This blog reflects my subjective views and nothing more. If you disagree – which is encouraged – feel free to voice your opinion (in a civil manner) in the comments section. Also, I am always open to constructive criticism of the writing format, phrasing, etc.
Hello and welcome back to yet another edition of the Weekly Rundown hosted by yours truly, Guy Landau. This is a weekly feature on WrestlingNewsWorld.com where I gloss over the important happenings in WWE & TNA week as it pertains to the companies' respective major shows, in the form of bulletins for the positive happenings (under the "YES!" column, and prefaced with + signs), the negative happenings (under the "NO!" column, and prefaced with – signs), and the ones I could not decide what they were, but felt they were important enough to comment on (Under the "Maybe?" column, and prefaced with ? signs).
So without further ado, let's get started.
This week is the first of the new schedule, and hence includes both last week’s RAW and this week’s RAW.
+ Punk hit it right on the money as far as King's commentary is concerned. He just doesn't work as a babyface and comes off horrible.
+ Finally a social media ambassador that ISN'T a complete loser.
+ Cena closes the first hour against Miz… Talk about refreshing! Besides, it was a great, simple match.
+ I think this is the first RAWActive that has actually legitimate choices that will affect the course of the show.
+ Slater is great for putting people over. He should be a high caliber jobber.
+ I really like the duo of Rhodes and Sandow. Until WWE finds a place for Rhodes in the main event, I wouldn't mind seeing these two tag together, especially considering that there is only one heel tag team right now. Also - why am I not surprised they are both in Mensa?
+ I have to admit, while most of it was shameful, the part where Kane described his past had me rolling.
+ Bryan as usual acted brilliantly in trying to hold his anger in, though his blowup should have been more gradual.
+ RAW is Ryder two weeks in a row?! YES!
+ Sandow hung on the mic with the big boys, and did so wonderfully. “we all have a life” – “And I’m here to enrich it!” “thrash you in a debate of philosophies”… This man is quoting gold.
+ Rhodes’ obsessive personality is really becoming rounded out. I hate his losing, but it’s all part of the storyline and serves a purpose.
+ Sandow was really brilliant in his match with Sheamus. He even did the Leg Sweep properly. But mostly the psychology of the match sold it for me.
+ Ziggler vs. Orton was a solid main event. Sure, I’d wish Ziggler would’ve won, but at least he gave an impressive showing in his way to main eventhood.
+ The EY storyline, in that it’s some sort of storyline… involving EY.
+ Joe vs. AJ does not embody what I will speak about in the NO! about the BFG series matches. It just goes to show that you don’t need the flash of kicking out of finishers to have a good match. It was a great match just because of the story it told in its later stages.
+ Thank god Kris didn’t get the contract. If he would have Gut Check would’ve meant jack squat. Perhaps he was asked to be bad in that match on purpose so that they will have someone to say a legitimate no to for Ryan’s storyline’s sake. Regardless, a yes would’ve been one of the worst decisions ever made in wrestling.
+ Chris Park in the 8A storyline is awesome.
+ I love Punk’s polarizing performance – He’s not, and will probably not be for a while, a full-fledged heel. It also creates very good, more complex scenarios in his relation with other characters (i.e. Sheamus)
+ The concept of Cena vs. del Rio and Sheamus vs. Punk as they pertain to NoC is a very logical one, and makes for some great action to look forward to.
+ I said in the comments to a post a couple of weeks ago that a feud for Ziggler with Orton, even if Ziggler wins only once, would do wonders for Ziggler’s stock. That comment got thumbed down a lot, but after RAW I will repeat it, louder. Ziggler looks so good now, he beat RANDY. FREAKING. ORTON. Also – When a heel cheats to beat the #2 babyface in the company and still gets a pop for it, I think it’s a sign that a turn is due.
+ Miz on commentary was a very nice change of pace. He also had what I think is the perfect balance of being in character, but putting the talent in the ring over over himself.
+ I’m liking the anger management more and more by the week. They’re silly, but very amusing. “Teacher’s Pet” had me rolling, and Harold is awesome. It also blended in very nicely with RAWActive (I’d like a Bryan/Kane Tag Team, by the way).
+ I’m glad Swagger had a competitive match with Sheamus. Sheamus adding the Cloverleaf (get it? ‘Cause he’s Irish) to his arsenal could also freshen up his work. I like del Rio’s solid work, but he’s too stale by now. Swagger trying to freshen up his act is good – it means WWE still has faith in his abilities. When he returns I look for him to be better than ever.
+ RyBack is the best Jobber-killer I’ve ever seen. He has the ability to look so dominating when allowed, which is counter-intuitively rare.
+ Just think on how satisfying it’ll be when Bryan finally turns face and return to doing ”YES!”. Just saying.
+ I think RAW was the first time I’ve ever heard a “hug it out” chant in a wrestling show… The reason it took so long (I didn’t mind, I enjoyed every minute of it) is probably because – whatever would’ve been chosen – they would have a fixed amount of time to fill, a decent match-long time. The referee was probably there to tell them to go home… And the finish of this “match” was the final, mutual hug, followed by the post-match brawl.
+ Ryder vs. Slater. Just for the fact that it’s RAW and not Superstars.
+ Vickie’s parody to Clint Eastwood in speaking to an empty chair was really good. She does little cultural references that are just awesome.
+ AJ is a GOOD actress.
+ Very solid physical main event with a great ending (and here it is:)
+ HEYMAN WITH PUNK! That is not only huge, but also makes perfect sense. They are good friends, and Punk referenced being a “Paul Heyman” guy in his famous promo.
+ This was an AMAZING RAW, whoever wrote it deserves a raise and a promotion to more control over creative. Even if it is the person on top already.
- In RAW we saw the first botch by RyBack when he tripped in his match with Swagger. That says more in RyBack's favor than it does in his detraction. The crowd just doesn't seem to get into him for the most part for some reason, but I love his ring work.
- Natalya is heel again – with no real explanation. Also - Layla's theme doesn't exactly scream "strong female" to me. Same goes for the butt attack on Natalya.
- Vickie's promo made no sense, and the whole angle that came out of it was really unnecessary.
- This "Anger Management" shtick is so beneath Bryan, and Kane for that matter…
- Everyone is taking the Cobra thing so seriously, it's disgusting… Cole mentioned it's just a sock right after referring to it as a sentient being in saying Santino should get rid of it because it's smitten with Aksana.
- I wondered how long it will take for the returning Kane to become a comedy relief, I just never thought it would happen this quickly.
- How many times is that in a row thatRhodeshas lost a match?
- I'm sorry to say, Triple H's retirement promo didn't really touch me as much as it attempted to.
-Am I the only one that thinks Rey putting an identical mask over his original mask is completely redundant? He gave it to a fan, but… why wear it in the first place?
- Why was the show so full of recaps of RAW?! It was short enough as it is (as apparent by the relative lack of YES!s and NO!s…
- For a group of outsiders 8A sure do get a lot of tv time and control… They have direct access to the Impact tron, but no one seems to know where from.
- (this is a long one, but is a very recommended read) Here’s the problem I have with most BFG series matches, though I’m sure most of you enjoy them: They are made to appear as epic, with no real justification. They are all wrestled in a manner similar to Taker-Michaels from ‘Mania 25 – problem is, there isn’t nearly enough on the line for that. Taker-Michaels had one kickout of each finisher, which is plausible under the circumstances. These BFG series matches often have that, and more. TNA often doesn’t realize that in wrestling most of the time less is more. There’s a lot of flash with not a lot of substance in most of what TNA does. It’s mostly noticeable in Kurt Angle’s matches, but not exclusively – He said recently he’s great at constructing singles matches, but all I ever see is the easy way out with him nowadays: Both men hit at least one false finish finisher (which is a big no-no as far as I’m concerned), and Angle specifically has VERY long 2 counts where the referee needs to adjust for him to get the shoulder up before 3 (I actually saw him lose twice to Hardy via pinfall this week before the finish, and many times in the past). These are two easy methods to get a flash-loving crowd excited, and the rest of the match really doesn’t have to be much. And usually, it isn’t I’m afraid. It’s more of a filler for these “crowd pleasers” he does than an actual story or flow. He’s such a veteran and (at least used to be) a great wrestler, so perhaps he does that on purpose now in TNA because flash is TNA’s MO, so that’s what works best for them. Either way, it does not have the substance and depth I look for in a well wrestled match. And besides, it damages him in the long run – does anyone still look at the Olympic Slam as a finisher? It’s a signature move, which makes Angle eventually winning matches with it a “meh” moment, because at this point they’re more kicked out of than not. It makes the opponent look bad for losing to that move, after such a “grueling” match. In comparison, what made the kickout in Taker-Michaels great, for example, is that no one saw it coming. The false finish was constructed like a finish to the very last second, and Michaels kicking out of the Tombstone just barely (followed by JR saying he just had an out of body experience) was what made the match from great to Epic, mostly because no one has kicked out of the Tombstone for YEARS prior. Seriously, Taker had some finisher false finishes in years past, but I can’t recall any of them being a Tombstone kickout. The fact that Michaels kicked out of it signified “this is the highest stake possible”, and made the match what it is. Go back and re-watch the match – it’s at that point that it becomes as good as it is, because of the kickout that was allowed by the combination of its rarity and the high stakes going into the match. Most of the BFG series matches do that in every second match or so now, and mostly what that accomplished is cheapen the finishers and their users.
- Kris Lewie actually admits last week was his best?! That was one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen!
- “The main event is brought to you by Jeans”. What?
- I’m sorry, but the final segment ended up being very weak.
- So how many weeks is that in a row that the X-Division hasn’t been mentioned?
- While the first hour was great, the 2nd hour started off badly with “continuity” with Tensai suddenly remembering he’s mad at Sin Cara for something that happened a month ago, and Cody yet again failing against Cara and Mysterio.
- In what universe is the Champion vs. Champion match taking a backseat to the #1 Contenders’ match?! If one of the contenders wasn’t Cena it would never have happened. I love Cena’s work, but the treatment he gets on the card is starting to annoy me. CM Punk touched on that in his promo, but that doesn’t make it any better.
- The Cobra storyline has gone far enough.
? Cena vs. Miz from last week's RAW… Everyone could see Cena calling the spots of the match (proving what I've always said about him being a ring general). But that's a problem, it shouldn't be seen. And last week I took a shot at R-Truth for blatantly calling, so what about Cena? Well, the thing is Truth was blatantly calling towards the hard camera. The couple of spots Cena called were directed to the side and actually because of his exaggerated facials would not have been seen had the ringside cameras not zoomed on his face. However, he did get a little overzealous in that he knew those cameras could be zooming in on him, so calling spots with a so-blatantly exposed face should have been avoided at all if possible. I mean, I don't know how visible it was to the naked eye, but I saw more or less every call made in the match by Cena, so it must've been too obvious. Then again, some of the spot-callings I saw were very cleverly disguised, so I really don't know what to think about it.
Weekly Comment Question:
Your question of the week is: After the long rant about Impact’s BFG Series – What do you look forward to in a well-wrestled match? What makes a well-wrestled match in your eyes? (I would really like your answers as they will help me in my Philosophy dissertation about Pro Wrestling Aesthetics)
Leave your answer in the comments section below, and don't forget to come back next weekend for a new edition of the Weekly Rundown!