Monday, October 30, 2006

SmackDown as well as Random Thoughts

Due to an overwhelming amount of work I was unable to get up some thoughts on the SmackDown show from Friday night, but will do a quick tidbit on that as well as some other thing taking place as we head into RAW on Monday night.

* SmackDown was an average show on Friday, with the highlight being the interaction between Batista and Cena, and the main event tag between them and Booker and Show. It sort of makes me think they are at some point leaning on putting Batista back in the heel role, with a possible program with Cena, which would be fantastic. That would be a WrestleMania main event that would draw interest among fans and factions of the two. The rest of the show was mostly filler, with the return of the Boogeyman attacking Miz and Krystal, and a program being set up between Chavo and Chris Benoit for the US Title. This week we'll see Taker and Kane together for the first time in years, vs Ken Kennedy and MVP.

* ECW house shows are done - for now. The 3rd brand was getting nowhere fast with trying to fill 500-1000 seat arenas, and this is a good decision for the company. The word is that ECW wrestlers will team up with the SmackDown brand for their house shows, which in the long run is good move. It makes the lame SmackDown house shows better, but gives ECW the momentum to not have to carry shows on its own. Give the ECW brand some time to build, and before too long they will be back to being able to carry house shows on its own.

* Speaking of which, one of the first combined shows for SmackDown/ECW may be here in Cleveland. There is a date of December 27th set for a house show at Quicken Loans Arena, with the SmackDown brand being advertised. The main event is Lashley vs Booker in a cage for the title. Chavo vs Benoit is also booked, along with London and Kendrick vs Idol and Stevens for the tag belts. I would not be shocked to see some ECW stars added to this card to spice it up.

* is stating that Rey Mysterio will make a speech on the show this week to possibly announce his "retirement" from wrestling. This is of course a work since Mystero is going to be taking time off to recover from knee surgery. The site reads: "Sources tell that Rey Mysterio will be at Friday Night SmackDown in Milwaukee next week to say goodbye. Friends of Mysterio say the former World Champion may actually announce his retirement. Those close to Rey say he is emotionally stressed following the months of struggle with former friends Vickie and Chavo Guerrero."

* The planned main event for the ECW PPV in December has been scrapped, as now instead of it just being RVD vs Big Show, it will now be a six-man elimination chamber match with Show, RVD and four other wrestlers. Without blinking an eye, here are the other four guys - Sabu, Sandman, Test and Bob Holly. I would say CM Punk and Mike Knox would be in the mix, but I think they will have their own match on the card. This change just shows they don't think that Show and RVD can carry the card.

* I think considering the heat and the ongoing interaction between the two, we'll see more of Kevin Federline before its all said and done. Federline is enjoying what he is doing on the show, and walking away each week with $15,000. If the WWE can convince him to do a match and end up with his wife Brittany there for it to be on PPV, the $15,000 they give him each time he's on would be like chump change.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ECW 10/24

ECW on Tuesday night was a decent show, with again a pretty good main event as RVD contuined his quest to getting the title back from the Big Show. Tuesday night they had the two go at it in a ladder match with the stip being if RVD was able to win there was a contract hanging at the top of the ladder. After a pretty solid match that saw Show get bloddied up, RVD was eventually able to get to the top of the ladder and get the contract. This of course is leading up to the main event for the December PPV in which RVD will likely get the title back off of Show.

Some of the other highlights of the show as CM Punk contuning his push, as he beat Matt Striker by DQ when Mike Knox ended up in the ring at the end of the match beating on Punk. I like Punk enough to continue to say he should be on SmackDown by WrestleMania 23. His flair and matches are always good, and this one vs Striker was another solid showing. I don't know if they are going to wait for Knox and Punk till the PPV, but they have dragged it out quite a bit already.

Test and Hardcore Holly had a pretty long, brutal match that had a lame ending of Test holding Holly's tights to get the win. Holly's face push is something that could not have been avoided after the match with RVD, and this match with Test was pretty solid all the way up to the end.

Other than that, the main event was again, good and long and had a solid ending which is a positive for this show. It seems like in the last two weeks they have not used the diva's all that much, and one has to wonder if that is from the severe backlash from the stupid Strip Poker idea they had a few weeks ago. Whatever the case may be, let's hope they keep it that way and keep moving in this direction instead.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

RAW 10/23

The latest edition of RAW took place Monday night in Chicago, and with another celeb appearance from Kevin Federline and a solid HHH vs Randy Orton main event I thought it was a good show. The show was spent mostly around Federline and John Cena, which makes me scared where they may take that angle, and the setup for Cyber Sunday, which comes up Sunday November 6th in Cincinnati.

The opener was Federline coming out and blasting Cena, which also brought out Federline's new buddy - King Booker. Then Big Show came out to blast Booker and go on about how he will win the "Champions of Champions" match at CS. Then it was Cena's turn, as he came out, blasted both Booker and Show, and then ripped into Federline. This angle is super since everyone hates Federline already, and he is one of the better celeb heels that I have seen in sometime. As for the Cyber Sunday main event, I just can't see how it is going to come across as solid since we all know its going to end with a no-finish.

The first actual match of the night was a womens semi for the title, which is so lame since we all know that they have been setting up Lita vs Mickie James from the get go, with the finals being at the PPV. Of course in this one it was Mickie getting over on Melina, which means next week that Lita will win, and there will be your final.

Next was a setup for an IC match at CS, as Jeff Hardy tagged with Carlito to take on Shelton Benjamin and Chris Masters. This was a pretty much just your normal tag match, all the guys worked hard and it came across okay. The end saw the heels win, and then they all fought as one of the three challengers will take on Hardy at the PPV. The early pick will be Carlito, but I think the best match would be Benjamin.

Cena beat Nitro, with the setup being that K-Fed slapped Cena at ringside. The match was pretty good, with most of the attention being paid to Federline. The end saw Cena chase Federline up the ramp, and as he was about to hit him both Booker and Show came out, and beat on him. The three went back and forth a bit, with Cena being made to look like the weaker of the three, and in this exchange, Booker came out standing. That means tonight it will likely be Cena standing, and then Friday - Show standing. Too obvious of a setup for me.

The Spirit Squad break up continued, as Cryme Tyme beat Mikey and Nicky. Okay match, with Kenny getting mad at the end for the team losing and he gave Mikey the legdrop from the top rope. He said that he would take on Ric Flair alone later on, and then in that match Flair brought out Piper, Slaughter, and Dusty Rhodes as his backup. Kenny won by holidng the tights, and then it was announced that it would be a tag for the belts at CS with Flair and one of his three legends vs SS. The early favorite here has to be Rhodes.

The main was another pretty good match with HHH vs Rhodes. Bishoff and Coachman were at ringside, and after a ref bump and lots of interference from Michaels and Edge, Bishoff gave Orton a chair which he used to help get Orton the win. The setup is supposed to be one of McMahon, Bishoff, or Coachman being a heel ref. They seem to be pushing that Bishoff would be chosen the ref, and then in the end he'll turn on Edge and Orton to screw McMahon. At least that is the early thought on this one.

Again, good show, decent matches, and some good setup for the PPV. Looking forward to the contuning drama with K-Fed, and I think the long run goal is to have him in a match with Cena, with it being either a handicapped match or some sort of tag match. They of course want Brittney to be there as well, and would love the pub from that one. We'll see.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

SmackDown 10/20

Friday night wrapped up what I thought was a pretty solid week of WWE Television with SmackDown. The show was taped as part of a Super Show in Los Angeles that had tapings of both RAW and SmackDown on Sunday the 15th. The show was highlighted by a solid title main event that had King Booker defending the title against Batista. The main event was marred by interference by both Big Show and John Cena, as they were both at ringside watching, which was an obvious setup for the Cyber Sunday main event in Cincinnati.

I liked the premise that now next week it will be a tag between the face team of Cena and Batista vs the heel team of Show and Booker. Of course the stupid line of the year came from GM Teddy Long - who pointed out - "I don't know if I can do this or not," and then went on to make the main event anyway. If he couldn't, why would he even propose it? The rest of the night was built around the "I Quit" match between Chavo Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. It was widely known that Mystero was leaving to have knee surgery, so to have him lose the match was pretty obvious. The early word is that Mystero will be on the SmackDown team at Survivor Series, but it may be too soon to tell if he is on that card or not.

Some of the other matches included a waste between MVP and Kane, with MVP again leaving the ring to take the loss with a countout. I don't really understand the booking of putting these two together, other than to make Kane look like a monster, and to totally waste the early performances of MVP. Of couse having MVP walk out does lead the fans to really hate him more, which may be the long run goal of the bookers. The Elijah Burke vs Vito match was interesting, with Vito taking his first pinfall loss in a very long time on SmackDown. I guess we'll see more of these two down the road.

I like the track they are setting up with William Regal and his new partner, Dave Taylor. It's about time they once again realize that Regal is not just some jobber stiff, and his match with Benoit at No Mercy should have proved that given time, Regal can wrestle with the best of them. Now we'll see how long they develop this team and if there is truly any future for them. How about a possible tag title match with London and Kendrick? That would be something to look out for.

Undertaker on TV is always supposed to be special, but his non-title match with Gregory Helms lacked any real purpose other than to get the deadman over as usual. It did nothing for Helms, and wasted a TV shot for Taker. Not sure again what they were trying to do with this one. They also did a thing with the Miz and the Divas dancing, but that was a total waste of TV time.

Overall though, I thought this wrapped up a good week of TV. RAW was solid, ECW was pretty good as well, and this was not a bad show. For what they threw out there, and what they have already set up for next week, it was a pretty good show overall.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ECW 10/17

ECW got back to being a decent wrestling show on Tuesday night on Sci-Fi, and one week after non-stop sluts that stopped any momentum that show may have had, this week there was no sign of any females nor skin that distracted from some pretty good in-ring performances. The main event was well booked as Big Show took on Rob Van Dam with the stip that if RVD lost he would never get another title shot. It was obvious booking that set up a win for RVD and an upcoming title shot at the ECW PPV in December that should mean Van Dam getting the belt back, but it was pretty good nonetheless. The end of the match with Test and Hardcore Holly getting involved was predictable, but again, I could buy it and the shot that Show took to eventually lead to the loss was pretty hardcore.

The other main event between Sandman and Matt Striker in a Singapore Cane Match was somewhat weak, but Striker did take some pretty sick cane shots, as expected, before he eventually called it quits and took the countout loss. Despite being long in the tooth and well past his prime, they seem to do a good job keeping Sandman fresh with different opponents, and I personally like what they have done with Striker in making him seem much bigger than what he is. There are a few guys that have really benefited from ECW, and Striker is for sure one of them.

CM Punk continued his rise with a submission win over Rene Dupree. Looks like Punk will continue to get a major push, and now his program with Mike Knox can really get into high gear. Not sure how good Knox is when the spotlight is on him, but with Punk in the mix, these matches should be at least decent to good. As for Dupree, he cannot seem to escape the doghouse that he was in back in the SmackDown days when he was losing to John Cena.

The two other matches on the show saw Test beat Balls Mahoney, which was a decent match, and Sabu beat on Shannon Moore and eventually got a pinfall win. Sabu continues to deliver week in and week out, and Moore continues to pretty much come across as a major jobber. Test looks like he is headed for the program with Bob Holly, as he stated that Holly is due to be back on TV next week, despite the fact he was on the show during the main event.

All in all, it was nice to see them get back to wrestling, and not just exposing sluts the whole night. I did forget that they did debut Rebecca DiPetro as a new backstage interviewer, which totally came across as lame as she was about the worst person they could have ever brought in to ever do an interview. Rumors had her for awhile hooked up with Batista while the Diva search was going on, and you have to wonder if they are still linked up if he had anything to do with her getting back on TV. Despite that, it was good to see them get back to what made the show good the past few weeks until last week - and that is solid wrestling top to bottom.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

News and Notes in and Out of the Ring

Lots of things going on in the WWE and wrestling these days, and here are just a few tidbits with some thoughts as we move on getting closer to the Cyber Sunday PPV on November 5th in Cincinnati.

* As it usually goes, another former WWE star has come out, bashing the company as he tries to make an impact with his new employer. Such as the case with Kurt Angle, who gave the WWE a tounge lashing in a 90+ minute conference call earlier this week. Angle had lots to say, and funny now that after leaving the WWE on "good terms" he now is coming out and pretty much stating that he was not happy at all with the position that he was in. There was a ton of negative comments about Vince McMahon and him not letting Angle take time off to address a painkiller addiction, and also not letting him take time off in general. He stated that in TNA there are plenty of "5 star" wrestlers that he can have great matches with, while in WWE there were only a few. I think the most ridiculous statement in the presser was that he is "100 percent healthy," and is ready to go full steam ahead with TNA. Why do I think that as much as I enjoyed Angle and what he brought to the ring night in and night out, he will regret some of what he is saying now just to get over with the second rate TNA.

* For all you bachelors out there - get ready - Torrie Wilson is about to be single again. Wilson disclosed on her page that she and wrestler Billy Kidman are in the stages of a divorce. I can't imagine how tough it would be to stay working for a company that fired your husband. Here is a portion of the story on her page: "Well, I have decided to let you in on a secret that I have been holding in for much too long. I am very heartbroken to say that I am in the stages of a divorce. It makes me incredibly sad to say this and I hope that you will respect me and my privacy at this really difficult time. This is just something that has been eating at me for some time now, and I feel it's best to hear it straight from me rather than read it somewhere else. I think I have made things harder on myself by pretending that everything is fine and dandy to the outside world. I just pray that by opening up about this now, it might be easier to move forward in my life journey." Gee, wonder how many guys will be in line to get a date with the Playboy Diva?

* Picked up the new Hulk Hogan Anthology DVD set yesterday at Best Buy for just $20. It's three disks of wrestling and comes with a bonus "Hogan Knows Best" disc as well. Got most of the way through the first disc, which included possibly my all-time favorite Hogan match - the "War to Settle the Score" between he and Roddy Piper at Madison Square Garden on February 18th 1984. The match was the setup for the first WrestleMania main event, which is also on the first disc. The most rare match on the 3 has to be a match between Hogan and the late Curt Henning from the short lived XWF wrestling group that Hogan was a part of in Florida. Overall the four disks are easily worth the $20 that most retailers are selling it for.

* Pretty much everyone knows that the "Cyber Sunday" main event will be for nothing more than to set up this years main event at Survivor Series in Philadelphia. The RAW team vs the SmackDown team vs the ECW team. These types of matches always look good on paper, but usually come out flat and in the end fail to live up to the hype. The match might be better this time around as its basically just three men on each team. The Raw team will be John Cena and DX. SmackDown is King Booker, Rey Mysterio and Batista, and ECW is Big Show, RVD and Sabu. Again, great on paper, but we'll see how it plays out in the end.

* "The Marine" with John Cena finished 6th this past week at the theaters, and you can bet that with all the hype on WWE TV that is not where the company thought it would be. Here's the problem from where I see it - it's a bad movie. There have been some bad movies with wrestlers, but from everything I have read (I have yet to see it), this is not a very good flick. gave it a "D" rating, with the following commentary: "When a movie is this stupid and unconcerned with reality, the goal posts get moved. Is it fun anyway? Are there enough brutal killings? Enough car chases? Enough fireballs? Is the block-of-granite star ridiculously indestructible? And the answer here is yes. It sucks and yet it doesn't, you know?" The one positive review that I could find came from the SF Chronicle - "The genius of the film is in its unapologetically obvious crowd-pleasing moments. There's a hot girl-on-hot girl catfight, for example, that goes on just long enough for you to get some popcorn, validate your parking ticket, move to another lot and get back in time for the last of the hair pulling." I just hope that in th future with these WWE films that we can stop spending 10-15 minutes per show with preview after preview and interview after interview with each and every actor or actress in the film.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

RAW 10/16

RAW took place in Los Angeles on Sunday, and was taped to be shown on TV Monday night as the crew took off for a tour of Japan right after the show. The show was solid, with some of the new feuds getting more steam as well as some celebs in the crowd getting involved, which at times was pretty funny. You can't tell me that Kevin Federline getting heat was not one of the more memorable moments on RAW over the last year. Nothing like a no-talent that gets way too much pub getting jeered as much as any major wrestling heel. It was entertaining as well as original for the product, which the show lacks at lot of weeks.

The two major plot lines for the show was the push forward to the upcoming main event feud between DX and Randy Orton and Edge, and the other push was for the title bout that will happen at Cyber Sunday between John Cena, King Booker and the Big Show, which while we all know will have no formal ending, should be a solid match none the less. The main event of the show was a singles match between HHH and Randy Orton, which was a good match, and one that the two have been working at house shows for a few weeks already. These two had a long program when HHH was the heel and Orton the face after they gave Orton the title back two summers ago. Those matches were okay, but now with Michaels and Edge in the mix, these by all rights should be better. The offense was crisp, though I would have liked to have seen Orton get a bit more in, but trust me, that will come down the road.

The other solid match on the card was a fatal four-way intercontinental match with Jeff Hardy vs Shelton Benjamin vs Super Crazy vs Chris Masters. Hardy has done a nice job with the belt so far, and I think that if they keep it on him for a few months, it will make the belt mean a lot more than just its usual shifting back and forth from mid-card guy to mid-card guy. I know that for CS they are planning on having the fans pick Hardy's opponent, and I hope that they go with either Carlito or Benjamin, two guys that would give Hardy a very good match. Word is Carlito is the guy likely to get the shot.

Cryme Time made their debut, and you can see that they will have the tag belts within the next month or so. They are pushing the breakup of the Spirit Squad hard, with Kenny getting all mad at the end of the match and going after other members of the team. I can't believe how over Cryme Time is though, it really is amazing that a few comedic TV spots and they are cheered all over the place. Their interaction with Booker backstage was pretty good as well.

The K-Fed stuff with Nitro, Melina, and then Cena was also very well timed and funny. Everyone knew that in the end, that Mr. Spears would get the F-U, and I thought that the whole segment was well done, with that bit of PPV feel to it. You don't normally get celebs that are willing to take a main event move like Federline did, and I will give him total credit for going out there, knowing he would get booed, then taking the move. For as much as I think the guy is a joke, it takes some guts to do what he did, and for that, I will give him credit.

The segment with the two guys from "Jackass" was also pretty funny. Having Steve-O get beat down by Umaga was great. I know that the on-line freaks are all mad that Steve-O was laughing during the whole thing, but come on, if you've ever watched or seen the JA movies, you know that these guys take beatdowns for a living and keep coming back, so this was pretty well done. Give Umaga credit as well for handing out some pretty stiff shots as well.

That was about it for the highlights of the show. SmackDown was taped at the show as well, and you can see more of the same when it comes to celebs and what not Friday night, as well as the last match for Mystero for awhile and a title match between Booker and Batista. A solid two hours, and some good build for the 11/5 Cyber Sunday.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

SmackDown 10/13

This past Friday night edition of SmackDown was highlighted by a three-way #1 contender match as Lashley, Batista and Finley all went at it for the right to meet King Booker for the title next week. It was a solid match that in the end saw Batista walk away with the right to meet Booker. Not sure about the booking of this one, as Batista has had more than one shot to get the belt back from Booker, and the last time they met it was Finley who helped Booker keep the belt with a clean win. Next week the storyline will have both John Cena and Big Show watching the title match, as these three are going to have a "Champions of Champions" match coming up at Cyber Sunday. With that, it looks as if we are going to have some sort of interference that will lead to a DQ win by Batista, keeping him in title mix for yet another shot at Booker in the future.

There was a lot else to this show, making it what I felt was the best in sometime. Kane joined the roster, and beat up MVP before he bailed out on the match, thus making the crowd hate him even more. MVP got little offense on the Big Red Machine, and eventually just ran away. It looks like the same old for Kane, as they will use him as the monster on the roster, and eventually he will get beat by someone who in no way shape or form should ever get over on him. There was a lot of talk in the past few months about Kane retiring sometime in 2007, meaning that this could very well be his last run now that he's on SmackDown.

The other biggest event on the show was the match between Chris Benoit and Ken Kennedy that led to music from the Undertaker playing, eventually leading to Benoit getting the crossface on Kennedy and having him tap out, leading to Benoit getting back the US Title. It was a good story leading to the title change, and I like the belt on Benoit, as I still think he's the hardest working wrestler on the SmackDown roster. I think so highly of him that I still think that down the road they should allow him to get the World Heavyweight Title back. His title regin after WrestleMania 20 when he made HHH tap out was a solid title regin that ended too soon to Randy Orton.

Chavo and Mystero's feud will finally end next week as they will have an "I Quit" match that will lead to Mystero leaving the roster for some time to have knee surgery. I am totally burned out of these two, despite them having solid matches, even the "falls count anywhere" match last week at the No Mercy PPV. I think that its time for the both of them to move on, and of course with Mystero leaving, they are going to need to find something new for Chavo. Maybe a feud with Benoit? That would be interesting.

Vito vs Regal and a six-man with the tag champs and Jimmy Yang vs Idol, Stevens and Sylvan was also on the show, and pretty much played as filler over the other stuff that again, I thought was pretty good. We'll see if they can follow it up next week with the Supershow taping in Los Angeles with the title match as well as the "I Quit" finale between Chavo and Mystero. All in all, a good showing from the brand.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ECW 10/10

Well, as a fan of actual wrestling, this version of ECW on Tuesday night was painful to watch. Interesting that the entire "strip poker" premise was reportedly done to combat the free Ortiz-Shamrock UFC match on Spike TV, but that 2+ minute match was well over by the time that ECW began. Meaning that if they were that concerned about it, you could have easily watched the UFC show, which I did, then with plenty of time to check out the ALCS on Fox, turn back over to Sci-Fi to catch ECW. Just a train wreck from the word go.

I can't believe that what I thought was momentum with this show actually thought that by rolling out a bunch of sluts to show us the same underwear we've seen a 1,000 times before was going to make the product better than it has been. Note to the writers - get a clue. If fans want porn, fans can find porn elsewhere. I have no problem with divas, and some show of skin, but this was just nothing more than a boring strip tease that got no one's interest.

The actual matches (there were three by my count) were okay, but were clearly the backdrop of the show. The headliner was a six-man tag with Sabu, RVD and Sandman vs Matt Striker, Test and Big Show. A decent match with the faces getting the pin in the end as Sandman beat Striker. Just a thought, but isn't Sandman starting to show his age quite a bit? Let's remember that he's 43, and that he was not wrestling all that much until the ECW shot gave him a full-time wrestling gig again.

CM Punk beat Rene Dupree in one of the other matches, and in the head scratcher of the year, Tommy Dreamer got over clean on Kevin Thorn. No better way to stop someone's push then to lose to Tommy Dreamer, a wrestler who hasn't won a meaningful singles match in about 6 years. Can't figure that one out for the life of me, but again, I didn't get much out of this show or its booking anyway.

As for the "strip poker" fiasco, I was totally bored with it about two minutes in. Trinity looks like a dude in the version of Victoria, Barbie "Kelly Kelly" Blank is just that, blank. Maria played her part as the dumb chick, Candice Michelle was the typical slut who you knew would eventually get naked, Ashley was the rock and roll chick with the ever classic "F**k Love" shirt (gee, a bit bitter about a past relationship?), and Krystal was playing the role of the high-class slut.

Nothing more than a stupid way to stop any steam that ECW had. Again, I know it was a taped show, and I know that maybe the WWE felt the competition from UFC and Major League Baseball would drop ratings, but a word to the wise - please don't waste our time ever again with this crap.

RAW 10/9

The so-called "season premiere" of RAW was a showcase of the company's three champions, as King Booker, John Cena, and Big Show all squared off in the ring, did a little brawl, and then it was announced by the returning Vince McMahon that the three would go up against one another at the Cyber Sunday PPV on November 5th in Cincy. The other part of the show that will lead to a major feud is Edge, who called out and will team up with Randy Orton, going up against DX in what should be a solid back and forth between the four major superstars.

There was lots of filler on the show, as with it going a full three hours five minutes, the opening with the three champs went almost a half an hour. There was a lot of actual wrestling as well, as there were 9 total matches. The interesting thing is how they put on a three hour show one night after a PPV which was highlighted by just six matches, and a fat male stripper, and made fans pay $40 for it. Then one night later they put on a much bigger and better card on free TV. And the company wonders why fans get turned off to it.

They finally did the angle where Umaga goes over clean on Kane, and now Kane must leave RAW. Of course this only looks as if its going to set up another team with he and his "brother" the Undertaker on SmackDown. Though it would be interesting if they could land Kane on ECW. I would like to see some matches between he and some of new guys on the show. It at least would make for interesting TV for a few weeks. Big Show beat on Jeff Hardy, scoring the clean pin. Each champion on the show won, and Show and Booker got over clean, while even though it states no contest, they protected Cena in the main event of the show against Taker.

The DX-Cade&Murdoch Street Fight was somewhat weak, as you could tell this was a TV Street Fight instead of that on PPV. The four went at it pretty good, and Cade did the job of blading and getting buried with the two finishing moves and the pin. This will put a end to this mini-feud and set up the upcoming program with Orton and Edge vs DX. Shelton Benjamin and Chris Benoit had a short but solid match. They underuse Benjamin so badly, its not even funny. He should not have been in a position to lose like he did to Benoit. I agree that Benoit deserved to comeback and get a win on the show, but it should have been against someone else (Johnny Nitro?).

The SmackDown six-man was okay, with the faces of Batista, Mystero and Lashley getting over on Finley, Regal and Guerrero. There is no question that over the last two weeks, you can see who the crowd really feels is the star of SmackDown, and that is Batista. His crowd reactions are the biggest on the show, and one has to wonder what they will do in the future with him, and at what point does he get the belt back. If they wait too long, does he go stale? If they put it on him too fast, is it a death blow for the belt and does it become stale? Wait and see.

To me the best part on the show, being a fan for well over 20 years, was the intro's of the legends - Roddy Piper (please WWE keep using him!), Money Inc (great to see I.R.S!), and Arn Anderson. The story of them being there to help out Ric Flair against the five members of the Spirit Squad was well done, and I have to agree with J.R. as he said time after time that Monday nights are the most special time of the week when it comes to wrestling. Well, that's true as well since its the only show live. In this case, it was a great chance to get the older guys on the show, as well as have them interact a bit with the younger SS and Flair.

The main event was a well worked match with Taker and Cena, and of course ended with the interference of Booker and Show. This came down after the announcement that three three would face off at the PPV in November. It's a solid decision, and one that will lead to the eventual team concept of RAW vs SmackDown vs ECW at the Survivor Series in Philly. All in all, an enjoyable three hour show that pretty much highlighted each and every major star in all three brands.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Mercy 10/8

WWE's October PPV No Mercy took place Sunday night, and while the card was very lackluster going in, and not much in the way of turns or title changes took place, the wrestlers all worked very hard and made it a show that was okay for what it was worth. The show was complete with a fatal 4 way for the title with King Booker keeping his title, and the other title match saw Kendrick and London keep their titles over Idol and Stevens in really what ended up being a very solid match.

Chris Benoit made his return on the PPV, and he and William Regal stole the show with a 12 minute match that included very solid wrestling as well as some vicious head shots that ended with Regal bleeding and Benoit having blood as well coming out of his mouth. The problem with the match as a whole is since it came across as a surprise, the match will be well overlooked by the fans that were watching the show mostly to see Booker go against the odds and lose his belt - which he didn't. I for one hope that they think clearly about this and allow Benoit to go up against Booker for the title and even think long and hard about him winning it. He would be a great example of what a champion should be, and with the belt would represent the promotion and SmackDown as a whole very proud.

The other matches on the card were again, well done as far as the effort from the wrestlers, but the overall buzz was just dead. Matt Hardy and Gregory Helms went at it in the opener, and had a solid match, which is not hard to believe at all based on their past matches. I don't understand why at a "B" PPV though, with not much else happening, that the match was a non-title match? Hardy went over and got the clean win, and by all means should not have the belt, but for some reason does not. Maybe its a setup for a future title switch, but we'll see.

The tag title match was very good, with again, the title staying with the current wrestlers in London and Kendrick going over clean against the tag team of Idol and Stevens. The four guys worked well together, and made this a very enjoyable and watchable match. I was expecting a title change, but can see the current champs keeping the belts, and hopefully they will keep these two teams going at it for a few more matches.

I get the whole thing with MVP. They wanted to bring in a guy with such an ego, that by wrestling stiffs for the first month to two months, he will get so much heat that the fans cannot wait for him to get his lunch handed to him. Of course in years to come, when people look at the lineup for No Mercy 2006, everyone will ask - who the heck is Marty Garner and why was he on a PPV match? MVP looked like a green rookie, that is going to need a lot of work to eventually get some real heat with the fans and good matches with faces.

Kennedy vs Taker was slow and pretty weak. They did what they had to do protecting Kennedy as a guy that is going to be part of the future of the show, yet as usual they protected Taker so that even though he lost, he looked strong with getting tombstones on Kennedy and the ref, which why the ref I didn't get, but whatever.

As far as the main was concerned, the four-way was a decent back and forth battle, with each guy getting some offense. I wouldn't really say there was a MVP (no pun there) of the match, since each guy got offense, and each guy was portrayed pretty strong in the end. Booker got the pin on his court member - Finley, after Batista beat up Finley enough to soften him up for the pin. This should lead to some interesting booking, if they continue with a Finley face turn, or do they go into the planned Batista-Finley feud that was supposed to be the one-on-one for this card.

One thing they clearly could not do, is go ahead with the planned main event, as no one for one second brought Lashley going over and getting the strap one-on-one vs Booker. They needed to spice the match up, they did, and it got over about as well as it was going to. I personally gave the card a thumbs in the middle, or the obvious 5 out of 10. The card was so weak going in, I don't think enough happened to make it any better, nor any worse than an average show.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rumors True? Rights Renewed To NWO Trademark

I know the rumors have been out there for some time, and I know that even here the topic has been thrown out, but now according to sources the rumors are true. Get ready for NWO vs DX. Yes, the feud that the WWE hinted about Monday night on RAW is apparently going to happen. The WWE has renewed the rights to the NWO trademark, and on September 27th went ahead and filed it with the purpose of using it to sell clothing merchandise.

The trademark can be seen on Below is a cut and paste of what was filed:

Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Clothing, namely, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sports jerseys, tank-tops, sweatpants, tops, bottoms, and shorts; headgear, namely, hats and caps; footwear. FIRST USE: 20020531. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020531
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Filing Date September 27, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Registration Date September 25, 2007
Attorney of Record Renee L. Duff
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE>

Basically it represents that the company is once again in the process of getting ready to bring back the faction that once made WCW tons of money and was the hottest thing in the world of wrestling for part of the 90's.

What it means in 2006-07 is that the faction should be brought in by Eric Bishoff, and will end up in a mega feud with DX that could last all the way to WrestleMania in Detroit in April of 2007. It would be the perfect setup for Bishoff to get back in the loop as a character on TV, and it would be a real feud for DX, away from the last two wasted feuds with the Spirit Squad and the McMahons that ended up with them basically squashing the two teams.

If the feud is done right, the entire thing could be a homerun, if not, it could be another dud. The last time that the NWO was in the mix, the faction turned out to be a complete disaster, and the only wrestler that gained anything from it was Hulk Hogan, who eventually left the group after a loss at WrestleMania 18 vs The Rock and the following month became the champion after beating HHH.

That will not happen this time, at least it had better not. The group will likely be headlined by both Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, and may add some wrestlers from there under Bishoff's guidence. Maybe Chris Masters? He was dissed by DX on Monday night. Whatever the case may be, the WWE is standing on top of what they are thinking is going to be a money making feud and a winner in the ratings department. If not, it will be another big loser and back to the drawing board for the company.

No Mercy Main Event Scrapped For Fatal Four-Way

With knowing that they are headed for what is sure to be the worst drawing PPV event of 2006, the WWE announced on their website on Tuesday that Sunday's No Mercy main event has been scrapped, and a fatal four-way has been signed for the World Heavyweight Title. The original match between champion King Booker and Bobby Lashley has been changed to now including former champ Batista and one-half of Booker's "court" in Finley.

This move basically means that the company could not get enough fans nor those behind the scene into thinking that a Lashley-Booker match could possibly carry a PPV. In reality, it cannot, which has been the argument from day one of when they announced the match. The TV ads that have been running all over the country by mistake the last 10 days have Batista and Booker as the main event, showing how up in the air this main event was just as of a month ago, when the company gets ready to push the next months PPV.

While I think the entire time they have pondered keeping the belt on Booker, this type of panic booking to changing the main event of a PPV just five days before the match can almost assure that they are going to keep the belt with Booker for at least another month. If Lashley was to win it, why wouldn't they just keep it a singles match, and if Batista was to win it, why would they have scrapped the mis-promoted match between the two for this PPV? And of course we all know that Finley is simply in there to fill the void as the second heel in the match.

I can't remember the last time a main event of a PPV has been changed this late in the game. Possibly back in 99 at Survivor Series when it was scheduled to be Champion HHH vs The Rock vs Steve Austin in a three-way for the belt. Austin could not compete due to his neck injury that was going to require major surgery, so they did an angle on Heat that allowed him to get out of the match. They instead added the Big Show to the match, and even allowed him to win the belt to let the fans go home happy.

I'm sure there is a lot more behind the scenes to this decision, and as we get closer to Sunday, I'll try and dig up as many details on it as possible and pass it along in another article.

ECW 10/3

The ECW brand on Tuesday night put on what would have to be considered one of its best TV outings to date, complete with interesting storyline twists, and another solid main event, this time between Test and RVD in a ECW Rules match. The brand is starting to gain some momentum, and with their first brand only PPV since the new show began in just two months, they are already laying the groundwork for that show.

Of course the only down point was the constant non-stop referencing of next weeks "Ultimate Strip Poker" between head slut Kelly Kelly from ECW, and some of the other ladies from the other shows. The show seemed to come to a dead halt each and everytime that they rolled out some of the women to talk about what is sure to be a total joke next week. And of course the main course was when Kelly Kelly opened her shirt and had her breasts only covered by two playing cards. How original.

They also put forth the process of Hardcore Holly becoming a face, as he had a run-in with Paul Heyman, who got the save from Test. This was coming after last weeks unreal match with RVD, and the crowd cheering Holly for taking such a beating with a huge, and I mean huge, gash across his back. This sets up a break for Holly to heal, then comeback and have a program with Test.

The opener tag with Big Show and Matt Striker vs Sabu and Sandman was okay. The Sandman-Striker feud is already getting a bit stale, and I think both these guys are destined to be mid-carders on the roster. Sandman's open is the only reason to watch him as a wrestler, and Striker's whole gimmick is why he's even on the roster. Striker and Big Show got the win, which was fine in the end considering what the match was.

Kevin Thorn and Tommy Dreamer had a match, and that match was also just past the point of okay. I like Thorn's gimmick, but let's face the facts here that Dreamer has barley been allowed to win more than just a few matches since the brand started up again, so you knew going in what to expect here. Thorn and Ball Mahoney had a program going, but there was no real advancement here of this, nor any word if we will see them in a ring again anytime soon.

They did a push for the upcoming CM Punk and Mike Knox feud that is likely to really heat up next week. Punk beat Dann Doring in an okay match, and then afterwords Kelly Kelly was on her old strip tease stage and wanted to congratulate Punk on the win with a strip. Knox of course then got involved, blaming Punk for the whole thing, and then went to the ring to confront him, only to then go yellow and leave. The angle kind of doesn't make sense, from the regard that if you have a girlfriend, and you can clearly see week after week that she is hitting on some guy, why logically would you automatically blame the guy? Wouldn't you at least have a healthy discussion with your girl as to why she was all over this guy? Maybe they can call Dr.Phil for this one before these two have it out.

The main with RVD and Test was just off the charts. The past two weeks matches with RVD have just been outstanding, and the show is getting some serious props all over the web for its past two
weeks. The effort is there, the matches have been booked well, and for the most part, the storylines have been solid as well. Right now I am so much more looking forward to the December ECW PPV than I am Sunday's No Mercy SmackDown PPV.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

RAW 10/2

This weeks edition of RAW had plenty to not like, with the ending of the show being the high point of the week, along with a well done Intercontinental title match that finally saw Jeff Hardy get the best of Johnny Nitro to take the title. There were a ton of goofy stuff that in the long run does not really add to the show, and yes, some if it makes you laugh a little bit, but for the most part it really does not do anything to further the product, and that is a major problem.

As stated, the two highlights of the show would be the cage match main event as John Cena defeated Edge to keep the title. The match felt a lot like the final spot in their long feud, as the show really did a solid job in showing past highlights, and really led into the match well. The match was solid, and both guys worked hard. The ending was, I thought, well done, with Cade and Murdoch coming in on behalf of Edge, and DX showing up to help Cena. The only ironic thing about it is how quickly we forget that one half of DX, Triple H, was Cena's main rival for the early portion of the year.

The IC title match also was well done, as Jeff Hardy and Nitro worked hard, and the more I see of these two in the ring together, the more I want to see. Their matches are always crisp, with each guy not afraid to throw themselves around and take chances. Hardy is still the risk taker of the two, but give credit to Nitro for not being afraid to go after a high spot, while still being able to pull out some mat wrestling as well and make the match paced to the point where neither guy blows out in 3 minutes. The ending was solid, and I like the thought right now of having the belt on Hardy, for at least awhile, and having these two continue to go at it for another month or so.

Now on to the stuff that was not so good, and there was plenty. First off, I am fine with comedy. As a matter a fact, I enjoy when the company tries to get a laugh or two. But, this week was just too much for my liking. This weeks show almost made me want the McMahon's to come back. Coach has been fine in his role, but his week after week of trying to be a GM is starting to not be something we as fans can buy. This week DX totally buried any sort of authority that Coach had, and in the process went on to bury a bunch of guys on the show.

We start the show with a Texas Tornado match with DX vs Cade&Murdoch, The Highlanders, and Vicera and Haas. This is fine, except how could anyone expect anything more than a DX beating that results in Coach getting the better of them? Instead, we have DX going over in less than 5 minutes, and making the three teams look awful in the process. I knew once they didn't beat the Spirit Squad at Unforgiven, that the Highlanders were done, and this match only proves my theory right.

Then DX goes on the rest of the night to "run the show" and they end up with Coach in a garbage bin, therefore getting rid of him for the rest of the show. No problem with faces getting to have a piece of making the show, but this was pretty bad. They proceeded the rest of the night to bury the Spirit Squad, Chris Masters, and Eric Bishoff. The line of the century on RAW might have been HHH asking if Masters wrote a book if it would be called "How to Lose 50 Pounds in a Couple Weeks." Little does HHH know that if he was off the roids, he'd lose a bunch of weight as well.

The show also really focused on pushing next weeks three-hour show that will have all three brands on it, and is sure to have some interesting inter-promtional matches with the ECW, RAW and SmackDown wrestlers. I don't remember there being a "season premiere" of RAW in the past, but I guess they are using this in hopes of a ratings boost. The show will also have new music, and you can bet that the McMahons will be back on TV for this one. Let's just hope that they don't let DX run the show for three hours.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

SmackDown 9/29

It was a mixed bad this last week on SmackDown, as the show used a RAW star to get over it's six-man tag, as well as try and build up its upcoming PPV on October 8th - No Mercy. The show as highlighted by the six-man tag, as RAW Champion John Cena tagged with Bobby Lashley and Batista to take on King Booker, along with Finley and William Regal. The match itself was okay, with the face team coming out on top. The ending of the show was kind of bizare, as they used Edge coming in and spearing Cena to get over their upcoming cage match for the title on RAW Monday night. It was as if the entire night was leading to that moment, and once it happened it seemed to make everything that happened the entire show for every SmackDown star mean a little less. Even Lashley getting the pin over King Booker seemed not to mean as much.

Ken Kennedy's interaction with the Undertaker was rather funny, and part of me does want to see this match to see what angle they play. They could very easily let Kennedy get over if they have someone come in and interfere on his behalf, thus his cheating allowing him to get the win over Taker. No way shape or form does Kennedy get a clean win over the Undertaker. It's just not going to happen. On the other hand, I can't see them stopping Kennedy's rise and giving the win to Taker either. We shall see what direction they go.

Batista should get a clean win over Finley at the PPV. No reason here to bury Batista anymore than he already has been. Week after week, it looks as if Batista is just not the same. I know that I have stated that here plenty of times before, but the fact that he has yet to get the belt back shows that they are still unsure as to what direction they are going to go with him. Give him the belt, it could lead to a really stale title regin, keep the belt off of him gives them time to maybe try and re-create him a bit and make him fresh again for the chase late in 06 and into 07.

The Mystero-Guerrero match at the PPV will finally end the feud, and I cannot wait. It's been old for about a month already, and I wish they would have not done this feud in the first place. Mystero will be gone for awhile after this match, leading me to think they may actually have him lose and use the injury angle as the reason why. It wouldn't be the worst idea. I just wonder what they do with Vicki after its all said and done. Hopefully get her as far from the ring and mic as possible.

The rest of the show as mostly filler, as the head scratcher of the night was Jimmy Wang Yang losing in his debut match to Sylvan, no idea what the thought process was there. The tag titles will likely change at the PPV with Idol and Stevens beating London and Kendrick, and the Miz gets another win, but no one really cares. One more show till the PPV, and next week they are doing the Friend vs Friend "Pick your Posion" angle with Batista vs Lashley and Finley vs King Booker.

About me

  • I'm Matt Loede
  • From Cleveland OH
  • Matt has been involved in sports media for over ten years, with experience covering the NFL, NBA, and MLB for the past 13+ years.
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