Â I was struggling with something to write about his fortnight. I saw the best show of the year on Saturday night from my local indy fed (Riot City Wrestling), which put most PPVs this year to shame, and thereâ€™s a review up somewhere. I havenâ€™t seen TNAâ€™s final 2011 PPV yet, but will have 10 Thoughts up on that at some point this week. I have pencilled in a â€˜year in reviewâ€™ column after the WWE PPV coming up. So what do I write about?
Fantasy booking time!
Raw opens for the first show of 2012 with the champion CM Punk in the ring. He cuts a promo basically burying every other guy on the roster, with one exception â€“ Daniel Bryan. In fact, he declares Bryan the only guy he is sure he could have a decent match with. So what about it?
Bryanâ€™s music hits, but then the sound of a needle being ripped off of vinyl echoes throughout the hall. The figure in the hooded cowl at the end of the ramp is not recognisable by anyone. And then, out of the audience, a dozen other figures jump the barrier, all of them hidden by virtually the robes of monks. The slowly circle the ring and then jump up onto the apron. The hooded figure walks slowly down the ramp, and then nods.
Without letting themselves be seen, the others beat the living snot out of Punk until Bryan, Cena, Sheamus and a few others run out for the save. But the hooded figures disappear into the crowd.
Meanwhile, over on Impact, itâ€™s business as usual. Champion Roode and Cowboy James Storm are getting ready for a showdown. Things are getting tense between them and the crowd is getting ready to explode when, quite suddenly, they simply separate and go back to the dressing room, their eyes never leaving one another. Taz and Tenay try to sell it as mutual respect, but everyone is confused.
Over on Smackdown, everyone is on tenterhooks as champion Mark Henry makes his way to the ring. He starts by saying that what happened to the â€œpretty boyâ€ champion on Raw certainly ainâ€™t gonna happen here. And then Sin Cara is standing at the top of the ramp. Only he looks different â€“ somehow bigger. And then a dozen more Sin Caras jump out of the audience, and what happened to Punk happens to Henry and he is left beaten, while no one comes to his aid.
Raw the next week starts with a recount of what happened to the two WWE champions, with John Laurenitis trying to explain he has no idea whatâ€™s going on. But he is then confronted by Booker T, Christian and Kevin Nash. â€œThis isnâ€™t good,â€ Nash says. â€œWe know those guys and this is not good.â€
â€œWho is it then?â€ John demands.
Nash smiles, but the other two shake their heads and all three walk off.
There are no further incidents as the Royal Rumble slowly takes shape. Daniel Bryan and the Big Show fight for the number 1 or number 30 spots, which Big Show wins, and he takes number 1. â€œIâ€™m going to win this the hard way to prove I deserve a shot,â€ he declares.
â€œThen why did we have the match?â€ Bryan asks, and he is clearly stumped and a little angry at this turn of events.
Impact is dominated by the X-Division, but it seems very subdued. The whole thing is toned down, as if the guys are trying not to hurt one another. Again, the crowd is stunned. And then AJ Styles confronts Kurt Angle, and they have a contract signing. But that is all. No table smashing, no angry threats, just a contract signing. â€œUnheard of in the history of wrestling,â€ Tenay hyperboles.
Smackdown also focuses on the upcoming Rumble show, until Christian stops in the middle of his match against Sheamus and lays down, giving Sheamus the win and the number 29 entry into the Rumble, while Christian is not even in the match. And standing in the crowd, dressed in Rey Mysterio masks are a large group of men, arms folded.
On Raw, these same men are seen in the stands, this time wearing the masks (including hair) of old WCW wrestler Psychosis. The whole show, no matter what is going on in the ring, the commentators (especially Cole) keep focusing on them, but they do nothing, and when John Cena comes out for his main event match against Alberto Del Rio for the number one contendership (which he eventually wins in 7 minutes), the actually leave the building.
On Impact, it is the â€œNight of Womenâ€ as several Knockouts matches dominate the card. The men come out for a battle royal to close the show, in one of the most subdued main events ever seen on Impact. James Storm wins, throwing Bobby Roode out last, but they just stare each other down to end the show.
And so it goes, until the night of the Royal Rumble. The show goes according to plan â€“ Punk retains against Cena, Henry retains against Orton, Beth Phoenix loses to Kelly Kelly, and Booker T defeats Cody Rhodes to get a secondary title. But at the end of that match Booker does not leave, but instead stands by the entrance ramp. He is soon joined by Kevin Nash and Christian as they watch the number one and number two entrants go to the ring â€“ Big Show and Ted DiBiase Jr.
They then follow and stare at the ring as the match starts. They prevent DiBiase from being eliminated twice, and Big Show once. By the time there are twelve people in the ring, they have prevented more than twenty eliminations. And then number 13 is announced â€“ and itâ€™s Kevin Nash.
He smiles and lifts his arms.
On cue a group of men dressed in the same monk robes as at the start of all of this come out through the crowd and stand behind him. He points at the ring and they jump up. Nash follows.
Hoods are removed.
Kurt Angle leads the charge, with Roode, Storm, Styles, Aries, Young, Crimson, Gunner, Samoa Joe, the Pope, Morgan and, finally, the man called Sting following. Within moments they are the only ones left in the ring. And as the rest of the people come down, one by one, they are gang-attacked and thrown out in seconds, all saving Kevin Nash.
Finally the locker room has had enough, and they charge the ring, but are cut off. Bully Ray, Anderson, D-Von, Steiner, Daniels, Rob Terry, Robbie E, the lot of them just hold them off. A few go from the ring to join the fray as the count-down starts again, and again, and again. And each time the man is thrown over. Number 29, Sheamus, is so badly beaten that he lays in front of the announcerâ€™s desk and does not move. Finally itâ€™s Daniel Bryanâ€™s turn and, to everyoneâ€™s surprise, Nash is left alone in the ring. A corridor forms to allow Bryan to get to the ring. He steps in and takes it to Nash. But a cheap shot by Christian turns the tide and soon he is thrown out as well. Once outside, Bobby Roode belts him with his Money in the Bank briefcase, and then again with the TNA title.
Nash points at the Wrestlemania sign as Punk steps out onto the ramp. Everyone stares at him and he smiles.
TNA may have won this battle, but the war is far from overâ€¦
Tags: cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Fantasy booking, impact, john cena, kevin nash, Kurt Angle, Raw, royal rumble, Smackdown, TNA, view from down here, wrestling, WWE