Archive for May, 2010

Courtesy of wwe.com

Just like Raw, Smackdown wasted little time naming the participants of the Fatal 4 Way World Heavyweight Championship match at Fatal 4 Way. With no one quitting or GMs being hired, however, the Blue Brand was able to put the emphasis on the World Title one way or another. We saw the return of the Undertaker, the unveiling of a new look for C.M. Punk, and a quality mid-card match. Let’s look at Smackdown.

Theodore Long/Drew McIntyre promo

Theodore Long opens the show to announce the Fatal 4 Way qualifying matches. Long gave the Big Show an automatic berth because of his DQ win over Jack Swagger at Over The Limit. The other two qualifying matches announced were C.M. Punk v. Kane and Rey Mysterio v. the returning Undertaker. Before Long can get much further, Martin Luther King’s number one Scottish supporter, Drew Mcintyre, interrupts to give Long another letter from Mr. McMahon suspending Matt Hardy without pay for attacking McIntyre after his match Sunday. How can you continue a feud if someone is “suspended?” This omnipresent McMahon confuses me; reports have said that the character of Mr. McMahon might be retired, but here he is, still keeping Long on probation (this is a long ass probation, too. You’d think Long committed armed robbery). Hardy tries to get to McIntyre, but Long pleads with him not to do anything stupid. Perhaps Hardy will be back next week, considering McIntyre was reinstated one week later. This is a stupefying angle. I hope things clear up before people lose interest.

Drew McIntyre and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger v. The Big Show and WWE Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston

This is not only a rematch from last week among the participants, but from Sunday as well. The majority of the match has Kingston playing the face-in-peril while McIntyre and Swagger work him over. The Big Show stole the show (no pun intended) when he was in the ring. His recent face turn has revitalized his career; he is so much more fun and believable as his current persona. I loved when he turned Swagger around, who was selling the effects of the post-match beat down at Over The Limit, and gave him a kidney punch. Kingston gets the hot tag and Show clears house before Swagger bails on McIntyre, who falls victim to the Knockout Punch. Next week, Kingston will defend his IC Title against McIntyre. I hope Kingston goes over and McIntyre moves on, leaving the IC TItle spot to Cody Rhodes. I wouldn’t say I have a “man crush” on Rhodes, but he deserves it.

Straight Edge Society promo

In the locker room, we get another creepy mirror shot of the SES with Punk afraid to go out into the WWE Universe. Luke Gallows and Serena convince him that he still looks perfect and he obliges. I can’t wait to see this.

Vickie Guerrero/Dolph Ziggler promo

Before Ziggler enters. Vickie is in the back with Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer, who plan on making an impact by not wrestling. I did like how Vickie seemed indifferent towards Hawkins considering their past in La Familia. Oh, continuity. You are awesome. Anyways, Ziggler arrives and Vickie goes creepy cougar on his ass. She appreciates his help and at first, Ziggler seems grossed out, but then realizing that he can manipulate Vickie, he plays along. I guess Ziggler is the new Edge. I have read reports that the WWE wants to elevate Ziggler through Christian, so maybe this is the start of a long rise for Ziggler. Anyways, Vickie makes the match you could predict last week: Dolph Ziggler and Chavo Guerrero v. Christian and HORNSWOGGLE. Ugh.

C.M. Punk v. Kane – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way Qualifying Match

I loved Punk’s hesitation to come out, but he finally makes it into the ring and removes the towel. If you are looking to see Punk bald, you’ll have to wait, because he had a mask on. It was a brilliant move by WWE Creative, giving fans more reason to hate Punk. I wanted to see some sort of promo between Punk and Kane since the latter interfered and allowed Mysterio to shave Punk’s head. We get no explanation and instead get a mediocre matchup. Punk worked Kane’s leg and Kane did a great job selling the damage. Punk wins with the GTS (which I read he had to do three times to get one that looked “good” and it still looked awful) and he moves onto the Fatal 4 Way in June. I don’t think he has a chance to win, but it will definitely make it interesting. On the other hand, are we never going to know why Kane helped Mysterio? And with Punk in the Fatal 4 Way at Fatal 4 Way, will there be any sort of feud between the two?

Dolph Ziggler and Chavo Guerrero (with Vickie Guerrero) v. Christian and Hornswoggle

Would someone remind Hornswoggle that DX no longer exists? Thanks. I don’t want to talk about this. Christian wins with the Killswitch, but for once, it looked as if Chavo actually had a chance to win and that was a bright spot. Ziggler locks on the Sleeper Hold on Christian after the match and this feud will continue. As long as it just focuses on Christian and Ziggler, I am intrigued. It won’t though.

LayCool backstage promo

Layla El and Michelle McCool are in the back explaining why they are co-Women’s Champions. According to LayCool, since it was a handicap match, they both earned the titles. The key in this promo was the mentioning of jealousy. Envy will definitely play into the face turn of one of these Divas (probably Layla) in the near future.

M.V.P. v. Luke Gallows (with Serena)

It seems that other than that one week where he teamed with J.T.G. against the Dudebusters, M.V.P. has only wrestled the Straight Edge Society for the past month. For Gallows to be seen as a credible star on his own, he needed to win some matches. After taking the job for M.V.P. for a month, Gallows finally gets the victory after interference from the Masked Man. I really enjoyed the beginning of the match with the pseudo-boxing match; it was a nice change of pace from the normal lock-up in the center of the ring. I would love to see the SES hold all the gold eventually; Punk with the WHC, Gallows/Masked Man as Tag Champions, and Serena as Women’s Champion. Gallows is a great talent and I am glad he has come into his own as a singles star.

The Undertaker v. Rey Mysterio – WWE World Heavyweight Championship Fatal 4 Way Qualifying Match

This was the Undertaker’s first appearance on Smackdown since Wrestlemania, but third overall (he wrestled Swagger on the “volcano” episode of Raw and then again against Edge on Raw a few weeks ago). The Undertaker looked like he was in great shape and there were some entertaining spots, including Mysterio’s senton onto the Undertaker after he did his trademark sit-up. We also get the now-typical Mysterio sliding bump onto the floor. This time, there was no barber chair. The outcome of this match was obvious; you don’t bring back the Undertaker and have him lose. Taker wins with a Tombstone Piledriver a la Wrestlemania XXIV when he catches Mysterio’s moonsault. The Undertaker looked a bit shaken up after the match (UPDATE 5/31: Wrestleview’s Steve Gerweck is reporting that the Undertaker suffered a concussion, a broken orbital bone, and a broken nose during the seated senton bump. It is “50/50” in terms of whether or not Undertaker will be able to compete at Fatal 4 Way).

Reports have Mysterio taking time off, so this might be the time. Before knowing that the Undertaker would face Mysterio, I assumed Mysterio would qualify to continue his feud with Punk (UPDATE 5/31: If Undertaker cannot go, Mysterio will take his place, so we might get this after all). On Raw, Edge is with Randy Orton and Sheamus is with John Cena. We don’t get that. Instead, we have Jack Swagger v. The Big Show v. C.M. Punk v. The Undertaker in four weeks. It should be a good one and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Courtesy of wwe.com

WWE Superstars is a mixed bag. I know I am starting to sound like a broken record every Thursday, but if you watch the show regularly, you know what I mean. I am going to skip the pomp and circumstance and just get to the analysis.

J.T.G. v. Cody Rhodes

I am loving Cody Rhodes right now, Since venturing out on his own, he has been nothing but impressive. Tonight on Superstars, he faced off against fellow tag team castaway J.T.G. It was a slow-paced contest for the most part with plenty of chain wrestling and mat-based techniques. Rhodes controlled most of the matchup and when J.T.G. did, the tempo increased significantly. J.T.G.’s modified swinging neckbreaker near the end looked like it was botched, but Matt Striker and Todd Grisham played it up as a significant move. But the end of the match played into Rhodes’ hands. Rhodes wins with Cross Rhodes off of a brutal side volley. Kofi Kingston winning the Intercontinental Championship at Over The Limit was the best thing for Rhodes, who, like I discussed with Adam Martin and Hunter Golden on Wrestleview Radio Sunday, is the perfect opponent for Kingston. I would definitely love to see a program between the two. Rhodes can flop around better than anyone else and Kingston loves to flop around on offense himself. Stay tuned.

Yoshi Tatsu v. Primo

The most entertaining part of this match was listening to Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole attempt to tiptoe around Carlito while discussing Primo. The crowd did not really give Primo any heat because, quite frankly, I don’t think they cared. I don’t see a future for either of these guys. Tatsu is very talented, but without promo skills or at least a mastery of English, he won’t get very far. For tonight, however, he wins with a spinning heel kick off of the top rope. There is not much else to say.

We DID get a John Morrison promo. In case you forgot, he was on Raw. He has been for a month. Yeah, I needed to jog my memory, too.

Evan Bourne v. Zack Ryder

What a drop-off in main events between this week and last week. Last week, we got Christian v. Dolph Ziggler. This week, it’s Zack Ryder v. Evan Bourne. These two got a 15-minute match with one commercial break and did a good job of utilizing all of their time. Evan Bourne teased the Shooting Star Press at least three times, but luckily (and pleasantly surprising), Ryder gets the victory via the Zack Attack. This is a “big” win for Ryder, who jobs just as much (or even more so) as Bourne. I wish Ryder would be put into a meaningful program. He had an ECW Championship match a while back and was very impressive. I think he could be a perfect foil for R-Truth on Raw.

WWE NXT Report: May 25, 2010

Posted: May 26, 2010 in NXT, Show Report
Tags: ,

Courtesy of wwe.com

Can you believe that next week is already the finals of NXT? You shouldn’t, considering that even though there are only three NXT Rookies left, there should be five left after last night (Thanks, WWE Management). Regardless, heading into the season finale of NXT, the semi-final episode wasn’t too bad. We had two solid matches and another fantastic segment between Bryan Danielson and Michael Cole. It’s time to look at NXT.

Opening promo

Matt Striker introduces the WWE Pros (minus Carlito and Punk) and then the NXT Rookies. Like last night, the Rookies are asked who should go home. Wade Barrett once again says the ‘Ginga Ninja” Heath Slater, but Justin Gabriel changes his vote to David Otunga, and Otunga changes his vote to Gabriel. I liked what these two had to say about each other because their criticisms of each other were very similar to the criticisms of the IWC. Otunga said Gabriel is a “glorified gymnast” and a “bumbling idiot” on the microphone, while Gabriel said Otunga has “no idea” what he is doing in the ring. I liked Otunga pleading Striker to give Gabriel the microphone in order to prove his point. Last, but not least, Slater votes for Barrett.

David “A-List” Otunga and WWE United States Champion R-Truth v. Heath Slater and Christian

We would see what Gabriel was talking about in regards to Otunga in this match. I’m sorry, David, but you are not going to beat WWE Superstars with shoulder blocks. You’re not John Cena. I noticed that when Otunga was in the ring and Slater/Christian were on the offensive, things slowed down dramatically and the moves performed weren’t too flashy or spot-crazy. I will give Otunga credit for his roll-up for the victory off of Slater’s cross body. I know Otunga will stick around and he is getting a decent amount of heat, but he needs to get better in the ring and fast.

Michael Cole/Bryan Danielson promo

The WWE is still calling him Daniel Bryan (They recently trademarked it, so I guess it is here to stay). He’s Danielson in my book now. Anyways, Michael Cole enters the ring with security and after showing footage of last week’s “traumatic” fight, he calls out Danielson to publicly apologize or face a lawsuit. Danielson comes down and feigns remorse before turning it around on Cole and apologizing for being the “worst announcer in the history of WWE.” Cole questions Danielson’s manhood and hits him with the microphone before bailing. Danielson breaks through security and nails Cole on the outside. As Danielson is being escorted up the ramp, the Miz gets in his face, but Danielson clocks him with a right hand. All hell breaks loose and we go to commercial.

Got all that? Want to see it? Here it is!

I love how the thing that is keeping most people watching NXT is the conflict between an announcer and an eliminated Rookie. I am glad the Miz finally got involved physically. The WWE must have big plans for Danielson as the “anti-WWE” hero who is out to prove that he belongs. His tactics are heel-like, but he is like Robin Hood, fighting for the poor, or in this case, the WWE Universe, against the establishment, or WWE. I want to see Miz tap out to Danielson so bad. I would totally geek out over that. Stay tuned.

Justin Gabriel (with Matt Hardy) v. Wade Barrett (with Chris Jericho)

I liked this match for (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) Striker’s commentary. Instead of being loud and obnoxious, he took the time to explain the mistakes each Rookie was making and how they ultimately cost Barrett the match. Add in Jericho’s usual yelling and the commentary shined through. Gabriel is growing on me, but I am still unsure. I am afraid he will turn into Evan Bourne, a jobber for the stars with one acrobatic move. Let’s hope that is not the case.

Elimination

The second-to-last Pro’s Poll is revealed and the man going is…

Heath Slater.

That leaves…

Wade Barrett

David Otunga

Justin Gabriel

Heath Slater

Darren Young

Skip Sheffield

Daniel Bryan

Michael Tarver

Slater came in fourth behind Barrett, Otunga, and Gabriel. I wish the Pros were as involved as they are now, sitting on the stage for instant feedback. Slater annoyed me; he was a little too “out there” for my taste, but like I said last week, all of these guys are going to get contracts regardless. Jericho’s comments to Barrett were spot on as well. I am looking forward to next week’s finale. What will happen after NXT is beyond me, but be sure to tune in next week to see what happens NXT on the finale of NXT.

Courtesy of wwe.com

My initial reaction to Sunday’s Over The Limit pay-per-view was one of surprise. I thought the card played out very well and I got my money’s worth. Yet, after sitting on it for a day, I realized that the show was not as great as I originally thought. In reality, it was mediocre at best. Last night’s Raw was also mediocre at best. Yes, we did have a huge Superstar quit, the naming of the new Raw GM, and the participants for the WWE Championship Fatal 4 Way match at Fatal 4 Way were decided (including one unexpected name). Other than that, nothing really clicked. Let’s take a look at last night’s Raw.

Batista/Bret Hart promo

To kick off a night of unexpected visitors, Batista hobbles to the ring visibly shaken, battered, and bruised from his “I Quit” match with John Cena the night before. I think Batista’s heel work since October has been fantastic. Not only is it believable, it can also be downright hysterical. From sitting in a wheelchair and still demanding the spotlight to threatening to sue the WWE Universe, Batista just made his anger feel so real. Where said anger was Sunday is beyond me. Anyways, as Batista is complaining, Justin Roberts interrupts and introduces the new Raw GM, Bret Hart. To be honest,  I completely forgot about this announcement. Hart makes his way to the ring (minus the U.S. Championship) and creates qualifying matches for the three spots available at Fatal 4 Way’s WWE Championship match. Hart puts Batista in a match against an opponent “who is also injured.” I thought it was going to be Mark Henry because A) he was injured B) he was injured by Batista and C) Henry could replace Randy Orton as the second face in the match. It ends up being Orton. This was a pleasant surprise; even considering putting Orton in the match next month probably means that the diagnosis of his arm/shoulder injury must not be as bad as speculated. Batista does not want to wrestle and Orton wins by forfeit. Batista flips out and threatens to quit. I loved the “you’re nothing without me” line because it reminded me of the “you’re nothing without us” line that he shouted during Evolution’s excommunication of Orton several years ago. Batista quits (again) and this is the break/contract expiration we’ve been hearing reports about for months. I like how he played it into the storyline and it looks like he is leaving things open-ended for a possible return. A great way to start the show.

Mark Henry v. Sheamus – WWE Championship Fatal 4 Way Qualifying Match

Speaking of Mark Henry, he gets a chance to earn a spot in the match next. Then we find out his opponent is Sheamus and all hope for Henry is lost. If anyone reading this thought Henry had a chance to win, please stop here and don’t come back! Just kidding, come back. But leave now. Anyways, Sheamus works the arm (which seems popular these days) and Henry does a good job of selling the damage. The arm plays into the finish when Henry goes for the press slam, but his arm gives out, setting up Sheamus for the bicycle kick and the victory. Sheamus is in and who is surprised?

Jon Lovitz/Maryse promo – Bret Hart/Edge/Chris Jericho promo

Jon Lovitz is in the back and on the phone with Mr. McMahon. Maryse enters and one thing leads to another, Lovitz speaks French, comes on to Maryse and then it’s over. I like Jon Lovitz; as a big Saturday Night Live and Simpsons fan, he is a great comedian. However, this guest host gig, especially since there is a GM now, needs to end.

Speaking of (again) GMs, Hart is in the back with Edge and Chris Jericho. Edge wants a qualifying match against a hurting Cena and Jericho demands the spot without a match. Hart makes a triple threat among the three, where if Edge or Jericho wins, the winner is in, but if Cena wins, neither are in. I am impressed with Hart’s mic skills as of late. At the very least, it should be an interesting summer.

Alicia Fox and Maryse v. Gail Kim and WWE Diva’s Champion Eve Torres

Poor Gail. She has not looked good since returning to WWE and should have stayed in TNA. Anyways, this match was short and sweet. The heels win when Fox kicks Eve in the head with the referee distracted and Maryse picks up the scraps with the French Kiss DDT. I am glad this rivalry will continue; it’s the best (and really only) thing the Divas division has going for it right now.

We then get the announcement stating that Hart has abdicated the U.S. Title and a new champion will be crowned tonight in a one-on-one contest between R-Truth and the Miz. The prospect of this match looks promising, but I am disappointed that they didn’t go with an expanded tournament that would be better than the IC Title Tournament on Smackdown.

R-Truth v. The Miz – WWE United States Championship

Fresh off of slapping a concussion onto Ted DiBiase, R-Truth gets a shot at the vacant title. The Miz actually gets a smattering of cheers from the Ohio crowd. The two lock up and this match ends up being a quality match that got a somewhat dead Toledo crowd involved. The Miz breaks from the norm and works on Truth’s shoulder. Truth took a hard bump on the outside after a mistimed slingshot cross body. These two worked really well together, but I do not see this becoming a feud anytime soon. After plenty of near falls, Truth hits the Lie Detector and wins the U.S. Title, his first singles title in WWE. I wonder where Truth will go from here. He needs a challenger, but whom? Stay tuned.

John Cena promo

Cena cuts a promo in the back putting over his win over Batista. There are certain types of Cena that I like and others that I don’t. I have always been a fan of smug Cena, where instead of being humble, he knows that he is the best and makes it known. Tonight, he “put everyone on notice.” I loved it. If he was like this regularly, I would like him full-time instead of part-time.

Jon Lovitz Superstar Search

Okay. This got real old real quick. Jon Lovitz plugs his comedy club, the Bellas are there as usual, and we get another lame talent show. The Great Khali sings (well, it wasn’t singing, but more like muffled mumbling) and I thought he was going back to India! The only good thing that came out of this was Jillian Hall being buzzed before she even sang. Lovitz looks in the crowd and finds a guy who can pull out his glass eye, which he does. Alright. Ted DiBiase and Virgil show up and DiBiase asks to buy the eyeball. The eyeless man (who is WWE Creative member Joe Francosci) says no, then Santino comes out to try the nerve pinch that Lovitz taught him. It works on Virgil, but not on DiBiase, and Santino gets Dream Street for his troubles. Ugh. Please don’t tell me we have a Santino/DiBiase feud on our hands. DiBiase is floundering, much like everyone assumed Miz would when he broke up with John Morrison. At least Miz tried.

P.S. Where in the hell is John Morrison? Coming to Raw was a bad idea.

WWE Unified Tag Team Champions The Hart Dynasty (with Natalya) v. William Regal and Vlad Kozlov

Sloppy, sloppy squash. The story is what happened after the match when three unknown wrestlers attacked the Hart Dynasty and did simultaneous frog splashes off the top rope. These newcomers are FCW’s Jimmy and Jules Uso along with Tamina. The Usos are the sons of Rikishi (I didn’t know Rikishi was old enough to be a father) and Tamina is the daughter of Jimmy Snuka. I guess they are here to make an impact. And they are already doing a better job of it than Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer. I am surprised that we didn’t learn their identities last night, especially since the Dynasty’s family member is the new GM.

NXT Rookies promo/Michael Cole promo

Josh Mathews is in the back with the NXT Rookies and he asks each one who they feel will go home on NXT. Everyone who is not Heath Slater says Slater, including Justin Gabriel, who is the other face left. That caught me off guard, but this was one of the better NXT promos I’ve seen. When it feels real and not scripted, it’s good. This is one of those times.

We then find out that tonight on NXT, Michael Cole will demand an apology from Daniel Bryan or he will sue. Awesome.

Chris Jericho v. Edge v. WWE Champion John Cena – WWE Championship Fatal 4 Way Qualifying Match

This was a good match with a lot of different dynamics playing part. There was Cena’s wounds of war, Edge and Jericho working together/trying to remember they hate each other, and plenty of spots and near falls to keep fans guessing. The end of the match had several false finishes (Edge spearing Jericho, Jericho putting Cena and Edge in the Walls of Jericho, Edge spearing Cena with Jericho in position for the Attitude Adjustment) and even a false Dusty Finish with Edge in the STFU while Jericho had Cena in the Walls of Jericho. I am glad that there wasn’t a double tap out. Edge wins with a Spear after Jericho hits the Codebreaker on Cena. Edge winning makes sense with Orton in the match and Cena not getting pinned shows that Cena doesn’t have to get pinned to lose his title next month. There is a stare down with all four participants, including Orton, who does not look like his arm/shoulder is bothering him too much. The WWE lucked out there. Raw is off and running towards Fatal 4 Way.


WWE Over The Limit: The Prediction Results

Posted: May 23, 2010 in PPV
Tags:

WWE Over The Limit just ended and I was definitely impressed by how the inaugural card played itself out. Earlier today, I posted my thoughts and predictions on who would win each match. Now is the time that I look back at my selections and update my official #1 Pretender PPV Standings.

Drew McIntyre v. Kofi Kingston – WWE Intercontinental Championship

Predicted winner: Drew McIntyre

Winner: Kofi Kingston

0-1

(The WWE Production Team gave the ending away before the match even started. The WWE placed so much emphasis on Drew’s entrance video. If you recall, there was a clip of him accentuating the IC Title. It was removed and replaced with another clip tonight during his entrance.)

Ted DiBiase v. R-Truth

Predicted winner: R-Truth

Winner: R-Truth

1-1

C.M. Punk v, Rey Mysterio – Hair v. Pledge

Predicted winner: C.M. Punk

Winner: Rey Mysterio

1-2

The Hart Dynasty v. The Miz & Chris Jericho – WWE Unified Tag Team Championship

Predicted winner: The Hart Dynasty

Winner: The Hart Dynasty

2-2

Randy Orton v. Edge

Predicted winner: Edge

Winner: Double countout

I will give this a tie. 2-2-1

Jack Swagger v. The Big Show – WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Predicted winner: Jack Swagger

Winner: Big Show via DQ

2-3-1

Eve Torres v. Maryse – WWE Diva’s Championship

Predicted winner: Eve Torres

Winner: Eve Torres

3-3-1

John Cena v. Batista – “I Quit” Match for the WWE Championship

Predicted winner: John Cena

Winner: John Cena

Total Score: 4-3-1

I did not do as well as I did at last month’s Extreme Rules, but that could turn out to be a good thing because Over The Limit kept me on my toes. When all is said and done, that is the way it should be.

#1 Pretender PPV Standings

Extreme Rules: 6-1

Over The Limit: 4-3-1

Updated total: 10-4-1

Join me again next month on June 20 when another new pay-per-view concept, Fatal 4 Way, comes to us live from Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. As always, check back Tuesday for my weekly Raw report.

Courtesy of Google Images

In a year where WWE plans to introduce several new pay-per-view concepts, the first has finally arrived. Over The Limit’s inaugural card is not too shabby and should make for a quality show. What is known for sure is that unlike Extreme Rules, most of these matches could easily go either way. As always, I have my predictions ready to share with the masses. So without further ado, live from Detroit, it’s Sunday night!

Here. Listen to this while you read on. Set the mood, you know?

Ted DiBiase v. R-Truth

This match was just added last week on Raw and could possibly be the opener. Though this “spoiled brat v. kid from the streets” feud has been played out, I like the dynamic that these two have. DiBiase’s “Fortunate Son” gimmick still has not worn on me yet because I don’t really believe him as the trust fund baby. Yet, I do find this search for a “Virgil” very entertaining. Speaking of Virgil, the actual Virgil showed up with DiBiase on Raw last week and will be in DiBiase’s corner during the match. I expect Virgil to play a factor in the match and help R-Truth. That way, Virgil does not need to be around moving forward and the search for the new Virgil can continue. I said Virgil a lot. Bottom line: the Truth hurts and will win Sunday night.

Winner: R-Truth

Randy Orton v. Edge

I like these two in a feud. When Edge returned as a face after injury about five or six years ago, he battled Orton over the IC Title and ultimately ended Orton’s seven month reign as champion. This time, the roles have been reversed and gives the Universe something fresh. I could see this feud over a title someday, but for the time being, it is a good secondary feud on Raw to keep audiences entertained. Orton has come into his own as a fan favorite and is closer to Stone Cold Steve Austin in terms of the “rebel” attitude than anyone has come since Austin retired. Albeit, it is much different and less relatable, but it seems to be working. I am glad that the WWE turned Edge heel; though it was nice to cheer for him again, it did not feel right after five years of the “Rated R Era” being stuffed down our throats. Both men are pretty psycho and will do anything to win, which explains Edge helping to bring back Vickie Guerrero as Raw GM. This is a toss-up, but I am going to go with Edge. I like Orton as the “apex predator” (I don’t like the saying, but like him chasing instead of being chased) and having Edge brag about his victory might lead to a more heated angle in the future.

Winner: Edge

Rey Mysterio v. C.M. Punk – Hair v. Pledge Match  -If Rey wins, Punk must allow him to shave his head. If Punk wins, Rey must join the Straight Edge Society.

This will be the show stealer. What a hot feud this has been. Each man has won a match when his livelihood has been on the line, but unlike the other matches, Punk and Mysterio both have something at stake. In short, it is a combination between the two previous matches (see stipulation above). I have no idea who will win this contest, but I will do my best to try. If Mysterio wins and Punk loses his hair, we could see the end of the Straight Edge Society. I believe it is way too soon to fold what might be the best stable WWE has had since Evolution in terms of heat and storyline presence. I feel that will come in time, but the time is not now. If Punk wins and Rey joins the SES, we could have an angle much like JBL and Shawn Michaels did at the end of 2008, where Michaels “worked” for JBL until HBK won a match to free himself of his captivity. I think that would be more believable and would carry this feud until the end of the year. Mysterio could battle through Luke Gallows and the masked man to get to Punk or even try to use them to overthrow Punk, ending the SES by shaving Punk’s head. Punk’s head will be bald eventually, but not now. If this was a Hair v. Mask match, the outcome would be obvious. Thankfully, that is not the case. Expect Rey Mysterio to join the Straight Edge Society at Over The Limit.

Winner: C.M. Punk

Eve Torres v. Maryse – WWE Diva’s Championship

Eve and Maryse have put on a pretty hot (not because they are both sexy. Well, maybe) Diva feud over the last month or so. The problem on Raw is that other than Maryse, there are not very many credible heel challengers for the Diva’s Title. The formula of “Maryse being champion, losing it, winning it back, meeting a new challenge, and repeating” is getting old. I want to see this feud continue for a little bit longer. For that to happen, Eve needs to win Sunday. Eve has improved so much in the ring and deserves a nice run at the top. Eve retains.

Winner: Eve Torres

Drew McIntyre v. Kofi Kingston – WWE Intercontinental Championship

When Kofi Kingston was drafted to Friday Night Smackdown, I automatically selected him as the man who would finally overtake Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship. Then Drew was fired and Kofi subsequently won the vacant championship in a match against Christian. I backed into a correct prediction, if you will. Yet, even after all of that, Drew was “reinstated” and here we are. I still see Kofi being the one who will usurp Drew as the IC Champion, but it is too soon for that. Other than Drew being rehired and taking back his title, there is not really a feud otherwise. For Kofi’s win to mean something, this angle needs to continue for at least another month. With that said, Drew will retain his Intercontinental Championship at Over The Limit and remain champion. For now.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

The Hart Dynasty v. The Miz & Chris Jericho – WWE Unified Tag Team Championship

The Hart Dynasty finally benefitted from Bret Hart’s return to the WWE when they won the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship from ShoMiz during the Draft Special April 26. The push was a long time coming for the Dynasty, who had nothing to do with the feud between Bret and Vince McMahon until Wrestlemania XXVI, when the storyline was already two months old. Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith are two talented, young workers who deserve to hold the titles. For that reason, it is too soon for the Miz and Chris Jericho, former champions in their own right, to take the titles from the Dynasty. I can see ChoMiz (?) winning the Unified Championship in the future and continuing their feud with the Big Show on Smackdown. But the tag team scene in the WWE already lacks credibility and having the champions lose the belts in less than a month would not help the cause. Also, now that Bret Hart (who might play a role in the match) has won the U.S. Title from Miz (P.S. This is the first time Miz has not had some sort of title since October), it almost guarantees that this storyline will continue past Over The Limit. The Dynasty retains.

Winners: The Hart Dynasty

John Cena v. Batista – “I Quit” Match for the WWE Championship

An “I Quit” match is usually the “go to” match to end a long-running feud. However, such an ending can be anti-climatic. The WWE Championship between John Cena and Batista will be anti-climatic. On one side, Batista has not won a match in this feud (the “match” at Elimination Chamber does not count), so having him go over could make sense. On the other hand,  John Cena is a perfect 2-0 in “I Quit” contests and quite frankly, Cena’s image doesn’t really play into the whole “giving up” thing, considering his shirts say otherwise. Also, do not forget the reports about Batista’s expiring contract; it seems like Big Dave will be taking a break. Expect a failed run-in by Sheamus to set up a feud between Cena and Sheamus for next month. Maybe even a Mark Henry run-in? Doubtful, but you never know. I have noticed a general trend in this feud: Batista gets all of the momentum and upper hands on Cena on television, but once the PPV rolls around, Cena gets revenge. If you combine all of these facts into one simple statement, it would read like this: there is no way that John Cena will lose this match. You can bet on it.

Winner: John Cena

The Big Show v. Jack Swagger – World Heavyweight Championship

Jack Swagger has been doing a great job as World Heavyweight Champion so far. At the very least, he has done better than Sheamus, who did not have a clean pinfall victory in his reign as WWE Champion. Last month, Swagger pinned Randy Orton to retain his World Title. This month, he will find a way to do the same. The Big Show is always a good challenger for a major championship. The problem is is that he never comes through and wins them. Show has not held a World Title (meaning WWE, since he has never held the WHC. Sorry, ECW) since 2002. Don’t expect that to change tonight. With all of the momentum on Smackdown squarely in Show’s corner, it is just delaying the inevitable. I can see a DQ finish in this one just like I can see Swagger pinning Show cleanly. Either way, Swagger will walk out of Over The Limit still World Heavyweight Champion.

Winner: Jack Swagger

Check back tomorrow for my #1 Pretender PPV Standings and Tuesday for my weekly Raw report!



Courtesy of wwe.com

The “go home” editions of Raw and Smackdown are always tricky. Each respective show must do the best job possible to sell viewers on the upcoming pay-per-view. While Raw did a great job selling Over The Limit this past Monday, I feel that Smackdown struggled to do something memorable that will capture  the fans’ attention. Last night’s show took the focus off of Rey Mysterio and C.M. Punk and put it on the World Heavyweight Championship match, its main event this Sunday. Let’s take a look at the last Friday Night Smackdown before this Sunday’s Over The Limit.

Straight Edge Society/Rey Mysterio promo

I don’t understand the decision to resurrect (no pun intended) the whole “mass induction of independent wrestlers” so close to the pay-per-view. It worked in January when Punk created the SES and even then I didn’t understand why the WWE only kept Serena around even though they inducted two other people before her. Anyways, this segment fell pretty flat. It is a double-edged sword, if you will. It was good because it took the focus off of their match for the time being, but after such a hot feud, this might have been the weakest segment between the two. The power of the feud itself will hopefully sell Over The Limit to the fans. After shaving some heads, Rey interrupts and shows what Punk would look like bald. Short, sweet, and to the point.

“The Self-Professed WWE Co-Women’s Champions” Layla El and Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly and Tiffany

Don’t get me started about these developments. It is ridiculous. The Smackdown Divas have been putting together better matches as of late and this one was one of them. The entire sequence that started with Kelly knocking Layla to the outside and ending with Tiffany hitting the flying lariat to the outside was actually well done. The match ends when Michelle utilizes a creative counter and hits Tiffany with the Styles Clash. It is only a matter of time until LayCool breaks up and feuds over the title. Layla going face? Probably.

Big Show interview segments

Throughout the show, the Big Show was shown in pre-taped interviews mocking Jack Swagger’s from a few weeks ago. He started with knocking Swagger out three weeks ago and chokeslamming him through the announce table two weeks ago. My sense of humor is a little juvenile, but Show’s intonation and facial expressions were hysterical. I am glad they put the focus on the WHC match, since it is technically Smackdown’s main event at Over The Limit.

J.T.G. v. Caylen Croft (with Trent Baretta)

The Dudebusters “bust dudes up?” They haven’t won since their debut on ECW (or so it seems). J.T.G. beats up on Croft AGAIN. Why doesn’t Baretta fight in singles matches? These guys are jokes. Make them look credible or send them back to FCW. As for J.T.G., find something for him to do, too.

Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer v. “local competitors”

Twenty-two days. Twenty-two days for Archer and Hawkins to make an impact. I like these guys, really. I want them to make an impact by beating up some mid-carders, not jobbers. You know they will make said “impact.” Let’s hope it’s impressive.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger v. Kofi Kingston

Swagger cuts another straight-faced promo beforehand, much like his promo on Randy Orton before Extreme Rules. This match was very entertaining. The spots were spot on (Sorry, I had to) and I especially liked Swagger’s big boot off of Kofi’s cross body and I always love the S.O.S. The Big Show walks out and claims he has something to tell Swagger, which allows Kofi to hit an even bigger cross body for the victory. Show then shows a “WWE Did You Know” that says “KOFI JUST BEAT YOU.” I laughed. But seriously, why in the hell does Swagger always lose non-title matches? He lost to John Morrison, the Undertaker, Orton and now Kofi. Taker I can understand. The others not so much. It makes him look weak. Cut him some slack! He’s the champion! Oh well.

The Peep Show

Remember in my Superstars report when I said that Christian deserved the “Player of the Week” award? Yeah, after last night, it should be revoked. Hornswoggle? Really? This entire segment was a complete mess. Vickie Guerrero comes out with Chavo Guerrero to shut down the show. Chavo heads into the ring to stop Christian and I am SO glad Hornswoggle was not involved with Chavo. There is no need to rehash that disaster again. Out of nowhere, Dolph Ziggler attacks Christian and sets up Chavo for the big Frog Splash. I would like WWE Superstars to help forward mid-card feuds and hopefully that is the case with Christian and Ziggler. I see a handicap match next week involving these three. I just hope Christian doesn’t get too involved because I want him to be free for a WHC match.

C.M. Punk and Luke Gallows v. M.V.P. and Rey Mysterio

A rematch from a few weeks ago, this match was nothing special. Rey pins Punk with the hurricanrana to get the win out of nowhere. Like I said before, the focus was off this feud last night and that is okay. I can’t wait for Punk and Rey to put on one hell of a match this Sunday.

The Big Show v. WWE Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre

This was Big Show’s first match on Smackdown. Weird. Anyways, the match ends in a DQ when Swagger interferes. Show really had the momentum during this entire feud, so it makes sense to give Swagger at least one upper hand. I am not sold on this match. It should be good, but it alone would not make me buy the PPV.

Please come back tomorrow to view my predictions for WWE Over The Limit!