Another week rolls along and we are getting seriously close to the end of the season, it seems like it will be a three-man race between Punk, Big Show and Ziggler, a lot probably being determined by who can win championship gold this Sunday, if any of them can. Ziggler has over forty points to cover if he wants to beat Show, but that might happen if he can cash in and remain dominant all the way up to Wrestlemania, and frankly Punk is in with a shot even if he doesn’t win the gold at Elimination Chamber, just so long as Show doesn’t recapture the belt from Del Rio. Of course all this is speculation and anything can happen in the next six weeks, we’ll just have to see as the chart rolls on…
Weekly Top Ten:
1st Place: Aries & Roode (10/10)
The combination of Aries and Roode are almost unstoppable, this time coming out on top after putting on another fantastic heel vs. heel display. They started the match with a stereo finger-poke of doom, followed by Aries tricking Roode with a finger-poke fake out, almost securing the pin for himself. Then after a ref bump they both pulled the old Eddie Guerrero fake chair shot, which worked great in two ways; one in that it is a classic smart heel move that is a turn on the old ‘unseen chair shot’ bit, and two in that it allowed both men to be as heelistic as possible without actually striking each other with a chair and thus keeping them together as a team. Further on this point they then ended up in a double count-out when Team Stereotypica came out, distracted them and then when the count got too high they both tried to run back to the ring but in each man attempting to stop the other they both cost themselves a shot at the TNA world title. It keeps them together as a team, keeps them away from Hardy for a while and shows the fatal flaw in being a selfish heel while trying to actually work with someone, you just can’t help but cost yourself by trying to take it all.
2nd Place: The Shield (9/10)
Finally the Shield are getting more time on the mic and are breaking away from Punk and Heyman to develop their own agenda. The problem is that they seem to have John Cena at the top of their list and that can never end well. I’m hoping that the WWE will let the Shield get the win on Sunday but it is hard for me not to be cynical on this point. Now sure Cena has been losing a lot more lately when it comes to high profile matches, but so close to his title match at Mania I’m not sure they will have him lose this one. Then again if it is a six-man tag, non-elimination style, then either Ryback or Sheamus could eat the pin and Cena could still remain mostly unsullied. Honestly even if the Shield lose they can still look strong, just so long as they do not get beaten too badly. The real question is exactly what they will do after the event on the way to Wrestlemania as so far there seems to be nothing for them despite their great build going onto the Grandest Stage of them All.
3rd Place: Big Show (8/10)
Big Show is still going strong, KOing Striker, Tatsu and Riley on Raw and then beating Chris Jericho clean on Smackdown, which kind of pokes holes in my Ziggler vs. Jericho at Mania theory as both these men who should be wrestling for the title at the event lost clean to the men fighting for the title this Sunday. Then again a lot can change in the space of six weeks so we will just have to see. I still predict a Big Show beat down and Ziggler cash in at the event, not because it is boring and predictable, but because it is the best thing that could happen right now.
4th Place: C.M. Punk (7/10)
More on the boring and predictable side is C.M. Punk’s fate at Elimination Chamber. Now sure the match will probably be pretty good but this is the problem with having the Rock around this much; the novelty starts to wear off and now this feels like just another match for the title rather than a massive event. There is no way that Rock is dropping the belt before Mania, that is unless the WWE actually has decided on a triple threat match for the title, which I really do think is the best way to go if Taker is out, which seems pretty likely since his former feuds with HBK and HHH started months in advance, we’ll just have to wait and see how things actually go down.
5th Place: Mark Henry (6/10)
Mark Henry is right, he does make this look easy, and it is indeed what he does. While Punk-Rock 2 isn’t exactly the most riveting affair I am actually pretty excited for the Elimination Chamber match itself as this year pretty much all the participants bar Kane and Daniel Bryan could actually win and go on to wrestle at Mania for the title. The returning Mark Henry has been so dominant since his return that I would be interested to see him wrestle for the title against either Del Rio or Ziggler, he would be a great way to continue Del Rio’s run as an underdog face champion, or even better he might get the ball rolling on a Dolph Ziggler face turn.
6th Place: Jack Swagger (5/10)
Swagger’s return has been slightly less dominant than the World’s Strongest Man but he is still in with an outside chance of winning the chamber match, especially with his new found intensity and manager. Honestly though I feel like the Swagger experiment still needs some time to breathe so I could see him facing Del Rio a few months down the road if he is somehow able to keep hold of the belt. Then again if he does win this whole ‘Real American’ bit would gel really well into a feud with Del Rio leading into Wrestlemania, but then when the hell will Ziggler be cashing in I ask you?!
7th Place: Dolph Ziggler (4/10)
The Zig Zag man continued his losing ways this week, all I can hope that this is all in the tradition of the MitB cash-in where the guy with the case is jobbed out all the way up until he wins the belt and is expected to get over from nothing. Luckily though Ziggler is super over already so as soon as he wins the belt he will be fine, just like Punk was when he cashed in, at least on the second occasion. The only problem is that they will have to get a Del Rio/Big Show shot out of the way quickly before his Wrestlemania match with the winner of the Chamber, who will almost certainly be Jericho if Ziggler does indeed cash in on Sunday, still at this point who knows what will happen, hell I’m still surprised that Ziggler still has the case at all after his ladder match with Cena at TLC.
8th Place: Paul Heyman (3/10)
The last places on the chart go to those who stand outside the ring, as they were particularly active this week. First we have Paul Heyman, who feigned quitting at the start of Raw, secured a stipulation in favour of his man Punk in the middle of the show, and then tripped the Rock at the end to make sure that he took a GTS to end the show. All in a day’s work.
9th Place: Zeb Coulter (2/10)
Finally Swagger has a mouth-piece, and one who seems to be leading him down a dark path at that. The old ‘real American xenophobia’ character has been done before, hell Big Show is kind of doing it right now with Del Rio. Still it is a classic heel stance and works with Swagger’s existing character, so it is a nice evolution. Something which would be interesting if Swagger doesn’t go up against Del Rio would be how he interacts with the US champ Antonio Cesaro as he could either sympathise or antagonise him leading to a heel vs. heel feud for the title, although that probably won’t happen any time soon.
10th Place: Big E. Langston (1/10)
Dolph Ziggler’s big backup has still yet to really be involved in the ring, slowly but surely though he is getting more physical and vocal and you have to think that it is only a matter of time before we see the man competing with some of the bigger dogs in the WWE.
2012-2013 Season Top Ten:
1st Place: The Big Show (232)
2nd Place: CM Punk (204)
3rd Place: Dolph Ziggler (186)
4th Place: Alberto Del Rio (179)
5th Place: Daniel Bryan (174)
6th Place: Robert Roode (149)
7th Place: Damien Sandow (141)
8th Place: Antonio Cesaro (110)
9th Place: Cody Rhodes (110)
10th Place: Austin Aries (104)
(Heel Hall of Fame)
**Heel Report 2010-2011 Winner: The Miz**
**Heel Report 2011-2012 Winner: Cody Rhodes**
The Face-Off: Story Time With The Rock
Sure it was more entertaining than John Cena’s promo before the Rumble that went nowhere and had nothing to do with his eventual proclamation of winning at the end of it all, but it was still basically the same thing. What’s more it is becoming more and more apparent that the Rock can’t really get by without using the word ‘ass’ or ‘bitch’ every other sentence. Now there is nothing wrong with these words but when you are trying to have a PG product it doesn’t help when the guy is going off script every five seconds, what’s more it seems like he gets most of his laughs through this language which makes it slightly cheap and a cheat from John Cena who refuses to say such things anymore, not that his alternative is any better of course. Still the point is that when we compare how all three men, the third being Punk of course, have had to deliver long time-filling promos on Raw it is clear that Punk is way more talented than the other two and is actually compelling enough to listen to for that amount of time without tuning out, and actually makes sense while doing so. Cena is just terrible and the Rock, while entertaining, is generally speaking empty words when you really look at it. Talking about a crack-head on Raw will get you laughs, but what does it really have to do with the WWE title or the feud he is in right now? Nothing, that’s what.
Face the Facts: Paige
Sure it is only NXT, but honestly when was the last time you saw a diva hold any WWE show hostage, making her feud with another diva take centre stage? Sure Paige ended up losing the match to Summer Rae when all was said and done but to have her in an actual feud is pretty big in the current climate, and with the NXT tag team titles now having their holders I can’t imagine that it will be too long before the show has its own woman’s title as well. And if Paige isn’t called up to the main roster than surely she should be the person who holds that belt for the foreseeable future.
On the Rise: Cesaro Attacks the Miz
Another week, another crazy feat of strength from Antonio Cesaro. His attack on the Miz on Raw was great, the way he swung him against the barricade multiple times looked super impressive and yet probably didn’t damage the Miz in the slightest. From what I have seen Cesaro is not only physically impressive, but also a relatively safe worker for all of his shows of strength. Just imagine how great a competitive match between him and Ryback for the US title at Mania could be.
Flat-Footed: Aces & 8s
This is what annoys me about TNA and the Aces & 8s sometimes, they seem to have run-ins and attacks every week whether they need to or not. With the Shield it still works because they are relatively new and their hits seem to be random. Whereas with Aces & 8s now having specified targets for the most part their attempted attack on Hogan inevitably led to this horrible appearance where they were kept at bay by an injured Bully Ray, who took ages to get down to the ring and held off several guys with nothing more than what seemed to be a keychain. Sure after this Sting came down with three black bats for the cripple, himself and the geriatric, but maybe they should have led with that rather than have those painful couple of minutes where the group could have easily attacked Hogan but held off and then backed down when Bully came limping down. These two should have been prime targets and they could have easily taken them out, but that wouldn’t have looked good having that happen once again, so why didn’t they just not do that. Hell why even have Hogan make up this whole ‘someone gets a shot’ thing when *spoiler alert* He is just going to turn around and hand the shot to Bully Ray anyway, stupid!
That’s all for this week, Elimination Chamber will decide a lot of things on the Road to Wrestlemania, of course all roads seem to lead to John Cena as champion again, although I suppose that isn’t the worst thing since we have had over a year for new heels to be built up, meaning that they can be led like lambs to the Cena slaughter with him as champion, which will make for some interesting feuds, albeit with predictable outcomes. But then there is always the chance that a guy like Cesaro could get lucky, or maybe the title is going to stay with the part timers, although that would be a damn shame. Oh God, after Wrestlemania the belt has to go to either Cena, the guy who has held the title for over a year already, or stay in the possession of a part-timer, what bleak booking we are walking into! This is James Wright signing off.
Category: Columns and Editorials, Wrestling News |