Even if “Over The Limit” Sucks, CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan Won’t

This past Monday it was made official that Daniel Bryan will take on CM Punk for the WWE title.  However, the reaction for it has not really been positive.  The biggest reason for this is because the PPV where these two are going to be fighting is Over The Limit. For the most part, Over The Limit has been one of the crappiest PPV’s and it was definitely had the least PPV buys of any PPV last year.  This match alone will not make the PPV, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this match will be good regardless of the rest of the PPV.

We’ve gotten a taste of what these two can do in the ring.  Both of these guys are Ring of Honor alumni and both seem to be really comfortable with each other’s styles in the ring.  The matches on Raw and Smackdown between these two have been great and no real decisive winner has been determined.  So, since Over The Limit tends to suck, why have this match on the PPV? First off, I think those of us that have seen both these guys in ROH and have watched both matches with the two in WWE have to agree that this match is too big for Raw or Smackdown. This match has PPV caliber written all over it. And also, just because these two are fighting on a B-rated PPV, don’t think that this is the only time that we’ll see this match.  As much as we bash the WWE, myself included in that, the WWE is not that stupid.  This match is another test for the two of them.  Though Punk has leveled off, he’s still impressing the higher-ups to a degree. He has to be if he’s still got the belt and Daniel Bryan’s popularity and the “Yes” chants just seem to get bigger and bigger.

Again, the WWE is not stupid. They know that these two can put on a good match. They’re counting on it at Over The Limit. My theory is that they want to see what these two can do on a PPV stage. That means no commercial, no time restraints or at least the kind you would get on a two hour TV show.  On a PPV, you run a good chance at getting a 20 minute long match, possibly longer than even that.  The goal for having these two in a match is to see how well they can deliver with minimal to no restrictions on a PPV.  I will make a guarantee here that they deliver on this and the right people in the powers that be of the WWE like it, then we’ll see these two collide on one of the major PPVs.  These two are too damn good to not be on one of the big PPVs. Bottom line is we got what we wanted in seeing these two collide on PPV.  The bar has been raised and simply after this match, it’ll be time to raise the bar even higher.

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A Week In, And The Marking Out is Over

I’ve had over a week to let it soak in about Brock Lesnar. I’ve heard what everybody else’s thought about it, both the good and the bad and I was quick to react about the return because much like a lot of people, I was out of my seat the second I heard his music.  Now that I’ve had a chance to let the smoke clear, I can give a more detailed opinion about Lesnar’s return.

 

A lot of people feel that him coming back is a mistake, but when you look at it from a business standpoint, it’s anything but a mistake.  The Raw after Wrestlemania has been home to having big debuts or returns take place the night after Mania.  We’ve seen this happen before where The Rock talked about there’s nobody left and who’s next for him, only to have Bill Goldberg come out and say to The Rock “You’re Next.”  Not only was Lesnar returning and giving the F-5 to John Cena just like that, but I’ll go as far as to say that I think this was better than that moment.  The main reason being because that between the two, I think people like Brock Lesnar a lot more than Bill Goldberg.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the unfortunate few that watched Goldberg vs Lesnar and thought it was the most atrocious thing that I had to watch at Wrestlemania, and this is coming from somebody who saw Big Show in a sumo match (was there live for that one ) and seeing Michael Cole wrestle, both excruciatingly painful for different reasons.  When Lesnar flipped off the WWE crowd and Stone Cold Steve Austin, it might as well have been him giving the middle finger to the WWE itself as well as a lot of guys that sacrificed just to his ass over and what happened at that Wrestlemania and the way he left was disrespecting the business.

 

For that mentioned above, the morale is the biggest reason to look at this as a bad thing because I can promise you that there are plenty of guys still pissed at Lesnar and questioning why should anyone put over somebody who doesn’t respect the business.  Now, those that follow UFC know the health problems that Lesnar has had while he was there.  If it weren’t for those same problems, he’d probably still be in UFC.  However, the one thing that cannot be denied is the fact that in going to UFC in the first place, Brock Lesnar became more well known now than he did when he first arrived in WWE.

 

Brock is a bigger star now from being in UFC than he was as a pro wrestler.  Yes, it’s true that he wants to get paid and do as little as possible and reports are that he only signed up for a year and is supposed to make at least two appearances a month.  At least WWE gave him only that instead of giving him a multiple year deal for a huge amount of money.  Now THAT would’ve been enough grounds to call it a mistake.

 

Another way in how this could be bad is with John Cena.  He goes from losing to The Rock at Wrestlemania, who is only a part-timer, to getting laid out by another part-timer in Brock Lesnar.  Cena, like him or hate him, is their biggest name amongst the full-timers and probably one of the most loyal to the WWE and you’re gonna make him put over two guys who left the business in different fashions, one of them that should’ve blacklisted him and by all rights, many people thought he was.  Especially when you consider that the first couple months should be proving grounds for Lesnar because he needs to prove that they can trust him that he will put over who needs to be put over or at the very least, make the other talent look good.

 

Another way to look at this is the star power that Brock brings to the table now that he is back.  We all saw it at the Royal Rumble this year that the WWE is lacking in star power.  Whether it’s because they’ve put it off as long as they could or because of the fact that a lot of the guys should be at that level are not at that spot, the fact remains that the don’t have enough start power and this year’s Royal Rumble showed that.

 

So, all that being said is that, Brock’s return did its job because it got people talking and it put the WWE back in the light again.  Despite the rumors and reports about him signing with WWE, the shock value was still there when he came out before the crowd in Miami.  The WWE needed a big move and that is exactly what Brock coming back was and it worked.  The bigger question remains as to whether or not the WWE can contain the momentum like Wrestlemania and Raw were able to display.  We’ll find out with WWE this week to see if they can.

He’s BAAAAACKKKK!!!!!!

That’s right.  We all heard it over the weekend and it happened tonight on Raw. The man who earned the name of “The Next Big Thing” has returned to the WWE. Brock Lesnar has returned and boy, did he blow the roof off the place in Miami.  John Cena was damn near getting booed out of the building and was calling out The Rock, wanting to what seemed to be, to make peace with The Rock and admit that The Rock was the better man. Well, the fans chanted it, the fans wanted it and they got it.  The only one that didn’t get what he wanted was John Cena because while he was wanting The Rock, what he got was Brock.

There was nothing said between the two and while Brock offered a handshake to Cena, what Cena ended up getting was an F-5 from Brock Lesnar.  If this was supposed to be Brock being a heel, not gonna happen after laying out Cena with the F-5.  The people in Miami were on there feet and they were welcoming Lesnar back with open arms.  Given that the IWC was all over the story about Lesnar and WWE reaching a deal, but to see it actually happen was something that nobody could truly prepare for no matter how much notice was given.  The man who was known as the Next Big Thing and who held the record as one of the youngest WWE Champions in the history of the company has come back home to where it all began.

For those that don’t remember, the last time Lesnar was in the ring, he wasn’t exactly leaving on good terms with the fans. The fans found out he was leaving to pursue a possible NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings and Lesnar to a degree fell of the radar a little bit before entering the UFC.  Health and injury problems were definitely a factor for the guy that probably lead to having to walk away from UFC when he did.  However, Brock has always been a physical guy, hell the guy has always been an athlete.  His age is still relatively young and he’s not really the kind of guy to take an early retirement.   This was probably the one thing that he could do that still is in the physical and is somewhat close to what he was doing in UFC.   What I liked is the fact that despite how horrendous an exit he had when he had the Bill Goldberg match at Mania that ended up being a complete disaster, the fans still welcomed him back with open arms.  I guess it’s true that time heals all wounds and clearly, they’ve all healed up considering the welcome that Brock Lesnar got tonight.

Now, as far as where does Lesnar go from here, who the hell knows? In the case of a guy like Brock Lesnar, the sky’s the limit.   There’s nobody you can have NOT challenge him and given his popularity in UFC and how much of that same popularity he’s bringing in with him, this could be the best thing to happen for the WWE right now.  WWE is running a fumes in terms of star power and if history has shown anything with Vince over the last couple years, he’s impatient as hell which means that he’s not in the mood or mentality to be patient for certain guys to develop.  However, he’s the one along with the powers that be in the WWE that putting off building new stars for as long as they did.  That’s why guys like Dolph Ziggler or Drew McIntyre or Kofi Kingston and others are  on the back burner or getting pushed slowly.  In other words, they needed at least one star outside of The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton or the Undertaker.  The fact that Lesnar came back should be considered a blessing in disguise for the WWE.

Not only was it a great return, but it also left you anxious to see what happens next now that Brock is back in the WWE and how John Cena will react to getting hit with the F-5 and being laid out by Lesnar.  Not bad considering that I wasn’t overly impressed with Raw and the era of boredom/era of no personality being brought to us all by the jackasses that thought that John Laryngitis could be a compelling character. Welcome Brock and please for the love of everything holy, save us all from the PG nightmare and bring the term Pro Wrestling back to the rest of us.

How Much Trouble is The Miz In with WWE?

We all know that The Miz has been in a slump and is nowhere near the level he was at last year when he was the WWE Champion.  When he lost the belt, he started to lose matches, knocked out of the title picture and was even forced back into Tag Team action in an already weakened to the point of flatlining tag team division.  The closest he got to the title picture was a TLC match featuring himself, Del Rio and champion CM Punk.  Then he was back to being on the losing end and getting his ass kicked by R-Truth.  Top that off with Survivor Series having an abysmal butyrate and he’s taking the blame for it.  Last night’s horrible Monday Night Raw didn’t do him any favors and seemed to make things so much worse.

The Six Pack Challenge, the only watchable match on the entire card last night, had The Miz mess up huge by missing his spot when R-Truth did a somersault dive over the top rope. This lead to Truth hitting the ground hard and the back of his head hitting the ground just as hard to the point he had to be taken out of the match.  It couldn’t have gotten worse than a guy being hurt because of him, right? Wrong!  There was horrible miscommunication between himself and Chris Jericho when they were squaring off in that same match. The Miz screwed up and fell when he wasn’t supposed to and you pretty much see the exchange of words between him and Jericho which is something we’re not supposed to see, but needless to say that The Miz was making rookie mistakes in the ring. The problem is that this was on live TV and Miz ain’t a rookie anymore.  He hasn’t been for sometime and considering the position he was in last year when he was at the top, he should be above doing crap like this.

Now, how much trouble is he in? I don’t hold him responsible for Survivor Series bombing because that PPV was not that great to begin with and when you’ve done so little with R-Truth and Miz as a team and you’re hyping them to go against John Cena and The Rock, the match on paper doesn’t give the two a chance in hell against Rock and Cena and just makes Miz and Truth look like lambs being lead to slaughter. As for what happened on Raw, that was a huge screw-up and Miz is lucky that Truth didn’t get hurt worse than he probably could’ve.  As for what happened with Jericho and Miz, Miz should know better than to mess up like that because he’s been in the ring and doing this long enough to avoid mistakes like that and the fact that he was going against a veteran like Chris Jericho shouldn’t have made a difference.   Now the big question circulating around the net and most likely in the forums too is whether or not The Miz is finished with some saying things along the lines of “remember what happened with Mr. Kennedy.”

The circumstances there are different because of the fact that I’m pretty sure that before now, Vinny Mac had serious love for Miz and not so much for Kennedy/Anderson.  Top that off with Kennedy was injury prone and you can say a lot about The Miz but him being injury prone is not one of them.  Miz unfortunately is just the fall guy for the WWE trying to make excuses for the shortcomings of Survivor Series.  They’re simply desperate for an excuse to the PPV lacking. You can’t dodge what happened with Truth though. That incident unfortunately is on him and it’s definitely a mark that he doesn’t need considering his character has already been circling mediocrity.  He hasn’t been in the title picture and hasn’t held any kind of gold much less the WWE or World Title for sometime and his heel character is pretty much getting stale and to the point where he’s not doing anything we haven’t already seen before. While I don’t think that he’s in trouble to the point of getting a pink slip, he’s definitely in trouble to the point where the guy needs to be a complete boy scout. Top that off with he needs to make sure that the next time he’s in a main event whether it’s on a PPV, Raw or Smackdown, that he doesn’t let incidents like this past Raw happen again, but it could be a while before WWE does that again after this past Monday.  The Miz has to be careful from this point on or his next catchphrase can be “I’m the Miz. And I’m….Unemployed.”

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.