The Landau Rundown/Weekly Rundown – Introduction

Hello everyone, this is the first in a series of weekly articles as a new feature here on the site – Every Monday prior to RAW (excluding this article and pending reader feedback) I will do a rundown (hence the title) of the week that was in the WWE, citing happenings I perceived as positive and negative. This is NOT objective by any means, and strictly reflects my own opinion. This feature will be very similar to the Aftermath Radio Win/Fail (formerly Shine/Heat – by the way Arda and Jimmy if you’re reading this – Shine/Heat was a much better name) feature, so I’d like to thank them for inspiring this (check out Aftermath Radio every Monday night after RAW on http://radio.thescore.com/programs/right-after-wrestling . They also have weekly interviews with varying wrestling figures which are usually absolutely fascinating)

So without further ado, let’s get to the posits and negs of the week (posits-short for positives-will be stylized with + bulletins, and the negs – short for negatives as you probably already made out – stylized with – bulletins)

cheap blog-plug: In this Article I reference my Landau Landscape Blogs. if you haven’t read them yet go do it to better understand my referencing, there are only 4 of them so far (In this particular article I reference Landscapes I and IV). Obviously this Article is readable without said Blogs but it would be enriched, I believe, for those who have read them.

 

RAW:

Posits:

+ Laurinaitis is really impressing me as of late. He plays his role to perfection in my eyes. Not sure if the stutter is intentional or not, but regardless – it should be.

+ Punk having two great choices going out of his gauntlet made it really unpredictable (the right path was taken for the long run; see further down this article)

+ Rhodes going under to Booker, but just barely. Right call here, keeps the feud alive, doesn’t bury Cody and allows him to pick up the victory clean in the rubber match. The evener the feud, the better Rhodes comes out after getting the best of it.

+ Kidd and Nattie back together is very welcome in my eyes.

+ Ziggler going over in the gauntlet is absolutely the right choice. Any other outcome would bury him, and if you’ve read the latest Landau Landscape you know I think he more than deserves a run at the top.

+ Smart way to keep Henry supposedly active by having him in the gauntlet without appearing. (With a drawback which will be addressed in the negs column.)

+ Kane’s speech. A lot of smart things were said in that speech, and Glenn Jacobs is widely known as a very intelligent man. Not only was the wording perfect, but the message is in many ways true. It was taken to the pessimistic side because Kane is heel, but it’s true nonetheless. Let me explain the brilliance in what Kane said (as shortly as possible, in italics for those inclined to skip over it, as it’s not wrestling related): modern society teaches us to be the best we possibly can, all the time. What that does is make everyone aim for something they are unable to be: Perfection. “Above-human”. What Kane said is basically – Embrace yourselves. Embrace your shadow, as Carl Jung put it. “In your shadow lies your biggest treasure”. Only when a person accepts his faults can he truly be happy and whole, and he can utilize said faults for good instead of running away from himself. If you run away from your faults, parroting to yourself that you don’t have them, you can never use them for your own causes. Anger can be good. Hate can be good. Sometimes they’re justified and the RIGHT thing to do is to embrace them, but western society doesn’t acknowledge that. Kane gave excellent examples of utilizing negative qualities, so I won’t give any here. Accept yourselves for your faults and be thankful for them just as much as you are thankful for your good qualities. Go back and listen to Kane’s speech again, it’s a very good life lesson. “Become honest with yourself. Become… free”

+ The final scene of 2011 on RAW was a very powerful one. Cena welling up was wonderfully done and shows how impactful Kane’s speech was. I think you could see disappointment on his face as the Universe duel-chanted during Kane’s speech, as they weren’t really listening to it. I know I was, perhaps I’m just projecting onto Cena here.

+ This Cena/Kane feud has the potential to have a very profound impact. Characters like Kane and Abyss are what makes wrestling great, those characters actually have a lot of depth on any scale you put them. If this feud goes as I think it will, Cena will come out of it embracing his dark side, going into Wrestlemania as a liberated heel. That would be VERY compelling viewing in my eyes, as well as reach depths seen on shows like House and The Sopranos, which I think is something wrestling is missing (to be addressed in the next Landscape Blog)

Negs:

- Why is R-Truth feuding with Miz? I would much rather see them continue to team up and beat Air Boom for the tag titles. I hope this is just a swerve to get them back together eventually, though I think that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

- Why wasn’t Ryder vs. Kidd a singles match w/ the girls at ringside, and given more time? A solid match up between the two would have been better for both. The same shenanigans could still be done with Nattie trying to interfere only to be taken out by Eve – except the actual match would be better, and it could perhaps make Kidd the next challenger for the US title. I know I’m all for that.

- If Henry is uncleared to compete – in storyline as well – why was he booked in a match? He didn’t make it out, but if he’s not cleared on SD then there’s no reason he’d be cleared (even theoretically) on RAW.

- Miz looked REALLY weak, regardless of Truth. No call for that whatsoever.

Smackdown!:

Posits:

+ Rhodes’ promo work. His promo with Booker to open the show was made great only when he came out. His character is great and actually multi-dimensional unlike most others in the WWE today; his wording (just like Kane’s) is well thought out – “A semi-literate buffoon of an announcer”, brilliant; his timing and voice are spectacular.  My heel character personally is partially based on Rhodes’, that should show you how much I appreciate the man. He truly is a future star in this BIZNES right there (should be read in Booker’s voice).

+ Goldust coming out out of character was very different, and the back and forth between all 3 was good. Best part is – Booker vs. Rhodes next week to settle the feud before Cody moves on to Goldust, to beat him as well. Rhodes is being pushed very wisely, according to the patterns I offered in the first Landau’s Landscape, and in a way reminiscent of Mark Henry. He’s getting the rub over people who wouldn’t be hurt by the losses, and are (or bound to be) inactive anyway.

+ McIntyre is back on Smackdown!! Anyone who read my Landscape blogs knows I love McIntyre, and that I thought his move to RAW was the worst move in the 2011 draft. Now the wrong has been righted and I am for one very excited about Drew being back on the blue brand. And from the looks of his match, he’s back to his old “like a boss” self with the delayed entrance, but I think he should’ve walked down to the ring slower. This storyline could reset Drew’s negative momentum when he does win – maybe even a face turn (similar to MVP a couple of years back).

+ Hunico’s low-rider… bicycle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOIavellt4. This is a positive for now if it is in fact as much of a joke as it seems. I’m all for a parody of Mexican wrestlers coming out in vehicles, as it’s WWE taking a playful jab at themselves. However, if this is to be taken seriously, you can go ahead and negativise this.

+ Sheamus saved his segment with Slater & Hornswoggle, which until he started speaking to Slater bombed

+ Orton took no back bumps. Seriously, go back and watch the match, he didn’t fall flat on his back a single time, he always fell a bit to his side. Barrett didn’t slam him once in the match, to avoid hurting the bad back. Even when Barrett drove him into the side of the ring he didn’t go in back-first. Not only was this spectacularly covered up, it also tells me he was well aware of the injury and this match was a way to take him out to get Barrett over. Great booking.

Negs:

- Cole is trying WAY too hard. He really should become a manager, everyone would benefit from that.

- Goldustin Rhodes really no sold the kick to the gut that lead to the Beautiful Disaster. He looked like a non-wrestler being abused, but he’s not. Very weird and unbecoming of Goldust as a wrestler.

- Ted Dibiase’s music doesn’t fit his revamped character. It’s a heel theme about money for a man who gave all his money away. This whole feud with Mahal is a waste.

- Mahal’s generic foreigner gimmick is horrible. Revamp the character, please! It’s time to pull the plug on the current incarnation of Mahal. He’s a decent enough wrestler, but this gimmick does not work in 2011.

- Alicia Fox is way too sloppy for the push she’s getting. She reverted to the scissors kick for a reason – the leg drop injured people. Well, the scissors kick on SD! was no better. The general forgetfulness of Divas’ turns and storylines, along with the decisions of talent to push have to change for the divas to be taken seriously.

-Another Mexican character?! So now there’s a stereotypical Mexican tag team and a non-stereotypical Mexican tag team… Make then a stable with Del Rio at the helm while he’s out of the title picture… oh, and drop the stereotypes. Mostly the latter, really. I mean, I suppose it’s another tag team, but is it really worth it if it’s such generic “across the border” personalities?

- Way too many promos for the falls count anywhere match.

- I want to see Otunga wrestle a midcarder, to see how much he has improved since his last run. How many times can he go under Main event talent where we can’t see what he’s capable of?

- Again, most of the Sheamus/Hornswoggle/Slater segment bombed

So, this was the very first Landau Rundown. I wasn’t going to name yet another feature here using my own name, but with this being a rundown of the good and bad of the week it was just too good a name to pass up. I may change it to just WNW’s weekly rundown, pending reader feedback.

 Speaking of reader feedback, I would like to receive all the constructive criticism I can handle about this as I really don’t know how to go about these articles. Too long? Too short? Don’t like the division into RAW and Smackdown (and WWE PPVs, when applicable)? Do you want a weekly paragraph to open the Blog or just a straight up rundown? A conclusion paragraph for each/both shows? More/Less referencing of the Landscape Blogs? Which day do you want to see this posted, from Friday to Sunday? Do you want posits and negs about site news as well? Any other criticism/advice? By all means – voice them via the comment section. I would love to hear your thoughts of this as a feature here on the site, and mostly how I could improve it. Absolutely anything that needs improving you can think of, don’t be shy or too polite to voice. On the contrary, you’re encouraged! (as long as it’s said in a civil manner, befitting this site).

 

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  • Mr. Love

    I enjoyed it. But a little long for my taste. I would assume that fans that are actually looking at this site and are participating have watched what had happened as well lol. So I would give maybe 5 major pros and cons of the shows. Ppvs maybe full detail and and major notes you feel you would like to really touch on. But I enjoyed

  • MPXTheChoice

    Actually, Guy, the article was very well put together and very well thought out. I agree with all of your thoughts on Smackdown – see my blog, I even mentioned the MVP style push for The Scotsman – except I rather enjoyed the Sheamus/Slater stuff. Slater didn't seem as bad and corny, he didn't utter his 'catch phrase' and I'm all for a good pun. I agree that Mahal needs a gimmick change…but to what? Much like Kofi Kingston, what else are you going to change that man into?

    Over on Raw, my biggest problem with Miz and Truth is that Truth is poised to once again be a face…although, having just typed that out, I'm realizing he actually was more loved with his Little Jimmy gimmick than hated.

    I'll expect your comments on my blog soon. Haha

  • Dan “The Frontman” Haase

    I like the name. Naming it after yourself fits your writing personality well. Your blogs are kinda like your own franchise. Good stuff.

    As for your views. Their is plenty of logic and it is easy to read. It’s a nice difference from the same old wnw blog format (match… Talk about match….. Promo, talk about promo). I like the structure. (my blog is also structured different…so it’s nice to see someone else use a different structure than the norm).

    Keep writing. I like your reads.

  • Guy Landau

    thanks Mr. Love, so this is point 1 for shorter. Anyone else?

    Mr. Choice, I have commented on your blog. What about something bad to say about mine, or even name your preferences from the list I gave in the last paragraph? This also applies to everybody else, in order for me to make this feature better I need as much feedback as I can handle

    • sforester

      I like the format as is, but I understand the short attention spans that run rampant as I tend to have a short one myself. As per usual I agree with almost all your points except the following:

      1) I really hope you're dead wrong about McIntyre going face because of this losing streak. A tweener run can really be beneficial for the Scotsman given his character and looks, but a full-out face turn…. I don't know…I'm not much of a fan of full-out faces as it seems that their sneak attack senses go to nil or wind up going over the top like a certain master of the AA. Side note: McIntyre's entrance music is one of my top 3 favorites.

      2) If I remember correctly, Miz dunked R-truth with a SCF on the ramp. Yeah, that was to get Truth out so he could serve a suspension, but from a storyline POV, it makes perfect sense for Truth to get revenge on the guy that took him out. Also, it gives Miz something to do while Ziggler's chasing Punk and the title. Personally I'd like to see Miz feud with Ryder if they're not going to put Kidd (who i thought was a Smackdown wrestler) up against Long Island Iced Z.

      3) Otunga has never impressed me in the ring, even when he was facing midcarders. Admittedly he doesn't need to consistently be the whipping boy, but I'd like to see him being placed under the charge of Teddy Long in a non-wrestling role. After all, putting Vickie under Teddy's charge helped her get even more nuclear heat than before. Right now, he's getting "go away" heat and that's not good for him.

      4) For purposes of feuding with Cody, I'd rather see Dustin NOT don the Goldust gear. That way the feud is more personal and it gives Dustin a chance to be himself.

      Personally, I'd find Saturday to be the best day to post it as Sunday's really slow and Friday nights would be too late in most cases.

      • guylfe

        The whole idea of Miz SCFing Truth was a mistake WWE should try to rectify in my eyes. Having main event talent form tag teams that would last while there is no room for them at the top of the card is absolutely the right call in my eyes – both to get them TV time without looking weak and to boost the Tag division. Of course I am not talking about random pairings, but Awesome Truth were the right way to do just that.

        Otunga never impressed me either, but it has been almost 6 months I think since we've last seen him in any sort of actual match. I have my hopes up he's been training during that time, he's a known work horse.

  • mr shwo

    primo and epico are puerto rican not mexican, these are not the same

  • Guy Landau

    I stand corrected, I thought they were Mexican, I guess because of the week-long stable they had with Hunico.

  • @RatedMKD

    Great work on this, Guy. I think the length is perfect, and it reminds me a bit of Kevin Eck's new-ish feature on WWE.com. The only reason I can see this being considered to be too long is your analysis of Kane's promo, which I personally loved. It helped me understand where the promo was coming from that bit more, and I look forward to rewatching it later today with this breakdown fresh in my mind.

    I didn't notice Orton not taking any back bumps. On the way out last night, I was chatting to a friend about how if he was legitimately injured going into the match, he did a fantastic job of working through it. I'll rewatch this match too, taking what you said into consideration this time around.

    Anyway, happy new year Guy! Here's to more WNW contributions in 2012 by your good self! Cheers!

  • Guy Landau

    OK, so 3 things:
    1. Richard kindly fixed the comment approval fiasco. 3 cheers for Richard!
    2. RatedMKD, your comment made my otherwise not-so-great day. So thanks for that. Giving a different perspective to look at things through is exactly what I wanted to do with my writing here on the site. So 3 cheers for you as well.
    3. For the next couple of weeks this feature will be as follows: No intro or next to no intro (going straight into the rundown), and no summary paragraph. We'll see how it goes and what the feedback will be and modify the feature accordingly. So 3 cheers for… that, I guess

  • kbunyon

    Talk to Richard about modding comments. We're getting inundated with spam since the site was revamped, so it's a bit crazy over in modding. I understand what you mean, I was a bit befuddled about having to wait for my comments to be modded for my own writing.

    I agree with you on 95% of this and wish I'd come up with this idea – or at least thought to go to Richard with it – myself!

    Jacobs and the Rhodes boys stole this week (on mic) for me. I had huge troubles keeping up with the Live Results during the last segment of RAW because I just wanted to soak it all in. I know a lot of people wanted Kane to come back masked as the strong silent type. I was one of those, but no more. I was – still am – bowled over by the weight of that segment. Both Kane's words and Cena's facial expressions (subtlety that I didn't think he was capable of) ended RAW in a most poignant way.

    Cody has impressed me more and more. Bringing in Goldustin (great wording) was fabby! Stacy and I were sitting here waiting for Goldy to turn heel on his former partner. We thought that Goldustin out without his Goldy gear and paint meant that he was dropping the laughs and going bad. I'm so glad he didn't. A feud between the brothers could only benefit them both and it makes perfect sense for Goldy to have stepped in for his former partner, no matter how silly they were together. I think I need to go pull up some Booker/Goldy segments to show Stacy what he missed back in the day.

    Ryder vs Kidd should have been singles with the Divas outside the ring. While it's good to see Kidd and Nattie together, it felt strange and forced this week.

    Mahal needs to be pulled and repackaged, as does Drew. I know you like Drew and he's solid in the ring, but he needs a new look and personality. He just hasn't been cutting it for me character-wise. His ring work is good, but he hasn't given me ANY reason to like or loath him. Honestly, I just don't care for his character, good or bad.

    Henry either needs to take some time off or they have to do something with him that actually makes sense. We all knew he wasn't working the ring last Monday! Just didn't work for me.

    I completely agree with you about Foxy. There's a couple of Divas who can work the ring, but she isn't one of them. She needs to go learn to wrestle, then maybe come back. Or maybe not…

    Very impressed here, can't wait to see where you go with this.
    KB

    • guylfe

      First off – thanks for the kind words!
      As I am short on time here I will address only what I feel is most important to me:
      Drew doesn't need to be repackaged, he needs to be DEpackaged. He hasn't been lovable, nor loathable for quite some time now, and he needs to go back to his roots, to the way his gimmick was when he was IC champion. His facials and overall mannerismity (I like making up words, hope the meaning is clear) were spot on and VERY loathable back then.