Welcome to the rundown! We had a special edition of SD on Tuesday, and I’ve discussed all of it here along with the usual stuff. On a side note, NXT will apparently be replacing FCW on Brighthouse in Florida beginning in a few weeks. I don’t know if this means that FCW will be permanently done, or if it just means that FCW will be developmental with live events and no television show. That aside, let’s get to it:
Jiro is defeated by Rick Victor.
Big E Langston goes one on one with Jason Jordan. Langston wins the match using a falling over the shoulder slam to the mat on Jordan.
Richie Steamboat cuts a promo on his rivalry with Antonio Cesaro and their match next week.
Summer Rae announces that Dean Ambrose will finally face William Regal in three weeks. Summer Rae brings out Leakee for his return to FCW. Leakee cuts a return on doing things his way and winning championship after championship.
Adam Mercer goes one on one with Eric Rowan. Rowan defeats Mercer in a very short match. So much for the intense promos we saw out of Mercer.
Antonio Cesaro cuts a promo on his rivalry with Richie Steamboat.
Paige goes one on one with Audrey Marie. Paige gets herself disqualified when the ref goes past the five count and she refuses to stop hitting Audrey.
Conor O’Brian goes one on one with Brad Maddox in the main event. O’Brian wins the match using a running big boot(brogue kick).
Thoughts: Jiro is gone; Rick Victor handed him his final loss in FCW. I expect Victor to be pushed hard on NXT from here on out. Langston worked a fairly impressive match with Jordan. Steamboat and Cesaro is going to be a great match. Leakee looks like a guy that will do some damage on NXT; his wrestling heritage in the Anoai family runs deep and he should be a natural in the ring. I thought Adam Mercer was going to do more given the promos that he cut about not being an entertainer, and that he would change FCW. Paige and Audrey’s rivalry is just starting to heat up, and I hope it’s allowed to continue on the new NXT. Conor O’Brian looks a lot like Wade Barrett in stature(thanks Mike Lightning), and he seems to be just as dominant in the ring as Barrett. I look forward to seeing what O’Brian and Cameron do in the tag team division of WWE.
RAW 07/02/12 Final Thoughts: Raw rocked in terms of entertainment. The wrestling was lackluster but the storylines were pushed hard and the Bryan/Jericho segments were the most entertaining part of the show. AJ’s character is fantastic and she continues to be a centerpiece on both programs this week.
The Smackdown roster is shown having a backstage party in celebration of the Great American Bash. Teddy Long announces that Eve has volunteered to clean up the party, and then introduces Santino. The US champ tries to light the grill, but can’t do it quick enough and then Kane is shown. Kane raises his arms and brings them down, causing the grill to ignite. They all cheer and start dancing.
^I love the holiday party segments that we get with almost every holiday edition of Smackdown; it makes for fun tv when WWE does these parodies of celebration.
Alberto Del Rio cuts a promo on becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. He talks about sending Sheamus back where he belongs. He goes around ringside accusing fans of being illegal aliens. One fan can’t show his papers, and Del Rio calls for security. Sheamus comes out and goes after Del Rio. Del Rio eventually gets the upper hand and slams the hood down on Sheamus repeatedly. Cole and Booker put over how brutal ADR is being.
^Putting over the intensity of the rivalry between your number one contender and your World Champion is a solid way to open the show. I like the choice here.
The Great Khali and Layla team up against Antonio Cesaro and Aksana. Khali and Layla are victorious when Layla pins Aksana.
^Antonio Cesaro is a much better wrestler than he’s being allowed to show, and Khali is still a joke. Glad to see the divas, but this booking for someone of Cesaro’s talent flat out sucks.
Backstage, Cody Rhodes tells Teddy Long the board of directors has granted him another chance to compete in the MITB ladder match. Long tells him his opponent will be Christian.
^Cody’s promo skills have improved vastly, and I actually look forward to seeing him interact backstage. There was a time not long ago where I wasn’t all that impressed with Cody and thought he had no chance of moving up to the next level.
Cody Rhodes defeats Christian to qualify for the World Title MITB ladder match.
^Rhodes and Christian wrestle another great match, and I liked the booking of Rhodes winning this one. I’m far more likely to take Rhodes seriously as a MITB contender after watching him defeat the current IC Champion. This is one of those pairings(unlike Kane and Big Show) that I could watch wrestle again and again and be okay with it.
Another backstage segment leads to Heath Slater being ignored and Brodus Clay leading everybody in a dance.
^As much as I could care less about the segment, I’m thankful that we were only subject to a bit of Brodus dancing and not having to see him attempt to work a match.
Dolph Ziggler defeats Alex Riley to quality for the World Title MITB ladder match.
^Ziggler and Rhodes both qualify in the same night for the same match? Not cool. I want both of these guys to move up this year and be in the main event scene. One of them needs to turn face and start a rivalry I guess. That theory, however, would be in a perfect world. I’m just glad to see both Rhodes and Ziggler having an opportunity to become number one contenders for the World Title.
Michael Cole interviews AJ. He asks her why she did what she on Raw last night. Cole doesn’t let her answer, and he calls her a troubled little girl. He starts to hit on her, but Daniel Bryan interrupts. DBry calls Cole a sexist, emotionally abusive bully. Bryan tells AJ he knows she’ll do a great job as guest referee at MITB. He says he forgives her for not realizing he was in the line of fire to go through the table with CM Punk. Punk interrupts and tells Cole to get out of the ring. Punk tells AJ she needs professional help. AJ kisses Bryan, and then kisses Punk when he tries to leave. She skips up the ramp and leaves while Punk and Bryan are left looking confused.
^I like the confusion, but I’m afraid Raw and Smackdown will be filled with even more of it next week. I’d like to see a bit more emphasis on Daniel Bryan wanting the WWE Title and seeing these guys get their hands on one another before the match takes place.
Santino Marella, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Sgt. Slaughter take on Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre. Santino gets the pin after using the cobra on Hunico.
^Duggan and Slaughter bore men. Santino and Hunico could’ve had a good match here, but instead we got this. Thanks WWE for caring more about your USA theme than having a quality wrestling match.
Zack Ryder brawls with Damien Sandow when Sandow attempts to interrupt the party backstage. Ryder throws a bowl of punch at him but he ducks and the punch soaks Eve. Everyone laughs and Eve storms off.
^A good bit of comic relief here. Eve looked particularly good in white here.
Tyler Reks says Hawkins thinks he can beat Ryback. He says they flipped a coin over who would wrestle him, and Hawkins won. Ryback defeats Hawkins in a short match.
^I wanted to see Reks and Hawkins on tv this week. Be careful what you wish for. If they had at least wrestled for a few minutes before the end of the match, then I might’ve been okay with how it turned out. Ryback has now progressed to mid card guys, and I shouldn’t be complaining. However, Reks and Hawkins are two guys that deserve to be pushed in the tag team ranks.
Zack Ryder wins the Great American Bash battle royal when he last eliminates Kane. Ryder will be the interim GM of Smackdown next week.
^Every time I start to think WWE could care less about Zack Ryder, they give him this random little push or significant victory on a show. I’m almost wondering if Ryder is in the same sort of spot that Sheamus was in before winning the Royal Rumble. What are the odds that Ryder will give himself a spot in the MITB ladder match now that he’s GM of Smackdown next week?
This was definitely not the best Smackdown we’ve seen as of late, but the Christian/Rhodes match might have stopped the show from being a total bust. Special editions of Smackdown should not be treated like a typical MNR, and that’s the problem that WWE seems to be having.
Sofia Cortez defeats Paige using the DDT.
Seth Rollins defeats Camacho using the curb stomp. Hunico and Camacho attack Rollins after the match. Bo Dallas comes down and makes the save.
Jake Carter and Corey Graves team up against CJ Parker and Nick Rogers. They pin Rogers after using a double team finisher.
Kassius Ohno goes one on one with Mike Dalton. Ohno wins using the rolling elbow.
A Bray Wyatt video package is aired.
Derrick Bateman takes on Jinder Mahal. Mahal wins the match using the camel clutch.
Tyson Kidd, Bo Rotundo, and Seth Rollins take on Michael McGillicutty, Hunico, and Camacho in the main event. McGillicutty gets the pin on Kidd after using a swinging neckbreaker.
Thoughts: Was Cortez and Paige the only divas match on television this week? Even if it wasn’t, it still would’ve been the most entertaining. Both women are talented and would have a bright future in WWE if the division were to ever be featured again. Rollins carried Camacho in a short one. Rollin’s skills keep getting cast to the side as he’s put in matches where he just dominates the majority and looks far superior to his opponents. Put the guy in the ring with DBry and let’s show the world what he can do. Carter and Graves have been a solid tag team since day one(only since March when Carter debuted, surprisingly), and Jake Carter clearly possesses the talent of his father when it comes to his in ring ability. I love watching Kassius Ohno wrestle, but Mike Dalton is far too talented to be somebody’s punching bag like that; this could’ve been a competitive matchup and I’m very disappointed in the booking behind it. I thought Bateman was facing Curtis this week? Mahal continues to be pushed as the aggressive heel, but he still appears very limited and boring in the ring. Rollins competed twice on this show, and you won’t hear a complaint from me about it. There was just so much talent in this match that unfortunately you don’t get to see enough of any one person. I like Michael McGillicutty getting the pin on Kidd; Kidd is in line for a push right now and MM having the claim that he’s pinned Kidd in the past will help him elevate to the main roster and possibly start a long term rivalry on television.
WWE Superstars 07/05/12:
Titus O’Neil goes one on one with Primo. Primo wins the match using the school boy rollup.
Kofi Kingston goes one on one with Rob Cabildo. Kofi wins using trouble in paradise.
Antonio Cesaro defeats Alex Riley in a six minute match.
Zack Ryder defeats Jack Swagger in the main event of Superstars using the leg lariat.
Thoughts: I love the rivalry between the Colons and the Players; I hope it continues to be featured in some form each week because we get some really good wrestling out of it. Kofi Kingston wins a squash match, and I’m not sure what to make of it; is Kofi in line for a push or was this just to remind fans that Kofi is a mid card guy that can squash a jobber like anybody else? Cesaro and Riley? I feel like we’ve seen this one before; I’m anxious for Cesaro’s first legit rivalry. Zack Ryder wins another main event match and we can all go home happy. Anybody else looking forward to Ryder running Smackdown this week?
IMPACT Wrestling 07/05/12:
Bully Ray announces that Abyss will be banned from showing up next week with his match against Joseph Park. Ray attacks Park from behind after the announcement.
Devon defeats Crimson in a TV Title match. Madison Rayne comes out after the match and makes out with Earl Hebner.
Chris Sabin comes to the ring to discuss his knee injury. Bobby Roode comes out and attacks him. Austin Aries makes the save.
Dakota Darsow goes one on one with Flip Cassanova in an X-Division qualifying match. Cassanova wins the match using a top rope flip and manages to break Darsow’s nose during the match.
Tara and Tessmacher team up to face Gail Kim and Madison Rayne. Tessmacher pins Madison to win the match.
AJ Styles cuts a promo on the Claire storyline. Daniels and Kazarian interrupt. AJ puts over his last man standing match with Daniels on Sunday.
A random guy drops an envelope on Hogan’s desk backstage. It has Aces and Eights on a piece of paper. I assume this has to do with the Sting attacker storyline.
Kenny King defeats Lars Only in an X-Division qualifying match.
Jeff Hardy defeats James Storm in a BFGS match using the twist of fate.
Hulk Hogan comes out to collect the X-Divison Title from Austin Aries. Roode interrupts before Aries can come out. Aries comes out and ends up knocking Roode down with the belt. Aries gives the title to Hogan and stares down Roode to close the show.
Thoughts: I prefer the Joseph Park character to Abyss. That said, I expect Park to find a way to defeat Bully Ray and continue the losing streak for Ray. I like Devon retaining the title, but I’m confused by Madison loving Hebner. It just feels like an attitude era storyline to me(not very intelligent). I assume Chris Sabin will attempt to stay relevant during his long injury. I’m expecting him to possibly be involved Sunday with the World Title match. Flip Cassanova wrestled a sloppy match and should be pulled from Destination X before he hurts someone else. I love how the knockouts get more respect from TNA in one show than all the divas in an entire week from WWE. I like the aces and eights storyline and I hope it’s an invasion of AAA Mexico as the start of a cross promotion. Kenny King could have a bright future in TNA if the X-Division is treated properly; it all depends on where the tournament competitors end up after the D-X ppv. Jeff Hardy may not be an excellent wrestler, but his matches in 2012 have seemed far more impressive than they’ve been in the past. Hardy and Storm worked a solid match and I was very impressed with the booking of it. I’m very excited for the match between Roode and Aries on Sunday. I have my gut prediction on how the finish will go, but the finish of the match doesn’t matter much as I’m expecting those two to tear the house down in a classic.
Ring of Honor Wrestling 07/07/12:
I haven’t had a chance to catch the show this week, due to having the flu and not being awake at 4AM. I guess from reading the taping results that Sara Del Rey made her return to confront Maria Kanellis. Apparently this took place after Adam Cole and Eddie Edwards defeated Brutal Bob and Mike Bennett. Also, Kevin Steen successfully defended his title against Mike Mondo. Mondo has come a long way in his career, but he also has a long way to go before he holds any World Championships. The reign of Steen will probably see a lot of successful title defenses.
ROH done with Kenny King: Kenny King competed on Impact Wrestling Thursday night. He violated a verbal agreement with ROH in doing so. ROH has stated they are done doing business with him. What does this mean for the tag team titles currently held by King and Rhett Titus? I’m guessing a tag team tournament will be held.
Bound For Glory in Phoenix: I was hoping TNA would come to Boston. Continuously keeping your product in the south sounds far too much like the old WCW. That’s okay; if TNA never wants to fill an arena for a house show in the Northeast, this is the way to go!
Mabel planned to win WWE Title: According to Mabel/Viscera, Vince wanted to put the title on Mabel at the 1995 Summerslam event when he faced Diesel. Apparently the clique backstage used their influence to stop this from happening(all speculation, but interesting nonetheless). For as bad as the match was between Nash and Mabel, I’m not sure it really matters who the champion was after it was over.
Sammartino/Hall of Fame: Bruno Sammartino has rejected the WWE’s offer to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. It’s suggested that his reason for declining stems from his bad relationship with Vince McMahon. I look at this in two ways: First, if I’m Sammartino, I wouldn’t care about my problems with Vnce because the Hall of Fame is FAR bigger than Vince McMahon. Sammartino deserves a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame, without question. Second, if I’m Vince McMahon, I’m inducting the guy anyway regardless of whether or not he shows up. It’s Bruno Sammartino! C’mon man!
Money In The Bank: The WWE Title MITB match has a few possiblities for more participants. I’ve listed them below and categorized them based on what I think is possible. Enjoy:
Never going to happen:
Outside the Box:
CM Punk (if he loses the WWE Title)
Sheamus(if he loses the World Title)
ADR(if he doesn’t win the World Title)
Orton(if they let him back early from suspension)
Anyone else not listed is either passed away(Andre, Yoko, ect), retired(Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels), or working for TNA(Flair, Hogan, Angle). None of these guys will be in the match. It’s also probably a safe bet that Bruno Sammartino won’t show up.
Destination X predictions will be up before the show Sunday night! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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