Sunday, June 30, 2013

Upset Alert: Magnus defeats Bobby Roode - Impact Wrestling June 27, 2013

This past Thursday on Impact Wrestling (June 27, 2013), Magnus successfully upset former TNA World Champion the "It Factor" Bobby Roode. I believe we may finally be witnessing the long awaited rise of Magnus. This was a pretty major upset given that Magnus has never defeated a wrestler this high up in the company. Sure, it wasn't on Pay-Per-View, but it was still a huge step for Magnus. It wasn't as shocking as The Usos and Christian upsetting The Shield on Smackdown, but it was still shocking. 

Upset Alert: Usos and Christian Defeat The Shield on Smackdown 6-28-13

by Brian Phelps

This past Friday on the June 28th, 2013 edition of Smackdown, The Usos and Christian defeated The Shield CLEANLY in what has to be one of the biggest upsets of the last couple of years. While I am happy for Christian and even more for the Usos, I must say that the booking makes no sense.

What WWE is telling you is that John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Kane could not defeat The Shield.
Ryback and Team Hell No could not defeat The Shield.
Chris Jericho and Team Hell No could not defeat The Shield.
The Undertaker, Kane, and Daniel Bryan could not defeat The Shield.

But... Christian and the Usos defeated The Shield clean? This is what doesn't make sense sometimes about WWE's booking style. They spent the last 8 months showing us that the biggest names in the business such as John Cena, The Rock, The Undertaker, Ryback, etc could not stop the Shield... but now they expect us all to believe that the Usos who most of the time can't even make it on the Pay-Per-View cards and long time upper mid-carder Christian can beat them. 

Is this more a case of the rise of The Usos or the start of the marginalization of The Shield?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

John Cena Buries the World Heavyweight Championship on RAW - June 24, 2013

On the June 24th edition of RAW, John Cena buried the World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Championship in a promo response to Mark Henry's retirement hoax by stating "...maybe he (Mark Henry) realizes time is running out... and he will not have a legacy in the WWE unless he holds on to this (WWE Championship)".

In this promo John Cena implies that the only way Henry will have a legacy is if he wins the WWE Championship. Mark Henry is a former World Heavyweight Champion and ECW Champion and yet according to Cena Henry would have no legacy despite these accolades unless he wins the WWE title. Wow Cena. Way to basically say winning the World Heavyweight Championship doesn't mean jack. Way to bury all the wrestlers who only held the World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Championship.

I wonder how guys like Christian, Booker T, and Goldberg feel about that statement given that Christian like Henry in WWE has only held the World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Championship. So if Christian doesn't win the WWE title does that mean Christian has no legacy either?

What about Booker T who only held the World Heavyweight Championship in the WWE. Does Booker T's legacy mean nothing?

That statement by Cena was completely bogus and came across as arrogant (though I don't think he meant it that way). It really gets on my nerves sometimes when Cena makes statements that other wrestler's accomplishments mean nothing unless they beat him for the WWE Championship. He made similar statements to CM Punk back in 2011 when he claimed in a promo that Punk basically had to prove to Cena that he was more than a "loud mouthed one hit wonder". Who does Cena think he is sometimes? Every now and then he makes statements during his promos that make him unintentionally come across as full of himself. His ego amazes me sometimes.

Cena is not the be all end all of pro wrestling. He's not the best mic worker. He's not the best wrestler. He will go down as the biggest wrestler in the smallest pond of main event talent in modern WWE history. A champion of a bunch of nobodies and part-time has beens for nearly a decade.

Don't let John Cena fool all of you. Mark Henry's legacy is secure. I think World Heavyweight Champion, ECW Champion, World's Strongest Man, and U.S. Olympian is a pretty amazing legacy that will mean plenty to a lot of young men after he hangs up his boots. Henry's face may not have graced a box of Fruity Pebbles cereal or the cover of a poorly acted straight-to-dvd movie release, but at least Henry can say that he was among the top athletes in the world in some real sports. The World's Strongest Man and U.S. Olympian are legitimate sports accomplishments that Cena will never be able to lay claim to. Unlike John Cena, Mark Henry is a legitimate sports athlete outside the world of pro wrestling and for that I will always respect Mark Henry over John Cena when it comes to athletic accomplishments.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

WWE Releases Talented Up-and-Coming Commentator Matt Striker

by Brian Phelps

A couple of days ago, the WWE released long time wrestler, commentator, interviewer Matt Striker. Matt Striker is one of the most underrated commentators of all-time. Striker was a throwback to the realistic commentators of yesteryear like Sean Mooney, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Tony Shiavone. I'll never forget when watching a boring episode of WWE's Tuesday night ECW that as Yoshi Tatsu won the #1 contendership for the ECW Title Matt Striker yelling "Yoshi Tatsu has done it. And they're celebrating on the streets of Tokyo!". Was it over-the-top and cheesy? Yes. But this sort of commentating is what pro wrestling is sorely missing. Matt Striker was able to make a boring match on WWECW seem like the most important match of all-time. I haven't seen a commentator really sell such a low brow match since Tony Shiavone was selling Disco Inferno vs La Parka on WCW Saturday Night as the "Greatest night in the history of our great sport". Striker, much like Shiavone, is able to make even the most low brow matches seem important. 

I know Striker is going to bounce back. TNA desperately needs a guy like Matt Striker to modernize the announcing booth and relieve us of the poor lackluster commentating of Taz. No offense to Taz, but he was never a good commentator. He just adds credibility to the TNA Booth from all his Smackdown years. Tenay needs Striker because he's been carrying the announcing booth since the company started, and now the company has grown to where it's just time for a fresh voice. They tried Todd Kennely but the chemistry just wasn't there, and he was more expendable then Tenay or Taz. 

Striker was far better than Michael Cole or Jerry Lawler. Striker would actually call the match at hand rather than blabbering on about the latest Cena storyline during the undercard matches. I'm going to miss Matt Striker, but I hope that TNA signs Striker. They desperately need a fresh voice at the commentating table to join Tenay. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

FAQ: Who Broke Ryback's Undefeated Streak?

The Answer: CM Punk ended Ryback's undefeated streak at 38-0 at the October 2012 WWE Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View.

How WWE Ruined Ryback

by Brian Phelps

Eight months ago, Ryback was riding a seemingly unstoppable wave of momentum as a monster face and it was just a matter of time before he would win the WWE Championship. He had been undefeated for 6 months as he disposed of jobbers and mid-carders right and left on his way to 38-0 record. Fast forward 8 months and Ryback has been ruined. So what happened?

For some reason, WWE Creative is still booking him as a main event monster but now no one believes in Ryback anymore. Why? WWE Creative thought it would make sense to completely derail all of Ryback's momentum by having him lose at 7 straight Pay-Per-Views. He lost to CM Punk at Hell in Cell, he lost to CM Punk at Survivor Series, he lost to The Shield in a tag match at TLC, he lost the Royal Rumble to John Cena, he lost to The Shield in a tag match at Elimination Chamber, he lost to Mark Henry (clean) at Wrestlemania 29, and he wrestled to a No Contest with John Cena at Extreme Rules.

To make matters worse, WWE decided to turn Ryback from a monster face into a babbling barbaric heel. Once he became a heel, WWE thought it would be great to give Ryback a mic and let him cut long drawn out promos that exposed his weaknesses as a mic worker. Ryback's drawn out promos caused John Cena to unintentionally bury Ryback because Ryback was unable to successfully trade barbs on the mic with Cena. So Cena and Ryback's verbal confrontations always leave everyone feeling like Cena got the better of Ryback.

It also made no sense how they retroactively claimed Ryback and Cena used to be friends when they never cut any promos as "buddies", and never really tagged together. There was never any inclination that they were friends... but for some reason now that Ryback is a heel they claim that him and Cena were best buddies at one time. WWE revisionist history that makes no sense.

Despite all of this, WWE still wants us to buy Ryback as an unstoppable legitimate threat to Cena's championship. I'm sorry, but if a boxer lost 7 straight pay-per-views... would you still think he was a threat to win the Heavyweight Title? NO! He'd be considered a bum. If a MMA fighter lost 7 straight Pay-Per-View fights Dana White would cut him from the UFC.

In over 20+ years of watching wrestling, I don't think I've ever seen this before. I've never seen a guy lose at 7 straight Pay-Per-Views and still be promoted as unstoppable. It makes no sense. WWE has ruined Ryback and I fully expect Ryback's winless drought on Pay-Per-View to extend to 8 straight Pay-Per-Views after Sunday's WWE Payback Pay-Per-View. WWE was onto something huge with Ryback 8 months ago... now it seems as though it won't be long until Ryback is horn tooting with Santino Marella or in a losing feud with Hornswoggle.