The Landau Rundown – Breakdown Edition

This blog reflects my subjective views and nothing more. If you disagree with me, feel free to voice your opinion in a civil manner in the comments section.

 

Hello and welcome to The Weekly Rundown!  Guy has his finals this week, so I, Jesse Sherwood, am filling in for him this week.  I won’t be varying from his normal format, so let’s just get right into it!

 

Break it Down!

 

Impact Wrestling:

+             I love that the BFG Series is starting up!  It has been a key reason that I have watched TNA the last 2 years, and is one of the better ideas that have come from Hogan and Bischoff.

             While it is great that Impact is so focused on wrestling during most shows, 4 of this week’s matches were crammed into the first 35 minutes of the broadcast.  This caused the crowd to get burnt out rather quickly.  You would think TNA would know better than to pull something like that.

+             Anderson really shone through on the mic with his short promo.  I hadn’t really thought much about it, but I miss his goofy little quirks in his promos and he has lost a bit of that being in the A’s and 8’s shuffle.

            While some may think that Joseph is bland and well past his shelf life, I love the depth of character that he brings.  Chris Parks is one of TNA’s biggest assets and I am all him getting the screen time.

             I’m not sure what to think of DOC being the one to stir up trouble in A’s and 8’s.  On one hand it feels right for an Original to buck against someone who was recruited, but on the other I thought that Anderson or someone else would have been the instigator.  It does show that A’s and 8’s are starting their downturn, which is a good thing.

-              Jay Bradley did little to impress me here.  Between that awful catchphrase of “Get Boomsticked”, his awful ring work, and not assisting Aries with the Brainbuster, I hope that he ends up as the Robbie E of this year’s Series.

-              Hernandez should NEVER be allowed to have a live mic!  That promo was just abysmal!

            Daniels using the BME was a fantastic surprise!  How long has it been since we have seen him hit it?  Honestly, Daniels saved that entire match.

+             I’m all for Kaz poking fun at Dixie’s gushiness over Magnus’ looks!  She needs to learn to be professional during interviews, and if you haven’t heard the one I’m eluding to, she sounded like a school girl with a crush.

            Excellent strategy for Magnus to go for the Submission victory to top the leaderboard.

-              I hate how they just suddenly remember that the Knockout’s Tag Titles existed just to strip ODB and EY of them and to apparently retire them.  Although they are still listed on TNA’s website, with ODB and EY as champions no less, I don’t see them being used ever again.

             Mickie James is just not impressive on the mic, especially since her heel turn.

+             Knockout’s Ladder Match!  And after the performance that Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim put on at Slammiversary, I am ecstatic that they will have yet another chance to steal the show.

             That was an illogical decision to have Brooke seemingly teleport out to the parking area!  There is no way that she could have got from the ring all the way out there in 2 minutes.

             Why in the world would you have a main event caliber match such as Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles and not promote it at all?  Between the rushed matches earlier in the night and this one, someone needs to sit down and re-evaluate how they book things.

             I completely forgot that the BFG Series had a 15 minute time limit for the matches and no one explained it before this match.  AJ and Joe both deserved better.

+             AJ’s darkness is an excellent contrast to how he has been his entire career.  He needed something to evolve his character and this seems to be working perfectly.

             TNA is already breaking their own rules with the X Division Title, as both Suicide and Kenny King should have had to work their way back to a title shot after losing Ultimate X.

             Hardy and Roode, while a technically sound match, did not wow me as much as I would have hoped considering the time TNA put into shoving it down our throats.

?              Only Anderson, Wes, and Garrett were knocked out in the back…  Where were Devon, DOC, and Knux?  Could they have been in on it?

            While Angle was an obvious choice, they couldn’t have had a big surprise here.  TNA needs to lay a good foundation for MEM and what better way to do it than with someone who was involved with them before?

 

Smackdown:

            Bryan has brought out a passion in Orton that we haven’t seen in a very long time.  His promos have improved dramatically, as well as his ring work.  Bryan has been kicking in the afterburners every night to make sure he is at the top of the card and is quickly becoming the #2 guy in WWE.

             Sheamus should be ashamed of how he no-sold a solid 2-3 minutes of work on his arm.  You’d think someone that has been in the business for over 10 years would know better than that.

            WWE is progressively making the Wyatt Family’s vignettes more and more disturbing.  I just hope they debut soon, as WWE is towing a fine line with the fans here.  Too many vignettes and the crowd may get burned out before they debut.

             Oh, how the mighty have fallen!  Barrett has been long thought as the best success out of the first season, but he has never really shone very brightly on his own.  And with 2 losses in a single week, WWE apparently thinks the same.

-              What a way to waste a Title match!  All Axel’s first defense did was start a program with the Miz.  That shows little respect for the belt.

+             WWE has really done a great job in making the Divas interesting to watch again!  Between the match with AJ and Natalya and Kaitlyn’s emotional breakdowns, WWE is finally treating these women like they should, as the premier Woman’s wrestlers in the business.

-              Del Rio and Jericho, for being such talented individuals, put on one of the most formulaic matches I have seen on Smackdown.  I expect better out of both of them.

            Christian is back!  And he looked as solid as he ever has in the ring and on the mic.

-              There was no need to disrespect Drew McIntyre with the “You’re a jobber” chant.  While fans have been known to be obnoxious, especially with the “What?” chant, these men are out there for our entertainment.

            Ambrose vs. Christian?  That sounds like millions of dollars to me!  In all seriousness, they can only help one another as Christian is a top tier talent and Ambrose has been proving himself to be one every week.

-              I am always against bullying the announcers, but Heyman’s dredging up of Renee Young’s past was just awful to watch.  That felt like something VKM would do to haze the new people back in the Attitude Era.

            I’m glad WWE has brought back the Don’t Try This At Home videos.  While it may not detour every kid from trying the moves they see on TV, I know it will some.

            Bryan vs. Orton was an absolutely brilliant match.  Between Bryan adding new submissions into his repertoire to the hard-hitting action between both men, I was captivated from bell to bell.  WWE also further sucked me into the feud between Orton and Bryan by using a dirty finish here.

 

Raw:

            Now that is how you open a show!  Right from the start, both Orton and Bryan tore the house down!  With them opening the show, we knew that there would be a screwy finish.  But who cares if there was!  They told more of a story in 5 minutes than most of the roster could with a 30 minute match.

+             McMahon eating crow on live TV over Daniel Bryan made my night!

-              While I know that WWE has to make Christian look strong during his big return, did it have to come at the expense of Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow?  WWE has been working on elevating new stars with people such as The Shield, Fandango, and Curtis Axel.  But a handful of new guys aren’t going to cut it.  WWE needs to be pushing 8-10 new guys to really establish some tiers in the card.

+             Aksana looked much better than she normally does.  And while I want to attribute it to the fact that she was in the ring with someone as solid as Kaitlyn, I think it may be the fact that she has been working down in NXT some.

?              I’m really mixed on AJ making fun of Kaitlyn’s body.  Kaitlyn looks great, despite her poor choice in hairstyle, and this angle is really reminiscent of the Piggy James storyline from 3 years ago.  But on the flipside, AJ is working so well with the angle and is making the Divas relevant again.

            Now this was the kind of match I expected on Smackdown between ADR and Jericho!  And while Del Rio wasn’t as crisp as I like, it was much better than Smackdown.

+             Ziggler acting as a tweener is a great change of pace.  WWE has way too many characters that are either clear cut faces or heels.  Plus, this allows his relationship to continue with AJ without causing a real conflict in the fans eyes.

            The McMahon’s power struggle has me questioning where they are thinking of taking it, and that is a good thing.  There hasn’t been a storyline like this in a long time and it is just what is needed at this point.

             I would have rather watched a pile of bricks in the ring than watch Ryback vs. Khali.  That was just an awful match and whoever thought it would be a good idea to have the two of them face off should be fired.

             I guess that Cena doesn’t have to wrestle on TV anymore unless it furthers his storyline.  He is the WWE Champion and he should be in action at least every other week.  Especially when he is cutting nearly the same promo every time he picks up a mic.

-              Other than the fact that the Usos will now face The Shield for the Tag Titles at a later date, I couldn’t tell you anything about this match.  I even forgot it was a Triple Threat match.

+             Punk and Heyman showed everyone in the back what they should aspire to do on the mic.  Passion, believability, heart, and chemistry.  They had all of those and more, and it proved why Punk should be at the top of the card.

-              Why was Darren Young in this match?  He has done nothing to remotely be viewed as a threat to Punk.  If anything, I would have put someone such as Sandow or Rhodes here, as they have at least faced a decent amount of top tier talent.  It seems that any heel Tag Team could have been dropped in here.

-              Titus has really impressed me over the last few months, but he looked terrible here.  Honestly, I thought that he had regressed all the way back to his NXT days.

+             It looks like they are continuing the use of the WWE Title MITB match being used for former World Champions.  I like the idea of that, because it opens up so many possibilities for character turns and/or re-establishment of a star to a true top-tier status.

?              Henry really surprised me last week with his “retirement” speech.  And while I liked this segment, I have to wonder if there wasn’t a slight grain of truth to it.  Henry is obviously hitting the last few years of his career and more than deserves a WWE Title run, but how can they do that with Cena holding the strap?

            I talked about Bryan and Orton tearing the house down to start the show, but they rebuilt the thing just so they could blow it up here!  Orton looked like he took a page out of his 2007 playbook and was the most fluid he has been in years, and Bryan just shows how a great technical wrestler can still work great in an extreme environment.  This was easily a match of the year candidate and if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it.

+             I have to say that Orton impresses me more every time he shows a bit of class in the ring by offering Bryan a handshake.

Thanks for reading!  Don’t forget to come back next week, as Guy will be back!

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  • cobra

    Didn’t Bully Ray tell Devon, Doc and Knux to go get Brooke Hogan?

    • Jesse Sherwood

      Honestly, I had forgot about that until you said something. I re-watched the show and you are right. Thanks for the correction!