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ThunderStruck: 2011 Year In Review


I returned to writing in September of this year. I may not be the best writer out there or the most read writer in the IWC. There are a couple of things, however, that are for certain. I have one of the most ridiculous writer gimmick names in the entire IWC and this is my 50th column since making my comeback! It's only fitting that I write my 50th piece as a reflection( yes, I'm going to be spitting a ton of facts out at you that you already know) on this year's events in WWE. I promise to throw in some actual opinion of my own here and there. I'm going to go month by month and primarily focus on the pay per views as a way to limit the scope and not have to type this thing forever. Also, at the end of this piece I will have a list of things that I would like to see happen in WWE in 2012. Here we go!

 

The Royal Rumble was unique this year in the sense that it 40 participants. I'm not sure what difference this made in the grand scheme of things and I heard that they are planning to go back to the traditional 30 man Rumble this year. Alberto Del Rio won the Rumble. This was premature for Del Rio, as nobody on the planet cared. Edge was the World Heavyweight Champion and successfully defended his title against Dolph Ziggler. I can only imagine how much help Edge would be with building this great pool of talent that WWE is now pushing if he had continued to compete in the ring. I was half expecting Edge and Christian to have a World Title feud before his premature retirement was announced. The Miz was WWE Champion(feels like forever ago) and was able to retain against Randy Orton with the help of Alex Riley(He was more known as a manager for the Miz than he is now working on Superstars. Horrible). Also, Eve was the Divas Champion after winning a fatal four way at the Rumble where Natalya dropped the title(yes, I'm going to briefly mention the divas as well).

 

Edge was able to retain his World Heavyweight Championship in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match at the February event. The Miz defended his title against Jerry Lawler one time during their short feud and it occurred at this event. I know that nobody thought Lawler would win the title at age 62, but how cool would it have been to see a guy like Jerry Lawler finally capture a WWE Championship after a 40+ year career in the ring? Wishful thinking on my part. Miz was able to hold onto the gold in this one as well. John Cena came out victorious in the Raw Elimination Chamber match to become the number one contender for the WWE Title. Let me make this clear: Miz was champion and WWE cared just enough at the time to put him in a match with...Jerry Lawler. Cena wasn't champion but they were hyping the potential rivalry with The Rock during these months and he was put over as the star of this show by winning the chamber match. Hmmm. Edge winning the chamber match tells me that WWE had big plans for him throughout this entire year. It's beyond sad that these plans had to change so suddenly.

 

WrestleMania 27 was hyped for being the show hosted by The Rock. If I remember nothing else about it, I will not forget the level of involvement that The Rock had in this event, and it's not a good thing in my eyes. To me, you cannot sacrifice the quality of YOUR MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLE-FREAKING-MANIA to build hype for a match at next year's event. It's garbage and it was beyond disappointing. The Miz retained his title with the help of The Rock after the match was restarted by the great one. There just was nothing to this main event. The Rock opened the show; The Rock closed the show. The Rock said he was never going away. I understand the meaning behind it in the sense that he was planning to come back and wrestle on a very seldom basis, but appearing only a half dozen times to hype the "biggest Mania match of all time" is just crap. I don't care about Cena and The Rock at WrestleMania. I wouldn't be surprised if WWE scrapped it and turned it into some sort of tag team match(here come the arguments that they would NEVER book a match so far in advance just to change it later on). Get real; it's WWE and while it's highly unlikely they would change this match, anything can happen. Edge wrestled his final ppv match and successfully defended his World Title against Alberto Del Rio. Either WWE decided Del Rio wasn't ready, or they decided Edge needed to hold onto the title to begin a feud with Christian. I believe it's possible that Edge's condition may have been known about at this point in time and that this was planned intentionally for Edge to have his last big showing. Undertaker continued his streak at this event by defeating Triple H. No surprise there. The rumor mill has it out there that they are going to wrestle again at Mania 28. They can't top what they did last year, so I'm not sure that Triple H is the best opponent for the dead man.

 

Extreme rules featured a 20 minute last man standing match where Randy Orton defeated CM Punk. These guys hadn't even touched on the accomplishments that they would both achieve this year. Christian captured his first World Title in a ladder match with Alberto Del Rio with the help of Edge. Cue the crybaby gimmick that WWE feels Christian needs to have to be a success. I hate it. The guy is legitimately one of the top three wrestlers in the company when it comes to making others look good in the ring. Why do they have to give him such a stupid gimmick for him to be successful? John Cena won back the WWE Title from the Miz in a triple threat match also involving John Morrison. Cena had a good year full of title wins. More title wins than CM Punk, as a matter of fact. We know what happened with Morrison. The guy continuously had the best matches in the company and allowed his contract to run out. Smart move on his part to keep the door open for a comeback. I don't want to say Miz fell off the map, because he definitely improved himself as a wrestler and as an entertainer. The Subway promo was a bit much though. I hope to see Miz back as WWE Champion in 2012(face champion, maybe?). 

 

Over the Limit in May was a snooze for a pay per view(I literally fell asleep watching it live). Brie Bella defeated Kelly Kelly to retain her divas title. The divas were pretty dull on tv during this time period(some things rarely change). Randy Orton was able to successfully defend his World Title against Christian(he had defeated Christian for the title two days after Extreme rules at the Smackdown taping). John Cena was able to come out of the show with his Super-Cena gimmick after being pummeled by the Miz in an "I quit" match for the WWE Title. Cena held onto the gold yet again and Miz started to fall off the main event radar. RTruth, on the other hand, was able to defeat Rey Mysterio at this event and started to really make a name for himself as a crazy heel.

 

Dolph Ziggler was able to win the US Title at Capitol Punishment from Kofi Kingston(and then held onto it all the way to TLC). Alex Riley defeated the Miz in a short ten minute match. Funny how time changes things, isn't it? I remember watching Drew McIntyre at a live event in August 2009 where he squashed RTruth in five minutes. Ezekial Jackson was able to defeat Wade Barrett for the IC Title, while Randy Orton yet again defeated Christian and held onto his World Title. People may have gotten bored with Christian and Orton wrestling repeatedly all Summer long, but these two guys honestly never got boring, no matter how many times they were put in a ring together. John Cena was once again put into his Super-Cena role and overcame the crazy heel in RTruth to hold onto the WWE Championship. Should've known Vince's choice would have been to keep the title on Cena in this scenario(anybody know a bigger racist than Vince McMahon when it comes to his feelings on the WWE Championship?).

 

Money in the Bank was easily the best and most exciting pay per view as we moved through the Summer of 2011. Daniel Bryan was victorious in the Smackdown MITB ladder match and Del Rio won the Raw contest. Bryan vowed to cash in at WrestleMania 28 after winning the briefcase. Christian was able to capture his second World Title at this event when he beat Randy Orton with the ridiculous "title can change hands by DQ" stipulation. As I said before, Christian going back to the whiny gimmick rather than being a successful and talented World Champion was just a huge disappointment for me. In a match between two giants, Mark Henry began his streak of dominance by defeating the Big Show and putting him out of action by smashing his ankle while a steel chair was placed on it. CM Punk was able to win his first WWE Championship in a victory over John Cena. Punk "walked out" with the title in his hometown of Chicago after announcing he would do so when his contract expired the same day. The few weeks prior to Money in the Bank also led up to John Laurinaitis becoming a regular character on tv and continued after Cena knocked him out during the match when he attempted to ring the bell prematurely. I'm actually growing to like the John Laurinaitis character myself. Triple H made his return to WWE the following night on Raw when Vince wanted to fire John Cena. The board voted Vince no confidence and put Triple H in charge. Since Punk had walked out, a tournament was held for the WWE Title on Raw. This was a really good tournament of matches. Rey Mysterio defeated the Miz in the finals and would lose the title later in the night to John Cena when he was given his rematch. CM Punk made his return at the end of that Raw wearing his own WWE Title.

 

Summerslam was definitely in the top half of pay per views this year as CM Punk was able to pin John Cena in their WWE Title unification match while Cena had his foot on the ropes. While celebrating, CM Punk got attacked by a returning Kevin Nash who hit Punk with a jackknife. This led to Alberto Del Rio cashing in his MITB briefcase and becoming the new WWE Champion. Randy Orton had a No Holds Barred match that I considered to be the best of their 7(8 maybe?) match series. Orton was able to hit an RKO on Christian onto the steel steps and regain the World Heavyweight Championship. We saw no US Title or IC Title match on the show, but Wade Barrett destroyed Daniel Bryan in a quick matchup that was only booked a few days prior to the show. The show was somewhat of a disappointment. Mark was able to defeat Sheamus by countout to continue his Hall of Pain streak that he had been on as of late. Also Kelly Kelly was able to retain her Divas Title when she defeated Beth Phoenix. I suppose the "shock value" to the ending of Summerslam was what was supposed to impress the fans. 

 

Heading into September, we had the Night of Champions event where John Cena got his rematch with Alberto Del Rio and was able to capture his third WWE Championship in 2011. Triple H was able to defeat CM Punk in a no DQ match with the stipulation being that Triple H would step down as COO if Punk won the match. RTruth and the Miz attacked Triple H and Punk during the match, and Kevin Nash also attacked both competitors. I was disappointed to see Triple H not put over the top wrestler in the company in CM Punk. Triple H storyline fired RTruth and Miz the following night on Raw, leading to them acting out over the next couple of months. John Cena was able to capture yet another WWE Championship when he defeated Alberto Del Rio in their match. The biggest change that occurred during the show was the crowning of a new World Heavyweight Champion in Mark Henry when he defeated Randy Orton. Henry's streak of dominance had been rolling since July and WWE officials apparently decided to reward Henry for staying healthy for such a length of time. Cody Rhodes was able to retain his IC Title in a defense against Ted Dibiase and Dolph Ziggler was able to retain his title in a solid fatal four way match involving himself, John Morrison, Alex Riley, and Jack Swagger. Kelly Kelly again was also able to defend her title successfully against Beth Phoenix in Phoenix' hometown of Buffalo, NY. 

October gave us two pay per views, though I'm not sure for what reason. Alberto Del Rio was able to defeat CM Punk and John Cena in a Hell in a Cell match after Cena was locked out of the cell and Del Rio was able to use a hammer on CM Punk to pick up the pinfall. The competitors were attacked after the match by RTruth and Miz, who came out from under the ring. Randy was unable to defeat Mark Henry in his rematch for the World Title and Henry's dominance continued. I felt Randy Orton should have been able to get the title back and continue on as champion through the remainder of the year. He's the top star on Smackdown no matter what way you argue it and he represents the brand well. I guess WWE creative felt otherwise. Cody Rhodes was able to wrestle the match of the night while in dress pants when he fought John Morrison and successfully defended his IC Title. This was really a great year for Cody Rhodes as he has been climbing the ladder of success in WWE. Beth Phoenix was able to finally capture her first Divas Title from Kelly Kelly at this event as well. The second pay per view given to us in this month was Vengeance. The most highlighted moment from the show was when Big Show and Mark Henry superplexed their way into collapsing the ring and ending their match with a no decision finish. John Cena failed to capture the WWE Title from Alberto Del Rio after Truth and Miz got involved in their last man standing match. Beth Phoenix was able to defeat Eve, who was challenging for the Divas Championship. Dolph Ziggler pulled double duty at this event where he and Jack Swagger failed to capture the tag team titles from Air Boom. In his second match, however, Dolph was able to defeat Zack Ryder, who was challenging for the US Title. Cody Rhodes wrestled perhaps the match of the night against Randy Orton and lost to the viper. Truth and Miz were able to get the win over CM Punk and Triple H in a tag team after outside involvement from Kevin Nash. This added fuel to the fire for the Nash/Triple H rivalry that none of us really cared about. 

 

November saw the in ring return of The Rock when he teamed with John Cena to face the Miz and RTruth at the Survivor Series. The Rock looked as good as ever as he and Cena were victorious in the match. He got all the pops from the crowd for the night and got probably the biggest one when he hit Cena with the rock bottom after the match. Mark Henry started to show weakness as World Champion when he got himself intentionally disqualified during his match with the Big Show. Dolph Ziggler once again pulled double duty when he successfully defended his US Title against John Morrison and then participated on Team Barrett in the traditional elimination match against Team Orton(Barrett's team was victorious with Barrett and Rhodes as the sole survivors). The match that should have been the main event of the night saw CM Punk capture his second WWE Championship when he defeated Alberto Del Rio with the anaconda vice submission hold. This was one of the better pay per views in terms of built up matches, but the hype for a WWE Title change should have been greater for Punk and not taken away from by the in ring return of Dwayne Johnson.

 

All I wanted for Christmas was tables, ladders, and chairs. What a great way to end 2011 for WWE. All was right with the world when CM Punk was able to defend his WWE Title successfully in a triple threat TLC match and Zack Ryder was FINALLY able to capture the US Title by defeating Dolph Ziggler! My personal favorite moment of the night was watching the Big Show become World Champion by defeating Mark Henry in a chairs match and knowing instantly that Daniel Bryan was going to come down and cash in his briefcase to become the new World Heavyweight Champion! You also saw Cody Rhodes successfully defend his IC Title against Booker T. WWE couldn't have picked four better guys to be champions representing the company heading into 2012. Triple H also defeated Kevin Nash in a sledgehammer ladder match that almost put me to sleep. I am very thankful that Nash is out of the picture until at least the Rumble. 

 

I believe 2011 will become the year that is best known for the development of some major stars. Guys like Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, and the Miz are the future of professional wrestling and will be in the Punk, Cena, Orton, Henry, Show, Kane, Taker, HHH ect. category soon enough. I believe 2012 will be the biggest year yet in the career of guys like Wade Barrett, Sheamus, and Christian. Some of the undercard guys that I believe will have similar development that Dolph and Cody had are guys like Drew McIntyre, David Otunga(yeah I said it), Ted Dibiase, and Jinder Mahal. The return of Chris Jericho and the retirement of The Undertaker in 2012 are two significant events that I believe will help shape the course of the future of pro wrestling.

 

10 Things I would like to see in 2012:

 

-John Morrison returns - the guy needs to up his charisma and sell his character more than ever before to go along with his talent in the ring.

 

-Repackage Jack Swagger - do something different for this guy. He can wrestle; he shouldn't just be a joke if Jim Ross has that much faith in his ability in the ring.

 

- Kofi Kingston winning the World Title - since you know he will never win the WWE Title, the World Title will have to do. The guy has the in ring ability to do big things. I doubt this one will happen; it's more of a dream than anything.

 

-Zack Ryder wins Money In The Bank - I believe this will happen, and I believe Ryder will see himself booked in matches with John Cena in 2012.

 

- Sheamus becomes the top face of Smackdown along with Randy Orton - The guy has everything he needs besides a solid World Title reign on his resume. Make it happen WWE!

 

- 12 pay per views - 13 was even too much. I would be okay with just 8 if they were made to be that much more significant. I don't like feeling like I'm watching the same show every month when I drop 50 dollars on it.

 

-John Cena becomes "heel" and defeats The Rock at WrestleMania - Everybody and their grandmother has asked for this to happen. Everybody thinks it will make Cena's character better. They're right. My biggest problem with doing this is that it's predictable. But it does need to happen.

 

- Dolph Zigger and Cody Rhodes become World/WWE Champions - This will happen very soon. Ziggler has made himself a star and has worked his tail off to get where he is at. He's come a long way since being a male cheerleader. Cody has won me over in so many ways and continues to work great match after great match while making his character that much more heel than it already is. Jim Ross said both of these guys should quit if they don't win major gold in 2012, and he's right.

 

- No celebrity/gimmick matches at WrestleMania! - Ok, we know that this won't be avoided. But between gimmick matches and celebrity matches, WrestleMania always has something for me to complain about. Cole/Lawler last year was RIDICULOUS. Austin was the only bright spot in that match as referee. The Snooki six person tag was a waste of time and screwed over John Morrison. The eight man tag was cut to about three minutes in length when it could've been a fantastic match, but we were forced to sit through that other crap.

 

- Christian vs CM Punk in the main event of a major pay per view - This needs to happen because it will be absolute money if they book it right. I wanted for Christian to be World Champion and be face, but I know Vince will never consider it. So I'm asking for this match to headline either MITB or Summerslam. 

 

^These are the things I would like to see. Maybe some will happen; some definitely won't. As a bonus I'm going to ask WWE to make Daniel Bryan a heel champion, and I believe that one is already in the works. It was a good year of development for WWE, and I believe if the current top stars stick around and continue to put on the matches they are capable of, there is a bright future for WWE that we are heading into.

 

If you read this far, congratulations on making it through. It's now 12:45AM Eastern time and I can say to you all, Happy New Year! This was a fun piece for me to write as my 50th column since coming back to wirting. I hope you enjoyed reading this. I'll be back with the Raw Analysis on Tuesday. Until then, you've been ThunderStruck! 

           We open Smackdown with a promo from the Big Show. Show says he thought he would be standing out here as WHC, but he isn't. He says Daniel Bryan is the champion and everyone has been asking him how he's been feeling about things since Sunday. Show says he was finally there after nine years on Sunday. He puts over Mark Henry for his strength and brutality and talks about how he was proud to be the new champion, only to have it taken away just like that. He says he has mixed emotions. We get a flashback of Raw on Monday with Josh Matthews pointing out that Big Show has the shortest World Title reign in history. Show says he is going to give us his honest feelings about things when he is interrupted by Mark Henry. Henry asks Show what he's proud of. He points out that Show has nothing to be proud of by having the shortest reign in the history of WWE. Henry says Show feels embarrassed and humiliated. Henry tells Show he should take a week off and quit the business. Henry says he wants his rematch tonight with Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan interrupts. Bryan says most people can't believe he is champion, including himself. He goes on to list all the traits he doesn't have and insults himself. He points out that he is a very good wrestler. He says despite all the things he isn't, he is the World Heavyweight Champion. Henry says every time he touches Bryan, he beats the hell out of him. Henry and Show both want rematches tonight. They get interrupted by Teddy Long, who books Show vs Henry in a number one contender's match tonight. Bryan offers Henry a handshake as he goes to leave and pulls away when Henry goes to shake it. There really isn't a better way to start the show than with your World Champion and the potential title contenders. Unfortunately, I was hoping the title contenders might be other superstars. I guess Big Show won't be out of the main event scene just yet.

 

          Next up we have a champion versus champion match with Zack Ryder taking on Cody Rhodes. These guys go back and forth and give us just a few minutes of fighting before Booker T jumps on the announce table and starts singing about "Cody the red nosed reindeer" and his broken nose. This distraction allows Zack to hit the roughryder finisher and score the pinfall on Cody. I like what this does for the rematch setup between Booker and Cody, but again I hate seeing Ryder pick up the win with help from others. Ryder is a good enough wrestler that he doesn't need help to win matches. He does however need help with adding a variety to his moveset so that he doesn't become the next John Cena. Good match overall, though.

 

          Backstage segment where Santino asks Teddy Long if he can have Zack Ryder's job as assistant to the GM of Smackdown. Aksana comes in and talks to Teddy about knowing multiple positions and being there to give him a hand if he needs it. She leaves and Santino raises the cobra arm up and goes away. Vicky Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler then come into Long's office and Ziggler asks for a match tonight with Daniel Bryan. Long has no problem with it and makes it official. I always like Smackdown backstage segments better than Raw's, and I think it's partly because of Teddy Long's character and it's partly because the show always seems to be more productive. It's not usually just match hype in the backstage segments like on Raw so much as it is making matches and establishing things for future shows.

 

          Big Show and Mark Henry come out for their match. David Otunga comes out and says that Henry's ankle damage caused his blood pressure to go up(?) and that Henry is not medically cleared to compete tonight, therefore the match is off. Big Show hits the weapon of mass destruction on Otunga as Henry leaves the ring. I know Henry is nursing a groin injury but I'm guessing the severity of it can't be that bad if they won't take him off tv for any length of time. Thank you WWE creative for saving us from another match between these two.

 

            The Miz and Teddy Long are shown backstage. Miz says he was told to be at Smackdown. Long says he knows nothing about it. Miz says he is going to take the show hostage unless Teddy has someone who can stop him. Long tells him he will find someone. Miz is in the ring gloating that nobody on Smackdown compares to his talent. Out comes Sheamus. These guys wrestle a fast squash that results in Sheamus picking up the win with the brogue kick. What did this do for Miz? I know it helped add to the role that Sheamus has been on as of late, but what exactly is the plan for him heading towards WrestleMania? I fail to see how Miz can be seen as a top contender for the WWE Title if he is going to be destroyed in fast matches like this one.

 

          Wade Barrett comes out to cut a promo. Barrett says the barrage has been on a role as of late with just a few minor speedbumps. Barrett has a video package played of his rivalry with Orton over the past month. Barrett goes to leave and Orton comes down and attacks him. They brawl to the back where Orton gets the upper hand and sprays Barrett down with a hose before slamming him onto a car and hitting and RKO on the roof of the car. This was quite the intense scene and it makes me think the next match between these two at the Rumble will have some sort of falls count anywhere/street fight stipulation to go along with it. I honestly look forward to getting more from these guys.

 

          Primo goes one on one with Kofi Kingston in our next match. This one is quick but loaded with the athleticism that we've come to love out of Kofi. Kofi gets the victory in quick fashion with Bourne and Epico at ringside as well. I like these one on one matches between tag team wrestlers; again I just wish WWE would add more tag teams so that we can see some variation outside of our three regular teams as of late. Good win here for Kofi. I hope that Kofi is able to hold some singles gold this year if they decide to split him and Bourne up sometime in 2012.

 

            Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan in our main event is up next. Jack Swagger comes down during the competition, closely followed by the Big Show to even the odds. Bryan and Ziggler showcase some of their moves and Bryan even hits a huge back suplex on Ziggler from the top rope. These guys are going on quite nicely until Big Show chases Swagger around ringside and they jump into the ring. Teddy Long comes running down and turns the bout into a tag team match. I really don't see that this was necessary to take away Ziggler and Bryan's singles match. I'm a little disappointed with it. Bryan ends up tagging himself in when Show gets knocked down and reverses an attempted ankle lock by Swagger into a labell lock, and Swagger taps out. Bryan is shown celebrating the win with the World Title as Big Show looks on from the outside and Smackdown goes off the air. It seems pretty safe to say that Big Show will be Bryan's challenger at the Royal Rumble for the title. Swagger goes down as the guy that always loses once again. Ziggler doesn't get pinned and Daniel Bryan gets put over as being a great wrestler. I'm not sure if the best way to market your champion is by putting him down in every single category outside of actual wrestling. Wouldn't that make him Bob Backlund? Scary thought.

 

           Raw was feel good and celebratory for three out of our four main champions. Smackdown was productive. We weren't forced to deal with divas. Show and Bryan is setting up nicely for a good feud to formulate. Swagger and Ziggler will turn on one another soon enough. Barrett and Orton continue to leave me wanting more. Sheamus needs his own talk show segment or something. I enjoyed the show tonight. I'll be back Tuesday with Raw and we'll start kicking it into high gear with some extra columns heading into the new year. Until next time, you've been ThunderStruck!

 WALT LEE:

OUR WWE 2011 SLAMMY AWARDS PREDICTIONS (RESULTS)!!

The 2011 Slammy Awards

Monday, December 12, 2011

by Walter Williams

 

Sup, Wrestling Fans!! It's time for The Slammies!! I've been loving these awards ever since the actual ceremony that was held back in 96 or 97 (The Undertaker stole the show as he won the most awards- I think he tied with Sable for 3). Thus, I decided to share some of my predictions with you guys. One of the obvious biggest questions is: "Will John Cena three-peat as Superstar of the Year?" Yep, it's true!! Cena took the honors in 2010 & 2009. He definitely worked his ass off yet again this year. He will probably win, then the crowd will boo him off the stage... LMFAO- SEXY AND I KNOW IT!! I wish the 6 nominees will be forced to fight it out in a 6 Pack Match. Anyways, I tried the question/answer thing and it's just a little too time consuming for me; however, I do want to let you guys know the results. They are posted below in parenthesis, along with the percentage of votes. I also included my votes and predictions. ENJOY!!  Don't miss Tribute to the Troops on Tuesday night, and definitely DO NOT miss The Slammy Awards on Raw... TONIGHT!!

~ Lee

 

BY THE WAY, EVERYTHING BELOW ARE ONLY "PREDICTIONS." WWE HAS  ONLY REVEALED 2 AWARDS: SUPERSTAR AND DIVA OF THE YEAR. FURTHERMORE, THEY ONLY REVEALED THE 6 NOMINEES FOR SUPERSTAR OF THE YEAR!!

 

Don't forget to invite all of your friends over to NONSTOP WRESTLING ONLINE (nWo)!!www.facebook.com/truewrestling

 

PLEASE VOTE, COMMENT, OR JUST LEAVE YOUR OWN PREDICTIONS AND/OR THOUGHTS!!

 

1.) Superstar of the Year

a) John Cena (WINNER 41.2%)

b) CM Punk (35.3%)

c) Randy Orton (14.7%)

d) Alberto Del Rio (MY VOTE 5.9%)

e) The Miz (2.9%)

f) Mark Henry (0%)

I predict that CM Punk will win.

 

2.) Diva of the Year

a) Alicia Fox (WINNER 60%)

b) Kelly Kelly (MY VOTE 20%)

c) Beth Phoenix (20%)

d) Eve (0%)

e) Natalya (0%)

f) Vickie Guerrero (0%)

g) Brie Bella (New entree)

h) Nikki Bella (New entree)

I predict that Kelly Kelly will win.

 

3.) Match of the Year

a) The Undertaker def Triple H @ Wrestle Mania XXVII. (WINNER MY VOTE 44.4%)

b) CM Punk def John Cena @ Money in the Bank to become the new WWE Champion. (27.8%)

c) The Rock & John Cena def The Awesome Truth (The Miz & R Truth) @ Survivor Series. (11.1%)

d) Sin Cara def Sin Cara in a Mask vs Mask Match on Smackdown. (11.1%)

e) Alberto Del Rio wins the biggest Royal Rumble in WWE history- 40 men. (5.6%)

f) Jerry "The King" Lawler def Michael Cole in a "Kiss My Foot" Match @ Over The Limit. (0%)

g) The Bigshow & Mark Henry destroy the ring during their World Heavyweight Title Match @ Vengeance. (0%)

h) The Miz def John Cena to retain the WWE Title @ Wrestle Mania XXVII. (0%)

I predict that The Undertaker vs Triple H @ Wrestle Mania XXVII will win.

 

4.) Shocker/Moment of the Year

a) CM Punk's "Shoot" Promo (WINNER 53%)

b) Edge retires from wrestling. (17.6%)

c) Kevin Nash returns to compete in the 40 man Royal Rumble. (MY VOTE 17.6%)

d) Kevin Nash visciously attacks Triple H with a Sledgehammer. (11.8%)

e) The Bigshow & Mark Henry destroy the ring during their World Heavyweight Title Match @ Vengeance. (0%)

f) Alberto Del Rio cashes in Money in the Bank on CM Punk to become the new WWE Champion. (0%)

g) The entire WWE roster walks out on Triple H. (New entree)

h) The newly formed Corre destroys The Bigshow on Smackdown. (New entree)

i) Triple H releaves Vince McMahon of his duties. (New entree)

I predict that Edge retiring from wrestling will win.

 

5.) Breakout Star of the Year

a) Alberto Del Rio (WINNER MY VOTE 41.2%)

b) Cody Rhodes (35.3%)

c) Dolph Ziggler (17.6%)

d) Daniel Bryan (5.9%)

e) Mark Henry (0%)

f) Wade Barrett (0%)

g) Zack Ryder (New entree)

I predict that Alberto Del Rio will win.

 

6.) Tag Team of the Year

a) Air Boom- Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne (WINNER MY VOTE 62.5%)

b) The Rock & John Cena (25%)

c) The Awesome Truth- The Miz & R Truth (12.5%)

d) Kane & The Bigshow (0%)

e) The Corre- Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel (0%)

f)  Nexus- David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty (0%)

g) The Bella Twins (New entree)

h) The Divas of Destruction- Beth Pheonix & Natalya (New entree)

I predict that John Cena & The Rock will win.

 

7.) Best New Entrance Music

a) CM Punk (WINNER MY VOTE 80%)

b) The Undertaker (10%)

c) Cody Rhodes (10%)

d) Dolph Ziggler (0%)

e) Daniel Bryan (New entree)

f) Wade Barrett (New entree)

I predict that CM Punk will win.

 

8.) Best Finisher

a) Sheamus's Brogue Kick (WINNER MY VOTE 67%)

b) Randy Orton's RKO (33%)

c) Edge's Spear (0%)

d) R Truth's Little Jimmy (0%)

e) CM Punk's GTS (0%)

f) Mark Henry's World's Strongest Slam (0%)

g) Alberto Del Rio's Cross Armbreaker Submission (0%)

I predict that Sheamus's Brogue Kick will win.

 

9.) What was your favorite 2011 WWE return?

a) Christian

b) The Undertaker 

c) Kevin Nash 

d) Booker T

e) The Rock

f) Mick Foley

g) Triple H

h) The Bigshow

I say The Undertaker.

 

10.) Which superstar will win some ridiculous award created by WWE?

a) Zack Ryder- Frequent Tweeter Award

b) The Rock- Best Catch Phrase

c) Dolph Ziggler- Best Hair

d) Ricardo Rodriquez- Best Personal Ring Announcer

e) John Cena- Best WWE Exculsive

I predict that Zack Ryder will win the Frequent Tweeter Award.



THE RESULTS:



Guys, that was complete trash... 

WINNERS: Tell Me I Did Not Just See That: Jim Ross dancing during the Michael Cole Challenge.

Holy **** Moment of the Year: Big Show and Mark Henry collapse the ring at Vengeance.

Pipebomb of the Year: CM Punk.

Divalicious Moment of the Year: Kelly Kelly winning first WWE Divas title.

OMG Moment of the Year: Triple H tombstoning the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 27.

Trending Star of The Year: Zack Ryder.

Game Changer Moment of the Year: The Rock challenges John Cena to a match at WrestleMania a year in advance.

A Lister of the Year: Snooki.

Superstar of the Year: CM Punk.
 

ThunderStruck: Know Your Role 

I suppose this might be similar to my two part retirement column that I wrote in 2007, but this is something that's been building up and I want to get it out there for discussion. It stems from something that's been a constant in my recaps as of late, and it also creeps it's way towards a subject that I've been meaning to put more emphasis on and that I will write about in the near future when it comes to the current WWE product. Bottom line here is that this piece is about wrestlers knowing their roles. 

 

I hate that I got the idea to write a column because of Kevin Nash, but that's where this all really started to boil over for me. Nash signed a legends contract in January 2011 that committed him to WWE. Nash got a decent pop(not THAT huge like he says) at the TD Garden when he entered the Royal Rumble. He put on a fair showing(not mediocre but not great either) and ended up being eliminated by Wade Barrett. After that, we didn't see the guy again. I thought to myself, hey this is pretty cool that we get an appearance from an old school guy but he isn't going to shoved down our throats. Seven months later, Nash is thrust into the biggest storyline on RAW with his appearance at Summerslam attacking CM Punk and costing him the WWE Championship. Nash has been on and off tv since then and has been doing what he's always done with his appearances: making people change the channel. People are bored by him. I understand he had a certain charisma and fan following in 1995 as WWF Champion(I was one of the biggest fans of any six year old I knew at the time, and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest), but Nash wasn't that good of a wrestler. His mic skills were not that impressive and his size and face turn are what put him into the title scene long before he was ever really worthy(if he ever was). The guy is slow and injury prone. Hell, he was slow and injury prone sixteen years ago! The fact that he looks even worse now should be enough for WWE to wake up and realize that he's hurting more than he's helping. Despite what anyone tries to say, he was never very good on the mic, either. The fact that his best wrestling matches to reflect on were with Bret Hart speaks volumes for how good Bret was at what he did. Bret made a lot of guys look good that had no business being in the same ring as him(Goldberg anybody? I would love to have that argument, too!). Nash won the world title from Bob Freakin Backlund in eight seconds. It was Bob Freakin Backlund! Give me a break! Nash on his own slowed down the pace of his title match with HBK at Mania 11. The WWF(at the time) had so little faith in his ability to rock the crowd that Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow were the main event that night rather than the WWF Title match! Yes, I actually said what I'm about to say. Bam Bam Bigelow was considered more important feuding with a retired pro football player than the rising HBK was with the slowest WWF Champion in history. I won't dig into Nash during his time with WCW. For those who want to argue that he did alot for the company, look up who made the decision that Nash would end Goldberg's streak and then look at Nitro's main event on January 4, 1999 and tell me what he did for them. Better yet, look at his VERY FIRST PROMO EVER on Nitro in 1996 where Nash says the word "play" is an adjective. Nash looked like he struggled to lift Santio Marella on RAW this past week. Maybe I'm wrong and it's just my subjective dislike for boring guys that buy into their own hype, but check it out for yourself and tell me if it's as bad as I think it was.

 

Next up, we'll do a short one with Mick Foley. Foley is a funny dude with cheesy lines that you can't help but absolutely love. He's the man and he's real and you've never once thought of the guy as someone that buys into his own hype or thinks he's above anybody else. I love Mick Foley and I'll say it a thousand times. Foley has done the on/off thing since retirement, but he hasn't bored anybody and he's still worked respectable matches to put over other talent. His 2004 match with Randy Orton at Backlash was gold, as was his street fight with Edge at Mania 22. His Christmas appearance on Smackdown was cheesy and his involvement with The Rock and John Cena before Survivor Series lacked any real point, but the guy never fails to make me laugh. If you don't like the guy for the lone fact that he's hilarious, check out his WCW days and watch him really put his body on the line in nearly every match he was in. The point here is simply the fact that Foley hasn't tried to overshadow anybody. He hasn't tried to put himself over as one of the greatest of all time(even though he absolutely is) and he hasn't tried to force his way onto television more than need be. If people didn't want to see Mick Foley do what he does, I'm sure we would have heard about it by now. He's been doing it on and off since his "retirement match" at No Way Out in 2000 with Triple H. Nobody is complaining and I would like to think I'm speaking for the majority of fans when I say that I truly appreciate what Mick Foley has done for this business before and after the "retirement."

 

I'm not going to rip into Hogan and Flair. Those two guys would each take five pages on their own and they aren't worth it at the moment. Consider this the intermission section where I explain some of the honorable mention considerations for this piece. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, despite being insignificant to many, still makes his contributions to the business by wrestling the independent circuit guys and sharing his knowledge. The guy never asked for anything, despite the fact that he was never pushed. He knew his role. The same could be said for a guy like Mr. Hughes that spends a lot of time training new talent. The giving back that some of these guys do speaks more for their character than anything else.

 

The next two guys I want to talk about put out a fantastic DVD collection together recently and are two individuals that I grew up idolizing. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Shawn had an absolutely fantastic career. For how much I enjoyed watching him growing up and how much I was begging for his miraculous return, I can easily forget the fact that he was out of the ring for four years. The guy put on quality matches night in and night and could keep a crowd into a match like no other. Since his legitimate retirement from the ring, Shawn has stuck to his word and known his role. He's made a few sporadic but very limited appearances on WWE tv, and he's been a part of a pretty entertaining hunting show on the Outdoor Channel. Bret Hart, on the other hand, retired prematurely due to injury. I can't tell you how excited I was on January 4, 2010 when he walked back onto WWE tv. Yeah, Impact was on that night and it had Hogan's premier, but it didn't compare to how excited I was as a fan to watch Bret come into the ring and say "Well I guess Hell froze over" and then proceed to embrace Shawn Michaels as they resolved the longtime feud. Bret made random appearances after that and worked in a couple matches with somewhat limited participation. No lies though, I jumped out of my seat when Bret won the US Title from the Miz. Who cares about the circumstances and the involvement of the Hart Dynasty? To me, it was one of my favorite moments for Bret since his return to the company. The guy has worked more matches than anybody in WWE history. However, Bret has done what has been asked of him and has actually been pretty humble about his accomplishments over the course of his career. Someday each of these guys will get their own tribute column from me. It will most likely be even more subjective than the rest of this has been.

 

The last guy I'm going to discuss in this piece will be The Undertaker. Talk about a guy that has always known his role and done the absolute best with whatever fantastic, good, or even horrible opponents that he's had to work with. The guy has worked the same character(give or take some quirky twists) with virtually the same signature maneuvers(with a couple changes here and there) for 20+ years. People aren't sick of him like they are of guys like Hogan and Flair. Is he banged up and getting older? Of course he is. Is it somewhat sad that his match at Mania 28 will mostly be his last after not working a match for an entire year? Very sad indeed. The guy is a lock for the 2013 Hall of Fame(I said something similar about Benoit once, but I feel better about this one as I write it). The Dead Man took whatever was given to him to work with and he made it work. He has maintained a fan following that nobody has yet to match. The business has changed a lot since the days of The Undertaker's debut, and he seems to realize that as he has never pushed for a top spot but has always been one of the most heavily respected locker room figures backstage as he does what is asked of him. He has put guys over in the past by losing to them(Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin to name a few) and has even put guys over as he defeats them(Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio). You can't ask for a more standup guy that has accepted his role in a company with more loyalty to this business than The Undertaker. 

 

Okay, so here's where it's at. I wanted to talk about Triple H, The Rock, and a few other select individuals. I'm thinking we can save that for a part two on this subject. This thing seems to read more like a rant and praise as I look at it, but it's moments like this that I feel fortunate to be able to put my writing out there for you to read and generate some discussion. We all have opinions, and I'm looking forward to hearing all of yours! Until next time, you've been ThunderStruck!

 

Lightning Bolt: Thoughts and Analysis on Raw 12/5

by Mike Lightning on Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 11:07am

John Cena Promo

 

~Start the show off with words from John Cena. As soon as his music hits, there is a HUGE about of heat for Cena. He starts off by stating that he will continue to be loyal to the fans who are loyal to him. He mentions the saying "fruity peebles" and from there a "fruity peebles" chant starts throughout the crowd. I love how much heat that Cena is getting. Regardless if he turns heel, Cena needs to continue to get heat. Cena is still golden on the mic. He mentions that Punk needs a number one contender for the title and it should be him. From there, Alberto Del Rio comes out and interrupts Cena. Some words are exchanged here, and all of a sudden Vickie Guerrero comes out! We have to listen to her annoying voice for a little before her and Dolph Ziggler enter the ring. Ziggler's improvement on the microphone has parralleled his in-ring ability. It's impressive. This "Show-Off" gimmick is a better version of Mr. Perfect and "The Narcissist" gimmick that Lex Luger had. The Miz then comes out and interrupts to state his case for being the number one contender to the WWE title. I have to say at this point, I'm really glad the WWE is trying to blur the line between "face" and "heel." John Laurnaitis comes out. Yay. My Raw has been made. After working his way through his words with precision (shocker), JL tells The Miz, Ziggler and Del Rio they have to each defeat a Smackdown superstar to earn a spot in the WWE Title match at TLC. And John Cena will be involved in a "Social Experiment" Match.

 

The Miz d. Randy Orton by Countout

 

~The match had potential written all over it. The only problem; the match wasn't given enough time. Though, it does open the door for some potential good matches between these two. After some great back and forth action between these two, Orton scoop slams The Miz outside of the ring. He starts rolling him onto the apron, looks like he was setting up for his signature DDT off the apron (the one he performed on Otunga on Smackdown) when Wade Barrett's music hits. He distracts Orton, causing Orton to chase after him. It resulted in Orton getting counted out and The Miz winning and earning his spot in the WWE Title Match at TLC. Orton starts heading back to the ring and gets attacked by Barrett from behind.

 

~WWE Network Plug. They introduce the first show the WWE Legends House

 

~Johnny Ace and Zack Ryder are backstage talking. John Cena interrupts wearing some Zack Ryder merch. Funny stuff here with Cena taking cracks at JL, even to the point where JL was holding his laughter back. JL books Zack Ryder vs. John Cena for tonight in the "Social Experiment' Match. Cena wins, he earns his WWE Title shot at TLC. Ryder wins, he earns his United State Title shot against Ziggler.

 

~David Otunga and Kevin Nash (.....) are talking. Can we, please, have these two guys REMOVED from WWE television? Please. Otunga informs Nash that he will face Triple H at TLC in a Sledgehammer hanging above the ring Ladder Match. 

 

Alberto Del Rio d. Daniel Bryan

 

~Ricardo Rodriguez needs to go. Or needs to become a wrestler. That's all on him. They show a flashback to the Cage Match where Daniel Bryan lost to Mark Henry. This match is another match that had potential written all over it. They weren't given enough time, though. This match was quick with Alberto Del Rio applying his Cross Arm Breaker on Daniel Bryan. Alberto Del Rio earns his shot at the WWE Title at TLC with the victory. 

 

~Tribute to the Troops commercial

 

~Divas promo....interrupted by the third cryptic video

 

Kelly Kelly/Eve Torres d. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix/Natalya

 

~.........I don't know what to say about this other than this was a waste of time. Kelly Kelly rolls up Beth for the win. Eve Torres and Natalya never entered the match. I feel like this match was a step backwards for the Divas division.

 

John Cena d. Zack Ryder

 

~I was a little upset at first that Cena couldn't even put over Ryder. But this match was very impressive and Ryder carried his own. (I know, it's not exactly a compliment when he is in the ring with John Cena, but let's face it. Cena is main event material. Ryder, not yet.) I was very entertained during this match by both Cena and Ryder. Cena reverses the Rough Ryder into the Attitude Adjustment for the victory. After the match, Ryder is upset with Cena because it was Ryder's one shot at a chance to fight for the United States title. Cena tells him to hold on and he'll correct it.

 

John Cena/John Laurnaitis Promo

 

~After the match Cena goes and talks to JL about Ryder. After he yells at Carlton Banks to leave, who does exactly what he is told, he talks about how he watched Ryder bust his ass to get to where he is. How NO ONE in the WWE front office paid any attention to Ryder while Cena did. Cena really puts over Zack Ryder here, and it was believable. I honestly feel that Cena was "out of character" here and talking as a man to JL. JL books Ryder in another match for another chance at the United States Title but Cena has to give up his WWE Title shot at TLC to have it happen. Cena does. 

 

~Kane Resurrection Promo

 

Zack Ryder d. World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry in a No DQ/No Countout Match

 

~Henry showed his dominance throughout most of this match. Ryder does mount some offense but the Hall of Pain founder puts a quick end to that. John Cena comes out and interferes in the match hitting Mark Henry with Attitude Adjustment. Not a very good looking AA, for the record. This match wasn't nearly as good as the other one Ryder was in. Cena puts Ryder on top of Henry for the pinfall victory! Zack Ryder finally earns another shot at the United States Title!  WOO WOO WOO!

 

~Vickie Guerrero/Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger promo where Ziggler is complaining about Ryder earning his US Title shot.

 

~Kevin Nash...is....boring!

 

Kevin Nash d. Santino Marella

 

~Really? Really? Really? No one cares about Nash. The crowd didn't even come close to reacting to seeing Nash. This match was a squash match victory for Nash. This match was squarely put on to put over Nash as a beast. This match did the EXACT opposite. It showed just how out of shape Nash is. He struggled with sidewalk slam on Santino and his Jackknife powerbomb was one of  the worse powerbombs I've ever seen. I'm sorry, I don't mean to bitch about this, but this match didn't do anything for me. 

 

~CM Punk & Evan Bourne are talking backstage

 

Sheamus d. United States Champion Dolph Ziggler

 

~This match was good as well, but there wasn't enough time for these two to put on the kind of match they could. Ziggler and Sheamus both can make cases for being the Most Improved Wrestler of 2011.For the time these two were allowed, it was a well worked and good match. Zack Ryder comes out and distracts Ziggler causing Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick on Dolph Ziggler for the victory. Ziggler doesn't earn his WWE title shot at TLC. With that said, I would not be surprised to see Ziggler somehow incorporated into the WWE Title Match after his title defense of the United States Title. After the match was over, Ryder hits the Rough Ryder on Ziggler!!

 

Contract Signing

 

~The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez and John Laurnaitis is already in the ring. JL announces that next week Mark Henry vs. John Cena is booked. Interesting match. I really don't like Johnny Ace but he seems to be growing on some people and he seems to be doing his gimmick perfectly. I still don't like him. JL also announces that at TLC that the WWE Title will be defended in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match in a Triple Threat format. First time for everything. There was even a shot at John Morrison during this contract signing. CM Punk continues to call JL boring. CM Punk is purely entertaining. After the contract is signed, Punk eventually attacks The Miz with the microphone. ADR has control over Punk when The Miz comes from behind and tries to hit ADR with the Skull Crushing Finale but ADR backs into the corner. Punk hits the running knee in the corner. He hits the running bulldog on the table to ADR and then hits the GTS on The Miz. The show ends with him holding the WWE Title over the two contenders who are out. 

 

Overall the show had promise. I believe we could have had some great matches if there hadn't been so many promos. With that being said, we did end up with a fairly entertaining show. Zack Ryder and John Cena's segments really put over their friendship as unbreakable. 

 

Match of the Night: Zack Ryder vs. John Cena

 

~ML

 

 

ThunderStruck: RAW Analysis 12/05/11

by Joe Thunder on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 5:41am



 

We open this week's RAW with another John Cena boo me/cheer me/ I don't care promo. Cena goes on to argue why he should be CM Punk's next opponent for the WWE Championship. Alberto Del Rio interrupts and tries to make his case about being robbed last week when Punk cheated and deserving the next title shot. They are interrupted by the always exciting Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. Vickie and Dolph begin to argue their point on why Ziggler should be the number one contender, but Cena interrupts and tells them Ziggler should give Zack Ryder a US Title match first. They are interrupted next by the Miz, who reminds us of what he did to R-Truth and John Morrison as he tries to make his argument for why he should face Punk next. Johnny Ace interrupts and tells us how it's going down. He tells Ziggler, Miz, and Del Rio that all they have to do tonight is defeat an opponent from Smackdown to be in the WWE Championship match at TLC. He tells Cena to see him in the back to find out about his special opponent. He then introduces us to Miz's opponent tonight, Randy Orton. This was a fun little opening to see all of these guys stake their claim as "the guy" who should be champion. On a side note, what was WWE thinking when they gave a guy that stumbles over his words such a long ass introductory titile?

 

Miz and Orton work a basic match with Orton dominating. Orton and Miz are on the outside when Wade Barrett comes out and distracts Orton. After rolling Miz into the ring, Orton chases Barrett up the ramp and gets himself counted out. As he comes back down to ringside confused, Barrett comes up and knocks him down from behind. We've seen this sort of ending to a qualifying match before. You could almost predict how this one was going to go down. Barrett adds fuel to the fire for his rivalry with Orton this way too. I'm expecting these two to have a tables match at TLC, but I suppose it could be anything at this point.

 

Zack Ryder is backstage with Johnny Ace trying to make his case for a title shot against Dolph Ziggler. Cena comes in and and goes off on Johnny Ace to the point where JL can't help but smile. JL books Cena vs Ryder tonight with the winner getting their respective title shot. I like the thought here. Otunga is then shown with Kevin Nash confirming a ladder match with Triple H at TLC. The prize at the top of the ladder is a sledgehammer that can be legally used in the match once it is obtained. Does that mean it's not really an official ladder match if the match doesn't end when the prize is claimed? I don't get it. Nash is slow and this match has "suck" written all over it.

 

Daniel Bryan is ADR's opponent for his qualifying match. They are selling Bryan having injured ribs from his match with Henry. Bryan and Del Rio put on a fairly sound match that ends with Bryan tapping out to the cross armbreaker. I'm picturing Del Rio challenging for the title repeatedly until WrestleMania. Despite how little I care for him, I don't see the creative team taking him out of the main event scene anytime soon.

 

Kelly Kelly and Eve with Alicia Fox took on Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Really? Shocker. Beth gets distracted by Alicia and gets pinned by the world's longest inside cradle at the hands of Kelly Kelly. In the words of Owen Hart, enough is enough and it's time for a change.  Find something else to do with these divas. There's nothing relevant about the same rivalry with bleak storylines continuing for months on end. I love the divas wrestling when they decide to give us a good match, so I'm praying we get one soon.

 

John Cena and Zack Ryder gave us a really good match filled with both of their signature move sets. Cena picks up the victory with the attitude adjustment when he stops the roughryder. Ryder is pissed with Cena after the match and Cena tells him to wait in the ring. Cena goes to JL and tells him to give Zack Ryder another chance. JL tells Cena the only way Ryder gets another chance at a US Title shot is if Cena gives us his title shot at TLC. Cena eventually agrees to it after thinking it over. Ryder will now have another opponent. Otunga is at ringside and it's announced that Zack Ryder will now face Mark Henry in a no dq and no countout match. Ryder does all he can but gets tossed around by Henry fairly easily. Cena eventually comes out and hits the AA on Henry and puts Ryder on top of Henry for the victory. Ryder celebrates and Cena raises his hand at the top of the ramp. After the match, Vickie comes out of JL's office and confirms that Dolph Ziggler will defend the US Title against Zack Ryder at the TLC pay per view. WWWYKI!

 

Kevin Nash squashes Santino Marella. Nash looks very slow in this match. He struggles to lift Santino for any moves and nearly stumbles over when he does the jack-knife. This is horrendous. I'm not bitching for the sake of bitching here. Nash and Triple H will have to beat each other bloody to make the fans ignore just slow this match is going to be. It's awful and Nash just needs to disappear. I believe Santino Marella could work a better match with his damn trumpet than what you will see from Nash and Triple H at TLC.

 

Sheamus is Dolph Ziggler's opponent for the qualifying match tonight. They didn't give us much time for this one but it was two top wrestlers showing us exactly how much talent there is in WWE today. Sheamus picks up the victory with the big boot when Zack Ryder comes down and distracts Dolph. Darn; there goes Dolph being double booked on a pay per view again. I actually like watching the guy compete multiple times in a show. He's entertaining enough to do it and can have a good match with just about anybody.

 

The contract signing for the Triple Threat TLC WWE Championship match was only saved by Punk's humor. After all the implications that this was going to be a brawl, Punk turned it into exactly that and wound up beating down both challengers. Punk celebrates as the show goes off the air. I like the potential for the match between these three. I think the Miz is more likely to win the WWE Title than Del Rio if the belt is going to change hands again. Either way, I expect Punk and the Miz to continue feuding for some time into 2012. 

 

So to sum up the show, you had eight matches given and none of them really had enough time. Johnny Ace did a better job with his words given all the segments he had. He's sort of almost kind of winning me over. It'll take more time though. That said, storylines were finally pushed and things are finally rolling for the pay per view. I'd give the show more of a thumbs up than a thumbs down to be totally truthful, but Kevin Nash made it a close argument for me. RAW has been getting better as of late and I hope the Slammy's aren't too horrible next week. I'll be back Friday with Smackdown! Until next time, you've been ThunderStruck!

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