Tuesday Morning Backlash: Summerslam Preview, Tyler Black to WWE, TNA/ECW Hardcore Justice, Miz MitB

1) History Time: 10 Gimmicks that Should have Made it Big
2) WWE Raw Thoughts – Summerslam Preview
3) WWE Smackdown Thoughts – Summerslam Preview
4) TNA Impact Thoughts – How did the ECW Originals Do?
5) WWE NXT Thoughts – Stop Having Pros Wreck these Guys
6) ROH Thoughts – Thoughts on Tyler Black Leaving
7) Guest Spot
7) A Modest Response to Paul Marshall on Miz being WWE Champion
8) Match Review: Jake Ziegler on Tyler Black vs. Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli
9) Personal Life/Blog/whatever

1. History Time: 10 Missed Opportunity Gimmicks

1. Steve Corino – Corino as “the King of Old School” was a star waiting to happen in WWF or WCW. He was able to connect to or disgust crowds at will and wrestle the main event style of the day in his sleep. I truly believe he could have been another, at least, Dustin Rhodes if given the chance.

2. Raven – Yes, he was over and well-known, but this guy was the height of cutting edge and was everything ‘Attitude’ would come to be with a great gimmick, matches note perfect to the style, and some of the best promos ever.

3. Adam Bomb – In the cartoon era of the WWE, this was a big, scary, dangerous looking guy. If he was presented as a bit more dangerous for a bit longer, he would have been huge.

4. The Powers of Pain

The Powers of Pain were yet another Legion of Doom stand in, but the faux Road Warriors of the WWE were Demolition so the powers were jobbed out and broken up. The WWE really missed the boat breaking this group up as even after they lost to Demolition, having a similar group being heels to Demolition’s faces would have been really cool and stayed really over.

5. Sean O’Haire – As a member of the IWC, I’m required to put O’Haire here for his devil’s advocate gimmick. Besides, the IWC marks for big athletic guys.

6. Paul Burchill – Same thing as O’Haire except the pirate gimmick.

7. Lance Storm – Surely no one has forgotten how over Lance Storm was as a serious ass kicker in WCW before Nash casually dismantled him. Imagine him with that kind of serious push in WWE. Could he have been Bret Hart? I’m not the guy’s biggest fan, but it has to at least be considered.

8. Tajiri – When Tajiri went from Regal’s assistant to ass kicking underdog facing Triple H, he was stupidly over. The fans have always wanted a badass martial artist to cheer and that could have been the charismatic Tajiri considering he seemed more dangerous and got more over than TAKA.

9. Vampiro – Put into ridiculous angle after ridiculous angle, Vampiro was just a cool, charismatic character with a unique moveset… and he got over! It’s a shame WCW was booked by monkeys at that point and they couldn’t figure out how to make him a viable star.

10. Tomko – Sarcastic jerk Tomko in TNA was begging for a main event push. He was funny, agile, could work decently and hung with top guys. Of course he was jobbed out and lost his job before returning devoid of motivation.

2) and 3) WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts: Summerslam Preview

Match 1: Nexus vs. Team Raw:

Why it’s happening: The Nexus rookies have taken over Raw, from assaulting John Cena to dismantling the set and injuring superstars and legends alike. John Cena couldn’t stop them alone so he recruited a team to help him. Of that team, 6 remain, being Chris Jericho, Edge, R-Truth, John Morrison and Bret Hart. With Khali, Mark Henry and the Hart Dynasty all injured by Nexus the Miz as a maybe is there for the seventh and final spot.

What should happen: the Miz should show up for Team Raw, turn on them, and have Daniel Bryan come out to wreck him, take his spot on Team Raw and become a new star. Of course, there is no chance of this happening.

What will happen: The Miz will join Team Raw who he will then walk out on, costing them the match and setting up a feud with John Cena, among others and continuing the Nexus angle.

Match 2: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title

Why it’s happening: Randy Orton has become the number one contender for Sheamus’ title and appears to have the Irishman’s number, which is driving Sheamus mad.

What should happen: Randy Orton should win in a long, hard fought match that both men get more over for, followed by the Miz trying to cash in MitB and eating an RKO for the loss.

What will happen: What should, but without so much match quality.

Match 3: Kane vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Title

Why it’s happening: Rey Mysterio lost the title to Kane, who cashed in Money in the Bank. Rey then became #1 contender and was accused by Kane of being the one who attacked and hurt the Undertaker.

What should happen: “Undertaker” should return only to be the Straight Edge Society again who reveal they are in cahoots with the newly straight edge and heel Rey Mysterio and did in fact take out the Undertaker.

What will happen: Kane will destroy Rey, accuse him of hurting Undertaker, but Taker will return and drag him to hell, setting up the next Kane vs. Undertaker feud.

Match 4: Big Show vs. the Straight Edge Society

Why it’s happening: Big Show has been beating up the SES all month, even unmasking CM Punk and Joey Mercury. I have no idea why there are this many men in the match instead of it just being Punk vs. Show.

What should happen: The SES should dismantle Big Show to set up their later escapades with Rey Mysterio mentioned above.

What will happen: Big Show will look dominant before Punk gets a lucky shot and puts him to sleep.

Match 5: Melina vs. Alicia for the Divas Title

Why it’s happening: Melina was injured and Alicia dominated the belt Melina still considers hers.

What should happen: Alicia should cheat to win to continue the feud.

What will happen: Pretty much what should.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Title

Why it’s happening: Not officially announced yet, Ziggler with the help of Vickie Guerrero recently took Kofi’s title. That sort of thing usually doesn’t fly with Teddy Long so I fully expect a Summerfest rematch.

What should happen: Kofi should snap and beat Ziggler within an inch of his life after Ziggler cheats to keep the belt, thus putting over the importance of the title.

What will happen: In a generic match, Ziggler will win a gain.

4) TNA Thoughts: A Review of how the ECW Originals Did at Hardcore Justice

The FBI: I’ve always liked Mamaluke and Little Guido in that they can have good matches with just about everyone and stay over without needing to win. They should really have jobs somewhere.

Tracy Smothers: He’s a good worker, but this was just flat out bad comedy that really doesn’t need to be in TNA. I’d be fine with Smothers as a road agent over the likes of Simon Diamond and D’Lo Brown though.

Simon Diamond: He was terrible in his prime and was terrible here, both wrestling and in look. I have no idea how this guy is an agent backstage.

Swinger: Swinger has always been a great look and a good athlete and the years off have done nothing to change that. He’s still solid, but really has no place in a big company ever.

Kid Kash: Terrible look and terrible tattoos, but he was still as crisp in the ring as ever. Shame he’s like Teddy Hart: too big of a prick to ever hold down a job.

CW Anderson: CW is just a really great, under-rated worker. I’ve always read Gabe had big plans for him in early ROH, but CW was too committed to Japan, which didn’t really work out for him. I’d love to see CW get a bigger role, especially in a tag team. Maybe have Flair replace Beer Money with he and Wolfe, then do that feud.

Too Cold Scorpio: This guy should have been as big as Malenko and the other top undercard workers of ECW in that era, but he never quite made it for whatever (drugs according to Widro) reason. It’s a shame, he can still go and would be an awesome in-ring X-Division coach.

Justin Credible: I’ve heard he’s a nice guy, but man, he just doesn’t have it as a wrestler. He’s like X-Pac without even the quality work.

Stevie Richards: No one remembers anymore, but he was an absolutely great worker before the injuries and is still a smart one. He’d be very good on the undercard if TNA got their acts together enough to figure out how to use him, especially since he’s an exceedingly effective promo.

Sandman: I’ve got a soft spot for Sandman, but without his entrance, he’s just another fat drunk guy. They really should have A) given him a bigger role and B) sprung for the damn music. If TNA would pay for his music, I’d love to see him become TNA’s unpredictable drunk enforcer on a regular basis.

Spike Dudley: I’ve always liked Spike taking a beating, but it’s the miracle of miracles this guy ever made the WWE. He’s never been bad and he gets pretty solid heat selling, but come on.

Al Snow: I never got it with Al Snow and I surely still don’t. He should be greater than he is, as he’s a good worker, a good interview and can do compelling characters, but for whatever reason, nothing ever really worked right for him and he’s just not entertaining in anything but the shortest of short bursts. I’d bet this is the first time in his career he got a “this is wrestling” chant and it was wholly undeserved for a lackluster match.

Rhino: This guy just always gets over. He’s much deteriorated from all the injuries and not big enough to play the monster role he’s best at, so he’s probably dead weight.

Balls Mahoney: Balls has always been an underrated worker. Besides his hardcore nonsense, he’s a smart, capable worker who can pop the crowd. If TNA brings back the grievous bodily harm division, he should be a staple in it.

Axl Rotten: Meanwhile, Axl has always been the worst of hardcore wrestling. He’s every fat loser who thinks getting stapled in the head makes him a star and was easily the worst worker of the night.

Team 3-D: Fucking retire already. Bubba would be great on color commentary and D-Vonn can agent at least as well as anyone doing it in TNA right now.

The Gangstas: They’re terrible sure, but they were entertaining, even if the fight then hug was contrived and ridiculous. I’m a New Jack fan. He’s a terrible worker, but has good psychology and knows how to get the crowd behind all the nonsense he does.

Raven: Raven is the one ECW guy I’m sure could have main evented anywhere in the world in his prime. Sadly, his prime is long gone, but he’s still a hugely creative mind who really should be involved behind the scenes and, if TNA is smart, managing. Why let Abyss ever talk when Raven’s on the payroll?

Tommy Dreamer: I’ve never been a big Dreamer fan, but I respect him… although if this was booked by him, he needs to never book again. There was too much silliness, too little history in the matches, and a general sense of meandering through the card. As a worker, he’s done, but I bet he’d be useful as an agent, though I question what he offers that Raven doesn’t.

Sabu: Sabu’s gimmick is so awesome that he’s useful even as broken down as he is now. This guy seriously needs to become a special attraction. Let him just go nuts on people from time to time and watch the crowd be fascinated. Anytime a heel gets too out of line? Unchain Sabu. This guy is gold and has a credibility and authenticity earned in blood.

RVD: I don’t like him as champion, but he’s motivated, over and pretty good. So long as TNA keeps his ego satisfied, RVD will be an asset.

5) WWE NXT Thoughts: Stop Having these Guys get Destroyed:

On WWE Raw, Sheamus destroyed half of the new NXT rookies in a rampage. Last week, then undefeated rookie was dismantled by the Miz. I understand that these are rookies, but simply having WWE stars destroy them is counterproductive. These guys will mostly be regular roster members soon and, as such, should remain marketable as threats. If they get destroyed now, why should I think they’ll do more in two months when they are normal superstars?

This has been a major problem with Nexus. They were dismantled by Kane early in the first NXT season and as such haven’t been fully accepted as threats on their own. Without the viability as threats individually since they were so easily handled by Kane, they have been forced to continually go with group beat-downs, which have already become boring and predictable, sadly peaking in the first week.

This being the WWE, of course, they have not learned from their mistake with Nexus. The next NXT season has been as inept against pros as the first and, because of this, will have the same problems when they reach the main roster, only without the Nexus angle to save them.

6) ROH Thoughts: Tyler Black to WWE

Ring of Honor is being booked at the highest level right now since Gabe Sapolsky was ejected as booker, even slowly growing their own new stars, but Tyler Black’s decision to leave the company puts them in a terrible spot.

For the past year, only two men have really been consistent top level main event, future of the company type guys: Tyler Black and Davey Richards. Tyler is the current champion and the golden boy of the company who has been pushed to the moon over just about everyone. Now, he’ll be walking away from ROH to WWE and, supposedly, doing so by the end of the month, leaving him not ime to make a new star on the way out.

The guy ready to take the belt? Davey Richards. Richards is one of the most over men on the roster and a guy fans buy as one of the best in the world. Unfortunately, Richards has decided to leave wrestling at the end of the year, making it questionable if fans will buy him as champion.

The other major contenders all have major flaws. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli are the tag champions and, although one could win the title and they could dominate, are busy with their own major feuds and matches, especially with the World’s Greatest Tag Team coming in. Austin Aries just finished a title run. Kenny Omega and Kenny King are nowhere near ready. Kevin Steen and El Generico are over, but neither works as the face of the company due to look if nothing else. The only real option within the company is Roderick Strong and, while his absence of mic skills can be covered up as a top guy by a manager, as a champion, he will have to talk to the press… and he’s bad at that.

The only real option? Bryan Danielson. With Danielson free, he could become the two time ROH champion and hold the belt until going back to WWE. As champion he could revitalize interest in the company with his standard amazing matches before putting someone new over and using his credibility to make a star. ROH had better hope Danielson is willing though, because without him, they are fast becoming a company without main event stars.

7. A Modest Response to Paul Marshall’s 10 Thoughts on Miz Being WWE Champion

Please do click the link above. It will open in a new window and give you a better idea of what I’m rebutting.

Thought 1 – Edge and CM Punk were made by Money in the Bank only to a small extent. Edge was made by sleeping with Lita and getting ridiculous heel heat for the Matt Hardy situation. MitB helped, but mostly because he screwed over John Cena who was still mostly beloved at the time.

Punk, meanwhile, got almost nothing form his first win. It was his heel turn and the Jeff Hardy feud that got Punk over. The MitB facilitated that, just like it did for Edge with Cena, but in neither case was it necessary.

Thought 2 – He’s great on the mic, sure, but with WWE establishing two-three new main event heels, why not go slow burn? Swagger, Punk, and Sheamus all need attention atop the card. Let Miz get over where he is to build a title win not just throw the belt on him.

Thought 3 – There doesn’t “need” to be any kind of champion, particularly a cocky one, as Jack Swagger was just that on Smackdown as of a month ago.

Thought 4 – Being the US and WWE Champion at the same time would be cool… but the US Title absolutely has to be raised in prestige first. If the title is truly pushed and coveted, then it’s time to do the dual champion, not before.

Thought 5 – Someone not named Cena, Orton or H does have the title: Sheamus.

Thought 6 – The last two guys Vince branded the future have done nothing. Elijah Burke works for TNA and Drew McIntyre can’t get over. Are we just ignoring these now?

Thought 7 – The Miz as champion offers fresh matches, sure, but so does Miz as challenger and Miz chasing the belt. Miz is also a heel right now, as is Jericho, so I doubt anything would be wet by them facing off.

Thought 8 – The Miz getting the title would show workers… what Sheamus and Cena already showed.

Thought 9 – Wasting the streak isn’t the point. The drama is in seeing if the guy who wins the MitB can cash in the title or not. Without someone losing there is no drama. Taker losing the streak ends the drama of it every year. The idea is to create drama. Also, it doesn’t kill his momentum to lose and go into a program with the champion where he looks like he belongs, even in defeat.

Thought 10 – Sure, the company needs new main event wrestlers, and Miz can be one… he just shouldn’t be one by cashing in this briefcase.

8) Match Review: Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli by Jake Ziegler

Here it is:

MATCH #8: Four Way Elimination Match for the ROH World Title– Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Tyler Black

McGuinness has been the champion since 10.6.07 and this is his twenty-second defense. Black is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions with Jimmy Jacobs. Danielson and Castagnoli wind up starting the match. They take it right down to the mat and no one can gain an advantage so they try a test of strength. Danielson takes Castagnoli down and looks to go for the surfboard but Castagnoli scurries over to the ropes. Black and McGuinness make blind tags, and Black sends McGuinness to the floor with a dropkick. Castagnoli goes after Black, but Black sidesteps him and wipes Danielson out with a somersault to the floor, and Castagnoli takes McGuinness out. The referee forces Castagnoli back to the apron as McGuinness goes to work on Black.

McGuinness quickly tags out to Danielson, who quickly stomps Black down in the corner. As soon as Black is in trouble, McGuinness tags in, and as soon as Black fires up, McGuinness tags out. Castagnoli gets a quick rollup on Black for two, and then hits a gut wrench suplex for two. Black fights out of a submission and hits a knee to the chest. McGuinness tags Black out and hits a dropkick on Castagnoli for two. Castagnoli fights back with a springboard European Uppercut and McGuinness tags Danielson. They trade European Uppercuts and Danielson wins that battle. Black tags himself in and hits a neck snap off the second rope for two. McGuinness tags back in, continuing to wisely pick his spots. Castagnoli fights back and hits the Match Killer for a two-count. He follows up with the Alpamare Water Slide for a two-count. The match breaks down and I lost track of who’s legal. Danielson and Castagnoli are in the ring while Black and McGuinness are outside. Everyone gets back in the ring and takes somebody out, so all four men are down. They get back up and the chaos continues; the referee clearly has no control. McGuinness goes for the Tower of London but Black pushes him off right into a running kick by Danielson, who then locks on the Cattle Mutilation. Black goes up top and hits Castagnoli with a cross body block for two. Danielson hits elbows to the head of McGuinness but Castagnoli breaks it up. Moments later Danielson locks Castagnoli in the triangle choke but Castagnoli reaches the ropes. McGuinness sets Black on the top rope and blasts him with a lariat. Danielson engages McGuinness in a slugfest. McGuinness hits a lariat for two. Danielson comes back with a running elbow that sends McGuinness to the floor. He dropkicks McGuinness into the crowd, and of course he hits the springboard dive. Back in the ring Danielson tries a missile dropkick on Castagnoli, but he gets caught in the Giant Swing. Danielson gets a quick cradle out of it for two. Castagnoli fights back with a pop-up European Uppercut but Danielson rolls him over on the cover into a cradle to get a pin and eliminate Castagnoli at 16:10.

Danielson offers his hand and Castagnoli shakes it. When Danielson turns around Castagnoli attacks him. Castagnoli hits a bicycle kick and the Ricola Bomb, and then grabs a chair to kick smash into Danielson’s head. ROH students and officials herd Castagnoli to the back. Meanwhile McGuinness clobbers Danielson with a lariat to eliminate him at 19:35.That was an awesome heel turn and an awesome capitalization of said heel turn by the champion.

Now we’re down to a rematch from Take No Prisoners. Black hits a springboard lariat and running forearm. He follows up with a slingshot leg lariat and a neckbreaker for two. The fans are going nuts for Tyler Black. He tries a frog splash but McGuinness moves out of the way and gets a two-count. They fight up on the top rope and Black knocks McGuinness down with a headbutt and hits the frog splash for a two-count. McGuinness comes back with the hammerlock Divorce Court and a short arm lariat for two. He hits the Tower of London and Black kicks out! They get up and trade forearm strikes. Black counters a Jawbreaker Lariat with a Buckle Bomb, which is pretty amazing. He hits an F-5 for a near-fall. They get back to their feet and McGuinness goes up top. Black meets him up there and hits a superplex. He actually hangs on and hits Paroxysm for two. Black hits the superkick but McGuinness kicks out! McGuinness comes back with a chinbreaker and a lariat for another two. He tries the Jawbreaker but Black counters with God’s Last Gift for a really close near-fall. Black goes up and misses the Phoenix Splash. McGuinness folds him in half with a lariat but it only gets two! He hits the Tower of London and a running European Uppercut, and another lariat for two! He hits the kick to the back and clothesline combo, and then sets Black on the top rope for a lariat. Black ducks it and kicks McGuinness in the head. He tries a springboard lariat but McGuinness hits a lariat of his own but it still only gets two! McGuinness locks on the London Dungeon and Black counters with a rollup for two. Black ducks a lariat and hits a Pele, but then runs right into a lariat. McGuinness hits another huge lariat and Black is finally finished at 30:21.

Those are four of the best ROH had at the time, and they all gave an incredible effort. The storyline of Danielson and Castagnoli was furthered, and Black once again came oh so close to dethroning McGuinness. The action was almost non-stop and the crowd heat was unbelievable. This is one of the best matches of 2008.

Rating: ****½

Aaaand I’m spent.

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