I tried to fight the temptation, but I just couldn't resist. FINALLY, after months of sitting on the sidelines, wrestling on Superstars, and jobbing on RAW (if he's lucky), the internet sensation Zack Ryder got his chance to shine on WWE programming this week. That's right, broskis - WWE has finally decided to push Long Island Iced Z!. Not by giving him a legitimate world title match or anything, but pushing him "subtly". Allow me to explain.
When Michael Cole came out dressed as Triple H to compete on last Monday's RAW, who did you think his opponent would be? Alex Riley, maybe? Jerry Lawler? Eve? Well, basically anyone on the RAW roster except Zack Ryder. Yet, to the pleasant surprise of many, it was Ryder who HHH selected to face Cole, and after debuting his brand new t-shirt, defeated Cole with the Rough Ryder in under a minute, which got a huge face pop from the crowd. It was Ryder's second match on RAW in 2011, but he made it count.
But the fun didn't stop on RAW. Thanks to Ryder's "persistence", Triple H officially dubbed Zack Ryder Teddy Long's new assistant on Smackdown!. At first I wasn't too keen on the idea, as I would rather watch Ryder wrestle, but Ryder proved me wrong by being his entertaining self in the four Friday night segments he was involved in. Besides, being the assistant to a general manager is never a bad thing, because as we have seen in the past with Tiffany and Vickie Guerrero, it is not uncommon for Teddy's assistants to become the interim GM every once and a while. In other words, don't be surprised if you tune into Smackdown! one day and the general manager just happens to be Zack Ryder - I can't believe I just said that.
So not only is Ryder in a major role on Smackdown!, but according to WWE's website, he's still a member of the RAW roster, which is a good thing for several reasons. For one, he will be one of few superstars who appear on both RAW and Smackdown! the same week. Also, RAW may be stacked with talent, but if Ryder can continue to find time to wrestle on the "A-show", then when he eventually moves to Smackdown!, he has the potential to be a huge name. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Ezekiel Jackson drop the Intercontinental Championship to Cody Rhodes sometime soon (possibly at SummerSlam), only for Rhodes to feud with Ryder in the fall. Internet wrestling fans around the world would LOVE seeing a Ryder/Rhodes feud, especially over a midcard title.
Oh, and the icing on the cake? In WWE's latest edition of the "POWER 25", (which, much like the SUPER 25, lists the top twenty-five superstars and divas of the past week) WWE ranked Ryder at number eighteen, which is a pretty nice accomplishment, kayfabe or not.
Now, in case any of you think my "Ryder-bias" is making me delusional about his push, let's quickly recap the facts. In the past week, Ryder has:
-Received a new authentic t-shirt
-Got entrance music and an easy win over Michael Cole on RAW
-Was put over by the commentators on both RAW and Smackdown!, as was "Z! True Long Island Story"
-Was named Teddy Long's assistant
-Got more television time on Smackdown! than most of the other roster members
-Was ranked number 18 on WWE's website
Not a bad week to be a Zack Ryder fan, that's for sure. As happy as I am to see Ryder finally get the chance to capitalize on his opportunity, I'm sad to see that some of his "broskis" are already turning against him. The same people who liked his videos, followed him on Twitter, and claim they "bought the t-shirt" are already jumping off the Ryder bandwagon. They're calling him "over-rated" and a "TV-time hogger". The same people who laughed at his videos are now calling him boring, and uncharismatic. To those people (and you know who you are), I say,
Hustle called out all those people who supported CM Punk going into Money in the Bank, but two days after the Pay-Per-View, some of his "fans" turned their back on him. Those people are nothing but trolls and bitches. They hate it when they're no longer a minority and try to be different because they're cool. That's pathetic. You have every reason to stop liking a wrestler, but when you do so just because EVERYBODY now likes him, you're a waste of time.
HOWEVER, for those of you who were CM Punk fans last month and still are; for those of you who were a member of the Zack-Pack last week and are still "broskis", I say,
Thank you for still being a Punk fan. Thank you for still being a broski. But most of all, thank you for still being you.
Woo, woo, woo. You know it.
2. Day 342
Even though we're already thirty-six hours removed from last Monday's RAW, I've been asked by many readers to share my thoughts on the show. I've never been one to deny a request, so here we go.
Was it the best RAW of 2011? Not really. Off the top of my head, there was only one above-average match, which featured no superstar who is currently scheduled to compete at SummerSlam. Obviously I'm referring to The Miz/R-Truth vs. John Morrison/Rey Mysterio tag team bout. I think this match came off really well because not only did both teams gel nicely together, but everyone in the match has history with each other. The Miz has feuded with Morrison, Mysterio, and even his partner for the evening R-Truth in the past. Same goes for Morrison, as his past and current feuds with R-Truth and The Miz are highly memorable, and he and Mysterio had one hell of an Intercontinental Championship on Smackdown! less than two years. Therefore, it's no surprise that the match was incredibly fluent and fun to watch. I just don't understand why Morrison is being jobbed out just a week after his return.
Speaking of illogical wins, whose bright idea was it to have Zack Ryder get pinned by David-fucking-Otunga? Not only was Ryder WAY more over than his partner Santino was, but Ryder also received one of the biggest reactions of the night. I understand the finish is planned beforehand, but couldn't have someone pulled an audio after hearing the loud "We Want Ryder" chants to have Santino take the pin instead? Anyways, I'm just happy that Ryder got another match on RAW, and was defeated by the tag team champions, not some random jobber. Granted, Otunga and McGillicutty may be one of the worst tag teams in recent memory, but they are the champions.
As for the conclusion of RAW, like many others, I was left feeling a bit letdown. While a title unification match at SummerSlam was the most predictable and sensible thing to do, did they really have to spend the entire show building up to it as if it were some sort of "huge announcement". The COO, Triple H, could have announced it during his twenty-five minute opening promo with CM Punk, and later booked some sort of tag team match featuring Punk and Cena in the main-event. Instead, we got nearly two hours worth of hype for something not quite "wow-worthy".
So again, RAW wasn't bad, but it could have been better. A shorter opening segment, longer matches, and something else could have improved the show's quality. That "something else". None other than...less Triple H.
I don't know about you, but last Monday reminded me of a certain time frame when a certain man was world heavyweight champion and the focal point of every single episode of RAW. You older wrestling fans know exactly what I'm talking about. Last Monday, we saw a glimpse into the past; a glimpse into an era when one man dominated television and the main-event scene on RAW. Naturally, I'm talking about the the 2002-2003 era, when the show was all about Triple H. In case you missed it, HHH was almost always the world champion, would`kick off RAW almsot every week with a long-ass promo, and look dominant at the end of every other episode (depsite being a heel).What we saw on Monday was basically history being relived, with the only difference being HHH was not the world champion.
I certainly hope that HHH's new authority figure is not going to last much longer. Why? Because what we saw on RAW this week could go on for quite some time. RAW (and even Smackdown!) would start off with HHH addressing this topic, or HHH addressing this superstar, and HHH constantly being involved with major angles that, well, he has no business involved in. I understand the reason for the Punk/HHH confrontation, but unless this is leading to a huge match between the two sometime soon, I see no reason for HHH to receive all this television time. You want HHH to come out and lay down the law? But don't have him come out at the start of RAW, get interviewed backstage, and then show up at the end of the show. He is taking up precious TV time that should be given to other storylines, and other wrestlers. Unless HHH plans on competing at every PPV for the rest of the year, I do not want nor need to see him on television multiple times per week.
I haven't read the spoliers for Smackdown!, but Triple H is supposed to make another appearance on Friday night. As long as he makes AN appearance, that's fine. But if he shows up as regularly as he does on RAW, then he won't be the one to "save" Smackdown!. He'll be the one responsible for burying it into the ground.
3. Day 343
Writer's Note: This "column" (if you can call it that) has almost NOTHING to do with professional wrestling. Therefore, feel free to skip today's column at your own leisure.
For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, and/or follow me on Twitter, you may have already heard the sad news already. My 85-year-old grandmother, who lived in a duplex with me and my family my whole life, suffered a heart attack and passed away yesterday night. Watching her slip away was one of the hardest things I'd ever done in my life, because seeing her drawing her last breaths and not being able to do anything about it made me feel weak. It made me feel sad and frustrated. Here I am, this all-mighty McDonald's manager who rarely shows signs of fragility weeping like a little boy with the rest of my family. It was horrible.
I know she's in a better place right now, because all she did was stay home by herself and watch television with only me and my brother there to keep her company from time to time, but I still can't believe she's gone. Whenever I would play on my Nintendo Wii, she would always watch and laugh at characters like Super Mario and Samus Aran. She would always join me for RAW, Smackdown!, and even NXT, as she was a huge wrestling fan, despite her age. However, she hated watching iMPACT! - she called it "ugly". Her words, not mine.
While it feels great to have the place to myself, I'm going to miss sitting next to my grandma every other day and watching TV with her. I'm going to miss her commentary whenever she saw guys like John Morrison and Randy Orton (who she loved) and how much she hated "stupid people" like Christian and The Miz (again, her words, not mine). It's going to take a while to get used to having Sunday lunch without her, and her not opening the door for me when I came home from work at midnight or clubbing at 3am. It's going to take some time for me and my mother to accept the fact that both my grandparents are no longer among us.
Right now, the world is a daze, but thanks to all my friends' support, I'm keeping my head up and trying to stay strong. Not just for me, but for my mom as well. If there is anything to be learned from these words, it's that you should never take your loved ones for granted. I don't regret being able to spend as much time with my grandma as I did before she passed because I know I will never get another chance. I just wish I had a chance for her to hear my last goodbye, but unfortunately, she had already slipped into a coma...
So tonight, give your family an extra hug before going to sleep because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow.
Rest In Power, Bobba.
4. Day 344
We all knew it was coming. Every single year, WWE tends to "trim the fat" by releasing a number of superstars/divas/referees/etc. who they feel are not contributing to the company's success. This annual process is usually referred to as "spring cleaning", but WWE changed things up this year by keeping everyone employed until August (except for Chavo Guerrero, but who cares about him). So am I surprised that WWE cut a bunch of names? Not at all. But do I agree with the list? That's another story...
David Hart Smith: I saw this one coming a mile away. Not only did he do nothing but job on Superstars since The Hart Dynasty split up, but Smith was also rumoured to be interested in learning Mixed Martial Arts. If I'm Vince McMahon and I hear that one of my superstars is interested in learning another trade, I'm going to take that as a slap in the face. There's no passion for wrestling, no passion to succeed. Just an employee already exploring other options. No wonder Smith got the boot. No interest, no direction, and completely bland inside and outside the ring. Good riddance.
Melina: Another give-away, and rightfully so. Twitter (and the internet in general) has led to lots of WWE employees losing their job because of rants against the company, posting inappropriate images/videos, and simply whining about their position in the company. If Matt Hardy has taught us anything, it's that WWE does not appreciate being made fun of, especially by their own workers. Therefore, I cannot comprehend why Melina would be surprised she got the pink slip. I (unfortunately) follow her on Twitter, and for months now, every other tweet is a jab against the company. I'm glad they got tired of her complaining and just released her all together. Besides, with Beth Phoenix and Natalya on the verge of becoming major heels, who needs a wannabe Trish Stratus?
Vladimir Koslov: I'll admit, this one kind of shocked me. Ever since his Smackdown! debut, WWE devoted so much time into pushing Koslov to the moon. Hell, he was undefeated for months and even challenged Triple H for the WWE Championship at SURVIVOR SERIES! Unfortunately for Koslov, his match against H is probably one of the worst world title matches in history, and he never truly recovered from that. Not even a clean victory over The Undertaker could save Koslov. All seemed doomed until Koslov began teaming with Santino, and they found major success, even going on to become tag team champions. In fact, I'd argue that Santino did a great job getting Koslov over as a face, which is why I'm confused Koslov got let go. There are plenty of other guys on the roster who get smaller reactions than the Moscow Mauler, but maybe age was a factor involved (he's in his thirties). Either way, I don't quite agree with this release.
Gail Kim: Whether she "quit" of if she was fired, the truth of the matter is she's no longer a WWE diva. And I couldn't care less. That may seem a bit harsh, but can anyone remember the last time Gail was on RAW and didn't wrestle in a 16-diva tag team or Battle Royal? I certainly can't. Many people praise her wrestling ability, but if she has no charisma and cannot connect with the fans, then there's not much point in keeping her around. Was she underutilized? Yes. Did she deserve to be underused? Probably not. However, WWE is currently interested in two types of divas: models like Kelly Kelly and Eve, and amazons/monsters like Beth Phoenix and Kharma. Gail Kim doesn't quite fit into either category. Sorry, girl.
Chris Masters: The final superstar to get cut last Friday is probably the one who deserved it the least. I was not a fan of Masters or The Masterlock during his first WWE run (circa 2005-2006), but when he made his WWE return last year, I was pleasantly surprised. He dropped the excessive muscle fat and was putting on good matches more regularly than ever. He didn't really make a name for himself on Smackdown!, but he had lots of entertaining bouts on Superstars. When he was moved over to RAW in the draft, I thought he would be pushed to the United States Championship. Instead, he did nothing but compete on Superstars until his release last week. A waste of a talent, really. I feel bad for Masters because he was one of WWE's most underused workers, and it's rare for superstars to get a second chance in the WWE. Masters got a second chance, and I sadly don't think he'll get another.
What do YOU think about these releases? Justified or unjustified? Don't be shy - I'd love to get your thoughts, both positive and negative.
5. Day 345
The answer is - no, they can't. I mean, John Cena and CM Punk are sure to put on another clinic this Sunday, but not even Triple H's involvement as special guest referee can save the show.
Here's why. Even if WWE announces three more matches for SummerSlam at tonight's Smackdown! taping, they've probably already lost themselves thousands of buyers. That's because any fan who tuned into RAW, WWE's most-watched television program, likely enjoyed the show, but is going under the impression that SummerSlam will only see four matches take place - Punk/Cena, Christian vs. Orton, Sheamus vs. Henry, and Kelly vs. Phoenix.
I'm sorry, but that is a fucking joke. There are many people (a lot more than you think) who consider SummerSlam their favorite PPV of the year, and second only to Wrestlemania. Therefore, to have only four matches announced six days before the PPV is mind-blowing, especially since one of those four matches is a divas match! Now, had they gone with Hustle's idea and made Cena/Punk or even Christian/Orton a sixty-minute IronMan match, then four matches would have been perfectly acceptable. Start off the show with Sheamus vs. Henry, throw in a backstage segment to cut time, let the fans use the restroom during Kelly and Beth's match, have them mark out for another Christian/Orton classic, and then have them watch Cena and Punk produce magic for a solid hour. Problem solved, and SummerSlam 2011 goes down as one of the better SummerSlams in recent memory.
The problem is, there is no IronMan match scheduled for Sunday's PPV. Just a monster vs. monster match, a short divas bout, a no holds barred match, and a MitB rematch which features a guest referee. Now, there was a report today which said the reason only four matches have been officially announced for SummerSlam is because they plan on giving more in-ring time to every match. That's funny, because I somehow doubt Sheamus vs. Henry will go on longer than fifteen minutes, and the same can be said about Kelly vs. Phoenix. I see no logic in having either of those contests go on much longer than they should.
So WWE, I have to ask - what gives? As of last week, there were so many possible matches that could have been added to the card, and I wouldn't have minded the inclusion of any of them. Alex Riley vs. Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes vs. Ezekiel GoingJackson, Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz, Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston, John Morrison vs. R-Truth - I would have been fine with any of those bouts taking place at SummerSlam. Hell, even Otunga & McGillicutty vs. Santino & Ryder could have been realistically announced for the PPV.
Instead, WWE made the mistake of putting all the focus on the WWE Championship match. Don't get me wrong, I loved the contract signing, and enjoyed both Cena vs. Swagger and Punk vs. Del Rio, but WWE could and should have found a way to promote other feuds for Sunday's PPV. Riley vs. Ziggler did not have to happen; especially since the post-match shenanigans took more time than the actual match. Morrison vs. Truth felt odd taking place on RAW, and not even the crowd were into it. Both matches have been saved for SummerSlam, and even if they are announced last-minute, they may have already lost their momentum.
I strongly doubt we'll only see four matches take place on Sunday. Chances are WWE are sticking with their old and stupid formula of "we'll hype the hell out of three matches, but we'll announce the rest of the card on the fly". That's why I'm fairly confident we'll see Miz vs. Mysterio and Ziggler vs. Riley announced over the weekend, or even during the show. WWE have to remember that while guys like Punk and Cena are the main draws, they're not the only draws either. Lots of people will purchase a PPV where Cena, Punk, and Randy Orton are all headliners, no doubt about it. But what about Miz's fans, Rey Mysterio's fans, etc.? Some people may not be too keen on seeing two rematches from WWE's last PPV taking place, so a strong undercard might change those people's minds and make them order SummerSlam.
Punk vs. Cena at Money in the Bank was such an epic match, and seeing it live made a five-star match even better. I'm sure their upcoming rematch will be awesome as well, but WWE are really counting on the match to sell the PPV, which is not fair. Cena vs. "Dwayne" is already confirmed for Wrestlemania 28, but will WWE book only four matches for Wrestlemania, assuming the main-event is all they need for people to buy it? Of course not. Therefore, I do not understand why all the emphasis has been put on Cena vs. Punk, especially going into one of the year's biggest PPVs.
So once again, I ask - can Punk vs. Cena save SummerSlam?
I'll let you be the judge of that.
6. Day 346
I know I'm approximately forty-eight hours early, but I know I won't have time to post my predictions for WWE's second biggest Pay-Per-View of the year (yeah right) before Sunday night, so I'm sharing them now. At least WWE bothered to announce a fifth match for the event, but still, only five pre-announced matches for SummerSlam? Really, WWE? Really? Anyways, let's kick things off with the "newest" match on the card:
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
I was pleasantly surprised to see this added to the card, especially beforehand, as I felt both men would be left sitting on the sidelines comes Sunday evening. Fortunately, I was wrong. In case you've missed Smackdown! the last few weeks, these two have been developing a nice little feud that stems back to Barrett being the last man standing on the ladder at Money in the Bank before Bryan kicked him off and won the coveted briefcase. Since MitB, they've been in each other's face inside the ring, outside the ring, and even on commentary. I doubt this rivalry will end on Sunday, but one thing is for sure - Bryan won't lose. Barrett is being used to put Bryan over as a major force, and that all starts two days from now.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
WWE Divas Championship: Kelly Kelly (c.) vs. Beth Phoenix
I have to credit the WWE for finally announcing a divas title match I can care about. I'm not going to indulge into the rumours about Beth's backstage relationship with CM Punk being the reason for her out-of-nowhere push, because I'm just glad she's on the card this Sunday. This will be better than the Kelly Kelly/Bella Twins train-wrecks we've seen the past few months, but not by much. After putting up a good fight, the Barbie shall fall to the Phoenix.
Winner, and NEW Divas Champion: Beth Phoenix
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
On paper, this match looks like garbage, but when you look into things a bit further, you might be surprised by what you see on Sunday. These two have tangled in the past with the roles reversed (Sheamus the heel and Henry the face), and while none of their matches were match of the night levels of awesomeness, they were quite entertaining, considering the participants. Now that these two actually have a reason to do battle, and on PPV, if given the right amount of time, it could very well be one of the night's better matches. Obviously not better than the two world title matches, but Sheamus and Henry could have more chemistry than Bryan and Barrett do. As for the winner, it all depend son who leaves Los Angeles with the world heavyweight title. If Orton wins, then Sheamus will put over Henry big-time, and we'll get Orton vs. Henry at Vengeance for the world title. However, if Christian retains the gold, then I see him defending it against Sheamus at the next PPV.
Hmmm both men need the win; Henry to continue his wave of destruction and Sheamus to solidify his face turn, but only one can get the pinfall (they'd better not do a DQ or count-out finish). What the hell, I give the win to Sheamus, but Henry will bounce right back, trust me.
No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Christian (c.) vs. Randy Orton
Since I picked Sheamus to go over Henry, then I assume you know who I'm going with here. There's not much I can add to this feud that hasn't already been said, but WWE would be crazy to put the belt back on Orton. Christian has only been world champion for three weeks, but the past three episodes of Smackdown! have all scored higher ratings than every episode with Orton as the champ. Therefore, after putting on another classic, I predict Christian will finally pin Orton and put an end to this great feud.
On a side note, unless another match like Riley vs. Ziggler or Mysterio vs. Miz is announced last-minute, isn't it funny that Smackdown! have more official matches at SummerSlam than RAW does? Not only that, but of the two RAW matches on Sunday, one of them involve divas? It must suck to be the RAW midcard right now. Talk about dropping the ball.
Getting back on track...oh yeah, Christian wins. I hope.
Winner, and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Christian
WWE Championship: John Cena (c.) vs. CM Punk (c.)with Triple H as the Special Guest Referee
I don't want to shit all over the SummerSlam main-event, but I truly believe WWE could have built up this match so much better. Granted, last Monday's contract signing probably got a lot of extra buys, but how many people reading this can honestly say they're more excited than their first encounter at last month's MitB PPV?
...That's what I thought. Inserting Triple H as the special guest referee, like it not, is a smart move because it adds doubt to the match's outcome. You can tell a screwjob is coming, but you don't know from which angle. Will HHH side with Cena and screw Punk of the title? Or will HHH and Punk be revealed as the ones in a secret alliance? Either way, there's no way this match gets called down the middle on Sunday. I'm just praying us internet fans are not disgusted with the result.
Both men have a 50/50 chance of leaving as the TRUE WWE Champion. Cena could win, only to go on to feud with Del Rio, or Punk could win, feuding with Mysterio, Del Rio, and maybe even The Miz. I'm not confident with my pick, but Scenario B sounds a lot more fun, so let's go with that.
Winner, and STILL/NEW WWE Champion: CM Punk
7. Day 347
I'm serious. It's no secret that Alberto Del Rio's popularity within the Internet Wrestling Community has been shot the past few months (especially with CM Punk's meteoric rise to the top of RAW), but if you honestly thought Del Rio would not successfully cash-in his Money in the Bank briefcase, then you must have smoking something. Del Rio has been pushed by company officials ever since his debut. He debuted last fall, and by December 2011, he was already competing for the world heavyweight title on Pay-Per-View. Last night on RAW, Jerry Lawler commented that Del Rio has had an amazing year thus far, and he's right. Del Rio Won the Royal Rumble, headlined Wrestlemania 28, received another title shot at Extreme Rules, won Money in the Bank last month, and is now the "Undisputed" WWE Champion.
Despite all that preparation, there are still many people out there who feel Del Rio isn't ready to be the top dog on RAW. Well, first of all, Del Rio may be the WWE Champion, but he's not the number one guy. Both John Cena and CM Punk are at the head of the food chain, with Rey Mysterio and The Miz not far behind. With Del Rio now the WWE Champion, I'd say he's now the fifth biggest RAW superstar. This is a formula that's been in effect for decades now. When Ultimate Warrior won the WWE Championship, he may have been "The Champ", but Hulk Hogan was still the "man". Mankind won the world title several times, but was he ever a bigger draw than Stone Cold or The Rock? No. Even when CM Punk defeated Edge for the world heavyweight title three years ago, Batista vs. Cena was RAW's top feud, not Punk's program with JBL. Therefore, as long as Punk, Cena, and Mysterio are still heavily involved every week, I have no problem with Del Rio holding the most valued prize in the company.
However, this isn't a debate of whether Del Rio deserves to be WWE Champion or not. Instead, I wish to focus on why Del Rio will be a superb champ, and not follow in the footsteps of Sheamus or Jack Swagger, for example. In the case of Sheamus, he was pushed WAY too quickly, as he won the WWE Championship less than three months on his RAW debut. The fans simply had no time to buy into his character. As for Swagger, he went from jobbing to Santino one week, to winning Money in the Bank and becoming world champion the next week. Therefore, it was hard for the fans to take Swagger seriously, and his feuds with Big Show and Rey Mysterio did him no favours.
Fortunately for Del Rio, he doesn't suffer from either of these drawbacks. He's been on the main roster for about a year now, and has been pushed heavily on both RAW and Smackdown!. Not only that, but Del Rio has picked up wins against Rey Mysterio, Christian, and The Big Show, among others, which makes him credible in a lot of people's eyes. If Del Rio does indeed face Cena or Cena AND Punk at Night Of Champions, and walks away victorious, that will only get him over with the fans, because he has defeated one (or both) of RAW's top stars. Unlike Sheamus and Swagger, I predict Del Rio's championship reign will be booked much stronger than expected (it's already off to a good start after cleanly defeating Mysterio last night).
Now here's the tricky part. Many members of the IWC criticize Del Rio for being average in the ring, and cutting repetitive promos. These are the two main reasons people can't stand him, and groaned when he beat Punk at SummerSlam to win the WWE Championship. While he's certainly no Chris Benoit in the ring, and not Chris Jericho on the stick, he's a lot better than people give him credit for. I recall his matches against Christian and Rey Mysterio from Smackdown! - every one of them was good. Even his Wrestlemania match against Edge was decent. As for his microphone skills, Del Rio cut some great promos on Mysterio ("the little chiwawa") before creative told him to keep talking about how it's his destiny to become champion. Well, now that Del Rio IS the champion, I'm confident his promos will go in a new direction. Just give it time.
To be honest, I don't think people are upset because Del Rio is the new champion. Rather, I believe they're upset because CM Punk is NOT the WWE Champion. They're upset that WWE gave Punk a month-long reign with the belt and then gave it to Del Rio so he can be champion when WWE rolls into Mexico next October. If that is the case, that's too damn bad. I'm a huge fan of Punk, but am I crying over the fact he dropped the title? No, because his angle with Cena has turned him into something he wasn't six months ago - a legit main-eventer. Punk no longer needs the title to get over, but Del Rio does. And when Del Rio does get over, he'll be a huge star, not only in Mexico, but around the world as well.
But you already know that.
Song Of The Day:
As promised, I decided to skip out on watching SummerSlam this year. After reading the results, in which I went 1-4 with my picks, I wasn't too sad on missing out (especially when I saw that Orton won the title back). However, once everyone started talking about how good the matches were, I started to regret my choice and after YouTubing Orton/Christian, Cena/Punk, and Barrett/Bryan, I realized I made the wrong decision. Oh, well. That's what I get for judging a book by it's cover.
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