The Stomping Ground: ‘Nother Look-see at the Ol’ Mid-Card

Forsooth and such! Mike Gojira’s back with another weekly dose of stupendous…ness? Yeah. Stupendousness.

Anywho, this past Monday morning, my boy Pulse Glazer spoke of the mid-card situation in the WWE and how the company has seemingly decided to actually push these guys. Obviously Raw only showcased Miz/Truth and Rey/Morrison, but the seeds were planted for more mid-card matches at the upcoming Summerslam PPV than I would have expected. I figured it’s high-time I weighed in on the situation myself.

See? So far no mention of he-who-must-not-be-named. You okay with that, Swayze?

Frankly, I’m a little surprised that the company is devoting so much time to the B-listers. In the past we’ve had proper builds to one or two feuds on each program followed by matches that magically appear on a PPV card twenty minutes before showtime. Quite frankly, it gets a little annoying, especially when the company sets up a feud in the lower card for weeks and doesn’t pull the trigger on it at a PPV, but out of nowhere we get a Tag Team Championship match pitting the champs (whom haven’t been on TV in weeks) against a team just thrown together.

Now we have several mid-card battles on the horizon. First, we have The Miz vs Rey Mysterio; two former champions in the hunt for the gold. The build to this match-up has been lackluster because their confrontations have been restricted to matches involving a title tournament and another feud entirely (that of Morrison/Truth). Hopefully they have a war of words next week to further build the angle between them.

Next we have the aforementioned John Morrison vs R-Truth feud, which has been brewing for months since Truth’s heel turn and JoMo’s injury. I’m a little concerned for Morrison, as he’s been jobbed out twice in one week (to Christian on Smackdown and to Truth on Raw). One would expect he’d get a victory over Truth at Summerslam, but who can say?

Raw this past Monday brought us a new feud in the form of Alex Riley vs Dolph Ziggler for the United States Championship. This is clearly the WWE’s attempt at testing the waters with Riley sans Miz. Personally, Riley always appeared to be a “Miz Lite,” a fratboy asshole the fans could easily loathe. I’m not sure if he can succeed as a face, but the outcome of this feud will determine his future.

Another feud that’s been put into play is one we’ve all seen before…on Smackdown. Kofi Kingston vs Alberto del Rio is only keeping these two busy, as the results of their battles haven’t exactly elevated either man. Kofi has been stuck in place and del Rio is in line for an inevitable title run, so this feud is, at least for me, inconsequential.

Over on Smackdown, Sheamus vs Mark Henry is a refreshing feud. It seems that a tweener push for Sheamus has been the sole purpose of Henry’s rampage. He destroyed Big Show and Kane (two well-established “monsters”) and it should be crystal clear that the ‘E intends to market Sheamus as their new hoss. How does one accomplish this feat? Have him take out the old guard (read: Mark Henry).

I think the WWE is in agreement with many members of the IWC that Ted DiBiase is better off as a face. Cody Rhodes’s constant belittlement of him has established a role reversal in the DiBiase family. Usually, Ted’s father would be in control with a “servant” to do his bidding. Now, Cody is in charge and Ted Junior is learning from him. If this storyline were to lead to its logical conclusion, I’m confident we’ll soon see the face turn we should have gotten against Randy Orton well over a year ago. The Intercontinental Championship has been thrust into the middle of this, as Ezekiel Jackson vs Cody Rhodes is the current angle. Poor Jackson, who I thought had some promise, has become a paper champion. He has lost consistently and cleanly over the past few weeks; if the company had any faith in him, one would tend to believe they would protect him in the way he loses each match. This is unfortunately not the case, as it would seem.

Another feud brewing is that of Wade Barrett vs Daniel Bryan, which HAS to happen as it was Barrett who “kicked Bryan out” of Nexus. To ignore this logical angle would be heinous. The Money in the Bank briefcase is now involved in the story, so now there is even more of a reason for the two to square off.

Aside from the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, and Divas Championship title matches on the card, we have SEVEN other bouts to look forward to. If that’s too many for one card, the company could merge Miz/Rey/Morrison/Truth into a Fatal Fourway for the Number One Contender spot. It all depends on what the ‘E decides is worth the air time.

Next week I’ll have my predictions for the PPV, provided the card is set in place by then.

Gojira’s Fave Five

As promised (threatened?) last week, it’s time for my Fave Five. This time, the Fave Five will be ranked, with Number One being the most favorite.

1) CM Punk
: Thought I’d go a whole column without mentioning Punk? Not if he’s in my Fave Five! With Punk back full-time, it seems he was yanking the IWC’s chain months ago when he said he wanted out. Sure, he may have legitimately been tired of the backstage politics, but it’s obvious he and the company tricked all of us. With his future within the WWE a certainty, Punk is now a part of my Fave Five.

2) Sheamus: The Celtic Warrior proved my assumption of a possible turn to be correct as he is now set to face the monster Mark Henry at Summerslam. I’m intrigued by the implications of this angle because it is logical to assume that anyone who goes over the human bulldozer that is Sexual Chocolate is in line for a mega push.

3) Christian: If Christian is the World Heavyweight Champion, why is he constantly curtain-jerking every Smackdown while the challenger dominates the end of the show? Ah, who cares?! He’s the freakin’ World Heavyweight Champion!

4) Randy Orton: I honestly didn’t expect this, because Orton has been under my radar ever since Christian won the gold. However, this new bit of character development wherein he loses control of his temper is garnering interest from moi. We saw this before when he was feuding with Triple H around Wrestlemania XXV, but at that point he was hiding behind a “medical condition” as an excuse for his actions. As a face, it appears to be out of his control. Perhaps this can be used to keep Orton out of the title picture (which I consider to be a win-win).

5) Daniel Bryan: DB is making his case for why he is the future World Heavyweight Champion by systematically humiliating his former Nexus brethren. If the company makes use of the briefcase as a proper gimmick, this could take Bryan to the next level.

Cheap Plugs

Matt Harrak: Creatively Endeavored: an interesting take on “armchair booking.”

Patrick Spohr: Caught in the Ropes: a look at a possible TNA/AAA talent swap.

Paul Marshall: This Week in ‘E

Steven Gepp: The View From Down Here: a humorous dictionary of common wrestling terms.

Blair A. Douglas: Interinactivity

Also be sure to check out the other awesome staff members here at the Pulse. And no, I’m not pandering to them just so they’ll (hopefully) hype my own work. What kind of a smug, selfish person do you bastards think I am?!

Don’t answer that, Glazer.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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