Landau Rundown: Jan 14th, 2012

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RAW:

+ Kane's promo was brilliant. I always thought about using an evil psychologist gimmick that reveals the deepest fears and shortcomings of the viewer in this manner, well – Kane took it to a more sadistic and evil place (a bit less truthful place in the process), but he went in the same direction. And he was very accurate in many of the things he said (though – again - he mixed in some of the more pessimistic approaches to the psyche, I'm assuming on purpose to generate heat). As in the last time I expanded on the profound, underlying psychological nature of Kane's promo, it is written in italics for those inclined to skip over it:

"Cena Sucks = I Suck" remark was brilliant beyond words… Not only is it a wonderful thing to say to wrestling fans as a heel, but it's also quite accurate in many cases – the hate you project outside is actually directed at yourself (this concept in psychology, developed by Carl Jung I believe, is called Projection) Kane here is doing something I've always wanted to do, and that is give therapy (and, perhaps, catharsis afterwards) to the audience through a promo. He told the audience about how they try to see themselves as better people than they actually are by western dictations, instead of accepting themselves for their flaws (the core essence of his Cena feud – except now he added projection to the mix in a very possibly accurate manner – I have never thought of the WWE characters as vessels for the ego until now) Absolutely well done, Kane's reincarnation is quickly becoming my favorite character on WWE TV, and Glenn Jacobs is becoming my favorite personality in wrestling for knowing exactly what to say. If you've ever watched any of his few interviews out of character you should know how intelligent and gentle this man really is – which is all-the-more impressive when he plays this character.

+ Edge is the main inductee this year. I am not overly excited, because it was bound to happen, but nonetheless he (way) more than earned it. To tell the truth, the HOF has lost prestige for me over the years – it's a promotional tool for WM, and not much more. If Edge himself feels honored to be a part of it than all the power to him, but I do not see much prestige in the HOF.

+ Bryan vs. Kofi is how strong Bryan should look. Too bad it tool a heel turn for WWE to realize that. I also like the slow Bryan turn, this is how it should be done. Obviously Bryan – being the king of nuances – plays the slow turn wonderfully.

+ Horsemen… Interesting. This is most likely for Anderson backstage, as Flair is already in.

+ Ricardo is AWESOME! R-Truth just tested out like 3 different uses for his character. We'll see which ones stick next week – it didn't flow the way it was though.

+Only Jericho could make two arenas of thousands fall for the same thing twice in a row. The crying was a nice addition. Is he going to come out each week with a different set of emotions?

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? Interestingly enough, Opening video didn't so far as mention Jericho.

? I really hope Cole isn't going to slowly favor Bryan. That would make less than no sense; some heels should be hated by Cole regardless of their alliance. On Smackdown he still hated him, although he didn't call out his hypocrisy. So I don't know yet what to make of it.

? Funkasaurus Clay? I don't know what to think of it. He was really good in that role – surprisingly good actually. How will it go? Only time will tell.

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- Kane's overmask is disgusting and not at all scary. Stick to the single mask. And the weird camera/mirror in the eyes is, well… weird.

- Not only is the Mahal push way too early, it's not a great push if you have him go down to the Cobra… I should probably rephrase that. And if this isn't really a push, there was no call for him to put the Clutch on Sheamus on the previous SD!

- You're being chased by a maniac who tried to send you to hell… And you stop to switch the tires? A realistic reaction would be to drive with that bad boy ripped just to get to safety.

- Why didn't WWE use the fact Cena went to the back to give Ziggler the rub with a countout victory over him? Wouldn't hurt Cena 1 bit, but help Ziggler tenfold.

Smackdown:

+ Bryan is important enough to get an opening video promoting him – AND an (excellent) opening promo. His new hypocritical character is working, and his nuances while playing it are absolutely brilliant. I think WWE actually has faith in him, which isn't something I thought I'd say.

+ Not sure if it aired in the states as well, but the European broadcast that I saw had an A.J video package made for her. All I have to say is Andrews, this is DEFINITELY not over – I'm not given her up, that girl is a treasure. Proper female nerds are hard to find. Even more so when they look like that. Even so, if it ended there I might have let you have her. But the thing is – she loves wrestling. More than that, she IS a wrestler! Sorry man, this is just not something I can give up.

+ Rhodes. Ahhh, Rhodes… It's been years since someone talked about "Pulling a Warrior". Now, the way he phrased it, followed by "that could mean many things" was brilliant in my eyes. He is quickly becoming a master of his craft, and I love watching him evolve.

+ Drew McIntyre vs. DiBiase – That's how it's done. Great match for the time it got by two future stars. Just goes to show you that having two capitalized letters in your last name makes you a great wrestler. That's some intense Induction I just did right there. That's strike 3 for McIntyre – will be interesting to see how it develops.

+ And still Bryan – "How much do you love me?" That is BRILLIANT. I know it's good when I had a little pinch in my heart hearing it. You can do better AJ, Just sayin'. Don't make the wrong CHOICEs.

+ I must say Otunga wasn't half bad. He improved in his time off the ring.

+ Tamina finally looks like a Babyface. I'm glad she is who they are pushing, I just hope Beth is back soon. Very short match, but I really liked that Natalya didn't straighten herself for Tamina, and Tamina managed. I don't like overly, obviously straight opponents for a top rope move, it looks too fake.

+ Once again an awesome, realistic match between Bryan and Show, where WWE looks like they are doing with Bryan's heel everything they should've done with Ziggler's heel character a couple of years ago. Let me explain: Ziggler, when he was still relegated to the midcard on Smackdown, had a feud with The Great Khali that started with him getting DQed in a match between them after numerous chair shots. The following week, in a rematch, he got intentionally counted out which led to a no DQ, no countout match between him and Khali at the following PPV. Instead of giving Ziggler the rub as an intelligent competitor who would use the no DQ stip to his advantage, Khali got the upper hand until a returning Kane interfered and cost Khali the match. Here, Bryan was intelligent enough to go for the chair. Another storyline which is being done right this time around is Ziggler and Maria. They had a relationship… And that's it. It went absolutely nowhere. Ziggler ended up dumping her, which accomplished nothing but a cheap heat for that night. Here Bryan and AJ is really doing something, which leads me to the amazing booking of the finish by all parties involved. First off, the collision looked great – it really looked like an accident. Then, AJ's selling leaves us all wondering what's her status. Next is Big Show's acting which was superb - the guy can really act. And then there's Bryan's booking. When it happened I thought he would blatantly use it as an excuse to stop the match, or would bring the chair back and beat Show with it with the distraction - both of which would have been seriously underhanded (and an easy way to handle it). Then, Bryan looked at Show and you could see the brilliance in his acting as well. He looked more as if he was thinking than worried, looking at Show more than AJ. He was looking at Show's reaction to see whether he could get this happening to stop the match. Once Show started crying and they led AJ to the back he started screaming at him that it's his fault and that if he wants the title that bad he can have it – which was absolutely brilliant beyond words. He used the accident in a much more subtle way, to maintain the good guy image, by basically making Big Show not want to continue because of the blame. Which is underhanded in its own right; it's absolutely devious, in fact. He used both his (loving) girlfriend's suffering and Show being a good guy to make him feel guilty and throw away the match voluntarily, all-the-while making himself seem like the good guy by saying he'd give up the title. And you could see his thought process when AJ got hurt, along with his initial distance before he got closer – to survey Show, mind you, more so than to help out his sweetheart. Again - brilliant, brilliant segment.

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? Still don't know how to eat Clay. Brodus Clay that is, although I'm no master at literally eating clay either. It's a shame for Kidd though. What was that, a 6 seconds match?

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- Please take this Aksana thing somewhere. As soon as she entered while Long was drinking I knew he was going to spit it out. Just goes to show you how cliche this whole thing is. I'm just surprised they didn't go the route of using a "Long" innuendo. God knows they've done everything else by now…

- While the opening contest was decent, I really don't like Hornswoggle feuds. All they do is bury the other talent.

- Doesn't Long know by now it can't be Aksana if there's no background music beforehand?

- Hunico and Camacho's gimmick. It sucks as a whole and it ruined commentary for the McIntyre-DiBiase match. It gets even more awkward when you realize McMahon fed them all the stereotypes to say through their headphones.

- Barrett's Longcoat was sort of embarrassing with the sleeves hanging there. The cape was much better in my opinion. Regardless, Sheamus vs. Barrett will be awesome.

- Mahal vs. Sheamus was decent, but why did it get so much promotion throughout the evening?

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After this week I am considering changing to chronological order, and not a division into good and bad (and neither/not yet known). It will still be stylized the same, just in the order things occurred on TV as opposed to a group for all the good, followed by the queschies, followed by the bad. And what about an opening and/or closing paragraph? Would that be better, or is the current format of jumping right in what the majority of you prefer? Also, would you like me to start with Smackdown and move onto RAW, since Smackdown is fresher in your minds? Again, any and all constructive criticism is more than welcome – I am practically asking for it. What do you, as readers, think about the above suggestions, and do you have any others? If so, please comment below and share your thoughts for a better reading/writing experience for all of us.

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