Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Smackdown Thoughts: 8/30/2011

Smackdown was live Tuesday night, and I had enough energy to watch the show when I got home to write a review for it! Lucky you!

Wait, Are We Sure This Is Smackdown?
John Cena came out to start the show. Cena rattled off the list of every wrestling show and said superstars were here from all of them. He brought up the XFL but said it was worse than the Shockmaster. He called out Alberto del Rio but got Ricardo instead. He rambled on in Spanish for a bit. Cena said he had a special message for ADR, and he wanted to make sure Ricardo gave it to him. He punched Ricardo in the face.

Wade Barrett came out and made fun of Cena for beating up Ricardo. He said Cena didn't learn any lessons from when he worked for Barrett last year. They brought up their history with each other. Barrett said he requested the match with Cena to end his supposed tough guy routine. Cena said he owed Barrett some pay back and was going to give it to him tonight. John Cena meant it, because Wade Barrett pretty much got in 2 moves the whole match. Cena got his usual routine in and pinned Barrett after an Attitude Adjustment. They give Dolph a rub by making him look strong against Orton, but Barrett looks terrible. After beating Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, Barrett gets jobbed out. Survey Says: 2/5

Matt Striker questioned Mark Henry on tonight's Cage Match. He said he didn't care who won, just another candidate for the Hall of Pain. He called the Cage Match the most dangerous match in wrestling. Hey Mark, this ain't 1994.

TWO Straight Live Sin Cara Matches? WWE Has Balls...
Up next was Sin Cara vs Daniel Bryan. Cara hit some arm-drags early on before Bryan regained control. Bryan hit his dive to the outside on Cara. Bryan put Cara in a couple different submission moves that he got out of. Cara got Bryan to the outside then hit a springboard dive to the outside. Back in the ring Cara and Bryan hit a double crossbody knocking both of them to the ground. Cara regained control then hit his springboard Swanton then reverse moonsault for the win. After the match Cara shook Bryan's hand, then kicked him in the face. Interesting. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Matt Striker interviewed Christian backstage. He asked Christian if he thinks he can beat Orton in a cage. Christian said he's fighter and he fights for what is right. Christian said steel cage or not, he always gets what he wants.

Hey At Least We Got the Divas That Can Wrestle Tonight
Aksana came out to introduce a Divas Tag between Natalya/Beth and Kelly Kelly/Alicia Fox. Natalya and Beth worked over Kelly before she tagged in Alicia Fox. Beth regained control and hit the GlamSlam for the win. Well, at least the divas that can wrestle went over. Survey Says: 2/5

Martyrs, Catalysts: Big Words Can Be Confusing
Contract signing time between C.M. Punk and HHH. Punk found this unnecessary. He said HHH is the COO and that his word is Gospel. Punk pretty much wanted to know why he changed the match. HHH said ever since he's been COO, Punk's disrespected everyone. HHH said he got Punk "Cult of Personality" as his theme, and got him his new shirt yet he still pushes HHH's buttons. Punk said he's happy he's fighting HHH the "Cerebral Assasin" instead of HHH the "COO." Punk said just like Vince, he can't separate business from personal problems. Punk said how he wanted change, but HHH said he only wants change that benefits him. HHH said Punk only accepts change if he's the man on top. HHH called Punk a martyr. Punk said if he thinks he's a martyr, then maybe there is some weight to his words. Punk said he's here to make all of this fun again. Sure he's in it for himself, but he's no different than anything else. Punk said if he has to be the catalyst for change, so be it. HHH said that unlike Punk, he respects Vince McMahon and everything he's done. Punk came back and said he's just like Vince and has lost sight of everything. HHH retaliated by saying that unlike Vince, he's going to beat the crap out of Punk's skinny fat ass. Kevin Nash came out as Punk was held back by HHH. Punk got some punches and kicks in before HHH pulled him back. Nash big booted Punk, then shoved down HHH. A lot to digest there. I probably didn't get all of it, but they put a lot of story into a match that could use more build. Job well done. Survey Says: 4/5

Super Great White Sheamus!!!
Sheamus/Great Khali was next. A few minutes in, Jinder Mahal interfered causing a DQ. Khali and Mahal worked over Sheamus. Khali went for his chop on the outside but hit the post instead. Back in the ring, Mahal ate a Celtic Cross from Sheamus. Short and got Sheamus over as a dominant face. Survey Says: 2/5

This Rivalry Was Never Fair and Balanced
Main Event Cage Match Time. Christian tried a couple of escapes early to no success. Orton hit a nice dropkick into a quick commercial break. The two exchanged offensive maneuvers. Christian regained control after a nice spinebuster then a neckbreaker. Christian went to escape but Orton stopped him. Christian then went to climb over the cage but was stopped again. The two fought on the top rope before Orton hit a superplex. Back from break, Christian was trying to crawl to the door but was stopped by Orton. Orton threw Christian into the cage. Orton hit a powerslam for a two. Christian reversed an Orton throw into the cage into a reverse DDT. Christian hit a frog splash on Orton for a two. After a failed escape attempt, Orton leap-frogged a spear, Orotn went for an RKO, but Christian eventually hit the spear for a two. Christian went for a punt but Orton moved. Christian pump faked Orton looking for the RKO and tried to escape, Orton stopped him. Orton hit his mid-rope DDT. The two fought on top of the cage. Both men teased their finishers. Orton hit an RKO from the top rope for the three count and win.

Mark Henry came out after the match to take out the cage door. Wait, the cage door just opened? It FEARS Mark Henry! Henry dominated Orton. Orton tried to fight back but to no avail. Henry hit a splash on Orton. Henry threw Orton into the cage again then hit the World's Strongest Slam as the show closed. Strong match, and a strong finish that continued to get Mark Henry over as a dominant threat. Survey Says: 4/5

Compared to the RAW SuperShow, this one just failed. Only the Punk/HHH contract signing and the main event were any good. Wade Barrett got completely jobbed out to John Cena. It didn't even look competitive. None of the undercard matches were strong. While Orton/Christian was again good, it's just sad they promoted the rivalry as balanced when Christian only won once via DQ. Even the Punk/HHH stuff was a bit hazy that probably lost some of the audience. I'd give the show a 4, two points for each of the segments I mentinoed. Plus; Why wasn't Cody Rhodes on the show to follow up his program with Ted DiBiase. What about the hyped up Justin Gabriel? No? My point exactly.

Hopefully this did do enough, however, to permanently move Smackdown to Tuesday. It's a better timeslot. Lets just hope they end up giving us better shows down the line.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

RAW Thoughts

Who's Playing Who? We May Never Know...
No pyro or intro again for RAW this week. Triple H is just saving some $$$ by having himself come out to start the show every week. HHH said it's his job to make sure this company succeeds. He said Smackdown stars will be joining RAW to create a RAW SuperShow. That's the good part. The bad part is that people also lie to him. HHH called Nash out to the ring and told him to be a man and tell him why he lied. Out came C.M. Punk instead. Punk credit his performance and told HHH to stop lying and admit he's in on everything. The old nWo music interrupted and Nash came out. Nash said he lied because he didn't finish what he had to do, taking out Punk.

Nash asked Punk what kind of man HHH was. HHH said he can't trust Nash anymore and asked him to leave. Nash said last week, while HHH was gone, John Laurinaitis signed him to a very lucrative contract. C.M. Punk mocked throwing up. Punk said congratulations the Kliq is back. That's the sound the viewers remote makes when Nash is on TV, and the sound Nash's knees make when he walks "click." Both asked for a match at Night Of Champions. Punk said to check with the Board of Directors, meaning his wife. Punk said he knew HHH didn't wear the pants in his family, but he does wear his wife's panties. HHH made the match, and said as far as Nash and Punk are concerned, he has 2 words for them. Good opening segment. Punk's involvement was short, but made it better than average. Survey Says: 4/5

Does Randy Hear Voices on Monday Too?
Randy Orton came out before the break. He was fighting Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler worked over Orton early after Orton missed a flying knee. Ziggler hit a nice dropkick. Orton went for his elevated DDT but Vickie climbed on the apron, distracting Orton and allowing Dolph to throw Orton over the top rope. Ziggler hit he ZigZag outside on Orton and Orton beat the count back into the ring at 9. Back from break Ziggler worked over Orton before Orton regained momentum. Orton hit a SuperPlex from the top rope for a near fall. Orton hit his signature moves all for near falls. Orton lined Dolph up for a punt to the head but Dolph countered with a superkick for a 2. Orton countered Dolph and hit the elevated DDT. Dolph countered an RKO attempt into a sleeper, but Orton countered into a face plant on the mat than an RKO for a victory. Fun match that made Dolph look good. Survey Says: 3.5/5

Funnel Cake Full of Farts? Really John?
John Cena came out to a surprisingly positive reaction. Cena said his reaction to Del Rio's attack last week was that he was going to kick Del Rio's teeth so far down his throat that his mouth would become his anus. Instead of Del Rio, Mark Henry came out. Henry said he came out to get some. So far he's taken out Kane, Big Show, and others. Soon he's going to join Henry's Hall of Pain. Christian interrupted. Christian said he's sick of Cena coming out whining every week. Cena made a couple lame jokes and said if they want some come get some. Sheamus came out. Cena thought it was to attack him but instead it was to aid him. Backstage Johnny Ace made a tag match for later: Christian/Henry vs Cena/Sheamus. HHH told Ace to remember that he was his boss. OK stuff. Survey Says: 3/5

Hey Oklahoma: Wake Up!
Up next was Punk/Miz. Miz said he was dropping pipe bombs long before Punk, and he was going to take action about that tonight. Miz was in control early. Other than Punk getting some kicks in it was all Miz early. Same thing going into commercial. It was weird to see Miz just dominate Punk pretty much the whole match. Back from break Punk finally got into the fight. He hit a running bulldog than his flying clothesline for a near fall. Punk hit the Macho Man Elbow then went for the GTS, but Truth interfered causing the DQ. Punk hit the GTS on Truth before Kevin Nash started walking to the ring. Miz jumped Punk from behind. Nash came in and hit the Jacknife Powerbomb. A weird match, especially because the crowd wasn't too into it, and seemed like they cheered Nash more than Punk. Survey Says: 3/5

Sin Cara? On Live TV? Uh oh...
Ten seconds in Sin Cara botched a hurricarana. He made up for it with a nice reverse moonsault off the ropes to the outside. Vickie came out to get a closer look. Dolph came out and distracted Jack Swagger. This allowed Sin Cara to regain control and hit a couple moonsaults for the win. OK stuff: Survey Says: 2/5

Hey Otunga: Can I Get Fires With That?
Tag Title rematch from last week was next. Lawler continued to rip on Otunga and McGillicutty. The Tag Champs, now called Air Boom, made some quick work of Otunga and McGillicutty. After the match Otunga and McGillicutty confronted Lawler. Otunga ripped off his headset and threw it at Lawler. Just ok. Don't really care too much about a Lawler vs Otunga/McGillicutty storyline. Survey Says: 2/5

Can We Get the Divs That Can Actually Wrestle Please?
Brie Bella took on Kelly Kelly. Eve pushed Kelly out of the way of a baseball slide, allowing the Bellas to pull some twin magic to pick up the win. Ugh. More Beth and Natalya please. Survey Says: 1/5

Where's My WWE Champion???
Tag Main event to close the show. Hnery and Christian worked over an already hurt Sheamus early on. Sheamus eventually tagged in Cena who worked over Christian and hit his normal offense routine. Sheamus and Henry went to the outside. Christian hit the spear for a two count. Christian went for the Killswitch. But Cena countered and threw Christian into a Sheamus Brogue Kick, then Cena hit the AA for the win. OK tag Main event. Kind of short. Plus no Del Rio? Survey Says: 3/5

Backstage HHH was shown watching the show. Punk came in. HHH said he called the Board of Directors, and Punk's match with Nash is off. Instead, he's facing Hunter now. Interesting...

Touching on the wrestling on the show first: It was good. Orton/Ziggler was a great TV match. Ziggler is an outstanding worker and should be a main eventer sometime down the line. Miz/Punk was ok as well as the tag match. I don't know why the crowd wasn't into Miz/Punk more than they were. The tag match main event should have went a bit longer. They could have eliminated the Divas stuff. It was pointless and didn't advance the Beth/Natalya storyline.

Now, storyline wise this was also good. Although there was no Del Rio, it was apparently because he was getting his work visa renewed in Mexico. But as far as HHH/Punk goes, just wow. Apparently Nash didn't do too well on his physicals and that caused the WWE to back out of the match at Night of Champions. I still wouldn't have made this match right away IMO. I would have saved HHH/Punk for Survivor Series, a show that's lacked a big time match recently. I might have just thrown Punk into the WWE Title Match for now. Of course, the selfish part of me is PUMPED to see HHH/Punk live at NOC. Good show, some questions remain. I'm giving the show a 7.

Another entertaining RAW. I might do a recap of the live Smackdown when I get home from work tonight. Depends on how I feel.

And remember kids, Pinstripes are not back in style. Nash just hasn't changed his shirt since 1996.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

Friday, August 26, 2011

The WWE Fall Fantasy Outlook

The end of August is fast approaching. That means the end of summer. While most people don't like that, it also means the start of football season. And for someone like me, it also means fantasy football time. I don't know how many people take part in fantasy football leagues. I'm assuming it's in the millions. I take part in 4 money leagues myself. It's addicting. This week of the year is usually when the most fantasy drafts take place. I have two on Sunday myself. Everybody is studying up on players, looking at schedules, and checking on injury statuses before drafting certain players. It's more work than some people think. You have to put some time into it if you want to succeed and win some money in the end.

So what does all of this have to do with my column this week? Well, I decided to look at the WWE's current roster and use fantasy football terms to identify certain superstars. Now I won't be doing a whole draft because doing a draft with one person isn't fun. Basically, what I will be doing is this: Looking at guys I would take with the top overall pick, breakthrough stars, sleepers, busts, etc. I'll be judging these wrestlers with predictions about how they will perform between the September-December time period. By the end of this time period, you can usually tell who is in line to get a big push come Wrestlemania time. I will also be looking at RAW and Smackdown separately, not as one big WWE Universe. It's more fun that way.

#1 Overall Pick: C.M. Punk

I'm sure there could be some debate with this pick. But my Smackdown one will probably cause more of a debate. No C.M. Punk is not the WWE Champion. He's also lost a bit of steam since his hot streak in July. He's also not John Cena, the WWE's Top Dog. But he's not suppose to be. Despite all of this, Punk is still the best thing going right now on WWE TV. He has the most potential going for him out of anybody on the roster. If handled properly, he could be on the verge of becoming the next big mega-star. Punk has had all of this potential his whole career. It's just a shame that the WWE has taken so long to tap all of this potential.

Even if he stays away from the WWE Championship picture, Punk will more than likely continue to be the main focus of RAW. His mic work continues to be the best the WWE has seen in years. He can rip anybody he wants to shreds. His in ring work is also great. His two matches with John Cena at Money in the Bank and SummerSlam were top notch. Everything seems to be pointing towards a C.M. Punk/Triple H match down the line. Punk is the anti-authority figure the WWE has been sorely missing since the days of Stone Cold, and Punk and HHH have a unique dynamic between them. There match should be great and the slow build to it should be even better. C.M. Punk is easily the best thing going in the WWE right now and is worthy of RAW's #1 Overall Pick, and the #1 pick in any type of full WWE Roster Draft. 

Sleeper Pick: Jack Swagger

I had a tough time coming up with someone for this post. There's just very few things to like about RAW's mid-card nowadays. At least there was some storyline developments this week. I'm curious to see where Creative plans on going with the Jack Swagger/Dolph Ziggler/Vickie Guerrero dynamic. It seems like the two will refuse to get along. I like the idea of a heel stable lead by Vickie Guerrero, something similar to the Heenan Family from the 80s/90s. But I don't think that is happening. At this point, I would much rather see a program between Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler than Dolph Ziggler and Alex Riley. I think all the momentum from Alex Riley's program with the Miz is down the drain. He's still a bit too green inside the ring as well.

I was very high on Swagger during the whole Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross angle. WWE, in my opinion, dropped the ball on a potential Swagger face turn. Cole had so much heat that had Swagger turned on Cole and put him in the ankle lock it could have gotten a very good pop. The WWE is lacking a third quality face on RAW behind John Cena and C.M. Punk. Why not give Swagger a try? Having him turn or snap on Vickie may get even more heat than he could have gotten from doing the same thing to Cole. This scenario seems unlikely but it's something I would give the WWE credit for if they tried.

Bust: John Morrison
Now I said RAW was lacking a #3 face behind Punk and Cena. If you would have asked me about John Morrison at the beginning of this year, I would have told you he'd be a main eventer by now and on the cusp of winning his first WWE or World Title. There was so much untapped potential in Morrison. He's very athletic and could perform in the ring. I thought for sure he was going to fight Miz for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. I nice month long main event program would have done wonders for Morrison. Especially main eventing a PPV where he wouldn't be the main focus. His mic work wasn't great, but that's something that can always be worked on.

Fast forward to present day, and oh how so much has changed. First there was the "Wrestlemania Debacle," where Morrison apparently cold-shouldered Trish Stratus and thought she stole Melina's Wrestlemania spot. Then Morrison was hurt and missed a couple months of action. I would have loved to see a return match been built up between him and R-Truth at SummerSlam, but instead all of their matches took place on RAW. Morrison was pretty much jobbed out the first month of his return. It didn't help that his girlfriend Melina was apparently a pain in the ass backstage. Now Morrison is stuck with nothing on RAW. He can still be the #3 face on RAW, and he kind of is now by default, but I don't see that lasting. Even a run with the United States Championship wouldn't do too much for Morrison at this point. No matter how you cut it, Morrison's outlook doesn't look great and I can't see it changing anytime soon.

Breakout Star: R-Truth
Even though his character isn't as hot as it was at the beginning of the summer, there's still something to like about R-Truth. His heel turn has made Truth the most relevant he's been his whole career. While his program with John Cena ended up being a disappointment in the end, it still helped elevate him a bit. His matches recently have been better. He had a good match with Rey Mysterio in the WWE Title Tournament, and he's had two good matches with John Morrison.

Now R-Truth is teamed together with the Miz, and they are both out to find the "conspiracy" in the WWE. These are two guys who were main eventing PPVs in the Spring, now they're stuck in the mid-card. They're buried underneath Punk, Cena, and now Alberto del Rio. Truth can learn a lot from Miz. He was WWE Champion for 6 months. Miz learned how to handle himself in the main event scene, and I would say right now is still better than R-Truth. This should motivate Truth to work a little harder to get on the same level as Miz on the mic and in the ring. If their promo on RAW is any indication, then Truth and Miz should make for a good team. And if they win the Tag Titles and can appear on both shows, they should be even more entertaining. I hope R-Truth continues to be his entertaining, out of whack self but improves in other areas to bring his game to the next level.

#1 Overall Pick: Mark Henry
Whats that you say? Surprised by this pick? Well let me explain it to you. First of all, I can't say it enough: Mark Henry's current push he is getting has been absolutely awesome. It's something that should have been done years ago. The WWE has lacked a monster heel like Mark Henry for ages. It's part of the reason people have lacked interest in the current WWE product. The heels aren't a serious threat anymore. But Mark Henry is being portrayed as one, which is a good thing.

As I've said, Henry's push has been handled perfectly. He's looked like a badass the entire time. Whether it'd be spearing Big Show off the ramp or putting him through the cage, shoving Sheamus through the ringside barrier at SummerSlam, or destroying everyone eliminated in the Battle Royal last week, Henry has made an impact. He's standing out in the eyes of everyone. Even people who have criticized Henry his entire career are enjoying his recent run. It's mostly because his actual matches are being kept short and to the point. Henry hasn't been forced to work a long match in the ring. Now that's going to have to change if he is going to be in the World Title picture. He will need to be able to work a 15 minute match.

Now why take Henry first overall? It's simple: this megapush will end in a World Title run for Mark Henry. Anything else would be considered a major disappointment. Sooner rather than later, Mark Henry will be the World Champion. The guy's been with the WWE for 15 years and has never had a World Title run. Last year the WWE rewarded Kane for being a company man, and there's no reason I can't see the WWE doing the same thing with Henry. Mark Henry will be World Champion by the end of the fall, and that's why he's the #1 pick on Smackdown.

Sleeper: Wade Barrett
Some may question this pick to, but I still have some hope with Wade Barrett. He just showed so much last year as the leader of Nexus that I can't think that will go over looked. Barrett can handle himself on the mic and with the right guy can put on an entertaining match. Barrett picked up a nice win at SummerSlam over Daniel Bryan in a very good match. I wish the WWE would have kept with a program between the two. Maybe have Barrett challenge Bryan for the Smackdown MITB Briefcase at Night of Champions. The contract surrounds the World Title. It would fit in the theme of the PPV.

This past Friday on Smackdown Barrett refused to wrestle a local jobber on Smackdown and walked off, saying he was better than that. He talked about how he was the leader of a group that took out John Cena, Vince McMahon, and various WWE Legends. I'm interested to see if this maybe leads to something. As much as I love Christian, his time in the main event seems like it is coming to the end. Mark Henry's time is coming, but Wade Barrett may be next in line after that. With Rock/Cena already main eventing Wrestlemania next year, and the potential of a very hot C.M. Punk/HHH match, the WWE can take some risks with their Title matches. Maybe Barrett is involved in the World Title match, such as a Triple Threat with Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. How do you do that? Win the Royal Rumble. Or maybe Taker, if healthy, takes on The Undertaker. I'll continue to say it: Wade Barrett has worlds of potential in him, the WWE just needs to find a way to utilize it.

Bust: Christian
Let me start off by saying that Christian's extended main event run has been good. I enjoyed finally seeing Christian at the top. His matches with Randy Orton ranged from good to very great. Their last two matches at Money in the Bank and SummerSlam were both main event quality and had it not been for a red hot Cena/Punk program they could have easily ended both shows. Christian showed that he is more than capable of stepping up his game to the main event level and that he can handle himself perfectly fine at the top.

Now, having said all of this, I find it hard to believe Christian will keep up this momentum once he's done with Randy Orton. I think after this Tuesday's live Smackdown, unless something changes, Christian will be done with Randy Orton. Where he goes from there remains a mystery. But the fact of the matter is that any program Christian goes into next will be a step down from Randy Orton and the World Title. Sure potential matches with Sheamus and Daniel Bryan could be good, but they will be a notch down from Randy Orton. While I'm sure Christian will continue to be entertaining as both a character and in ring performer, I think his time in the main event is coming to an end for now.

Breakout Star: Cody Rhodes
I'm torn here. I just talked about the world's of potential Wade Barrett has. But watching Smackdown, the same could be said about Cody Rhodes. It's nice to see him finally walking around with the Intercontinental Championship. It's much better than seeing Ezekiel Jackson with it. Cody talked about elevating the IC Title now that he has it, and I would love to see Cody do that. Cody Rhodes has been fantastic since taking his character to a whole new darker level. Cody's mic work is top notch. He gets his points across in a short, effective matter.

Even though Cody is stuck behind Mark Henry just like Wade Barrett, the potential is there for him to get to the next level. If Cody really wants to elevate the Intercontinental Title, he can do it with good matches against the likes of Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, hell maybe even Wade Barrett. Cody just like Wade could be in the World Title match at Wrestlemania. Cody Rhodes interaction with Randy Orton the last two weeks is a good starting point for him. There's plenty of back story between Rhodes and Orton to play off of. It's really a toss up between Barrett and Rhodes for me, but if I'm "drafting" Smackdown guys, I'm probably taking Rhodes ahead of Barrett. Having the IC Title around his waste gives him more opportunities in the coming months compared to Barrett. Plus it guarantees him a PPV match at Night of Champions, something Barrett does not have.

That's all from me this week. Hope you guys enjoyed my Fantasy Football spin on the WWE.

Until next time,
Justin C
JC's Top Rope Report
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RAW Thoughts

Hello everyone. Time for another review of RAW. Who's the #1 Contender for the WWE Title. Lets find out!

Santa Claus Isn't Real???
RAW started this week with Alberto del Rio. What, no HHH to start RAW this week? They recapped Alberto taking out Rey Mysterio last week. They said Rey would miss a number of months. Before ADR could get out two words, John Cena interrupted. Cena said everyone new who ADR was, so he came out to introduce himself. He said he's John Cena, and he's here to take the WWE Title back. Cena's gonna send ADR back to his parent's house. Cena said there's only one man that can go toe-to-toe with him, and that's C.M. Punk.

Cue C.M. Punk right on time. Punk asked if this show was a re-run because John Cena wants another WWE Title match. Punk said that's not gonna happen again. He said if anyone is getting a title shot, it's going to be him. Alberto interrupted saying its his time. Punk told him not to interrupt. Punk said everyone was trying to screw him. Alberto said it was destiny. Punk said it was his destiny to cash in his rematch clause. Cena said it was his destiny to cash in his rematch clause tonight. Punk said Cena's rematch clause exists as much as Santa Claus exists. Del Rio says he was ignoring both of them.

Triple H came out to settle things. HHH told Del Rio to wipe that smug look off his face because even though he's not wrestling Punk or Cena, he has a match next. HHH told Punk and Cena that they would fight tonight to see who faces ADR at Night of Champions. It was a good segment, but it seemed like something was missing. What it was, I don't know. Just didn't seem like everyone clicked together. Survey Says: 3/5

Don't Piss Off This Mexican Aristocrat
Del Rio waited for his opponent, which turned out to be John Morrison. Morrison looked a bit more motivated than normal. He worked over Del Rio early. Morrison went for a moonsault to the outside, but ADR moved and shoved Morrison's back and neck into the guardrail. Back from break, ADR worked over Morrison's back. Del Rio charged at Morrison in the corner but Morrison back dropped him to the outside. ADR's head hit the floor kind of hard. Morrison hit a variety of moves on Del Rio back in the ring. Morrison telegraphed a back suplex. Del Rio went for the cross armbreaker, but Morrison countered into a schoolboy for a 2. DDT got another 2 for Morrison. Morrison got a 2 out of a hurricarrana reversal. He went for Starship Pain but ADR moved. He shoved Morrison into the post and applied the cross armbreaker for the win. He applied it after the match on the outside as well. Very fun match. Strong showing by both men. Survey Says: 4/5

Booty Shaking Doesn't Make the Match Better
Eve and Brie wrestled. Eve shook her butt. Eve hit a nice reverse neckbreaker for the win. Beth and Natalya came out afterwards and applauded. Survey Says: 1.5/5

Uh Oh, Riley's Already Getting the Ring Entrance During Commercial Treatment
Vickie came out and introduced her new potential client, Jack Swagger. Rematch from last week with Alex Riley. Riley hit a nice spinebuster. Dolph Ziggler came out and asked Vickie what she was doing. Dolph knocked Vickie down. Swagger forgot to watch and the ref had to remind him to turn around. Swagger confronted Dolph. Back in the ring, A-Ri rolled up Swagger for the win. Not much of a match, but at least there's some semblance of an angle going on. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Yes Kids, When You're Married You're Whipped
Triple H came out to talk with Kevin Nash. He said him and Nash talked, and he thinks everything is straightened out. He asked Nash to come out still. Nash said he thought he was doing HHH a favor, but apparently he wasn't. Nash said he was going to apologize to Punk, but after last week he's not going to. HHH said Nash doesn't work here, and he can't have Nash taking guys out. HHH told him to go take Punk out across the street at Tim Horton's, which got a big pop. He asked Nash to leave.

Punk came out and said he was going to get to the bottom of everything. Punk wanted to figure out who sent the text. He said maybe it was "Big Lazy" with the Just for Men. Or HHH with the Sledgehammer. But his money was on Stephanie McMahon with the candlestick in the library. Punk was going to kick Nash's ass. Punk went for Nash but HHH stopped him. Punk asked HHH what his problem was with him, and why he didn't want Punk to be WWE Champ. HHH said he promised not to cross any lines, but don't think he's not the same Hunter he used to be. Punk said he wouldn't want HHH to wrinkle his suit up and put it in his wife purse, where he obviously keeps his cell phone and his balls. Nash punched Punk as HHH restrained him and walked to the back. Classic Punk there. Great line to finish the segment. Survey Says: 4/5

Backstage, Nash told HHH he changed. He said 4 weeks in a suit changed him as Nash left.

Can We Now Future Endeavor David Otunga
Tag Titles were on the line next. Kofi hit his pattened mid-air cross body on McGillicutty. Kofi went for the Boom Drop but Otunga pulled him out of the way, allowing McGillicutty to regain control. Both men took turns working over Kofi. McGillicutty hit a dropkick on Kofi and he turned to Jerry Lawler, who had been calling them out for being bland, said "You Like That Jerry!" Kofi got to Bourne for the hot tag. All hell broke loose. Kofi took McGillicutty to the outside and then kicked Otunga. Bourne hit Air Bourne on Otunga for the 3. New Tag Champs. Fun little match. Maybe this is the start of something new for the Tag Team Division. Survey Says: 3/5

Backstage the new Tag Champs were interviewed. They were bathed in champagne by Zac Ryder and others.

Johnny Ace caught up with HHH backstage. He said Nash had been in a car accident and was at a local hospital. Hunter left to go check on his friend.

Spiders. Spider Web. CONSPIRACY!
Santino came out for a match, but was attacked by Miz and R-Truth. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale in the ring. Truth said what happened to Little Jimmy is going to continue to happen to Little Jimmy. Truth said everyone was in on the conspiracy. Miz said he can't believe he was going to say this, but he agrees with R-Truth about there being a conspiracy. Miz said he went from main eventing Wrestlemania to having to pick a fight with Jared from Subway just to do something. Miz said that him and Truth were done waiting around, and they were going to create their own opportunities from now on. Miz and Truth worked well together here. They seem to have the making of a good pairing as the undercard heels who were at the top at one point, but are now forced to the bottom and don't like it. Survey Says: 4/5

Ugh. This Does Seem Like A Re-Run
Main Event Time. Alberto del Rio was ringside scouting while John Laurinaitis was ringside making sure everything went smoothly. Cena threw his shirt into the crowd 2 times and it was thrown back. Punk and Cena exchanged their basic offense early before going to commercial with Punk down on the outside. Both men went for their finishers before Punk went for his flying clothesline and shouted "I'M FLYING!" Cena eventually locked in a crossface. Punk got his foot on the ropes. Punk shoved Cena into the ring post then hit the GTS, but only scored a 2 count. Punk went for the Macho Man elbow but Cena moved. Cena hit his flying leg drop for 2. Punk countered out of the STF with a parade of elbows, then a knee to the face for 2. Cena hit a quick AA for a 2. Punk regained control over Cena and was ready to hit the GTS, but Nash came out and told Punk this wasn't over. It distracted Punk long enough to allow Cena to recover, hit the AA, and pick up the win. After the match, Del Rio attacked Cena. Johnny Ace tried to stop him but ADR lead the beatdown as the show went off the air.

Another good match between the two. Not on par with the first 2 but an above average TV match. Cena finally gets his win over Punk and now moves on to Del Rio, while Punk continues to wonder who really is out to get him in this storyline. Survey Says: 4/5

I thought this was another solid episode of RAW. Two solid matches in Punk/Cena and Del Rio/Morrison. Miz and Truth make a good pairing together and I'm interested to see where they are going with those two. Kofi and Evan Bourne seem to have added some new life to the tag team division as well. I also thought the announcing on this show was much more tolerable than it has been recently. I don't know what changed but Cole was toned down and everyone seemed more concerned about the product than themselves. There was some storyline progression on this show which I like, so I'm giving this show a solid 8. Keep up the good work RAW.

That's all from me this week.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Appreciating Smackdown: The Supposed "B Show"

I was struggling to come up with ideas for a column this week. I kept going over everything that happened on RAW and couldn't think of anything. I've touched on C.M. Punk numerous times. There's still not enough known about the Kevin Nash/Triple H storyline to predict where it is going. I just wrote about Alberto del Rio two weeks ago so there's nothing new there, although kudos to the WWE for pulling the trigger on him winning the WWE Title. The more I was thinking about ideas, the more I realized one constant thing. Why am I only thinking about RAW columns? There are probably only two things I really like on that show: The C.M. Punk/HHH/Nash/Stephanie McMahon storyline and Alberto del Rio as WWE Champion. Everything else, mid-card included, just isn't that interesting to me.

Then I started thinking about Smackdown. I was able to watch the last two shows and I must say: I really like what they are doing over there. There's a lot of things to like about Smackdown right now. Smackdown doesn't get the appreciation it rightly deserves, so I thought I would take the time to give the supposed "B Show" some recognition in my weekly column.

Might as well start at the top. The Randy Orton/Christian program this summer has been very entertaining. I didn't have faith that the WWE could make this entertaining all summer, but they did. Christian's first true main event run in the WWE has been a joy to watch. Sure he's only had title reigns of five days and one month, but he's been at the top now for 4 months now, and he's handled himself quite well. In my opinion, he's shed the whole "Only There Because of Edge" shadow he had on him. Lots of people thought had it not been for Edge, Christian would have never sniffed the main event scene. Well, its been 4 months now, and Christian is still at the top. Sure Edge appeared at SummerSlam, but it was a minor appearence. The WWE could have pulled the plug on Christian's push if they wanted to but they didn't. While this program may be over, Christian proved that he could be a go to guy when necessary in the main event scene.

I also have to give credit to Randy Orton. Orton was as boring as he could possibly be on RAW before moving over to Smackdown. His character has been given a bit of a kick, especially in the last month or so. I was always a fan of the crazed, psychotic Orton. I like him better when he is chasing the Title, like he did the last month, but he's still been better than he was on RAW. Orton and Christian have a good chemistry together and there five matches they've had together have been great. Maybe the best set of matches Orton has had in his career. Hopefully Orton can carry this over into his next program, even though all signs point to it being Mark Henry.

That was the main event. Lets move on to the mid-card. I personally find the Smackdown mid-card much more fascinating and intriguing than the RAW mid-card. In my opinion, there's more story and depth to a lot of Smackdown's mid-carders than RAWs. Lets start with the man who's push I'm thoroughly enjoying at the moment: Mark Henry. I don't know what's different about this push. Maybe the fact that the WWE and Henry seem to be serious about this push. All of Henry's matches have been short and to the point. Henry has been getting over as the dominant monster heel that has been missing in the WWE for some time. Now if he's going to get a main event push, he will need to be able to work a 15 minute match. Can Orton and Henry put on an entertaining match of that length? Only time will tell. But for now, I'm digging the push Henry is getting. He's looked like a monster taking out Kane and the Big Show, and him and Sheamus put on a decent big man match at SummerSlam.

And that leads us into a perfect transition to talk about Sheamus. He seemed to be going nowhere as a heel, so the WWE decided to take a chance with him and turn Sheamus face. I thought that the WWE was going to turn either Sheamus or Wade Barrett face. They are both basically the same character: European big men who are tough. I would have picked Barrett, but I think the WWE made the better choice in using Sheamus. Sheamus also seems to be enjoying his face turn. He looked to be having a good time on the Conan O'Brien Show this past week. Sheamus needed this face turn to give his character a kick. The WWE can't change his character too much though. He still needs to remain the tough, Irish bad ass he was as a heel, but just with the fans behind him. I think it seems like Sheamus is behind the turn, so now everyone involved needs to do their part to make everything turn out well.

I've gone through 4 guys on the Smackdown roster and not even talked about the guy with potentially the highest upside: Mr. Money in the Bank Daniel Bryan. Most everybody was surprised to see Bryan win the Smackdown MITB contract. Even more people were surprised to find out he will cash in his contract at Wrestlemania. It's a great way to do it. If it lasts that long. You can never put too much faith in the WWE's long term booking. Bryan is probably the second best in ring worker in the WWE after C.M. Punk. I always hate to bring up his name, but Bryan has a bit of Chris Benoit THE WRESTLER in him. Not the best in the mic. Not the most charasmatic guy. But he busts his ass in the ring night in and night out. I don't know why the fans in Los Angeles chanted boring during his match with Wade Barrett at SummerSlam. It was the best match on the undercard. The WWE still has a lot to do to build up Bryan as a believeable Wrestlemania main eventer. One theory that I read that I liked: Bryan loses the MITB contract, wins either the Royal Rumlbe or Elimination Chamber to earn his Wrestlemania spot back, and faces the man who he lost his MITB contract to at Wrestlemania since he would be the Champ at that point. I can't take credit for that theory, but I like it. I consider Daniel Bryan the biggest question mark on Smackdown. If handled properly he could be the next WWE main eventer. If handled poorly he could be stuck in mid-card purgatory forever.

I thought Cody Rhodes would be in the position Christian was in now. He seemed destined for the main event this fall. He was one of the most interesting characters in the WWE. Now he's kind of stuck with nothing. Its nice to finally see him with some gold, even if its the Intercontinental Title. Its a start. As long as he keeps the Title he will FINALLY have a singles match on PPV. There is still a lot of potential with Cody, its just that his character has cooled off a bit. Maybe Cody will get a main event push this fall.

I was extremely high on Wade Barrett at this point leader. He was on fire as the leader of Nexus. He was great on the mic and holding his own in the ring. But ever since moving to Smackdown, Barrett has had absolutely nothing going for him. No program, no long term feud. He had a very good match with Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, but this week on Smackdown there was no follow-up. I really hope something comes up for Barrett in the near future. Barrett has too much potential to go to waste.

Justin Gabriel is also an interesting case. They've been hyping him with video promos for a few weeks. He's good in the ring and has that natural good guy pretty boy look. He also has a great finisher with the 450 splash. Maybe a feud with Cody Rhodes for the IC Title is in order.

The only really parts that I could complain about on Smackdown are Sin Cara and Ezekiel Jackson. Jackson is just a terrible worker. I don't think there is anything more to say. The whole Sin Cara debacle is just getting hilarious at this point. Maybe it will turn into a Doink the Clown gimmick and there will just be multiple Sin Cara's running around. I've seen some of Sin Cara's work and there is a lot of potential and good to it, but it just hasn't come full circle in the WWE yet.

I remember back when the WWE Draft happened. Everyone thought Smackdown got robbed in the Draft. While on paper it looks like they did, I don't see that as the case. While RAW may have the top two stories going, Smackdown by far has more depth on its talent roster. RAW's mid-card characters just lack any depth. On Smackdown, they are making more guys seem important. On RAW all I'm suppose to care about is C.M. Punk, HHH, John Cena, and Alberto del Rio. All the guys I listed in this article are people I have interest in and want to see do well. Smackdown is considred the "B Show", but its talent roster is far more appealing and interesting than the entire RAW roster combined.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RAW Thoughts

Hey everyone. I've decided to start posting my RAW Thoughts here as well as The Oratory. Go big or go home I say.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

RAW started with COO Triple H walking to the ring. He said he made a mistake, and apologized to the WWE Universe and John Cena. He's gonna look John Cena in the eye later tonight and apologize man to man. He moved on to C.M. Punk. He said he had no knowledge of Kevin Nash's attack. All Triple H did was leave tickets for him at will call. I'm sure Nash didn't pick up the tickets himself. Nash will be on later. HHH said as far as Alberto del Rio goes, that's just how Money in the Bank works. Triple H said he promised the world one undisputed WWE Champion last week, and said here he is. Out came Alberto Del Rio.

Del Rio says destiny does whatever it wants. He said after what Kevin Nash did he couldn't resist cashing in. Del Rio called himself the greatest of the great. He wants to represent everyone with respect, honesty, passion. He said he will be in the lobby signing autographs and pictures. Tonight his first defense is against Rey Mysterio. ADR was happy because he said everyone loves Rey Mysterio. ADR loves beating Rey Mysterio. That's how he started his WWE career. He said when he wakes up in the morning, he asks himself what he wants to do, and he says he wants to beat Rey Mysterio. He told everyone in San Diego that they should change their area code because after their match, their new hero will be ADR. Decent start to the show. Alberto del Rio needed to get himself over on the mic and get some heat on him after he lost it the last few weeks due to poor booking. Survey Says: 3/5

They showed HHH walking into John Cena's Locker Room.

Now That's How You Use Office Furniture
John Morrison vs R-Truth in a Falls Count Anywhere Match was next. Morrison gave a really bad taped promo during his entrance. The action spilled to the outside early with Morrison hitting a spinning crossbody. Morrison hit a kick to the head off the barricade. Truth regained control and hit a seated front suplex on the floor. That looked like it hurt. Back from break, they showed how Truth gained control during the break by dumping Morrison over the turnbuckle. Truth kneed Morrison in the head, then crotched him on the barricade, then clotheslined him over. Morrison regained control with a roundhouse kick. Truth went for an announce chair, but Morrison clotheslined him. Morrison then suplexed Truth onto the chair, then hit a running knee to the face for the win. Fun match. Nice to see Morrison finally pick up a win after being back. Survey Says: 3/5

C.M. Punk was shown arriving. He looked pissed.

Miz came out next. He was here to say hi to Jared to Subway. He also said he could be a better spokesmen. He did a promo for a sub and said it was better than anything Jared ever did. He said he will be Champion again. Then did his schtick.

Kevin Nash arrived via limo. Not like he would drive himself.

I'm Running Out of Names For These Divas Segments
Divas Tag Action: Kelly Kelly & Eve vs The Bellas. Kelly hit her stinkface. The Bellas worked over Kelly's left leg until she made the hot tag to Eve. Eve reversed a suplex attempt into a nice neckbreaker. Eve then hit the moonsault from the top for a win. Afterwards Beth Phoenix & Natalya came out and glared from the stage. Ok Stuff. Survey Says: 1.5/5

Waffle House Rules
Out came Kevin Nash to no music. He said while watching SummerSlam from his seats, he got a text. It said hey big man, no matter what happens, stick the guy that wins the main event for me. He told Punk what he did was business, plain and simple. Nash said he heard HHH said he didn't know anything about it. Nash said come on HHH, it's just business.

C.M. Punk came out. Punk asked if he was suppose to believe that crap. Punk asked if HHH was suppose to jump off a bridge, would Nash do it? Cuz that would be good for business. Punk said HHH & Nash have no idea what is good for business. Nash told Punk to watch his mouth. Punk said he does whatever he wants. Punk said he doesn't believe HHH or Nash. Nash asked if he wanted to see the text. Punk said he has a text from his little sister, saying she thought he was dead. But it just must be his career. Nash ripped on Punk for barely being in the main event, then called him a short order cook from a waffle house. Punk was looking for a fight, and he walked to the ring. He was met by security. Punk was going to go look for HHH for answers in the back. It was an alright exchange. You might have expected more Nash-bashing from Punk, but I'm sure he's just saving some ammunition for future exchanges between the two. Survey Says: 3.5/5

Kevin Nash was looking for Triple H. John Laurinaitis came in and said HHH was meeting with Punk. Johnny wanted to take Nash somewhere more private to talk. Hmmm

Wait There's A Match Going On?
Dolph & Vickie were at ringside for commentary for a Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley match. Swagger worked over Riley early on. There was ABSOLUTELY NO COMMENTARY for this match. All it was was Cole, Lawler, Vickie, and Dolph talking. Vickie took JR's hat and distracted the referee. Jack Swagger took advantage and hit the gut-wrenched powerbomb for the win, even though it took 3 tries for Swagger to lift A-Ri. The commentary completely took away from the match. Survey Says: 1.5/5

Backstage, Jack Swagger thanked Vickie for what she did. He tried to convince Vickie to take him on as her manager.

After some videos from SummerSlam festivites, C.M. Punk walked into HHH's office to find Stephanie McMahon. She said it was tough to see him lose, even though he never really beat Cena since his foot was on the rope. Steph said in the end, everyone gets what they deserve.

Please Get the Tag Titles Off Of David Otunga
I do not want to see a David Otunga match when I go to Night of Champions in September. Otunga & McGillicutty worked over Bourne during the match. Bourne made the hot tag to Kofi. Bourne later made a sneak tag. Kofi hit McGillicutty with a kick than Bourne hit Air Bourne for the win. OK match. Kofi & Bourne gell well together as a team. Survey Says: 2/5

Rey Mysterio was shown backstage. Main event is next.

Main event time. Del Rio was out first, with a beautiful Ricardo introduction and a nice red ferrari. Rey came out sporting Chargers colors, being in his hometown of San Diego and all. Back and forth action early. Rey set Del Rio up for a 619, but Del Rio escaped to the outside heading into a commercial. Back from break Rey and ADR exchanged having control of the match. Rey hit a nice moonsault to the outside. He hit a seated senton back in the ring. He went for a 619 but ADR clotheslined him. ADR countered a Rey hurricarana attempt into a backbreaker for a two. Del Rio hit a nice enzuguria kick on the top rope for two. Del Rio went for his cross armbreaker but Rey countered into a roll up for a 2 3/4 count. Rey hit the 619 and went for the top rope splash, but ADR lifted his knees up and got the three count for the win. Good match.

After the match Del Rio attacked Rey, working over Rey's left arm. Del Rio put Rey in the cross armbreaker. He kept it locked in until John Cena came out to make the save. Cena said he had a hell of a weekend, but he's not pissed off at HHH, he's pissed at Del Rio. He said after he and Punk gave everything in the ring, Del Rio went into business for himself. Cena said holding on to the WWE Title means everyone is targeting him. Cena said eventually ADR will have to defend the Title. Uh John, HE JUST DID! And it means that John Cena is going to kick his ass.

OK. First off the match was good. Alright first defense for Del Rio. Cena was good in his intense mode, but his logic was all over the place. Del Rio did everything he was within his right to do with the MITB contract. He also made zero sense with his: "Sooner or Later You will have to defend that title." He just did John. It was also interesting seeing Cena use the word scumbag and ass and such, not very PG. I would have liked to see Punk come out and kick Del Rio or something to close the show, just to remind everyone he still wants the WWE Title too, but that's a minor point. I thought it was a strong finish to the show. Survey Says: 4/5

This show was a bit all over the place. The mid-card stuff was passable at best. I liked the Morrison/Truth match and the main event. The Nash/HHH/Punk angle still leaves a ton of stuff unanswered. Punk needs to be on Night of Champions in 4 weeks so they need to reintroduce him into the title picture next week. I'm fine with all the unanswered questions as long as they keep leaving me wanting to tune in next week, which is what they did this week. I like the idea of Jack Swagger having Vickie as his manager. He needs a mouthpiece to get him over. Morrison finally picking up a win was nice. But what the hell is planned with Miz? He needs something ASAP. The positives outweighed the negatives. Giving the show a 6.

That's all from me this week.

And remember kids, office furniture is not only good for suplexs, but also, well, I leave that to your imagination.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

Monday, August 15, 2011

WWE SummerSlam Review

Hello everyone. Another great show from the WWE. When was the last time the WWE pulled off two good shows in a row?

Let me start by saying I watched most of the show with no volume. I was at a friend's house doing a fantasy football draft at the time. I only turned the volume up when there was somebody other than the announcers talking. I also occasionally turned it up to hear the crowd reactions. And from what I've read, it's a good thing I did this because apparently Cole & Booker T were just as unbearable as ever.

Anyway, on to the review!

Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, and Kofi Kingston defeated Miz, R-Truth, and Alberto del Rio: **
-One of the two matches I called in my preview. They really needed to get all 6 of these guys on the card somehow, and it was the best way possible to do it. I thought for sure John Morrison was going to take the fall here and continue his losing streak, but it was nice to see him come out on the winning end here. Rey Mysterio didn't do a lot of work here. With his knee still a bit banged up, they wanted to save him as much as possible for his WWE Championship match tomorrow night. Kofi Kingston looked good here again. He's been on his game the last few weeks. I really love that flying crossbody he does from the top rope. He gets some good air on it. Miz lacked the same intensity he had on RAW. R-Truth was just as crazy as ever. The finish came after Mysterio got the hot tag. He went for a double 619 on Miz & Truth but Del Rio blocked it. Kofi and Morrison then hit flying moves to the outside on Miz and Del Rio, then Rey hit the splash on Truth in the ring for the win. It was a fun match that served its purpose of getting the crowd into the show.

Backstage, C.M. Punk was with John Laurinaitis. Johnny wanted an apology from Punk, so Punk gave him a mock apology before he walked off. He turned around to see Stephanie McMahon. Steph wished him luck. Punk told her to run along and talk to her husband, and say hi to her dad too. Steph said she spoke to both of them. Steph said but she's just an idiot right? Punk said she said that, he just called her clueless. Stephanie extended her hand, but Punk told her to take it back because he knows where that hand has been. BURN.

Mark Henry defeated Sheamus via countout: **
Even though I thought Sheamus could have used the win here, this was one of the best possible finishes they could come up with. Both men looked strong early in the match. Sheamus hit a nice shoulder tackle from the ropes for a two. Sheamus missed his Brogue Kick, but reset and hit it the second time, knocking Henry to the floor. Henry regained control on the outside. He picked up Sheamus then smashed him into the ring post, and through the barricade at ringside. Henry went back into the ring as Sheamus crawled, trying to make it back before the ten count. He was unable to, which gave Henry the countout win.

Like I said, this ending worked for both men. From what I could tell, it looked like the crowd was into Sheamus the whole time. It gives Sheamus some sympathy babyface heat because he looked strong in defeat. Henry continues to look dominant and appears to possibly be next in line for a World Title shot. These two worked their asses off to put on a good match and they delivered a respectable one. Couldn't have asked for anything else.

Ce-Lo Green performed. Bathroom break time for me.

Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the Divas Championship: *1/2
This was actually a very respectable Divas match. Kelly did her part here of bumping around for Beth. Beth dominated the match for the most part. Beth went for the Grand Slam to finish the match, but Kelly rolled her up to pick up the win in an upset. Beth sold frustration in the ring as Natalya tried to calm her down. Kelly left with the title and Eve. Like I said, not bad at all. Plus, now Beth can win the Divas Title when she comes back here to Buffalo for Night of Champions in September!

Backstage, R-Truth was talking to Jimmy Hart about conspiracies. Hart tried to convince Truth to let him be his manager. Truth said Jimmy could take him to the top. Then he flipped out about Jimmy and Little Jimmys. Truth turned to his opposite side and said "What are you looking at?" The camera revealed Ron Artest, or Meta World Peace.

Wade Barrett defeated Daniel Bryan: **3/4
This was probably Wade Barrett's best match since his bout with John Cena at last year's Hell in A Cell. Just great action from these two who certainly work well together. It really looked like a lot of Bryan's kicks came off stiff during the match. But Barrett was a bare knuckle brawler, so he can take it. Bryan hit a nice running knee to the jaw on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan made a nice counter into the LaBell Lock, but Barrett made it to the ropes in time. Barrett crotched Bryan on the top rope, then hit a flying clothesline. He hit Wasteland in the ring for the win. Barrett picks up a big win on PPV, which will help to start to build his stock back up. Bryan could have used the win here, but they still have plenty of time to build him up to the main event level before Wrestlemania. I really hope these two go at it again. It'd be interesting to see what they could do if given another 5 minutes or so.

Before the World Title match, Christian introduced his surprise: Edge. Edge said when he left, he cracked the door open for Christian and Christian broke through. But even though it was unfair Christian had to defend the title five days after he won it, he started whining and continued to whine. Edge said while he did some bad things, he didn't whine and hide behind some lawyers. Edge said he didn't think his friend would become a whining, crying little bitch. He put the mic down and left. Christian sold shock and disappointment. Kind of weird to see Christian buried like that by Edge, and that Edge would agree to that.

Randy Orton defeated Christian in a No Holds Barred Match to win the World Title: ****1/2
Orton went for the RKO on the table early, but Christian got away and tried to escape through the crowd with the World Title. Orton caught him and they brawled a bit. Christian regained control and introduced a kendo stick into the match and used it on Orton. Orton hit a mid-air dropkick on Christian. Outside, Orton dropped Christian on the ring steps. Orton brought two tables out from underneath the ring and put one in the ring. Orton suplexed Christian onto the flat table in the ring for only a 2 count. Both men countered out of each other's finishers before going outside where Orton threw Christian into the steps. Then, on the Spanish announce table, Christian mocked Orton before going for the RKO. Orton, blocked it and hit the RKO himself, FINALLY breaking the table.

After a few minutes of selling, both men crawled into the ring. Christian hit the Unprettier but only scored a two count. Christian got two chairs and set up Orton for a Conchairto. Christian spit in Orton's face, but Orton moved out of the way of the chair shot. Christian went to the apron, but Orton jabbed him with the chair and he fell to the outside through a table set up there. Orton through the steps and other weapons into the ring. He powerslammed Christian through a table set up in the corner. Orton then gave his middle rope DDT to Christian on a trash can. Orton set-up for the RKO, bit Christian hit him with the kendo stick. Christian went for a Sunset flip from the middle ropes, but Orton RKO'd him on the steps to pick up the win. Similar finish to their first match but without the steps. Orton celebrated as Christian was carried off by officials.

I REALLY liked this match. On one viewing a piece, I liked this match better than Cena/Punk. Orton and Christian have a great chemistry together. It appeared that this may have been the last match in the series, and it's a shame because these two work well together. It also means that Christian's main event run has more than likely come to an end. Now I have nothing to back this up, but that's just the felling I got. Both of these men worked their asses off the last four months to keep this feud interesting. Christian got the best out of Orton just when it looked like Orton was back to his boring, stale old self. I do question the booking of this, however. I would have liked to see Christian retain here and carry the belt to Hell in A Cell, where these two would have the blow off. Plus, it's more fun and there's more money involved with faces chasing the heel for the title. Seeing Orton with the World Title again does nothing at this point. But it was a great match, in my opinion the best of the series.

Backstage a camera caught Stephanie McMahon and HHH having a conversation. HHH didn't like what he heard and walked away displeased.

They did a NFL Films type video package to recap the Cena/Punk/HHH/Vince McMahon angle. Awesome video package as usual from the WWE.

C.M. Punk defeated John Cena to become the Undisputed WWE Champion: ****
Punk came out first to a good set of cheers from the male audience. Cena got his usual mixed response, although I thought I heard more booing than cheering. I turned up the volume here to see what the responses for both men would be like. The two did some basic mat work only on. Cena went for his traditional shoulder tackles but Punk countered with a knee to the gut. Cena went for his sit down powerbomb but Punk countered with a knee to the head then another on the ropes. Punk went for a neck submission, but Cena countered into an STF attempt. Punk countered into the Anaconda Vice. Cena countered into an STF. Punk countered into an Anconda Vice. Cena countered into the STF, but Punk got to the ropes and to the outside. GREAT sequence. Punk dumped Cena to the outside, then Punk hit a suicide dive. Triple H got to 9, but stopped counting and threw both men back into the ring.

Both men got back to their feet and exchanged punches and kicks. Cena hit a nice dropkick then the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Punk. He went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk countered into a roll up for 2. A couple of pin counters before Punk kicked Cena in the head for 2. Punk went for the GTS but Cena countered into a powerslam. Cena went to the top but Punk kneed him in the face. Punk hit a top rope bulldog for only a 2 count. Punk launced himself from the top but Cena locked in the STF. Punk got to the ropes. Cena went for the AA, Punk countered to a GTS attempt, then Cena countered to an AA and hit it, but only got a 2 again. Cena went for his top rope leg drop and missed, allowing Punk to hit the GTS but only for a 2. Punk then went to the top rope and hit a Macho Man elbow drop for a 2 count. Punk questioned HHH's count. Cena rolled up Punk for a 2. He hit Punk with punches. Punk eventually countered with a knee then a GTS for the 3, even though Cena's foot was clearly on the ropes after 1. Cena argued his case to Hunter who said he didn't see it. Punk celebrated on the announce table as Cena left in disgust. Punk worked his way back into the ring. HHH went to shake Punk's hand but he ignored it, so he raised Punk's hand instead.

Suddenly from out of nowhere, Kevin Nash was in the ring. He clotheslined Punk then hit his signature powerbomb before leaving. HHH failed to catch up to him. Alberto del Rio came out with a referee. He hit an enzuguria kick on Punk to score the 3 and leave WWE Champion as the PPV signed off with the announcers selling the chaos of what just happened.

Talk about chaos. Who would have thought Kevin Nash of all people would appear at the end of this show. Again, no idea where this angle is going. Both Cena and Punk have legitimate claims to rematches to the WWE Title. It probably leads to a triple threat, possibly a Fatal 4 Way with Rey Mysterio at Night of Champions. It delayed the inevitable HHH heel turn, which is a good thing because I now agree that doing that too early would kill this angle. It's building to a HHH/Punk match down the line, but that should be saved for a Wrestlemania type match. Of course what Kevin Nash's involvement is also remains to be seen. Did Del Rio hire him? Was it a plan  thought of by Stephanie McMahon and/or Vince? Did HHH really not know about it. So many questions remain.

Alberto del Rio leaving WWE Champ adds another piece to the puzzle. It follows the typical WWE tradition of having a mid-card heel who won MITB being thrust into the top spot rather than being built up: Miz, Jack Swagger, and Edge are all previous examples. Del Rio needs to make his case now to show he warrants the top spot. He's shown he can do it before, but he needs to get back to that point.

This was another great show as I said in the beginning. Two ****+ matches as your main events are good things. Both Christian/Orton and Punk/Cena have great chemistry together. The undercard was solid as well. I really enjoyed Bryan/Barrett and the story in the Mark Henry/Sheamus match. The opener got the crowd into the show, and hell, even the Divas Match was watchable. I could have done without the Ce-Lo Green performance and the commercials, but those are just minor complaints. I'm giving the show a solid 8.

SummerSlam falls at #2 on the PPV list of 2011.
1. Money in the Bank
2. SummerSlam
3. Elimination Chamber
4. Extreme Rules
5. Wrestlemania 27
6. Royal Rumble
7. Capitol Punishment
8. Over the Limit

Where Do We Go From Here?
Nobody should be bitching about Punk losing here. It was the best possible way for Punk to lose without losing any momentum. Punk will remain in the main event scene for some time and has a whole new can of worms to open up on Kevin Nash and Stephanie McMahon. And of course John Cena will be around the WWE Title scene too. The extent of Rey Mysterio's injury will determine if he is in the WWE Title picture.

On Smackdown, I would think this was the end of Orton/Christian. While I've also been liking Mark Henry's push, I'm kind of dreading a Henry/Orton match. But I don't think that happens yet. Night of Champions is usually all Title matches, so I expect a couple of multi-man matches there.

I guess this would be my predicted card:
WWE Title: Alberto del Rio vs C.M. Punk vs John Cena
World Title: Randy Orton vs Christian vs Sheamus vs Mark Henry
Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs Justin Gabriel
Smackdown MITB Briefcase on the Line: Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett
United States Title: Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley
Tag Team Title: McGillicutty & Otunga vs Miz & R-Truth vs Kofi & John Morrison vs Great Khali & Jinder Mahal
Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix

I left Rey Mysterio off the card because I feel like they will do an injury angle with him to save him for the Mexico tour in October.

Again, I thought this was a great show that just like MITB left a lot of questions unanswered.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

Friday, August 12, 2011

WWE SummerSlam Preview

Hello everyone. Welcome back for my SummerSlam Preview. SummerSlam (or SummerFest, that's never going to get old) is considered the culmination of the WWE's summer. But this year, it looks nowhere close to that. With only 4 matches announced so far, the card is left with a bit of uncertainty headed into the show. My guess is that at least 1, maybe two more matches take place on the show. I would say you can expect any combination of the following:

Alberto del Rio, Miz, R-Truth vs Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison
United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley
Intercontinental Championship: Ezekiel Jackson vs Cody Rhodes
Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett

With the card as is, including a performance by C-Lo Green, this card is pretty much a one match show. Sure Randy Orton/Christian will be good, but you can bet your ass off that the WWE is hoping John Cena/C.M. Punk sells this PPV alone. There's not as much intrigue as their MITB match had but there is still enough there, especially now with Triple H as referee, that it might hook in a few more buys. It's a big gamble for the WWE because it shows that they want to rely strongly on their main eventers to sell a PPV, but it also weakens their mid-card in the process. They need to hope that this does not effect their business in the long run.

But either way, on to the Preview!

Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly (c) vs Beth Phoenix

C.M. Punk apparently has a lot of pull now, and this may be proof of it. His real life girlfriend, Beth Phoenix, is finally getting a program for the Divas Title. She turned heel two weeks ago on RAW, attacking Kelly Kelly after she won a Divas Battle Royal to become the #1 Contender to the Divas Title. She said the days of the barbie doll divas running around atop the Divas Division are over. This past week on RAW Beth beat Eve and told her the same thing. No more booty shaking, no more stink faces. Now come on Beth, can we at least still keep the booty shaking?

From a physical standpoint, it's obvious Kelly is no match for Beth. But there are also no other strong faces on the divas side for Beth to face at this point. Gail Kim has apparently asked for her release, and Natalya just turned heel on Smackdown. So it looks like we may be in for a month or so program with Beth and Kelly. Beth dominates Kelly the whole match, but Kelly sneaks in a role up at some point to pick up the upset victory. The two face again at Night of Champions.

WINNER: Kelly Kelly

Sheamus vs Mark Henry

I still give credit to the WWE for getting me interested in Mark Henry again. Now, I give them credit for getting me interested in Sheamus again. Henry tore through Kane and Big Show and seems to be an unstoppable force on Smackdown. The only problem was that Randy Orton and Christian are in a very long World Title program on Smackdown, so he can't be inserted into the Title picture quite yet.

Enter Sheamus. Sheamus was stuck with nothing on Smackdown until he was turned face. I like the move. I thought that the WWE had to turn either Sheamus or Wade Barrett face, as they were basically the same type of character. I originally would have picked Barrett, but now I'm kind of happy they picked Sheamus. The more I see of Barrett, the more I like him better as the cocky English heel. Sheamus also seems to be enjoying his face turn. It's added a bit of kick to his stale character.

This program started when Sheamus decided to stand up to Henry on Smackdown. GM Teddy Long couldn't find anyone to fight Henry until Sheamus decided to step up. Last week on Smackdown, Sheamus saved Kozlov from a post match beating from Henry (too bad he couldn't save him from his release). Both men look dominant headed into their match this Sunday. It's really tough to pick a winner here. Sheamus is a freshly turned  face and a loss here might kill his momentum. Henry is being pushed as a monster heel and a loss here might derail his push. I think Henry could take the loss here and would be less effected than Sheamus would be. I'm picking the Celtic Warrior here.

WINNER: Sheamus

World Heavyweight Championship: Christian (c) vs Randy Orton: No Holds Barred

So is this match the blow-off? I thought for sure it would be, but now I think we still might get another match out of these two. No Holds Barred means anything goes. I thought there might have been a ladder match here to finish this thing, but No Holds Barred fits the storyline better. Orton works best when he is in his crazy, out of control mode. He also is better when he's chasing title rather than holding it. It's also nice to see Christian holding the title for more than two days, or five in WWE TV Land.

The No Holds Barred stipulation was put into place by new WWE COO Triple H. Obviously, this type of match "favors" Orton. He snapped at MITB and showed his out of control side. But Christian got the better of Orton last week when he scored a pinfall victory over Orton in a tag match. Orton looked strong on the go home show of Smackdown this Friday, pinning the Great Khali. I don't know if the WWE wants to play hot and cold with their Championship titles again, so it will be interesting to see what happens here. As I said before, Orton is better when he is chasing the World Title, not holding it.

I think this program still has some legs to it, albeit not too much. It could be stretched to Hell in A Cell, as it would give the PPV a match that actually warrants the HIAC stipulation. No of course there is another PPV between SummerSlam and Hell in A Cell: Night of Champions. I would think maybe there would be a Championship Scramble Match at that PPV involving a handful of Smackdown stars. I think somehow, Christian picks up the win here. Edge hinted at making an appearance at SummerSlam, and he may very well appear here to help Christian pick up the win. If this program is still going to go on, Christian needs to win here. An Orton win does nothing to extend the program.

WINNER: Christian

Undisputed WWE Championship Match: John Cena vs C.M. Punk w/Triple H as Special Guest Referee

They should have just renamed this year's SummerSlam "Cena/Punk II" because this is the match the WWE is banking on selling this show. Now can they repeat the magic of their MITB match? No. That was a once in a lifetime match that will never be topped no matter how hard these two try. The Chicago crowd played a big part in that. The build played a big part in that. It's a bit disappointing that the WWE decided to do this match one month later, but if they were worried about PPV buys then this is the one match they know is guaranteed to deliver. You can't fault the WWE if they are using that mind set.

C.M. Punk has pretty much left off exactly where he was when he left MITB as WWE Champion. He might have lost a tad bit of steam, but that doesn't mean much yet. C.M. Punk remains one of the biggest boom or bust wrestlers the WWE has had in their hands in years. If handled properly, Punk could become the next big ant-authority megastar in the WWE. If handled poorly, he could get buried after having so much potential with him. Punk's return was great. I love "Cult of Personality" as his theme music. His return promo filled in any blanks and loopholes that his quick return might have brought up. It lead to a nice little exchange with Triple H. Then it lead to the obvious title unification match announcement at SummerSlam. This past Monday, C.M. Punk, John Cena, and Triple, hell even John Laurinaitis, pulled off an excellent contract signing. One of the best they've ever done. There were enough insider references that got the "oohs" from the adult male audience while also selling the actual match for the non-insider fan on Sunday. C.M. Punk planted the intrigue of a fix being involved to close the show with Triple H and John Cena standing together in the ring. It was a great sell job all around.

There are just as many open roads for this match as there was from the MITB match. They may not be as good, but there are still possibilities abound. I think it's pretty clear that they are trying to build towards a C.M. Punk/HHH program and match down the line. I don't know when that match would happen. I doubt it is something they could stretch to Wrestlemania. Maybe Hell in A Cell? It would help pop a buyrate for that PPV for sure. But at the same time, you also don't want C.M. Punk to lose and in the process lose all of his heat. I think even a screwjob finish would do that for Punk. Now of course, a screwjob finish with Cena's involvement could lead to the long awaited John Cena heel turn, but I still think that's highly unlikely even though Cena hinted at that this past Monday. A Cena win, especially a clean one, without a VERY strong follow-up would just symbolize a return to status quo in the WWE and might lose more viewers than ever. Triple H just plays a better heel than he does face, and nobody really cares about a strong face authority figure. A heel authority figure adds more conflict to the problem. There's also Alberto del Rio lingering in the background with the MITB briefcase. He could throw a whole new wrench into the puzzle. And of course, Rey Mysterio is getting his rematch the next night on RAW in his hometown of San Diego.

So how do we book this? Expect this match to go about 25 minutes. With entrances and match ending shenanigans it should go a total of about 40 minutes. Expect a lot of near falls and false finishes. Punk gets a near fall after hitting the GTS and gets in Triple H's face about it. Cena uses the distraction to hit the Attitude Adjustment on Punk but he only gets a two count, and he questions Triple H's count. Triple H turns his back to Cena so Punk shoves Cena into Triple H. Hunter doesn't know this, so he decks Cena, allowing Punk to hit another GTS and pick up the win. Hunter sees the replay of what happened and is not happy, so he Pedigree's Punk. Out comes Alberto del Rio with his MITB Briefcase and he cashes in to win the WWE Championship. The show closes with Triple H raising Del Rio's hand as the victor with both C.M. Punk and John Cena looking on in disgust.

This may be the best route possible for them to go. It opens a new chapter in this whole saga. It adds a new player to the mix in Alberto del Rio. It doesn't necessarily turn Triple H heel yet but it drops hints that he might. And like I said, it gives both John Cena and C.M. Punk reasons to demand a rematch. I know I said Del Rio was going to walk out with the WWE Title at MITB, but for some reason I feel stronger about him winning here than I did at MITB.

Match Winner: C.M. Punk
Who Ends the PPV WWE Champion: Alberto del Rio

There ya have it. I'll have my review of the show up on Monday.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter: @JCWonka

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Puzzling Case of Alberto del Rio

Something funny happened while I was watching RAW this past Monday. I was watching it while writing my review for The Oratory (a fun message board by the way) when something weird occurred. Back from a commercial, Justin Roberts was introducing Alberto del Rio's "Personal Ring Announcer" Ricardo Rodriguez. When this happened a funny thing popped into my head: I completely forgot that Alberto del Rio wasn't on the show yet. I almost completely forgot he was even on RAW.

Now there could be a variety of reasons for that. I was watching RAW on DVR in the morning so I may not have been fully functional like I would have on a Monday night. You could also add the fact that since July, C.M. Punk has been the best thing the WWE has had going for them in years. His ceiling is so high right now, and he's injecting a breath of fresh air into a boring stagnant product. While these may be small pieces of the puzzle, one large piece is the main reason for my forgetting of ADR not being on RAW yet: Alberto del Rio has been severely mis-handled and booked for the last handful of months.

Del Rio debuted with a bang in the summer of 2010 on Smackdown. He was instantly put into a feud with Rey Mysterio, he took out Christian and put him out of action for months, and didn't even get pinned for the first few months of his run on Smackdown. The WWE seemed to be very high on him. There were multiple times where he was considered to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The first time it was reported was at either the TLC PPV or the Royal Rumble. This would have been too early. Edge needed the Title more than Del Rio at that point because he was chasing it for so long. Plus, the story of Del Rio chasing his destiny against the Champ Edge would have been a better story than the heel Champ Del Rio being chased by Edge. They already had face John Cena chasing heel Miz on RAW. Don't need the repeat of the same story on Smackdown. So they held off, and gave Del Rio the biggest rub possible.

Del Rio won the BIGGEST ROYAL RUMBLE IN HISTORY!!! It was the first ever 40 man Royal Rumble. Del Rio's Destiny seemed to be coming to fruition. He was going to be in one of the main event matches at Wrestlemania. Now sure, the last 3 Royal Rumble winners hadn't won their Title matches at Wrestlemania, but Del Rio seemed like a different story. The last 3 Rumble winners were previous Champions, Del Rio had never won a World Title and was on the rise in the WWE. He was the best act going on Smackdown, and it seemed like a long title reign was in store for him. Wrestlemania came, and things didn't go as planned. Del Rio was in the opening match at Wrestlemania for the World Title. Winning the Royal Rumble and fighting for the World Title on the opening match at Wrestlemania? I'm sure that wasn't in ADR's destiny. And to top that, he lost to Edge. Out of everything that happened at Wrestlemania, this was the biggest shock to me, even more so than Miz beating John Cena. I thought for sure Del Rio was winning and in store for a long reign on Smackdown. It was weird to see Edge get a win that he didn't need. Once again, Del Rio's destiny was put on hold.

Then Edge was forced to retire due to a bad neck injury. The World Title was made vacant. Del Rio was automatically put into the Ladder Match to crown the new World Champ, and he ended up facing Christian at Extreme Rules. Christian won the match. Now this is kind of a double-edged sword for me. I was so happy to see Christian win the World Title. The man deserved it after all his work in the business. Sure it only lasted two days, but Christian is finally getting an extended main event program. But on the other hand, Del Rio could have also won the World Title and had a long program with Christian over the World Title. But once again, Destiny got caught in traffic.

Now while all of these things hurt Del Rio's momentum, there's one momentum in the last few months that I think hurt ADR's stock more than anything:

I was really curious about the move. It seemed like Del Rio was destined to be the top heel on Smackdown. There were already a boat load of other heels on RAW. Of course, at the time, I'm sure the WWE didn't anticipate C.M. Punk becoming the star he is now. There was literally no other top heels on Smackdown at the time. But the main reason for the move, however, was to build towards the eventual John Cena/Alberto del Rio match which was rumored to take place at SummerSlam. Then the C.M. Punk angle happened. But even before the Punk angle happened, the WWE almost killed all of Alberto del Rio's momentum. He came over to RAW and had nothing going for him at all the first two months. He wrestled Rey Mysterio a few times, which he did on Smackdown. He didn't have a match at Over the Limit. He was put in a quick program with Big Show. But it was a buzz kill of a feud, and there was more focus on Mark Henry/Big Show than there was on ADR/Big Show. But then it appeared that maybe ADR's Destiny was going to be fulfilled at Money in the Bank.

Not knowing where the C.M. Punk angle was going, I thought for sure ADR was cashing in and winning at MITB. Well that didn't happen. Punk kicked him in the head and that was it. Then two weeks later on RAW it appeared ADR was cashing in on Rey Mysterio, but Rey got the better of him again. Now what is Del Rio doing? Basically walking around with a briefcase, still without any direction. It looks like he is getting into another short feud with Kofi Kingston. But it just seems like all of Del Rio's heat has been shot down. He was at the top in March and April and now seems to be stuck in the middle of the pack. The briefcase may help a little, but it can only do so much until he cashes it in.

Alberto del Rio shouldn't have been at this point this summer. He shouldn't have had to win the RAW MITB Briefcase. In my opinion, he should have already been the World Heavyweight Champion. I would have never moved Del Rio to RAW in the first place. Or if I would have, I would've at least had a set plan in place for Del Rio, and a program or two to build up to his eventual title win, which is something the WWE failed to do. You can't just let a guy flounder around for a few months and then expect him to get all of his heat back when he steals the WWE Title with the MITB contract, whenever that happens. At this point, I think the initial reaction would be underwhelming to an ADR Title win. People would rather see C.M. Punk on top long term. The only thing that would be acceptable, in my opinion, would be ADR winning and then a program with Punk. But that's not happening with John Cena in the picture. I could also live with ADR being the lead of a new HHH Corporation type stable.

So what is the point I'm trying to make here? ADR should already be in a top position in the WWE. He should be the top guy on Smackdown. I know I love the Christian push, but ADR might have been better in that position. A program of Randy Orton chasing Del Rio for the World Title would have been good. The matches might not have been as good, but they may have been able to get a longer program out of it. Let ADR and Christian go at it until the start of the summer, then put Orton in the Title picture.

The WWE is doing their first set of television tapings in Mexico in mid-October. They want Del Rio to either be WWE Champ, or win the WWE Championship at the tour. Sure, that would be good for business in Mexico. But what happens when Del Rio returns to the States? ADR's heat isn't as strong as it once was, and the WWE is to blame for that. The WWE Universe wants more C.M. Punk now, not more Alberto del Rio. Can Del Rio be resurrected? Sure. But now he has to overcome the stigma that is C.M. Punk in order to get to the top, and unfortunately for him, the WWE Universe may not want that.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka