Dirtsheets You Can Trust

If you’ve been a wrestling fan for more than a day, you’ll know the real interesting stuff is what’s happening behind the scenes. Who is going to win the Royal Rumble? Who is Vince McMahon angry with? How many buys did the latest PPV have? Who was behind that awful divas segment?

But what news is legit? For a “fake” sport, there’s a ton of fake news. Eminem has tried to become a wrestler nearly three times since 2005. And there’s been two Kanes.

The Big 3.

Wrestling Observer Newsletter/Figure Four Daily (http://www.f4wonline.com/)

Newer fans will get to know Dave Meltzer through his star ratings. They are often isolated from his write-ups, so they are prone to irritate. He did give Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 only four and three-quarters stars. (Rightfully so)

Who is this guy and why is his opinion so important? He’s the most trustworthy wrestling reporter. He is not right all the time, but he is right as a wrestling reporter can be. RAW is rewritten are changed minutes, wrestlers lie to his face. He gives all the facts that he can, and remains objective for the most part. He has this wealth of knowledge on professional wrestling. Peopel ask him questions on the radio shows about events that happened thirty to twenty years ago in Japan and he answers them off the cuff.

His partner, Bryan Alvarez is also a smart guy.

Wrestling Observer has a slight edge over the other two. Not say that the below two are not trustworthy. They can break accurate stories before Meltzer. But Meltzer himself is a wonder that can’t be replicated.

PWinsider (pwinsider.com)

I do not know who is behind this site or writes for it. I could check right now but that would destroy the mystique. I know them only as PWinsider. PWinsider is never wrong. They have yet to fail me.

PWtorch (pwtorch.com)

Wade Keller is also a guy who knows his stuff and has connections. I really enjoy his interview style when it comes to professional wrestling talents. He has this way of nudging that gets a bit more than I feel other interviewers get out of them. Wrestlers can be bullshitters but he does a proper push.

So in short if you’re a wrestling fan and want to find out more about this dying industry, Wrestling Observer, PWinsider, and PWtorch.

And maybe you can try visiting Wrestling Inc.

My Last Sob Story

“Woo Graduation!”

A lifetime ago, I etched these words inside of my high school graduation hat.

June 25th, 2009. A good day to graduate. Michael Jackson died that day.

We couldn’t contain our excitement that day; What a day that was.

Friends surrounded me on all sides. We made jokes about dropping out at the last second. We gasped together at the news of Michael Jackson’s death. And we suffered while our salutatorian rattled on and on about what her family meant to her. The girl wanted everyone to roast out there in the sun.

A clear blue sky lay above us like the world was proud of our accomplishments. Our families scrambling for their cameras. They snapped as many pictures as they could, trying to preserve a moment that had already passed. Everyone had the same beautiful smile on their face like peace had finally come to Earth.

One of my friends decided not to have that moment.

“Why?”

That was the question I kept pestering her wit. I tried to dissuade her. This was a once-in-a-lifetime happening. She shrugged her shoulders. She had better things to do.

My seventeen-year-old self couldn’t bring myself to entertain that idea. How could I no-show the biggest celebration in my life so far?

We fought our way through the public education system. Didn’t she want to feel like it was all worth something? All those absurd standardized tests that they shoved down her throat? All those ridiculous Didn’t she want to give her family that moment to enjoy her success? What could be better than basking in the glory of your achievement among those that you love?

On May 13th 2013, I her.

RISE

College was the best time of my life.

Before I went to college, I had no idea people from South Jersey didn’t believe Central Jersey existed. Or that there was feud between North and South Jersey.

There were such characters there. One of my dorm mates was an unkempt anti-establishment who despised jeans. I knew a tennis player who stopped playing tennis to start a rapping career.

My first night I watched a future great friend of mine rap Flo Rida’s Apple Bottom Jeans to an apathetic audience. He hopped up there and shouted at the crowd of other freshmen.

“Get on your feet. Come on everybody.”

Never before had I seen a crowd that unresponsive, to someone so energetic. That’s a memory I’ll treasure for years to come.

Every day had the potential to be a new adventure. A group of us bought dollar water guns. We were not supposed to have them. We also were not supposed to have a huge water gun fight spanning our entire dorm building. But we did anyway. We ran up and down stairs, hiding in elevators, waking up other residents. We got in trouble. We knew we would, but how could we pass up the opportunity? That was college.

There was so much freedom. In high school, everything was so rigid and calculated. You moved when the bells told you to. You went to school early in the morning and left when everyone else did. You had to even ask when you wanted to piss.

But in college, you didn’t have to go to class. You could go to other people’s classes and play an instrument if you wanted to. You could walk around in your pajamas, not bathe for days, and let your hair grow untamed. You were the master of your fate.

Is there a better joy in life than knowing you can do what you want whenever you want?

Of course with great power comes great irresponsibility. I had peers who crashed and burned right before my eyes, some within days of classes beginning. With no parental supervision or rigid schedule to adhere to, they became their own worst enemies. Their lives completely derailed by hedonism. Some are still picking up the pieces almost five years later.

I used the great power of freedom to go to my first wrestling live event. For a decade, I lived and breathed wrestling. Everybody hated Mondays, but I loved them. It meant another installment of Monday Night RAW. It was a cardinal sin in my household for me to even talk about it but I still caught RAW every week.

I walked 12 miles through a cold, snowy Trenton to get to the arena. All I had with me was a printed out Google Map and Have Heart blasting in my ears. Someone could have robbed, beaten up, or even murdered me. I was nearly run over by a car at an intersection. At one point I got completely lost. But who cares about danger when there’s wrestling!

When I entered that arena, my body shook like crazy in anticipation. There was the ring I saw every week on the show. The old ladies and obese men glared at me as I hollered and shouted throughout the show. They came to have a nice evening of entertainment. I came to have the time of my life! Even for the opening acts, I was on my feet until several people told me to sit down.

When I heard the opening guitar riff to CM Punk’s theme song, my heart skipped a beat. There he was. From my television screen to right in front of my eyes, the closest thing to a hero that I have. That was a mark out moment. The rest of the arena hated his guts. He was the biggest villain, a complete prick. He got right in fans’ faces, badmouthed New Jersey and beat on everyone’s hero, John Cena. I loved every second of it.

The power wasn’t all good for me. I got to do grocery shopping for myself. My meals consisted of Skittles, ice cream, snicker doodles, goldfish, Ritz crackers, Oreo’s, pop tarts, more skittles, assorted cookies, cinnamon toast crunch, Doritos, Tostitos and anything else with high fructose syrup. I may have lost four years of my life with my bad food choices. But it was so delicious.

I had the chance to delve into the film-making process and all the frustrations that go into it. I appreciate cinema a hell of a lot more now. Every movie made is a miracle. I’d consider the one short film that I wrote, produced, and directed to be the crowning achievement of my life so far. It’s not a great movie but it was in my brain and is now out there for everyone to see. My dreams brought to reality. That’s incredible. When we had our first script reading,

And boy did I ever write there. I had the chance to take two screen-writing classes when that’s not even allowed. Thanks crappy class selection system! I even got to listen to an Academy award winning screenwriter talk about his life. Without college I wouldn’t have this blog.

College gave me direction.

I’ll look back on the four years as life-changing

SINK

I remember writing my name down on that first student loan. There was a deep sink in my stomach, a ton of bricks weighing me down. I had a little less than two hundred dollars in my bank account at that time. I was borrowing thousands. I wasn’t even eighteen yet. My father assured me that this was the best decision for my future.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I would have told him, he was full of shit. But how could I have known then? My college was considered one of the best in the north east. My father said getting in was an accomplishment itself. I had to take that chance.

I didn’t know the terms of my student loan or how an interest rate worked. I didn’t understand the concept of looking around for better rates or getting money from other sources. I didn’t think of delaying my college education for years until I had enough money to pay it off. I didn’t think much at all. I acted.

I started in college with a dream that I’d become lawyer. After a mock trial in eighth grade, I thought it was a good fit. My major was criminology. But after only two classes, I learned the realities of our justice system and found it morally bankrupt. It was a system not set up to help, but to exploit people. There was no justice. People could walk away from crimes because of who they knew or how much money they had. The system was racially biased. I wanted no part in it. So then I had to answer the question we all struggle to answer. What do I want to do with my life?

My father said I was a strong writer so I should drift towards journalism. I had no objections. Journalism was new to me so.

I wanted to love reporting. I’d listen to news radio and read Huffington Post, Fox News, MSNBC. I’d write for the campus newspaper when given the chance. My life depended on me falling in love with my new major. But my heart never was into it. My professor would bring in professional journalists from different beats to our class. With each of them, a realization came over me. I didn’t want to follow down any of their paths. I spent thousands to learn a craft I didn’t love.

Oh no. What could I do about it? I couldn’t get that time back nor could I refund my money. Trapped.

I wanted to go back to seventeen, to that day on my high school football field. Back to when I had everything in front of me. Back when I had to the power to do or become anything.

I came to another crossroads in my junior year. I could have left. My life’s future didn’t depend on that piece of paper. I had value with or without the degree. I could save me. I’d cut my losses and take on the world.

My father disagreed. I had one more year to go. Why not finish it off? Suck it up and write for a newspaper. What would I do without college?

I didn’t know. I knew I’d have control and a genuine smile on my face if I went down that way. But what became of people without degrees? Weren’t they failures who flipped burgers or worked overtime at low paying jobs? Would I end up like one of them?

I took the easier path, the known path. I locked myself in for that final year. Then immediately started to hate myself. Everyone told me I made the right choice, but it made no difference to me. I saw myself as this coward. I acted out of fear. I could not live up to my words. I was an unjust man.

There were days where I’d get down on myself. All my problems would run through my head at once especially in those last few months. I’d blame myself for everything that had happened to me. I deserved my misery. I’d sit in class, not hear a word the professor would say. All I could see and hear was the past.

That time I threw a pen out the window and got detention. That time I took the blame for ripping down all. That time I called a friend . That time I missed the bus and had to walk home for the first time. That time I let down my father and missed. That time I tried to make friends and was instead mocked. That time my gym teacher mispronounced my name. That time That time my father said he was losing interest in me. That time I apologized to someone and they didn’t care. That time a friend tossed me away like I was trash. That time I nearly drowned to death as a child. That time I burst into tears in seventh grade.That time I stood on stage and forgot all my lines. That time That time I didn’t stand up and help a bullied friend. That time my grandfather died and I saw him laying there, lifeless.

These memories and more would swarm in my head, blocking out the present. Each one bubbling to the surface with that old pain cutting me again. My shitty life so far flashing in front of me. I couldn’t focus on homework. I couldn’t focus on applying for jobs. I couldn’t focus on the future nor did I want to. Because the future scared me. It was the pain that had yet to come.

Did I really want to wake up everyday and wither away right before my own eyes? Crow’s feet, bone aches, popping pills to keep going. Did I really want to live on and forget who I am? Or where I came from? What good was there in the future? Marriage? Children? I had zero interest in both of those things. What then for me? Work 40 hours a week for the next thirty to forty years so I can survive? Why the hell would I want to do that? Is there no escaping that reality?

I sought out a solution to my unsolvable problem. How could I escape the future? Time can’t be stopped. Each day I’d slip closer and closer out of one miserable existence into another. There had to be a way.

Then this devious morbid thought creeped into my head. What if I wasn’t around any more? What if there were no more me. What if I clocked out early?

On my worst days, I’d imagine the fallout. Never how I would do it. But what came next.

I’d be put on one of those funeral cards that my parent receive with a nice picture of the person. Smiling as big as they can, like they don’t have a clue what’s happened to them. Friends, family, and people who pretended to care about me gathering around my fresh corpse to mourn. I’d be there except not me at all, fitted with a suit I’d never wear and dressed up to be presentable for the ceremony. A solemn mood. Lots of black clothes. Crying? Yeah. My mother would be in shambles. My father stoic as always. And my brother, I can’t say for sure. Angry maybe. Confused like he often is. A pastor would talk, say some great things about me that he’d have never said if I were alive. There would be anger.

“Why?”

The question running through everyone’s heads. Could they have seen this coming? What did they miss?

Then they’d put me six feet under as part of the ritual.

There would be some lingering sentiment, but it would pass. Pain that would fade away. Life goes on. The world won’t stop for one dead boy. So why not?

I didn’t want to be dead. Death is not a solution to a problem. It’s the end of you.

This girl at my school jumped off the George Washington Bridge and killed herself during our last semester. For weeks she was missing before her body was finally found. I never knew the girl but it sounded like she had her entire life ahead of her. Her narrative came to a complete stop. She won’t ever conquer her demons or move to the next step. She’s gone.

What I wanted was to escape my life and all the obligations that came with it. I wanted room to breathe. Death wouldn’t give me that. I wanted to just live.

In college I learned to love solitary walks at night. Away from everyone. I’d gaze down a street and wonder what would happen if I followed it. See where the road would take me. I’d have my days where the temptation to walk further overcame me. I’d press on. The familiar streets would fade away behind me. My college long gone. My hometown miles away. I’d move on and all my problems would melt away behind me. My friends, my family, my identity. Away. Away. Away from it all. Each step taking me onto a new life, giving me back control.

But I’d stop. I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t leave that behind. What would I do? Where would I even go?

I’d make the solemn trek back to my life.

My life where I am the odd one out; different, peculiar, and most of all, weird. Even the people who put me here don’t know what to make of me. The apple has fallen as far from the tree as it can. Whether it’s on some online forum, a family get-together, or in class , I am out of place. Always have been, always will be. I understand that now.

“A sense of belonging is not a privilege that you enjoy.”

I am the single drop of oil in an ocean of water, a corruption of the natural flow of life. An aberration.

I left college, this feeble self-pitying husk; so full of fear of the future. The wind could have blown me over.

“Congratulations!”

Everyone kept repeating that. Again and again on that day they set up to honor us. May 17th, 2013.

I thought up scenarios where I could fail my classes at the last minute and not have to take that walk of shame. But my stupid geology professor passed me even though I couldn’t tell the difference between a stalagmite and Vegemite.

Graduation day was a hot day, damn hot. My housemates and I had to walk to campus. To say we were sweating is an understatement. I thought about what a stupid tradition the graduation gowns were.

As we fanned ourselves with our hats, the neighborhood came out to congratulate us as we made our way to the university.

Gosh. I still remember opening the door to my department’s graduation ceremony. All the experiences that separated me and my seventeen-year-old self flowed through me. I couldn’t shake off this feeling of defeat.

Everyone had that same dumb smiles on their face. Why the hell were they so happy? I didn’t I was the sole frown in the room. My mother told me to cheer up. This was my day.

I sat around strangers and acquaintances. I didn’t know any of the people called up for their awards. These were my peers.

They called my name. I got pity golf claps.

My professor had a grand smile. One of her students had graduated and was on to the next step in their life.
She congratulated me with the utmost enthusiasm.

No matter what she handed to me, in my own head. I would be a failure and a coward. She could not wipe away my regret or alleviate my torment.

She handed me my prize, what I set out to achieve when I signed my name down on student loan; a folder to hold my degree in.

I feigned a smile for her. It was the least I could do; not make a scene and let my true feelings come out. This was a day of celebration not time for a grumpy young man to vent.

I don’t remember what I wrote in my college graduation hat before I tossed it away.

A year later, I still have this sour taste in my mouth whenever someone brings up college. I could never win there. I lost so much. I lost my bravery. I gained twenty pounds. I lost my self-respect. I grew a ratty beard. I lost my confidence. I lost my motivation. And I paid for all that. I paid with more money than I’ve had in life.

For the past year, my life became this self-pity party. Oh woe is me. I wanted my life to be this long winded sob story. I’d blot out the good parts to fit a narrative.

I am sad and angry because the world is cruel. Happiness is an accident, that time when you forget your troubles. Happiness is delusion. That time when you lie to yourself because you’re afraid of the world. You should fear the world. It’s full of pain, sorrow, and hollow victories. Why try? The world will destroy anything you create.

Is that the narrative I want my life to follow? Can I change it? Should I? Do I want to?

Match of the Year 2012

(If you don’t like professional wrestling then please proceed to reading this news article about a man who got $7.2 million for being an idiot.)

The storylines this year on RAW and Smackdown were not just bad. The stories broke the spirit of the viewer and made them wonder how or why they continued to watch. Each week was more illogical than the last. The episodes stomped on the heart of the wrestling enthusiast. It kicked them in the groin and spat in their face. There was one thing that made me keep crawling back this year, the actual wrestling was good.

Mesmerizing bouts kept me tuned to my screen despite how much each story pained me to watch unfold. Lots of great matches happened this year. Still, there can only be one match of the year.

Before I can talk about the best match, I have to talk about the worst matches of the year. These aren’t the worst technical matches but the matches that made me question my position as a wrestling fan.

The Ugly.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Wrestlemania XXVII

18 Seconds.
18 Seconds.

This image still makes me mad and the match was 8 months ago. I’ve spoken about this before. It’s not so much the result. Everyone knew Sheamus was going to win. I wanted a good match. I didn’t get anything. It’s just plain old ugly. Better left unmentioned.

The Never-Ending Story.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Every single damn match these two had.

Del Rio Sheamus

This feud taught me that the WWE does hold hate for its fanbase. That can be the only reason Sheamus beat Del Rio in 3 PPvs in a row. The matches were bad. The crowd never got into them. It can only be hate and disdain for people that allowed these two to face each other over and over again. There were no stipulations added. Just Sheamus vs. Del Rio.

Awful.

The Miz vs. Nearly Anyone

200px-The_Miz_2010_Tribute_to_the_Troops

This dude is awful and he should not be wrestling. I think he is kept employed for the same reason Del Rio and Sheamus tangled for so long. He has dragged down every match he has ever been in and should be shot out of a cannon into the sun for his crimes against professional wrestling.

Dishonorable Mentions

Next up are matches that everyone else loved but I didn’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Extreme Rules

vlcsnap-2012-12-28-18h01m18s124

Brock Lesnar, former UFC champion, returned after eight years to take on John Cena. He proceeded to eviscerate Cena for over twenty minutes. And then John Cena wins out of nowhere like he usually does. I don’t get the buzz behind this match. I rewatched it to give it a fair chance. It’s okay if you don’t like John Cena because he gets his ass beat, but overall I don’t see how this is better than the rest of the matches of the year.

Undertaker vs. Triple H
Wrestlemania 28

wm28_photo_210

So this year for the third time Triple H challenged the streak. The Undertaker beat him last year but only barely. So the Undertaker has come back for retribution. He wants to beat him super bad this year. But wait there’s more! Shawn Michaels, the guy the Undertaker retired, is the special guest ref! And it’s Hell in a Cell!  I didn’t hate this match. It’s a great match. It also took an hour out of the show. Everybody loves the Undertaker streak matches. I can never get into them as much.   . Maybe I’m missing something but this is also a match I don’t get the buzz behind it. I’m tired of these matches where we see how much the Undertaker can kick out of. I had my full of these after the rematch with HBK.

MATCH OF THE YEAR!

And now it’s time for the match of the year. It’s going to WWE which is what I usually watch. TNA/NJPW did have some fantastic matches this year but I don’t keep up with them enough to be able to say what the match of the year was. But before I can say what the Match of the Year is, I have to talk about what other matches I really loved.

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Over the Limit

Punk/D-Bry

I didn’t want this match to end. It was back and forth action. Everyone was having fun. I prefer matches where two guys just cut loose and beat the crap out of each other. The finish was perfect. Punk won but it left room for Bryan to demand a rematch.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus
Extreme Rules

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I was nervous about this match. I didn’t know if Bryan was going to be shown as an equal to Sheamus or made out to be a joke. I was pleasantly surprised. A scrappy technical wrestler tries his best to battle against a powerful brawler. A nice story to watch and the crowd helped to make the match. It was all about Bryan. Could he wipe away his Wrestlemania nightmare? He didn’t but this was still one hell of a match. This would have been match of the year but one thing holds it back, the last fall.

And now without any further delay, the match I pick to be Match of the Year for 2012

Ryback, Kane, Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose
TLC

1-hell-no-ryback-vs

I thought for sure that Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus at Extreme Rules was going to be my favorite match for 2012. I had written up this post and it was ready to be published. Then I saw TLC and I was amazed. This match was astounding. It’s a nice story about teamwork. The Shield work as a unit. The good guys didn’t and that’s why they lost. There was great use of each person in this match. It was announced quickly as a replacement match after CM Punk went out with an injury. I;m convinced this was for the better. CM Punk vs. Ryback could not have been as entertaining as this match.

That’s all for my opinions on wrestling for this year.

“You know it’s fake, right?”

People hate professional wrestling for all the wrong reasons. Men beating each other to a pulp every week may not appeal to everyone. That’s understandable I just don’t get the dismissal of it by pointing out it is fake or predetermined.

Movies are predetermined, but you will never hear someone criticize a movie for being fake. Let’s say a friend recommended me to watch The Lord of the Rings,  and I responded “You know it’s fake, right? There’s no such thing as hobbits. It’s all set up.” I would sound completely insane. I’d be missing the point of why people watch movies.

You will never hear someone criticize a play in that way either. Just like movies and plays, professional wrestling requires the audience to suspend their disbelief. Wrestling is the exact same thing as a play except there’s no rehearsals. Wrestlers just do everything in one go. There’s no do overs (except for Sin Cara). It’s an improv. If there’s a miscommunication, the wrestlers just have to run with it like in the video below.

This question is a condescending one. The person who asks it is implying that people who watch professional wrestling are idiots who think it’s real and must be reminded that it is fake. I can’t get this question out of my head. It’s been drilled in there by the countless people over the years who felt the need to remind me.

Where does this reaction come from and why is it directed at professional wrestling by the general public? Every time a wrestler goes to a mainstream news association, the reporters must remind everyone that it is fake before starting the story. Take a peek at this ESPN Scott Hall story. One of the reporters makes sure to let everyone knows it’s fake before getting into the very depressing story of Scott Hall’s fall into addiction.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7124904

Why? They would never do the same for any other form of entertainment. If everyone knows, why does everyone also feel the need to remind others of  public knowledge? Why can’t it just be another TV show?  Why do people dismiss it for being”fake”? Get better reasons to hate it. Hate it the lack of continuity and the inconsistency of the quality of the show. Not because it’s asking to suspend your disbelief like any other fictitious work of entertainment.

RAW 5/14

It’s very rare that I watch an episode of RAW and think that it was good. I keep watching because it’s always on and it’s a habit. I think most of all, that I continue to watch because the show has the potential to be very good, even if it always falls short. In those rare moments when everything falls into line, it’s the best thing on television. Tonight was not one of those rare moments. Tonight’s RAW was forgettable and aggravating.

And it was because of this man. There were other factors, but this man is at the top of the list. If not for his theme song, he would be devoid of any entertaining qualities. For months, the WWE has built this man up far better than any of its young rising stars. He’s gotten plenty of promo time and segments designed to make the audience hate him. If the WWE built up their young stars with half the effort that they put into building up John Laurinaitis, their show would be so much better.

This man is not good on the microphone. He’s not a great actor. He’s not a great wrestler. He’s not a great entertainer. Why is he pushed so hard? He had two long talking segments on tonight’s RAW.  The WWE champion had one short one. Why does the WWE give him so much time? How is he making them money? I don’t understand their love for this man.

The most frustrating thing about tonight’s RAW is that it was the last RAW before the PPV. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have a WWE title match and yet they didn’t an in ring promo together. They had a good tag match together but that was it. This is the WWE title. This is the most prestigious title in the entire organization. Shouldn’t it matter more than just one tag match? This was their last chance to build up this match. Why doesn’t the company care enough to build this feud up properly? Why put more focus on a nonwrestler than two of your most talented wrestlers?

Bryan and Punk get good reactions and do the best with that they are given. Why not give them the ball and let them run with it? It can’t hurt. The company won’t shut down if two very talented individuals have a good feud for the biggest prize in professional wrestling.

The WWE has a large number of talented wrestlers. If these certain people are given a chance, they can make professional wrestling a fun thing to watch. The WWE is strange and chooses instead to be not entertaining when they easily can be entertaining. It’s like moments such as last summer are impossible for them to create.

Remember this? Why is it so hard for wrestling to be at least half as good as this?

Another complain, Johnny Ace fired the Big Show on RAW in a long segment. The Big Show acted fairly well but why did this go on so long and why have Ace do it? Isn’t Show in a feud with Cody? Couldn’t you try to get Cody involved somehow to try and make the audience care more about Cody? He’s the intercontinental champion. It would certainly help to get him some more boos.

For some reason, the belts don’t matter. The audience isn’t given a reason to care about them. They aren’t given a reason to care about anyone or anything other than John Cena. I understand that Cena is the biggest draw but the focus of this show should have went somewhere else. He will be in the main event on Sunday against a non-wrestler. Why give that so much attention? I understand that you need to sell the match but so much time and boring segments have gone to a feud that isn’t even close to being captivating.

Tonight’s RAW was bad, but it didn’t have to be. As stated earlier the problem isn’t with the talent, it’s with the creative team. The bright spots in the WWE continue to shine brightly, but they aren’t given a chance by the WWE’s creative team. Why? Is it that the creative team just doesn’t give a damn and they phone it in?

By next week, people won’t remember this show. They insured that nothing memorable happened on this RAW. Maybe that’s their game plan. Make RAW as shitty as possible so when good stuff happens, people only remember that.

It could be a good show if they tried.

RAW needs consistency in its quality. Ratings are going down. Pay Per View buyrates are going down. Can the WWE afford to have bad RAWs like tonight? They need to entice the audience to watch their product? Do people want to see Johnny Ace talk for 14 minutes? Do people want CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to barely matter? Do people want to see  a drunken John Cena come to the ring and give his best Jim Carey impressions?

The numbers don’t lie and they spell disaster for the WWE if they continue down this path.

CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at Over the Limit

CM Punk has cooled down a little since last summer when he captured the WWE championship and left the company. He’s still one of the most popular superstars on the roster and regularly gets one of the loudest receptions. He’s been WWE champion for over 170 days. He’s defeated the likes of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Chris Jericho. His title reign could be better, but nothing is perfect. Now at Over the Limit, CM Punk takes on Daniel Bryan, former World Heavyweight champion and the master of the Yes-lock.

As a big fan of both men, I was ecstatic when Daniel Bryan won the Beat the Clock challenge and earned the right to face CM Punk. They’ve had matches in Ring of Honor and Full Impact Pro Wrestling that were both great. Those matches are worth tracking down and watching if you can.

Ring of Honor was nice enough to upload CM Punk and Danielson’s first meeting in ROH on to Youtube.

I do have some gripes with this feud. CM Punk has only main evented one PPV since becoming the WWE champion. That was TLC 2011, the only PPV that John Cena missed that year. Since then, John Cena has main evented over Punk even in his own hometown. I would love for the show to build up to this WWE title match, but I’m really afraid the WWE will have Johnny Ace vs. John Cena go on last. I know that Cena is the main draw but he’s not the WWE champion. Unless his match is particularly important, he shouldn’t be going on last.

My only other gripe is that they haven’t built it up much. Punk came out on RAW and bad mouthed Johnny Ace for his attacks on John Cena. He mentioned Bryan for one second before continuing to launch a tirade on Johnny Ace. Bryan wasn’t mentioned on the show until hastily being shoved into a handicap tag match where Lord Tensai pinned Punk. Many segments went into building up Cena vs. Ace, but only the end of the show went to Punk vs. Bryan. It was good for what it was, but I would have liked to see a promo between them. On Smackdown Bryan mentioned that he would beat Punk, but again it wasn’t a big focus.

This is a WWE title match. I know the PPV is Over the Limit and it’s usually one of the less important PPVs but the build could be a bit stronger. I know the match is going to kick ass, but they need to convince other members of the audience that there’s a reason to pay attention to this match.

WWE posted a great article on their website building up the match. There’s no reason that they can’t bring this onto the actual show. http://www.wwe.com/shows/raw/2012-05-07/cm-punk-daniel-bryan-history/page-1

I’m looking forward to what should be a great match even if the WWE puts it on the backburner during the show and has Cena vs. Johnny Ace main event. Who knows? Maybe CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan could one day headline Wrestlemania. That’d be worth the price of admission.

Daniel Bryan Danielson Pt. 2

Continued from
https://kotenks.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/daniel-bryan-danielson/

(If you don’t like professional wrestling please proceed to another blog post.)

There is plenty wrong with professional wrestling today. Ratings are down, old superstars are retiring, and the WWE can’t seem to book a compelling show. But why? Why is professional wrestling stuck in a slump? There’s a number of reasons, but Daniel Bryan is not one of them.

I’m a simple consumer who sees something good in today’s program. And I’m going to point this out because I’m enjoying it.

A few months ago, I discussed the career of Daniel Bryan and how I was concerned with his future. I still am. Since the last time I discussed it, the WWE did something I feared they would. They had him cash in the Money in the Bank before Wrestlemania.

I was disappointed that they didn’t do that long build-up, however I accepted after finding out that Mark Henry was injured.

Bryan doesn’t get the strongest reaction. I was hoping the WWE would give him a better chance to connect with the crowd by letting him wrestle on PPVS and win matches before he became champion. This didn’t happen. Now he’s the world champion.

I watched in apprehension the next RAW after the PPV. Bryan had a nice segment with Punk and won the tag team match for his team. He then had a great match with Dolph Ziggler on Smackdown. He looked like a champion. He really did fit the belt. Then the next Smackdown happened.

He showed heelish tendencies. He mocked the Big Show. He overly celebrated. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to turn heel. From what I have seen, heel turns are stronger when the audience cares for the person more. I feel like Bryan needed to get a stronger reaction. As one wrestler put it, “You basically have to stab the fans in the heart.” It doesn’t mean much if someone starts being a jerk when you don’t care about them.

Another reason I was worried is that he was facing the Big Show. The Big Show is a great talent but he doesn’t have the best track record in helping out young heels. He stopped Swagger’s push in 2010. He destroyed CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society. He’s a big guy. It’s hard for the audience to care about the person he’s beating up. They don’t look to be a threat. Big Show is always better as a heel.

So this week’s episodes of RAW and Smackdown roll by. I watch both of them. RAW wasn’t great. Bryan beat Cody with a roll-up and celebrated like it was the biggest victory of his career. I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

  It all became clear when I watched Smackdown. Bryan faced the Big Show in a pretty good match. I enjoyed  every part of it. I was expecting it to be a straight up massacre but he looked really good. He almost made the  Big Show tap out. He got himself intentionally disqualified and celebrated like he won the main event of  Wrestlemania. I really liked the direction his character was headed. It seemed natural to Bryan. He didn’t come off as looking like a complete pussy. He almost beat a man bigger than him.

Bryan also cut what may be his best promo in the WWE before the match.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0etcZHs9bs

I’m still worried but if the WWE lets Bryan run with this it can be great. We’re still on the road to Wrestlemania though. The WWE can cut the legs out from Bryan at any time and give the title to someone else. I’m enjoying Bryan’s development. He’s a great wrestler. He can be a great heel for the company.

Daniel Bryan Danielson

Good work

(If you don’t like professional wrestling please proceed to another blog post.)

There is plenty wrong with professional wrestling today. Ratings are down, old superstars are retiring, and Alberto Del Rio is champion. But why? Why is professional wrestling stuck in a slump? Why is Triple H the focus of the show after CM Punk set the world on fire?

I’m a simple consumer who sees the problems in today’s program. And I’m going to point them out because analyzing is what I do best!

I’m going to be talking about the current direction of Bryan Danielson a.k.a Daniel Bryan.

I enjoy watching Daniel Bryan in the ring. I can’t even begin to properly praise everything he does while he wrestles. I know that whenever he steps into the ring, I’m in for a treat. Of course in the WWE, they say it takes more than in ring skills to be a success story.Daniel Bryan has had his ups and down in the WWE. He was on NXT season one and eliminated himself after a huge losing streak. During the show, Michael Cole would talk down Bryan. He would call him a nerd, a geek, worst of all, a goof. Bryan would end up punching Cole in the face later on, but to this day during any Daniel Bryan match, Michael Cole does not shut up about Bryan being a nerd.

After his elimination, Bryan would later become a part of the Nexus. However during this huge event, he was fired. He went “too” far when he choked out a ring announcer with his tie. Thankfully he was brought back in the main event of Summerslam where he tore up the place. He soon entered into a program with his former NXT mentor, The Miz.  Bryan got two great matches when he worked with the Miz. He became the United States champion.The crowd was connecting with him. During the fall of 2010, he regularly appeared on PPVs from Night of Champions to Survivor Series. His match against Dolph Ziggler at Bragging Rights was tied for Match of the Year with the main event of Wrestlemania 26. It was one of my favorite matches of all time. Things were going good for Daniel Bryan.

That is until he was paired with two divas and turned into a ladies’ man. He wasn’t on the TLC PPV. He wasn’t featured as prominently. He was left off RAW shows. His matches got shorter. He started losing more.  He lost the United States Championship to Sheamus. Their rematch was supposed to be at Wrestlemania, however it was dropped at the last second. Daniel Bryan was then drafted to Smackdown where he lost several matches. He entered a program with Cody Rhodes (Great Wrestler) where they exchanged victories with Rhodes coming out on top. It was okay. And he got a new nickname, D-Bry. Bryan didn’t seem to have any direction.

Then this happened.

Mr. MITB

Daniel Bryan won the Money in the Bank briefcase. I was surprised. He was going nowhere, but then bam. He was now guaranteed a  world title shot anywhere and anyplace. I thought WWE was finally warming up to him. He started a new website. He started uploading youtube videos of him doing submissions. After Money in the Bank, he was on PPV in a singles match for the first time in 2011. He went up against Wade Barrett. I thought this was perfect.

Then he lost. And he lost. And he lost. Week after week. I think he beat Heath Slater but come on, it’s Heath Slater. And then he wasn’t on Smackdown.

I’m a little worried. I can’t tell if the WWE has some grand plan for Daniel Bryan. They aren’t good at long term plans. They seem to have Bryan losing to make him an underdog. I guess this could work out, but I don’t know why they are leaving him off TV. I think TV time is very precious to any superstar’s connection to the crowd. Daniel Bryan is not a John Cena or CM Punk where he can get the crowd pumped by just talking. He needs to wrestle. It’s what he does best. That’s how he gets the crowd going. Otherwise this whole storyline could go kaput if nobody cares about him at WM28. I’ll always be supporting him, but I’m not sure the average fan cares about a guy who loses again and again and isn’t on TV that much. The WWE is taking a gamble with Daniel Bryan that they have done with others and have failed. Losing streaks usually don’t help wrestlers get more popular than they originally were. I hope things work out for the best, otherwise Daniel Bryan winning the MITB would been for nothing.

I don’t think this losing streak is helping Bryan at all.

Continued in.
https://kotenks.wordpress.com/2012/01/07/daniel-bryan-danielson-pt-2/

I LOVE ME SOME WRASSLING 2!

(If you don’t like professional wrestling please proceed to another blog post.)

There is plenty wrong with professional wrestling today. Ratings are down, old superstars are retiring, and John Cena is champion. But why? Why is professional wrestling stuck in a slump? Why is John Cena champion?

I’m a simple consumer who sees the problems in today’s program. And I’m going to point them out because analyzing is what I do best!

ILMSW: Entry 2 (State of Monday Night RAW)

What’s Wrong With It?

  • RAW has a very distinct lack of faces. The show is disjointed because of this. Last night’s RAW showed this. In the opening segment we had Rey Mysterio, Del Rio, Miz, and R-Truth come down. 1 face (Rey) and three heels. There’s only two major faces for the many heels on RAW. So many people are left without direction on the show.
  • Dolph Ziggler is one of these victims. He is wrestling matches against people but there is no storyline purpose to his actions. The audience has no reason to connect with him other than the fact he is announced by Vickie Guerrero. He’s lost all his identity. I can’t tell if it is part of a story or not.
  • Michael Cole’s storyline has gone on far longer than it should have. Bad guys get their comeuppance. He’s going to get his but there was no reason for it to have taken so long. He’s been a major part of RAW for about four months now. There’s nothing fresh. It’s the same old thing. WWE should have ended it earlier
  • The Miz is boring.
  • Alex Riley wrestled.
  • CM Punk didn’t do anything.
  • The New Nexus is still around. They have no purpose other than to get beat up and sell Nexus shirts.
  • John Morrison was recently injured and that hurt his program against R-truth. Truth has to focus on Rey for the next month while Morrison heals up. This leaves Del Rio with nothing to do.

What’s Right With It?

  • The triple threat match was good. Everyone looked good coming out of it.

What Should They Do?

  • Between Miz, Del Rio, and Truth, somebody has got to go to Smackdown.
  • Either move a face to RAW or build up Kofi Kingston more. There’s a big gap between Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio in terms of importance now. Fixing that gap could help RAW be a better show.

I know the WWE won’t read this, but I like writing about wrestling. It’s fun.