Canton’s Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review for August 27
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport
Welcome to the sixth edition of Canton’s Corner. I’m short on time this week, so I won’t be writing as much. I never got around to watching this week’s edition of TNA’s Impact Wrestling, which could very well be seen as a good thing for my sanity. I do have some thoughts in general on TNA that I’ll get to when I reach that section as well. I’ll also have some quick thoughts on Raw and Smackdown from this week as well.
Before we can move on to this week’s poll, we have to look at last week’s poll results.
Last Week’s Poll Results
The poll question was: Should The Rock vs. John Cena at WM28 be a WWE Title match?
The result: No – 87.4%. Yes – 22.6%.
That’s after over 2,000 votes too. Obviously that’s a big number saying they don’t need the WWE Title involved in their epic showdown at WrestleMania. I’m not sure what WWE is going to do. There’s a long time to go before now and WrestleMania, so I assume that the decision hasn’t been made yet.
This Week’s Poll Question: What night should WWE Smackdown be on?
I’m putting only weekdays as an option without listing Monday obviously. It’s not economically feasible for WWE to do it live on another night because they take the TV trucks to Smackdown the night after Raw. It’s silly to have Raw live on a Monday, then have the trucks sit in a city as they go live on a Friday or example. That’s why I’m giving you four options.
I voted for live on Tuesday. I think it will be the runaway winner. I think WWE’s live Smackdown on Tuesday will be an interesting test to see what kind of ratings they get. If they are significantly higher than what they currently get on Smackdown then I’m hoping that Syfy & WWE are encouraged to get the show off of Friday nights. Still, I’m wondering what all of you think. Please vote now!
Let’s move on to the weekly shows.
I wrote the Raw Deal already this week, so check that out here if you need a reminder of what I thought. It was a strong show this week.
Three bullet points:
– I love the new tag team champions Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne. I think they should be a permanent team for the next year or so because I doubt management would really push either guy as a singles main event player anytime soon. You might as well use these talented, popular workers to get the tag titles over. They definitely need a team name. I know that on Twitter the @WWEUniverse account has been asking for people to suggest team names. Evan Bourne tweeted something about them being called “Altitude Era” so that could be the permanent name. I guess we’ll find out on Raw. A potential tag title feud with Miz & R-Truth (Truly Awesome or The Awesome Truth?) could be a lot of fun.
– The US Title picture sucks right now. Dolph Ziggler has the title, he is feuding with Alex Riley, Vickie Guerrero is mad at him even though he’s holding a title and Jack Swagger’s involved as Vickie’s potential new client. The last two weeks have resulted in awful segments surrounding the title. I’m not sure where they’re headed with it, but I’d guess a triple threat match at Night of Champions in September is likely.
– Can we have a Raw that doesn’t involve the same boring Triple H promo? Last week he had two promo segments. He was barely on Raw for the first six months of the year and now he’s all over the place. Some of the things they say in the ring can be done in much shorter backstage segments. I realize he’ll likely be turning heel soon against CM Punk, so it’s important to build up the face to face tension. However, sometimes it can be a little much.
Join me for a live Raw Deal on Monday night at thejohnreport.net. It will be posted everywhere else after the show is over.
Let’s look at some things I liked and disliked from Friday’s Smackdown show from Calgary. Check out my buddy Christian Michael’s Smackdown recap here in case you missed it.
Like – Bret Hart interacting with Christian
Fun. Maybe I’m biased as a Canadian, but I enjoyed seeing Bret Hart in front of the Calgary crowd again. His pop was pretty huge although with Smackdown you can’t tell as well as Raw due to the editing process. I liked how Christian drew massive heel heat by ripping on Bret while the Hitman fired back by saying he was a disgrace to Canadians, which drew a really big pop. Of course Christian’s rematch request is justified just as much as Cena’s & Punk’s, but I guess because he’s a heel he’s a coward for it. That was my only flaw with the promo.
Dislike – The second Sin Cara vs. Heath Slater
In case you don’t know already, the original Sin Cara (aka Mistico) got sent home from the Smackdown taping. Donning the mask again this week was FCW development wrestler Hunico, who isn’t the worker that Mistico is. Obviously Mistico has heat because he failed a drug test and he made some mistakes as well, but he’s clearly a better worker than Hunico. They sent Hunico and Slater out a second time to re-shoot their match. Now the question is will they keep using Hunico as Sin Cara or will Mistico get another chance? Personally I’d give Mistico another shot because he’s the better worker of the two and long term he’s the better choice. You can tell there’s a huge difference. In my opinion, Mistico’s a special talent like a young Rey Mysterio and that’s somebody that deserves the opportunity to be a star. Next week it’s Del Rio vs. Sin Cara on the live edition of Smackdown. Who will it be under the mask? It’s a big spot against the WWE Champion and on a live broadcast.
Like – Christian vs. Daniel Bryan
Loved it. They got about 12 minutes and I’d rate it at a very solid *** with the hope that they have a feud leading to PPV matches in the very near future. With Christian likely out of the title hunt after next week’s loss to Randy Orton and Bryan being in the upper midcard, it seems possible that they have a rivalry going forward. That’s exciting to me because I think they are two of the top three workers in WWE right now with CM Punk being the other. It was nice to see Bryan get the LeBell Lock for a close submission victory only for Christian to come back to hit the Killswitch and get his arm raised as the winner of the match. Hopefully we see more from these two.
Dislike – Ezekiel Jackson vs. The Great Khali
It was short, but it wasn’t good. The crowd noise was clearly piped in. Can you blame the fans? Jackson was booked like a monster against Wade Barrett and then a jobber against Cody Rhodes. He needs to be turned heel because the babyface act is boring as hell. He won the match with the Torture Rack, which was impressive on a guy like The Great Khali although it was funny too because Khali was about six inches off the ground. It almost looked like he was leaning up against the guy. I’m not trying to hate. I’m just saying when you do stuff like this after you make a guy look like a muscular jobber he’s not going to get over with the fans very much.
Like – The Sheamus/Mark Henry feud continues to be on a roll
At Summerslam, Henry won via countout. On Smackdown this week, Sheamus won via countout. The match started out really slow here, but they picked up the pace a lot and it got fun when they brawled on the floor. Sheamus was able to send Henry crashing over the announce table, which led to his win. After it was over, Henry won their brawl on the floor by giving him the World’s Strongest Slam on the steel steps. It was a very impressive looking spot. Henry’s going to move on to challenge Orton at Night Champions, but this feud with Sheamus will likely continue and surprisingly it’s provided a lot of entertainment too. Kudos to both guys. Good booking goes a long way.
Dislike – Wade Barrett walks out on a match
Let me get this straight. They don’t have any storyline for Barrett, so instead of having a match against an unknown he cut a promo saying he’s above this. This is basically WWE’s way of admitting that they are doing a poor job of creating babyfaces to match up against the heels they have. Get this man a storyline. Come on, “creative” team. It’s similar to a heel walking out of a match and getting intentionally disqualified. They do this kind of thing on Smackdown every three weeks it seems.
Like I said earlier I didn’t see the show, but I feel like writing about Ric Flair, who was the subject of a much talked about article on Grantland.com this week. It’s a very informative article that details Flair’s history as it relates to his money issues and four marriages over the years. It paints the picture of Flair as being irresponsible with his money despite the fact that he’s made millions of dollars throughout the course of his 40+ year career in wrestling.
I have a lot of respect for Flair as a performer and I’ve enjoyed watching him from the time I was a kid up until his “retirement” against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24. Everything since then has felt off. I haven’t enjoyed watching him in TNA too much. Part of it is because the booking in TNA generally sucks (that’s not news), but it’s also because he should still be in WWE if he wants to be a part of the business. I wish they did something with him in a GM type role (even though he did something similar in late 2001) because he deserves to be on a bigger stage. If he really wanted to wrestle again they could have worked it into angle, but I guess he would have felt bad towards Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels for going back on his word.
I wish Flair didn’t need the money and to be in the spotlight. Obviously his money problems are his own and he has to take responsibilities. I just think it’s sad to see him working an angle with Sting and Hogan in 2011. It was 22 years ago that he first feuded with Sting and 17 years ago that he first feuded with Hogan in WCW. That’s how old these guys are. I don’t like that they’re re-doing it because it looks like three guys hanging around too long instead of three guys entertaining me like they used to.
Instead of seeing Ric Flair as the legend he was, like when he retired in WWE in 2008, I see him as a guy that leads a life full of stress and issues far beyond his own control. Guys like him should be happy, retired and going to autograph signings once in a while. Instead he’s in his 60s working for a company that has no idea how to create new fans because they keep trotting out the same familiar faces. It’s a sad story.
What about Matt Hardy, you ask? It’s unfortunate that he got a DWI charge and that he got released from TNA. I think it’s a sad story of a guy that is constantly craving attention and is doing a bad job of keeping his priorities in order. I also think TJR writers Andrew Johnson and Mike Aires did a great job of writing articles that looked at different angles of the Matt Hardy story. I hope he bounces back from this because he inspired a lot of wrestling fans over the years. I’m not going to join those that rip on people. I’d rather see people come back stronger than pile on with the verbal beatdown so to speak.
Random Clip of the Week
This week on Raw, John Cena threw his t-shirt into the crowd. A fan in Edmonton threw it back at him. What did that remind me of? One of my favorite crowds ever at the ECW One Night Stand event in 2006. This is a great highlight video of the John Cena vs. Rob Van Dam WWE Title match that features all of the creative chants from this memorable night.
That was fun. One Night Stand 2006 is one of my ten favorite PPVs ever.
Hello everyone. I am currently on my vacation / honeymoon as I stated in last weeks edition of Canton’s Corner. Since I missed RAW & Smackdown this week, I decided to try something different this week. Instead of speaking my mind about RAW & Smackdown like I normally do, I thought wouldn’t it be funny to get into the mind of John Canton himself? I hope you all get a laugh out of it. I will see you next week.
Click on the image to see a larger, easier to read version of it.
Until next week, sit back, relax & Melo Out, because that’s what wrestling’s about.
Thanks Steve. I think.
That’s all for this week. On Monday I’ll be doing a live edition of the Raw Deal (the last one of 2011 because it will be Tuesdays only once NFL season starts) on thejohnreport.net and on Tuesday either myself or regular Smackdown writer Christian Michael will write about the Super Smackdown Live special (or whatever it’s called) live at TJR. It should be a busy week, but as always we’ll have you covered.
Lastly, I’ll be writing two major articles in the month of September. One of the articles will be in the first part of the month and the other will be towards the end of the month. I can’t say what. You’ll just have to trust me on this.
Have a great weekend.
Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.