Let the Wrestlemania Countdown Begin

For the last two weeks, Raw has finished pretty strong and it left a lot of starting to see a glimmer of hope. Tonight after a rather lackluster Royal Rumble, Monday Night Raw couldn’t have started any stronger.  Yeah, you had John Laryngitis show up and try to play it cool like he was still going to have his job. That was of course until CM Punk came out saying the opposite would happen. To cut a long story short, Daniel Bryan comes out and Sheamus comes out saying he’d face either Punk or Bryan.  Top that off with we’re all treated to wrestling at its finest in CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan.  All I could think was “Please WWE, PLEASE let those two do what they do best, namely wrestle.”  So you’d figure that after that announcement that things would start going downhill.  WRONG.  We’re treated to Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton.  So we go from a solid opening to a solid match between one of the WWE’s elite and the biggest rising prospect WWE has at the moment in Dolph Ziggler. Yeah you had Wade Barrett up in the skybox watching the match, but who cares since really, like he has a chance against Orton.  Orton wins with the RKO and I have to say that I’ve heard people talk about whether or not the face version of the Viper is working or not.  I think it can work so long as he has competition and by competition, I mean more than just Wade Barrett or going the Sheamus approach and putting him against Jinder Mahal every week.

Next you had Brodus Clay vs Tyler Reks who is yet another name that I’m surprised hasn’t been on a milk carton somewhere along with Alex Riley.  And before going any further, the answer is no, NXT doesn’t count as TV time.  It doesn’t even count as a wrestling show, much less sports entertainment.  I wasn’t too big on the “hulk out” moment for Brodus and the all white glittery outfit really doesn’t work.  This was your typical Brodus squash match so there was no real reason to grade it.  Brodus does his entrance, gets in some offense, hulks out when Reks starts to fight back, Brodus finisher and the end.  Fortunately, we had Punk vs Bryan next.

There really is so much I could say about this match to the point where I could probably write a whole article about just that match alone.  Two ROH Alumni were going at it in one of the most technical skilled wrestling matches that I’ve seen in a long time. Hell, this match was practically PPV worthy.  There was a lot of back and forth action between the two and the match ended with Chris Jericho interfering and taking his shot at CM Punk with a Codebreaker. This was perfect because with Mania looming around the corner, you couldn’t have either champ in Bryan and Punk lose credibility as champions and this pretty much set in stone that Chris Jericho and CM Punk will in fact face each other at Mania.  So to everybody that thought otherwise or that Punk would face Triple H or that Chris Jericho would face the Undertaker, put that thought to rest now.  There is more money in CM Punk vs Chris Jericho than either of the other two options. Why? Because Jericho in all of his monotone days always kept bragging about being the best in the world at what he does, same as Punk does.  What is the point of this match you may ask? To see who really is the best in the world.

The Divas match didn’t last long enough to really grade but it did lead to one hell of a showing from one John Cena who attacked Kane before he could lay a hand on Eve Torres.  Not only did he attack Kane, but Cena beat the holy hell out of him. I lost count of how many times Cena clubbed Kane with the ring steps and even went as far as to send Kane running scared. The other upshot with this was that Kane actually mentioning The Rock and that Cena wouldn’t beat The Rock if he didn’t learn to embrace hate.  This is good in the fact that you have Kane suggesting in a manner of speaking that Cena is being too soft and not aggressive enough with The Rock, like he’s taking The Rock too lightly.  Well, can’t argue with that considering that Cena has gotten the Rock Bottom by Cena on multiple occasions.  So in short, The Rock has made John Cena look like a chump and Cena needs to turn up the heat a little bit considering that Wrestlemania is a couple months away. Besides, I find the John Cena that is more aggressive and that has some emotion behind his feuds to be a lot more entertaining.  Maybe there’s hope for this John Cena vs Kane feud after all.

Finally we have John Laryngits in the ring and Triple H arrives and showing us all the difference between Johnny Boy and Triple H. More specifically, the fact that Triple H actually knows how to cut a promo or two and just simply work the microphone while John Laryngitis doesn’t know how to do either one.  If you listen really carefully, you can hear all the people who were saying “Oh Triple H will keep him” or “Triple H will turn heel” putting a lid on it.   Triple H was pretty much slicing and dicing not so big Johnny in to so many pieces and the fact that Triple H suggested the Kiss my Ass club and John actually took out chapstick and puckered up just was laughable and made him look like the most spineless chump alive.  Then came the curve ball that NOBODY saw coming right as Triple H was gonna fire John.  The Undertaker made his return and called his shot at Triple H and just like the last time where no words needed to be said, The Undertaker indicated that he wants Triple H at Mania one more time.  However at least at the moment, Triple H doesn’t want anything to do with it, probably because he doesn’t want to lose power again like he did the last time. This leaves plenty of room for build-up and to people complaining about Hunter vs Taker for the 3rd time at Wrestlemania, drop it all ready because I doubted whether this match should happen or not also, but after seeing it start to set up and build up with the ending of Raw tonight, I say let it happen.  These two will put on a good match and there’s no two bigger veterans in the WWE than Taker vs Triple H.  The only challenge is what do you add to the match to make this one stand apart from the previous two matches between the two.

From start to finish, you have a way above average Raw complete with strong in ring promos at the start and end of Raw. You had solid wrestling take up the majority of the card excluding the Brodus match and Divas match and with regard to the Punk vs Bryan match, you could’ve easily had a whole hour just with that match alone.  Top that off, the pieces are being set in place for Wrestlemania in Taker vs Triple H 3 and Punk vs Jericho and what could possibly be Bryan vs Sheamus on top of the already set main event between The Rock and John Cena.  So far, this is looking to shape up into a much bigger Wrestlemania than we were treated to the last time around.  If this Raw tonight can be the same or greater for the next couple months leading into Mania, than we’re in for the most entertaining couple of months that the WWE has put together in some time.  The countdown to Wrestlemania has officially begun so all that be said is one thing.  “Let the Games Begin.”

Breaking Down the Royal Rumble

You know, for this being the anniversary of the Royal Rumble, the WWE sure delivered a lackluster one tonight.  You couldn’t even call the prize for the winner a spot in the main event.  We all know the main event is going to be John Cena vs. The Rock.  So whoever won the Rumble we all knew their title match would be on the back burner right behind Cena vs. Rock.  There was a lot of speculation about who would win the Rumble. Whether it was on Wrestlezone, PW Insider or some other site, names like Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Sheamus, etc. were flying all over the place.  I’m glad didn’t end up being the winner even if it was in his hometown because he just came back this week and throwing him right back into the World Title picture would be a little stupid so quickly after he returned.  But, I’m not going to spend much time talking about the Rumble at the start of this before I get to the rest of the matches.

Daniel Bryan retaining the title should’ve been obvious.  Big Show is not going to win that belt if the rumors are true that he’s going to have yet another comic relief match at Mania against Shaquille O’Neal. Mark Henry has been playing hurt since TLC with a groin injury and the reports that he hyper-extended his knee on Smackdown in the final segment.  So anyone that was surprised to see Daniel Bryan win the match really shouldn’t be.  The Divas match was about what you would normally expect, so I’m not going to spend much time on that.  Then you have John Cena vs Kane.  What was that?  I wish somebody would explain to me the point of this match because I didn’t see anything to it.  Good friends of mine in Mr Main Event BDub Brian Waters and Big Mike Knoxxx, check them out on Perfect Plex Radio after Raw, said it best that this match didn’t really elevate anybody. Did this elevate John Cena or have Cena display a new attitude? No.  Did this elevate Zack Ryder who ended up on the receiving end of a beatdown again? No.  Did this really elevate Kane or his whole motive to try and light a fire under Cena and get him to embrace hate? Not really.

To me, I’ve never understood the point of the Double DQ or Double Count-Out finishes because all it does for the most part is piss off people.  The only time I ever saw that was when I saw Bryan Danielson during his pre-Daniel Bryan days going against Tyler Black and the first match they had ended in a draw and the second a double count-out and both times, people weren’t booing but were applauding and even demanding to let them fight more. You didn’t get that response from the crowd, but then again, I’m not so certain how much the crowd is into this story to begin with.  It’s sure as hell not for booing John Cena because people have already been doing that.  This does set a record as two times in about a week where we see Zack Ryder getting carried out on a stretcher. I hope somebody knows what the point of it is because I’ll be damned if I know what it is.

People can rip on this all they want, but the fact that after all this time of being buried, the fact that Drew McIntyre was actually on a PPV card should be a sign of progress. Given, it was against Brodus Clay and he just ended up getting destroyed within seconds, but at least he made it on there.  I hope there is some big payoff with this because I don’t know how much longer I can go on seeing Drew jobbing to guys like this. Still, seeing him job to Brodus is a lot less painful than seeing him do so twice to Santino Marella and even less painful than having to see the guy do the stupidest match in a blindfold match.  On to the WWE title match which should’ve shocked absolutely nobody that the match was going to be good.

Having John Laryngitis pull himself from being the referee did help in setting up for tomorrow where we could end up seeing the end of his days as the GM.  I think I lost count of how many times that Punk hit Dolph Ziggler with the GTS.  I’m not surprised at Punk winning the match and retaining because I believed it to be the right move. Dolph Ziggler will be a world champion and I’ll even go as far as to say that he will end up with either the WHC or the WWE Title sometime this year, but tonight was not going to be that night.  He may not be ready for that at the moment, but he’s on his way there and in my opinion, he’s close to it. Without question, this was the match of the night and had all the makings of being a money match with the WWE’s top guy in CM Punk and the WWE’s top rising prospect right now in Dolph Ziggler.

I usually look forward to the Rumble match, but this was one of those times where I didn’t know what to expect. The announcers being in the match was stupid. I know some people thought that it was entertaining and funny, but I didn’t.  To pester and annoy is not considered to be entertainment in my eyes and I’m really weary of seeing Monkey Cole in his stupid wrestling attire that looks like something Rick Steiner threw away. I wasn’t supportive of having Mick Foley in the match either and I saw nothing to make me think any different.  The guy really can’t move and while the Cobra vs Socko moment was amusing, it wasn’t worth having Foley in there when really there’s no reason for having him wrestle as there’s nothing left for him to prove. I have respect for Foley and what he’s accomplished, but his brief stint in TNA should’ve been enough to show that he just shouldn’t be wrestling anymore. Kofi’s little move with the handstand was something else and it causes me to bring up the untapped potential in one Kofi Kingston.  Mad props to Kharma for making her return and lets hope that she wastes no time picking up where she left off with the Divas division.  Why is Khali back or at least made his return tonight?  The Great Khali is only great at being a colossal 7 feet tall waste of space in the ring.  There is nothing about this guy in a ring from an entertaining or wrestling aspect and if you want to bring up “But he’s a giant” so is Big Show and Big Show is able to move a lot more and do a lot more in the ring than Khali has been able to do in his whole time in the WWE. So to cut to the chase here, Sheamus ended up winning the Rumble and he’ll face the champ of his choice at Mania.  I don’t really see how you build him vs Punk and if it ends up being Daniel Bryan, funny how the WHC match will be the same match that WWE 86’d from their televised card last year.

Bottom line, here we are with now the countdown to Wrestlemania and yes I’m aware I’m overlooking Elimination Chamber but I’m sure that there are few people focusing on that one.  And one stepping stone along the way to Mania is Raw tomorrow and seeing where the Cena v. Kane storyline goes from here, what is next for CM Punk, what happens with Chris Jericho and does John Laurinaitis finally get the pink slip that people are screaming for?  Well, either way, the countdown is on to Wrestlemania so let the games begin.

Is WWE Finally Starting to Get It?

I have to give credit where credit is due for WWE. They managed to end Raw on a strong note in back to back weeks. Not only did they do that, but they hyped up a PPV as they did tonight with the way they ended Raw, in particular with the WWE Title match.  Following last week, you knew that with John Laurinaitis saying that he would in fact screw over CM Punk at the Royal Rumble that there would be consequences for it, in particular for Johnny Boy.  This was proven tonight when Mr Lack of Personality came out with Carlton Banks Jr in David Otunga who read a fax saying that Not So Big Johnny’s future as a GM was in question as next week Triple H will decide his fate which also leaves that the match that Laurinaitis is going to be the referee for in Punk vs Ziggler will be watched and that if he screws over Punk, he might as well start looking for a new job.  So it looked like Punk vs Laryngitis wasn’t gonna happen as Otunga jumped Punk but Punk easily took him down and gave us all what the fans have been begging for in having Punk hit John Laryngitis with the GTS.  If that’s not a payoff, it’s a hell of a sneak preview and it was short lived thanks to Dolph Ziggler attacking Punk and Raw closing with him standing tall. This isn’t a bad thing either because that was Dolph’s way of saying to Punk that John Laryngitis isn’t who you have to worry about, but I am.

So in doing this, the WWE has not only given fans something to look for at the Royal Rumble but a reason to tune in next week, namely to see if the Dynamic Dumbass John Laryngitis gets what he has coming to him and we’re finally through with him as some kind of authority figure.  Logically, there’s no way he keeps the GM job since Triple H didn’t like him when Hunter was running Raw and you could just see that Triple H was thinking that the guy screwed him over and sabotaged him to get him removed from Raw.  And if there’s one thing Triple H is known for, it’s payback and when he gets even, it’s always timed at the right time and right place because he’s the Cerebral Assassin and it’s just what he’s known for.  The last time that we saw a countdown to an authority figure’s execution, it was Eric Bischoff getting kicked off Raw for failing to take down John Cena.  Though I think it’s a safe bet that people will be anxiously looking forward to singing to Johnny Boy “Na Na Na Na. Na Na Na Na. Hey Hey Hey. Goodbye.”  The only one that could be louder would be if Michael Cole got the pink slip right next to Vickie Guerrero.

This wasn’t without some flaws in the mix.  Sheamus vs Jinder Mahal again being one of them.  How are people not sick of this match? The only reason people could have for paying attention to this match is to take bets on how long it takes Sheamus to beat him.  I’ve said it before that it’s like throwing a Porterhouse steak to a starving dog. It won’t last more than a minute before he woofs it down.  It’s bad enough that WWE can’t seem to give Sheamus any kind of decent angle or competition, but the more you give him opponents like Mahal who doesn’t have a shred of anything to make relevant, the less people will take Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble if he does actually win. I’m not saying that the face turn for Sheamus has been a failure because I feel it’s not, I’m saying that they’re not giving him enough guys to fight and this also unfortunately falls under the WWE’s lack of productivity in building guys up.

I’m not really fond of the Falls Count Anywhere match between Zack Ryder and Kane, mostly because last time I checked, Falls Count Anywhere matches have a winner to it and don’t end in a no contest.  I wasn’t that impressed with the Chokeslam through the stage. It didn’t really make Kane look strong but made it look like the stage was built real cheap.  I actually am in favor of this pissed aggressive side of John Cena.  I found his days where he came out to fight as opposed to wrestle to be way more entertaining.  Look at when he went after Carlito for stealing his US Title or his bodyguard for laying him out.  Look at his rivalry with JBL when Cena went for his first title reign. There was emotion there and he wasn’t heading into the match to wrestle, he wanted to beat the crap out of them and the same can be said for Randy Orton and Batista and Cena’s rivalries with them. It brought an aggressive side to John Cena and there was emotion behind it and people loved that and not the squeaky clean, humble as can be kind of John Cena that people for the most part have gotten over-saturated with.  Okay and the raps that he used to cut were entertaining also but then he stopped doing that.

One other thing that was done right was with Chris Jericho. Yes he is keeping this whole mysterious thing where nobody knows what the hell he is doing and he finally spoke tonight.  This was the right call because it kept the mystery element in the fold and you finally got him to break his silence at the same time. You couldn’t have Jericho be mute for too much longer without people getting sick of it.  There are two things that wrestling fans don’t like.  One is being told who to cheer for and who not to cheer for and the other is to be jerked around constantly.  If there is no resolution or payoff of some kind that is reached, people will get pissed off.  It’s a little thing called consumer confidence as you want people to keep buying your product. Besides, this was the last Raw before the Royal Rumble, Jericho needed to say something.

So, is WWE finally starting to get the picture? Hard to say but the chances are looking good considering that they’ve gone back to back weeks with a strong ending for Raw. Now if only they can figure out how to have the show be just as strong or at the very least, lead up to the ending of the show.   We’ll see what happens with the Post-Royal Rumble edition of Raw and what will hopefully be the execution (job-wise) of John Laryngitis.

Jack Swagger Wins the US Title, Zack Ryder Losing the Belt: The Good & The Bad

This past monday, we all saw Zack Ryder lose the belt to Jack Swagger.  A lot of people would be calling this the WWE sticking the middle finger up at the Internet Wrestling Community over Ryder.  There is however some good that can emerge from this.  The storyline here was that Ryder was hurt and “not cleared” to wrestle but still did it anyway. The guy went out there trying to be a fighting champion.  This is a good thing as it helps separate himself from his gimmick and making him look like a legit contender for that belt. The bad side of this is more for the US Title.  Namely the fact that what in the bluest of blue hells has Jack Swagger done to deserve holding a belt of any kind? And don’t tell me getting Vickie Guerrero as a manager because that doesn’t count.  Having her in his corner hasn’t made him the least bit relevant.

Swagger in the time that he’s been in the WWE has not impressed me at all. I find his whole “All-American American” nickname to be laughable even if he is a two All-American.   I’m no where near impressed with any of his moves in the ring. The push-ups that he does in his entrance is not only stupid, but it’s never worked and ask you can Scott Steiner about that. Hell, the jumping jacks didn’t work for Chris Candido.  Then there’s his inability to pick a finishing move, even though neither of his are believable because it looks like he does both of them half-assed.  Anybody can do a gut-wrench powerbomb and he makes it look like even lifting up the smallest of guys is like lifting a ton of bricks.  Then there’s the ankle lock and his attempt at trying to do the move and make it look as brutal as the Anaconda Vice or the Crippler Crossface.  All I can say about that is Ken Shamrock and Kurt Angle, Why? Because Jack Swagger is neither of those two and the standing ankle lock doesn’t make him look intimidating. It makes him look like a jackass who can’t get submission move to look right.  Not that impressive for a two time All American.

As for Ryder, they had to do something because ever since he won the US title, he hasn’t done a whole lot with it. Part of the appeal with champions is that when the new guy wins  the belt, somebody is gunning for him to take the belt from him.  Ryder didn’t have that after winning the belt. He just had himself get involved in a story with Eve and both ended up being mixed up in the cluster storm of crap that is the John Cena vs Kane storyline.  Part of getting the belt is now that the guy chasing it has it, he has to take it to the next level and Ryder really didn’t do much of that.  Of course, when Raw’s ratings were failing, the WWE was blaming guys like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder for it.  Forgetting completely about the fact that maybe it’s not the guys holding the belts, but the fact that your product sucks and you’re not selling it to make people want more of it. However, I want to believe that if that were really the case, then we would’ve seen all three of the those mentioned above drop their belts.

For those that are pissed off about Ryder losing the belt, there is the upshot that he could end up getting it back since they seem to be playing off of Ryder being hurt and John Laryngitis being an incompetent jackass of a General Manager. The only problem is how do you keep that belt on Swagger and give it some credibility? Say what you want about Ryder, but at least he has more charisma than Swagger does.  All Swagger has over Ryder is half-assed ankle lock, a lisp, two time all-american and a gut-wrench powerbomb that looks like he’s doing it with a hernia.  Then again, it’s not the only time the WWE damaged credibility to a belt. Maybe Vince has a hard-on for the chapter of WCW where they gave David Arquette the world title.

The Bourne Resignation?

Evan Bourne got hit with his second suspension following the wellness policy of the WWE. The biggest shock is that this happened not that long after he got hit with a 30 day suspension for his first violation.  So you can’t help but wonder whether he has a problem or if he’s just looking to get the hell out of the WWE.  If it’s the other, I can’t say I really blame him for it.  The guy debuted in the WWE in 2007 and it took him up until last year before he got some kind of belt and it’s not even a belt that means a damn anymore in the WWE.  Plus, his height does seem to fall into Vinny Mac’s blacklist since the guy doesn’t like the shorter guys to get a push unless they’re named Rey Mysterio and even that doesn’t happen a whole lot.

As far as if he is trying to get himself fired, where will he end up? The guy has the skill and a lot more than what the WWE has actually let him showcase in the ring.  Anyone that has seen him in action during his days as Matt Sydal would know what I’m talking about.  The first time I actually saw him was in a match in the short lived Wrestling Society X against Jack Evans.  Before I saw that match, I had believed that the high-flying style of wrestling was on the brink of extinction.  Luckily I was able to see guys like Sydal and Evans are well as Daniels and Styles. I was excited when he joined the WWE as Evan Bourne because I felt that the WWE acquired one hell of a talent, even though the first place he ended up was the fake ECW that WWE decided to puke up.

The guy had never won a belt until last year.  The WWE didn’t even think he was good enough to be pushed for the mid-card belts or even the ECW belt that WWE came up with that held very little value in the fans eyes. The only belt he got was last year when he won the Tag Team titles with another wrestler who has been under-used and under-utilized in Kofi Kingston.  No real problem with the tag belts being on them except for the fact that the belts don’t even mean a quarter of what they used to mean.  There’s only 2 other tag teams besides Air-Boom and nobody cares because the tag team division is yet another example of the WWE not pushing talent or selling their product.

Where would I rather Bourne go if he does get fired? I don’t want to see him in TNA/Impact Wrestling because they don’t know what the hell they’re doing anymore. He did do well for himself in ROH and with the talent they got on their roster, there’s no reason to think he won’t do well over there.  Besides, going back to ROH worked out pretty well for Jay Lethal and the longer he’s there, the more that it looks like TNA dropped the ball huge with him.  Besides, with regard to Evan Bourne, the guy has been in that company for 5 years and all he has to show for it is management being pissed him for the fact that he hasn’t been used. You’d figure he’d have broken enough ground to finally get some kind of push in the WWE but apparently not.  The only ground that was broken was being on the list of guys that the WWE didn’t push.

Brodus Clay: Words Fail Me

I’ve had a whole week to let it soak in about Brodus Clay’s re-debut and his new gimmick of “The Funkasaurus.”  Though my strong feelings of it when it first came out was strong, it’s tapered off since then.  When I first saw it, all I could think was “What the Funk was That?!!!!”  This is a guy who claimed on NXT that he could the suplex somebody ten ways from Sunday and was coming off like a Taz-wannabe.  Given, he was a much bigger and heavier version of him and had the potential to be another big wrecking machine in the WWE.  However, after looking at it carefully and looking at both appearances on Raw and on Smackdown, I get the reasons for why the WWE went this route.

Yes, he’s a big guy and yes he can easily be a powerhouse wrecking machine. But there is one problem with that and that is that the WWE already has plenty of those at their disposal.  Don’t believe me? Look at the Big Show who for lack of all intensive purposes is  that and has made a career out of being that, face or heel.  He’s a dominant presence no matter what side of the coin he’s on. Then you have Mark Henry who has been a one man wrecking crew for the majority of the year and it has worked out for him because it ended up being the biggest break that he’s ever gotten during his tenure in the WWE.  You also have Kane who back with the mask is trying to rekindle the old days of being the dominant force that destroyed everybody in his path.  You also have, when they aim for it with him, Ezekiel Jackson who has more than enough ability to be dominant.  If they went the same route with Brodus Clay, he would without question get lost in the mix and eventually be let go.  It’s for those reasons that I get why the WWE went this route.  But just because I get it, doesn’t mean I like it or that I think it’s a good thing.

The last time we’ve seen a big guy dance and had it work was Rikishi where he mostly did it with Too Cool.  Times were different from as it was the Attitude Era and it was funny and the crowd reacted to it.  They tried to do the same thing for a short time with Albert/A-Train and that didn’t last long at all because watching him try to dance was like trying to watch him wrestle and/or stare at his hairy back: It was painful. Now I’m not going to be negative about Brodus entirely.  He did show me something that can be attributed as a positive.  He showed some charisma that is rarely in guys of his mass and his height.  He gave the impression that he was really enjoying himself out there with doing this gimmick.  And though I’m not a dance judge nor do I play one on TV, he showed some mobility in all the dancing that I thought again was impressive for a guy of his size.  Yes, I said that he looked like Rikishi ate Flash Funk, but I give credit to the guy for trying to make it his own.  And the difference between the two is that Flash Funk aka 2 Cold Scorpio had to focus on the gimmick over where his talents were, namely his in-ring ability that the WWE wouldn’t let him tap into as they’ve done with many names.

There are a lot of guys saying that his gimmick is a joke and that whatever momentum Brodus had, is ruined or that nobody is gonna take this guy seriously or the big one in that Vince clearly has no faith whatsoever in this guy.  Why not?  Vince has a hard-on for the bigger guys and always.  He’s always favored that, believing that bigger is better.  It’s why he favors guys like Big Show, Kane or Mark Henry over guys like Evan Bourne or Rey Mysterio and basically why the cruiserweight guys never got a fair shake in the WWE. Just ask Ultimo Dragon about that one.  I’ve thought it over on whether I think this gimmick screams “Abandon Ship” or that this is Brodus’ official death sentence in the WWE.  And after thinking all of that over, my answer is simply that I don’t have the slightest clue.  Do I think that he can hold a world title? No but he just debuted and stranger things have happened.  With some touch-ups, there could be some hope with this and by touch-ups, I’m talking about give the guy a new finisher than a Cross-Body Block. Seriously, I get that you don’t want the guy to be just like Mark Henry, Kane, Big Show or Big Zeke, but you can give the guy a better finisher than this.  Like it wasn’t bad enough that Big Zeke and Vladimir Koslov had to have the same exact finishers.  Anything would be better than a move that nobody considers to be impactful or a legitimate finisher.  That’s my gripe with Wade Barrett’s “Wasteland” move is that it’s a just a reverse standing Samoan Drop.

This to me is not like the mute Chris Jericho. We’ve only bared witness to this gimmick for a week.  Maybe guys like Justin LaBar are right in saying to give this time. Given there seem to be more heels on Raw than faces so, lets just see what happens.  After all, we’ve seen stupider gimmicks and angles to come out of the WWE.  Compared to those, this one is actually pretty normal by comparison. So, whether we like it or not, the Funkasaurus has landed and all we can do is wait and see if this ends up being a crash landing.

“Diamonds are Forever, and so are the Four Horsemen” As It Should Be

The Four Horsemen are going into the WWE Hall of Fame. Set aside any feelings about the WWE hall of fame, there are two things that are just made to be and the Four Horsemen and a wrestling hall of fame of any kind are on that list. Of course, you have the majority members in JJ Dillon, Barry Windham, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and let’s be honest Ric Flair WILL be with them as well. One thing that the Horsemen had been known for was being the greatest collaboration and assembly of talent who knew how to do their thing in the ring and/or on the microphone. They also were never afraid to fight dirty and the Horsemen raised that to an art form.  They were arrogant and cocky and some would go as far as to call them egomaniacs and the reason for that was simple: Because they could be.  They were the Horsemen and especially when they were sporting gold, they could do whatever they damn well pleased. Whether it was in singles or in tag team action such as the pairings of Arn Anderson with either Tully Blanchard or Barry Windham, the Horsemen got the job done at any cost and no matter what rules they had to break. I would say as individuals they were good, but when you were tangling with any member of the Four Horsemen, you were dealing with the entire group no matter what and as a group, the Four Horsemen were deadly.   Of course, there are other horsemen members that aren’t mentioned in the WWE Hall of Fame induction such as Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael, Mean Mark (aka The Undertaker), Sid Vicious, Brian Pillman and Ole Anderson.

Lex Luger goes without saying on why he won’t be there. That guy ditched WWE to go to the first Monday Nitro. He might as well have stuck the middle finger up at Vince McMahon right in his face. Luger not only put himself on Vinny Mac’s blacklist, it’s pretty much engraved in stone. If this were to happen any other night it would be one thing, but this was one of the catalysts that started the Monday Night Wars.  Lex Luger and Medusa were two people that jumped ship from WWE to WCW without warning.  Hell Medusa took the WWE Women’s Title and dropped it in the trash right on live TV.  Even if you set Luger’s defection aside, Lex Luger had a lackluster run in WWE.  He won no titles and that whole Lex Express angle ended up being an overhyped catastrophe that ended at Summerslam.  I’m sure Vince has some wrestlers that will set foot in the WWE over his dead body and I think it’s a safe bet Luger is one of them.

Sid Vicious has made a name for himself without the Horsemen, and I’m not sure as far as how good the relationship was between him and the WWE.  He was the big man of the Horsemen, that’s true and as far as the many fists that the Horsemen had, he was one of the biggest ones and revolutionized the Powerbomb.  Before his days as the Undertaker, Mark Calloway made his name for himself in WCW as Mean Mark and had a short run with the Horsemen before parting ways.  However brief, the point is that he achieved way more fame as The Undertaker than he did in WCW as Mean Mark or with the Horsemen. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and that’s a guarantee but he’ll be part of that on his own.  As for Sid, while he was a member of the Horsemen, they seem to be sticking with the ones that were the most memorable and that started the group and were the group for many years.

Dean Malenko and Steve McMichael were part of the horsemen during periods where I’m sure Vince doesn’t want to reminisce about. I mean the two weren’t part of the horsemen during the Monday night wars or the dying run of WCW. Anyone wanting to remember the Horsemen wants to remember the glory days of it.  Malenko was added to the Horsemen during the last dying days of WCW and as far as Steve “Mongo” McMichael being a member of the Horsemen,  he was simply there and it took him off of the broadcast table that still suffered from having Eric Bischoff do commentary. Besides, I’m pretty sure that Mongo’s run as a wrestler and member of the Horsemen was one thing that WWE took shots at towards WCW during the Monday Night Wars.

Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit are two different stories. Pillman died young while on the WWE roster and even that aside, his stay on the horsemen was brief in WCW. Even then, Pillman was a member of the Horsemen during the forgettable Horsemen vs Dungeon of Doom war, mostly because if there was any stable that people wishes they could forget about from WCW, it was the Dungeon of Doom.  Benoit is a different story as he will never touch the hall of fame under any circumstances. Given, Benoit was a member of the Horsemen and a significant piece of the stable for a few years and was part of the only good thing in the Horsemen/Dungeon of Doom in the rivalry between himself and Kevin Sullivan.  In fact, it was becoming a member of the Horsemen that led to Benoit receiving the name of “The Crippler” which was given by “Double A” Arn Anderson himself. Set aside his great ring skill and accomplishments, the end of Benoit’s life and circumstances around it is the ultimate black eye to his legacy.  I don’t know if he’ll end up in any wrestling Hall of Fame, but the WWE is sure as hell in no rush to put Benoit’s name in theirs, whether it be  by himself or as part of the Horsemen.

Last we have Ole Anderson. Now when I watched WCW for the first time and saw the Horsemen around the time they kicked Sting out of the group, I saw Arn and Ole Anderson as a tag team. So I recognize what Ole is as far as the legacy of the horsemen. But unfortunately despite what Ole means to the Horsemen, Vince doesn’t give a damn. He is not the biggest fan of Ole and Ole likes Vince even less. Reports have also said that Ole’s health is very poor so it comes down to ego or health as the reasons Ole won’t be amongst the Horsemen. In this case, it’s both because set aside his health conditions, he feels what the WWE calls a “Hall of Fame” is a joke. With having Pete Rose and Drew Carey in there, who can blame him for thinking that? Ole Anderson has openly said that VKM doesn’t like him and that’s fine because Ole hates him the same. Top that off with the fact that he doesn’t expect a call from Vince and it’s not big deal to him if he doesn’t.  He also mentions that everyone t hat knows wrestling knows the original members of the Four Horsemen were him, Tully, Arn and Flair with JJ Dillon as their manager.   Safe to say that Ole Anderson and Vince McMahon will always be butting heads and that is something that won’t change.  But for those that remember the Four Horsemen, they remember Ole Anderson as a member of the group and no Hall of Fame ceremony will change that and as far as Ole Anderson goes, he doesn’t need a WWE Hall of Fame ring to remember his days as a Horseman.

As far as Ric Flair goes and him being with TNA/Impact Wrestling, I would like to see them try and tell Flair not to go. I dare TNA to tell him that because the bottom line is they could tell him no all they want, he won’t listen. Some guys are just bigger than pro wrestling and one of those guys happens to be Ric Flair. Ric Flair was always the leader of the group. He was the face of the group, the captain of the ship and there is no way you have the Horsemen inducted into a Hall of Fame of any kind without the Nature Boy. That would be like having an induction of DX without HBK or Triple H or having Harlem Heat without Booker T.There is no middle ground on this as anyone that grew up watching pro wrestling knows that the leader of the Horsemen has ALWAYS been Ric Flair and that you cannot induct the group without him.  Some will go on saying that he already has been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by himself, but who the hell cares? It’s Ric Flair that we’re talking about. It’s his damn group and if inducting the Four Horsemen means Flair getting a second ring than give him the damn ring. As far as him being on the TNA roster, who cares?  What gives them any say in telling him that he can’t be part of a Hall of Fame induction for his own group, his own stable in the Four Horsemen?  Will Ric Flair be at the event? He says he will be and I expect nothing less than that.

Those of us that have watched wrestling are familiar with Stables and one group that defined the term is the Four Horsemen. Set aside your D-Generation X, Dungeon of Doom, New World Order, Triple Threat, Triple X, Evolution, Wolfpac, Sweet & Sour Inc, Camp Cornette, etc, there would be no stables in wrestling if The Four Horsemen didn’t set the standard for what a stable is supposed to be. Bottom line, there will be a lot of us hardcore wrestling fans who grew up watching pro wrestling who will be watching the Hall of Fame ceremony to see the Horsemen ride again even if it is for one more night.