cody had an ice pack and was selling his neck. Damien Sandow appeared to faceBryan; Damien cut a promo and told the fans that the “Yes!” craze is a reflection of their poor mental state then offered more intellectual ways to respond in the affirmative.
Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow escaped to the outside early, after taking some strikes;Bryanfollowed and hit a European uppercut, before sending his foe back inside the ring. Damien scored with a boot to the stomach then delivered a clothesline in the corner;Bryancountered with a drop-toehold into the turnbuckle then came off the second rope with a missile dropkick for two.
Sandow was in control after the break; he landed a kick to the knee then executed a side Russian legsweep, followed by the Cubito Aequet for two.Bryanfought out of a chinlock, performed his turnbuckle back flip and hit a running dropkick in the corner. After taking some kicks to the torso, Sandow was dumped to the outside;Bryannailed a topé then shoved Cody, who had left his chair at the announce desk. Damien caughtBryanwith a clothesline, this caused Kane to chase Sandow around ringside; Rhodes took advantage of the distraction and sentBryaninto the ring post. Back in the ring, Damien hit his straightjacket neckbreaker for the three count.
Damien Sandow defeated Daniel Bryan via pinfall, at 8:12.
What a surprise, this was a fun little outing; much better than the Kane/Rhodes 3 minute affair. Bryan could wrestle a slug and have an entertaining match; if Bryan does the selling on Sunday (which is pretty much guaranteed) we are in for a hell of a Tag Title match.
A graphic hyping the face to face between Sheamus and Big Show aired.
Josh Matthews was in the ring with an abundance of Indy wrestlers, dressed like security. Josh claimed Show and Sheamus would have a match of “epic proportions” on Sunday then introduced the World Champion. Matthews then brought out the Big Show and the Indy security made a human wall down the centre of the ring, separating the two adversaries.
Show got on the mic and claimed the WMD was more powerful than the Rock bottom, the stunner and the attitude adjustment. The giant then cited “scientific proof” that his K.O punch was more devastating than the Brogue kick. Sheamus told Show, he would have to land the WMD for it to be lethal and Big Show stated the World Champ would fail just like he did last time.
Footage of Big Show catching the Brogue kick from 3 weeks ago on Raw aired.
Show stated that Sheamus could not get his foot high enough to hit the kick and he does not have what it takes to beat him. Sheamus said he loves two things, “a cold pint of ale” and a “great fight” then explained how he had beaten everyone else and was looking forward to the challenge from Show. Big Show called the Champion “delusional” and insinuated he was afraid; Sheamus replied he was counting the minutes till the title match and declared he would chop the giant down.
Sheamus announced, “the time for talk is over; the time for fighting is now” and burst through the wall of security. Show took a few shots before the hapless security tried to pull the two apart; the Champion and challenger began to wipe out the Indy guys and cleared the ring. Sheamus went for the Brogue kick, but Big Show rolled out to the floor; the two enemies stared each other down as the show went off the air.
A good effort at trying to sell the match here; I know some people are not happy with the build for the title match, but they have done a decent job of building this angle with as little contact as possible and the impetus is still on each guy’s finish. Whether anybody cares about the programme is another issue; the excitement may come after the bell on Sunday. Ziggler is not booked in a match and is likely to appear with the briefcase, even if just for a tease.
For a go-home show, this episode was predominantly disappointing; sure there was a flash of great booking with Orton & Del Rio and the Tag Title match is set up nicely, but I did not get the feeling I have to buy the PPV. It seemed like creative knew what needed to be done and went about it in the most passive manner possible.
Next Week’s Issue
Next week we cover the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, the RAW after Hell in a Cell, the rating, Impact, NXT, SmackDown, the news and more!
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