Not Impressed… So Far

Only 2 weeks away from the grandest spectacle in wrestling. No, I’m not talking about *that promotion with Tazz and Mike Tenay as commentators* (I’m not even mentioning the name until the Nelson’s self-imposed coverage exile is up)… I’m talking about Wrestlemania! There’s only one problem with this year’s version:

I’m not really impressed with the card. Read more of this post

PPV Preview: WWE Elimination Chamber 2011

Here we are at the lone pit-stop on the Road to WrestleMania.  Try to get some souvenirs from when it was called No Way Out if you please.  To make nice with the rest of the WWE’s gimmick-based PPVs, this one has been tooled around the massive Elimination Chamber match.  Introduced years ago by Eric Bischoff, the Elimination Chamber is a mix of a battle royal and the old War Games match in which six guys are in the ring with two starting and the other four held in cages on the four corners of the ring.  At regular intervals, they are released int0 the match, with anyone being able to be eliminated by pinfall or submission at any time.

With the WWE split into two brands, this PPV has become essential in deciding the main event for WrestleMania for the brand that doesn’t feature the Royal Rumble winner.  Once Elimination Chamber is done, the card for the biggest show of the year is essentially set.  So let’s run down the card!

ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH FOR #1 CONTENDER AT WRESTLEMANIA
John Cena vs. John Morrison vs. R-Truth vs. Randy Orton vs. King Sheamus vs. CM Punk
Since Alberto Del Rio won the Royal Rumble, Raw needs a challenger for the WWE Championship to be decided in the Elimination Chamber.  Raw held a series of qualifier matches for the event and this is what they got.  Since their announcements, CM Punk has been leading his Nexus forces to attack the other participants and weaken them up, so all involved likely want a piece of Punk before all else.

But as for a prediction – I’d say the  safe bet is for John Cena to take the Raw Elimination Chamber and drift straight into a title match against the Miz at WrestleMania.  All signs seem to be pointing towards that inevitability – the Rock even targeted both Cena and the Miz specifically during his return promo.  Look for Randy Orton and CM Punk to increase their feud in the process.  Do you who’s not going to win?  R-Truth.

 

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Preview: WWE Royal Rumble 2011

It’s finally here!  The Royal Rumble is my absolute FAVORITE PPV of the year.  The co-writers of this blog will tell you that I won’t shut up about the damn thing.  Finally!

Like it needs to be said, the Royal Rumble is the beginning of the “Road to WrestleMania” that will continue until the big event itself in April.  The event is highlighted by its namesake match, a gauntlet-style battle royal in which two men start in the ring and an additional one comes out at fixed intervals (usually 90 seconds) until all participants have entered.  At that point, the last person still in the ring wins a main event title shot for either brand’s championship at WrestleMania.

But you already knew that, didn’t you?  Let’s run down the card.

WWE Championship Match
The Miz (c) (w/Alex Riley) vs. Randy Orton
After defeating John Morrison, who won a title shot at last month’s TLC, the Miz thought he would have smooth sailing through the Royal Rumble.  Not so, said the anonymous GM of Raw, who set up a triple threat steel cage match between Randy Orton, King Sheamus and Wade Barrett.  The match was more noteworthy in that it featured CM Punk costing Barrett his leadership of Nexus (and subsequently his spot on the Raw roster), but it still led Orton to take the win and the title shot.

This is the second straight PPV title shot for Orton, who is still looking to reclaim the WWE title which was taken from him when The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase after Orton suffered a beating at the hands of the Nexus.  Miz managed to pull out a win by using his apprentice Alex Riley to knock Orton from the ring apron through a table to cost him the match.  This match features no such stipulations, so if Miz wants to retain his belt, he’ll have to pin Orton or make him submit.

Or get himself disqualified, which is what I have a sneaky suspicion is exactly what he’s going to do.  Don’t be surprised if whomever doesn’t win the title shows up in the Rumble match.

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PPV Preview: TNA Genesis 2011

TNA’s Genesis kicks off the PPV year for US wrestling since TNA’s scheduling puts it at the beginning of the month.  A year ago, that mean a hastily-thrown together mess due to the massive changes going on with the arrival of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff.  If you recall, Genesis was the show that removed the six-sided ring from the show, though the matching ramp has since vanished.  Though certainly not as important as WWE’s Royal Rumble, Genesis does tend to have important things happen in it.

The main story through the show is Immortal’s mission.  Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff’s plan to swindle Dixie Carter out of ownership of TNA is falling apart around them since, as it turns out, it was illegal.  So with Hogan gone from the picture and Bischoff facing the inevitability of Carter’s return, he has decided that Immortal can keep themselves in some semblence of power should they obtain all of the title belts in TNA.  Well, more like 2/3rds of the title belts, since they lack any women in the stable and are thus not eligible for the Knockouts or Knockouts tag titles.  How this logic works escapes me, but TNA is really selling it, so I’ll go along with it.  Let’s take a look at the card.

TNA Championship #1 Contendership Match
Matt Morgan vs. Mr. Anderson
You may recall that a few months ago, Mr. Anderson took a chair shot to the back of the head from Jeff Hardy and suffered a concussion.  If you don’t, you haven’t been watching Impact, because they say it about 12 times each hour.  In Anderson’s defense, Matt Morgan left his spot in Immortal and has come up short in several title matches against Jeff Hardy.  With Anderson back, Eric Bischoff cleverly prevented them from forming a team by putting them against each other for the #1 contender spot.

But that’s not really important here.  Neither Morgan nor Anderson seem to really care about Hardy’s title.  Instead, Morgan has been trying to get Anderson to take more time off, not believing that he is actually cleared to wrestle, while Anderson has become more and more frustrated each time it’s said to him.  By this point, Morgan is no longer concerned for Anderson’s health and Anderson is no longer grateful for Morgan standing up for him.  Instead, thanks to some mind games from Jeff Hardy, Morgan is thinking that Anderson’s pulling a con and Anderson suspects that Morgan is still in league with Immortal.

Personally, I’m more inclined to go with the latter.  All the not-so-subtle hints have gone towards Anderson being the one to eventually betray Morgan, so much so that I think Morgan’s going to pull the switch.  The reasoning?  To keep the title belt on Jeff Hardy by “almost” winning at Turning Point and Final Resolution, and then tying up the #1 contender spot again, preventing anyone else from going after the title.  So yeah, I’m thinking Morgan pulls this one off, then continues the feud with Anderson while Rob Van Dam slides into the Hardy picture.

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