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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier (Oct 21) In the News/Random Thoughts
By PEN15
Oct 21, 2012 - 7:28:19 AM

In the News/Random Thoughts (or Dad’s masturbating to gay porn. Again?)

Kofi Kingston

Is it that time again? You know the one, where WWE thinks of pushing Kofi Kingston as a singles star? Oh, alright. I’ll wait for it to end, but in the meantime, I’ll enjoy his solid midcard matches.

I’ve often compared him to Koko B Ware. It might be because the names are similar. It might be because they are both black. The meat and potatoes segment of my argument is that he’s a more than capable midcarder, with absolutely no attributes to quantify him in the main event. He’s a not as talented or versatile version of Christian. He can wrestle a great midcard style match, or in the case of this week’s Main Event on Ion, a terrific TV main event. But does anyone really see the sort of qualities needed to main event a WWE PPV in Kofi Kingston? He doesn’t have a single talent that excels above others, he’s mere above average at best in everything (though mostly average).

He needs a change more than a push at this time. I think a heel turn is possibly the exact solution. If you want to capitalize on how he’s tight with CM Punk (not a big issue, but it’s been hinted at on TV and on documentaries often) then have him turn heel and side with Heyman and Punk. Test Kofi’s talent on the microphone as a heel (and use the better mouthpieces in case of emergency) and see if he can wrestle a heel in-ring style. He’s very RVD-like in that he’s got a locked in set of “pop moves,” but no evolution since his first appearance. If he continues down this path, he’ll be stale like RVD too.

He’ll never not be over. Nor would he never be an attribute in the WWE midcard/tag team scene. But keeping him as he is, the exact definition of the insults from The Miz recently, will only cause him to sink like Shelton Benjamin did (yes, another black guy who stayed in the midcard; do something).

Kofi shows a spark in his mic work where you know we can do more than the generic face promo. You can see he’s very athletic, and crisp on a lot of his moves. All that’s needed is for a bit of maturity in his development. It doesn’t need to be a heel turn, but it would be the most logical next step. Let’s keep him at the same level, but try something new. If it doesn’t work, he can turn face again. But I need to see something new from Kofi, if I’m supposed to care about him.

Hell in a Cell

I can’t say this is much of a card. With all the time to build it up since Night of Champions (which feels like months ago), WWE have done so very little. Ryback vs Punk has some excitement because it’s unpredictable. I don’t think anyone is really expecting a great match though. Same for Sheamus vs Big Show, and Orton vs Del Rio. Meh. WWE is stagnant, needing to find direction. The fact that the Intercontinental and Tag Team Titles seem to be the best developed angles at this time says a lot. I’ll never complain that more focus is on the midcard, but there’s no denying that the main event is lacking at this point, possibly because of too much attention elsewhere.


I was proud to order the CM Punk: Best in the World Blu-Ray to be the first Blu-Ray to own (though I ordered Prometheus at the same time, and it arrived first). No regrets on getting it, and I love it so far. I’ve watched the entire first disc so far, and was excited, and smiled pretty much the whole way. Knowing his ROH Best of Collections (1-3) are the most watched ROH DVDs in my collection, I’m sure this Blu-Ray will follow suit. I’ll never pretend he’s a hero, but it’s nice to see someone I’ve been pulling for in some way for over 7 years achieve so much; add to that, having a DVD reflecting that story is pretty sweet too. It’s a feel good DVD in that sense. To any online fan of Punk, you’ll enjoy, but won’t learn much from it.

Really, the bonus of the DVD is having so many of his great matches. I put together my own collection, and with maybe 3 exceptions, they were identical. Great stuff. If you want a longer and more in-depth review, Hustle covered it just nicely here:

HUSTLE reviews CM Punk: Best in the World

Seth Rollins/Tyler Black

One thing I noticed from watching the CM Punk documentary is how much Seth Rollins is being pushed on NXT like Punk was in OVW and early ECW. If they are hoping for Rollins to reach the same levels that Punk did, WWE and Rollins are going to be disappointed. Punk had a natural charisma that Seth doesn’t have. He’s very much a copycat, and it shows more and more every week. It’s not a bad thing if they are expecting a midcarder out of Rollins. But something tells me otherwise. Most of NXT comes across as future midcarders, but Seth is not one of the exceptions.

Kassius Ohno on the other hand…


After cramming some TNA into my last 7 days, I’m all caught up with their programming. Every episode amazes me in some way. Without repeating myself too much from last week, they have a nearly flawless wrestling show, but somehow Impact refuses to captivate me because of my lack of interest in their talent. I may not be the typical wrestling fan, but TNA needs to find new talent that will make me care to watch develop. I just mentioned how great it is to see CM Punk develop into what he is today after following him from the indies/ROH before he signed with WWE. I know I have a similar interest in Dolph Ziggler, and seeing how he progresses into the top level of the WWE. Same can be said for Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, and Kassius Ohno. I think people misunderstood from my last blog that they needed an A+ star. That’s not at all the issue, they have all the A+ stars they can handle. Most of TNA’s main event scene would fit in just fine in the WWE main event as well. They’ve done well in that regard. What they need is a new talent that has a spark. Something that signifies to me “OK, this guy is one to watch.” TNA has not had that in too long. Magnus is as close as they’ll get to that, with Zema Ion another that can possibly break out. But TNA hires too many talent that stay in their position without moving up. James Storm and Bobby Roode are pretty much the only exception to that rule. TNA needs to get their hands on a few young guns, and start them low on the card, and slowly develop them into their main event players.

Now, I understand the risk in doing that. TNA could lose these talents at any point if WWE came knocking with the bigger paycheck. I guess it’s a catch-22. But that’s such a key part of my enjoyment of wrestling. Not just the individual stories, but the career spanning stories. The fact that CM Punk’s tumultuous rise is captivating enough to be put onto a DVD tells you something. I don’t need a DVD to summarize it. I do need more wrestlers who can have their own similar stories. TNA might want to keep that in mind.

Bound for Glory

Bound for Glory was decent, maybe even the best TNA PPV I’ve ever seen. But I still wouldn’t watch it again. TNA makes me want to read the results more than watch the show, because they have terrific storylines. Not completely original, but well written rehash. Aces and 8s are very similar to the N.W.O. in many senses, though the mystery of them being masked adds something to the excitement. Having Devon be the first known member was a nice touch. In retrospect, TNA developed it perfectly. We should have seen the signs. Hogan was often mentioning how disappointed he was in TNA for dropping the ball in resigning him, both in off-air interviews, and a few times on Impact Wrestling. This was a tremendous reveal at Bound for Glory. And it was improved on Impact when it was shown he was a member, not the leader. So, he gets a push, a new lease on life, while still leaving lots of mystery to the angle. Great job.

I’m liking the Jeff Hardy/Austin Aries angle. I mentioned in the Forums that while I expected Austin to win, the angle was essentially to put the spotlight in him. And even in losing, you can tell that’s the goal. Hardy isn’t going to get any more over, so Austin is doing all the dirty work to elevate the angle. He’s making himself a bigger heel as Jeff’s foil.

The James Storm vs Bobby Roode match and angle was brilliant. TNA will have a hard time topping themselves in terms of solid long term booking. Even though it was most likely altered when Aries become TNA champion, TNA never lost a step, and created essentially a 3 main event PPV because of it.

UFC – Sonnen vs Jones

I guess it’s tough to differentiate the issues here when discussing with a mostly wrestling-based readership. While I’m excited for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, and the PPV title match to end the drama, it’s hard to ignore the flaws in the system.

In wrestling, having someone earn a title shot isn’t necessary. Sure, it helps, but there are ways around it.

In a legitimate sport, things are a bit different. Jon Jones is an undefeated champion at 205 pounds (his one loss was by DQ, after demolishing his opponent the entire fight). Chael Sonnen has been fighting at a lower weight class of 185 pounds, with his last fight a loss in that weight class. After losing, he’s given a title shot without fighting in the new weight division. Meanwhile, only a few months ago, UFC president Dana White was talking about how many contenders there are at 205, with the recent Fox show based around finding the next challenger.

Now, due to injuries, Dan Henderson couldn’t fight Jon Jones. With the short time frame of only 8 days to find a new opponent, Dana only found Chael Sonnen to accept the fight. The problem is that Jon Jones said no to this one. There were many reasons, all which I agree to, but the biggest one was because he’d now have to change his gameplan for a different opponent with only 8 days to train. This is a very short time, because fighters spend so much of the last week doing other things, including cutting weight and promoting the upcoming fight. Jones decided that he wouldn’t have the right time to prepare for the new opponent, so Dana cancelled UFC 151. I blame Dane more than Jones, because it’s not the responsibility of a fighter to save an entire card, it’s the promoter. Jones is a champion, and while he’s willing to fight anyone, he won’t with only 8 days notice.

Either way, Dana found an opponent for Jones at UFC 152, and Jones won easily.

Meanwhile, the other challengers are no longer welcome to fight Jones in the new year. Somehow, Dana decided to ignore the wins of Dan Henderson, Lyoto Machida, and Mauricio Shogun Rua, and instead give Cheal the next title fight.

Did he earn it? Not really. He merely accepted a title fight when no one else would take it. I’m a fan of Chael, as his ability to promote a fight is similar to what you’d find in WWE (while having more in common with Ali from boxing). He’s an entertaining guy. So he sells fights. But does that mean he deserves a title shot?

It’s a big issue in the world of MMA, as people are angry that he essentially shit talked his way into a title match. I can understand that. This is MMA, a real sport; not wrestling where it is usually scripted to make the most money.

Dan Henderson is pretty pissed, and he’s a training partner of Chael’s. He went to twitter and said:
“I guess I should just quit training to win fights and to be exciting for the fans and just go to shit talking school. @danawhite”

It’s hard to deny that he’s got a point.

I’m honestly undecided on where I stand on this issue. Dana opened the door to this when he granted Frankie Edgar a title match at 145 after losing his UFC title at 155 pounds. But, he is a former champion, not just former #1 contender. He also is dropping down in weight, not going up. Also, boxing has never gone with the top contender for every title fight. If that were the case, we’d have seen Mayweather vs Pacquiao already.

So, does this issue hurt the UFC, and drop the credibility of the championship? Or is it a non-issue? I’d be interested to hear back from MMA fans on their opinion on this one.

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. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
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