Canton's Corner: May 12 Edition (Smackdown, TNA & More)
Welcome to Canton's Corner. I've got Smackdown likes/dislikes, the Twitter Ten with more than ten questions because I enjoy it so much, a preview of TNA's Sacrifice PPV on Sunday, the Random Clip of the Week and Melo Man brings us home as always. This is what happens when I write most of it on a Friday instead of rushing myself on Saturday when I don't always feel like writing.
Before we begin with the written part of the column, I did an interview on TalkSPORT radio in the UK with Joe Amphlett. It's a 10 minute segment where I talked about WWE, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, rising stars and more. The link to it is RIGHT HERE so click on that in another window, then come back and read the column as you listen. It's some highly productive multi-tasking if I do say so myself. I'll definitely be on the show again soon.
We're skipping over Raw because I already wrote about it and there's really not anything I need to add to it, so let's jump right into Smackdown.
Smackdown Likes & Dislikes
Once again I have five likes and five dislikes from Smackdown this week. This isn't a full recap of the show. It's not even in order of the events on the show. It's just a series of thoughts on the key moments from this week's telecast.
Like - The brawl that ended the Jericho/Del Rio vs. Sheamus/Orton tag match
I loved this brawl to end the match. It was nice to see the tag match disintegrate because neither guy likes their partners and they all want what Sheamus has, the World Title. The brawl made sense. It would have been even better if that was the ending of the show. A wild brawl to end Smackdown would have made people more interested to see what will happen on Raw. Instead, we didn't have to wait too long.
Dislike - Doing two singles matches after the tag match to open the show
After the tag match, we got an Orton/Del Rio singles match at the top of hour two (typically the second biggest match of the show) and also Sheamus/Jericho, which was the main event. It felt like they went through two weeks of angles in one show. As a result, everything else in the show felt very rushed. Having four guys work twice in the same show is very rare. They could have placed the singles matches on Monday's Raw to space them out a bit. Rushing angles aren't a positive thing. They're a sign of short sighted booking.
It should be noted too that last week they had Sheamus and Daniel Bryan working twice as well. Is that going to be a regular thing? It's okay once in a while. Not every week.
Like - Ryback squashed Heath Slater
It was nice to see Ryback destroy somebody that wasn't an unknown jobber. Slater is a known jobber. Maybe I just put it as a "like" because I'm anti-Heath Slater? It could be that. You decide. It was also a match between two former original Nexus members although we're probably not allowed to remember that Ryback was formerly named Skip Sheffield. Yep yep what it do! I feel weird just typing that. Google it if you don't know what I mean.
Dislike - Three disqualification finishes on the same show
We get it, WWE. You want to protect Sheamus, Orton, Jericho and Del Rio to the point that you didn't want any of them to lose cleanly on Smackdown this week. Jericho pinned Sheamus on Raw, but on this show none of them took a loss. Instead, there were three disqualifications during their matches.
The positive thing out of all this? At least they didn't book that "heel walks out of the match" finish they did on Raw and last week's Smackdown. That's refreshing.
Like - Life in the tag team division again
Slowly but surely, the tag team division is gaining steam. They announced that Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (I'm calling them The Boom Jimmy's) would be defending the tag titles against Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (Zigswag) and they had Truth beat Swagger to get payback for Ziggler over Kingston on Raw. I was fine with all of this. At least they're doing something productive with Ziggler and Swagger, so that's good.
In addition to that match, the "new" Smackdown team of Darren Young & Titus O'Neil soundly defeated Santino (the forgotten US Champion) & Zack Ryder in tag team competition. Then they got a chance to show some personality after it was over. Wow. Wrestlers with gimmicks? That's a nice change. They bragged about their win and said the difference between them and the others is millions of dollars. It's nice to have goals. It's also nice that there are actual tag teams. With Kingston/Truth, Primo/Epico, Usos, Zigswag, Young/O'Neil and the Kidd/Gabriel team back in action when Justin heals from injury it looks like we're actually getting a division again. I'm all for it.
Dislike - Big Show is the world's biggest apologist
Why is Big Show such a wimp when it comes to John Laurinaitis? We've seen CM Punk and John Cena stand up to the guy repeatedly, but the 400 pound guy that's the biggest man on the roster is a weak man when it comes to authority figures. He apologized to Eve on Raw. Then on Smackdown, after John Laurinaitis screwed him out of a loss to Daniel Bryan (the infamous "ring the bell" angle), Big Show again looked like a wimp.
There has to be a payoff here. My guess is Big Show turns heel at Over The Limit, becomes the muscle behind Laurinaitis and helps him beat John Cena. I realize that they have Tensai in the role in some ways, but I think Big Show being the permanent bodyguard of Laurinaitis, so to speak, would be a good spot for him. Plus, I've always liked Show more as a heel.
Like - Daniel Bryan
What can I say? He's a like every week. After AJ beat Kaitlyn in less than one minute, Bryan went to the ring, talked to his ex-girlfriend AJ and then told her that he was so impressed that he was going to go after her former best friend Kaitlyn now! I love how much of a jerk Bryan is. I'm still waiting for AJ to cost him a big match, but I think that could happen at Over The Limit although I'd prefer it if Punk vs. Bryan was clean. He also "beat" Big Show thanks to Laurinaitis ringing the bell as soon as the Yes Lock was applied. Then he celebrated as if it was a legit victory. He might be the best performer in the company right now.
Dislike - Michael Cole dancing
Never show that again. Please. Thank you. If you missed it be thankful for that. I wish I did.
Like - No backstage acting segments
I don't remember the last time there was a Raw or Smackdown where there were no acting segments backstage. There were clips of guys walking to the ring and Damien Sandow did one of his typical promos in the backstage area, but no segments where performers are talking to eachother backstage or anything like that. Is this going to be a new thing? I doubt it. I'm guessing it happened simply because they threw ten matches on the card and there was no time for anything backstage. I'm fine with no "sketches" on the show.
Dislike - Ten matches in two hours
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of in-ring action. That's my thing. It's what I love the most about professional wrestling (or sports entertainment). However, when you have ten matches in a two hour period and none of those matches get more than nine minutes (Jericho/Sheamus went nearly that long) you're doing a disservice to the performers. What I usually love about Smackdown is that they tend to have a couple of matches every week that get over ten minutes. They'll tell a story, the characters will get a good reaction and we'll usually get a finish. On this show, though, everything felt rushed. It felt like 1999 or 2000 WCW when Vince Russo was booking the shows with too many things going on at once.
- I love that Sheamus continues to sell the arm injury by taping it up. It's also great that his opponents are targeting it. It's important that injuries are focused on for weeks at a time. It shouldn't be a one show thing. Keep them going. It's also a way for Sheamus to get sympathy heat, so that makes it very worthwhile.
- The ongoing Teddy Long/Aksana saga seems to have ended this week as she proclaimed her love for Antonio Cesaro. Good. Now can we retire Long as a regular on television? I sure hope so.
I'm not sure what was up with some of the things they did this week. Having four guys work twice, booking ten matches in two hours and no backstage segments were all uncharacteristic of what I expect out of Smackdown. I think it's a case of booking on the fly (obviously since they changed the original World Title match) and trying to get "new" faces on the show. May is usually one of the most poorly booked months in WWE. They're showing it again. It's just a matter of getting through it and looking forward to bigger stories down the road.
At least we're getting Punk vs. Bryan for the WWE Title at Over The Limit next Sunday. See that? I'm always about the positivity.
I'd rate this week's Smackdown a 5 out of 10.
Normally I only post ten questions here. This week you get twelve. You're welcome.
@Dan_iswinning When do you see Wade Barrett returning and who do you think he'll work an angle with?
I think he should be ready by June's No Way Out PPV and if not then July's MITB PPV. Feud with Sheamus seems likely.
@marcyoung54 When are Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler going to get used better?
I wish I knew the exact date. I think Rhodes is a MITB favorite and Ziggler could thrive if he was on SD more.
@MegaMike89 How would you book CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar?
I would have Lesnar destroy him in their first match, possibly end it by DQ. Then build to a rematch where Punk shows heart, but Lesnar wins. I think Lesnar is going to win a lot of matches when he gets back. It's smart booking.
@ajrb92 Should the wwe give nxt a title to add something to the show?
I think so, but they're apparently mixing it with FCW. I'm not sure what's going to happen. Wait and see on that.
@harry_ramirez Name 5 tag teams you'll create in WWE to push the division...
They don't need five new ones. With Primo/Epico, Truth/Kingston, Swagger/Ziggler, Usos, Gabriel/Kidd and Young/O'Neil that's 6 solid teams. That's 6 teams. You don't need that many more after that. Just care about the division, book it smart & it's okay.
@SophieRichard25 WWE showing pictures of HHH in the boardroom with an armbrace on. Lame attempt to justify his appearance at Mayweather Fight?
It was pretty lame yeah. Better than ignoring it though.
@Harvest_S Will Brock Lesnar wrestle at least one non PPV match this year?
Wrestle at a Raw? Doubt it although I really don't know. I think it would be smart if they hyped it up for a week or two. Pop a good rating for sure.
@thejvidakovich Who's getting called up from FCW next, Rollins (Tyler Black) or Ohno (Chris Hero)? Or someone else?
Lots of them are ready, but I think Dean Ambrose or one of the Rotunda boys will be next. All could be on NXT soon too.
@cam_guin With regards to Punk's beard, do you think wrestlers should change up appearances more regularly, with big feuds etc..?
I think changing the look is smart. Whether it's growing a beard or changing your hairstyle, it's cool to change things up.
@MatthewToy What's next for Punk?
I think the feud with Bryan will result in Punk winning at OTL. Then Lord Tensai vs. Punk is likely.
@Holl1s_9 Will rock return at the rumble to set up his title match? If he does win wwe title how will they make his run work?
I think it's very possible that Rock wins the Royal Rumble. Not sure how they would make the title run work. Lots of time for that.
@jeffreykeys What's the point of lesnar and cena having seemingly scripted blood, but keeping rating at PG? Making Raw more edgy?
There are a lot of television shows that have blood with PG ratings. It's not as big of a deal as most seem to think.
TNA Impact Wrestling Sacrifice PPV Preview
That company known as TNA has a PPV on Sunday night called Sacrifice. Last month's Lockdown event was considered their second biggest PPV of the year while next month's Slammiversary event is a celebration of ten years of TNA Wrestling. Perhaps I'll write a column about their ten years of existence? It might happen. For now, here's a quick preview of Sunday's Sacrifice PPV.
TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: Devon vs. Robbie E & Robbie T
Apparently Devon is such a badass champion that he's wrestling two guys for the "coveted" title. I'm pretty sure Robbie E has the worst entrance in the history of wrestling and I don't think Rob Terry has improved at all since he started a few years ago. I'd assume Devon will retain since he hasn't held the title for that long. I'm surprised they remembered they had this title. What's next? Are they going to remember that a man is one half of the female tag champs? Nah. That would make sense. Winner: Devon
KNOCKOUTS TITLE: Gail Kim vs. Brooke Tessmacher
Brooke may be one of the best looking women in the history of wrestling. She's not just wrestling chick hot, but she's generally hot. One of the best asses I've seen too. In the ring, she's okay. Her match with Velvet Sky on Impact was awful although their dueling ass shake was a great moment. That is not sarcasm. Trust me. It was. Gail's had a long run as Knockouts champ. I think a loss is possible, but my guess is they save it for Slammiversary next month possibly against Velvet Sky or perhaps in a rematch against Tessmacher. That's the bigger show, so I'd expect the change there. Winner: Gail Kim
TAG TEAM TITLES: Samoa Joe & Magnus vs. Daniels & Kazarian While TNA's tag division isn't as good as it used to be simply because they've killed off a lot of the teams, it's still solid. Joe & Magnus are a good championship team that have quality matches and have good chemistry. It's just that I still want Joe to be in the main event spot he was in when TNA was at its best. The Daniels & Kazarian team is cool because they're a couple of guys that always have above average matches. That doesn't mean they are going to win, though. The champs hold on again. Winners: Samoa Joe & Magnus
Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson
This is a typical TNA "we have nothing for them so let's put them in a match" story. They're both babyfaces although Anderson has turned so many times during his TNA run that I never really know anymore. Each guy wants to be a World Title contender, so the win is important. Hardy's the guy that would probably mean the best business for TNA since he's the biggest draw in the company, but it's not like TNA knows how to make money right? So he's stuck here feuding with Anderson, who wasn't even booked for several months just because well…we don't know. Anyway, I'd go with Hardy for the win here in what should be a pretty good match. Winner: Jeff Hardy
Bully Ray vs. X Division Champion Austin Aries
I enjoyed Aries more as a heel, but he's done fine as a babyface. Along with Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode, he's one of my favorite male wrestlers in the company. Ray has been fantastic as a heel. He's even shown that he could do a damn good job of being the World Champ if they wanted to push him that far. When could we ever say that about the guy? He's earned it with his performance. With that said, I can see this being a two month feud that ends with Aries getting the big win at Slammiversary. In order to get there, I'd expect Ray to win this match by cheating because that's what bullies do. Winner: Bully Ray
Kurt Angle vs. "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles
You can argue that they're the two best in-ring performers in the company. Truth be told, Angle is my favorite wrestler in WWE or TNA. I've always been a huge fan of the guy. It's amazing that he's still putting on these incredible matches on a regular basis. He's been a heel of late, but it seems like he's turning face again. Meanwhile, AJ is a face that has been feuding with Daniels for the 437th time in ten years. If it was me booking, I'd have AJ win here and then win the World Title at Slammiversary because a babyface Styles winning the World Title at the 10th anniversary would be fitting. That won't happen, though. Angle likely gets the win here although I have no idea what the direction is for him going forward. Winner: Kurt Angle
TNA WORLD TITLE LADDER MATCH: Bobby Roode vs. Rob Van Dam
Roode's done an awesome job as TNA champion. It's a shame that so many are down on the product (admittedly I am too) because they are missing out on some great heel work by him. His promos are excellent, he carries himself very well and his work in the ring is top notch. Van Dam did this interview two weeks ago where he messed up his line and looked very stoned. I don't even know if he remembered to say "dude" or not. When you watch Van Dam today don't compare him to when he was at his peak in the late 90s or early 00s because those days are long gone. He does appear to be motivated again, so that's a good thing. I'd expect Roode to retain. He likely won't be dropping the gold here. I could see it at Slammiversary to Hardy or James Storm, who is out resting various injuries these days, but it's unlikely that RVD will be the guy to beat him. Winner: Bobby Roode
I think it's a PPV where a lot of things will hold steady. At Slammiversary next month, look for some possible title changes.
To wrap this up have you seen the Hogan video that TNAWrestling's youtube account posted that has way more dislikes than likes and a lot of negative comments? Pretty funny to read through the comments. Link for that is RIGHT HERE if you're interested. I'm with those people. I've never really been anti-TNA. I've watched it for ten years. I'm anti Hogan and Bischoff running a wrestling company. It should not be happening.
Random Clip of the Week
May 19. That's next Saturday. There won't be a Canton's Corner column because I'll be doing the PPV preview, so I had to mention it this Saturday. In 2006, there was a big angle surrounding the date of May 19th, which just so happened to be the premiere of Kane's WWE produced movie entitled See No Evil. The May 19th angle led to Kane going crazy whenever anybody mentioned that date. Frankly, it was one of the most clever ways I've ever seen any company promote a movie. It wasn't a great angle, but it wasn't that bad either. It was smart marketing more than anything. There are a lot of clips that we can share to remember the angle, so I went with the one that is a video package that summarized the angle that also involved Big Show. May 19th. Be afraid. Be very afraid. The video is at the bottom of this post.
Greetings and salutations. Man that was such a classy of me to start off that way don't you think? Well it was yet another average week in the world of wrestling in my opinion. I thought both RAW and Smackdown were just ok with the obvious potential of being great, but then again that is how I usually feel going into a show. One can't help but try and stay somewhat optimistic right? Right? In last week's edition of Canton's Corner, I went on a bit of a rant about how John Cena needs to take some much needed time off because, long story short, his character has gotten really stale as of late. Well as many of you have probably heard by now, John Cena has in fact filed for divorce from his wife Liz. As Goyte would say, now she's just somebody that he used to know. Such a shame.
I felt bad after reading about it because of how I insisted that he needed to go away and then boom, this happens and it's like all of a sudden I am buying a crap load of lottery tickets just to see if my luck will last. But just like Super Cena said he was going away at Extreme Rules only to show up the following night on RAW, something tells me even with a possible nasty divorce on the horizon that he still won't be taking much time off, if any at all. I could go on about this some more and how I feel it is really hurting the product right now but really what's the point? It's not like WWE is going to listen. Sure they are giving us Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk at the next Over The Limit pay per view, but it will still be Monday Night RAW starting John Cena.
While I am still on the topic of Cena, it's no secret that Darren Young looks identical to him face wise, but is obviously a much darker version for reasons I don't have to get into. I mentioned on my Twitter (and I quote) "I think every time Darren Young wrestles, fans should chant "Let's go Cena. HE'S A CLONE!" RT if you agree with Melo Man on this one lol." I personally think it would be hilarious. Take Cena off television for awhile, have the fans chant Cena during Young's matches and then have him turn into the new Doctor of Thuganomics. I'm talking about coming out with the throwback jerseys, the steel chain lock, the pumps, even the old school theme music. Have him out of anger completely copy Cena's old gimmick. Have his finisher be an FU2 but instead of a death valley driver, have it invert into a front power slam or something. Have this go on for months. Heck, give him the U.S title if you want. It doesn't mean anything anymore anyways. Then have Cena take him out. That's what I would do. A bit of fantasy booking for you on that one but why not? It's healthy once in a while.
Agree? Disagree? Leave your comments and feedback. Until next time, sit back, relax and melo out, because that is what wrestling is all about. Steve “The Melo Man” Melo
That's all for this week. Keep checking out the brand new TJRWrestling.com for daily content from our amazing crew of writers. I'll be back for what will likely be a live Raw Deal on Monday night once again this week. Check the site to see for sure.
John Canton - email@example.com
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