Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Dr. Death" Steve Williams dead at 49

I have been online for quite awhile today, but just heard the news about the passing of "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, one of the toughest men to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring. 2009 has been a terrible year for stuff like this and sadly, it isn't over yet. Williams had been battling throat cancer since 2004, and it even looked like he Doctor Bombed it once and for all, but four years later, it returned and took his life.

Williams was highly underrated here in the States, but anyone with knowledge of his time in All Japan could tell you stories better than I could. You owe it to yourself to watch what the good Doctor was capable of, because I doubt you'll ever see anyone like him ever again. We'll miss ya, Dr. Death!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Raw Thoughts - December 28, 2009

Despite some new concepts and big changes, 2009 has not been kind to Monday Night Raw. Will tonight's show be a merciful end to the year, or have the last few weeks been a sign of bad things on the horizon?

Chris Jericho is outside collecting signatures to let him back on Monday Night Raw, so I guess the Secret Santa thing from last week didn't count?

Vince McMahon will address the Bret Hart rumors tonight... I seriously can't believe this is happening.

Raw officially kicks off with John Cena and the Hartford crowd is red hot tonight! Cena wants his rematch RIGHT NOW and he wants a TABLES MATCH! And right on cue, here comes the WWE Champion, Sheamus, who laughs off Cena's challenge, saying he has nothing to prove to the challenger.
Sheamus lets Cena know that the end of "two-tousin n' nine" will end with him still holding his "dobel-yeh dobel-yeh eee championship," seriously, this guy is awesome, but John Cena does not agree, putting the WWE Champ through a table! Oh and "Sheamus SPF 1000" might be the best sign of the year.

Thanks for dressing up, Timbaland... although I'm sure those sweatpants cost more than my car. Oh look, the Bella Twins are hanging out with the guest host, they have got to have the easiest job in the world, stand around with a famous person on a weekly basis.

Randy Orton's setting up matches for Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase, and threatens to kick them out of Legacy if they lose. While I support a Legacy break up, I would laugh if Orton kicked them both out and continued Legacy without them, much like Axl Rose continuing Guns n' Roses without the actual band.

Stop the Jericho Embargo!

Finally getting some in-ring action tonight with Ted DiBiase vs. Evan Bourne as our opening contest, and if DiBiase loses, he's out of Legacy. Well, that makes this one fairly obvious, but could be a good match if we avoid Raw's three-minute matches of doom. Match is underway and Evan Bourne, please stop selling clotheslines by almost landing on your neck, I cringe every time and am concerned for your well-being. Seriously, Evan Bourne isn't human, a standing hurricanrana while DiBiase is seated on the top rope, are you kidding me!? Nice showing for Evan (as always), but of course DiBiase picks up the win with Dream Street. Too short, but there are worse ways to spend four minutes.

In a nice change of pace, the wrestling continues with Cody Rhodes vs. Mark Henry, and just like with our previous match, if Rhodes loses, he's out of Legacy. This one's not quite as obvious, since I can't see Cody Rhodes being kicked out of Legacy, but I also can't believe that Cody the toothpick would ever have a chance in hell against the World's Strongest Man. Cody gets lucky with Mizark tweaking his knee on the outside and nails a DDT for the win, looks like Legacy's gonna be okay! You know I was concerned.

The DX backstage segment with Hornswoggle duct taped to a skateboard was funnier than everything they did last week. And I bet they won't even need to show it twice.

No absurd costumes for the Divas this week, though I won't be surprised if Big Dick Johnson shows up as the New Year's Baby. Anyhoo! Maryse vs. Kelly Kelly is our Divas match of the evening, and Kelly Kelly isn't messing around, throwing Maryse around like a ragdoll, high crossbody block, where has this Kelly been lately?! Sadly, it's not enough to stop the former Divas Champion, who defeats Kelly with her patented DDT.

Vince McMahon is heading to the ring!

It looks like it's over for JeriShow! With Jericho on Smackdown and Big Show on Raw, the long-distance relationship won't work. :-(

Well, here's what we've been waiting for, Vince McMahon is in the ring to shed some light on the Bret Hart situation. I'd be lying if I said I my heart isn't beating just a little bit faster right now. Awesome video package highlighting the ups, and of course, the infamous down of "The Hitman's" career, and Vince begins to heel it up. The crowd chanting "WHAT?" during this might be the most infuriating crowd moment of 2009, but good job of Vince shutting them down quickly by calling them a bunch of Hartford imbeciles. Anyway, Vince can't bring himself to do it and announces that Bret Hart will NEVER host Monday Night Raw. Hmm...

...Which brings out Shawn Michaels? Oh boy, this could get really interesting. But HBK's not out here to talk about Bret Hart, he wants to talk about The Undertaker? The hell? Shawn Michaels wants to end The Streak, but Vince wants no part of it, which gets HBK to change the subject to Bret Hart. I have no idea what's happening at this point, but it's becoming disturbingly creepy. HBK tells Vince to bring Bret back because "only good things will happen," and Vince suddenly changes his position? Weird. But despite that, BRET HART is returning to WWE! I'm going to repeat that: Bret Hart is returning to WWE! Once again, never say never when it comes to WWE.

Timbaland is really, really stoned right now. Wow. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if RVD rejoined WWE just so he could hang out backstage tonight, that's how high Timbaland is right now.

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston up next, the original plan was if Kofi won, he'd face Miz for the US Title next week, but now if Kofi wins tonight, he gets his shot... tonight! And as I type that sentence, Miz comes flying off the rope looking for a double axe handle, but catches Trouble in Paradise in mid-air, Kofi wins! The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston pt. 2 up next, this time with the United States Title on the line! Here's hoping we get an actual match this time around... nope! Just as Kofi hits his second Trouble in Paradise, guess who shows up to ruin the fun? That's right, Randy freaking Orton. Nasty RKO on the floor and Miz retains the title despite losing by disqualification. I'm all for the Orton/Kofi feud continuing, but couldn't we have gotten a full match out of the deal? I'm seriously growing tired of Raw being filled with lightning-quick matches outside of the main event.

So pissed at myself for buying tickets to Smackdown next month, but not picking up tickets to Raw next week, which isn't all that far from me. I'm going to miss Bret Hart's return to WWE, but I can't justify paying Ticketmaster's absurd service fees for a nosebleed seat. Seriously, I'd rather deal with a DMV inside a cell phone store that has a bigger line than the post office than ever deal with Ticketmaster.

DX vs. Big Show & his new partner... Chavo Guerrero? Really? Okay WWE, it's the end of 2009, no more Hornswoggle vs. Chavo after this, it has to end before 2010. Obviously DX makes short work ChavShOw(?), Chris Jericho tries getting involved, but gets Sweet Chin Music for his troubles. Triple H has had enough though, agreeing to give JeriShow one last shot next week, but if they lose, Jericho is gone from Raw for good.

Main Event Time! WWE Title on the line with Sheamus vs. John Cena! Honestly, I missed most of this match because the thought of not being in the arena for Raw next week bugged the hell out of me. I caught the lame finish to the match with Sheamus getting disqualified, I understand why they did it, but with Sheamus destroying Cena after the match, why not give him an actual win? Not saying Sheamus should beat Cena clean, but why not have a ref bump and let Sheamus get a few good chairshots in?

Overall, a weak Raw when looking at the in-ring product; typical three minute matches that have been plaguing Raw all month, but with the storyline progression and the MONUMENTAL announcement that Bret Hart will host next week, I certainly enjoyed this Raw more than the last two weeks. And with the thought of Bret Hart returning within an hour of me, I had to find tickets to this show. Ticketmaster sucks, Stubhub sucks, but it's Bret freaking Hart. Even though I just spent a ton of money on Christmas, shouldn't be spending the money anyway, and there's a possibility of snow, but it's Bret freaking Hart! As a wrestling fan, I'd kick myself in the ass forever if I didn't go to this Raw, so I'll be there!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Edge: Superstar of the Decade

And we're back! Thanks for bearing with me through the Christmas holiday, things might be a bit slow next week as well with New Year's, but we'll be back on track in 2010. But just because things are a little busy, the site isn't entirely on vacation, you've been voting in our Superstar of the Decade poll! In the last full episode of Kick-Out!! Radio, I picked Eddie Guerrero as my personal choice for Superstar of the Decade, but you did not agree. Let's take a look at the top five:

5. Randy Orton
Debuting in 2002 and becoming a six-time World Champion by the end of the decade, there's no questioning that the 00s were a defining moment for Randy Orton. Whether he's the Legend Killer, The Viper, or Kick-Out!! Wrestling's Public Enemy #1, Orton certainly earned a spot on the ballot.

4. The Undertaker
This decade has been an interesting one for The Phenom; when the 90s wrapped up, Taker wasn't exactly setting the world on fire in the ring, but things changed when he returned in 2000 with his American Bad Ass gimmick. Not only was it a drastic change for The Undertaker, his in-ring style slowly began to change, becoming more MMA-influenced with each passing year. From amazing matches with Triple H, Ric Flair, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Edge, etc., and returning to his roots as The Dead Man, I don't think there's any arguing that this decade - especially the last five years - is the best we've ever seen from The Undertaker. Like a fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age.

3. Triple H
If you're basing your decision purely on success, I don't think there's any legitimate argument one could make against Triple H. The Game won his first World Title at the end of 1999, but truly was solidified as a top-tier player in early 2000. His match against Cactus Jack at Royal Rumble 2000 - the first PPV of the decade - was a defining moment in his career and is possibly my favorite match of all-time. After that, we all know the story and the headline is "14 World Championships;" the only time this guy wasn't enjoying major success was when he was recovering from two bad quad injuries. Of course, he hasn't always been loved by the audience, we all remember his reign of terror from 2002 through 2004 and there arguments to be made about why he's so successful, considering he's now a member of the McMahon family, but there's no denying the fact that he's the most successful wrestler of the last ten years.

2. John Cena
But while Triple H may be the most successful, John Cena is the poster boy of World Wrestling Entertainment. As the company began to shift its focus away from the Attitude Era, John Cena was the man who stepped up to lead the company in a new direction. Seven World Title reigns, including the longest single WWE Title reign since Hulk Hogan held the belt from 1984 to 1988, numerous records broken, countless big match situations, and the most polarizing figure to ever step into a WWE ring. Love him or hate him, the latter half of the decade has belonged to John Cena.

And the Kick-Out!! Reader's Choice Superstar of the Decade is...

1. Edge
At first glance of the results, I found it a little strange that Edge would be your pick for Superstar of the Decade, but when you look back on the decade he's had, I can definitely understand. Just take a look at the years, and obviously I'm not listing everything:
2000 - Reinvigorates the ladder match at WrestleMania 2000 and then again with the birth of TLC.
2001 - Wins the King of the Ring and splits from his partner, Christian.
2002 - Shaves Kurt Angle's head, wins tag titles on two occasions, once with Hulk Hogan, once with Rey Mysterio.
2003 - Suffers a horrible neck injury early in the year, his first major setback.
2004 - Returns from injury and begins his quest for the WWE Title, first setting his sights on Evolution, but then turning heel with his frustrated psychopath gimmick.
2005 - Wins the first Money in the Bank, the infamous love triangle with Matt Hardy & Lita, and the birth of the Rated-R Superstar.
2006 - Edge's banner year, finally captures the WWE Title after cashing in MITB, one of the greatest hardcore matches ever with Mick Foley at WM22, then an awesome partnership with Mick Foley to relaunch the ECW brand, recapturing the WWE Title and finishes the summer feuding with his greatest rival, John Cena. Following that, Rated RKO is born and they begin a feud with the newly-reunited DX, taking us into 2007.
2007 - Starts out rough, feud with DX is ended early due to a Triple H injury, Rated RKO splits, suffers his first WrestleMania loss at WM23, but winds up in control of the MITB briefcase anyway and cashes in on an injured Undertaker. Just when it looks like Edge is going to be on top of the Smackdown brand, he suffers a pectoral tear and is out of action for months. Upon his return at the end of the year, Edge reveals that he's in a relationship with Smackdown GM, Vickie Guerrero.
2008 - Headlining WrestleMania with The Undertaker, "retiring" The Undertaker in an awesome TLC match, headlining SummerSlam in an awesome Hell in a Cell with a returning Undertaker, and all the hilarious La Familia business in-between. This was the first year that Edge got to show that he could carry a brand, and pulled it off perfectly with his Ultimate Opportunist shtick.
2009 - Though his year was cut short by an Achilles tendon tear in July, Edge entered 2009 in the same way that he left 2008, as a true main event player. More World Title reigns (bringing his total to 9), more fantastic matches, and more of what makes Edge so great, being one of the coolest characters in wrestling history.

While the end of his decade was marred by injury, I'm sure the next decade will bring even more success. Edge innovated, adapted and perfected his style this in the 00s, and while he may have been the Superstar of the Decade, I think he's only just begun.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Opening Bell Extra - nWoh no!

In a special presentation of Kick-Out!! Radio, Razor discusses the possibility of the New World Order returning (again), this time in TNA... the company that apparently never learns.

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Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity

Monday, December 21, 2009

Raw Thoughts - December 21, 2009

Can't be any worse than last week, right?

And there I go, letting my mouth get me in trouble again. "Oh you thought last week sucked?" How about a visibly nervous Johnny Damon and a blonde woman with a golf club chasing a man in a tiger suit. Why? No reason, just WWE trying to be "topical" again, but usually these segments have some kind of a point. Ugh.

Divas up first with Melina, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim vs. Maryse, Alicia Fox & Jillian in the infamous "Santa's Little Helper" tag match. Basically an excuse to get the Divas in whatever Frederick's of Hollywood has in their storefronts during December. Typical Diva nonsense and your typical three-minute Raw match.

After weeks of teasing, we finally get Little People's Court... although the way I phrased that, it makes it sound like it's something we might actually want to see, it's not. What seems like two hours later, the segment mercifully ends for now, but more to come later. Great.

And things just go from bad to worse, Legacy is out next and all three of them are in action. Thankfully, we get a decent opposing team, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne & Mark Henry, but why is Mark Henry on this team? Bourne being on the team makes sense, so why not give Primo the third spot since they've been teaming together lately? If they wanted Kofi to team with Mark Henry, why not put MVP on the team? Maybe there are actual plans for MVP tonight? Heh, I'll believe it when I see it. Anyway, despite my gripes about the teams, the match is actually pretty enjoyable, mainly thanks to Evan Bourne, who may be the most underrated performer in the business today. Not only is Bourne showing off that unique offense, he's also being bounced around like a pinball, making Legacy look like legit badasses in the process. Seriously, why isn't this guy feuding with The Miz right now? Bourne gets the hot tag to Kofi, who nails Ted DiBiase with Trouble in Paradise for the win! Big win for Kofi after a rough week and our first enjoyable segment of the night.

Oh great, Little People's Court is back. Hear that? That's the sound of remotes all across the country turning on Monday Night Football.
In case you ever doubted that Smackdown is the A-Show in WWE, DX vs. The Harts will be a major match this Friday while DX vs. Dignity is a major segment on Raw.

John Cena vs. Jack Swagger up next, and this could be a turning point for the show if they give this one enough time. These two tore the house down on the Draft show back in April, now obviously Swagger's stock has dropped quite a bit since then, but I don't think he's lost any of his ability. Not as good as their match eight months ago, but a solid contest and Swagger hasn't looked this good since, well, the last time he wrestled John Cena. He stumbled quite a bit in the later half of 2009, but 2010 could be Swagger's year if he gets more opportunities like this one.

Dusty Claus is backstage with Johnny Damon & MVP, looks like we're getting Sheamus vs. MVP in a non-title match tonight. I'm all for that. After this announcement and a solid Cena/Swagger match, I'm hopeful for Hour 2.

Chris Masters vs. Carlito, it's like time-traveling back to three years ago! Not much to this one, criminally short (no surprise there), but a decent showing for both men considering the time allotted. Seriously though, I still can't get over the fact that Chris Masters is a face because of his musical mammaries.

Oh look, it's a man in a Tiger Suit again. Just so we're clear if you're not watching, this isn't a man dressed as Tiger Woods, it's a man dressed as the animal. Seriously. Why? I have no friggin idea. And Mae Young just threw herself (literally) onto Johnny Damon, WHY IS THIS HAPPENING!?

Sheamus vs. MVP, which I'm very excited about, but in a really odd spot on the show. Of course, the dreaded 10:30 slot strikes and we get another absurdly short match that could've easily been the Hour 1 main event. Not to take away from Cena/Swagger or anything, but come on, this is the WWE Champion in action and you give him a glorified jobber squash? This does very little for Sheamus and certainly nothing for MVP, who definitely doesn't look like World Champion material. John Cena's out after the match, but doesn't seem to understand that rematch clauses aren't Money in the Bank, you can't just cash them in whenever you want.

Vince McMahon is backstage with Johnny Damon, maybe Vinny Mac is what Raw needs to not suck as much. Looks like Sheamus vs. Cena next week with the WWE Title on the line (lots of free TV World Title matches around the holidays?), and the subject of Bret Hart is raised. Hmmm again...

Finally, something awesome for this show, The Miz! But unfortunately, his opponent is Santino Claus; nothing against Santino or anything, but this match isn't anything new and Santino wrestling isn't nearly as appealing as Santino just talking. Santino gets in his splits spot, but this one's all Miz and the Skullcrushing Finale confirms it. Merry ChristMiz!

Hey, what's worse that Little People's Court? A REPLAY OF LITTLE PEOPLE'S COURT! You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. Every match besides Cena vs. Swagger has been unforgivably short, but we have time to re-air this segment that wasn't good to begin with? Seriously, I love Triple H and I love HBK, but this is just another example of why people are ashamed to be wrestling fans.

Big Show is in the ring, demanding that Santa Claus grant him his wish. I don't have the heart to tell the big guy... do you? Santa Claus makes his way down to ringside, hmmm, CHRIS Kringle's voice sounds oddly familiar. But somehow, even Chris Jericho's "return" can be ruined by the awfulness that is Monday Night Raw, "thanks" to Hornswoggle & The Mini DX Army. Your main event, folks. JeriShow beats up the little people, DX makes the save and Hornswoggle becomes the official DX mascot. At least the crowd seems into it...

Well, this show was better than last week, but that's not saying much because this week sucked too. The six-man tag and Cena/Swagger were good matches, which is about all I've got for this show on the positive side.

I hope it's just a holiday slump and WWE turns it around on January 4th... not because of TNA (keep dreaming, kiddos), but because I don't know how much more of this I can take. Three of the last four weeks, I've considering turning off the television, which never happens with me. Raw has all the tools to be better than this, I hope WWE realizes that in 2010; and yes I'm aware there's one more show in 2009, but I'm not going to hold my breath for that one, even though Timbaland could be a great guest host.
I wore myself out last week tearing that show down and was definitely too smarky for my own good, so I'm just going to leave it at this: another week where two hours of my life were lost, but it could've been worse.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - December 18, 2009

T-Lo, Teddy Long starts us off this evening, and since Batista was unsuccessful at TLC, we will determine a new #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista is not pleased (big shocker) and demands the shot since no one would want to face him for it anyway, which is the cue for Rey Mysterio! Rey Rey's not afraid of no Dave, and it looks like we've got ourselves a #1 contenders match! It's a straight-up wrestling match tonight, ain't gonna be no chairs, playa! Weird thing though, the winner will face Undertaker next week on Christmas edition of Friday Night Smackdown. Since I'm sure next to no one will be watching, I expect serious shenanigans.

Six-man tag action for our opening contest this evening, John Morrison, Matt Hardy & R-Trtuh vs. Drew McIntyre, CM Punk & Luke Gallows, should be a good one. I'm really enjoying the chemistry between all these guys, especially the teamwork with CM Punk and Luke Gallows. Fun match, CM Punk picking up the win for his team by nailing Hardy in his "surgically-repaired abdomen" with a Slammy Award! Another tough break for the good guys, they just can't seem to get on track on Friday nights.

Mickie James & Maria are playing Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 backstage, but Beth Phoenix unplugs the TV (which apparently was plugged in to the most industrial-strength outlet ever) and tells Maria they have a match tonight. Oh no.

A Very DX Christmas next week? Somehow I think this won't be like their DX-Mas celebration in 1997. I don't think anyone wants to see either of their asses twelve years later.

I think it's a testament to how awesome Vickie Guerrero is as a heel when WWE thinks they can get Eric Escobar over as a face just by making fun of her. Though I do have to admit, the chupacabra reference was rather amusing, still not enough to get me to care about Escobar, but amusing. Vickie gives Escobar his birthday present, a match with Kane... great, just what none of us wanted. Is this supposed to get us to care about this guy? Getting destroyed on a weekly basis, and this time by someone who's supposed to be a face? Ugh.

Ah, something to wash the Eric Escobar taste out of my mouth, Chris Jericho! Jericho makes a great point about the travesty of justice that was Monday Night Raw, but lets us know that he's not ready to leave Raw and he'll be back! Yay! Hilarious promo from Jericho, we even get another usage of "mucilaginous troglodytes!" Jericho will continue to dominate Friday Nights because he is the best in the world at what he does, but first he has to deal with... The Great Khali? Wonderful. Well, I guess we'll see if Jericho is a miracle worker in this one, because it takes a special talent to make a Khali match enjoyable. If anyone can do it, it's Chris Jericho, but even he knows there are limits to his greatness, Jericho walks out and takes a count-out loss. Hey, the man's tired from carrying Monday Night Raw for six months, let him have the day off.

The Hart Dynasty in action next against Jimmy Wang Yang & Slam Master J, if the latter team weren't wrestling tonight, they could go film the greatest buddy cop flick ever! Of course, with The Hart Dynasty making an appearance, it instantly makes my mind go to the rumors that Bret "Hitman" Hart could be making a return to WWE. If it's true, I bet (hope) it would be extremely good news for Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith. We could talk about the excitement of Bret Hart returning all day, but I think that would do a disservice to what is actually a really exciting match. Great work from both teams, loved the stereo suicide dives from Slam Master Wang, DH Smith's rolling belly-to-belly suplexes were brutal and Natalya BODYSLAMMING SMJ on the outside of the ring was just plain awesome. Not a huge win or anything, but the real news is after the match, it looks like The Harts are in fact setting their sights on D-Generation X in order to avenge Bret Hart over a decade later. Loving this. Two big title matches next week? They're really pulling out all the stops for this show, but I can't imagine people are going to watch.

Did Michelle McCool just call someone else "underfed," seriously? SERIOUSLY!?

The 2009 Diva of the Year battles to the 2008 Diva of the Year with Maria vs. Beth Phoenix, and I can't imagine this is going to end well for Maria. I suppose we could get the gratuitous win for Maria since she's got the momentum with the Slammy win and hosting Attack of the Show this week... but nope. One Glam Slam later, this one's over! Thanks for playing, Maria, perhaps you'd like a copy of the home game?

Main Event time! Rey Mysterio vs. Batista with a shot at the World Title on the line. Earlier tonight, Rey said after all Batista's done to him, the best revenge he could get would be to keep Batista from ever winning the title again, and with that in mind... GO REY!!! As much as Batista's gotten on my nerves as of late, his new entrance where it's just a spotlight shining on him is pretty funny. Match underway and before it can even get going, we get some casual racism from Matt Striker, something to the effect of not knowing how many of Mysterio's young fans are "here legally." Wow, just wow. Digging Rey's burst of offense early on, but once Batista gets control, it's about as boring as their match at Survivor Series. Luckily Rey mounts something of a comeback to keep this one interesting, and Batista getting frustrated with not being able to put him away is exactly what Mysterio is all about. Batista goes for a Spinebuster, but Rey reverses into a small package for the win! Mysterio vs. Undertaker (first time ever?) next week! No Batista vs. Undertaker? Merry Christmas to me!

Solid show, pretty weird to think that The Hart Dynasty vs. Slam Master J & Jimmy Wang Yang was match of the night, but it was definitely the most fun I had while watching the show. Next week is certainly shaping up to be awesome - World Title match, Harts vs. DX for the Tag Titles, might as well have McIntyre and McCool defend their titles too. Even though I'm skeptical about people tuning in on Christmas night, I'll definitely be watching, so I appreciate the effort. But don't be surprised to see shenanigans in Rey vs. Taker - like Batista getting involved - perhaps to set up a Triple Threat at the Royal Rumble? Would be weird for none of those guys to be in the actual Rumble match, but that's the direction I see this heading.

WWE Superstars Thoughts - December 17

Kicking things off with Smackdown's contribution to Superstars, it's Cryme Tyme vs. Mike Knox & Dolph Ziggler, the battle of guys who lost all momentum once the temperature started to drop and leaves began to change color. Cryme Tyme was doing so well when working with Shaq and feuding with JeriShow heading into SummerSlam; Knox was beginning to show some ability to be interesting with his Professor Death gimmick; and we all know about the meteoric rise and fall of Dolph Ziggler. A solid match, but I can't see it doing anything for any of these guys, especially Ziggy & Knox, who were on the losing end of this contest.

Vance Archer vs. Tommy Dreamer from ECW up next and I'm sorry, I just can't bring myself to care about Archer. He does the creepy stare really well, but that's about it... I really seem to remember Archer being fun to watch in TNA, especially when the "Hoytamania" gimmick was going on, but the intense monster just doesn't work for him, especially when he's doing the same stuff we saw Sheamus do just a couple months ago.

Main Event Time! MVP vs. Jack Swagger in a rematch from last week and from their feud from back in the summer; even though these guys have had a lot of matches this year, this one was undoubtedly their best yet. An awesome match, lots of back and forth action, the crowd was hot (this was before Dennis Miller and a terrible Raw put them to sleep) and served as a big reminder that both Swagger and MVP are being completely wasted on Monday nights and should be rising up the card much like Kofi Kingston and Sheamus. MVP picks up the win, giving both men a win over the other in this recent series, let's hope the rubber match can find it's way to Monday Night Raw.

Great main event saves a lackluster show; it wasn't even that the other two matches were bad, I'm just too distracted by how far Cryme Tyme, Ziggler & Knox have fallen lately and Archer flat-out bores me. Seriously though, if this main event doesn't serve as a wake-up call to the abilities of both MVP and Swagger, I don't know if they'll ever be pulled out of this rut.

In other news, this is the 300th blog entry here at Kick-Out!! Wrestling! Thank you so much for checking out this site since I started it during WrestleMania weekend, your continued support proves that wrestling websites can don't have to copy & paste in order to provide frequent updates. I'm just a one-man show, yet I'm able to churn out 300 self-written posts in less than a year, so there's no excuse for laziness and plagiarism. Here's to 300 more, and our continued demand for a better wrestling media!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 26

Sheamus wins the WWE Championship, fixing Monday Night Raw, the rumored return of Bret Hart, TNA's attempt to spark a new Monday Night War, and the announcement of the Wrestler of the Decade, all in this episode of Kick-Out!! Radio!

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Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity

ECW Thoughts - December 15, 2009

Kane has been invited to return to ECW tonight and lets us know with an "I'M BAAAAAAAACK." Seriously, anytime someone uses that Poltergeist reference, I cringe at the lameness; I think we can all agree it's time to retire the joke.

Tiffany is in the ring and invites Christian & Shelton Benjamin to the ring to congratulate them on their match at TLC. Shelton wants a rematch, but William Regal & The Ruthless Rountable have something to say about that. Regal wants to know why Kane has been invited to the show, and that brings us to Christian's next opponent, the winner of ECW Homecoming. What's ECW Homecoming? Basically, former ECW stars are being brought back to compete against current Superstars in a tournament of sorts. 16 men, and the final 8 will compete in a Battle Royal on January 12 to determine who will face Christian at the Royal Rumble. Sounds a lot more confusing when I type it out, but I like the idea... as long as it doesn't end up being Christian vs. Kane. Personally, I'm hoping for Christian vs. Matt Hardy.

The Hurricane vs. The Ripper is our opening contest and sadly not up to par with previous matches between Hurricane and Burchill. Perhaps because it wasn't Paul Burchill, but "The Ripper," who was trying to earn an ECW contract. Of course, Hurricane quickly put a stop to those plans by removing The Ripper's mask and nailing him with the Shining Wizard for the win. Nice try, Paul. After the match, Gregory Helms interviewed Paul & Katie Lea backstage with his cape hanging out of his suit... hilarious.

The Abraham Washington Show up next with special guest, the Diva of the Year, Maria. As bad as the Abraham Washington show is, Tony Atlas was freaking awesome. Maria wasn't too bad either, teasing Abe with her Slammy... now if this segment could ever have a point, we might be onto something.

Forgot to mention, Savannah has apparently taken over ring announcing duties after the departure of Lauren Mayhew. She's definitely more natural, still needs work, but I think the only way she'll get better is if she does it every week, just like Lilian Garcia. I approve.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. Vladimir Kozlov is our first ECW Homecoming match, even though both of these guys are already "home." We finally get a chance to see these two square off after all the tension within the Roundtable, but just when you think you have all the answers, William Regal changes the question! Regal escorted Kozlov to the ring, but winds up turning on him and giving the win to Big Zeke! Weird... a Zeke face turn makes way more sense than a Kozlov turn, but I suppose we're going to just have to wait and see on this one.

Trent Baretta & Caylen Croft defeated D-Generation X... in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. Well, Trent Baretta & Caylen Croft CAWs defeated D-Generation X in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010. And then they go to the ring for an actual match against Local Competitors, spoiler alert: Local Competitors lose. The most interesting part of this match is the announcement that Chris Jericho will be on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon this Thursday night. Other than that, your standard ECW squash, Croft & Baretta aren't bad, but I don't know where they're going to go as a tag team on ECW.

Main Event Time! Kane vs. Zack Ryder in our next ECW Homecoming match. Before things get started, Yoshi Tatsu vs. Jack Swagger is announced for next week, which should be awesome if given enough time. But let's focus on tonight, Ryder vs. Kane... not liking the Lord of Long Island's chances in this one; and eat your heart out, Matt Striker, I can come up with cool nicknames too! Ryder's gets in a surprising amount of offense, so much that it's kinda taking me out of the match a bit because I don't know if I can buy Zack Ryder dominating the Big Red Machine without some serious shenanigans. Of course I say that, and it's not long before Kane nails a chokeslam and gets the win, advancing to the next round of ECW Homecoming.

Easily a better show than the abysmal Monday Night Raw that it followed, but I don't grade on a curve and I have to admit I wasn't a fan of this show. I love the ECW Homecoming concept, and I think it will produce some entertaining moments, but a two-minute match between Zeke & Kozlov and a match that's not much longer between Kane & Zack Ryder aren't those moments. I expect more from ECW main events, but Kane vs. Ryder was something that you'd expect to see at 10:25 on Raw - total filler. Burchill vs. Hurricane was the best part of the night by default, because all that was left on the show was a squash tag match and the Abraham Washington Show. Here's hoping Superstars and Smackdown can pull WWE out of this rut they're in this week.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 2009 Kick-Out!! Awards

Since WWE has The Slammy Awards, and since last night's awards show was a crushing disappointment, I figured I'd do my own version. So this is the first-ever Kick-Out!! Awards, or the Kick-Outies!! if you'd prefer! I also promise my awards will feature 100% less Big Dick Johnson. Alright, with 2009 coming to a close, let's take a look at the best of this interesting year.

TV Match of the Year
When you think Match of the Year, usually the mind jumps to WrestleMania or other big PPV events, but TV doesn't get nearly enough love. The very nature of the weekly show often prevents us from seeing amazing matches on a regular basis, but in a year that was hit-or-miss in entertainment, it was also one of the best for quality wrestling on free TV.
Here are the nominees:
-Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison - ECW, April 14
-Christian vs. Chris Jericho - ECW, October 20
-The Undertaker vs. Chris Jericho - Smackdown, November 13
-Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson 3 - ROH on HDNet, July 25
-John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio - Smackdown, September 4

And the TV Match of the Year is... John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio!
It was a really tough decision between this match and Undertaker vs. Jericho, and while that match was certainly an epic encounter between two future Hall of Famers, I honestly think that Morrison vs. Mysterio eclipsed it. Such an awesome match, and well worth the $0 I paid to see it.

WTF?! Moment of the Year
In a business known for shocking twists and turns, 2009 may not have been full of surprises, but there were a few big ones that turned the industry on its head.
Here are the nominees:
-Christian returns to WWE and takes ECW by storm
-Hulk Hogan signs with TNA Wrestling
-At age 45, Jerry Lynn captures the Ring of Honor World Title
-Mr. Kennedy released
-Sheamus wins the WWE Championship

And the WTF?! Moment of the Year is... Sheamus wins the WWE Championship!
If I would've posted this on Saturday, Mr. Kennedy's out-of-nowhere release from World Wrestling Entertainment likely would be the biggest shock of the year, but at TLC, SHEAMUS won the richest prize in the game, just a few months after his debut. I'm still at a loss for words over the whole thing.

PPV of the Year
PPVs this year have either been really really good or really really bad and rarely in the middle, but there were a few gems,
Here are the nominees:
WrestleMania 25
-Bragging Rights
-Extreme Rules
-Judgment Day

And the PPV of the Year is... WWE Bragging Rights!
As much as I enjoyed WrestleMania 25, I'm aware that it was a very polarizing PPV, people either loved it or they hated it, but Bragging Rights was flat-out awesome. Coming off the worst PPV of the year, Hell in a Cell, Bragging Rights seemed like a glorified commercial for the new WWE video game, but somehow everything just came together and worked. The Miz stuns everyone in the opening contest by defeating his former partner, the Divas bring their A-game and prove they can wrestle in a six-woman tag, a fun Fatal Four-Way for the World Heavyweight Title featuring Batista's heel turn, the awesome 14-man Raw vs. Smackdown tag match that proved SD is the best show in WWE, and John Cena vs. Randy Orton in a 60-minute Iron Man Match, which was easily their best match in their LONG rivalry. The right people went over in every match, the action was exciting and everything just clicked to create the best PPV of the year.

Feud of the Year
In 2008, we got awesome feuds like Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels and Edge vs. The Undertaker, can 2009 live up to that?
Here are the nominees:
-DX vs. Legacy
-Christian vs. Jack Swagger
-John Cena vs. Randy Orton
-CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy
-The Miz vs. John Cena
-Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
-Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton

And the Feud of the Year is... CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy!
It was a great year for feuds, DX brought the best out of Legacy, Jack Swagger welcomed Christian back to WWE in style, The Miz became awesome by mocking John Cena (although it came back to bite him in the ass), Rey Mysterio & Chris Jericho tore the freakin' house down, and Kofi Kingston became a top-tier player with Randy Orton. But as great as those feuds are/were, CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy may be one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the industry. Playing off reality, simultaneously elevating both men into the upper-echelon of WWE, and producing unforgettable matches, Punk vs. Hardy is undoubtedly the feud of 2009.

Finisher of the Year
Everyone needs a cool finisher, it can be the one thing that instantly sets a new wrestler apart from the pack or refreshes a stale moveset.
Here are the nominees:
-Drew McIntyre's Double-underhook DDT
-The Hart Dynasty's Hart Attack
Luke Gallows' Gallows Pole
-Zack Ryder's Zack Attack
John Morrison's Starship Pain

And the Finisher of the Year is...
Drew McIntyre's Double-underhook DDT!
It's simple, effective and looks absolutely devastating, now all it needs is a cool name... and no, "Scot Drop" is not a cool name.

Feel Good Moment of the Year
Far too often, the wrestling business is far too concerned with what's the coolest or who's the most badass, but we often forget the ability of wrestling to put a smile on our faces.
Here are the nominees:
-Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat returns to the ring
-Bob Barker kicks ass as the guest host of Monday Night Raw
-Jeff Hardy's farewell to his fans
-Stone Cold Steve Austin inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame

And the Feel Good Moment of the Year is... Ricky Steamboat's return to the ring!
Fifteen years had gone by since the last time Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat laced up a pair of boots and competed in a professional wrestling match, but when he stepped back into the ring at WrestleMania 25, it was like he never left. In fact, he was so impressive, he went on to have two more matches, a big tag team contest on Raw (where he stole the show again) and then an amazing one-on-one contest with Chris Jericho at Backlash. I think Steamboat's mini-return can best be summed up this year with one sentence, "You still got it!"

NASTY! Moment of the Year

If you're a regular reader of the site, you know one of my favorite words to describe a sick bump is "NASTY!" and there were plenty of moments worthy of that description in 2009.
Here are the nominees:
-Randy Orton literally tortures John Cena with a Singapore Cane
-Alicia Fox lands squarely on her head after a Mickie James DDT
-Sheamus ends Jamie Noble's career
-Chris Jericho makes Ric Flair bleed like a horror movie victim
-Cody Rhodes' Cross Rhodes finisher

And the NASTY! Moment of the Year is... Mickie's DDT to Alicia Fox!
I could type up a description, but I think this will say more than I can:

I have to go vomit now.

Breakthrough Star of the Year

Not necessarily looking for a rookie of the year like WWE did with this award, I'm looking for a guy that broke out and became a major player in 2009, doesn't matter if it was his first year or his tenth.
Here are the nominees:
The Miz
-Kofi Kingston
-Desmond Wolfe
-John Morrison

And the Breakthrough Star of the Year is... Kofi Kingston!
Sheamus seems like the obvious answer since he won the WWE Title, but the win was controversial and it remains to be seen where Sheamus will go from here. Kofi Kingston, on the other hand, has been solidified as the next big thing and if 2010 isn't his year, WWE's doing something wrong.

Tag Team of the Year
Tag team wrestling was resurrected in this year, as a fan of the style, here's hoping it's not just a fad.
Here are the nominees:
-The American Wolves
-D-Generation X
-Beer Money Inc.

And the Tag Team of the Year is... JeriShow!
C'mon, is this one even a contest? The only team that could've possibly been better than JeriShow in 2009 would be if Edge hadn't gotten injured and continued to team with Jericho instead of Big Show. But even that would be debatable, as awesome as Edge is, Big Show & Jericho have fantastic chemistry and I hope we haven't seen the end of this dynamic duo.

Match of the Year
2009 wasn't the best year for wrestling from an entertainment standpoint, but there's no denying that this was a fantastic year for in-ring action.
Here are the nominees:
-Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - WrestleMania 25
-Edge vs. John Cena - Backlash
-Jeff Hardy vs. Edge - Extreme Rules
-Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho - The Bash
-CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy - SummerSlam
-John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels - Survivor Series

And the 2009 Match of the Year is... Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker!
No surprise here, I think we knew on April 5 that this match would wind up being the Match of the Year. Match of the Year without question, perhaps the Match of the Decade? Or how about the greatest match in WrestleMania history? What more can I say about this match that hasn't already been said? Without this match, Mysterio vs. Jericho at The Bash definitely would be the 2009 Match of the Year, but it unfortunately had to go up against one of the greatest matches that I've ever had the privilege of watching.

Superstar of the Year
You know what this one means, here are the nominees:
-Jeff Hardy
-CM Punk
-Chris Jericho
-Rey Mysterio

And the 2009 Superstar of the Year is... CM PUNK!
This was easily the toughest decision to make because you can make an argument for any of these guys: Jeff Hardy capped off a 15 year journey, Rey Mysterio was the in-ring worker of the year, Christian had one of the greatest return years in WWE history, and Chris Jericho continued to prove why he's the best in the world... so why didn't Jericho win? Simple answer, Jericho spent most of his year in a tag team, while CM Punk basically carried Smackdown on his back throughout the summer. Punk entered 2009 as Intercontinental Champion, went onto become the only man to ever win back-to-back Money in the Bank Ladder Matches, was drafted to Smackdown where he has had countless awesome matches against guys like Edge, John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, the late, great Umaga and many others.

At Extreme Rules, Punk cashed in his MITB to become World Heavyweight Champion, regained the title in a Match of the Year contender TLC Match at SummerSlam, retired Jeff Hardy, and became the first person to ever make The Undertaker "submit" (hahaha). And of course, you can't forget his awesome heel turn, which has allowed Punk to deliver the greatest promos of the year and become one of the most hated villains in the industry. So congratulations CM Punk, you're not only the first-ever Kick-Out!! Wrestling Superstar of the Year, you're also the first and only STRAIGHT-EDGE Superstar of the Year! That does mean he's better than you.

So, what do you think? Agree? Disagree? I want to know your picks for the best of 2009, so feel free to leave your own picks in the comments section!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Raw Thoughts - December 14, 2009

Kicking things off with our guest host, Sean Hannity! Oh I'm sorry, that's Dennis Miller, who's apparently been in character ever since he left SNL. Whenever I see Dennis Miller, I'm reminded of a George Carlin joke about how Joan Rivers became the kind of person she used to make fun of... Dennis Miller is in the same boat. Unsurprisingly, Miller dives into his right-wing nutjob material, and even stealing some of mine by talking about how wrestling and politics really aren't that different from each other. Remember when Fox News tried to create their own version of The Daily Show called The Half Hour News Hour? Yeah, I don't either... and Miller's "comedy" was about as memorable. Leave the comedy to the liberal hippies, please.

Our first Slammy of the night goes to the Tag Team of the Year, JeriShow! Certainly not a shocker there, it's not even really a contest when you consider how they saved the Tag Team Titles from becoming completely irrelevant. Without JeriShow, no one would even care about this award, and they certainly deserve their rematch.

Our first match of the night, William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Christian, Kane & the returning Great Khali?! I guess we're supposed to forget that Khali's been gone for months because of Kane dropping a set of steel stairs on his knee? Relax, it's just wrestling! Decent match, but incredibly short and seemed to serve no purpose besides continuing the dissension among the Ruthless Roundtable with their loss.

Dennis Miller's back with another "joke," but I honestly don't even remember what it was. The pioneers of the New Superstar Initiative, Teddy Long & Tiffany, are out to present the Slammy for Breakthrough Star of the Year, and it's no surprise that the award goes to our new WWE Champion, SHEAMUS! Much like JeriShow winning Tag Team of the Year, there's no debate in this one, no matter how good Drew McIntyre and Yoshi Tatsu were this year, they didn't become WWE Champion within 166 days of their debuts. And what a sight to see the WWE Championship around the waist of the Celtic Warrior.

Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes up next, which of course quickly ends in a DQ due to interference from Ted DiBiase. Ugh... but hey, Evan Bourne's here to make the save and Dennis Miller finally does something useful and turns this into a tag match! And of course, that doesn't last long either, c'mon WWE, it's a three-hour show, a match like this can go a little longer than five minutes! Nice to see Bourne get in some of that awesome offense, but him getting hit with Cross Rhodes might be the sickest thing I've ever seen, besides Legacy winning a match.

Two years in a row, CM Punk picks up the Shocker of the Year Slammy, this time for retiring Jeff Hardy. Last year he won it by cashing in MITB against Edge, he won MITB again this year, won the World Heavyweight Title twice this year, with all that in mind, how can this man not be Superstar of the Year?

With that in mind, cue John Cena! John Cena vs. CM Punk in a Superstar of the Year Tournament Semifinal Match, and I think I just answered my own question. As I was writing about CM Punk, John Cena made him tap out to the STF in a "blink-and-you-miss-it" match. Look, I don't have a problem with John Cena beating CM Punk, I don't have a problem with Cena beating Punk twice, but FFS, these short matches have to stop. Cena vs. Punk was great a few weeks back, why not explore that a little further, especially when you have three hours to work with? Completely pointless. And I swear, if tonight ends with Randy Orton vs. John Cena, I'm going to lose my damn mind.

After the match, John Cena vows to not lose until he regains the WWE Championship, somehow I think his promise will carry a little more weight than Jack Swagger's.

Triple H out next to present the Match of the Year Slammy... gee I wonder? Once again, this isn't even up for debate, especially when Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho from The Bash wasn't nominated. Still, even if it was on the ballot, we know it wouldn't stand a chance against The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. This wasn't just Match of the Year, it very well could be Match of the Decade... or perhaps even the greatest match of all-time. Yeah, I said it. HBK accepts the honor, and proceeds to challenge The Undertaker once again for WrestleMania 26?! Well, that's certainly an interesting development.

Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker in our next Superstar of the Year Semifinal Match; please don't let Randy Orton be Superstar of the Year, and please don't make us sit through another Cena/Orton match. I'm actually pretty excited about this match because Taker always brings out the best in Orton, but of course it's another absurdly short match and Orton wins by count-out, making this whole night completely lame. Seriously, there's no excuse for this, especially when just two months ago, we got the "FINAL MATCH EVER" between Orton & Cena, and yet here we are.

Another no-contest Slammy, Guest Host of the Year goes to the one and only Bob Barker, who presided over one of the most fun Raws I've ever witnessed. Shaq & Seth Green did great too, especially Green, who accomplished my goal of punching Cody Rhodes in the face, but let's just say it: Bob Barker is God. After Barker's acceptance speech (via satellite), Dennis Miller asks Vince McMahon if Bret "The Hitman" Hart could ever host Monday Night Raw. Hmm...

D-Generation X vs. JeriShow up next, and sure, why not have another match that ends before it even begins? DX gets themselves disqualified, Chris Jericho's gone from Raw and is escorted out of the arena by... non-Raw wrestlers. Seriously, I know it's the Holidays and all, but you probably shouldn't let the entire creative team take a vacation at once. Honestly though, this is a good break for Jericho, he was bound to get injured after carrying Raw on his back for six months.

Extreme Moment of the Year goes to Jeff Hardy for his psychotic dive off the ladder at SummerSlam. A bit surprising, I figured they'd give it to Kofi for the MSG Boom Drop, though I would've picked Big Show tossing Cena through the searchlight at Backlash. Matt Hardy accepts the award, some shenanigans with Carlito & Chris Masters ensue, and yeah... that's about it.

The Miz, Drew McIntyre & Zack Ryder vs. Mark Henry, John Morrison & Yoshi Tatsu had potential, but once again, another obscenely short match with no one really getting a chance to do anything. Nice to see Yoshi pick up a win on Monday Night Raw, but these completely forgettable matches are doing nothing for anyone.

The Divas up next in another throwaway match, but for whatever reason, they're wrestling in high heels and evening gowns, which provided a completely awkward moment with Layla not being able to get in the ring or stand up. After the match, Maria was awarded the Diva of the Year Award... despite not being on WWE TV for the majority of 2009. Batista plays Kanye West to Maria's Taylor Swift, but no one in the audience gives the slightest of damns. After this trainwreck, can you blame them?

Abraham Washington, Tony Atlas & Big Dick Johnson present Michael Cole with the "OH MY!" Slammy for puking on Chris Jericho's shoes. Seriously, this is really what's happening on Monday Night Raw right now.

The DX shill was pretty amusing. If only I had kids, they would totally be getting that Money in the Bank playset for Christmas this year... and I would be the one playing with it.

Main Event Time! John Cena vs. Randy Orton and the winner will be the 2009 Superstar of the Year. The one match I didn't want to see as the finals for this tournament, but after this abysmal show, this is probably going to be the only decent thing we get to see, it's been the only match to go an acceptable length so far, that's for sure. At least Cena won, which is fine, and certainly better than the alternative, but I have a hard time caring after the last three hours, which felt like three days.

Awful Raw. Awful, awful, awful Raw. Two weeks ago, I said that Raw was one of the worst I ever witnessed and the first time since 2002 that I actually considered turning off the television. I feel like WWE read that review and said "oh, you thought that sucked? Well suck on this, buddy!" and offered up these embarrassing three hours of absolute garbage. Virtually no wrestling to be found outside of the main event; the Slammy Awards lacked any sort of feeling of importance, which is a shame since they were such a huge hit last year; and Vince McMahon himself had the audacity to blast the audience for being dead. Of course they're dead, did you watch this show?!

I hate the negativity of the Internet Wrestling Community and it's the main reason why I started this site, but I didn't start Kick-Out!! Wrestling to be a WWE cheerleader. I started this site for a fair assessment of what goes on in the world of wrestling and that means praising the good and criticizing the bad, and tonight was definitely bad. I realize it's the holidays and ratings will be down regardless, but that's not an excuse to completely check out and put on an inexcusably terrible show. All that does is make the people who care enough to watch right now rush for their remote and turn on Monday Night Football.

I am a WWE fan, always have been and (hopefully) always will be, but much like when a sports fan watches their beloved team crumble, I can't handle watching shows this bad. Shows like this are why people are ashamed to tell others that they're wrestling fans and the reason why people in the mainstream view wrestling as a complete joke. The December 14 episode of Monday Night Raw was a joke; a cruel prank played on wrestling fans by the only wrestling company in the country that actually matters. The kind of show that's so bad, you want to call the USA Network and demand they pay a portion of your cable bill. The kind of show that's so bad that you think of all the things you could've accomplished in those three hours like knitting a pair of gloves or eating a plate of cheese, tasks that certainly would've been more emotionally rewarding that watching this excuse of a sports entertainment/wrestling show. Basically what I'm saying here, in case you haven't got the gist of it yet, this show sucked.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

TLC 2009

The creepy lady they have do voice overs for certain PPVs always makes me laugh... I'm sorry, no matter how scary your voice is, you can't make the phrase "splintered wood" sound intimidating.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian for the ECW Title starts us off, definitely the best choice for an opening contest. In all honesty, I have to say I was a little disappointed with this match; nothing against either man and they definitely busted their asses out there, but as I was watching, I couldn't help but wonder if the Ladder Match was a dying concept. Are there many things to do with a ladder in the ring that we haven't seen before or that wouldn't be terribly contrived? It's gotten to the point where a ladder match either has to be heavily plotted out or you put the competitors in extreme danger, and neither of those are ideal options. TLC matches allow for people to get a little more creative since tables can be used to break falls, but I wonder if there's anything left for the straight-up ladder match? Go back and watch HBK vs. Razor Ramon from WrestleMania 10, the match is downright tame by today's standards and we've just been upping the ante ever since, how much further can the human body go?

The other big story to come out of the match was that Christian was busted open early on and medical officials stopped the match to glue his face together. Two things about this bothered me, one was the crowd chanting "WE WANT BLOOD!", uh guys, he's literally bleeding INTO HIS EYE and you want to see more? Way to perpetuate that wrestling fan stereotype, this isn't the Roman Coliseum, fellas. But on the flipside of that, perhaps a bit of an overreaction on WWE's part? Unless they were planning on going into the audience, did the match need to be stopped entirely? It completely threw off the rhythm of the contest and I'm sure Christian could've taken care of himself. I hate to side with the vampire fans, but this is the one aspect of TV-PG I can't wrap my head around. It's just blood, it's been a part of wrestling since I've been watching (Hogan used to bleed all the time), unless the health of the wrestler is in jeopardy, why go so far as to stop an entire match for several minutes? This wasn't a controlled blading, so I guess I can see the logic behind it, but I think WWE's playing it way too conservatively on this issue.
Sorry to get off on a rant (just prepping for Dennis Miller on Raw tomorrow night), and I don't mean to make the match sound bad, because it was anything but, it just wasn't the show-stealer that I was anticipating.
Predictions: 1 for 1

John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre in a non-T, L, C or TLC match up next with the Intercontinental Title on the line. Solid showing for both men, I think the most memorable moment in the match being McIntyre landing right on the top of his head after Morrison's floatover DDT, but I think I enjoyed their match on Smackdown a couple weeks ago more than this one. Nothing wrong with the match at all and I've been coming around on McIntyre lately, so I'm not upset that he won, just surprised it happened so quickly. I think McIntyre winning the IC Title on his first try officially solidifies Dolph Ziggler as a choke artist; seriously, Nelson from The Simpsons should just show up in Ziggler's locker room with a "HA-HAH" after this match. Lots of Simpsons references whenever I talk about McIntyre, why is that? Anyway, my predictions downward spiral begins with this match.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James for the Women's Title... ugh. Just remember kids, if you're a bully that cheats, fights dirty and calls other people names, you too can be a WWE champion! Oh and also remember to be repulsively skinny. Skeletor McCoulter picks up the win here with help from Layla, but Mickie James isn't the only loser here, we the fans have to continue watching McCool with a title.
Predictions: 1 for 3

Sheamus vs. John Cena in a Tables Match for the WWE Championship and all I can think to say is - ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I am absolutely stunned, floored, flabbergasted and at a complete loss for words after this one. Sheamus is the WWE Champion! I'm going to repeat that:

Sheamus... is... the... WWE Champion?!

Yes, a mere 166 days after his on-screen debut, Sheamus has captured the biggest prize in the industry, I believe the only rookie to do it faster was Brock Lesnar. I honestly don't even remember much of the match because I was so shocked with the finish, which was mired in controversy, but it doesn't change the fact that on December 13, 2009, Sheamus won the WWE Championship from John Cena. I've seen a lot of reactions on this one: anti-Cena fans acting like this is the first time Cena's lost the belt after a 10-year title reign, anti-Cena fans who would've rather seen Cena keep the belt than Sheamus, Cena fans who are heartbroken, Cena fans that are excited, and people who think this is "too soon" for Sheamus, etc.

What do I think? I think it's pretty cool, actually. It would've been easy to just have Cena put Sheamus through a table and say "thanks for playing, Sheamus," and no one would've batted an eye, in fact I think most people expected that to happen. Sheamus winning is a huge surprise and whether it lasts a day, a month or a year, it's something WWE hasn't done in a long time, and that's put the belt on someone you'd never expect... and he didn't even need MITB to do it. I've seen a lot of people talking about the controversial finish, which looked like Cena fell into the table, rather than Sheamus putting him through it and that they'll reverse the decision on Raw tomorrow night. The only way that's going to happen is if Jesse Ventura's "conspiracy theory" is true and they're going for a storyline where the people in charge are trying to keep Cena as champ. And the only way that's going to happen is if Cena's turning heel and I'll believe that when I see it. I wouldn't be shocked if Cena just wins the belt back in a straight-up match tomorrow night or at the Rumble though. As for this business about Sheamus not being ready, I have plenty of thoughts on that, but will save them for a more in-depth editorial. I will say this, I'd rather someone win a title too early as opposed to too late.
Predictions: 1 for 4

The Undertaker vs. Batista in a Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Title just didn't do it for me, and I'm not surprised. These two have been in every match type imaginable and something as simple as "chairs are legal" just doesn't stack up. While the match itself wasn't horrible, it's unquestionably the worst match between these two to date. The ol' Dusty Finish didn't help either, don't even joke about something like Batista winning the World Title, WWE... my heart can't handle it.
Predictions: 1 for 5

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston goes on way late in the card, but it was worth the wait. That's right kids, I just said a Randy Orton match was worth the wait, and not just any Orton match, a match that he wins! Orton didn't need the win here, he's always going to be over, but I understand why they did it since Kofi has kicked his ass up and down Monday Night Raw for two months now. This really was a great match though and proof that Orton can be interesting when you give him something to do besides chase the WWE Title, which has been his entire character for over two years now. A fresh feud with a fresh face is all he needed and it paid off big in this match. Orton winning is hardly surprising, but Kofi is definitely a top-tier player now and I'm not sure how many of us saw that coming at the beginning of 2009.
Predictions: 1 for 6

Main Event time! Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show in a TLC Match for the Unified Tag Team Titles and I might have to take back what I said earlier about the ladder match. The ladders were the primary weapon in this match and these four guys came up with some pretty innovative spots, especially the ending where HHH held up half a ladder for Shawn Michaels to grab the titles! Bummer to see JeriShow lose the gold, but DX have never held the tag belts and since I'm sensing a split, now's probably the best time to give them a run. If there is a DX break-up on the horizon, I'm sensing this one will finally be permanent. Match of the Night here, loads of fun and a prime example of what the WWE main event scene is all about.
Predictions: 1 for 7 (ouch)

Okay, so my predictions really, really sucked. Somehow, I managed to do worse than I did at WrestleMania with my whopping TWO correct answers. Pitiful. As for the show, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either, it was decent, which has been a rarity for PPVs this year, they've usually been hit or miss. Things do feel like they're changing though and with the rise of Kofi Kingston and Sheamus as WWE Champion, I think that's definitely a possibility. My favorite PPV of the year (besides Mania) is next month with The Royal Rumble and since that always starts the Road to WrestleMania, I think that show will be a good indicator of whether or not WWE's heading into a new direction.

TLC 2009 Predictions

Since there was no Kick-Out!! Radio this week, I haven't had a chance to share my in-depth predictions for tonight's PPV, so let's do that now.

Women's Title
Michelle McCool © vs. Mickie James
Should be an easy one to predict, McCool's inexplicably held that title for over six months now and Mickie's been cast in the sympathetic role and needs the win for vindication, but for whatever reason, the Ann Coulter of WWE always seems to have gold. I'm going play it safe and predict Mickie James to win the title, but I wouldn't be surprised if McCool continues to bore us as Women's Champion for another six months.

Intercontinental Title
John Morrison © vs. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre is definitely "the chosen one" (apologies to Jeff Jarrett), but is it already his time? Dolph Ziggler got over a dozen shots at the IC Gold and couldn't seal the deal, can Drew McIntyre do it on his first try? Eh, I don't think so. McIntyre's time will come, but Morrison is taking the Intercontinental Title to new heights and will continue to do so after tonight. John Morrison picks up the hard-fought victory.

Grudge Match
Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton

This might be the most difficult match of the night to predict because they could really go either way with it. Kofi can win and continue his meteoric rise, or Randy Orton can continue to be one annoying roadblock. I don't think a loss here would hurt Kofi, but I honestly don't see the point in Orton winning, and that's not just my bias shining through. If Orton wins, it'll be because of some serious shenanigans (likely Legacy involvement), but I'm going to go out on a limb and say Kofi Kingston picks up the biggest win of his career. Definitely a risky choice considering the fact that he won at Survivor Series, but I'm still pushing my idea of Kofi winning the Rumble, and a win here tonight would instantly put him in the hunt.

Ladder Match for the ECW Championship
Christian © vs. Shelton Benjamin
Another tough one to predict and I think a lot of it depends on what the plans are for ECW. If ECW is getting a major overhaul and it's happening sooner than later, than I think Shelton Benjamin will take the win and lead ECW to its new direction, but if the plans aren't going into effect until closer to WrestleMania, than I think Christian will hang onto the belt. I think ECW's transformation - whatever it is - will require a bit more attention than the brand is getting now. If WWE's serious about revamping ECW, they're not going to do it quietly, so I think big changes are on the way, just not right now... so Christian will retain tonight. Regardless of who wins the actual match, I think the real winners will be us, the fans; this is my pick for Match of the Night.

Chairs Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker © vs. Batista

I haven't exactly hidden the fact that I'm less than excited for this match, mainly because we've seen Batista and Undertaker in much more interesting gimmick matches than something as simple as a Chairs Match, but there is potential for something enjoyable thanks to their in-ring chemistry. Not sure where this match is going, but I don't see Undertaker as the champ heading into WrestleMania, so I'll say Batista picks up the win here, even though I won't be happy about it.

Tables Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena © vs. Sheamus
Sheamus is getting a lot of hype and has looked incredibly impressive up against Cena, but perhaps too impressive? It's been a good, quick ascension for The Celtic Warrior, but there's absolutely no way he wins the WWE Title tonight. If he somehow pulls it out, it will be the WTF moment of the year and I'll be spending the rest of 2009 picking my jaw up off the floor. John Cena wins here, but it might not be the end of this rivalry.

TLC Match for the Unified Tag Team Championship
JeriShow © vs. D-Generation X
Another tough call and I think either team winning would work, so I really don't know who to go with. All week I've been thinking DX would win, utilizing the late-90s logic of "punked on Monday, win on Sunday," but now I'm wondering what DX would do as tag champs. They could win tonight for the brief celebration, then lose them right back to JeriShow and begin a split, but there really aren't any other teams to work with for any sort of extended reign. I'll go against my better judgment here and say JeriShow retains, but I have a feeling I'll come to regret that pick.

Less than an hour away from the first-ever TLC PPV, make sure you come back to Kick-Out!! Wrestling after the show for my full review!

Smackdown Thoughts - December 11, 2009

Batista is in the ring and doesn't care what we think about him... funny Dave, because I don't really care about you! OOH BURN! Pretty funny bit with the spotlight though, and actually, his little rant after that about making money and being World Champion is probably the most detail they've given to Batista's character in years. But a little bit of personality and motivation isn't enough to get me even remotely interested in Batista being anywhere near the World Heavyweight Championship. I'm definitely rooting for Undertaker tonight at TLC.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows vs. R-Truth & Matt Hardy is our opening contest and the entrances alone are incredibly entertaining with R-Truth singing and Matt Hardy handing out Jeff Hardy DVDs, much to CM Punk's chagrin. "THAT DVD IS POISON!" Actually Punk, this DVD is Poison. Anyhoo, great match here and it's a damn shame that these four guys aren't on the TLC PPV. We might get the token Punk lecture, but these guys proved here they can bring the goods in the ring, I'd like to see it again on PPV.

Matt Striker claims he's the Dennis Miller of Friday Night Smackdown... you mean funny when you're not talking politics? I agree!

Eric Escobar will never be successful as a face, no matter how hard they try. If this is the character they're selling as Escobar, he'll always be a person you just look at and want to boo.

It also doesn't help when they're giving us matches like Eric Escobar vs. Chris Jericho, that just makes me want to boo Escobar and cheer Jericho, who's supposed to be the heel. I understand the logic behind the match, put Escobar in there with the most-hated man in the business today and hope the crowd will cheer him by default, but wrestling fans have strong BS detectors and I doubt they'll buy this tactic. Maybe I'm wrong, it's hard to have a bad match with Jericho, so maybe Escobar will impress? Of course, as I type that sentence, Vickie Guerrero is on the stage and turns this into a handicap match featuring Big Show. Well, so much for that, might as well stick JeriShow in there with The Brooklyn Brawler. Walls of Jericho quickly locked in, Escobar taps, I yawn.

Thankfully, Chris Jericho gets a microphone and makes it all better.

Drew McIntyre is looking to win the Intercontinental Title tonight at TLC, and if he wins, I suppose that will make him the Anti-Ziggler? McIntyre rambles for a bit, bringing out John Morrison dressed like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. Mildly amusing, but I would've much preferred him dressed as Groundskeeper Willy from The Simpsons. Silliness aside, I think these two will provide a pretty enjoyable match on PPV.

Kane vs. Mike Knox again? Really? After that classic we were given last week? Same match two weeks in a row... these kind of matches are why people complain about WWE television being stale.

Mickie James & Maria vs. Michelle McCool vs. Layla up next, I suppose some last minute hype for the recently-added McCool vs. Mickie match for the Women's Championship at TLC. Quick match with Mickie picking up the win for her team, but I do have to give praise to Maria, who looked solid in the ring here. Maria's never been a strong wrestler, but maybe the last few months have been spent improving her ring work? We'll have to wait and see if that's the case, but I'm optimistic.

Main Event time, Batista vs. Rey Mysterio and this match is way better than their painfully boring encounter at Survivor Series. Mysterio looked great despite time off and rumors about his knee injury, I hope he sticks around as long as he can. Unsurprisingly, Batista picks up the win after a chair shot, but before he can give Mysterio a post-match beatdown, The Undertaker arrives and beats the holy hell out of the number one contender! Best part about this feud so far, hopefully they'll deliver in the ring tonight.

So-so episode of Smackdown, lots of good hype, but not too much going on in the ring aside from the first and last matches. TLC looks pretty good on paper and has had a good build thanks to shows like this, but we're just going to have to wait and see if it pays off.

Poll - Superstar of the Decade

First, the results from our previous poll:

John Cena - 36%
Chris Jericho - 33%
Triple H - 1%
Ted DiBiase -10%
Dolph Ziggler - 2%
John Morrison - 10%
Other - 4%

A bit surprising to see Cena take the win here, although it was very close between him and Chris Jericho. But whether you love Cena or you hate him, he hasn't faced The Undertaker in a one-on-one match in over six years, long before Cena won his first World Title, and it would definitely be one of those undefinable WrestleMania Moments.

Now, onto our next poll; with 2009 coming to a close, you're going to see a lot of media outlets putting together lists of the greatest music of the decade, greatest movies, news stories, etc., but I want to know who YOU think is the Superstar of the Decade. I use the word "Superstar" not to limit this to WWE, but to avoid any confusion - this doesn't have to be just about who put on the best wrestling matches, I want to know who you think was the most important athlete in the world of professional wrestling over the last 10 years. Whatever you use to come to that decision - ring work, mic work, impact on the business, or a combination of all sorts of things, that's up to you. Please vote in the poll and feel free to explain your picks in the comments section, especially if you pick "other."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

ECW Thoughts - December 8, 2009

Josh Matthews is in the ring along with a ladder and the ECW Championship. It looks like this is going to be an excuse to get our competitors at TLC in the ring together, but instead we get... Vladimir Kozlov? Kozlov wants Ezekiel Jackson for abandoning him in their tag match last week and if it's Zeke you want, it's Zeke you'll get! Zeke and Kozlov start trading blows, but Regal makes the save and literally begs for the Ruthless Roundtable to stick together. Shelton Benjamin interrupts and he is FIRED UP, who is that guy up there? Christian & Yoshi Tatsu join in on the fun and it looks like we got ourselves a six-man tag for our main event, despite the Roundtable's dissension. And damn, almost got through an ECW interview segment without hearing Tiffany's awful theme music. It really might be the worst theme music I've ever heard.

Looks like Vance Archer has graduated from facing Local Competitor and is now onto the next step in an ECW's heel career, facing Tommy Dreamer. Poor Tommy. We haven't seen Dreamer in awhile, so it's nice to see him getting some action, but not at the expense of Archer; calling this guy "unimpressive" would be generous. A decent TV match, but literally only when Tommy Dreamer was in control and Archer unsurprisingly picks up the win with his weak finisher. Blah.

The Ripper (hilarious) is backstage with Tiffany trying to get an ECW contract, which he must earn next week in a match against The Hurricane.

Interesting segment backstage with Zack Ryder & Tommy Dreamer. A new take on the "I'm going to retire Tommy Dreamer" shtick, which as I mentioned earlier, is the required course of action for all new ECW heels.

Trent Baretta & Caylen Croft vs. Local Competitors up next. I missed these guys last week in their debut due to issues with my DVR, so this is my first time seeing them, and they're really not bad. Granted, it was an incredibly short match just to showcase what they can do, but I think there's potential here.

Main Event Time (already?) - Christian, Yoshi Tatsu & Shelton Benjamin vs. William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson, this one should be enjoyable, so long as the problems within the Roundtable don't adversely affect the quality of the match. And of course, after I type that sentence and actually watch the match, it disappoints even without the issues between Kozlov & Zeke. Way too slow of a pace considering the participants and right now I feel like I'm in the middle of watching a five-minute resthold. Finally Yoshi gets in the ring, but just when the match is picking up, that's when the dissension comes into play, resulting in a count-out victory for Team Christian. Big thumbs down... But a HUGE thumbs up to Shelton's diving plancha over the top rope onto Regal and Zeke on the outside! OMGWHOA! But now Christian has a ladder and is going for the symbolic victory, but Shelton springboards from the apron onto the ladder! OMGWHOAx2!

Okay, so the ending to the show definitely makes up for a lackluster ECW, but I still expect way more from SyFy on Tuesday nights. Poor show, but I guess this is all part of the transitional period if the rumors of ECW's departure are true.