Monday, January 31, 2011

Op-ed: And it is ON!...but will people fork over the $

Edge vs Del Rio at Wrestlemania. I love Del Rio. He is a fun version of JBL. He is what can be great about pro-wrestling. He elicits general hatred from the fans. Edge has grown into one of the best from the last 20 years. He has had countless great matches. He has taken ridiculous risks during his career. Both men deserve a chance to have a great match at Wrestlemania. On the smackdown side, this may be the most unique matchup of main eventers that the brand has....but this match, is not gonna draw a lick.

WWE's chickens are coming home to roost. Their constant title switches have devalued the meaning of a title change. Who cares if Edge loses the title? He has already lost one of the world titles nine times. Who cares if Del Rio wins the title? 13 members of the current roster have won one of the two world titles. WWE's chickens are coming home to roost. If you don't believe me, then check the PPV buyrate trends for the last 5 years. They are going down, big time.

This year's Wrestlemania's buyrate is destined to be around 800,000-900,000 purchases at best (and I suspect it will be lower). Certainly a respectable number. But once upon a time, WWE did not need giant celebrities to spike a buyrate (a la, Trump, Mayweather). Austin vs. Rock did great on its own in 2001, but there is no matchup on the roster that can possibly generate that kind of interest on its own anymore (the prospect of Orton and Cena fighting certainly did not excite anyone in Boston). So, what is the WWE to do?

Sure, there are a lot of baby steps that they can take that will help (less PPV's, a clear cut brand split, decrease in PPV costs, etc). But those changes will only help if Vince McMahon decides to start booking his main eventers, the world titles, and the rising stars more seriously. Mania can be the rebirth of the WWE this year. Put over Del Rio and the Miz strong as the respective cornerstones of each brand. Make people beg to see someone take the titles off of them. Have different challengers try in successive months. Every month the fans will believe that maybe Challenger X will be the one to take it off, but each time Del Rio and the Miz will be able to escape with the title. The different challengers will fail and fail, until finally the Miz and Del Rio both drop the belts to new up and rising Wrestlemania 28.

more RAW live thoughts....


Update #2: a vignette for someone coming on the Raw after the Chamber guess is Kong

Update #1: JERRY!....Jerry vs COle at Mania in a Loser Leaves Town Match!

- Orton ran away? what a hero of men...btw: this segment became unintentionally hilarious because Husky was on the ground for 5 minutes selling the FUCKING COBRA?!?!?

- looks like Lawler vs Miz(c) at the chamber...I would have preferred to see Danielson in this raw rumble instead of Ron Killings (and I like Killings)...oh well

and Alberto chose...

Could Booker and Nash have a role now at Mania?

Reports Da Meltz indicate that the reactions Booker and Nash received at the Rumble last night got a lot of attention by some backstage folk....I wonder if this means there could be match for one or both of them...Maybe if Orton makes an "army" to combat the New Nexus, they can be a part of that...Nash can't have a single's match with anyone except Dragon or Mysterio and have it even it be passable...Booker at least looks like he could still go


Best case scenario: we see the return of Chet Lemon and Black Snow on commentary

Del Rio is choosing what title he is going after tonight!

I maintain my (bold, I know)prediction that he will choose Edge, and then down the line Christian will get involved one way or the other



United: Philly

Now this was a GREAT show and is exactly the kind of shows that DGUSA needs to put on. Why you ask? Because they put on FOUR matches that people should go out of their way to see...How often does the WWE or TNA do that?

Highlights: the Blood Warriors heel turn...Ronin being pushed still...not doing 50/50 booking with the tag tourney...Tozawa showing why he is one of the most charismatic performers in pro wrestling today... Ricochet and Pac just being the incredible innovators that they are...A Double, Austin Aries stepping up and having a match that should put some of the doubters to rest

Lowlights: only two problems I had with the booking of show: putting Hulk over Moxley clean in a No DQ match, and then making Ricochet & Dragon Kid heels with the Blood Warriors group...both of those decisions seem counterproductive but we will see how it plays out

Match Ratings:

YAMATO vs. Brodie Lee: **1/4...I want to see where it goes before judging this match...on the surface it was strange booking though because the new world champ was getting beaten soundly for the whole match but then got a fluke submission: I don't think either guy really got over as a result

Rich Swann vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/2...this was a great match and made me want to see more Rich Swann for sure

the 6 Way Clusterfuck: ***1/ ratings are pointless for matches like this...if you get this show, you will enjoy this match: that is all you need to know

Tozawa vs. Austin Aries: ***3/4....another great match that is worth going out of your way to see...both guys were tremendous in the ring and with their interactions with Reby Sky and Jon Moxley outside the ring

Moxley vs. BxB Hulk (No DQ): **3/4...this was good but I do not understand why Hulk would go over clean in 8 minutes

Ronin vs. CIMA/Dragon Kid: ***1/2...another good match...CIMA tapping out clean was totally unexpected

PAC/Yoshino vs. Ricochet/Doi: ****1/4...this was the best PPV match of the weekend (including WWE) and is truly worth going out of your way to see...PAC is a star

Overall for the show: Definitely a THUMBS this show on GFL now!


United: NYC

I have to admit to being slightly disappointed in this show...there were a lot of things to like about the show for sure (the two tag tourney main events were both good) but it was not the blow away show I think people come to expect from a DGUSA show.

Highlights: Focus on Jon Moxley as one of the company's main players...the Ronin/Blood Warriors match...not letting the booking be undermined by traditional standards; I like that the company decided to take some risks...I also appreciated that short match lengths in some cases; not every match needs to have a million near falls and go on for 20 minutes

Lowlights: having the distracting Julius Smokes run-in during the World Title match; this distracted the crowd from the match...BxB Hulk not selling the knee during his comeback; he did the exact same thing during his match with YAMATO at Final Gate 2010: it is very annoying

Match Ratings:

Tozawa vs. Sami Callihan: **1/2...this turned out to be a big weekend for both men and they had a fun opener...this was actually a match I had been hoping to be booked and I would not mind seeing it again down the line

Moxley vs. Jigsaw: **3/4...this was another fun match as Jig was full of energy and Moxley played the heel role well

BxB Hulk(c) vs. YAMATO: **3/4...uh oh, I am sure my credibility will take a hit with rating this match so low but Hulk's selling of the leg (or lack there of) really frustrated me...on top of that, the finisher looked really weak...on the plus side, YAMATO is definitely someone who they can build the company around

Brodie Lee vs. Jimmy Jacobs: **3/4...this match reminded me of the Jigsaw/Moxley match in that it was really simple and straightforward but still really entertaining...I am not as high on Jimmy Jacobs as some so I like that the company is not just gonna stuff him down our throats

Ronin vs. Doi/Ricochet: ****...absolutely my was nice to see Doi again in the ring as I feel like I haven't seen a proper Doi match since the Canada shows...Ricochet and Chucky T have insane chemistry

Aries vs. Rich Swann: **1/4...another match that I was down on more than most...the match just didn't flow especially well for me...I might rewatch this one

PAC/Yoshino vs. Dragon Kid/CIMA: ***1/2...this was a really enjoyable match...PAC could be one of the main stars of their shows if they want him to be

Overall for the show: Thumbs in the middle but leaning up (The Hulk/YAMATO match really holds the show down in my opinion but it is far from a bad show)

You can buy the show here:

Potential big ROH matches for Mania Weekend

Apparently ROH is gonna be running two iPPVs during Mania Weekend...I understand the decision to add more iPPVs because its essentially free money...however, the 4 iPPVs in 2010 were all built up to be something special and these two are going to water down the specialness of them...oh well

Anyway, on a more positive note, these iPPV's present a potentially huge stage to showcase some great are some of the ones I would be interested in

Roddy Roddy Strong(c) vs. Davey Richards: Davey absolutely must win his next ROH title match or he will be seen as a failure to the ROH they might as well do it on the biggest wrestling weekend of the year

World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Kings of Wrestling(c): Shelton and Haas absolutely are the only ones who should dethrone the Kings...Briscoes are somewhat tired and the All Night Express still need some more in-ring again, they might as well do it on the biggest wrestling weekend if the year

Davey Richards vs. Low Ki: Only problem i see here is that I don't know if Low Ki burned his bridges with Gabe Sapolsky or with ROH...I am inclined to say Gabe but IDK...this should be a MOTYC

American Wolves vs. World's Greatest Tag Team: If you have to ask why this match should happen, then you don't deserve to watch wrestling

Roddy Roddy Strong(c) vs. Prince Devitt: I am really hoping that ROH hooks up with NJPW for some joint promotion so we can see more Devitt, Ibushi, Omega, Taguchi, etc in ROH

other than that, I don't really know but I am sure that I will think of more interesting matchups

BTW: later this week I will have some blog posts on the DGUSA iPPV's from this weekend

Potential Mania Card #1

I will update the blog sporadically on what I think the card for Mania is gonna look is the first update:

Cena vs. Miz(c): This one seems pretty obvious after the Rumble and it makes the most marketing sense. Cena and Miz both can do a tremendous amount of media building up the match...they may be the two most "pop culture relevant" of anyone in the company...should be a fun match too

Edge(c) vs. Del Rio (vs. Christian?): Del Rio is obviously getting a shot and I don't see anyone who should take the belt off of Edge between now and Mania...I think Christian would be a welcomed addition to this match from a storyline perspective and an in-ring perspective...this too would be a fun match

Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: this may be really random but it would make for a good 8 minute opener to get the crowd going...I would prefer Rey battle with SWAGGA~! but reports from Da Meltz indicate that Rey chose to work with Cody...I am fine with this match

Wade Barrett vs. Taker: This is a meh matchup if there ever was one...could be fine

Punk vs Orton: I would rather see a 4v4 or 5v5 matchup here but WWE tends to focus on big 1v1 matches for Mania...Orton is terrible babyface and Punk is cheered by PPV crowds so it should be interesting to say the least

Money in the Bank clusterfuck: this match has been booked poorly for a while now...there will too many guys, too little time, and a bad push for the winner...rinse, lather, repeat

Quick Royal Rumble Thoughts

YAY~!~!!~! his Rumble "DAYBOOT", Alberto Del Rio won. It was nice to see a fresh face win the Rumble. He still needs to sharpen his in-ring skills but his mic work and facials are good enough to compensate for now. Good Job WWE!

Other highlights from the match: CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and John Morrison being their awesome selves...Chavo being treated with some respect...Regal kicking ass

Lowlights: Hornswoggle....Cena and Orton standing off and getting NO reaction; WWE really screwed that rivalry up.

Match ratings:
Dolph v Edge(c): ***1/2...a real nice long match here...Dolph did really well for himself and should be a favorite for the Money in the Bank this year.

Orton v Miz(c): **1/2...match was building nicely but then the bad booking kicked in...I don't know why they need to protect Orton at the expense of the Miz

DIVAS BULLSHIT: DUD...bring on Awesome Kong

Rumble Match: ***1/ interest in the match died after Cena killed the New Nexus by himself

Overall for the show: THUMBS UP...this was a fun show

What is this Blog?

I'm stealing this from Oscar Season type blogs. This blog will cover the Mania season as we build up to the best weekend in wrestling every year. Not only will we cover the Mania build, but also the build to the ROH and DGUSA iPPVs that will happen that weekend. Fun times will be had by all!