Originally posted on thenextwwewriter:

This is the first entry in my Quick Fix Superstar Profile. These postings will cover one superstar, his or her accomplishments, and what I believe needs to be done or changed to put this superstar over to the next level.

The first WWE superstar is none other than the Show Off Dolph Ziggler. Dolph is a great talent in and out of the ring, but has been held in the midcard, even as a jobber, for a long time now. Reports have come out that Dolph doesn’t handle himself very well backstage and takes his character too far. Well, putting that aside, Dolph needs the proper push. He’s got the in ring ability, the look, and the charisma. He deserves better.

This column is not about character changes or how to repackage, although it may be, but Dolph just needs the right fix.

They tried to make him this generations…

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The Ultimate Escapism – WWE

Posted: December 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Silman Time is Here:

Yes we all know it’s scripted. So what. Sometimes the actors miss their spots – so what. They tell a story – and it’s no better or worse than a Bible story, or a bedtime story. The bad guys(heels) get theirs in the end, and the good guys(babyfaces or faces) end up on the high moral ground. The female wrestlers (the Divas) are gorgeous, the male wrestlers are strong, athletic, agile and for the most part, intelligent and very well-spoken.

I am certain I could write much better storylines for WWE than the rubbish they have served up these past few months. Where are the love triangles, and all the other human relationships that make life so interesting.

They have dumbed it all down to appeal to the mass American market. Thank heavens for Damian Sandow. I can hardly wait for him to become a babyface, with the appearance of…

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Sunday Sermon: Our hopes for 2014

Posted: December 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Originally posted on Ring the Damn Bell:

Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, Russ Mortan, Jamie Lithgow and Kenneth Richardson

(Image courtesy of www.wrestlingnewsmafia.com)

Will 2014 see Bryan have a longer run with this strap? (Image courtesy of http://www.wrestlingnewsmafia.com)

It’s that time of year again as we reflect on the last twelve months while at the same time looking forward to the year ahead. It’s no different on this blog as today, in the final Sunday Sermon of 2013, the team discuss what they want to see happen in 2014.

So whether that’s seeing a local indy promotion have a breakthrough year, the WWE network launched or a hero of old get some TV time in January’s Royal Rumble today Craig, Brian, Russ, Jamie and Kenneth share their wrestling hopes for 2014.

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Raw Logo

Raw should’ve been about the debut of the newest “Paul Heyman Guy,” Curtis Axel, but all we remembered instead was an odd Ryback promo delivered atop an ambulance, too many WWE App mentions and a stumbling Triple H in the main event. Best remembered:  a stellar match between The Shield and Team Hell No/Kofi Kingston. More on that below.

 

 

 

WWE Main Event Logo

Main Event was decent and offered lukewarm in-ring action, as Ryback hindered an Usos win, abducted Heath Slater and put him in an ambulance. The rest of the show hyped Smackdown and recapped Raw, as per the course for post-Raw shows.

 

 

 

TNA Impact Wrestling Logo

Impact was somewhat newsworthy that got over that A.J. Styles stood alone while Mickie James won the Knockouts Title and Gunner/Samoa Joe made their returns with Slammiversary days away.

 

 

 

WWE Smackdown Logo

Smackdown had a pretty good six-man tag main event and Axel received better treatment, but it was a case of “too little, too late.” Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan also shined on this show. On the other hand, we had a pointless Sheamus-Damien Sandow segment centered around a Gordian knot.

 

 

 

 

 

Highlight

The Shield Defeat Team Hell No/Kofi Kingston (Raw, 5/20/13)

Reigns Spears Kane Raw

At this point, it seemed as if The Shield could do no wrong in the ring. You could set them in a six-man tag with two concession stand guys and a McDonald’s manager and it’d still be gold.

WWE has done the six-man tag to death, but it never gets tiresome, for the sole reason that most of them involved these fearsome men in black.

With Extreme Rules slightly in the rear view mirror, The Shield emerged with the Tag Team and United States Championships. If this wasn’t a sign of a major push, their incredible performances in these six-man tags would only cement it.

The Shield also helped out guys like Daniel Bryan, Kane, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Kofi Kingston, bringing out their best.

The match above was one example of how great they can be. Of course, there was added interest at the time since The Shield had yet to be beaten, but even then, it still delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

Lowlight

The Debut Segment of Curtis Axel (Raw, 5/20/13)

Raw Curtis Axel Debut Segment

There’s no denial that finding success in WWE has been hard for one Joe Hennig. Given his namesake, it shouldn’t have been this difficult, but that may be the thing that held him back: his namesake.

He doesn’t possess the crisp mic skills or pizazz in the ring like his bloodline predecessors. Highlighting his family background would only increase expectations, but why wouldn’t WWE want to do this?

Sure, he came up with the once-hot Nexus group in the summer of 2010, but he was never at the group’s forefront, just one of the “side players.” With a ridiculous name like Michael McGillicutty, just where do you go?

It seemed as if WWE had finally got it right on paper, as they eliminated the former ring name, paid homage to the past with the new one and paired him with Paul Heyman, the catalyst for Brock Lesnar’s rise and CM Punk’s great WWE Champion heel run.

Of course, this all went back to increased expectations and Axel simply didn’t live up to them. Worse yet, Triple H got involved with this segment, ignored Axel as he tried to interrupt him and even slapped him down to the canvas. Really bright debut segment there.

WWE had a chance to really do something memorable and instead went with the status-quo method of focusing on Triple H, as we saw at the end of the “inconclusive” main event on Raw.

WWE Smackdown Logo(Air Date: 5/24/13)

Headed in, Smackdown promised MizTV, United States and Intercontinental Championship rematches and as always, more raw recaps than imaginable.

 

 

 

 

The Breakdown:

Opening video questioned if Triple H’s match with Brock Lesnar caused more damage than initially thought and promised an update on his condition, if redemption equaled Trouble in Paradise for The Shield as Kofi Kingston faced Dean Ambrose in the United States Championship rematch.

To the ring where MizTV was already in progress. He welcomed everyone to the show and said he’d soon be versatile as he’d host MizTV and be Intercontinental Champion. He brought up Fandango’s debut victory, dance and introduced him. He came with Summer Rae. Miz brought up what happened on Raw. Fandango shushed him, told him he was no different from anyone else and correctly pronounced his name. Miz did his “Really?” thing. He said Fandango did something never done in a tag match before. Cue Raw highlight video. Miz said Fandango’s ego was bigger than his name and asked what kind of self-absorbed narcissist he was. Fandango said if anyone got close to Rae again, he’d dance all over their face and implied that Miz should be the last person to talk about egos. Miz said he knew he had a big ego, but knew the balance between sports and entertainment and when the bell rang, it was all business and wasn’t outside the ring dancing like a bag of Skittles. A “Bag of Skittles” chant started. Miz congratulated him for being the new Fruity Pebbles. Fandango said Miz and his lecture bored him and said Miz was just angry he didn’t do it first. He went on to say something else, but was interrupted by Wade Barrett’s music, who came down the ramp. He said he wanted a word with the two of them, but would start with the “ballerina.” He said he never encountered a more disrespectful waste of skin in his entire life and the only reason they lost on Raw was because he’d rather “tip toe through the tulips” (Tiny Tim reference, so he wins) than fight like a real man and would smash every tooth in his head and make sure the whole world forgot his name if he came across him again. Fandango corrected him. Miz said Barrett wanted to talk about disrespectful, but said he’d defend his Title against him later and reminded him he beat him for the Title at WrestleMania and made him tap on Raw. Barrett said he wanted to remind him how “this” felt and sucker punched him. The two brawled in the ring while Fandango/Rae left. A Referee came down and stopped the chaos. Oh look, the match is starting. (Reaction: Segment was exactly what you’d expect. Made sense for Barrett to finally confront the tag partner that danced outside and ignored him and hype the match with Miz that was next. Brawl was decent.)

WWE Intercontinental Championship – The Miz def. Wade Barrett via DQ: Fandango sat in on commentary and sounded oddly soothing. Miz had the upper hand in the match. Fandango called for his music to play. It did. Fandango/Rae danced outside again. This angered Miz. He charged at Barrett, only to be swept up in the Winds of Change for a near-fall. Miz eventually dropkicked Fandango through the ropes, who returned the favor with a kick of his own to Miz’s face, causing a DQ, which meant Barrett retained. Fandango stomped down Miz after the bell. Barrett joined him. Barrett geared up for the Bullhammer Elbow while Fandango danced. He turned around right into it. Barrett was handed his Title and he raised it in the air and left the ring.

In the locker room, Daniel Bryan sat in a chair and put on his knee pads, mumbling to himself. He stood up once he saw Kane and asked him, “What?” Kane said he knew he was upset, but they were still a team and they lost the Tag Team Championships and Bryan had to deal with it. He said he lost on Monday night. Bryan said he saw what Kane was saying; that he lost on Raw because he wasn’t there to help him and knew what Kane and everyone was thinking, but he wasn’t the weak link and stormed out. Kane looked helpless.

Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) def. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter): Swagger controlled the beginning. Bryan began his fierce comeback. Swagger hung in there throughout. Bryan made Swagger fall with a stiff kick to the head and the No Lock. Swagger tapped out. Bryan continued the hold on Swagger after the bell. Kane lifted Bryan off Swagger. Bryan led the crowd in the “Yes!” chant. Bryan mouthed he wasn’t the weak link, walked over to Swagger and put the No Lock on him again. Swagger tapped. Kane lifted Bryan off him again. Bryan pushed Kane and walked away. Up the ramp, he screamed, “Yes!” Decent match.

Raw Highlights showed Ryback’s ambulance promo and Zack Ryder squash.

Damien Sandow was in the ring with Matt Striker, all suited up.  He said for the last several weeks, he sat idly by as two “troglodytes” engaged in contests more embarrassing than the last; referencing Sheamus-Mark Henry.  He called it, “appealing to the lowest common denominator.” He doubted any “mathletes” were in the crowd and said the measure of a man wasn’t in his physical strength, but in his ability to deal with mental challenges. He explained the tale of the Gordian knot, which lied on the table. He told Striker to accept the challenge and untie the Gordian knot. Striker had the knot and struggled with it. Sandow said he renewed his idiot license and let down the entire Substitute Teacher’s Union of America. He pointed to Striker as a problem for America’s educational system. Sheamus interrupted him. He said he found it troubling Sandow spent his time playing with knots instead of having a social life or a girlfriend. Sandow told him to leave his personal life alone. Sheamus said he didn’t want to know what else Sandow did in his spare time, He said as a kid, he played with Rubiks cubes, fixed a few, broke a few and wanted to solve the puzzle of the Gordian knot. Sheamus took the knot. He tried to untie it, but Sandow took it from him and said he wanted to show everyone how it was done. Sandow took out wire cutters, cut the knot, raised in the air and said, “You’re welcome.” Sheamus congratulated him for getting everyone, said he’d be the bigger man and went for the Brogue Kick, but missed. Sandow bragged he knew Sheamus would resort to brute force when he couldn’t meet the mental challenge, but Sheamus wasn’t alone because he had the WWE Universe. Sheamus took Striker close, said Sandow taught them both a couple things, was open to learning new things and wanted to return the favor by teaching Sandow about Newton’s law. Sandow said he knew. Sheamus kicked the knot at Sandow and Striker through the ropes, who landed on Sandow. Sheamus said the lesson was what went up must come down. (Reaction: Didn’t quite get all that. Felt like a time waster. Poor Striker for that matter.)

Chris Jericho def. The Big Show via Countout: Jericho played the squirmy underdog while Show was the unstoppable force. Jericho gave Show the Codebreaker outside the ring. Show landed over the timekeeper’s barricade. He tried to make it back, but failed before 10. After the bell, Show grabbed a chair. Jericho kicked it into Show, hit him in the ribs and back with it. Show retreated up the ramp.

Raw highlights showed Curtis Axel’s debut segment in its entirety and the finish of the Axel-Triple H match.

Curtis Axel came out with Paul Heyman to the ring. Heyman introduced himself, said he served as the humble visionary for Brock Lesnar, architect for the best WWE Title reign for CM Punk and asked if they saw the pattern that was developing. He called himself the best agent around who managed two of the three WrestleMania main events this year, something never done before and when he pointed at someone and called them the next big main eventer, that was a stock to invest in, just like he did and Axel was that person. He said the fans booed Axel because of what he did to Triple H on Raw, but didn’t want to brag about it himself and instead would let Axel do it. Axel took the mic, introduced himself and said in one day, he accomplished more than his father and grandfather did in their careers combined as he went in Triple H’s face, took his best shot, left him lying dazed and confused and the record books showed that he was the winner of the match. The crowd booed. Axel said that was just day one in building the brand of Curtis Axel. (Reaction: Pretty vanilla promo, although better than Raw. Perhaps WWE didn’t let him talk that much because of his not-so-show-stealing mic skills.)

Curtis Axel (w/Paul Heyman) def. Sin Cara: Quick squash match, but necessary.  

United States Championship – Kofi Kingston def. Dean Ambrose via DQ: They surely could’ve hyped it up a lot more. No promos from Shield or Kingston? No highlights from Raw of this feud?  Kingston had the upper hand and was on the top rope. He noticed Seth Rollins coming at him and kicked him down to the floor. Kingston then jumped off the top rope to the outside onto Roman Reigns. Once Kingston went back in the ring, Reigns/Rollins attacked Kingston in the ring, causing the disqualification. Randy Orton’s music hit. He ran down to the ring and attacked The Shield, followed by Sheamus. Teddy Long came out. He said this show wouldn’t end like that and since there was already six men out there, this would turn into a tag team match.

The Shield def. Kofi Kingston/Randy Orton/Sheamus: Slow start, but better down the stretch. Reigns sold a hurt ankle. Sheamus Brogue Kicked Rollins and was about to hit Ambrose with the White Noise, when Reigns Speared him. Orton RKO’d Reigns. Sheamus tagged in Kingston, who hit the Cross Body on Ambrose for a really close near-fall. Kingston powered up, but Rollins held him down and that split-second gave Ambrose a chance to hit a dropkick and his finisher and get the pin. Hot finish.

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts: The six-man tag wasn’t as hot as the past ones, but with that hot finish, you wouldn’t have known the difference honestly. Axel got the right treatment, but his Raw debut may had been too much of a bad first impression to overcome. Barrett and Bryan looked good on this episode, but one has to wonder what purpose served for the pointless Sheamus-Sandow segment and Jericho outsmarted Show, but nothing else came of that.