Welcome Cagesiders, to Hollywood Holland's Mid-week Meltdown (MWM), where we take all the Raw materials the world of professional wrestling has given us (and plans to deliver) and melt it all down into something usable.
Specifically, what's good -- as well as what's bad -- inside the squared circle.
Now, I hear there's some egg-suckin' dawg named Hollywood Wallace trying to get by on my name, but I'm sure he won't mind the weekly infringement. If Dr. Dre can co-exist with the other Dr. Dre, then surely Holland and Wallace can make nice, too (so long as he realizes he's the fat one from Yo! MTV Raps in this analogy).
Not that I have much choice, since the boring blowhard that runs this site is too busy playing with his pigskin to keep the content moving. Besides, he's been ripping off my act for the last two years, I might as well reap the financial rewards from it on two sites instead of just one.
Getting back to business. We're two days removed from Monday Night Raw, the flagship program of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and still two days out from
its recycled highlights SmackDown. As we straddle the fence between each show, we'll also give some love to IMPACT Wrestling! and its stable of 'stars'.
Let's get started.
WWE Monday Night Raw:
I was/am a big fan of the CM Punk heel turn. His motivation for aforementioned turn was so thin you could floss with it, but it was still a marked improvement over Cena-lite. That said, please abandon the Jerry Lawler angle. In fact, abandon Jerry Lawler, period. He's had so much plastic surgery "The King" is starting to look like Hannibal Lecter in the Jim Pembry mask. Geno thought it was "done well" on Monday, but keep in mind, this is the same person who roots for the Chicago Bears.
AJ Lee has become the Susan Powter of pro wrestling. Captured our hearts and our minds for about a month, then became completely unbearable. It's unfortunate, too, because she was killing it. I know all Diva storylines come with a self-destruct button, but Vickie Guerrero is a perfect example. She still gets a reaction, despite doing the same shtick week in and week out. Think Nostradumbass, only better looking in a skirt. What's the bottom line? I'm a pro wrestling fan. Shove it down my throat until I puke. Then try to make me lick the bile off the floor. That's how the business works, dammit.
I like the slow build for Dolph Ziggler. In fact, I think the longer he walks around with that briefcase without cashing it in, the better. The anticipation always beats the payoff and this program has legs. There's something to be said for an imperfect run, as I think it makes the character more identifiable. Guys who go out and win every week under any circumstance (you know who you are) become one dimensional and boring. This could be why I've been digging Heath Slater's build. The entire thing is preposterous, but he's playing it straight, and for me it works.
- Ryback: Hopefully he doesn't kill someone (or himself) on his way to the (cough) "top."
- Daniel Bryan: Everything he touches is gold. Remember when we were begging for Kane to retire?
- Eve: With AJ looking like Fievel in a cheap suit from T.J. Maxx, she's the new hottie on the block.
- Sheamus: The more my kid roots for you, the more I realize I've failed as a parent.
- The Miz: I may be your only fan, so I'll cheer louder.
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING:
The Aces & Eights storyline is your standard "invasion" angle and it's being handled fairly well, but I'm still cynical enough to believe the entire program was created as an excuse to give Hogan a platoon of jobbers to whale on each week. Interesting trivia: The Aces & Eights Saloon by me was recently closed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Foreshadowing?
I agree with Geno in that getting out of the Impact Wrestling Zone does wonders for the brand, because the slack-jawed yokels who wander in each week with a free ticket are there to cheer for the memory of Hulk Hogan and probably don't have a clue as to what's going on in each feud. Those cheers can be as distracting as the WHAT? chant and need to go.
Our own Colon Howell brought word of "Championship Thursdays" starting tomorrow and one thing I give credit for, TNA sure knows how to recycle its talent. Like BFG, you're basically taking the same guys and the same matches but adding new stipulations and ultimately, reasons to care. We still don't, but at least they made the effort. I'm interested to see how this thing unfolds.
- Samoa Joe: Big fan of this guy's work, but let's be real, he's one doughnut away from looking like Ernie on The George Lopez Show.
- Kurt Angle: Darren Aronofsky called, he has your royalties check waiting.
- Jeff Hardy: You apologized for your drunken escapades. Where's our apology for that offensive body paint?
- Hulk Hogan: You're not supposed to carry that bat like a cane. Please return it to Stinger.
Friday night SmackDown is only ever as good as Monday Night Raw, mostly because it's 90 minutes of replays and promos we've already seen earlier in the week. This is why I have a DVR. Fast-forward through all the shit I've already watched, view the new content, then fast-forward through whatever awful match Sheamus is no-selling in.
Alberto Del Rio is a great heel with the right personality to make it work, but he mirrors the faces he, uh, faces. I don't need to see him trying to overcome the stiffness of the great blight, when he could be working in so many better programs. That said, I'm interested to see what happens with Ricardo -- and I find it hilarious that WWE.com has him compared to Kevin Nash in some insipid "sidekicks" article.
David Otunga is back and that's a good thing. He was kind of lost at sea when Johnny Ace was put out to pasture, but him getting mixed up in the Sheamus feud is a nice addition. On a side note, there is no way Jennifer Hudson suddenly became hot adhering to that dumb Weight Watchers plan. The only weight she was watching was on Otunga's barbell. I'm sure Mr. Bow Tie helped her slim down while Lady H collected an endorsement check.
- Damien Sandow: "The Genius" did it better.
- Antonio Cesaro: How do you say "Aksana has an amazing ass" in five different languages?
- The Great Khali: Wherever you are, stay there.
- Mason Ryan: Ryback called, he needs a spotter.
- R-Truth: Clint Eastwood stole your gimmick. U mad?
That's it for this week, Cagesiders. Stay tuned next week for another meltdown. In the meantime, let's hear your best and worst of the week in wrestling.