Saturday, January 5, 2013

Week in Wrestling: 12/31 - 1/4

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome back to your regularly scheduled Girls Watch Wrestling report! I've got a couple of new things going on here this year. First of all, I've decided to pick out a match of the night for each show as well as a match of the week for each post. Also, as I mentioned before, I don't like being negative, so I will try to focus on more positive things in the shows, although I'm sure from time to time something will be so awful it can't be ignored. So, with the business out of the way, let's get to the fun!!

Monday Night Raw

1. Match of the Night. Monday night's match of the night was actually pretty tough to call. I have to give honorable mention to Ricardo Rodriguez for his impressive showing against the Big Show, even if his spurt did only last about a minute and a half. It's just good to see Ricardo actually wrestling. The Enzuigiri kick that started his momentum basically came out of nowhere, especially for people who don't realize Ricardo is actually an in-ring performer. So it comes down to two: The opening tag team match between Rhodes Scholars and Cena & Miz is the first contender. It was a surprisingly good way to start the show. If I was still doing my ratings, I probably would have given it a 4. However, the winner burst out from mid-show, and really ended up being the Intercontinental Title match between Wade Barrett and Kofi Kingston. I'm not giving this match of the week just because Wade Barrett won the IC belt, and deservedly so, but the finish to the match doesn't hurt. There was a lot of action here, all over the ring and outside of it. Lots of counters. Lots of pin attempts. Even though we were all spoiled on this one, it still managed to be somewhat suspenseful. Kofi put in a big effort, and Wade made him look good for it.

2. All Championships on the Line. I liked that we were having a special event on Monday when Vickie put all the championships up for grabs (with the obvious exception of the WWE championship because CM Punk is still walking around on crutches). I also liked that it was champion's choice, because that made for some interesting scenarios, and some of them even got tied together. Big Show took the obvious "fuck you I'm a giant" stance when picking Ricardo. Antonio Cesaro took the symbolic approach and beat Sgt. Slaughter. Wade Barrett basically bullied Kofi into choosing him. And Team Hell No had to go with 3MB as Plan B when The Shield was chosen to face Ryback, who would have been CM Punk's choice. The only disappointment of the night was that Eve declared herself winner by forfeit when a doctor declared Mae Young pregnant (no, I'm not going to talk about that, because of that whole being positive thing) and unfit to compete. I would like to have seen Vickie declare that Eve needed to choose another opponent, but with them both being heels, and with Vickie distracted by the whole debacle at the party, that never happened.

3. Talker of the Night. Well, it's no surprise here that I have to talk about Dolph Ziggler and how well he's doing on the mic. AJ still needs a little work, but I think this alliance might actually really work out for everyone involved. Since AJ latched onto him, and brought Big E. Langston with her, Dolph is finally starting to really look like a legitimate threat. So he can really be as condescending as he likes against anyone, especially John Cena. I'm actually pretty excited about this rivalry that's developing. Nothing will put Dolph over more than continually beating up the company's golden boy, and that's an important step towards being a legitimate champion once he finally cashes in his briefcase.

TNA Impact!

1. Match of the Night. Other than Hardy, who let's face it, isn't terrible if you can get past his personal issues, TNA does a pretty good job of putting the main event in the main event. This was good timing for Aces & 8s too, because Bully Ray and Brooke Hogan have been stealing a lot of the spotlight lately, and TNA doesn't want it to look like they've just given up on fighting this invasion. The fact that they were in the main event, and also the fact that there was finally another de-masking (Mike Knox! Haven't seen him since he was throwing a towel over Kelly Kelly...) puts them back on the front burner where they belong. The match was brutal enough, being in a steel cage. Samoa Joe was properly pissed off, which I always love. The only thing that I really take points off of here is Kurt Angle bleeding. I just feel like Kurt is beginning to take the Ric Flair approach to wrestling, and I really hope that it isn't a midlife crisis thing, or a desperate call to stay relevant, because he doesn't really need it. So, yes, good match that.

2. Hogan's Taking it Personally. Like I've mentioned, Brooke & Bully Ray's romance is turning into the other big storyline around here. I don't know if this is right, or proper, or popular, but... I'm enjoying it. I'm actually really enjoying it. The Hogans would be the only other family to be able to pull this off other than the McMahons. Yeah, it might be the rehashed "RAWR NO DAUGHTER OF MINE WILL DATE A WRESTER even though I totally brought you into this world and really it's kind of my fault this happened." I think it's working so far. I actually look forward to the next installment every week. Hogan really went of the deep end this week, though, by suspending Bully Ray. I wonder if he can complain to Dixie Carter, the way WWE Superstars can appeal to the Board of Directors? Hmm...

3. Coming soon! Maybe the only other thing to really note from this week is that the Joseph Park vignette was pointedly more positive this week. For several weeks now we've seen shots of Park being generally terrible at wrestling, to the point that he gets injured in the head (bleeding), and then he goes all Abyss suddenly, and the trainer is like, "Woah where the fuck did that come from??" This week, however, we saw a different story. Joseph has apparently applied himself so heavily that he's actually showing actual wrestling skills without having to be injured first. So it looks like he's going to be coming back to the show very soon.

Friday Night Smackdown!

1. Match of the Night.  Not to sound like a broken record, but Wade and Kofi put on another stellar performance on Friday. This time, we had the benefit of not being spoiled by Twitter, the website, etc. So the suspense was all in tact. I actually got really worked up the second half of the match by thinking they might actually throw the belt back onto Kofi for whatever reason. I'm really glad they didn't go that route, but even so, these guys upped the ante from Monday night's match by adding even more counters & near-falls than before. So, not surprisingly, this one is also going to have my pick for Match of the Week.

2. Women in Wrestling. I don't actually have a whole lot to say here, other than these two things: Firstly, does anyone know why Natalya is basically Khali's valet now? I was happy to find that the tag match was a 6-person mixed tag match, so we got to see Nat back in the ring which made me happy. And it also intrigued me to see Rosa allowed to wrestle. I know she used to be on NXT, but I've never watched her stuff so I don't know what kind of potential she possesses.  Second, finally some motherfucking Tamina Snuka. I've been looking forward to her finally getting back in the ring, and Layla isn't a bad start for her obvious push towards the title. Maybe I just wanna see the Divas title legitimized the same way Cesaro is doing for the US title. Tamina could pull that off. "I'm not a Diva, I'm a wrestler. And no fragile little Diva is ever going to take this from me." Oh, God, that could work.

3. Brace Yourselves... The Royal Rumble announcements are coming. I kind of forgot it was so close somehow. And then Randy Orton showed up and stated his intent to enter the Rumble. And then Sheamus interrupted him to do the same. Hold on tight, folks, there's gonna be a lot of those in the coming weeks.  I'm not sure why people have to announce their entry these days. I think the Rumble could probably do with a lot less of that. Talk about the Rumble, sure. Talk about it a lot. Tell your opponent you're looking forward to eliminating him. Spit at your rival that you hope he draws #1. Brag about pulling some strings to get #30. Hell, shamelessly promote yourself in an effort to buy off #27. But I don't need 25 promos that exist only for the guy to say, "I'm going to enter the Royal Rumble this year." Especially when it's guys like Randy Orton and Sheamus. Yeah, you guys are big time. We kind of figured you were going to be in the Royal Rumble. Leave those promos to your Heath Slaters and your Zack Ryders. Guys who clearly don't have a chance, but are nevertheless just as eager for a championship opportunity as anyone else. Let's make these Royal Rumble promos really mean something.

Actually, the thing I'm really looking forward to coming soon? Hall of Fame announcements! I've never been so excited about Hall of Fame announcements in my life. I'm really really hoping that this year will be Cyndi Lauper's year to be inducted, because that woman deserves that credit. But we shall see.

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