Wrestling’s 4Rs 12.24.12: WWE Smackdown & TNA IMPACT Wrestling Reviewed
How the 4R’s of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. The column will run TWO times a week. THREE if there is a PPV. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a “mark” column, nor a “smark” column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.
NO CHRISTMAS FOR YOU!
By: Greg DeMarco
Impact Wrestling 12.20.12:
* Devon pinned Kurt Angle to retain the World Television Championship in 11:06 [3/6]
* Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan beat X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam & Kenny King in 4:52 [3/6]
* Tara pinned Mickie James to retain the Knockouts Championship in 6:56 [3/6]
* Jeff Hardy pinned Austin Aries to retain the TNA World Championship in 18:02 [4/6]
[If you're not familiar with these ratings, it's my own Personal Entertainment Factor. I use a scale of 1-6 (6, in honor of the number of sides TNA's ring should have), so there's no middle rating.]
Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries: Match of the night, even if it doesn’t top their last two efforts. Looking forward to Aries vs. Roode next week, even if to see who the Impact Zone cheers.
Brooke Hogan kisses Bully Ray: Simply because they continue to make Hulk Hogan look weak, and I like that.
Tara vs. Mickie James: Even if this were live, I wouldn’t buy into Mickie having a chance to win. But the match itself was good.
Matt Morgan & Joey Ryan vs. Rob Van Dam & Kenny King: I’m all for telling a story within a wrestling match. But the match itself has to be good, and this wasn’t.
Velvet Sky isn’t happy: So Velvet isn’t happy about being passed over? Well, learn how to wrestle and maybe you’ll deserve a shot! In reality, this is in “The Wrong” because we really don’t need her turning heel, or taking the Knockouts Division into the shades of gray.
An hour without any wrestling: We went a solid hour with no wrestling—that’s far too much. And what we saw during that hour wasn’t exciting at all. It’s a pre-taped show, there’s no reason why they couldn’t change the order up at all.
Another week down from TNA, and it’s best described as “uninspiring.” Being taped makes a huge difference, for all parties involved—the talent, the crowd and the viewer. The WWE gets away with it because it’s in front of a least 10,000 people. TNA doesn’t have that luxury.
SHOW RATING: 5.9
As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…
0 – 0.9: Torture
By: Larry Csonka
~ Damien Sandow defeated Sin Cara @ 6:20 via pin [**]
~ Santino Marella defeated Tensai @ 4:20 via pin [*]
~ Kane, Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young @ 10:50 via pin [**¾]
~ Non-Title Match: Ryback defeated Antonio Cesaro © @ 5:10 via pin [**]
~ Divas Title Match: Kaitlyn defeated Eve © @ 5:40 via DQ [*]
~ Brodus Clay defeated Brad Maddox @ 2:30 via pin [NR]
~ John Cena and Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show @ 10:30 via DQ [**¾]
CM Punk Promo: I really liked the CM Punk promo on the show. All too often these “special Smackdown shows” come off feeling like an ordinary show, with a lot of the major stars not appearing. I felt that the addition of Punk on the show was an important one, because the WWE Champion appearing, even while injured, made the show feel like something I had to watch. I felt that the promo was a good one, where Punk is part out of line, and part telling the truth. I feel that promos like these walk the line in the right way, because there is enough truth there to make it interesting, but at the same time he comes off as such a condescending asshole that most fans can’t get behind him. I guess that it may come off as shades of gray, but again, I feel that Punk pulls it off well, and it was a nice edition to the show. On top of that, Ryback made an appearance and made the official announcement that the rematch with Punk would be on the January 7th edition of Raw (time to build is always good) and announced that it would be a TLC match, which was the match that had to be canceled due to Punk’s injury. We have time to build, we have a stipulation to get people to turn in, and on top of that, we get the justification that Ryback still gets his title shot, and the satisfaction that Punk did not get out of the TLC match.
Damien Sandow defeated Sin Cara – THE SHIELD BEAT A LUCHA DOWN: Damien Sandow defeated Sin Cara in the first match of the show. It was a fine match for the time given, but it was also about writing Rey and Cara off. During the match, The Shield came to the ring, and during the match the question was “where was Rey?” since his music hit and he never came out. The Shield answered the question, as they brought Rey’s mask to the ring and tossed it at Cara. This led to Sandow winning, and the Shield beating Cara down, “injuring” his knee. That was to write off Cara to get knee surgery, which was all well and good. The “phantom” Rey angle was set up because of Rey’s personal leave. I liked this because it was a “make lemonade out of lemons” deal. The luchadores had to be written off, and they used the Shield, who had great momentum coming off the TLC PPV to do so. They made the best of a bad situation, and also helped the Shield at the same time. I have no problems with this at all.
Kane, Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young: WWE has an ability to put on good six-man tag team matches on TV, and this match fell under that. Kane, Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston defeated Wade Barrett, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young in a good match that went almost 11-minutes. While they have been de-pushed as of late, I feel that the Prime Time Player continues to work well as a team, and overall improve as wrestlers. Wade Barrett continues to be great, working hard and coming off like a star when he is on TV. Kofi Kingston continues to work hard and is over with the crowd, and while I am not sure if he will “break through” as it were to the main event scene, it is good to see him have a good run with the IC Title, and his interactions with Barrett have been very good. Add in Team Hell No, who can seemingly do no wrong and it is just a really good mix out there. Add in the fact that it keeps Kofi vs. Barrett going without doing another singles match, the tag teams are featured and that Hell No gets a “rehab win” following TLC and this all worked out well.
MIZ TV: I have to admit, I am just not feeling Miz TV. It simply feels like another generic interview segment week in and out, and on top of that, I am not feeling the Miz face turn. I suppose that the interview itself was fine, as it played off of Monday’s show and the debut of Langston, but at the same time, it is the same old formula of starting off the show with a promo, which I feel is just tired at this point. Again, this is more of a personal thing, and I know it doesn’t bother most, which is why I usually stick it here in purgatory.
Ryback defeated Antonio Cesaro: This was also a follow up from Raw, where Ryback and Cesaro had a match that ended in a no contest. I will say that the match was fine and that the two guys worked well together, which is always a good thing. But I do have an issue, and that is Cesaro losing. I understand giving Ryback a win after TLC, but once again WWE has sacrificed a secondary champion to make this happen. Cesaro is a guy that they reportedly like, and that is all well and good, but I also feel that it makes no sense to sacrifice secondary champions this way. It makes the champion look badly, and makes the title worthless, because in a situation like this, the other guy doesn’t care about the title, which leads to the fans not caring about the champion or the title.
Brodus Clay defeated Brad Maddox – THE SHIELD BEAT A BIG MAN DOWN: This was your typical Brodus Clay match, which is fine in a way because the people still seem to like it. But I have to be honest; I have NO CLUE what they are doing with Brad Maddox at the point. He’s a douchey heel, and has had numerous chances to “get a contract” on WWE TV, and continually fails in total jobber fashion. By the time he “earns” a contract, I do not see how anyone could possibly care about the kid. The one thing that saved this was the fact that we got another Shield attack. They have been booked as a strong force thus far, and I really hope that WWE can keep it up, because it has been enjoyable thus far.
John Cena and Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show: John Cena and Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler and The Big Show in the main event of the show. Match wise, it was a good match and also a fitting main event, due to the star power involved. They all work well together, and that was obvious here. But here is my problem with the whole deal. I feel that Ziggler, who is supposedly primed to head to the next level, comes off as not even a secondary player here. Cena, Sheamus and Show are all more important star wise, but on top of that, coming out of TLC he should feel like a big deal. Instead the whole thing feels like it is all about AJ and the new guy, Big E. Langston. Now don’t get me wrong, I like that another new face is being brought up and being put into something important, but I feel that Ziggler continues to be overshadowed when he is the guy that should have the spotlight shined on him.
Kaitlyn vs. Eve: While I will give credit that WWE has built an angle with Kaitlyn and Eve, it doesn’t mean that it is a great one or that I want to see the matches. Unfortunately this was about every divas match in 2012; lasting between 4-7 minutes, no crowd heat, and just not that good a match. And it isn’t even like the announced and tried to hype the match, because they didn’t and that is because they do not care. And it shows that WWE doesn’t care, which has caused the crowds not to care. Some say I shouldn’t punish them because they do not care about them, but it isn’t my problem that they don’t care about certain aspect of their product. I just wish that TNA and WWE would get their shit together in regards to women’s wrestling. And now I prepare for the people that will argue that “women’s wrestling has not nor ever will draw.”
Santino Marella defeated Tensai: Santino Marella defeated Tensai in a match that was set up on Raw, with the Slammys. Tensai is now officially a comedy/joke/jobber fellow, which I think a lot of people saw coming due to the fact that the character never took off as they had hoped. The match just wasn’t good, and while it was only a little over four minutes long, it felt way longer, in a bad way. I am all for variety on a show, but I could have done without this match on the show.
This was a good show overall, and the things I didn’t like all that much were either things that I have been constantly discussing or simply some bad wrestling. The commercial free shows can be fun because the longer matches do not get interrupted, and as an occasional thing, they are appreciated. Solid stuff overall from the blue brand this week.
SHOW RATING: 7.0
0 – 0.9: Torture
YEAR IN REVIEW (PPV) by Csonka:
* New Japan Pro Wrestling’s King of Pro Wrestling iPPV – 9.5
* New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Power Struggle iPPV – 8.6
* ROH Glory By Honor iPPV – 8.5
* Chikarasaurus Rex: How to Hatch a Dinosaur iPPV 8.4
* TNA Destination X – 8.3
* DGUSA Open Freedom Fight 2012 iPPV – 8.4
* DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate 2012 iPPV – 8.2
* DGUSA Mercury Rising 2012 iPPV – 8.1
* WWE Extreme Rules – 8.0
* EVOLVE 13 iPPV – 8.0
* ROH Border Wars iPPV – 8.0
* WWE WrestleMania 28 – 7.9
* DGUSA Enter the Dragon Gate 2012 iPPV – 7.8
* DGUSA Fearless 2012 iPPV – 7.7
* TNA Hardcore Justice – 7.7
* DGUSA Untouchable 2012 iPPV – 7.6
* ROH Best in the World iPPV – 7.5
* TNA Bound for Glory – 7.5
* TNA Turning Point – 7.5
* WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs – 7.0
* ROH 10th Anniversary iPPV – 7.4
* TNA Slammiversary – 7.4
* ROH Showdown in the Sun: Night One iPPV – 7.4
* EVOLVE 12 iPPV – 7.3
* TNA Sacrifice – 7.2
* EVOLVE 18 iPPV – 7.1
* EVOLVE 16 iPPV – 7.1
* WWE Money in the Bank – 7.0
* EVOLVE 17 iPPV – 7.0
* EVOLVE 14 iPPV – 7.0
* EVOLVE 11 iPPV – 7.0
* ROH Final Battle iPPV – 7.0
* ROH Boiling Point iPPV – 7.0
* DGUSA Uprising 2012 iPPV – 7.0
* New Japan Pro Wrestling’s 2012 World Tag League Finals iPPV – 7.0
* WWE Summerslam – 6.9
* EVOLVE 15 iPPV – 6.8
* TNA No Surrender – 6.7
* WWE Night of Champions – 6.6
* TNA Final Resolution – 6.6
* TNA Victory Road – 6.5
* TNA Against All Odds – 6.5
* WWE Over the Limit – 6.5
* CZW Down with the Sickness iPPV 5.0
* TNA Genesis – 5.0
* WWE Royal Rumble – 5.0
* WWE Hell in a Cell – 5.0
* EVOLVE 10 iPPV – 7.0
* WWE No Way Out – 4.9
* WWE Elimination Chamber – 4.0
* TNA Lockdown – 3.0
Larry’s Year-End Column Extravaganza Update
~ Just an update, I have several year-end columns planned to close out 2012. On December 11th I presented my Look at EVOLVE and DGUSA on iPPV in 2012. If you followed the product or are looking for some insight into the promotions it may be a nice starting point for you.
Here is my planned schedule of columns I have been working on and will be posting, I hope you guys enjoy them…
* December 25th: Looking at TNA on PPV in 2012
* December 27th: Looking at WWE on PPV in 2012
* December 29th: Looking at ROH on iPPV in 2012
* January 2nd: The Top 10 Things I Enjoyed About 2012
* January 4th: The Top 10 iPPV/PPV Performers of 2012