Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to take some time to wish all Kick-Outers a Happy New Year, be safe and have fun! I really can't thank you enough for making 2010 an even bigger year than 2009, the site just keeps growing and that's all because of you. I knew when I started this site that there was a market for a better wrestling media and your support encourages myself and others to keep improving.

Regular Kick-Out!! operations will resume in 2011 with our 600th post, which will probably be an editorial about the issue of "respect" within the Internet Wrestling Community, so please check that out. If you have any suggestions for future topics, idea for Kick-Out!! Radio, or Guest Post submissions, feel free to contact me by leaving a comment, messaging me on Twitter, or e-mailing me at As I've always said, this site is just as much yours as it is mine, and when you reach 600 entries, a little outside help goes a long way in curing blogger's block.

Thanks again for an awesome 2010, and here's to making 2011 even better!

Monday, December 27, 2010

WWE Raw Thoughts - December 27, 2010

It's the final Raw of 2010! I'm exhausted from a crazy holiday weekend and the last Raw of the year is always iffy, but we're live blogging anyway! Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show!

Starting things off with Mr. WWE himself, John Cena! Cena's not happy that CM Punk crashed his party last week, but c'mon, it's CM Punk, he's the responsible one, not the partier. Cena apologizes for spilling Punk's diet soda, but somehow I think it's about a little more than that. Well, let's hear from the man himself, CM Punk is here and back in his ring gear, maybe we'll even see him compete tonight? Punk confirms my suspicions, this is about more than his Diet Rite, it's about the fact that John Cena is a hypocrite. He gives a heartfelt speech about going home to mom, but never actually leaves WWE, he drops a pile of chairs on a guy, and then cracks jokes about it. I'm loving this back and forth because there's finally someone that's putting the mirror up to Cena; it's not just "I hate Cena, RAWR!" it's a point-by-point description of many of the legitimate things that are wrong with Cena's character.

Cena calls Punk to the ring, but Punk continues to know exactly what Cena will do and tells him he'll call him out later and that he'll give him a real "eye-opener." Fantastic opening and it builds anticipation for later in the show without simply hyping a match we've seen multiple times in the last few weeks, like Miz vs. Jerry Lawler or Sheamus vs. Randy Orton, both of which are happening tonight.

Santino Marella vs. Ted DiBiase is our opening contest, and hopefully this means DiBiase is going to find a new tag team partner soon, since it's clear he's just not clicking as a singles wrestler yet. Match is over before it even begins and afterward, Santino has a belated Christmas present for Tamina, it's his Cobra in a box!
One: cut a hole in the box
Two: put your Cobra in the box
Three: make Tamina open the box.

Woo! Dated SNL references make my job much easier tonight, because I am a wild and crazy guy.

Backstage, it looks like A-Ri will be taking on John Morrison later tonight. If Morrison wins, he gets to determine the time and the stipulation for his match against The Miz, but if he loses, he will forfeit his #1 contender spot. C'mon Coal Miner's Glove match tomorrow night on NXT!

Speaking of which, John Morrison vs. Alex Riley is up next and this one's pretty fun, including one of my favorite spots - manager ejection! Miz gets tossed to the back, Morrison picks up an easy win after that and announces he's challenging for the WWE Title next week in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Ugh, if he's not waiting till the Rumble, does that mean we're going to get a Triple Threat with Orton at the Rumble? Please no.

Backstage, The Miz berates Alex Riley, not unlike many of the internships I've had over the years.

Tyson Kidd & Daniel Bryan are teasing a feud backstage. I believe a "oh hell yes" is in order?

And Orton comes in first place in a talking... like... this... contest... that... no... one... else... was... compe...ting... in.

Tyson Kidd in action against Mark Henry, and I believe the phrase "styles clash" will come into play in this one. And hey, how do you push a guy that claims he's going to be the US Champion in 2011? Have him lose clean to a guy that hasn't been on TV in weeks and then have his bodyguard get schooled too. Wait, no, you do the opposite of that. Sigh.

Let's just forget about that last segment and let things get AAAAWWWWEEEESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMMEEEE!!!! The Miz, excuse me, the Must-See WWE Champion, The Miz is here! According to the WWE Champion, he's also a "scientific master of wrestling," he has data to back that up. Miz handles the ridiculous "WHAT?!" chants brilliantly and delivers a fiery promo to set the tone for his match with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Miz demolishes Lawler, but John Morrison provides the distraction and the King picks up a count-out win! Of course they had to cheat to beat Captain Awesome, just sayin.

Melina & Alicia Fox vs. Eve & Gail Kim with Natalya on commentary to satisfy the Divas quota for the evening, but the match isn't that bad. Crowd couldn't care less though. Natalya returns the favor from last week and slaps Melina in the face, making this the least complicated Divas feud, ever.

Well, I got up to get some water during the break, and when I come back, Daniel Bryan vs. Zack Ryder is already in progress and it's over almost as quickly as it began. When was the last time a match started in progress? Besides Coliseum Video SuperTapes? The G?M sends an e-mail after the match, but before Cole can read it, The Miz mugs Jerry Lawler in the commentary booth! That's what you get for cheating... and I guess now we can call you the King... of Pain! Oh come on, it's the end of the year, I'm out of good material.

Randy Orton vs. King Sheamus is perhaps our final match of the evening with Punk calling out John Cena as the "main event." Match is definitely not their best this year, but the slingshot shoulderblock into an RKO was a pretty slick ending. Hard to get excited for this though, bring on CM Punk vs. John Cena!

And I'm shocked, John Cena is one step ahead of his rival once again, coming out before he was called out, but Punk isn't answering Cena's challenge. Instead, we get The Nexus... interesting. No Wade Barrett though, instead, David Otunga is leading the charge and claims that the group is "under new management" and he's offering Cena a truce. Cena refuses the deal and tells Otunga to walk away or fight, and Nexus chooses to fight, laying out Cena with all their finishers, just like they did back in June. And just as Nexus is leaving the arena, CM Punk returns to ringside and nails Cena with the GTS, but shows mercy with a steel chair. Instead, he sits down and picks up a Nexus armband that Otunga left at Cena's prone body and puts it on. CM Punk is the new leader of Nexus, and my friends, we might just have a saved storyline.

The Straight Edge Nexus has arrived, and I'm not quite sure what that means for Wade Barrett, but Nexus isn't going anywhere. Looks like Cena vs. Nexus could make it to WrestleMania after all.

Not a great Raw, but it was helped by a big "WTF?!" ending. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of Punk just deciding to join Nexus, unless perhaps he is a part of the "winds of change" that Barrett had talked about, but if anyone can make it work, it's him. It's definitely not Empire yet, but at least we're getting a second act.

WWE CM Punk Elite FigureWWE John Cena FigureWWE Sheamus Figure Series #7

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!


I know it's been a little slow around here, but are you really looking for wrestling analysis on Christmas Eve? If you are, that's AWESOME, but I'm taking a little holiday. In the meantime, please catch up on past episodes of Kick-Out!! Radio, including the 2010 Kick-Out!! Awards, my favorite episode we've ever done!

I'm sure I'll be posting a few more times before the New Year, but 2011 is going to be huge for Kick-Out!! since we're entering Royal Rumble time (my favorite PPV of the year) and then we're on the Road to WrestleMania! So have yourself a Merry Christmas, make sure your holiday is safe, happy and fun and get ready for more wrasslin!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - December 21, 2010

It's WWE Week and for the first time ever, Smackdown is live on the USA Network, so why not the first ever Smackdown live blog on Kick-Out? Much like every Monday night, refresh your page for ongoing coverage and please, follow me on Twitter for more ridiculousness. Let's have fun!

Rosie the Kick-Outer isn't feeling so well tonight, and she is less than amused by three straight nights of WWE monopolizing the television, and it looks like WWE is going to kick a lady while she's down, because Randy Orton starts things off on Friday Night Smackdown. On the bright side though, his opponent is The Miz, who is almost awesome as she is for being such a good sport.

Doesn't take long for this one to go to the outside and Orton throws Miz into the aisle barricades repeatedly and the last time he did that, he got put through a table just seconds later... unfortunately that's not the case here tonight. C'mon Miz! {/Michael Cole}

Miz in control going into and coming out of commercial, admittedly thanks to A-Ri and the steel stairs, and we've got a fun little match on our hands. Miz even busted out his kneeling kickstart DDT, which might actually be a better finisher than the Skullcrushing Finale, but everyone does a DDT, so I get it. Oh crap, Orton hits the RKO out of nowhere, but A-Ri saves the WWE Champion from a pinfall loss. Good work! Orton threatens to punt Miz after the DQ (cause he's such a good guy!), but A-Ri again saves the day again and eats an RKO! Miz, give that guy a raise.

Santa Show, Rosa Clause and Elfswoggle are out next for the obligatory WWE Santa bit, but this might actually be the first time ever that WWE's done this and Santa didn't get beat up or beat someone up.

Oops, spoke too soon, "DASHING!" Cody Rhodes blindsides Hornswoggle! That's not a good idea Cody... trust me, you don't want the Big Show to leave a lump of coal in your stocking. That's right, it was a poop joke. Give me a break, it's the holidays, I'm too lazy to come up with good material.

Glamarella reunion backstage with Santino trying to get a smooch, but Beth doesn't want to take another woman's man-child, so she plants one on Kozlov instead. Perhaps Beth Phoenix will make him her Russian muffin?

Chavo Guerrero vs. Santino Marella in singles action and perhaps Chavo will actually gain some momentum in this mini feud... HAH! Santino picks up the win while Michael Cole acts like he's above being watching something that's already intentionally silly. Ugh.

Time for the new World Heavyweight Champion, Edge! Edge recently overcame a big obstacle to get his tenth World Championship, one of the dumbest storylines of his career, but according to him, "it was worth it." He claims the TLC match shortened his career, but honestly, I think Paul Bearer may have shortened it a bit more.

And lovely, it's not over yet because Kane wants his rematch. Blurgh. Luckily, it's not happening tonight, but the fact that this storyline is continuing isn't exactly good news.

Slick promo video for Ezekiel Jackson, but I'd rather see him wrestle!

Drew McIntyre vs. Kaval is next and McIntyre returns to his old "beat 'em up before the bell rings" shtick. Easy win for McIntyre when Kaval agrees to the match anyway, but are they going to get behind this guy or not? They can't seem to figure out what to do with him, which is a bit strange for a guy that Vince McMahon himself called a future World Champion.

If WWE really wants to pay tribute to the troops, perhaps they should start by not making them listen to Kid Rock.

Alberto Del Rio & Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio & Kofi Kingston is next and this should be a hell of a match. Two fun feuds, four great wrestlers and it's live? Fine by me! Del Rio tries to rip Rey's mask off in the early going, actually comes pretty damn close, and both him and Swagger pay for it when Rey and Kofi hit big dives to the outside!

Unsurprisingly, this match was loads of fun, fast-paced and the crowd was into it the entire way through. Rey Rey picks up the win after Del Rio hauls ass to get away from the 619 and leaves Swagger to a 619, Trouble in Paradise and the Springboard Splash. Total crowd-pleaser, but there's nothing wrong with that at all.

Main Event time! John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler and... Vickie Guerrero in a handicap match, and look at Vickie rocking those short shorts! Excuse her, she's workin' it! Cena better watch out here, if Vickie gets in there and locks in the Kata hajime or the Jigoku jime, he'll be tapping out in seconds!

Match isn't nearly as good as their epic encounter last night, but the added dynamic of Vickie Guerrero is making this match pretty fun. Ziggler has "future World Champion" written all over him and I think the fact that he's controlled this entire match is a pretty ringing endorsement from WWE. But again, Cena's a bit too much for the IC Champ and one lip lock and Attitude Adjustment later, Cena picked up the win.

But wait, there's more! Much like the end to last night's match, CM Punk blasted Cena with a steel chair, but this time, our Straight Edge Savior is in ring attire! Been too long since we've seen that. Can't wait to see these two go at it and I'm hoping they can manage to keep them apart until WrestleMania, but I won't hold my breath on that.

Definitely a holiday show. Nothing overtly offensive (except for the Kane/Edge feud continuing), the wrestling was even really good at points, but WWE didn't go out of their way to wow anyone. Vickie Guerrero was awesome though. Fun to see Smackdown on Tuesdays, what did you think about it? Should Smackdown be live every Tuesday night? Or would two nights of wrestling in a row (sometimes three with PPV) be too much?

Smackdown: The Best of 2009-2010The John Cena ExperienceWWE: Viva La Raza - The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero

Monday, December 20, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - December 20, 2010

Nexus is dead, Miz is awesome, and while we're not quite on the Road to WrestleMania, we're at least backing out of the driveway. I don't expect anything too earth-shattering to go on tonight since we're in that holiday limbo period, but we are coming off the best PPV of the year, so perhaps WWE will continue to surprise us? Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show, and hang out with me on Twitter for ongoing absurdity.

And this is how you start a show, Merry ChristMiz! The WWE Champion, excuse me, the Must-See WWE Champion, The Miz is here! And speaking of Christmas, it looks like we got an early present, Michael Cole's not on commentary! Thanks WWE, it's just what I always wanted! The Miz mentions that all the fans expected Randy Orton to arrive as the new champion, but that didn't happen... which is also something I had on my Christmas list. Now if I can just get that David Otunga hoodie, it'll be the best Christmas ever!

Alex Riley is out in chains (literally) as the Ghost of Christmas Past to show Miz the "error" of his ways, and then we get Michael Cole as the Ghost of Christmas Present and to I have to agree with CM Punk, this is the greatest beginning to a Raw ever. And the Ghost of Christmas Future? It's Angry Miz Girl on the TitanTron, complete with the Conan O'Brien/Robert Smigel talking picture bit. Really, REALLY stupid stuff, but you know you laughed, don't act like you're better than this! Crowd EXPLODES for John Morrison's interruption and the Shaman of Not Showering goes after Miz and A-Ri, but Sheamus gives our fearless WWE Champion a chance to take a brisk stroll.

The G?M chimes in and creates what is sure to be a fun six-man tag tonight, The Miz has to face his ghosts when he teams with A-Ri and Sheamus to take on John Morrison, Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler! Randy Orton attacks The Miz at the top of the stage, but no one cares because everyone else at ringside is way more interesting. Silly, but fun way to kick off Monday Night Raw.

Melina vs. Alicia Fox vs. Eve to determine a new #1 contender to the Divas Championship is our opening contest, and really not a bad match. Melina picks up the win and looks like her heel turn is complete after slapping Natalya in the face. Melina is a natural heel and outside of LayCool, there are no heel Divas in WWE these days, so it makes sense. Match could be good too.

Call your friends, Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal is happening on your television right now. A match many of us have waited to see in WWE thanks to their real-life history, but unfortunately we're not gonna get the 15+ minute classic we'd like to. Regal taps quickly to the LeBell Lock, but please WWE, PLEASE don't let this be the last time these two square off in the ring. Good match though, for the little time given to it. And I love that Bryan still acts like he has no idea why the Bellas are all up in his business. I have a theory: Daniel Bryan is actually a prepubescent boy inside a grown man's body, like in Big, and in his mind, girl's still have cooties.

Randy Orton & John Morrison backstage seeing who can defeat charisma faster. Advantage: Orton.

Mixed tag action next with Santino & Tamina taking on Ted DiBiase & Maryse. Mixed tag rules are clear, things must be fair at all times, so Santino can only wrestle Maryse and DiBiase can only wrestle Tamina, right? Tamina picks up the win the Superfly Splash, and WWE wishes they could get lucky with crowds this excited every week. If you can get a crowd to go nuts for this match, you have one friendly crowd.

JOHN CENA IS BACK! From never leaving in the first place! Cena's got the crowd in the palm of his hand though, showing the footage of him dropping all those chairs on Wade Barrett and announces his next plan: winning the Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania! Way to buck that status quo, John! I kid, I kid! But hey, things take an unexpected turn with the arrival of Vickie Guerrero & Dolph Ziggler and the crowd reaction to Vickie is nothing short of amazing:

*quiets down*
Vickie: Dol--
*quiets down*
Vickie: Exc--

And Dolph Ziggler's gonna beat up Jerry Lawler! Seriously though, not digging the "LULZ VICKIE IS FAT" jokes, Vickie's lost a lot of weight in the last few months and looks great. No need for this "Molly Holly has a fat ass" bullshit. At least we're getting John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler out of it.

Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena has major potential to be one of those really special up-and-comer vs. established Superstar matches, not unlike Cena vs. Swagger from a few years back and Bourne vs. Jericho earlier this year. Ziggler's been on fire as of late and Cena shines in a role like this, he feels fresh when he's not in there with the same guy week after week. What a match, Ziggler looked amazing even with his loss and the crowd was INSANE for this one.

After the match, CM Punk attacked John Cena with a chair and walked off looking like Tory Belleci from Mythbusters. Looks like he has not forgiven Cena for spilling that diet soda!

After commercial, Punk is seen leaving the arena and says all Cena understands is aggression. I love the idea of Punk treating Cena like he did Jeff Hardy, saying completely true things, but in the most dickish way possible. Though they might be playing with fire here, there are plenty of valid criticisms to throw at Cena (his Vickie Guerrero jokes being the most recent), and the crowd is already iffy on him. Careful, WWE.

Main Event time already? Six man tag action with The Miz, Alex Riley & King Sheamus vs. John Morrison, Jerry Lawler & Randy Orton; this one should be a blast, especially with the crowd as red hot as they've been tonight. Not a whole lot to say about this one except that it's just as fun as I expected and with a little help from an RKO, Jerry Lawler picks up the win and gets revenge on The Miz. Hilarious. After the match, The G?M announces a TLC rematch with Randy Orton going one-on-one with The Miz on tomorrow night's special live edition of Smackdown. I can dig it, I'm all for The Miz beating him yet again, twice on Sunday and one more tomorrow!

Like I said out the start of the show, WWE definitely didn't rock the boat tonight, but the show was a lot of fun. Plenty of silliness and I really hated the Vickie Guerrero fat jokes, but the matches were great and the crowd made the show way better than it perhaps should've been. A hot crowd goes a long way for a wrestling show.

WWE: Bobby "The Brain" HeenanThe WWE Championship: A Look Back at the Rich History of the WWE ChampionshipWWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011

Sunday, December 19, 2010

WWE TLC 2010 Review

It's the final PPV of 2010, did WWE end the year with a solid PPV outing?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title kicked things off, and what a fun opener. Ya know, it's gotta be hard for these guys to come up with innovative stuff to keep ladder matches interesting, so I'm sure it's relieving when they have Kofi Kingston to work with. I don't know what it is about him, but Kofi + Ladder = fun. Some folks were annoyed by the ending, with Swagger and Kofi dropping the IC Title and Ziggler scooping it off the mat for the win, but it was a great dick move for Ziggler, so why not? It's not like it was a WrestleMania main event and it worked in the context of this match, the characters involved and the story that got us to this point. Excellent opener.
Predictions: 1 for 1

Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. LayCool was the best women's match I've seen in WWE since Trish Stratus retired. I was convinced Beth Phoenix would turn though since there are no other heel Divas in WWE for Natalya to work with and they had the rule that only one opponent had to go through the table, but I'm glad they didn't go with it. Natalya and Beth are awesome together, I'd like to see them challenge for the Tag Titles... and I'm only half joking. Very cool ending with Natalya improvising after the table didn't break and hitting LayCool with a big splash off the top rope for the win. Women actually wrestling, what a novel concept.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel was an impromptu match for the WWE Tag Team Titles, but it was really just an excuse to get heat on the Nexus. Champs win by DQ, but Nexus destroyed them with chairs after the match. At least we got a "WENDY!" chant for Heath Slater, but he did not hit anyone with The Baconator.
Predictions: N/A

John Morrison vs. Sheamus in a ladder match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE Championship is a long sentence. Also, it was my pick for sleeper hit of the night and these guys did not fail to deliver on that expectation. Without question, this match was Match of the Night, and will very likely wind up as Match of the Month when that feature returns in January. If you did not order this PPV, get some people together and you can all chip in on the replay, because it's at least worth $20 and 15 minutes of your time.

One could argue that the match started off a bit slow, but that was all tension-building and storytelling. Sheamus was brutal in his role, acting as the Jason Voorhees to Morrison's attractive camp counselor; he was vicious, unforgiving and unstoppable, but Morrison refused to quit and somehow managed to pull it out. Loads of drama in this one, so many near finishes, crowd was engaged the whole way through, Sheamus and Morrison have excellent chemistry and worked their asses off to provide one of the best matches of 2010. And after several false starts, it looks like John Morrison has finally arrived and will be coming full circle to challenge The Miz for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble. Love it. I can't say enough good things about this match, so I'm just going to leave it at that. If you missed it, SEE IT!
Predictions: 2 for 3

Much like the opener, The Miz vs. Randy Orton in a tables match for the WWE Title was a lot of fun. Commentary brought it down a little bit because I refuse to buy into the "Miz cheats" line to get people to cheer for Randy Orton, who has done nothing but cheat throughout his entire WWE career. Granted, it's wrestling and we're supposed to just let certain things slide when people turn face, but Orton's portraying the exact same character, he just doesn't have Legacy with him anymore.

But enough about Orton, how AWESOME was The Miz tonight? The guy is playing this "Must-See WWE Champion" role perfectly and you can't discount A-Ri, who has also been fantastic as of late. Riley getting put through the table while the ref was out and Miz trying to play it off like he had put Orton through the table was genius, but I'm glad the ref restarted the match since we already had a wonky ending like that in the opener. Miz using A-Ri, Fastball Special style, to officially win the match (and beat Orton twice) was beautiful. "RKOH NO I'M FALLING THROUGH A TABLE!"
Predictions: 3 for 4

Thought it was weird that Edge vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio wasn't the final match on the card, but considering the abomination of a storyline that led to this match, I shouldn't be too surprised. Had Sheamus and Morrison not stolen the show, this match would've been the match of the night because it was really good, but they didn't exactly reinvent the wheel. Also, I find it hard to care about Edge's tenth title reign in five years, especially after the feud that got him to this point, but at least the belt is off Kane, who has no one believable to feud with since The Undertaker is hurt. Edge vs. Christian at WrestleMania 27 for the World Title? Please? Pretty please?
Predictions: 4 for 5

Surprised to see so much hate for Santa Show clowning around with "DASHING" Cody Rhodes. Relax... at least it wasn't Xanta Claus!

John Cena vs. Wade Barrett in a chairs match was our main event, the crowd was electric for this one, the match was extremely good, loaded with drama, but at the end of the night, I just found myself saying "so that's it?" I applaud WWE for sticking with a storyline for more than six months, but what an anticlimactic finish to the most shocking thing they've done in years. I suppose they could keep Nexus going, but after Cena single-handedly took them all out, why should we care? I guess there's still the "bigger picture," but since WWE's distanced themselves from that phrase in the last couple months, I think it's safe to say Nexus is dead.
Predictions: 5 for 6

So Cena emerges victorious after a "horrible year," as Michael Cole described it, ya know, where he won the WWE Title twice, won Superstar of the Year, starred in a movie and got a three week vacation. There's so much more they could've done with Cena vs. Nexus and while I like the guy, it's stuff like this that gets people so riled up about Cena. He never looks vulnerable, even Hulk Hogan looked vulnerable back in the day, but Cena is always stronger, better, and one step ahead. Why should I care about him getting fired when he's back 24 hours later? Why should I care about him being in Nexus when he doesn't have to do anything that bad? Why should I care about Nexus beating him up when he's going to take them all out individually and dump 20 chairs on their leader?

And that leads us to the next problem, now that he's plowed through Nexus, what's next for John Cena? Sure, all you're gonna hear on "those" wrestling websites is how Cena "buried" Barrett, but Barrett's gonna be just fine, he's got nowhere to go but up. But what about Cena? He just overcame his biggest challenge to date. He got his job back after being fired. He ended The Nexus... for some reason, feuding with The Miz doesn't really seem like a big challenge for a guy like that. This is why there's not a Star Wars: Episode 7... anything after the fall of the Empire, Vader's demise, the Emperor defeated and freedom being restored to the galaxy just isn't going to feel as big.

But gripes in the main event aside, I have to do something unexpected, I'm taking the PPV of the Year Kick-Outie away from WrestleMania 26 and awarding it to TLC, the best WWE PPV of 2010. Not a bad match on the card (except the Tag Title match, which doesn't really count), and most matches even exceeded expectations, including Cena vs. Barrett. The big shame here is the greatness of this PPV will not be reflected in the buyrate because it's not WrestleMania, The Rumble or SummerSlam, but if you're a WWE fan, treat yourself and buy the replay, it's well worth the $50.

WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders And Chairs 2009WWE - The Ladder MatchWWE: The Best Pay Per View Matches of the Year, 2009-2010

WWE TLC 2010 Predictions

It's been a hectic week in my little corner of the world, but still managed to be rather productive with the site. Hope you enjoyed the 2010 Kick-Outies within the 50th episode of Kick-Out!! Radio, if you haven't listened yet, please do! Hopefully with 30 minutes of the goofiest wrestling awards show on the internet, you'll forgive me for the laziest, least creative PPV prediction post, ever. Predicted winners are in bold:

TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Kane © vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio

Tables Match for the WWE Championship
The Miz © vs. Randy Orton

Chairs Match
John Cena vs. Wade Barrett

#1 Contenders Ladder Match
John Morrison vs. Sheamus

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler © vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger

Divas Table Match
Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. LayCool

Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments thread and make sure to check back later tonight to see how embarrassingly wrong I am in my TLC 2010 review!

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - December 17, 2010

Edge kicked things off on Friday with a montage of the Paul Bearer saga set to the Benny Hill music. It's nice to see WWE come around and admit the story is ridiculous, but really, that montage was an insult to Benny Hill. Rosie the Kick-Outer made an excellent point about this whole thing, "you know something is bad when even Edge can't convince me to be interested." All this story has done is make me feel bad for Kane and hate the guy that I cheered for when he slept with the boss, stole Matt Hardy's girlfriend, and cheated at every opportunity. That's how bad this storyline is, I'm not kidding, it's one of the worst in recent memory.

Backstage, Teddy Long changes the PPV main event and sets up a Fatal Four Way TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Again, it's obvious WWE realizes the crowd would be dead for their main event tonight, so they took steps on Smackdown to save the match. Kudos to them for not being stubborn and forcing us to care about this horrid storyline.

Our opening contest saw Kofi Kingston & Kaval teaming up to take on Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger. Swagger & Ziggler should become a permanent tag team when Ziggler drops the IC Title, they both have amateur backgrounds, their looks mesh well and if they kept Vickie Guerrero in their corner, they'd be the most hated tag team in WWE since JeriShow. Fast paced, exciting match, here, even if a little messy in the early goings. The double suicide dive was slick, Kaval backflipping out of a German Suplex was awesome and Kofi Kingston's springboard high cross body was insane. Big win for Kofi & Kaval, but I have no idea who's winning tonight.

After the match, Swagger punched out Dolphy Z, putting the kibosh on my hopes for a permanent tag team any time soon, but Vickie Guerrero screaming "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!" makes it almost worth it.

The Must-See WWE Champion, The Miz is Smackdown's special guest tonight to take on Rey Mysterio in the main event, but why was he even there? He already beat Mysterio on Monday!

JTG has his own show now called Straight Outta Brooklyn, which means they're about to do something with him, or fire him, ya just never know with WWE. It was pretty funny though, JTG showed why he was one of the 2010 Unsung Superstars of the Year!

Backstage, Drew McIntyre tried to show Kelly Kelly the softer side of the dude that stomps in skulls on steel stairs.

I don't know how he's done it, but "DASHING" Cody Rhodes' has become more creepy than Goldust. The DASHING One was in action against Kick-Out's 2010 Unsung Superstar of the Year, Chris Masters once again, but this was the first roadblock in this enjoyable little feud. Match was way too short with Rhodes picking up a quick win, but some simple mic work could've done more for both of these guys than a 60 second match.

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz was next and Tony Chimel announcing him like he was saying "Da Bears" might be my new favorite thing. It was nice to see these guys get a proper match on Friday since their match on Raw was way too short, so as far as I know, this was their first true one-on-one match since Miz matured as a performer. Speaking of Miz maturing as a performer, how about that new jumping Rock Bottom he busted out? Interesting little move, wonder if he'll keep that in his arsenal or if it's one of those situations where when a guy wrestles Mysterio, he can pull out new stuff. Awesome, awesome match here with The Miz picking up another huge win over Mysterio... with a little help from Alberto Del Rio, but again, Mysterio brought that on himself.

All hell broke loose after the match though with Edge getting involved, and T-Lo set up a tag team match for later in the show: Miz & Del Rio vs. Edge & Mysterio, which showed just how thin Smackdown's main event scene is. Not only do you need to bring in a Raw guy to pad things out, he has to pull double duty?!

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Chavo Guerrero & Tyler Reks next... poor Chavo fell victim to the COOOOOBRAAAAAAAAAAA!

Ezekiel Jackson is jumping ship to Smackdown next week! Hell yeah, like I said earlier, Smackdown's main event scene is thin, no reason that Big Zeke couldn't fit right in.

Main Event time! Alberto Del Rio & The Miz vs. Edge & Rey Mysterio, but I saw Mysterio vs. Del Rio last week and Miz vs. Mysterio earlier in the show, so it was tough to get really into this one. It was really just an excuse to bring out Kane though, who busts through the hellfire and brimstone, he's pissed, he's seeking vengeance and when he finally gets his hands on Edge he... hits him with a double leg takedown. Yes, the all-powerful, Devil's Favorite Demon, who eliminated The Undertaker from WWE, gets in a roll-on-the-mat fist fight with Edge, gets pulled off by the Smackdown locker room and falls victim to the spear. It's like they're tying to make this suck.

Despite the flat ending, Smackdown was pretty good this week thanks to the fact that there was no Paul Bearer nonsense. Didn't really need to watch anything after Miz vs. Mysterio though, but if you missed the show, make sure you catch that match and Kaval & Kofi vs. Swagger & Ziggler. And don't forget to stop by Kick-Out!! later tonight for my review of TLC 2010!

WWE: The Twisted, Disturbed Life of KaneWWE - Rey Mysterio: The Biggest Little ManWWE: Top 50 Superstars of All TimeWrestling's Highest Flyers

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 50: The 2010 Kick-Outies!

We've made it to 50 episodes! And what better way to celebrate the occasion than with the 2010 Kick-Out!! Awards, or as I like to call them... THE KICK-OUTIES!! Give the show a listen to find out the 2010 Match of the Year, Superstar of the Year, NASTY!!! Moment of the Year and many more!

MP3 Version - Right click on the Audio MP3 image and "save link as."

iTunes - clicking this link will open your iTunes.

Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity

Monday, December 13, 2010

Raw thoughts - Dec. 13, 2010 - The Slammy Awards!

As long as Dennis Miller isn't in the arena, this should be a pretty fun show! We are live blogging Raw, so make sure you refresh your page for ongoing coverage of the 2010 Slammy Awards! And don't forget, this Wednesday, in our special 50th episode of Kick-Out!! Radio, it's the second annual Kick-Outies!

Our first presenter for tonight's show is the greatest WCW Champion of all-time, and the star of the upcoming Scream 4, David Arquette! Arquette needs a lozenge, but he's here to present the award for Shocker of the Year! The nominees are: The Miz cashing in, Nexus debuting, Paul Bearer turning on The Undertaker and Randy Orton punting Chris Jericho out of WWE. The Slammy goes to: NEXUS! Not really shocking that they won Shocker of the Year, it was the most out-of-nowhere story WWE's done in years and has carried the Raw brand since June. Wade Barrett accepts the award, to slightly less heat than David Arquette, and reminds Nexus that they wouldn't be anywhere without him, obviously trying to stifle the mutiny.

The G?M chimes in after Barrett's acceptance speech and tells the leader of Nexus that he has another chance to shock the WWE Universe in our opening contest, Wade Barrett vs. Big Show! Crowd is all over Barrett tonight, his mere presence is infuriating to the New Orleans crowd; always more fun with the crowd is into the show. Remember this time last year when Vince had to chastise the crowd for being quiet after Dennis Miller killed any interest anyone in the arena or watching at home had in that show? Anyhoo, one NASTY! chop from Big Show later, Wade Barrett takes his Slammy and marches out of the match; don't sweat it, Wade, you got nothing to prove! Big Show's eye looks legitimately messed up from Wade Barrett's thumb to the eye earlier in the bout.

Kelly Kelly & Tyson Kidd are presenting the "Despicable Me" Award... quite convenient that they named it that when Despicable Me is out on DVD tomorrow. Almost like they planned it that way. Tyson Kidd formally introduces his new bodyguard, Jackson Andrews, but even better was him making fun of Kelly Kelly.
The nominees for Despicable Me are:
Drew McIntyre tortures Teddy Long
Kane buries The Undertaker alive
Vince McMahon kicks Bret Hart in the ding-ding
CM Punk sings "Happy Birthday" to Rey Mysterio's daughter.
And the winner is... CM PUNK!

C'mon, no one deserved that one more than Punk. Him singing to Rey Rey's daughter was downright horrifying and now Punk is a three-time, three-time, three-time Slammy Award winner! Punk addresses an unnamed Superstar that has wronged him and he warns that if we thought what he did to Mysterio was despicable, we haven't seen anything yet.

Daniel Bryan & Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler & Ted DiBiase in an interpromotional tag match is our next match, and I thought Ted and Maryse broke up last week? Anyway, match is way too short, but the little action we do get here is pretty exciting. How about we give these four a rematch on Friday where they'll have more time to devote to wrestling?

Santino & Kozlov are here to present Guest Host Star Shining Moment of the Year, the nominess are:
Mike Tyson KOs Chris Jericho
Pee-Wee vs. The Miz
Wayne Brady gets RKO'd
William Shatner sings Superstar entrance themes
And the winner is: Pee-Wee Herman! Really! Really xInfinity!

But I gotta admit, even though I love Pee-Wee more than just about anything, I'm kinda bummed Shatner didn't win. "I'm not your... BOY... toy" was one of the funniest things WWE's ever done.

Mark Henry in action against DASHING! Cody Rhodes in another interbrand contest, and this one could be fun thanks to how awesome Rhodes has become in the last couple months. Considering the big size difference and completely clashing styles, the match is pretty good and Rhodes wins with a big knee drop off the top rope. Not gonna be hitting Cross Rhodes on Mark Henry, that's for sure.

Jerry Lawler, dressed as Cap'n Crunch, is here to present the Holy @#!& (ps, that means "shit") along with Vickie Guerrero. The nominees are:
John Morrison dives off the Hell in a Cell set
Kofi Kingston Boom Drops Drew McIntyre through a table off a ladder
John Cena AAs Batista through the Over the Limit stage.
The Shooting StaRKO
And the Slammy goes to: John Cena?

Really? I mean, that move was cool and all, but it had nothing on the Shooting StaRKO, but it's all just an excuse to bring out Wade Barrett. Barrett is here to make his decision about John Cena's future and calls him out to the ring. Of course it doesn't take long for John Cena, WWE season ticket holder, to accept the invite and as much as I hate the direction the story took last week, you can't deny that the crowd is eating it up. Wade Barrett officially rehires Cena, making the last two months completely useless... blah. Barrett gives him two conditions for his rehiring: they fight this Sunday in a Chairs Match (oooh), and Cena has to fight David Otunga later tonight (aahhh). Nexus beats Cena down, Barrett destroys him with a chair, and like I said last week, we're right back to where we were in September.

Next week is WWE Week on USA: Monday is Raw, Tuesday is a LIVE episode of Smackdown (AWESOME!) and Wednesday is an encore presentation of Tribute to the Troops. Very cool of USA to do this.

David Arquette is back, wearing an old Honky Tonk Man outfit, to present Fan Reaction of the Year, the nominees are:
Oh c'mon you know who this category was created for... ANGRY MIZ GIRL!
It's pretty awesome for WWE to fly her out and let her come on stage with The Miz. It's the least they could do after immortalizing her on WWE TV forever. Looks like she doesn't get to keep the Slammy though, since Miz stole it. Hysterical. The G?M interrupts Miz's promo and announces that both Miz and Orton will be in action tonight against former World Champions, and Miz's opponent is Rey Mysterio!

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio is a match I'm incredibly excited to see. I don't remember these guys having many (any?) singles matches, and probably not any since Miz really matured as a performer. Miz Girl should totally do a run-in here and help Mysterio win the match... maybe even hit Miz with the world's angriest RKO! Unfortunately, this match had to go to break almost as soon as it started, but we come back to an Alberto Del Rio appearance! Hey, Rey brought this distraction on himself after costing Del Rio the King of the Ring crown. Not nearly enough time for this match, but thanks to distractions on the outside from Alex Riley, Alberto Del Rio AND David Arquette, The Miz picks up an AWESOME win.

But while The Miz had to wrestle Rey Mysterio tonight, Randy Orton's in a handicap match tonight (ugh) against Alex Riley... and former WCW World Champion, David Arquette. Ready to Rumble, Randy?

Edge is presenting the Oh Snap Meltdown of the Year, and perhaps "Shocker of the Year" should've gone to the fact that someone thought that was a good name for an award. Edge is looking for a co-presenter, and we're treated to an appearance from Christian! Hopefully he's here to save Edge from further destroying his career with this horrible Kane storyline. The nominees are:
Big Show destroying Jack Swagger's trophies
Alberto Del Rio destroying Mysterio's wrist
Edge destroying a computer
Batista quits WWE

And the winner is: Edge! Pretty weird for a guy to be presenting the award he won. Remember, Edge destroyed that computer in his campaign against stupidity... just a few months before he tricked a mentally disturbed man into attempting to murder his father.

King Sheamus vs. John Morrison is our next match, and Sheamus still looks awesome in his royal garb. Match barely even gets started, devolves into a fist fight and the ref calls for a double DQ. Gotta buy the PPV, kids! These two are gonna face off on Sunday in a ladder match to determine the new #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. That's actually pretty awesome, especially if it leads to Miz vs. Morrison at the Royal Rumble. Sheamus isn't happy about this announcement though, sets up a ladder against the ring and throws John Morrison over the top rope onto it! NASTY!

JTG & William Regal are presenting Knucklehead Moment of the Year, which is almost as funny as that time MTV had Busta Rhymes and Martha Stewart present at the VMAs. The nominees are:
Big Show unmasks CM Punk
Mae Young kicks the shit out of LayCool
Beth Phoenix eliminates The Great Khali from the Royal Rumble
Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov dance-off

And the Slammy goes to: LayCool. Yawn.

Diva Battle Royal next to determine the Diva of the Year. But it's one battle royal, wouldn't that just determine the Diva of December 13? As for the match, it's a Divas Battle Royal, you know how it's going. Beth Phoenix Glam-Slamming Melina onto and over the top rope was pretty cool though. But of course, Michelle McCool wins, because she's the only Diva that mattered this year. Yawn². On the brightside, The G?M made the one Divas match I actually want to see, LayCool vs. Beth Phoenix & Natalya, but there's a twist... for the first time ever, it's a Divas Tables Match! Wow.

Edge vs. Jack Swagger next, and maybe Edge will convince him to viciously assault his father too. Woo! Go Edge! Silliness on Smackdown aside, Edge and Swagger had a fun match a few months ago, long before Edge got saddled with Kane, so I'm optimistic for this match tonight. Not a bad TV match at all that sees Edge pick up the win with the Spear and I hope he picks up the World Title on Sunday just so we can finally have a World Title scene back on Smackdown.

Big Show returns to present WWE Moment of the Year, the nominees are:
John Cena is fired
Sheamus attacks Triple H while he says goodbye to Shawn Michaels
Edge's Super Spear at WrestleMania 26
Streak vs. Career

And the Slammy goes to: Streak vs. Career.

Cool of Shawn Michaels to at least do a live via satellite acceptance speech. Who wants to start the "ONE MORE MATCH!" chant?

Randy Orton vs. Alex Riley & David Arquette (yes, really) is next, and I don't think Randy Orton is prepared for Dewey! CM Punk describing David Arquette's ring attire as "Clubber Lang's gi" might be my favorite commentary line since JR coined the term "carcinogenic fist." Orton, SHOCKINGLY, picks up the win here, and powerbombs David Arquette through a table. Somewhere out there, a WCW fan wipes away a single tear and says "finally."

John Cena recently granted his 200th wish with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. If you have Delta frequent flyer miles, you can help by donating them to the cause. Love or hate the wrestler, you have to respect the work John Cena does with Make-A-Wish.

Michael Cole is here to present the "And I Quote" Line of the Year Award. Uh, I'm pretty sure "Clubber Lang's Gi" is the line of the year. And the nominees are:
A lot of them. Pretty much every funny WWE line of the year.
The Slammy goes to: Michael Cole's "And I Quote." Nothing worse than being played off by a Nickelback song.

Teddy Long is here to present Superstar of the Year, the nominees are:
The Miz
John Cena
Rey Mysterio
Randy Orton

And the winner is: John Cena. Not surprising since they put it up to a vote on, and in the three years since they've brought back the Slammys, they've changed the criteria for Superstar of the Year each time. And ya know, it's kinda bullshit that Wade Barrett didn't at least get nominated for Superstar of the Year, I know he's new and all, but he was probably the most talked-about wrestler of the year.

Main Event time! John Cena vs. David Otunga and it's already 11:03, so don't expect this one to go too long. Well... it's taking long to get this damn match started. Nexus abandons Otunga, much like they abandoned Barrett last week, and if you guessed Cena would pick up an easy win, you'd be right. Blah. Cena nails Otunga with some NASTY chair shots after the match, but it's not enough to renew my interest in this story. The Cena/Nexus feud is hanging on by a thread at this point, and that thread is the TLC PPV this Sunday. If they don't do something big to breathe some new life into it, it's dead.

Man, this show felt looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. Not nearly as bad as last year's Slammy train wreck, but not nearly as good as the return of the Slammys in 2008. The matches didn't get enough time, but the show was at least somewhat fun and we got a lot of matches set up for Sunday's PPV, which is looking really good, but there's a lot riding on that show, so it's going to be an interesting night.

The John Cena ExperienceWWE - Edge: A Decade of DecadenceBreaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho

Sunday, December 12, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - December 10, 2010

Looks like the rumors about Todd Grisham were true, he's out of the commentary booth and Josh Matthews is in. Matthews and Striker had good chemistry on ECW, so I look forward to seeing what they'll do on Smackdown; unfortunately Michael Cole is still there as well.

Keeping up with unfortunate news, Kane kicked off this week's episode of Smackdown to continue to the mind-numbingly stupid angle about Paul Bearer's kidnapping. "This has gone on way too long," said Kane and I couldn't agree more. Edge appeared on the TitanTron (suck it, NFL), and said it will all end at TLC, but they've broken so many promises before, how can I trust them? Edge hit a man whose bound to a wheelchair with a steel chair, and remember kids, he's the good guy!

Things started to look up for Smackdown with our opening contest, Jack Swagger vs. Kaval. Good storytelling with Kaval injuring his ankles and hurting himself with every kick he threw, but naturally falling victim to Swagger's ankle lock. This is how you make someone look good with a loss and here's hoping we see more from these two in the future. Swagger cut a promo after the match, claiming Kofi Kingston should've been disqualified last week for hitting him while he was in the ropes with Trouble in Paradise. Never mind the fact that Swagger just chopblocked Kaval while he was in the ropes two minutes earlier, he's protesting!

Hornswoggle vs. The Swagger Soaring Eagle was next, and yes, you read that correctly. I don't know what's funnier, the fact that Hornswoggle is billed from "The End of the Rainbow" or the Soaring Eagle's wingspan being announced. Absolutely ridiculous, but if ever there was a reason for Michael Cole to not take the product seriously, this would be it. There have been worse comedy bits in WWE, and I gotta be honest, I'd rather watch Hornswoggle vs. the Eagle than Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer.

Oh look, WWE remembered that the Tag Team Champions can appear on both shows, Santino & Kovlov were on Smackdown! Chavo challenged them to a match and everyone sang Queen songs, which was pretty amusing.

Intercontinental Title was on the line with Dolph Ziggler defending against Kofi Kingston, and as I mentioned last week, we've seen these two wrestle so many times recently, so I wasn't exactly looking forward to this one again. I was wrong, these two put on yet another exciting contest that kept the crowd engaged the whole way through. Oh, and someone in the crowd had a sign that said "KOFI GO FLY-FLY," which might be the best sign I've seen all year. Also nice we got this one on free TV, so we didn't have to pay to see these to wrestle on PPV for the fourth time this year. Crowd was red hot at the end, Kofi nailed Trouble in Paradise, but Jack Swagger interfered, giving Kofi a DQ win. Triple Threat match at TLC? Hopefully!

Masterlock Challenge! Nice to see WWE giving Chris Masters a little more to work with since he's been one of the most underrated performers of the year. "DASHING" Cody Rhodes was the challenger and was perfect here, disinfecting the steel chair with a baby wipe, filing his nails (to improve his grip!), and screaming that his face was "given to him by God!" Rhodes demanded to look in his jacket-mirror, which gave Masters the opening to apply the Masterlock and pick up an easy win! I'm all for these guys feuding, and I'd love to see Masters move into the IC Title division, but I can't help but think these two would be an awesome tag team.

Speaking of tag teams, our new Tag Team Champions were over HUGE in Dayton, Ohio and were in action against Chavo Guerrero & Drew McIntyre. I'd dig this tag team a bit more if Chavo were taken seriously, but then again, Santino & Kozlov are the Tag Team Champions, so... yeah. Match wasn't too bad though, McIntyre countering Santino's saluting headbutt with a boot to the face was NASTY! But silly Chavo tagged himself in, took a COBRA! and it was all over for the challengers. After the match, Drew McIntyre hit Chavo with the Future Shock and WWE's become so impatient, they're breaking up tag teams the night they debut.

Layla vs. Natalya was short but actually pretty good. Hey, when are we going to see Natalya & The Glamazon vs. LayCool? Although I can understand WWE's hesitation, if anyone in that match gets injured, they'll lose 25% of the women's division.

Main Event time! Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. Kane & Alberto Del Rio, which normally I'd be excited about, but this Kane/Edge feud is so astoundingly awful, I just want it all to be over with. But hey, there was some good news, Teddy Long came out to tell us that Kane wouldn't wrestle tonight. Cool, maybe we can get a break from this stupid Paul Bearer stuff... but oh yeah... they made it a handicap match... with the heel being forced to wrestle two guys. Huh?! Heels shouldn't be in handicap matches unless they're monsters that need two opponents in order to have some competition.

Luckily, WWE realized this was a bad idea and sent Kane out to distract Edge, which made this into a one-on-one match with Del Rio vs. Mysterio... a match they want us to pay for at TLC. This was just one mind-numbing decision after another, and the previously red-hot crowd was pretty much dead for it after all the confusion. Why not just run with the basic tag match? Things picked back up near the end once Del Rio and Mysterio got to do what they do best, but the whole segment left a bad taste in my mouth and it was hard to care when Mysterio picked up the win.

After the match, Edge tricked Kane into dumping the real Paul Bearer off a makeshift scaffold over a 30+ foot balcony. Woo! He made a mentally unstable person throw their father off a balcony, I want to cheer for him!

Stupidity in the main event aside, Smackdown was another solid wrestling show. All the matches were good (even the main event when it was left to Del Rio and Rey Rey), lots of story progression, and a Chris Masters push! But it's hard to give this show a big thumbs up when Edge and Kane took up so much time and their storyline is well on its way to becoming the worst Kane angle since he wanted to have demonic offspring. Where's Snitsky when you need him?

WWE Chris Masters Figure Series #8JACK SWAGGER - MATTEL PPV 5 OVER THE LIMIT WWE TOY WRESTLING ACTION FIGUREWWE Elite Collection Rey Mysterio Figure Best of 2010 Series

Friday, December 10, 2010

Twitter Topic: Suspension of Disbelief

Welcome to a new feature here at Kick-Out!!, the Twitter Topic. I'm hoping to make this a weekly feature, and the plan is to solicit a wrestling-related topic on Twitter and the first person to submit one will get their topic written. This week's submission comes from NotBlueBeetle, who wanted to see "something relating to suspension of disbelief, as it relates to the current Cena/Nexus angle." I can do that.

Wrestling requires a suspension of disbelief going in, it's probably a big reason why so many people don't "get it," they lack the imagination. It's part of what makes wrestling so unique, we can easily shut our brains off and watch something completely unbelievable like Lost or Iron Man, but wrestling blurs the line between fiction and reality, so it's easier for people to write off as "fake."

Some parts of wrestling require a bit more suspension of disbelief than others, it's a lot easier to accept the idea of two guys that downright hate each other like Sheamus and Triple H than two brothers with a history stretching back 20+ years that involves supernatural powers, burned down mortuaries and the reveal that one brother's longtime manager is actually the father of the other brother. And that's not even getting into the Katie Vick stuff.

But stuff like Undertaker and Kane are holdovers from a bygone era, what about the modern stories that take you out of the show, like Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer and holding him hostage for weeks without any involvement from the authorities? Does Cena vs. Nexus fall into that category? I have my issues with the angle, but believability isn't one of them.

For a company that expects us to just accept the fact that Edge can kidnap and torture a father with buffalo wings, just because the son "won't press charges," WWE has paid painstaking attention to detail to make the Nexus angle believable. Their debut was handled spectacularly, it was revealed that Vince McMahon himself had a hand in it, and then the Anonymous GM signed them all to contracts. Everything from then on with stipulations like Nexus must disband if they lose or John Cena must become a member, that's standard wrestling fare.

Cena's "firing" is where things might divide some folks on the suspension of disbelief aspect, but without judging the quality of the story, I still think it's believable... at least as believable as wrestling can be. I'm not personally a fan of firing stories, since they're usually rendered meaningless in a matter of weeks, much like this one, but at least they're paying attention to the details here. John Cena's "fired," but everyone in the company, from the wrestlers to the security guards, think he got a raw deal. Nexus has attacked everyone, they haven't made any friends, so screwing over the locker room leader was the last straw, and much like Nexus, they will go outside the rules to right this wrong.

Where they take the angle from here will determine whether or not it remains the most compelling story WWE's told in years, but in terms of pure believability, they've done exactly what they needed to do. Now if only that would extend to every story on every wrestling show.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Kick-Outies!! return December 15

It's that time of year again, The Slammy Awards are this Monday on Raw, a bunch of other wrestling websites are doing their end of the year awards, and that means it's time for the Kick-Outies!!

But this year, there's a twist! Instead of doing a simple write-up like I did last year, the second annual Kick-Out!! Awards will be the 50th episode of Kick-Out!! Radio! I've been trying to come up with something big and special for the 50th episode, and it was staring me in the face the whole time. So next Wednesday, please be a part of the best wrestling awards show, done in podcast format, produced by a website that starts with the letter K!


I figure since I made the announcement, I might as well reveal the award categories:

TV Match of the Year
Unsung Superstar of the Year
WTF?! Moment of the Year
PPV of the Year
NASTY! Moment of the Year
Feud of the Year
Finisher of the Year
Feel Good Moment of the Year
Breakthrough Star of the Year
Match of the Year
Superstar of the Year

Feel free to suggest some more in the comments section!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Did last night's Raw ruin WrestleMania?

In my Raw review last night, I mentioned that the final segment, involving John Cena and The Nexus, was so damaging that it could have WrestleMania repercussions. If you didn't see it, Nexus abandoned Wade Barrett when John Cena vowed to make their lives a living hell and threatened to kick their leader out of the group if he didn't hire Cena back next week.

So that whole firing thing? Pointless. John Cena's passionate farewell speech the night after Survivor Series? Rendered meaningless. The whole part about John Cena being a member of Nexus? An afterthought. Basically, it resets all the progress that the story has made and we're essentially back to where we were in September when Nexus was "rebuilding" after losing at SummerSlam.

To be fair, a lot of people wrongly wrote the story off there as well, but WWE managed to inject some new life into it by forcing Cena into Nexus, but they can't just go back to that now. And considering how much they dropped the ball there, refusing to make Cena look even slightly vulnerable or heelish, why should they even bother? I suppose there are plenty of routes they can go to make this interesting, maybe Nexus is setting a trap for Cena, but this whole story has been Cena always being one step ahead of the masterminds of Nexus.

Perhaps there's more to it, there's "the winds of change" and that Nexus is supposedly a part of something "much, much bigger," but we haven't heard anything about those things in weeks. If Nexus is part of some master plan, it is the most convoluted, illogical and inefficient master plan ever concocted. Even Bond villains don't complicate things this much.

And it's especially frustrating because Cena vs. Barrett should be a marquee WrestleMania match. It would be the first time since WWE went to 12 PPVs a year where WWE carried a feud for this long without pausing the story or someone going down with injury, that made it all the way to WrestleMania with the crowd still red hot for it. Luckily, the crowd is still reacting and perhaps even more behind John Cena than they've ever been, but there's going to come a point where Nexus just isn't believable anymore. They've done little to carve out personalities and motivations for any members not named Barrett or Otunga, so how are they going to get another four months out of the story when they're merely cannon fodder for John Cena every week?

The reactionary nature of the internet crowd often annoys the hell out of me, and I hate to be on the side that thinks one segment in December can adversely affect a major PPV in April, but WWE continues to show no signs of bucking the status quo. John Cena is untouchable and Nexus are all talk; the threat of mutiny only makes it worse, because a divided Nexus is even easier for Cena to take out... but he's already shown he can kick all their asses anyway. If there's any hope of salvaging this story and carrying it to WrestleMania, Cena can't just come out on top every single week. The good guy is supposed to be in peril until the final battle when he finally comes out victorious, and that's not just in wrestling, that's basic storytelling. With Nexus being the hottest storyline to come around in years, I hope I'm just another in the long line of people who wrote it off too soon. WWE, please prove me wrong.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - December 6, 2010

Raw's been on fire as of late and while people may go into this episode looking at it as a placeholder show between King of the Ring and the Slammy Awards 3-hour specials, it could be a prime opportunity for WWE to really focus on building the TLC PPV, which is less than two weeks away. Also, The Miz is still WWE Champion, so we already know the show won't be all bad!

Cold opening with CM Punk and Jerry Lawler at ringside and Michael Cole eventually making his way to ringside to explain his actions from last week. Cole's getting Vickie Guerrero levels of heat here, but if he's going to turn heel, he has to grow the mustache back. C'mon, everybody knows facial hair = EEEEVIL! Michael Cole is tearing it up here, even somehow blaming the whole thing on Jerry Lawler for breaking his objectivity last week and making the show about him, so Cole demands an apology from the King! Reminds me of a Kentucky senate race, "No Jerry, you made me stomp on your face last week, apologize for making me do that!"

The G?M chimes in before King can get his revenge, but this is spectacularly fantabulous because CM Punk gets to read the e-mail, and the crowd is going bonkers. Looks like there will be no physical altercation between the two, but that doesn't stop Lawler from inviting Randy Orton to the ring. Orton doesn't attack Cole, just talks to him, which is honestly much worse than getting punched in the face by Jerry Lawler. Orton wants his rematch for the WWE Title tonight, which is the cue for things to get AAAAAWWWWWEEEEEESSSSSOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEE!!!!

The Miz & A-Ri a-rrive on stage (see what I did there?), and since The Miz successfully defended his title last week, he's in the clear until TLC, and he gets to pick the match that he'll have with Orton at the PPV. Alex Riley wants a shot at Orton tonight, which is just hilarious because it further proves my point that his employment hinges on being the guy to lose matches for The Miz. Orton accepts the challenge... and RKOs Michael Cole, just because he's an asshole like that. Fire him, G?M!!!

The good news: a Daniel Bryan match without Michael Cole on commentary.
The bad news: it features a Bella wrestling.

Ted DiBiase & Maryse vs. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella is our opening contest for the evening. Unfortunately, there was very little Daniel Bryan action, and typical shenanigans from the Bella Twins, but hey, at least it's a W for Bryan. And it looks like they're splitting up DiBiase & Maryse, fortunately no one will notice or care.

Raw is live from Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center, which is actually the first arena ever named on a dare.

Wade Barrett is on his way to the arena, but David Otunga is live via satellite in his hotel room. Dear WWE Superstars: never let a camera crew into your home or hotel room, it guarantees you will get an ass-whooping. Naturally, John Cena was there, but Otunga managed to escape, but Husky Harris wasn't so lucky.

David Hart Smith vs. Tyson Kidd next in a match no one wants to see. Some teams just shouldn't feud when they split, the Hart Dynasty is one of them. Kidd brought muscle though, in the form of Jackson Andrews from FCW, who's gotta be at least seven-feet tall. The match is decent enough, but like I said, these two just shouldn't be feuding, they shouldn't have split up in the first place.

Still having a hard time getting into the Nexus/Cena storyline now that everything has been reset exactly to where it was before Cena joined Nexus.

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. The Usos vs. Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater are up next in a Fatal Four Way (featuring the only four tag teams in WWE) with the Tag Team Titles on the line. Better hope the ring doesn't blow up, WWE, you will literally have zero tag teams. They already had to cobble together the team of Yoshi Tatsu and Mark Henry to make this a Fatal Four Way. They don't last too long though thanks to Heath Slater nearly breaking Yoshi Tatsu in half. Nasty. The Usos are quickly eliminated too, and crowd volume instantly increased 12%.

Down to Santino & Kozlov and Nexus, and Santino throws a Stunner! Surprise, John Cena's here, ref's distracted, COBRA! COBRA! COBRA!

And we have new Tag Team Champions! Seriously? Oh well, considering the current state of the tag division, does it really matter? And at least we got CM Punk calling John Cena "Grimace" due to his purple shirt.

HOLY HELL SHEAMUS LOOKS AMAZING! He looks like something God has nightmares about. The Celtic King's fellabration is cut short by that peasant "Jahn Maherisson," who claims their rivalry is tied at one win a piece and they need one more match to determine the better man. Uh John, you had a match against Sheamus in September, I was there... you lost. Morrison doesn't take kindly to getting slapped in the face though and proceeds to assault our king! John, you're gonna regret that when Sheamus orders your beheading.

Natalya vs. Melina in a non-title match, but unfortunately it's ruined by the atrocious commentary by LayCool at ringside. Natalya gets a quick, but impressive win with the Sharpshooter, and then LayCool beat her up after the match because there aren't any other heel Divas in the entire company.

I assume Randy Orton vs. Alex Riley is the final match of the evening with Wade Barrett calling out Cena as our "main event." I know Orton is selling an injury and all, but I'm surprised by how much offense Riley is getting in. Not as surprised as I am by Orton busting out an Angle Slam though. Weird. Anyway, we all know Riley's role in this match is to lose, but I'm surprised they had it end by DQ with The Miz interfering. Since it's an Orton match, I totally expected an RKO, then maybe The Miz beat down after the match. Looks like Miz has decided on a Tables Match for TLC, but unfortunately he didn't get to give Randy the Skullcrush through a table, instead A-Ri got a P-bomb through the T-able. Randy Orton with an Angle Slam and a powerbomb tonight... who the hell is this guy?

Wade Barrett is here to make an excellent point, that John Cena broke his word and has lost all credibility by showing up and attacking Nexus after being fired. It's a good point, the stipulation was "freed or fired," not "freed or show up and do the exact same thing you were doing in September." The crowd is still red hot for this story, but I just don't get it, it was so much more compelling when Cena was forced into Nexus and they barely scratched the surface there.

Barrett calls out John Cena, who's here to tell us that being fired isn't that bad. Tell that to 10% of the workforce, John! Cena still wants his job back though and says if Barrett was a man of integrity, he'd hire him back. Huh? That wasn't the stipulation you agreed to, Cena! Barrett orders Nexus to come to ringside and help him with Cena, but they all abandon their leader... and that's the sound of a compelling storyline exhaling its final breath. Awful. Barrett escapes Cena and demands answers from Nexus backstage, but Otunga orders him to hire Cena back or he's out of the group. Awful²

Well that sucked. After several weeks of flat-out awesome shows, Raw nosedived here and the hottest angle in the company, which has been going on since June, is officially dead. I do not understand how WWE managed to bungle something as hot as Cena vs. Barrett, but that's what they get for going with the most sterile and safe option they could have. Very disappointed in this week's show and the damage is going to extend far beyond tonight, it could go all the way to WrestleMania. I thought this show would be a good opportunity to build TLC and at worst, it would be a placeholder show before the Slammy Awards, but unfortunately, tonight's Raw was much, much worse.

The John Cena ExperienceWWE: Bobby "The Brain" HeenanWWE: The Rise And Fall of WCW