Archive for February, 2014

SmackDown Preview 2/28/14

It’s Friday night and Dave Batista is officially checking into the SmackDown hotel! Big Dave is making his first appearance on SmackDown since his return at the Royal Rumble in what could be his most important moment in WWE thus far, since being back on the roster.

The internet — including CDW — has been abuzz regarding the overwhelmingly negative crowd reactions Batista’s been gotten this past month. In fact, the reactions have been so negative, WWE is apparently considering turning Batista from a conquering babyface into an entitled heel. After getting confronted with some hard truths by Randy Orton on Raw this past Monday, Batista takes to the mic tonight to address the WWE universe himself. Something tells me the Animal won’t be in a good mood.

Hit the jump for the full Smackdown card and a *RUMOR* regarding a special appearance: Continue reading →

Why Willow Gives Me Nightmares

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I’m not joking when I say that I’ve watched Willow’s three vignettes a combined fifty times.  I’m a 31-year grown-ass adult and there’s been something about the minute-long clips that really creep me out.  I’ve devoted nearly an hour of my life just watching these clips, trying to sort things out.  In case you’re not familiar, here’s the most recent one from Impact Wrestling last night…

Sure, he thrashing about; there are fake skeletons and what appears to be a rubber revolver.  Once again, kooky poetry and the umbrella.  Zombie eyes… typical Jeff Hardy face paint.  The background music is a little creepy, I guess.  But, I figured out last night that there’s one thing that holds it together for me: The voice.

Then, a most traumatic and repressed childhood memory washed back over me.  It’s one shared by many adults between the approximate ages of 29 and 37…

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Willow’s voice in the vignettes is made to sound eerily similar to the Boogeyman of the Real Ghostbusters.

He was a giant monster who wore a tuxedo coat and bowtie… with fangs and batwings for ears, and hooves, and that wheezing-screeching voice… in an otherwise fun show meant for CHILDREN!  Let me put it this way – if the Boogeyman that my generation grew up with was worked into the dreck that passes for Saturday morning cartoons these days, there would be riots in the streets.  Mother hens and supermoms would have out the letterhead before the episode was done, calling for sponsor boycotts.  Pitchforks and torches would march upon TV stations.  The current young generation would know sleepless nights that never ended.

I’m back.  My point is that the Boogeyman freaked me the hell out enough that the voice haunts me to this day.  Well done, TNA.  You have my attention.

NXT ArRival Preview

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Tonight on WWE Network, NXT’s public profile gets a much needed boost as it premieres its first LIVE two-hour special on the WWE Network. Two NXT Championship matches and a much awaited rematch of the NXT 2013 Match of the Year spotlight tonight’s card.

Ladder Match for the NXT Championship: Bo Dallas (C) versus “The Man That Gravity Forgot” Adrian Neville

Bo-Leivers rejoice! Your champion will be on television tonight. The beef between these two goes back to Neville’s run as an NXT Tag Team Champion. Neville’s original partner Oliver Grey, in the team British Ambition, was sidelined with an injury causing Adrian to need a replacement. Neville chose then-babyface Bo Dallas as his replacement partner. The plan would soon backfire as the pair lost the straps in their first defense to the Wyatt Family. After their split, Bo Dallas would then gain a NXT singles championship shot at the expense of Neville in a #1 Contenders Battle Royal. It wouldn’t be long before Dallas struck gold claiming the NXT Championship from Big E.

The two have faced off for the title once previously, with Neville claiming the victory via countout and ever since Dallas has refused to grant Neville a rematch. Luckily for Neville, COO Triple H intervened and booked the first NXT Ladder Match ever. This time, the NXT strap will be hung above the ring and Dallas can’t walk out on Neville’s challenge.

2 out of 3 Falls: Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro

In the most famous rivalry in NXT’s short history, Sami Zayn (the former El Generico) and Cesaro have put on a number of classic matches. Their NXT rivalry started when Cesaro claimed that no man on the NXT roster could beat him and offered an open challenge. A challenge Sami Zayn was happy to accept, shocking the Swiss Superman with a victory. After evening up the series, the two competed in the rubber match and NXT’s Match of the Year for 2013, a 2 out of 3 Falls classic with Cesaro winning the feud and the match 2 falls to 1.

The loss has stuck in the craw of Zayn ever since, some might call it an obsession. After weeks of challenges being refused by Cesaro, Triple H intervened and made the rematch for tonight’s ArRival, sparked by Cesaro’s attack on Zayn’s recovering knee injury. Does the pair have a second 2 out of 3 falls MOTY in them?

Continue reading →

Impact Wrestling Preview 2/27/2014

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Welcome to the Thursday Night Wars!  Here’s a preview of TNA’s inaugural offering, which has been in the can for weeks.

The opening of the show was highlighted in the Morning Roundup, so be sure to check that out.

MVP will have a full dance card this evening.  First, he’ll oversee the official contract signing for the TNA Heavyweight Championship of the World, between Samoa Joe and Magnus at Lockdown.  In the grand tradition of contract signings, we can probably expect someone to go through a table this evening.

Afterwards, MVP will ready himself for singles competition in tonight’s main event, as he will face off against the opposing team captain of Lethal Lockdown, Bobby Roode.

Speaking of Lethal Lockdown, there’s space to fill on both squads… but none of the holes will likely be filled by either Gunner or James Storm, who are on a collision course for Lockdown.  TNA dot com is teasing “all-out war” for the Marine and the Cowboy.

Kurt Angle is due to be the second inductee into TNA’s Hall of Fame this evening.  This comes only weeks after the assault by EC3, who now takes credit for ending the career of the Olympic Gold Medalist.  I think we can fully expect another confrontation between the Machine and Dixie’s nephew.

TNA is also advertising that tonight will feature the “latest” on the new tag team champions, following the Wolves beating the Bromans recently at a live event in West Virginia.  I’m very curious to see how this is addressed.  Will TNA recognize that the title change took place stateside?  Will the Bromans still have the belts in the UK?  Perhaps the Bromans will step up and be a part of Team Dixie at Lockdown.  We’ll see what happens.

Also on the show, KO Champ Madison Rayne will team with Velvet Sky against the division’s juggernauts, Alpha Female and Lei’D Tapa.

We’ll likely also hear from Willow once again, and I’ll have nightmares.

This looks like a packed show going up against NXT Arrival.  Set your DVRs, marks.

The Hijacking of Raw – Chicago Edition

The WWE has a certified mess on their hands.  They can try to ignore that it is going to happen and assume everything is going to be perfectly fine, but that wont change the inevitable.  Whether the WWE likes it or not, their program this Monday is going to be hijacked by the crowd.  On Monday, March the 3rd, 2014, the WWE is going to launch a live Raw broadcast from the great city of Chicago.  As soon as the cameras go live at 8:00 pm EST, the show will belong to Chicago, 100%.  As the golden boy, CM Punk sits at home, his brethren are going to chant his name, cheer his image, and boo the snot out of his/their enemies for 3+ hours.   Why is this a certainty?  Come with me.

First, we know for a fact that the city of Chicago loves their homegrown boy CM Punk.  No city chants his name louder, and no crowd showers him with love more than Chicago.  It’s his hometown, it makes sense.  What makes Chicago different from other cities that have home-grown talent is Chicago is historically a strong wrestling city and Punk gives back.  First, Chicago is now around the industry as a city that is strong supporter of wrestling.  Even before Punk, Chicago was seen as a place that crowds were hot, respectful, and smart fans.  Now with Punk as “their guy” it’s taken to its peak.  On top of that, Punk gives back to the city.  He has run in their marathon, he frequently visits Cubs and Blackhawks games, and he pushes other local talent like Colt Cabana and Marty DeRosa.  Chicago loves CM Punk and CM Punk loves Chicago.

Second, we know that Chicago is not afraid to show this.  In 2011 when Punk was threatening to walk away from the company (foreshadow) and walked into Money in the Bank to challenge John Cena, the place lost it.  They were into every match on the card before the match, and gave one of the loudest crowd reactions in recent memory.  They cheered every Punk move and booed every move by John Cena.  As far as the crowd knew, when the match was over Punk was gone from the company.  Did they boo him for deserting, no, they cheered him for fighting in and from Chicago.  They let him leave through the crowd at the end with the title.  Chicago was blinded by their love for CM Punk and did not care to show it.  Chicago is going to still love Punk Monday, whether he is there or not.

Thrid, we know the crowd is going to take over, because they have to show all the other kids they are better.  What do I mean by that?  Great question.  For the last 2-3 months crowds across the country have been doing their best to take over the show.  I wrote an article a few weeks back about this phenomenon, and I warned you about this coming Monday.  As Louis pointed out about this past week’s Green Bay crowd, all of these crowds want to be “that” crowd.  They want to chant for Randy Savage, Punk, Bryan, and the announcers.  It all started, truly, the night after WM 29 when the crowd in Jersey stole the show.  We loved it then, we hate it now.  Taking over the crowd is something Chicago does, not a small town in Vermont.  That being said, Monday will be their time to shine and show the world Chicago hijack shows better than anyone.

The WWE can feel the heat.  There are talks they plan to distract the crowd with Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, Undertaker, and Shield/Wyatts.  This is smart by them, but unlikely to help too much.  They even convinced Breaking Bad and Need for Speed actor Aaron Paul to host Raw.  Terrible idea.  The guy doesn’t stand a chance.  He will be attacked by the crowd.  I’d go far to say that, outside of Cabana, Austin, or Punk, no one would survive that gig.   The crowd will use long matches, short promos, commercial breaks, Network plugs, or really anything to try to take over.  What is the WWE to do?  Let it happen.  Know it, embrace it, and hope it doesn’t last long.  I like to be the man with the answers, but honestly, I don’t know what the WWE is to do.  Sure, they could convince Punk to show up and quiet the crowd, but you can’t let them win, right?

 
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