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Preview: Behind The Angle

Behind The Angle

The best wrestling columns this side of Dave Meltzer.

Last Build Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2014 22:54:13 PDT

Copyright: If you wish to republish this work anywhere else, please consult the author to gain permission.

Sun, 04 Mar 2007 11:16:28 PST

ROH in Liverpool Night 1 03/03/2007 So this is the second ROH event I’ve attended and this show had a lot to live up to given we had McGuiness/Danielson Pure and World title unification match. On paper the card seems very good and I’m sure the crowd will be hot so it should make for a good show. Doors open at five so I figured if I get there for quarter to I’ll be queuing for twenty minutes max. Quarter to six we started moving and by five to six I was inside. It’s a damn good job it wasn’t raining and the entertainment of a couple of kids wrestling and having a football match with a lucozade bottle made the hour pass by pretty quickly. They say queuing is the Great British pastime; I can see why that’s true because there was no problems whatsoever with people trying to push in, this is very unlike Disneyworld where non-Brits don’t get the concept of a queue. Once inside I was able to get a couple of pints (in plastic cups) down me and after chatting to a few fellow fans half six rolled round and it was bell time. So I took my very good third row seat and waited for the action to start, Davey Richards vs HomicideDavey came out first to a decent reaction but the notorious 187 blew his reaction out of the water. They had a decent opening match which consisted of both guys doing a lot of moves on each other. Homicide did a dive into the crowd (opening match!) to a big pop. This was not the most technically sound match in the world but the crowd were really behind Homicide and Julius Smokes comedy, including after a young lad if he had a knife on him, made it a pretty entertaining match. Homicide won after hitting the Cop Killah. Shimmer Special Attraction Match: Sarah Del Ray vs Alison DangerWhy do the words ‘special attraction’ put sadness into the hearts of wrestling fans? With no offence to the women, they tried very hard, but nobody came to see this. Yes, we clapped at the appropriate times and remained in our seats rather than taking a toilet break but nobody gave a crap about this. Sarah won. Colt Cabana & BJ Whitmer vs Jimmy Jacobs & Jimmy RaveOne name does not fit and it was abundantly clear. Colt is miles ahead of the three other guys in this match. It started off with crowd brawling and Colt throwing Jacobs into the rail and then BJ giving his a powerbomb onto it. That was absolutely stupidly ridiculous by young Jimmy. They then did the most annoying thing in wrestling history; after a brawl it turned into a regular tag match. I hate that. The heels had the heat on BJ and the highlight was Colt screaming “stretch” when BJ was in their corner. Eventually he got the hot tag and Colt did a double wacky comeback but it wasn’t enough as Jacobs was able to pin BJ to ensue victory for Team Jimmy. It wasn’t the best of matches but the crowd love Colt and he delivered so you certainly can’t fault him for that. 2 out of 3 Falls: Matt Sydal vs DeleriousI’ve had a go at Sydal before for being the most generic babyface ever but my god has he turned that to his favour. He’s now a great cocky heel who has that ‘why don’t you love me?’ type of face. This was a really good match and the crowd were totally into both guys although Delerious was the guy they loved. Sydal was doing some old school heel spots like using Delerious’ ribbon things to choke him and then claming it was part of his own attire. Sydal won the first fall with a low blow and roll up and Delerious evened things up tapping Matt. It went back and forth through the final fall until Sydal was able to hit the Sydal press for the three. I though this would be a total spotfest with my opinion on Matt Sydal but he managed to flip my thoughts 180 degrees and I look forward more from him. We got a brief interval where two more beers were consumed and more chat with a crazy Fin ensued. After the interval two British women wrestlers, Jetter and Eden Black, got in the ring and tried to cut an American promo challenging the two Shimmer girls to a match the next night. FIP ‘World’ Ti[...]

WWE No Way Out Review

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:17:50 PST

18th February 2007 The ladder match has been pulled but the build for the main event has been great. I’m not expecting the best show in the world but I expect something big from the main event. Chris Benoit & The Hardys vs MVP & MNM I guess if you’re promised a PPV payoff it’s unfair to go back on it so the Hardys and MNM meet again in six man action. Good guys run wild early on until Jeff gets cut off and the heels get the heat. Nitro and Mercury are really good and MVP isn’t too bad given his lack of experience. Eventually Jeff gets the tag to Matt (this won’t be the hot tag as Benoit is the comeback king) and just as he starts his comeback he gets cut off. Another heat segment followed a hot tag to Benoit. Benoit goes crazy hitting a double german on Mercury and Nitro, Cole (who seems to be loosing his voice) screams he has never seen the spot despite calling the mania three way from last year where Angle, Rey and Orton did the same spot. Matt hits the twist of fate on Mercury and Jeff follows it with a swanton followed by a headbutt from Benoit for two as MVP breaks it up. Crossface on MVP broken up by Mercury who gets one of his own for his trouble for the tap out. A very good opener for the show. They seem to be going with MVP and Benoit for mania and I expect the Hardys/MNM feud to culminate in ladder match. Vickie Guerrero tells Krystal she has an opportunity coming her way straight from words memorised earlier in the day. Cruiserweight Open The rules are simple, two guys start, you win, you continue. Raw’s Scotty Too Hotty is out first and Daviari will join him to open the battle. After a couple of minutes of Daivari offence Scotty hits the worm and gets the victory. The cruiserweight champ is out next and pins Scotty straight away with a his new weird looking finisher. Funaki charges the ring but gets booted in the face by Helms and after some good offence hits a cross body but the rule of being able to role through and always get a three count works for Helms as he continues in the gauntlet. Shannon Moore is out next who I haven’t seen for yonks and does a cool hurricarana spot on the outside but Helms pins him with the new finisher again. It’s Smackdown’s resident redneck next who after a brief battle manages to roll up Helms for the pin. We have a new cruiserweight champion ladies and gentlemen. Before leaving Helms hits the eye of the hurricane on Yang allowing Jamie Noble to go to work on him. Noble takes Yang up for a superplex whilst shouting “what’s my name” to which ONE fan replies “Jamie Noble” ( I know it’s not that funny written down) but Yang manages to push him off and hit a moonsault for the three. “Here is you winner and new… Ooooh Chavo!” I guess Chavo is a surprise entrant (I’m sure he was announced in the week) and he goes straight to work on Yang. Chavo hits the three amigos and Cole screams about it being disrespectful, JBL argues that he can do what he wants considering he’s a Guerrero as they invented the three amigos and camel clutch. Chavo goes up for the frog splash to which Cole says Eddie invented that so Chavo shouldn’t be doing it, he missed the frog splash and Yang climbs the turnbuckle for a moonsault but misses allowing Chavo to hit the frog splash to the back to win the match and the title. The whole match was pretty good (at least as good as a match of this style can be) but I have to say I was surprised that Helms lost. I guess with Vickie’s “opportunity” the two things are linked. Definitely a disappointing way for Helms to loose his belt though. John Cena cuts a promo saying he’s going to work alongside Shawn tonight and worry about Wrestlemania later. Finlay & Little Bastard vs Boogeyman and Little Boogeyman Match of the year potential in this one. Boogeyman beats on Finlay and tags in his mini who jumps on Finlay but little bastard comes in and distracts big Boogey. This allows to Finaly to kick little Boogey in the face. We then see Finlay apply hold to the mini. [...]

ROH Weekend Of Champions Night 1 Review

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:48:32 PST

28/04/2006It's night one of the so called weekend of champions. The ROH/CZW war continues and all three champions are defending their belts, should be a good show. Jimmy Jacobs vs Colt CabanaThey start out with comedy but Jacobs turns it nasty by pulling Colt into the ring post. The basics of the match are that Colt is awesome and if Jimmy Jacobs didn’t have pink tights he’d be instantly forgettable. Colt wins meaning Lacey is going to sack off young Jimmy.Colt is still in the ring and Jim Cornette with Ace Steel come to the ring to ask for his help in the war with CZW. Colt initially rejects saying he needs to concentrate on learning how to wrestle as his defeat to Danielson at the last show means he’s only opening show material. He then changes his mind, brands Claudio as a traitor and vows to win the war for ROH.Jay Fury & Spud vs Irish AirborneSpud (the better looking, younger and cleaner Spike Dudley) is making his debut here in ROH and his main act is a few spinny high spots whilst screaming a lot the rest of the time. It actually turned out to be a decent little match with Irish Airborne getting the victory and seemingly a push in this company.Super Dragon runs from the emergency exit and attacks an ROH ring crew dude; legging it before the ROH army get to him.Nigel McGuiness cuts a fun little promo saying he’ll beat Daniels tonight and Danielson tomorrow night proving he’s the best wrestler in the world. I really like his promos because he cuts them as an Englishman, not an Englishman trying to do an American promo.Jimmy Rave w/Daizee Haize vs DeliriousMy god this match is boring. Jimmy Rave is so boring when he’s on offence. I love Delirious but even he can’t save this match. Fifteen minutes ticks over on the clock and we reach a time limit draw. Thank god it wasn’t an hour time limit.ROH Pure Championship: Nigel McGuiness vs Christopher DanielsNo Alison Danger with the fallen angel tonight as he challenges Nigel for the pure title. They have a fine little match and I love Nigel as a heel, he was doing all of Danielson’s spots here to setup their match tomorrow; awesome. Nigel and Daniels brawl outside and Nigel gets the win by throwing the photographer into Daniels at nineteen meaning he can’t meet the twenty count. The crowd chant bullshit but this is goof heat not bad heat. I love Nigel.ROH World Championship: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs Jimmy YangYang isn’t a redneck tonight and is wearing the same white tights he wore at Wrestlemania 20. Watching this match makes you realise that Danielson is actually very small, smaller than Yang. I guess that’s why WWE isn’t begging him to come in and it’s the reason I hope he doesn’t ever go. Selfish I know. They have another good little match, it’s not the main event so it doesn’t matter too much but Yang is a decent worker and what they do is fine. Danielson eventually wins with a crossface chickenwing Bob Backlund would be proud of.ROG Tag Team Championship: Roderick Strong & Austin Aries vs Matt Sydal & Samoa JoeYes Sydal teams with Joe. The story is Sydal wants a title in ROH and is in a competitive rivalry with Generation Next. Last week he had AJ as his partner and this week it’s Joe. The match starts off pretty boring as the man of a thousand moves Matt Sydal does a lot of his moves. Eventually Team Sydal turn kind of heel and get the heat. Sydal is a bad heel, he handles the moves where Joe handles the psychology. Eventually Aries gets the hot tag to Strong and a short comeback ensues. Now it’s Aries and Strong’s turn to get the heat. Sydal is much better at selling as the babyface in distress and Aries and Strong are pretty good on offence. We get another hot tag and Joe cleans house until he’s taken out and a bunch of nearfalls happen in the ring with Aries, Strong and Sydal. Joe makes a second comeback and they get a damn good nearfall with a standing moonsault by Sydal. But Joe gets taken out again and the half nelson backbreaker – 450 combo pu[...]

ROH The 100th Show Review

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:48:18 PST

So Ring of Honor reaches it's 100th show and Philadelphia will be the place that gets to witness it. This is the place where I've decided to watch these shows in order, I've seen a load of ROH shows but always random shows and considering how great the booking is in ROH it's a shame not to watch them in order. So, here we go:Christopher Daniels defeated Claudio CastagnoliCertainly not a great match but not a bad little opener. The key here is that Daniels finally shook his opponents hand after the match. When ROH first began there was months of angles based on the fact that Daniels wouldn't shake hands therefore disrespecting the code of honor. Notice whose hand he shook and who he showed respect to; this will be important later.Four Corners Match: Delerious defeated Jimmy Jacobs, Jimmy Rave and Jimmy YangYour usual ROH four way with high spots galore and tons of nearfalls. Delerious makes me laugh so much for doing stupid things liek running round the ring and scaring his opponents. The story here is that if Jimmy Jacobs won Lacey (his girlfriend?) would strip naked but he didn't want her to so as he had the win he broke the cover and Delerious jumped in and got the win.ROH Tag Title Match: Austin Aries & Roderick Strong defeated Homicide & Ricky ReyesShort but told a good little story. Homicide lost to Colt Cabana at the last show and failed to win this match so is getting pissed at ROH. This is the key here.ROH World Title Match: Bryan Danielson defeated Colt CabanaIn fact he beat him in four minutes. They did the usual chain wrestling like they would for an hour long match but Danielson rolled him up and pinned him. This was done to teach the ROH fans that matches can end quickly and to send Cabana down to the bottom of the card and have to work his way up to another title shot (which sometime down the road he will get). Colt was angry backstage.Top of the Class Trophy Match: Derrick Dempsey defeated Pelle PrimueaTwo students from the ROH school have a battle. It's a decent little match to have after intermission when the crowd really isn't ready for anything big. Primuea is very small and needs to attend the solarium. Dempsey won with a spinebuster into a bridge for the pin.After the match Bryan Danielson comes out and takes the piss out of the CZW fans giving the ROH fans things to chant at them such as "you're going to get your fucking head kicked in." I love Dragon. When he finally stops getting heckled with the air horn ("I hate guys who think they're cool blowing air horns") he says as head trainer and ROH World Champion he believes he runs the place, but he's going to be a fighting champion. Because he beat Colt in four minutes he's going to defend the title again against somebody who son in the first half of the show. It's not going to be Danielson, Aries or Strong because he's already beaten them so it's...ROH World Title Match: Bryan Danielson vs DeliriousThis was a very good match with Delerious selling his arse off for Dragon and Dragon just being Dragon. Danielson went after the mask and when Delerious used Danielson's aeroplane spin Danielson picked him up and threw him into the ring post in a nasty looking bump. Delerious kept making the ropes on cattle mutulation and after a great babyface comeback Danielson locked it in again, but Delerious was able to make the ropes, again. So Dragon layed in the forearms leading to a ref stoppage. Delerious looked great here with his mask ripped and bloodied up and the crowd were still cheering him as he left the ring.The Briscoes vs AJ Styles & Matt SydalDecent little tag match with the Briscoes getting the heat on Sydal. After the hot tag to Styles and few high spots Sydal is eventually pinned by Jay courtesy of the Jay driller.Jim Cornette comes to ring backed up by Adam Pearce and his baseball bat. CZW's John Zandig is out and a great debate ensues. Well not really. Cornette owns Zandig putting over ROH and Philadelphia to loud cheers and trashing CZW with a passion. Zandig tr[...]

January Clearout

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:52:07 PST

As Christmas takes it's toll on our bank accounts meaning January can be a slow and boring month as we have no money to do anything it's good to know that evil billionaires face the same problems. This past week has seen no less than 18 WWE contracts have been terminated. Releasing wrestlers is a common occurance in the company but why so many at this time? I think it's just a case of trimming the fat and getting rid of the people who aren't any use plus it opens up spots for some OVW guys to step up and make their mark in the big time. Let's look at the casulaties:

Sylvester Terkay - Arguably the most untalented of the knock out tap out connection so he's the one who gets the chop. With ECW house shows being cancelled there's no need for a huge roster and with no tag teams in ECW there was really no need for him to be around much longer.

CW Anderson - Christopher as he became known in his latest WWE run is one of the many ECW originals who gets the chop as the ECW roster is thinned out.

Jazz - Yes she was back with company. I remember seeing her in the ill-fated WWE vs ECW show back before the ECW PPV in June and apart from that I can't recall seeing her on TV at all. With no women's division on ECW and no need to have one Jazz is a goner.

Rodeny Mack - Jazz's husband is gone as well. I didn't even see him at all during this latest run.

Tony Mamaluke - The trimming of the ECW roster sees one half of the FBI hit the bricks. No loss.

Doug and Danny Basham - The Bashams are two guys who had rave reviews out of OVW but when they got called up were nothing more than two dudes who won the tag belts. This is another case of creative having nothing for them and letting them go rather than keeping two decent workers around to do jobs here and there. Both got little starts after they spilt in 2005 with Doug moving to Raw and getting a new gimmick but with injuries and the like and the lack of any decent tag division the Bashams are gone.

Al Snow - This is a surprising one on the surface but this simply releases him from his ECW duties, Al will be sticking around in his current OVW role.

The Gymini - An untalented tag team who made it on to TV for about three weeks before being pulled. No use them sticking around.

Gangrel - He was still employed. This is probably a case of a dude sitting at home being paid and somebody looked at the roster saw his name and decided to send him his release.

Also gone are Bill DeMott, Seth Skyfire, Jack Bull, Ryan Reeves, Mike Taylor, Tracy Taylor (his wife), Johnny Suede and Tony Santarelli all from OVW or Deep South. DeMott is the former Hugh Morris who was under fire from the office as his general behaviour towards the trainees was appaling so it's no surprise to see him gone. As for the others; I have no comment as I know nothing about them.

So the fat has been trimmed and costs have been cut. I'm sure there'll be some new signing in the very near future (Ace Steel who played Donald Trump is heavily rumoured to sign), a few people will be called up to the roster and this time next year eighteen more guys will be released.

Cena/Umaga Tonight

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:51:49 PST

I don't think I've looked forward to a match this long in a hell of a long time. Yes as a match it isn't going to be a five star classic with 72 different types of armbars being used by each competitor but it's a match that WWE fonally has me excited about. The beauty of it is it's so simple. Nobody has pinned (or even come close to pinning) Umaga since he debuted and Cena has been unstoppable for nearly two years so when these two forces collide and make the gesture that they want to kill one another - it creates interest in a fight. Who would have thought?

New ROH Champ

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:53:57 PST

Bryan Danielson's 15 month reign as ROH Champion has come to an end thanks to the man who calls himself Homicide! It remains to be seen if ROH will go with the TNA star as their long term champion or if somebody else will step up to make a name for themselves. This is pretty big news (if you like ROH) as title changes are very rare and the belt in ROH is of upmost importance.

ROH Unified DVD Review

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:48:59 PST

I just watched this show on DVD and it was almost as good as it was live. The main event rocked the world with Danielson and Nigel beating the crap out of each other. Nigel's bumps on the ringpost must have given him a concussion or something; my god he headbutted it so hard. Diving into the crowd isn't generally recomended but somehow ROH manage to get away with and Bryan Danielson's awesomeness allow him to do anything he wants in the world.

Colt Cabana continues to be great and this night was no exception scaring Spud at every opportunity in the four corners match. Matt Sydal has the potential to be really great, his spots are awesome but improving how he uses them will make him even better. Plus he's a sound guy after chatting to him at the show so he deserves some recongnition.

Roderick Strong and Austin Aries defenidng the world tag belts against the Briscoes was an awesome match live but seemed to have something missing on the DVD. All four guys are really really good but they're not going to last much longer if they continue to do half the stuff they did here. Chopping each other as hard as they can and being dropped on your head isn't exactly a carrer prolonging activity.

All the other matches on the card were pretty decent undercard matches with Colt doing double duty going against Chris Hero, Robbie Brookside defending his FWA belt in a match that was far better on DVD than it came across live and Davey Richards defeating Jimmy Rave in a match that was good but had far too many near falls.

Overall this show was awesome live and this trnasferred to DVD. You have to love the unification match simply for the passion from both men and the tag title match is excellent. ROH's first event outside the US had to be considered a success and that's why they're coming back!

Joe vs Angle Tonight

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:54:38 PST

Potentially the biggest match in wresting this year is tonight with Kurt Angle taking on Samoa Joe at TNA's Genesis PPV. The fact that I really can't say anything about it shows TNA problem; I have no clue what is going on and for a man that follows this business very closely in terms of backstage goings on and reading show reports it's a really bad thing.

It has the potential to be the hottest TNA angle of all time but it cries the inherent problem of TNA PPVs; they'll be great to watch but nobody will know this because nobody has bought it. If they wanted to capatalise on the signing of Angle this is the time to do it but the 1.0 rating from Thursday's prime time special shows that no person actually knows about TNA. Unfortunatly it's a problem that lies in the hand of TNA themselves.

This match will be great. But who will care?

Monty Brown Signs With WWE

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:51:29 PST

As expected Monty Brown has signed with WWE. He's a good talker and showed promise in TNA but the fact he was working three dates a month held him back from progressing. On the road with WWE working four times a week with the likes of Finlay, Regal and Benoit will do him the world of good and we could see something out of Monty.


Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:55:17 PST

And it was a fine fine show. So you can see the show for yourselves; so I'll give you a bit of info about the live show.

Chris Benoit is the best wrestler in the world. The crowd were so into his match and for a guy who doesn't really get any promo time it goes to show what work rate can do for you. Regal is exactly the same. Regal is so good that over half of the crowd booed him (in his home country). Indy guys need to watch him work and see how he sells and builds to his spots.

The crowd were into Big Dave the most out of anybody there and he did the celebration at the end of the show and shook everybody's hands (I gave him a slap on the chest) and the crowd were mad for him. He looked good in the ring and the crowd errupted to the hot tag. This guy is winning the belt at Survivor Series.

Funaki was the first babyace out and got a huge pop and a even a chant. KC James doesn't actually look that bad. Maybe it was just me.

Seeing the Undertaker live was pretty cool. He didn't do the long entrance so I hope he's going back to the more human (and realistic) gimmick.

Mr Kennedy is over huge but his promo on the screen got booed after a couple of minutes because he's so boring when his promos go over the 60 second mark.

Michael Cole got in the ring and got some people to do football chants. This guy is such a goof trying to tell us he was watching the football at the weekend. Don't make me laugh. JBL was well over. I was sat right by him and every so often we got a JBL chant going. I tries to get a Michael Cole chant going but nobody joined in. Surprisingly.

As always I had a great time at the show. The matches certainly anywhere near the ROH level earlier in the year but the atmosphere and the laughs made it a fun show. There's no TV from the UK in April and only three house shows so I think that's it for me until next year but ROH are back in Liverpool soon. Yay.

Raw is Boring (Again)

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:54:59 PST

I'm sorry to say it but it totally was. The whole DX thing is really boring me and although their stuff with the bounty was mildly funny (tell that to Chris Masters) it's doing nothing for me in terms of 'wow I can't wait for DX to turn up next week!'

Cena and Umaga wasn't bad for the three minutes it was on but I like the fact they're doing an angle for Survivor Series.

Jeff Hardy won back the IC Title. Most people have moaned that it switched hands but I like it. It's only a secondary title and as long as it's switching on a semi-regular basis most people will remeber there is a belt.

Jerry Lawler is the man at taking the masterlock, it even got over. It's shame three minutes later Masters was destroyed (by Hunter shock horror) and Todd was in the booth for the rest of the night.

Why couldn't Edge and Orton beat Piper and Flair decislvely for the tag belts. Just put Flair in there selling for ten minutes, hot tag to Piper, heels screw the faces and get the tag. Putting the belts on 'Rated RKO' (what a shit name) is a good thing as they obviosuly look better as tag team champs but having them have to beat a guy who won't wrestle for another twelve months (hopefully) and a guy who can be beaten week after week after week but still be over. They're meant to be the top heels; do something to show me you are.

Overall I was glad I had tickets for Smackdown and not this show.

One Year On

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:55:42 PST

I'm sure this isn't the first story you've read regarding the death of Eddie Guerrero twelve months ago. I'm sure it won't be the last and that's a testament to the life of Eddie and his impact on the wrestling world. But what has been the impact of his death on the wrestling world? In storyline terms it has been shitty. In terms of Smackdown it has been shitty. But what about the problem of drugs abuse in wrestling? I want to take a look:

Not long after this tragic event Vince McMahon gathered the roster in the locker room and announced drug testing would begin to take place. The policy wasn't implemented until April of this year, but giving WWE their due it has been very thorough and in my humble opinion has been very successful.

Straight after the announcement we saw a number of guys loose quite a bit of muscle including Chris Masters, Batista, Rey Mysterio and most noticebly Kurt Angle. Six months later after the official testing began we've seen a number of people taken from the road due to the various issues with pills. Joey Matthews and Chris Masters have been to rehab, Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam both recieved 30-day suspensions for their violation of the policy and Super Crazy disappered for a while to. Randy Orton completed an almost 60-day suspension for smoking something other than tabacco. Going by these numbers and the level of guys affected it seems the policy has worked, at least to a degree.

However there has been a few other violations that have seemilngly gone unpunished. Sabu was in the car with RVD when they were both arrested for possesing weed. Only RVD was suspended. Bobby Lashley and the Great Khali were pulled from the Great American Bash pay-per-view in July for elevated liver enzymes, a common side effect from taking steroid pills. They were only pulled on the day of the pay-per-view and this wasn't announced before people bought it. They were also back on the road within a week.

The biggest casualty of the policy has been Kurt Angle. Suspended for thirty and being told to go to rehab wouldn't stop Angle from taking his pain killers. Based on the fact that he may well die very soon WWE released him. Minutes later TNA were on the phone wanting to negotiate. It's that external factor that killed the policy last time round. WCW were simply picking up the firees and putting them on their show; with no drug testing. The fact is this will always be true. Angle certainly isn't making as much money in TNA as he was in WWE but he is Kurt Angle and wants to compete. As long as there is somewhere to compete he will compete. Unfortunalty Eddie's death won't save Angle's life.

For the most part however, I believe that the impementation of the policy has had resounding benefits. Angle is an anomoly, a guy who will work wherever he can work. But most of the roster is smartened up to the fact that WWE will remain for a long time their biggest pay day so sticking to their rules keep the cheques coming in. There will be those who flounder those rules and will continue to get away with it, I'm sure in later life they will feel the affect of this themselves but the drug policy has mostly had great affects on the whole of the roster and if anything good has come from the death of Eddie, this is it.

Survivor Series Card

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:56:07 PST

If you haven't been on and lets face who hasn't they've been announcing matches all week for Survivor Series and so far it's looking pretty damn cool. They've scrapped the triple threat survivor match between Raw, ECW and Smackdown and have mixed the teams up and upto now we have THREE traditional Survicor Series matches.

DX, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy vs Randy Orton, Edge, Mike Knox, Gregory Helms & Johhny Nitro. Punk and the men who said he couldn't work on the same team? One name does not fit here: Mike Knox?

John Cena, Bobby Lashley, Kane, Sabu & Rob Van Dam vs Umaga, Finlay, Big Show, Test & Finlay. This is going to be great.

Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Sergant Slaughter & Dusty Rhodes w/Arn Anderson vs The Spirit Squad w/Mitch. Yay the Spirit Squad are going to get squashed.

Chris Benoit vs Chavo Guerrero. A fine match for the undercard.

The build for the PPV hasn't been existent so far but I guarnatee this PPV will be great. I'll post my prediction nearer to the date.

Cena Is Raw

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:56:24 PST

Nothing was more apparent than statement on Raw this week. When he popped up in Umaga's beating of Maria segment (not a bad little way to get heat I suppose) the crowd went wild and Cena cut an awesome promo which was the highlight of the show.

The rest of the show was hit and miss. From what I remeber the first hour was good, the second bad and the main event was fun for what it was. I wasn't a fan of the fat stripper; that's what you get from beating Vince in the voting Bischoff.

Like I said, the first hour with the Eugene and Hacksaw segment (ratings), the Cena stuff and Hardy vs Nitro along with the opening segment were all fun but the second half with Shelton, Carlito, Masters, Lita and Mickie (the same gimmick on the same show great!) all sucked.

The reason no matches were announced for Survivor Series is because they're doing announcing the matches on the Internet given that 14.4 million (different) people visited for the voting last week. They believe they're owen hype. That's why Raw was all about Bischoff and not promoting Survivor Series. Two weeks to promote but the card is shaping up to be very nice. More about that later.

Cyber Sunday Sucked

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:56:44 PST

I had very little interest in this show going in and usually this leads to a good show (No Way Out, Judgment Day) but this show sucked.

Umaga vs Kane was a match I didn't want to see againand we got it again. A shocklingly high number of people voted for Kane, I don't get it. Their match wasn't terrible but it certainly wasn't worth paying for.

The texas tornado tag match was exactly what you'd expect; a cluster that Cryme Tyme won.

Carlito won the vote (as predicted) and wrestled a shitty match with Jeff Hardy. Carlito wrestled as the heel and didn't do much of the horrible high flying (he looks far better as a heel but still sucks). Hardy went over clean in a competitive match so it looks like Carlito is off to ECW.

Bischoff got voted in in a landslide. This would have been a great moment to see Vince's face. It took Orton and Edge forever to get the heat on DX and Hunter kicking out of an RKO was pointless in a tag match that was fourth on the card. The result finally went thr right way though. Overall n under par performance from the people involved in the match, it was mianly Orton and Hunter who pissed me off so when they pair off I hope Edge goes with Shawn. The sgment where Shawn was superkicking dudes in the hall was the highlight of the whole show.

Lita and Mickie wrestled in the lumberjill match and my god this match fucking blew. Lita won.

Flair and Piper won the tag belts! Yay. The Spirit Squad are splitting up! Roddy Peiper hasn't seen the sun since 1987!

The main event was what you'd expect from a triple threat with the people involved. Booker's title was on the line and he won so I doubt we'll hear about that victory considering they wanted Cena's belt on the line. K-Fed's apperance and interferance made perfect sense and allowed King Booker to become the champion of champions.

Overall it was a boring show with no brightspots except from the DX backstage deal. Faarooq made another appearnce but it has lost all it's comedy value by now. They were pushing that 14 million people voted. 14 million votes were cast, not by 14 million people. I reckon with seven stips to vote on and each person voting for each stip once it gives 2 million. Once people voting twice is taken into account I think a fair estimate is around 1.5 million. Not bad but certainly not great. Story of the show really.

Smackdown Happened on Friday

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:57:57 PST

Considering Michael Cole opened the show with "we're 48 hours removed from Cyber Sunday" boy did Smackdown do a shitty job in promoting the PPV. The key angle in the show was that Big Dave was protecting Booker (and thus the title he wanted back). Apparently guys from ECW and Raw were attempting to take out Booker (I heard no mention of this angle ever before this night) and I believe four goons turned up at the end of the night but I have no clue who they are. The show's clsoing angle with Batista and Finlay made little sense as it was promotion for next week rather than a show on Sunday. Yes it's a Raw PPV but they've been doing a ton of build on Smackdown so why not for one more night?

Michael Cole's commentary is starting to really piss me off. In the London/Kendrick tag match it was obvious someone was in his ear saying "get London and Kendrick over, they're exciting and fun to watch" so Cole said "boy London & Kendrick are fun to watch!"

Tatanka's new look and his reading from a script on his head had to be one of the highlights of this boring show. Then again Jimmy Wang Yang was on the show and that can only be a damn good thing. Cole's continuance is saying that Yang is a red neck is grating me, do you not get the joke?

Cyber Sunday Preview

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:58:12 PST

Cyber Sunday continues the tradition of bad build for PPVs with me caring about no match but Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes vs a team that didn't even appear on Raw last week.

Women's Championship - Lita vs Mickie James
This has to be a submission match. Has to be. Other than that Lita is probably going over with Mickie winning the title before Lita leaves at the end of November.

Umaga vs Benoit/Sandman/Kane
I hope Benoit gets voted in to see a Benoit match. Sandman winning would be funny as hell as Umaga vs Sandman in an impromptu match would suck so bad it would be great. I don't want to see Kane/Umaga part 34 so don't bother voting for him. Either way Umaga wins.

World Tag Team Championship - Ric Flair & Dusty Rhodes/Roddy Piper/Sergant Slaughter vs Spirit Squad
For comedy and nostalgia value Dusty must win this vote but Piper would be good to. Slaughter I don't really care for. Spirit Squad are splitting and we're going to have new tag belts which thse boys will make seem important because it's Ric motherfucking Flair and Dusty fucking Rhodes.

Intercontiental Championship - Jeff Hardy vs Johnny Nitro/Carlito/Shelton Benjaman
Carlito unfortunatley is winning the vote, Shelton would provide the better match (we've seen Nitro/Hardy a million times) but Hardy has to retain.

DX vs Edge & Randy Orton - Special Referee Vince McMahon/Eric Bischoff/Coach
Vince will be the ref but I want Bischoff hust to piss him off. I beg for the heels to go over and actually make this feud worth while but it seems they're intent on having DX beat everybody so it wouldn't surprise me if they won this one.

Champion of Champions Match for the World Championship/WWE Championship/ECW Championship - King Booker vs John Cena vs Big Show
Booker's title will be on the line and that's great because it basically means Booker has to win and I'm sure they'd rather have Cena or Show win over Booker. Unless they put the belt on Cena for the interpromational angle going into Survivor Series allowing them to have Cena on Smackdown every week.

Apparently there's some four way tag match as well. Cryme Tyme win.

I'm sure when all is said and done this PPV will be decent with a few good matches BUT the key problem is my (and most others) interest in it is absolutley nil.

Raw Sucked

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:58:29 PST

As a go home show for a PPV, a show that is meant to make you fo holy fuck I can't wait for DX to kick those damn dasterdly heels arses Raw freaking blew.

The ideal way to sell a PPV is for the heels (with a two on one advantage with chairs) to beat up the babyface in distress thus we pay to see the babyface(s) get their revange on Sunday. Of course the babyface was Hunter so he gets by the special ref stipulation and thr two on one with wepaons situation so on Sunday you're paying to see him do the same with his buddy HBK. Great job.

So the champions of champions match is Sunday. Raw vs Smackdown vs ECW's world champion, the first time ever they will be taking each other one (well they've been doing stupid interactions for weeks but nevermind). This is a historical moment. One brand could be left with no world champion and one brand could have two world title belts. So how do they promote this match? A stand off every week until you finally can't wait for them to scrap? Or how about killer promos on each other explaining how great and superior they are? Or how about telling stupid jokes and on the final push have one of the guys beat up a former (shitty) announcer. One of those three options stand out as sucking. Guess which one they went with.

Sure as hell I can't wait for Cyber Sunday! The women's submission match is going to be a classic.


Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:58:57 PST

Watching TNA's Bound For Glory Pay-Per-View one thing was clear; Keep It Simple, Stupid.

A card full of gimmick matches blended into one another and the result is the same as it is always; TNA have a huge roster of guys and you got to see every single one of them. However you don't care about any of them.

You don't need a fancy looking video package for every match on the card. When you do play a video package for three matches then they seem important and the crowd will get into them. We don't need a five minute explaination of the Monsters Ball or a throw away four corners tag match. Show us the match, have a good match and warm up the crowd for the reason we paid for the show.

If you're main event is going to be a typical Jeff Jarret vs Sting match in 2006 then don't load your card with spot fests and gimmicks. Everything has been done before the main event so the crowd will be silent in a high-spot free match.

I'm not even going to review every match on the card because in all honestly the THREE hardcore matches wore the crap out of me. I wanted to see men exchanging arm drags not high-spots. The battle royale was fun but shouldn't have been first on the card and no angle was played out after Austin Starr's victory. Monsters Ball was a throw away as was the four-way tag match in which AMW didn't care about. Eric Young vs Larry was what you'd expect but took away from the main event stipulation and Eric Young couldn't beat a man three times his age clean.

Christian vs Rhyno was a street fight which started in the back and ended up an in ring spot fest. Not good. The X-Title match was easily the best match on the card and is an example of what the undercard should be doing in TNA right now. The tag team cage match was very good but isn't a cage match no rules? So why was it a traditonal tag match where foreign objects weren't allowed? The main event sucked up until the last thirty seconds which was awesome. Jarrett clocked Sting with the guitar, the crowd thought they were getting the usual bullshit but Sting roared, the crowd went mad and the deathlock was applied and Sting was the new champion.

Of course the focus was on the fact that Jarrett lost the belt not that Sting had won it. Overall it was disapointing PPV with only two decent macthes all in all. The future looks good (at least next month) with Joe and Angle and Sting and Christian. We'll see if TNA fuck this one up like they did with this PPV.

Verdict: Could have been more.

TNA Pay-Per-View Tonight

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 03:59:39 PST

TNA's PPV from outside of the Impact Zone comes tonight and there isn't much of a buzz for the show. I'm predicting the same buyrate as usual. Mainly because of the horrible push to the main event, and the general everybody on TV Impact shows.

Angle debuted on Thursday in the zone and squared off with Joe and bearing in mind Joe is in a completley different match than Angle so this generated no buys. He's a special guest enforcer tonight so I can see Joe making his presence felt in the match, setting up a program with Sting (Sting's winning the belt), winning the belt and setting up the match with Angle.

The story of this whole PPV is not pushing the main event but pushing every single match so nobody cares about any match and therefore the pay-per-view. The Angle situation is somewhat intruiging but not enough to sell the PPV to people outside of the TNA fans. Two hot wrestlers in a match that seems important will sell PPVs (see UFC) not the chance that Kurt Angle might do something.

Smackdown Thoughts

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 04:02:18 PST

This weeks Smackdown seemed to be a huge show on paper but after I'd finished watching it felt somewhat empty. The main event was built as something huge but it was another swerve that takes away from the title match. When Big Dave finally gets his belt back it isn't going to mean as much if we're getting the match virtually every week. I didn't predict a finish with Cena and Big Show at ringside but I didn't think they'd make such a hige deal out of the match only to go the shitty finish. Big Dave looked terrible.

Rey/Chavo was a great match and for a purley selfish reason I was disapointed with Rey loosing as it means he won't be coming to Manchester in a couple of weeks. He does need knee surgery and hasn't had a break for the four years he's been with the company so he deserves it. I'm thinking they might go with Benoit/Chavo for the next month or so or Chavo's victory isn't going to mean anything if they don't do anything with him.

Where was Benoit? Where was Lashley?

I love William Regal. I like Taylor . These two in a tag team will be great. It seems they're sending them the way of Paul London and Spanky which I have no problem with at all.

Kane vs MVP could be the worst feud of the year. That is discounting Kennedy/Undertaker. Taker kills everybody, doesn't give anybody a chance to get over (ask Helms) and ultimatley this isn't doing anything for young Ken Kennedy.

I have no interest in Terkay and the dress wearing freak (he's just a guy who wears a dress - that's it).

Vince's Reaction To Ken vs Tito

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 04:02:31 PST

OK so Ken/Tito does a fucking ridiculously great rating. Bigger than any Raw main event ever. Bigger than anything on Spike ever. Vince's reaction was hilarious, he asked for his team to come up with ideas for when he signed Shamrock. Fortunatley Paul Heyman was on hand to explain that the rating was so huge because it was a feud that had been built and built, promoted and promoted and people wanted to see them... FIGHT!

Judging by this reaction I thought he might take note but then I saw Raw on Monday and I realised he's Vince McMahon.

Raw Is Random

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 04:02:53 PST

What a random episode of Raw aired this week. K-Fed, DX, Jackass - bizzare.

The opening segment was great for the time that Orton and Edge were on their own. As soon as Hunter came out and treated us to nob gags and some new gay jokes it went downhill. UFC is doing huge buyrates for all its pay-per-views and how many feuds are based on the fact that one man is saying the other is gay?

The huge announcement for the champions of champions match is that we get to the vote for the winner. Well they're not going to do a title change are they? They need the winner of the voting to be Show or Cena because Booker has no chance going over if the booking is left to the Vince. I think Big Show has started bowling Monday nights since he went to ECW; that shirt was not a shirt worn by a world champion.

Cryme Tyme debuted and beat the competition. It finally looks like the Spirit Squad are breaking up resulting in three of them being released in the next six months and Johnny and Kenny probably heading to Smackdown. Cryme Tyme will be over for a couple of weeks, they'll win the belts and nobody will give a shit afterwards. Their segment with Booker was great although it was mainly Booker.

Why did Jeff have to defend his title in a four way? Isn't that seen as really bad when the champ has to? Masters got pinned. Again.

Carlito was on this show for the sake of being on the show.

K-Fed was damn good. He didn't try and get himself over but got Nitro and Cena over. A good celebrity appearance as opposed to the Jackass boys who wouldn't sell for Umaga. Umaga is going to be so dead if they continue to have him hanging around the lower mid-card. If they're going to push him as an undefeated monster then the main event is the logical place for him. They won't put him in that position though so someday he's going to disappear and never be seen again.

WWE shit all over TNA by getting the Jackass guys. The X-division goofs have been doing the gimmick for months and WWE gets the appearance of the actual goofs.

The women's title tournament continues. YAY!

The main event was a decent for a Raw main event. Orton got injured which is why the match was somewhat short. The problem lies in the fact that Hunter won even after Orton cheated so now we're supposed to pay to see Hunter win again.

Overall a random show that did little to build anything for the future or get you excited about Cyber Sunday but was entertaining overall.

Jericho to TNA

Fri, 16 Feb 2007 04:03:47 PST

Well his band Fozzy anyhow. Not live though. A music video. On pay-per-view. This is a huge announcement and huge news for TNA (apparently). Add this to the annoucement that Bobby Roode is announcing his manager on said show I can't wait for the show! What's it called again?

If anybody out there thinks that Jericho is going to TNA then they're kidding themselves. Jericho is a smart guy and knows money lies with WWE. Signing with TNA cuts ties with Vince and for a guy like Jericho that could be carrer suicide. Jericho to TNA? Nuh uh. His music video is the closest TNA are getting to Y2J.