Solution?

While having a few weeks off, I’ve had the chance to sit back and watch more of TNA and WWE than in the recent past. I’ve noticed that a few superstars that have struggled in the mid-card and lower, such as R-Truth, have stepped their game up (both in-ring and on the mic). There are a few, however, that have gone/are going in the opposite direction and fast. These are stars with big-time name recognition and hype but have done little in the past year or so. Who are they and what can be done to get them higher up the ladder?

1) Ted DiBiase. Think back to the days of Legacy… of the 3, who did you think would be the one who would do very little after the breakup of the group. Raise your hands if you thought it would be Cody Rhodes (*hand is raised*). Instead, it’s been DiBiase. He had a little thing going with Maryse and the Million Dollar Title but has done crap since. The son of the “Million Dollar Man” should be AT LEAST in serious contention for the U.S. Title, if not on the outside of the WWE/World Title pictures, not having the very rare backstage appearance before a commercial break.

2) Drew McIntyre. For nearly a year, he ruled the mid/upper-mid card as the IC Champion, with some VERY good matches against Kofi Kingston and John Morrison, among others. After losing the title, he basically became an afterthought (I still can’t believe he lost CLEANLY to Chris Masters on Superstars a few weeks ago). There is simply TOO MUCH TALENT in McIntyre to not have him causing havoc in the Title pictures.

3) Samoa Joe. He had a nearly 2 year unbeaten streak in ROH. He had another 18-month unbeaten streak in TNA. He (along with AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels) was not only the best thing going in the X-Division at the time, but perhaps all of TNA. So what’s happened in the last 6-8 months? Losing to Crimson in under 3 minutes? Walking away from potential fights? Not being mentioned in the TNA World Title picture? Or the X-Division Title picture? Even the TV Title chase??

What can these 3 do to get out of their slides? Well, in Joe’s case, I think one of 2 things can help:

a) He can go completely bad-a$$ heel. I talking about loose-cannon, destroy anything that moves, heel. His target(s) should start with Fourtune and Styles and/or Daniels (re-capturing the “magic”, unless TNA screws it up). If/when that ends, he should turn his rage on the X-Division until he gets the title. Have him hold the belt until someone can finally step up and end his reign of terror. It gets him a belt, gets his “name” back, and he can actually DO something other than lose.

b) He could become the “franchise” of TNA by going after Immortal and taking them out, one by one. Again, this depends on TNA’s writers not screwing things up.

In DiBiase and McIntyre’s case, it may involve Arn Anderson, a few months, and a stable.

Arn could be sitting ringside, watching matches and “taking notes”. Whenever he see DiBiase and McIntyre lose, he gets increasingly frustrated. After a few weeks (say, 3-5), he gets fed up and rips them a new one publically. He decides to take them under his wing to get them to reach “their potential”. As they wrestle with Arn in their corner, the wins start coming… as does a newly found cunning (DiBiase) and ruthlessness (McIntyre). Arn also adds a 3rd star to this stable, based on his notes, to help them along (Daniel Bryan? Justin Gabriel?). Arn, after a while, decides that they “are ready”… and reveals the leader and 4th member (see where this is going now…?). Yes, reviving the 4 Horsemen through McIntyre and DiBiase, while not likely, is not a bad way to jumpstart their careers.

Whatever solution is out there, Samoa Joe, Drew McIntyre, and Ted DiBiase really need to get going.

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Dissecting the Wrestlemania XXVII Corpse

…because the 2011 version of Wrestlemania was just like a corpse: dead. Lifeless, semi-dull, bloated- it was not a pretty site to behold, at times. Let’s take this mass of matches apart and see what we find, shall we?
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NXT/Smackdown Weekend Review – Mar. 29th & Apr. 1

Pretty quick review this weekend as we head into Wrestlemania.

NXT

Titus O’Neil wins Arm Wrestling Challenge ( redemption points)

Titus O’Neil, Byron Saxton & Conor O’Brian def. Jacob Novak, Darren Young & Lucky Cannon

  • A lot of cheating in the Arm Wrestling Challenge
  • William Regal doesn’t seem to like JTG. It’s very entertaining.
  • Titus O’Neil picked up the pinfall in the 6-Man Tag Match

Smackdown

Kofi Kingston def. (c) Wade Barrett by DQ

Cody Rhodes def. Chris Masters

  • Corre interfered in the Intercontinental Championship rematch and ganged up on Kofi afterward
  • Santino Marella, Vladimir Kozlov, Kane & The Big Show came down to make the save
  • Matt Striker interviewed Cody Rhodes, who was channeling his inner Heath Ledger’s Joker
  • Rey Mysterio came out after Rhodes’ victory with “an intentionally exposed knee braced” 619 in mind
  • During Wrestlmania Axxess this weekend Corre attacked Kozlov injuring him
  • Theodore Long announced that Kofi Kingston will be taking his place in the 8-Man Tag Match

And that’s it! Enjoy Wrestlemania. We here at The 1/8th Nelson will be.

Weekend NXT/Smackdown Review – Mar. 22nd & 25th

NXT

Darren Young wins Mic Battle Challenge (4 redemption points)

Titus O’Neil def. Darren Young

Vladimir Kozlov & Conor O’Brian def. JTG & Jacob Novak in Dance Off

Lucky Cannon def. Byron Saxton

  • Maryse had no idea who was leading in redemption points at the top of the show confusing Jacob Novak (0 points) for Titus O’Neil (5 points)
  • Mic Battle Challenges never go well and this one didn’t disappoint in that regard. Hornswoggle look embarrassed for them.
  • Both Pros, Chavo Guerrero & Hornswoggle got involved in their Rookies match but it Titus O’Neil who benefited hittingĀ  Darren Young with his Clash of the Titus. (Side Note To Masked Marvel: It’s a lifting sit-out spinebuster otherwise known as a Sky High)
  • The Dance Off was entertaining but that’s about allĀ  to say about it.
  • Lucky Cannon & Yoshi Tatsu both received slaps to the face from Maryse early in the night and Cannon received a second from Tatsu afterward.
  • Cannon came out the lucky one (see what I did there) by the end of the night defeating Byron Saxton with a Lucky Break then hitting Tatsu with one to close out the show.

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Weekend NXT/Smackdown Review – Mar. 15th & 18th

NXT

Titus O’Neil wins Talk The Talk Challenge (2 redemption points)

Darren Young def. Conor O’Brian

Tyson Kidd & Lucky Cannon def. Yoshi Tatsu & Byron Saxton

Titus O’Neil wins St. Patrick’s Day Keg Carry Challenge (3 redemption points)

  • O’Neil won with his dead on Hornswoggle impersonation but other highlights were Saxton’s jokes on Cannon and Novak’s awful, awful rap.
  • Young ended his match with a Fireman’s Carry Gutbuster. It may not be as original as his Full Nelson Flapjack but it’s actually in Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 so that’s a plus.
  • Cannon, AKA De-Lish, AKA Mr. Steal Your Girl has made it his mission to win Maryse over Yoshi Tatsu going so far as to recite poetry (in what seemed like recently learned French) instead of winning the Keg Carry Challenge again (he won his seasons Keg Carry).
  • O’Neil was set up to win the Keg Carry from the start as Matt Striker and Maryse ribbed him about his season 2 fumble complete with video footage. The plan worked out as he pulled off a win in this very heated Challenge.
  • I do suspect the keg was drained as the Rookies were putting down some seriously fast times this season.

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Weekend* NXT/Smackdown Review – Mar 8th & 11th

* Cause I’m clearly never going to start posting this at a consistently scheduled time

NXT

New Rookies were not announced because this season is about redemption. The pairings are:

  1. Byron Saxton & Yoshi Tatsu
  2. Conor O’Brian & Vladimir Kozlov
  3. Darren Young & Chavo Guerrero
  4. Jacob Novak & JTG
  5. Lucky Cannon & Tyson Kidd
  6. Titus O’Neil & Hornswoggle

And the winner of NXT Redemption earns a spot on NXT Season 6. That’s not really much of a prize but it’s because they’re trying to make sure Tough Enough succeeds. It is being televised after all.

Other changes for this go around of NXT include:

  • Maryse as co-host
  • William Regal replacing Josh Matthews on commentary
  • The contestants are competing for redemption points instead of immunity points which they can use when ever they wish to keep themselves from being eliminated
  • Almost all the contestants have changed their personae based off their Pro’s thoughts on why they lost their original seasons

Darren Young def. Jacob Novak

Darren Young wins Boot Camp Obstacle Course (3 Redemption points)

Titus O’Neil def. Lucky Cannon

  • The front-runners of this season look to be Young, O’Brian & Saxton.
  • Cannon will probably stay a round for a while because he’s the clear heel of the show.
  • O’Neil is your dark horse because let’s face it, people love Hornswoggle.
  • And Novak will be the first eliminated unless he wins every challenge.

It’s looking to be an interesting new season despite the fact that it’s just treading water until season 6.

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A Special* Sunday Night NXT/Smackdown – Mar 1st & 4th

*Delay due to partying like a rock star all weekend.

NXT

Brodus Clay def. Johnny Curtis

Derrick Bateman & Conor O’Brian def. Jacob Novak & Byron Saxton

Brodus Clay is eliminated making Johnny Curtis NXT Season 4 Winner!

 

And to that I say–

Johnny Curtis was the only Rookie this season I couldn’t have cared less about. Even Jacob Novak, who’s pretty unlikable, had some appeal to winning this season. Sure Curtis has a solid in-ring presence but so did Kaval and we see how that worked out. Besides, there’s a long list of current superstars who give us great matches that I would prefer to see over Curtis. His Pro, R-Truth, for one but now they’ll be moving forward with their tag team angle from here until the inevitable conclusion I mentioned last week.

So this segment is completely negative it was nice to see the eliminated Rookies return and actually have a match. Usually they’re just sitting ringside and getting interviewed. Aside from the winner this season has been full of great decisions.

Season 5 seems to still be a go but the Rookies have not been named. Rumor is that it’ll be 2nd generation superstars and their fathers. If so they’re probably trying to gather another team (as I’ve only counted 5 possible pairings so far) and get Carlos Colon, Sr. under contract. I wouldn’t mind seeing a tag team NXT, a second chance NXT or combination of the two for the next season.

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