Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rumbling Royalty

Greetings! Please, hold your applause. (silence) (crickets) (buzzards) Okay, now that that's over with, I am dedicating this column to a breakdown of the Royal Rumble this Sunday.

First off, the WWE did a very nice job with the Raw go home show last night. The best Raw yet in 2012. We saw Zach Ryder get his "back broken," we saw CM Punk further his storyline with both John Laurinaitis and Dolph Ziggler, and we saw and heard Chris Jericho speak, telling us the world would end this Sunday. I don't know about you guys, but I have emptied my bank account and given all my money to hobos. After all, Jericho wouldn't lie to us!

Seriously though. That comment by Jericho tells me that there is a lot more going on here than him simply winning the Royal Rumble. For this to work, it HAS to mean more. There must be a swerve here somewhere. And, who is "she?" I am hoping for answers at the Royal Rumble. Yes. I WANT to see this Pay Per View, which means the WWE is doing its job.

As far as Kane/Cena goes, there is only ONE scenario that could ruin this entire storyline. If Cena goes over clean. If that happens, then Kane is just another victim, just another villain that Superman has vanquished. However, I would like to see Cena win in a no contest. Cena just rages out, and beats Kane down so badly and so violently, that the ref stops the match. Kane is carted out laughing, screaming that Cena "finally gets it." If the WWE pulled off something like that, I'd seriously mark out.

CM Punk against Dolph Ziggler will be a classic. Both men can get it done in the ring, and Dolph has been a bright spot in the WWE. Hard worker with good mic skills, Ziggs has impressed me, and I see him holding a major title in 2012.

Just not this Sunday. Between the ending of Raw last night with Dolph getting over on Punk, and the huge deck stacked against Punk with Laurinaitis as referee and Vickie at ringside, I see CM Punk retaining here. Also, I think Ziggler will break away from Vickie before he wins a major title.

Daniel Bryan VS Big Show VS Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight title. Well, it's in a steel cage, which is a positive. However, Bryan will have his work cut out for him. Show and Henry do not possess the speed or agility of Daniel Bryan. These are not the ideal competitors for him. But, again, it's in a freakin' CAGE. I predict a good match. Bryan can carry any match, skill wise, and I think he'll retain. I must admit that Bryan is growing on me. As you all know, I've never been a huge Daniel Bryan fan. But, his skill in the ring and his new "tweener" persona has my interest. Therefore, I say he retains. And, I'd actually have no problem with that at all. Again, he's winning me over. Not easy to do.

As far as the Rumble itself, I'm a bit torn. We know that The Miz is number 1. However, this does NOT exclude him from winning. Miz has been on a huge down slope lately. In my opinion, he has dropped back to mid-card level. A Rumble win at number 1 is a HUGE push right back into the main event picture. Even a good showing, lasting for an hour, would help the Miz. It is possible he could go all the way.

Randy Orton? A lot of people are picking Orton. The thing is, he doesn't need it. Orton is already a star and way over. He can get in the title picture anytime. I don't think Orton will win it.

Dolph Ziggler. Yes. He COULD lose his title match an go on to win the Rumble. However, I think he'd be a better Money in the Bank winner, as has been mentioned before. But, I see him as a possibility.

Brodus Clay. Way too soon. We don't even know if his gimmick will get over yet.

Mick Foley. No way. But, Mick will do what he does best and what he should be doing, and he will put people over. Mick Foley is one of my favorites in the business, and I'm glad he is in the Royal Rumble.

Triple H. Yeah. I said it. Triple freaking H. Why not? I say the probability he will even BE in the Rumble is low, but you never know. I do not see him winning it if he participates. It looks like Trips and John Laurinaitis will be busy in a storyline, plus Triple H surely doesn't need it.

And, last but not least, it's time to put it out there. Chris Jericho. The IWC favorite. Possible. VERY possible. As I said earlier, this whole "world ending" thing stinks of something HUGE. Perhaps Jericho comes out at number 30, wins the Rumble, and uses that to further his evil plans. If you haven't figured out Jericho is a heel yet, well, there's no other way to say it, you're crazy.

In fact, I will go out on a limb and pick Jericho as the 2012 Royal Rumble winner. My original pick of number 1 to win it seems unlikely now. Of course, I could end up being proven wrong and looking like a total idiot.

It won't be the first time, and certainly not the last. With my luck, Hornswoggle will win it all and go on to become WWE champion. You think it can't happen? This is the WWE folks. ANYTHING can happen. Enjoy the ride.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Funk and Fake Weed

A few days ago, something very interesting happened in the WWE. The tag team titles changed hands at a house show. That's something you very, VERY rarely see now. Heck, you rarely see titles change hands on Raw or Smackdown. Last night on Raw, we also saw the United States championship change hands.

Now, I know why the tag titles changed hands. It was done because Evan Bourne has been suspended yet again for smoking fake marijuana. He just got back from one suspension, and now will be gone for another 60 days. I see this as the end of his WWE career. The company will never trust him again. It's a shame.

But, back to my original thought. Years ago when Madison Square Garden had a lot of house shows, I never attended. One of the main reasons was that, in my opinion, nothing interesting happened at house shows. I knew I wouldn't see a title change hands, nor would I see any storyline advancement. I'm willing to bet that a lot of people skip house shows for those very reasons.

Throwing the occasional swerve and making something important happen at a house show is a good thing. It also makes you money at the gate. You read a house show is in town, and you want to attend because perhaps something memorable will occur.

I understand that the WWE wants to stress the importance of its television shows, and I'm not saying something huge needs to happen at EVERY house show, but occasionally doing something like a title change or an injury angle on a non-televised show can bring more fans to house shows.

Switching gears, I want to comment further on two angles that I mentioned briefly last week. The current Chris Jericho angle, and the Brodus Clay angle.

So far, Jericho hasn't said a word, which bothered me at first. However, upon giving it more thought, I kind of see the plus side. Last night Jericho left his team mates hanging. That, my friends, is a heel gesture. I think finally the fans in attendance got it last night. So the question is, will Jericho talk before, during or after the Rumble? A lot of folks in the IWC have Jericho picked to win the Rumble. Not a bad pick at all. I can see Chris winning the Rumble, and then coming out the next night on Raw and say that he wants to challenge Punk for the title, assuming of course that Punk HAS the title after the Rumble. I'm going to give this gimmick a bit more time, but if Jericho doesn't talk by the Raw after the Royal Rumble, then the gimmick is in fact dumb.

Now, one moment please. (calls mamma) Okay. I'm back. We were lead to believe that Brodus Clay was going to debut as a monster. Well, if you consider a "Funkasaurus" a monster, you got it. My first reaction was, "WTF?" I thought it was dumb. The WWE is good at taking guys who should be killers, and turning them into comedy acts. They did it with the Big Show and even briefly with Kane. Yes, Kane. Remember Kane's "WAZZUP" when he teamed with the Dudleys? Yes, it was very brief, but it's still, in my opinion, a mistake to make a big guy into a clown.

However, this is something different. What was interesting about Brodus Clay's debut was that we weren't expecting it. The WWE surprised us, which is usually a good thing. Brodus seems to be having fun with the gimmick, and it's growing on me as well. I actually have his theme song as my ringtone. I'm willing to give it some time, and to see who they will have Clay feuding with.

Now, two things on Raw didn't make sense last night, both of them involving John Laurinaitis. Now, before you start sending me angry emails, yes, I KNOW wrestling hardly ever makes sense. But, hear me out. First, Laurinaitis blatantly admits he's going to screw CM Punk over when he referees Punk's match. How, even when it's a work, can he still be allowed to referee? If I work for the NFL as a ref, and I publicly say that I'm going to screw a team over next week, how long do you think I'll have my job? I know it's a work, but can't a work make sense?

Secondly, John Laurinaitis busting Mick Foley upside the head with the microphone. Um, wasn't the first thing Triple H said when he became COO is that, as an executive, he cannot put his hands on anyone?

I believe next week on Raw there have to be repercussions. Unless we're supposed to forget it, storyline-wise Triple H is still COO. I'd love to see him come out and punish Laurinaitis. If not, you create a catch 22.

Anyway, that's it for this week. Next week I'm going to try something new, and break down the Royal Rumble and the matches, and give my opinion and predictions. I KNOW you can't wait! (crickets)



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In My Humble Opinion...

Everyone has their own opinion. On how to live life, what foods are good, what television shows are good and what is good or bad in wrestling. However, it seems in the world of the IWC, opinions often gets mistaken for fact. People think that their opinions are always right. Here's the problem. Opinions are neither right or wrong. 2+2=4 is a FACT. It's proven. TNA sucks is an opinion. What one person hates, another may love.

It is especially annoying when someone insults someone else because they have a difference of opinion. Our world is made up of all different people, with different views, different lifestyles, different preferences. But, it seems that in the IWC and in the world of Pro Wrestling, if you don't agree with the masses you are an idiot.

Let us take last Sunday's TNA Genesis as an example. I thoroughly enjoyed that Pay Per View. Yes, the finish to the main event was a bit weak, yet I think it was at the very least a B+ Pay Per View. The majority of the IWC would disagree.

I have already listened to radio shows and read blogs that have buried this Pay Per View. Now, I am not a hypocrite. Those who bury this show are entitled to their opinions. But, here's my question. Do you allow your opinion to be influenced by the majority? Is it cool to agree with the majority? I don't think so. I have analyzed my opinion, and have validated it in my own mind. Again, that doesn't make it right, but if I compare what I have seen on Genesis to what I have seen on Raw in the last 2 weeks, and add up the entertainment factor, in my opinion Genesis was superior.

Bully Ray VS Abyss in the Monster's Ball was match of the year thus far. Yes, I know the year isn't even two weeks old, but if you add up everything you've seen in the WWE in the last 11 days, and compare it to what you saw at Genesis, you have to give Genesis the thumbs up. At least, in my opinion.

Raw has been weird the last two weeks. Chris Jericho re-debuts, and doesn't say a word. Now, I understand what they are doing. Jericho is basically telling the crowd that they're idiots. You can see this a mile away. At some point, Jericho is going to attack some babyface, most likely CM Punk, and most likely at the Royal Rumble. However, will I have to sit through this same shtick every week until the Rumble? Lord, I hope not. Apparently, Jericho is tweaking his character a bit. That's fine, as long as I get a HUGE payoff after having to endure all of this. If it turns out to be something spectacular, like shocking me by revealing who "she" is, then my opinion will change. Right now, my opinion on the whole Jericho return is "YAWN."

Again, you may love it. That's your opinion, and I won't tell you you're wrong, because you're not. But, neither am I, because opinions are neither right NOR wrong.

I'll give you an example of how opinions can change. When I first saw the Brodus Clay debut, I was angry. I thought it was stupid and lame, and a waste of a potential huge buildup. Then, I watched it again, and laughed. I watched it yet again, and laughed even louder. I think this has potential. I have not seen much of Clay, but it looks like the big man can move. It also looks like either he has decided to make the most of this gimmick, or really is enjoying it. So, I'm keeping an open mind. If done right, this gimmick could be fun.

As I thought up the subject for this column, I also thought about how critical people can be about opinions in wrestling. One or two fans go against the grain, and the rest of the internet is hurling insults.

In my family, everyone loves tripe, which is intestines. My mom loves it and my uncles love it. When my Mom cooks it, I go to McDonalds for dinner. I think it's the most disgusting food on the planet. But, that's just my opinion. I don't tell my Mom she's an idiot for liking tripe.

Yet, in Pro Wrestling and in the IWC, if you go against the grain you can expect insults and personal attacks. I've given my opinion on Genesis on numerous websites, and most times I'm told I'm an idiot. Well, little Jimmy, what makes your opinion more relevant than mine? If you didn't like the Pay Per View, that's fine. But, did you REALLY not like it, or are you just jumping on the hate wagon to appear cool?

More of the Don's opinions. I like what they're doing with Kane. Kane cut a stellar promo Monday night, and going after those who Cena loves is awesome. Classic heel. I've always loved psychological heels, like Jake the Snake Roberts. Remember how he tormented the Warrior? Epic. A good, lunatic heel gets into the babyface's head. And, Kane is doing a fine job of messing with Cena. Some people don't like the fact that Kane is talking. Some don't like the fact that he's back to wearing a mask. That's fine. You're entitled to your opinion, and it is just as valid as mine.

The point I am trying to make is, don't down someone because they think differently than you do. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes for a change, and realize that when it comes to pro wrestling, we all think differently. No one is right or wrong. It's all a matter of taste.

To briefly switch gears, I want to address the whole Ultimate Warrior VS Kevin Nash Twitter/Facebook/Youtube war. Does it not seem like this popped out of nowhere? I mean, when was the last time you heard about heat between Warrior and Nash? Quite frankly, I find it very entertaining. Which is my point. Not to beat a dead horse, but in my OPINION this SCREAMS of work! Wrestlemania is fast approaching, and money talks. No matter how much heat there is between Warrior and the WWE, Nash is still technically with the WWE. Nash has never had a problem being controversial. Remember the crap he talked on Wade Barrett? In an interview on Wrestling News Live, Nash admitted he singled Barrett out because he thought he could make money with Barrett. Well, less than 4 months before Wrestlemania, this whole scenario starts. Things that make you go "hmmmm."

Well, that's it for this week. I have to go right now. I better call my Momma!



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Night At The Circus

First off, Happy New Year to everyone! Just in case the world ends, max out your credit cards and spit on your boss now! If the world doesn't end, there's always food stamps. You can pick up your applications at the Impact Zone.

Last night, I went to the circus. It was fun, (not really), and I was entertained for over two hours! (nose grows)

Pro wrestling originated at carnivals. It was an attraction. And, a popular one. Men became promoters, and slowly started territories that had ONLY wrestling. Even in the beginning, all the matches were scripted. The only difference is, back then if you told anyone, you'd be picking up your intestines in the parking lot. Kayfabe lasted a long time, until promoters, mainly, Vince McMahon, realized you could save certain sports related fees by branding it entertainment. This is, at least in part, how it happened. I've heard and read this many times, and have to believe there is some truth in it.

Wrestling has always had a certain amount of gimmicks in it, certain non-wrestling segments that helped build up to an eventual match. However, the entertainment was built AROUND the wrestling, and used to put matches over. Normally, it consisted of two guys talking violent smack about each other on camera backstage, and occasionally jumping each other in the parking lot.

As the 80s came around, we began to see more colorful, over-the-top characters, and, above all, more non-wrestling aspects added. Matches began to get shorter to make room for more skits. As technology got better and cheaper, and special effects got better and cheaper, it was possible to do more things live. Like, have a man set himself on fire, or another guy shoot lightning from the ceilings. The matches continued to get shorter and fewer and further between to make room for complicated skits involving coffins, exploding limos, and, of course, celebrities! Who wants to see two grown men in underwear pretend to fight! I want the muppets, damnit!

Oh, wait. My ticket says this is a wrestling event. Did I make a mistake? (two hours later) NOPE! Exactly what I wanted! It had everything! Clowns, magicians, even a politician, celebrities, scantily clad women and jugglers! Oh, yeah. And I got to see two 3 minute matches with a couple of acrobats. Pretty cool!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. In the WWE, wrestling is basically dead. It's not about wrestling anymore. I've fought my own brain long and hard, telling myself, "Self, Vince McMahon isn't REALLY serious about banning the word wrestling and calling it entertainment. In his heart, he cannot believe that." And, then I get a nose bleed from my brain laughing at me hysterically. Because if you enjoy a good match, they are few and far between.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like the occasional theatrics. Undertaker's entrance, the pyro, the backstage segments and the storylines. But, damn. Throw some wrestling in there! That's what made me a wrestling fan. Um, wrestling.

Also, what happened to the art of cutting a promo. I'll be honest. Most guys SUCK now. Most guys are so bland and unconvincing that it makes me sick. There are some good promo guys, but not nearly as many as there used to be. Randy Savage forcing you, WILLING YOU, to hear what he had to say. The power of it. Jake Roberts staring at you through your TV as if he was going to cut your throat. Ric Flair making your heart beat 140 times a minute with the sheer adrenaline and intensity of his words. Cactus Jack actually MAKING a smart wrestling fan, who knows it's a work, have a moment of weakness and say, "This isn't a work. This guy is freakin' insane!" Even Hulk Hogan, who could make any child love him. Vince McMahon, driving you into such a rage that you had to break something to get rid of your anger towards him.

Now, you have guys making idle threats, jokes and ramblings that make you hit fast forward on your DVRs. But, it doesn't matter! Because it's entertainment.

Here. I'll prove it! I will now provide the results from last night's Monday Night Raw.

1. Out walks the hero with chiseled jaw. He welcomes us and wishes us a Happy New Year! He talks about all his past and future heroic deeds! But, oh no! The Evil Fire Wizard interrupts the hero and says he will challenge him later tonight! Oh, my!

2. Two men wrestle for 4 minutes.

3. An expert gives a duck impersonation to a mumbling troll.

4. Another match! This time a clown with a snake on his arm fights Grease Man! Not bad!

5. Next up, Captain Mayonnaise! He shows his sandwich dressing powers by beating up Sergeant Crybaby! But, wait! Jimmy the Magnificent furthers the torture by hitting Sergeant Crybaby with a water bottle!

6. Prince Peroxide with the Banshee wrestles his arch nemesis, the No-Soap Knight! But, Prince Peroxide knocks him down and he can't get up by the time the zebra stomps his hoof 10 times! He steals No-Soap Knight's crown!

7. Yes! The scantily clad girls come out and pretend to fight while jiggling!

8. A strangely dressed clown comes out next! He spends 10 minutes making balloon animals and acting like a complete idiot.

9. Last, the Hero teams with the Giant and the Little Blue Twitter Bird to fight the Koolaid Man, Captain America and the Evil Fire Wizard! But, the Evil Fire Wizard doesn't show up, and the Hero prevails! But, now out comes the Evil Fire Wizard! He beats our Hero down and tries to kill the Little Blue Twitter Bird! But, the Hero prevails and saves him!

What will happen next week? Tune in and find out. Or, just slit your throat. No difference.


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