Wednesday, November 29, 2006

RAW 11/27

Monday Night RAW from Pittsburgh this week was designed to further two feuds, while getting major heat on the heel team of Edge and Randy Orton as they will continue their ongoing program with DX. Edge and Orton got the heat this past week with a major bloody beating of Ric Flair, who earlier in the evening was a partner of DX as they took on the Spirit Squad. The other program that was finally introduced to us officially was that of Umaga vs John Cena. They went about this the old fashioned way, and that is by Umaga's manager Armando coming out with the Samoan and saying that its time for his man to get the WWE Championsip, and that Cena is on notice. I liked the way they went about this, as the whole concept as to getting someones attention with a sneak attack sometimes gets old.

The rest of the night was mostly filler, with such things like a womens battle royale to see who Mickie James would face in her first title defense (Victoria), Eugene trying with no success to turn heel by beating Hacksaw Jim Duggan, then telling the fans to stop laughing at him (who was?) and that he is special. Then there was another awful comedy script with Cryme Time beating on a comeidan who was pretending to be Michael Richards. The author of that bit, even if it was Vince McMahon himself, should be fired.

The actual wrestling main event of the show was Edge and Randy Orton vs the Hardy Boyz, who look more and more like they are going to be linked together once Jeff drops the IC belt. The match was for the tag belts, and the Hardys had the match won before Edge used a belt shot to get DQ'ed. It was a pretty solid match between four good workers, and while it got Edge and Orton over as major heels, it also didn't bury the Hardys totally in the process.

Nothing much else happened on the show, and with plenty of time till the New Years Revolution PPV in January, the brand has tons to time to build up to the event. Of course based on Monday night, you can bet we'll likely see some sort of special stip match with DX vs Edge and Orton, and a one-on-one match for the WWE belt with Umaga and Cena. Mondy was a little lacking, but a good way to start both these programs for the build up to the PPV.

Monday, November 27, 2006

2006 Survivor Series Thoughts

When all is said and done, the 2006 version of the Survivor Series will not go down as one the best ever, that's for sure. Too many gimmicks, certian matches not getting enough time, and a lackluster main event that ended up being way too predictible made for a show that in the end was just your average WWE pay-per-view.

Some of the good included - the Chris Benoit vs Chavo Geurrero match. Those two work well together, and I am happy with the decision to keep the belt on Benoit for now instead of a hotshot change over to Chavo. I know they have this ridiclous storyline in the works with something to do with Eddie Guerrero's "estate," but I hope they back off of it and just let Chris and Chavo continue to have strong matches.

Depsite a really bad way to go with the finish, I thought that the DX-Randy Orton/Edge Survivor Series match was pretty good. I totally didn't like the burial job that was done to the Edge/Orton team with all of them losing in what seemed like record time, and having all five DX guys win, but I thought the action of the match was the best of the 5-on-5 matches that they had. Way better than the Legends SS match and it was better than the Cena vs Show led match as well.

The Lita-Mickie James match was way too slow for what it was. Take what Trish and Lita gave us two months ago in Trish's last match, and this one was not very good when you break it down. Then you have what ended up being a totally dumb comedy skit with Cryme Time and Lita, and it ended what was a solid career for one of the better women's wrestlers that we will ever see.

The Cena-Show 5-on-5 was okay, but I really didn't like the way they wasted Umaga, and some of the overall eliminations all night were weak, but this match and the way some of the guys were eliminated I thought was weak. I really thougth they should have used Umaga better, and I think tonight on RAW you will see the program with he and Cena get a major push.

The main event was also very weak, and I can't believe with all the hype they went with a cheap finish of having Batista win with a belt shot. I was really looking forward to this match, but it totally failed to live up to the billing, and it was just a sad ending to a pretty medicore show. I like the fact that we get some fresh stuff with Batista with the belt, but the switch has a long way to go for me to like it if we have more of the same between Booker and Batista, which it looks as if we'll get based on the lineup for the December house shows.

I was looking at this show to be a winner, and truthfully, I think that it was okay at best. I guess now we really are going to have to just sit back and wait for the Royal Rumble for the next big PPV for them to get another shot to get it right. They had a shot last night, but really came up short.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Look at the 2006 Survivor Series

Sunday night in Philly the WWE will present its 20th annual November PPV - the Survivor Series. The event has always been anticipated with great promise, but has rarley delivered. I personally was at the very first event held in Richfield Ohio back in 1987, with the event built around the in ring meeting between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. The two were team captains and it was set up as the first meeting between the two in ring since WrestleMania III. I remember how upsetting at the time it was to see Hogan not win the whole thing, but the fact that all the other faces before that match had one should have given me, at 12 years old, a clue as to what would happen next. Oh well. Now, here we are 20 years later getting set for the 2006 edition of the event, and with it some of the better matches on a PPV card in sometime. Here is a quick preview and predicition column on what we might expect on Sunday.

DX, Hardy Boys, and C.M. Punk vs Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms, Mike Knox - Looks as if this is what they are pushing as the main event, based on the all the ads running around it. It's going to be a 5-on-5, which is what all the original SS matches were, which should make it pretty good. I can't see it going any other way than with DX coming out on type, especially with the way that Cyber Sunday ended for them.

John Cena, Kane, Lashley, Sabu & RVD vs. Big Show, Test, MVP, Finlay & Umaga - Not sure about this one, only that Big Show is going to be limited with his injuries, and the storyline with Cena and Umaga needs to move forward, so look for a possible Umaga win, or a double type count out with the two that takes them brawling all the way to the back. Lashley, if he is to win the ECW title at their PPV, could go over here as a push for that title upcoming. Most of the heels are fillers - Test, MVP, and Finely.

Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter & Ron Simmons vs. Kenny, Johnny, Nicky & Mikey - All that really needs to be said here is that the legends will go over, with the squad finally having that one big break up that will end their team once and for all. It really does not matter what legends will go over, but trust me - they will.
Chris Benoit vs Chavo Guerrero (US Title Match) - The obvious feud with Rey Mystero gone for Chavo has come through, with what should be a solid match for the US Title. Chavo has more to gain with the belt, so I think with this feud scheduled to last through the new year, he will for sure win this match and continue to defend the belt against Benoit.

King Booker vs Batista (World Title Match) - Friday nights stip added that this would be Batista's last title match if he loses basically clinches that he is due to win back the belt. Booker has had a good run, and with house show matches due for the two well into January, you know that those matches will be with Batista with the strap. Both men do need to pick it up a notch, as their past matches have been lackluster at best.

Undertaker vs Mr.Kennedy (First Blood Match) - Another feud that is slated to continue, I can see MVP interference costing Taker to bleed first and lose the match, keeping the momentum with Kennedy. Taker losing will not hurt him, as at this point in his career, nothing really can hurt Takers legacy.

Mickie James vs Lita (Womens Title Match) - What a turn the womens division has taken in the last four months, first with Trish gone and now with Lita slated to lose to James Sunday and leave the company. A real sign of the times. Look for a spirited performance from both ladies, with James getting the win. Also look for a James-Melina program to start to pick up the womens division once Lita departs.

Friday, November 24, 2006

SmackDown 11/24

SmackDown! Friday night was the go home show getting ready for Sunday nights Survivor Series, which is shaping up to be one of the best PPV's that the WWE has offered this year. The show was well put together, and the first three matches of the night, all within the first 50 minutes of the show, were the real highlights. The final segment of the show was a "contract signing" between Booker and Batista, as they get set for their "final" title match on the PPV Sunday.

Of course the way it looks, they are setting up Batista to finally win back the belt on Sunday night. It's at the site where he had to give up the belt sometime ago, and now, it looks like the place where he will finally get it back. Frankly, I would be shocked at this point if he does not get the belt back. It seems that he has regained all the momentum that it looked that he lost when he came back and didn't win the belt at SummerSlam, so now, he really should get it back.

I liked the 3 matches that started the show, MVP vs Kane in a cage, Jimmy Yang vs Gregory Helms, and William Regal vs Brian Kendrick. All three matches were won by the heels, but they all were well done matches, and all six guys worked really hard. MVP gets a lift with his "clean" win over Kane, Helms and Yang had a soid match, and it looks as if Regal and Dave Taylor will soon be getting the belts as for the last two weeks Regal has scored single wins over London and Kendrick. The eventual breakup of London and Kendrick will soon happen. Trust me.

The rest of the night was spent getting set for Sunday night. Mr.Kennedy did a promo for his "first blood" match with the Undertaker, and at the end Kennedy was showered with blood from the top of the arena. Those two have had decent matches, and the feud has made Kennedy for the most part. Should be a Taker win Sunday, but we'll see.

Finley beat Chris Benoit in a non-title match, which was solid. Of course they had to use Chavo and Vicki to run distraction, which basically does nothing more than builds up their match for Sunday. Chavo has more to gain with the win Sunday, but as for the stupid "estate" storyline, I think its way past done, and very not believeable.

The Boogeyman and his 10 cent gimmick ended the matches for the night with a countout win over the Miz. What a bad way to end what I thought was about the best night of matches we've seen on the show for sometime. I could have done without the return of Boogeyman, and this go around with him and Miz is bad to say the least.

Overall more good than bad, and I think that the PPV is going to be something to see on Sunday, and it seems like they are really putting some solid effort into making this a must see show. I for one am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

ECW 11/21

ECW on Tuesday night was back at it live with four matches, three of which were to highlight the stars and the main event became another solid match between Hardcore Holly and RVD. The stip was if RVD lost he would lose his place in the title 6-man at the PPV to Holly, so you knew that RVD would win, but it wasn't easy. It's amazing that in two matches between Holly and RVD on ECW TV they may be the best two televised matches that the brand has had since coming back. Hopefully the powers that be will see the chemistry that these two have, and continue to have them go at it.

The Hardy's first tag match together in four years was the other highlight of the show, and while it seemed a little forced, the two together can still make things happen. I personally still think that the push that Jeff Hardy has gotten and that he has taken advantage of it has been one of the most positive things on WWE TV in 2006. At first it looked totally wasted, but the matches with him and Nitro have been outstanding, and the match with him and Carlito at Taboo Tuesday was also a very good match. Needless to say, Matt and Jeff easily beat the FBI.

Bobby Lashley beat Matt Striker in the opener, which was nothing more than another match to highlight Lashley's power and get him over going into the PPV main event in a few weeks. I still have my long term doubts about Lashley in ECW, but for now I think that he is going to be successful in the short term. Down the road, I think he could get stuck being just another huge guy that with little mic skills gets pushed aside.

C.M. Punk also got a squash win over Kevin Thorn, the third squash of the night. The ongoing storyline with Punk and Mike Knox will continue, as Knox was watching from the entrance area. I don't know why this will continue, as Punk has beaten Knox at every turn.

A promo with Big Show about the elimination chamber main event was really the only other thing on the show, and in the end of it Lashley came out and hit Show with the belt, possibly setting up a program between the two once we get past the PPV.

That was about it for the one hour show. As stated here before, the PPV is really going to make it or break it for this company, and poor numbers may just signal the end of this brand as a whole. That is why they are trying to pull out all the stops with the elimination chamber, and you can bet that there will be some other SmackDown or RAW guys involved in this PPV before its all said and done. They need to push the last two TV's to make this PPV one that people really want to see, like the last two One Night Stand's.

Monday, November 20, 2006

SmackDown 11/17 & News and Notes

I thought that the Friday Night edition of SmackDown this past week was mostly a mixed bag of just filler around the main event push of Survivor Series between Batista and King Booker. I still don't quite get the push for this match, as we have seen it from SummerSlam to free TV to now on another PPV. You would think that if Batista was ever going to get the belt back, this would have to be it, but from everything I read, that is not going to happen. Most of the latest SmackDown & ECW house show lineups still have Booker as champion. It's not real tough to change those cards, but if the overall tone is that of Booker as champion, which it is, I would think that he keeps the belt again.

Another tease that they pushed on the show was the breakup of London and Kendrick, which I basically said would happen about two months ago. London lost a match to William Regal when London on accident hit Ashley, who was outside the ring. Kendrick was looking after her when Regal hit London with a knee for the easy win. The tease of a breakup came after the match, and it looks likes it will be over who wins the affection of Ashley, which is such an overused storyline, but this company is well known for going back to the well.

I thought the MVP-Kane street fight was okay at best. I didn't really get the Kennedy interference, but then again, its all about building the match for Survivor Series with Kennedy and Undertaker, which they did with Kennedy getting involved in this match. The match itself was mostly MVP taking a beating, and by the end the win for him after tons of interference really didn't mean all that much. The loss for Kane sort of sets back any sort of momentum he had, but we all knew that in due time that would be coming anyway. The two will do it again next week, this time in a cage.

That was really it for this show, as stated above it was just a push for the PPV upcoming, and nothing much else came of it. As for some other news:

* Word is that Undertaker is suffering bad from a rib injury over in Europe, and that his match with Kennedy at the Survivor Series will likely be one in which he is very limited. It's just amazing to think about the amount of physical punishment that this man has taken from being in a WWE ring since 1988. With a little one at home, maybe its really time for him to start thinking about hanging up the boots for good.

* Another wrestler that was suffering so bad he had to have surgery was that of Roddy Piper. Reports are that Piper left the U.K. Tour early and had to have surgery for what was said to be a disc problem. He is out of the Survivor Series match involving the Legends Team, and word is there will be a replacement named maybe as early as tonight on RAW.

* Speaking of RAW, the only match that I have seen for tonight is that of a ladder match for the IC title between Jeff Hardy and Nitro. These two have had some of my favorite RAW matches in 2006, and this one should be another classic. This could be the series of matches that pushes Nitro to the next level, like the Edge-Kurt Angle matches did for Edge back in 2002.

* Tuesday's ECW could be a must see, as it looks as if they are going to have both Matt and Jeff Hardy together on the show to promote Sunday's Survivor Series PPV in which they are on the same team. The Hardy Boyz tag team as they were known have not tagged together in about 5 years, and while I am sure that Tuesday nights show will be nothing more than a way to get them on the show for a beatdown, it should make for interesting TV.

* As of this moment, there are no tickets available for WrestleMania 23 April 1st in Detroit. Tickets went on sale the 11th and were quickly snatched up by those in Detroit and around the country. Don't fret if you didn't get a ticket or tickets now, as they will release more once the stage set up and production is finalized in about 2-3 months. Last year you could get tickets for WM 22 in Chicago on the day of the event through Ticketmaster, so there will be duckets available.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

ECW 11/14

ECW on Tuesday night was also taped from Manchester England, with the show revolving around the brands newest wrestler being brought in - Bobby Lashley. The angle to bring Lashley in was that Paul Heyman opened up the door for a wrestler to come in from any brand to join the six-man elimination chamber match for the brands PPV, and at first it appeared to be Hardcore Holly, but at the end Lashley snuck up, attacked Holly, and took the place as the 6th man.

I like the prospect of Lashley in ECW, and think that his style will fit that of a monster face that can be headed for some main event program down the road with guys like Test and Show. In the end, he is a good addition to the roster, and I am glad that they didn't just throw Kahli into the mix, or even go that route with putting Holly in as a member of Heyman's faction.

Three matches on the show, two which ended with DQ's and the only clear win was for C.M. Punk as he once again forced Mike Knox to tap out in the opener on the program. I am not sure why we had to see this again, as it was basically a rerun from a week ago.

Tommy Dreamer got a DQ win over Daivari when Kahli pulled Dreamer into the post crotch first for a DQ. Not a very strong match, and any sort of push that Daivari was getting is gone with this finish. I hope if nothing else they have been working on getting Kahli ready for in-ring action, as seeing Daivari week after week is already starting to get old.

The main event was a match between Lashley and Hardcore Holly, with interference from Show pulling the ref out of the ring caused a DQ ending that saw Lashley get the win. The faces in the six-man eventually found their way to the ring as the show ended basically with RVD and Lashley facing off, which I don't really get as of right now, but whatever.

A basic show with the debut of Lashley as the highlight. They have got to start getting some other stuff going for the December PPV or its going to bomb bigger than they even think.

RAW 11/13

This past week's edition of RAW was four-hour tape delayed from Manchester, England, and despite the push to put on a good show overseas, it was more of the same for this crew from the week before, and that is taking away the focus on wrestling to push comedy that just does not make the grade for the fans. The premise of the show was heavy on DX and a "bounty" put on them by Coach, as well as a tag-title match that mercifully ended the two week reign of Roddy Piper and Ric Flair, as they lost the belts to Randy Orton and Edge.

The whole "bounty" thing was dumb from the start, as it basically was nothing more than DX getting over on wrestler after wrestler, and the comedy was just not very funny. I have enjoyed DX from the start, and it takes you back to a time when things in the sport were fresh. None of the stuff they have done for about the last month has been fresh, and if you want to take these two seriously, you need to have them start wrestling again, and not just burying wrestlers week in and week out.

I am not sure about the premise of giving Orton and Edge the belts, as it seems like a transition move to then move them to..glup....DX. I don't know if that is the long term goal, unless they do a tag title program with Orton and Edge vs Cryme Tyme, with the eventual switch coming with DX doing a run-in that would cost the champs the belts. That would seem more likely than giving two guys that clearly don't need the belts in HHH and Michaels the belts for a few weeks.

The other angle that they pushed was the Umaga vs Cena feud, as the two had a match that was a blow-off so Big Show could interfere and beat down Cena as a push for the upcoming Survivor Series match highlighting Cena's team vs Big Show's team. The program between Umaga and Cena is expected to be the main event for RAW from now till the Royal Rumble, with Cena eventually getting the better of the Samoan.

The best match of the night was another IC title match between Nitro and Jeff Hardy, which in the end saw Hardy regain the belt. The post match beating that Hardy took with a ladder sets up a predictable ladder match between the two at the next RAW only PPV. It was a solid match and again, as Hardy's comeback started out slow, it has been a pleasant surprise to the 2006 year in wrestling.

The rest of the wrestling on the show was few and far between, and the show was really not well booked and pretty lame from a viewer standpoint. The week after week storyline that pushes DX is really getting stale, and they really need some fresh stuff to get things moving again as they get set for some pretty big upcoming PPV's.

Monday, November 13, 2006

SmackDown 11/10

SmackDown Friday night on CW was taped on Monday as part of a Supershow in Columbus before RAW went on live at 9pm, and the show did a solid job I thought in starting to get some things moving as they head towards the Survivor Series in Philly at the end of the month. The main event was a grudge match between Batista and FInley, that saw Batista get a clean win, and a title shot at King Booker at the upcoming PPV.

Booker was in action early on the show, as they put him in a title match with Lashley, which Booker won by holding the tights. Word has it that Lashley will be the wrestler that will jump ship to ECW, which could be a very interesting move as he could have some very solid matches with Big Show, as well as guys like Test and Hardcore Holly. Look for that move to happen this upcoming week on the ECW Tuesday night show.

Actual wrestling was few and far between on the show, as they had just a total of five matches, including one being a total squash as Boogeyman beat T.J. Dalton. Next week Miz is going to challenge Boogeyman, which should be nothing more than a comedy fest with Miz running all over the ring trying to avoid the worm eater. Chris Benoit beat K.C. James in a U.S. non-title match, and Matt Hardy and Jimmy Wang beat Gregory Helms and Sylvan.

Benoit is heading towards a US Title program with Chavo, and a match between the two was confirmed for the PPV. These two know each other well, and while the Eddie angle is for sure there, they should not have the need to drag it out as much as they did with Mystero and Chavo. The two (Benoit and Chavo) should have some pretty heated and solid matches, and even with a match at the PPV, this could be a feud that lasts up till the Royal Rumble.

The other build up for a match at the PPV is Kennedy vs the Undertaker, as Kennedy called out Taker, and then beat him up with a mic, leaving him bloody. I am not sure about this feud, as unless you totally let Kennedy over, why would you waste his character on being yet another victim for Taker? We all know that Taker is nearing the end, and allowing him to squash Kennedy in a PPV match for a clean win does no favors for anyone.

It was a pretty solid show overall, as the wrestling in the opener and main events saved the night, with the remainder of the show being filler as they get set for the PPV. Batista vs Booker for the title again should be interesting, they have got to do something to change the match up, as we've seen these two go at it way too much. This week it will be MVP vs Kane in a street fight, as well as the continue build for the PPV in Philly on the 26th.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

ECW 11/07

ECW on Tuesday night was highlighted by the heel turn of Hardcore Holly after a short stint as a face for a few weeks following the five-star match he had about 5 weeks ago with RVD. The premise of the turn was a tag match with Holly and RVD vs Big Show and Paul Heyman, and in the match Holly turned and ended up joining up with Heyman and Show to beat on RVD. I expect that Holly is going to find his way into the 6-man elimination match at the PPV in December.

The other announcement of interest is an open contract by Heyman to anyone that wants to come over from RAW or SmackDown and join ECW for a shot at the belt at the PPV. The deal is the wrestler would be in the six-man match, and then I assume would be on the show for good. The rumor I heard was that the mystery wrestler was going to be Bobby Lashley, but in response to that, Lashley is already booked on SmackDown house shows, including one here in Cleveland on December 27th. Of course that could change without a problem, so we'll see.

The rest of the show was standard, with the opener being C.M. Punk beating Mike Knox for a chance at the six-man match at the PPV. Knox was on top most of the match, but Punk came back to eventually get the submission and the win, and will now go on to that match. I guess this quickly ends the Knox-Punk feud that they built up for weeks only to have one match and it end without much fanfare.

Two more SmackDown guys are now on ECW - as Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay have joined the roster, which can only help. These guys were going nowhere fast on SmackDown, and can give some good matches on the ECW side.

Daivari beat Little Guido next, which was basically another squash to get Daivari and Great Khali over. Test beat Tommy Dreamer for a spot in the PPV in the title match. There were rumors that Test was going to win the six-man and win the belt in the process, but now word is that rumor was false, and no true decision has been made as to the direction they are going in with the belt change.

All in all, standard fare for ECW, not a bad show, but nothing really to get all that excited about either. They are still in the process of getting this PPV off the ground, and the success of the PPV will tell the company just how far the brand is going to hold up for 2007.

RAW 11/06

The RAW broadcast following the Sunday night PPV was about one of the worst shows they have tried to pass on to viewers in some time, and the creative team had better start getting their heads on straight with two major PPV's coming up in the next three months. The show's premise was that Eric Bishoff was GM for the night since he helped out Edge and Randy Orton on Sunday night at Cyber Sunday, and a night as GM was a "payback" from Vince McMahon on screwing DX. The nights main event, which was a train wreck, was the new tag champs - Ric Flair and Roddy Piper, defending their titles in a no DQ match vs Edge and Orton, with Bishoff again as special ref. As if you couldn't see this coming, Bishoff took a bump, then DX came in, beat up Edge and Orton, and Flair got the pin to keep the belts for the two legend wrestlers. Again, just a flat out disaster.

Other things on the show which made you cringe included a match for the IC belt between Nitro and Jeff Hardy, which saw Hardy win on a DQ, but then Bishoff come out and make the match a No-DQ, which eventually led to Nitro getting the pin after Melina distracted Hardy for about the 15th time in the match and Nitro hit Hardy with the belt. A weak way to put the belt on Nitro, and really a match with no future direction involved. The only thing I can think of is this may be a way to open up Carlito to get the belt down the road.

Eugene's heel turn is basically official after he "snapped" in a loss with Hacksaw Jim Duggan to the Spirit Squad. The stip by Bishoff was that the losing team could never tag again, so you saw this one coming. I don't think a bad Eugene is going to be quite the monster heel that the company is looking for, and maybe this move should have been done about a year ago when he was getting booed as a face in about every building.

Then came the "match" that Bishoff ordered between Umaga and Maria. Yes, Maria. Seems like a jilted boyfriend, Bishoff was still upset that Maria was against him at his "trial" back in December last year, and wanted to get some revenge of his own. So he used a 300+ pound wrestler to samoan drop her then gave her the butt slam in the corner. After all this stupidity, John Cena came out and cleared house on Umaga, setting up their program that should take us through the Royal Rumble.

Cena then cuts a promo, telling Umaga to come get some of him, taking a challenge from Kevin Federline for RAW on New Year's Day night in Miami, and then FU'ing Todd Grisham for no real reason. Again, just a sloppy way to get over the guy you should not have to put over since he is holding the measuring stick for the company.

Three other "matches" took place on the show, all of them weak and basically designed to put the faces at a major disadvantage since Bishoff was running the show. Chris Masters was in the ring and Bishoff said that due to the bashing that Jim Ross was giving him on TV, he was ordering Ross vs Masters. Instead, Jerry Lawler took the challenge, and then in another just stupid move, Bishoff said that Lawler had to be handcuffed to the top rope. Whatever. Masters won.

Shelton Benjamin lost to Carlito when Cryme Tyme stole his shirt and chain. Another just awful finish which I guess is going to open up the door for Benjamin and some partner, maybe Charlie Hass, to get in a program with Cryme Tyme. For all the true talent that Benjamin has, he may be the most misused wrestler on the show.

Lita kept her women's title with a win over a one-armed Mickie James, as the stip in this match was that James had to have her arm tied behind her back. Yeah, that makes total sense. At least for this show it did.

Then we had the sloppy main event with two wrestlers totalling in age of 109 beating two of the younger stars of the company that they are going to need to count on for years to come. This show had better been a one week disaster, because too many more of these and people are going to go away running and never come back.

Monday, November 06, 2006

SmackDown and Cyber Sunday Thoughts

Lots to cover here with the latest PPV Sunday night - Cyber Sunday, as well as taking a quick look back at the SmackDown from Friday night. The overall theme of the last few days has been the build up and then the PPV last night, which I think the company will see failed to deliver on many levels, and other than the push on a non-wrestler, I don't really understand what they were trying to get to with the hype and I think in the end this whole "fans pick the matches" deal is nothing more than a money loser. Fans feel one of two ways - 1. They don't want to pick the matches, that's what bookers are for, or 2. It's all a fix anyway to get certain guys to wrestle certain guys, so what's the point of saying that the fans picked it that way?

The SmackDown Friday night was basically a two hour waste. The only thing that is really worth talking about on the show was the tag match between Kane and Taker vs MVP and Kennedy. The match was long and drawn out, but overall it was the best thing on the show, and on a show that really went nowhere, this should have been the closer. Instead we had to put up with a lot of backstage interaction with Batista "protecting" Booker so that he would be ready to go Sunday at the PPV.

The upcoming program with Benoit vs Chavo also got some air time, as Mystero came out to say that despite the surgery, he would be back. He was then attacked by Chavo, which brought out Benoit. Those should be pretty solid matches between two good workers. The non-title tag match really made no sense, mostly due to the fact we've seen this match about a dozen times already. What was the point?

The Vito/Layla vs Miz/Krystal disaster was just to be able to bring out the Boogeyman again. Jimmy Wang vs Gregory Helms was filler so that they could basically debut one of the former Diva sluts in daisy duke shorts to be in Yang's corner. Ugh. I also don't understand this whole build to Batista vs Finely. I don't see this being this great match, and the fans are so not into the interaction between them, it's almost as if they are saying "let's get it over with" before it even starts. More poor booking of the show.

The PPV was equally as bad, with just a weird feel that it was not a well put together PPV and the matches, booked ahead of time or not, were just sort of lame. It should show the company to please scrap the fan interaction format, as stated above - either no one cares, or they think its a fraud anyway.

The only real things to talk about from the show were the pair of belt changes - Lita, in the worst match of the night, beat Mickie James for the women's title, and the legend team of Flair and Piper (PLEASE put a shirt on Roddy) beat the Spirit Squad. I mean, how long can they keep the belts on Flair and Piper before the straps become total jokes?

The other thing that will get pushed of course is the Champion of Champions main event, which wasn't a bad match, but had a disputed ending with Kevin Federline coming out to help King Booker retain the only belt on the line - his, as he pinned clean John Cena. This outcome was interesting, as it pushed Federline and Booker over anyone else, and it sets up the obvious in-ring match with Cena vs Booker and Federline. I guess that is the route they are looking to go with it, as they have to find a way to allow Booker on RAW, and Cena on SmackDown to push the feud.

This brings to mind the Survivor Series PPV upcoming. You have to wonder if they are going to still have the planned main event of ECW vs RAW vs SmackDown, or if they are going to scrap that whole thing and go with some sort of gimmick match or the mentioned above Cena vs Booker and Federline handicapped match. I would be they would go with star power over a main event that would just include wrestlers, partly due to the pub they think they could get with a Federline sighting.

All in all, not a good TV week and sort of a train wreck of a PPV. They have to start the build to the SS PPV real quick tonight with it just three weeks away, so we'll see what stops they pull out on the show tonight.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

ECW 10/31

Tuesday nights ECW show was another okay effort, with a decent tag main event between RVD & Bob Holly vs Test and Big Show. The match ended with a man dressed as a gorilla, Paul Heyman, attacking RVD and hitting him with a pipe. The match then concluded with Show choke slamming RVD for the pin. Not a bad match, and continues the overall feud with Heyman trying to screw RVD at every turn. That whole storyline is starting to drag a bit, as is the premise that now instead of the 1-on-1 match between Show and RVD for the title at the ECW PPV, we are now going to have a 6-man elimination chamber match.

The product right now is at a very critical stage. The WWE has put a lot of money into trying to bring the brand back, but it is not catching on as it should, with the evidence being the fact they are scrapping the ECW only house shows. What they have to do is get this brand away from SmackDown, and let it live or die on its own. Who cares if you are taping TV in front of 500 fans at a tiny arena? Isn't that what made ECW what it was in the first place? Seeing these generic sets at arenas that are way too big for the brand, is totally out of place. Let them go back to 500-1000 seat arenas and get it on like the way it was supposed to be.

As for the rest of the show, they started a series of matches that will determine who will be in the chamber at the PPV. Of couse this is not to tough to figure out - Sabu, who won on Tuesday to make it offical, Sandman, Test, Holly, Show, RVD and Kahli, who can be protected since he is quite possibly the worst wrestler that the WWE has pushed in the last 10 years. The whole chamber match is going to be too crowded, and if they do decide to let RVD win, it is going to be overshadowed by all the other guys that were involved in the match.

The other thing out of this show was the debut of Kahli along with Davari, who is going to wrestle, like he did Tuesday against Shannon Moore. It does add a little bit more to the brand, but they really need more actual wrestlers, not just sideshow acts like Kahli, who cannont wrestle a lick. Davari will be interesting to see in the ring, as they mostly protected him over the last year on the RAW and then SmackDown brands.

That was about it for this show, a medicore night with the divas being shoved down our thoats a bit too much, and the storyline going and going and going with Heyman and RVD. They do need to change some things and spice it up a bit to make it better, and we'll see if they have it in them to do it before the very important December PPV that may very well decide the brands ultimate fate.

RAW 10/30

RAW this week from Moline, IL was based soley on the purpose of trying to setup the upcoming Cyber Sunday PPV Sunday in Cincinnati. Each match was used to push the PPV, which made for a pretty predictible as well as boring show for the most part. The main event was a match in where the fans "picked" between Big Show, King Booker or Coachman as one would go up against WWE Champion John Cena. Of couse anyone with any smarts at all would know that Coachman would be the pick, and he was, with about 74 pecent of the votes. After an early beatdown from Show and Booker, Cena rebounded to pound Coach and then ended the match with a STFU.

The other build up was spent around the tag match between Edge and Randy Orton vs DX, with the show starting off with Edge in the ring with the three officials, and each of them, Vince McMahon, Eric Bishoff, and Coachman, telling the fans to pick them for the special ref position. I still think we are headed for a twist with Bishoff getting the shot to be the ref, then turning on Edge and Orton in the end, almost as a way to screw McMahon, which may set up something between the two down the road.

The IC contenders went at it in a three-way, as Carlito, Nitro and Shelton Benjamin went at it, with Carlito coming out on top. They want Carlito in the match on Sunday, and with this win they think they will sway fans in that direction, and I don't really see why it wouldn't. Jeff Hardy and Carlito would make a pretty solid IC match, and it would be something fresh instead of just Nitro and Hardy going back and forth.

The most predictible womens tourny in history finally came close to wrapping up on Monday, as Lita rather easily overcame Maria. This sets up a stip match for CS, with Lita and Mickie James fighting for the title in either a No-DQ, diva lumberjack (that will be the winner to get the other divas on the card), or a submission match. They could have very easily not wasted our time with weeks of womens matches, when we all knew that this would be how it would end up from the word go.

HHH and Randy Orton went at it, with Edge as the ref. That lasted about 15 seconds when HHH gave Edge a pedigree, which knocked him out until it was time to return for the DQ finish. After a two-on-one beating, because Shawn Michaels was not there, HHH was able to overcome the odds to get to the sledgehammer, which is tough to understand because with him overcoming a 2-on-1 beating takes all the steam out of the match Sunday. Whatever.

That was about all the highlights for the show. Again, as they get set for CS, the build seems kind of flat, as did this show. I don't know what else they can put into this PPV, and personally I think the whole interactive thing is kind of a joke, since they really can dictate what direction they want the matches to go in when its all said and done. Let's hope the rest of the TV week was better than this two hour snooze fest.

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  • 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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