Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another riveting edition of Tea Time with Liam. A column that originally was weekly but due to my chronic laziness has turned into a bi weekly column recently. With that been said, wrestling isn’t great at the moment so at least I have an excuse. Man even my into is getting shorter. Okay I want to touch on TNA for a moment today, then list my No Way Out predictions and hopefully if I haven’t bored you to death and you reach the end. I want to let you guys know about an extremely cool charity event which is happening very soon. Okay so lets get on with the soon to be again weekly Tea Time with Liam.
TNA, Impact, whatever you want to call it. If you asked me six months ago what was happening in TNA, I honestly would have had no clue. I was a WWE fan, TNA annoyed me, I felt it was stupid and a WWE retirement home. I slandered it without really taking notice what was going on there. When Impact went live around a month ago, I finally gave in and sat down to watch an episode. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad and it was also a damn sight more interesting than Raw has been lately. Yes it took me a while to catch up with what was happening in storylines but now I feel I’m with the programme instead of playing catch up.
It was refreshing to watch something that wasn’t WWE and it was also nice to see some of the ex WWE people who I hadn’t seem in a long time perform. Bully Ray is just fantastic right now. Probably up their with the current top heels in pro wrestling. I heard stories about how TNA was the place ex WWE’s go to pick up a pay check. I didn’t see that at all. What I saw was a Wrestling company striving to make it to the next level. TNA has some awesome talent on the roster.
I watched Slammiversary. I thought it was fantastic. I know they weren’t in Orlando, If I recall it was Texas but the crowd was amazing. People always say they wish Impact was on the road more. I enjoyed the show so much. I was just so surprised that I was enjoying TNA so much more than the WWE. I know people, myself included have ripped on TNA in the past. And I would never stop watching WWE. But now TNA is becoming a weekly thing in my life. It hasn’t quite hooked me yet, but if it continues to impress me, I’m not sure what will happen.
Okay, that was rather a short piece on TNA. Expect more TNA focused columns from me in the future. Now time for No Way Out Predictions.
Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga
I like the idea of pre shows on youtube. Although I doubt they actually persuade many people to order the PPV by doing pre shows. With that being said. I’m happy these two are on a pre show rather then wrestling on the main card. I don’t like Brodus Clay at all. I know the kids love him. But I don’t find myself being entertained by an overweight dancing man. I do actually like Otunga. The snide lawyer gimmick is good for him, ring wise he could improve but I think he could have a decent future. My guess here is that Brodus wins in about five minutes, so we’ll get twenty five minutes of Cole, Lawler and Booker trying to convince everyone to order the show.
Winner – Brodus Clay
Christian vs. Cody Rhodes
Really looking forward to this match. I’m a huge fan of both guys and actually think both of them are perhaps beyond the need for an IC belt and both could hang in the main event picture. Christian has already shown that he can. When Cody lost to The Big Show at Wrestlemania. I hoped that then he would be propelled to the main event. With that been said. A top quality match with Christian could do nothing to hurt his chances at all. MITB isn’t too far away now and barring Wade Barrett returning before then, I see Cody holding the briefcase. So for now. I’m saying Christian will win in what will be a very good match. I wish he was in a better position than IC champ but the long Rhodes run and a extended run for Christian can only help the prestige of the title.
Winner – Christian
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Layla beat Beth at the last PPV. Since then I can’t recall any major interaction between the two divas. They had a good match at Over the Limit. It was nice to see two divas who looked good and who could wrestle as opposed to talentless good looking girls. As much as it hurts me to say. I don’t think baby face Layla has gone over with the crowd. Probably doesn’t help when she kept her Laycool music. As annoying as she and McCool were. I feel that Layla would be better as a heel. I see no reason for her to lose the belt. She trying her best to get over and is working hard. I’m picking my fellow English person for the win
Winner – Layla
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
I want this to be an awesome match. Match of the night. I want Ziggler to be outstanding. I feel bad for Del Rio for getting concussed and all that, but frankly, I don’t see much him in anyway. I feel this match would be better than Sheamus/Del Rio. What I love most about Ziggler is that he can see practically anything and he’s damn good at selling them too. All be it a little over the top sometimes, I think it does add that little bit extra to the match when you see him sell a huge move and you’re like “OHHHH” Ziggler, is in a similar situation to Cody Rhodes. On the cusp of the transition from mid card to main event. With Randy Orton currently out, Sheamus is the top face on Smackdown and will likely retain the belt. Ziggler will have to wait a little longer.
Winner – Sheamus
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Crazy chicks. Damn crazy chicks. Three men, one woman, one title. What is the main prize? AJ or the WWE title? I’d take AJ over the crappy looking belt any day of the week. I think the obvious thing is that AJ will help one of the guys win the title. WWE has tried their best to throw a curve ball by having AJ interact with all three guys going into the match. Oh and that kiss she planted on Kane. I’m not surprised be bolted to the back. If I had to guess. His first port of call would of likely been the bathroom. Okay terrible thoughts there. Lets move on. Triple threats a simple to work out. Heels team on face, heels break up. They all take turns on the mat, so two guys can work. I like Kane. I like how we went from fighting Zack Ryder on Youtube, then to WWE title match.
Kane is here to take the fall I think. The question is who gets the pin, Punk has been champion since November. Longest reign I can remember for a while. Bryan is just so damn hot right now. Okay my final thought. AJ will somehow help Bryan win the match. Bryan will pin Kane for the victory. This will also set up some future rematches between Punk/Bryan so everybody is a winner.
Winner – Daniel Bryan
Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Santino Marella (Tuxedo Match)
So the US champion is wrestling on the card? Good, finally. Wait what? He’s wresting against a ring announcer. Awww man. I don’t care who wins. The shorter the match the better. I don’t find Santino funny at all and I know Ricardo wrestles in FCW. Just make him announce or wrestler. Stop the unfunny comedy. The time spent on this could go on something much more worthwhile. With that been said. I have to pick a winner. So Santino gets it.
Winner – Santino and my bladder
John Cena vs. Big Show (Steel Cage match)
If Cena wins. Johnny is fired. If Show wins, Cena is fired. Anyone remember the last time Cena was fired. He still showed up on Raw each and every week until he was “reinstated.” How many people who are “fired” on TV actually stay away. I don’t like the stipulation at all. We’re not stupid WWE. We know you’d never fire Cena. I like Larinaitis. Although he probably has been featured a little too much recently. Just scale him back slightly and he’ll be fine. It’s plausible that with his current divorce. Cena might want to take a little time off so him losing wouldn’t be that surprising. The only way would be how he would lose. A Vince McMahon heel turn. Seen it all too many times. Cena and Show have feuded in the past. I still remember that epic spot where Show choke slammed Cena through a spot light. Might be a bad idea putting Big Show in a cage, limiting a big guys ability to move isn’t a good thing. This could be a good brawl. Interference outside the cage is more or less guaranteed with people like Laurinaitis and Vince if he’s there. No matter the victor. I don’t see a firing. What the hell. Cena wins.
Winner – John Cena
As always you can follow me on Twitter Here
That’s it for the No Way Out predictions, but before I leave you for today, there is something I wish to plug, so you the reader can learn about this. I don’t plug too often, but this event is so amazing I want you all to know.
I’m part of a video gaming community known as the Main Event Network. Now we’re all gamers who enjoy playing live on the internet for people to be able to watch. We’ve been around for about a year now and starting tonight we’re holding a very special event. Tonight at midnight Eastern time, our seventeen day non-stop charity gaming marathon will begin. That means for the next seventeen days., the main event network will broadcast video games live for the world to see. Now this is all in aid of the Wounded Warrior Project with all donations going to them. Now I’m not plugging this to ask you to donate (although that would be great) I’m plugging this to let you that if you have free time to kill over the next two and a half weeks. Stop by and check us out. Its for a fantastic cause and even if you don’t have the funds to donate. You just being there in our channel also helps out a lot. This is the third gaming marathon we have don’t for charity.
In October 2011 we raised $1010 for the Autism Speaks Foundation in a four day marathon
In December 2011 we raised $2,120 for the St Jude Children’s Hospital
If you have the time, please check out the following links.
Check out the full marathon schedule Here
Check out our official marathon page Here
The whole event will be broadcast live Here Let them know Liam sent you. I’m likely to be in there myself.
Well that’s it for today. I do hope that this will once again return to a weekly format and I hope that you find the time to check out our awesome marathon.
Until next time. Thanks for reading,
Hello everybody. Feels like such a long time since I’ve wrote those words. After a short absence. It’s time for another edition of Tea Time with Liam. This is less of a wrestling column and more of a mini rant so I apologise in advance. You wont be seeing this stuff from me that often. I always try to be objective. Anyway., hope you enjoy.
Its been a while since I’ve actually sat down and been able to write an article. It will become quite clear as to why that is when you read on. Before I continue. I would like to refer to an article that I wrote around three months ago, maybe a little longer. Now any other person would have a link here right now, but I’m a lazy guy so just take my word for it. In the article. I tried to write about how I felt a season break would be a good thing for WWE. A season break meaning, after Wrestlemania. WWE would be off air for the next two months. I wrote about how it could benefit a lot of different people, from writers, wrestlers and even the fans.
I got a lot of feedback on the article. The majority of it was positive. For the most part, people tended to agree with the points I raised. I remember one person explaining that he was currently burned out from watching wrestling. How he almost watched as a force of habit and saw a season break as a good thing.
Before I continue with this column. I’d like to state that its primary focus is Monday Night Raw. At the moment I’m actually enjoying Smackdown. It may have its stinkers occasionally, but for the most part it’s a good show. I’m focusing on Raw. Its considered the “A” show, the flag ship show. The show which apparently sets the standard on what a wrestling show be like in North America.
Now the reason I referred to my previous article is simple. At the moment, when I’m watching Monday Night Raw. I’m bored. Oh so very bored. I’ll keep referencing that previous article during this to show how my idea could of prevented this.
As I always see. This column is one hundred percent my own opinion. You, the reader could have a totally different opinion to mine but to me, for the past six or seven weeks. Raw has been totally sub par, sometimes becoming unbearable to watch.
There was once a time where I would watch Raw religiously but now I’m at the stage where if I fall asleep during Raw, or happen to miss the first hour or so it no longer bothers me. In my mind I know that I wont of missed anything major or decent. It’s common knowledge that every year, the period of time between Wrestlemania and Summerslam, WWE tends to slow down and plods along again until things begin to pick up. But WWE classes themselves as a sports entertainment company. They should still be at least attempting to entertain the fans during this down period. Aside from the Punk/Bryan match we got on Raw last week. I can’t recall watching a recent edition of Raw and actually enjoy it.
This is why I mentioned my previous article. If the down time happens every year. Raw gets boring. Ratings go down. Wouldn’t a season break be so much more beneficial. Instead of pumping out these annual bad shows. Instead of wasting the money to produce a show the size of Raw. Instead of burning down the wrestlers. Why not just stop for two months? Give people a rest. The writers as well as the wrestlers. I mention the writers for one specific reason. You all recall Big Show’s recent heel turn. You remember how is was stated how no contracted person could interfere in the match between Cena and Laurinaitis? We all know the huge botch where Laurinaitis claimed that he signed Big Show before the PPV.
Some people called it lazy writing. I’m not so sure. To me it just shows that the writers aren’t on top form right now. Having to write two different two hour programmes every week must be difficult. Hell I write these short columns and by the end I get a little tired. Imagine having to write two scripts a week. They have a big period which leads up to Wrestlemania which has a lot of Raw’s to fill. I expect these writers will be working all out to make every Raw leading up to Wrestlemania big to grab those extra PPV buys.
In a way I feel for them. Pumping out show after show. It must be quite demoralising for them to look at the current ratings of the show. I know the ratings don’t tell the whole story but right now, they’re not exactly brilliant.
Before I sat down to write this. I took a look at the current WWE roster and took a list down of some of the people on there who are under contract, but who are not currently on television for one reason or another. These people are –
Now, not everyone on the list has main event status. But of that group of people. How much better would Raw be right now, if those guys were around. The main event of roster of WWE is thin right now. Which I also believe is the reason for the slightly more average shows right now. With so many people out. Things start to become repetitive.
WWE doesn’t stop. If this trend continues to around summer lam time. We could possibly have another two months worth of bad shows. As I said earlier. The rating doesn’t show the full picture. But what it does show is that people aren’t tuning in for one reason or another. I consider myself a loyal WWE fan. Still to this day I try to enjoy what I watch, but some aren’t enjoying and their choosing to do other things on a Monday night. I don’t blame those people at all.
I watched the live episode on Impact this past week. It was the first time I’d watched an episode of TNA for years. For the most part. I enjoyed what I watched. Apart from Punk/Bryan on Raw. When I watched TNA this past week. I enjoyed it way more than any of the recent episodes on RAW. That’s me with basically no knowledge of what is going on in TNA. I didn’t know the storylines or the champions. I’m not trying to start any WWE vs. TNA argument here because it’s pointless to do that. But it did surprise me how much I enjoyed Impact. I may even watch it again this week.
WWE is stuck in a rut. It will likely continue until Summerslam arrives. As fans, there isn’t much we can do to change things. The WWE seems happy to mull along this time of year. Fans make their choices during these times. Do they stick with it and wait for things to get better or will turn off for the next few weeks with the satisfaction that you know you probably wont miss anything ground breaking.
That’s it for now. I actually want to kind of apologise for this. It seems this has been less about wrestling and more of me ranting. But when I don’t have much to write about. I can’t do much.
Time for the plugs.
As always you can follow me on Twitter Here
Until next time. Thanks for reading.
Hello everybody. Liam here once again with another exciting edition of Tea Time with Liam. Well this week, I’m being a little naughty and giving you all a nice drawn out well written article. I’m instead going to bore you all with my Over the Limit predictions. Before I continue. This was written before matches were added tot he card late in the day. So I’ll only mentioning the announced card as of this Friday’s Smackdown. Enjoy
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
I don’t like this match. Kofi doesn’t need a tag partner. Ziggler doesn’t need a tag partner. Dolph has been on the cusp of the main event for about a year but the call never seems to come his way to move up. Kofi seems to be the guy that WWE will give a random partner too then give them a tag team title run. I’m all for having the tag belts on a PPV. I’ve been wanting that for a long time. But why not The Uso’s vs. Epico and Primo. Why not a young hot tag team from FCW.
I want Dolph to move up, so I don’t want him to win this. It will probably be a decent match, I just don’t seem to be interested in it for some reason. Probably the first match of the night which will no doubt warm the crowd. I’ll go for Kofi and Truth
Winners and still Tag Champs – Kofi and Truth
Kane vs. Zack Ryder
This match is late. Two months to late. This should of happened at Wrestlemania when it actually made sense since Kane had practically murdered Ryder on every episode of Raw. We go from Wrestlemania, where it would of meant something, all the way to youtube pre show when nobody really cares what happens. Ryder is slowly falling back into the hole he was in last year, so he’ll probably lose here. Kane it seems will just plod around the mid card spot for the remainder of his career. I’m okay with that. Just no more matches against Khali, please.
Winner – Kane
Sheamus vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio
My one little issue with this. Jericho is on Raw, while the rest are on Smackdown. I know the brand extension is irrelevant right now but still it just seems WWE have done this to get Jericho on the card. Which is kind of scary actually as it shows that WWE are just finding things for people to do instead of finding times to make something for them. I don’t really like four way matches. They all seem to follow the same formula. The guys attack each other. One gets thrown from the ring. The heels team up on the face. Then the heels break up and go at each other. The finishes are pretty good most of the time. Probably including a lot of finishing moves by all four guys. I’m going to pick Sheamus to win this and I can see him pinning Jericho to win.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion – Sheamus.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Where is the build up? Where oh where is the build up? When this match was announced, There was a collective orgasm by the IWC as two of the best indie wrestlers competing for the WWE championship. I kind of wish that their history would have been brought up. These two must have met countless times in the past and of been nice to have show the WWE fans who haven’t seen indie shows, just how far both guys have came to make it into the WWE.
Everyone expects the match to be amazing. It probably will be. It will be interesting to see the style of wrestling used in the match. Obviously the WWE style is a lot different to that of ROH. I think AJ will get involved in some way. For once I’m going to think out of the box. I say AJ will help Bryan win and it turns out that the whole break up was just a set up. We saw AJ’s interaction with Punk this week on Raw and it was kind of strange. Anyway that’s my pick. Bryan wins via help from AJ
Winner and new WWE Champion – Daniel Bryan
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
I like Layla. I’m always going to pull for my fellow Britain. She’s sexy, she has the WWE diva look, but at least she can hold her own in the ring. I almost get the feeling that WWE doesn’t know what they want to do with the Divas title. It seems that everyone is waiting for the return of Kharma. I even predicted that to happen last month and we got Layla. Crowd probably wont enjoy this much it will certainly be one of the better diva matches we’ve seen for a while. I’m going to pick Layla, just because she’s British.
Winner and still Divas Champion – Layla
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis
Anyone remember the Cena Versus Lesnar feud? Nope. Me neither. The feud that has been forgotten. Within a month, Cena goes from talking about taking time off, to immediately feuding with the General Manager. I can’t believe that I’m actually going to say this but maybe it’s about time Cena got himself back into the WWE title picture. I can’t even remember his last title match. I like Laurinaitis. I think he’s a good heel authority figure but I don’t want to see him wrestle.
As for the match. I’ll keep this short and sweet. Big Show interferes and helps Laurinaitis win, thus getting his job back. As for Cena. I don’t know what’s next for him. Time off maybe. He definitely deserves it.
Winner – John Laurinaitis
Which match would you have added to the card?
I would like to see the mid card champions on the show. Perhaps Cody versus Santino in a inter brand match, or at least put Cody up against someone. He’s too good not to be on the card. The Miz is another guy who should be on the show. For the hell of it. Have Cody Vs Miz and just give them ten minutes. Be a good match. Filler, but good enough for the crowd to enjoy.
Which match will steal the show?
Punk/Bryan is the only match I want to see. Even if they match is average by their standards, it will still be the best thing on the card all night. This will be the best match of the night. Even though most people expect it already. This match will steal the show. I wish it was the main event but I feel that it will be reserved for Cena/Laurinaitis which is sad because I don’t expect anything good from that match.
Will you be ordering this PPV?
No. Thankfully, I don’t need to order this. As most of you know, I live in the UK were a number of WWE PPVS throughout the year are broadcast live on Sky Sports. So I don’t need to shell out £14.95 on a PPV this time around. Honestly, If this wasn’t free, I probably wouldn’t have ordered. Only Punk/Bryan interests me while the others, I don’t really have any particular feeling over.
Thats it for today. Time for the plugs.
As always you can follow me on Twitter Here
Until next time. Thanks for reading.
Sunday is upon once more which means it’s time for another riveting edition of Tea Time with Liam. As always I come to you from the tiny Island know as the United Kingdom. Nothing really else much to say. Lets get into the column.
I was originally planning on writing this column before Raw took place last week. I wanted to share thoughts about the outcome of the Cena/Lesnar match from Extreme Rules. As I sat down to write. I started to thing that maybe it was the best to hold out until after Raw had aired, just so I could gain the full perspective on the Cena/Lesnar situation. At the time I didn’t know what was planned or if the feud would be continuing past Extreme Rules. I wanted to write my final opinion on the feud. I felt that holding off and waiting for Raw would be the best idea. Oh, how wrong was I? Today, my task is to talk about what the Cena/Lesnar feud has really achieved. Has it actually achieved anything or was it just another feud to keep two wresters busy for a month.
When Brock Lesnar returned, even though almost everyone in the arena knew it was happening and the majority of the IWC knew he was coming. There was a collective buzz when his music hit. One of the biggest pops I’ve heard in a long time, with possibly an exception to The Rock. Brock immediately signalled his intentions by giving Cena an F-5. The build up to the match at Extreme Rules was good. We had the mass brawl where Cena’s mouth was bust. We had the awesome video package on Lesnar that was shown at the UK Raw taping. Probably one of the best video promo I’ve seen. Even thought it did go down the MMA route, it fits in with Brock’s personality and I think that suits him a lot more when he is speaking. We had an appearance by Edge too. Who gave Cena a passionate speech. Trying to get some fight and heart back into Cena.
I was really looking forward to the match. Brock had dominated Cena all month so I was anticipating how Cena would react when he was finally able to get his hands on Brock. The match wasn’t disappointing. It was actually one of the most strangely unique matches I’ve ever watched. Everything Brock did from his attire to his moves gave the match a kind of MMA vs. WWE type feel. From the start it was noticeable that Brock was going down the MMA style while Cena would be going down the “wrestling” route. For the match. It was basically fifteen minutes of Brock destroying Cena. At the time. I thought this was going to end up with some type of injury to Cena. We’ve seen him take beatings before but the pain that Brock inflicted gave the match such a real feeling I felt he would win and perhaps Cena would be taking some time off.
Then comes the point of the match when I no longer how things are going. Cena has been bust open for a long time. If I remember correctly it happened in the first minute. From the bell, Everything is Brock. From bleeding, to being locked in the Kimura, to being chained at the legs, hanging from the ring post. Then it finally happened. The resurgence of “Super” Cena. Now I’m not hating on Cena but this is the thing that most of his detractors hate him for. He gets his butt whipped for the whole match, then wins with a minimal amount of moves. Now the finish was good, The chain to the head then the AA onto the steel steps.
Then the match is over and I think. WWE has spent the last month building up this returning monster. Even calling him the “new face” of the WWE at one point. This man who returned home from the UFC, this freak of nature that made John Cena his first target. The man who was able to get one over on Cena just about every opportunity he had. The man who dared put his hands on a backstage interviewer who was simply doing his job. A man who for fifteen minutes, systematically tears John Cena apart. You do all that, just to have Cena win.
Now I often say this. As a fan. I don’t like to question the booking decisions by WWE. But on this occasion I did question it. I thought that WWE have spent the past month building him up. You’ve just about killed all the momentum that he had gained. If Brock was still this dominant individual who took pleasure in causing pain. He had to win that match. Even if that did mean Cena losing at two pay per views in a row. I wont lie. When the match ended I was annoyed as well as frustrated. Probably the most frustrated I’ve been after watching a pay per view and believe me, there’s been time in the past when I’ve been annoyed with the WWE.
But eventually, I calmed down. Then, just from looking on Twitter I happened to see something which immediately caught my attention. Somebody had tweeted that they thought that having Cena win was WWE’s way of saying that they are better than the UFC. Honestly, I really hope that wasn’t the intention of WWE. That would be such a petty and trivial thing to do. To build up a match just to say your better than the competition. What could WWE brag about. “Hey we’re WWE and we have predetermined fights. Our face just beat your ex heavyweight champ in a predetermined fight.” That would just be such a stupid thing for the WWE to even consider. WWE should not even concern themselves with the WWE. All they should be doing is concentrating on their own product. I sincerely hope that this wasn’t a ploy to crap on the UFC. If it was, all I can say is shame on you Vince for being a petty man.
Now after the match. We had a speech from Cena. It felt like it was one of those impromptu promos that usually happens after a PPV airs which can usually be found on You Tube . Cena was talking about possibly taking time off, being injured or even being fired. Now the words he used were the words that actually made me wait to write this column. The promo just seemed so random I wasn’t sure as to what was going on. I didn’t know if Cena was injured, or perhaps had even got in trouble backstage which means you’ll be taking time off. It was something that really got me pumped for Raw to see if we got any clarification on what Cena was saying.
The Raw aired. And after the first segment. Cena and Lesnar had already been pretty much forgotten about. It seems that the seeds have been planted for Brock Lesnar versus Triple H. As for Cena. He goes from talking about taking time off. Within twenty four hours, his next pay per view match has already been announced. Needless to say I was even more confused after watching Raw. You take such a battering., make a speech about having to take time off, then you pretty much ignore what you said, without any explanation given and your suddenly brought into a feud with John Laurinaitis.
So then I had another think. Was Cena’s promo after Extreme Rules just a ploy to get people to tune into Raw the following night. That actually a very clever thing to do. Within minutes of the pay per view finishing. News websites were already reporting possible reasons for Cena taking time off. Twitter was buzzing with the news. Some people even calling it a retirement speech. People were talking about the show which is the one thing WWE wants the fans to do. But, when the viewers started watching, they didn’t get the answers they were seeking.
We have Brock “break” the arm of HHH and be escorted of the building. Now we have talk of having Brock versus HHH at SummerSlam which possibly means not having Brock on television for the next two and a half months. We all know that he is only scheduled for a certain number of dates. So we have Brock return, look dominant, then lose his first match back, killing the momentum he had, then go on to injure HHH and now possibly wont be seen for the next two months. While Cena, who took a huge beating, moves on to his next feud.
One thing I thought. Something I think WWE has been trying to do for some time now is to create sympathy for the Cena character. Although he got booed during his entrance at Extreme Rules. When the beat down was occurring, I did notice a lot more cheers than he usually gets. And after the speech he gave. He did receive a lot of praise from the whole audience. Has the loss to The Rock and the treatment from Lesnar created this newfound sympathy for John Cena? Maybe WWE’s way of attempting to get some of the older fans on Cena’s side. Because these older fans will have remembered how Lesnar left the company and realise that Cena remained loyal by toughening up and sticking with WWE. They look at Cena’s last two opponents who are two guys that packed up and left, the we have Cena who has remained with WWE since the day he signed.
Like always, these are just my opinions. I could be writing a load of crap in your eyes, but I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ll let me know your thoughts. Once thing I don’t want to happen is for everything to go back to square one. Have Cena get his butt whipped. Then have transform into “super” Cena and magically win the match. Doing that time and time again will not create sympathy. That is the thing that makes the older fans get on his back and ride the hate wagon. Maybe people wouldn’t have cared about the Extreme Rules match result if it had been a good solid back and forward match instead of Lesnar domination then a Cena comeback. They just don’t like the fact that he reverted back to the Cena that was pulling this comeback in 2008. Now I understand that the comeback is what the kids love about Cena. He is their hero who always manages to comeback. The children now are the future fans of tomorrow who in turn will have kids of their own who may watch WWE. But you have to cater to the older fans to who are a lot smarter than the children who don’t want to see the same routine every month.
I don’t want Cena/Lesnar to be remembered as a throw away feud. But if Brock is gone for the next few months and with Cena turning his attention to Laurinaitis. It looks like it will be remembered as a throw away feud. I don’t know what the future holds for them both. I hope that they do meet again sometime and have another match. Brock needs to hang with the big stars if he is to be kept hot and he needs to be beating these stars to look dominant as he once was. If Lesnar is only going to be around for a year and is only having a set number of days. WWE needs to utilise every Lesnar moment they can.
Time for the plugs.
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Until next time. Thanks for reading
Well, its that time again when WWE goes “extreme” for one night as we’ve arrived at the annual Extreme rules PPV, or as I like to call it, WrestleMania take two. It seems year on year that most matches at extreme rules are basically just WrestleMania rematches. Not really a good idea when you should be focusing on building new stars. Anyway, the basis of this column is just like any other prediction column. I’ll run down the card, sharing my opinions and who I think will win. I even have a few bonus questions at the end. I fairly consistent at predicting PPV’s. Though I still have never got a full house. Hope it changes tonight.
Santino Marella vs. The Miz
I feel so bad for The Miz at this moment in time. Having the main event of last years WrestleMania. Little over a year later he’s been relegated to a pre show match on you tube for a title which has little to no meaning. When Zack Ryder started his campaign to become the US championship, I was hoping that he would be the guy to add some more credit to it. But, the moment he lost it, it’s just fell back into the pit of championships which are more or less irrelevant . This match has had no build up, I just hope that Miz wins this. I’m not a fan of Santino.
Winner and new United States Champion – The Miz
Randy Orton vs. Kane
“I’m a sucker for family reunions.” I did laugh at that line. I’ve actually enjoyed this feud for the most part. Yes the reasoning behind it is a little silly but the match they had a WrestleMania was a lot better than most people thought it would be. I did enjoy seeing Bob Orton on Smackdown a few weeks back and even Paul Bearer to an extent this past week. Although what happened to him did seem similar to what he went through during the Kane and Edge feud. I’m just happy that Kane is sticking around in this upper mid card slot and hope he can stay there throughout the remainder of the year. Kane won at WrestleMania with Orton winning the rematch on Smackdown. I think this is the end of the feud so I think Orton will pick up the win here and possibly move back into the world title picture. The falls out anywhere aspect fits this match well and I expect it will be better than the match they had a WrestleMania. I can see a very nice finish here. Possibly using the RKO somewhere unexpected.
Winner – Randy Orton.
Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes
I want Cody to lose. I want him to move up. He doesn’t need the IC title anymore. Then again, I’m not a fan of Big show so him winning doesn’t do it for me either. In an ideal world here, I want Big Show to win so Cody can move on up. Then have Big Show lose it to a solid mid card guy the next month. Cody moves up, Big Show moves down and I’m a very happy boy. Oh and a last minute edit here, the spinning wheel element just makes me think that this will give the match some stupid gimmick which will give Big Show a huge advantage.
Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion – Big Show
Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix
I don’t want to write about this. Do I have to write about this? Please don’t make me write about is. Okay fine I’ll write about it but please put the gun down. I don’t care about this match. WWE has not given me a reason to care about this match. My only hope that Beth says she is still injured and can’t compete. Only to reveal that Kharma is taking her place. Then have Kharma obliterate both Bellas into obscurity meaning we will never have to endure the sight of them competing in a WWE ring ever again. So I’m predicting someone who isn’t even in the match the be the new Divas Champion.
Winner and New Divas Champion – Kharma
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
I wonder what the chances are that the first fall being similar to that of WrestleMania. I like the 2/3 falls aspect. Lets just hope and pray that we don’t get a pin falls every 6 seconds otherwise we’ll be tying WrestleMania. Like most 2/3 falls matches it is likely to finish 2 -1. It would be a real slap in the face of Bryan if Sheamus gets it 2-0. I could actually see WWE doing that just to embarrass Bryan further more. The Chicago crowd will be hot for Bryan so there should be a good atmosphere in the arena. I hope that the match gets around 15-20 minutes to show what both guys could do and also show what they could a have done at WrestleMania. It wouldn’t surprise me if AJ got involved in some way, perhaps costing Bryan the match.
Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion – Sheamus.
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
I mentioned that the crowd would be hot for Daniel Bryan. The heat for Punk will be on a whole new level. Back in Chicago, it brings back memories of Money in the Bank, when the crowd was insane. I fully expect the crowd to be on par or even greater this time around. I’ve enjoyed pretty much every aspect of the feud. Jericho has been awesome as always while Punk although modern he does have this old school edge to him that compliments Jericho well. This is billed as a “Chicago Street Fight”. I miss those old street fights when the action did actually leave the arena and go onto the actual streets. Sadly, those days are long gone. It would be epic to see it again though.
This could be match of the night, The street fight element does work well and by now we all know Punk is chomping at the bit to get his hands on Jericho so I would expect the first half of the match to be very physical. I hope it gets 20 plus minutes to put on a hell of a good show. Is this the end of the feud. If Punk wins, Jericho no longer has a claim for a rematch, If Jericho wins the feud continues. Last year Punk walked in challenger and left as champion. This year I say Punk walks in champion and loses. While the Chicago crowd baying for Y2J’s blood.
Winner and New WWE Champion – Chris Jericho
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar has been pretty much solid since he returned to the WWE. The video promo/package that was shown at the UK Raw was especially fantastic. The contract signing on Raw this week was okay for the most part, albeit a little long. I think most people were hoping for a brawl to end Raw last week. You seen it once two week ago, If you want to see it again you need to order the PPV. Hey it’s almost as if WWE planned that.
Brock is hot right now. And he hasn’t wrestled in years. He has a lot of momentum behind him which I don’t see the reason for halting. Then again, Cena lost at WrestleMania. Is it feasible that John Cena loses at two straight PPV’s. Damn I don’t even remember Cena losing 2 PPV matches in a whole year, never mind consecutively. How long will this feud last. I can easily see it going for another month. Lesnar needs to be kept with the major players to keep himself hot and to freshen up the main event scene.
I expect the fans will be getting behind Lesnar. Cena will get his typical mixed reaction but it wont be on the level he received the last PPV in Chicago. As for the match, this will no doubt be the main event so it is likely to get 20 plus minutes. As for weapons, I don’t expect to see to many. Maybe the standard steel steps, Chairs and kendo sticks. Perhaps Cena will even be wearing the chain as he was at Raw and attempt to use it. As for the winner. I see nothing else than a Brock Lesnar victory.
Winner – Brock Lesnar.
Which match would you have added to the card?
It seems like I’m saying this every month now but the tag team champions need to be on the show. They shouldn’t be losing matches on TV every week and they need to featured a lot more than they are. I don’t even care who they face, just put a random team together and give them a shot on the PPV. I loved tag team wrestling when it was hot and I so wish we could see those days again when the tag division was so vibrant with young fresh hungry stars were working so hard.
Do you think that John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar can top John Cena vs. The Rock?
The match against The Rock divided opinions. I thought it was an excellent match. I think this match will be less technical and may rely more on the “Extreme rules” factor. I don’t think it will top Cena/Rock from WrestleMania. It does however have the potential to be a very good match. My only issue would be regarding Brock being a little rusty, having being away for so long.
Who should Brock Lesnar feud with after John Cena?
I would imagine he would remain on Raw. I doubt we’ll see him on Smackdown any time soon. I think this feud with Cena will probably last maybe one or two more months. I think the next step for Lesnar would be the WWE championship. I don’t have an exact name but I would say when the feud with Cena ends, he will feud with whoever is the current WWE champion.
Well that’s about it for the Extreme rules predictions. Should be a fun show with some very interesting outcomes.
Today. I want to talk about the audience. I don’t mean the viewers at home. I’m talking about the people live in the arena watching Raw, Smackdown and pay per views. I want to discuss the role fans play in the arena play during a show. It’s no argument that when you get a pumped up crowd, who are loud and up for it, the whole show does have some kind of better feel to it. As a fan watching at home. When I witness a really hot crowd, it does come through the television and I find that I to enjoy the show a whole lot more. On the flip side of things. When we have dead crowds, which does indeed happen, they just seem generally disinterested in what is happening which leaves the show feeling slightly flat. As a viewer, when I see a dead crowd. I don’t get into to the show as much as I could. It could actually be a decent show but it’s almost as if the crowd has sucked out the life of the show.
What I’m going to try and do today is use some examples of how a live crowd can influence a show. How a hot crowd can make a standard decent wrestling match seem better than it actually was or a dead crowd making a match seem somewhat forgettable. It’s actually quite a unique power that the crowd has. I’m not a pro wrestler so I can’t say this for fact but if you were a pro wrestler and you were walking down the ramp or actually competing and the crowd was dead. Wouldn’t that be a little of putting? Would they not wonder what was happening. On the other hand, imagine walking down that ramp and the crowd going completely crazy. Chanting you or booing you, that isn’t important. The main thing is that the crowd is hot for you. It must be so much better for a wrestler to perform in that environment. They can feed of the crowd. You hear stories from many wrestlers who say that they feed if the energy from the crowd. If I remember correctly I remember Edge stating in an interview that stepping out of the curtain in front of thousands of people is the greatest adrenaline rush ever.
I actually want to mention WrestleMania for a moment. I wont dwell on it for too long as your all probably sick of hearing about it by now. But The Rock and John Cena was a match which has divided the opinion of many fans. The crowd were insane during the match. Not even just for that match. The Miami crowd was great through both WrestleMania and Raw. In my honest opinion. The fans made The Rock versus John Cena that extra bit special to me. The crowd added to the match, it contributed to the story that was being presented. What made it so good was how simple it was. We had the home town favourite back on the big stage against the man who took his spot and the face of the WWE. We had pockets of Cena fans around the arena which just added to the atmosphere. It brought out the duelling chants which we’re now used to hearing in just about every Cena match. It just gave that match that little something extra which makes it different from other matches on the card. When I watch at home. I want to see the intensity from the crowd. I want to feel like I’m in the arena. Hot crowds help a lot.
We all know, especially in the present days. The wresting is a whole lot more open. Fans are able to gain a far more better insight into things. With the advancement of the internet. Fans now are a lot more knowledgeable and are able to check out news sites to check out breaking news. There’s no argument that internet fans know much more about what’s going to happen compared to the average fan watching.. A few weeks ago, when Brock Lesnar returned. The whole arena pretty much knew that he was about to appear. You could argue that it was a bad thing that the fans were doing this. I disagree with that. Like I said earlier, the Miami crowd was awesome, and yes they were chanting “we want Lesnar.” but when he appeared, that was still one of the loudest crowd reactions I can remember. Now you could argue, that had the crowd not known about Lesnar’s return, Would the pop of been bigger. It probably would but that is just one of those things that you expect being a wrestling fan. Not many things are kept one hundred percent secret.
I want to go back to one of the things that I mentioned in the very first column that I ever wrote. The basis of wrestling is to get the fans to emotionally invest in whatever goes on in the ring and what is said during promos. If the fans aren’t able to invest, then the chances are that they wont enjoy the show. It would be a very quiet crowd with very little interaction. With matches like Rock/Cena and HHH/Undertaker, the WWE got things right They had the factor of emotional investment which just added to the drama of those matches/ Although the matches are always the focal point of the show. It’s almost like the audience is a co star of the match. This strange atmosphere and tension is created which just adds to the drama of the match. It just gives me a “I wish I was there live” feeling.
The audience is such a vital part of any wrestling show. Can you imagine watching a show where the crowd was silent from beginning to end. Would that be a successful show? Would it be a terrible show? To me, it would so freaky. How eerie would Raw be tomorrow night if the crowd did nothing? When match is taking place, the crowd would just sit on their arse. During a promo, they would do nothing. It seems to me that certain crowds are hotter than others. Places like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia to name a few. My memories of these crowds are amazing. Areas which are so passionate about their wrestling. I’ve mentioned Miami already who were hot for almost everything.
Shoot back to Raw two weeks ago. Aired live from Washington DC when “the three stooges” hosted Raw. That crowd was terrible. Was it the crowds faults there were bad. Maybe not. Was it the fact that WWE had three idiots who it was obvious knew nothing at all about WWE. (I hope that movie tanks by the way) Can you blame the fans for being so quiet due to the things that they had to endure on that show? Is it a question of the fans not been interested or is it a question regarding the material they have to watch? That’s a question you have to answer. We get hot crowds and they get a lot of praise for making the sure memorable by being loud and awesome. The reason the crowd wad good was because they had a good show to watch. Can you blame the crowd for being quiet if the show was bad? It is WWE’s fault for not making the show better? The fans pay their hard earned money to see a good show. They didn’t pay to see crappy sketches staring idiots that nobody would miss if they weren’t on the show. It’s strange that one week WWE can be in a state where the crowd is just so intense and passionate , then the week after, in a new state we have something different.
I wish every crowd was hot. I’ve never experienced a WWE house show or a Raw or Smackdown taping. I’ve never been able to sample what it’s like inside and arena. When I witness a dead crowd, I’m almost willing them to get up and start doing things. I want them to be able to have a good time. Is there a reason why some states are hotter than others. This past week, the WWE has been in the UK. We only get WWE in the UK twice a year so we savour it when we get it. Okay the crowds this week probably weren’t the best ever but they were still damn good. Is that the point? Do we, the UK fans make our voices heard because we only get to see it twice a year. The European tour only happens twice a year so I’m sure countries like France and Spain witness this also. They must savour it because they know they have to wait another six or seven months to see it again.
In America, with so many house shows, Raw tapings, Smackdown tapings and pay per views, there is a potential to have four of five shows in one state over the course of a year. I wish every crowd could be switched on. I want every person to think “okay I’ve got a two hour show here. I’m going to be heard.” I want to see every arena rock. I want John Cena to go backstage and talk to whoever he talks to, thinking to himself that the crowd was amazing and that he couldn’t wait to perform there again. Wrestlers say it over and over again. They thrive of a crowd, booing or cheering it doesn’t matter. Just give the wrestlers everything you have, just like they give us the fans everything they have.
Time for the plugs.
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By Josh Bennett
It’s that time of the year again. Wrestlemania is all said and done, and we are kicking off a “new year” for WWE wrest… err sports entertainment. As we have just begun the long road to the Meadowlands for Wrestlemania 29, many superstars who did not get the opportunity to showcase their talents on the big stage, and/or fell just short, will be looking for redemption for their careers to make it to, and win, at Wrestlemania. For every grand conclusion, there is a beginning and this is it. For most of us who have played “Universe Mode” in WWE ‘12 have seen that a week or two after Wrestlemania, the game will hold the annual WWE draft. While in real life the draft has yet to happen, and I am not sure if it will even happen this year, WWE ‘12 inspired me to brainstorm and think about which guys could really use the change of scenery in the upcoming year. Now I won’t be listing out twenty rounds of superstars and divas, ranging from main eventers, and jobbers, in this article, nor will I try to predict who goes where on television if it were to happen. Instead, I will list out certain superstars and championships who need to change addresses badly.
1. Kofi Kingston to Smackdown
Yes, it is the annual Kofi Kingston brand change. However this one has very good reasoning behind it. I feel that Kofi Kingston has the most stale character in the WWE today. If you are wondering what his current gimmick is, its that of an African American man pretending to be a Jamaican. Seriously? Kingston should have dropped the Jamaican thing when he dropped the accent feuding with Randy Orton a couple of years ago. Couple that with the large amount of in-ring talent that Kingston holds. With Evan Bourne shelved indefinitely with his ankle injury and wellness issues, now is the perfect time to set off Kingston on his own and finally give him a good enough push to send him in the Main Event scene. However, to do that, Raw is not the place, as it is crowded at the moment. For Kingston to have even an opportunity to try to escape Midcard Hell and try to break the proverbial glass ceiling, he will need to go to the Blue Brand once again. I feel that if Kofi were to jump brands yet again, there needs to be something behind it. Kofi desperately needs to turn heel, and with Sheamus expected to be a lengthy holder of the World Heavyweight Champion, Kofi can take a couple of months to turn heel, shift characters, and feud with the Big Fella for the title. These two even have a history to play off of. Remember back when Sheamus won his first WWE Championship in 2009? He was required to win a battle royal set up by Jesse “The Body” Ventura for superstars who had yet to hold a World Title in the WWE. Your final two participants in the match was the favorite Kofi Kingston and relative unknown, at the time, Sheamus. Have Kofi claim that Sheamus stole his spot and that all his success should have been his, and what not and you got yourselves a decent feud between two great workers. Smackdown has recently been the land of opportunity for testing out World Champions and giving guys their due, when they could not achieve the same success on a crowded, and guest filled Monday Night Raw, and Kofi can easily be the next in line if he’s given the chance to.
2. Daniel Bryan to Raw
Plain and simple, Daniel Bryan has outgrown Smackdown. While the Blue Brand is generally used for superstars to test the waters, and develop their characters, Bryan has done beyond that, in a few months at that, in developing an over the top, obnoxious, but entertaining heel character that took Miami by storm during Wrestlemania week. In what might be the new “What?!”, “Yes!” is quickly gaining crowd among smarks and casual fans alike, and it is growing out of its shell that is called Smackdown. The Daniel Bryan needs to be on the main brand and needs to be on live TV each week. Sure he already is due to the “supershow”, but Bryan has lost the World Heavyweight Championship, is giving up the absolutely stunning AJ, and really has no other reason to be on Smackdown, especially if he were to lose his rematch to Sheamus. Daniel Bryan is destined for bigger and better things, and that is the WWE Championship. Currently WWE Champion CM Punk and Chris Jericho are battling each other over the title, but I feel that the “trilogy” of Punk/Bryan matches we saw over the past few months was not for nothing. Both guys are easily capable of putting together a five star match on any given night. Couple that with an intriguing program, and these two can tear the roof down in a fantastic feud.
3. The Miz to Smackdown
As I mentioned earlier, Raw is just too big right now, and there are many guys getting lost in the shuffle. One of those guys is The Miz. He went on a very unnecessary losing streak to kick off his 2012 year, after a mediocre, yet lengthy, run as the WWE Champion, as well as being a part of one of the most entertaining duos in the past year, in the short lived Awesome Truth with R-Truth. Right now The Miz is picking up steam, and is actually winning matches now, but he’s not going to face CM Punk for the title anytime soon. Quick, name the top three heels on Smackdown right now. The answer is Daniel Bryan, Mark Henry, and Cody Rhodes. With Bryan going to Raw, Henry seemingly being quietly already on Raw, and Rhodes still feuding with Big Show over the Intercontinental Championship, Smackdown is severely lacking heels right now. Wade Barrett, and Christian are still injured, and it looks like Alberto Del Rio is making his way over to Smackdown too, but there are a number of talented heels on Raw doing nothing, and Miz is one of them. In WWE ‘12, during the awful HHH story, Miz was swapped over to Smackdown, without any reasoning behind it, meaning that those writers also feel that he should head over there, and so do I. A Sheamus/Miz feud has not been seen yet, and I think that it would work out very well. Also, once the injured heels come back, Miz can also make his long anticipated face turn, and create some exposure for himself, something he would only be able to do on Smackdown.
4. Dolph Ziggler to Smackdown
Another thing that is no secret is that the Smackdown roster is pretty thin right now. A little over a year ago, Ziggler was the top heel on Smackdown, feuding with Edge over the World Heavyweight Championship. Then during last year’s draft, he is inexplicably sent to Raw, and is forced to start over, holding the United States Championship for a long time, helping his friend Zack Ryder get over, and he went full circle, doing the same exact thing he did last year, in facing off for a World Championship in a losing effort, this time to CM Punk. Now, he’s once again forced to team up with Jack Swagger again, and recently jobbed to Brodus fucking Clay. There is no reason why a man as talented, and underutilized as Ziggler should be jobbing to Brodus Clay when Jack Swagger and Santino Marella is also involved in the match. Ziggler is now over enough as a heel to be able to lose Vickie Guerrero, and the draft is the best way to do it, without forcing a face turn on him. Have Vickie focus on Swagger and another superstar in need of some heat, and let Ziggler finally flourish. Ziggler was one of the top guys his last time on Smackdown, and he can easily do the same if he were to be sent back over there. The Smackdown staff seems to have more confidence in him than the Raw staff does, and with him improving his skills over the past year, he can easily run with the World Heavyweight Championship now. Like I said before, Smackdown is currently lacking heels, and sending Miz and Ziggler over there and beefen up the heels, and the roster as a whole, and help both men gain more exposure on their own.
5. United States Championship to Smackdown and Intercontinental Championship to Raw
Santino Marella is practically a member of Smackdown now, or at least he was when Teddy Long was still around. Big Show did a great job of being the resident big man on Smackdown, as well as one of the top faces when the times called for it. However, there is no reason why the two WWE titles and the two NWA/WCW titles should be separated from each other. I’ve always had this feeling that the WWE and Intercontinental Championships should be together, and the World Heavyweight and the United States Championships should be together as well. Put the “flagship” titles on the “flagship” brand is my reasoning. Plus, it was fun when during the draft, a champion would shift brands, leaving doubt among the fans. Sure usually the accompanying title would end up getting shifted too, but there were those moments when you weren’t sure, such as when World Heavyweight Champion Batista was the final draft pick of the 2007 draft, cancelling Teddy Long’s plans of a Smackdown World Championship. It’s always fun to see the titles shift brands, meaning different guys can hold the different titles. I feel that it would be very cool to see Zack Ryder win the white strapped IC title, or to see Tyson Kidd hold the United States Championship in the future. But for this to happen, it looks like we would need to see Santino Marella head over to Smackdown, and The Big Show to Raw. However, it would be very cool to see a first in the WWE draft, and rather than seeing superstars or commentators swap brands, the titles themselves were swapped, vacating them in the process.
That’s how I would handle the main picks of this year’s draft. On top of these picks, I would make other things official, like Mark Henry to Raw and Alberto Del Rio to Smackdown, as well as various low card guys swapping brands as well. But those four superstars and two championships are who and what I feel need a fresh start and a change of address heading into the Road to Wrestlemania 29. The real question is if any of these wishes would come to fruition. Last week’s article about Brock Lesnar showed that one of my worst nightmares came true last week, with Lesnar cutting a sub-par promo and seemingly aligning himself to be a heel. I hope that at least one of my predictions in this article comes true, because every superstar listed needs this change to jumpstart their careers and to not falter or fizzle out and lose momentum, as well as the championships. Only time will tell, and once the real WWE Draft begins, we will see who gets the opportunity to hit the reset button.
This is the third article written for Liam Hindmarsh’s blog “Tea Time With Liam“. Do you have your own draft predictions? Do you agree or disagree with mine? Post them in the comment box below and share your opinion with the world! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.