Monday, April 25, 2011

WWE Raw thoughts - April 25, 2011: The Draft

It's time to shake things up and stuff! I made my Draft predictions earlier today, but honestly, your guess is as good as mine. I think Orton is a surefire thing, but they're either going to play it really conservative tonight or go freaking crazy, one extreme or the other. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of the show and of course, check Twitter for the ongoing absurdity.

And Raw starts with a Battle Royal already in progress! Awesome way to start the show, but also my least favorite match to write about. As always: guys are hitting each other, guys are reeling on the ropes and people are locking up in the corners. Guys are getting eliminated and... yeah, that's all I really got and I doubt you need the play-by-play.

Down to the most bizarre final four in Battle Royal history: Kofi Kingston, Big Show, Evan Bourne and Mason Ryan? Weird. Awesome spot with Bourne almost getting dropped out, but holding onto Kofi's legs to pull himself back in. Of course, Ryan and Bourne were no match for Show and Kofi though and the Blue Brand picked up the first draft pick of the evening. Who's moving to Friday Nights?

JOHN CENA!

Holy shit.

For the first time in almost SIX YEARS, John Cena is on Smackdown. Did NOT see that happening. Wanted to see it happen, just for the sheer WTF of it all, but never thought they'd actually do it. That's how you start a Draft show, my friends!

Fun promo backstage with John Cena talking about taking the WWE Title with him to Smackdown after Extreme Rules. Even got a Miz cameo, which made it all the more awesome.

After a bizarre video package recapping his heel turn, R-Truth comes on stage to tell Raleigh, North Carolina to "SHUT UP." Oh Truth, I see what you did there. Truth is "pissed off" and blames his loss last week on the fans, including all the rhythmically-challenged who danced and rapped along with him. Especially "Little Jimmy" in the front row and this is officially the greatest thing R-Truth has ever done. Until that damn John Morrison rudely interrupted by attacking The Truth from behind. That ain't right! Totally unprovoked, JoMo!

Another awesome promo for Awesome Kong, who is officially known as Kharma, and this time we got to see her face. Clock is ticking for the Divas.

Eve Torres vs. Layla and again, Michael Cole interrupts the match while Eve picks up the win. Can Kharma just debut right now and tear him apart? After the match and after Cole's shenanigans, Layla beat the hell out of Michelle McCool. As the result of Eve's "win," Raw gets a draft pick and it's...

REY MYSTERIO!

Wow, no one is immune this year.

After commercial, Cody Rhodes is backstage, cutting a disturbing promo about how the only mask Rey Mysterio will wear is the one the anesthesiologist puts on him before he's wheeled into emergency surgery. Well alright then!

Sheamus vs. Kofi Kingston for the next Draft pick and this should be good if given enough time. It's the Draft show though, even the most memorable matches get forgotten. Kofi picks up a much needed win for Smackdown (and himself), finishing off Sheamus with two Trouble in Paradise kicks. Whose coming to Smackdown?

RANDY ORTON!

Well, I expected that to happen before John Cena got moved, but now it's a pretty big surprise. Not really thrilled about it, I was digging the massive shake up, but now it looks like Raw and Smackdown are just switching nights.

Our 10pm main event is Michael Cole vs. Jim Ross, yes I'm serious. This should be a tuxedo match and Howard Finkel should be the guest referee. Oh and Kharma should come knock Michael Cole's head off. This one is bowling shoe ugly, especially when JR busts Cole's mouth open, but then Swagger causes the DQ and they whip JR like a government mule. Luckily, Lawler makes the save and runs them off like a scalded dog and we get a "Country Whipping" match set for Sunday. Hey, that was supposed to be the name of Mickie James' sophomore album!

Backstage, The Miz insists that he's drafted, Raw will be canceled. True story.

Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler is our next match for and it's for TWO draft picks, with Orton now fighting for the Smackdown brand. I don't know what the hell is up with Randy Orton's facial hair tonight, but I'm going to assume it's because he fears Razor. Despite an impressive showing from Dolphy Z, we all know that no one beats Randy Orton. One RKO later, Smackdown has TWO more draft picks. Who are they?

Well, you're going to have to wait because CM Punk has something to say. He'll be taking on Orton this Sunday in a Last Man Standing Match and tells Randall that a simple RKO out of nowhere won't get the job done. Orton threatens to put CM Punk in "unconscious sleep," as opposed to conscious sleep. We'll find out Smackdown's next two draft picks after the break.

Mark Henry is the next pick for Smackdown, along with...

Sin Cara!

Sin Cara is a good move, the pre-taped nature of Smackdown will benefit him as he adjusts to the WWE ring and WWE style. Just makes sense.

Wade Barrett vs. Rey Mysterio in our next Draft match and that's definitely good news for Raw, sorry Corre fans. All three of you. Good match between Rey and Wade though, they mesh very well together, too bad they're not on the same show. Rey picks up the win for Raw and guess who's coming to Raw?

Big Show! Knew that would happen, him or Kane get drafted every year.

and...

ALBERTO DEL RIO!

He was my #1 pick for Raw so I'm not surprised. The big question now is, does Christian win on Sunday or does Del Rio bring the World Title to Raw? If Del Rio wins, does The Miz go to Smackdown? Does John Cena win on Sunday? Do we get some shenanigans? Either way, something big is happening!

Main Event time! 6-man tag for the final draft pick, The Miz, CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian, Mark Henry & John Cena! Can't see the good guys losing here, but Raw needs another big pick.

Before the match, the announce team confirms the annual Supplemental Draft, which will happen tomorrow at noon on WWE.com.

I love a six-man tag match, but I don't love WWE for making me choose between Christian and The Miz. That's not fair! Match is tons of fun, as six-mans usually are and it looks like Smackdown is going to keep their hot streak going, but Mark Henry clobbers John Cena! No! Bad guy Mark Henry makes me sleepy. The turn gives Raw the opportunity, Miz nails Cena with the Skullcrushing Finale and Raw gets their final pick of the night. Whose moving to Raw?

John Cena

Oh kiss my ass. That's just dumb. Cena on Smackdown would've been really cool. At the very least though, the Blue Brand isn't overloaded with the very large shadows that Cena and Orton cast. Also, CHRISTIAN'S GONNA BE WORLD CHAMPION!

Hopefully. I probably shouldn't have said it out loud.

Stupid shenanigans with Cena aside, this was a good Raw. Almost non-stop wrestling, the rosters got shaken up quite a bit and things are looking pretty interesting for the future. The Cena switcheroo really annoyed me, but like I said, Smackdown would've been too crowded with him and Orton on it and it wouldn't have changed the shows up significantly enough. WWE really needs to knock it off with the bait and switches though, they're beyond out of hand.

WWE: The Very Best Of WCW Monday NitroWWE The Big Show: A Giants WorldWWE: Wrestlemania 27 [Blu-ray]

2011 WWE Draft Predictions

The annual WWE Draft is tonight and I have no idea what's going to happen. The whole thing seemed to come out of nowhere, I thought they'd wait until Tough Enough was over so they could do a three-hour Raw, but I have a feeling Edge's retirement may have caused things to be moved up. Whatever the case may be, the Draft is just a few hours away and I'm going to attempt to make some predictions and then we can all laugh at how completely wrong I was during tonight's live blog.

To Smackdown

1. Randy Orton
Honestly, this is the only surefire move I see happening and judging by the latest Kick-Out!! poll, you agree. Even with my feelings on the guy aside, I think we can all agree that the attempt to make him THE top good guy was a bust. He's perfectly capable of being a top name and has obviously earned his spot, but he's not going to carry the company... at least not on Raw. Edge was a similar situation, on Raw he was just one of the top guys, but on Smackdown, he was THE guy. As much as it pains me to say it, I can't see anyone else in WWE who can fill Edge's void than Randy Orton. Damn Dancing With the Stars, Save_SD.Y2J!!!

2. Daniel Bryan
If anyone needs to get the hell off Raw, it's Daniel Bryan. He returned to much fanfare after SummerSlam, but once WWE got a whiff of WrestleMania being in the air, he was completely forgotten about. He could've had a really enjoyable run with the US Title, but due to him being virtually MIA during his entire reign, I'd say his run did more to HURT the US Title than it helped, which is a damn shame because until then, it was one of the most protected titles in the company. Bryan needs an environment where he can show off what he can do and Raw just isn't the place when he's lucky to get a three-minute match. Smackdown is much more suited to his style and if you let him go for eight minutes on a weekly basis, the crowd is going to fall in love with him.

3. R-Truth
Quick, name a top heel on Smackdown not named Alberto Del Rio. Can you do it? I can't. With Kane's inexplicable face turn and The Corre becoming a jokke, the Blue Brand needs a dose of evil. With Truth's well-executed heel turn last week, I think he'd fit in rather well on Friday nights and hopefully will be the first challenger for new World Heavyweight Champion, Christian... assuming he wins this Sunday. I've got my fingers crossed!

4. Evan Bourne
More of a dream pick than anything and I don't think it would guarantee any movement up the card, but Smackdown certainly can't be any worse for Bourne, can it? Even if he's still just there to lose, I'd rather see him lose an 8-minute match to Drew McIntyre than a 30-second match to Sheamus.

5. Sheamus
I hesitate to flip the US/IC Titles again, but as mentioned earlier, Smackdown is desperate for a top bad guy and since Sheamus has drowned on Raw, a change of scenery could be just what he needs. If Bourne does get moved too, maybe he can up his time against Sheamus to a full minute!

To Raw

1. Alberto Del Rio
The guy has practically been working both shows since the Royal Rumble anyway, might as well move him. If he doesn't win the World Championship on Sunday, he'll fit right in on Raw and will hopefully fill the heel void left by the losses of Sheamus or R-Truth. Of course, that's assuming my predictions will be right (which they probably won't be).

2. Wade Barrett
I think last Friday's Smackdown proved The Corre is done or just about done (what a wasted opportunity), but hopefully it will lead to Barrett returning to Monday Nights with the Intercontinental Championship. I don't really want to see him try to reclaim the Nexus or anything, but an uneasy partnership between him and CM Punk could be interesting. Would it make sense? Of course not, but they'd make it work with a little wrasslin' logic.

3. Jack Swagger
All the stuff with Michael Cole is happening on Raw anyway and Swagger plays a pivotal role in all that. I have a feeling a full-blown face turn could be coming for Swagger on Sunday and Raw would make for a nice venue change to really run with it.

4. Beth Phoenix
Someone capable is going to have to get in the ring with Kong, right? I could see Kong coming in, plowing through the Eves and the Bellas of the world and Beth swoops in to save the day and provide a believable match-up.

5. Kane or Big Show
Because one of them is legally required to change brands every year.

Supplemental Draft

Assuming they even do a Supplemental Draft, here are three quick picks for each brand:

Zack Ryder to Smackdown
Yoshi Tatsu to Smackdown
Tyson Kidd to Smackdown

Tyler Reks to Raw
JTG to Raw
Layla to Raw

What are your predictions for the 2011 WWE Draft? Let me know in the comments and we'll compare during tonight's live blog.

WWE Raw Superstar RingWWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011WWE Smackdown Superstar Ring

Sunday, April 24, 2011

WWE Smackdown thoughts - April 22, 2011

Little late on this one, but Mortal Kombat has been distracting me from wrasslin. Let's talk Smackdown!

Sir Michael Cole still getting his own entrance? Really?

Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio in a WrestleMania Rematch was our opening contest, but before the match, Cody came to the ring carrying a paper bag. A group of guys behind him pushed a shopping cart (or trolley, as they call it in the UK) filled with more paper bags. This was better than plastic, but c'mon Cody, it was Earth Day on Friday, you should've brought the reusable cloth bags! Hilariously, Cody handed them out to the uglies at ringside and I wonder whose job it was to cut holes in several dozen paper bags before Smackdown?

After an awesome promo from the former Dashing One, Rey Mysterio made his way to ringside for the match. I really enjoyed their feud and the match at Mania, so I was quite excited to see them work together without having to pay $70. I still don't get commentary calling what Mysterio did to Rhodes an "accident." There was no accident, he intentionally hit Cody with a 619 without the normal protection of vinyl pants! Cody still hasn't done anything wrong and at WrestleMania, he merely won by hitting Mysterio with a knee brace, turnabout is fair play! In all seriousness though, the match was very fun although the ending fell a little flat for me. It came out of nowhere and it felt like there was plenty of match left. Rey won with a quick hurricanrana, but as it turns out, there was plenty of "match" left because the two brawled all over the arena afterward and Rhodes got the last laugh, hitting Cross Rhodes on the floor. Falls Count Anywhere match at Extreme Rules?

Backstage, The Corre continued to show cracks in the armor, the very weak, paper thin armor that they never had wore in the first place.

Michael Cole was in the ring and did you notice the giant Zack Ryder sign in the front row? I thought those were all confiscated? I certainly hope the dirtsheets weren't lying to me, that would be shocking. He introduced Jack Swagger for his match against Trent Baretta, which was actually pretty good, until Baretta damn near got killed after that NASTY! powerbomb counter. Ow. Seriously though, not bad for a squash match.

Big Show & Kane vs. Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel and hey, guess what? Kane & Show won the Tag Titles. Yay? Yawn? Does it even matter? There aren't any tag teams in WWE and while Slater and Gabriel are a good team, The Corre is a complete bust. Show & Kane should be known as "Team Two Guys We Should Do Something With, But Have No Idea So Let's Just Make Them Tag Champs," but I don't know if that'll fit on a shirt. It's the obligatory UK title switch, happens every year.

More friction between The Corre backstage, Slater even shoved Gabriel down. Still yawning.

Drew McIntyre vs. Chris Masters up next in the battle of two guys that should be doing more in WWE. Masters moreso than McIntyre, but I think even though WWE's clearly soured on McIntyre in recent months, he's actually been getting better since his push stalled. Masters is probably the most underutilized guy in all of WWE and that continued Friday night when McIntyre picked up the win. Hell of a match though, both guys needed a showcase like that and I hope it means big things for at least one of them in 2011.

In our final match of the evening, Kofi Kingston invoked his rematch clause and challenged Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship. Even if The Corre does split up, I hope Wade Barrett keeps this Gravity Kills-esque version of The Corre's theme for his music, it's positively badass. More dissension among The Corre in this one with Big Zeke inadvertently striking Wade Barrett, but it still wasn't enough for Kofi Kingston to get a win (shocking) and Barrett successfully defended his IC Championship. He did have the ropes, but confusingly, Booker T and Josh Mathews praised him for it, even though they would deride any other heel who did something like that. WWE really has to do something about the commentary situation, because it just isn't making any sort of sense.

The match was fine, probably would've been better without all the shenanigans, so hopefully they'll get to do something fun at Extreme Rules. Maybe a street fight or something?

Our "main event" for the evening was Edge's retirement party, hosted by Alberto Del Rio! Would've been much more effective without the ridiculous background music, which I know WWE has tried to make work repeatedly lately (usually with Kane), but it's just distracting.

Actually no, this would not have been effective either way, it was stupid. Grandfather clocks, adult diapers and a morbidly obese Lita impersonator? And by "Lita impersonator," they hired the nearest fat redhead they could find. Awful. Very un-Del Rio. Using Kerwin White's theme music while Ricardo Rodriguez came down on a motorized scooter (complete with pyro) was at least mildly amusing.

Thankfully, Edge himself saved the day and the crowd EXPLODED for his entrance. By the way, Edge's "Farewell Tour" t-shirt is awesome. Edge cracked some easy jokes, Christian hit some people with ladders, held the World Championship above his head to close the show, fun was had by all, now let us never speak of this segment again.

Kind of a "blah" show. Plenty of decent matches, although the matches that had potential to be really good wound up being glorified squashes. Nothing to go out of your way to see, but if you got nothing better to do, there's some fun to be had.

WWE Kofi Kingston Figure Series #8WWE Christian Figure Series #8EDGE - WWE SERIES 6 WWE TOY WRESTLING ACTION FIGURE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Poll: WWE Draft

The WWE Draft is on Monday, I'll have my predictions up sometime in the next few days, but I'm curious what you think will be the biggest surprise of the night. John Cena to Smackdown? Undertaker to Raw? What will be the headline at 11:15 on Monday Night? Vote in the poll to the right of your screen and please leave a comment with your detailed thoughts.

Now, the results from our previous poll:

WHAT'S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE EDGE SINGLES MATCH?

vs. Mick Foley - WM22: 41%
vs. Undertaker - SummerSlam 08: 26%
vs. Eddie Guerrero - SD 02: 8%
vs. Undertaker - One Night Stand 08: 8%
vs. Shawn Michaels - Raw 05: 5%
vs. Ric Flair - Raw 06: 2%
Other: 8%

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011WWE - Edge: A Decade of DecadenceWWE All Stars

Monday, April 18, 2011

WWE Raw thoughts - April 18, 2011

Raw is un-live tonight from the UK, but I always enjoy these shows. WWE always want to do something special for the UK audience, but due to the pre-tape, they don't always go all out with storyline advancement, so we often get wrestling-heavy shows, which I won't complain about. Also, the annual Draft is next week, which I think got moved up due to Edge's surprising retirement, but I think that'll gear tonight towards a more wrestling-oriented show. Hopefully. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage, Twitter for... yeah, yeah, yeah, you get it by now.

And we're kicking things off with the new #1 contender for the WWE Championship, R-Truth and hey, JR is on commentary! Very fun and energetic promo from Truth here, we don't get to see this guy a lot, usually he's just a cornball. Although I don't know if London's buying it though, they don't say "WUTS UP?!" over there, they say "'ELLO GUVNAH!" John Morrison interrupts the promo and is being a bit of a dick to his former tag partner, saying he was lucky last week and showing a clip of Truth drinking water in between his gauntlet matches last week. Morrison even mocks Truth for smoking and goads him into putting his title shot on the line. Oh this can't end well. Match is on though!

John Morrison vs. R-Truth for the #1 contenders spot at Extreme Rules is our opening contest this evening and the energy has been sucked out of the room due to both guys becoming completely unlikeable once Morrison came to ringside. Sure enough, Morrison picks up the win and takes R-Truth's spot at Extreme Rules and I do NOT approve of this. Morrison's been given opportunity after opportunity and can't seem to connect, but R-Truth's never really gotten a fair shake before. I was excited for something new, not stalled Morrison push #14.

But hey, here's something new, R-Truth heel turn! I didn't see that coming, but the repeated knees to Morrison's face were NASTY! and I fully approve of this development. Still a little pissed he got screwed out of a WWE Title shot, but I'm all for him and Morrison feuding throughout the summer, and I love the possibility of a heel Truth taking on John Cena somewhere down the line. Truth lighting up a cigarette now with the crowd chanting "THAT'S ILLEGAL!" and he throws it on Morrison, LOVE it. Bad guys smoke, because smoking makes you look cool, remember that kids!

Commercial for next week's Draft, which should be interesting since it's only a two-hour show due to Tough Enough being on at 8pm.

Evan Bourne vs. Dolph Ziggler is next and Ziggler cut his hair and dyed it brown! I'm not kidding, it looks like we're having a mirror match right now, these two guys look exactly the same. I'm not opposed to Ziggler losing the 1999 bleach job, but the haircut is incredibly jarring. Excited for this match though, if these two get enough time, we could have a candidate for best TV match of the year. Sadly, not enough time, but it was perfectly acceptable TV fare and an impressive relaunch for Ziggler, he needed that.

Watch out London, Team Awesome is going international, The Miz is here! The WWE Champion is not happy about the change to his match at Extreme Rules and who can blame him? What more does he have to prove against John Morrison? He carried him for several years when they were a tag team, he's beaten him multiple times since they've split up and oh yeah, he's actually won a World Championship. The Miz demands that The G?M make things rights and takes the show hostage going into commercial and more power to him! This is the WWE Champion we're talking about and he has to be in a steel cage at Extreme Rules with his Jannetty and the guy who couldn't get the job done at WrestleMania? I'd be pissed too!

Miz is still talking when we come back from commercial (lucky Brits), but is rudely interrupted by Sin Cara, who is scheduled to face Alex Riley. Oh Sin Cara, that's not nice, you don't cut off the WWE Champion like that. And speaking of rude interruptions, John Cena rushes to the ring for no apparent reason. Looks like You Can't Secede Me wants to make this a tag match and The G?M agrees, it's Alex Riley & The Miz vs. John Cena & Sin Cara. Wow, they're definitely serious about Sin Cara, aren't they? Can't ask for a bigger endorsement than teaming with John Cena in your second match ever.

Pretty excited for this 10pm main event though, hopefully The Miz is fully recovered from his concussion and hopefully we'll get to see some really cool stuff from Sin Cara. I love this, they're even building hype for Sin Cara, letting him get the hot tag from John Cena! Beautiful offense from Cara, as he gets more and more acclimated to the WWE ring, it's gonna get nuts. Cena even lets Cara get the pin (on Alex Riley, of course) with a slingshot springboard moonsault. Very fun match.

Another great vignette for Awesome Kong, who is supposedly debuting under the name Kharma. I'm fine with that, so long as no one ever says "Kharma's a bitch."

Eve vs. Nikki Bella is our Divas portion of the evening and Brie taunts Eve before the match, saying she won't get her return match if she's drafted to Smackdown. Uh, Brie... the Diva's Title travels between shows. Try to watch WWE sometime. Eve wins the match rather effortlessly, but #WeWantKong.

Michael Cole is about to get knighted. Seriously. Well no, not seriously, but this segment is seriously happening. Looks like he's buried the hatchet with Jackie Swaggs as well, and he's here to emcee this historic event. "Queen Elizabeth" arrives and I bet at least 35% of Americans watching at home believe that was the real Queen. Cole is "officially" knighted and that appears to be it, but then he starts a "Sir Michael Cole" chant, which the crowd naturally punctuates with "SUCKS!" and then he demands that Lawler kiss his foot. King & JR get in the ring and get their asses handed to them by Swagger. JR gets an ankle lock and his face shoved in Michael Cole's herpes-ridden foot. What is it with WWE's fascination with humiliating poor JR? That was a pretty dreadful segment overall, I think Michael Cole's Playhouse is finally starting to wear out its welcome.

Sheamus vs. Santino up next and let's get this all straight: the United States Champion, who is from Ireland, is taking on an Italian in England. I'm sure you'd be shocked to find out that Santino is acting goofy here and Sheamus is making easy work of him. US Champ wins and avenges the tea party from last year.

Main Event time! Randy Orton vs. CM Punk in a WrestleMania rematch. I loved this match at Mania and as long as these two get 15 minutes to work with, I think we're in store for something really fun. Loving this match so far as well, especially Punk's clothesline off the apron, then asking the ref "I'm gonna pin him out here, is that legal?!" You wish you were half as awesome as this man. Loving the crowd here too with the dueling "RKO! GTS! RKO! GTS!" chants, WWE should be in London more often. It can't be cheap, but it's worth it with crowd reactions like tonight's. Great back and forth action here (yes, I'm complimenting Orton) with tons of near falls and finisher attempts. Neither guy can get the upper hand and Orton somehow manages to steal it with a school boy roll up. BOOOO!!! Does this guy EVER lose? At the very least, this has to be the first time he's won a match without the RKO in quite awhile.

Nexus (who?) storm the ring after the match and annihilate Orton. Punk screaming "you feel like a winner now!?" was pretty awesome too. Mason Ryan goes ballistic and teases the Punt, but Punk talks him down and goes for it himself... only to eat an RKO. Goddammit WWE.

Decent Raw. I really enjoyed R-Truth's heel turn, though I found it difficult to sympathize with John Morrison since he was acting like a jackass before the match. Perhaps the idea was to tease a Morrison heel turn and give us Truth instead? Either way, I liked the end result. The wrestling was pretty solid tonight and as I expected since they were in the UK, we got a lot of it. Once again, not bad for a promotion that's "not a wrestling company." Both main events were lots of fun, even if Randy stupid Orton had to win yet again.

Michael Cole really hurt the show though. His bit went on way too long, fell flat and I think the shtick has jumped the shark. Yeah I know "jump the shark" has jumped the shark, but I don't know how else to describe it, it's just not funny anymore. Yeah, he's a bad guy and I'm supposed to hate him, but it's to the point where I just want to change the channel now... even if nothing else is on Monday nights. I still think he'd be a great modern day Bobby Heenan, but the show centering around his constant screaming and spotlight hogging needs stop. It really deflated tonight's Raw overall. Not a bad show tonight, but his segment was so bad, I think people will forget most of the good that WWE put on tonight.

WWE: Royal Rumble 2011 [Blu-ray/ DVD combo]WWE: Wrestlemania 27 Collector's EditionWWE: DX: One Last Stand

TNA Lockdown 2011

So I went to TNA Lockdown this evening. I can't pass up an opportunity to go to a PPV, I've only been to three others: King of the Ring 2002, Cyber Sunday 2006 and WrestleMania 23, plus, tonight was free! Hey, free wrasslin PPV, can't beat that, right? Well, let's find out.

I was surprised TNA was even allowed to run a show at US Bank Arena, they usually run shows at the smaller Cincinnati Gardens and I figured WWE had some sort of exclusivity deal. Throughout the Monday Night War, WCW was always at US Bank Arena while WWE was stuck at the Gardens. WWE returned to US Bank after the WCW purchase and until tonight, was the only wrestling company to run in the building in the last decade. Anyway, I was surprised by how many people showed up, Cincinnati does love their wrasslin, but I thought they were all stuck in 1996 and wouldn't know what a TNA is. Judging by the sea of nWo shirts tonight, they're definitely still stuck in 1996, but they do know TNA after all, I'd say there were 5,000-6,000 people there tonight. Roughly half the arena was filled, though there was a lot of empty space on the floor and the entire side of the arena where the hard camera was placed was almost completely empty.

Brother Devon vs. Anarquia was the pre-show dark match and I thought they did a good job doing something different to get the crowd ready for the show. Match started with a brawl outside the ring and while things slowed down considerably once it got in the ring, I've always had a soft spot for D-Von and enjoyed the match for what it was. After the match, Devon beat up Anarquia some more, even giving him a couple suplexes on the ramp. I don't know why this happened, I don't regularly watch TNA so I don't know if these two have issues, but it seemed a bit excessive.

X-Division Xscape was the opening contest of the PPV, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Robbie E vs. Amazing Red vs. Max Buck vs. Jeremy Buck vs. THE Brian Kendrick vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide. Now I'm out of breath. Suicide got a MASSIVE pop, which struck me as odd for a character from a five-year-old video game that only springs up every once in awhile, and to respond to this ovation, TNA had Suicide eliminated first. Perhaps Kaz was working under the mask and they didn't want him to risk any sort of injury before the main event? They could, of course, fix this by putting someone else under the mask, but c'mon, it's TNA.

Anyhoo, the match was fun for what it was, an X-Division spotfest, but if I think about it for too long, I realize how completely useless the X-Division really is. TNA apparently thinks so too, because despite the massive pop for Suicide and the crowd BEGGING for Brian Kendrick to win, they instead go with... Max Buck. Nothing against the Young Bucks, they're a solid tag team, but why is Max Buck winning an eight-man cage match to determine a #1 contender for the X-Division Championship? Better yet, why isn't Brian Kendrick, Jay Lethal, Suicide or anyone besides the Young Bucks? Typical TNA eyebrow-raiser and it hurt the crowd as a result.

Eric Bischoff came out for a promo that didn't really have any point. Gotta hand it to Bisch though, the Cincinnati crowd HATED him just as much now as they did at Cyber Sunday 2006. Sadly, my "ONE TRICK PONY!" chant did not catch on with the crowd.

Ink Inc. vs. Scott Steiner & Crimson vs. Eric Young & Orlando Jordan vs. The British Invasion was, at least from my perspective, utterly pointless (I'm sensing a pattern). Granted, I don't watch TNA regularly, so maybe I'm missing something, but this match just seemed oddly thrown together and the only thing people cared about was Scott Steiner. Steiner's become something of an internet legend in recent years, probably due to the magic that happens when you hand him a live mic, but I never really understood the fascination until tonight. Scott Steiner is awesome and my buddy Tank commented that Cincinnati was ready to elect him mayor or the new head coach of the Bengals, anything to keep Steiner in Cincinnati. Ink Inc. won the match, and I would say that was a stupid decision, but somehow they were the second most interesting team in there. Yeah, it was by default, no one wanted to see Eric Young & Orlando Jordan in tiger speedos and no one wanted to see the British Invasion period, so if you're not going to let Steiner win, then Ink Inc. it is.

Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne featured Mickie James doing what she does best, win matches in under 60 seconds. Hey, it's like she's right back in the Diva's division! In all seriousness, Mickie was legitimately injured after they announced the hair vs. title stipulation, so I guess they had to go through with it. Of course, they could've substituted someone in her place, postpone the match and have a cool storyline where Madison demands Mickie's hair by forfeit, but c'mon, it's TNA.

Samoa Joe vs. The Pope was up next and I was glad to finally get to see Samoa Joe in person. Even more glad that when I finally got to see Joe, he was back to his traditional look and not that silly Nation of Violence stuff. I really like both these guys, but the match didn't really click for me at first. Oddly enough, I'd say the turning point was the gratuitous male nudity, when Joe pulled down Pope's trunks and exposed his ass to viewers in over 120 countries. Oh gratuitous male nudity, you used to be so common in wrestling! Seriously though, the match picked up after that (it's Pope's version of Hulking Up), and wound up with some fun stuff in the final minutes. Joe won with the Muscle Buster and Koquina Clutch and even though it's pretty obvious he's just collecting a paycheck at this point, I was happy with the match.

Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez was seven shades of terrible. A few things bothered me before the match even started: first, Morgan's little vignette where he talked about his "Final Solution" for Hernandez's "Mexican America" made me and my buddy gasp in horror. Uh Matt, you might want to crack open a history book sometime and find out that you really shouldn't reference the Holocaust when you're talking about a wrestling match, especially when your opponent is of a different race. Ethnic cleansing comments aside, it bothered me further when the audience got extremely racist when Hernandez came to ringside. I get it, it's a take off of the evil foreigner gimmick, but to the guy in front of me who couldn't stop saying "yo queiro Taco Bell," you make me embarrassed to be a wrestling fan.

The match itself was awful as mentioned. I think my cohort Jason Mann summed it up best: "I'm convinced the people who like Matt Morgan have not actually seen him wrestle." Personally, I was rooting for Hernandez after the staggering amount of racism. In my head, this became a story about a successful Mexican immigrant who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and made it to a prime position in a national wrestling company in a battle against The Man. Unfortunately, much like in real life, The Man won. Down with oppression! Finish was pretty cool, but yeah, the whole match left a really bad taste in my mouth. Bring on Matt Morgan's failed quest for the TNA World Title #413!

Jeff Jarrett vs. Kurt Angle was far and away the Match of the Night and nothing else even came close. I've been watching Jeff Jarrett for about 15 years now and I can honestly say this was the first time I ever saw him a memorable match and this feud with Angle is literally the only time I've ever been interested in one of his stories. The match was damn good, even if no one explained "Ultra Male Rules" to the audience except between falls. I thought it would involve who could grill the perfect steak, change the oil in Karen's car and then clean the gutters.

Even if it did drag a bit at parts, Angle more than made up for it by damn near killing himself on several occasions. Jarrett was no slouch either and I'd be surprised if he walked out of this one without a concussion. I seriously thought Angle was going to break his neck on top rope powerbomb though, that was terrifying. Moonsault was awesome too. And a hearty "LOL" to Angle busting out the RKO in response to Orton using the Angle Slam recently. I'm sure tomorrow he'll just say that someone hacked his moveset.

I've seen quite a few people pissed about Jarrett getting the win through shenanigans, but honestly, I think it was the right call. As another cohort, K Sawyer Paul, has mentioned, Kurt Angle is no longer a triumphing hero, he's a broken man. Maybe Kurt doesn't get a happy ending, the good guys don't always win, sometimes the guy that steals your wife gets to kick you while you're down. It's a great story, Angle is technically the better man, he just can't prove it while his ex-wife rubs it in his face. That sucks and anyone can sympathize with it, the story just works better as a tragedy. And still, it was a damn good match.

I was confused that Sting vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson for the TNA World Title didn't go on last, but considering how awful it was, it was a good thing it didn't. I was truly excited to see Sting perform live for the first time in my life, but was really bummed when he didn't play "Roxanne." Wait, what?

It was great to see Sting and maybe I'm just being overly critical, but it seems like he was the only guy that gave a damn in this one. I love Mr. Kennedy, I believe he's WWE's biggest missed opportunity of the last decade, but based on what I've seen from him in TNA (which admittedly, isn't a ton), I don't know if I love Mr. Anderson. Maybe he's not getting the right opponent to work with, maybe he's the kind of guy that needs the more hands-on road agents that WWE has, or maybe TNA just isn't the right fit for him, because it isn't clicking in the ring for this particular fan.

RVD is another guy I love, but I don't love in TNA. Though that might not be TNA's fault, that could have more to do with the fact that RVD has been portraying the exact same character with literally zero changes in the last 15 years. Same look, same ring attire, same ponytail, same taunts, same gimmick, same moves, same finisher, and he'll be coming to the ring with some kind of hard rock music. I wonder if RVD even needs to lay out a match with his opponents anymore?

RVD: "Hey man, you want to talk about the moves we're gonna do?"
Opponent: "Dude, I've been watching you for 15 years, I think I got it."
RVD: "Cool bro... wanna get high?"

I kid, I kid. The match was a mess though and the Hulk Hogan run-in didn't help. I'm pretty pissed off that Hogan's douchebaggery earlier in the week, mocking Edge's retirement, kept me from being able to cheer for the Hulkster. I wanted to shoot the moon, dammit! Though the match didn't really work for me, I did think they had some cool bits and Sting winning was a nice touch. Teasing Hogan vs. Sting for the TNA World Title though? Not so nice. Maybe they think they can get it right 14 years later?

Main Event time! Lethal Lockdown match with Fortune: Kazarian, Beer Money & Christopher Daniels vs. Immortal: Ric Flair, Bully Ray, Abyss & Matt Hardy. I dig the concept: War Games Lite with weapons, but let's be honest, is this a PPV main event? Kaz and Beer Money are good, but Christopher Daniels is hired and fired by TNA on a bi-monthly basis at this point, Abyss is never going to be interesting no matter how hard TNA tries and Bully Ray and Matt Hardy are 1/3 of WWE's tag team division from ten years ago. Then there's Ric Flair, who is the best part of TNA, but I really don't want to see him bleeding like a stuck pig anymore, I worry about him! Although I do want to see him wrestle in a wifebeater, slacks and dress shoes, that's money.

Not to rag on TNA more than I already have, but I feel like people are going to talk about TNA putting "young guys" in the main event, even though none of these guys are actually young or new to TNA. At 33, Kazarian was the youngest guy in the match and he's been with TNA from practically day one. In that regard, the match was everything that's wrong with TNA: a bunch of "up and comers" who have been around forever.

The match itself was okay, fun brawl with some sprinkles of insanity here and there. Daniels diving off the cage was absolutely beautiful, though I couldn't help but feel bad about him doing it because you know TNA still won't do anything with him. Again, not to be Debbie Downer or Mr. Cynical, but the guy's been jerked around by TNA since TNA has existed. I certainly appreciate the desire to entertain and believe me, Daniels entertained me tonight, I just feel like we've been down this road before. Many times, in fact.

Oh and hey, more gratuitous male nudity! This time from Ric Flair, who is the pioneer of GMN in wrestling. Ric was just showing the ladies what was waiting for them later tonight on Space Mountain... although when he's in Cincinnati, Ric takes them for a ride on THE BEAST.

Things dragged considerably between Daniels' dive and AJ Styles running in for the save, but the crowd did get pretty excited for his appearance. Though I do have to wonder why AJ did little more than a few punches and then they ended this otherwise brutal and insane match with poor Ric Flair tapping out to an... armbar. Surely there was a more climactic finish in there somewhere? But c'mon, it's TNA.

Hey, at least Angle vs. Jarrett was good! The card was already terrible on paper going into Lockdown, most of the wrestling wasn't particularly exciting coming out of Lockdown, and then there were the bizarre finishes and the good guys winning by beating up on poor old Naitch. At least I got to go to a PPV though! All things considered, it was a fun experience, always happy to go watch wrestling with friends (especially when it's free) and I got to see Sting, but yeah, this is why I don't watch TNA on a regular basis.

TNA Wrestling: The Best of the Asylum Years, Vol. 1WWE: Nature Boy Ric Flair - The Definitive CollectionWWE - Rob Van Dam - One of a Kind

Friday, April 15, 2011

Smackdown Thoughts - April 15, 2011

Thank you Edge! It is a very rare live blog for Friday Night Smackdown, but tonight is such a big night, I figured I kinda had to, right? Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of tonight's show and follow me on Twitter for ongoing absurdity.

And we begin our evening with the #1 contender for the soon-to-be-vacated World Heavyweight Championship, Alberto Del Rio! Del Rio gives a heartfelt speech to Edge, congratulating him on all his accomplishments and wishing him well in the future. I have a sneaking suspicion he's not being entirely genuine though as he asks for Edge to come down and just hand him the World Title. But instead of Edge, he gets Teddy Long, playa! Hey, we don't just hand things over here on Smackdown, Del Rio earned the right to compete for the World Title, but he'll be competing against the winner of tonight's 20-man Battle Royal to determine another #1 contender for the vacant championship! Del Rio naturally snaps and his true colors show, he's glad he hurt Edge and that he ended his career... well that's just rude. T-Lo tells Del Rio to shut up and walks off, holla!

And anyone who thinks Del Rio playing up his involvement in Edge's retirement makes the whole thing a "work," you're new to this whole wrestling thing, aren't you? If Jerry Lawler's dead mom is fair game, so is Edge's retirement. That's old school, my friends!

Our opening contest this evening is Ezekiel Jackson vs. Kofi Kingston with the rest of The Corre on commentary. Every morning when I wake up, I make a list of things I don't want to hear:

1. Crying babies
2. My neighbors having sex
3. Katy Perry
4. Heath Slater on commentary
5. My cat clawing the walls

Corre are painful on commentary here, we know Slater can't talk, but Wade's especially bad here, insulting Zeke's intelligence while he's in the ring. C'mon Wade, Zeke's whole shtick is that he's the thinking man's monster. He has a large vocabulary, he quotes Bible verses, he's more than just the muscle. Thumbs down to ignoring minor character details like that, but thumbs up to Zeke getting a win. Not thrilled about Kofi's continued downfall, but I do love me some Big Zeke, so it's not all bad.

LayCool's in couple's therapy and Michelle McCool actually has the audacity to imply that she's the better wrestler of the team. HAH!

DASHING Cody Rhodes is in the ring, being awesome and broody. He says his WrestleMania victory was not what he needed to feel Dashing again, instead, he felt nothing. Even if he wins the battle royal tonight and the World Title at Extreme Rules, it still won't erase the damage done when Rey Mysterio crushed his face. Cody wants everyone to experience his horror every time they look at him and for some reason, this is provocation for Rey Mysterio to attack? Really? Who is the good guy here?!

Still can't get over how great the Awesome Kong vignette is. You gotta read my buddy Bill Baconhill's (aka Sousa) take on her impending debut.

Rey Mysterio vs. Drew McIntyre is our next match and hopefully Drew throws Rey around like a lawn dart like he did at Elimination Chamber. It's only fair, an unprovoked attack for an unprovoked attack, Cody didn't deserve what just happened before commercial! Good match so far though, getting a nice amount of time and McIntyre looks like a legitimate threat for the first time since... Elimination Chamber. Yet another victim in the WrestleMania pause, but maybe it'll work out okay for him like it did R-Truth? Not tonight though, 619 and a splash off the top finish off the Sinister Scot, but at least it was a really competitive match. Get McIntyre more time like this and things might actually turn around for him.

Nice promo for Edge... although I'm pretty sure it's accompanied by a 3 Doors Down song. C'mon WWE, the guy has to retire tonight, hasn't he suffered enough? Edge is walking backstage to applause from a bunch of guys, including Kane. "Hey, I know you pretty much murdered my dad, but put 'er there!"

All kidding aside, it's time for the man of the hour, the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge! I'm sorry, one last time for my buddy Tony Chimel, "THE RATED-R SOUP-ER-STAR, EDGE!" Crowd has already erupted into a "THANK YOU EDGE!" chant and this is tough to watch... and I already saw this footage earlier in the week! Edge does a super cool bit, re-doing his entrance one last time for the rush of it all and to celebrate his awesome theme music. Edge has always had good theme music, but he's right, "Metalingus" is a great tune and it's also the only good thing that's ever been remotely associated with Creed. They're in Albany tonight (Tuesday, whatever) and that's where he won his first WWE Championship back in 2006 and while sitting in a rental car in Albany many years ago, he came up with the name Edge. I did not know that. I didn't know he came up with the name, nor did I know it was in an Albany rental car.

I can't handle the stuff with Edge's mom though, who's seated in the front row holding back the tears. Seriously, I just can't handle a crying mom, it is one of the most heartbreaking things you'll ever see. After thanking his mom, Edge turns his attention to the World Heavyweight Championship, which he says belongs to each and every one of us and does what he has to do, sets it down in the center of the ring and walks away.

It's sad, don't get me wrong, it's also incredibly weird to think of WWE without Edge wrestling, but at the same time, who gets to go out like this? He's retiring as World Champ (a first for WWE) and he's getting a week-long send-off, which isn't something that happens often in any sport. It's nice that Edge is this appreciated and gets to say goodbye in his own way. It's special moments like this that only wrestling can provide. Thank you Edge!

Backstage, Edge refuses to shake Alberto Del Rio's hand and Del Rio has the greatest "punch-me" smile yet in response.

Kelly Kelly vs. Layla is our Divas portion of the evening and #WeWantKong. Kelly hits Layla with the X-Factor (I don't know what else to call it) on the outside, McCool tosses her partner back into the ring to avoid count-out, but she gets pinned anyway. C'mon, that was blatant outside interference, Layla should win by disqualification! McCool shoves Layla down after the match and says "good luck without me," and I have no idea why they would split LayCool, they're literally the only characters in the Divas division.

Main Event time! A 20-man Battle Royal to determine a second #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. The winner of this match will face Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder Match at Extreme Rules and it's GOTTA be Christian, right? C'mon, this has to be his moment, if ever there was a time to give Christian his shot at top, this is it!

And the Battle Royal is on... and a bunch of guys are kinda doing stuff. Battle Royals are damn near impossible to write about, "and then three guys attacked Big Show in the corner, and then some dudes punched each other, then someone got hung up in the corner." Although I will say Big Show's CARCINOGENIC FIST~! eliminating Heath Slater was friggin glorious... then Big Show pretty much eliminated himself by clotheslining Big Zeke over the top rope.

Down to our Final Four (please don't sue me NCAA), Justin Gabriel (really?), Rey Mysterio, Christian and Jack Swagger. Rey quickly eliminates Gabriel, lots of false eliminations with Rey and Swagger, Rey hits Michael Cole with a 619 (he was trying to protect Swagger!) and Swaggers takes advantage and tosses Rey! We're down to two, Christian vs. Swagger and OMG, Christian is going to win this thing, isn't he!? I guess Swagger could turn face and be a viable opponent for Del Rio, but C'MON!

C'MON!!!!

And now Del Rio is trying to screw Captain Charisma!? COME ON!!! Del Rio has Christian's foot on the apron, but Christian pulls the rope down and Swagger tumbles out, we got a new #1 contender! FINALLY after 13 friggin' years, CHRISTIAN is going to get a one-on-one shot at a World Championship in WWE, in a Ladder Match, no less! C'mon Christian, win Big Gold for Edge... and me!

Good Smackdown. All about Edge, as it should've been, and the natural conclusion, his best friend taking his place at Extreme Rules. Like I said, if ever there were a time for Christian to get his much-deserved run as World Champ, this is it. C'mon WWE, help a brother out... or in this case, a guy that used to be Edge's brother.

WWE: Allied Powers - The World's Greatest Tag TeamsWWE - Edge: A Decade of DecadenceBreaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kick-Out!! Radio - Episode 58

Hulk Hogan insults Edge's retirement, R-Truth gets a WWE Title shot, WWE's an "action soap opera," Sin Cara debuts, preparing for TNA Lockdown, and is Awesome Kong the next big thing?


                   




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

iTunes - clicking this link will open your iTunes. Don't worry, it's free!

Theme song: "Believe" by Grasp Infinity

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poll: Favorite Edge Match

Obviously with Edge's retirement being THE story in the world of professional wrestling right now, I think it's only appropriate that this week's poll be a tribute to the Rated-R Superstar. Quite simple, what's your favorite Edge singles match? Vote in the poll to the right of your screen and as always, feel free to explain your pick in the comments section.

Now the results from our previous poll:

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE WRESTLEMANIA 27 MATCH?

Undertaker vs. Triple H - 63%
CM Punk vs. Randy Orton - 10%
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio - 10%
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio - 5%
The Miz vs. John Cena - 3%
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole - 1%
Corre vs. Big Show & Friends - 1%
Team Snooki vs. Team Ziggler - 1%

No surprises there. Though I'm sure if people knew this time last week that it would be his last match, Edge vs. Del Rio would be a little higher.

WWE Edge Figure Series #6WWE Rumblers Edge And Randy Orton Figure 2-PackWWE Edge Figure

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank You Edge!

Edge has retired. I've had a few hours to let it sink in and a night to sleep on it, but it still just seems so out of nowhere and unreal. Not unreal in the wrestling sense, just one of those things that kicks you in the gut and seems completely impossible. Edge is still relatively young, he's at the top of his game and still has the connection with the audience to carry a brand, you don't see a lot of wrestlers go out at that point in their career. But honestly, isn't that a good thing for Edge? I'm sure this isn't the time Edge imagined his career ending, but even with injuries aside, he gets to go out at his peak! He's the rock star of wrestling and he's going out before he enters the "St. Anger" portion of his career!

It's still a sad situation, his farewell speech last night was heart-wrenching and I know for a fact there's a legion of Edgeheads out there who are totally bummed, I get that, but let's be glad that he got out before things got really bad. And while you never want to see your favorite athlete forced out due to injury, there really wasn't anything left for Edge to do. Take a look:

-11 reigns as WWE or World Heavyweight Champion, only WWE Superstar to have more is Triple H.
-14 WWE/World Tag Team Title Reigns, a record.
-5 Time Intercontinental Champion, one of only five men to have five or more reigns.
-Has held more championships than anyone in the history of WWE.
-Kick-Out!! Wrestling's Superstar of the Decade!

He's also the ONLY man in WWE history to hold the WWE Championship, World Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship, World Tag Team Titles, WWE Tag Team Titles, Undisputed Tag Team Titles, and the Hardcore Championship*. Okay, I'm stretching a bit there, he never won the Hardcore Title, but him and Mick Foley did share it in 2006! The only title Edge was eligible for and never held was the European Championship... but he did win the Intercontinental Title after they were merged!

Edge has also won the King of the Ring tournament, a Royal Rumble and was the first man to ever win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Slammy Awards? He's got two of them too. He's also been in the final match at WrestleMania, only 30 other men can make that claim, and his match was against The Undertaker. I'm sure I don't need to explain the significance of wrestling The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Hell, even outside of WWE, he won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's 2002 Match of the Year award, which is a rare feat for a match that takes place in a WWE ring. And perhaps most importantly of all, I believe he is the first man in the history of WWE to retire as a World or WWE Champion.

Sure, he could've won the World Title a few more times, perhaps even would've surpassed Ric Flair's sixteen World Titles, but would it really have added that much to his stellar resumé? I don't say "he had nothing left to do" as an insult, the guy has literally done all there is to do in WWE and honestly, no one else can say that. Sure, for a lot of guys it's minor stuff like the US Title or holding the Money in the Bank briefcase, but that's the beauty of Edge's WWE career, we watched him claw his way to the top in a very different landscape. It used to be "win the Intercontinental Title, maybe you'll move onto the WWE Title and maybe you'd do something with the Tag Titles." But when Edge came in, there was a lot more to do and he did it all. That's not to say his journey was any better or worse, but he's the only guy that's had that journey and like he said last night, he grew up with us watching.

Edge debuted in WWE when I was 14 and I remember HATING Edge & Christian because I was a huge Hardy Boyz fan (oops). I always felt like E&C would wind up winning these brutal ladder matches after the Hardyz and Dudleyz took all the crazy bumps, then E&C would run in and steal the titles. This was the height of my smark phase, whoever hurt themselves the most should've won! I dug Edge more and more as time went on, anyone who uses Rob Zombie for theme music is okay in my book, but it wasn't until his heel turn in 2004 that I really saw how damn good the guy was. Sure, he had flashes of greatness before that, just watch his feud with Eddie Guerrero, but I distinctly remember thinking he was in the danger zone. He was very much the John Morrison of the early 00s.

Glad I was dead wrong about that, because once he became this unhinged psychopath, furious that he'd never received his shot at the WWE Championship, he hit that upper echelon. There were a few detours along the way, like his well-publicized personal issues with Matt Hardy and Lita, but it all just made the character even stronger.

I could continue to give you the history lesson, but you know it all by now. Every character needs their arch rival, Batman has the Joker, Stone Cold had The Rock, Edge had John Cena; you know those two had an awesome feud. You know how great he was in 2008 when he carried Smackdown on his shoulders (we miss you, Bam Neely!), and of course you remember his blood feud with The Undertaker, which resulted in the last great Hell in a Cell match WWE has produced. So with all that fresh in your mind, I'll just close this out with my personal favorite period in Edge's WWE career.

In 2006, Edge had just lost the WWE Title back to John Cena and transitioned into a feud with semi-retired Mick Foley. It all culminated with my favorite match in the history of hardcore wrestling, their brutal battle at WrestleMania 22. They took hardcore to the next level, actually introducing a story into it and they did it on the grand stage of WrestleMania. Somehow, these two guys convinced WWE to let them use FIRE, not just in a WWE ring, but at WrestleMania! What made it even better was that they weren't done there; Mick Foley, being the great storyteller that he is, came up with the idea for them to become a team, protesting the relaunch of ECW. They already had the greatest hardcore match in history, why relaunch the hardcore brand? Judging by what WWE's ECW became, it appeared they agreed.

But the insane tag match at One Night Stand 06 was so fun and featured Edge at his sleazy best. Though the TV-PG shift didn't come until two years later, in retrospect, you could really look back on this match as an end of an era.

I'm going to miss Edge in the ring. He was a hell of a talent that literally broke his body for our entertainment, even if he never entertained you for one single second, you have to appreciate that. Although if you were never once entertained by Edge, what the hell is wrong with you? From the eyes of this wrestling fan, I'll always remember Edge as the guy my fiancé downright loathed when she first started watching wrestling with me back in 2007, because he was the guy that would always have something to get you to care. Whether it was a great match, a make-out session with Vickie Guerrero or a Spear from a 12-foot ladder, he always knew how to grab our attention.

Adios, Rated-R Superstar and thank you.