Maria, Hurricane, Paul Burchill released

WWE announced three releases from the company yesterday in Maria, Shane “Hurricane” Helms and Paul Burchill.  None of these come as a huge surprise.

According to some, Maria has been looking to move on from wrestling and expand her opportunities, a la Stacy Keibler.  She has not had much to do on her own lately, as the Celebrity Apprentice has limited her storyline possibilities.  That makes two WWE Divas lost to reality TV appearances.

Helms (who WWE finally announced was the Hurricane) was finally rising through the ranks of Smackdown as a bitter heel, but was stopped flat when a neck injury took him out of action for over a year.  When he came back, he was inexplicably turned to a backstage announcer, which eventually transitioned back to his popular Hurricane character.  Unfortunately, a recent arrest for drunkenness pulled him from the air, and he was gone once ECW ended.  Look for him in TNA.

Paul Burchill really perplexes me.  Not that he was released, but that he was never really used.  He’s got a good look, size and talent, but the WWE simply never used him.  His pirate gimmick was crazy over with the fans, but got nixed quickly.  He did an awesome job in OVW, but came back to WWE and was used mainly as a jobber.  Really a tragic waste.  I’d expect to see him in ROH before TNA, as I’m not sure a talented young guy would have a place in the Hogan regime.

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Total Nonstop Awful: Impact 2/26/10

I’ll start off with a disclaimer – since I started reviewing Impact for this blog back in September, this is the worst episode of Impact I have seen.  Hands down.  So I’ll apologize now if I come off as harsh and rant a bit.  I honestly feel like I have been robbed of two hours of my life.

As you may recall from last week, the Pope D’Angelo Dinero won the tournament at Against All Odds to earn the #1 contender spot for AJ Styles’s TNA championship.  Pope delivered a good promo and suffered a beat down for it.  Now you can just forget about that for now.  The Pope was not on Impact this week, nor was he mentioned outside of briefly at the very start of the show.  I started watching about 10 minutes late and did not hear a peep about him.  Way to give the fans what they want.

Instead, AJ Styles and Ric Flair have shifted their target sight over to Abyss, who himself is apparently no longer in a feud with Eric Bischoff.  Abyss is now powered by Hulk Hogan’s Hall of Fame ring, which draws the disdain of Ric Flair, a Hall of Famer himself, who demands that the ring be given to a true star of the industry, AJ Styles.  Have you forgotten about the Pope yet?

This came to a head when Abyss easily defeated Desmond Wolfe (really?) and was ganged up on by Styles and Flair, with Wolfe handcuffing him to the ropes.  Hogan (slowly) comes out for the save but is also beaten down until Abyss breaks the handcuffs and heels retreat.  Hogan tells Flair that on the March 8th Impact (the first going head to head with Raw), it will be AJ Styles and Ric Flair against Abyss and someone else.  Even though Flair himself challenged Hogan and Abyss earlier in the night, he seems to have no clue who the partner will be.  Hogan lets the (imaginary) suspense build for a moment before revealing that the partner would be him!  In action!  On Impact!

If that doesn’t make you want to follow the jump, nothing will!

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The Season Starts Now – NXT 2/23/10

The début of NXT starts off with all 8 Rookies lined up backstage. Enter The Miz who’s been quite vocal lately about his Rookie Daniel Bryan via his WWE blog. He gives Bryan his first task in proving his words wrong. Go out the ring and introduce himself with some charisma. As Bryan goes out to the ring (to Miz’s music) Miz gives an aside to the viewers that if Bryan fails at being charismatic he’ll personally go out there and slap some into him.

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Road to Wrestlemania: Raw 2/22/10

WWE advertises that the Road to Wrestlemania begins at the Royal Rumble.  While this is true for the winner of the Rumble, for everyone else, the Road to Wrestlemania begins after Elimination Chamber.  It’s here that Wrestlemania really begins to take shape.

The show opened with Chris Jericho returning to the show that had treated him so rudely and banned him, and gloating about his winning the World title last night.  Edge comes in and spears Jericho, announcing that he would be facing him at Wrestlemania.

Finally, Shawn Michaels was able to get the Undertaker’s full attention, after costing him his title at Elimination Chamber.  Undertaker agrees to face Michaels on one condition:  that Michaels puts his career on the line.  Michaels agrees.

John Cena, after getting screwed at Elimination Chamber, wants to exercise his rematch clause.  Vince McMahon points out that Sheamus also deserves a rematch, but Cena would get his rematch at Wrestlemania if he were able to beat Batista that night.  Well, at the end of the night, the match starts with Batista ducking out of the ring every time Cena charges him.  The match ends a very short time later when Batista kicks Cena in the groin.  Cena wins by DQ, and gets his title shot, but he also gets beaten up for several minutes after the match.

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Actual product may differ from advertised: WWE Elimination Chamber 2010

I neglected to put up a preview for Elimination Chamber because with only four matches announced, even with two of them being Elimination Chamber matches, I figured the card would change during the course of the show.  And I was right.  Two matches were added and one match was changed.

The Raw brand’s Chamber match was a good showing for all participants involved.  Kofi Kingston and Sheamus started the match, and all six competitors were in the match before the first elimination took place.  Surprisingly, that first elimination was Randy Orton, though unsurprisingly, it came at the hands of Ted DiBiase.  Cody Rhodes came down and slid DiBiase a pipe, which he used to clock Orton just before Orton took an Attitude Adjustment from John Cena.  DiBiase then laid out Cena with the pipe and covered Orton for the elimination.  He had little time to celebrate before being eliminated by Kofi, who himself was then eliminated by Sheamus.  The champ fell before Triple H, guaranteeing a new champion would be crowned (and the nay-sayers rejoiced).  Cena locked on the STF, Triple H tapped, and the champ is here!

Or the champ was there until Vince McMahon congratulated Cena for his win, but ordered him to defend his title against Batista.  Batista made short work of the exhausted Cena and claimed the WWE Championship for himself.  How about them apples?

Smackdown’s Chamber match went as advertised, despite an ankle injury to John Morrison and the Undertaker’s jacket catching fire during his entrance, apparently burning him (not a work).  CM Punk quickly eliminated R-Truth and took the opportunity to preach about his movement before Rey Mysterio entered and eliminated Punk himself.  Mysterio would be eliminated by a Starship Pain from John Morrison.  Chris Jericho actually used one of the chambers to flee from the Undertaker, but protected Morrison from a Last Ride on the steel section outside the ring.  Morrison then fell victim to a chokeslam and was eliminated. 

Jericho suffered a Last Ride and was set up for the Tombstone when the Undertaker was nailed by Sweet Chin Music by Shawn Michaels, who managed to sneak into the cell.  Jericho took the opportunity to cover Taker and captured the World Heavyweight Championship.  Michaels simply looked over his foe.

As for the rest of the show…

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TNA Webmatch 2/19/2010

TNA has a syndication show called XPlosion that airs in international markets, but not in the US.  So for the fans at home, TNA posts an exclusive match from the Impact tapings each week on YouTube.

This week, it’s Hamada vs. Traci Brooks.

Traci Brooks seems to want everyone to see that her shirt says 100% Natural, but if you’ve seen her Playboy pictures, you likely realize that it’s a damn lie.  Anyway, this was a quick but solid match between the two in which Traci worked on Hamada’s knee, yet Hamada still picked up the win.

But my question is since when has Hamada been a face?  Last I remember, she and Awesome Kong defeated Taylor Wilde and Sarita for the Knockout tag titles and were quite heels.  I suppose I missed something there.

Get well soon!

The writers of the 1/8th Nelson would like to toss out a get well soon wish to our own codebreaker30 who’s been in the hospital this week.  We miss you and hope to have you back soon!