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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (Feb 13-19) Chamber vs UFC on Fuel and Cena Turns Heel!!!
By PEN15
Feb 16, 2012 - 4:43:06 PM

Feb 15b - Elimination Chamber Hype and UFC Review

Feb 15a - Cena: The Heel Turn

Feb 13 - UFC on Fuel 1 (and how it relates to wrestling fans)





Elimination Chamber

I might as well try to hype this PPV somehow, because WWE sure as hell haven’t done it too well. Other than the Cena vs Kane match, no match on this card has been well developed whatsoever. It’s at the point where I think WWE would have been wise to have had HBK’s appearance booked for the PPV instead, or at least a continuation of the HBK/HHH/Taker angle lead into the Chamber. I won’t hide how I’m not a fan of it, but there’s no denying the sad fact that many people are buying into this one. You might as well make some money off of it.

But I digress

John Cena vs Kane (Ambulance Match)

Unlike many, I’ve been enjoying this angle. I guess that sentence can be, and has been, repeated several times whenever Cena is involved in a top storyline. It never ceases to amaze me how little IWC fans give credit to Cena for the storylines he’s involved in. He carries a storyline so well. All Kane has had to do throughout the entire angle are long promos that haven’t been that good, and beat up Zack Ryder. Ryder has his share, as he’s been the cannon fodder, and taken his lickings well. But everything else is up to Cena to carry, and he’s done amazingly well with very little.

To be fair, Cena is being protected right now. I don’t mean in the sense of his credibility, though that is true too. But rather he needs to be injury free going into Wrestlemania. He hasn’t wrestled on Raw, and his Royal Rumble appearance was rather safe and quick. That’s why the stipulation is such an odd one, as an Ambulance match is a tad safer than most other no holds barred type matches. The bar has been raised for Last Man Standing, or I Quit matches, but Ambulance matches have no recent history to compare. It’s not hard to imagine Kane knocking Cena silly enough to get him in the ambulance with nothing more than a chokeslam. He would answer a count of 10 from that, but it could be enough to get him on the gurney and push him to victory. I’m reminded of the Stretcher Match Brock Lesnar and Big Show had in 2003, and Brock had the forklift. The ending was impressive, but not because of the insane bump or beating show had to take to lose, rather it was because of the forklift. Same goes here. And either man can lose and still be ready for Wrestlemania. In fact, while I will never do a prediction column, I think I’d predict Kane to win here. It won’t be a clean win, but John won’t be hurt by the loss whatsoever. In fact, it’ll be the best way to lead into Wrestlemania, as his head won’t be in the game due to the Embrace the Hate angle, along with the Eve and Zack drama. Cena is ultimately always the underdog, or the WWE likes to make us think so. A loss here would cement that more than a win.

Elimination Chamber match for WWE Championship

It’s the Punk vs Jericho story, and we are barely at the epilogue of this novel. I think the champion retains here to go to the next chapter at Wrestlemania. Maybe something will develop out of the remaining 4 entrants to lead into Wrestlemania. I wouldn’t mind Kofi teaming with R-Truth in a tag team that would be higher up the card than AirBoom was. Happy black guys being goofy, with Kofi playing the straight man to Truth’s antics could work. But I’m clearly grasping at straws here. Expectations are low.

Elimination Chamber match for World Championship

Some major changes into the build for this match, which isn’t a bad thing. Honestly, it’s the most unpredictable match on the card, as the idea of Daniel Bryan defending his title at Wrestlemania seems to be a long shot, but no one else in the match seems to fit defending the belt either. Especially with Orton out of the match. Sheamus vs Bryan is probably the biggest match available without Randy involved, and Big Show tied up with Shaq. So I think both champions walk out of the Chamber successfully retaining their belts. This will lead to Michael Cole overusing the obvious “For the first time ever, BOTH champions walked in the Chamber champion, and walked out still the champion.”

Nirvana’s In Utero album is better than Nevermind

Does this have anything to do with Elimination Chamber? Not a single bit. But I felt I needed an extra layer to this blog. It also continues to indicate how poorly this event has been developed. Now I’m moving on to more UFC talk, so if you refuse to open your eyes to something new, you can go straight to the comments, or move on to another columnist at this point.

UFC on Fuel 1 - Results

I quite enjoyed myself watching UFC’s program on Wednesday. If my SHOW OF THE WEEK was announced today, it would defeat Raw easily. TNA, Smackdown, and the Chamber PPV will hopefully give it a run for the money. But the UFC event showcased everything I look for in an MMA event. As I described in the discussion thread on LOPforums, we saw heavyweights with KO power, smaller guys with technical skill and speed, a wrestling and striking based middleweight bout, an attraction heavyweight contest, and a main event that went to the finish with awesome action from the opening bell. I hope some readers give the free UFC shows a chance, and I’m going to continue to push the issue. Wrestling fans are allowed to watch football, or other crappy sports. Why not watch a good spot like MMA instead?


And on that note, peace out.



Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. I don’t look at the facebook comments too much, so I’ll hope for your email instead. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.
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Cena Heel Turn

I have often stated that I have little interest in dealing with “What If?” question that seem to permeate the LOP main page. Rather than discussing a minor rumor from an unreliable news source, I like to discuss what I see on my screen. So you’ll never see me talk about a Diva’s Ladder Match until it’s announced, or what would happen if half the WWE roster was eaten by Tremors. It is all nonsense, and uninteresting.

Well... almost all.

I think the discussion of Cena turning heel will also be at the tip of everyone’s tongue on the IWC, columnist and readers. It’s been a hotly debated topic for almost 5 years. Cena’s detractors are numerous, and as ineffective as they’ve been to convince me of how horrible he is, I am thinking it’s time for him to switch gears. The problem is that admittedly, the shock value of a change at this point isn’t going to be there. WWE has made the topic a hot commodity with the launch of t-shirts displaying hate towards their star, along with making angles out of other fan favorites ridiculing him. There’s no way it’ll be shocking now, so I think fans of the turn should give up the idea of it equaling the Hulk Hogan turn in WCW to join the N.W.O. While John Cena is definitely cut from the Hogan mold in a modern era, the surroundings are not the same. At all.

BUT
The name Hulk Hogan shouldn’t be dropped completely in terms of comparison for a heel turn. Right now, Cena is an ‘unstoppable’ machine, a ‘giant’ threat to any champion or challenger, who goes ‘undefeated’ for long lengths of time, and has ‘never been pinned’ cleanly by a heel. He’s a Giant Machine.

OK, not as clever as I’d hope, but long time fans will understand that if Cena should turn heel, he shouldn’t be the Hulk Hogan of the angle, he should be Andre the Giant. My thinking is that Andre’s heel turn is most likely the 2nd most important turn in history, and it helped make Hogan the international star he is today. The slam and pin on Andre was the turning point for Hogan to be THE face of wrestling.

Cena needs to do the same. Sure, the size comparison will most likely not be equaled, but leaving that aspect out of it, he can carry the rest. Now, if Cena is the Andre, WWE needs to find their Hulk. Is there anyone on the roster who comes close to fill those shoes? I don’t think it needs to be someone who will be THE major star, but just a major star. It’s a little late for it to be CM Punk, as Punk has defeated John a couple of times on the big PPV stage. No, never clean, but that’s such a minute detail in today’s world of wrestling, as clean victories are quite rare. It needs to be someone who will be threatened, shocked, and disappointed by Cena turning against him.

Honestly, I know everyone expects me to write in an answer. But there isn’t one right now. WWE is lacking someone for Cena to turn heel against. The answer will come from seeing which current heel can turn face and get some momentum. It might be Miz, who would fit the bill quite well due to their history. It might be Dolph Ziggler, who also could be daunted by a Cena challenger. It might be Cody Rhodes, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Christian, Drew McIntyre…etc.

The key to a successful Cena heel turn is in a face for him to battle against. There are no face characters that have impressed enough, or earned enough credibility to really get the reaction needed. But history has shown us that every major face star WWE has ever had, started with a successful heel run. There’s no telling if Cody Rhodes could be the next Bret Hart as smaller underdog champion. There’s no telling if Dolph Ziggler can be a modern Randy Savage with Vicky as his Elizabeth, or if Drew McIntyre’s losing streak will gain enough sympathy to get the fans behind him and build him into a star.

Or maybe Cena will be a Ricky Steamboat, and never turn heel again. ****, I hope not.

And on that note, peace out.



Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. I don’t look at the facebook comments too much, so I’ll hope for your email instead. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.
http://twitter.com/LOPPEN15


* * * * * * * *





Show of the Week


In what could be a sign of how poor WWE has been recently, I don’t have a lot on my mind these days about the current mainstream wrestling product. A feature I once thought would be interesting to add to my column would be “show of the week” where I would take my first column of the week (usually Monday or Tuesday) and rate the previous week’s events and shows. This will include UFC/MMA, along with WWE and TNA.

So for the week of February 6th to the 12th, I award the show of the week to… TNA Impact Wrestling for Thursday Feb. 9th.

Overall, I found the storylines lingering longer in my mind than Smackdown or Raw’s. In addition, I was much more curious about the results of Against All Odds than WWE’s current build to Elimination Chamber. As for the actual wrestling content, I felt that Impact had 4 solid matches, all 4 which received decent time with a hot crowd to help them out.

As for Against All Odds, I guess in fairness I’ll have to give the PPV a shot. If I am going to include TNA Impact, along with UFC and WWE TV and PPVs for consideration of ‘Show of the Week’, I should treat TNA Pay Per Views equally as well. I’ll try to catch up on Against All Odds, but the history of TNA PPVs have long left me weary of the entire product.

UFC on Fuel 1 (and how it relates to wrestling fans)

To continue with the lack of attention I feel WWE has earned, I’m going to focus on the upcoming UFC event that will be broadcast on Fuel TV in the US, and Sportsnet One in Canada. Oddly enough, I tend to watch a European feed through online streams, where I usually get the British ESPN to broadcast into my home. In general, the card’s name power isn’t all too exciting, but the best thing about MMA is that it doesn’t matter who’s on the card, you’re just as likely to get a great show as any other. Name power helps sell PPVs, but it doesn’t mean a better quality event. That’s where wrestling and MMA differ, as the predetermined nature of wrestling allows promoters to make stars out of their most talented performers, therefore mixing excitement, draw and skill in one package. MMA doesn’t have that luxury. An exciting fighter could be severely lacking in skill, and therefore can’t be a draw. Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller displayed amazing personality, and won me over as a fan during his stint as coach on last season’s Ultimate Fighter. While I had seen him fight before, I wasn’t influenced enough to think much either way, good or bad. His coaching on TUF changed that, and had me cheering him on leading into his match at the Finale. But he was made to look like a clown by Michael Bisping. It was such a one sided loss for Miller that he has not been mentioned by the UFC since. He could be cut from the promotion, or he could be held in reserve until his brand of personality is relevant again. Either way, he’s not the threat at middleweight he made me hope he was, and I’m not alone.

Another example is Jon Fitch. Fitch has been the #1 contender to George ‘Rush’ St. Pierre’s welterweight title in the UFC for as long as Rush has been champion. But he has only had one title shot, and rarely any main event appearances despite being dominant against all opponents except St. Pierre. The reason for this is because he’s one of the dullest fighters ever. While St. Pierre has an unfair reputation of being a boring fighter, Fitch has the undisputed and deserving crown of champion of boredom. His style is nothing but takedowns and smothering. It has been such a terrific style for him, as he went years without a loss. Only problem was that no one was watching; it was nap time for fans who knew better. (Thankfully he was knocked out by Jonny Hendricks recently, which will definitely make a star out of that bearded wonder).

My point is that even though the names for this card aren’t mainstream megastars, I still expect a great night of fights. I’ll tune in at 7ish to catch the preliminary fights be it through Facebook or other streams. And for the next 4-5 hours, I’ll expecting to enjoy UFC much more than WWE this week.

Now, to any fans complaining about MMA content on a wrestling site, I want to remind you that I’m a wrestling fan first, and nothing showcases how bad wrestling can be than by turning away lifelong fans like me during the Road to Wrestlemania season, and towards a generic free TV fight card.

Sanchez vs Ellenberger

While I’m a huge fan of The Ultimate Fighter reality show (WWE’s Tough Enough ripped off enough elements from TUF to be a decent show in its own right), it also helps me ‘embrace the hate’ towards certain fighters that ruin any chance of me giving a shit about them. I am sure these guys don’t care that a wrestling fan hates them, but I’m still going to bitch and explain why.

**** Diego Sanchez. I can only think of one man I despise in UFC more than him (****in’ Matt Hughes). This clown is a disgrace in all senses of the word, and it was all displayed on that debut season of Ultimate Fighter. This ****ing hippie shitstain needed his bed facing a certain direction for spiritual fulfillment. He’d pray annoyingly, and meditate in the rain. The original entrance into UFC was done by a live mariachi band. His original nickname was “the Nightmare” and now it’s “the Dream.” And what wrestling fans will understand as a reference used on today’s Smackdown, his routine screaming of “YES” as he comes down to the cage is as annoying as it is with Daniel Bryan. The difference is Bryan is trying to get heat. Diego actually motivates himself this way.

He’s a shithead.

So I hope Jake Ellenberger wins. In a standard wrestling fan position, I have a guy I am cheering for, and a heel I can’t wait to see lose. Jake is my Hulk Hogan, and Diego is Million $ Man. It’ll be awesome.

Struve vs Herman

It’s always a spectacle in wrestling when we see a match with a difference of size. Currently, Smackdown has the current angle of 7 foot tall Big Show vs 5’9” World Champion Daniel Bryan. We’ve seen Big Show vs Rey Mysterio, along with Undertaker vs Mysterio. Each and every time, it’s a curious event.

In UFC, Stefan Struve is the equivalent to the hosses of the WWE. Understandably nicknamed “The Skyscraper,” at 6’11”, Struve towers over all of his opponents. His opponent on Wednesday is Dave Herman, who is 6’5” which is perhaps average in the wrestling world, but is still a decent height in the UFC. Struve’s last opponent, Pat Barry, was 5’11”. Considering how the weight classes are essential to MMA, you can imagine the size difference between Struve and his opponents in terms of height, reach and thickness. Struve is a tall lanky guy that stands out in the Octagon against most opponents in the heavyweight division. While most of the heavies are super human in size, Struve stands out with his thinner yet longer limbs, and average half a foot height advantage. Add to the fact that he comes to fight 99% of the time, this could be a contender for fight of the night.

I’ll admit mild ignorance to Dave Herman. He’s only had 1 UFC fight, and I’m still catching up on Bellator and EliteXC. He had quite the win over John Olav Einemo last June. But when it comes to new fans, it seems that heavyweights are the best attraction, so this match has a high profile for the spectacle along with action.

WWE Thoughts

Raw

I guess I might as well cover some wrestling. Raw was disappointing. None of the matches were all too interesting, the build to the Elimination Chamber took a back seat to almost everything else on the show, and the soap opera bullshit was tepid at best. Honestly, the best part of the night was Zack Ryder’s bump off the ramp. I could have called it an average show, but the big draws were wasted. I am an HBK fan, and his whole appearance was to again feed HHH’s ego. If you venture into the forums, search users and read all WWE related posts by MissouriDragon. He’s nailed it on the head, as only HHH’s ego could turn last year’s LOSS to Undertaker into him having the advantage and can kill the legacy and brand of the Deadman easily… but chooses not to. That’s right. It boils down this right now: HHH HAS MADE UNDERTAKER THE UNDERDOG. Think about that for a minute. Seriously. That whole segment, and the rest of the angle, infuriated me. And yes, it angers me enough to ruin the show.

Smackdown

The blue brand has been a better program in general, but I still can’t get behind it completely. I think WWE have dropped the ball considerably with the build to the Chamber. While I don’t get the goosebumps I used to have from these promos, it’s been odd not seeing the great video packages put together to display the violence of the Elimination Chamber match. Perhaps it’s due to the PG direction, but WWE have not highlighted the significance of the gimmick. Honestly, take the name out of the PPV and match type, and tell me how the build is any different for a Six Pack Challenge? Or a 6 man battle royal? Also, the spotlight hasn’t been shared well, concentrating too hard on the obvious end results. On Smackdown, they’ve mixed it up a bit with Big Show vs Randy Orton as a mini-storyline, but there’s no way you really get behind Rhodes Khali, or Barrett in the match. It’s entirely the Big Show, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton storyline, + 3 random guys.

I’ll most likely to a hype column towards the Elimination Chamber later this week, but I can’t confirm it. I don’t like writing negatively, and it’s hard to find a lot positive going into this PPV. I guess that’s the danger you run into when having a “Grandest Stage of Them All” overshadowing the shows leading up to it. My hope is something on Smackdown changes this up, but at this point I’m only interested in the results of the show, and seeing which way Sheamus goes afterwards.


And on that note, peace out.



Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. I don’t look at the facebook comments too much, so I’ll hope for your email instead. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.
http://twitter.com/LOPPEN15

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