Writer’s Note: Apparently when I reply to comments, they’re not showing up. I’m working on my Facebook settings to try to fix it. I promise that I love you all and am not ignoring you on purpose.
Hello wrestling fans! Once again, it is Wednesday and yours truly is here with another edition of The Midweek Breakdown. There are a lot of different things I’d like to discuss today, so you know what that means. Ignore that 500 pound crying man in the corner, because it’s time for a 10 Count!
1) Tag teams, back again.
Whenever I talk about tag teams, I’m always tempted to make a “Whoop, there it is” reference until I realize that it would probably be lost on many readers who are a few years younger than me. Anyway, the influence of a certain doofus son-in-law can clearly be seen on WWE programming in multiple ways, and this is one of them. Before this coming Sunday at Over The Limit, the last time the Tag Team Championship was defended on pay-per-view was in December at TLC. I’m not counting the pre-show match at WrestleMania because it wasn’t a featured match on the main card. It’s nice to see WWE actually making the division matter again. There’s actually a lot of solid talent in the division now. I never understood why it was so hard for WWE to have 5 or 6 good teams. Apparently, Hunter has been listening to the cries of fans everywhere for the past several years. I can only hope that this trend continues and we see these teams get the time to become stars. But they’ll probably jump the gun and give us a Titus O’Neil vs. Darren Young feud next week.
2) John Cena: Pet Detective.
Did anybody else side with John Laurinaitis on Monday? I sure did. I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I laughed pretty hard at Cena on Monday, although it was mostly a nostalgic “Har har har, I remember watching that movie with my stepdad while we ate cookies and made fun of my mom while she was at work” sort of laugh rather than an actual “This is good comedy, I am pleased” laugh. The reason I sided with Laurinaitis is that Cena was just acting like an ass and not taking the match seriously. I know that Big Johnny isn’t meant to be a serious physical threat, but if one player in the match isn’t taking it seriously, why should people order the show? It’d be like if you were playing Mortal Kombat and fucking Baraka just started laughing at Scorpion and making puns about him being a hothead. Come to think of it, that’d be pretty fun. A go-home show shouldn’t have ended with Cena acting like an ass followed by one Johnny slap and then some serious staring. That doesn’t sell pay-per-views.
3) Punk vs. Bryan: An epic battle of………..something.
It’s sad that this match hasn’t gotten more attention. Remember that picture that CM Punk tweeted after TLC of him and Bryan with their respective titles where he said something like “Not bad for two kids from the indies who would never make it”? Why hasn’t their history been mentioned? Come to think of it, why have they not gotten any time to talk about this match? I’ll tell you why. Bryan’s promo time on Smackdown is devoted to AJ and on Raw they just couldn’t fit them in because we need to have several minutes devoted to “LAYYYIIIIESSSSSS AND GENNLEMINN…PLEEEEEZ WELCOME FUNKADACTYL JURASSIC PARK.” The build for this has just been awful. I tried to praise Over The Limit last week for giving us some quality matchups. The problem is that besides the fact that this match is on pay-per-view, the booking in terms of the buildup has been horrendous. I still think dedicated fans will pay to see this match, but there’s a chance they’ve lost the casual base. Although I would prefer to just see a pure match between these two, I sincerely hope that AJ gets involved because that would probably mean the feud will continue. Or Bryan will go feud with AJ and on Smackdown he’ll put her in the Yes Lock for five minutes and then she’ll reveal that she’s into S&M and then Bryan will be like “Cool.”
4) Fuck the Funk.
I’m done with Brodus Clay. I was a huge fan of the character, and I still want to be. However, he serves no purpose now except to break The Undertaker’s record of longest entrance in the history of WWE. Seriously, how many things can they add to the speech before his music starts? I think that eventually Brodus, being the good friend that he is, will sense that the Funkadactyls are having boy problems and conduct some sort of dating game where he tries to hook them up with various nerds in the audience in every city they go until Cameron realizes that she is a lesbian and tries to hook up with Alicia Fox because she loves her matches so much. What the hell was this point about again? Oh yeah, Brodus sucks.
5) Wanna be a baller, shot caller.
I’m really liking Antonio Cesaro and I think he will be a major player in WWE. I don’t know how long the rugby player gimmick will work for, but it’s fine for now. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch as much indy wrestling as I would like to, so this is more or less my first chance to really see this man in action. His move set is different, which is always a plus as wrestlers often start to blend together the more they adopt the “WWE style.” I don’t know how well he can talk, but based off of his wrestling ability, I think he has a bright future. Plus, I’m always a fan of anything that gets Aksana on my television that doesn’t involve her making out with a 60-some year old half-man, half-peanut creature.
6) Friday Night NXTFCW.
While we’re on the topic of new talent on Smackdown, is that show the new place for fresh young talent? In the past few weeks we’ve seen the (main roster) debuts of Antonio Cesaro, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, Ryback, and Damien Sandow, although he hasn’t wrestled yet. That’s quite a bit of new talent right there, and lots of potential for new stars. I’m really liking all of these guys so far. They’re all fun to watch for different reasons. I like watching Ryback turn jobbers inside out with that clothesline. O’Neil and Young have both came a long way and are very entertaining on the mic. Sandow is playing his character up perfectly. Smackdown is a good place to be if you’re tired of some of the older guys on the current roster. My only criticism is that having this many new people at once leads to lots of matches that range from squash to three minutes long. I’d like to see them get more time to shine.
7) I’m a Paul Heyman guy.
I’m going to be honest. Paul Heyman is the only reason I remotely care about any of this stuff going on with Triple H and Lesnar. I’ve mentioned in a previous column that I wasn’t a fan of the feud from the outset as I don’t think anybody is really going to benefit from it. Lesnar is really the only guy who could benefit from it and I have a sinking feeling that he won’t be defeating The Game. Paul Heyman has this amazing ability to make you care about what he’s saying and make you think that he’s saying something profound no matter what. He could be talking about how much he likes the breadsticks at Olive Garden and I’d be hooked. While I have no desire to watch grown men talk about fake legal problems and lawsuits in a wrestling ring for 20 minutes every week, I’ll at least be entertained if Heyman is on one side of the microphone.
8) And the Emmy goes to… Big Show!
Regardless of your feelings about that whole segment and the Big Show in general, there is a fact that we must acknowledge. Big Show is actually a pretty decent actor. Over the years, the guy has shown that he’s able to channel emotion effortlessly. Whether it’s anger, crying, crying, or crying, the guy can do it. His performance was the only redeeming part of that whole 20-minute long affair. I personally think, along with the rest of the world, that it’s a pretty obvious setup for Show to turn heel at Over The Limit. Given all the stipulations announced on Monday, it’s probably the only way for Laurinaitis to win the match and keep his job intact. There’s no way they’re getting rid of his character yet, so I expect Show to become his new partner in crime and get his job back as a result. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for me to cry for 20 minutes over the Cena vs. Show feud that will follow.
9) The numbers don’t lie.
The following facts come from Lordsofpain.net. Raw did a 2.94 rating on Monday. It hasn’t been below 3.0 since the middle of February. It’s also the second lowest rating of the year, only behind the January 9th show which was up against the BCS National Title college football game. Raw’s social media score (whatever that means) was also down this week. The show also ranked #4 in cable, which doesn’t sound bad until you consider that Basketball Wives on VH1 of all networks was ranked above it. I hope this is a wakeup call for WWE that they need to actually give a shit about their product during these slow months. Those numbers are awful and the buyrate for Over The Limit is probably going to reflect that. When that happens, WWE needs to look at shows like this instead of blaming talented wrestlers who are booked poorly.
10) Predictions for Over The Limit.
Layla over Beth Phoenix. Jimmy Boom over Swaggler. Laurinaitis over Cena. Sheamus over the rest of the guys in that match. Punk over Bryan. Damien Sandow’s I.Q. over the buyrate.
That’s it for me today. Despite several things I said today, I’ll still be ordering Over The Limit on Sunday to help support Punk and Bryan. Enjoy all the fine writers here on TJRWrestling.com. I’ll be back on Friday for Headlines. As always, thanks for reading.