Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 42

Gonna stick with Podbean's embeddable player for awhile. Let me know if you like it or if I should go back to the video version of the podcast.

This week, Razor asks if there are any original stories left to tell in wrestling. Is the Nexus ready for the big time? What would the ultimate 90s reunion show look like? Also, rumors regarding Shawn Michaels, gloves (yes, gloves), and The Ultimate Warrior entering the WWE Hall of Fame. And Randy Orton is in the Superstar Spotlight.

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sports Entertainment Eight... Take 2!

Hey, good news, The Champion of Champions Tournament is back! Looks like Google has finally fixed their poll gadget. The four matches are to the right of your screen, featuring eight former WWE Champions. Get voting!

North Turnbuckle: Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker
West Turnbuckle: Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock
East Turnbuckle: Eddie Guerrero vs. Triple H
South Turnbuckle: John Cena vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Let me know if you have any trouble with your votes registering by leaving a comment.

WWE: The Undertaker's Deadliest MatchesWWE: Shawn Michaels - My JourneyWWE: Viva La Raza - The Legacy of Eddie Guerrero

Monday, July 26, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - July 26, 2010

Tonight's live blog is post #491 here at Kick-Out!!, suggestions for #500?

It's the first Raw since the Cenavengers assembled, make sure you're refreshing your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show!

After a looooooooooooo(breath)oooooong intro, recapping the end to last week's Raw, John Cena kicks things off on Monday Night Raw! Cena promises to prove that Nexus is not invincible at SummerSlam to keep them from taking over Raw, but before he can finish his thought, he's joined (interrupted?) by one of his teammates, Chris Jericho! Jericho has taken issue with Cena calling it "his" team, but c'mon Chris, JerichOvengers just doesn't work! Turns out, John Cena doesn't care whose team it is, and despite the tension, Cena's clearly trying to get everyone on the same page for the sake of SummerSlam. Jericho sees the bigger picture, but accuses Cena of being more like Nexus than he'd like to admit, and when the Nexus problem is solved, he's turning his sights on the former champ. Interesting.

G?M chimes in before things get physical though and announces that the SummerSlam match will be elimination style. I like it... even if Survivor Series is just a couple months away. Cena and Jericho have to team together tonight though against opponents of the GM's choosing. "And if they're not down with that..." Funny.

The WWE Champion, Sheamus is out to scout our opening contest, Randy Orton vs. Jey Uso. Yes, I'm serious. Weird, it says USA at the bottom of my screen, but surely a match like this could only be seen on WGN, right? Randy Orton made quick work of Local Competitor, picking up an easy win with the RKO, and the RKOing Sheamus after the match just for the hell of it.

AWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMEEEE! The Miz rushes to the ring to cash in his Money in the Bank contract... but is RKO'd too and the match never starts. What an RKOhole.

Backstage, Edge is with Ted DiBiase talking about replacing The Great Khali. Is DiBiase really much of an upgrade though?

Back from commercial, both Miz and Sheamus have headaches and aren't happy with each other. COLE'S GOT MAIL! G?M has declared that Sheamus and Miz will team up tonight to take on John Cena and Chris Jericho. I am all for that match.

SummerSlam Recall from 1988 with The Honky Tonk Man's historic Intercontinental Title reign coming to an end at the hands of The Ultimate Warrior!

Great Khali is so mad at Edge, he even called him a "raflaghghar" and challenged him to a match later tonight... but if Edge wins, Khali's off the SummerSlam team.

Edge vs. The Great Khali never really got started before Nexus ran both men off. They had Khali surrounded, but let him walk away... I wonder if that means he's dropping out of the match voluntarily?

In a SummerSlam preview, Nexus is in action next in a 7-on-7 elimination match against Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, The Hart Dynasty, Jerry Lawler (?), Yoshi Tatsu (!) & Goldust(!!) The Yoshi/Goldust team has been reunited! Michael Tarver, in his human form, makes quick work of Yoshi Tatsu with a badass reverse powerslam of sorts. This man will EAT YOUR SOUL! During commercial, Heath Slater eliminated Jerry Lawler with Dolph Ziggler's finisher, then did it again to David Hart Smith. Okay, one: Heath Slater's finisher is terrible, two: Heath Slater dominating is terrible, and three: Heath Slater is terrible. Crowd is red hot for Goldust, but unfortunately is quickly eliminated by David Otunga. Mark Henry tries to tip the scales back to his team, but can't overcome the Clothesline From Slightly North of Hell from Skip Sheffield. Tyson Kidd tries, but Darren Young puts him away, leaving Evan Bourne completely alone with all seven members of Nexus. One meeting with Wade Barrett later, it's a clean sweep for The Nexus. For the record, it was all the power of Michael Tarver.

I know people are going to bitch about this, but come on, we're supposed to believe these guys can go toe-to-toe with John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth, Great Khali and Bret Hart, they HAD to look dominant here. These guys are nobodies, and they haven't really had a lot of in-ring work since they arrived on Raw, this was undoubtedly the right call.

Alicia Fox vs. Brie Bella? What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this? Alicia wins, Jillian tries to sing of her and gets a scissor kick. NACHOS! GETCHA NACHOS! ICE COLD BEER HERE!

And the next match isn't a much better idea, Ted DiBiase vs. John Morrison, with R-Truth on commentary. Painful match, DiBiase steals one with his feet on the ropes, but Truth makes the save, only for Morrison to be thrown into Truth to give DiBiase the win anyway. Morrison's pissed, and he's got facial hair, and any Star Trek fan knows, facial hair = heel! Tension grows within the Cenavengers.


The Miz & Sheamus vs. John Cena & Chris Jericho is next, and I assume the main event for the evening? Kinda early, so I'm getting a slight scent of shenanigans. Surprisingly no shenanigans here... well, not really. Very fun tag match, until Jericho got tired of dealing with Cena's shit and nailed him with a Codebreaker, allowing THE MIZ to pin Cena! That's right, Miz - 1, Cena - 0, the streak returns! After the match, Jericho tries to put Cena in the Walls, but Cena reverses into the STF, Great Khali tries to split it up, then all of the Cenavengers hit the ring and argue to close Raw.

Not the greatest Raw on a technical level, the wrestling wasn't there, there wasn't a match even a percent as good as the triple threat from last week, but the overarching storyline is very entertaining. I love the Nexus storyline and the fact that WWE can't seem to mount any sort of counterattack without Bret Hart to rally the troops is one of those little details that I love. This show was all about Nexus bouncing back after last week, and they accomplished that well, let's just hope the in-ring action bounces back next week.

Ricky Steamboat: The Life Story of the DragonWWE: Satan's Prison- The Anthology of the Elimination ChamberA Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex

Sunday, July 25, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - July 23, 2010

It was the first Smackdown after Money in the Bank and we have a new World Heavyweight Champion!

The Big Red World Heavyweight Champion, Kane kicked things off on Friday to talk about how he made history. He made history in two ways that night, being the first person to cash in MITB on the same night he won it, and also had the longest gap between World Title reigns for any Superstar in WWE history. Pretty standard stuff from Kane, he's borderline deranged, the lighting is red, music is playing in the background... at least it makes more sense in the ring than backstage. Kane did mention going to The Undertaker's bedside, he's still in a vegetative state (I suppose in an undisclosed location), and his assailant is still at large. Kane vowed to not rest until he gets his vengeance, and like I mentioned on this week's Kick-Out!! Radio, I hope Kane was the assailant, but that he's unaware that he did it.

Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio in a 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 contender? Love it.

That's later though, our opening contest of the evening was Matt Hardy & Christian vs. Drew McIntyre & "Dashing" Cody Rhodes. Of course the big story in this match was the budding tension between Matt Hardy & Christian; I think there's a lot of potential in interaction between these two. Obviously I feel like Christian should be doing bigger and better things, but here are two guys that have forever been in the shadow of their brother and fake brother. I don't know if there's a solid tag team in there or an interesting feud, but the latter certainly would be a great way to turn Christian heel (just sayin'). Miscommunication between Christian and Hardy allowed Drew & DASHING to pick up the win, but the Forgotten Bros. shook hands at the end of the match after all. I really liked this match though, it was a fun opener and the crowd was hot the whole way through, exactly what I look for in TV wrestling.

Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match was our second contest of the evening, and this one really didn't click with me until the end, and even that was a little convoluted. Ziggler finally got the win he was looking for, which should put him in line for yet another IC Title shot, but he's just not as exciting to watch as he was this time last year. To be fair though, he hasn't had any big match situations to work in lately, and that's where he shined last year, so hopefully he'll get a match with Kofi at SummerSlam to reemerge as a threat.

Big Show vs. Luke Gallows was up next, but CM Punk called an audible and put the Masked Stranger in the match instead! Didn't take long for Big Show to rip the mask off either and finally reveal that it is in fact, Joey Mercury! Mercury's been gone from WWE for years, but wisely teamed up with Punk, rather than his old partner John Morrison, who hasn't exactly had much luck lately. Of course, Mercury didn't have a lot of luck here against Show either, but at least he's not stuck with Ted DiBiase. BTW, CM Punk looks like Hornswoggle with that scraggly beard and shaved head.

Grooming Tips with "Dashing" Cody Rhodes might be the most ridiculous thing ever.

I just don't get the point of these Alberto Del Rio sketches. The telenovela aspect is kinda funny, but this guy just strikes me as Eric Escobar 2.0.

Main Event time! Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger in a 2 out of 3 falls match to determine the #1 contender at SummerSlam. I love a good 2 out of 3 falls match, even if this one was kinda silly. First fall went to Mysterio after Swagger refused to release the ankle lock when Rey had the ropes, but as soon as they came back from commercial, Swagger locked it back in again and Rey instantly tapped. At that point, we were pretty much at a basic wrestling match. Swagger dragged Mysterio to the outside of the ring and looked like he was going for some kind of slam, but couldn't get Rey all the way up and dropped him right on his tailbone! NASTY!!! Despite the shattered tailbone, back in the ring, Rey reversed Swagger into an interesting pinning combination and picked up the win. Well, there goes my idea for Kane vs. The Undertaker at SummerSlam, I guess. Maybe Taker will return like he did last year and will face Kane at Hell in a Cell? Speaking of the World Champ, Kane saved Rey from the post-match beatdown again, but this time raised his hand rather than chokeslamming him... and then came back and tried to chokeslam him, but got hit with a 619. See, it all goes to my idea of Kane's multiple personalities.

Another good episode of Smackdown centered primarily around wrestling matches, can't argue with that. I'm not a fan of Kane vs. Rey Mysterio headlining SummerSlam though, we've seen these two in the ring against each other so many freaking times, what else is there for them to do, especially at the second biggest show of the year? Hopefully something gets added to spice things up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 41

Gonna try something a little different this week, using Podbean's embeddable player instead of making a video version of the podcast. Let me know what you think!

This week, Razor discusses Raw, Money in the Bank, Nexus vs. The Cena 7, TNA’s ECW Invasion, SummerSlam and why wrestling is getting really exciting.

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Five Count: Future World Champions

When The Miz won Money in the Bank on Sunday, I said if he's not WWE Champion by WrestleMania 27, WWE's doing something wrong. Well, what other WWE Superstars fall into that category? Here are the top five people (besides The Miz) that should win their first World/WWE Championship by no later than the end of 2011.

5. Wade Barrett
I hesitate even putting him on the list because it seems like a forgone conclusion at this point. He's not exactly the most exciting in-ring worker that I've ever seen, but after he gets to work proper matches with the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, Chris Jericho and other top stars, Barrett will fit right in with the WWE main event scene. I wouldn't be shocked if Wade Barrett doesn't even wait until 2011, he could end 2010 as WWE Champion.

4. Matt Hardy
Has the ship sailed on the elder Hardy brother? Matt is consistently over with the audience, he gets cheered no matter what from his die hard fanbase, but can he truly win the big one? In wrestling, it's rarely "too late" for anyone, the right storyline or the right match could put someone right back in the thick of the title scene (just ask Kane), but it's definitely going to be an uphill battle for Matt Hardy. I think all he really needs is a makeover - new ring attire, a haircut, a new attitude - and he could easily be a top contender on Smackdown.

3. Ezekiel Jackson
A few months back, I put Big Zeke in the "danger zone" because he may have trouble finding his footing after being out of the spotlight for so long. Zeke had a ton of momentum as ECW dissolved, but a string of injuries and personal tragedy have sidelined him since February. That in mind, you simply can't deny the presence that Jackson has inside the ring, and he's proven himself to be a strong wrestler as well. So long as WWE doesn't get too distracted with new guys, Zeke should be a top contender within the next year. Oh and team him up with Michael Tarver and make them the most unstoppable tag team wrestling has seen since the Road Warriors!

2. Kofi Kingston
Quite frankly, Kofi Kingston should've already been WWE Champion by now, his feud with Randy Orton should have ended with him winning the Royal Rumble and winning the title at WrestleMania. Unfortunately, as soon as 2010 began, all of his momentum had stalled out and the idea of him winning the Royal Rumble, let alone the WWE Title, seemed laughable. WWE completely missed the mark there, but have taken great strides to reestablish Kofi on Smackdown, so I wouldn't be shocked to see him holding a world championship by the end of 2011.

1. Christian
Did you have any doubt who would be number one? What more can I say about Christian that I haven't already? The fact that the guy is underrated is almost cliché at this point, but there's no one in WWE more deserving of a title run than Captain Charisma. He's worked his ass off since his return, can make anyone look terrific in the ring, and has been doing this for 15 years now. He's earned it and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Monday, July 19, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - July 19, 2010

We are live blogging tonight's Raw, featuring the fallout from Money in the Bank! Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show!

Starting things off with a HUGE Triple Threat match to determine a new #1 contender for the WWE Title! Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge... well, barring any sort of shenanigans, I'm pretty sure this one is a forgone conclusion, I don't think SummerSlam will be headlined by Chris Jericho or Edge versus Sheamus. Orton makes sense, and even though he already fought Sheamus at the Royal Rumble this year, it didn't have a definitive ending and both guys have change pretty significantly in the last seven months. I'm getting ahead of myself though, there's still a match to get through, and so far so good, Orton reversing the double baaaaaaaaaaaaack body drop into a double DDT was pretty slick.

For the life of me, I do not get it, Orton is still the same old bland Randy Orton he's always been, but the crowd is absolutely batshit for him. Loving the match though, Jericho's a house of fire, locking Orton in the Walls for what seemed like forever, the reversing Edge's Spear into a school boy roll-up into the Walls as well. Gorgeous counter. We even got a TRIPLE CLOTHESLINE!? Jericho dodges the RKO, misses with the Lionsault, takes an RKO, Edge tries to intervene but gets an RKO of his own! Orton wins an absolutely fantastic match, easily a contender for Match of the Month, and his heading to SummerSlam to take on the WWE Champion. I'm certainly no fan of the guy, but if he can give us a match like that at SummerSlam, it'll be a damn good main event. Hell, this match could've been the SummerSlam main event.

It appears Edge is refusing to leave the ring and he wants Chris Jericho back at ringside right now! Both men are tired of costing each other titles and chipping years away at the other's career, but Jericho insists that he can snap his fingers and have Nexus end Edge's career. Edge disagrees and says they'd side with him. If you're familiar with comedian Dana Gould, he has a bit where he says that everyone needs a big fat guy in a top hat who steps out of your closet whenever you're about to make a really dumb decision and screams "MISTAAAAAAAAKE!" Both Edge and Jericho needed that guy before this segment because Nexus has just made their way to ringside. Oh sure, they appear to side with Jericho at first, but when Jericho tries to pick the bones of the unconscious Edge, they attack Wade Barrett's former Pro too. MISTAAAAAAAAAKE! It's okay Jericho, at least you went down swinging, like the best in the world should!

Oh and by the way, Skip Sheffield has the best Spear in the industry today. NASTY!

I have no idea why people want John Cena to turn out to be the leader of Nexus, it would make absolutely no sense whatsoever, and would be a swerve for the sake of a swerve. Cena turning heel could happen, Nexus could be a good catalyst for it, he's become so miserable and frustrated that he becomes what he hates, but the mastermind behind the group? That would be completely idiotic. Cena teases joining Nexus later tonight, but hopefully that rules out any possibility of him being the leader.

Eve vs. Maryse up next in a Diva's match that ends quicker than this sentence. Eve gets the win even though Maryse's foot is on the rope, Ted DiBiase complains, and then John Morrison runs in and nails the Million Dollar Champ with Starship Pain. Yawn. BTW, Maryse's hair is more ridiculous than Darren Young's, just sayin.

Sheamus is here to address the WWE Universe, and how brilliant is this guy? He just doesn't give a shit who he steps over as long as his own ass is covered. Last week he was willing to team with Cena, now he's claiming he has a truce with Nexus, I love it. Sheamus plans on becoming the longest reigning WWE Champion in history (you got a loooong way to go to match Bruno, fella), but even though Nexus is out of his way (for now), he has a much bigger problem... a much AWESOMER problem, The Miz! Every breath Sheamus takes, every move he makes, Miz'll be watching him. That's right, Miz just made a Sting reference on WWE TV:


But it looks like G?M wants to weigh in here too, setting up a match for Sheamus here tonight against Evan Bourne!

Evan Bourne!

Uh... Evan?

12 minutes later Evan Bourne make his way to ringside, still taping up his wrists. Whether that was a missed cue or just an attempt to sell the spontaneity of the mystery GM, that was weird.

Evan Bourne vs. Sheamus is underway though, and The Miz is looking on at ringside. Just a few months ago, Evan Bourne was the go-to guy for Sheamus to murder on a semi-weekly basis, now Bourne is a credible threat. Pretty cool, ain't it? Well, while he's a threat, he's still not quite an equal for the WWE Champion, one Brogue Kick later, the plucky Evan Bourne falls to the Celtic Warrior. Oh well, good showing Evan!

But wait, there's more! Miz just nailed Sheamus with the briefcase and is cashing in Money in the Bank! The referee tries to get Sheamus to his feet to start the match, but R-Truth intervenes before that can happen and runs Miz off! Hey, the match never started, so Miz is still money! Hilarious tease.

Loved the SummerSlam Recall featuring Undertaker and Stone Cold from SummerSlam 1998. I'm on the hiiiiiiiiiiighway to hell!

Oh and we all knew the awesomeness of tonight's show had to stall out at some time, it's the return of the dreaded 10:35 match, this time with Santino & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Zack Ryder & William Regal. Santino and Kozlov pick up an easy win after Santino bounces the ropes Warrior style and hits the saluting headbutt. Holy shit, three years later, does Santino actually have a finisher?

Mark Henry vs. Wade Barrett is up next and I assume this will be the final match of the night before Cena "joins" Nexus? Not really much of a match until Nexus appears on stage - stretching the definition of the phrase "banned from ringside" - allowing Wade Barrett to hit Henry with his finisher... sorta. Mark Henry almost got dropped on his head and Wade Barrett's vertebrae may have went flying into the fifth row, but hey, at least it got people talking. I need a word nastier than NASTY to describe that one.

Michael Tarver, in his human form, calls John Cena to the ring to hear what he has to say and it doesn't take long for the former champ to accept the invitation. A somber Cena offers a truce, but this time, Wade Barrett refuses! He doesn't want to extend an olive branch, he wants Cena to take his orders from the Nexus! Ooh, the plot thickens. Could Cena finally be a broken man? Nope. Not really surprising, but Barrett gives him two options: run or take the most brutal beating Nexus has ever delivered. Cena... runs?

Oh c'mon, you know this ain't how it's gonna end. Turns out, Cena tried to play nice, but Nexus showed their true colors and now they have to be taken out. Cena's got himself a team to take on The Nexus at SummerSlam!


John Morrison!


The Great Khali?!

Chris Jericho!



Speaking of running, Nexus has no problems hauling ass out of the arena here as Team Cena stands tall! I don't care what anyone says, Bret Hart showing up was a really cool surprise that no one saw coming, and makes a hell of a lot more sense than John Cena being revealed as the mastermind behind Nexus. Great Khali though? Seriously? Guess we need to save some guys for the SummerSlam undercard?

Absolutely fan-damn-tastic episode of Monday Night Raw. Aside from the pointless Divas match and the silly nonsense with Santino, this was pretty much a perfect Raw from start to finish. Good wrestling, highlighted by an amazing opener, a focused story that weaved its way through the entire show, and a satisfying payoff in the end with the return of Bret Hart. A great follow-up to the Money in the Bank PPV, tonight's Raw gets a huge thumbs up.

Sports Entertainment Eight!

Ladies and gents, we have blowouts, so I'm calling an end to the Slammin' 16! Here are the results from the latest round of the Champion of Champions Tournament:

Eddie Guerrero (80%) d. Jeff Hardy (20%)
Triple H (75%) d. Kurt Angle (25%)
John Cena (61%) d. Edge (39%)
Steve Austin (87%) d. The Ultimate Warrior (13%)

Really, 13% for Warrior? Some of you out there still rocking those sweet fringe boots? Here's how the bracket is looking so far:

That leaves us with just eight WWE Champions left, the Sports Entertainment Eight as I've dubbed them. The next round of voting will be four matches, and will cover all conferences. The matches are:

North Turnbuckle: Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker
West Turnbuckle: Shawn Michaels vs. The Rock
East Turnbuckle: Eddie Guerrero vs. Triple H
South Turnbuckle: John Cena vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Those are some tough matches. Polls are open to the right of your screen and voting will go on for about a week, unless all the matches are total blowouts, then we'll move onto the semifinals.

***UPDATE*** 7:15pm

So, Google polls suck ass and aren't working right now. I'll try to have the Tournament back up and running tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.

WWE Money in the Bank 2010

The concept of doing an entire Money in the Bank PPV was pretty controversial, some loved the idea, some hated, but tonight we finally got to see how it would play out. Here's our official review of the first ever Money in the Bank!

Smackdown Money in the Bank kicked things off, and I have to admit, reviewing these matches is incredibly difficult. What do I say? "Oh did you see that crazy Boom Drop through the Spanish Announce Table!?" "What about Big Show looking like a beast, dragging in a 350 lbs. UBER LADDER?!" "Or what about the big drama with Christian and Matt Hardy?!" If you saw it, you know it was cool, if you didn't see it, you need to, but short of giving actual play-by-play, I'm not sure what to say. I think it's impossible for these matches to be bad, because even if they turn into the wrestling equivalent of a car wreck, that's kind of the point. The match got my heart racing, there was a point that I thought anyone could have won, and it did exactly what it needed to do, set the tone for the show. I was pissed Christian didn't win, pleased that Drew McIntyre didn't, and flat out confused that Kane did. Kane? Really? I guess it shouldn't have been that surprising since he's been the focal point of Smackdown for two months now, but still, Kane? More on that later.
Predictions: 0 for 1

Alicia Fox vs. Eve for the Diva's Championship was next and I really don't understand the hate that Eve gets. She's a great athlete and straddles the line between Diva and wrestler, she could be a major player in the Diva's division someday. I can't say the same for Alicia Fox, who actually made it through the match tonight, but whenever she was in control, I was bored. And I know this is the world of wrestling where Rey Mysterio can feasibly beat guys twice his size, but for some reason, it doesn't translate to the Divas for me. Eve looks like she could rip Alicia Fox in half and for whatever reason (maybe I'm crazy), it kills my suspension of disbelief. Same thing whenever Beth Phoenix wrestles most of these stick figures, I just don't buy it. Alicia Fox picked up the win, but I just can't care about the Diva's Championship when she's holding it.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Unified Tag Titles were on the line when The Hart Dynasty battled The Uso Bros. and I think I got my wish in this match. In my MITB preview, I mentioned how The Usos have kinda stalled out the momentum of the Tag Titles, and with the Hart Dynasty picking up the definitive win, I think it's safe to say the champs will be moving onto bigger things. Nothing against The Usos, they performed well in this match and I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them, they're just not as exciting as JeriShow, ShowMiz or DX were in the tag division. This match was fine, nothing we couldn't have seen on Raw, but a rock solid tag match.
Predictions: 2 for 3

Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger with the World Heavyweight Title on the line was a damn good match. If I had to leel a complaint against it, it would be the same thing that hurt the Tag Title match, it could've been a Smackdown main event, but it worked just fine on PPV. Swagger looked like a wrestling machine and a shark that smelled blood, he was a wrestling cyborg shark and Rey Mysterio's ankle was his chum (suck it, Matt Striker). Rey Mysterio just barely got the win with a surprise hurricanrana, but Swagger wasn't having any of that. Jackie Swaggs gave Rey Rey a post-match beating, but Kane made the save and ran him off...
Predictions: 3 for 4

...But that was only so he could clear the ring and cash in his Money in the Bank contract! Kane vs. Rey Mysterio was the first time in history that the MITB was cashed in the same night it was won, and the Big Red Machine kept the perfect streak alive. For the first time since June of 1998, Kane is a World Champion, which I believe is a new record between World Championship reigns. You know, I'm not the world's biggest Kane fan, but I think a lot of that stems from WWE never doing anything with him. They've teased Kane pushes for years and he always winds up as background noise, but this Undertaker storyline appears to have been his opening and WWE finally pulled the trigger on him once again. I'm not jumping for joy over it or anything (insert "should've been Christian" here), but hey, 12 years between reigns is a long time, and it's the first time we've seen MITB cashed in on the same night, so at least it's an eye-catcher. So yeah, I dig it.

Layla vs. Kelly Kelly was somehow worse than the Alicia Fox match. Layla's been pretty good lately, and I've never really had an issue with Kelly Kelly as a wrestler, but this match wasn't worth the time. Layla won, do I need to elaborate?
Predictions: 4 for 5

Raw's Money in the Bank was beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Match of the Night and I'm quite confident it will be July's Match of the Month as well. Finally, The Miz has arrived, and after being initially written off as a joke, a reality show star, a guy who couldn't even properly host the Divas search, a guy that they weren't even comfortable putting in the ring at first, is on the cusp of becoming WWE Champion. Everyone said John Morrison was the star, and since their split, Miz has proven each and every one of those fans wrong. Even I wasn't sold on The Miz at first, his time as the "host" of Smackdown was laughably bad, but the minute they turned the guy heel? Pure brilliance. He's arguably the most improved wrestler WWE has ever seen, and if he's not WWE Champion by WrestleMania 27, then someone dropped the ball badly. Miz deserves every bit of of this and he better make Money in the Bank go 8 for 8.

As for the actual match, it was great. I got really excited when Evan Bourne nailed Orton with the Shooting Star Press and then got up to the top of the ladder, I loved watching DiBiase get whipped from a ladder bridge to the outside (ow), and John Morrison in the iron maiden was NASTY! Even Maryse trying to climb the ladder for DiBiase was amusing. I wouldn't have complained if Evan Bourne grabbed the case, but there's no doubt in my mind that the right guy won here.
Predictions: 5 for 6

Main Event time! John Cena vs. Sheamus in a steel cage match for the WWE Championship! If you guessed Nexus would get involved, you'd be right, but before that, the match kept teetering between "entertaining" and "dull." Cena proved once again that he's a freak of nature, somehow getting to his feet and climbing to the second rope after being prone on the mat with Sheamus locking in a sleeper... no wonder why his back and neck are in rough shape. Sheamus looked like a legitimate main eventer here as well, dominating most of the match and even kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment, but there were a lot of lull periods as well. I felt the uneasy alliance they formed Monday night kinda took away from the blood feud aspect between these two and when Nexus came to ringside, the whole thing just became a Raw segment rather than the main event of a $45 PPV. Sheamus picked up another cheap win and hauled ass out of the Sprint Center (get it?), while Cena stayed behind and threw stairs at Michael Tarver. Kinda anticlimactic, this is PPV, peel away a layer of the Nexus mystery or give me a shocking beat down, not something we saw two weeks ago on Raw.
Predictions: 6 for 7

Despite the ending taking the wind out the sails a bit, this was still a very fun PPV, even if it was something of a two match show. Still, those two matches were Money in the Bank ladder matches, which is pretty awesome and made the show worth the price of admission. Plus, a fun World Title match and the shock Title win for Kane push solidify this one into the thumbs up territory for me. Plus, The Miz now holds a Money in the Bank briefcase, which can be summed up with only one word: AWESOME!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Money in the Bank 2010 Preview

Let's make some predictions!

Diva's Championship
Alicia Fox © vs. Eve

Blah. Alicia Fox will likely retain, but I'll be using this match to get a snack. I also wouldn't be surprised if making a bag of popcorn is longer than this match.

Women's Championship
Layla © vs. Kelly Kelly

Blah again. I doubt this match will even have the "WTF?" factor that the mixed tag match from Smackdown had. Layla's been pretty good in the ring lately and Kelly Kelly's serviceable, but does anyone honestly care about this match? Or women's wrestling in WWE in general? Layla retains just so Kaval has something to carry around.

Unified Tag Team Championship
The Hart Dynasty © vs. The Usos

Well now we're onto something. While I like the idea of The Usos, and I certainly don't mind having them around, they've really kinda stalled the tag division since their arrival. Here's hoping that The Hart Dynasty retain and move onto bigger and better things and bring back the dual-brand nature of the Unified Tag Titles.

Smackdown Money in the Bank
Big Show vs. Matt Hardy vs. Christian vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler

Now this is what we're paying to see. This one's kinda wide open, I think Christian, Kofi, Cody, McIntyre, and Kane are all very possible winners tonight. Cody's in the middle of his first entertaining run yet, Kane is in the middle of his first big push since unmasking, Kofi's always on the cusp of greatness, Christian's been ready since his return, and McIntyre has had the spotlight on him since his feud with Teddy Long started. I'm going to play it safe here and say Drew McIntyre wins, but I hope I'm wrong. Nothing against the guy, he's improving on a weekly basis, but I have no interest in him wearing the World Title.

World Heavyweight Championship
Rey Mysterio © vs. Jack Swagger

Rey Just got the belt back for the first time in four years, but Jack Swagger has been absolutely phenomenal since he won it after WrestleMania. Hell, he's been even better than phenomenal since he lost it, simply by adding the ankle lock to his repertoire. Could go either way, but my money (no pun intended) is on Rey Mysterio to retain since he just won the belt last month and hasn't even defended it yet.

Raw Money in the Bank
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Edge vs Evan Bourne vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Mark Henry

Probably the hardest match of the night to predict since the direction of the Raw brand is completely up in the air right now. Orton, Jericho and Edge don't need it, they can headline a PPV in a WWE Title match any time, so it would be utterly pointless to give them MITB, but Bourne, Morrison, DiBiase and Mark Henry are nowhere near ready to be in the WWE Title scene either. Really, that just leaves The Miz, who I'm hesitant to pick since I have a heel winning the Smackdown MITB match, but Miz just seems like the most logical choice... and he's AWWWWWWWWWWWESOME!

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship
Sheamus © vs. John Cena

I smell shenanigans. Absolutely, positively, no way that The Nexus doesn't get involved in this match. For that reason alone, I say Sheamus will retain, but I have no idea how this PPV will end. For all I know, Wade Barrett could get himself involved in the MITB, or could cash in his PPV title match and walk out as WWE Champion, and if something crazy like that happens, then I wouldn't be shocked if Cena was holding the WWE Title beforehand. Not to sound like a cliché here, but expect the unexpected at the end of this PPV.

Make your predictions in the comments, and check back at Kick-Out!! after the PPV for my full review of Money in the Bank!

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - July 16, 2010

It was the final show before Money in the Bank and things got started with in-ring action, Kofi Kingston vs. WHOOOAAA "DASHING" Cody Rhodes. These two men will meet tonight in the Smackdown MITB ladder match, but had a damn good match going on Friday. That's right, I just used the words "damn good" to describe a Cody Rhodes match... what can I say, the guy's been on fire since introducing the "Dashing" shtick. Of course, the damn good match came to a lame ass halt when Kane interfered, causing a double disqualification. Yes, we get it, you want to pass judgment on the condemned, please stop ruining good matches in the process.

Backstage, Rey Mysterio was nursing his injured ankle during an interview with Josh Matthews. Rey says he's not going to defend the World Title at MITB and will forfeit the title to Jack Swagger... PSYCH! Oh Rey, you sly dog!

Jack Swagger was backstage on the phone asking someone (Daddy?) when they'll be at the arena. "Traffic, it's Kentucky, it's not like they have anywhere to go." Harsh, but true, Jackie Swaggs!

I know WWE can't exactly show Rob Van Dam beating John Cena or Mr. Kennedy winning the MITB briefcase that he never cashed in, but I'm getting really sick of seeing this damn recap video of Edge winning the first MITB five years ago.

Christian vs. Drew McIntyre was our next MITB hype match, the battle of the guy I want to win versus the guy who I think will win. Another great TV match, highlighted by Christian's NASTY! tornado DDT. I haven't got to talk about this much since the death of ECW, but Christian got to showcase how he earned the nickname "Star Maker" here, since he made McIntyre look like a million bucks. McIntyre hit a thumb to the eye and followed up with the Future Shock for the win, and while I'm never happy to see Christian lose, this was an awesome match.

Straight Edge Society (w/ Masked Stranger!) came to ringside (I'm glad they still have something for Punk to do while he's hurt), but were quickly interrupted by Big Show! Show was carrying a normal sized ladder and a smaller step ladder while CM Punk complained. I love funny Big Show, and Punk is a great foil for him to play off of, so our Straight Edge Savior wanted Big Show to "sell him" on show in MITB. Show tried climbing the normal ladder and broke a step, so he got Hornswoggle's ladder, but that didn't really work either. However, Big Show had his own custom-built ladder, and it was cartoonishly hilarious. 350 lbs., 2000 lbs. weight limit, and made just for a giant. I hope they do use this thing tonight, because it's a lot safer for guys to dive off than the normal wobbly ladders. The SES tries to attack Show, but he fends them all off and teases shoving Punk off the top, but he unmasks him instead! Punk looks like a bearded baby!

Layla & Trent Baretta (?) vs. Kelly Kelly & Chris Masters in mixed tag action was up next, but the match quickly came to an end when The Dudebusters were distracted by Rosa Mendes jumping rope, allowing Kelly to pick up the win for her team. Yes, a mixed tag match not involving Rosa Mendes ended when Rosa Mendes was jumping rope at ringside and the Dudebusters played Double Dutch, allowing Kelly Kelly to capitalize on the distraction and pin Layla. What?!

Matt Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler was our final MITB hype match of the evening, and this was the battle of dudes in WWE Limbo. Will they get a push? Have their ships sailed? No one really knows and WWE can't seem to make a decision either. One thing I am fairly confident about though, neither of these guys are winning Money in the Bank. Decent match though, I loved Matt Hardy reversing the Rocker Dropper into a powerbomb, Hardy moonsaulting onto Dolph Ziggler kneecap was disgusting, and the crowd was into it the whole time. Ziggler hit the Zig-Zag after a distraction from Vickie Guerrero for the win, but like I said... no way he's winning tonight.

Jack Swagger & Daddy was our main event of the evening... Papa Swaggs has a bitchin' mustache, by the way. Jackie Swaggs has his alibi for the night The Undertaker was attacked, him and his dad were celebrating Memorial Day like father and son should! They exercised, went fishing, won a chicken wing eating contest, and came in first and second in a 5K run! But of course, Kane being the bully that he is, didn't buy it and threatened Swagger some more. Swagger, merely defending himself, smashed the microphone in Kane's face and tried to break his ankle, but then Rey Mysterio hobbled to ringside, making a quick save. Kane regained the upper hand, but Jack ran out of the ring, leaving his dad to get a chokeslam and Tombstone. Hey, he's got a World Title match to worry about!

Despite another week ending with Kane standing tall and the stupid Layla match, I really, really liked this Smackdown. Lots of wrestling, lots of hype for Money in the Bank, and yes, lots of hype for the Kane/Undertaker storyline. With matches like Ziggler/Hardy, Christian/McIntyre and Kofi/Rhodes, you can't really ask for much more in a weekly show. Great stuff.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slammin' 16 East & South!

First, here are the results from the last batch of matches:

Chris Jericho (55%) d. Bruno Sammartino (45%)
The Undertaker (84%) d. Bob Backlund (16%)

I can understand The Undertaker over Backlund, but Jericho over Bruno is just insane. But hey, it's your tournament. To speed things up a bit, we're going to include both the East and South brackets in the next round of voting, so make sure you vote for all four matches. Here they are:

East Turnbuckle
Jeff Hardy vs. Eddie Guerrero
Kurt Angle vs. Triple H

South Turnbuckle
John Cena vs. Edge
Ultimate Warrior vs. Steve Austin

Monday, July 12, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - July 12, 2010

Wow, WWE totally changed the "ladies and gentlemen, we promised you a great main event" intro. That was jarring, but I dug it, nothing wrong with changing things up a bit.

John Cena starts things out talking about how this time next week, he'll be WWE Champion once again, because no one can interfere in a cage match. Yeah, no one in the history of WWE has ever interfered in a cage match, it's totally safe! Doesn't take long for Nexus to stroll out on the stage, or as John Cena likes to call them, "Nnnnnn." Little exchange of words, and then COLE'S GOT MAIL! If anyone interferes during the 6-on-1 (ugh) handicap match, they'll be suspended for 90 days, but if Nexus doesn't adhere to tag rules, they'll be suspended. Standard way to start the show, but definitely an effective way to sell the main event, even if it is a stupid handicap match.

Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim is our opening contest for the evening, which is a shame. Quick match that the crowd couldn't care less about, but can you blame them? WWE's given us absolutely no reason to care about any Diva on the Raw brand in months. After Fox picks up the win, COLE'S GOT MAIL, and G?M has declared that Alicia Fox must defend the Diva's Championship this Sunday against Eve.

The Hart Dynasty vs. The Usos & Tamina up next, in six-person tag action and a rematch from the Fatal 4-Way PPV. As much as I like the Tamina/Natalya dynamic, and I love the idea of an anti-Hart Dynasty, I can't help but feel like The Usos have stalled the progression of the tag division. The Harts haven't appeared on Smackdown since they arrived, and the champs showing up on both shows was the best part of the division since they unified the belts. Of course, if they were to show up on Smackdown, that would probably mean they'd have to deal with Hawkins & Archer, so maybe I should just shut up? Anyway, a solid, but way too short match here with The Usos picking up the win and the momentum heading into their title match this Sunday.

Backstage, Nexus takes out Yoshi Tatsu?! Well I was all for what you guys were doing until that, why you gotta take out poor Yoshi? Sure, he got involved last week, but you could've just ignored him like WWE has since ECW ended.

Ted DiBiase & Maryse out next with an entrance so long, it makes Randy Orton look like The Ultimate Warrior. Ted says he's going to win Money in the Bank and will shower Maryse with gifts, John Morrison interrupts to say the French don't shower. Witty, original stuff. And yeah, you can't bash John Cena's silly promos after the nonsense Morrison just spewed. Brawl ensues, Morrison goes for Starship Pain, but Maryse makes the save. This segment was like watching someone's Create-a-Story in Smackdown vs. Raw 2010.

Okay, the Santino's Bunch video and following backstage bit with Florence Henderson & William Regal was pretty damn funny. John Morrison, take notes for future comedy attempts.

10pm Main event coming up now with Edge vs. Randy Orton! Big match, hopefully it'll get the time it deserves. Thankfully, that's what we got; a damn fine match between both guys, crowd was electric and both guys looked like equals. Chris Jericho interfered, allowing Edge to get the win with the Edge-O-Matic (yes, he actually won a match with it, first time in ten years). Jericho hit Edge with Codebreaker afterward, Orton hit Jericho with an RKO, Evan Bourne hit the ring and tried to hit Orton with Shooting Star Press... BUT ORTON RKO'D HIM OUT OF IT! Yes, Randy Orton hit the RKO on Evan Bourne mid-Shooting Star Press. Without a doubt, the coolest thing Randy Orton has ever done. Ever. No debate, end of discussion, the coolest thing he has EVER done. Someone get that on YouTube, pronto.

Speaking of pure awesomeness, The Miz is here! Miz shows a clip of him taking out R-Truth with his "bare hands," but it will pale in comparison to what he'll do with a ladder this Sunday. G?M chimes in to announce that Miz will have to take on R-Truth's replacement for MITB... Mark Henry. Lame. Mark Henry is in this match for one reason: catch Evan Bourne when he falls from a ridiculous height. Miz kicks Henry's ass outside the ring, presumably causing a disqualification, but hopefully he'll wind up taking him out the match too. No offense to Mark Henry or anything, but he has less business being in this match than Ted DiBiase.

Florence Henderson is our guest ring announcer for our next match, a Brady Bunch 8-man tag featuring William Regal, Primo, Zack Ryder (minus a pant leg?!) & DOINK THE CLOWN vs. Santino, The Great Khali, Goldust and Vladimir Kozlov. I'm getting serious WrestleMania 8 vibes here... RIP Ray Combs! The Santino Bunch picks up the win after Doink tries to blind Khali with a squirt gun, but gets the Brain Chop instead. Santino tries to get a kiss from Florence Henderson after the match, but instead she goes for the Punjabi Playboy... woulda been funnier if Santino missed the kiss and got Goldust instead.

I'm not sure if there are worse commercials than those terrible Just For Men spots.

Backstage, Edge tells us that he hears voices in his head, they talk to him, they understand.

Also backstage, Evan Bourne is somehow alive and Sheamus wants to make fun of him. Continuing the theme of the night Nexus gets some revenge on Bourne after he helped run them off last week, but then they turn their attention to Sheamus, who runs! He, you don't get stay WWE Champion for long if you make decisions like fighting six guys at once, fella.

Main Event time! John Cena vs. The Nexus in a 6-on-1 handicap match. Handicap matches are the bane of my existence. Nexus pick up the win (as they obviously should), but Cena goes nuts after the match with a steel chair, Nexus tries to get the upper hand, but Sheamus makes the save with a chair of his own. Don't get it, Sheamus and Nexus colliding does nothing for me right now and I think we've pretty much guaranteed another wonky finish for a PPV main event.

Weird Raw. I liked it, but there really wasn't much to like, if that makes any sense. Orton vs. Edge was the highlight of the night, and the Shooting StaRKO will be the WWE YouTube clip of the year, but other than that, the show looks terrible on paper. In execution though, things worked, the hype for the PPV was solid and I've learned to not write off anything involving Nexus because even if I don't dig it at first, it usually works itself out in a week or two. Hopefully that's the case here and hopefully this storyline gets a little more progression come Sunday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - July 9, 2010

Video package of Swagger's Ankle Lock O' Doom is shown, featuring a good call from Matt Striker, "if Jack Swagger can get it on the Big Show and Rey Mysterio, who's safe?" With Show being the biggest Superstar, and Rey Mysterio being the quickest, it really gets over the idea that Swagger's new move is incredibly dangerous.

And surprise surprise, Smackdown opened with Drew McIntyre standing in the ring. Deportation just isn't what it used to be, I guess. Drew's worked out his visa issues, but I can't believe they let him back in the country with that ponytail, it should be on the no-fly list. Drew tried to play nice with Teddy Long (since he no longer has Vince in his pocket), even mentioning that he's nominating Teddy Long for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2011, which absolutely needs to happen. T-Lo's had a 25+ year career in the industry, and he gave us Doom and Ice Train! Anyhoo, T-Lo teased McIntyre with a spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match, making him get down on his knees and beg like he did to Teddy a few weeks ago, but Drew still had to earn his spot anyway in a match against Kofi Kingston.

The opening contest was another qualifying match to fill one of the empty spots in MITB, Dolph Ziggler vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. MVP in a triple threat match. Well, it was more of a handicap match at the start, with Chavo just being there to help Dolph Ziggler win. Eventually Chavito went into business for himself, going against the wishes of Aunt Vickie Benatar, and Dolph Ziggler was obviously unhappy, but you know it goes when heels that are complete jokes get into it with each other, it just gives the face the opening he needs. One terrible finisher later, MVP looked to have the match won, but thanks to interference from Vickie, Dolph got to lock in the sleeper hold and score the win! I was actually pretty surprised by this outcome, I thought for sure MVP was a shoe-in, but I guess WWE's more serious than I thought about rebuilding Dolph Ziggler.

Backstage, Rey Mysterio was explaining the severity of his ankle injury, but Jack Swagger stormed in and attacked the World Heavyweight Champion once again. Swagger had the Ankle Lock on Mysterio for an uncomfortable amount of time, even dragging him from the trainer's room all the way to the ringside area before Big Show finally made the save. Simple, but extremely effective.

After their disagreement last week, Christian & Matt Hardy were forced to team up to take on the Yawn Squad, Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer. Match didn't last long, Christian turned on Hardy and walked out of the match, getting revenge for last week (and hopefully planting seeds for a heel turn), and allowing Hawkins and Archer to get an easy win.

Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston was up next, with Drew competing for the final spot in MITB, which Kofi has already qualified for. I really enjoyed this match, crowd was really into it, and these guys have great chemistry with each other. When/if they both become World Champions, I wouldn't be surprised to see Kofi and Drew have a Cena/Edge-esque rivalry, something that's always lingering and unlikely to ever be resolved. Loved the ending as well with Kofi trying to hit the Boom Drop on the apron, but McIntyre flinging him into the turnbuckle and nailing the Future Shock for the win. Of course, this probably means McIntyre will win Money in the Bank, which is less than ideal in my opinion, but still a good match nonetheless.

One thing that makes me really happy about Smackdown right now is that despite CM Punk's arm injury, he's still appearing on television. The SES has some family drama at the moment, due to Serena stepping out and showing the world that she got hammered the night that The Undertaker was attacked. Luke Gallows ripped into Serena, but CM Punk cut him off and forgave Serena, because he is a benevolent savior. Punk and Serena hug it out to a chorus of boos.

Next up, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes vs. JTG, and I have to applaud WWE for finally changing Cody Rhodes' music and really selling this whole "Dashing" shtick; the digital mirror on Cody's TitanTron? Brilliant. Nothing particularly brilliant in the match though, your standard TV stuff to help establish a new character or push.

Main Event time! Big Show vs. Jack Swagger, but as was the theme of the night, there wasn't much to this one either. Some fun hard hitting offense from Big Show, but once they tumbled outside, the match ended in a double count-out, and Swagger got the upper hand, taking out Show's already injured ankle once again. Swagger strolled backstage and was accosted by Kane, who was convinced that the All-American American took out The Undertaker. Swagger promised he had an alibi and would present it next week, and Kane stormed off to end the show.

I'm noticing a disturbing trend for Smackdown lately, short matches with non-finishes, and I'm not digging it. This time last year, Smackdown was the wrestling show, and even if SD had an off night, there would always be ECW and maybe even Superstars to make up for it. Now, ECW has been replaced by NXT, which isn't exactly known for good wrestling, and Superstars has become less important than Sunday Night Heat webcasts, so we need Smackdown to provide the in-ring action. McIntyre vs. Kofi and even the triple threat match were fun, but can we get a main event with an ending, please? And can we have one week that doesn't end with Kane? Especially when it's becoming increasingly obvious that Kane was the one who took out The Undertaker? I hope that's not the case, but unless there's some shock return planned or they're going with someone out of left field, Kane seems like the only likely candidate at this point.

Decent show, but I expect Smackdown to be more than decent. Here's hoping they're just biding their time before the move to Syfy.

Kick-Out!! vs. Real Life

Just a heads up, Kick-Out!! Radio isn't going anywhere, I just haven't had the time to sit down, write, produce, record and edit a show in the last two weeks. And I probably won't have the time this upcoming week either, I'm working every single day this week. My summer work schedule is brutal on my personal life, I even worked on the 4th of July, so the brief moments of free time I do have are usually spent with the First Lady of Kick-Out!!

I apologize for the inconvenience, but these are the pitfalls of a one-man operation, and honestly, I'm not sure if the world of wrestling has been interesting enough these last two weeks to warrant a 20+ minute show. Hopefully things will be back to normal(ish) soon. In the mean time, I'll probably be writing more editorials since it's quicker to write than produce a podcast, and don't forget to vote in the Champion of Champions Tournament if you haven't yet.

Thanks for reading (and commenting, and Tweeting and Facebooking), your enthusiasm about the site keeps us going!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Champion of Champions - Slammin' 16 North

Before we move on to the next batch of matches, let's take a look at the results from the previous round:

Shawn Michaels (65%) d. Hulk Hogan (35%)
The Rock (57%) d. Bret Hart (43%)

Well, I have to say I disagree with both of those. I love Shawn Michaels, I would even argue that he's one of the greatest in history, but Hulk Hogan is Hulk Hogan. Aside from Stone Cold, he's the most recognizable name in the history of the industry, so I'm pretty shocked that he lost here. Perhaps his TNA run has tarnished his legacy amongst Kick-Out readers? The Rock over Bret Hart is perplexing as well, while he is far more recognizable, his WWE Title reigns were basically a game of Vince Russo hot potato.

But the votes are final and here's what the bracket looks like:

We're heading North for our next round, so your matches to vote on are:

Bruno Sammartino vs. Chris Jericho
The Undertaker vs. Bob Backlund

Voting will be open for a week, unless it's a total blowout and we'll move on to the next round.

Monday, July 5, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - July 5, 2010

Just in the nick of time, we are live blogging!

Looks like we're starting things off with The Nexus already in the ring, Wade Barrett has a mic in hand... after SummerSlam, right dirtsheets? See, I tried giving them the benefit of the doubt, but once again, the copy and paste sites prove they have no idea what they're talking about half the time. Wade Barrett's possible three month absence turned out to be three days. Math is fun. Skip Sheffield talks some trash about what they did to Ricky Steamboat, but it's not long before our Anonymous GM chimes in and lifts the ban on physical interaction between Raw Superstars and The Nexus, which is the cue for John Cena! Cena, along with six other Raw Superstars rush to the ring, but several Raw heels attack them from behind!? Looks like the Raw locker room isn't so united anymore, Sheamus, Jericho, Miz, Ted DiBiase and The Usos want The Nexus to take out Cena! G?M chimes in once again, setting up a series of matches between MITB participants and orders Cena and Wade Barrett to call a truce and shake hands later tonight... "and that's the bottom line, because the GM said so." Nice tease for Stone Cold, I hope G?M starts stealing other famous lines to throw people off his (or her) trail. Perhaps next week we can smell what the GM is cookin?

Our opening contest is the first match in the MITB series put together by the G?M, John Morrison vs. Ted DiBiase w/Maryse, who will be joining King and Cole on commentary. This match features the two guys that have literally done nothing to earn a spot in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match; Morrison's been losing left and right and DiBiase's been comic relief in guest host segments... where he was overshadowed by Virgil! Doesn't take long for Maryse to get involved in this match, stealing Morrison's coat and showing it off on the apron. Okay, someone's gotta say it, that coat makes her look exactly like a hooker. Not the Julia Roberts kind either, the kind you see on HBO documentaries at 2am with that horrible narrator that rhymes every sentence. "Maryse is walkin' out here with Ted, for $40 you can take her to bed."

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov are in action next against William Regal & The Great Khali. Ranjin Singh is in Khali's corner, despite the trash talk from last week, but presumably we're seeing the beginning of Khali turning heel, or a rift between the two. I totally support the Sultan of Sideburns going off to manage someone else, I miss old school managers. Kozlov and Santino make quick work of Regal, Khali didn't even get in the match, but attacked Regal after the match for reasons unknown. Utterly pointless.

Arn Anderson is backstage talking about the health status of Ricky Steamboat, but is quickly interrupted by Sheamus. Arn is arguably the greatest talker in the history of this industry and gives Sheamus a stern talking-to about how Sheamus is naive to think The Nexus will leave him alone. Great stuff here, Arn should be given TV time every week.

I thought The Cutting Edge was next? Instead we've got another match in the G?M's MITB series with R-Truth vs. The Miz! Miz comes out with another awesome R-Truth rap parody, and this time he didn't even forget the lyrics! Miz blasts Truth with a mic, and beats the holy hell out of him, which keeps the match from even getting started. If Miz doesn't win MITB, something is wrong with WWE.

Now it's time for The Cutting Edge! Chris Jericho is out first, and I assume there's no love loss between him and the Rated-R Superstar? But instead of talking MITB, Edge and Jericho argue about who should be an advisor to The Nexus. Jericho makes a much better point, seeing as how he was Wade Barrett's pro and all, and then tells Edge that all he's ever wanted to be is Chris Jericho. Nice little brawl between these WrestleMania rivals, but Evan Bourne rushes to ringside and schools them both!


G?M wants the crowd to give him a "hell yeah" if they want to see some tag team action! Cute. Jericho & Edge vs. Evan Bourne and... Randy Orton! How crazy is it that just a few months ago, Evan Bourne was struggling to even get TV time, but now he's teaming with one of the biggest names in the company to take on two of Raw's top heels, just two weeks before he competes in MITB? Loving it. Bourne's a house of fire here as well, showcasing those "educated feet," and as long as I'm stealing JR quotes, I hope no one gets a case of the limber tail!

After commercial, Edge & Jericho are firmly in control and Evan Bourne is in desperate need of a hot tag. He finally gets in and the crowd explodes for Randy Orton! Middle rope DDT on Jericho, shoulder-separating mat slams, but a distraction from Edge keeps Orton from nailing the RKO and the former Unified Tag Champs are back in control. Bourne's back in, Edge and Jericho argue, Edge SPEARS Jericho and Bourne nails the Shooting Star Press for the win! That's right, Bourne got the job done when Orton couldn't! Hot crowd, good length, exciting back and forth action combined for an excellent TV match!

And then of course Randy Orton has to ruin it by RKOing Bourne after the match. What an a-hole.

Backstage, Randy Orton runs into David Otunga, Heath Slater and Michael Tarver. I kinda want Michael Tarver to punch everyone in the face right now, just saying. The Nexus promises not to interfere in the MITB ladder match, and they try to warn Randy that if the MITB winner has a problem with them and tries to cash in after the Sheamus/Cena cage match, things might not end well.

After the assault from The Miz, R-Truth has been dropped from the RAW MITB match. That's odd, is he hurt? If he isn't, they dropped him out of the match instead of Ted DiBiase? Really?

The Hart Dynasty vs. The Uso Bros. for the Unified Tag Team Titles has been added to the MITB PPV. Quick promo from the challengers, and then Alicia Fox interrupts Josh Matthews to complain about not being interviewed since winning the Diva's Title. Well, after being reminded of her voice, I can certainly guess why.

Eve vs. Alicia Fox for the Diva's Championship is up next with Eve invoking her rematch clause from her loss at Fatal 4-Way. Alicia feigns an injury, as opposed to narrowly avoiding injury like she usually does, and uses it to pick up a cheap and easy win. Yawn.

Main Event time! Well... sorta. By the orders of G?M, Wade Barret & John Cena have been ordered to shake hands here tonight. As expected, things don't go exactly according to plan, because Cena refuses to shake hands. Cena tries the Adjust Barrett's Attitude, Nexus rushes the ring, Mark Henry and all Raw faces (including Yoshi Tatsu!) evens the odds, which of course leads to COLE'S GOT MAIL!

G?M wants peace, Cena refuses, and destroys Darren Young, who got left behind in the melee. Cena has to face all seven members of Nexus next week in a handicap match, which is ridiculously lame and an anticlimactic end to Raw. Cena throwing the stairs at Darren Young was pretty awesome though.

Good Raw, but the ending kinda took some of the wind out of its sails. Cena in a 7-on-1 handicap match isn't a shocking finale, it's a handicap match, who cares? Besides, didn't we see Cena and Orton take on the "entire" Raw locker room a while back? After something like that, 7-on-1 doesn't exactly pack the same punch... not that handicap matches ever pack a punch to begin with. Give me something that will really get people talking, put Wade Barrett in R-Truth's MITB spot, "fire" someone, set up a real match, anything besides handicap nonsense. Other than that big gripe, and the useless filler with the Divas and Santino's Super Friends, I dug the show, but the end really hurt it.

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - July 2, 2010

I know I'm a bit late on this one, but I've been celebrating America's birthday! While I'm thinking about it, I seem to remember fireworks being way cooler when I was a kid. The last few 4th of Julys, I've spent at concerts or other events, but last night I went out to specifically see a fireworks display and... eh. When I was a kid, I was amazed by bottle rockets and sparklers in the backyard, now I think I'd rather just watch Kofi Kingston's pyro. Anyhoo, on with the show:

Jack Swagger kicked things off, still upset over losing the World Heavyweight Title and reminding us via video package what he did to Big Show last week. Jackie Swags got choked up when talking about losing his title, and Big Show hobbled out the ring to mock the All-American American! What a jerk face, piling on poor Swagger like that, he's clearly sad! Big Show limped to ringside to get revenge for last week, but Cody Rhodes chop blocked him from behind and helped Jack Swagger take down Big Show, until Rey Mysterio rushed to ringside to make the save, and set up our main event for the evening. I'm sorry, I can't believe Cody Rhodes chop blocking Big Show would do anything to the World's Largest Athlete, it would be like a baby slapping your leg.

Kane, Matt Hardy, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston and Christian have been announced for the Smackdown MITB. I support this line-up, I assume Drew McIntyre will find a way into the match as well if his visa issues have been sorted, but is there anyone left on the Smackdown roster for any other matches?

Our opening contest was Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler and if Ziggler won, he'd get a future Intercontinental Title match. And if we're trying to repair Ziggler's standing in WWE, shouldn't he fill one of those empty spots in the Smackdown MITB? Of course, if they're trying to repair Dolph Ziggler, he probably shouldn't be losing clean to Kofi Kingston. The choke artist continues to do what he does best, lose every time opportunity presents itself.

CM Punk & The Straight Edge Society were backstage arguing about the Kane situation. Punk's arm is in a sling after surgery that will reportedly keep him out of action for up to two months, which is really bad news.

The Peep Show starring Christian returned with his guest, Matt Hardy! Pretty fun interaction between these two, they had the easy points to bring up thanks to their history: their careers have paralleled each other, they've both fallen off a lot of ladders, etc. Matt Hardy attacked Christian at the end, which I thought was a bit strange, but I'm sure they'll do a lot worse to each other in two weeks at the PPV.

Cody Rhodes was backstage and looked around for anyone watching as he pretended to cut a promo in the mirror. I guess he didn't notice the dude standing next to him with a camera?

Kane vs. Luke Gallows was next, and I'd make a joke about that awful fake Kane storyline, but I think I've already brought that up before. Match ended in a DQ after interference from the Masked Stranger, but Kane made quick work of everyone and turned his attention to the injured CM Punk. Luckily, the Big Red Machine was stopped by Serena, who had evidence that proves Punk couldn't have attacked The Undertaker, because he was with her that night... when she fell off the wagon! That's right, Serena went out to some terrible hotel bar and got hammered! Luckily, her Straight Edge Savior was there for her when some sleazeball tried to make a move on her. Punk's not happy about what Serena did though, I suppose because it hurts his message, but I think it kinda humanizes the SES. Hard to boo Punk when he did something genuinely nice like that.

MVP vs. Chavo Guerrero was up next in the battle of the "oh yeah, I forgot they were on Smackdown" guys. Unsurprisingly, MVP wins, but if MVP wins a match, and everyone's at the concession stand or making a sandwich in their kitchen, does anyone care?

Oh look, it's some combination of Kelly Kelly & Tiffany vs. Michelle McCool & Layla... we've never seen that before!

The World Heavyweight Champion, Rey Mysterio was out next to address the WWE Universe. Pretty standard Mysterio promo, he's worked his entire career for this, it's not just his title, it's the fans title, you get the point.

Rey Mysterio & Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes & Jack Swagger was our main event, and it was a pretty fun match, but much like last week, it ended with Swagger getting himself disqualified. I get it, get heat on Swagger, get his ankle lock over as a devastating submission, but a DQ finish isn't exactly an exciting end to a main event.

This was just a bad Smackdown. The matches were all way too short or had weak finishes, and nothing really noteworthy happened. Maybe it was because of the holiday weekend, but I expect better on Friday nights.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Five Count: Un-Americans

Happy 4th of July! It would be easy to name my top five favorite patriotic wrestlers, but how about the top five wrestlers that hate America?! The evil foreigner is a long-standing tradition in not-so-racially sensitive world of professional wrestling, but here are the five guys who did it better than anyone:

5. Yokozuna
Managed by an honorable mention for this list, Mr. Fuji, Yokozuna made us hate Japan all over again! Never mind that we were probably watching his matches on a Japanese television set and driving our Japanese cars to the arena, he hated America, dammit! Dominating as WWE Champion for nearly a year, ending Hulk Hogan's WWE career for nine years, and stopping the Mighty Lex Express, it took a Canadian to end his reign of terror. Oh and while the Lex Express is on my mind, I have to post this video:

4. Lance Storm
While his run as captain of Team Canada was way too short, and got Vince Russo-ized with stuff like "Saskatchewan Hardcore International Title" (S.H.I.T., get it?! And wasn't it even funnier when WWE did it again!?!?), the anti-American Lance Storm was hilarious. Storm's never exactly been known for his charisma, and WWE made sure to let us know that, but he really shined in his WCW days. I think if WCW had survived and wasn't run by people who make Uwe Boll look like a creative genius, Storm probably would've been a World Champion thanks to this gimmick.

3. Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff
Iron Sheik deserves a spot on this list by himself, his entire career has been based around anti-Americanism, but my favorite was his tag team with Nikolai Volkoff. Remember, this was the 1980s, the nearing the end of the Cold War, Hulkamania and Reaganomics were sweeping the nation, and nothing made Americans more angry than Commies and Iranians! Naturally, in the very subtle world of wrestling, these two things were combined for maximum heat generation. Oh and what the hell, let's just throw Freddie Blassie in there too to turn an angry crowd into a rabid one. Nikolai singing the Russian national anthem, Sheik yelling at the crowd and Blassie just standing in the ring would send crowds into frenzies for years.

2. Muhammad Hassan
I've mentioned Muhammad Hassan before in my Unluckiest Wrestlers post, and while he may not have the lasting legacy of the previous wrestlers mentioned, there was just so much potential in this character. What made this evil foreigner so interesting is that he wasn't foreign, he was an American from Detroit, tired of the way he was being treated in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In my opinion, the best heels are the ones who speak the truth, they just go about it in the worst way possible, and that was the beauty of this gimmick. Hassan was absolutely right, Arab-Americans were (and still are) discriminated against, but he was also a total a-hole, which didn't help his case. Hassan's final promo was intense, controversial, but also brilliant and undoubtedly the best moment for the "evil foreigner" shtick.

1. Bret Hart
But as brilliant as the Hassan character could've been, Bret Hart and The Hart Foundation's anti-American work was superb from start to finish. The idea was simple, but for some reason had never been done before, these guys hate America, but they're loved everywhere else around the world because of it. Bret Hart was disgusted by the beginning of the Attitude Era and turned his back on American fans, but Canadians, Europeans, Asians, Africans, Australians, etc? The cheers were deafening. It provided some awesome TV moments, one week the Harts were booed mercilessly, the next they were national heroes. Easily the best executed evil foreigner gimmick and stands next to the nWo and The Four Horsemen as one of my favorite stables of all time.