Canton's Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – January 14

Canton’s Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – January 14

Canton’s Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – January 14
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport

Welcome to Canton’s Corner. We’ve got the usual happening this week with some thoughts on Raw & Smackdown plus the poll, the random video and the twitter ten where I answer your wrestling related questions. I don’t have a section for TNA this week. I was one of the six people that watched their PPV, which was so poorly booked and did nothing good for anybody in the company. I realize the last 45 minutes of Impact were good with two rematches, but I couldn’t handle more TNA in a week. To the few that care about my TNA thoughts, they will return next week. Let’s get to it.

Last Week’s Poll Results
The poll question was: Is turning Daniel Bryan heel a good idea? The results after 1,800 plus votes:

Yes — 71.59%
No — 23.36%
What’s a heel? — 5.05%

I am in the yes group as well. I’m glad people are liking it as much as I am. While I think he would work well as a face, his ROH history tells me that heel is the best role for him. I’m glad that WWE is truly getting behind him for his overall skills. I also feel sorry for 5% of you that don’t know what a heel is. Maybe one day you’ll learn haha.

This Week’s Poll Question: Who do you think will win the Royal Rumble?
The Royal Rumble. January 29. It’s not who you want to win. It is who do you think will win?

I put down a lot of options, so pick one or add a name on your own. I can’t decide between Orton or Jericho, personally. It’s not an easy call this year like Del Rio was last year.

I wrote about Raw on Tuesday, so here are some more thoughts on Monday’s show.

The horror movie that is Kane vs. John Cena & Zack Ryder
Ever since Kane has been back, he hasn’t resembled a wrestler that much. He’s back in full “monster” mode, a role that he was good at in the early days of his character in 1997 and 1998. The problem is we saw the character evolve so much in the last decade plus that seeing them revert back to pure monster mode is silly. I saw something this week about the quarter hour ratings that said when the Eve/Ryder/Kane angle happened where Zack saved Eve from a presumed Kane attack, over 500,000 viewers turned the channel. Yes, they can measure those things. What that tells me is that nobody cares about Eve, they are booking Ryder wrong and we are a long way away from the “reality era” we thought we’d see back in the summer. All of the change that CM Punk was harping about for months on end doesn’t appear to be happening in WWE these days. I understand Cena going over Kane in order to build him up strong prior to WrestleMania, but it’s taking a long time to set up a match that is very easy to book.

Chris Jericho’s crying game
Week two of Chris Jericho’s return saw him go in the ring, say nothing for the second straight week and then break down into tears…or at least near tears. What’s the next emotion? Maybe he’ll go in the ring, do 20 pushups and then leave. Perhaps there are jumping jacks in his future? I’m not sure. The heavy rumor out there is that Jericho will win the Royal Rumble match (vote in the poll above!) and speak for the first time since returning to challenge CM Punk for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. I’d be fine with that although if it happens another way that’s okay too. I don’t care too much about predicting Jericho’s future. I just want to enjoy the ride. Hopefully fans start booing him more to give him the reaction he wants because that will make it even better.

The return/debut of Brodus Clay
I guess I’m okay with people calling it a debut now since he came back to WWE with a totally different gimmick from when he left. It will be interesting to see what his future is like. I’d expect him to squash opponents every week on Raw & Smackdown as they build him up for the Royal Rumble. It’s likely that he’ll get that “big guy eliminates a lot of people” spot in the Rumble match. Perhaps they stick him in the middle part of the match, five or six guys can be in the ring, he can throw them all out and break out into a dance. We all know Vince loves his dancing big men. I alluded to it in the Raw Deal and wouldn’t you know it, the folks at WWE.com wrote an article about the subject too.

Regarding the Hall of Fame, a lot of people are wondering if Ric Flair will be there along with the Four Horsemen. In the video below he says that he will be.

There you go from the man himself. Like I wrote on Twitter the day I saw this, Flair’s word is good unless you marry him or he’s booked in a retirement angle. It would be nice if Flair returned to WWE. It’s not like he’s doing much in TNA except for managing a midcarder like Gunner and feuding against Eric Bischoff’s son. With WWE Network launching soon, it would be nice if Flair was back in the WWE family since he was such a huge part of the history of the business.

Before moving on, I did a six question interview with JCity of theinfamousjcity.com where we talked about the WrestleMania 28 lineup, my writing motivation and some other interesting topics that you can read about here if you’re interested. Thanks for the interview, JCity.

A few likes and dislikes from this week’s Smackdown.

LIKE – The overall performance of Daniel Bryan
I am absolutely loving the heel turn of Daniel Bryan. He was great at the start of the show cutting an egotistical promo and being confronted by Mark Henry. Instead of being a total nerd, he showed a lot of personality. Then backstage, when his girlfriend AJ told him she loved him he didn’t say I love you back; he asked her how much she loved him. That’s hilarious. It’s the sign of an asshole. Then he had his match with Big Show where he worked like a coward a bit and instead of a true finish we saw Big Show accidentally run over AJ as he was chasing Bryan outside the ring. Bryan ended his greatness by yelling at Big Show: “You are reckless. She weighs 95 pounds! You weigh 500 pounds! You are a bastard!” That’s how the show ended. Big Show was showing emotion on his face, trying to deal with what he accidentally did and Bryan made him feel bad about it. My guess is Bryan shows no remorse that his girlfriend got hurt because he cares more about being the World Champion than he does about his girlfriend. That’s how I’d book it anyway.

By the way, it was great of Bryan to call out his Twitter follower @HeymanRules512 even if WWE created the account themselves.

DISLIKE – Too many short & pointless matches
This was not the kind of Smackdown show that I’ve come to know and love. Instead of having a couple of matches in the 15 minute range, we had seven matches before the main event with none of them lasting longer than four minutes. Two of the matches ended on two moves! The opening Gabriel/Slater match ended because Hornswoggle basically cheated to help Gabriel beat a guy like Slater who almost never wins.

LIKE – Brodus Clay
It was a repeat of what he did on Raw. In this appearance he beat Tyson Kidd after a running headbutt and then his running crossbody block to win. It was a two move match. Then he danced. You could tell that they piped in crowd noise during the entrance, but by the end of it you could tell they were getting behind him. I think the gimmick is going to work and he’s going to get over. That’s just my hunch. As long as they get behind him and give him a feud that works this can be a successful gimmick.

DISLIKE – The reason for the Ted Dibiase vs. Hunico rivalry
This is minor, but the announcers mentioned that the reason Hunico dislikes Dibiase is because…wait for it…keep waiting…hold on…okay it’s coming…Dibiase never invited Hunico to one of his “Dibiase Posse” parties that take place before an event. Yes, that’s the reason for Hunico coming to ringside during Ted’s match and doing nothing except awful commentary. Who writes this stuff? Nobody, most likely. That’s the problem. No creativity whatsoever.

LIKE – Announcing two matches for next week
They promoted next week’s Las Vegas show as a Sin City Smackdown. They also announced that Mark Henry would wrestle the World Heavyweight Champion, which is still Daniel Bryan and a Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus match. That could mark the return of Randy Orton unless they want to save that for the Royal Rumble. I like that they’re advertising matches a week in advance. It makes them seem more important. I assume Bryan escapes with the title one more time, which will lead to a triple threat at the Rumble between Bryan, Henry & Show.

DISLIKE – Whatever the angle is with Drew McIntyre
Three weeks in a row, Drew McIntyre had a match on Smackdown after being told that if he loses he might get fired. He lost all three matches. He did not get fired. Is there a point to an angle? I realize they might have a twist to it or they might book him to actually win a match, but they’re hurting him further by having him lose matches week after week. Loser angles don’t get people over. It only makes them look worse.

Most weeks I’d give Smackdown around a 7 out of 10 if I was rating. This week, much like Raw, was a disappointment and I’d give it a 4 or 5 out of 10. It was a mediocre week all around for WWE TV.

I asked you for questions and you responded to me @johnreport.

@TheMikeBlundell You’re in charge of HOF this year. You can put 5 people in. Who do you choose?
I’d go with The Rock, Ron Simmons, John Bradshaw Layfield, Davey Boy Smith and Arn Anderson on his own.

@Nuperman Do you think they will have The Rock and CM Punk interact or have any sort of program? That would be gold.
I agree, but I say no. They’re both faces and I don’t see either guy turning heel any time soon for that feud to happen. It would be fun of course.

@DannyWilson89 Do you think if Daniel Bryan is a sucessful heel, he will retain and defend the title at WrestleMania if so who against?
Yes I think he will hold it until WrestleMania. If it’s one opponent than I pick Orton, but they could do a four way to involve Wade Barrett & Sheamus too. I’d prefer the singles match.

@brandondmcgill Do you see Santino Marella ever holding a World title in the WWE?
No. That’s an odd question. I would have said no to Bradshaw being a World Champion too though, so never know!

@Dangle4176 Where do you see the tag team division one year from now?
They are working on developing more teams, so I see it a lot more improved a year from now. A division with 6 or more teams would be great.

@JiuClaw Do you think Lesnar’s career in MMA could hurt the promotion of future WWE matches as far as making them believable?
I don’t think it will hurt him at all. He was a draw in UFC because of his WWE background. He’ll draw in UFC fans to WWE too.

@skitzo_frenick Which two single midcard wrestlers would make a good legit tag team?
I’d like to see Tyson Kidd & Curt Hawkins as a team. I know Hawkins is with Tyler Reks, but Kidd would be better with him.

@Skilby19 Best all around Canadian wrestler: Bret Hart, Chris Jericho or Edge?
I can’t pick! Too hard. I’ll say Bret though because he set the table for the other two, but you can make a case for either of them.

@Frdkrgr Should WWE involve Luger in HOF for the 4 Horsemen?

I don’t think so. He was a part of the group, but it was brief and the group that is being inducted is the best incarnation of the Horsemen.

@cbrowncb With talks of WM being @ Dallas Stadium next year does Stone Cold & Vince plan his last match vs. Punk for Steve’s home state?

It might end up being New York/New Jersey. I don’t think it matters where. If Steve wrestles again it should be a WrestleMania.

Random Clip of the Week
In honor of the Four Horsemen being announced as being a part of the WWE Hall of Fame, we’re going old school here. It’s 1987 in a War Games match as the heel Horsemen group of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger (in the stable at this time) & JJ Dillon take on the babyface team of Dusty Rhodes, Hawk, Animal, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering. Here’s the conclusion of that match.

It was a very violent match especially for 25 years ago. Listen how loud that crowd is too. I love me some classic NWA wrestling.

Melo Out with Steve Melo

Somebody call my momma! Brodus Clay has finally debuted on Monday night RAW to what now seems like a mixed reaction from the wrestling community. Some like it and then there are some that think it was cheesy or it’s been done before. Well guess what? After all the waiting and all the bitching that WWE can’t book shit properly (yes, I fell victim to this as well), he finally debuted and nobody expected him to hail from Planet Funk or have a nickname called “The Funkasaurus.” To me, it was so cheesy, it was great! Kudos to WWE for catching me off guard. It was unexpected. It was entertaining and most importantly, it has everybody talking. That is what matters the most. We were all expecting NXT Brodus and the same Brodus Clay that they were airing those unstoppable like vigilant promos many weeks back, but instead we got this. There was nothing on the internet about it and no insider information about the gimmick change (at least I never came across anything prior to his debut).

He dances goofy, he has a catchy theme song, he still dominates in the ring and he looks like a giant red version of Barney on crack. I didn’t like that fact that a guy as talented as Tyson Kidd lost to him in under 10 seconds on Smackdown. Tyson is too good for that, along with Natalya. I usually get bitched at a lot for being negative, but I think for the most part we can all agree that both Tyson and Natalya are way too talented to be in the jobber category on anybody’s list, including WWE. That’s just common sense. But that is a whole other issue. As far as The Funkasaurus is concerned, I am very curious and excited to see the evolution of this funky ass dinosaur. I was so excited that I even made my own debut video with walk the dinosaur as his theme song along with a couple of wallpapers for everyone. Yeah I was bored.

Download yours now, set it as your desktop wallpaper and show your support for our little community! Click on the images and they will expand to wallpaper size.

Other than that, nothing else really had me going ape shit over RAW. It was obvious when Jericho came out that he was going to leave everybody hanging again. I’ll be honest; I wasn’t expecting the fake crying. That was an awkward touch. Where does it go from here? Who the hell knows? Some websites are reporting that he may stay silent until the Royal Rumble, which he will win and then speak the following night and officially challenge CM Punk. I along with many want to see that match and as far as the rumour of him winning the Rumble, I think that would be awesome. He’s never won it before and it would set things up nicely, both storyline wise and for his career as well.

Until next week, sit back, relax and melo out, because that is what wrestling is all about.

Steve “The Melo Man” Melo
Facebook: MeloOutTJR
Twitter: @MeloOutTJR

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I have one more final plug. We had another two hour edition of TJR Radio on Wednesday. We talked predictions for 2012, the return of Jericho, Brodus Clay, the Royal Rumble and lots more. Use the player below to download, stream or get it on iTunes.

The direct link to this week’s show is here.

That’s a wrap for this week. I’ll be back live on Monday night with the Raw Deal on thejohnreport.net starting at 9pmET.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
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Visit my 10+ year column archive at the Wrestling Oratory right HERE.

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