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.

Quick hits on WWE Superstars 02/17/11

I thought that since I watch the show every week, I might as well give my thoughts on it.  Here’s a rundown of what happened on Superstars.

Chris Masters def. Tyler Reks
It was truly the contest of the behemoths of Superstars, as neither Chris Masters nor Tyler Reks tend to lose matches on the C-Show.  Well, make that Chris Masters who never loses on the C-Show as he caught Reks coming off the top rope and locked on the Masterlock to get the win.  The commentators claimed that since returning to the WWE no one has broken the Masterlock and as long as he sticks to Superstars, that claim will remain true.

The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) def. Yoshi Tatsu and David Hart Smith
Remember when David Hart Smith was a tag team champion?  Losing on Superstars in no big deal – the lower card seems to shuffle around with who wins and who loses – but losing to the Usos is kind of embarassing.  Not only did these guys make absolutely nothing out of their debut and feud with the Hart Dynasty, but they lost their valet to Santino Marella of all people.  But fortunately, they happen to be identical twins and as stated in the rulebook of tag team wrestling if twins are tagging (or even similar looking partners – the Headbangers used to do it), then they must pull the ol’ switcheroo.  Jimmy exchanged with Jey and pulled the win.  Or at least that’s who Josh Matthews said it was, so I’m taking his word for it.

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (w/Tamina) def. Zack Ryder & Primo
Woo woo woo, you knOW! YOU JUST HIT ME WITH THE COBRA, BRO!  I know at least one of this blog’s writers is DZP (hint: it’s manof1004gimmicks) but their efforts at tag teaming has been pretty abysmal thus far.  In an effort filled with miscues and botched moves, the tag champs made Zack and Primo look silly.  ZP became the first pairing I’ve ever seen miss the arm-held-slam-off-the-ropes move when Santino of all people simply pulled Primo out of the way with his held arm.  The ending was never in question and with the loss goes any chance of a DZP tag title opportunity.

2010 Recycling Bin

It has been a rollercoaster 2010 in the world of professional wrestling, especially in the 2 main U.S. promotions: WWE and TNA.

There have been shockers (The Miz winning the WWE Title, Bret Hart returning to the WWE, etc.). There have been the rise of new and/or young superstars (Drew McIntyre, Daniel Bryan, Generation Me, etc.). Unfortunately, there have been the not-so-rising superstars. The not-so-great superstars. These are the “Fragments” that need to be, or already have been, tossed into the Recycling Bin of 2010. I now take a look into the 2010 Recycling Bin for the biggest “Fragments” of the year:

 

7) Kaval (WWE). He was one of my favorite wrestlers on TNA a few years ago. He signs with the WWE, spends some time in FCW (getting injured in the process, unfortunately), gets signed to NXT, and wins the season. Since his debut on Smackdown- he has one 2 matches: pinning Dolph Ziggler and just this past Friday, teaming with Kofi Kingston to defeat Ziggler and Jack Swagger. While Kaval has looked decent in most of his matches, “only 2 wins on Smackdown in 2010” isn’t a good thing to have on your resume.

 

6) Vance Archer (WWE). Here’s another product from TNA that jumped to the WWE and has done squat this year. His “30 Day Contract” storyline earlier in the year was the only true highlight from the man once known as Dallas and Lance Hoyt (TNA). A 6’7″, 270 lb. guy, with a bad attitude, could be the stereotypical “monster” of the mid-card, dominating Superstars and causing problems on Smackdown; instead, he’s lucky to get the occasional sniff on Superstars and the rarer taste of SD.

 

5) Chavo Guerrero (WWE). Like I said in many earlier Smackdown recaps: “Oh, how the mighty have fallen”. Granted, he’s had a fair share of wins on Superstars and is currently involved in a mini-angle for the WWE Tag Team Titles (he’s searching for suitable partner to win the belts with*), but a former multi-time Cruiserweight Champion, Tag Team Champion, and Intercontinental Champion should never be relegated to Superstars duty, unless:

a) he’s coming back from an injury

b) is in the last days of his career

c) is in the “dog house”

I don’t think Chavo is any of those 3.

*in a small bit of irony, Chavo’s current partner: Vance Archer.

 

4) Tommy Dreamer/Raven (TNA). In Dreamer’s case, he’s on the list because of his in-ring performances: it is VERY painfully obvious that he should call it a career. In Raven’s case, his skills aren’t as diminished as Dreamer’s, but is physique is/was worse. What got both of them put on this list: the “feud” that they had when EV2.0 and Four/Fortune had just started their war. They (Dreamer/Raven) were part of EV but Raven turned on Dreamer, citing the “she was mine, first!” angle. Unfortunately, not a not of TNA fans knew that this stemmed from the early ECW days. Even worse, the 2 of them weren’t exactly in the greatest of shape. Fortunately for *us*, this feud was cut short.

 

3) Bubba/Brother/Bully Ray (TNA). Bubba (I’m not calling him ‘Bully’) gets the “Ridiculous Ring Name Award” of 2010. He also gets the “Recurring Bad Dream Award” for his decision for going solo. Didn’t he learn from his oh-so-successful career as a single’s wrestler in the WWE that HE SUCKS ON HIS OWN?? “Hard Punch, Low Punch, Jab, Slam, Finisher” only works on Mortal Kombat I, not 2010 TNA.

 

2) This was close but Cryme Time (WWE) gets the #2 slot. This was one of the more popular teams of the last few years in the WWE. They had actually gotten a couple of Tag Team Title shots earlier this spring. then, the wheels came off. The team split up. Shad went heel (another big man who could have been a monster… or a “Beast” (that was intentional, Masked Marvel)), had a small feud with JTG, and then got shipped to FCW. He was recently released from the WWE. JTG had a match here and there on Superstars and one memorable one on SD where he got the absolute CRAP beat out of him by C.M. Punk. We haven’t seen JTG much since. It’s a shame because the tag team Division is painfully thin at the moment- Santino and Vladimir, the underused Usos, Chavo and his weekly partner, and Mark Henry and Yoshi Tatsu (Evan Bourne, if/when he comes back from injury)- and Cryme Tyme could have helped.

 

1) Fourtune Fortune (TNA). I’m taking the actual Ric Flair group separate from the rest of Hulk Hogan’s “Immortals”. There was so much potential when Flair started this group: A.J. Styles, Kazarian, Beer Money. Even adding Matt Morgan wasn’t a bad move- you had the ‘enforcer’ of the group. Instead, Fortune ended up being a joke of a stable. Having 5 members of them interfering in a match to beat The Pope(!). Getting embarrassed by EV2.0. Joining the Immortals (Ric Flair, playing 2nd Fiddle to Hulk Hogan in *any* group, gets them in the top 3 of this list automatically). Now, the group is splintered and in-fighting. Matt Morgan and Douglas Williams are either having problems or have left completely. Kazarian and AJ Styles went from fighting over Flair’s attention to fighting each other to being BFFs. A group that could have dominated TNA and challenged the Immortals for top stable of TNA is now about as relevant as The Spirit Squad of WWE (in)fam(y).

A Nexus Ultimatum: WWE Raw 12/07/10

Wade Barrett certainly didn’t expect the mess he’s in when he fired John Cena after losing his WWE title match at Survivor Series.  His intention had been to remove the biggest obstacle in the path of Nexus domination over Raw, and it seemed that all was going according to plan.  But even without his job, Cena has proven to be a bigger threat to the Nexus than ever.  After he took out Michael McGillicutty and orchestrated a Raw attack on the troops, he promised he’d see Barrett again next week.

The Nexus was understanably nervous about Cena’s threat.  David Otunga spoke with commentators from a nearby hotel, but even that couldn’t stop Cena’s attack.  Cena entered the hotel room and attacked Otunga, who high-tailed it when Husky Harris made the save, only to take a vicious beating himself.  Later in the show, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater defended their tag titles in a four corners elimination match.  With only the comedic duo of Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov left, the Nexus seemed to have the match won, only for Cena to appear from under the ring apron to distract Gabriel, allowing Santino to hit the Cobra and win the titles.

Beyond the point of frustration, Wade Barrett came to the ring and invited Cena in from the crowd.  With the four members of Nexus (McGillicutty was still out) watching from the entrance ramp, Barrett told Cena that Nexus would attack if he tried to hit him.  Cena told Barrett that being fired gave him a freedom he didn’t have while under contract, and without a job he has nothing to do than make the lives of each member of Nexus miserable.  The only way for Cena’s reign of terror to end would be for Barrett to reinstate him.  Having heard enough, Barrett ordered Nexus to attack, but to his chagrin, each member hesitated, then walked back to the locker room – apparently having had enough of Cena’s attack and blaming only Barrett’s pride for allowing them to continue.  With no one left to defend him, Barrett took a beating from Cena, only to escape and run away when Cena was about to AA him through the announce table.

Backstage, Barrett yelled at the Nexus, but Otunga told him this was an ultimatum.  Hire back John Cena or lose the Nexus.

Rest of the show (and live notes from the show – we were there!) after the jump.

Read more of this post

Hawkins/Archer Update

It seems that the team who fought so hard to make an impact on Smackdown months ago are no longer on the same page. During Superstars Archer inadvertantly hit Curt Hawkins when Chris Masters dodged the attack. After some bickering the Masterlock was locked in and Archer passed out losing the match. Hawkins went in to seemingly console his tag team partner but instead assaulted him and finished him off with the Heat Seeking Elbow Drop.

The interesting part was that he crowd was behind Hawkins chanting for him to hit the elbow drop again. Why? Because no one likes a man who has a tramp stamp. Yet another tag team the WWE has broken up this year.

“Hell On Earth”

First, this has been a bad month for former WWE Superstars: Lance Cade passes away at 29(!!) from heart failure and now Luna Vachon passes away (The Cade death gets me b/c I spent most of the Spring recovering from heart failure/heart infection and surgery, plus Cade is close to my age). We at the 1/8th Nelson, extend our condolences to the families.

When Teddy Long announced that The Undertaker would return to Smackdown this week, Kane promised that there would be “Hell on Earth”. Let’s see if Kane kept his promise…

Read more of this post

Superstars Update

Usually we don’t post on Superstars as nothing really happens other than good old fashion enjoyable wrestling matches. This week seemed a little different as they threw in some potentially important future story in this night of former teams squaring off.

The Colon Brothers

The feud between these two brothers has never really been too much of a focus on RAW. Both have been dropped by the wayside in the undercard for the most part occasionally competing in single serving match-ups. Lately Carlito has been at his wit’s end with RAW and it’s guests hosts. This has been slowly boiling up to the surface in recent weeks and more so with NXT’s first elimination. With a Backstabber easily in his grasp he stops the match and asks his brother to join him again, forget the fans and retain the glory they once had being the 1st Unified Tag Team Champions. Primo in a surprising moment wasted almost no time and embraced his brother effectively turning heel despite the fans cheers. With the Colon’s reunited things definitely don’t look good for Michael Tarver.

Mean Girls

Team LayCool continues their cruel ways on the Smackdown Divas on Superstars. The duo are seen backstage with Kelly Kelly claiming she smelled of garbage and rotten eggs dubbing her Smelly Kelly. Vickie showed up and took care of it spraying her with either deodorant or air freshener. Beth Phoenix and Tiffany come to her aid.

The Piggy James thing was bad enough but this one doesn’t even make sense, creative rhyme scheme aside. If Kelly Kelly smells like anything, she probably smells like beautiful. This “mean girls” angle needs to go somewhere new and interesting soon.

Phoenix Down

During her match against former protegé Rosa Mendes, Beth Phoenix seem to legitimately hurt herself. And based on Rosa’s in-ring performance going from OK to “Holy $#*!, what do I do now?” the moment it happened I saying it’s real. It turns out she suffered a minor ankle injury so she’ll probably be fine.

Cryme Free

If you thought the feud between Shad and JTG was over you obviously didn’t watch the Supplemental Draft as closely as I did. After JTG was drafted to RAW then immediately reversed it seemed there was more these Brooklyn brawlers had to hash out. Shad picks up the win after a pretty even contest in the Main Event.

Not To Be Forgotten

Chris Masters and Chavo Guerrero also had a match early in the night but nothing significant happened as he won via the Masterlock. They did however fit the former team theme of the night as they have on occasion paired up when Masters was a heel.