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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (Feb 20-26) - Columns PLUGS, Rock, and UFC
By PEN15
Feb 24, 2012 - 9:08:43 PM

Feb 24 - Columns PLUGS, Rock, and UFC

Feb 22 - Smackdown was F'n PERFECT

Feb 21 - Raw Thoughts + Show of the Week

Columns PLUGS, Rock, and UFC

I took a stroll through the Columns Forum in LOPforums recently. I was invited to be a judge on a contest that is taking place, where we are pitting USA writers against United Kingdom writers. At the same time, I was able to catch up on some other columns and columnists. So I’d like to start out with a few plugs and links to what is going on there.

Columns Forum

Within these pages, you may notice that some of the column/thread titles have (UK vs US) at the end. These are the ones involved with the contest. Round 1 was based on collaborations, including one with our newest main pager mizfan. So take a look at what could be the next crop of LOP writers.

Next I’d like to highlight 2 columns that I endorse. Now, I’ll even admit I haven’t read most of these columns. I don’t have the patience to write my own 2-5 pieces a week, and then read the ones involved in that competition, the few on the main page I also read, and then the ones in the CF. BUT, I love the format of these columns. They take the spirit of the old blog style writing, and perfect it for the CF. They will never win columnist of the month, which is a shame. So I want to highlight great editorial, content based writing, which I find lacking in the CF in general (along with the main page). If you enjoy my style of writing with it being based on content, you’ll enjoy these write ups.

KWANG the Blog from DMJ

The Triple R from TripleR

I will not claim these guys to be the future, as this type of writing is stripped to the basics, and very editorial in delivery. Hence it’s my favorite. It’s not about colors, pictures, videos, gimmicks, thugery…etc. It’s just solid writing about wrestling. If you enjoy my stuff even on occasion enough to be reading right now, give these guys a shot, and show support of you enjoy it as much I do.

And if you don’t like that style, you won’t like today’s columns. It’s back to blog style writing roots for me this week, and today continues on the same path.

Rock’s Value to WWE and Wrestlemania

Somewhere, there’s someone reading this that hates the Rock for returning and not devoting more effort to WWE. And as I write this, I wonder how much paint they must have chugged to be so ****ing retarded.

While I’ll never be confused as a major fan of the Rock, it takes a special kind of stupid to have assumed he meant he’d return more than he has. I won’t go into the depth that I’m sure the Good Doctor of LOP went into, but ignorance is the main issue at hand here. If you’re old enough to find a site like LOP, then you’re old enough to understand what the Rock meant when he returned. It baffles me to no end that anyone takes anything a wrestler says on TV as gospel. When Santino said he was going to last longer than Honky Tonk Man as Intercontinental Champion, did you believe that too?

Rock returning is a good thing. While everyone and their mother might hope he’d do more, as well as work with someone other than John Cena, the money to be made is at Wrestlemania against John. Rock is drawing eyes to himself and John for that match, but people have to spend over $50 to see it. They aren’t going to turn on the TV at 10:00 EST and just watch the main event. They will watch for all 4 hours. This is WWE’s chance to keep those eyes locked in for Extreme Rules. Rock draws the crowd, and the next generation needs to keep them.

So that’s why I hope Wrestlemania has a Money in the Bank ladder match. If Rock is getting the attention of Attitude Era fans who were spoiled by tag team TLC matches for the Tag gold, then showcase the modern era of Ladder Matches.
Let’s let CM Punk and Jericho have a solid match. Let HHH vs Undertaker turn into a complete slobberknocker, and let them blade. Showcase the new generation as much as possible.

And then thank Rock afterwards.


Looks like a great card is on this weekend. This will be broadcast from Japan, and occurring at noon Japan time on Sunday, to air on Saturday evening for North Americans at our standard UFC expectations. I’m looking forward to the mini party that I’ll be holding to enjoy the fights. It’s main evented by a Lightweight Championship bout, but the true main event to me will be Rampage Jackson, who WWE fans may recognize from his guest host appearance when the A-Team was on Raw.

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.


Smackdown Live Thoughts

While I’ll never delude myself into thinking that this special Live Tuesday episode of Smackdown was the type of show that would sustain ratings on a Monday night, in my opinion it was the perfect WWE TV show. From top to bottom, I felt that this is what I should be tuning into every week, be it Fridays or Mondays.

Now, don’t confuse me here. When I say perfect, I mean in terms of shape, but not delivery. I’m going to break down everything that was perfect about Smackdown

Why the Opening Segment was Perfect

Smackdown opened with the champion delivering another one of his solid promos. While Daniel Bryan will never be Hogan, Cena or the Rock on the mic, he’s miles ahead where most of his detractors claimed he was during NXT. This promo continued to garner him heat and was just long enough to get his point across, earn him the boos and not going over the limit like HHH does on a regular basis. This all lead to Miz walking down the aisle, and throwing an interesting monkey wrench into the mix. While Miz was complimentary, we never understood Bryan’s reception of the praise. One great part of Bryan’s heel turn is while he’s become a cheap victory searching son of a bitch, he has held his grudges against guys like Cole. For the sake of keeping things in that regard, and not standard heel, I hope Bryan tells Miz to **** off eventually, and let it lead to a Miz face turn rather than an actual team between the two.

Obviously Miz’s appearance was only for Sheamus to get in Bryan’s face without leading it to any real confrontation, and it lead to the opening match between two main event players on the verge of “breaking out” in Miz vs Sheamus.


Honestly, I haven’t read Hustle or mizfan’s commentaries in full, as I only skimmed them to see if I wasn’t alone in loving the show. It seems I was as Hustle hated it except for the main event (not surprising) and Mizfan had equal positives to negatives. Again, I only took cursory glances at this time as I felt it would hinder my own opinion if I concentrated too much on their comments. But I fail to see anything wrong with that start of the show. It gave us a match that kicks everything off well, displayed the next generation of stars to those tuning in for Rock/HHH/Undertaker/Wrestlemania season, and didn’t push the time limits for an opening promo. There was nothing ‘cluster****’ about it, and left intrigue into what may occur between the former NXT rookie and pro from season 1.


Why Miz vs Sheamus was Perfect

In theory, a longer match might have benefitted Miz a bit more. But let’s be honest: this year’s Wrestlemania season isn’t about last year’s main event winner. And there was no damage in that win that can’t be fixed post Mania. There’s no harm in being in the main event of Wrestlemania one year, and being in the midcard the next. Macho Man did that after losing to Hogan at the 5th installment. His career seems to be quite well in tact, even if his car and life are not.

Therefore, we gave the upcoming challenger to the World Title a victory against last year’s champion heading into his main event title shot. And it wasn’t a bad match. It wasn’t special or ground breaking, but it wasn’t bad. Which, in a way, is perfect.

Why Kofi/Truth vs Vickie’s Boyz was Perfect

I don’t think any long time fan should ever bitch when WWE has put any effort into the tag division. It’s obvious that they choose when to give those gladiator belts the right attention based on which singles stars have nothing to do. And when you concentrate on so many upcoming stars without tag teams, you end up with a roster on either brand of guys with no direction, but you can’t afford to lose either. It’s hard to imagine any WWE creative nucleus not working towards a future involving Dolph Ziggler. This match was almost 100% developed for that man, as he’s the only guaranteed future star in the group. His time wasn’t at the Rumble, so now WWE have to play it safe with him. He can’t become irrelevant, nor should he grab the US gold so soon after losing it and moving up the ladder to a WWE title match.

Solution: make the tag division mean something, and make him a king there!

At the same time, it gives us the best aspects of both Truth and Kofi, who don’t seem to have star value as singles stars. They have gimmicks at this time that are perfect for the midcard in a Kofi B Ware kind of way, which could make their team similar to High Energy. Not a great example, but I didn’t want to stick with only references to black wrestlers. The point is that without a gimmick makeover, or a heel turn (which would be ill advised for Truth so soon after his face return), Kofi and Truth are doomed to battle for the US gold with Jack Swagger and/or Zack Ryder. They fit well as a team. Kofi is a great tag wrestler due to his style which can get annoying in a 15 minute singles match. Cutting his ring time in half, along with having him be worthy of both giving or receiving a hot tag, would help any teammate he’s partnered with.

This segment might end up being a throw away without any of the possibilities I mentioned, and I could be wrong. But I’m not. These guys deserve spots on the Mania card. I’m sensing some sort of multi team tag match for the belts, and with the exposure this week, both teams have earned a spot to contend.

Why 1st hour backstage segments were Perfect

There seems to be a major storyline brewing concerning the GMs of Raw and Smackdown. I’ll never be a fan of these guys taking up the time on TV without benefitting an actual wrestler, but as we saw from the main event, the show worked itself into incorporating the brand champions with the GM conflict. There’s something to come from it, and it hasn’t taken up too much time (yet). No problem there.

Santino is coming off a hot appearance at the Chamber. It’s a hard time to be pushing someone like Santino, as so much of the precious screen time deserves to be devoted to the Wrestlemania feuds. He has benefitted from Orton’s injury with increase spotlight, but there are not many opponents available for him to work with. I sensed Cody vs Santino, but obviously that’s not the route they’re going. So, let’s keep him doing what’s worked. It’s not like it was an angle that had the Bradley center exploding for his win in the Chamber, it was the career of being a lovable goofball. Let him keep going, and he’ll get his chance to shine again. He’ll win some jobber matches, much like Ryder did in 2011, and go from there.

Why the Squash Matches were Perfect

I will never bitch about squash matches. Honestly, because of the Monday Night Wars, we’ve been spoiled by the amount of big name matches on TV. This is a bad thing, as it makes the matches much less valuable on PPV. If they are giving away Punk vs Bryan on TV for free 2 times in the span of 3 weeks, it’s going to be harder to sell on PPV.

So I’ll never bitch about Khali dominating losing streak McIntyre. Granted, I don’t think much of McIntyre as a talent, but I do feel he’s nowhere near being released. He’s got a storyline going, and we’ll see where it ends up.

Same goes for Otunga vs Big Zeke. Right now, there’s much more value in Otunga as the leech heel character he has. No matter what skills he may or may not have, he’s a valued asset in garnering heat as a stooge to the Raw GM. Zeke is impressive, but he’s in need of a makeover. I still say he should be teaming with Henry as a dominant heel bruiser team, but any teammate could help him. Losing won’t hurt because his size and look will make up for a lot when the time comes.

Why Big Show vs Mark Henry was Perfect

I love how Big Show is ending matches with the punch to the face. As an MMA fan, I can appreciate how a fist can knock someone out ****ing cold. The biggest fist in WWE from the world’s largest athlete, it makes sense. Plus, Henry looked like a killer for most of the match. His push isn’t over.

Plus, it led to Cody confronting Big Show. I won’t be excited for the in ring product between these two, but I’ll be all for Big Show making Rhodes look like a star. The segment let Rhodes use his charisma to get under Show’s skin, and was entertaining.


Why the Raw Replays were Perfect

I will be putting a silver lining on this one, BUT, if that Undertaker vs HHH promo was condensed, there’d be no reason to complain. These replays condensed it. Now, I won’t be ignorant enough to think that those guys only need 2-3 minute in quick recap videos, but I think it shows that what they achieved in their near 20 minute promo time could have been reduced if they could show the message in highlights within a recap.

Why CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan was Perfect

If I need to explain this one, you’re quite the ****ing fool.

But because I enjoy making people feel stupid, I’ll gladly tell you why this match was ****ing phenomenal. First, it made them both look like ****ing stars. It could be said that CM Punk is already made. Sure, he could benefit from a big victory to remove the excrement that is still found in his hair from when HHH shit all over him, but he’s already among the top 5 stars in the company in terms of credibility (behind Orton, Cena, HHH and Taker). So by making Bryan look like his equal does a great service to the World Champion. D-Bry held his own in a competitive match that was built to let the audience know how superior these 2 guys are. So it helped build to not only their own Wrestlemania matches, but the upcoming Teddy Long vs John Laurinitus angle that seems to be brewing quite nicely. It was hilarious seeing the GMs supporting the stars from the opposite brands.

And it was a terrific TV main event. This is a match that could do amazing in a PPV setting, especially Wrestlemania. It was very old school in how Daniel Bryan worked CM Punk’s body with attacks to the arm. While not the most credible of moves, it was a nostalgic match when I saw him bend Punk’s limbs into position for the strikes delivered. It features not only the great work these guys delivered in ROH and other independents, but also classic WWE drama.

At the end of the year, this might not be included in a Best of 2012 DVD collection, but it’ll be on the list. I’m hard pressed to find any TV matches that surpass that. In fact, besides Punk vs Ziggler at the Rumble, I’ve yet to see any singles matches better than this.

Seriously, what a great show. I only wish Raw and Smackdown could be this solid on a regular basis. And it was accomplished without any of the big name stars in live action. If you included Cena, HHH and Orton in this formula, it would only be better.

Please WWE, take note of how well this show delivered from top to bottom, and keep that in mind.

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.


Raw Thoughts

Raw was a rather standard post PPV production, as the competitors in the Chamber were given light work for the evening. Now, obviously this means that the name power spent more time on the microphone than in the ring, but that’s the sacrifice of drawing at Wrestlemania. Good or bad, I understand it.

Honestly, it was a good show. I won’t go into detail, but other than the time wasted on HHH vs Taker (segment wasn’t a waste, but was too long and should have been shorter) nothing seemed out of place to me. The build to Wrestlemania was also in high gear, as 2 extra main event matches were announced. In fact, I think we have the final half of Wrestlemania XVIII already planned out for us, and now they need to fill the rest of the 4 hour production. In the meantime, Cena upped the ante for the confrontation with the Rock, HHH vs Taker took a strong step forward with the Hell in a Cell announcement (even if the promo work and length was ridiculous), Punk vs Jericho is set in stone, and Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus was confirmed on TV after it being strongly hinted at during the PPV on Sunday.

Show of the Week

Stiff competition from not only TNA Impact and a rather decent episode of Smackdown, but I was wrong in assuming that UFC’s free television event on Fuel would be the best show of the week. But WWE kicked the door in with their solid PPV of Elimination Chamber.

I was quite impressed with the Chamber PPV. Had I paid for it, I’d have been happy with my purchase. Yearly, the Chamber matches have positively attributed to the 3rd best gimmick PPV of the year. While the Rumble will also have the top spot, and the Money in the Bank PPVs have been stellar, Elimination Chamber is one of those shows that delivers no matter who is wrestling it seems. You have to give everyone credit in this one. The Smackdown Chamber for example didn’t have a lot of momentum or star power to work with, yet still managed to steal the show thanks to tremendous in ring work, along with some solid setting up of the match by the agents backstage.

The Cena/Kane match was a terrific closer.

mini rant

As to those complaining about how it devalues the title to not finish an event, I’ll repeat: wrestling is fake, titles don’t have credibility, wrestlers do. John Cena is the single strongest credible wrestler on the WWE roster, and by making his match last, you keep him credible. The main event had more storyline and drama going into it, and this will continue into Wrestlemania. Just like how Rock/Cena and HHH vs Taker will get top billing and the title matches will be a step below. Does this suck for the titles? No, it sucks for the champions. BUT, the point of Wrestlemania has always been to get more people to watch regularly. That was the goal in 1985 with MTV and the Rock N’ Wrestling revolution, and the same goes for Hollywood Rock vs WWE Star Cena in 2012.

After Wrestlemania, the eyes that Rock and Cena bring to the weekly TV shows will see Cena tangle with Punk, Sheamus, Bryan and Jericho (if he sticks around) and that credibility he brings will rub off on them. It all works out in the end. So stop bitching. This goes to fans reading this that have a sense of entitlement or delusion about the championships, along with WWE employees bitching via text to a dirtsheet. You’re all ****ing morons.
/end rant

So, I had no complaints, not even with the US title match added last minute. I never understood the complaints about a match being booked at the last minute, especially one that wouldn’t have added to the buyrates in the first place. They gave the customer something more for free essentially. How people complain about this, I don’t know. I’m not saying it was a good match, but it wasn’t a bad one, and it used guys that could definitely benefit from the spotlight in the long run.

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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