For all new readers of this feature: This is a relatively new feature on the site, where I run down the week that was in WWE (RAW and Smackdown specifically, and PPVs when applicable), and note events I perceived as positive – or posits (prefaced by a "+") and negative – or negs (prefaced by a "-"). If it is neither, but noteworthy, or if I'm on the fence about some points I put them under question marks – or queschies (prefaced, as you probably guessed, by a "?") what I try to accomplish with this is a summary of the week, with my own spin/take on it. This feature is heavily inspired by the Aftermath Radio Win/Fail segment (formerly Shine/Heat which I still insist was a better name). Mind you, this is subjective and very much open to debate – as long as it's a civil one – in the comment section. Regardless, I am always open to criticism as long as it's constructive.
Oh, one last thing. You should know that I have a crush on AJ, and a friendly blood feud with Matt "Not AJ's Choice" Andrews about her. It's mostly in good fun. Mostly.
For the old/regular (those who read all THREE previous articles) Ok, so as you can – or will in a couple of seconds – see, the Rundown has undergone a couple of changes, and they are as follows (notice they are all posits, for I am biased about them):
+ The name has changed from Landau Rundown to Weekly Rundown. This move was made to get more readership, as my articles were getting less hits than most – which is understandable – no one wants to read something that is, at first sight, about a guy they haven't heard and do not care about.
+ Also, instead of the date the title will include the 3 main happenings of the said past week.
+ The division from now on isn't by show, it's by changing order starting by all the posits, then all the negs, then all the queschies.
+ Also, there will be constants or general ponderies, so as to not be repetitive. They will get their own sub-title.
+ There will now be an opening and closing paragraph about the week. This week the opening paragraph is about the changes, in the next weeks I will wing it from week to week. The closing paragraph will recap my overall opinion of the week in wrestling.
For all of you: feel free to do your own rundown via the comment section in the future(writing little notes as you watch the shows could be very engaging and fun – give it a try and tell us via the comment section what you wound up with)
Lastly – A reminder: This blog reflects MY views, and my views alone. It is by no means objective. If you disagree – which is encouraged – feel free to voice your opinion (in a civil manner) in the comments section. Let's get some healthy debates going.
So Let's begin:
Constants (Things that remain constant on a weekly basis, and so won't be mentioned in the weekly review itself, but in this sub- instead)
+ both R-Truth's remixed theme and Brodus Clay's "somebody call my momma" theme.
+ Drew McIntyre, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and Wade Barrett as wholes – both in the ring and on the mic. Barring anything absolutely extraordinary, know that I believe these 6 names to be complete packages, and so mentioning their greatness alone in those aspects weekly will be a waste of space.
+ AJ. Forever and always. This also means:
- Matt "The Choice" Andrews. It's a shame, really. I could like Matt… If only he'd leave AJ alone.
- Stereotypical foreigner gimmicks. They are distasteful and dated.
- The way announcing currently is in the WWE. That means random disses at Cole are implied when not said outright (but this is not limited to Cole – it's the whole way announcing is handled).
- Ted DiBiase's heel theme for a face superstar. Not to mention that auto tune… ugh.
- Aksana's cliché role that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
- "The Royal Rumble winner gets to main event Wrestlemania" is a fallacy, and has been this way for several years now. For the past 5 or so years, the winner of the Rumble has rarely actually main evented 'Mania. Let's recap, shall we? Last year – Del Rio was in the opener (!), previous year – Edge (Rumble winner) faced off against Jericho in a match that was followed by a Divas match, THEN the WWE title match, and THEN 'Taker vs. Michaels. Not the main event by any means. Previous year winner Orton did, in fact, main event 'Mania, but for 3 more years prior (up until Batista main evented) not a single winner was the actual main event of 'Mania. I'm saying either stand by your word, or rephrase it – "The winner of the Royal Rumble gets a World Title match of his choosing at WrestleMania".
? Clay's character as a whole. I am still very much conflicted about it.
And with that out of the way, let's get to this week's Posits!
+ Having Bryan talk about pretension is great (on both RAW and Smackdown), considering the new hypocritical direction of his character. And notice he (very carefully) has never said he loves AJ back yet. He appreciates her loving him – that's the most he did. I'd say it In a heartbeat if I were him, but that's just me.
+ Justin Gabriel is Hornswoggle's guardian now, apparently. Interesting - At least it gives him something to do. He had me believe he was going to beat Rhodes on Smackdown, because of great work both men's part.
+ Speaking of Rhodes, he restores a lot of the IC title' prestige - Be it by insisting that his match against Gabriel be non-title, or how he goes about holding his title after winning. This guy is really up there, and is only improving.
+ Henry was spot on in everything he did in his backstage segment on Smackdown where he told Teddy how stupid the whole wheel thing is. He came off very believable (probably because he was saying the truth)
+ The Usos' entrance. I love that thing – especially the synchronization of old & new in the move from the Haka to the modern rap theme.
+ Dance offs are NOT how they should be using Clay. I don't mind the gimmick, as long as he wrestles. That said, this segment was relatively awesome. Vickie's Omage to Seinfeld' Elaine, Clay's dancing, and finally WILLIAM F'N REGAL – who is amazing at whatever he does. Clay said Regal was a CHICKEN, Made CROW sounds to demonstrate and Cole corrected him that that was not a chicken, but a HAWK. That was a moment worthy of a face-palm.
Side note: This is the most I've ever CAPPED in recapping a single segment.
+ kudos to Hunico and Dibiase for doing what they could with a flag match stipulation. Both are amazing wrestlers. That said, the creative team should be slapped with a swordfish for coming up with that match in the first place. The whole show on Friday had good wrestling despite Creative's best efforts to ruin the wrestling.
+ Bryan was very subtle about getting his no contest finish yet again (for explanation, read the Smackdown! blog). I am loving this
+ The RAW main event was brilliant from a booking perspective. First off – you have both World Champions AND Chris Jericho teaming up – two of which are apparent faces but actually heels, and both of them left the match one way or another. It draws ratings, it makes sense, AND it progresses storylines.
+ Dolph, besides being great in the opening promo on RAW (which goes without saying), had some very good points. Foley doesn't need to be in the Rumble, and him coming out to confront Foley about him taking someone's spot – obviously not his own - was… well, Noble. Regardless, he was great. Let the man speak some more!
+ The heat Perez Hilton got, despite being face. That is great all on its own.
+ R-Truth's promo was pretty funny. As long as he doesn't wrestle much, I don't mind seeing him weekly.
+ Punk's promo was great. This is how you have a great promo without shooting. Everyone on the current roster could learn something from Punk's deliveries.
Now the gauntlets are off, no more Mr. Nice Guy (Landau). Let's get to the Negs!
- I hate the roulette concept. Not only is it unbelievable from a statistical standpoint that conveniently no male pillow fight ever took place, and that the stipulation always "fits" the superstars, but the fact that everyone and their mother were ready in the back with US and Mexican flags just in case… Might as well just start off with them in the ring – save some time, not a lot less believable.
- Bryan's constant "Okay?"s took away from the Smackdown opening segment for me. Also, Bryan whining over what happened to AJ is not the right place to take this storyline. It should be more about Big Show than him in my eyes. By that token, Big Show not being on either RAW of Smackdown is obviously the wrong route to go – unless of course next week he addresses both the accident and his absence in a way that makes his absence worthwhile.
- Backstage Sin City segments. More or less everything was so predictable. Also, at some points you could hear canned laughter… Yup, it was that bad. But the worst thing, it led to what will be addressed in the next neg:
- "This is ridiculous, I'm better than this!" (Drew McIntyre, before his blindfold match). Yes you are Drew, yes you are… Same as the flag match. They did what they could with the stipulation, but such a stipulation should never have been approved in the first place.
- The RAW opening promo was too long, and basically achieved nothing to warrant the time it took. Other than to have Punk say "I'm the best in the world" in a suspiciously Jericho-esque way to ignite a future feud and to show just how good Ziggler is on his own, this segment didn't really accomplish much. Foley wasn't really necessary, and without promotion he probably didn't even get a spike in the ratings.
- Why did Ryder kick out of the Gutwrench Powerbomb (Suplex, if you ask Cole) twice like it was nothing in his match vs. Swagger? To keep Ryder look strong in defeat? Well, then Ryder shouldn't have lost the title in the first place – that just makes Swagger look weak in victory. THEN Laurinaitis apologizes to Ryder? When Ryder and everyone screamed at Laurinaitis about that match, didn't he at least think to wait with the match until he got final word? Not only that, but the decision was not reversed as a result. Sorry, too much of an unbelievable mess – especially since in a similar situation the decision was reversed with Daniel Bryan.
- Not only that, but then Swagger has two matches in the same night, and his title win, the title, Zack Ryder, and his own values are all decreased by the Jobber entrance to Cena and the subsequent Annihilation of a champion. Lovely.
- I don't like the GMs tagging in and out in general – Long has no place making matches on RAW.
- I'd prefer the regular ring announcers to announce Funkasaurus like they did on Smackdown, that taped girl on RAW was Annoying!
- Foley's involvement on RAW didn't really add much to the program, all the same things (more or less) could have been done with a current superstar. Except that this route would've also gotten a current superstar over. Off the top of my head? Ted Dibiase and Zack Ryder are viable options. Both men could've easily been elevated by being in Foley's shoes tonight - just change the order of entrances in the opening promo, give DiBiase/Ryder a motivation and that's that. Ziggler got over not based on who he was talking to as much as how he was talking, so his rub would remain in tact.
- Laurinaitis wasn't believable enough in his reaction to Punk's promo. It took away from it.
- Why do the announcers make it seem like the only reason Epico & Primo are tag champs is to get ROSA over?
And all that's left is the Queschies (I will once again say that ALL constructive criticism and suggestions – say about the names of the good/bad/unknowns of the week instead of posits/negs/queschies – are accepted.)
? I still don't think Mahal deserves the push he's getting, but I guess it's better than nothing
? I'm conflicted about the Smackdown main event. On one hand – the match was good. On the other the finish was kind of blah. On the third hand – for those of us who have 3 hands – I understand why they did the finish to build towards the rumble, and it got Bryan over in his subtle intentional ways to get a match to be a no contest. I'm really on the fence here. What did you think? (comment below)
? Too much talking on RAW, but it was all good! I don't know what to think of it. On Smackdown, on the other hand...
So – this is the week that was in the WWE. All in all, it was an OK week, although it was much, much worse than the past couple of weeks overall – with Smackdown being the factor to drag it down. Once again – you are all invited to voice your opinions in the comment section – both on the week and the blog – as long as it's constructive.