Canton's Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review - January 7By John CantonFollow me on Twitter at @johnreportWelcome to Canton's Corner. The holiday season is over, life is back to normal for most of us and the wrestling world does not skip a beat. That's one of the good things about being a wrestling fan. There are no seasons. No breaks. There are some bad things about that too, but I think the good things outweigh the bad in that case. We've got the usual format this week with some thoughts about Chris Jericho's WWE return, the likes & dislikes of Smackdown plus a preview of TNA's Genesis PPV that is taking place this Sunday. Let's roll with the polls as always. <!--more--> Last Week's Poll ResultsThe poll question was: How many more matches will Brock Lesnar have in WWE? The results after 2,000+ votes:1-2 41.32%10+ 21.17%3-5 17.16%0 15.86% 6-9 4.05% Other: 0.43% I've been doing these kinds of polls for about 20 weeks or so. Usually I have a good idea of what choice will win the poll. In this case I didn't know. The results show that 41% of you believe that Lesnar will wrestle only one or two matches for WWE while 21% think he has over ten matches in his future. I voted in the 3-5 range although I wouldn't be opposed to more. It's interesting that nearly 16% voted for 0 meaning you think he won't wrestle in WWE again. I'd expect a lot of Lesnar rumors to pop up especially with the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 28 coming up on WWE's schedule in the near future. This Week's Poll Question: Is turning Daniel Bryan heel a good idea?The Daniel Bryan heel turn is underway. Good idea or bad idea? Up to you to decide. Is turning Daniel Bryan heel a good idea?I voted yes. I think he can pull it off…if management truly believes in him.I wrote about Raw on Tuesday, so here are some more thoughts on Monday's show.I did an interview this week with Paul Ciullo of relating to Chris Jericho's return. Below are two of his five questions with my answers.Q: Overall thoughts on Jericho’s behavior on his return to RAW Monday night and what are your predictions on where the WWE will go with this in the coming weeks?A: I liked it. I thought it was a different kind of promo. When I wrote about it live, I was expecting him to cut this full on babyface promo for a few minutes before ripping on the fans and turning heel on them. Instead, he came out, he smiled, he laughed and then he did nothing before leaving. It pissed off a lot of people while others like myself are laughing about it because it was a level of genius. I assume he'll cut a heel promo on Raw this week. It's not like you can do this no talking thing every week...or can you? I don't know where it's going really. Wait and see.Q: Given his various outside interests, how long do you think Jericho will be active in WWE this time around? A: I'm not sure what his contract is. It's not like pro sports when an athlete signs and you know how long they are going to stick around. Since he is now 41 years old, I'd imagine that he'd only stick around for two or three more years. He also has his band Fozzy as you mentioned, so he'd have to work around whatever commitments he has to his group. I'd guess that he stays in WWE for another two years, maybe three with a part time schedule at various points. A lot of times wrestlers will be given a schedule based on the number of shows they work, so I'm sure if he asks for two months off in the summer to go tour with Fozzy that they can do some injury angle. This third return is likely his last one, meaning he'll work a few more years and then retire soon after that. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. I missed him while he was gone. I am happy that he's back.That's just a sample. The other questions relate to The Rock, CM Punk and a comparison of Jericho's other debuts/returns in the past. To read the rest click here.If anybody reading this wants to interview me on a radio show, podcast or just an email interview all my contact information is at the bottom of this column. I'd be more than happy to be interviewed about any wrestling topic and will plug your site, which hopefully helps your site out. It's free advertising in a popular column. Can't beat that, right? All I ask in return is a link back to my site. This Sunday I'll be on PW 24/7 Radio live at 11:05pmET and then on Wednesday the first TJR Radio show of the year is on from 10pmET to midnight. Info for that is here.The other thing I want to make sure you read are the 2012 predictions by the staff of TJR because in that column you get a lot of different opinions on things you may see in wrestling this year. I tried to think outside the box for mine. Some of them got people riled up. I like that. We're wrestling fans. We should show a passion for the business when we talk about it. As for Monday's Raw, I'm looking forward to it. I will assume that Jericho will speak this week, likely cutting a heel promo where he rips on the fans for cheering him when he initially came back. I'd also expect more on the CM Punk/John Laurinaitis rivalry that also involves Dolph Ziggler. The other likely aspect of the show will be a lot of hype for the Royal Rumble at the end of the month. I won't be writing the Raw Deal live as I'll be watching the LSU/Alabama (going with LSU there), but it will be posted on Tuesday morning.A few likes and dislikes from this week's Smackdown. LIKE - Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show with Mark Henry on commentaryThis was a very entertaining 15 minutes to end the show. A lot of things were going on here with DBry showing a lot of heel tendencies, Big Show doing a great job of playing the victim and Mark Henry cracking me up while on commentary. Henry was so angry at the announce desk. I wonder if he's legit mad that they took the title off him. Henry these days is like how JBL was for me. When they aren't in the ring I'm a fan of their performances. Once they have a match, though, it's the same boring wrestler I've seen for too many years.The interesting development during the show was the heel actions of Daniel Bryan. It started backstage when he was with his "girlfriend" AJ, interrupting her conversation with Alicia Fox and wondering why she's friends with her. Because she's a babyface, apparently. Then when Big Show was doing an interview prior to the match, Bryan walked up to him and was cocky about his abilities. Then in the main event, he was happy with a DQ win, even asking the ref to ring the bell after he got Mark Henry to punch him. He's got that arrogant heel schtick down pat. It worked well for him in Ring of Honor about five years ago. He can pull it off in WWE if the booking team gets behind him. My guess is the World Title match at the Royal Rumble is a Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry triple threat match with Bryan retaining through underhanded tactics. I'm very interested to see what's in Bryan's future. DISLIKE - Hornswoggle defeats Heath Slater in an over the top rope challenge To quote Booker T here: "WHAT DA HAYELL!" was this segment? I guess this was done to promote the Royal Rumble. Instead it made me want to never see a battle royal in my life. If you're Heath Slater you should worry about your future endeavors because putting over the little guy is not a good sign for your future. The only good thing about this segment was Justin Gabriel's awesome 450 splash, which was shot at a great angle from the ground up. LIKE - Cody Rhodes wins his feud with Booker TIt appears that the Cody/Booker rivalry is over after Cody defeated him cleanly to retain the IC title. Cody won the first match, Booker won the second and now Cody has ended it. I've always been a fan of Booker, but you can tell that he's slowed down significantly in his mid 40s. I think he should stay at the announce desk permanently. Meanwhile, Cody trash talked his brother Dustin (aka Goldust) while he was backstage. On Twitter, Goldust has been asking for a WrestleMania match with his brother. It could be in the works. There's still time to have it at the Royal Rumble or possibly as an undercard match at the Elimination Chamber. If I was booking it would be a WrestleMania match pitting Cody vs. Dustin with their father Dusty Rhodes as the referee. It would be an awesome moment for that family. No matter when it happens, Cody's star continues to shine bright. DISLIKE - Drew McIntyre returns with a loser gimmickWho thinks a story like this is going to be good for anybody? McIntyre lost last week to Big Zeke and this week he lost to Santino, who is a joke talent. My guess is they came up with this story to get him on TV, but like usual they won't tell in the right way. McIntyre is a good talent. I'd rather see him in the ring with the likes of Sheamus like Jinder Mahal has been. He's better than Jinder. Yes, I'm siding with a Scotsman over a Canadian (Jinder is from Calgary). To those that say that being on TV is better than not being on there is some truth to that, but if you're only portrayed as a loser on TV then it's not a good sign at all. LIKE - Primo & Epico beat Air Boom in a non-title matchObviously the champs lost in the non-title situation, but that's fine. I'd expect a title change at the Royal Rumble. It's nice to see teams like this putting on an entertainment performance in the ring and hopefully they give time to the other teams they are developing. I'm a huge fan of tag team wrestling. If there's one thing WWE should concentrate on improving on in 2012 it's the tag team division. DISLIKE - Any screen time that Teddy Long getsI realize that he's been a trusted employee of Vince McMahon for a long time, but I think it's time for the television character of Teddy Long to be written off. He's as stale as anybody on any wrestling show right now. The only good things about the Aksana segments are the ability to look at her. The dialogue is brutal. Adding Santino to the act so that he can provide comedy to the segments could provide some short term help. I hope there's a plan to remove Long from the GM spot sooner or later. Other quick thoughts- Natalya continues to lose. I don't understand it. I think the worst part of it was that after taking two moves she had to sell it as if she was in a twenty minute match taking a beating. It took forever for Tamina to get to the top rope to deliver her finisher. I'm not sure pushing Tamina as a babyface is going to excite the masses. Also why haven't Natalya and Beth been together on screen in recent weeks? Weird. - I like Rosa Mendes' dancing gimmick. Finally they've found something she is good at. It took them this long? - I miss Christian. Hopefully he's recovered from his ankle injury and can be back for the Royal Rumble. There's a TNA PPV this week. Since there won't be any NFL action on Sunday night I may actually watch it too although I don't expect to write anything about it. As always here in Canton's Corner, I'm here to preview the event. X DIVISION TITLE MATCH: Austin Aries (c) vs. Kid Kash vs. Jesse Sorensen vs. Zema Ion Aries won individual feuds against both Kash & Sorensen. Instead of booking him into a new feud against a new opponent they brought those two back for another PPV while also adding in Zema Ion. I'd expect Aries to retain while the push for Ion continues as he likely fares very well in this match. By the way, it's a damn shame that Alex Shelley hasn't been used while his partner Chris Sabin has been out with an injury. He would have a great rivalry with Aries. THE PICK: Austin Aries. Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam The word came out this week that RVD's TNA deal is up in March of this year and that he has an interest in returning to WWE to finish off his career. In other words, he's likely going to be losing on his way out. I hope he can find the fire again in WWE because he's been mailing in performances while in TNA. I'd expect a clean win from Gunner here, who needs a new name badly. THE PICK: Gunner. "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero vs. DevonThis company thinks that "reality angles" are great for business, so they do things like having Devon's kids turn on him to join up with The Pope. I always had high hopes for The Pope. Too bad he's consistently one of the worst booked talents in TNA. I'll assume that Pope wins here with Devon getting the win back next month. Does anybody care about this feud? I sure don't. THE PICK: The Pope.KNOCKOUTS TITLE MATCH: Gail Kim (c) vs. Mickie JamesThis is their third big match for the Knockouts Title. Gail won the first time after cheating. Then Gail won the second time after cheating. Logic says Mickie will overcome the odds this time to win the Knockouts Title. That's what I'm going to go with. Perhaps Mickie will get help from Traci Brooks, who has "DD" on the back of her outfit in case you forget the enormous breasts she has. It's so nice of her to promote her chesticles like that. Yes I said chesticles. Use it. Moving on, I'll employ logic (always a risk with TNA booking) and go with the lovely Miss James to win the Knockouts Title once again. THE PICK: Mickie James.WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: Matt Morgan & Crimson (c) vs. Samoa Joe & MagnusThe challengers have shown good chemistry over the course of the last month since they've done the wildcard tag team tournament, which is TNA's way of admitting that they have killed off their own tag division. There is no rivalry going into the match. The crowd, like usual in TNA, will be dead for the most part. It's shame because I like Joe & Morgan a lot. They both deserve better. I'll go with the champs retaining just because I'd expect the challengers to feud after it's over. I already feel silly trying to use logic to explain any of this. THE PICK: Matt Morgan & Crimson.MONSTER'S BALL MATCH: Bully Ray vs. Abyss Another face turn for Abyss. The guy has turned about 5 times in the last five years. They run the same storyline with him all the time. He's a heel monster, and then he loses matches, so people turn on him and he becomes a babyface monster. Then they turn him heel because his character has very few sympathetic traits aside from the dumb guy routine he does all the time. He's boring. I like Bully Ray. He's doing awesome work all over the place. It will be a physical brawl. I'd expect Abyss to win because if he doesn't he has to join Immortal again. That stable is still around? Ugh. This company has to do a better job of killing angles. THE PICK: Bully Ray.Kurt Angle vs. James Storm Storm beat Angle clean at the last PPV. They are doing the rematch with no stipulations. That's odd considering how much TNA loves to add stipulations to matches. The promo work of Storm has been phenomenal since he's been on his own as a singles act. Angle's been very good as always, but you can tell he's slowing down these days. I'm assuming they are doing the second match so that Angle can get a win. The third match, either on an episode of Impact or at the next PPV, will likely be a Storm victory so that he can be the winner of the feud. Either this match of the main event will be the match of the night. THE PICK: Kurt Angle.WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Jeff Hardy The build has been very strong for this. I'd expect it to be the match of the night assuming they get 15-20 minutes to show what they can do. Hardy has proven that he should always be a babyface because he's unquestionably the best babyface in the company. He's one of the few people in TNA that can earn big pops from the typically quiet Orlando crowd. Roode's done an excellent job of being the egotistical heel champion. I think this is a feud that's going to continue with Hardy winning the World Title at a later date. Now that TNA has announced that they are taping two episodes of Impact while in London, England at the end of the month I'll predict that Hardy wins the title there because they will have their biggest televised audience in company history. Roode hangs on here thanks to the predictable vintage TNA ref bump finish, but it won't be too long until Hardy wins the World Title. THE PICK: Bobby Roode.I'll likely be watching on Sunday. Perhaps I'll do a quick writeup on Monday. Not sure yet. Random Clip of the WeekI feel like sharing one of my favorite Steve Austin clips. Enjoy.Does anybody wonder why Austin went on to be the biggest star in the business? That video should explain it. It was an injury angle to the extreme. Love it. Melo Out with Steve MeloWhat the crack lads? It has been a very interesting week to say the least in the world of WWE television programming. Last week, I decided to have some fun and did a little bit of fantasy booking and offered my take on how I would have debuted Chris Jericho on Monday Night RAW. As we now know, it went a little different than what the majority of fans were expecting. Was I disappointed at the fact that after being away for a year, Y2J returned only to come out there and not say an absolute word? I previously stated that regardless of the outcome that I would not set myself up for that but I was a bit at first. Then I thought about it some more and figured it is obviously going somewhere so I'll sit back and see where it all goes I suppose. Would it have been the way I would have booked it? Absolutely not obviously, but it has now come and gone. All we can do now is wait. I just hope they don't screw this up like they did with the promising CM Punk storyline of last year. So if history is any indication, expect the expected. I wonder if he will rename the code breaker to the silencer now? And what was with the bedazzled jacket? He would have looked way better with a Tron outfit. You could even call him Jeritron! Wait a minute...You know what else sucked about RAW? The order of everything. Why the hell would you have a Kane and Cena segment end the show? Oh right, because Kane tore that ring a new one. I was hoping he would have succeeded in pulling Zack Ryder under the ring. It's dark and scary under there and you only have four ways of getting out if you are dragged into the horrible abyss of hell under there. Just saying. Ryder would have probably just busted out his glow sticks and electro house music on his ipod and start fist pumping like it was nobody's business. Who's to say there isn't a rave club under there too?Smackdown was great. The opening and the ending. Everything else that happened in between was pretty forgettable. I loved the opening match between Cody and Booker. That right there was the perfect way to kick off the show. They had an awesome match and Cody retained. I'm loving the idea of a match between Goldie and Cody. I think it would be a fun feud and I am looking forward to it. Speaking of looking forward to something, I'm really digging the Daniel Bryan heel turn. And I thought it was epic of him to intentionally get himself disqualified at the end. The heel tactics are in transition. Him and Big Show had an entertaining match with some nice holds and counters. A great way to end the show.Until next week, sit back, relax and melo out, because that is what wrestling is all about.Steve “The Melo Man” MeloFacebook: MeloOutTJRTwitter: @MeloOutTJR---------------That's a wrap for this week. I'll be back either late Monday night or Tuesday morning with the Raw Deal. It won't be live this week. Some weeks I like to do it live and other times I like writing about it after I watch the show. Thanks for reading.John Canton - john@thejohnreport.netthejohnreport.netTwitter @johnreportFacebook Plus: John Canton or just type "John Canton" in the search.Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.