I’ve said before that being a fan of pro wrestling is a game of highs and lows. After last week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown, I was amped. Ready to write. But then life and finishing my CM Punk article intervened and this week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown rolled around.
And yes, SmackDown is taped. Let’s not be childish about this. If you don’t want spoilers, click to something else.
The 2011 Slammy Awards were held on Raw and they gave us a terrible rap battle, Lita and Road Dogg’s return, and a tribute to Raw Interim General Manager John Laurinaitis.
And that was it. Well, until Kane showed up and sent Mark Henry running and John Cena to the mat. That was cool. Glad to have him back in the mask. Of course that shoots my January 2, 2012 theory to shit. More on that later.
I enjoy a good awards show. Probably why I sit through so many of them throughout the year. Or maybe I enjoy a good live tweet session (@BHYPHEN). Who knows. But the Slammys don’t need to be on Raw. Why not run Raw live Monday, tape SmackDown Tuesday, tape or broadcast the Slammys live for Thursday or Saturday, broadcast SmackDown Friday, and have TLC Sunday?
Does that make too much sense? Run it the same way that the Hall of Fame ceremonies are done. Let the wrestlers be really real.
The Slammys really made Raw go too long. Especially for an episode where NOTHING happened until Kane showed up.
On top of that, SmackDown turned around and produced a really boring show. So boring that I won’t even talk about anything that happened because it changed NOTHING for TLC.
Granted, it’s the last PPV of 2012. WWE is about to start building for their best run of the year, the Road to Wrestlemania. I’m not too angry.
The one thing Raw did right was Kane’s return. I thought for sure he would be the big return on 1/2/12 but they rolled him out to save an otherwise boring show. I don’t agree with him going right after Mark Henry though. Sure, Kane was one of Henry’s first victims of the Hall of Pain but can’t he do something else? Henry is already in a great feud with Big Show so why try to throw the Big Red Machine in the mix?
I would personally have him feud with Daniel Bryan. With Bryan still holding onto that Money In The Bank briefcase, it wouldn’t hurt him to have some quality matches against a monster to add to his credibility.
Oh. Almost forgot though, Triple H took the ring for the first time since Kevin Nash attacked him. Classic HHH promo. He also planted the seeds for a rematch with the Undertaker at ‘Mania XXVIII. I’m a little upset that ‘Taker won’t face someone new but I’m willing to see The Game face off with the Dead Man again.
As for this promo for January 2, it has to be Chris Jericho. I don’t care what he says on Twitter. I’m sure he would lose a lot of money for confirming beforehand but it has to be him. Hopefully my dream of a match with Punk isn’t far-fetched. Just in case though, other canidates:
Rey Mysterio (pretty sure he’s still out though)
Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania host anyone?)
Broadus Clay (I sure hope not)
John Morrison (but he just left)
No but really, it has to be Jericho.
Onto my TLC predictions:
Dolph Ziggler v. Zack Ryder (U.S. Title)
Can I just give Ziggler my most improved award now (note to self, write year-end awards article)? The man has been wrestling multiple matches the last few PPVs and he’s entertaining on the mic. He’s at that spot where Miz was when he and Cena feuded before, when Miz made the ‘Cena Sucks” shirts. I started telling people then he would be a top heel. Hold your applause. I have Ziggler winning this one. Not cleanly though. Ryder is getting a huge push but if he wins the U.S. belt it will be on the under card of Wrestlemania.
Cody Rhodes v. Booker T (Intercontinental Title)
Really? Really? Really? Look, I like Booker T as much as the next guy ( I hate King Booker though) but giving a SmackDown announcer a title shot? You know how this will end. Rhodes wins. And Cody has actually been fun to watch since he gave up his Rip Hamilton (BULLS) mask. If Book wins, it’ll be a short reign until the SmackDown taping.
Triple H v. Kevin Nash (Sledgehammer Match)
I think this match is solely to get Nash more ring ready for his eventual match against Punk. Why not do it with a trusted friend? I’m taking Nash on this one but I expect someone to run down for the save so that Hunter doesn’t get whipped too bad.
Mark Henry v. Big Show (World Title)
Two big men. In a chairs match. I don’t expect another draw (or as I call it, Show/Lesnar II) but this one should be good. Henry will favor his hurt foot most of the match but in the end I expect Show to pull it out. Henry has held the World Title since Night of Champions. I could see him stepping down and winning it again at the Royal Rumble. I also could see Daniel Bryan cashing in on either one of these Superstars.
Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett
As much as I love Randy, I’m pretty sure he’s going to put Barrett over and make him a legit contender for the World Title. Should be a good match and it’s a tables match.
CM Punk v. The Miz v. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Title)
It might be too soon to take the belt off Punk. Of course, I’d say that this time next year if he never lost it. But let’s look at the scenarios. If Punk wins, it sets it up perfect for Jericho to come back on the second, win the Rumble, and then challenge Punk at Wrestlemania XXVIII. If Del Rio wins, it puts Punk or Miz in a position to win the Rumble and challenge whoever has the belt (maybe Jericho?). If Miz wins, it puts Punk in a position to win the Rumble and challenger whoever has the belt (maybe Jericho?). I honestly don’t see them letting ADR win the Rumble again. And I really hope it goes back down to 30 entries. 2011’s Rumble was so disappointing.
As you can see, all my scenarios include Jericho coming back. I’d be lost if not.
Seriously though, I’d like to see Miz win. Then he and Punk can square off through the Elimination Chamber PPV where Punk recaptures the title and faces the Royal Rumble winner at ‘Mania.
I’d also like to point out Sheamus and John Cena aren’t on the card. Those two wild cards could show up at any time though so I expect something from at least one of them.
I don’t know how the buyrates will fare but it should be a decent PPV as long as WWE has pulled the trigger on some changes by Raw Monday.
We’ll just have to see.