Eric’s Blog: Ranking the Season 2 WWE NXT Rookies (Week 4)

car carrying

A preview of next week's immunity competition...

Ugh, another keg carry? Seriously? Didn’t WWE pay attention to the backlash these stupid contests received last season and even consider learning from it? It’s gonna be my bad, though, when WrestleMania XXX in Madison Square Garden is headlined by Kaval & Ricky Steamboat, Jr. vs. Alberto Del Rio & Michael McGillicutty in beer pong. Anyway, this episode helped me knock my rankings from eight guys to seven, it solidified some of my beliefs, and it blew other opinions of mine out of the water.

1) Alex Riley. Even in losing, and even in losing to Kaval, Riley is still the best prospect for future WWE superstar out of the bunch, for all the reasons I continue to say each week.

2) Kaval. Glad they allowed Kaval to win a match and even gave his double stomp the Five-Star Frogsplash slow-motion treatment. Was that him who let out that banshee-like howl as he executed the Warrior’s Way? It sounded like a dying rabbit. He still brings experience and a uniqueness to the WWE table, which is good.

3) Percy Watson. Who can turn the world on with his smile? Who can take a nothing show and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? This guy is priceless, and I was excited to see his extra-long pre-taped promo. In all honesty, I’d be surprised to ever see a guy like him with glasses like those on a poster for WrestleMania, but if that happened, it would be awesome.

4) Michael McGillicutty. His reaction to losing the keg competition and his sneaky spontaneous neckbreaker won me over this week. I still think he needs to lose the college-freshman-orientation hairdo and eventually turn heel, but he’s growing on me for sure.

5) Lucky Cannon. How he was able to move this far up my rankings is beyond me, too, but it’s more due to the faults of the next two guys, so I won’t spend too much time on this pretty lady with weak-ass forearms and white-trash drinking game experience.

6) Husky Harris. Baby Rotunda slips way down in my rankings after his poor showing in the ring this week. His selling was sad — he barely even flinched for MVP’s Ballin’ elbow, among other mistakes — and a lot of his offense was either tentative — did you see how long it took him to go for some of those nearfalls? — or just sloppy — when you suplex someone, you’re not also supposed to lie there, stiff as a board, for a full second; get your ass up. He spent almost a whole quarter hour picking up MVP by his head, and I think he got winded doing that. Now that I see a full-blown match out of him, I realize he has a lot of work to do.

7) Eli Cottonwood. You know, he has a couple of good big-man moves, and his timing is already improving — he was right on it when chucking Kaval out of the ring — but he needs to wrestle even more like a big man, which in part includes staying on his feet more (see: Diesel’s boot to the throat in the corner and not Eli’s kneeling choke maneuver) and standing up straight more often (if you’re 7-feet-1, don’t hang your head all the time; improve your posture, stand up straight and dominate!). His character is still more shoot-me-in-the-hallway creepy than money-drawing-early-Undertaker creepy, but that can be learned.

CM Punk has “arm” surgery, other sites run “vague” news

CM Punk

Which of these arms *was* it?

(PROGRAMMING NOTE: Don’t miss out on Stunt Granny Audio #104 below! It’s a good one!)

According to PWInsider.com (and I wouldn’t send you to this pop-up-infested cesspool unless it was serious), CM Punk will be on the shelf for 4 to 8 weeks (including WWE Money in the Bank, dang it) due to a mysterious surgery.

Word going around at Smackdown is that CM Punk had surgery on his arm last week. The word backstage was that Punk could be out of 4-8 weeks from the procedure on his arm.

The arm has a lot of places on which to conduct surgery. There’s the shoulder, there are biceps, there are also triceps… there’s an elbow, there’s a forearm… there are two bones in the forearm. Ummm, there’s a hand with five fingers… So yeah, CM Punk had surgery on his shoulder-bicep-tricep-elbow-hand-finger thingie. That’s helpful, right? Hey, maybe he’ll show up on Smackdown in a sling (spoiler) and confront Rey Mysterio before ripping his arm out of the socket and beating Mysterio with it. “That’s a cast!!” -Eric

Stunt Granny Audio #104

poop joke

John Cena doesn't need this invitation; he'll do it himself, thank you.

Eric and Kevin are back to discuss WWE Monday Night Raw in detail. How sad was John Cena’s latest “poopy” promo?  Did the lack of in-ring action affect the show, poorly or at all? Was the latest twist in the Nexus angle the best route to go at this stage? And how about the eight wrestlers in the Money in the Bank ladder match for Raw? Also, Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre might not have the great problems Eric thought they would with their work visas, explains one PWTorch.com VIP Forum member, but we should all be prepared for the problems Michelle McCool’s marriage to the Undertaker will surely cause. All this and more, just a click away! (69 minutes)

Stunt Granny Audio #104

PWO – Season 3 – Episode 21

Did PWO 21 get a better review than 20? find out after the jump!

They recapped the match between N8 Mattson and Jason Bane from last week. 
 
“Amazing” N8 Mattson came to the ring with Ben Fruth & Benjamin Boone for his TV Title defense scheduled against Michael “The Bomber” Facade. The announcers mentioned the matches for Boone & Fruth later tonight. Dombrowski said that Matthew Justice had been suspended and “Omega” Aaron Draven was injured. Dombrowski said that Gregory Iron was still injured after his mystery attacker struck. He is supposed to rest for another couple of weeks. The filled time during a very slow start to the match. Facade locked in an arm bar. Facade got a two count after a standing moonsault. Mattson hit a jaw jacker to change the momentum.  Fruth & Boone entered the ring and grabbed Facade. the referee kicked Fruth & Boone from ring side. A sunset flip for Facade garnered a two count. Facade hit a spring-board drop kick. Mattson caught Facade going for a spring-board to the outside.  Mattson beat him around the ringside area. Mattson tried to get a couple of cheap pins that the referee noticed.  Mattson missed a corner splash. Facade recovered first and got the upper hand with punches.  Facade got a two count after a spinning heel kick.  Facade hit a nice looking fisherman’s suplex. Shima Xion came down to ringside which distracted Facade enough to miss a top rope moonsault. Mattson hit the “Big Blue Buster” aka Code Breaker for the victory.
 
Analysis: They did a good job with the match, filling in story lines because the announcers had mentioned Shima Xion early in the contest. Mattson gets the victory to keep “Michigan” rolling and Facade looks dopey but doesn’t look terrible for losing. Score: +2.
 
Joe Dombrowski yelled that they needed a camera in the back. Nicky Valentino woke up Bobby Shields. Shields said he was hit from behind so he didn’t see a thing. Analysis: He’s the only one so far to survive unscathed relatively. Score: +1.

Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre dealing with work visa issues, which is stupid

Drew McIntyre

"Cut the crust off your sandwich, Matt?"

According to Prowrestling.net, both Wade Barrett and Drew McIntyre have had issues with their work visas, with Barrett’s expiring and McIntyre’s situation undisclosed but sending him back home to file paperwork.

“(This) is a bad oversight that you can’t blame legal for as they can do only so much once they’re told a visa is set to expire,” says one former WWE employee. “It is a key responsibility of Talent Relations to keep tabs on all contracts and particulars pertaining to talent being in good legal standing in any which way.”

Meanwhile, a second source stated the opinion that it’s not a major problem in that Barrett and McIntyre simply had to return home to fill out the necessary paperwork.

Well cool, I’m glad to hear this is both a bad thing and not a big deal. These guys and gals in legal (and maybe even the wrestlers who are over here on borrowed time) should maybe pay attention when the alarm goes off on their Blackberry that says “Renew work visa or no longer wrestle and make money.” Or maybe McIntyre is too busy running scared from Matt Hardy. Of course, a slow trot would keep him 100 yards ahead of that tub of goo. Hell, maybe McIntyre let his visa expire so he could go home and see the Loch Ness Monster, or as Matt Hardy calls it, “Grandma.” -Eric

Tommy Dreamer considering new look, wipes chocolate off mouth

Tommy Dreamer

Had the photographer snapped this picture two seconds earlier, you would have seen the sandwich in Tommy's hands.

According to Prowrestling.net, Tommy Dreamer pitched a new look to his peers at TNA. So, does that mean wrestling leagues he works for in the future won’t have to order a whole separate box of XXXL company T-shirts with “Dreamer’s gear” written on the lid?

Tommy Dreamer was showing off a potential new look while backstage at the TNA Impact tapings on June 14. Dreamer was wearing a singlet top, shorts, and kick pads for an MMA-style look.

God, I hope this is what’s been keeping Dixie Carter up at night. She’s probably been having fucking nightmares. If I’d never seen ECW in its heyday, nor the WWE version of ECW when it featured all of the original’s washouts, and I saw this fat piece of crap come to the ring in MMA gear, I would laugh so hard I’d barely be able to change the channel. The day I believe he could win a shoot fight is the day I believe Batista would win a shoot fight. In fact, I’d normally use the phrase, “The day Tommy Dreamer wins an MMA fight, I’ll eat my hat,” but Tommy would have already eaten it. -Eric

Bryan Danielson makes indy rounds, suggests jumping to TNA?? :-o

Bryan Danielson

No no, Bryan, no one stabbed you back there.

Keeping in mind we are a rumor-and-hearsay Web site, check this out: Bryan Danielson worked a couple of independent shows this past weekend, including the Chikara Pro show in Cleveland, Ohio, this past Sunday night. According to a report at Prowrestling.net,

Bryan Danielson defeated Tim Donst. Danielson won a great match and made Donst look great. Afterward, Bryan cut a promo and joked about going to TNA, saying the fans did not want to see Desmond Wolfe vs. Lloyd Boner.

How hilarious is that? Now, how hilarious is *this?*: Danielson was overheard talking to people backstage about his future plans, and he said he’d be with TNA when his 90-day no-compete clause with WWE ends. That would suck, because I’m one of those guys who doesn’t want to see Desmond Wolfe vs. Lloyd Boner. Also keep in mind that he might just be talking out of his head, trying to fire up the ol’ rumor mill, so there ya go. -Eric

TNA considered many cities for Bound For Glory, cities are all like, “Who?”

TNA boston

"Stay away from my city, TNA!"

According to Brian Fritz at Fanhouse.com (by way of Prowrestling.net), TNA considered many cities across the country to host its annual pay-per-view extravaganza, Bound For Glory.

TNA considered several cities as potential hosts for the Bound For Glory pay-per-view, including San Antonio, Nashville, and Boston, according to Brian Fritz of Fanhouse.com.

In other news, I’m juggling three bathrooms right now in which I might take a shit later. I’m also trying to book a show for my band in three weeks and can’t decide if we should try Des Moines, Ames or Fort Go Fuck Yourself. Seriously, this is news? Talk to me when multiple cities BID for your event, you know, like cities do for WrestleMania, a real pay-per-view put on by a real wrestling company. -Eric

Happy birthday, pro wrestlers! (June 20-30)

don west

Happy birthday, indeed.

I’ve been slacking on my wrestlers’ birthdays posts, so here’s 11 days worth, starting with the greatest pitchman in recent memory!

June 20: Don West (Donald West, 47)

June 26: Matt Striker (Matthew Kaye, 36)

June 27: Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque McMahon Helmsley, 41)

June 29: Serena (Serena Deeb, 24)

June 30: Cody Rhodes (Cody Runnels, 25)
June 30: Alicia Fox (Victoria Crawford, 24)

Wow, it’s really kinda sad that we’ve wanted a 41-year-old man out of the main-event picture for almost 10 years now. -Eric

Eric’s Blog: Ranking the Season 2 WWE NXT rookies (Week 3)

Varsity Club

Niiiiiiiiice.

A day late (and a few hundred dollars short), I finally finished this week’s WWE NXT, and while my rankings haven’t changed much, I’ve seen new things out of almost everyone.

1) Alex Riley. It’ll take an act of God to knock Riley out of this top spot. He proved again this week that he has the look, the in-ring work, the timing and the personality to be a WWE superstar. Jeremy and I talked about this over IM at one point, but I could see Riley in a faction similar to the old Varsity Club with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler (and maybe master’s degree holder Michelle McCool). But he can stand on his own, too.

2) Kaval. He took two weird bumps this week — one after going face-first into the turnbuckles, hesitating, then taking a flat-back bump, and the other after absorbing Eli Cottonwood’s finisher on his stomach, selling it with a big facial, then flopping onto his back like a fish, suddenly unconscious enough to be pinned. But he still has more character than most of the rest, and he can go in the ring.

3) Husky Harris. I like this kid. His attack on Matt Striker was short but vicious — great forearm to the back, great senton, great smirk on his way up the ramp, with his vest off his shoulders. He’s a cocky redneck, a unique combination in today’s WWE. It could totally work, as could a tag team with Cody Rhodes when this season ends. Let’s see him on the main roster.

4) Percy Watson. I liked his in-ring work for the most part; his dropkicks are better than Kofi Kingston’s but not quite Randy Orton-level, and his flippity splash had some serious air underneath it. He works the crowd like a champ, and while it’s silly, it works perfectly for him (or should I say, he works it perfectly). Keep Urkel around, guys!

5) Michael McGillicutty. I still stumble over a few things about Mr. Perfect’s kid (a label I hope he sheds, but one that puts a high benchmark on his expectations). I hate his 360-degree turn followed by his arm extension that he calls an entrance; I don’t like how his promos sound sooo scripted, and I don’t like that he looks like a mini-Matt Morgan, kinda like a douchey roommate of the guys whose parties you went to in college. McGillicutty just strikes me as a natural heel. He still bumps like a champ, and his finisher kicks ass. Keep working on it.

6) Lucky Cannon. Lucky still looks like a TNA tag team champion, but his work in the ring is OK. His mic work is generic, and his backstory is weak, but he’s serviceable for now. I know, he’s this season’s Heath Slater, a white-bread babyface in a world where the audience would prefer more flavor.

7) Titus O’Neil. Now that I know his backstory, I like him a little more, but something about the fact that he’s such a natural athlete but such a tentative wrestler bugs me. I know it can happen to lots of guys, but he runs the ropes like a weinie and gives and takes moves like he’s just starting wrestling school. It’s OK to be a little more aggressive when executing a bodyslam, Titus.

8 ) Eli Cottonwood. Yuck.

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