survivor series 2010: the predictions

 

 

In a bold and visionary move (and not in any way just vaguely plagiarised from Razor over at Kick-Out) we have decided to start posting our predictions before each PPV. This way you can all see just how incredibly perceptive and intelligent we are when it comes to blindly guessing the results of a pre-scripted event. Of course, chances are we’ll both do really badly and you’ll lose all the respect (hah!) and credibility (hah again!) that we have built up over the last year and a bit.

Anyway, this is a pretty simple post. We’ll waffle on a bit about each match and then make a prediction at the end. Hopefully some of you will be interested enough to leave your predictions in the comments section – we’d love to know how the Wrestlegasm readers think some of the matches will go.

DISCLAIMER: Neither of us have watched Raw in its entirety for a few weeks now, and we are writing this before Smackdown has aired. So if anything really obvious happens on SD that would affect our predictions then, to paraphrase the much missed Snitsky, “it wasn’t our fault”.

No of course we don't. You were just a cheap throwaway joke. Sorry

OK, on with the predictions, starting with…

Andrew: As you may be aware (especially if you read this last week) I don’t watch Raw, so I’m not 100% sure how accurate any of my predictions for their matches will be. Having said that, this Nexus/Cena storyline has been going on long enough that even I have a rough idea what’s going on. I would be surprised if Barrett doesn’t win on Sunday, giving Cena chance to escape Nexus and start on the road to beating Barrett for the title further down the road. Whether Cena will help Barrett to win or not, I’m not sure. But I can definitely see our favourite Preston wrestler looking incredibly smug on Raw with the belt draped over his shoulder.
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Ray: Picture the scene. Wade Barrett sits alone in a dark, empty room. The shadows from his broken nose switch from one side to another as a solitary light bulb hangs perilously above his head. He wrings his hands together as he tells you you’re too simple to understand the might of the Nexus. Well not me, Wade. I am not too simple to understand that you wouldn’t be the only person in the promo video if they weren’t going to make a star of you at Survivor Series. Also, I feel somewhat obliged to tip Wade. Anything else would feel like going to an international sporting event and singing the other team’s national anthem. Predict from the heart!
WINNER: WADE BARRETT

Andrew: I’ve a feeling this one will also be a title change, with Edge getting the win, the belt and his awesome God-pyro back. I’m expecting some kind of Undertaker/Paul Bearer/Urn-related shenanigans to be involved, with the “Ultimate Opportunist” taking advantage for a cheap win.
WINNER: EDGE

Ray: Let’s face it, Kane was only ever made champion to facilitate the whole ‘who beat my brother into a coma?’ thing. And then the ‘let’s bring Paul Bearer back for old time’s sake’ thing. Followed swiftly by the ‘let’s bury the Undertaker alive in a grave made of polystyrene and resin’ thing. It was never about Kane being a fabulous champion. Time to lay this story to rest (sorry) and move on.
WINNER: EDGE

Andrew: Much as we both love Alberto Del Rio here in The Bunker, I’m sensing a Team Mysterio win after Del Rio walks out on his team (again!) leaving them to take the loss against Rey and Big Show. Plus Mysterio’s name is (kind of) mentioned in the title of our favourite Simpsons episode, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
WINNER: TEAM MYSTERIO

Ray: I feel I may regret this one. Andrew makes a good point. But I’m under the Del Rio spell. Despite logic, every time those trumpets pipe up and he blasts the horn of his Rolls with all the arrogance of aristocracy, I’m won over. I’m even convinced he may be angling for an invite to Will and Kate’s marital toff-fest next year.
WINNER: TEAM DEL RIO

Andrew: While I find it very hard to get excited (or even interested) in this match, I’m going to predict some kind of mass Nexus interference leading to a DQ victory for Santino & Kozlov. Barrett, Slater & Gabriel celebrating on Monday’s Raw with all three belts seems like too good an image to ignore – even if they will then be attacked and chased off by Cena…
WINNER: KOZLOV & SANTINO

Ray: Easily the least interesting match of the night. It seems fitting that if I have Barrett winning, I should make it a clean sweep for the boys in black and yellow. I think Sheamus will interfere somehow, leading me nicely to my prediction for the final match in the list (Sheamus/Morrison). Cor, it’s like it’s all been worked out in advance or something.
WINNER: NEXUS

Andrew: First prediction is that this should be match of the night. Kaval is obviously a great wrestler, and Ziggler has repaid the affection that Ray and myself have paid him by having consistently enjoyable matches including his recent run against Daniel Bryan. Having said that, I’m picking Kaval for this one. Ray mentioned that she always makes her predictions from her heart, and I would love for Kaval to start a title unification feud against Bryan
WINNER: KAVAL

Ray: There I was saying that I always make my predictions from the heart and here I am doing the opposite. Much as I would love to see Kaval win, I’m not sure they’re quite ready to give him that push or move Ziggler in another direction. I think there might be a bit of juice left in that love triangle nonsense yet. But psssst! Kaval! If you prove me wrong, I’ll secretly be quite pleased.
WINNER: ZIGGLER

Andrew: Going from the heart is trickier in this one as we’re both fans of LayCool and Natalya. Having said that, Layla is a surprisingly good wrestler when she’s given chance, and I’d be happy for LayCool to split up now (especially if McCool having to skip the recent European tour to look after her husband are true and she needs take more time off.) I’m hoping for Natalya to win this one, then feud with Layla for a while until Beth Phoenix comes back. Then I can sit and mark out as Natalya and Beth feud for the title… well, a man can dream can’t he?
WINNER: NATALYA

Ray: I just want Beth Phoenix to come back. OK, I don’t just want that, but it’s started to feel like everything in the Smackdown women’s division is waiting with bated breath for the Glamazon to storm in and take everyone out. I do think it might soon be time for Layla and Michelle to part ways, but not before Ms. Phoenix comes back to buddy-up with Natalya. Then again, maybe that will happen at Survivor Series. Queen of wishful thinking.
WINNER: LAYCOOL

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve no idea what this is all about. Hang on a sec, I’ll just check wwe.com… What? They’re fighting over Santino! Why are they… but… Santino has Kozlov on his team! Why would he need John Morrison? Meh…
WINNER: MORRISON

Ray: Sheamus is just hanging around waiting for Triple H to come back and take his revenge for ousting him all those months ago. John Morrison is just, well, hanging around. So why not let them have a little match over a pretend Italian man to keep themselves amused while waiting for something better to come along. A bit like the way firefighters play poker in between fires.
WINNER: MORRISON

Right, that’s what we think. What about you lot? We like to think that Wrestlegasm reader’s are smarter (and smarter) than the normal wrestling fan, so if you get a couple of minutes feel free to let us know your predictions in the comments below and we’ll mention the closest results on the blog.


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blue crush: the rise and rise of smackdown

Yeah yeah, I’ve not written anything for ages. Let’s just pretend I’ve apologised to you all personally and never speak of it again OK?
Anyway, as NXT has become frankly too embarrassing to watch, never mind recap, I’ve had to think of something else to write about. Now, it’s no secret that I am not a fan of Raw. In fact I think I’ve watched 3 episodes this year, and that was only because Boss Lady Ray chained me up in the Bunker and threatened to lower my pie rations if I didn’t watch with her. My main issue with Raw has always been it’s focus on storyline at the expense of wrestling. While I’m happy to accept that storyline is a very important, if not vital, part of Sports Entertainment, I would rather see it put across in promos or in-ring than with tea party sketches.

And I for one am not prepared to argue with Debrett’s Guide to British Behaviour

No, I’ve long been a fan of the “Blue Team” over on Smackdown. The so-called B-Show has been consistently more enjoyable than it’s more high profile cousin on Monday nights; with better wrestling, more intriguing characters and feuds, commentators that don’t make me want to hammer pencils into my eardrums and (for the most part at least) a lack of inane sketches. I always assumed that I was in the minority in this opinion, after all Raw has more of the established big names (Cena, HHH, Orton) whereas the general “mid-carders” have been lumped on Smackdown following ECW’s demise. But recently it seems that the WWE have actually taken notice and seem to be happy to promote Smackdown as fulfilling the “Wrestling” part of their company name, with Raw as the “Entertainment” part.
But look at what’s actually been happening on Smackdown over the last year or so. CM Punk went from great wrestler to amazing wrestler and even better character. First with the feuds against Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker and then with the introduction of the Straight Edge Society, Punk secured his place in the higher echelons of the WWE to the point where he is supposedly being lined up for a big push over on Raw once he comes back from injury. We were fans of Punk anyway in the bunker, but he really stepped up given the space to become a main-eventer on Smackdown. Would he have been as successful if he had been on Raw from the start? Personally I’d wager not, but it will be interesting to see how well he does on Raw. Given that Edge went from winning the Royal Rumble and having a title match at Wrestlemania as a Smackdown superstar to floundering in multi-man matches with no real direction on Raw, it’s not looking good…

The beauty of not jamming Smackdown full of established main event stars is that there is plenty of room for younger wrestlers to make their mark. When the biggest name on the show only wrestles a handful of matches a year, there are TV and PPV slots open for many more guys. People like Alberto Del Rio who has come and done amazingly well so far, putting his 10 years of experience in Mexico to great use and proving himself to be a definite contender for the Wrestlegasm “Breakout Star” of 2010 Award at the end of the year. The wink makes funny noises come out of Ray, and his rolling cross armbar finisher makes me wish I’d tried harder in PE at St Wulstans primary school. He even managed to overcome a slight internet faux pas over at wwe.com…

Dolph Ziggler is another name that’s doing really well on Smackdown, and one that we in the Bunker are always happy to watch. I can’t say I miss his incredibly tiny shorts but there’s no denying the guy can wrestle and his current storyline with Vickie and Kaitlyn (swoon) has played out pretty well. In fact, so popular is he in the Bunker that one of us *may* have been known to dress like him before bed, but I’ll let you decide who…
That’s not to mention the likes of LayCool still being hilarious given the opportunity, as well as their pet project Kaval. Cody Rhodes leaving behind the incredibly dull Legacy of Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase and actually getting a character in “Dashing” Cody Rhodes – his grooming tips, amazingly entertaining mirror entrance and almost naked appearance appeal to a much wider audience than tagging with the likes of DiBiase or Hardcore Holly ever would. Jack Swagger has also gone from strength to strength; from winning Money in the Bank and cashing in against Jericho, to his latest antics alongside the Swagger Soaring Eagle. And of course, that’s not to mention a certain announcer that Ray is mildly enamoured with…

Yeah… it’s you, Matthew

The most encouraging thing about all this is that WWE themselves seem to be waking up to the idea that Smackdown is the better show. Bragging Rights is a great example of this. One of the unwritten rules of Professional Wrestling is that one wrestler will get the upper hand before their opponent makes a comeback, and so on and so forth. This happens in singles or tag matches as well in the likes of 2 out of 3 falls matches, Best of Seven Series or Iron Man matches. Now Bragging Rights, as you may well remember, was a new PPV that debuted in 2009 rather tenuously pitting Raw against Smackdown; coincidentally timed to broadcast around the release of the Smackdown vs Raw video games.
At the first Bragging Rights, Smackdown won the 7 on 7 match and won the Bragging Rights trophy. However, this was only due to the fact that Big Show betrayed his team.
Therefore, logic (or at least “wrestling logic”) dictates that when Bragging Rights 2010 came round Raw should be winning. The team being run by the current “Mr Money in the Bank” The Miz (another possible 2010 Wrestlegasm Award Winner) and featuring ex-champions Sheamus and CM Punk should have had this one won, especially after Team Smackdown were victorious on Raw on Monday and again on Friday’s Smackdown. So what happened?
Smackdown won! Two years in a row! Aaaaaand… not only did Smackdown prove their superiority over Raw in Bragging Rights matches recently, they have also shown that they are stronger than them in another way. Even as someone who doesn’t watch Raw I’m obviously aware of the Nexus storyline that’s been going on this year. At first I was hoping they would start to invade all three shows (yes Superstars, I do know you exist) but as time went by I was quite happy for them to stay where they were and leave “my” Smackdown alone. However, back at the start of October Nexus did make an appearance on Smackdown, acting as Lumberjacks in a Cena/Kane match but not really asserting themselves as they would have probably liked.
Last week though Nexus set their sights on Smackdown proper, while Barrett was off “visiting family” in the UK, Otunga decided to lead an invasion, interrupting a match between Edge and Del Rio. After a bunch of Smackdown stars had entered the ring and chased them off, the main event of the show was then changed to be a five on five Smackdown vs Nexus match. Now, Nexus have had plenty of matches against the top stars on Raw, which have tended to end in the same way:
“little ones” is in no means a slight on the man’s genitals
So what happened when they tried the same thing on Smackdown?

Not only are the WWE now happy for us to believe that Smackdown wrestlers have the ability to beat the Raw wrestlers on a pretty consistent basis, but also that they are able to rout the Nexus invaders when the need arises – something that Raw hasn’t managed yet, even to the point of Cena having to join them.
Now, this is all well and good, but to be honest it’s all just my opinion and I’m interested to know what you lot think. I know we have readers who love Raw unconditionally and will defend it to the death so, on the off chance that anyone reads this far, let us know in the comments which show you prefer and why. Hell, if enough of you prefer Raw to Smackdown I might even watch and recap an episode.

a sad panda and lots of kisses

Back when Matt Striker was on the ECW roster he used to do a video bit on WWE.com called ‘Best Week, Worst Week’, where he would select public figures who’d had, well, the best and worst week. He also used to write excellent blogs and answer viewers’ questions. Sadly, this all fell by the wayside when he was shifted to commentary. Depending on how you feel about Striker’s commentary, that’s either a good thing of a bad thing.
Two WWE entities who had a startlingly good and bad seven days, so I figured I’d pay homage to Striker (because I don’t do that enough already) and do my own scribbled version of Best Week, Worst Week. And while we’re at it, Jamie Keyes, you weren’t actually due to be eliminated from NXT this week. But “seducing” Striker was a step too far.
You’re not fooling anyone with that flower in your hair, pal.
To steal words from Tina Fey’s notebook (because I don’t do that enough already either):
“I had never felt this feeling before. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. My stomach felt like it was about to fall out my butt. I had this lump in my throat like when you dry-swallow a big pill. I hated [Jamie]. I hated her!”
But that’s quite enough of my worrying and feral need to attack a woman smooching a man who isn’t even my man. We should probably get to the bones of this post.

Worst Week

John Cena. Obvious, I know. But he who fights the good fight at all times has had his foundations rocked this week. It’s been a rollercoaster akin to that new ride at Alton Towers that I can’t remember the name of and might just be making up for the sake of it. Things started going wrong at Hell in a Cell, where our hero had to beat Wade Barrett to force the Nexus into going their separate ways. If Cena lost? He had to jump the fence into bad guy territory and swap his purple clobber for the black & amber. Seems unlikely, right?
And yet, unlikely things do happen. The ring was invaded by two fans, who were clearly Husky Harris and Michael McGillacutty. The officials were distracted and Cena lost the match. Of course, if all the people in the arena had actually taken the time to watch NXT, they might have recognised the assailants and not spent the next 20 minutes pulling expressions like this:
Seriously, unless you’re too young to fully grasp the concept that professional wrestling is predetermined theatre, you should not be pulling these expressions when John Cena is forced to buddy up with the baddies.
This is acceptable.
This is not.
24 hours later, things weren’t improving for our hero. John was forced to join Barrett & Co. in the ring and read out a statement in which he declared himself under Wade’s wing. Don’t worry, kids. He did it in a solemn, monotone manner so as not to indicate that he was enjoying himself in any way.

asformyfansihopeyoustandbymebecausethefactofthematterisyou’reeithernexusoragainstus
Now part of this posse of wrong-doers, Cena had to start playing the part. He was told to choose a tag partner and go at it against Evan Bourne and Mark Henry. Apparently, the proper etiquette for choosing someone to tag with these days is to step right up into their face as if about to plant a passionate kiss on their chops and not say a word.
Good to know for the next team building away day in the Bunker.
The match got under way but Tarver was not happy. Shaking your opponent’s hand before a match is very un-Nexusy. And the good behaviour didn’t end there. Tarver stepped into the ring to show Cena how to be mean but found himself being mauled by an extra-shiny Mark Henry. After a while, John felt he should probably help Michael Tarver by offering him a tag. But as soon as Tarver held his shaking hand out for salvation, John pulled it away, stuck his hand in his denim pedal-pushers and pulled out a pen. What?
Ahhhh. Gotcha.
While Cena pressed the flesh with the audience and made insignificant pieces of craft card suddenly worth mega cash, Tarver was suffocated by Mark Henry’s belly. “The happiest loser ever seen” decided that being part of a group wasn’t quite for him and John announced that, if he had to remain a member of the Nexus, he planned on destroying it from within. The ultimate non-conformist, Michael Cole? Not quite.
Cena went on to make mince-meat of Michael Tarver and absorbed the adoration of the bellowing crowd through every pore of his perfectly smooth skin.
Nice of Hulk Hogan to buy a ticket and cheer John on.
This rabble-rousing was not missed by the still anonymous GM. Michael Cole stepped up to his podium and announced that if John couldn’t fall into line and follow Barrett’s orders, his contract would be terminated. For good. Pretty sure that’s illegal, but still, EEEK!
Cena was a sad panda, so he skulked off to consider his future. You know what everyone needs when everything they’ve ever known is hanging by a thread? Josh Matthews with a microphone on the end of his wrist.
A quick appearance from Harris and McGillacutty and Cena was on his toes chasing them to the locker room. He should have known better. His new boss was waiting with his henchmen to quiz John on his anti-Nexus behaviour.
Later on it was announced that there would be a 20-man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal to determine the NoC for the WWE belt. Basically, Barrett wanted it and if John didn’t act as his personal bodyguard throughout the match, there would be consequences. It’s tough having a boss who doesn’t think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, eh John? Welcome to real life!
The Battle Royal did its work. The professional jobbers fell on their swords and, as if it had been decided beforehand, John and Wade ended up with just each other to eliminate. Cena was in a sticky situation. Eliminate Wade and he’d be the people’s champion, the number one contender and would be safe in the knowledge that he didn’t compromise his principles. Downside? Well, he’d be fired. Kind of a bummer. So what did John do? He did what all of us do when we’re frustrated at work….
1) Get angry and butt heads with the boss…….
2) Consider making a fuss……
3) Then just do what they tell you to do anyway.
Keep smiling, John-boy. You will overcome. Of that I have no doubt.

Best Week

You’d think the person who had the Best Week would be Wade Barrett, right? I mean, in March he was begging for the big-time in FCW and here he is barking orders at arguably the most well-known face in wrestling. Fun times for our compatriot. But ‘Best Week’ goes to a show rather than a single person. That show is……NXT. It was great and…..nah I can’t do it. It’s Smackdown.
Last week it was a big, fat, ugly Raw-fest to celebrate the show’s move to SyFy in America. Dear Raw, do not infect my beloved Smackdown with your Raw germs again. Thankfully, it wasn’t just back to normal this week, it was better than normal.
Edge came back to his spiritual home, the Dudebusters got back on TV, Kaval did lots of clever kicks, the Dolph/Vickie/Kaitlyn lust-triangle took a new turn, and Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio pulled off one of my favourite non-PPV matches of the last few months.
Bravo, Smackdown. With your snazzy new graphics and more favourable theme tune, I think I want to kiss you. Lots.There’s only one thing which makes me want to play hard-to-get and save those kisses for our next date.
Why is Michael Cole commentating on Smackdown?!?!?! Must his insipid, interfering voice be heard on every show now? Cutting Matt Striker off mid-sentence while you’re having a love-in with Jerry Lawler during a PPV is one thing, but cutting him off on his own show is just bad form. GO. AWAY. NOW. Get rid of Cole, Smackdown, and you’re on a promise for next week.

smackdown(lite): babycham, quiche and butternut squash

I’m writing this recap from my sick-bed. If I fall asleep in the middle, set off a firecracker or something……
It seems there is a new star on Smackdown. A genuine star. One that could stick around for a long time. Alberto Del Rio. I am now sorry for the fact that I ripped the wee out of him during those promo videos because, OK they weren’t great, but I had no idea how much of a perfect heel package Alberto would turn out to be. Smackdown is, on the whole, consistently good. But it’s been needing a little shot to the arm lately. Bingo!
Alberto Del Rio is the perfect heel in that you kind of hate him, but you really love him too. Nobody likes someone who flaunts money and status in their faces, but he does it with such professional delivery and with such unique personality, it’s almost impossible not to be impressed. And this isn’t just a character thing. He can go in the ring too. You can’t spend all those years in Lucha without having learnt a few tricks. He may be new, but he’s about as much a rookie as Bryan Danielson was when he was plonked in FCW. Oh and he just happens to be a looker too, so definitely ‘full package’ material. To paraphrase the superstar himself… he’s the man, he’s handsome, he’s powerful, he’s rich, he’s everythiiiiiiing!
Last week’s Smackdown began with a trademark Del Rio fiesta! (Always punctuate fiesta with an ‘!’.) It was quite the spectacle. The Bentley, the all-white suit, the personal ring announcer, staff carrying salvers of Babycham and cheese & pineapple on cocktail sticks. There were turnbuckle balloons and, of course, what fiesta! would be complete without a piñata in a Rey Mysterio mask? It will come as no surprise to you that, as the piñata was a metaphor for Mysterio, it took a beating and its insides were spilt out over the ring. Although, I hope the metaphor doesn’t end up being too literal. Nobody wants to see a pancreas flopping around the ring or anything.
Del Rio was interrupted by Christian, who mocked him, sang at him in a condescending manner, chewed and then hocked out his individual mini-quiches, before carrying the pinata theme forward, branding Del Rio a jackass. A small scuffle ensued but Del Rio decided he wasn’t ready to put Christian to bed just yet. He walked away, Drew McIntyre ran in with sneaky attack on Christian from behind and Del Rio returned to pour some Dom over Christian’s head. TIP: If someone is going to shower you with stupidly expensive hooch OPEN YOUR MOUTH!
With Christian dazed, in pain and mildly tipsy, Drew McIntyre decided to bring their billed match forward to that moment, to ensure his win. What Drew hadn’t kept in mind was that Canadian’s are almost as good at absorbing booze as the British, so he managed to shake-off the Del Rio induced hangover and pin Drew for the win.
On to the ladies, where Kelly Kelly grinned and pouted her way to the ring in anticipation for her match against Michelle McCool. Layla joined Grisham and Striker on commentary and was treated to Matt Striker’s ever improving London accent. He’ll be spitting rhymes with Dizzee before we know it! Incidentally, both myself and Andrew have spotted that Layla’s sounding slightly more British lately. The Transatlantica accent is slipping away a little more every week. She may have decided to do this herself or maybe someone suggested it would be a good idea. You know, because foreign = heel. Nothing pleases us more than to hear chants of USA! USA! USA! every time someone not of those shores appears. (UGG) Either way, we wholeheartedly approve.
Oh, right, the match. It was pretty quick and ended as such:
BFF Champs 4evah n evah. Lol!!!11!
Nice to see that Matt Striker has introduced the word ‘pumpkin’ to his repertoire for the Autumn. How very seasonal of him. When I texted Strikey to tell him I wanted to be referred to as a large ground-fruit too, he replied with “No problem, Butternut Squash. See you Saturday for the staff meeting.” Swoon.
I’m skipping the Hornswoggle segment and jumping ahead to the match between Dolph Ziggler and Chris Masters. Errrrm, no, I’m skipping that too. If you think it ended with anything other than a Dolph win with Vickie happily digging her nails into his biceps….hi, you must be new.
Ta-daaaa!
Big Show won a handicap match against CM Punk and Luke Gallows when he stuck Gallows in a submission hold and forced him to tap. Punk was clearly pleased to be back to full health, as he jumped and kicked all over the shop. Sadly for him, his companion let him down and was put to sleep as punishment. WhatdidItellya? The SES is on its way out.

And then there was one.
I forgot to mention in previous recaps that MVP and Jack Swagger have been playing out a lacklustre, low-rent feud to fill in the gaps. This week, Jack Swagger had won the right to host his very own episode of MVP’s VIP Lounge. He brought his still wheelchair-bound father out as his guest and, well, you know it was only a matter of time before Ballin’ strutted out to put an end to it. He criticised Swagger for not knowing how to host a VIP party and snubbed his use of charity shop furniture and pleather chairs. Dude, that’s the same furniture you use in your show every week. Check yo’self!  This all ended in a brawl where Swagger Sr. was left with further injuries and the ring was trashed. Ah wrestling. The only place where a convicted felon can attack a war hero in a wheelchair and neck brace and still get cheered.
Gawd bless ya, wrestling
Now, we (mainly the Sidekick) have been bashed a few times on this blog for cracking easy Fatt Hardy jokes. Did we ever stop? Not really. But it seems the trend has gone full circle. Cody Rhodes delved into the greasy bag of Fatt jokes on Smackdown, meaning it’s pretty much over. It’s kind of like the cycle of a fashion trend. An avant garde designer starts a trend for, say, suede ankle boots with knee-high socks. MK Olsen and Alexa Chung start wearing them, Primark starts churning out copies for under a tenner…..by the time you see Amanda Holden, Claire Sweeney and former Big Brother contestants trotting about in them, it’s over. So goes the cycle of Fatt Hardy jokes. (PS—-> We’ll probably still make them. We’re not very fashionable.)
Cody made various hurtful jibes about Matt’s nose, useless facial hair and his spare tummy-tyre, forcing him to take a good look at himself in the mirror on Cody’s jacket. The tirade of abuse ended with “Do you even see Matt Hardy version one? No. All I see is Matt Hardy version DONE!” Ouch. So they had a match to decide whether Cody’s insults were justified or not and…. yeah, they were.
Pretty sure my mum’s got some safari themed hand-luggage to match those trousers.
That was the end of the wrestling for the night. Kane made a backstage speech about something or other, then he had a coffin brought out to the ring. He spoke again in the ring about more sinister and devilish matters.
“Humour meeeeeeee! This is my laaast main event runnnnnnn!”
The lights went down, thunder rolled, Taker’s music played and he appeared in a bejewelled hoodie at the top of the ramp. A slow walk and much growling later, the lights went down again, then came back up again, but Kane had disappeared. Taker gave the closed coffin a curious look and flung the lid open, bu Kane was not inside. He was under the ring setting up some pyro and a pre-recorded video of him doing a sinister laugh. Mwahaha indeed, Kane. Mwa-ha-ha!

raw(lite): “a septic tank of a show”

WARNING: I’ve got a cob on.

I could have recapped Raw in the usual way this week, but as it was two hours of WWE repeatedly patting themselves on the back for broadcasting 900 Raws over the past 17 years, there wasn’t a great deal to catch up with. Between the flashbacks to Monday nights past and novelty matches, there wasn’t any real time left for much of merit with regard to how things will move forward. Also, the thought of going back through the entire thing again listening to Jerry Lawler inform us that they had produced more shows than a whole host of over top programmes was a task I would rather like to avoid, thankyouverymuch. I’m more of a quality over quantity kinda gal myself, but hey, whatever, congratulations WWE.

Before I get to the good/important bits, a further grumble about the current state of play on Raw. I did warn you I’ve got a cob on! I assumed that once Summerslam was out of the way, the Nexus group would gradually ebb away and a return to singles competition would follow. Not so. When the Nexus invasion first happened it was a stroke of storyline genius. It was a total surprise and the whole Daniel Bryan fall-out almost caused the internet to implode. A few months on though, it’s turned into a bit of a damp squib. Raw is cram-packed full of main eventers. Actually, they have too many main eventers to give each of them an equal amount of time every week. Throw a group of (now) six fairly green guys into the mix who all need airtime and matches, and those two hours disperse before anyone beyond Cena, Orton and Sheamus have had a serious look in. And this is without Triple H peacocking about under the umbrella of heir-in-law.

Edge, for example, has practically taken on the guise of wallflower since his draft to Raw. On Smackdown, he quite comfortably held the position of co-Top Dog with the Undertaker. Now I struggle to remember which bits he was involved in every week. I’m going to hope that his appearance in the American SyFy ads promoting their acquisition of Smackdown is a positive sign that he’s returning to the blue brand. After all, nothing in advertising happens by chance.

With regard to the Nexus, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff and send all bar Wade Barrett and possibly Justin Gabriel to the mid-card, if not back to FCW, to work on either their character delivery, their wrestling ability or in most cases both. They’ve played their part in a memorable storyline, but really, the fairytale needs to take a little detour for the time being. I feel a little sorry for the guys who were already on the Raw mid-card before Nexus muscled in. People like Zack Ryder and Evan Bourne who, while they’ve both had something of a push this year, should be involved in some singles storylines where the veterans can really put them over.  After Night of Champions, where I have a sneaking suspicion that The Game might be back in play, let that be an end to all these multi-man matches and group PPV runs. I want to see some well-planned, professionally promoted, one-on-one feuds as they start on the long road to the next Wrestlemania.

This week’s Raw did, however, have a few moments of interest and excitement. Ironically, they were largely the product of Smackdown superstars. I’ll leave Andrew to the discuss the unification of the Divas Title and the Women’s Title when he gets stuck into the third, all-female series of NXT.

And I’ll set the glorious addition to the SD roster that is Alberto Del Rio aside until I recap this week’s Smackdown.

But the one thing that saved this week’s Raw from being a snooze-fest was CM Punk’s epic promo. A promo for what? Well, just a promo for CM Punk, to be honest. It looks as if the SES spiel might have had its moment. Serena’s been genuinely given her marching orders and Joey Mercury’s torn a pectoral, leaving him on the outside of the ring for a couple of months. It’s not much of a society if there are just two of you, so it may be that Punk will be a one-man-band again fairly soon. If the purpose of his Raw appearance was to remind us of who Punk was before he began babysitting junkies and shaving heads, it was a huge success! On the off-chance that you haven’t seen it, I’ll stick a YouTube video just below.

Yeah, I enjoy a good babyface. ‘Aww, so cute and wholesome’ and all that malarkey. But let’s be honest, villains are so much more tantalising. Somehow, he managed to pull off making himself appear even more awesome than usual. He managed to showcase some of the very best moments from Raw in the past couple of decades while disparaging them at the same time and mentioning that most taboo of storylines past – Katie Vick. He took the loathing for him in the crowd to a new level when he teased and coerced them into believing that The Rock, DX and Stone Cold Steve Austin might march out to shut him up. They didn’t. And he played straight-man to Big Show’s punchlines  beautifully. In summary, the perfect heel promo.

Now, watch the video. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again or I’m sending Punk round to tell you you’re not funny and nobody likes you.

smackdown(lite): michelle mccool: queen of denmark

This was the first Smackdown after Summerslam, so Rey Mysterio had much to say regarding the whole Undertaker/Kane squabble. But he who was now proven innocent was interrupted by a man we had been promised for many a week.

That’s right. Alberto Del Rio. The guy who’s been telling us he’s better than us in some rather dubious promo videos finally showed up on Smackdown. I wanted to hate him. I wanted to brush him off as another sub-standard pretender to Rey Mysterio’s throne, but I discovered two things. 1) For a guy famed for doing all that flippy-dippy stuff, he’s surprisingly tall and chunky. 2) I kind of liked him.

After pulling off a marvellous game of verbal tennis with Rey Mysterio, which was littered with Spanish lines and English translations, they agreed to put their physical skills to the test and fight it out at the end of the show.

Before moving on to the Intercontinental Championship title match, Cody Rhodes insisted that he inform the male viewers on how to apply moisturiser. Except he did a rather bad job of it.

Dude, this is NOT enough moisturiser. Don’t listen to him, men. You might as well not put it on at all. Take enough moisturiser to loosen any tightness in the skin and dot it on your forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. Rub it in until it’s completely absorbed, in upwards movements, starting from the neck. If you have particularly sensitive skin, guys, you might want to use an aftershave balm on the neck and chin. And if you want to go the whole hog you could use eye products too; possibly a cooling gel in the morning to reduce puffiness and a richer, wrinkle-fighting cream at night. Don’t worry about the cucumber-watermelon scent, as Cody recommends. If you want to keep wrinkles at bay, you’ll need a daytime moisturiser with an SPF in it. To maximise the power of your moisturiser, you could also use a serum, which will protect the skin further. But this all means nothing without exfoliation. So if you want really fresh looking skin, be sure to scrub, scrub, scrub on a regular basis. Can I have Cody’s pay-cheque now please?

Back to wrestling. If you remember, Kofi and Dolph’s Summerslam match was ended early by the Nexus. So here they were trying all over again. During the beginning of the match, Matt Striker became vocally impassioned about Team WWE winning at Summerslam. And to all the smarks who criticised his passion, he suggested that they drag their sweat-pants selves from behind their computer screens and shut up. Even though it didn’t apply to me, I immediately put some jeans on and closed my laptop. You know, just for safety’s sake.

The match was solid but, once again, lacked that final push. Vickie Guerrero tripped Kofi while he was jumping from the top rope, the referee saw it in the corner of his eye and awarded Kofi the win by DQ. This, of course, meant that the title stayed with Dolph. Kofi chased after the cheater but Vickie squealed and stood in his way, knowing that a gentleman would never be so brutish as to barge her out of the way. This little diversion gave Dolph enough time to return to his feet and….. well…. let’s just say it didn’t end well for Kofi. In fact, he was stomped in the face so authentically, I let out a genuine gasp of worry.

Sorry, the stomp was so slick I couldn't even get a proper screencap of it.

After some backstage fun-times with LayCool and some locker-room motivationals with the SES, it was time for Luke Gallows and Serena to take on the Big Show and Kelly Kelly. So here’s the thing. Had I written this recap a few days ago I’d be cooing over the fact that Serena finally had a competitive match. I’d be telling how excited I was at the prospect of her getting involved in the Divas division. Sadly, it might be a rather short-lived run in the ring. All signs seem to point towards her being future endeavoured either tonight or tomorrow. There are a few rumours being batted around to explain why, but it seems to be that she was living an extremely wobbly edged life. I’ll refrain from commenting on that until the next Smackdown recap, which is likely to be her final appearance.

The match itself was fun and while Serena seemed a little rusty to me, she worked surprisingly well with an unlikely opponent in Kelly. Serena went on to win the match and remained in the affections of her leader-man.

Enjoy it while it lasts, sweetheart.

The next ten minutes were spent bathed in crimson lighting while Kane explained why he put his own brother in near a fatal coma. I’ve got to be honest, the combination of chamber music, soft red lighting and the dull monotone of Kane’s voice sent me off into a lovely slumber. So I really can’t tell you why he did it. Probably something about always being in the Undertaker’s shadow, or maybe he’d been reading Hamlet and assumed that if he took his dominant brother out of the picture, his sister-in-law would be obliged to marry him. Long shot. I know.

Michelle McCool: Queen of Denmark?

Anyway, I was rudely awoken from my snooze by the arrival of Cody Rhodes. Thankfully, he’d ditched his usual ‘almost-nude’ look and thrown on a suit, so not all bad. Although, hearing Striker tell him he’s a handsome man and that he looks and smells good was quite disturbing. Please don’t do that again, Matthew. You’re making life in the Bunker a little difficult.

While the love-in between Striker and Rhodes went on, Christian won a nice little match against Drew McIntyre. Cody felt like helping his mate out, so he assisted him in pummelling Christian after the bell had tolled. Then Matt Hardy ran out wearing one ski boot and helped Christian beat them up. This is all well and good, but it needs a storyline this week.

Nice to see the people of Bakersfield, California, were as excited about the final episode of British Celebrity Masterchef as I was. I wanted Lisa Faulkner to win too.

We were back where we started, with Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio. Not only did Del Rio arrive in a Rolls, but he also brought along his own ring announcer. How very BDK of him.

Errrr, yo. You in the tux. I've got a phonecall for you. Yeah, it's 1994. It wants its hairstyle back.

It was a compact and solid match with them working perfectly together. Something tells me there’s something of a torch passing going on here. It may not happen for a while, but I’m pretty sure it will happen. Del Rio won the match convincingly and went on to damage Mysterio further after the match was over.

Errrr, yo. You in the gold knickers. I've got a phonecall for you. Yeah, it's Randy Orton. It's about that pose you stole. You're doing it wrong.

I agree, Matt Striker, we were watching a STAAAAH!

smackdown(lite): from here to eternity

Great news! The Undertaker is awake and passing on important information regarding his brutal attacker. According to Kane, his big brother opened his eyes and informed him that Rey Mysterio was the fiend behind his coma. Hmm. That doesn’t seem very Rey Mysterio-ish. There must be some mistake. Also, it’s all just a little too convenient. Kane did another one of this tedious redemption speeches, but I always enjoy a sneaky little Bobby Darin reference:

Christian won a solid match against Drew McIntyre, then we were ‘treated’ to Cody Rhodes in a facemask. Apparently, pimply skin is unappealing. You know what’s unappealing, Cody Rhodes? You. And you’re a bit late with your audition tape for the new Hulk movie.

Try as you may, you’ll never be quite as dashing as Mark Ruffalo.

Even the cartoon version of Cody wishes he was as dashing as Mark Ruffalo

After another video from the not too anticipated Alberto del Rio, we went backstage where Punk was expressing how especially disappointed in his brood of supposedly loyal followers he was. After applying a hefty and painful dose of tough love……

….Luke Gallows was forced to take on the super-smiley Big Show. At first it was all Show, with the giant one calling for a microphone so everyone could hear the sharp snap of skin-on-skin as he swiped his palm across Gallows’ chest. But being a giant only gets you so far when your opponent has three pals at ringside, all determined to stick their oar in. Some sleeper moves and some platform boot stompings later and Big Show was out for the count. Even more exciting was that Punk pulled his arm sling off and shoved it in Show’s face. I hope this means Punk’s ready for a match at Summerslam. I really need something to jazz Summerslam up. So far, I’m struggling.

The sling of hope.

Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler have been working well together for weeks, but last week they finally had the match they’ve been working towards. Dolph won by DQ when he lost his temper with the bleached cheat, so the Intercontinental title did not change hands. It’s all building nicely towards (hopefully) a big Summerslam match. It could easily be the sleeper match of the night if it happens.

To the ladies, where Layla was all set to defend her Women’s title against Tiffany. You may remember that LayCool bought each other necklaces similar to these last week:

Message to Matt Striker: All week, Sidekick Andrew has been channelling his envy into convincing me that you bat for the other side. He has been unsuccessful in this hurtful quest, but it would have been a whole lot easier to fight your corner had you not suggested that you and Todd Grisham get matching LIFE PARTNER necklaces on last week’s Smackdown. Thanks.

So as I said, there was a title match to take place, but Vickie Guerrero wanted to switch things up a bit. As LayCool are self-professed CO-Women’s champions, Vickie decided that the more experienced Michelle McCool should defend the title, which almost guaranteed Tiffany a loss in her first ever title match.

In Tiff’s defence, she made a valiant effort, but also made the rookie mistake going off a bit quick and running out of steam before the end. This she allowed who breaks faith to do just that on Mrs. McIntyre and keep the title(s) in a firm LayCool grip.  Music to Vickie Guerrero’s ears, I’m sure, but Vickie isn’t the General Manager of Smackdown. Teddy Long promptly appeared on the titantron and informed the champ(s) that they could no longer flounce around sharing a singles title. They’d have to decide between themselves who was going to be the Women’s champion. They were none to pleased. Uh-oh. Could this be the beginning of the end for LayCool?

Let's hope not.

And so to our main event, which was Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger. To begin with it was a fairly standard Swagger/Mysterio match. Then things moved into the crowd, which I always enjoy. There’s nothing quite like witnessing that curious mixture of disgust, fear and over-enthusiasm as two sweaty men drape themselves over unassuming members of the public.

So happy.

From here they moved to the merchandise stand, where unprepared arena staff pressed themselves into a barrage of punters trying to a get a closer look at their heroes.

To use Matt Striker’s words (because I don’t do that enough already)…. It’s becoming disturbing now! Actually, it wasn’t. That was just Striker’s legendary exaggeration coming into play. What he should have said is…. It’s becoming a bit silly now. Swagger punched and kicked Rey out of the building and into the road.

They gradually tumbled towards the ocean’s edge and rolled around as the greasy Corpus Christi waves lapped at their even oilier bodies.

It was like Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr but without the closed-mouth Hollywood kissing. And if you don’t know what that refers to, you need to brush up on your old movie knowledge. Swagger picked Rey up and tried to throw him into the slicked water, but Rey managed to wriggle himself free and send Swagger flying instead. A victory for Mysterio, one might say. That is, until Kane appeared at the shoreline and chucked Rey into the water too.

Well I don’t remember that happening in From Here to Eternity. God, wrestling. You’re so unromantic!

smackdown(lite): eat a punch, to take a punch, to get a punch

I’m on holiday this week, hence the quietness around the blog. I’d apologise but it’s the first week I’ve had off work since Christmas.  Just in case I’ve been missed, I’ll see what I can do to give you something special over the weekend.

———————–

So at MITB, Kane won the blue briefcase and went on to cash his contract in on an ailing Rey Mysterio the very same night. His promo at the beginning of Smackdown was fairly standard. 13 years of hurt, yadda yadda yadda. Vengeance for my brother’s brutal beating, blah blah blah. I like to hang goldfish by the tail and watch them slowly suffocate,  yeah yeah yeah. Wait. What? Anyway, it went on a little too long and achieved very little, other than to make it even better when it is eventually revealed that Kane was indeed the Undertaker’s assailant.

Let me guess... Fire? Brimstone? Yeah. Thought so.

Despite their previous animosity, Christian and Matt Hardy teamed up to face Drew McIntyre and Dash… no, I’m not doing it. It’s just Cody Rhodes. Dashing sounds ridiculous. The match was solid and lasted a considerable amount of time, but it had no bearing on any stroryline, so I shall not linger on it, other than to say…..

Jack Swagger uttered the ultimate heely comment when he tried to sully Eddie Guerrero’s memory, then we were straight into another Alberto Del Rio promo video, in which he tried to have a conversation with a statue, claimed that bravery breaks down cultural stereotypes (I think) and then went on to say…..

What was that about a superior education? Fibs? Yeah. Thought so.

This happened:

…followed by a return to Intercontinental action, with Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler. All was well and Kofi dominated while Matt Striker and Todd Grisham discussed whether Kofi had been too risky at the PPV, jumping on to the announce table from such a great height and the like. Todd thought the Kofster had been foolish, Matt responded with “Sometimes you gotta eat a punch, to take a punch, to get a punch. You wouldn’t know.” Hmm. I’m not entirely sure what that means. Something along the lines of ‘You gotta speculate to accumulate’, I suspect. But it sounds so much cooler when he says it. Anyway, not-so-secret crushes on the staff aside, Dolph began to take over and threw Kofi out of the ring. Michael McGillicutty had accompanied his NXT pro to the ring and rushed to his side to mop his brow.

Vickie Guerrero, in her official managerial position, took umbrage with this and ordered the rookie to leave the arena. Being the boss, he couldn’t refuse, so he scuttled off and left his mentor to fend for himself. Further back and forth fighting ensued before Vickie felt the need to help her hunk again. While the ref dealt with Dolph in the middle of the ring, Kofi took a breather and rested on the ropes. Vickie gave his leg a lovely little cuddle:

…….rendering him immobilised long enough for Dolph to do the business and get Kofi in his infamous sleeper hold. Game over.

The MITB PPV was completely Punk-Free. Sad times for…… errrm….. me! But the SES were back in action again come Tuesday Friday with Luke Gallows vs Big Show. Punk, however, had an alternative in mind. He whispered gently in Luke’s ear and asked him to step aside while the much mentioned mystery man took his place.  Incidentally, before we got on to revealing the worst kept secret in ages, a message to Todd Grisham. If you’re going to suggest that CM Punk is a martian, at least do me the courtesy of passing on the coordinates of his home planet. I’ve got a team from NASA on stand-by to take me there.

Please?

Back in the match Big Show made light work of the previously mentioned mystery man and dragged his mask off to reveal:

Yep. Former intoxicate and former WWE employee Joey Mercury was back and, apparently, the whole Straight Edge thing is more than just a gimmick. He’s got a new haircut and is now making healthy lifestyle choices. Here’s hoping for happier times with Punk mentoring him. Speaking of mentoring, one of things I’d rather not see guidelines for is male grooming. I don’t even want to watch myself squeeze blackheads and floss, let alone Cody Rhodes. Make it stop! Make it stop!

Following a locker-room interview with Rey Mysterio and another pointless Alberto Del Rio video, we were on to our main event – Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger for the Heavyweight title’s Number One Contendership. It was a great match, and making is a 2-outta-3-falls match made it extra long. Rey took the first fall which, naturally, meant that Swagger was going to take the second when a twist of Rey’s injured ankle forced him to tap out. Some pretty much impossible moves later (impossible with that injury, I mean) and Rey was back in the N1C spot.

Once again, Rey’s celebrations were thwarted by Kane, who stomped out to the ring immediately. He ejected Swagger and then approached Mysterio, seemingly to cause further pain. But no. The Big Red Monster ain’t such a brute after all.

Oh. Wait.

No. Hang on……

And then…..

Yes, Matt Striker. Kane is indeed irate.