So for a week now, I’ve been inundated with this SmackDown Blast From the Past brouhaha and I must admit, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. I imagined red, white, and blue ropes. I imagined sky-blue floor pads surrounding the ring. Hell, maybe there would even be some metal barricades! …I got nothin’. I got a bunch of old guys in terrible skits. I know they’re old, I wasn’t expecting Ted DiBiase to come down off the 2nd rope with a fist drop, but for the love of god, give them something worthwhile. The closest thing to worthwhile entertainment was Jimmy Hart managing a tag team whilst simultaneously annoying the crap out of guest commentator Mick-cactus-dude-mankind-love-jack-Foley to the point of him taking out Sock-O. What was really great about it was the fact that the audience was on Jimmy’s side! Take that, Mick!
The rest of the evening was spent with 1 minute matches and Johnny Dimples stammering his way through his Jerkface speech to Sheamus. Here’s my problem with this work: He goes out and continues to be blatantly unfair to the faces, and that would be fine with me if the WWE hadn’t spent all of Summer 2011 working an angle of “the higher up’s can remove your ass if you’re out of line.” McMahon got thrown out on this premise, and he’s fuckin’ Vince McMahon! If they want me to swallow the notion that he could be kicked out of his position in the company, don’t you dare try to make also “believe” they couldn’t do the exact same thing to Johnny. I’ve brought it up in an old post, but i feel the need to reiterate it now: If you’re going to have fake rules and a fake hierarchy, at least have the decency to fake follow it! I don’t think I’m asking too much here. I think Johnny Dimples (i’m going to keep using this nickname til it sticks, so get used to it) is a great character. Now, the guy playing him sucks as an actor, but we’re kind of in a catch-22 in that regard, so let me approach it from another angle. Why doesn’t J-Dimps (spin-off of a nickname that hasn’t even caught on yet, man I’m good!) have to abide by the same standards of fairness that were required for HHH to keep his job? I understand that we want to build heat for this guy, but for the love of god, the heat is already so high, I think we can just let it continue to boil at it’s current pace. I feel like the audience would get a kick out of watching Johnny squirm as he has to play by the rules, knowing it’s killing him inside. Now, to be fair, the People Power era has just begun so perhaps this will come up eventually, but it’s already dragging too long for me. (Side note: Everybody’s hat needs to go off to the creative man or woman who played up this whole politician/propaganda angle for Johnny Dimples. It’s so good it almost pisses me off.) But I’ve been sidetracked by the worst wardrobe in show business for long enough, lets get back to the geriatrics.
“Cowboy” Bob Orton got mysteriously beat up by Kane, who then beat up Randy when he went looking for his dad. Kane then said “I love family reunions”. I should have turned the TV off right then and there, but I didn’t. Because I’m stupid. I then got to watch more of my heroes tarnish their legacy, until finally Roddy Piper came out and put on a clinic of how to use a microphone to it’s maximum potential. If you want to hear a badass story about Piper and Cowboy Bob, told by the Hot Rod himself, click here. Most of the Legends still looked pretty decent (considering their incredibly advanced age), and I would have bet my very last dollar that Mae Young was dead, so it was great to see her in what was honestly one of the funnier moments of the evening. But all is not bad in the WWE. One thing appears to be here to stay and I, for one, couldn’t be happier: SQUASH MATCHES! RyBack, Brodus Clay, and Lord A-Train are all squashing 180 pound sacks of potatoes and it’s fantastic! They kick jobber’s asses for 20-60 seconds and then they move on. This is how you introduce people. This is how you get people to believe that these guys are godless killing machines, and unstoppable forces of nature. Now, when every one of these guys get into their first legit feud, i’ll be truly wondering who is going to come out on top, and who is going to be the superstar to derail (pun intended) these new monsters on the roster.
Overall the night was a definite disappointment, but hey, these guys never take a week off, and even I can cut them a little slack. Here’s to hoping next week is better. Thanks for reading everybody. Remember, when life gets you down, kick out at 2. When you can’t kick out at 2, reach for the ropes.
2012 is going to be a fantastic year for the WWE. Launching the WWE Network, the much needed re-vamping of the logo (the attitude era is long-since gone, its time to get rid of the “extreme” font), and some good old fashioned fun being brought back to the squared circle, from two of the most unexpected sources. First we have John Laurinaitis and this whole Corporate interference thing the WWE is bringing back. Now, don’t get me wrong, the guy still can’t act, and has an absolutely desolate wardrobe, but the storyline he’s in right now is fantastic and Punk is good enough on the mic to make up for Johnny. This character is great. He’s hated in a comparable yet completely separate way from the way Mr. McMahon was hated. And how appropriate is it that Punk is pretty much the modern day Stone Cold to play antagonist to Laurinaitis’ stumbling, bumbling, executive-vice-president-of-talent-relations version of the Boss.
And then there’s Brodus Clay. Where the hell did this come from? I remember a few short months ago watching Brodus stoically destroy hometown jobbers and all the sudden, i have a fatter version of the Godfather on my hands? Let me just say: I love it! I know I’m the heel and all of that, but this guy is entertaining as hell. For a big man, he can move very well in the ring, and I have to admit, i’m totally captivated by this guy. For reasons unknown, I’m fully on board the bandwagon.
However, what has me even more geeked is the Royal Rumble match coming up in about 10 days. To me, this is the best match the WWF has ever created. Born in ’88, improved in ’89, and perfected in ’92 (making the Rumble winner become WWE champ, or at least WWE #1 contender), the Rumble is non-stop action for an hour. The only thing that they could do to improve the rumble is to bring back the wrestler thoughts segment. Why the hell would you ever get rid of this? This is promo gold!
I’m not one for predictions, especially in a scripted sport, so I’ll just say the top 5 Wrestlers I’ll be pulling for in the rumble.
Brodus Clay – If this guy wins, it’d be the quickest and biggest push any superstar has received since Hogan winning the WCW title in his first in-ring appearance for the company. However, he’s entertaining, and i dont think nearly enough big men have won this rumble. Again, i know it’s scripted but Rey Mysterio going coast-to-coast? give me a break. Brodus would have eaten his children before Rey even hit the ring.
Chris Jericho – This return still has me confused. He’d be such a great opponent for Punk, and while I love Dolph, there’s no chance Punk loses that title before ‘Mania. So why not have 2 of the best technical wrestlers in the biz face each other for the title at Wrestlemania? Besides, we still have no idea what he’s doing back in the WWE yet because of his silence, but they’ve already had him turn his back on Punk in a match, perhaps the Rumble will really set this thing in motion?
Sheamus – Going back to the big guys, it’s totally plausible for Sheamus to win the rumble from a size standpoint, he’s been in several undercard feuds, coming out the winner in all of them (literately and figuratively ). He’s a great character who’s fantastic in big matches. Him and DB could have a great Wrestlemania match. Especially now that Mr. Bryan is becoming quite the convincing heel.
Randy Orton – The Viper has been out of the Main Event scene for too long. This guy is still unbelievable, and lately i’ve been watching matches from earlier in his career before I got back into the scene. This guy deserves to be one of the most decorated champions ever. An Orton/Punk reboot would be much appreciated by me, who missed some of the better moments the first go-around, and Orton/Bryan would be entertaining also. Pretty much anybody you put in the ring with Orton will have a good match. And damn…those dropkicks…
Cody Rhodes – My man-crush on Cody does not appear to be dying down at all, does it? The current I.C. champ (5-month long reign and counting. Just sayin’) recently said he was going to pull an Ultimate Warrior and hold both titles. Now, even I admit that Rhodes is not ready to be the face of the company yet, but a push like this could get him ready very quickly. Either way, I think 2012 is going to take Cody to the main event level, and I say bring it on.
One bold prediction I will make: This year, the winner comes from the dreaded 11-20 range. I’m thinking #15. Go define the odds, middle men!
Discussion Question: Who are YOU pulling for in this year’s Rumble?