Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who ya gonna call?

I don't know who came up with this, but they're officially my new favorite internet user:

And the meme has peaked.

Monday, November 29, 2010

WWE Raw November 29, 2010 - King of the Ring

The Miz is WWE Champion, and several of my favorite Superstars are vying for the King of the Ring crown. This might be the most excited I've been for Raw in quite a while. I will be live blogging the show as well, so make sure to refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's Raw!

The Miz in opening video holding up the WWE Title almost makes up for the fact that I have to listen to a Nickelback song.

Alex Riley has suited up and is in full hype man mode. YEEEAAAAHHH BOOOOOOYYYYY!!! Riley's on fire here, even bringing up his recent legal troubles, saying that he's "not afraid to party" and tonight is all about our new WWE Champion.

Opening contest is a match I've been eager to see for a few months now, Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan, and this is also the first quarterfinal match in the King of the Ring tournament. Del Rio's my pick to win this thing, and I was kind hoping this would wind up being the final, with Daniel Bryan playing the injured underdog who comes this close to winning it, but loses to the crafty a-hole. Still, I'm not going to complain when these two are in the ring together, it definitely helps the excruciating wait for Bryan vs. Punk... WrestleMania, anyone? Fantastic match tonight though, which isn't surprising, but I feel like these two barely even scratched the surface with what they could do together. Great storytelling with Bryan busting his shoulder on the suicide dive and falling victim to the Cross Armbreaker, and my pick for the next King of WWE moves to the semifinals! Right now, I think we're looking at a Del Rio vs. Kofi final.

WWE mentioned Brock Lesnar winning the KOTR tournament, which naturally whips the internet into a small frenzy. Call me when they reference the Macho King, then I'll be surprised.

R-Truth is here, and he's bummed to see his friend, John Cena, fired from the company, and challenges any member of Nexus to a match. Backstage, Mike McGillicutty accepts the challenge, obviously to make up for that loss to a live microphone on the NXT finale. But before Mr. Imperfect can make it to ringside, he's attacked by a character in a First Person Shooter! We can only get a view of purple armbands and jean shorts... WHO COULD THAT BE?!

And apparently no one else in Nexus gives a damn about fighting R-Truth.

Next quarterfinal match in the King of the Ring tournament is John Morrison vs. Cody Rhodes, two guys that have been around for awhile, but are just starting to find that untapped potential. Fairly enjoyable match, but wish they got more time, but at least Punk was pretty funny on commentary. Del Rio vs. Morrison should be a great semifinal match though.

Drew McIntyre vs. Ezekiel Jackson is our third quarterfinal match of the night, and thanks for coming Drew, but you're not walking out of Philly. Sadly, McIntyre actually put a fight and managed to cause a double count-out. Wouldn't be a WWE tournament without a bye... and that puts a wrench in my Del Rio prediction. Can't see Kofi making it to the finals on a bye and Sheamus vs. Del Rio isn't a KOTR final, so maybe it's gonna be Sheamus vs. Morrison, which is kinda blah.

And Raw just got AWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMEEEEE! Tonight may be for the King of the Ring crown, but the only man you should bow to your new WWE Champion, THE MIZ! All the doubters were wrong, all the haters were wrong, all hail Big Daddy AWESOME! Speaking of awesome, how about that MARVELOUS suit?! You should totally get that for me for Christmas!

Miz tore it up on the mic here, even referencing everyone's favorite meme, Angry Miz Girl... I'm sure her parents are loving that, by the way. Miz vows to become the longest reigning WWE Champion in history (only 2,914 days to go!) and rubs it in the face of guys like Roddy Piper and Ricky Steamboat, who never won the WWE Title. This doesn't sit right with Jerry Lawler, who challenges The Miz to a WWE Championship match... tonight! The G?M makes it official, Jerry "The King" Lawler gets his first WWE Title shot on his birthday on the KING of the Ring special. Oh and one more thing, that match is a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match!

And anyone complaining about The Miz working with Jerry Lawler, need I remind you that Triple H worked title matches against TAKA Michinoku and feuded with Earl Hebner, so calm down.

Our last quarterfinal match is Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus, with the winner advancing directly to the finals. CM Punk couldn't resist the urge to reference the initials of King Kofi Kingston, and I'm just here shaking my head. Kofi looked like he had the match won after nailing Trouble in Paradise, but Sheamus managed to grab the ropes. Kofi went for a crossbody off the top, but instead ate the nastiest of the NASTY!!! Brogue Kicks, EVER. Kofi folded up like an accordion and The Celtic Warrior moves to the finals. Sorry Alberto, tonight's all about King Sheamus.

Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel vs. Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu? Oookay. Oh well, I guess I shouldn't complain if Yoshi Tatsu makes it on TV. Oh now I get it, John Cena's here, he has front row seats. Hey John, I'm not here to judge or anything, but now that you're unemployed, you don't have to wear your ring gear. I guess if you got a closet full of purple t-shirts and jean shorts, you go with what you got. Cena provided the distraction, allowing Mark Henry & Yoshi Tatsu to pick up the win (when's the last time I got to type that for either guy?), and then Cena hops the rail and Attitude Adjusts Heath Slater through the announce table! I'm sure people will wonder where security is, but c'mon, they're in Philly, that was tame compared to your average Eagles game.

Arn Anderson sighting!

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Morrison is the first and only semifinal match of the evening, the winner of this match will take on Sheamus in the finals. Pretty excited to see these guys lock up, but the minute Zeke vs. McIntyre ended in a draw, I think it became pretty obvious that Sheamus vs. Morrison would be the last match of the tournament. Fun match, but once again the highlight was CM Punk's commentary, which included a Savio Vega reference! Rey Mysterio distracts Del Rio by honking the horn on the Rolls Royce and officially puts the final nail in my original KOTR prediction. Gee, thanks Rey, Punk is right, you are a jerk!

Wade Barrett is making his way to the ring, sporting a new Nexus shirt, which is cool, but not as slick as the one on WWE's Top Rope line. Barrett announces that he has the power to reinstate Cena, but will never use it... at least for a couple weeks. John Cena's backstage and security's not throwing him out because they've been roughed up by Nexus too. And Nexus is no match for Cena, because the WWE locker room is on his side too. So absolutely nothing has changed? Got it. At least Cena got in a "surely you can't be serious."

Maryse, Tamina & Alicia Fox vs. Natalya, Gail Kim & Melina in six-woman tag action, that of course, is just an excuse for comedy with Santino. At least he's singing "I Think We're Alone Now," which by the way, I met Tiffany earlier this year. No, not the wrestler, THE Tiffany. It's okay if you're jealous, I would be too. Oh and the good Divas won the match, I guess I should mention that.

Ted DiBiase's toy WWE Title may have just foreshadowed the ending of King of the Ring.

John Morrison with a Powder reference? My night is complete.

Slammy Awards return in two weeks with another three-hour Raw. It's only a matter of time before USA convinces them to three hours every week.

Miss USA Rima Fakih is the special guest ring announcer for the finals of King of the Ring, and how awesome would Sheamus look with her crown?

Sheamus vs. John Morrison is the final match in the King of the Ring tournament, and while I'm a fan of these guys and think they mesh incredibly well, this is a bit of a ho-hum ending. We've seen these guys wrestle, just a week ago in fact, I would've preferred at least an interbrand match. But you know what they say, don't judge a book by its cover, because these two just went out and stole the show. I had to step away from the laptop to give this match my full attention, and I was glad I did, what an awesome, exciting, back and forth contest. Sheamus working Morrison's shoulder was a nice touch, and that fall Morrison took off the top rope onto it was absolutely NASTY! That's how awesome King Sheamus is, he picked up two nasties in one night.

Sheamus decked out in full king garb looked like a preview for HBO's new show Game of Thrones. Gotta admit, when he screamed "LONG LIVE THE KING," I was 99.9% convinced that Motorhead was going to play, but I guess they're gonna keep us waiting on the return of The Game.

Main Event time! The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler for the WWE Title in a TLC match... and I promise, you're actually awake, this isn't the most bizarre dream you've ever had. And things just got even more bizarre, because this match is actually really fun. Edge vs. Flair TLC, it's not, but WWE knows how to make silly matches like this somehow feel like a big deal. And it looks like at age 61, Jerry Lawler is going to win his first WWE Championship! But Michael Cole makes the save!? Oh yeah, he has to be done as an announcer, I don't know what his role will be, but there's no way they can let Cole just sit in the booth every week when he can piss off a crowd like he did tonight. "And I quote... suck it, Jerry!"

Miz picked up an... interesting victory. Which of course made the smarks start whining that Miz looked bad, since ya know, he didn't cripple Jerry Lawler in twenty seconds. Newsflash kiddos: The Miz is a cowardly punk that takes cheapshots and shortcuts. It's called being a heel, and that match was the perfect way for Miz to make a splash as WWE Champion.

What a great show. Most of the KOTR matches ranged from good to fantastic, Alex Riley's intro was hysterical, King Sheamus (FELLA), The Miz's promo was perfect and that TLC match was, well, awesome. Really, my only complaint with tonight's show was the Cena/Nexus stuff, which has been carrying Raw for months now. It's a shame that WWE went the safe and easy route at Survivor Series, because it's completely deflated the story for me, but if they can breathe some life into it, my Monday nights could be damn near perfect.

It's Good to Be the King...SometimesThe WWE Championship: A Look Back at the Rich History of the WWE ChampionshipCross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness (Wwe)Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps

Is King of the Ring still relevant?

Yesterday on Formspring, I was asked if King of the Ring even matters anymore or is it just a gimmick to pop ratings? Well for one, what isn't a gimmick to pop ratings and two, did it ever really matter?

Looking back over the history of King of the Ring since it became a PPV event in 1993, how many Superstars did it really make? By my count, two, Owen Hart and Steve Austin. Owen Hart's KOTR victory was arguably the biggest moment of his career, allowing him to establish his own identity away from Bret Hart, and it gave us the greatest cage match in WWE history at SummerSlam 1994. I don't think I need to say anything about Stone Cold's KOTR victory aside from "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass," which is the most important moment in the history of the industry aside from Hogan slamming Andre.

Sure, some guys got a nice boost out of winning King of the Ring, but in most cases, it wasn't necessary. Bret Hart was already a former WWE Champion when he won, and while the 1993 event was a nice showcase for his abilities, putting on three excellent matches with three vastly different wrestlers, he didn't need it. It helped guys like Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar easily move into the WWE Title scene as well, but those guys were future champions from day one anyway. Triple H saw his career re-established after winning it in 97, but his gimmick was so drastically overhauled a few months later, you have to wonder if he even needed the big win.

And those are the King of the Ring success stories. For every Angle, Lesnar and Triple H, there's a guy like Mabel, whose KOTR victory led to one of the worst PPV main events in WWE history. Or Ken Shamrock, whose reign as King was forgotten as soon as he won it. Or Edge, who didn't go onto achieve main event success for another four years. And of course, who can forget Billy Gunn, whose KOTR victory was such a disaster, it gave us the phrase "Billy Gunning" to describe a failed reign.

But fast-forward to 2006 when King of the Ring returned from a four year hiatus and gave us King Booker. It completely revamped Booker T's stale character and gave him his first, and I believe only, World Title reign during his WWE stint. Oh, and we also got the greatest PPV poster WWE's ever produced:

King Bookah: The Dragon Slayer

And when King of the Ring 2008 gave us King Regal, it looked like the Blackpool native was well on his way to the most successful run of his career. Of course, an unfortunate turn of events put a halt to that, which might be the biggest disappointment of the last five years. Regal killed in the role, I was convinced he was going to get a run with the WWE Title out of the deal, but sometimes things don't work out as planned. Bad luck and bad timing aside, you can't deny the impact the KOTR victory had on Regal's momentum.

Now that King of the Ring has presumably become a bi-annual event, it's arguably more important and helpful than it ever was a WWE's lowest drawing PPV. Granted, we haven't had any breakouts quite like Stone Cold (I also have never seen a unicorn in the wild), but at least KOTR is now more of a special attraction than just another PPV. Perhaps this year will buck the trend of the last two tournaments and won't revitalize or instantly make someone's career, but looking at the eight participants, I don't see anyone who couldn't use the royal treatment.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen dead at 84

Just read the absolutely heartbreaking news that Leslie Nielsen, star of brilliant movies like The Naked Gun and Airplane! has died at age 84. I was a huge Nielsen fan and who can forget his search for The Undertaker in the summer of 1994?

If you're not familiar with Nielsen's work, and even if you are, put The Naked Gun trilogy in your Netflix queue, you'll have a ton of fun. It's sad that the world has to lose someone who brought so many smiles to our faces, but Leslie Nielsen's legacy will be timeless.

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - November 26, 2010

Hope you had a fun and safe Thanksgiving, speaking of which, your favorite pie is Apple, how very American of you! USA! USA! USA!

Smackdown started off with the World Heavyweight Champion, Kane, who retained his title in a draw at Survivor Series, but still doesn't have his father, Paul Bearer. I've mentioned how much I hate the abduction storyline because it completely defies all logic, but I thought that at least it's wrestling where logic doesn't always have to apply... well Kane crapped all over that. The World Champion promised not to "press charges" as long as Paul Bearer was returned, but that's not the way the law works, kiddo. Edge is holding a man against his will, that's a felony and the authorities should've already arrested him by now, so this is utterly ridiculous. At least Edge was funny.

Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger was the first qualifying match for Smackdown's side of the King of the Ring tournament and was an enjoyable, lengthy opener. And despite starting off a bit slow, the match got extremely exciting near the end. Not really a fan of Kofi Kingston getting the win here since the King of the Ring tournament seems a bit more fitting for a guy like Swagger, but I suppose they had to balance out the face/heel dynamic. And Kofi hitting the Boom Drop in the corner? Awesome.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show was the second qualifying match of the night, and if anyone's tailor-made to win King of the Ring this year, it has to be Alberto Del Rio. He's from a royal bloodline! Thankfully, Del Rio picked up the win (via count-out), in what was a surprisingly competitive match... this is how much of a splash Del Rio's made in just a few months, despite being dwarfed by the Big Show, his offense is completely believable against the World's Largest Athlete. Good match.

MVP vs. Drew McIntyre was our next qualifying match (after a painfully looooooong bit with Edge, Kane and Paul Bearer), and this was an odd pairing. I understand these guys have a history, as of late, but they both needed a big win to jump-start their momentum, so having either of them lose right now seemed a bit counter-productive. Nature of the beast sometimes, and Drew McIntyre picked up the win to continue his quest to become the last King of Scotland. I like watching these two work though, they're both inconsistently entertain me, but they bring out the best in each other and could each be the key to the other's future.

I think Hornswoggle killed and ate the Swagger Soaring Eagle. That was the second felony on this show.

I could watch The Glamazon destroy LayCool every week.

Rey Mysterio vs. "DASHING" Cody Rhodes was the final King of the Ring qualifying match and our main event of the evening. I was very excited to see this one since Rhodes has been so good lately and if you want to see how good he can get, there's no better opponent for him than Rey Rey. Alberto Del Rio joining commentary didn't hurt either, though it wasn't surprising to see him get involved since it was a Mysterio match. One ref bump later, Del Rio handed a HUGE win to Cody Rhodes, but sadly the match itself was way too short.

And to close the show, Edge ran over a Paul Bearer dummy in the parking lot while Kane watched. I don't know what's less believable, this storyline, or the fact that The Rated-R Superstar drives a tan Hyundai.

If you could get through the eye-rolling kidnapping stuff, there was a lot of fun to have on this show. Four solid, competitive matches that set up tomorrow's King of the Ring show quite well. Any of the eight guys would make a good King of the Ring, but like I said earlier, I think this year's tournament is all about crowning King Del Rio.

The WWE Championship: A Look Back at the Rich History of the WWE ChampionshipWWE King of the Ring 2000WWE: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you're old enough to remember when PPVs weren't always on Sundays, then you're old enough to remember that Survivor Series used to be on Thanksgiving every year. Here's what the WWF Superstars were thankful for back in 1989... and if you can tell me what the hell The Ultimate Warrior says in this video, then you get extra stuffing.

I really wanted to post the old Survivor Series commercial where Jerry Lawler chokes on a turkey leg, dies and goes to what he thinks is Heaven, but eventually asks "where am I?" when things aren't as great as they seem, but I couldn't find it... and I'm not 100% sure that it was a Survivor Series commercial. If you can find it, you get the big turkey leg!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Five Count: Always Remember Your First

The Miz is WWE Champion. That's also my favorite sentence to write this week. The Miz's title win on Monday night got me thinking about how much fun it is when someone wins a World Championship for the first time, so let's take a look at my pick for the five best.

5. CM Punk
Defeated: Edge - June 30, 2008

CM Punk cashing in his first of two Money in the Bank contracts was shocking, out of nowhere, and really the signaling in a change of direction for WWE. Many people have argued that WWE is in the middle of a youth movement of sorts and I believe it began on June 30, 2008 when CM Punk won his first World Heavyweight Championship. Remember when Punk signed with WWE and the smarks cried about how he'd be a jobber and "future endeavored" within months? I remember reading an anecdotal story where a fan asked CM Punk at an autograph signing if he was worried he'd end up like Shannon Moore, and CM Punk reportedly replied, "Shannon Moore owns a house."

The internet cynics had written off CM Punk in WWE from day one, he was "laughed off" by Triple H and Shawn Michaels (still don't believe that story), and he was "in the doghouse" every other week. Despite all that, CM Punk has won the World Championship three times, is a firm fixture in the upper echelon of WWE, and is so damn good, they can't even fathom keeping him off TV during injuries. That all started with CM Punk cashing in Money in the Bank on Edge and giving the Ultimate Opportunist a taste of his own medicine.

4. Rob Van Dam
Defeated: John Cena - June 11, 2006

Another Money in the Bank cash-in, but to date, this is the only time the briefcase has been cashed in for an actual, pre-scheduled match in the main event of a PPV. RVD's first title win sticks in my memory so much thanks to the atmosphere surrounding it. The win was just in time for the relaunch of the ECW Brand, which didn't exactly work out like it should have, but thanks to the New York crowd at the second One Night Stand, firmly in RVD's corner, booing Cena mericlessly, tossing his shirt back to him, and the infamous "IF CENA WINS, WE RIOT" sign, it was the perfect send-off for the original ECW.

The original ECW was such an important part of wrestling history, it was sad to see it simply fizzle out, and while WWE's relaunch eventually became a great brand, it couldn't recapture the magic. The two One Night Stand PPVs gave the brand what it needed though - a reunion in 2005, and then Rob Van Dam finally standing tall as a World Champion one year later. RVD beating John Cena allowed ECW to go out with a bang, rather than the 2001 whimper.

3. Shawn Michaels
Defeated: Bret Hart - March 31, 1996

When I was growing up, Shawn Michaels became the first heel I really liked. Something about brutally throwing his best friend through a window just seemed cool to me at age eight. As Hulk Hogan's WWE career was winding down, Shawn Michaels became my new favorite wrestler, and to see him finally win the big one at WrestleMania XII was a big moment for me as a fan. It was one of those things that I never believed could happen until I saw it because I never wanted to get my hopes up about my favorite wrestler maybe winning the WWE Title. HBK was never the biggest guy in the locker room, but the WWE landscape was changing and the possibility of him winning the title wasn't too good to be true. And like a true champion, Shawn Michaels went on to become one of the greatest to ever step foot in the ring.

2. Mick Foley
Defeated: The Rock - January 4, 1999

Mick Foley spilled blood on multiple continents, lost an ear, and most horrifying of all, worked a pro-Eric Bischoff gimmick to get to this point. Whether he was Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, or just plain' ol' Mick, he had a connection to the fans unlike anyone else, so it didn't matter that he didn't look the part of a "traditional" WWE Champion.

There's a reason wrestling fans bombarded TIME Magazine's website to vote for him as Man of the Year, there's a reason why he was one of the most important characters of the Attitude Era, and there's a reason why he won the WWE Title in 1999, because Mick would do anything to entertain his fans, even if it was insane. Mick won the respect of his fans and his peers, and that made this title win all the more sweet, because everyone knew he deserved it.

And yes, it put butts in the seats.

1. Eddie Guerrero
Defeated: Brock Lesnar - February 15, 2004

There have been 102 WWE Title reigns, and of all of them, this one is still the most unbelievable, and I mean that in a good way. Eddie Guerrero was never supposed to be a World Champion in a major US wrestling promotion. He wasn't big enough, he had his personal demons and he just wasn't "that guy." When Eddie Guerrero and The Radicalz came to WWE, it was really a vehicle for Chris Benoit to make a big splash. Dean Malenko quickly retired, Perry Saturn never really clicked with the WWE audience, Eddie Guerrero would be a solid hand in the Intercontinental Title picture, and Chris Benoit would be the big name in the acquisition. Eddie Guerrero was even eventually released due to his personal issues.

But something happened when Latino Heat returned to WWE in 2002, he started getting matches with guys like Ric Flair and The Rock, and while we always knew Guerrero was a fantastic wrestler, we saw something new emerge: a main event performer. When WWE split the rosters, Eddie Guerrero steadily became the most popular wrestler on Smackdown, and it culminated with the impossible: defeating Brock freaking Lesnar for the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004. While this was unfortunately Eddie's only championship reign before his tragic death in 2005, it will always be one of my fondest wrestling memories. It doesn't get any better than watching someone shatter expectations and become the most unlikely success story in the history of WWE.

Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore JournalWWE: Viva La Raza - The Legacy of Eddie GuerreroWWE: Shawn Michaels - My JourneyWWE - Rob Van Dam - One of a Kind

Poll: Pie

No, not that kind of pie. In honor of Thanksgiving, I'm going for the completely absurd and asking a non-wrestling question - what's your favorite kind of pie?

And yes, I'm fully aware that "poontang" will win the write-in vote in the comments section.

The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man in Sports EntertainmentPie: 300 Tried-and-True Recipes for Delicious Homemade PieRaw "The Beginning": The Best of Seasons 1 & 2

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Because he's The Miz, and he's... WWE CHAMPION!

I think we're gonna have to update this for Smackdown vs. Raw 2012 with a picture of him holding up the WWE Championship.

He's long been a favorite of this site, and it's always fun to see someone win their first World Championship, so I have to just nerd out over this one. Not since CM Punk's first cash-in have I been this excited about a WWE Title win and regardless of where it goes from here, no one can take this moment away from The Miz.

The Miz is WWE Champion. I have to repeat it: The Miz is WWE Champion. If you would've told me this five years ago, I'd laugh in your face... if you would've told me one year ago, I'd say "what took so damn long?"

Miz had a lot of hurdles in this journey, and he hasn't been shy about using them in his promos. He's gone from The Real World, to Tough Enough, to "hosting" Smackdown, to the Diva Search, to being mocked on-air by DX, being hazed by JBL, being banned from the locker room, being in Morrison's shadow (or perceived to be, at least), to facing the tall task of moving from ECW immediately into a feud with John Cena, to being "fired" (for a week), and banned from The Summerfest. But instead of buckling under the pressure or stagnating in the midcard, The Miz just got better. Whatever he needed to do, improve his ring work, freshen up his look, drop the Chick Magnet shtick, he did it and figured out a way to make himself more interesting. The Miz is the rare Superstar that gets better with each passing week, and as I mentioned in my Raw review, he's the most improved Superstar I've seen in my lifetime.

Earlier, I saw someone mention that he's WWE's greatest success story, and while I think time will be the ultimate judge on that, I can certainly see the point. WWE has officially created their new top heel, which they definitely needed with Batista leaving, Jericho taking time off, and Edge turning face, but Miz is more than just the guy to fill the void, he has all the tools to be a main event player for years to come.

Congratulations Miz, you deserve every bit of your success. The Era of AWESOME has begun!

Monday, November 22, 2010

WWE Raw thoughts - November 22, 2010

John Cena's fired... TELL ME A LIE!

"Emotional, gut-wrenching and devastating," are the first words out of Michael Cole's mouth to describe John Cena's firing... or his own commentary, I'm not sure which. But yes, John Cena is gone from WWE (for at least seven minutes), but Nexus is still here and they're kicking things off for Monday Night Raw! Crowd is all over Barrett though, so maybe the anticlimactic ending to last night's PPV will work for him... but imagine the sheer hatred that would be echoing through this arena if he had the WWE Title around his waist. Barrett claims Cena was biased from the get-go and demands another opportunity at the WWE Championship, which The G?M grants, and that match will happen... TONIGHT!

And because he's in such a good mood, Barrett will allow John Cena to give his farewell address tonight. If they're really going through with this fired nonsense, you might as well go big and give him a Ric Flair or Shawn Michaels-esque send-off. Color me interested in tonight's show.

Really, "Faster" is the best name they could come with for Rock's new movie?

King of the Ring returns next Monday night in another three-hour Raw! I'm pulling for King Del Rio or King Big Zeke!

And Michael Cole has dropped a bombshell on us, Monday Night Raw now has a three-man announce team: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole... and CM PUNK! Punk's been sidelined with injury, but much like Mr. Perfect, he's just too damn good to not have on television. I wholeheartedly approve of this decision, now let's just lose Michael Cole, move Lawler to Smackdown and bring back JR!

Sheamus vs. R-Truth is the first qualifying match for next week's KOTR tournament, and it looks like they realized "Get Buck (Get Crunk)" wasn't doing it for Truth and have returned to "What's Up." Decent length match and the crowd was into it, even giving it a dueling "Let's go Sheamus/Let's Go R-Truth" chant, but even with his old music, R-Truth couldn't hang with The Celtic Warrior. Impressive win for Sheamus, and no matter who else qualifies, I think it's safe to say that Sheamus could be the favorite to win King of the Ring.

Natalya getting LayCool thrown out of the building is pretty damn funny.

And apparently,Tamina can play the ukulele... just don't let Jerry Lawler near it. If you get that reference, you're my new favorite wrestling fan.

Randy Orton guarantees Wade Barrett won't win, blah, blah, blah.

Ezekiel Jackson vs. The Miz was scheduled to be our next KOTR qualifying match, but according to Alex Riley, The Miz suffered an anxiety attack, so Riley will sub in for him yet again. Two things: One, I would also have an anxiety attack if I had to fight Big Zeke, and two, I love that A-Ri's entire purpose is to be the guy that gets his ass kicked for The Miz. Soon-to-be-King Zeke makes easy work of Alex Riley, who really isn't having a good week, and I can't wait to see if he locks horns with Sheamus next week.

John Cena is here for his farewell address, and after this, you officially can't see him. John doesn't seem to down about getting fired, and hey, he's certainly not alone in this economy. Cena's really giving this fired thing all he's got though, bringing up the fact that he missed his niece's birth and that his mom's birthday is in two days. Maybe a little hokey, but it was a sweet little moment. Gets even better when he asks the women in children to chant "LET'S GO CENA" and the men over 18 to scream "CENA SUCKS!" Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, it might be the best promo Cena's ever done. I'll take back anything bad I said about the fired stipulation if they even try to stick to it a little bit because that was perfect. The Raw locker room waiting for him and applauding backstage was a nice touch too, as was Orton's handshake... not as good as Wade Barrett's "you can't see me" gesture though.

Ted DiBiase vs. Daniel Bryan is a rematch from last night and our third KOTR qualifying match of the night. In an odd twist, Brie Bella escorted Daniel Bryan to the ring, perhaps continuing the ill-advised Daniel Bryan: Ladies Man shtick, but if it leads to the US Champion saying "AND TWIIIINS!" then I'm all for it. Bryan picks up an easy win, even easier than Zeke's match with Riley, forcing DiBiase to tap to the LeBell Lock. Even more impressive, he completely no sold the Bellas fighting over him, and apparently he can resist the spell that so many guest hosts have fallen to. Bellas, I'm just going to give you some advice, you might want to stay away from Daniel Bryan, I hear he's into choking.

Natalya vs. Alicia Fox is next, and Natalya's got some cool offense in this match, including kipping up while standing on her head and doing squats while holding Alicia Fox in a vertical suplex. Alicia Fox ripped part of Natalya's hair out, and much like when Cody Rhodes gets hit in the face, this sent the new Diva's Champion into a furious rage. One Sharpshooter later, and we no longer have to watch an Alicia Fox match. Thanks Natalya!

John Morrison & Melina are flirting backstage... I assume they're still a real-life couple?

John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd is our next qualifying match, and yeah, this could be friggin amazing if they give it enough time, but considering we have a WWE Title match on the way, I'm not so sure. Surprisingly, these guys got a decent amount of time for Raw, unique offense from both guys, and Punk making fun of Cole's terrible commentary was an added bonus. Morrison obviously picked up the win and is the fourth and final representative from Raw in next week's King of the Ring tournament. Good TV match.

Main Event is next, looks like it's going to get a hefty amount of TV time. Oh and I believe my shenanigans sense is tingling!

Main Event time! Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett with the WWE Title on the line, and Nexus isn't waiting for this match to start, they kick Orton's ass in the aisle! Yeah! Looks like Orton hurt his knee, so Husky Harris runs back down the aisle and kicks him where his kneecap used to be, and becoming my new favorite member of Nexus.

After commercial, the match is still on, I was thinking they'd cancel it and let Miz swoop in, but I'm all for Barrett getting his shot with an unbiased referee like Mike Chioda! Their match is already way more exciting than last night's, and YES, Wasteland, NEW CHAMPION coming... until friggin John Cena interferes! John, if you're going to save Randy Orton title reigns, I don't know if we can be friends anymore. Of course, one RKO later, Randy Orton retains, though he probably should've been disqualified.

But it doesn't matter because THE MIZ is cashing in! YES! YES! YES! I had to step away during the match to give it my full attention, and it wound up being the longest Money in the Bank cash-in since Rob Van Dam's, these two actually had a match. A good match at that as well and the drama was literally (figuratively) dripping out of my television. Randy went for the RKO, Miz reversed into the Skullcrushing Finale, we've got a NEW WWE Champion and he is AWESOME!

Also, how great was that pissed off little girl in the front row? We're gonna need an old priest and a young priest!

How much praise can I give to one show? Oh sure, I could complain that they could've done this on the PPV last night, or that The Miz probably could've waited awhile longer to cash-in, or that I would've liked to see him cash-in at WrestleMania in a proper match, but who gives a damn? THE MIZ IS WWE CHAMPION! The Miz, the reality show star, the guy that they wouldn't put in the ring and instead made him the "host" of Smackdown, the guy that was supposedly John Morrison's sidekick, the guy even I thought wouldn't recover after being "fired" last year, that guy is WWE Champion.

And you can't deny that he deserves every bit of it. The Miz might be the most improved Superstar that I've seen in my lifetime, and he's only going to keep getting better after working PPV main events. This Raw was good enough as it was with all the qualifying matches, the drama of Cena and Nexus, and the fact that Randy Orton lost the WWE Title, but The Miz walking out with the WWE Championship? Kudos WWE, way to make up for last night's flat ending.


WWE Survivor Series 2010 Review

The 24th annual Survivor Series had a hastily thrown together card, and earlier this year it looked like there wasn't even going to be a Survivor Series, but despite all that, did WWE put together a "Big Four" worthy show?

Daniel Bryan vs. Ted DiBiase was a last minute addition to the card, but served as the perfect opener for this show. Bryan continued to prove that he is the modern day Excellence of Execution and gave DiBiase the best singles match of his career thus far. Certainly wasn't an easy task for Bryan, he had to bump like a damn pinball to get people to care about Junior, but he seemed more than willing. Suicide Dive was beautiful, that suplex from the apron was NASTY! and Bryan definitely had to injure his back carrying this entire match. These two set the tone for the level of athleticism expected on this show and the bar was definitely set high. Great stuff.
Predictions: 1 for 1

John Morrison vs. Sheamus was next and I had high hopes for this match considering the awesome bout these two had on Raw Roulette back in September. I was not let down by their second meeting, and while the falls count anywhere match might be the best on TV this year, I think this match may have been the more mature wrestling contest. Sheamus looked like the established veteran main eventer, despite only being in WWE for about a year and a half, and John Morrison played his role of the plucky up and comer perfectly. Morrison got his ass kicked, but stuck it out and nailed the Celtic Warrior with a flurry of moves to score the upset victory.
Predictions: 1 for 2

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kaval for the Intercontinental Championship was another late addition to the card, but much like the US Title match, it raised the bar for in-ring competition in WWE. Say what you will about WWE, TV-PG, or the general direction of the company, but even the smarkiest of smarks have to be in awe of the fact that both Bryan Danielson and Low-Ki are wrestling on PPV for both secondary championships and absolutely tearing the house down in the ring. I think this has to be my pick for Match of the Night, and with Kaval taking the red-hot Dolph Ziggler to the limit, you'd have to think he is now officially a Superstar within the WWE Universe. Tons of back and forth action in this one with Kaval getting a ton of near falls and blasting Ziggler with a NASTY kick to the face (maybe even broke his nose), but it just wasn't enough for the crafty IC Champion. Give these guys a rematch at TLC, because they have more chemistry than just about any potential opponent I could think of for Dolphy Z.
Predictions: 2 for 3

Team Mysterio vs. Team Del Rio in the only traditional Survivor Series match was a ton of fun, but there's no denying that the wrong team won here. And of all the people to survive, Big Show and Mysterio, the guys that just won a battle royal on Smackdown? Seriously? I like the guys and all, but c'mon, this should've been Alberto Del Rio's night. He was taken out by a hard right hand from Big Show, but never officially eliminated, he should've come back and stole a win to save the day to get mega heat. Big Show and Mysterio winning does absolutely nothing for anybody, and we're talking about a Survivor Series match, which has little to offer to begin with. I don't want to be a total Debbie Downer about it though since it was a really fun match, but the ending left a sour taste in my mouth.
Predictions: 2 for 4

Natalya vs. LayCool for the Diva's Championship naturally wasn't given much time, but in spite of that, these three women put on a decent wrestling match. Granted, putting on a decent Divas match in WWE in 2010 isn't exactly saying much, but at least Natalya got a decisive win by taking out both of the most hated women in wrestling. Beth Phoenix making her surprise return to save Natalya from the post-match beatdown was a nice touch as well, and if Natalya and the Glamazon form the Anti-LayCool, I will be a happy Razor. Female wrestlers getting to wrestle? Yes please!
Predictions: 3 for 5

Kane vs. Edge, as expected, wasn't bad, but it was still a Kane vs. Edge match. You mean to tell me that Kane can dominate The Undertaker for three PPVs in a row, but he can't put away Edge? In fact, he gets pinned by Edge, but the only thing that saves his championship reign is the fact that Edge's shoulders were down too? I applaud WWE for going with something different to keep the feud going, and the ol' double pin is an interesting idea, but I just have a hard time buying it considering the people involved. I assume Edge will get Kane in a ladder match next month since its "his" match, but with all the Paul Bearer stuff and the simple fact that it's Edge vs. Kane, I'm not exactly holding my breath in anticipation.
Predictions: 3 for 6

Nexus vs. Santino & Kozlov for the WWE Tag Team Championship was more enjoyable than you thought it would be, and the crowd, for some odd reason, was hotter for this match than most other match on the card. The crowd was pretty dead for the whole show, and considering the same venue already had one of the biggest Raws of the year (where Nexus formed), maybe WWE should consider spreading the PPV love a bit? Maybe that's a personal bias since I live in an area that rarely gets PPVs, but c'mon WWE. Match wasn't anything special, but Nexus obviously retained, and beat the only other tag team in WWE.
Predictions: 4 for 7

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barret w/ John Cena as the special guest referee, for lack of a better term, might be the most anticlimactic finish to a WWE event in years. There were several options here, like turning John Cena heel and officially joining Nexus; Barrett winning, Cena gets set free, kicks Barrett's ass and Miz cashes in MITB; or just Barrett winning and getting his ass kicked... but WWE went with the easy, safe option, the one that was most boring: Orton retaining and Cena being "fired." Cena's not getting fired, every wrestling fan with a functioning brain (which okay, that eliminates more than a few), knows Cena isn't going anywhere.

How many times have we been down this road with the Stone Colds and Rocks of the world? Fake firings are just that, fake... and with Monday Night Football kicking their ass and just one PPV away from the start of the Road to WrestleMania, there's no way John Cena is going to be off TV for long, if at all. Granted, the could keep him off TV for a bit and fill the void with a returning Triple H, but we're still left with Orton as WWE Champion, no one besides The Miz as a viable contender, and Nexus is weakened yet again. Maybe Barrett could pull the ultimate a-hole move and NOT fire John Cena to truly punish him, but then it's just another stipulation that WWE backs away from.

The match itself was okay, felt short to me and wasn't very exciting, but that's an Orton match for ya. I don't know where they're going from here, but after totally dropping the ball to do something shocking - especially at Survivor Series, the ultimate controversial PPV - they're going to have to come up with something in the next few weeks, otherwise the top of the Raw card is going to be yawn-inducing.
Predictions: 4 for 8

I really liked Survivor Series this year, aside from the weak ending to the main event that will be rendered meaningless sooner than later, I think it turned out to be one of the best PPVs of the year. Definitely a front-loaded card thanks to four really fun matches to start things up, but even with some puzzling endings, the quality of wrestling rarely dipped below solid. The Cena situation is concerning though, because it's more evidence of WWE being afraid to take a risk, which I thought they were moving away from when they put Cena in Nexus, but for whatever reason, they continue to play it safe.

WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Vol. 1 - 1987-1991WWE: Survivor Series 2009WWE: Survivor Series Anthology, Vol. 2 - 1992-1996

Saturday, November 20, 2010

WWE Smackdown Thoughts - November 19, 2010

The theme behind tonight's episode was to hype the Team Mysterio vs. Team Del Rio match, which led to a very exciting night of in-ring action. Let's take a closer look.

In fact, Alberto Del Rio kicked things off on Friday, being deliciously evil, as usual. This guy is frighteningly good, just think back to those incredibly boring vignettes leading up to his debut and how much better he is with in-ring promos. His verbal sparring with MVP was fantastic as well, with MVP carrying the torch for the Legends that Del Rio disrespected on Monday and in his promo. Once again, MVP impresses me one week after boring me; the guy's inconsistent, but when he's good, he's damn good.

MVP vs. Drew McIntyre was our first Survivor Series preview, and wow, speaking of damn good, these two had a fantastic match. It's so bizarre, Dolph Ziggler's been on fire lately, but his match with MVP just didn't click for me, whereas MVP can go out there and have an awesome match with a guy like Drew McIntyre, who hasn't really done anything jaw-dropping in the ring lately. Some guys just have great chemistry, I suppose, and MVP busting out the Drive-By to win the match was a nice touch, I hope he sticks with that, because it's WAY better than the Playmaker.

Okay, I hated the Edge/Paul Bearer stuff. I know it's just wrestling, but new rule: no more kidnapping storylines. They're hokey and defy all logic, yes, even the logic involved in a show about two guys pretending to fight. I can give this stuff a pass when it's centered around Kane and The Undertaker, they're holdovers from a bygone era, but Edge kidnapping someone and holding them hostage for a week? I'm sorry, it's just stupid.

Jack Swagger vs. Chris Masters was our next Survivor Series preview match, and I'm so excited that Masters got a spot on PPV, even if it is just a 10-man tag match. As I said on this week's Kick-Out!! Radio, Masters might be the most underrated Superstar of 2010 and deserves an increased role. Good match between these two, Masters put up a hell of a fight, commentary sold him like a the next big thing, and Swagger made him look like a champ, before finally turning the tables and getting the win with the Ankle Lock. Oh, and how cool was that spot when Swagger escaped the Masterlock by leaping over the top rope?

Our only non-Team Mysterio vs. Team Del Rio match of the evening was Kaval vs. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match, and hey, Kaval won! The match was short, but that's okay because we got a really exciting reversal exchange and after the match, Kaval announced that he was cashing in his NXT title shot on Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series! Once again, WWE blindsides us with the "this guy will lose a bunch of matches, then get a huge shock win" bit, but let's hope Kaval will wind up a bit bigger than the 1-2-3 Kid.

"DASHING" Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston was my pick for Match of the Night. It's clear to me now that Legacy was holding Cody back, because ever since he adopted the "DASHING" gimmick, he's entertained me more than Orton and DiBiase combined. When he gets hit in the face and turns into a Punch-Out!! villain, I'm laughing my ass off, and grabbing his jacket to look at the mirror on the back? That just sent it over the top. Kofi had the upper hand throughout a good portion of the match, but one nasty Cross Rhodes later, and DASHING picked up another win for Team Del Rio.

Seriously, we're going to torture Paul Bearer by dumping a bucket of chicken wings on him?

Main Event time! Match was scheduled to be Captain vs. Captain with Rey Mysterio taking on Alberto Del Rio, but Team Del Rio interfered, causing a quick disqualification. Team Mysterio ran in to make the save, but Teddy Long wasn't having any of it and set up a 10-man Battle Royal instead.

Main Event time, take two! The Survivor Series Battle Royal was your typical TV battle royal, fun and fast paced, but if you didn't see it, you didn't really miss anything. Big Show & Rey Mysterio won for their team, which makes me feel a lot more confident about my prediction of Alberto Del Rio winning tomorrow night.

Another rock solid episode of Smackdown highlighting what the brand does best, wrestling. I'm impressed that WWE put this much time into a single Survivor Series match, and even if the match has little in terms of consequences, it definitely got me excited to see it. Kaval vs. Ziggler was fun as well, I'm eager to see their rematch for the IC Title and I'm impressed by how much personality ol' Low-Ki has shown since jumping to WWE. My only gripe with this show was the stupid Paul Bearer kidnapping stuff, which did take up way too much time, but that's why I have a DVR! Good final show before Survivor Series and despite a hastily thrown together card, I'm stoked for the PPV.

WWE: Bragging Rights 2010Wrestling's Highest FlyersSmackdown: The Best of 2009-2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 48

I'm staying up late, so how about a new episode of Kick-Out!! Radio?

WWE needs JR, the Joey Styles problem, Raw goes "Old School," why Survivor Series doesn't work in 2010, and Kofi Kingston 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

Monday, November 15, 2010

WWE Old School Raw - November 15, 2010

Let's kick it old school, as lame white guys would say.

Well, this is already amazing. Old school WWF intro, 1993 Raw theme intro, classic set, metal barricades, interview stage(!!!), blue steps, Lawler in full King garb and MEAN Gene Okerlund! So much fun. And Mean Gene's guest, Cowboy Bob Orton, who tells us that Randy Orton, the WWE Champion, didn't even know that Raw was starting an hour early. Wow. Cowboy also doesn't care about John "Ceener" or Wade Barrett either.

But "hold the phone," Wade Barrett has apparently taken issue with the elder Orton's words. Barrett should totally kick Daddy Orton's ass, it's only fair considering what Orton did to Cena's dad three years ago. But sadly, Barrett is a better man than Orton and takes the high road...

AWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEESSSSSSOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEE! Speaking of better men, The Miz is here! Why? He's teasing cashing in Money in the Bank tonight and ruining everyone's Survivor Series plans, but John Cena doesn't want to lose his chance at freedom and challenges Miz to a match tonight. Miz accepts for whatever reason, but at least the opening was so fun, I can forgive the leaps in logic.

Dolph Ziggler's out next and he's got an old school picture-in-picture promo to go with his entrance! I miss those, they should be brought back permanently. And Ziggler's opponent tonight? "SEXUAL CHOCOLATE" Mark Henry! Yes, yes, a bajillion times yes. And Lil' Naitch is in an old school referee outfit, complete with bow tie! This match is pretty fun too, even if it was nothing particularly special. Good little build for Ziggler and a fun trip down memory lane with Sexual Chocolate.

Tony Atlas rambling incoherently backstage is pretty much exactly how I always pictured Tony Atlas to be in real life.

The Hart Dynasty vs. Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater is our next match and this one could be enjoyable if given enough time... and if we're not given much Heath Slater. Naturally, the tension within The Hart Dynasty played the big role in this one with Tyson Kidd refusing a tag and kicking David Hart Smith in the face, which allowed Nexus to pick up a fairly easy victory. Okay, are we officially broken up now? Shoulda put him through the Barber Shop window, Tyson!

R-Truth stirring the pot on the John Cena situation is an interesting take on the story, I hope they go somewhere with this post-Survivor Series.

Loving the shilling of WWE Shop merchandise from the WWE Update truck. Sean Mooney has been trapped in there since 1989.

The Fink is here to introduce The Brooklyn Brawler w/Harvey Wippelman! How the hell does Harvey look younger now than he did in 1993? Brawler issues an open challenge to any "new school" wrestler, and unfortunately for the ol' Brawler, Ezekiel Jackson accepts. Since it's Old School Raw, maybe Bart "The Hammer" Gunn should come out and challenge Big Zeke to the rights for the Brawl For All music. Laugh all you want, but if Vince Russo still worked for WWE, you know it would happen. Oh, Zeke won the match, I'm sure you're shocked to hear that.

Backstage, Nexus decides something needs to be done about R-Truth and Wade Barrett nominates David Otunga for the job. The G?M disagrees and puts Truth against Barrett instead. Shouldn't The G?M be communicating through the AOL WWF chatroom?

John Cena vs. The Miz kicks things off for the 9pm hour... but The Miz has other plans and subs in Alex Riley, telling Cena he'll have to wait until WrestleMania when he's WWE Champion. Continuing our trend of unsurprising match results, John Cena wins quickly after forcing Riley to tap out to the STF. Randy Orton storms the ring after the match to take out The Miz, fights off a couple Nexus guys for good measure, and comes face-to-face with John Cena, who he threatened to punt earlier in the evening. Referees and the infamous, suited "officials" successfully separate the two, but not before Johnny Ace tripped on his way into the ring. He's clearly more comfortable when he has his skateboard. The G?M e-mails Cole AGAIN and announces that Orton and Cena will have to work out their issues later tonight... in Piper's Pit! I'm all for someone smashing a coconut over Orton's head.

Old School Raw just isn't the same without Rob Bartlett.

Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff are in the ring! Your Twitter feed is about to be filled with the word "humble." And wow, Nikolai's still singing the Soviet national anthem, I guess no one's had the heart to tell him. But our ethnic stereotyping wouldn't be complete without Santino & Kozlov, the Moscow Mauler wants to sing too! Santino's not impressed and wants to sing a song of his own, "Jive Soul Bro," with The Reverend Slick!!! Iron Sheik says something about Hulkamania, and then the segment just gets weird with an appearance from The Usos

Oh, it's a number one contenders match for the Tag Team Titles, The Usos vs. Santino & Kozlov, but WWE finally found a way to get the crowd to care about The Usos, send them out with "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka! If JR was here tonight, he'd call this match "bowling shoe ugly." Mercifully over when Uso #2 feels the strike of the Cobra, but no sign of Jake the Snake. Santino & Kozlov are now the number one contenders for the tag titles... remember JeriShow, guys? Thankfully, Sheamus hits the ring and kicks everyone's ass, but before he can get to Santino, John Morrison saves the day. Can these two please have a match at Survivor Series?

This just in: Nexus will defend the Tag Titles against Santino & Kozlov at Survivor Series. That's right, Santino and Kozlov have a match scheduled on the PPV before Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Alberto Del Rio, John Morrison, etc.

David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston is next, for some reason... but hey, Kofi has a sweet picture-in-picture interview too! Nice Koko B. Ware reference, Kofi. Match isn't bad, but things go to off-the-charts amazing after a WrestleMania VI-esque double clotheline and George "The Animal" Steele comes to ringside to dine on some turnbuckle! Steele looks exactly the same too, minus a few pounds, and causes a distraction, allowing Kofi to pick up the win! AWESOME. Pure awesome.

Backstage, JOHN MORRISON GET HIS EFFIN FACE KICKED OFF! Damn dude! I'm sorry, I like John Morrison and all, but that was friggin hilarious. Looks like I get my wish, Sheamus and Morrison will meet at Survivor Series.

Okay, try to follow me here: Hacksaw Jim Duggan sends Aksana to her mother, who is actually Dusty Rhodes in a wig, then Kelly Kelly drops a net on Aksana so Goldust can retrieve the Million Dollar Title and give it back to Ted DiBiase Sr. and IRS; but the Million Dollar man gives it to Ted DiBiase Jr, who doesn't want it and walks off. DASHING Cody Rhodes and Goldust leave to trade grooming tips while Dusty Rhodes' music plays and everyone dances, then Tatanka does a rain dance, Hacksaw returns and Ron Simmons says "DAMN!"

...I swear I'm not making that up.

And then we come back to promotional consideration from fake Lord Alfred Hayes?! Now they're stealing my material!

And hey, if this is an Old School Show, R-Truth should come to the ring with Road Dogg instead of Eve! And yes, they should've been wearing overalls. R-Truth is wrestling Wade Barrett though, so they probably didn't want him to upstage the number one contender. Maybe PG-13 could come out after the match and challenge Truth to a rap battle? "We are da Nation, live and in color, Faarooq is da man and he'll bum rush yo' mutha!" Oh yeah, there's a match going on too... Wade Barrett is the man, and that's really all I need to say. There are some guys who just have "it," and I can't think of anyone in recent years that personifies "it factor" more than Wade Barrett. Say all you want about paying dues and earning your spot, but in less than nine months, Wade Barrett looks like a WWE Champion.

Do you need any further evidence that Alberto Del Rio is the best thing going in WWE right now? How about the fact that he was just introduced by Tito "Don't Call Me 'El Matador'" Santana and driven to the ring by Chavo Classic? And really, did Lawler just say the silk scarf was a "bit much?" Jerry, you do realize you're wearing a crown, right? Del Rio badmouths fat Americans and demands respect from the Legends, but Sgt. Slaughter won't let anyone badmouth America (unless it's him in 1991, I suppose). Sarge orders Del Rio to shut his pukehole and calls him "slime" and a "maggot." Where are my GI Joes?

COBRA CLUTCH applied early, but Del Rio manages to get to the ropes and it's all downhill for Sarge from there. Running enzuigiri does it for Sarge, but Del Rio isn't done and locks in the Cross Armbreaker, only for MVP to make the save? Why not Mysterio? Sarge gets his arm raised after the match though and gets to show off his sweet farmer's tan.

They should've brought back Mean Gene's 900 number.

Mae Young is awesome, in case you didn't know. Sexy, smart, AND powerful! And her pinning LayCool might be the highlight of women's wrestling in 2010. And according to WWE.com, that "match" makes Mae Young the first person to wrestle across NINE decades (1930s-2010s), that's mind-blowing.

Howard Finkel is in the ring to announce our special guest commentator for our next match, Good ol' JR, JIM ROSS! Jim Ross is the reason I got into broadcasting, he is the voice of WWE, and it's a damn shame that he's not in the booth every single week. And to make things even better, JR is here to call Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger, and the only bad news is Michael Cole's headset is still on. Excellent match from start to finish with spectacular commentary from JR & King, and it just goes to show you how much the commentators can add to the match, especially when they take things seriously, unlike Cole. Daniel Bryan picks up the win after a NASTY! kick to the head, but Ted DiBiase attacks the US Champion after the match. Looks like he's got his sights set on something besides the Million Dollar Title. Lame! I know CM Punk is hurt, so his potential feud with Bryan has been shelved, and there's been talk that William Regal may be retiring, but we couldn't have found someone more deserving of a US Title shot than DiBiase?

And JR hitting Michael Cole with his hat is the highlight of the decade. Can we please put that in the Raw opening every week?

PIPER'S PIT TIME! Roddy Piper has a t-shirt with his picture on it that says "National Treasure," and truer words were never placed on 100% cotton. Piper calls out John Cena and proceeds to give us another classic performance on the mic, telling Cena that he never won the WWE Title, neither did Hall of Famers like Jimmy Snuka, Mr. Perfect and Ricky Steamboat, and if he just hands it to Wade Barrett, he'd be spitting in their faces. "Don't spit in my face, John Cena" actually made the hair on the back of my neck stand up a little bit. Cena was no slouch either, promising to call the match right down the middle, because that's the only call he can make, regardless of the consequences for himself.

But Wade Barrett isn't going to let this go without chiming in, and after another awesome war of words with Piper, he turns his attention to Cena. And he's got a present for John Cena, something he should've made him do weeks ago... put on a Nexus shirt. Cena looks good in the black and yellow, it's a little TOO fitting, actually. Hmm...

Oh yeah, of course Captain Buzzkill has to get involved, Randy Orton is here. Orton doesn't waste much time going after Barrett, Cena tries to make the save and eats an RKO for his troubles. Orton tries to punt Cena, but Cena defends himself and nails the WWE Champion with the Attitude Adjustment! Barrett orders Cena to raise his hand in victory, but gets an Attitude Adjustment of his own! What's Barrett gonna do about it? He needs Cena on Sunday. Raw ends with Roddy Piper holding up Cena's hand.

If there is a Heaven, this Raw is what the wrestling wing of it should look like. This Raw, even with some silly stuff and horrendous matches, was everything I love about professional wrestling. Nostalgia, wrestling, comedy, drama, painstaking attention to detail, and Jim f'n Ross. Piper's Pit was the perfect way to end this show and even though the card was hastily thrown together, I am beyond excited for Survivor Series at this point. If you missed this show, get on YouTube immediately, or make sure you catch a replay on Universal HD sometime on Saturday, because it was absolutely awesome.

WWE: Top 50 Superstars of All TimeWWE: Bobby "The Brain" HeenanWWE - Born to Controversy: The Roddy Piper StoryWWE: Macho Madness - The Randy Savage Ultimate Collection