Monday, February 28, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/28/11 from Buffalo, NY.

The Big News: Raw was angle heavy.

Show Analysis:

HHH came out to start the show and got a big reaction. Jerry Lawler and Josh Mathews were doing commentary without Michael Cole. They announced that Undertaker vs. HHH is official for WrestleMania. HHH said he has done everything in his career and went through his career including a reference to Ric Flair. HHH said that he has outlasted everyone except the Undertaker and they are very much the same in that they have no challenges left.

HHH said that Undertaker keeps going for the sake of the streak and HHH is his only challenge left while HHH’s only challenge is ending the streak. HHH added that their match will define an era and nothing else the night of their match will matter. HHH concluded that when the streak dies, the Undertaker dies and that if HHH can’t end the streak, he will die trying.

Sheamus came out to challenge HHH but HHH immediately kicked him low. HHH threw Sheamus out of the ring, into the barricade and then into the post. He then gave him the pedigree on the announcers’ table. Sheamus got in literally no offense.

HHH’s promo was very good overall. Unfortunately, it also continued HHH’s career long trend of burying other talent. I had no problem at all with the treatment of Sheamus because Sheamus has been booked as a midcard guy and HHH is in one of the featured matches at Mania. However, the stuff about nothing else mattering at Mania sure isn’t the sort of line you want to be using when you’re selling a deep card. Worse, the stuff about HHH and Undertaker having no challenges left sure seems to be saying they are above the titles and above the guys being pushed as the new top stars who HHH and Taker have never wrestled, let alone beaten.

Evan Bourne beat Sheamus. As Sheamus was being helped to the back, the GM announced Sheamus would still have to wrestle his scheduled match. Bourne came out and hit kicks and the shooting star press for the win.

Michael Cole came out and invited Jerry Lawler into the ring. Cole said that nobody on Earth has more guts than he does and that he never backs down from a fight. He accepted Lawler’s challenge on two conditions: Cole gets to have his trainer in his corner and gets to choose a special referee. Lawler accepted. Cole then announced Jack Swagger as his trainer. Cole slapped Lawler and Swagger put Lawler in the ankle lock.

I guess the idea is they need someone to physically interact with Lawler since Cole can’t work, but I think this really does a lot of damage to interest in a Cole-Lawler match. It waters down the Cole-Lawler issue with distractions and Swagger’s involvement brands it as a midcard issue given the way he has been booked. They’ve done a tremendous number on interest in Cole-Lawler the past few weeks. They announced Steve Austin will appear on Raw next week.

Randy Orton came out and said that he should have punted CM Punk harder. Orton threatened to break Punk’s neck, snap his spine and cripple him for life. Well, that’s not very nice. Nexus came out. Punk called Orton predictable. Punk said that Orton is threatening to put him in a rehab facility but he will put Orton in the ground. The GM then announced Punk vs. Orton for Mania. Additionally, Orton will wrestle members of Nexus the next few weeks. If the Nexus members win they are in Punk’s corner but if they lose they are banned from WrestleMania.

Randy Orton beat Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty had the advantage for much of the match, but Orton came back quickly with the draping DDT and RKO for the win. Orton punted McGillicutty after the match and fled into the crowd when Nexus rushed out after him.

They had a video of the announcement of Sin Cara’s signing in Mexico. They acknowledged him as the former Mistico and he took off the Mistico mask to reveal a new blue and gold mask as fans chanted Sin Cara. This was a very good little package and made him look like a big deal.

Miz came out for a promo. He said that he is the biggest star in WWE now and he wants John Cena worrying about Rock when he should be worrying about Miz. He said he will beat Cena and then beat the Rock. That brought out Cena, who was at his dirt worst this week.

Cena started with his typical smarmy jokes. He had a sheet of paper with goofy writing saying that it was a doctor’s note. He claimed Miz has OCD and did a bunch of inane comedy. Alex Riley responded with a stupid joke of his own and Michael Cole buried him. Cena then actually asked Miz if Miz wonders why nobody takes him seriously as champ. He wrapped his arm around Miz’s shoulder and made jokes at Riley’s expense. Miz and Cena traded jokes back and forth.

Cena suggested he wrestle Alex Riley with the stipulation that Miz would fire Riley if he lost. For some reason, Miz accepted this on the condition that Cena would have to say Miz is the greatest superstar of all time if he lost. We’ve already established Cena doesn’t honor stipulations, but you’d think Miz would at least want a somewhat decent stipulation for Cena to renege on. In any event, the GM announced the match would be a cage match where you had to escape to win. Why? Again, completely unclear.

They would have been better off airing a blank screen for 15 minutes than this segment. It was the prototypical Cena segment where he treats everything like a complete joke so nobody could possibly care about the pay-per-view match as something important and serious worth paying money to see resolved.

One of the Bella twins won a battle royal to become number one contender to Eve Torres. Eve did commentary for the match. Natalya immediately dumped a Bella. Melina eliminated Alicia Fox and Tamina. Maryse sent out Natalya and Melina together. Gail threw out Maryse. Gail then threw out the other Bella but neither of the referees was watching the match so the other eliminated Bella came out from under the ring and knocked out Gail to be announced as the winner. This was a stupid finish. The Bellas beat up Eve after the match.

Rock did a promo from his home on the screen. He was wearing a Cena chain, armband and cap while mocking Cena. He angrily tore the stuff off and ran down Cena. He said that after Rock’s big return, Cena responded with a rap. Well, of course that’s what the guy with the purple shirt and jean shorts would do, Rock said.

Rock said this started with Cena calling Rock a liar for saying he loves WWE. Rock said his love for WWE is endless with both his father and grandfather in the WWE Hall of Fame. He pointed out the WWE titles on display in his house. He said that when he made it in Hollywood it opened doors for the WWE locker room, yet Cena publicly insulted the People’s Champ. Rock said Cena will pay for running his mouth and Rock will bring it. Rock said he will address Cena sooner than Cena thinks and did a four line rap calling Cena a bitch.

Rock was really good here and the seriousness and passion he emoted was in sharp contrast to Cena’s jokes. Unfortunately, Rock appearing on the screen really took down the segment. The crowd just wasn’t reacting all that big, I suspect because they wanted to see Rock live. Rock did his best to keep the energy up but it didn’t feel anywhere near as hot as when he appeared live. Worse, they kept showing crowd shots of the audience watching passively over and over and over again. It made a substantial difference in the way the segment came across.

They did a video package with Shawn Michaels talking about the Taker-HHH match. He noted that he has wrestled both guys. Michaels said wrestling Taker is like wrestling a legacy as much as a man. He said that HHH can be vicious. The basic message that he said at the beginning and end was that he is rooting for HHH as his buddy to end the streak but that he isn’t sure how he feels about HHH being the one to do it when he couldn’t succeed in that goal himself.

Daniel Bryan was coming out for a match when he was jumped from behind by Miz. Miz gave Bryan the skull crushing finale on the floor. Miz then said he did that because he could.

John Cena beat Alex Riley in a cage match, so apparently that’s it for Riley as Miz’s apprentice. I hope that isn’t the case because Riley is really good in the role. Cena tried to leave early but Miz blocked the cage door and slammed it on Cena’s head. Riley went to escape and Miz tried to pull him out but Cena won a tug of war to yank Riley back in. Cena put the STF with Riley tapping and then going out.

Cena went to climb the cage but Miz prevented his escape with a chair. Riley gave Cena an electric chair off the top. They fought on top of the cage and Cena gave Riley a bulldog off the top rope. He followed with the FU. He went to escape again and Miz again blocked the cage door. Miz pushed the door out and left the cage to win. Miz then gave him a skull crushing finale on the floor.

Final Thoughts:

There was very, very little wrestling on this show as they ran angle after angle. The booking which was quite good last week was terrible this week. They loaded up two hours with continual angles and the result was a few programs barely held on to the interest they already had while others lost a tremendous amount of steam. The only people who seem to have any clue how a money program functions are booking their own angles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/21/11 from Fresno, CA.

The Big News: WWE shot a series of major angles for the top matches at WrestleMania.

Show Analysis:

The show started with a graphic for 2-21-11. Throughout the first hour of the show they did further teases including a countdown at a couple of points.

John Cena came out to a mixed reaction with some chants of “Rocky.” He did his usual routine of starting with jokes that completely undermine the serious section of the promo. He said that he should be happy about winning the Chamber and getting Miz for the title at WrestleMania but all he is hearing about is what Rock said. Cena made funny faces and then said he needed to answer back.

Cena proceeded to do a rap where he called Rock gay and told Rock to blow him, polish his balls and kiss his ass. It was basically in those words, so clearly they are for the time being moving away from PG. The rap itself was a good serious response to Rock but it was taken down a few notches by the goofy lead up to it.

CM Punk beat John Morrison in a quick match. Punk was selling his leg and they showed a graphic shot of it bleeding from last night. Morrison attacked with punches but Punk took over in a hurry. He went after Morrison’s knee and hit the GTS for the clean pin. I like the fact they’ve been doing more in the way of clean as a sheet finishes lately.

After the match, Punk said he decided to give Nexus the night off. He said that Orton doesn’t deserve to wrestle at WrestleMania and either he will not wrestle there because Punk hurts him badly next week or he won’t wrestle there because Orton voluntarily walks away for his own physical safety. Orton attacked but Punk avoided the RKO and bailed to the floor. Nexus came out to back up Punk.

I’m not sure if the idea was Punk was saying he would give Nexus the night off next week for a confrontation with Orton or if he was saying he had given Nexus the night off this week and was lying about it. It seemed like the latter, but if that’s the case it’s weird they came out just a few minutes later and didn’t even get physically involved. Punk was off his game here on the promo. His delivery was good but the content was kind of cluttered.

Alberto Del Rio made his entrance when Kofi Kingston attacked him from behind. Ricardo Rodriguez hit Kingston with a microphone to stop his attack. Del Rio then threw Kingston’s arm into the steps, into the post, and applied the armbar. Kingston sold huge like he was in agony so this would appear to be an injury angle.

Miz came out for a promo. Miz said that the people embarrassed themselves fawning over the Rock. Miz mocked Rock for just saying that Miz sucks when he should have been able to come up with better material. Miz said that while Rock is hosting WrestleMania he will be retaining his title in the main event. He added that he doesn’t care if the people don’t like him. The GM popped up to announce that Miz and Cena would challenge for the tag titles in the main event.

The Bella Twins defeated Gail Kim and Eve Torres. The Bellas got heat on Gail for 30 seconds or so. She got the tag to Eve. Eve came in with a crossbody, kicks, a clothesline and a standing moonsault. She went for a rollup but they did the Bella switch for the win.

The final countdown ticked down and the Undertaker came out to the ring. Then HHH’s music hit and HHH came out himself. The crowd seemed more into HHH than Undertaker and there were chants for HHH. HHH looked at the WrestleMania logo. Undertaker then looked at the logo. Undertaker smirked and started to leave but then he came back and made the throat slashing motion. HHH answered with a crotch chop. I guess we’ll see if this adds interest in WrestleMania. I’m afraid HHH vs. Undertaker does nothing for me in 2011.

Mark Henry beat Sheamus. Henry threw Sheamus over the top with a belly-to-belly. Sheamus took over with a chop block, ax handle, knees, punches and a diving shoulder block from the apron into the ring. Henry hit a clothesline but missed a splash and Sheamus kicked him in the head. Sheamus then undid the turnbuckle pad but Henry hit him with an avalanche into the unprotected corner and used the world’s strongest slam for the win. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but Sheamus’ stock has plummeted.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was joking with Gail Kim. Sheamus came in angry and got in Bryan’s face before leaving. They then announced Hacksaw Jim Duggan for the Hall of Fame. He’ll be inducted by Ted DiBiase Sr. interestingly, since that would seem to put a focus on his Mid South days.

Michael Cole interviewed Jerry Lawler in the ring. Cole said he would be a bigger man and conduct a professional interview because he is the voice of the WWE. He proclaimed himself better than Gordon Solie, Gorilla Monsoon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. Cole asked Lawler how he felt going into the title match. Lawler didn’t answer so Cole asked what it was like when Lawler realized he wasn’t going to win. Lawler just stared at him.

Cole upped the ante from there. He asked what it was like for Lawler to let down his mother by not winning the title. At that point a livid Lawler grabbed Cole and said that if Cole ever mentioned his mother again that will be the last thing he ever says. Lawler said he has his way to get into WrestleMania and he doesn’t care if it gets him fired. He challenged Cole to a match. Cole refused. Lawler told Cole to be a man and called Cole a coward. Cole threw a drink in Lawler’s face and ran away. This was a tremendous segment. Both Cole and Lawler were great.

John Cena and Miz beat Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel in a completely one sided match to win the tag titles. Miz and Cena took turns getting the best of the champions. Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Gabriel for the win. Gabriel and Slater were treated like utter jobbers here. Wade Barrett after the match said they wanted to invoke their rematch clause immediately and the GM agreed.

Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel beat John Cena and Miz to regain the tag titles. This match went longer and was competitive. Slater and Gabriel worked over Miz for a while. Cena got the tag and came in with shoulder blocks and the five knuckle on Slater. He went for the FU but Miz hit the skull crushing finale on Cena for the win. It was rather illogical for Miz to win the titles himself and then screw himself out of them just to hit Cena with one move. Cena seemed more incredulous than upset as well. Plus, this was about as strong of a burial of any title on a WWE telecast in ages. And think of the ground that covers.

Final Thoughts:

This was a good show. The WrestleMania lineup certainly doesn’t blow you away but they’ve gotten over enough different programs that it’s starting to feel special.

Monday, February 14, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/14/11 from Anaheim, CA.

The Big News: The Rock is back and yes, he’s still quite great.

Show Analysis:

John Cena came out to start the show. Cena speculated on the guest host for WrestleMania and did some comedy. He said that he needs to win the Chamber match on Sunday. CM Punk interrupted. He pointed out that he won his last two matches against Cena. He added that he doesn’t need Nexus to beat Cena. Punk said that he is a good person and good things happen to good people.

CM Punk beat John Cena. Punk worked over Cena. Punk came back with shoulderblocks, the Cena slam and the five knuckle. He went for the FU but it was reversed. Cena came back with a gut wrench suplex but was cut off by a Punk swinging neck breaker. Punk went for the GTS but Cena escaped. Punk threw a series of kicks culminating with a high kick to the back of the head.

Punk went for a crossbody off the top but Cena caught him, rolled through, and lifted him up for the FU. Punk grabbed the ropes to avoid the move. Punk went to the outside where a member of Nexus slipped him a chair from under the ring. He threw the chair into the ring. As the referee went to clear the chair from the ring, the Nexus member gave Punk a wrench and Punk hit Cena with it. Punk then hit the GTS in the ring for the win. This was a good match and had a cool dastardly heel finish.

Alberto Del Rio did a brief promo in the ring. He said that it doesn’t matter who wins the Elimination Chamber because it is his destiny to be champion. Edge came out and said that he has a destiny too. He then attacked Del Rio. He was setting up for the spear but Ricardo Rodriguez got up on the apron. Edge punched him off and then speared Del Rio off the other apron.

Vickie Guerrero then came out. She announced that Dolph Ziggler is the new world champion because Edge used the spear on Smackdown. She said that Ziggler will be coronated on Smackdown. She added that she has proof Edge assaulted Teddy Long and he will soon lose his job. She then cackled. This title angle does no favors for Ziggler, Edge, the title, Elimination Chamber or Edge-Del Rio at Mania.

Eve Torres beat Natalya in a women’s title lumberjack match. They didn’t explain why this was a lumberjack match and in hindsight I don’t understand what the idea was. With two faces in the match, the lumberjacks were a bunch of heels and Gail Kim and Tamina as the sole faces. Michael Cole was burying Natalya’s looks and Josh Matthews agreed with him.

Eve won the match with a terrible looking botched rollup. To me, they ought to consider just dumping the women’s wrestling division. The time could be much better spent in a variety of other ways. The matches almost always look not just terrible but completely fake and it’s not like they’re creating stars that help any aspect of the business. The Bellas jumped Eve backstage and a bunch of other women came in for a big TNA-style women’s brawl.

Mark Henry was coming to the ring for a match when he was attacked from behind by Sheamus. Sheamus said that was a reminder to the people in the Chamber of what he is capable of. He vowed to send another reminder in his match later against Orton. He gave Henry a Brogue kick and left. They showed Miz walking backstage, with Michael Tarver and Joey Ryan looking on.

Miz beat Daniel Bryan in a great match. Bryan went for a RNC and used some kicks. He used a back drop to the floor and flying knee off the apron. He followed with a spectacular top rope dropkick for two. He went for the LeBell lock but Miz got to the ropes. Bryan hit a series of stiff kicks. Bryan continued the onslaught with a German suplex and kick to the head. Bryan went for a victory roll but Miz dropped him forward and hit the skull crushing finale for the win.

After the match, Miz acknowledged Jerry Lawler wasn’t there because his mother passed away. Miz offered his condolences but said he hopes Lawler doesn’t use that as an excuse for losing Sunday.

This was one of the few times on Raw where they’ve just let Bryan go and he delivered big time. The crowd really got into the match too. Aside from a long high quality wrestling match being entertaining, when you give a match a lot of time and deliver a clean result it makes matches in general feel important. That in turn makes your pay-per-views and house shows seem more important. And it gets over the winner.

John Morrison and R. Truth beat David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. Mason Ryan tripped Truth coming off the ropes and attacked him on the outside. Nexus worked over Truth. Truth got the hot tag to Morrison. Morrison threw Truth over the top rope into essentially a somersault plancha on Ryan. He then hit the shining wizard on McGillicutty in the ring for the win. Morrison’s comeback was really good.

They plugged Chris Jericho’s book. They did a weird thing where they pulled out images of pictures in the book next to the book, like the highlight of a 400 page book is the pictures in the middle.

They did a Great Khali Kiss Cam segment with WWE characters. They showed Santino and Tamina kissing. They then showed Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero with Dolph looking kind of grossed out. DiBiase and Maryse were next up but they argued and Maryse kissed Yoshi Tatsu instead. They showed Zack Ryder and William Regal together. Regal kissed him on the cheek, smiled, and darted off. That was amusing. Regal always delivers. A girl from Modern Family then kissed Hornswoggle on the cheek.

Randy Orton beat Sheamus. Sheamus was in control for a little bit. Orton came back with clotheslines and a powerslam. Sheamus hit a back breaker and superplex but then was caught with an RKO out of the blue for the win. Nexus attacked Orton after the match. Morrison, Truth and Cena made the save. In the end, Orton and Cena took all the heels out. The crowd was really hot for the post match.

They made a huge production out of the announcement of the guest host for WrestleMania. The Rock finally came out and the crowd went crazy. Rock milked it forever. He said that finally the Rock has come back home. Rock said he’s not back for the money or to promote a movie but for the people. He said that he dreamed big and accomplished his goals because the people didn’t leave his side. He thanked the crowd and gave his word he is never going away. He said that the Rock is back.

Rock said that he called Vince McMahon to be guest host for Mania but Vince initially wanted Justin Bieber. He said that he will lay the smack down at WrestleMania but then teased who he would do it to. He teased Miz at first. The GM popped up with an e-mail but Rock told Cole to sit down and shut up. Rock then brought up John Cena talking trash about him. He made fun of Cena. He said with Cena’s bright shirts he looks like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

Rock noted that he will see Cena at Mania and will see Miz at Mania. He guaranteed that he will show he is the most electrifying man in entertainment, lay the smack down on all their candy asses and electrify WrestleMania.

This was a really fun segment. Rock was absolutely tremendous. And while they gave away his appearance in the ring and a long promo, they’re holding out the confrontation with John Cena as the hook for WrestleMania and that is a strong hook. Rock went a full 20 minutes past the hour so this will likely draw the biggest rating in a while.

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was a fantastic show. There was some great wrestling. The crowd was hot and the confrontations leading to the pay-per-view came across well. And the show concluded with the Rock demonstrating once again what a transcendent, generational talent he is.

Monday, February 07, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 02/07/11 from Milwaukee, WI.

The Big News: Next week Vince McMahon will announce a guest host for WrestleMania.

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon came out to start the show. He put over WrestleMania as a bigger event than Super Bowl. I’d like to take this opportunity to say this Raw report is a bigger piece of writing than the Bible. He said that no one has ever hosted an event in front of 75,000 people, not the Super Bowl or the World Cup or anything else. I guess that depends on WWE’s definition of what constitutes a host. He then said they will announce the guest host of WrestleMania next week. I wonder if they can find a way to have a “guest host” make a difference in a pay-per-view buy rate.

Randy Orton came out and said that he and CM Punk aren’t even after last week and he is only just getting started. He vowed to cost Punk a lot more than Husky Harris. CM Punk made his entrance and agreed that this isn’t over and they aren’t even. He kept calling Orton Randall and said he cost Orton the title at the Royal Rumble because Orton punted him and forced him to forfeit the title in 2008. Punk said he waited for his chance for revenge and that he’s right while Orton is wrong.

This was a very good promo by Punk keeping with the theme that Punk always has a pretty good justification for what he does as a heel. I was surprised someone remembered that Punk/Orton angle so that they could bring it up and tie it in.

Punk said he would eliminate Orton immediately and went down to the ring with David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty and Mason Ryan. In the midst of beating up Orton, Punk injured and began bleeding from his nose. He gave Orton the Go 2 Sleep. During the commercial break, the GM announced members of Nexus vs. Elimination Chamber participants throughout the show.

R. Truth beat Mason Ryan via disqualification. This was quite the segment. So, Truth comes out and says “what’s up Green Bay.” The crowd boos. Michael Cole freaks out. He stands up and starts screaming about how they are in Milwaukee and loudly burying Truth. The crowd loudly begins chanting “Milwaukee” and Cole began leading the chant.

Truth sold his leg in the match. Ryan didn’t do much beyond a series of body slams, and even the body slams looked really bad. This guy does not appear remotely ready for live television singles matches. Ryan wrapped Truth’s leg over his head for the submission but wouldn’t break the hold and was disqualified. He then put it on the crippled Truth again as the sympathetic crowd loudly chanted Milwaukee. When Truth was announced as the winner via DQ the crowd booed. This was an all-time burial of a babyface.

Backstage, CM Punk told Nexus to hurt people and that he didn’t care about wins and losses.

Eve Torres, Tamina and Gail Kim beat Melina and the Bellas. Natalya did commentary and Michael Cole spent the entire match burying what she said. It’s one thing when you’ve got a face that’s able to hold his or her own on the microphone like Jerry Lawler, but when it’s someone like Natalya who isn’t a very good talker you need to know to let up. The heels worked over Gail. Eve tagged in and hit a standing moonsault and spinning neck breaker on Melina for the pin. They announced Eve vs. Natalya for next week and Cole sarcastically mocked that match.

John Morrison beat Michael McGillicutty. McGillicutty tried to injure Morrison’s arm but Morrison quickly came back with a springboard kick and starship pain for the win. Morrison was booked to look strong here. After the match, Punk sprayed something in Morrison’s eyes on the stage.

Miz did a promo where he said he was pulling for Jerry Lawler last week and called Lawler into the ring. Miz said he patterned himself after Lawler and now he is the champion while Lawler never will be. Lawler said the difference is they both have big mouths but Lawler backs it up. Lawler added that he didn’t pattern his career after anyone because he’s an original. Huh. Lawler said that he has never been WWE champion or wrestled at WrestleMania but those have been lifelong dreams he won’t let pass him by.

Miz disagreed and started to do his catchphrase but Lawler interrupted and led the crowd in chants of “awful.” Miz attacked Lawler but Lawler got the better of it. He also fought off Alex Riley. Ted DiBiase came in and attacked Jerry Lawler but Daniel Bryan made the save. The GM then made a tag match. This segment was pretty good as both Lawler and Miz are very good talkers but the basic story of Miz emulating Lawler didn’t ring true to me. Maybe it is true but it felt made up out of thin air.

Jerry Lawler and Daniel Bryan beat Miz and Ted DiBiase. Alex Riley did commentary and Michael Cole continued the trend of the night by even burying Riley’s commentary. Riley didn’t help his cause by referring to Bryan as Bryan Daniel. The heels worked over Bryan. Lawler got the tag and hit a back drop and DDT on DiBiase. Bryan took out Miz with a dropkick off the top and tope. Lawler then hit his fist drop off the second rope for the win.

King Sheamus was going to wrestle David Otunga but prior to the match Sheamus was asked about Mark Henry saying before the show that he should have Sheamus’ spot in the Chamber. Sheamus insulted Henry and said he should shut up. So after a nervous Otunga came out, Henry showed up and attacked Sheamus. Otunga climbed to the top rope in the midst of this and was quickly knocked off. Sheamus missed a Brogue kick and Henry gave him the world’s strongest slam twice. After Henry left, Otunga stood over Sheamus and looked very satisfied with himself.

Alberto Del Rio beat Santino Marella. Prior to the match, Del Rio said Santino thinks he almost got Del Rio at the Rumble but it was Del Rio’s destiny to win. Santino hit some punches and threw Del Rio over the top. Del Rio posted Santino and worked him over. Santino made a comeback and went for the cobra but Del Rio ducked under. Del Rio then attacked the arm and applied the armbar for the tap.

Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler came out. Vickie said that Dolph will enter Elimination Chamber as champion, not challenger. Why is she so desperate to get the title to Dolph now when there’s a six person match coming up with no championship advantage? She was interrupted by Cena and they basically just redid the scene from a few weeks ago where Cena encouraged the people to boo the hell out of Vickie until she and Dolph left. After they left, Cena said Nexus has been hurting other guys but they won’t get him.

CM Punk beat John Cena via DQ in a nothing match with a crap finish. Cena repeatedly punched Punk. The referee threatened to DQ Cena so he gave Punk a low blow right in front of the referee for the DQ. After the match, Nexus ran out. Ryan tended to Punk. For some reason, Cena seemed intimidated by McGillicutty and Otunga. That was the cue for Jerry Lawler to give him a chair and Cena used the chair to take out McGillicutty and Otunga.

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t a very good show.

It feels like Michael Cole is dialing up his heel persona even more, I suspect in preparation for his involvement in WrestleMania. That’s fine in the short term because there is a ton of heat for him to get beat up. But after WrestleMania, they really need to change things when it comes to commentary. Crazy play-by-play heel Cole burying everyone is frequently very entertaining but it’s terribly counterproductive to getting over wrestlers and matches.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Daniel Snyder: Terrible Owner, Terrible Human Being

Washington Post has an article above discussing Daniel Snyder's recent lawsuit against the tiny Washington City Paper. The lawsuit is over a humorously written indictment of Snyder's reign of terror as Redskins owner, characterized by greed, arrogance, incompetence and failure in equal measure. This is the piece:

It isn't vaguely libelous. The Washington Post cites a letter from Snyder's attorneys to the City Paper which plainly lays out Snyder's agenda on the table:

"Mr. Snyder has more than sufficient means to protect his reputation," said the Nov. 24 letter, which was written by David Donovan, the Redskins' chief operating officer and general counsel, and posted on City Paper's Web site Wednesday afternoon. "We presume that defending such litigation would not be a rational strategy for an investment fund such as yours. Indeed, the cost of litigation would presumably quickly outstrip the asset value of the Washington City Paper."

In other words: "We know we have no case, but we have much more money than you and we're filing this suit in an attempt to bully you to fire a writer who doesn't deserve to be fired and to take down a truthful piece because the truth is exceedingly unkind to Daniel Snyder."

Despicable. Danny Boy ought to spend more time addressing the reasons he has ruined a once proud franchise and demoralized its fanbase rather than filing nuisance suits against those who rightfully call him out as the dirtbag fool that he is.