The Tuesday Communique 01.15.13: Overhaulin’
The Wrestling News Experience with Stephen Randle
The 8 Ball: Top Pro Wrestling Mustaches with Ryan Byers
The 411Wrestling Top 5: Important Events of 2012 with Ornelas, Weyer, Leighty, Ramirez and Wright
Thursday Sports Entertainment Report with Sean Kelly
The Wrestling 5&1: Buggy Nova & The Vs. Rumble with Acero & De Marco
The Contentious Ten: Breakthrough Performances with Gavin Napier
Shining A Spotlight: The Impact of RAW with Michael Weyer
**The 2012 411 Wrestling Year End Awards Part Two: Free TV Match of the Year, Feud of the Year, Worst Fed & More**
**The 2012 411 Wrestling Year End Awards Part Three: Worst Tag Team, Worst PPV, Worst Match and More**
**The 2012 411 Wrestling Year End Awards Part Four: Best Wrestler, Best Promo, Best PPV and More**
So far from the water, I
Come from the water
WWE Monday Night RAW from Houston, TX || TV Review
- Vince is out to declare himself as a genius, and Big Show interrupts to cry about losing the title on Friday. Vince: “You’ve lost weight!” Show: “I’ve been cutting back on the carbs, thanks for noticing!” Sign of a poorly done face turn: My son is upset that Big Show lost the belt to Del Rio. He still thinks ADR is a bigger asshole than Show is. Here comes Del Rio. Let’s see how soon he starts pandering and making silly jokes. Well, he challenges Show to a match and then calls him a neutered dog, so he’s pretty much the same ADR. That’s one thing I always liked about Del Rio– he ran away sometimes and came up with excuses like every heel does, but he was never a straight up weak bitch like so many heels become. ADR accepts Show’s challenge for a rematch at the Royal Rumble and then calls him a “fat jackass”. The Houston crowd definitely likes ADR and he’s getting a good “SI!” chant for everything he says. Del Rio gets a pass for his first segment on RAW as a true, 100% face. The best thing about it is that it feels FRESH, which has been pretty hard to come by recently.
Non-Title: Wade Barrett v. Randy Orton
Not much happens before the commercial. Generic brawling with Barrett getting clotheslined to the outside. Back from break and Barrett is controlling with Orton’s VERY OWN CHINLOCK. That HEEL! A couple big boots lead to another chinlock and Orton’s comeback. Barrett hangs Orton’s neck over the ropes after a scoop powerslam, but Orton immediately comes back with the over-the-shoulder backbreaker (WHY does that move not have a name?) and the rope-hang DDT (why doesn’t THAT have a name?). Barrett counters the RKO, tosses Orton into the corner and hits the elbow for the win. (!!) Who saw that coming? Good match. Barrett def. Orton, Bull Hammer Elbow – 11 min, **1/2
- Booker T tells Eve that if she even thinks about getting counted out, she will be STRIPPED!
- Of the Divas Title. Oh, darn. Eve gets turned down for sex by Booker T and slaps Teddy for laughing at her.
- DOCTOR SHELBY RETURNETH! It’s just as awesome as you would expect. YES! YES! YES!
Kane v. Damien Sandow
It’s Team Hell No v. Team Rhodes Scholars for the belts at the Rumble. I’m not seeing a title change. You? Not much reaction for anything, but the ELBOW OF DISDAIN does indeed draw some ire from the crowd. Immediately afterward, Sandow walks into a chokeslam. This happened. Kane def. Sandow, Chokeslam – 2 min, NR
- Mick Foley is officially officially announced as the first inductee to the Hall of Fame in 2013. JBL is awesome, wondering if he’ll go in as Dude Love, Mankind or Cactus Jack. Mick barely has a chance to get his cheap pop in before the Shield’s (awesome) theme music hits. Foley is ready for them, but he’s not alone. Here comes Ryback! He LAUNCHES Rollins over the top and tosses Ambrose too. Meathook for Reigns but they’re already back in! Orton and Sheamus even the odds and Ambrose gets Shellshocked. His drunken sell is awesome.
- Mathews is in the ring with a pissed Ryback. He doesn’t care about who The Shield works for — he just wants to “give back to The Shield what they have taken from me”. That only kinda doesn’t make sense. “FEED. ME. SHIELD. FEED! ME! SHIELD!” Not a bad promo. Short and intense. I dig it. 6-man tag at the Rumble?
- HOLY SHIT IT’S NAKED MIDEON!
- Divas Title match is next… good lord I hate the stupid bumper music they use when they promote the Divas matches.
Divas Title: Eve v. Kaitlyn
Eve’s sad look and hesitance in handing the belt over to ‘lil Naitch is fantastic. She controls for the most part and comes off the second rope with an ugly transition into a figure four headlock. Kaitlyn gets the ropes and gets 2 off a roll up and comes off the ropes with a SICK jumping shoulderblock. The crowd bites HARD on the Scorpion Death Drop near fall and then bites hard again when Eve comes back with her Roll of the Dice. They popped pretty big when Kaitlyn kicked out of that. Kaitlyn gets the gutbuster but Eve rolls out of the ring. The crowd suddenly seems REEEEEALLLLY deflated. Eve tries to get Kaitlyn counted out, but she somehow misses her getting back into the ring behind her. HYOOOOGE spear by Kaitlyn and that’s it. The crowd LOVES IT. Please tell me they’re reacting because they just badly wanted the feud to be over. To be fair, though, that was a darn good match and the great crowd helped. That’s one of the best overall crowd reactions for a Divas match in a years. Kaitlyn def. Eve, Spear – 6 min, **1/2
Non-title: CM Punk v. Brodus Clay
Brodus tosses Punk around for a while, but Punk gets some leverage with the springboard forearm and CLOBBERS Clay. Punk hits a neckbreaker and mocks Brodus with the Dude Love dance. The crowd boos the shit out of that and then immediately starts a “CM Punk!” chant. Brodus comes back with the T-bone suplex and the running headbutt, but Punk ends it quickly with the Savage Elbow and Anaconda Vise. Punk def. Clay, Anaconda Vise – 3 min, **
- Punk cuts a promo afterward saying that The Rock won’t beat him, and that’s a FACT. He runs around the ring challenging people to fight him and gets a big pop for that.
- One of the theme songs for the Royal Rumble is something I missed. This should be the theme song:
This shit pumps me up like a motherfucker.
- Mick and Rock meet backstage. It is incredibly awkward. And incredibly awesome. Rock does his adjective-laced ramble for Mick “trailblazing… bonified… Hall of Famer.” I may have shed a small tear at that. Fuck you for judging me! Vickie interrupts to complain about Mick getting into the HoF and Rock just lets her talk and walk away. Mick asks why, and Rock says to trust him. Foley meekly brings up getting randomly Rock Bottomed last year, but Rock interjects because nobody remembers that. Awesome stuff here. I’m loving RAW this week.
Over-The-Top-Rope Challenge: 3MB v. Sheamus
This time they just said fuck it and put Sheamus in there with them all straight out. Sheamus does the steamroller on McIntyre ON TOP OF Mahal. That was awesome. 3MB takes control when he turns his back to try to eliminate Drew. Mahal is out first with some HEEL MISSCOMMUNICATION~! And McIntyre is out immediately after. Slater dodges the Brogue Kick and Sheamus is almost eliminated. Moments later, Drew and Jinder eliminate Sheamus just like Hogan eliminated Sid at the ’92 Rumble! 3MB celebrate like assholes before Sheamus kicks their heads off, including a SWEET Brogue on Slater while he was sitting on McIntyre’s shoulders. This whole thing makes up for the bad appearances from 3MB last week. Plus, The Band gets a win! Yes! That should get them in line for a 3-on-1 Handicap Title match! 3MB def. Sheamus, over-the-top elimination – 4 min, *1/2
- MizTV with Ric Flair: Miz and Flair ham it up all over the place and the whole thing is fantastic. Eventually Antonio Cesaro interferes to attack Flair and America. Miz: I’ll pay Ric’s bar tab later, but I’ll give you the receipt right now.” Cesaro doesn’t want trouble, but he gets some Flair chops the the Skull Crushing Finale before Flair gives AC to Miz for the Figure Four. Flair adds an elbow drop for good measure, and then he beats up his own clothes because THAT’S WHAT LEGENDS DO. Fucking fantastic stuff here. Somebody tell RAW that it’s supposed to suck!
- The classic segments and clip videos have been awesome thus far, by the way.
Daniel Bryan v. Cody Rhodes
I hope Sandow took a shower before he put the robe back on. Before I have a chance to recap anything, Cody is tapping out. I’d be annoyed, but Rhodes and Sandow are way over right now, especially feuding with Kane & Bryan. This does make me think that maybe they will win the belts at the Rumble, possibly thanks to The Shield. Bryan def. Rhodes, NO! Lock – 1 min, NR
- AJ and Big E show some of the best WWE wedding moments. No Billy and Chuck? FUCK THIS SHOW!
- JR is here to call the steel cage match. Hopefully Cole and King leave.
- I have no luck.
Steel Cage: Dolph Ziggler v. John Cena
Ziggler IMMEDIATELY runs for the door, so Cena puts him in a headlock. They break and Cena guards the door, so Ziggler tries to climb the opposite side to no avail. Ziggler with the dropkick for 2 and then tosses Cena’s head into the cage. I WANT BLOOD! Ziggler shakes his dick too much and Cena counters a neckbreaker into the AA, but Ziggler counters that and hits the Franchiser. Ziggler gets vaulted 3/4 of the way up the cage with a catapult from Cena and they fight on top of the ropes. Cena gets slugged off but is able to crotch Dolph on the ropes. Commercial with nobody in control! Cena is at the top when we come back, but Ziggler gets up there quickly to cut him off. They end up standing on the ropes again and DZ tries a dropkick, but it was a better idea than it looked. Cena sets up the AA with the 5 MOVES OF DOOM but Ziggles wiggles out and climbs. Cena pulls his trunks down HBK style and goes for the AA again, but DZ gets the superkick (HBK STYLE) for a near fall. Ziggler tries to get out the door, but Cena wins a tug-of-war with Big E to keep him inside. He goes for the STF but Dolph reverses it into a sleeper. Awesome. Cena climbs to the second rope with DZ on his back and drops down to break it. This is too awesome to look away from. Eventually after nothing works, AJ goes craz(ier) and climbs the cage, so Big E comes in and misses Cena with the briefcase. Ziggler misses too and hits Big E, then Cena hits the AA for the win. REALLY? THEY’RE FUCKING WITH US, RIGHT? WHAT THE HELL DOES IT TAKE? The finish was awesome and the crowd was beyond amazingly batshit fucking insane for it and I was way into it, but Cena wins again? Come on! Cena def. Ziggler, AA – 16 min ****
- I’m not going to rant like last week, but SERIOUSLY? Did this just happen? Did The Shield have to be out there too? Would THEY be able to help? Oh well. This RAW has been too awesome to complain more and the match was FAN GOD DAMNED TASTIC. Gotta give it another watch, and yeah it’s only the 14th day of the year, but that’s an early Match of the Year Contender.
- The Rock is here! He calls out Vickie: “BIATCH, YOU LOOK HORRIBLE TONIIIIIIGHT…” This is already 400 million times better than the fiasco from last year. Vickie was great while Rock was complimenting her, too. That was good shit, but now Rock calls out Punk. THIS is gonna be THE shit. Rock gives Punk his own facts, ending with Punk’s not God (I tend to disagree) and that he WILL end Punk’s title reign at the Rumble. Punk doesn’t like that, and it’s on! Punk charges the ring! Rock jumps out to meet him! And they have a lame pull-apart brawl! And that’s the end!
… That’s the end?
Overall RAW Thoughts
This was an absolutely fantastic show. In my eyes, the best of the 3-hour RAWs yet. Granted that’s not saying much, but they cut all of the bullshit, all of the segments had a purpose, there was some good wrestling and the crowd was hot as fuck. The end was a big let-down, though. The classic Rock-Austin punchfests were what got the crowds really going, and I was hoping for something like that here, but instead Punk ran down, Rock met him and they fell to the ground before being almost immediately broken up. The crowd didn’t seem to know what to do with it either, and since they were in the corner at ringside, a whole bunch of people couldn’t see them at all. I was really looking forward to this week’s Rock/Punk confrontation so I’m let down on that end, but both guys were good on their own, especially Rock, who was great backstage with Foley as well. We still have one more episode of RAW to go, so here’s to something EPIC next week. Like I said, though, easily the best episode of RAW in at the very least 7 months.
TNA Overhauls the PPV Format
After months of speculation and hope, Dixie Carter has announced that TNA is, effective immediately, doing away with the 12 pay-per-views-per-year format. They will still have a PPV offering every month, but the shows will be theme shows deemed “One Night Only”. I wonder if WWE will be upset about that, as it was a name of a UK-only PPV that the WWF ran 15-ish years ago. I love this idea. They will have a show in January, one in March, one in June and a final show in October. I think that’s actually quite an amazing spacing of the shows — LockDown and Slammiversary are two big shows; LockDown sells itself and Slammiversary is the anniversary show, so it has its own selling points. My main focus is on Bound For Glory and Genesis. Bound For Glory is supposed to be THE big show of the year, and now TNA will have about 4 months of time to build up to it after Slammiversary without having to worry about filling up PPV cards with meaningless crap. Then, when BFG is over, there’s a 3 or so month gap before the Genesis PPV. That allows Genesis to be a big kickoff for the new year with some extra time to build up something special to set the tone. I am a big fan of this concept, and if done right I think TNA may finally start doing good business with a PPV model. The main concern is whether or not the booking team will be able to properly book to the new timeframe they are working with. Are they going to get anxious and blow their load on Impact because there’s no PPV for a couple months?
The other end of this new idea is the monthly “One Night Only” shows, as mentioned above. Last week TNA taped the shows that will air in April and May, the first being a Jokers Wild Tag Tournament and the other being an X-Travaganza show that had some old names, a special match with RVD and Jerry Lynn and some non-contracted talent getting a shot to impress TNA with the added value of giving people a reason to throw down 15 dollars during a non-live PPV month to see people they normally would not get to see wrestle in a TNA ring. The list of shows they’re doing sounds great, with mostly one-night tournaments, including the return of the World X Cup. I am really looking forward to this.
- According to reports, Bill DeMott is no longer the head trainer for WWE developmental. General Hugh G. Rection is being replaced by Mister Ass as the leader of NXT. Man, wrestling just ain’t the same, is it?
- The releases have begun early this year. Greg De Marco’s favourite lady Buggy Nova (NXT’s Skyler Moon) has been let go and is glad to be able to curse on Twitter again. Trent Barretta is another who has received the axe, but he is already booked for the Pro Wrestling Syndicate show on WrestleMania weekend to wrestle Sonjay Dutt.
- The news broke last week that Mick Foley will indeed be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year at Madison Square Garden. Also being considered presently: Fuckin’ Bam Bam Bigelow!
- WWE will be released a Best of In Your House DVD and Blu-Ray set this year. Sweet. I hope they only release matches that have already been on guys’ individual sets just to piss people off.
- Tyson Kidd messed up his knee and tore his ACL. Recovery time is said to be 10-12 months. He wasn’t getting much major TV time, but he was tearing it up with Gabriel on Main Event.
- WWE has reportedly signed El Generico and will be giving Adam Cole and Sami Callihan tryouts. The new initiative seems to be that they are going to start picking from the indies on a more regular basis. My curiosity lies in how long they are going to keep these guys down in developmental. Triple H seems to get that he is hiring wrestlers who know what the fuck they’re doing and I get the feeling that the turnaround might be a bit quicker on some of these guys than it used to be.
- Richie Steamboat may be getting called up from NXT soon, and for some reason word is they are considering changing his name. Really?
- Billy Graham is old and stupid. Very, very stupid.
Pro Wrestling Ohio
Matt Cross v. Johnny Gargano || PWO Television – April 18, 2009
From Alex Torres: “This was a very good for television title match. While some might find the ending leaves a bitter taste in their mouth, that moment was the beginning of Gargano’s face turn and ultimate rise to the star of the promotion. So, contextually, it was a great move. The continuation of the saga between the three men was left for the end, and for a bit over ten minutes, Gargano and Cross were allowed to go at each other with minimal interference. It was just brutal enough, considering the history. I’ve always believed Gargano and Cross brought the best out of each other, and this match is proof.”
Recently I’ve been just embedding a video and being done with it, but I heard one of my favourite songs on the way home from work and figured I’d try to have some fun with it. If you could choose any song to be your theme music as a wrestler, what would you use? No need to explain if you don’t feel like it, but I want to see if I can do something entertaining with your answers. Here’s mine:
- Nicholas A. Marsico