Hello and welcome to 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 the week in WWE & TNA as it pertains to the companies' respective major shows, in the form of bulletins for the positive happenings (A.K.A "YES!" prefaced with + signs), the negative happenings (A.K.A "NO!", prefaced with – signs), and the ones I could not decide what they were, but felt they were important enough to comment on (prefaced with ? signs).
So without further ado, let's get started.
A note to begin with: I am trying a new format for the Rundown, let me know what you think. While I am learning the ropes with this program I'm using, imagine if you will that the +, - and ? signs are all 3 times larger than the text after them, and are actual bulletins.
+ I like Abyss not coming out, instead replaced by Joseph Park. I was afraid they’d drop Joseph Park as a character after all the investment they have made with him. I’m glad to see they didn’t and are instead going for the big reveal. Park even did the Abyss hand sign (crossing his arms in front of him) after going into his trance.
- Even though Hogan is face, I have to say I dislike his character. He makes mistake after mistake and has zero going for him, from a pure character analysis perspective there is nothing making me care about him. His treatment of AJ is horrible, for example. “Join A&8, I don’t care”?! Why would I empathize with this character assuming I don’t bank on his past success?
+ The D’Lo storyline is interesting (if kind of extreme considering up until last week his position was higher than Devon and only second to Bully, being the VP). I also like how in recent weeks Anderson is assuming a more leader-like role within A&8, over Bully actually. He called the shots this week and last week in a couple of occasions, and it will be interesting to see if these things cause dissention in the ranks of A&8.
- “I’m the Television Champion!” A. That doesn’t really mean anything anymore and B. It’s a shame Devon has to remind us of that. His no-defending is not only illogical from a booking perspective as you want to keep the action going as much as possible, but it’s illogical from internal happenings perspective as well, as Hogan only once tried to make Devon defend the title since he won it back, even though he hates Devon and Devon won it unfairly. It was great that Devon thwarted the attempts at making him defend it, but the attempts at least have to be there constantly.
+ The triple threat was good. It was spotty, but at least it didn’t defy logic for most of it. The spots were well paced and there was even some psychology involved, as much as there could have with the match in question.
- Chavo Guerrero would probably feel right at home in ROH. That is NOT a compliment as ROH deliberately ignores certain aspects of the art of wrestling which I hold very dear and find necessary to enjoy a match. The aspects I’m talking about are psychology and subtleties in the work.
- Considering who’s involved in the triple threat X-Div title match, it’s a shame we didn’t get entrances. Kind of devalues the match I’d think. Also, while we’re on the topic of the X-Division: I was kind of hoping Slammiversary will be where TNA breaks the mold of the 3 ways with Sabin going 1 on 1 with King. They have to do it eventually, you can’t build feuds off 3 ways and have them climax within the 3 way match paradigm.
+ I am still wondering how TNA gets the front 4 teeth on and off Chris Park’s mouth for his 2 different roles. Abyss is missing teeth, Park is not.
? I love analyzing Gut Check performances. OK so here goes:
Jay Bradley has his execution down. He hits moves very crisply. Thing is – he needs to work on EVERYTHING else he does in the ring. His selling was off, his being present was off, his expressions were mechanical, and it made for a very awkward sight. He has potential – hell, Magnus was like that up until just a couple of years ago – but he is still in the rough. He needs to work on being in a fight when he’s in the ring, because that’s just not there yet. Another thing is I would stop using closed fist punches if I were him. He hits a mean elbow and probably a mean forearm as well, I think he should stick to those as his punches look very weak as they are. I would just stop working on them though and focus on other stuff, because I truly believe forearms and maybe toe kicks fit his “ugly” offense better, and closed fist punches outside of WWE are still illegal, even though we all seem to forget that fact. As for the “Boom Stick” Lariat, at least here it didn’t look like a finisher like it does with JBL and Desmond Wolfe. It looked like a signature, but I’ll chalk it off to a one-off faulty execution. It looked really good for a Lariat, just not finisher-good. Overall York was by far the more polished of the two, which makes sense considering his experience.
- These contract negotiations TNA has been doing lately don’t make an iota of sense. Hogan could just as well make the match No Holds Barred without giving in to Bully Ray’s demands.
- I have to say, Big Show vs. Orton and Sheamus vs. Henry are the most mundane feuds I’ve seen in a while. They offer absolutely zero innovation or change. Nothing’s on the line, once they end everything will be exactly as it was before them. It took me a while to realize what bugs me about those feuds, but there it is. Not to mention the opening segment was really weak, because again it added nothing to any of the 3 matches it was about. It was also predictable, as were the ramifications of what happened in it (the 6-men tag team match). I don’t mind that last part, it was Classic Teddy and made sense, but it was very uninteresting booking.
+ Luckily the following segment was The Shield vs. The Usos – both teams I love seeing on my screen at every opportunity. In stark contrast to the previous segment, all 6 men involved in this one are potential agents of change. The matches this segment alluded to which will be on Sunday have ramifications as they affect the future – from The Shield having 2 different matches for the first time, to who holds which titles. In comparison to the last segment, this one was half the time while holding my interest a lot more.
- Is it just me or is WWE spoon-feeding the audience the fact that Teddy is becoming an issue via the announcers? Subtlety isn’t a bad word, WWE.
+ “It truly is a Machiavellian world” God do I love JBL. He adds so much class to announce and forces the other announcers to try to keep up with him in class and talent. If you fall behind he WILL ride you for it. You need to have your game-face on in announce when he’s there, meaning announce gets better by default just because he’s sitting there.
+ Cesaro vs. Jericho was solid.
- Remember what I said about JBL? Of course you do, it was 2 bulletins ago. Well, the divas match was the anti-thesis of that. The commentary was horrible in that match, and JBL didn’t help either. This is what happens when he focuses on dissing the others instead of improving them by making light of their weak points.
+ I liked Lillian and Ricardo switching roles in terms of which language they speak. It was a nice change of pace and it was actually kind of sweet.
+ Fandango vs. Jericho was a very strong opening contest. It held the crowd at the edge of their seats, as it should have.
+ Ambrose is a breath of fresh air in the ring where so many workers are afraid to be original. Ambrose gets psychology and his character to a degree that few do, and that allows him to take liberties many workers can’t afford to take in the ring, while still making sense. Not only that, but Ambrose and Kofi complimented each other with their contasting styles. However…
- The match being with Ambrose really exposed Kingston’s faults in the ring. He had horrible timing on many crucial moments, and with Ambrose working so meticulously and accurately Kingston being off was obvious. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the match, it was just overly exposed in far too many moments.
- I hate Strap matches. I find the concept idiotic, and never well executed enough to make for a good match.
+ Colter making light of the whole IRS scandal is great. This is some of what I wanted to see in programming in WWE.
- What was with the instant replay finish to Del Rio vs. Swagger?! Nevermind that, why would a white towel being thrown in mean Del Rio quits? HE DIDN’T THROW THE TOWEL! Even if Ricardo had thrown the towel in, he is NOT Del Rio, so why would it matter?!
+ The Shield vs. Hell No was a great match. It worked well as a Shield match being under Tornado rules.
+ I love Renee Young, she’s a person who has worked hard to get where she is and deserves every last bit of it. The post-show idea is good, but it still needs tweaking and optimizing which I’m sure it will get.
+ I like seeing the Punt back. It only concusses if you stiff it, which is amazingly easy not to do. It’s really easy to stifle the impact of a punt while still making it look believable.
+ I liked Cena vs. RyBack from start to, yes, finish. I can completely understand why some would be up at arms about how the match ended, but I liked it. RyBack got up, yes, but far over the count of 10. I just wish the count would have been made, but that’s a nitpick, nothing more. This finish reminded me of Batista/Undertaker in LMS around 5 years ago. Only difference is – the count was made. I also understand why a count wasn’t made though, to sell the severity of the incident. So yes, I liked the finish, or at the very least didn’t mind it.
+ Lesnar sold his knee like a champ, and his interactions with Heyman were really great. The main event was a great match in my eyes, and I have to respectfully disagree with people saying it was boring. It told a great story in terms of the inner confines of the match. It told a great story, made great homages to both their previous encounters and other wrestlers, both men’s facials and timing were impeccable and I found myself caring for a match I didn’t care for to begin with, just because it was so well executed. My only wish is that Heyman would not have intervened and Lesnar would have won on his own. Heyman’s interference took me a bit out of the match.
- The opening segment was… well, weird. I also absolutely oppose ambulance matches. RyBack telling the crowd that they’ll eventually die was meant to get heat? It was factually true, and kind of a pathetic attempt at heat. The rest of what he said to the crowd was a decent way to get heat.
+ Barrett’s new theme suits him better. His previous theme was too whiny for his character.
- Can we please not have the IC champion lose clean as he has been for ages now? I understand wanting Miz to challenge, I don’t understand what was the point of Fandango starting to dance in the middle of the match…
- Truth, Khali and Orton? Gee, I wonder who’ll be picked…
+ I like WWE using the post-show to set up programming (i.e. Miz vs. Barrett, Titus O’Neal vs. Sheamus)
? Did… Did O’Neal just say “You think you’re tough? You think you’re F***ing tough” to the hard camera having a close-up on him? Not by accident or anything… He dropped the F-bomb on purpose?
+ I love Heyman’s association with Curtis Axel, and the Curtis Axel gimmick itself. I like how much of a big deal it was that Axel debuted. I think it’s a great idea and a way to finally bring Hennig to TV effectively.
? I did not expect Big E to go over Del Rio in any way.
- Ryder vs. Cody starting before the break ended does not bode well for either man. I don’t know why Cody has deteriorated as much as he has since being IC champion in terms of how seriously he’s taken. At least he won…? I knew straight ahead though that this match was filler and that one or both men will be attacked by someone because of how it was set up. Predictability is never good.
+ I like RyBack going back to an instrumental theme. I never liked the use of lyrics anyway in his theme.
+ The Shield’s promo and subsequent match were both very appropriate to show their dominance and cohesiveness. These 3 are a joy to watch in the ring anytime. Very few could keep my interest in a 6 men tag like The Shield.
+ Orton vs. Swagger was solid, well done (I do have my reservations, about Swagger’s organ focusing and Orton’s selling more specifically).
That’s all for this week. Don't forget to come back next week for a new edition of the Weekly Rundown!