Total Wrestling

The Min Report: 5 MINute catch-up

The Min Report

Well what can I say. It’s been a bit of a crazy month since Mania. To be honest, among other things I been on a bit of a comedown ever since. I think the post-Mania Raw really blew the wind out of me to be honest. Miami was an incredible experience, and not without it’s gripes sure, but in a way I’m kinda glad I’ve let the dust settle a little to see how things have panned out before writing again. So this week this is just that a little general catch up combining a few notes to cover this weeks PPV and Raw to bring me back up to speed…

The Daniel Bryan Experiment AKA Project YES!
I don’t think I’ve ever swore so much at a wrestling incident than I did in the 10 minutes after the ’18 second debacle’. Whatever the Mania and post-Mania Raw crowd did to speak up (and I was a VERY vocal part of both crowds!), it still doesn’t detract from the fact that this booking was UTTER BULLSHIT. They’ve used a ‘kiss of death’ storyline using AJ that a month later is nowhere to being significant and is now largely forgotten too. It’s never been about Bryan losing. It’s about what we didn’t get showcased at the ‘Showcase’. What we got at Extreme Rules beaten Sheamus and Bryan was what we should have got at Mania and that still is a slap in the face to everyone who travelled to see BOTH of these guys get their recognition. The saving grace? After this weeks Raw, we get Punk v Bryan at a PPV – let’s hope they get the time they deserve, although 3 weeks in barely enough time to build some ‘reason’ behind a truly great payoff match. Wrestling wise, of course they’ll storm it as always, but for that reason I hope this is just the start of a really strong new ‘Best In The World’ feud. We got a few teasers of this before Mania and it was a joy to watch – here’s to more of the same.

Orton and Kane
One of the funniest things about this whole thing for me is that it’s played a massive part in the disappearance of Zack Ryder. I said Zack Ryder. What do you mean who? You know, the guy who who built himself up on the internet in his own show, made a fake belt, got the fans behind him, got a push with the help of Ziggler to ‘make’ him, won a title and then…got squashed by Kane soon after, didn’t quite have the balls to get retribution, and also got screwed by a hoeski too. He is the epitome of the “if you don’t get over as WWE wanted it to happen, we’ll take it from here…” curse. See Daniel Bryan.
Anyhoo, I digress. Orton and Kane has been a weird one – two great talents in their own rights but proof that sometimes a pairing just doesn’t work. They’ve had average meetings at best bar this weeks PPV. This pains me cause I’m a massive Orton fan and the pops he still receives despite not being overly pushed for over 6 months shows he STILL has the ‘it factor’. Such a shame that somehow in all his years of ringwork, Glen Jacobs can’t sell for shit (RKO a prime example) though – both baffling and inexcusable to be honest. And we moan about Kelly Kelly…

Punk and Jericho
Their match at Extreme Rules this week was a fine effort. Innovative and smart with a good pace, I’m not sure what was going on with the outfits though – I know this was a streetlight, but where was this street? Mykonos? Both looked like extras from a village people video, which would only have been made more evident if Jericho had stuck with the leather trousers. If there are gay bars in Texas, these two showed how you would dress for them. CM Punk must have tempted to change his name to SA (Saggy Arsed) Punk for the night – seriously dude, pull them up, you’re not black!  On watching their Mania match back it was a decent showing too, I just feel we missed out on a lot in this one altogether. Potentially a great long term WRESTLING rivalry, marred by WWE changing it’s mind over what it was doing with Jericho no doubt for so long, ended up being tainted by angles and promos that were unnecessary. Credit where it’s due, Jericho has still put Punk over and helped to elevate his title reign further, but not sure where Jericho goes from here. It’s a strange one.

Dolph Ziggler
Such a sore point for me this one. A guy who potentially could have been headlining Mania this year (was perfect to win the Rumble in my view and should have been pushed as soon as he dropped the US belt to Ryder) but reduced to a bit part player in a multi-man tag, and now jobbing to anyone WWE want to look good. Brodus Clay? Come the fuck on. This is guy who should either be back holding the US or IC belt to elevate it’s status, or challenging the World/WWE champ in entertaining matches. The Hennig comparisons have been around for a long time, but it’s now becoming clear that it’s TOO true – the best worker never to be the top guy? Perhaps (and lets be honest no-one counts the brief HW title win). I just wish that WWE’s view was “this guy looks great, the fans love him, and he works his arse off every night making himself look great but his opponent a million bucks too…let’s reward him” rather than, “this guy looks great, the fans love him, and he works his arse off every night…let’s feed him horsehit we’ve created to make them look good”.  In 6 months time I fear we’ll be talking the same about Cody Rhodes who took some sterling bumps at Extreme Rules and is also ready for the ‘step up’.  Both guys now wear long, sleeveless jackets to the ring – I have no idea if this has any bearing?!

John Cena
Pre-Mania we got glimpses of the good – the attitude-style, gimmick Cena that we didn’t mind being pushed as ling as it was no higher than the US title. Let’s get to the brass tacks here – 7 years of strong pushing and the guy is still the most unbelievable seller in the business, offering no conviction that he could actually have the tools to beat anyone. I’ll never take away his love for the business which is clear, but I’m sorry I’m a purist – the star of the show should be the guy who has honed his craft to become the BEST – not pushed because kids like bright colours and are stupid. Which leads me to this…

Brock Lesnar
Crazy, crazy few weeks for this guy. To say the post-Mania Raw crowd went apeshit for Brock is the biggest understatement ever. His return was great and he gave us all what we wanted. No-one seems to have commented on what was one of the best thing about his return that night. It was the way he kicked away Cena’s cap after the F5. So poignant and embodied the whole ethos of bringing legitimacy back better than any promo could have done.
Sunday’s PPV was crazy – he made Cena look a million bucks because he went in stiff (ahem) and forced Cena to act in reality not the cartoon bullshit we’ve come to expect. Then Cena cut the ‘off the cuff’ promo and ruined it all. If rumours about Brock’s ‘strop’ backstage are true, I don’t blame him. Cena SHOULD have left on a stretcher and disappeared for a while. I fear WWE have bottled it once again, and are missing the bigger picture.  The main trouble with Brock though? UFC has legitimised him as a real fighter and we all KNOW he could hand ANYONE in WWE their arse at will. When Ken Shamrock came to WWE, the majority of the public weren’t au fait enough to recognise this, but now UFC is so big we are. I fear this is why Brock will ultimately be ill-used…if he’s not dominant (at least initially) we won’t buy it. Vince seems resolute in protecting HIS products as always. Massive shame. The premise of The Rock coming back was addressing/acknowledging that the fans are tired of Super Cena, as was the premise of Brock’s return. Who’s still the only visible (ham)face? You’ve guessed it. Another slap in the face to the fans.

Lillian Garcia
Sung beautifully at Mania…but continues to get far too much wrong on a weekly basis, and combines it with a penchant for falling over without good reason. I’d say get rid of her, but she’s turning into a very good drinking game!

Triple H. The Ego’s still landing.
This doesn’t need a lot to spell it out really. Taker gets helped out of Mania 27 = we don’t see him for nearly a year after. Trip gets helped out of Mania 28…and he turns up a month later.  Mania was supposed to be the ‘End of an Era’ – if so, what the fuck are you doing back on my TV screen? Take your ego back to the office and start listening to the real fans. People power? I don’t think so.

The Return of the Local Jobber!
I’m all for this! It’s what we grew up on. Also jokes aside, this is how you make new stars on TV – it’s introduces their moves and gimmicks, and makes them look strong without damaging any of the current mid-upper card talent. Sure, we shouldn’t be seeing ‘local athletes’ on PPV’s against Goldb…sorry Ryback, but on weekly TV I honestly don’t have a problem with this. Take away all the crap from Raw and SD every week, and you’ve got about 30 mins minimum of TV time to build these new stars. It’s not rocket science.

WWE needs to stop changing it’s mind!
What’s good for business seems to be a recurring theme doesn’t it.  They’ll always claimed that things are what was planned won’t they but we know it’s not true. Why? Because stuff just doesn’t make sense. That’s NOT good for business in my book. If things were planned out properly, we’d get continuity and  a sense of history in the storylines. They say winning and losing doesn’t matter in wrestling. I say it should. Vince wants to claim they ‘make movies’ every week, month etc – really? Let me say this – when a movie doesn’t mask sense, people don’t watch it again. Johnny Ace told Punk weeks ago that Tensai would be coming for him (natural disaster). Is this going to happen? Seems not at the moment. Or is he just going to be the lackey in his new feud with Cena? Does anyone care anymore already? If he was going to be a henchman, why not start him as one and then have him go in a singles feud afterwards – sometimes the tried and tested formula DOES work. Although on this note, there is an opportunity for Tensai to get involved in the Punk/Bryan match still to thread this in…and yes of course, this does mean, once again, tainting what could be a great pure WRESTLING feud.
Also, going back to Cena and Brock, what’s not good for business is building up a ‘wrecking machine’ to have him loose in his first match, and then screw him (whether planned or not, it doesn’t matter) on the mic ON AIR afterwards. Have some balls and conviction WWE!

Titles mean nothing! Ahhhhhhh!
What’s been happening in the championship picture lately? Rock states he wants to be the champ – how is he gonna do that if he’s not around? Big titles are now what the IC belt used to be – it’s where the workers get recognised. The lower belts are for the gimmick acts who sell merch to kids, and thus replica belts. It’s why Cody and Ziggler need a push out of this market before it’s all too late.
Layla comes back and wins Divas title in first match back – don’t you have to earn a shot? Although we’re reminded of Kharma, let’s forget her – clearly her head isn’t there…and more to the point there’s other talent on the roster that could be given better time.
One Bella twin gets the belt just so they both had held it before they left the WWE, Big Show gets the IC belt just so he has the full set before he retires. What happened to getting a belt because you were a talent and could carry a company?
US champ lost in in a 4 minute match this week. Tag titles have been so stop/start it’s untrue. All of these are generally only defended in dark matches or on TV. If WWE doesn’t act like it cares about it’s champs, why should we?

Bit of fun to end with some quotes and observations from this week:

Jerry Lawler,  “Something broken other than that table”  If Ziggler’s on the prowl, I’m guessing its a hymen.

Booker T called Daniel Bryan a “professor”. Well that’s great isn’t it? We have a ‘Professor’, ‘a Doctor’ of Thuganomics,  and a guy in Kane who used to be a ‘Dentist’ too. It’s nice to know that some of these guys have a trade to fall back on at least.

During this weeks PPV, I think Cole claimed “Sheamus is sucking wind”. Well thats what happens when you only book 4 minute matches every week and fill the rest of the show with crap. Stars look spent when they are asked to go for for 20 mins plus. Just saying.

Booker continues to make me die with his comments, in fact I might make it a weekly feature. In trying to sell Sheamus’ injury against Daniel Bryan – “That arm is black and blue”. It’s not Booker, it’s still whiter than a sheet in a Persil advert. Sheamus is continuously so white he’s actually the prime suspect into the investigation for Michael Jackson faking his own death.  The only thing that’s black and blue are Booker’s home videos.

In closing here’s a little flashback. Watching the promo this week for the new Edge DVD, it started with the line, “Everyone has a dream…”  For some reason reminded me of this great promo from Piper before the 1992 rumble match with The Mountie. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Simm Minogue.

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