Weekly Rundown - The Bryan Brigade

This blog reflects my subjective views and nothing more. If you disagree with me, feel free to voice your opinion in a civil manner in the comments section.

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.


Impact Wrestling (Destination X)

-         You have to think that Brooke getting engaged put a wrench in TNA’s plans. Surely they were heading elsewhere with this storyline.

+     Aries vs. Roode to open the show is definitely a nice touch to Destination X.

+     It’s amazing how all it takes to turn Aries face is putting him against heels without changing his character one bit. He acted like a face later on in the night, but the fans didn’t know that to begin with. Also – Aries is the only wrestler alive that I know of who has a suicide dive that actually looks impactful.

-         I don’t like Dutt’s work. He’s spotty but I don’t see any substance in his, granted, well executed, moves unlike Petey and Homicide.

+     Trent Barreta vs. Jigsaw vs. Spud – all 3 are very talented wrestlers, so I’m all for it.

-         Having said that, while good on paper, the match disappointed. It was off throughout on the timing just a bit, as it felt like it had no flow.

?    I honestly never expected Sabin to win. This seems counter productive on the grand scheme of things, in that you could have had Bully lose the title at BFG for a true celebration. This felt a bit rushed. But I don’t know the big picture, so we’ll see.

-         There were a lot of things I didn’t like about Sabin vs. Bully. I liked the methodical work over the leg, but Sabin didn’t sell it quite enough for it to be a big deal. The hammer finish would have been much more poetic and satisfying had Sabin not been able to use his leg one bit – no kicks, no enzuigiris, barely standing. Also, it didn’t seem like they knew what they were doing ahead of time. I might be reading too much into it, but the first act of the match (1st and 2nd gear) had a lot of very obvious spot-calling in the guise of “give me your best shot”. Perhaps it was just “give me your best shot”, but to me it seemed like they just had to work that part on the fly so Bully instructed Sabin to kick him.


+     Booker T finally returned. His absence was longer than I expected it to be.

+     Vickie becoming GM is great from the corporate struggle storyline perspective. It shows how Vince, HHH & Stephanie are jockeying for position.

+     I like Big E in the role of AJ’s best-friend-who’s-secretly-in-love-with-her. It feels so natural in this pairing.

-         The boos for The Shield were so obviously piped in. People were rising from their seats cheering, yet there was a faint, dry sound of boos.

-         Is this the new feud for The Shield? I dislike it.

+     I didn’t even think about Bryan & Cena’s Summerslam history in regards to the match. At Summerslam 2010 Cena brought Bryan back to WWE as the final partner of team WWE against Nexus. The pop he received when saying “Daniel Bryan” when he was the partner for team WWE was about as loud as the one when he said “Daniel Bryan” when he decided he’d be the #1 Contender for his title.

+     This might just be wishful thinking, but Heyman telling Punk to “Stay Down” makes me think Heyman has his next client already up his sleeve. If you watch NXT you’d know who I’m talking about – the fantastic Corey Graves.

+     Miz TV was good. Heyman was good and Miz’s disgust was short and to the point.

+     I am loving Rhodes/Sandow. I personally wanted to beat Sandow up for offering Rhodes the role of Case-lackey. I mean “protector of the case”. This goes to show you how powerful I found this segment, as I usually love Sandow’s character – as in, I root for him, kayfabe. I’m sure those of you who know me wouldn’t be too surprised by that.

+     There was a perfect moment of sync in RVD vs. Young – JBL talked about how unorthodox RVD is and started listing out examples – “He can kick you out of anywhere”. As soon as he said that RVD blocked being sent into the corner and kicked Young. “He can fly out of anywhere” Right after JBL said that RVD hit a springboard crossbody block on Young who was dazed from said kick. It was absolutely incredible, considering RVD doesn’t hear the commentary.


-         Something was off with the opening segment. Braddox asked Cena why he chose Bryan. Cena answered. Braddox then asked Bryan the same question – and Cena responded “If you want to ask why I chose Bryan, you should be man enough to ask me”. John – HE ALREADY DID! That aside everyone was a tad off, like this segment was last minute so there was no time to prepare.

+     That said, Cena’s speech was about size was very well done. He also gave a bit of a shoot hint – “would you have been given this opportunity if I hadn’t picked you? Who knows. But I picked you because you’ve earned it”. I think this is Cena telling Bryan “I know that the brass wanted this match, but regardless, I want this match”

+     Sheamus vs. Del Rio was very well done. The work over the leg, and its selling, were both superb.

-         I said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t like The Shield feuding with Henry and The Usos.

-         “Total Divas” looks like such a low-brow show… The kind of audiences it might attract to WWE are not the demographics I’d pursue, but I understand how WWE greatly benefits from it.

-         Eva Marie seemed too unnatural in her attempt to be a bad girl.

+     Good work as usual with Punk and Heyman. I would just like to point out that Heyman said “Stay Down” again, making me think it’s just a matter of time until Corey Graves is revealed as his next client.

+     The Bryan hour was very well done. I liked each of the three matches either from a workrate or from a story perspective, and I liked Bryan ending each match differently, as it shows how diverse he is. His “win” against RyBack though was a bit of a letdown. It wasn’t a premeditated win. I wouldn’t mind a countout victory for example, but how it was done wasn’t as beneficial as it could have been. I might get flack for liking the final match, but hear me out: RyBack and Bryan did anything they could, considering the fans’ disposition of hating RyBack’s work, to make them care about the match. The comebacks by Bryan were well timed and RyBack did reasonably well in making each move by Bryan seem like it may be enough.

+     Bryan vs. Kane and RyBack vs. Cena? I can live with that.

-     Why didn’t the Wyatt Family appear? This soon into their debut they should be used every single week in my eyes.

That’s all for this week. Don't forget to come back next week for a new edition of the Weekly Rundown!

  • Patrick

    I don’t get it? what is this big deal over Brooke getting married in Real life while her on air character is married to Bully Ray and how it screws up TNA’s storylines……….WHY?

    over my 30 years of watching wrestling there have been many on air character relationships…while one or both wrestlers/ women in the storyline have a real life wife, husband, B/f or G/f at home. and it didn’t screw up the storylines one bit. look at recently Orton when he was married he had his wife at home and fake wife on TV. Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella have been dateing and I’m guessing they were when Bryan and AJ were a couple on air. or the whole jericho/Trish/Christian storyline..and trish had a B/F at home…who is now her husband.. it didn’t screw up that storyline. just some examples.

    I don’t see how this is any different and is going to screw it up.

    • Jesse Sherwood

      The difference here is that Brooke Hogan’s new engagement is being touted publicly. You can’t expect a storyline to hold up its believability when she is in major media outlets with a Dallas Cowboy football player.

    • GuyLandau

      I second what Jesse said, and I would also like to add that TNA likes to appear as real as possible. It’s a dated concept, but they do nonetheless. That’s why Brooke getting engaged, which was reported upon publicly, had to have changed plans, as TNA appeared to be going for a Brooke/Bully relationship restart.

    • Charles

      Bringing Brook’s real engagement into the story lines when she was supposed to be in love with Bully last month kinda makes her look like a slut.
      They should’ve at least had her do a heel turn.

  • steve pritchard

    Yeah I totally agree with the Usos and Henry feuding with the shield . I just don’t see how anyone can benefit from it . John cena was the best on the mic than I’ve seen him in a while ! I really wish they could give us this cena every week . Punk and heyman are pure gold together . I agree with most of what you said . Sabin going over bully on impact was a huge mistake ! I don’t know where they plan on going with this . But however I know this company is a mess so it can’t lead to anything good. Sorry I’m not a fan of tna right now!

  • imafunker2

    My first time on this site. Hello Guy, and hello boys and girls. Ok…boys. You’re as likely to see a gaggle of babes posting on a wrestling site as you are Rush Limbaugh passing up Red Lobster’s Friday Night Fish Frenzy. Anyhoo…
    Tho I first started watching rasslin’ in the ’70’s, and became obsessed in the 80’s due to living in Bill Watts/Mid-South/UWF territory, I must admit I haven’t read or watched any wrestling in several months. For the 3 years before that, I mostly just kept up online. So allow me to share my surprise and opinions, briefly:
    This Guy Landau is either the most buttoned-up, staid, glass-half-full rasslin writer ever, or he’s invented a level of snark so off the chart bitter and shaded he makes Lenny Bruce look like Gallagher. It seems unlikely a longtime follower thinks the TNA pencils are concerned about a potential mid-stream storyline adjustment. I mean, come on, I know that ragging on TNA is so easy and overdone it’s become chic to attempt to defend their “Bizzaro Giant Baba” style of booking. But to wonder if Brooke Hogan’s sudden engagement has the Orlando Think Tank furiously shredding 2 years of carefully plotted, scripted, and edited mini-manifestos, in all likelihood with tears spewing from their eyes while they draw straws to see who has to phone Dixie’s dad and tell him that they’ve offically declared Defcon 5. And then break the news to Norman Mailer, the ghostwriter for the next 7 months of Impact…

    • GuyLandau

      Hi, this Guy Landau here. Here’s the thing about me – I always try to assume that I don’t know the whole story and give promotions the benefit of the doubt – mostly because it doesn’t hurt me to do so. I see so many people on the internet bash stuff they just outright don’t understand and it sickens me. As a 6 year wrestler I feel I can be a pretty good judge of in-ring work, but I’ll leave the judgments of storylines to those in that part of the business. In general I like to assume that if I don’t like something, then it’s because I didn’t get it. I like to be humble like that about stuff I know I potentially lack an understanding of (like future storyline plans) and give everything the benefit of the doubt.

      I actually have noticed a long-term direction in TNA since Hogan and Bischoff came in, and especially since Bruce Prichard took the reigns of creative. Knowing Ahead of time that Bully was the president of A&8 (as WNW reported on it all the way back in October, right before BFG), seeing the storyline unfold while knowing what things were headed for was actually a nice change of pace from the touch & go WWE booking. TNA does book a lot of storylines in advance as evident from the past couple of months of booking (which I take it you just haven’t seen, according to, well, you- for example, TNA doesn’t tape Impact on Mondays anymore.), and it’s good to give credit where it’s due. I have a lot of criticism for TNA but bashing is the easiest route. I am sure most of the criticism from outside TNA towards it from people who frankly don’t know a thing and a half about what goes on there, even if they’d like to think they do, is unwarranted and lacks and real justification other than the whimsical nature of the critic.

      • imafunker2

        Guy-Well said! If only I had your outlook. In truth I agree with most of your points. But my POV was thus: In late 2009, TNA seemed to have finally found an identity. They were going to be the athletic alternative; not just in the X Division, but heavyweights, et al. A.J. Styles was in the midst of a very long title reign, and one could look forward to televised title defenses almost weekly vs the likes of Angle, Samoa Joe, and Daniels. Nigel McGuinness was brought in and instantly put on top vs Angle in matches so stiff they would’ve made Misawa and Shinya smile. Taz replaced the likeable, except when speaking, Don West on color. The girls were on fire-the Beautiful People were so cool WWE actually ripped off TNA! (LayCool)
        Team 3D, Beer Money and the Machine Guns made ’09 TNA the best tag team scene since ‘tude-era WWF. Having run screaming earlier in the year from WWE’s new ‘kinder, gentler’ approach, TNA kept me into current wrestling.
        Then along came the 3 men I like to call The Undefendables (Yes I know Russo was already a TNA veteran, but like Nash without Crosby and Stills, Russo minus his 2 archenemies not named Cornette, minus his muses, was simply a sloppy, boring, arrogant booker who was quickly running out of things to put on a pole.)
        By 2011, I was all brothered out. I DID give the new regime a chance, which to be honest was pretty nice of me considering I was being Nasty-sized every Thursday night. On the flip side, they did bring in wrestling’s one true God. And if you tell me Ric Flair is gonna be throwing down unscripted promos, my only response is when, where, and thank you. But I couldn’t take it for long, as the other 1 hour, 43 Flair-less minutes became increasingly, shall we say, like I’d imagine spending eternity in Dante’s 9th centrifugal circle of the damned might be like. Plus, you may not have noticed, but I’m the President of The Old Cranky Rasslin’ Fans Club. I elected myself President (or Emperor, if you prefer) when I realized 98% of the other whiners and know-it-alls were pining for the Attitude Era, Raw vs Nitro, Austin or Goldberg days. Whereas I had always believed the business went in the crapper about the time Hulk Hogan teamed up with Cyndi Lauper on MTV. To me, the demise of Kayfabe turned my beloved pasttime into something suitable “for every member of the family!” And like I’ve always said, when something tries to appeal to every age bracket, sex, color and creed…20 for 1 it’s gonna suck like a Celine Dion cover version of “Whole lotta love”.
        So, my point is, I’ve totally forgotten what I’m supposed to be ranting about. And thank you for writing back.

  • imafunker2

    Just re-read my post. Goodness. I drip more cynicism than Pat Ewing dripped body fluids in double overtime. I have no idea if the columnist actually reads these posts, or if he even exists. I mean, ” Guy Landau”? I’ve heard more convincing fake names watching Bart Simpson ring Moe’s Tavern.
    But if you’re real, Guy, or “Guy”, (OK, i’ll stop now), please don’t take my public assumptions on your entire physiological makeup personally. Since I’m sure you’re somewhere between a more wholesome Jim Rockwell and a nearly as evil Pat Robertson, you probably exist in reality. In which case, as you’d know, being barked at by somebody for not being up enough on your pro wrestling knowhow isn’t considered such a negative in most circles. In fact there are likely many, many an individual that have prayed for years for such missive, so that they can headline their resume with it.