For the past few weeks, a large portion of the Internet Wrestling Community has brought up the age-old rumor that John Cena looks to be on the verge of a heel turn. Since the weeks leading up to Survivor Series, the hours leading up to the Pay-Per-View, and during recent episodes of RAW, fans have been insisting that a Cena heel turn is on it's way. They think now is the perfect time for WWE to pull the trigger, based mainly on The Rock's recent return to the company and CM Punk's ascension to the RAW main-event.
Sorry to bust your bubble, but Cena isn't turning heel anytime soon. If Punk can maintain his momentum for the long-run, then I would not rule out WWE experimenting with a Cena heel turn sometime in 2012, even briefly. But don't count on it happening anytime soon, although Cena turning heel to screw Zack Ryder's shot at the United States Championship would make for interesting television. Such a move would even be considered by some a "passing of the torch" from Cena to Ryder. Sadly, I'm not that optimistic, but I'll keep my fingers crossed just in case.
The point is, people are so preoccupied with turning John Cena heel that they tend to forget there are dozens of other superstars on the WWE roster. Among them are several talents who need to turn heel sooner rather than later. To be more specific, I am ta;king about:
Kofi Kingston: Unlike Cena, Kofi has been a babyface his entire WWE career. Since his ECW debut, Kofi has been drafted to and competed on both RAW and Smackdown! for lengthy amounts of time. While one would argue that Kofi has been quite successful during his fairly short tenure with the company, he is yet to be featured regularly in the main-event. In fact, apart from a handful of Elimination Chamber matches (one which didn't go very well), Kofi has received very few opportunities at the world title. A heel turn could change all that. Rather than being the happy, go-lucky guy who's content with being stuck in the midcard, Kofi could show off a new mean streak that would not only freshen-up his character, but shoot him up the card as well.
Rey Mysterio: I know he's out with an injury, but if you've been following my columns over the years, then you'll know I've been dying for a Mysterio heel turn since he won the world title at Wrestlemania 22. People often forget that Cena has been a face since 2004/2005, but Rey Mysterio has NEVER been a heel in the WWE, and he debuted all the way at the start of the 21st Century. I've seen a lot of people counter the "heel Mysterio" argument by saying that Mysterio's career is on it's final legs, and WWE would lose too much merchandise sales. I can understand the reasoning behind Mysterio wanted to retire as a babyface, but if WWE opts to keep Sin Cara around, and continues pushing him hard, then the company won't have to worry about lost mask sales or whatever. If Mysterio agrees to it, then a heel turn would a nice change of pace for both the master of the 619 and the fans (except the little kids).
Santino: If you read my RAW Pros & Cons column yesterday, then you'll know what I think about Santino's current character. If not, I'll say it again: face Santino has lost most of his appeal and is in danger of becoming irrelevant. Since returning from a car accident, Santino has done almost nothing but job, and he's appearing in less and less backstage skits as the months go by. None of this is really Santino's fault, in fact much of the blame can probably be put on the creative team for running out of new material for Santino. However, I think many people will agree that Santino's best work came when he was a heel. He was able to insult his opponents more easily, and would get good reactions, which is fairly difficult to achieve in today's PG environment. I remember a time when Santino was the Intercontinental Champion, Beth Phoenix was the women's champion, and they were RAW's "power couple". Ah, the good old days...
Kofi, Mysterio, Santino - I think these three guys have become staler than Cena recently. Of course, that's just my opinion, but is it ludicrous to see any of those guys turning heel BEFORE Cena? Probably not.
What do you think? Would any or all of these superstars be better off as heels? Can you name anyone else in dire need of a heel turn?
2. Day 398
As we all know, the WWE Network is coming. In fact, if everything goes according to plan, the new station is set to debut on April 1, 2012, which coincides with Wrestlemania 28. Apart from a handful of new shows, the probability of WWE moving most of their Pay-Per-Views to the station, as well as the aforementioned launch date, very little is known about the upcoming network. But one show that will be airing and debuting on the WWE Network is the Legends' House. If you haven't heard about it, or didn't guess by the title, Legends' House will be a reality show that follows a cast of WWE legends and Hall of Famers who will live together under the same roof. From my understanding, it will be similar to CBS's Big Brother or MTV's The Real World, which would be a good thing, as both those series are entertaining in their own right.
The fans know that Legends' House is coming, but they don't know which superstars and divas will be appearing on the show. I have no clue myself, but as always, I'm willing to take a few guesses.
The Iron Sheik: Considering that Sheik has already appeared in the mini-trailer for the show, this isn't really a "prediction", but I still want to talk about it. In my opinion, Sheik is going to turn Legends' House upside down. If you followed Sheik's career, if you remember some of his recent RAW cameos, hell, if you follow Shiek on Twitter, you might have noticed that Shiek is a bit crazy. He curses, he rants, he goes completely off track, it's hilarious. Not only that, but half the time he's ranting on Hulk Hogan. That's why Sheik is going to make this show great. Even if his fellow legends are unexciting or peaceful (which I sincerely doubt), you can count on Sheik to bring a lot of drama and unexpectedness to the show.
Dusty Rhodes: Speaking of funny superstars on Twitter, look no further than "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes has always had a playful personality, and the man embodies charisma. Don't forget he's no slouch on the microphone, either. Even at an older age, Rhodes is still one of the best talkers to ever step inside a WWE ring. I'm sure if Rhodes steps into Legends' House he'll bring his straight-forward, Redneck attitude with him and help make the show a lot of fun.
Roddy Piper: This is another easy one. "Hot Rod" proved less than two weeks ago on Monday Night RAW that he's still got it, at least when it comes to talking. Piper knows how to piss you off, but he can do so in entertaining fashion. Slide Piper into a house with seven other legends, and you have a recipe for success. Piper will undoubtedly play an arrogant heel and drive his housemates insane with his antics. Not only that, but if the show features a lot of side-interviews, you can look forward to hearing Piper's thoughts on his housemates, as he's never been one to hold anything back. Piper could be one of the most exciting housemates, and it wouldn't shock me at all.
Sgt. Slaughter: Friends, this is where the fun begins. Sheik, Rhodes, and Piper are almost guaranteed to be the house's resident troublemakers, but their act will get old quick if there's nobody around to put them in their place. Enter Sgt. Slaughter. The Hall of Famer has a strict, no-nonsense persona, and you know he's not going to stand by and let guys like Piper and Sheik create drama in the house. Slaughter is bound to try and keep them in line, but I would not be surprised if it results in Slaughter engaging in a house war with the "bad boys". Slaughter vs. Piper and Sheik could make for some exciting television.
Booker T: Since Booker recently began feuding with Cody Rhodes on television and house shows, he probably won't have time to participate in the show's filming. But let's say Cody does take out Booker "indefinitely" (kayfabe, of course), thus freeing Booker to join the cast of Legends' House. I think he would be a great addition to the house mainly because of his comic timing and hilarious facial expressions. Watching Booker roam the house and try not to cause any drama, only to be witness to the other legends' "disputes" would be amazing. I can just imagine Booker walking into a war of words between Piper and Sheik and proclaiming, "Tell me...you didn't just say that". Add in a spinarooni every now and then and Booker's good to go.
Goldust: If Booker T is joining Legends' House, then WWE would be insane to not reunite Booker with his former tag team partner, Goldust. Everytime these two teamed together or appeared in a backstage segment, they had me dying of laughter because of their awkward chemistry. If they're reunited and forced to live in the same house together, well, you can basically guarantee some funny shit's about to go down. Oh, and keep in mind that I also cast Goldust's father Dusty in the house as well. All we're missing is Cody and we'd have a family reunion before our eyes.
Trish Stratus: Every reality show (especially ones that take place inside a house) needs at least one woman around. Partly so they have someone around to do the dishes, and partly because no one wants to watch a sausage-fest. As far as legends go, Trish is probably the biggest-name diva that is available (I wanted to include Mae Young, but her mobility has greatly decreased). Undoubtedly Trish would be hit on by guys like Piper and Sheik, and it would be funny to see Trish reject them every time they tried a move. Let's not forget that Trish is naturally funny as well. She may be the youngest person living in the house, but I don't think Trish would feel too out of place.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin: The man is not ready to have his final match yet? No problem. Stick Austin in Legends' House and let the good times roll. Not only does Austin have a history with half the house, but Stone Cold would probably act much the same way he did when he was an active wrestler. Not taking orders from anyone, calling people out on their bullshit, being a badass - for Austin, it would be just another day at work, but without the wrestling and the Stone Cold Stunners. Adding Austin is also a good business move because it gives fans who may not be too familiar with legends like Sheik and Dusty a reason to watch the show. I for one would love to see another brawl between Booker and Austin, but instead of fighting at a grocery store, this time they can knock each other senseless in the kitchen
Sheik. Rhodes. Piper. Slaughter. Booker. Goldust. Trish. Austin. That seems like a good mix of wrestling personalities from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Whether or not the show ends up having more than eight people per season, I believe that's a more-than-stellar cast of names to create some exciting television.
How about you, Mr. (and Miss) Reader? Which legend would YOU like to see in Legends' House?
3. Day 399
It's rare that I don't work on a Thursday, so last night I was presented with two options: either watch Impact Wrestling or play WWE '12. After logging on to Lords of Pain to check out the non-spoiler mine-up for Impact, I decided to pass on TNA (sorry, but if Garrett Bischoff is wrestling, I'm not watching). So, I plugged WWE '12 into my Xbox 360, and played the "Road To Wrestlemania" storyline, which is a lot of fun. I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't yet had a chance to rent or buy the game, but last night I found myself playing through a really cool storyline consisting of a stable who called themselves "The United Kingdom".
I believe I talked about this group not too long ago, but let me refresh your memory. In WWE '12, "The United Kingdom" is a faction made up of Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, and William Regal. They even have their own theme music and ring entrance. With Regal acting as the group's mentor, the rest of the stable are booked in dominating fashion, even going on to become the number one contenders to every singles title (crazy, I know). Although I only made it up to the TLC Pay-Per-View in the game's storyline, I am very intrigued by the plot so far.
In fact, I am so intrigued that I couldn't help but wonder if WWE could still pull off "The United Kingdom" stable in their actual storylines. The short answer would probably be NO. Sheamus turned face not that long ago, and is doing a really good job getting over as one. William Regal does more commentating than he does wrestling, and acts more like a face than a heel nowadays. Wade Barrett is engaged in a high-profile feud with Randy Orton, and appears on the edge of breaking into the Smackdown! main-event scene. As for Drew McIntyre, well, I think it's safe to say that at least 75% of the fans remember the last time they saw McIntyre on television (unless they're regular viewers of "Superstars").
However, I remain optimistic that "The United Kingdom" could still be formed. The only catch - it would not consist of those four men. Sheamus and Barrett are having successful singles careers on Smackdown! and placing them in a mini-stable would probably hinder their growth rather than nurture it, so let's count those two out. Regal and McIntyre are doing next to nothing, and despite being on different brands, I say put them together (besides, WWE obviously doesn't care about the brand split anymore). But you can't have those two go at it alone, as many would look at them and see another random, jobber tag team.
That is, until they add a third member to the group. I know a large portion of the IWC aren't crazy about this superstar, but there's no denying he's a powerhouse, and every stable needs an enforcer. Therefore, I would pair Regal and McIntyre with Mason Ryan. Since Ryan comes from Wales, he would obviously fit the criteria of hailing from 'The United Kingdom". Not only that, but you would have England, Scotland, and Wales all being represented, which would make many U.K. fans quite proud. As long as they're booked correctly, of course.
I'm sure you're doubting the chances of Regal, McIntyre, and Ryan being successful, but you shouldn't. What I would do is have Regal be the mouthpiece and leader of the group, similar to the way he introduced Vladimir Koslov and Ezekiel Jackson as a tag team in ECW a few years back. Koslov, Jackson, and Regal were quite the force for several months, until WWE decided they weren't clicking and had Jackson turn on his team-mates (which was a mistake, as you can imagine). But McIntyre and Ryan are both young - they don't have to be pushed to the main-event by the end of 2012. They could learn a lot from teaming with Regal for at least a year. McIntyre could find the missing link with the audience, and Ryan could even improve his craft inside the ring. As for Regal, it would give him a chance to rest his body while remaining on television.
"The United Kingdom" stable consisting of Sheamus, Barrett, McIntyre, and Regal was a great idea, but that doesn't mean a modified version of the group won't be able to succeed. Considering WWE has nothing better to do with McIntyre, Regal, and Ryan at the moment, why not put them all together and see if they can make an impact? After all, stranger things have happened in the WWE before.
4. Day 400
Writer's Note: Today's edition of Pros & Cons won't be as long as usual, as I have an exam to study for. Still, I'll do my best to cover the important stuff.
PRO: Cody Rhodes
The Intercontinental Champion has been flying under the radar since his big win at Survivor Series last month, but that all changed last night. Not only did his feud with Booker T heat up, but Rhodes took a stab at commentary and even got involved with Daniel Bryan. In fact, Rhodes probably got more television time on Smackdown! than any other superstar last night, which is a good thing. I for one am looking forward to his upcoming title defense at TLC against Booker T.
CON: Michael Cole
A lot of people rag on Booker's commentary, but you have to admit, Booker does a decent job of putting Cole in his place when he goes overboard. Unfortunately, Booker was absent from commentary all night long, and Josh Matthews was unable to make Cole shut up. What resulted was commentary so obnoxious that I seriously considered muting my television on more than one occasion. If Cole wants to pick a fight with Daniel Bryan, that's fine, but don't spend the entire evening talking about yourself, Bryan, and Booker/Rhodes. Also, that shot at J.R. was just NASTY.
PRO: Barrett vs. Jackson
This was a definite improvement from their series of matches earlier this year. I don't know if it's because Zeke is slowly improving in the ring or if because Barrett wasn't booked like a wimp, but whatever the missing ingredient was, it worked. The seven minutes and fifty-three seconds flew by, and it was cool to see Barrett win with a move other than Wasteland, as it gives the move more credibility. A surprisingly good choice for first match of the night.
PRO: Zack Ryder squashing Heath Slater
Honestly, there was nothing to complain about here. Ryder got another big reaction, squashed Heath Slater in just over a minute (who got the dreaded jobber entrance, by the way), and built himself momentum heading into TLC next Sunday. Even if you're not a Broski, chances are you hate Slater even more. Technically, everyone wins.
PRO: Henry and Big Show
I found it a bit strange that their faceoff took place halfway through the show, but that didn't take away from it's impact. Despite a weak moment or two ("Promise not to hit me, Big Show" - really?), I thought both men did a really good job of selling their Chairs match at TLC next week. The suckerpunch from Henry was expected, but I was shocked to see Big Show totally own Henry once again. After losing to Ryder on RAW and being decimated by Show on Smackdown!, you have to wonder how Henry will be booked when he faces John Cena on RAW this Monday.
CON: The brand split continues to look like a joke
I can live with RAW Supershow every week as it allows WWE to showcase their Smackdown! talent twice a week on television, but if they're going to do the same for Smackdown!, at least explain WHY. David Otunga was booked to face Sheamus last night because Otunga decided to "show up". As stupid as that explanation was, at least we got a storyline excuse for Otunga being on Smackdown!. The same can't be said about Dolph Ziggler. I didn't know the United States Champion has the power to show up on any show he wants. If WWE are going to merge the brands, they shouldn't half-ass it. At this rate, the 2012 WWE Draft will be a complete waste of time.
PRO: Ziggler vs. Orton
What's this? Ziggler wrestling in the show's main-event? For some reason, I'm not surprised. You can tell WWE are itching to push this guy up the card, and I think the fans are ready for it. As for the match itself, it was short but exciting. Orton going for one quick pin after another was different, but it made sense. Both men showed off their in-ring chemistry, and although Orton "beating the clock" was a bit surprising, it also brings me to the final Con of the night...
CON: "Super Orton" strikes again
Like I said, I enjoyed the match, but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth. Barrett getting involved and trying to cost Orton the match was clever, but for Orton to recover and hit Ziggler with an RKO made the U.S. Champion look rather weak, in my opinion. I mean, Orton was rammed face-first into the ring post, and Ziggler had almost a minute to recover inside the ring. Yet, Ziggler ended up walking right into an RKO and Orton picked up the win with two seconds remaining on the clock. I would have preferred to see time run out on Orton, giving Ziggler the victory, and Orton taking out his frustration on Ziggler post-match. Instead, Ziggler came across as an after-thought, which is a real shame. A disappointing ending to a good show.
#ThankYouSheamus: Lillian Garcia's BACK... Cody Rhodes continuing to shine...Barrett vs. Zeke...Zack Ryder being booked strongly...Ted DiBiase evolving into an interesting babyface...Henry and Show's faceoff...Sheamus vs. Otunga being better than I expected...Rhodes vs. Bryan...Rhodes vs. Booker T at TLC...Orton vs. Ziggler
#****YouHornswoggle: No Booker T on commentary...Michael Cole being annoying as hell...Jinder Mahal AND Heath Slater still having a job...Hornswoggle continuing to suck...Zero brand warfare...The return of "Super Orton"
5. Day 401
Writer’s Note: Day 397 saw me discuss several superstars who I feel are in desperate need of a heel turn. Today’s column is going to be a continuation of that idea, but in the opposite sense. Assuming that John Cena does one day turn heel and if we pretend that the current roster sees no face or heel turns until then, I’m going to list several heels who could “lighten up” and change their evil ways. So let’s get started.
Jack Swagger: I’ve been a big fan of The All-American American since his reign as ECW Champion several years ago, but even I have grown tired of his current gimmick. Not only has he dropped to midcard/borderline jobber status, but Swagger does very little to get the crowd to boo him. He may act cocky, but considering how rarely he wins a match, the fans no longer take him seriously. I would remedy that situation by turning Swagger face (a move that should have occurred halfway through the Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler feud earlier this year). I think Swagger would pull off being a face a lot better than most people expect him to.
Alberto Del Rio: I agree 10000% with my homie Romeo - the former WWE Champion would be more over with the fans as a face than a heel. I like Del Rio, and did not despise his recent title reigns as much as some people did, but it’s impossible to notice the lack of heat he draws from the crowd. In fact, probably the only time the crowd boos him is as soon as Ricardo Rodriguez is introduced and Del Rio’s music plays. It’s always a bad sign when a ring announcer gets more heat than a superstar (a former world champion at that). However, I think Del Rio could win the crowd over with his in-ring skills alone, and maybe even show off a comedic side to the audience. Hey, anything would be better than having to hear about his “destiny”.
The Miz: Call me crazy, but I feel that if done the correct way, The Miz turning face could go down as a huge moment in WWE history. Don’t let his booking over the past few months fool you – Miz is still one of the top guys in WWE and a key player in the future. That’s why the day Cena does finally turn heel, Miz being a face would lessen the blow. No matter what you think about his ability in the ring, I think The Miz could really pull his weight as a top face. However, I would have Miz spend time on Smackdown! as a face first, as it would bring a whole new dynamic to the blue brand. He is The Miz, and he is awesome, both as a heel and a future babyface.
Wade Barrett: This one may be a bit of a leap, but I am really interested in seeing Barrett work as a face. The NXT Season One winner always brings it when he’s on television, both in-ring and on the mic, and he’s quite good at getting the crowd riled up. Considering Barrett is in his 30s, and comes across as a natural heel, it would not shock me if Barrett either NEVER turns face, or if he does, it’s for a very brief period of time. It’s that curiosity that makes me want to see Barrett one day play a face. Can he get the crowd to cheer for him, or will he be “ratings poison”? Personally, I would like to find out sooner rather than later.
Dolph Ziggler: Despite being recently re-branded as “Show-off” (did I mention I HATE that nickname?), among the five superstars discussed in today’s column, Ziggler probably has the greatest chance of turning face. Yes, even more so than Swagger. Why? First of all, everyone knows his relationship with Vickie Guerrero is on thin ice and I cannot see the two of them remaining as a unit throughout 2012, no freaking way. But I also feel Ziggler is a feud away from jumping into the main-event scene. To do so, Ziggler needs to be a face. The company knows Ziggler can pull off great matches with almost anybody on the roster, and they know Ziggler vs. Punk, Ziggler vs. Cena and Ziggler vs. Orton can be money feuds one day. That’s why they’re going to make us – the fans – wait as long as possible to see those rivalries develop. I think there’s a greater likelihood of WWE giving us Ziggler vs. Miz or Ziggler vs. Del Rio before any of the aforementioned feuds. Right now, Ziggler is definitely “the show-stealer”, and WWE are going to milk him for all he’s worth – just not too quickly.
Once again, I ask you, the reader, what do you think? Do you see any of these guys turning face in 2012? If so, who?
6. Day 402
If you disagree with the above equation, then you must not be a member of TNA management. Now, I'm not the biggest TNA fan on the planet, but I do my best to catch Impact whenever I get the chance. I also purchase Bound For Glory on a yearly basis, no matter what the card looks like. But if you've been following TNA since last October's Bound For Glory, one thing has been made painfully obvious - the company sees James Storm as a bigger star than his former tag team partner, Bobby Roode.
Considering Roode is the reigning TNA world champion, you probably think I'm on drugs for claiming Storm is a bigger player than Roode. BUT, there's always more to the story than meets the eye. In case you missed it, TNA spent months building up Roode as a top babyface and someone who can defeat Kurt Angle in the main-event of Bound For Glory. They did such a good job of booking Roode as a top contender that 99% of the IWC was convinced Roode was leaving Bound For Glory as the new world heavyweight champion.
But that didn't happen. For reasons unknown (many blame Hulk Hogan), Kurt Angle defeated Roode at Bound For Glory and as a result, crushed much of Roode's momentum. How did TNA respond to the backlash? They had Angle drop the world title to James Storm (Roode's Beer Money, Inc. partner at the time) at the very next set of Impact tapings. Although Roode would end up turning heel and defeating Storm for the world title two weeks (or days) later, the fact of the matter remains: Storm won the TNA world title before Roode.
Fast-forward to last night's Pay-Per-View, Final Resolution. Bobby Roode is scheduled to defend his title against former Fortune ally Aj Styles in a 30-minute IronMan match, while James Storm would square off against Kurt Angle in another high-profile match. Prior to the event, I predicted Roode would retain his title against Styles, while Angle would defeat Storm. Boy, was I wrong. Roode vs. Styles ended in a DRAW (yes, the main-event of a PPV ended in stalemate!!), which kept both guys looking strong, but did little to boost Roode's credibility as a champion. Meanwhile, Storm went on to shock the world by getting a major victory over Kurt Angle.
Let me get this straight. Storm won the world title by defeating Angle, arguably the company's biggest star, in less than five minutes; Roode won the title by defeating Storm, but only because he cheated. Angle and Roode wrestled in the main-event of TNA's biggest PPV of the year, but Roode lost. Storm defeated Angle at Final Resolution, while Roode did not defeat Aj Styles to retain the title. In other words, Storm won the world title BEFORE Roode, and has defeated Kurt Angle not once, but TWICE, while Roode has never beaten Angle and is being booked as a fairly weak champion. From a fan's viewpoint, despite only holding the world title for two weeks, Storm appears to have a brighter future than the current champion, Bobby Roode.
I know many people will disagree with me on this topic - especially since Storm never successfully defended his world title, unlike Roode - but TNA keeps on dropping hints that Storm is higher on management's pecking order than Roode is. Hell, it's possible that my theory is completely wrong, and 2012 will see Roode emerge as a real main-eventer, while Storm will get lost in the shuffle. But on this day - December 12, 2011 - I see TNA grooming Storm to be their next big star, not Roode.
What do you think? Am I on to something, or am I over-analyzing again? Are you on Team Storm or Team Roode?
7. Day 403
CON: The entire first hour of RAW
In all seriousness, the first hour of RAW (8pm-9pm) was possibly the worst hour of wrestling that I have ever seen in my life. Apart from CM Punk's acceptance speech and the Johnny Ace "tribute", it was one disastrous segment after another. From Michael Cole rapping, to J.R. forgetting his lines, to Mick Foley and Ted DiBiase Sr.'s failed attempt at comedy, it was a painful hour to get through. To make matters worse, we only got ONE wrestling match during that hour - a five-minute, no-contest between Wade Barrett and The Big Show. That's right, WWE only managed to squeeze five minutes (at most) of wrestling in over an hour. Not even the post-Bound For Glory edition of TNA Impact had that little amount of wrestling! Most fans would have been better off just tuning into the regular start time of 9pm. I do feel bad for those poor, poor fans in attendance. Note to self: never buy tickets for a Slammy-edition of RAW.
CON: Triple H's acceptance speech/promo
In what can only be described as the most lackluster return since The Awesome Truth were rehired in the middle of a match a few months ago, Triple H decided he was above the podium and cut a nice, long promo in the middle of the ring. Of course, his promo was anything but nice. He basically promoted his match at TLC against Kevin Nash (who was M.I.A. - huh??), said he was awesome, and lied about ending The Streak at Wrestlemania 27. So not only did HHH take up air-time that could have went to a wrestling contest, he spent more time dropping hints about a Wrestlemania re-rematch against Undertaker than his match against Nash in six days at TLC. Nice to know where his priorities lie. I'm already starting to miss Triple H the C.O.O.
PRO: Ziggler vs. Bryan vs. Rhodes vs. Ryder
Tito said he saw the future of WWE last night compete in this Fatal-4-Way. I took things a step further by saying we saw four future main-eventers wrestle in this match. I know each man possesses a quality that many people feel they are lacking for a push into the main-event (i.e. character development for Bryan, in-ring improvement for Ryder, etc.), but honestly, I felt I was watching four future world champions show off their skills. Not only was the match a lot of fun, but all four men worked really well together, and it was a good way to simultaneously further the Ziggler/Ryder and Bryan/Rhodes feuds. Ziggler pinning Bryan made perfect sense as it allowed the U.S. Champion to get back his heat after losing to Sheamus and Orton last week, and it kept the other two (Rhodes and Ryder) looking strong going into their title matches at TLC on Sunday. This was probably the show-saver of the night.
CON: Kelly Kelly and "Divalicious"
I know the Slammys are rigged, but I was legitimately pissed off when Kelly Kelly won an award for rolling Brie Bella up to become the Divas Champion. That is just stupid. If WWE wanted to give Kelly a Slammy for Diva of the Year, I could live with that. I wouldn't agree with it, but I could live with it. HOWEVER, to say Kelly's victory was more meaningful than Natalya's SICK Sharpshooter, or Beth Phoenix's top-rope Glam Slam at Survivor Series? Get the **** out of here with that shit. Stupid, stupid, stupid. What a waste, having Lita show up and side with Kelly. I know she was lucky to appear on RAW after her recent D.U.I., but if I were Lita, I would have been sick to my stomach knowing that Kelly Kelly has become the new "face" of the women's division. Ugh.
PRO: Punk & Orton vs. Miz & Del Rio
Once I got over how strange it was to see Punk and Orton teaming together (less than eight months removed from their rivalry this year), I really enjoyed this match. Mainly because Miz and Del Rio were actually booked strongly for once. That's right, despite an interference by Barrett on Orton, Miz managed to relatively easily hit Punk with the Skull-Crushing Finale and pin the WWE Champion. Afterwards, Miz and Del Rio would work together to beat down Punk, and you have to imagine we're going to see either a Cross-Arm Breaker or an Anaconda Vise from atop a ladder at TLC this Sunday. Anyways, I know some people aren't happy with how weak Punk was booked, but Del Rio and Miz had to get their momentum back in order for the fans to at least consider the possibility Punk might lose on Sunday. Overall, a fun match and a great way to set up Sunday's main-event.
PRO: Cena vs. Henry
These two didn't get a lot of time to work with (which is a shame, considering the amount of quality matches Henry has put out in recent months), but it was entertaining while it lasted. I was glad that they went on after Punk won Superstar of the Year, as I'm sure the last thing anyone wanted to see was a non-wrestling main-event. That being said, both men seemed to have good in-ring chemistry, which makes me hope they'll get a chance to feud before Henry hangs up his boots. I wasn't expecting a clear winner, as Henry is set to defend his title against Big Show at TLC, and John Cena is John Cena, but I sure as hell did not expect what happened next...
PRO: MASKED Kane returns
Notice I said "Masked Kane" and not just "Kane". Man oh man, was it a treat to see the return of The Big Red Machine. In fact, Kane's return was probably the highlight of the entire show, as it surely convinced some people in attendance that their money didn't go COMPLETELY to waste. Anyways, I think we can pencil in Cena vs. Kane at TLC, or at the very least, an in-ring segment between the two. The only thing that I didn't understand is why Kane didn't go after Henry, the man responsible for putting him out of action. it might have made more sense for Cena to defeat Henry, get added to the world heavyweight title match at TLC because of the win, and then Kane would take out both men after the match. Whatever, I'm not complaining - it was just great seeing Kane with a mask on again! I'm not going to lie, I marked out like a little boy. Awesome conclusion to a looooooong episode of RAW.
#ThankYouLita: CM Punk's hilarious Johnny Ace video...The fatal-four-way match...The tag-team match...Miz & Del Rio getting booked properly days before TLC...John Cena's acceptance speech/diss on the Rock...Snooki doing a "Woo Woo Woo"...Sheamus nearly kicking Jinder Mahal's head off his shoulders...The crowd for not going home after the first hour...Cena vs. Henry...MASKED Kane returns!
#****YouKellyKelly: The ENTIRE first hour being a waste of time...The Slammys having some of the worst categories, nominees, and winners EVER...The lack of wrestling on a three-hour show...HHH cutting a boring promo...The thought of another match between HHH and Undertaker at Wrestlemania... /font>
Grade: (for the entire show) D
Grade: (for the last two hours - 9pm-11pm) B
Song Of The Day:
Last night's show was not easy to get through, but hopefully TLC will make up for the severe lack of wrestling from RAW. Speaking of the PPV, look for a special prediction column this Sunday, in which I look to collab with a columnist you just might recognize. But that's not until Sunday. See you tomorrow!
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