As much as this is a wrestling site, I’ve got to start by covering the UFC from this weekend. While many uneducated sports fans will wave off the talents of a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, they missed out on what may have been the best UFC fight of all time. Now, I don’t know if I’ll join that bandwagon, but I must say that it was the best fight I had seen in a long time. It was an altogether great night of fights, where we saw everything from a brutal KO, a beautiful submission, great technical stand-up, and a battle of endurance in the main event. I watched the event at the sports bar, paid $10 at the door, spent around $40 in drinks and food, and definitely got my money’s worth. That’s something I can rarely say with a WWE PPV these days (though I don’t pay for most of them). UFC is easily worth the expensive price tag more consistently, and UFC 139 was above and beyond the standard event. If there are people reading who have considered delving into the UFC world once in a while, I suggest starting with UFC 139. It’s easy to locate on a torrent site, so do the simple download and watch a great event. If that show doesn’t do it for you, than in my opinion, nothing MMA has to offer ever will. But judging on a 64 second bout is not the right place to start, just like starting with a Khali match wouldn’t be the best place to start on WWE. As wrestling fans, we know that certain matches and events aren’t the right barometer for the entire product, so before shunning an entire sport with much more variety than pro wrestling offers, understand that a single fight is not a litmus test for the entire UFC.
Moving on, The Ultimate Fighter is coming to a close this week. The last episode will air on Wednesday, leading into the Finale on the 3rd where we determine the 2 Ultimate Fighters of season 14. I must say, as the few Michael Bisping fans out there, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller came off as one of the best coaches and entertaining personalities in MMA. I expected him to be a major douchebag judging by his hair colors and post StrikeForce: Nashville actions, but he’s on the level of Tito Ortiz in terms of surpassing my expectations, and actually turning me into a fan due to his attitude on TUF. And thus far, unlike Tito, he has not ruined it by dropping out of the fight with the other coach. I am looking forward to that free event, as the talents on TUF14 have been much better and more interesting than most recent seasons, and the coaches are fighting for the first time on free TV since season 5 in 2007. Also, this will be the last event on Spike TV, as the Fox network will takeover all UFC TV shows (most likely ending up on Fuel or FX).
And after that, we have UFC 140, with the main event being a Light Heavyweight Championship match between champion Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida. Now, Jon Jones is one hell of an athlete. If you’ve been swayed to give a UFC PPV a shot, this would be a great place to start if only to witness Jones display his skills. He is so unorthodox and entertaining, that it overshadows Machida, who at one point was the most unorthodox and entertaining Light Heavyweight. My gut tells me Jones will keep the title, and that’s who I’m pulling for (he’s so ****ing dominant and dynamic) but Lyoto could be the first person to solve the Jones-puzzle. Jones has been defeated, but it was a DQ for using downward elbows on a pathetic Matt Hamill, one of the biggest bitches in MMA.
If you read my recent work, you’d know I had no draw to see this event. It was being shown at the local theater, but I chose not to pay any money for the show, as I expected it wouldn’t have been worth it. In the end, I made the right choice, though it was close.
Honestly, the event wasn’t so special. The main event did exactly what I expected: be nothing but a stepping stone to Wrestlemania. What I didn’t expect was the result, which was disappointing. Now, I won’t be quick to jump on saying the WWE dropped the ball by not giving Awesome Truth the win, because it seems like Truth could have been the reason why it went the way it did. Now that’s been suspended, it looks quite likely that the WWE kept him on the active roster to sell the show, but had no intention of letting him get momentum since they knew he’d be gone for 30 days. I could be wrong, but I’m going to say that the drugs had more to decide the winner than any WWE favoritism.
CM Punk won the WWE title, and it appears that Vince and co. are FINALLY accepting that the Straight Edge Savior could be the next face of the WWE… or at least, they are calling him that. Naming an era after his reign on wwe.com, and the fact that he won at MSG… it looks like bright things in terms of main event direction for Raw. I wouldn’t be shocked if this leads to Cena moving to Smackdown in the next draft, though I don’t expect it.
I don’t think the WWE have found their new Austin, but they are certainly treating it like they have. Unfortunately, the WWE is no longer in touch with the mindframe they had when Stone Cold broke out, and I don’t expect Punk to reach those levels because of it. It’s not to say that he’ll fail, but he’s more like the next Orton or HBK, in which he’ll be a star, but he could never be THE star. Even with the wins over Cena.
But that’s a discussion for another day.
As for Del Rio… **** him.
The World Championship match was another “attraction” more than match, which is absolutely fine with me. Henry and Show put on a hell of a display in their recent angle, and this match just helped it keep going. Their feud has been based on a series of spots, but they’ve worked well into the dynamic of the big man matches. Big Show’s top rope elbow drop was an amazing feat. Not as showstealing as the broken ring, but still a highlight in a somewhat weak night of wrestling.
The Match of Survival was standard stuff: nothing wrong with it whatsoever, but also nothing too memorable. The best part was how over Cody Rhodes was. The NYC crowd ate it up for the formally disturbed/dashing one, a great sign for the son of Dusty.
The women wrestled, and I didn’t care, though it was a nice finish.
Dolph showcased why he is the true breakout star in the WWE with his event opening match. Dolph Ziggler should be not only #heel, but #clutch, because he has been nothing but solid in every match I’ve witnessed in the last 3 years. He had another standout match with John Morrison, who really looked like junk, as usual. I fail to see what anyone sees in this slob, as he’s nothing but a midcard talent for life. If he (or Melina) expect him to be main event material, he needs to learn how to have a personality, how to talk, and how to wrestle. **** him. The right man went over.
But, the real story of the match was how over Zack Ryder was. The MSG crowd was electric for the Long Island Iced Z. While I’m no Morrison fan, the booing towards him (as much as I enjoyed) had more to do with the fact that it wasn’t Ryder than actually shitting on Morrison. As we saw from Raw the next night, it looks like the WWE is playing it smart, and milking the drive to see Ryder dethrone Ziggler for the United States Championship.
All in all, an average show, that looked even better because it wasn’t soured by ****ing HHH.
As for Raw… meh.
Honestly, it was a lackluster show. The exciting new champion built a feud with a non-wrestling GM, Kevin Nash had another promo which led to nothing, 100 minutes went by without the main star of the program appearing, and then showed up to cut a promo that was predictable, the final scene of the Awesome Truth fallout seemed rushed and felt “booked on the fly” as usual, the rising midcard star Zack Ryder lost without any upward momentum…etc.
Now, I will congratulate the wrestling content of the show, as almost every match was more than serviceable. Rhodes/Santino’s segment would be the weakest match, but it led to the confrontation with Booker T. This is a good thing. Rhodes needs an opponent to work with as IC champ, and Booker brings name power without hurting any other rising star. Zigglger vs Punk might have been TV match of the year, with Barrett vs Kofi being impressive as well (though any match with Kofi is doomed to fail to surpass 3 stars).
So while the wrestling was pretty good, the fallout from Survivor Series was flat. This is mostly to do because Survivor Series was flat. And if that’s not depressing enough, remember, HHH will most likely be returning soon.
Any wonder why I covered UFC so well now?
And on that note, peace out.
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