Canton’s Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – September 24
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport
Welcome to Canton’s Corner. WWE had their September PPV Night of Champions last Sunday, I wrote a review of it and truthfully I’ve already forgot the majority of things that happened after it. I don’t think that’s my fault. Maybe it’s because I watched six hours of wrestling this week after that. I’m not sure. It just didn’t feel like a major show. For this column I’ll offer some quick takes on Raw, Smackdown and list five things I like about Impact Wrestling. Before that, are you Google Plus, because I am right here or just type in John Canton and you can find me that way. Add me. Don’t be shy. First up this week as always are the polls.
Last Week’s Poll Results
The poll question was: The Rock is wrestling at Survivor Series in a 5 on 5 match. Is it the right move?
The result: NO 61.75%, YES 38.25%
That’s nearly a 60/40 split in favor of those disagreeing with the idea of The Rock wrestling at Survivor Series. I think it’s a good move for WWE in terms of drawing a big audience at Survivor Series, but it might hurt in the sense of The Rock’s WrestleMania return being less special because he’ll have already been in a ring. For him it probably helps with ring rust. I’m mixed about it personally. I think once I see Survivor Series and mark out for him in a ring again I’ll probably lean towards it being a good idea. Just don’t put him in a singles match. Save that for WrestleMania 28 vs. John Cena.
This Week’s Poll Question: How would you rate WWE in general on the 1-10 scale?
I couldn’t think of anything great, so we’ll go with this general question asking you what you think about WWE right now. Ten is perfect. Zero is obviously very bad.
I voted for 6.5, so on the poll I picked a 7. I think it’s been a better than average year, but the last month has been a bit of a downer and that’s fresh in my mind. I can’t ignore the highs of July & August though.
Let’s roll with a few Likes & Dislikes from this week’s Raw, which I covered on Tuesday already.
LIKE – The use of Hugh Jackman
I’m anti guest star. I don’t hide that opinion. I think the majority of them have been failures. Jackman was a success, though. The reason he was a success was because he was placed in a spot opposite strong heels like Guerrero & Ziggler while playing to the crowd. He listened to the fans. He grabbed that Zack Ryder sign and they loved him for it. Then, during the Ryder vs. Ziggler match he was there to “knock out” Ziggler leading to Ryder’s pin. He put over Ryder. It meant a lot because here was this legitimate Hollywood superstar putting over a guy that deserves a push. Plus, they worked a lot of people in the media with reports about how he legitimately broke Ziggler’s jaw, which wasn’t true. It was smart of WWE to play it up, though.
DISLIKE – John Morrison as the designated jobber
What happened with John Morrison that made WWE think the best way to use him would be as a jobber? When was the last time he won a meaningful match? I remember writing about this in the past and I people write back saying it was because his girlfriend Melina was annoying. Now Melina is released and they might have broken up. I have no idea, really. Why should it matter? Here’s a guy that’s been toiling in the midcard for five years, first winning the IC Title in June 2006. At the start of the year I thought he’d break through. He didn’t. Then he got hurt, had neck surgery, came back and aside from one win over R-Truth he’s lost pretty much on a weekly basis. They need to re-focus with him. Come up with some kind of angle. I think his best role is as a babyface, so that shouldn’t change, but they need to use him in a much better way because he’s too good to be a jobber.
LIKE – Cena vs. Punk vs. Del Rio at Hell in a Cell
I’m in favor of the triple threat match only because Cena vs. Del Rio has failed as a feud (due to the booking) while Punk clearly needs to be in the title picture again. I thought they were going the triple threat route at Night of Champions, but obviously that didn’t happen. Can they book any title switch two weeks after Cena won the title? It could happen although I hope not. I would have never taken it off Del Rio, personally. Anyway, the reason it’s a like is because I expect it to be a great match thanks to CM Punk being a part of it.
DISLIKE – The Miz & R-Truth are fired
Why is WWE fascinated with firing angles? I’m not sure if people remember it, but earlier in the year Dolph Ziggler was fired by Teddy Long on Smackdown…until he showed up on Raw. It was lame then. Then we went through the annual “John Cena might get fired” story in the summer. At a house show on Friday (and I assume on Saturday & Sunday as well), they had Miz & Truth run in after the Air Boom match to attack them before security kicks them out. They can’t even sell the firing angle to take them off house shows. I would expect them on Raw this week too. I’m fine with Triple H disciplining them. I just don’t think WWE does a good job of booking these firing angles.
LIKE – Matt Hardy goes to rehab
I’m putting this here because earlier this week he entered a WWE sponsored rehab program. In case you don’t know, WWE will pair for the rehab of any performer that worked for them. It’s a great thing that they do. Whether his addiction is alcohol or drugs (rumor is that it’s painkillers), the good thing is that he is getting treated for it. I don’t support things like driving while impaired or doing some fake suicide stunt on YouTube, but the fact that he’s getting help for the problems he has is an encouraging sign. I don’t hate Matt Hardy. I hope he gets better. Whether we ever see him in a WWE or TNA ring again is irrelevant to me. It might be best for him to not have to live that kind of life again. It’s more important to live a healthy & prosperous life. All the best to you, Matt Hardy.
My buddy Christian Michael already reviewed Smackdown in case you missed it. I wanted to touch on a few things from the show.
LIKE – Randy Orton goes nuts on Cody Rhodes
This was fun. They had a short match, Orton took off Rhodes’ mask and used it as a weapon to get DQ’d. He didn’t care because he was in such a rage all he wanted to do was hurt Rhodes. He used the ring bell to knock him out and then did the RKO on the table. Guess what? The table didn’t break again. That English table is a tough bastard unlike its Spanish counterpart. What you didn’t see on Smackdown was the blood on Cody Rhodes’ face. When Orton hit him with the ring bell, he bled They heavily edited it to hide it as best as possible. If you want a picture of it, click HERE. You can definitely see that he got his father’s bleeding skills. Dusty was an all-time great bleeder. If WWE was smart, they’d play up the blood for Cody’s gimmick and have him wear a mask that makes him stand out even more. It could be used to further his rivalry with Orton.
DISLIKE – Eight matches. All squashes.
I was not a fan of this week’s Smackdown. It featured eight matches, all of which felt like 1980s like squash matches. It had Sheamus over Slater, Barrett over Gabriel, Beth & Natalya over Kaitlyn & AJ, Rhodes over Orton via DQ (the only exception), Khali over Mahal, Sin Cara over Bryan, Air Boom over Usos & Henry over Christian. Aside from the Rhodes/Orton match, it was squash city. I guess you could say Sin Cara vs. Bryan was a competitive match with a tricky finish, but it’s not like Bryan was a major threat to win. Who booked this show? And why? I don’t see what was productive about any of it unless they felt the need to re-establish a guy like Barrett, who has been losing far too much lately.
LIKE – The heel Sin Cara outsmarting the face Sin Cara.
The original Sin Cara aka Mistico wrestled Daniel Bryan this week. Then the heel Sin Cara aka Hunico showed up, knocked him down and finished off Bryan with a Senton Bomb off the top for the win. I think it was a clever finish because obviously they don’t get along, yet it showed that the second one was the heel of the two. When they do have their eventual match, most likely in Mexico in October, they should have the heel Sin Cara dress in a different colored outfit to differentiate the two. I think that’s where the angle is headed.
DISLIKE – The Khali/Mahal angle ended already.
I thought the angle had potential. I thought it was smart for WWE to do an angle with two Indian wrestlers because it’s a growing market. Without letting the story unfold, they had Khali go back to being the boring babyface that he usually is while crushing Mahal in a match this week. I’m not sure if he chopped him all the way back to FCW or not, but it sure seemed like it. I liked Mahal’s potential. I thought they could have been a tag team, or Khali could have continued to be his bodyguard. He is bigger than everybody else. He should be a heel.
LIKE – Tyson Kidd vs. Ted Dibiase on Superstars
This match was better than anything on Raw or Smackdown this week. I know I write about Tyson Kidd a lot. You know why? Because he’s one of the best workers in the company. You should watch the good matches on Superstars so you can know who is out there putting on entertaining matches week after week. Dibiase showed great fire in this match as a babyface too. It was a lot of fun. It’s worth your time to check it out. You can check it out RIGHT HERE.
DISLIKE – Daniel Bryan keeps losing.
I don’t understand the reasoning behind Bryan’s losing streak. Do they think it’s smart to book a likely future World Champion – if he wins at WrestleMania 28 – this way? It isn’t. There’s a story about it on WWE.com where some people have been messaging me thinking that perhaps it will lead to Bryan turning heel. I hope not. He’s one of the best babyfaces they had. They need to add more of a killer instinct to his character, but they shouldn’t be turning him heel. They also shouldn’t be booking him to be a loser either. Hopefully that changes soon.
This week, instead of complaining about the same things that TNA does wrong, how about a listing of things that I really like about TNA? Let’s go with a listing of three things because after that it gets a little difficult.
3. Austin Aries as the champion of the X-Division
I’m a big fan of this guy. He reminds me of the 1997-98 version of Chris Jericho in WCW where he was really shining in the role as the egotistical cruiserweight champion. Aries is a great worker, he shows a ton of confidence in his promos and he is excellent at the heel mannerisms needed to draw the ire of the fans. I think he needs to be the centerpiece of the X-Division for the next six months at least with the title on him the entire time before moving up the ladder to face bigger competition. I’d really love to see a feud against AJ Styles, who really needs a new rival because we’ve seen Daniels vs. Styles so many times. I think in terms of style, a feud between Aries & Styles is where it’s at.
2. Making Jeff Hardy pay his dues before returning to the ring
For the last couple of weeks, Hardy has been featured in backstage segments where various members of the locker room have told him that they will give him one more chance to prove himself. His actions earlier in the year when he showed up in no condition to perform at Victory Road was a major negative for a company that has far too many negatives surrounding it. By doing these backstage segments where the likes of Matt Morgan, Devon & Kurt Angle among others are talking to him about his actions they are bringing a real life situation on screen in a way that works. By the time Jeff gets in front of the crowd again (it’s coming soon) he’ll draw a big pop for sure. He’s best in the babyface role anyway. Let’s hope his mind is in the right place and his career can get back on track. I’ve always been a fan.
1. Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode for the TNA World Title
We’ve seen two weeks of build so far. I’ve enjoyed it. They taped three more weeks of shows already, so I know where it’s going. I think they have the right idea for it. Let’s hope that when Roode wins the World Title, which I assume is the plan, that he does it in a match that doesn’t have a ref bump or some kind of stupid finish that TNA is known for. They need to have a straight up 20 minute classic where Roode wins clean whether it’s via tapout or pinfall. It needs to happen that way. Save the angles for Impact. Let Bound for Glory end with a picture of somebody new holding the TNA World Title for a change. They also need to get Roode his own theme song instead of the Beer Money one because that would separate himself from James Storm. It doesn’t look like that will happen until possibly Bound for Glory, but it should. Of course the biggest issue with TNA isn’t making those big moments. The issue is booking the champion the right way after they have that big moment, which is something they perpetually fail at. I’m trying to be positive, though, so let’s just hope for that classic match in the main event of BFG. That’s all I can ask for.
Did you notice there was nothing about Hogan or Sting in here? That’s not an accident. It was fine in 1997. Not in 2011.
Random Clip of the Week
In honor of Cody Rhodes’ blood on Smackdown, I thought I’d remind all of us about one of the most memorable bloody matches in WWE history: Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL from Judgment Day 2004. If you don’t like blood in matches turn away. If you do, re-watch this one again.
It’s not a match I’d rate higher than ***1/2 or so, but I was impressed with how well Eddie worked after being so bloody. That one along with Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood 1997 and Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 are the three WWE bloodfests I’ll remember the most.
Hello Everyone. So what did you think of Night of Champions? I have been seeing some mixed reviews. Some loved it and some hated it with a passion. Then there are some, like me, who thought there were good things about it and there were bad things.
The good? Michael Cole lost his voice! The bad? Where the heck was Jim Ross? Again! Ross should call the pay per views. I don’t get why they feel the need to put Booker out there with Cole and Lawler. They seriously have to be the 3 worst commentators WWE has right now. I enjoy Matthews, Regal, Stanford & even Striker. They have all these guys plus J.R and we get these three? Are you serious bro? What else was good? Mark Henry not only won the World Heavyweight Championship, but he beat Orton clean. When was the last time Orton lost clean? I am pretty sure it goes back to when he was feuding with Cena. That is pretty insane if you ask me. More bad? What the hell is up with the booking with the Divas of Doom? I don’t care if there is some sort of long term booking plan with this because how they are booking it now is killing my interest in this storyline. I mean why in the blue hell would you book Beth to lose yet again to Kelly Kelly? And in Beth’s home town. For shame! I mean is this suppose to make us think Kelly is actually a good wrestler? She is slowly improving but the focus shouldn’t be about her or Eve right now. It needs to be on the Divas of Doom. They need to start destroying everything in their path if we as fans are suppose to take this whole thing seriously. Remember when Kharma showed up and would just go the ring and obliterate the poor diva in the ring? She didn’t even have to speak. She simply went in that ring and showed why she was a force to be reckoned with. That is the feeling I want to get when I see Beth & Natalya. I don’t want to be reminded of a LayCool 2.0. The booking team seriously needs to get their shit together.
Lastly, what possible good can come out of completely burying Alberto Del Rio and giving Cena yet another title reign? I don’t hate Cena as much as most people. I respect the guy but come on. What change is this? After Punk cut that promo months ago and after Money in the Bank, I was excited. It felt like a new era was upon us. I along with many others called it “The Reality Era” and was pumped to see what was next. And where are we now? back to the same garbage and it makes me sad and angry as a fan. If you read my column last week, you’ll probably remember that I pretty much made it a tribute to the business that I love and respect. I understand that it’s not always going to be good and people will always have different opinions about what they enjoyed and disliked. That’s a given. I think most of us can agree though that we don’t need to see Cena as champion anymore. He doesn’t need it. We don’t want to hear Cole anymore because he takes away from the matches with his constant bitching. The Divas of Doom have the potential to change the Divas division. So let them. And please get Vickie off of TV. I’m sick of seeing her in general regardless of the heel heat she gets because she is that annoying.
Well, it’s obvious this week’s edition was a serious case of venting, but I needed to let that out. If you agree with what I had to say, please leave your comments or follow me on twitter and let me know. If you think I need to Melo Out, then let me know as well. I’m a big boy. I can take it.
Until next week, sit back, try to relax and Melo Out, cause that’s what wrestling is all about. I may seriously have to consider changing this if this kind of booking keeps up.
Steve “The Melo Man” Melo
Here’s my posting schedule going forward.
Tuesday Sept 27 – Raw Deal as always.
Wednesday Sept 28 – Part one of a major column about WWE.
Thursday Sept 29 – Part two of a major column about WWE.
Friday Sept 30 – Hell in a Cell PPV preview with TJR staff.
Saturday Oct 1 – Next week’s edition of Canton’s Corner.
Monday Oct 3 – Hell in a Cell PPV recap.
Tue Oct 4 – Raw Deal.
That’s seven new pieces of material in eight days. Sleep is overrated. I’m a workaholic. Try it. You might like it.
Have a great weekend.
Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.