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Wrestling’s 4R’s Tuesday Edition 04.07.09: WWE Smackdown and WrestleMania XXV Reviewed!

April 7, 2009 | Posted by Larry Csonka

How the 4R’s of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R’s. The column will run TWO times a week. On Tuesdays I will discuss TNA Impact, ROH on HDNet and any PPV’s, while my partner in crime Jeremy Thomas discusses WWE Smackdown. The column will run again on Friday’s, covering WWE Raw, with Jeremy Thomas as well as ECW on Sci-Fi by myself. If there is a PPV that weekend, I will also run the RETRO R’s of the show from the year before as well as address some comments when time permits. I will group my 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 need 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, Diva searches and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come, unless you are TNA. They have a special R all of their own, the 6th R; the Russo-FN-Riffic~! 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, my goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. I will not apologize for my opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.

By: Jeremy “NOT LARRY CSONKA” Thomas

WWE SmackDown 3.27.09


    MARYSE & MICHELLE McCOOL vs. MARIA & GAIL KIM: SmackDown opened with a Butterfly tag team match pitting the Butterfly Champion and the women she beat for the girl who Playboy turned smart and our recently ex-Knockout. Maryse was looking especially amazing as she came to the ring in naughty, shiny red and black; Michelle was actually looking far better than she usually does as well, other than the big hair. Of course, Maria was smokin’ as always, and it was especially nice to see that as poorly as the ‘E’s handled her return, Gail Kim got a good amount of what seemed like legitimate crowd response. It wasn’t Maria-level, but it was still encouraging to see. Now, there are good matches involving Maria and bad matches involving her; the factor seems to be how limited her ring-time is. She started this one out against Michelle and honestly, besides stumbling when she delivered her hook kick to Michelle she didn’t seem that horrible. It might be a factor that most of the time she was playing the face-in-peril, and she’s at least got bumping and selling down moderately well given her limited in-ring ability. Maryse and Michelle were fairly good in punishing Maria, and it was pretty much the ladies biding their time until Gail came in the ring, at which point the match clearly picked up. It should be no shock that Gail would deliver the best in-ring work in the match, and she delivered rather nicely. This one was short and sweet, and it did exactly what it needed to do in giving Gail a pinfall over Maryse without being a one-on-one situation. The in-ring work was okay for a Butterfly Division match and it delivered on what it needed to, so while it didn’t “wow” me I’m going to give it a marginal Right. Keep at it, ladies.

    EDGE SPEAKS!: Following the recap and hype videos of the Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship Match feud, we went to a sound stage where Edge was sitting hunched over with the title belt on his lap. Edge delivered in a big way here, selling himself as the obsessed, nearly-psychotic man who’s had his psyche torn apart by his marital difficulties. He talked about how when he was bashing Cena’s skull on Monday he had an epiphany, and remembers that he was the best in the world at what he did. This is exactly the kind of promo Edge needed to deliver, as he reminded us all that soap opera relationship issues and opportunistic shortcuts aside, he really is the best at what he does, at least in his mind, and he got across how important the World Title was to him…you know, being the one thing that’s basically keeping him sane and all. It was when this promo played, honestly, that I knew Edge was likely to lose the World Title, and because of his work here I was okay with that because I think I see where they’re going to go with his character and I like it. I have a feeling that Rated-R is going to just utterly snap, and it’ll mean a much-needed freshening of his character. He has almost the same sort of creepy vibe cradling the title belt that Matt Hardy did last week with the dog, just with a different feel to the creepiness. Edge has given a lot of great promos, but this was just fan-freaking-tastic work and did the exact kind of sell they needed to build the Edgester for the match.

    M.V.P. vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN: This was, of course, Shelton’s rematch for the United States Title; nice to see they’re taking the time to remember that the secondary champs get rematch clauses too. Before the match however we got some promo work by both men earlier in the show. Eve was in the backstage locker room to interview Montel about the match, during which M.V.P. detailed his new three-step process. Step One: Defeat Shelton Benjamin and retain his US Championship. Step Two: ……..? Step Three: Profit! No, wait, my bad. Step Two was win Money in the Bank, and Step Three was win a World Championship…I always confuse those two three-step plans. Shelton then busted in to interrupt and tell M.V.P. that it wasn’t going to be as easy as he thought, because he was angry and had a grudge. This was decent work by Montel, but great work by Shelton; Shelton simply has more confidence and a stronger voice when it comes to the mic. They both did well and sold their characters well throughout, but for my money Shelton came out of the segment looking better.

    By the time the match took place, it was a very welcome change from the barrage of hype videos we’d been getting throughout the show (more on that later), and from the sound of the crowd they very much agreed. Shelton got quite the little bit of heat from the crowd on his way down to the ring, and M.V.P. was pretty over himself. These two know each other quite well and there is no reason they shouldn’t have delivered in a pretty impressive way, and they did exactly that. The two have some great chemistry and they allowed it to show as Shelton took the offense early on. Of course, this was a match to sell Money in the Bank as much as it was to sell the U.S. Title, and they put some good work in with some fun spots for the seven or so minutes that they got. Their offense was crisp and they did some really good give-and-take action; this was simply a fact of two guys who went out there to put on the best match they could and help get each other over, and they did that well. It was paced well, never seeming rushed, and the camel clutch into the electric chair was a pretty nicely done spot in particular. Things picked up from there and never let the crowd down; both men looked like they could have won at any moment and although M.V.P. got the obvious win to retain his title, it was nice to see two guys work a clean finish to a match that didn’t damage either guy’s credibility one bit. This worked really well and anchored the middle of the show very nicely. These guys can feud for a while longer as far as I’m concerned.




    JEFF HARDY vs. EZEKIEL: Our main event of the evening was the Day-Glo Warrior vs. Big Zeke. That’s right folks, the main event of SmackDown featured Ezekiel Freaking Jackson. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy but he’s midcard at best at the moment and should be nowhere near the main event. Right there is strike one. Jeff had some sort of green Komodo Dragon-like face pain tonight, which looked weird but actually sort of worked…it’s certainly no more bizarre than some of his other bits of face paint that worked just fine. Zeke came out with THE Brian Kendrick, looking all serious and pissed off on the way down to the ring, looking for revenge for the events of a couple of weeks ago. Once the match began, we got what was honestly a formulaic sort of little guy vs. big guy match that saw Zeke get WAY too much offense. As I said before, Ezekiel is nowhere near Jeff’s level, or even M.V.P. and Shelton Benjamin’s level, and by controlling a significant portion of the match it made Jeff look rather bad. What’s worse, the match featured a bear hug that lasted about two minutes. I’d be okay with this, except that it was a six minute match. When one-third of your match is a rest hold, then you have some serious problems. Things picked up a bit after the bear hug broke and Jeff took control, but by then it was too little, too late and the match was already pretty much stuck in the wRong. Jeff picked up the win of course, but this was just too much bad for it to really do anything for the show or for Jeff. Poor booking choices here, fellas.


    NADA…but WAIT!

  • The Ri-GOD-DAMN-diculous:

    TOO. MANY. VIDEOS.: Okay, folks, I get that this is the last show before WrestleMania. I get that one of the ‘E’s greatest strengths is their hype promos, and they go a long way toward selling the show. However, it was overkill on SmackDown when it came to the non-ring or promo segments. We got an Axxess segment hosted by T-Grish and Lawler, which led into the Hardy vs. Hardy hype video. Up next, we had a WrestleMania History Video followed by more Axxess stuff that led into the Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match, and then back to Lawler and Grish to talk more about the match and how it’s built up including a recap of last Monday’s Raw where Show beat Cena. That whole thing, not including commercial time, was an even thirteen minutes. Not long after we went right back to Axxess, where they babbled on about Santino being the Divas Battle Royal and showed a recap of the eighteen-Diva tag team match. The ENTIRE MATCH—okay, which was like a minute-plus but still—and the ENTIRE Santino segment. Gee, thanks for wasting another six minutes on the dot (again, not including commercial time) by replaying that whole thing which we already saw once. Hey Layla, what do you think of that?

    Glad we agree, my little English muffin. Anyway, we weren’t done there, as we got that swank WrestleMania commercial that we’ve seen like ninety times in the past five weeks to the point of over saturation which led into more Axxess crap about creating your own wrestling entrance. Don’t get me wrong, Axxess looks pretty bad-ass, but if I’m not going, I don’t want to see what I’m missing, you know? They then went into a rundown of the card and then, after commercial, hype videos of the WWE Heavyweight Championship match and then a WrestleMania XVI history video after the break. After that was more Axxess crap and then the “Cult of Personality” Austin video for the Hall of Fame ceremony. Finally, after another commercial we got a last hype segment, for Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker that recapped the great funeral segment from Raw before going into the video.

    I know, I know, it’s a little lazy for me to just recap all this stuff. I’m 100% in agreement with you. And it’s just as lazy for the ‘E to turn SmackDown into little more than a Heat-like recap show. I understand that they had ‘Mania on Sunday and they wanted to give us the hardest sell they could, and possibly give their talent a little time to rest before the big show. But there are better ways to do a hard sell; matches and promos. They could have even made this mostly a promo show and I’d have been perfectly fine with it. Instead, we got no less than forty-two minutes of hype videos, complete segments from Raw and that Axxess crap on a show that ran (not including commercials of course) a little over an hour and fifteen minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t think of anything that fits “Ridiculous” more than that. ‘E Creative: When you have a full show left to do some last-minute building of your lesser-built feuds such as the Unified Tag Title match, Money in the Bank, the Diva Battle Royale and such but you decide to rely on non-new material instead, that’s lazy, that’s crap, and I’m going to call it like I see it.

    The 411

    Wow, I really don’t know what to say here. SmackDown is, a fair amount of time, the best weekly programming in the ‘E, but this was NOT one of those episodes. Far too much recapping due to laziness on Creative’s part resulted in a mere three matches and two promos, and Ezekiel Jackson in the main event. If not for the marginally Right Butterfly match, the U.S. Title rematch and Edge’s promo this show would have been completely useless; instead it was just almost-completely useless. They spent more time promoting Axxess than putting on new matches or promos, and that’s very, very stupid. This is easily the worst SmackDown I’ve R’d out to date, and it’s a shame that it has to be the one before WrestleMania.


    Comment Time with Jeremy!

    From Guest#1879:
    I’m a bit surprised the 18-women tag made it in purgutory. I personally thought everything about the women’s thing was bad and Santino made me depise it (still don’t think he’s funny).

    I can see why you’re surprised, Guest. Ultimately whether you could tolerate that whole thing depended on whether you like Santino or not; I do when he’s appropriately funny and I thought he was here. To each his own.

    From T-Mac:
    It will be Shane, please someone appreciate my genius! 😉 Shane will bring the ugliest punches to Legacy!

    Naah, it’s not gonna be anyone. While I can see them doing an angle that would bring Shane into the Legacy–hell, in my wrestling sim game I put Shane in the Legacy leading up to ‘Mania because the concussions had caused a major personality change–it would have to be much, much later at this point, and by then they’d need one hell of a good explanation. I think the Legacy is at it’s peak members, for the moment at least.

    From Michael:
    You’re telling me you actually enjoyed that annoying twit prancing around in a mankini which rivals Mae Young at Royal Rumble 2000 as worst sight ever? Dude, do us and yourself a favor and get your head examined.

    And bughustle agrees:
    How in the blue hell did that monstrosity of a Divas tag match make it to purgatory. with so much wrong with it, not even Santino’s post match antics could pull this up to purgatory.

    way to be objective, mark. lol

    Okay, so first of all bughustle, I never claimed to not be a mark. Guess what…you are too. We all mark out for the guys we like. That said, I love how the term “mark” is used whenever someone states an opinion that disagrees with someone. It’s especially funny to me that people call me a mark when I rag on Santino segments where the comedy doesn’t work, and others call me a mark when I give props to Santino segments where the comedy does work. Ultimately I call it like I see it, and it’s not going to be perfectly objective. I’m a columnist here in the R’s, not a news reporter, and thus my opinions are allowed to come into play. We all have biases, and they color the way we enjoy things. So calling me a mark really isn’t much of an insult.

    That said, as I stated above the segment really boils down to whether you thought Santino was funny enough to save the overall segment. For me, Santino was a strong Right and the Tag match was a strong wRong, so it evened out to puRgatoRy. That’s my opinion, and you’re free to disagree. Either way, thanks for reading!

    From KanyonKreist:
    I can’t believe that the JBL/Rey non-title match didn’t bother you at all, JT. Clean finish too! I know this match wasn’t the selling point of the PPV, but just, y’know, there it was.

    I was okay with Rey Rey beating JBL cleanly. Rey Rey hasn’t been at the same level as JBL for some time now; he’s been feuding with Mike Knox while JBL’s been taking on Shawn Michaels. It’s pretty clear who’s where in the pecking order, so they needed to remind fans how easily Rey Rey could win this match. There were a few problems, but in the end they weren’t enough to push it out of the Right for me.

    From Shockmaster:
    JERRY LAWLER vs. CHRIS JERICHO: Lawler did NOTHING but throw punches. This was terrible and Sunday will be unwatchable. Only question is whether Flair gives the postmatch beatdown or gets saved by Austin. Either way a non-wrestler will make Y2J look weak. 🙁

    REY REY vs. JBL: Um, Jeremy, Rey “retired” JBL from Smackdown. Who needs convincing he can win?

    SHAWN PLAYS THE CASKET GAME: Most of this build has been too markish and silly for me, but hiding under the casket and striking was really sweet. Too bad he’s jobbing Sunday.

    ORTON’S WRESTLEMANIA ADDRESS: Orton works as an ARROGANT heel, not a coward. Every shenanigan, rule change, handicap situation, says he doesn’t believe his own hype. And if HE doesn’t believe it, why should I? The best kind of heat is for a blowhard who actually backs it up, which is why Hunter drew such great heat before it was cool for the IWC to rip on him. Orton is headed toward Honky Tonk Man heat, and in the long run that’s death because it only allows for one big payoff before fans stop caring. Even if you convinced me that cowardice doesn’t hurt Randy’s credibility, Edge is already doing that so it makes for an awkward redundancy.

    Well, as we learned it was Rourke who gave the post-match schooling, which I was somewhat okay with as it was boxing, which Mickey used to do professionally. But I digress. Had this just been a match, it probably would have entered puRgatoRy because, as I said, it wasn’t great, or even great for Lawler’s work over the last few years, but it bad for the wRong. The pr0mo at the end was what really tipped it over to Right for me. The Rey Rey/JBL thing I addressed above, but the point is that it’s been long enough that not a lot of people–and certainly not casual fans–would remember that Rey retired JBL, so they needed to show that the little guy could beat the big guy. I should point out that it’s nice that Rey’s now sorta retired him twice. We all knew that Shawn would be doing the job to Taker, but I’ll agree with you that the whole casket thing was brilliantly done. As for Orton…yeah, they’ve been a wee bit inconsistent at times, and to me this was trying to repair the damage. The handicap stuff, the rule changes and such…they worked within the framework of mind games to me, and considering that I was okay with it. Is it a retcon? Absolutely. But I was willing to go with it, and in that context it did work in my thoughts.

    From Guest#4901:
    i`ve been wondering why HHH hasnt used being married to steph as an advantage vs orton. maybe make it street fight or have legacy banned from the ring to make it kind of fair to HHH. edge has used vicky to get his way in matches why not have HHH do the same. just a thought i had. also i think they`ve made taker be michaels bitch by having him get beat down or having michaels escape the chokeslam on smackdown. hopefully Taker wins

    He did use it, once, to get the cage involved in his match with Cody Rhodes. I imagine they didn’t want to put him using Steph because that would make him more heelish and they wanted to keep him uberface for this one. And yes, Taker has certainly been on the losing end of the feud–up to ‘Mania, of course. But that was needed, sicne Taker had the momentum of the Streak behind him and they needed to build something to make Shawn’s threat seem more legit and not generic like so many recent ‘Mania feuds with the Dead Man’s have been. I was okay with Taker being outsmarted each week because I knew he’d be getting his win and momentum back at ‘Mania.

    By: Larry Csonka



    – CM Punk won Money in the Bank @ 14:30 {***¾}
    – Santino won the Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal @ 6:00 {DUD}
    – Chris Jericho defeated Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper and Ricky Steamboat @ 9:00 via pin {*½}
    – In an Extreme Rules Match, Matt Hardy defeated Jeff Hardy @ 13:25 via pin {***¼}
    – Rey Mysterio defeated JBL @ 0:45 via pin to win the IC Title {N-R}
    – The Undertaker defeated HBK @ 30:43 via pin {*****}
    – John Cena defeated The Big Show and Edge to win the World Title @ 14:43 via pin{***}
    – HHH defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Title @ 23:32 via pin{**½}


    MONEY IN THE BANK: They chose the MITB for the opener, and when you do that, you do run the risk of crowd burn out, because the match is such a hot match with so many spots that gets the crowd excited, that you can set the bar too high. But on the other hand, it is a match that everyone will be into, and that’s what you want from the opener. Overall this was a very good match as everyone not only played their roles well, but also delivered memorable spots. Kane and Henry did a good job n their power roles, and their brief stand off spots and teases of the ladder stuff was excellent. Shelton Benjamin shined once again with some INSANE spots as he was out there to impress, that’s to be sure. Kofi did well for himself, with cool spots and showing that he can deliver on a bigger stage. Christian was over like mad, and the crowd so wanted him to win the match, which was proven at the end when the crowd was cheering frantically when he almost won, and then BOO’D Punk when he got control. Punk wasn’t my choice to win, and apparently wasn’t the popular choice live, but it is far from the worse choice, and we got our first 2-time MITB winner. The bottom line is that in my opinion they did a great job. There was a lot of talk that the match lost its meaning because they couldn’t come up with anything new anymore. But this match was fresh, creative and full of non-stop action. The guys worked hard to make this feel like a new match as they worked in some new and creative spots, as well as threw away all regard for their bodies. While there were missteps, botches if you will shit happens, and if it was a perfect match, it can look too planned out, too choreographed, and people would have complained about that, the fact that it looked too fake. Overall a very hot opener, they delivered the first two-time winner, and the show was off to a good start. BTW, I hope MVP and Shelton are ok, they took some nasty bumps. A really good, but not great match, but I enjoyed it.

    HARDY vs. HARDY: So we finally got the battle of the brothers, 2.0, and it was a good match. First of all, they FINALLY gave Matt Hardy some new gear, which he really needed the change to go with the heel turn. Some think that it isn’t a big deal, but I do and I commend them for changing him up. Thankfully they treated this as a brawl right away, no lock up bullshit, a bitch slap by Jeff and the battle was on! They worked hard, used SOME PLUNDAH, and mixed it up well, and they had to due to MITB. They waited to pull out the ladders, and that is what cost Jeff the match, he went for it all, and when he missed, it cost him, again. The finish was brutal and fit the feud, as Matt is full of jealousy and hate, and a twist of fate with the chair sent a message. Thinking about it, I think that I know what the problem was here. They got around 13-minutes, and that’s not bad, but I think that they had a really good 20-minute match laid out, and were then pulled back to 13-minutes, but still had to keep all of their shit in there. In other words, we got a good “Reader’s Digest” version of what I feel could have been a great 20-minute match. Let’s hope that they get more time at Backlash, because while cut back, this was a good mid-card match, but they are capable of so much more.

    THE WORLD TITLE MATCH: While some seem to be down on this match, mainly in part to Cena winning I feel, overall this was a good match. For the match I felt that the time was the right amount of time for these guys and that they not only worked hard, but that the match was booked well and made al three guys look good. It was a well laid out match that had good flow. The one important thing I really enjoyed is how they dumped the “love triangle” shit and focused on the title, which I had hoped that they would do. While Cena winning the title isn’t the most exciting finish in the world, I liked the match, although as a “co-main event Mania Title match” I wanted more.

    TAKER vs. HBK: Many times, we as wrestling fans can get over excited about an event. We can over hype it and then get pissed when OUR expectations are not met. I will say that heading into the big event that HBK vs. Taker was THE match I waned to see. Partly because I thought it could be great, partly because I have always wanted to see it on the big stage, and also because it was easily the best built feud on the card. And quite simply, this was an amazing match. The beginning was about what you’d figure, HBK avoiding the big man, using his speed, it was smart booking. I loved the part where HBK knew the dive was coming, bumped the ref and then sacrificed the cameraman. The best part was actually right after that, as he grabbed the ref, pulled him into the ring, and was praying for the count out victory. The desperation was evident as HBK was willing to end the streak in any way possible. From there they both survived each others finish, they “dug deep” and it developed into a heavyweight slugfest as Taker’s chest was being destroyed by chops. The finish was sweet as HBK went for the moonsault press, only to be caught and planted with the tombstone. The match not only lived up to, but it exceeded my expectations on every level. Some say that it can’t be a classic because we all knew that Taker was winning, but I disagree. The match was amazing, they told the story of two warriors, and they MADE the live crowd believe that HBK could win, and that makes it great. Taker is a guy that fights through injury, but once again put on a great performance. HBK is stuck together by duct tape and chewing gum, but he goes out there and shows why he is one of the very best once again. At their age, and with their physical condition factored in, I am constantly amazed at the matches they are having, but at this point I guess I shouldn’t be. Awesome match, awesome performances and it will be what this event is remembered for. I would also be missing something if I didn’t mention the performance of Jim Ross. I have said time and time again that NO ONE calls the big match better than Jim Ross and he did it once again here. He took a great, great match and made it EPIC with his call. It will be a sad day when Jim Ross hangs up the mic kids. Oh, and I went the full boat on it, it rocked my face. One of the best WM matches of all time.


    WAR RICKY STEAMBOAT~!: This was a match that many were disappointed by, due to the fact that Jericho wasn’t going to face Austin, and I get that, we heard the rumors and I was hoping for Austin as well. Bt it was what it was and overall the made the best of it. Snuka looks bad and moves about as well as Moolah (yes, I know she’s dead) and Piper is very out of ring shape, but at least he tried. It all went to plan, Jericho took out Snuka and Piper, had some fun with Steamboat, won the match and then we had the Mickey Rourke stuff. The reason that I am not going to totally shit on this is because of two things. Chris Jericho was great as the dick heel, but also for selling everything so well for Piper and Snuka especially. But the other reason is RICKY FUCKING STEAMBOAT. This man is over 50, has a bad back and has been inactive for what, 15-years now? And he comes out there, looks good for his age physically, and then proceeds to perform like he did? Sweet Jesus, hey second generation guys and you young kids in the locker room, THAT is how you perform. He was great and deserves credit for a great performance. I got to see Ricky Steamboat kick ass at WrestleMania in 2009, that’s an awesome thing to say. Unfortunately the shit with Mickey Rourke pulled it down. It felt like such a forced moment in an effort for the company to get on Sports Center or Entertainment Tonight instead of the culmination of the angle, and that is because Rourke hadn’t been a part of it. I wish that they would have dropped that aspect, or have Frank Shamrock choke out Jericho, that would have ruled, Frank is a hell of a showman. In closing, Ricky Steamboat: Better than 50% of the roster. Snuka and Piper were horrendous, but Jericho and Steamboat’s work saved this from being an abortion.


    THE WWE TITLE MATCH: While the build has been hot and cold for the match, the history between HHH and Randy Orton has provided good matches, and with the match happening on the on the biggest stage of the year, I think most expected some greatness. Now, while it would be nearly impossible to follow HBK vs. Taker, I really thought that we were in for a great match. Unfortunately I was wrong. In the end, this was a disappointing, long and mundane match that ended the event on a sour note, mainly because it didn’t feel like a WrestleMania main event, it felt like a match, a regular match. I also worry that we’ll get a Dusty Finish here, due to HHH using sledgy. I also think we’ll get HHH, Vince and Shane vs. Orton, DiBiase and Rhodes at Backlash. Also, I give much credit to WWE for their NOT being a shit-load of run-ins, which they could have done, but thankfully didn’t. But if they pull some shit on Raw or strip HHH of the title, then they are just as bad as TNA by using PPV to sell TV. Unfortunately this was a downer, and resembled HHH vs. Jericho instead of the big ending most wanted, and for Wrestlemania, that isn’t good. There are times where the title match doesn’t have to be the closer, and this is a strong case for that, especially with it being in Texas.


    JBL vs. REY: For the second year in a row we had a title match that was over in seconds. I’m sorry, but I didn’t like it at all. Rey won, that’s cool. JBL retiring is good as he is banged up has interests outside of wrestling and could go back to commentating, so I am all for it. But for the second year in a row to waste a title match for something like this is ridiculous. When Warrior killed HTM, it was epical and the right way to go. Reflecting back, Kane and Chavo wasn’t that bad, but still not great. But on the biggest show of the year to do this again, I don’t like it. Hey, maybe since we bitched about the IC Title never being on the show, this was a personal fuck you to us? I don’ t know, but it was bullshit. No sit I didn’t like it, I didn’t like it at all.

    MISS WRESTLEMANIA BATTLE ROYAL: Oh what a clusterfuck of a match this was, seriously. First of all, and in a way this seems silly, but the way they came to the ring made no sense. The big thing was that they were having divas from the past join in, to crown Miss WrestleMania. Well then, what was the point of having the names from the past if they were a part of a mass entrance? They didn’t capitalize off of the potential crowd pops, making it a waste. Molly, Sunny, Victoria and others were brought back to add to this thing, and they were just “there”. When they got eliminated, it was like, “OH yeah, Sunny’s here, and she’s gone.” WHAT WAS THE POINT? Oh yeah, the point of this match, on the BIGGEST SHOW OF THE YEAR was a pay off to a gag with Santino. What a waste of time, what a waste of the women brought back and what a waste of the current ladies champions. This sucked.

    THE TAG TITLE UNIFICATION MATCH/SHOWCASE: This pissed me off for several reasons. First of all they took a lot of time on ECW and Smackdown to build this match, which now makes that TV time a giant waste of time. Secondly, we got fooled, once again we thought that WWE was actually caring about tag team wrestling, but then we got the rug pulled out from us. Thirdly, this had the chance to be a great addition to the card, and live reports say that the match was really good, which makes me even madder. And then there is the fact that they basically told us by putting this match on the pre-show that the UNIFICATION of the tag team titles meant jack and shit, which further devalues the titles. Tremendous amounts of bullshit there. BUT WE HAD TIME FOR KID ROCK. Listen, NO ONE bought this show to see Kid Rock rehash his hits, that’s what CDs and iTunes and shit is for. People didn’t pay $55 for a mini-concert, and the crowd was DEAD for it. But people were excited for the tag title match, it WAS a part of the draw for the show. Overall this is something that I firmly believe in, and something I will likely be complaining about for some time to come, and that is the “Showcase” argument. And what I mean by this is that I strongly feel that ALL of the titles should be defended at WrestleMania. WrestleMania is supposedly the World Series, Super Bowl, Daytona 500, Stanley Cup, Olympics, Masters and World Cup all rolled into one incredible night. Then WHY is this not the night that the titles are all defended? Some people will tell me it isn’t practical anymore. Why isn’t it practical anymore? In all actuality the titles should be the MOST important thing on the shows and the chasing of the titles is where the money is made. Why was it more important in the early WrestleMania shows but not now? I noticed how many titles there are because I discuss how badly booked that they are. They have three separate shows, they separated the rosters and still can’t find time to effectively book the titles. You see, I am sorry, but I hate that the ECW title was not booked for the show, that the tag titles are shunned to the pre-show, I hate that the US Title got tossed into the MITB match and I hate that the Women’s Titles had to be caught up in the battle royal. I just feel that if this is “The Biggest Show of the Year” that they should have the titles all defended, the only time of the year where you can and could see every WWE/ECW Title on the line. THAT is a showcase. I don’t give a shit about Vengeance either, in my opinion WrestleMania should be the night of champions and my mind won’t be changed anytime soon because we have to have Kid Rock perform. In short, on behalf of fans that enjoy tag team wrestling, and that have enjoyed Jack Swagger’s ECW run thus far, fuck you WWE.

    The 411

    This is another one of those bi-polar WrestleMania’s judging by the feedback I have seen. It surely is not great, but I also don’t think it sucked. To me it ended up being a “good” show, but I think that’s the problem, because people expect greatness at WrestleMania. HBK vs. Taker was simply amazing, MITB, Hardy vs. Hardy and The WWE Title match were all good and Steamboat still showing shades of his greatness was great. Unfortunately the “main event” didn’t deliver, Rey vs. JBL was a joke, the divas stuff was just flat out bad and pulling the tag title match was an extremely poor decision. There is a god bit to enjoy, but at the end of the day, it was just “good/thumbs in the middle”, and for the biggest show of the year, that’s not what people pay $55 for. Make sure you see HBK vs. Taker, and MITB is good stuff as well, but that’s all you need to really track down. If you loved the show, awesome for you; if you feel ripped off, that’s your right, I guess I fall in the middle.

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale. Also, PPV rankings can and will likely change through out the year:

    0 – 0.9: Torture
    1 – 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 – 2.9: Very Bad
    3 – 3.9: Bad
    4 – 4.9: Poor
    5 – 5.9: Not So Good
    6 – 6.9: Average
    7 – 7.9: Good
    8 – 8.9: Very Good
    9 – 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    SHOW RATING: 7.0 of 10

  • 2009 PPV Rankings:
    WWE NO WAY OUT {8.0}

    TNA GENESIS {7.2}



  • 2009 TOP PPV Match Rankings:
    [WRESTLEMANIA] – HBK vs. The Undertaker (*****)

    [ROH RISING ABOVE] – ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Nigel McGuinness © vs. Bryan Danielson (****½)

    [ROH RISING ABOVE] – I QUIT MATCH: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Austin Aries (****¼)
    [TNA GENESIS] – Kurt Angle defeated Jeff Jarrett (****¼)
    [TNA GENESIS] – X-Division Title Match: Alex Shelley defeated Chris Sabin (****¼)

    [TNA DESTINATION X] – X-Division Title Ultimate X Match: Suicide defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed and Jay Lethal (***¾)
    [WWE ROYAL RUMBLE] – WWE TITLE MATCH: Edge defeated Jeff Hardy (***¾)

  • 2009 PPV MVP AWARDS:
    Not every PPV will have one, it just depends on who I think steps up and deserves some extra recognition.

    [TNA GENESIS] Sabin, Shelley, Angle and Jarrett – Rocking The House
    [ROH RISING ABOVE] – Danielson and McGuinness – Defining the ROH World Title
    [WWE ROYAL RUMBLE] – RVD – The Joke Pays Off
    [NO WAY OUT] – EDGE – The Ultimate Opportunist
    [WRESTLEMANIA] – HBK and The Undertaker – Stealing the Show

  • 2009 TOP TV Match Rankings:
    I will update as often as needed.

    Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena – (Raw: 01.12.09) {****}
    Christian vs. Jack Swagger – (ECW: 02.24.09) {****}

    Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries – (ROH on HDNet: 04.04.09) {***¾}
    Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles – (Impact: 01.22.09) {***¾}
    Beer Money vs. Team Canada – (Impact: 02.19.09) {***¾}

    Lethal Consequences vs. Motor City Machine Guns – (Impact: 02.19.09) {***½}
    Edge vs. John Cena – (Raw: 03.02.09) {***½}
    Primo vs. The Miz – (ECW: 03.10.09) {***½}
    Undertaker vs. Shelton Benjamin – (Smackdown: 01.09.09) {***½}

    And I’m out of here!

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    Larry Csonka

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