If you go on any internet wrestling forum and ask people to name the best current WWE superstar, chances are they'll respond with CM Punk. If you attend a house show and ask a bunch of young children who they think is the best WWE superstar, they'll probably answer with John Cena or Rey Mysterio. Go catch a Pay-Per-View at a bar or a sports lounge (like my buddy DR. CMV1 does on a religious basis) and strike up a conversation with some older wrestling fans. They might say Randy Orton or Dolph Ziggler is the future of the company.
Well, if you ask ME, the best active superstar in the WWE is not named Cena or Mysterio or Ziggler. As much as I enjoy Orton and Punk at the moment, it's not them either. In my honest opinion, the reigning Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes is the most valuable asset currently employed by the WWE. For several reasons, in fact.
For starters, just take a look at Rhodes' amazing year. He took a great gimmick and turned it a full 180, from "Dashing" to "Disfigured" in less than a few months and raised his level of intensity. So much so, that Rhodes was hand-selected by Rey Mysterio to face-off at Wrestlemania 27. Not only was the build-up fantastic for an undercard match, but Rhodes even got the victory over Rey Rey. That Wrestlemania win was huge for Cody, as he became the first and only man to defeat Mysterio at Wrestlemania. After he finished up his program with Mysterio, Rhodes briefly reunited with his former Legacy partner Ted DiBiase and went on to capture the Intercontinental Championship prior to last August's SummerSlam.
And that's when Cody Rhodes became awesome. Prior to winning the title, Cody had already become one of Smackdown!'s brightest stars, either delivering an eerily effective promo to major crowd heat or wrestling one of the night's better matches. However, since he defeated Ezekiel Jackson to become the Intercontinental Champion, Cody has done something that even veterans like Mysterio and Chris Jericho unsuccessfully attempted to do a couple years ago - restore the lost prestige of the Intercontinental title.
I'm sure the Cody-haters will jump in and bash that statement. Like every superstar in the history of existence, Cody has his fanbase, but he also has his share of critics. They say Rhodes is boring in the ring, tedious on the mic, and doesn't look like a legitimate champion. Those same people are convinced that Cody is tarnishing the Intercontinental Championship rather than raising it's credibility. Hell, some of those people still think DiBiase was/is the more talented of the two.
I'm not going to rip on DiBiase, but if you really think he's more talented than Cody, you're more confused than Booker T when calling a match. As for Cody's in-ring skills, I dare you to find any match he's competed in be it five minutes or fifteen minutes long in the past eight months that wasn't mediocre at worst. He wrestled in a suit last Sunday and still put on a decent match! As for his mic skills, there is no doubt that Cody is among the top ten talkers in the business today, and quickly climbing the list. Whenever Cody delivers a promo, you believe his words. His character is a lunatic, a mentally unstable person, and he plays it to a tee, either by stuttering or making random grimaces. It almost makes you forget about that pesky lisp he once had.
Then again, those are all my opinions. Just because I think Cody is great competing and talking in the ring doesn't make it true. But you cannot dispute the fact that since capturing the Intercontinental Championship, Cody has done wonders with it. Not only has he retained it in entertaining matches against Ted DiBiase, Sheamus, John Morrison, and others, but just last week, he defended and retained his title three times in a row - in RAW's 10-man Battle Royal, against Sheamus on Smackdown!, and against Morrison at Hell In A Cell. In addition, Rhodes has had several one-on-one encounters with former world champion Randy Orton, and even pinned Orton in their second contest. Oh, and did I mention Rhodes is now carrying around the classic, white title belt?
I touched on this topic in the latest edition of Fact Or Fiction, but I'll say it again. Rhodes is the perfect superstar to be holding the Intercontinental title. He was not a former main-eventer who won the title because there was no room for him at the top. Nor is he a newcomer who WWE thinks will get over by giving him a midcard title. Instead, Rhodes has earned his title reign, and is on the verge of breaking that pesky glass ceiling. If he continues to be booked strong over the next few months, Rhodes may do something that hasn't been effectively done in years - use the Intercontinental Championship as a stepping stone to the world title.
People say Cody will never live up to the legacy left behind by his father, Dusty. I say give him another five years to fine-tune his craft. As awesome as Cody is right now, he hasn't even reached the peak of his career year yet. He has plenty of time to catch up and surpass his father's accomplishments.
All he needs is some kneepads, and he's set for life.
2. Day 370
Since we're exactly one week away from Bound For Glory, otherwise known as TNA's annual version of Wrestlemania, I figured I would preview one of the show's top matches. Hustle already covered Sting vs. Hogan from every possible angle, so I'm going to discuss another angle - (Kurt) Angle's opponent for the Pay-Per-View, Bobby Roode. Now, whether you've been keeping up with Impact in recent weeks, or even if you haven't, you probably heard from someone that longtime TNA Superstar Bobby Roode came out of nowhere to win the Bound For Glory series and is now the number one contender for the world heavyweight championship.
Before I go any further, let me say this right away - never in my wildest dreams did I expect Roode to beat out guys like AJ Styles, Rob Van Dam, and Crimson (TNA's man-crush) and go on to headline Bound For Glory against Kurt Angle. This isn't a knock against Roode. I may never have been the world's biggest Beer Money, Inc. fan, but I did enjoy Roode and Storm's matches, regardless which team they faced off against. In fact, one of their highly competitive matches against The Motor City Machine Guns made it onto my favorite seven matches of 2010 list. To make a long story short, I like Roode, I like Storm, and I like Beer Money in general (just not as much as MCMG).
But we're not here to talk about Beer Money. In seven days at Bound For Glory, it will not be Kurt Angle defending his world title against Storm and Roode in a handicap match. Rather, we shall be treated to a one-on-one match between one of professional wrestling's all-time greatest and a guy who spent the majority of the past decade wrestling with a partner.
And this is where the critics come in. Bobby Roode has a large fanbase, as there are plenty of people who are thrilled to see him getting a chance to achieve his dream by beating Kurt Angle for the TNA World Title. There are those who have supported him since day one, when he first debuted in TNA, or even later, when he formed Beer Money with James Storm. There are others who just recently hopped on the Roode bandwagon (nothing wrong with that, mind you). But for every two fans who attend an Impact Taping and cheer him on, there's another guy sitting there booing the hell out of Roode. This guy will tell anyone who will listen that Roode doesn't deserve a world title shot. He'll insist that Roode is nothing but a tag team specialist, and looks out of place standing toe-to-toe with the likes of Sting and Kurt Angle.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but since you're reading this, you probably want to know what I think about Bobby Roode. Well, I'm going to call it straight down the middle. I think...
I think...Bobby Roode DESERVES a world title match at Bound For Glory. And why doesn't he? Don't give me that lame-ass, "tag team wrestler for life" crap. Just think about all the greats who started off as relative nobodies teaming with a partner, but went on to become some of the biggest names in the history of the business. Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Booker T - would they have ever made a name for themselves if The Rockers, The Hollywood Blondes, and Harlem Heat never split? Hell, if he never got forced away from Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder probably wouldn't be getting 1/16 of the television time he's getting now. To claim that Bobby Roode would not survive without James Storm is beyond idiotic.
When you look at things more closely, it's hard not to consider Roode the "total package". He can go in the ring, whether as part of a tag team or in singles competition (just watch/rewatch his matches against Styles and Storm from Impact the last few weeks as proof). Roode can deliver an awesome promo, regardless if he's a face or a heel. What more, he looks like a wrestler. Not a 6'8 bodybuilder, but someone who you wouldn't want to piss off if you ever met him a dark alley late at night. After spending more than seven years in the company, I think it's fair to say that Roode has paid his dues competing in the midcard, and it's time to see if he can hang with the big boys.
One year ago, the thought never would have crossed my mind. Six months ago, I would have laughed at anyone who said it. But the last few months of "Roodeness" has changed my mind. I can't believe I'm saying this, but fuck it.
3. Day 371
I have a question, something I'm dying to know. Who the fuck booked the crapfest known as "RAW SuperShow" last night? It's a serious question. The show started off on such a high note, with Triple H coming out to an empty ringside area and booked a match between the only three men still in the building - John Cena vs. Sheamus, with CM Punk as the commentator/ring announcer/timekeeper. Unfortunately, as soon as Vince McMahon's hit music and interrupted the "match", the show went downhill FAST. Sure, it progressed the Vince/HHH, Punk/Cena/Del Rio and Orton/Rhodes storylines, there was just too much crap to appreciate the positives.
However, I'm not going to sit here and bitch about all everything I didn't like. What I AM going to bitch about is WWE deciding to once again stall Zack Ryder's push and give it to...MASON RYAN?!?!
For those of you who recall, it was one month ago that A-lister Hugh Jackman showed up on RAW and assisted Zack Ryder in defeating United States Champion Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match. The following week, Ziggler defended his title against Ryder thanks to interference from Vickie and Jack Swagger, but Teddy Long ordered the match to restart, changing it to Ryder and Air Boom vs. Ziggler, Swagger, and TBA (later revealed as a returning Mason Ryan). Thanks to Ryan turning on his teammates, Ryder was able to score the win for his team, once again pinning Ziggler.
With two official victories over the U.S. Champion, many people (myself included) expected Ryder to face Ziggler for the title in a longer match at Hell In A Cell. That didn't happen. Many people expected Ryder and Ziggler to continue their feud the next night on RAW. That didn't happen either. Instead of booking Ryder for the 12-Man tag team main-event, Mason Ryan was chosen to compete instead, while Ryder had the night off. On yesterday's episode of RAW, Ryder was again absent, while Ryan teamed with Ryder's "broskis" Air Boom to defeat Ziggler, Swagger, and Otunga, and Ryan got the pin on Ziggler.
So what does this mean? A number of things, the first being WWE are fucking idiots. They almost missed the boat with Zack Ryder, but once they gave him a chance, he got over with live crowds immediately. His pops got louder, more people brought Ryder signs, and he officially became one of WWE's top ten merchandise sellers. In other words, the Ryder experiment was working great. Alas, the WWE Creative team proved they have no idea how to push a midcarder. With Mason Ryan ready to go, they couldn't wait to get their wannabe Batista in the spotlight. Ryder is now sitting on the sidelines (again) while a guy who can barely wrestle, gets zero crowd reaction, and is clumsy in the ring will likely be getting a United States Championship match at Vengeance. Why? Because WWE want to make a new face main-eventer at any cost.
WWE, would it kill you to show some patience every now and then? CM Punk presented you with a multi-million dollar storyline last July but you fucked it up by cashing in on it WAY too early. You teased a potential money feud between Punk, Triple H and Kevin Nash but blew it by rushing a feud because you rushed Del Rio to the RAW main-event. Now, you're repeating the same mistakes with Ryder. He got himself over on YouTube and Twitter, and just when he started making you money, you're taking him off television because you think you've found the next Dave Batista who can make you more money than Ryder can.
Well, here's an idea guys - don't you think you could have pushed both Ryder and Ryan at the same time? I know, pushing two midcarders simultaneously, it sounds ludicrous, right? Not really. Ryder isn't the biggest guy on the roster, so why not use Ryan as a bodyguard for Ryder? Have him assist Ryder in defeating Ziggler for the U.S. title. Hell, Ryan looks like a beefed-up Hugh Jackman so it wouldn't have been an insane concept. Then, after holding onto the U.S. title for a few months, have Ryan turn on Ryder or vice-versa. That way, you automatically have two credible midcarders, with the potential to move up the card. Instead, Ryder is being kept off television while Ryan is getting a major push, one he's certainly not ready for.
Illogical booking, very little in-ring action, post-match beatdowns, too much John Laurinatis, money feuds going to waste, a terrible divas match, and no Ryder made last night's show nearly unwatchable. Like I said, I'm not going to deny that WWE did do a decent job of progessing several storylines, but it shouldn't have been a drag to get through. Never have I seen a main-event for a Pay-Per-View be announced so lazily, or three major characters (Vince, Miz, and R-Truth) make their television returns in such boring fashion. I don't know who approved of the final RAW script, but they should have their contract terminated immediately. How they went from producing an awesome episode (last week's show) to a garbage episode like this one is beyond me.
Thank you, WWE. Thank you for giving me plenty of reasons to watch "House" instead of the first hour of RAW next week. Let me know when you decide to get your heads out of your asses.
4. Day 372
I know you've probably seen or read a dozen Bound For Glory prediction columns on LOP the last few days, but I had to share my thoughts on tomorrow's Pay-Per-View as well. This is (sadly) the only time of the year that wrestling fans all over the world are talking about TNA. Either TNA fans are hyping up their version of Wrestlemania, WWE fans are trashing the card, or old-school fans are debating whether it's worth shovelling out money to see Sting vs. Hogan one last time. Whatever the case may be, the ball is in TNA's court to do something special - something ground-breaking - at tomorrow's PPV, but will they follow through? Let's see what the card has in store for us:
TNA Tag Team Championship: Mexican America (c.) vs. Ink, Inc.
From what I've heard, this match has been moved to the Bound For Glory pre-show (shades of Morrison/Miz vs. Carlito/Primo, anyone?). To that I say - GOOD! This was probably the match I was looking forward to the least, so it makes me happy that if I do order the show, I won't have to watch these two teams do battle. Although it sucks to have a title match removed from the PPV, I'm all for it if it gives more time for matches like Daniels/Styles or Roode/Angle. I don't really care who wins, but I hate Mexican America a bit less than the two clowns so I'll go with Hernandez and Anarquia keeping the gold.
Winners, and STILL TNA Tag Team Champions: Mexican America
TNA Knockouts Championship: Winter (c.) vs. Velvet Sky vs. Mickie James vs. Madison Rayne
I for one have loved the build-up to this match. Rather than getting a one-on-one match between Winter and Mickie James or Winter and Velvet Sky - neither of which are PPV bouts - we’re getting a Fatal-4-Way between four of the roster’s top knockouts. I know many people are expecting Velvet to finally win the title and have her big moment in TNA, I don’t see it happening just yet, especially not in a Fatal-4-Way. Neither Winter or James excite me as champions, so I’m going with Madison Rayne for this one. Not only can she feud with Velvet immediately afterwards, but she can also align herself with Karen Jarrett and have another great year. Makes sense to me.
Winner, and NEW TNA Knockouts Champion: Madison Rayne
Samoa Joe vs. Crimson vs. Matt Morgan
A lot of people are not excited about this match taking place, but I’m not one of them. Although the build-up to this match has been anything but perfect, you have two of the roster’s better in-ring performers, and a guy who’s getting better with every passing week. Look, I wanted Morgan or Joe to win the BFG series as much as the next guy, but Morgan’s injury screwed up those plans. Therefore, we should be happy we’re getting this match and not something dreadful like Abyss vs. Crimson instead. Speaking of Crimson, he’s certain to get the win, as a victory over Joe and Morgan at TNA’s biggest PPV will do nothing but help his rising career.
Full Metal Mayhem: Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
The question on most people’s minds when talking about this match is “what the hell is Full Metal mayhem”. Well, it’s basically a TLC match, but there’s nothing on the line. Van Dam and Lynn are just going to use tables ladders and chairs to beat the hell out of each other. The gimmick worked in 1999, but despite both competitors being a lot older since that decade, this should still be one of the night’s top matches. As long as they don’t go all spot-fest on each other, this match could potentially steal the show, or make you say “HOLY SHIT!” at least once. The winner, however, is not a question, as I believe Lynn doesn’t even have a full-time TNA contract. Therefore,
Winner: Rob Van Dam
TNA X-Division Championship: Austin Aries (c.) vs. Brian Kendrick
Wow. It sure didn’t take Aries long to win the X-Division title. Not only that, but the company seems to have a lot of faith in him, as they opted not to give us an Ultimate-X match and give us a one-on-one contest instead. I missed their match at No Surrender, so I’m looking forward to what these two can do if given enough time. I know a lot of people have fallen off the Kendrick bandwagon, but whether you enjoy his character or not, he’s still a hell of a performer. Aries is only a month into his title reign, and I see no reason to see him drop it so soon. This one’s another give-away result.
Winner, and STILL X-Division Champion: Austin Aries
“I Quit” Match: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels
Oh, baby. Roode and Angle better work their asses off to steal the show, because if not, these two will. Not only have Styles and Daniels put on some great matches in the past, but the rivalry heading into tomorrow’s PPV has been pretty sweet. Although Daniels is pretty much a heel at this point, he played the tweener role quite well. While it would be cool to see Daniels get the “upset” victory and defeat his Fortune teammate, I can’t see Styles saying “I Quit”, especially at Bound For Glory. Styles win, and Daniels goes on to feud with the rest of Fortune.
Winner: AJ Styles
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson
This is one of the only matches I’m not really looking forward to, and I’ll tell you. I do not give two flying shits about Mr. Anderson. He is boring in the ring, redundant on the mic, and has flip-flopped from face to heel and back so many times since joining TNA that I have lost complete interest in his character. It’s the same reason I do not care for Kane and The Big Show: WWE have made them switch their personas so often I cannot be emotionally invested in them. Anyways, I am glad Ray is getting a big match at Bound For Glory for having a spectacular breakout year. Just because I hate Anderson so much, I’m going with Ray for the win, and maybe a legitimate injury for Anderson in the process (that would be the icing on the cake).
Winner: Bully Ray
No Disqualification Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Here we go. The match people are ordering the PPV to see, but also the same match which is making other people NOT order the show. Hogan vs. Sting has the potential to either be one of the show’s highlights, or a train-wreck as many believe it will be. If they try and have a legitimate wrestling match, you can bet it’s going to be a disaster. Hogan has already stated he won’t take any bumps, which means he won’t be seeing a technical masterpiece. However, if they keep the in-ring action to a minimum, and focus more on the energy from the crowd, this could turn into a special moment for TNA. Even though Hogan said he won’t bump, I’m hoping he’ll take at least one to give Sting the win and the control of the company back to Dixie Carter.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c.) vs. Bobby Roode
There’s not much to say about the main-event that hasn’t already been said. If this isn’t one of the night’s top matches, I will be shocked. If they don’t get at least twenty minutes to do their thing, I will be disappointed. If Angle somehow retains the title, I will be pissed. Although they rushed Roode to the main-event, TNA has done a phenomenal job of building Roode as the next top guy (as long as you don’t listen to Hulk Hogan, of course). Tomorrow night is the perfect opportunity for TNA to create a new top star in Roode and they better not fuck it up. Sorry Kurt, but you’re doing the job tomorrow, and you’re going to like it. #Roode4WorldChamp
Winner, and NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Roode
5. Day 373
Last night I did the unthinkable. I gave in to the hype and ordered TNA's biggest Pay-Per-View of the year, Bound For Glory. And you know what? If it wasn't for the bullshit finish to the world title match, the show would probably have gone down as one of the best wrestling PPVs of 2011. Not as good as Wrestlemania, Money in the Bank, or SummerSlam, but for a TNA PPV, I was quite satisfied with my purchase. Now, before you write me off as completely nuts, let me explain something. Unless you actually watched the show, match for match, rather than read the results online, then you'll probably agree that BFG (wrestling-wise) was a great show.
The show kicked off with a phenomenal X-Division title match between Austin Aries (who was mega-over in Philly) against Brian Kendrick. They were given just over ten minutes to work their magic, and that's what they did. A great way to kick off the show, although Aries winning was a no-brainer.
As someone who has never seen RVD and Jerry Lynn do battle before, I was quite impressed with what I saw last night. For two guys who are anything but young, they put on quite an athletic contest and performed one sick bump after another (the spot where Lynn's head barely cracked the ladder made my jaw drop to the floor). I know some people are complaining that this was not one of their better matches, I for one loved what I saw. Kudos to both men.
Joe vs. Morgan vs. Crimson was probably the worst match of the night. The crowd wasn't into it, and neither was I (despite Morgan being one of my favorites in TNA). However, it made sense for them to go on after the two fast-paced matches that kicked off the show, as it gave the crowd a chance to catch their breath. Not a terrible match, but not worthy of being on PPV. Oh and Crimson won, what a shocker!
Going into the Falls Count Anywhere Match between Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson, I had very low expectations. I'm a huge fan of Ray, but Anderson is a waste of space in my opinion. That being said, they found a way to put on a hell of a match. In fact, I'm going to go on the record and say that apart from his series against Kurt Angle last year, Anderson's match with Bully Ray was the best match Anderson's competed in since joining TNA. Mind you, Anderson nearly botched the finish by over-shooting the table, but that's besides the point. Great brawl.
The Knockouts 4-Way was very "meh" for me. I like Velvet Sky lookswise, and believe Madison Rayne is very underrated in the ring, but Mickie James and Winter do nothing for me. I was pleased to see the old-school "four corners" rule being applied, and Karn Jarrett looked HOT in that referee outfit. Karen might be my new favorite M.I.L.F. Anyways, Velvet "shocked the world" to become Knockouts Champion for the first time ever. Oh, well. She's still a million times better than Kelly Kelly.
Styles vs. Daniels was another match that left a lot of fans feeling underwhelmed, but not me. I think they put on a perfectly acceptable PPV bout. Was it five-stars? No. But they used the "I Quit" stipulation in a unique way. Rather than trying to murder each other, they tried to outwrestle each other instead. The finish was a tad anti-climatic (Styles threatening to carve up Daniels with a screw-driver) but it made perfect sense for the beatdown that happened afterwards. Not only did the right man win, but it looks like their feud will continue, which is a good thing.
I'm not even going to talk about Jeff Hardy and Jeff Jarrett's brawl. It was just an excuse to get both man on the show and start a feud between the two. NEXT!
Ah. Sting vs. Hogan. The match "nobody wanted to see" but got the biggest reaction from the live crowd, from start to finish. Honest to God, the match wasn't THAT bad. They didn't try to out-grapple each other, instead, they tried to beat each other up. In the end, Sting got a submission victory over Hogan, and Hogan turned face by saving Sting from a beatdown by Immortal. I know a lot of people are pissed that Hogan and Sting hogged the spotlight, but what we got was a lot better than what could have happened.
And that leaves us with the main-event. The match TNA has been promoting for months, and spent weeks building up Bobby Roode as a legitimate threat to Angle's world title reign. Although I felt the whole match was rushed (they went from move to move, and no-selled A LOT of finishers, probably because of lack of time) it was the right match to conclude the show.
But NOT the ending. I know TNA likes to swerve their fans more often than not, but what the fuck was the point in building up Roode like a beast only to have him lose at the biggest PPV of the year? Like Wrestlemania, Bound For Glory is the show where stars are born and careers are made. What did Angle have to accomplish by defeating Roode? Starting a Bound For Glory undefeated streak? Get the fuck out of here! Last night was THE night to put the belt on Roode, even for a short while, and TNA missed the boat.
Apparently, Hulk Hogan is to blame for TNA not putting the world title on Roode. If those reports are true, then I have only one thing to say.
#FuckYouHulkHogan How DARE you not capitalize on lightening in a bottle in order to satisfy your own ego. You make me sick. I hope you get your back broken in 3,632 pieces and can never walk again. You're a poison in TNA. Take your shit to a retirement home. Thanks for ruining a great show.
Ok, I'm done now. That felt good.
6. Day 374
If you were planning on seeing John Cena's new movie "The Reunion" this Friday, I have some bad news for you. The news is so bad that if I tell you, you may not want to see the movie at all...
...Excuse me? You had no intention whatsoever to check out WWE Studio's latest blockbuster, "The Reunion"? Awesome. In that case, I am proud to announce that The Orlando Sentinel had the privilege of viewing "The Reunion" before it hits theatres this Friday, and after much analysis, gave the movie a rating of - 1 out of 5 stars.
That's right, folks. WWE have another bomb on their hands. The fine people working at WWE Studios have found a way to produce yet another crappy movie. Granted, this is only one critic's review, but let's be honest. You saw the trailer, either on RAW, Smackdown!, or WWE's website. Does "The Reunion" look even the slightest bit entertaining? In my opinion, no it doesn't. It doesn't seem action-packed, nor does it look like it'll have me splitting my sides, dying of laughter. It's just there. It's almost as if the guy who wrote the script and the guy who directed the movie both put in the least amount of effort possible. For all we know, Vince McMahon called somebody up and said, "Make a movie starring John Cena and have it ready for release by October 2011. Or else YOU'RE FIRED!".
Vince, if you really did something along those lines, you're crazier than people say you are. I may not always agree with the direction of your television product, which superstars you're shoving down my throat, or how you book your Pay-Per-Views, but for crying out loud, DO SOMETHING about your films division. Ever since it's inception, WWE Studios have been putting out one mediocre movie after another. Granted, some of them have been enjoyable ("See No Evil", "The Marine", and "The Condemned" all come to mind), but the rest were either forgettable or simply terrible ("Behind Enemy Lines 3", "Inside Out", and I'm predicting "The Reunion" will be awful as well). Not only that, but financial reports show that WWE Studios has resulted in more losses than gains over the years. In other words, these movies have NOT been profitable.
Yet there have been no signs of Vince or WWE pulling the plug on the film division anytime soon. In that case, I recommend WWE instill some major shake-ups in their movie department if they ever want to make a profit, or experience some sort of success. The only two scenarios I can think of is either hire new writers or directors that have blockbuster titles attached to their name (imagine a WWE movie directed by Michael Bay!). The other alternative is for WWE to re-brand their studio department. This means WWE Films would no longer star a past or current wrestler in their movies, although a cameo like Randy Orton's in "That's What I Am" is fine. Or they take things a step further and don't even call themselves WWE Studios anymore, so people won't associate the film with wrestling. That may not be what Vince had in mind when he created WWE Studios, but sometimes you have to take one step back in order to take two steps forward.
One thing is for sure, though. When your latest theatrical release gets an absolutely pathetic review (1 out of 5 stars? Really?) something, somewhere has to be done. Either fix WWE Studios or get rid of it.
7. Day 375
It wasn't an easy couple of months, but somehow, we've made it. WWE Vengeance, the final Pay-Per-View before Survivor Series, is upon us. For the past couple of years, WWE has made the mistake of cramming three PPVs into a span of seven or eight weeks, and they have yet to learn from their error. That's why the past two PPVs have been sub-par, and unless the mid-card delivers spectacularly, Vengeance will be another throw-away show. But enough "BURYING" the PPV; it's time for my predictions!
WWE Tag Team Championship: Air Boom (c.) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
Thanks to some confusion from our Mexican amigos who attended the Smackdown! tapings last week and gave false information, many people think this match has been cancelled. It's not cancelled; Ziggler will merely be competing twice tomorrow night (but more on that a bit later). Although this rivalry has cooled off in recent weeks, if given a decent amount of time, it could be one of the night's better matches, as Air Boom are always exciting in the ring, Ziggler is a beast, and Swagger is Swagger. As for who will walk away with the tag titles, many people are certain Ziggler is losing one of his title matches for sure. I disagree - I expect Ziggler to either with both his matches, or lose them both. Taking a leap of faith, I expect Air Boom to squeak out another victory and retain tomorrow night.
Winners, and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Air Boom
WWE United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c.) vs. Zack Ryder
This is it. The moment I have been waiting for. After all the columns, all the Ryder praise (which started WAY BEFORE Z! True Long Island Story by the way), all the arguments about Ryder being a future star - tomorrow is a major factor in deciding how successful Ryder will be in the upcoming months, maybe even years. Whether he wins or loses, Ryder MUST have a good showing in his first-ever, singles PPV match. If he has the jitters, or botches one spot too many, it might be enough for WWE to consider putting Ryder back on "Superstars" for another year. However, I don't think that's going to happen. Ryder has accomplished so much in the past few months it's scary. Although my head says Ziggler will retain the U.S. title, I can't argue with my heart. Woo Woo Woo!
Winner, and NEW WWE United States Champion: Zack Ryder
Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
If you're not looking forward to this match, then there's something wrong with you. These two have developed an engaging feud on RAW and Smackdown! over the past few weeks, and their match tomorrow has a good shot at stealing the show. Some people are confused as to why Orton is facing Rhodes at Vengeance, but it's for one of three reasons. Either a) WWE management sees something in Rhodes and want to test him against a credible main-eventer; b) Orton is being "BURIED" by having lost twice to Mark Henry and is facing Rhodes as punishment; or c) Orton will squash Rhodes in three minutes to gain back his lost momentum. Obviously, b and c are complete bullshit, which means we may not only see a great match tomorrow, but another midcarder taking a big step up the ladder as well. I would love for Rhodes to somehow defeat Orton, but there's no way Orton's jobbing three Pay-Per-Views in a row.
Winner: Randy Orton
WWE Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c.) vs. Eve
All that needs to be said about this "match" is that if Eve wins, WWE are clearly trying to kill the women's division as painfully as possible. If there was ever a worst divas champion than Kelly Kelly, it had to be Eve. No one deserves to be punished like that ever again.
Winner, and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Beth Phoenix
Christian vs. Sheamus
Matches like this one, Orton vs. Rhodes, and Ziggler vs. Ryder are the main reason to watch vengeance, rather than the main-events. Why? Because not only do every one of the aforementioned contests have a legitimate chance of being match of the night, but they are fresh, and have been built-up beautifully. The same can't be said about the world title matches, but I digress. Considering Christian lost to Sheamus at Hell In A Cell, you would expect him to even the score by gaining a victory over "The Great White" tomorrow night. However, I sadly don't see these two feuding until Survivor Series. With Christian gaining the upper-hand more often than not in recent weeks, I assume Sheamus will get another big win at Vengeance. Sorry, peeps.
World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c.) vs. The Big Show
Let's set the record straight. I for one enjoyed their match at Money In The Bank, as I thought these two behemoths put on one of the better big-man matches in recent history. However, I certainly don't think the match was so good that it deserves to happen at another PPV, and with a world title on the line. I like Henry, and I'm still not into Big Show. Best case scenario: Henry wins, and goes on to face Sheamus or even Orton at Survivor Series. Worst case scenario: Henry wins, and his feud with Big Show continues until TLC (shudder). Either way, there's no possibility of Henry losing his title tomorrow.
Winner, and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Mark Henry
CM Punk & Triple H vs. The Awesome Truth
There's only one word to describe this match: "meh". I know WWE officials are counting on this match to boost the buyrate, but it wasn't that long ago that HHH made his PPV return. This bout is merely another chapter in the Punk/conspiracy angle that is failing fast. The whole storyline has been a mess for weeks, if not months, and this match does not feel like a PPV main-event at all. If both Punk and HHH stay face and cleanly defeat Miz and Truth, I will be greatly disappointed. However, I'm hoping WWE tries to keep things interesting by having one of them turn and cost his partner the match. HHH is way overdue a heel turn, so I'm hoping it happens at Vengeance, which leads to a rematch between him and Punk at Survivor Series.
Winners: The Awesome Truth
Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c.) vs. John Cena
I know many people think this match shouldn't close the show, but I disagree. With rumours that Cena is leaving the WWE title picture for quite some time after Vengeance, it would kill the surprise if this match goes on third- or second-to-last. Last Man Standing has always been a fun gimmick match, and Cena has had some of his better matches using this stipulation (2009 versus Edge, 2010 versus Batista, etc.). It makes little sense to have Cena win the title (again) tomorrow night, as it would make Cena a 42-time world champion, and make Del Rio look like shit for the second PPV since SummerSlam. Therefore, I'm going with Del Rio getting the win thanks to outside interference from someone.
Winner, and STILL WWE Champion: Alberto Del Rio
Song Of The Day:
Words cannot express how PISSED I am about not being able to watch Vengeance tomorrow night. What if Ryder does win the U.S. title? I'll have missed history in the making! Oh well, I guess that's what replays are for. Have a good weekend everyone, and if you watch the Pay-Per-View, I hope you enjoy it.
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That's all I've got for now, so until next time, take care, and spike your hair!