Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guest Post: Dissecting the Divas

Last week on Kick-Out!! Radio, I mentioned a new idea coming to the site: guest columnists. WWE has their guest hosts, Kick-Out!! now has Guest Posts. Each week, I'll highlight a different columnist, blogger, fan, etc. to discuss a topic of their choosing, with the only restriction is that it (obviously) has to somehow relate to wrestling. I got a lot of submissions already (keep them coming!), but for the first week, I wanted to go a bit outside the box. Our first Guest Post comes from someone not inside the "internet wrestling community," but rather from more of a political realm. A big thanks to RosieRed23, who runs the thought-provoking Spare Candy blog, for being the first contributor to Guest Posts:

A little background is necessary here: I didn't use to watch WWE programs. Ever. I've had a vague knowledge of high-profile wrestlers in the past (Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, The Rock, Randy Savage, etc.) and that's about it. Then, a little over two years ago, I started dating someone who happens to be a big WWE fan. Happily, we're still together, and as a result, I've been watching WWE for most of two years now. (I am an excellent girlfriend.)

Since I've been watching WWE, it's had its ups and downs, but overall it is pretty entertaining. I don't watch all four shows every week, but I do usually see at least two of them (Raw and Smackdown). One thing that has disappointed me nearly ever week since I've been watching, however, is the WWE Divas.

The biggest disappointment is the lack of talent. Yes, there are a few Divas who actually can wrestle -- Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Natalya, perhaps Gail Kim -- and it's my understanding there have been others in the past who could as well. But if you compare the Divas division to the men in WWE, the overall drop in wrestling talent is severe. We all know there are women out there who can wrestle, WWE-style, but for some reason* those women aren't in WWE. Instead we get a few with talent, and some who have potential to be decent, and others who, so far, are just painful and/or boring to watch. When you put a good Diva in the ring with one who isn't, it's obvious, and dangerous.

If Divas matches are known as "bathroom breaks" at live tapings, that's a problem. If we are fast-forwarding through half the Divas' matches, that's a problem. On last Friday's Smackdown, there wasn't any Divas match -- we saw Eve and Natalya for a minute, ringside, and that was it. No Divas match, and I doubt anyone really cared. The match between Mickie James and Rosa Mendes on Raw this past Monday was awful. There's room in WWE for a good, exciting women's division, but what WWE is presenting right now isn't it.

I almost hate to do it, but I have to talk about their looks. There's nothing wrong with how the Divas look, per se, but it is a lot of saline/silicone, hair extensions, fake eyelashes and push-up bras to take in at once. And by "a lot," I mean nearly every single Diva is sporting multiple "fake" or "enhanced" parts. So much so that I have wondered, out loud, how much of that is the Divas' choices, and how much is "encouraged," because it sure is a big coincidence.

Let's be honest, most of them look fake -- and how can they not, with all that going on? Their outfits leave very little to the imagination, and I think when you put it all together, it can be hard to take them seriously, even if you try. I have a hard time looking past all this stuff when they're wrestling to even notice if the match is any good -- and I'm a woman. No doubt many men see them as eye-candy and nothing more, and while I don't think that's right, I can hardly blame those men at this point. That's how the Divas are usually presented: not as serious wrestlers, but as serious eye candy. Thin, long hair, big boobs, lots of makeup, scraps of clothes, who sometimes wrestle each other. In the recent past, they have literally been reduced to being bikini models and Santa's "helpers" on the show. (And worse, I'm sure, but again, I've only been watching for two years.) They have "relationships" with the male wrestlers that get more air time than their matches do. The ringside announcers (all men) constantly talk about their looks and about how they "want" the Divas. WWE's Web site is full of photo galleries of the Divas posing in bathing suits or other tiny clothes. There's a new gallery daily, in fact. The emphasis on their looks far outweighs any emphasis on their talent, with perhaps Beth Phoenix being the exception. Beth Phoenix, however, is the only Diva who has what I would call serious muscles, so she probably falls outside "the look."

*Is this the reason we don't see more talented women in WWE? They don't have "the look"? My guess is yes, that's exactly why. And that's a shame. Hasn't the novelty of the current Divas' look worn off enough by now that WWE can bring in women whose talent trumps their looks? I'm not saying every Diva has to be an ugly ass-kicking bitch ... but wouldn't it be more fun if one or two more were at least able to kick some ass? It's hard to watch women who are so thin wrestle and not think "Um, hello, I could beat her."

I'm also having a hard time coming up with any Diva whose on-air personality isn't presented as ditzy or bitchy, sometimes both. There's nothing of substance presented in their personalities, despite the "smart, sexy and powerful" tagline that is used to describe them. Smart? Where? And why aren't any of them smart? Their feuds are often reduced to fighting over guys, if they have any feud storyline at all. Why?

There's this line that WWE seems to be walking with the Divas these days -- they have to be pretty, and they have to wrestle. In that order. It's time to either raise the bar, or drop the division. Either get to the point where most of the women aren't just watchable, but actually good, or have the women actually be "just" eye candy. This current incarnation of the division isn't working. WWE, after all, is about wrestling and entertainment. The Divas' looks might "entertain" some people for some amount of time, but after that ... what?



Read more from RosieRed23 here: Spare Candy


If you'd like to be a part of Guest Posts, please e-mail razor@kickoutwrestling.com with the topic you'd like to discuss and a link to a writing sample.

ECW Thoughts - September 29, 2009

William Regal opens the show backstage, informing us that Tiffany has been in a car accident and based on his prior experience, he's been named the interim General Manager of ECW. According to her Twitter page, Tiffany suffered a broken humerus (ouch) and I assume that will put her off TV for a few weeks. Regal in charge is never going to upset me, but his proposed main event for tonight, a 4-on-1 handicap match is a bad idea!

Speaking of bad ideas, The Abraham Washington Show officially kicks off the show, but I am surprised to hear tonight's guest is John Morrison! In all honesty, this wasn't that bad, Morrison kept it pretty entertaining and Tony Atlas saying "I'M AWESOME!" ala The Miz was hysterical. Dolph Ziggler comes out to interrupt, but they're out of time and he doesn't get a chance to speak. I wonder if they didn't have time to sufficiently hype these two on Friday due to the Decade of Smackdown Celebration, so they did this on ECW instead? Either way, not a bad segment considering Abraham Washington was involved, and here's a totally random thought: John Morrison's new shirt is really cool.

Opening contest is scheduled to be Paul Burchill vs. Shelton Benjamin, but the Gold Standard is attacked in the aisle by Sheamus before the match even begins! Shelton, perhaps finally solidifying that face turn, toughs through the beatdown and wants the match to start anyway. I loved this match, Burchill looked dominant, working over Shelton's injured shoulder the entire match, but as he grew increasingly frustrated, Benjamin took advantage and nailed Paydirt out of nowhere for the win - great storytelling. I just hope to see Benjamin, Burchill and Sheamus move up the ECW ladder in the near future.

The Board of Directors is not pleased with William Regal's idea for Christian to square off against four guys tonight by himself, so the main event is now an eight-man tag! I love me an eight-man tag and now I get two this week! Lucky me!

Christian getting his team psyched up was very amusing.

The second match of the evening is your Main Event! William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson & Zack Ryder vs. Christian, Tommy Dreamer, Yoshi Tatsu & Goldust! I loved this match as well, my only gripe with this match being the lousy crowd. C'mon Boston, you're at the Decade of Smackdown taping, make some damn noise! Aside from that though, absolutely no complaints, the match got a lot of time, everyone got to show off a bit and we even got a shocking finish with Yoshi Tatsu pinning William Regal! After defeating Zack Ryder two weeks ago and now William Regal, I think that makes Yoshi the front-runner for the next ECW Title match. I think a one-off battle between Christian and the "Puroresu Prince" (thanks Matt Striker) could be a lot of fun and I hope they move forward with it. Speaking of the ECW Title, why no match for it at Hell in a Cell? I understand the card is pretty stacked, but I can't remember the last time ECW didn't have a presence on a PPV. Oh well, I'd rather they get a month off than another rushed for time "match" like we got at SummerSlam.

Despite only having two matches and an appearance from Abraham Washington, that didn't keep this week's show from being a lot of fun. Both matches were top notch and considering they both contained essentially the entire ECW roster, they definitely made the most of it. Let me know what you think!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Raw Thoughts - September 28, 2009

It's the final Raw before Hell in a Cell, are we sufficiently hyped?

VIP Lounge with MVP & Mark Henry opens the show, MVP attempts to introduce our guest host this evening, but is cut off by the Unified Tag Team Champions, Chris Jericho & Big Show! Jericho isn't pleased with MVP's weak introduction and the two one-up each other to give the proper greeting to Reverend Al Sharpton! Have I mentioned how utterly bizarre this is? Sharpton is unsurprisingly booed, but I have to hang my head in shame a bit when the fans continued to boo the guy for talking about putting aside politics to achieve the goal of education reform. Wrestling fans booing education? Way to keep that stereotype alive, guys. But to be honest, it is weird that of all people to team up for this task, it's Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich. Liberals hate Gingrich, conservatives hate Sharpton, but let's be honest, regardless of your political affiliation, does anyone actually like either one of those guys? Anyhoo, back on the topic of wrestling, Sharpton gives the fans what they want and makes a Tag Title match between JeriShow and MVP/Mark Henry... right now!

Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. MVP & Mark Henry felt really long. Not a bad match, but we've seen these guys wrestle so many times, and I think there's only so much you can do when half the match involves Mark Henry and Big Show. Still, I'm not going to complain about a 20 minute match on Raw, plus it's great way to keep JeriShow relevant on Raw as they enter a Smackdown feud with Batista & Mysterio. Also gives them an excuse in case they get steamrolled by Cena in the main event later in the evening.

Al Sharpton's backstage with Primo, Santino Marella, Hornswoggle, Chavo Guerrero and Chris Masters. Probably the first and only time that sentence will ever be typed. The latter four have a tag match later tonight, so I guess Chavo was only kidding when he "quit" his feud with Hornswoggle two weeks ago.

Mickie James vs. Rosa Mendes, to borrow a phrase from JR, was bowling shoe ugly. Rosa looked so uncomfortable out there and missed several spots throughout the match. I know WWE's always in a rush to get new eye candy on-screen, but a lot of these Divas are nowhere near ready to be in the ring and I'm worried someone's going to get injured. The current Divas roster is pretty thin as it is (why else would Alicia Fox be getting a title shot?) so I don't know if it's a good idea to push these ladies right in the deep end of the pool. No other way around it, just a bad match.

I liked the segment with Legacy & DX... especially once DX interrupted Cody & Ted. Good verbal sparring though, Triple H calling them the "center part of a butt" might be the line of the year. And like I've been saying since SummerSlam, if Legacy can't catch on after all the work Shawn Michaels & Triple H have done for them, they're a lost cause.

Good, albeit short, match between Jack Swagger & Evan Bourne. I still don't know what to make of Bourne on Raw, he gets destroyed every week, but he continues to look so impressive that I can't help but wonder if something is in store for him down the road. It's not like Swagger just went in there and mauled him, Bourne got some great, innovative offense in there and even had me thinking he might have a shot. I would've loved to see him pick up the win and turn the US Title match on Sunday into a Fatal Four Way, but sadly it was not to be.

After the match, Swagger (still in possession of the US Title) runs his mouth a bit, only to be interrupted by the guy who's mouth runs marathons, The Miz! Miz and Swagger fight, but it's really like watching every frat boy fight you've ever seen, a lot of pushing, shoving and rolling on the ground, but no one actually throws any punches and it's all for show. Kofi Kingston seizes the opportunity and takes his belt back, giving him the momentum heading into another non-one-on-one title match. Seriously, after all this Six-Pack Challenges, Fatal Four Ways and Triple Threats, I want Kofi to win the 2010 Royal Rumble.

Chris Masters & Chavo Guerrero vs. Santino Marella & Hornswoggle was an amusing match, mainly for Santino's antics, but after the match was when things got interesting. For one, Masters won the match for his team after beating Santino with the Masterlock, which breaks Chavo's losing streak! Secondly, Hornswoggle gets trapped in the Masterlock... only to be saved by Chavo! And there it is, the truth comes out, Chavo likes Hornswoggle. Where would Wile E. Coyote be without the Road Runner? Or Tom without Jerry? Every good cartoon villain needs his foil.

Really? Ben Roethlisberger as next week's guest host? Speaking of perpetuating stereotypes, just what wrestling needs, another dumb meathead. Hey WWE, how about someone from a team that actually wins games? May I suggest Chad Ochocinco? He's a born entertainer, who would be infinitely more entertaining than Slothlisberger and would provide us with live Tweets throughout the show! WHO DEY STEELERS?! WHO F'N DEY!?

Al Sharpton backstage again, dancing to some James Brown tunes with the Bella Twins; I have to admit, Al did a pretty good job tonight in his (limited) role. What could've been serious trainwreck television was smooth sailing.

Gauntlet Match time, John Cena vs. Chris Jericho up first, and I'm never really going to complain when these two are in the ring together. One thing though, did anyone else notice Jericho's knee brace tonight? Wonder what the deal is there, hopefully nothing too serious. Throughout this match, I was wondering why Jericho wouldn't just walk out? Why should he care about this match? He's not on Raw and he's got a big Tag Title defense on Sunday, so why bother helping Randy Orton? Jericho had a similar idea, refusing to let go of the Walls of Jericho when Cena was in the ropes and getting himself disqualified. Brilliant! And correct me if I'm wrong, but was Cena tapping out after the ref called for the bell? Wow.

John Cena vs. Big Show up next, pretty standard match between these two, lots of Big Show bearhugs. But just when it looked like Cena was going to turn things around, lifting Big Show up for the Attitude Adjustment (it still blows my mind), Jericho runs in and causes another disqualification! The tag champs assault the WWE Champion for a bit before the final part of the gauntlet...

John Cena vs. Randy Orton - Orton, of course, has to take his sweet ass time getting to the ring. Have you learned nothing, Randy? John Cena's like Wolverine, if you leave him alone for even a couple seconds, he's going to start healing! The two stare each other down in the ring, but then Cena does his best Sabu impression and points up - to the Hell in a Cell! The Cell drops around the ring, Orton tries to escape, but stupidly climbs up to the top! Cena follows... Attitude Adjustment on the top of the Cell! AWESOME! Cena standing tall on top of the HIAC is a very cool visual and the perfect way to end Raw heading into the PPV on Sunday.

By the way, anyone remember the last time anyone went up on the roof of the Cell? I can't remember it happening after Chris Jericho vs. Triple H at Judgment Day 2002, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with tonight's show. A little light on in-ring action, but that's okay when it hyped up the PPV as well as it did. Al Sharpton was mostly a non-issue, so the show wasn't dragged down by the guest host, something finally changed in the never-ending Chavo/Hornswoggle saga and we got two matches featuring Chris Jericho, which is never a bad thing. My only hope now is that most of the fans next week in Wilkes-Barre, PA are Eagles fans and boo Roethlisberger out of the building.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Poll - Hell in a Cell

Been awhile since I've posted a new poll, but I'm looking for you to tell me, what's the greatest Hell in a Cell match of all-time? There are many to choose from, do you go with the original between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels? What about the incredibly underrated Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar? And of course, there's always the infamous Undertaker vs. Mick Foley match from King of the Ring 1998.

The choice, and how you come to that decision is up to you. Poll closes in one week, I'll tally the results right before the first-ever Hell in a Cell PPV, so get your votes in!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - September 25, 2009

Have I mentioned that CM Punk is a jerkface? He's so perfect in this role and the crowd is just begging for him to get his ass kicked. After he lists all of his accomplishments (and there are many), he claims there's no one left for him to beat. Those mysterious Druids interrupt, pushing a casket to ringside, Punk blasts it repeatedly with a chair, but it's not The Undertaker, it's Teddy Long! T-Lo, who looks battered and beaten, tells Punk that Hell's Gate is no longer banned and he'll face The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell and... tonight!

John Morrison & Finlay vs. Dolph Ziggler & Mike Knox was a good tag match. Basic tag team action, but served its purpose of putting over the Morrison/Ziggler and Finlay/Knox feuds, while also hyping up IC Title division. I'm looking forward to Morrison vs. Ziggler at HIAC, I'm impressed with Knox's progression as of late, my only gripe is that they're not really doing a lot with Finlay. Sure, he's winning matches, but I can't help but think he could be in something much more high-profile.

Backstage, CM Punk confronts Vince McMahon and doesn't want to wrestle The Undertaker. Vince says he should've thought about that before screwing Taker out of the World Title, but Punk seems to imply that it was Vince's idea. Is Vince trying to keep his name out of it or has he officially lost his mind? Hmm...

Slam Master J vs. Kane was a blink and you missed it kind of moment. Apparently SMJ vandalized T-Lo's office and had to face the consequences in the form of the Big Red Machine.

Vince McMahon comes to the ring (a rarity for Smackdown) and hypes up next week's Decade of Smackdown Celebration. After that, in a truly bizarre moment, Vince introduces a Superstar he personally signed, a man he calls a future World Champion... Drew McIntyre?! I can't remember the last time Vince personally gave that kind of endorsement to a new wrestler and of all people, it's Drew McIntyre, who we've yet to even see in an actual match? Weird. McIntyre runs his mouth, but is quickly cut off by R-Truth, who finally gets some shots in on the Scottish Superstar.

Batista vs. Big Show up next and it's pretty much what you would expect out of Batista vs. Big Show. The highlights of this one were Chris Jericho screaming at ringside ("WHO'S THE ANIMAL NOW!?) and Batista busting out the Ankle Lock, which I assume will be a new submission finisher for the Animal? I'm all in favor of it, I think every wrestler should have an impact finisher and a submission finisher, adds a whole new dynamic to every match. Jericho causes a DQ to stop Show from tapping out, but he gets an ankle lock for his troubles as well.

David Hart Smith vs. JTG was pretty good, but I'm still waiting to see Tyson Kidd take on JTG! Anyway, this one was fairly short, but Kidd nailing that sick kick on the apron while the ref was distracted with Natalya & Eve was awesome and Smith's celebration after his win was ridiculous. My point from last week still stands though, we need more tag teams!

Batista is backstage and lets JeriShow know that he's gunning for the Unified Tag Titles at Hell in a Cell, along with his partner... REY MYSTERIO! Told ya that suspension would go by quickly.

I'm not sure how I feel about giving away Undertaker vs. CM Punk on Smackdown. It's one thing when these matches are quick, but I felt like this one was pretty long and they gave it their all. I suppose it's no big deal, I'm sure their match inside the Cell will be much different than this one and it's not like we got a definitive ending here since Punk won by count-out. Punk keeps slithering away from The Phenom, but there won't be any shenanigans next week when they meet inside "Satan's Structure."

Much better Smackdown than last week; good storyline progression, solid in-ring action and even an in-ring appearance from Vince McMahon himself! Next week's Decade of Smackdown should be a blast too, especially with the huge main event of Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H & John Cena vs. CM Punk, Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. Can't wait!

Friday, September 25, 2009

WWE Superstars Thoughts - September 24, 2009

Chris Masters vs. Primo to start things off this evening. Wow, Primo's new music is horrible and were my eyes deceiving me or did I see pyro for Primo? Oddly enough, Primo for Pyro is actually Perry Ferrell's next side project, but I digress. Superstars is apparently the place to use Chris Masters these days since they don't have Sunday Night Heat anymore, do they have any plans for him at all? A big win for Primo, no doubt about that, but this is just another sign of the huge gap between Raw's upper and lower card wrestlers.

I really liked Goldust vs. William Regal, even if it did have a DQ finish. Something very old school about this one, probably because both these guys have been wrestling for a long time and could probably work a match against each other in their sleep. I also really liked Christian, Tommy Dreamer & Yoshi Tatsu saving Goldust from Regal and the Ruthless Round Table, hopefully they'll do an eight-man tag on ECW with Burchill or Ryder joining Regal's crew.

Melina & Maria vs. Michelle McCool & Layla was the exact same match you've seen every other week on Smackdown for the last three months. Seriously, this division needs a massive overhaul.

Matt Hardy vs. Kane was a solid main event, ruined by another DQ finish. I'm sure Hardy's still taking it easy after his surgery and Kane is Kane, but both things considered, these two actually had a pretty good match going. Solid back and forth action, crowd was really into it, Grisham & JR were doing a great job on commentary, this would've been a great TV match without the ending. It's always so formulaic with Kane; JR was putting over the fact that he hasn't been pinned since he's returned, which is true, but I feel like more than half his matches end with him getting DQed. If they're going for attempt #34113 to make Kane a monster again, just do it, have him destroy people, enough with the lame finishes.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 17



Health insurance for wrestlers, John Cena's next feud, Chavo Guerrero, Lilian Garcia's retirement and more on the Jeff Hardy situation, all on this week's Kick-Out!! Radio!


Subscribe to Kick-Out!! Radio via iTunes! (This link will open your iTunes)


MP3 version - just scroll down to "Recent Episodes" and click the MP3 icon.

Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ECW Thoughts - September 22, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to SyFy on Tuesday nights, The Abraham Washington Show returns to ECW. It's funny, Abe's been gone for a few weeks and I hadn't even noticed or cared, take note WWE. Sheamus is our guest this evening, looking like every Irish gang member you've ever seen in a movie. He actually looked pretty badass in street clothes and almost (I stress almost) like a normal human being. Shelton Benjamin eventually comes out to confront Sheamus about their problems over the last couple weeks, you know where this is going - BRAWL! It took way too long to get there and Abraham Washington was involved, but at least Shelton and Sheamus have something to do.

Paul Burchill vs. Yoshi Tatsu is our opening contest this evening, and pretty standard stuff from these two, which certainly isn't something I'm going to complain about. Both of these guys are still struggling to find their niche on ECW and I'm not sure WWE knows where they want to go with them, but as far as in-ring talent goes, these guys are good to go. But that's the beauty of ECW, once they find that one thing that lets them breakout, they could be a contender for the championship. Speaking of which, since Yoshi just pinned Zack Ryder last week, who is now the #1 contender, and now beat Burchill this week, maybe he should be in line for a shot?

Paul Burchill beats up Gregory Helms backstage for talking to Katie Lea, what a jerk. Maybe Katie Lea could realize her bro has it all wrong and winds up joining The Hurricane? She may not be as awesome as Mighty Molly, but the Incredible Katie and Hurricane could be fun. I'm just sayin.

Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson vs. Local Competitor(s) - you know how this one goes by now, just read any of my ECW reviews over the last four months and you'll get the idea.

Main event time, Zack Ryder vs. Christian for the ECW Championship! Lots of hype going into this one throughout the week, people have been really excited to see Ryder get his opportunity, and he certainly did not disappoint. Another fantastic ECW Title match, another fantastic ECW main event, another fantastic Christian match... this brand is so awesome it's frustrating. It's hard to find new ways to heap praise onto something is every week, what else is left to say about ECW that hasn't been said this year? Christian has hoisted this brand onto his back and carried it to an endless stream of entertainment, even when there's an off-week for the brand, he's right there to make it spectacular again. Captain Charisma also continued his role of star-maker, Zack Ryder once again looks like a million bucks. After these two matches, even though both were losses, his stock has soared, that's just how good Christian is.

Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that William Regal came out after the match and confronted Christian about becoming the #1 Contender once again. Christian decided to respond with his fist, which I was always told doesn't solve anything, but it got Regal to leave the ring so Christian could celebrate! Speaking of Christian hitting people, how nasty was that slap on Zack Ryder early on in their match? My face burned after that one. And what was up with all the cuts and scrapes on Christian? Was there a cactus patch backstage?

A better wrestling media

One of my favorite things to do around here is to expose bad wrestling websites for the frauds that they are and tell readers to "demand a better wrestling media." Today, we take a look at some of those sites that are making the internet a better place for wrestling fans.

WRESTLEGASM

Easily the funniest wrestling website on the internet. Imagine if WrestleCrap were run by a woman and didn't devolve into a cesspool of smark whining, then you might have an idea of Wrestlegasm's brilliance. The female demographic is obscenely underrepresented in wrestling, even moreso in the male-dominated internet wrestling community, but with the recent surge in female viewership - 40% of WWE fans are women - and sites like this, that's beginning to change.

WrestlingReader
The Wrestling News Aggregator is essentially the Google of wrestling news and opinion. You have to respect the sheer amount of work that must go into WR and sleek layout makes this one of the best looking wrestling sites out there. Also, major kudos to the folks (folk?) over at Wrestling Reader for taking a stand against the PW Torch after their morbid and tasteless editorial about Jeff Hardy following his arrest.

Ring Posts
Ring Post, part of The Baltimore Sun's sports page, is probably the most professional blog out there about wrestling. While some could say he's "just" a blogger, Kevin Eck is a part of a major metropolitan newspaper and a legitimate radio network, both of which carry weight in my book. He actually adheres to some kind of journalistic integrity, unlike the majority of "columnists" out there who are accountable to no one. Eck writes fair reviews, interviews people actually within the business (Dawn Marie, Shane Douglas and Chris Jericho, just to name a few), and focuses on actual wrestling news, not fabricated rumors or whatever minor tidbit could be scraped from the bottom of the barrel. When dirtsheets are no more, Ring Posts will be the template for how the wrestling community gets its news and opinion.

The Ring
Part of the EWBattleground, The Ring is hands-down, the best forum on the internet to discuss wrestling. Usually when you go to wrestling message boards, you get something like this:
"WWE SUXXXXX TNA 4LIF!!!"
"NO U SUX!"
"2 WORDZ 4 BOTH U - SUX IT!!!11111"

But thankfully The Ring is not like that. If you're looking for a good discussion and Twitter's 140 characters just aren't enough, come hang out. I hear one of their moderators is an ass though, so watch out.


WrestleSoup
We've had our differences in the past, but we're both working toward a common goal - creating a better wrestling media. Frequently updated, WrestleSoup is a great site for a fair and balanced take on
the latest happenings in the world of sports entertainment.

JR's Blog
While JR is a WWE employee, his blog is one of the most honest, blunt and interesting reads out there. JR's still obviously a huge fan of the business and it's a good insight into the mind of the man who is the voice of professional wrestling. With rumors frequently debunked and the record set straight,
JR's Blog is one of the most important sites out there for any wrestling fan to visit.

Storm Wrestling
Lance Storm is the epitome of class and it shines on his website. His columns are interesting, but I think my favorite part of the site is when he does Q&A with his readers. It's great to see wrestlers interact with the fans, but what makes this one so great is Storm frequently corrects smarks who think they know what they're talking about, when they actually have no clue. Storm's not afraid to give his opinion, but with his very humble demeanor, he doesn't present it in a fashion that a lot of other former Superstars do.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Raw Thoughts - September 21, 2009

Cedric the Entertainer is our guest host this evening... I guess it can't be any worse than Code Name: The Cleaner. Still, that doesn't stop WWE from trying, Ced exits from his limo with the Bella Twins, who are apparently loaned to each week's guest host, and we're subjected to a clown car bit. Old ladies, goats, every cliché you can imagine for a "wild party" scene is used here, but at least Dr. Ken didn't show up.

Luckily, things get back on track with our opening contest, Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes. How weird is it for Triple H to not only be in the first match, but then not be seen for the rest of the night? Good enough match here, Shawn Michaels and Ted DiBiase made things interesting outside the ring as well, but it ended in typical Legacy fashion, lame DQ ending. WWE.com has it listed as a "no contest," but I'm pretty sure Triple H should've won this one by DQ, considering DiBiase attacked him with a chair. Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes (he's going to break someone's neck with that move one of these days) and DiBiase hits Dream Street before HBK makes the save with a sledgehammer. If Rhodes & DiBiase don't get over after HBK and HHH have bent over backwards to make them look credible, there's no hope for them.

Cedric the Entertainer's out next and made up for the ridiculous limo bit with a pretty funny comedy routine on the WWE Superstars, we even finally got the first on-screen acknowledgment that Mark Henry does look like the Kool-Aid Man in his new red attire. Santino Marella comes out to let "Frederick the Entertainment" know that he's found his calling as a stand-up comedian and makes the segment even more enjoyable. Things take a turn for the worse when Chavo Guerrero interrupts to blame all his losses to Hornswoggle on the guest host and challenges Cedric to a match. Everything falls apart here, Cedric tries to squeeze in a plug for some movie he's directing, Chavo's mic goes out and everything just gets really awkward. But the match is on, Chavo vs. Cedric... oh dear.

Josh Matthews interviews The Miz and asks why he stole the United States Championship. Miz mentions that he deserves it more than Kofi, since he was actually born in America, but c'mon Miz, Cleveland barely counts! Kofi Kingston attacks from behind and takes his belt back.

The Miz vs. Evan Bourne wasn't bad, perfectly acceptable TV match and Miz picks up the win with the Skullcrushing Finale after Bourne missed with the Shooting Star Press. Bummer that Bourne has to lose again, but at least he's not getting demolished out there every week. Still waiting on him to get that United States Title match though, considering he pinned Kofi Kingston over two months ago!

The contract signing with Randy Orton & John Cena was amusing, mainly because it was five minutes of Cena not taking Orton seriously, which is pretty much the same idea I use for reviewing Orton matches! I'm sure Cena's promo made smark heads explode, but considering how lame Orton has been this year, I think it was pretty spot-on. But while Cena had the upper-hand verbally, Orton may have outsmarted him on this one, he apparently hired JeriShow to come beat up Cena, which was of course an open invitation for MVP & Mark Henry to make the save. You don't have to be a wrestling savant to figure out where this went next, six-man tag main event!

I went to get a glass of water during Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix, I actually went as Beth was making her entrance, and by the time I got back, The Glamazon had already won. Seriously. Alicia Fox hit a NASTY scissor kick (Booker T's got nothing on this one) on Mickie James after the match though.

Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger for the United States Championship up next, and I'm still scratching my head after this one. So The Miz comes ringside to try to steal the US Title back, but Swagger clotheslines him in the aisle and takes the belt for himself, walking out of the match. Uh, Jack... you were kinda in the middle of a United States Title match, you were winning! All-American Dumbass. Seriously, who thought this ending was a good idea? There had to have been a better way to have Swagger steal the belt without forfeiting a match that he was in control of.

Cedric the Entertainer vs. Chavo Guerrero was actually really funny. Cedric put on a luchadore mask and ran under the ring, only for a much larger Cedric to take his place and demolish Chavito. Then a much smaller, much paler Cedric hit the Tadpole Splash and then apparently shape-shifted back to his original Cedric form to score the pin. Easily the best thing they've done in the Hornswoggle/Chavo saga yet, even if it's the feud that will never end. Still, I keep hearing a lot of rumblings about how "Chavo deserves better," but I think a regular role in Raw's lighthearted moment of the week is a pretty good gig. Let's get real, if it weren't for this Hornswoggle storyline, Chavo would be Raw's version of Charlie Haas.

Next week's host is... AL SHARPTON?! This has serious potential to be one of the most bizarre moments in WWE history, but if we're going to open the guest host gig to controversial political figures, can I propose a Steel Cage match between Big Show and Glenn Beck?

A very sweet, very classy send-off for Lilian Garcia, whose last night with WWE was tonight. Lilian's been the voice of Raw for a decade now, it will not be the same without her, but she's moving onto a new chapter in her life and that means moving on from WWE. We'll miss you Lilian, thank you for ten great years!

Side note: to all those dirtsheets that ran that idiotic rumor about WWE trying to "humiliate" Lilian Garcia on national television with the "triple threat" mix-up last week, I expect retractions, you no-talent hacks!

Chris Jericho, Big Show & Randy Orton vs. MVP, Mark Henry & John Cena was your by-the-books WWE six-man-tag main event. Isolate a good guy, stop the tags, hot tag, mayhem ensues, heel steals a win with an out of nowhere finisher while everyone else is brawling outside. The twist in this one, since Orton's team won, Cena has to compete in a 3-on-1 Gauntlet match next week against Orton and the Unified Tag Team Champions. I'm looking forward to Cena and Jericho locking up again, but I suspect serious shenanigans from Orton heading into Hell in a Cell. Sigh... the sooner Cena has some new challengers, the better.

Wasn't all that into Raw this week. Much like Friday's Smackdown, nothing was particularly bad, but the show just felt uneventful. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I feel like I've been watching the same show for months now. Orton vs. Cena, DX vs. Legacy, Jericho & Show vs. MVP and Mark Henry, Chavo vs. Hornswoggle, Santino goofing off, the only thing that changes is the guest host! I can't speak for everyone, but I know I'd like to see more tag teams, different people in the main event scene, and a bigger focus on Kofi Kingston and his challengers. The guest host concept has done a good job of keeping my interest from week-to-week, but just like with Saturday Night Live, one celebrity can't carry an entire season.

The Five Count - September 21, 2009

5. "Buckle Up, Teddy."
Yeah, the whole segment looked like a low-budget porn and it's one of those things I would be embarrassed to show to a non-wrestling fan, but it was just so ridiculous, I couldn't help but enjoy it. It's something straight out of a bad horror sequel, Freddy Krueger could've just as easily replaced The Undertaker and Teddy Long's part could've been played by a large-breasted 20-year-old or a dude in his 30s pretending to be a high school student (he's got a letterman jacket on, what more do you want!?) and it would've fit right in. So as a fan of stupid horror movies and pro wrestling, this segment was at least amusing, but let's not overdo it.

4. Davetista returns to Smackdown!
In a bit of a surprising move, The Animal has returned to Friday Nights, presumably to fill the void left by Jeff Hardy's departure. And with rumors about Undertaker's health going around, the Blue Brand desperately needs a top face, especially with Edge & Rey Mysterio on the sidelines. That said, don't put too much stock into The Undertaker rumors, it's just that time of year, I think "this year" has been the rumored retirement for Undertaker since 2004, so take that into consideration. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Batista hung up the boots before Taker, which is why I see his move to Smackdown as more of a band-aid than anything else.

3. The Week of Woo, Woo, Woo!
Zack Ryder had one hell of a week, didn't he? First, he goes out and puts on a tremendous match with Yoshi Tatsu, definitely Yoshi's best match yet and one of Ryder's best as well, second only to his encounter with Christian a few weeks back. Later in that same evening, Ryder shocks the WWE Universe by winning a 10-man Battle Royal to become the new #1 Contender for the ECW Championship! But the man from Strong Island wasn't done there, Ryder went onto Superstars on Thursday night and provided one of the best guest commentaries in recent memory. This was definitely the breakout week for Mr. Woo Woo Woo... you know it.

2. Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 roster revealed
I haven't had many opportunities to talk video games since I started Kick-Out!! Wrestling, but I finally have a chance thanks to the new WWE game, which will be released in less than a month. The last few years, SvR titles have ranged from "pretty good" to "incredibly disappointing," but there's a lot of buzz for 2010. With features like Create-a-Storyline, new Road to WrestleMania storylines and the ability to download other people's created Superstars, this could be the year that changes everything. The roster was revealed late last week and it's one of the best ever, only a few minor omissions (Zack Ryder, Hart Dynasty, Paul Burchill), but with the improved Create-a-Superstar and the potential for downloadable content (and maybe secret unlockables?), those are minor problems.

1. Christian vs. Paul Burchill
Quick question, has Christian had a bad match since his return? An average match? Anything less than good? I know it's a bit crazy to say when Chris Jericho has been tearing it up in WWE for almost two years now, but I'm beginning to think that Christian is the best in-ring performer in WWE today. I've always liked Christian and always enjoyed his work, but I don't remember him ever being this good in TNA or in his previous run with WWE. After being noticeably absent from ECW, Captain Charisma returned to Superstars and put on another fantastic match with another guy who has dramatically improved, Paul Burchill. Even though Burchill rarely wins a match, he could easily be considered a contender to Christian's ECW Title at any time, they have great chemistry and the brand's unique dynamic makes anyone just one big win away from becoming a believable threat... just ask Zack Ryder.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Smackdown Thoughts - September 18, 2009

For the second time this week, a WWE show begins with "The Animal," BATISTA! Davetista is back on Smackdown, but before he can say much, Chris Jericho interrupts! Jericho makes it clear that Smackdown is his show, not Batista's (I think CM Punk might have something to say about all this) and it sets up our main event for the evening. Chris Jericho may be the face of Smackdown, but Batista puts him on his back with a Spinebuster to finish the segment.

Backstage, Jericho is furious with Big Show for not helping him out... I hope they're not even thinking about breaking these guys up, their awesomeness has only just begun!

John Morrison vs. Mike Knox is our opening contest, but WTF was up with Knox referencing restless leg syndrome? I get the whole Professor Knox gimmick when he's talking about pressure points or how to inflict maximum damage to a body part, but I'm not sure if restless leg is just something that can happen after a match with Mike Knox... unless he's suggesting that he can cause neurological disorders, which might be the coolest gimmick ever. Anyhoo, I liked this match, Morrison was great as always and Knox continues to improve, which if you would've told me that last year, I would've laughed. Two spots in this match really stuck out to me, Knox's bicycle kick to the back of Morrison's head (ouch) and Morrison's sickening DDT where Knox landed entirely on the top of his head. Maybe he'll have restless leg syndrome after that one.

Referee Scott Armstrong wants you to know that he's been in this business 30 years and he'll do what he has to do to provide for his family, even if that means screwing The Undertaker out of the World Title!

And next, Teddy Long wants you to know that he's been in this business a long time and he'll do what he has to do to provide for his family, even if that means screwing The Undertaker out of the World Title! Wait... what? Teddy, you're kinda the boss of Smackdown, the only person you answer to is Vince McMahon, who didn't seem too thrilled with Undertaker getting double-crossed at Breaking Point, so how does it help you keep your job? This doesn't make any sense...

...So let's make it even weirder! T-Lo leaves ringside and is escorted by security to his limo... where the doors lock themselves (oh c'mon Teddy, why does that scare you? My Buick does that!), the lights go out, smoke pours in and guess who's driving? That's right, The Undertaker, playa! "Buckle up, Teddy" is very reminiscent of "Where to, Stephanie?!" and still hilariously awesome all these years later. Seriously, it takes a very special talent to make something this cheesy so fun to watch, I've seen better special effects in commercials for local haunted houses.

Another great promo from CM Punk, but not really anything new here. We're all pill-popping losers, Punk's better than us, etc. With Undertaker out of the building, there wasn't really a whole lot to talk about. I would've liked to know more about Punk's role in the outcome of the PPV main event, but he's acting like he forced Undertaker to tap out, which is even funnier.

Finally we get another match! Melina taking on... oh is that Michelle Mc-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

YAAAAAAAAAAWN... sorry, must've passed out for some reason. Oh look, The Hart Dynasty & Cryme Tyme are wrestling again. We REALLY need more tag teams. Good match though, all four of these guys have been great as of late and that certainly didn't change here. Hart Dynasty pick up a huge win in their home country after Tyson Kidd hits a new finisher, which I can only describe as The Snapmare from Hell.

Really? Kane vs. Khali again!? REALLY?! Oh... that didn't take long, Kane destroyed Khali's leg with the steel steps, so I guess that confirms the injury rumors that I was hearing earlier this week. Can Ranjin Singh stay on TV though? Please? I've got a great gimmick for him: he starts hanging out with Charlie Haas, who plays a boring, milquetoast kind of guy and translates anything he says into something entertaining.

Speaking of ol' Chuck Haas, he's up next in a match against R-Truth that never happens because of that dastardly Drew McIntyre... who may actually be the long lost son of Groundskeeper Willie. McIntyre congratulates Haas on his forfeit win by hitting him with that brutal double-arm DDT. JR mentions that McIntyre is extremely talented, but I'm still waiting to see it, considering he's never been in actual match yet!

Batista vs. Chris Jericho was a good main event, a little on the short side, but just having Jericho in a match automatically makes it better. I think Batista's going to fit in just fine on Smackdown, and I'm glad they didn't immediately throw him into the World Title situation. It appears that he's going to start feuding with JeriShow, since Big Show made it sound like they'll be wrestling next week. I assume when Rey Mysterio returns from suspension, he'll team up with Batista and gun for the Unified Tag Titles?

Overall, a pretty disappointing Smackdown. It's not that it was actually bad or anything, but I didn't feel like anything really happened. Even with a huge main event, the GM being abducted by The Undertaker and a great match between Morrison and Knox, the show just felt uneventful. It's happened a few times since Smackdown became best wrestling show on television, so I'm sure they'll get right back on track next week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

WWE Superstars Thoughts - September 17, 2009

With the Fall season back in full-swing, Thursday nights are insanely busy for TV, I wonder if the 11pm replay of Superstars will see a spike in ratings?

Santino Marella vs. Chris Masters starts us off, I was reading a lot of negativity about this match on Twitter, but I didn't think it was that bad. One of Santino's better in-ring performances in recent memory and Masters has been nothing but solid since his return, so I thought they had a good little match. Though I do have to wonder, what's the plan for these two? Santino went from being one of the hottest comedy acts of the decade, but since the Santina angle was ended (thank you, by the way), he hasn't really done much of anything. Chris Masters had a surprising return, but since then they can't seem to decide what to do with him. One week he's main eventing Raw with Randy Orton, the next he's beating Santino on Superstars. I don't get it.

Superstars really picked up steam next with Christian vs. Paul Burchill, which was just a fantastic match all around. Zack Ryder was also on commentary, he was a bit annoying at first, but after the commercial break, he seemed to find what worked and was throwing out one-liners all over the place. My personal favorite:

Matt Striker: Zack, did you get a chance to talk to Paul Burchill before this match?
Zack Ryder: No, but I talked to his sister!

Hilarious. As for the actual match, like I said, it was awesome. Somehow even better than the bout they had on ECW back in May. Make sure you check this one out, Burchill continues to impress and Christian is Christian, possibly the best wrestler in WWE today. If Captain Charisma isn't WWE or World Heavyweight Champion by the end of 2010, it'll be a damn shame. Not surprised to see Christian pick up the win, but I'd really like to see Burchill get another shot at him in the future, with perhaps the title on the line?

Main event time, the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title, Dolph Ziggler, taking on the tough as nails, Finlay. I really liked this match, I thought we got to see a side of Finlay that hasn't been showcased much lately, and that's just how badass he is. At 51-years-old, Finlay is possibly the toughest competitor in WWE today and he has an uncanny ability to make everything look real... probably because it is. Mr. Ziggles was right on par with his recent performances, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if he's testing main event waters early next year. A World title is probably far off, but I could definitely see him getting a PPV shot on a secondary PPV. Dolphy Z picks up the win with his finisher, which I guess is officially named the Zig-Zag, and continues to ride a wave of momentum into Hell in a Cell, where he'll face John Morrison.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 16



This week, it's all about Jeff Hardy, the arrest, the reactions, and why we need to boycott the PW Torch.

Subscribe to Kick-Out!! Radio via iTunes! (This link will open your iTunes)


MP3 version - just scroll down to "Recent Episodes" and click the MP3 icon.

Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity


ECW Thoughts - September 15, 2009

ECW General Manager Tiffany starts things off, but it isn't long before she's interrupted by William Regal & his Ruthless Round Table, and the former #1 contender is in rare form. Complimenting Tiffany on her appearance, the great job she's doing as GM, he's laying it on thick before asking her why she banned Kozlov and Zeke from ringside at Breaking Point. He claims their absence caused him grief during his match (hilarious), but Tiffany isn't buying any of it and tells him he's out of chances. Kozlov and Zeke will be a part of a battle royal to determine the new #1 contender, but Master Regal has to go one-on-one with... The Hurricane!

William Regal vs. The Hurricane was an enjoyable little match, but I have to question the objectivity of our General Manager, who forced Regal to wrestle in his street clothes! And this is William Regal we're talking about, so it's not like the guy's wearing a wifebeater and jorts, it's an expensive three-piece suit, probably custom made! But that's just how good Regal is, he can knock you out while looking like a distinguished gentleman, and Hurricane found that out the hard way. Regal picks up the win and climbs the first rung up the ladder, back towards the ECW Championship. After the match, Hurricane just can't catch a break when Regal's fellow Englishman, Paul Burchill, attacks from behind. I doubt they'll go this direction, but adding Burchill to the Ruthless Round Table would be awesome.

Funny stuff backstage with Goldust teaching English to Yoshi Tatsu, loved Yoshi repeating Goldy's stutters. Zack Ryder comes in to run his mouth as well, he's in action next.

Yoshi Tatsu vs. Zack Ryder was great, definitely Yoshi's best match since arriving in WWE. If you weren't sold on him before, make sure you watch this match, it is a defining moment for the young Superstar. Striker was gold on commentary in this one as well, "Japanese Armdrag, well in Japan it's just an armdrag," made me laugh out loud... I bet they also don't call it a Quarter Pounder at McDonald's either. And did Yoshi Tatsu bust out the Dragon Roll in this match?! The move, not the sushi... I don't think I've ever seen that move used in WWE before. Awesome match, glad to see Yosh pick up the win as well.

Battle Royals are a pain to write about, so many guys in the ring at once and usually a lot of lull periods, so let's talk about the highlights. I think the big side story comes from Sheamus and Shelton Benjamin, who continued their budding rivalry by eliminating each other from the match. I'm eagerly awaiting these two getting in the ring together, I just wish they'd get a high profile match on PPV, but I highly doubt that will ever happen. The other big news coming out of this was how insanely over Goldust was, the crowd was chanting for him throughout the match and booed like crazy when he was eliminated. I doubt it'll happen, but I think it would be a nice tribute to Goldust for him to get a brief run with the ECW Title, judging by his crowd reactions as of late, I don't think I'm alone. Of course, the main story is the winner of the Battle Royal, Zack Ryder! I was a bit shocked myself, especially considering he just lost to Yoshi Tatsu earlier in the night, but I like it. Ryder's been doing great things on ECW and he had a tremendous match with Christian awhile back, so he's definitely earned it. Now, if only he could earn his own Wikipedia page. A friend of the site brought this to my attention and I remember it being an issue a couple months back, but really, Ryder still has to share with Curt Hawkins, who hasn't been seen in almost six months? Wiki nerds, get on the ball.

Great episode of ECW, especially since they got back to the tried and true formula of three matches. Granted, one of those was a Battle Royal, but I think three matches every week works best. One strange thing though, where the hell was Christian? Why not have him on commentary during the main event? Hopefully we'll get to see him on Superstars or something, you can't tour Canada and not use Captain Charisma!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Raw Thoughts - September 14, 2009

Raw kicks off and it's THE ANIMAL! Davetista is in the house, and the Toronto fans are going nuts, which is always strange to me. I like Batista, but live crowds LOVE Batista, the guy's always good for a massive reaction. Anyway, Batista, still in his arm brace tells the fans it's time for him to say goodbye. Unsurprisingly, that's the Fun Killer's cue and Randy Orton heads to the ring to run his mouth. In what might be the coolest Batista moment since he gave the thumbs down to Triple H and Ric Flair, he calls Randy predictable, removes his brace and beats the hell out of him. Batista's saying goodbye, but not to WWE, to Monday Night Raw! Batista's heading to Friday Night Smackdown, but not before he faces Orton in the main event, which is No Holds Barred!

I forgot to mention this in the Breaking Point review, and it's not wrestling related, but if you play video games, make sure you pick up Batman: Arkham Asylum. Easily the best game I've played this year, the fact that it sponsored the PPV just gives me an excuse to talk about it... go play it!

Trish Stratus is out next, on top of being the Diva of the Decade, she's also the first ever female guest host for Monday Night Raw. Trish reminds us that Randy Orton has a rematch clause (ugh) and he'll be taking on John Cena inside Hell in a Cell. See, this is what I was talking about on Kick-Out!! Radio, with these new concept PPVs, it takes all the surprise out of an announcement this big. John Cena vs. Randy Orton inside the Cell should be huge news, it's a major match and the first time there will be a HIAC match on PPV not featuring The Undertaker or Triple H, but since we all new the HIAC PPV was coming, there's no surprise in this announcement. I'm sure the match will be great, but it takes away some of the Cell's bang to be used like this.

The Miz & Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston & Primo wasn't as good as their match last week on Superstars, but still enjoyable. Before I get into the match, I have to say that Primo's music may be the worst in WWE's right now, congrats on finding something to fill the void left by Candice Michelle's release. Anyway, the match was rock solid, exactly what I expect to see on Raw every week and further advanced the feud between Miz and Kofi. Stolen belt storyline? Hell yes. A heel stealing a belt is one of my favorite, underused angles, I hope they go somewhere with it. I do have to question what the deal is with Jack Swagger though, the guy came into Raw as a pretty big deal and seems to fizzle out more and more with each passing week. Considering how crowded the brand is, I'm sure he's just in the same territory of MVP, Mark Henry, and Carlito are in, just waiting around.

Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim battled for the #1 contender spot for the Diva's Title and the match wouldn't have been that bad had it not been for the outcome. Gail Kim and Mickie James need a rematch to make up for that debacle from a few weeks back; Alicia Fox in a high-profile match is just a debacle waiting to happen.

Lot of trash talking from Legacy coming off their big win at Breaking Point. Yeah, you're the first team to ever make DX tap-out, but you're still dorks... I'm just sayin. I do have to give Cody & Ted credit though, they've looked more impressive since SummerSlam than Randy Orton has in months, maybe he's the lackey?

Good match between Ted DiBiase and Shawn Michaels, you're never going to hear me complain when HBK is in the ring, especially when it's singles competition. Despite my constant bashing, I do think DiBiase has greater potential to be a breakout star than Cody, so it's good to see him rubbing elbows with someone on HBK's level. The no-contest finish wasn't too surprising, especially after we found out that DX and Legacy will compete one more time, this time inside Hell in a Cell.

You know, I'm starting to get the feeling that Breaking Point is going to be the most pointless PPV of the year if Hell in a Cell sticks around. There are only three weeks separating the PPVs, so it looks like Breaking Point is just something to push feuds along into HIAC. DX/Legacy, Orton/Cena and I'm sure Punk/Undertaker are all going to happen again on October 4th, so none of the main events at the last PPV were resolved. I liked the PPV, it had some good matches, but in terms of storyline progression, Breaking Point is essentially pointless.

Evan Bourne & Hornswoggle vs. Chavo Guerrero & Carlito was what it was, but it looks like it's FINALLY over between Chavo and Hornswoggle, thank you! Maybe now Evan Bourne can do something of substance, but I'm worried he'll fall into the same trap with Jack Swagger that I mentioned earlier. One other thing I noticed, Carlito, Chavo & Rosa looked cool together, perhaps Raw's answer to the Hart Dynasty?

Trish Stratus & MVP vs. Beth Phoenix & Chris Jericho... which later became Trish Stratus, MVP & Mark Henry vs. Beth Phoenix, Chris Jericho & Big Show was a lot of fun. Seeing Trish wrestle was a nice treat, but there wasn't nearly enough of her in the ring. The Glamazon looked great in there too, especially when she was shoving MVP around. I feel like this is all a slow-build towards a WrestleMania match between Trish and Beth, but I felt that way last year when Trish returned to team up with Cena against Glamarella, so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Also, are Mark Henry & MVP still going after the tag belts or will JeriShow move onto other opponents?

Batista vs. Randy Orton was pretty short, but there was a lot going on the show, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were running low on time. Nothing really to say here, I think the whole purpose was to add fuel to the Orton/Cena fire and give Big Dave a sendoff from Raw. I liked it though, anytime Randy Orton gets demolished two nights in a row is okay with me!

Overall, good show that went by really fast. Perhaps because this was one of the rare occasions that I was unable to watch Raw live, so I got to fast-forward through all the commercials and "moments ago" segments (which are really getting out of hand). I'm iffy on the idea of Batista on Smackdown, which has been perfect just the way it is, but there's also no denying the fact that there's a major void left by Jeff Hardy's departure. Undertaker is serving as the top face of the brand right now, but we all know The Phenom comes and goes. Batista will hopefully be good in that role, at least until Edge returns from injury.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breaking Point 2009 Review

Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. MVP & Mark Henry for the Unified Tag Team Championship is your opening contest this evening. MVP's sporting a slightly updated look, having removed the sleeves from his ring attire, I like it, it's different. Match was a great opener, although we are in Canada, where Jericho is treated like hockey, Stu Hart and Labatt Blue all rolled into one. The Montreal crowd was hot for MVP and Henry, they just liked Jericho & Big Show more, but really, can ya blame them? JeriShow's awesome. The champs retain the titles here by hitting their devastating finisher: Jericho gets his ass kicked, the ref checks on him, then Big Show stands on the apron and punches the legal man in the face. Doomsday Device, eat your heart out!
Predictions: 1-1

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz with the United States Championship on the line up next. This match was a last minute addition to the PPV, having been added just yesterday afternoon, but what it lacked in hype, it made up for in ring action. These guys put on a really fun back-and-forth match and I think this may have been the moment where Miz came into his own as a singles competitor. Thankfully, it appears WWE was thinking along the same line as me and did not have Miz pick up the victory. There's plenty of time to get people into this feud, no sense in rushing a title switch; Kofi retains with Trouble In Paradise.
Predictions: 2-2

C'mon Montreal, it's been twelve years, it's time to let "YOU SCREWED BRET!" go. Even the Montagues and the Capulets think you've been holding this grudge for too long.

Surprised to see D-Generation X vs. Legacy go on so early, but that wouldn't be the last time this match surprised me tonight. One, it surprised me by being pretty enjoyable considering DiBiase and Rhodes were involved. Lots of nasty bumps and some very innovative submissions: HHH putting Cody's legs through a steel chair and locking in the Boston Crab while HBK locked in the Camel Clutch? Ouch! Also, what about Cody's Figure-4 around the ringpost while Ted applied the Million Dollar Dream?! Which brings me to the other big shocker in this match -- Legacy winning! LAME! Bad finish to a good match,
but I guess that means this feud is going to end inside Hell in a Cell.
Predictions: 2-3

Does anyone really care if I devote any time to Kane vs. The Great Khali? Here's how bad it was: Cena and Orton put on a better Singapore Cane Match an hour later and the Singapore Canes were involved in the match for about thirty seconds. And you know, I like Khali, I don't particularly want to watch him wrestle, but his Punjabi Playboy gimmick was fun and harmless, but I genuinely worry for the guy's safety. It's like watching Bambi learn to walk every time the guy is in the ring, I'm terrified his shin is just going to snap through his leg and strike someone in the front row! As for Kane, well the canes are more interesting at this point and they have a less convoluted backstory. I don't get the point of this feud or this match and hopefully it's over once and for all.
Predictions: 3-4

Christian vs. William Regal for the ECW Championship was the match we should've got last month at SummerSlam. And I said it earlier on Twitter, but I have to say it again: Regalplex = Death. How Christian didn't break his neck after taking that one, I'll never know, but I breathed a big sigh of relief when I saw him get back to his feet. Master Regal looked great in this one, but with Kozlov & Zeke being banned from ringside, he just couldn't overcome Captain Charisma. This was the one match that I changed my mind on in my predictions earlier tonight and it actually worked out for me. Usually I get in trouble when I go against my gut, but I'm glad Christian didn't let me down in this tremendous ECW Title Match.
Predictions: 4-5

WWE Hall of Famer, the first Intercontinental Champion and Montreal's own, Pat Patterson makes an appearance to a nice ovation from the crowd. Future Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler makes his way to the ring and badmouths Patterson before kicking him in the stomach. John Morrison makes the save and Mr. Ziggles gets a case of the ol' limber tail as JR might say. I've seen a lot of hate on this segment, people wondering why they didn't just have Morrison vs. Ziggler for the title, but the Mysterio situation really screwed WWE over here. They could've done the match, but unless you go for a screwy finish, you either kill Ziggler's momentum or you make Morrison a transitional champion. With both guys on the cusp of greatness right now, a feud between them takes time WWE didn't have. I'm not saying this segment was good - it was actually kinda pointless and overly long - but WWE was working with the hand they were dealt here.

I'm not sure, was John Cena vs. Randy Orton a WWE Title match or Hostel Part 3? Once Orton brought out the handcuffs and went to town on Cena with that Singapore cane, I started to feel a little uncomfortable. Cena had nasty (and I mean NASTY) welts across his ribs and back, and throughout the whole beating, I was just pleading for Orton to get his ass kicked. It reminded me a lot of the 99 Royal Rumble I Quit match between The Rock and Mick Foley where you just couldn't believe the beating the Foley was taking. But unlike that match, the good guy didn't get cheated out of a victory, Cena fought back, handcuffed himself to Orton and locked in the STF (awesome visual by the way) to recapture the WWE Championship. This was really a story that began in 2007 when Cena went down with his pectoral injury and was forced to vacate the title in the middle of his feud with Orton. We never got a proper conclusion to that, but finally, two years later, the Age of Orton ends as Cena stands tall with his WWE Title.
Predictions: 4-6

CM Punk vs. The Undertaker - where do I even begin? These two were having a great match, but then it comes to an abrupt end with Undertaker locking in Hell's Gate and CM Punk tapping out?! That didn't take long... but just as Taker is about to do his signature pose with the World Heavyweight Championship, Teddy Long comes out and reminds us that Hell's Gate is still banned (although I'm pretty sure Taker's won matches with it since then) and orders the match to continue. Punk strikes, locks in the Anaconda Vice, referee orders the bell to ring and CM Punk hauls ass up the ramp as Teddy Long looks on with a blank stare on his face.
Predictions: 4-7

Okay so using the infamous Dusty Finish and the Montreal Screwjob in one match might be a bit overkill, but CM Punk is definitely the biggest a-hole in the business today. First he bans Jeff Hardy from WWE now he screws over The Undertaker ala Bret Hart? Oh yeah, total jerkface. This ending does raise a lot of questions though: was Teddy Long in on it? Since he's on probation, is he turning heel to appeal to Vince McMahon's cutthroat business style? Did CM Punk pay him off? Read a great theory on the message board I go to that suggested the infamous "Board of Directors" want a Straight-edge World Champion to give the company a better image. I think that's a very possible direction and would definitely breathe some new life into the old "evil boss" character, Teddy's not a bad guy, he's just trying to do what's best for the company. After all, that's how the Mr. McMahon character got started, doing what was best for business and being worried about how a guy like Stone Cold would reflect on WWE's image. It's spiraled out of control over the last decade with authority figures being evil just for the sake of being evil, but this could be a great back to basics approach.

Also, I think this pretty much debunks the old cliché of WWE always trying to send the fans home happy. Even I fell for it, assuming Cena would be the one to get screwed since the I Quit Match went on before Taker vs. Punk, but it would appear that WWE knows people have caught on.

Overall, I really enjoyed the PPV. A couple gripes: Legacy winning, the Kane/Khali match and maybe overdoing it in the main event, but other than that, everything was great, particularly in the in-ring action. I can even forgive the screwy ending because it at least has me interested in next week's Smackdown and we all know it's building toward CM Punk vs. Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell, which is going to be nothing short of insane. Didn't do so hot on predictions, but the main events were all pretty surprising. I knew someone would get screwed - WWE just had to remind Montreal about the 97 Survivor Series - but I really did think it would be Cena. Thrilled I was wrong though, Cena and Punk as WWE's top two champions makes me a happy guy. Let me know what you think about the PPV, feel free to leave a comment below (and no, you don't have to be a member of Blogger to do so) and let's get a Breaking Point discussion going!

Five Things I want to see at Breaking Point

As you probably know, every Sunday I usually present the Five Count, it's the five biggest wrestling stories of the week in list form, and we all know how much the internet loves a good list. Anyway, on week's where there's a PPV, the Five Count is preempted for Five Things: five things I'd like to see, but don't necessarily expect will happen. Here are my five things for the first-ever Breaking Point!

5. Because I'm The Miz, and I'm... not United States Champion?
It may be weird coming from me, wrestling's biggest Miz fan, but I do not want to see the self-professed "Chick Magnet" walk out of Montreal with the United States Championship. I'd like for that to happen in the future, but not tonight, when the match has received absolutely no hype. Yeah, Miz has made it clear that he wants the US Title and he pinned Kofi in a tag match on Superstars, but the match was only announced yesterday. I'm sure most people watching tonight don't even know the match is taking place, so I think it would lack the proper impact if Miz won tonight. Plus, Kofi Kingston's been awesome since wining the US Title, let him hang onto it for another couple weeks while the feud gets its proper hype.

4. MVP finally breaks out
MVP's been red hot since interrupting Chris Jericho a few weeks back, he scored a clean win over the Superstar of the Year on Monday night, it's time for him to shatter through that proverbial glass ceiling. He doesn't have to win the tag titles with Mark Henry tonight, but I want to see something unforgettable, something jaw-dropping, something "BALLIN!" (I'm too white to say that), from MVP that makes it impossible for WWE to keep putting his push on the backburner.

3. Khali vs. Kane get less time than Christian vs. Regal did at SummerSlam
Really though, nine seconds might be too long for these guys. Okay, maybe I'm being too harsh, if they're going to get more than five minutes (which I wouldn't be surprised if they do), can they at least beat the holy hell out of each other with the Singapore Canes? Perhaps a bit sadistic on my part, but I think two seven-foot giants can handle it.

2. No Shenanigans!
I don't even know why I'm putting this on here since I fully expect at least one main event to have a screwjob finish, maybe even both. The reason I'm asking for though, is I feel like screwy finishes will only serve to de-legitimize the first-ever Breaking Point. The whole concept behind this PPV is that the only way to win is to make your opponent submit, coming up with cute finishes to get around that just defeats the whole purpose.

1. Randy Orton says "I Quit"
Going off #2, I don't want any BS, no Legacy interference, no references to the 1997 Survivor Series despite the fact that we're in Montreal tonight too, just a battered and beaten Randy Orton saying "I quit." End this painfully boring and predictable title reign and let John Cena carry the torch once again. I miss the John Cena of 2007, who was facing an endless series of challengers and putting on loads of unforgettable matches; it's certainly a better alternative to the Randy Orton of 2009, who faces John Cena and Triple H every month and finds some way new, overly-contrived way to hold onto the belt.

And even though I did my in-depth predictions for Breaking Point on this week's Kick-Out!! Radio, here's a quick (slightly revised) rundown of how I think things will play out:

Undertaker d. CM Punk
Randy Orton d. John Cena (shenanigans)
DX d. Legacy
Christian d. William Regal
Chris Jericho & Big Show d. MVP & Mark Henry
Kofi Kingston d. The Miz
Kane d. The Great Khali

I have a sneaking suspicion I'm getting the main events backwards and Cena/Punk will wind up being victorious, but I suppose we'll all find out pretty soon! Make sure to come back to Kick-Out!! Wrestling shortly after my full thoughts on WWE Breaking Point!


Smackdown Thoughts - September 11, 2009

No intro video, just go straight into a crowd shot... GONG!

OMG it's The Undertaker and he's got on that awesome coat he wore in the late 90s! Only thing missing is the teardrop "tattoo," which I'm pretty sure you only get when you murder somebody. Hey, he's always talking about sending people to hell and taking their souls, just sayin. Anyway, Taker cuts a promo, which is pretty rare these days, and of course, it's about sending CM Punk to hell and taking his soul (see?). Speaking of the World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk interrupts and cuts another fantastic promo where he references Alice in Wonderland and how Undertaker's smoke and mirrors only work on the strung-out WWE Universe. Punk shows no fear and his delivery as is good as it always is, proving once again why he's the best in the business today.

Pretty crazy to think about, but eight years ago this week, WWE was the first form of entertainment to return to television after the 9/11 attacks. Just two days after that horrific morning, WWE epitomized the idea of "the show must go on" and delivered a fitting tribute to a devastated nation.

Finlay vs. Mike Knox in a Belfast Brawl was surprisingly fantastic, one of Smackdown's best non-main event-caliber matches all year. Knox's chair punt and the endless barrage of trash cans was brutally beautiful... it was brutiful! Finlay got his ass beat, but pulled out an impressive win after countering Knox's crossbody with a Shillelagh shot. Honestly, this match was the most entertaining Mike Knox has ever been and I might be officially sold on the guy if he keeps up performances like this.

DH Smith vs. The Great Khali (thankfully) never happened due to Kane attacking before the match began. Please let this feud end tonight, I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Cryme Tyme vs. JeriShow again? Don't get me wrong, the two teams have great chemistry, but I think it shows the big problem with tag wrestling in WWE. Jericho & Big Show are definitely saving the Tag Titles, but the problem remains that there just aren't that many teams in the company. Hopefully that will be a part of the division being rebuilt, because I don't see who else is left for Jericho & Big Show to feud with after MVP & Mark Henry. Still holding out hope for DX vs. JeriShow, but where do you go from there?

Vince McMahon is backstage with Teddy Long, who informs the Chairman that there will be a major announcement on next week's Smackdown. A few rumors floating around about this one, but I'm just going to take the wait and see approach. I will say this, the major rumor floating around, which coincides with something happening on Raw tomorrow night, I'm not particularly fond of.

John Morrison vs. Charlie Haas was short and sweet. The real action came after the contest, when Morrison looked in the camera and personally thanked Rey Mysterio for their match last week. Dolph Ziggler interrupts, complaining that he was robbed out of his title match at Breaking Point (we all were, Dolph) and what followed was a hilarious back and forth exchange between these two. John Morrison got the crowd to begin chanting "Mr. Ziggles" and ol' Ziggy had them eating out of the palm of his hand at that point. Can't wait to see these two lock up in the ring.

Layla vs. Melina up next. Hey, is that Michelle Mc-- ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

R-Truth cuts an... interesting promo backstage, saying he wants Drew McIntyre in an actual match. Not gonna happen this week, McIntyre attacks from behind while wearing slacks and loafers with no socks. Did he just walk off the set of Miami Vice?

CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy in a Submission Match was a good main event and helped reestablish the Anaconda Vice, which Punk hasn't used in almost three years. No shame in Matt Hardy tapping out to the World Champ, especially after he put on such a strong showing. JR & Grisham did a great job on commentary putting over the fact that Hardy still isn't 100% after abdominal surgery, which keeps the door open for him getting another shot at Punk in the future, hopefully with the title on the line.

GONG!

Lights go out while Punk is celebrating his victory with World Title in hand, but when they come back on, Undertaker is standing at the top of the ramp with the belt held high. Do you believe now, CM Punk? Do you?! I love watching smarks try to sound smart and say things like "they could only do that on Smackdown because it's taped!" but yet they fall for stuff like this. Great hype for Breaking Point, I'm really excited to see these two get in the ring together for the first time ever. No clue who's going to win this one, but that's what makes it all the more fun!

WWE Superstars Thoughts - September 10, 2009

Keeping this short, we've got a lot of things to get to before the PPV

Kane vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
to start us off? Well that's just mean. In all fairness, Kane going nuts with the Singapore Him was pretty brutal, but not enough to get me to care about the feud with Khali or their match tonight.

Sheamus vs. Yoshi Tatsu up next, apparently Thursday wasn't a good night to be Asian in WWE. I'm surprised Mike Knox didn't beat up Funaki. Anyway, decent match, the crowd still loves Yoshi Tatsu, despite the fact that he's been on quite a losing streak, which did not come to an end in this match.

Nikki Bella vs. Katie Lea Burchill was there to remind us that The Bellas are on ECW, but does anyone actually care? Another lame Bellas match where they cheat to win, which does nothing except tell me that Katie Lea is the superior competitor. The only thing of note to come out of this match is the fact that Katie Lea has her own theme music now.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Slam Master J was much better than J's match a few weeks back against Charlie Haas, but nothing that's going to be remembered next week. Lot of glorified squash matches on this week's episode with Ziggler unsurprisingly picking up the win. Damn shame we won't get to see him compete tonight at Breaking Point.

The Miz & Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston & Primo saved this show from being completely forgettable, I loved this one. Monday night's awesome crowd carried over into Superstars, staying on their feet throughout this entire contest. The Miz picked up the victory by pinning Kofi Kingston, and that's what I assume led to their US Title match being added to the PPV tonight.

Five matches? Really? A bit overkill, especially when three of them were squashes and the other one was a Divas match featuring the Bellas. Still, with the main event being as good as it was, it made this show worthwhile. Smackdown review on the way!

It's on the internet, so it must be true!

I haven't written anything on here since Jeff Hardy's arrest on Friday, mainly because I've been super busy, but also because people make my brain hurt. I'll likely devote all of next week's Kick-Out!! Radio to the subject, there's not exactly a lot I want to say about the situation, rather the reaction from the primitive minds that pollute the internet wrestling community.

One thing that I want to debunk once and for all is this idiotic story being passed around that Jeff Hardy was named the "Worst Person in the World" on MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann. That story is 100% fake.

"But Razor, I got video evidence!"



Yeah, that's fake. And since most wrestling websites are run by people of who aren't as smart as my front door, they latched onto it and reported it as fact like the predictable, no-talent hacks that they are. Keith Olbermann wasn't even on his show Friday night, he had a fill-in guest, and when Olbermann's not on, "Worst Persons" is not used.

Hardy's mugshot is superimposed, amazing what people can do with Windows Movie Maker these days. And for all those dirtsheets that fell for it, I know it might be confusing for you to hear, but Star Wars wasn't actually filmed in outer space.