Hello, one and all, and welcome to MY edition of the Weekly Rundown. Guy Landau had to take a leave of absence for this week, so I, as he has done for me so many times in the past (okay, really just once), am manning the helm of this ship. Speaking of “captains” and substitutes, this week featured Vickie Guerrero as the General Manager as WWE continues to find a suitable on-air authority figure…can anyone remember when we DIDN’T have an on air authority figure on weekly professional wrestling? So, so long ago. So let’s recap what we do here in the Rundown:
Positives – Also knowns as “YES!” traits will highlight the best parts of each show and will preceeded by a “+” symbol.
Negatives – Also known as “NO!” traits will point out the most confounding and not entertaining parts of each show and will be preceeded by a “-” symbol.
Oddities – Also known as “MAYBE?” traits will take a look at angles, feuds, gimmicks that must be further explored before judgement may be passed and will be preceeded by a “?” symbol.
I will also ONLY be covering Raw and Smackdown, because I barely have time to watch two shows, let alone three. Also, the only thing redeeming for me about Impact Wrestling is its in-ring work, as any form of talking on that show makes me want to take an axe to my computer. I’ll start off with RAW first.
+ Vickie Guerrero as the GM – Raw was actually one of her most versatile shows I’ve ever seen. She displayed authority, even in when making a decision involving her lover, Dolph Ziggler. She showed her bias, as a good heel GM does, and she even got involved in a little bit of action…if that’s what you can call that.
+ Elimination Style Matches – In my opinion, there aren’t nearly enough of these types of matches. All we ever seem to get is triple threat/one-fall-to-a-finish type matches, which actually makes the outcome pretty obvious. You’ll see one guy finish off another and someone else will come in and pick up the scraps – the champion isn’t pinned but still loses the belt. I think Elimination Matches bring a different sense of excitement, and it was nice to see one here on Raw.
+ AJ Lee – Not since LayCool has one Diva commanded so much attention; the great thing about AJ’s role here is that it’s complex, layered, and mysterious. Nobody has a CLUE as to what her motives are, and her face is so expressive, she plays the “crazy chick” part really well. On top of that, I have a MONSTROUS crush on her (as I’m sure you are all quite aware).
+ Dolph Ziggler – As he starts to creep over that line that separates face and heel, Ziggler probably knows that this is his best time to make himself a household name. There isn’t a single fan, casual or smart, that doesn’t appreciate the in ring work and ability of this man, and as we explore this “new” relationship with Vickie, I think we’ll see more of Ziggler’s personality.
+ Kane and AJ – C’mon. Kane calling AJ “mentally unstable” has to have been one of the greatest deliveries the Big Red Machine has given.
+ Former Champions in the Money in the Bank – While this would have been something awesome to see at WrestleMania, putting all of these guys on a B-Level PPV makes it an instant main event. I like the concept, I just wish there were more former champions to put in there.
+ The psychology and unique go-home to the Russo match – I call it the Russo match because if anything is on a pole, it was Russo’s idea. Honestly though, I was dreading how this match was going to turn out, but then the contract fell to the mat. From then, there was a great series of strikes and tussles to gain control of the contract, which provided for EXCELLENT drama in an otherwise ridiculous match. I’m not a huge fan of the finish (or lack thereof), but I thought the sequence leading up to it was great.
- The No Way Out Main Event Opening The Show – Yes, the concept was great. But these three? Again? The worst part about it was that there was literally NOTHING on the line. Not until later in the show was it made known that Bryan defeating Punk earned him another title shot.
- Show vs. Clay – Show can work. Clay can work. Neither can work with each other. I think Brodus brings great emotion to his matches, but this match as a whole just fell flat. It also just seemed pointless – everyone knows Big Show is an unstoppable monster.
- Swagger jobs to Santino – The news article just went up today about possibly taking the strap off of Santino, which I would be all for. I would be up for a title unification at this point as well. I think WWE could have really done something with Swagger now that he’s rid of Vickie (say put him in a feud with Ziggler), but nobody seems to want to buy into that concept.
- JOHN CENA – SHUT UP. Seriously, I know all too well the feeling of wanting to just work and work and work to get your mind off of a break up, but John Cena is making this entire company look like a stinking garbage hole whenever he opens his mouth. Absolutely nothing about this promo was funny or really relevant in any way except to bring out Jericho to cure our boredom. Even Jericho’s promo seemed to fall flat – but I’m willing to give it a by because he was playing off of Cena.
- Sycho Sid’s return – Yeah, I said it. I wasn’t ever a huge fan of Sid to begin with. The guy always looked like he was a complete ego trip in the ring, and the only thing I liked was his crazed looks and his entrance music. On top of that, there are countless stories in the independent wrestling world of Sid giving his word to show at signings or shows and then NOT doing it.
- The Crowd – After those last two segments, I feel I need to address the crowd. Unlike last week, the crowd was just dead. Barely a pop for Y2J, barely a pop for the returning Sid (I don’t like him, but for nostalgic purposes, I can see why he should have gotten a bigger reaction), and even the mixed reactions for Cena seemed lackluster.
- The Finish to the Russo match – It’d be one thing if someone had flung the contract into the crowd. As it was, it landed on the other side of the ring, and inexplicably, Vickie Guerrero makes a triple threat match for Smackdown. Also, with the speed that Sheamus emerged from backstage, it seemed awfully predetermined that that was going to be the direction of the match anyways.
- Divas Summertime Battle Mess Up – Seriously, why? Sometimes there are good moments on this show, and sometimes, you’re reminded of why people consider it embarassing to be a professional wrestling fan. This (and John Cena’s Star Wars Promo) is one of those embarassing moments.
? Ahhhhhhh! Where is the AJ thing going? It keeps making me wonder and ask questions! This could either be very good or very, very bad.
? What now for Y2J? His re-emergence seems inconclusive. Bringing up his lack of victories in Money in the Bank matches seems to plant some seeds for an angle there.
? How long can Brodus Clay keep losing to The Big Show? Will anybody care if/when he finally does win?
And now, it’s time to move to SMACKDOWN.
+ The Yes Fight – As if we needed any more dynamic added to Daniel Bryan and AJ Lee, we get something that actually more resembles a brother/sister fight. If you look WAY down the line, you might even see a mutual respect build between these two because they’re actually kind of alike.
+ Qualifying Matches – I missed these when the Elimnation Chamber for one of the brands was around. I love the idea of qualifying matches as well as the idea of a “Losers” Battle Royale. I think it comes from my love of King of the Ring, and this is just about the closest thing that resembles a tournament.
+ Damien Sandow and Tyson Kidd – Not that this is a guarantee of a strong push, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. For Kidd especially, this might possibly be his only time to get noticed. You know Smackdown is depleted of stars, but for now, just appreciate the fact that these two are on a pretty significant PPV.
+ Vickie and Dolph’s chemistry – There’s something here that we didn’t see with Edge and Vickie…I couldn’t possibly tell you what it is, but there’s just that extra oompf, that extra push, that exists with these two that brings their relationship to a believable point.
- Anything that wasn’t inside the ring – I really was not a fan of anything that was SAID during this episode. The ONLY exception was the Vickie/Dolph exchange. Everything else was uninspired, unintelligible, and lackluster. My reaction to most of these promo segments/vignettes was akin to Antonio Cesaro’s reaction to Teddy Long: “Shut up and let me get back to the action.”
- Santino Marella and Tensai in MitB – I cannot for the life of me see why these two are in this match. Santino really has done nothing for me as United States Champion, and I can’t see him taking any kind of bump higher than the second rung of a ladder. As for Tensai, he didn’t do anything for me as Albert, and this incarnation of him is SO boring, it’s not even funny.
- Piped in Crowd Noise – I know that we have to deal with this on Smackdown every week, but this week, it just seemed SO much more obvious. I’m not just talking about the laugh track; everything in this episode seemed to be a little bit ahead of the mark it was supposed to be at, thereby making it much more obvious.
? AJ as Special Guest Referee – While not specifically a Smackdown angle, this was brought up here (however unannounced), and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love AJ. I mean, I really love AJ. But her as the Special Guest Ref? In a TITLE match? Ehhhh…
? Cody’s protest – We’ll have to wait and see if they actually do take this anywhere. I would love to see Cody win Money in the Bank and actually continue to feud with Christian. Whether it’s because Cody wants to be a dual champion, or because Cody gets cocky and has the “I’m better than you because I have a contract” bug, I think Cody and Christian is gold for the next couple of months.
? Teddy Long as GM next week – I desperately wanted to put this in the “NO!” section for Smackdown, but I have to wait and see what happens. His first move as GM, though, putting Khali and Aksana in a match, doesn’t bode well for what we’re going to see next week on either show.
Well, there we have it. I suppose I didn’t put as much emphasis on the Smackdown side of things because I already wrote a blog about it. I’m pretty excited about the SuperSmackdown Live Special Event Thingy, just because there’s a bunch of “Queschies” (throwback!) that need to be answered. I hope I did a decent enough job on this abbreviated edition of the Rundown…I’m sorry again, that I didn’t get to do TNA, but I just didn’t have time…you guys are cool, and I’ll catch up with you all next week on Wednesday!