The John Report: Talking Smack for 02/19/10 & Elimination Chamber Preview

The John Report: Talking Smack for 02/19/10 Plus Elimination Chamber Preview
Welcome to the Talking Smack column where I offer up a quick rundown of WWE’s Friday broadcast, Smackdown. I’ve decided to put the Elimination Chamber preview in here as well. It’s like a 2 for 1 special. Let’s get right to it.

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Taped from Kansas City, Missouri let’s talk some Smackdown…

We started the show with a great Chris Jericho promo talking about how he beat the Undertaker last week. I also love how he STILL brings up beating Austin & Rock in the same night even though it was nine years ago. Things like that make a great heel. He mentioned beating the Undertaker a few times to rub it in and then said that he never hides like most people. Edge came out saying he knows what it’s like beating Undertaker saying that it’s special like winning a Stanley Cup (two Canadians talking hockey, suck it rest of the world) or getting a hole in one (Tiger Woods jokes go here). He said Jericho wouldn’t have won without Edge spearing Undertaker. He wanted to go after Jericho when the lights flickered as a sign of the Undertaker I guess, so each guy stumbled a bit and when it got back to normal Edge destroyed him with a spear to end the segment. Strong open. Jericho was especially strong on the microphone while Edge is finding his niche as a babyface.

Kane d. Dolph Ziggler (*1/4)
This match again? Near the end, Drew McIntyre’s great theme song started playing and that allowed Ziggler to get the sleeper on. I love how hard Striker tries to put over Ziggler’s sleeper hold as some deadly move. Come on WWE, it’s 2010. A sleeper is going to get over as a potential finisher when we’ve seen people going through tables or taking chairshots for years. It worked for Piper 25 years ago maybe. Not now. Kane won with a chokeslam. McIntyre attacked, but Kane gave him a backdrop out of the ring. McIntyre’s not losing the belt to Kane on Sunday. Not a chance.

Josh Matthews talked to Mysterio about the Chamber. He said that the match is brutal, but that he’s going to walk out the World Champion. He also put over the beating by the SES last week. See, this is what Raw needed. Let the EC guys talk. Raw didn’t do that.

They showed a video package on the last ECW Champion, Ezekiel Jackson. It said he’s coming to Smackdown next week. That’s nice. Christian better be there too.

Cryme Tyme d. Trent Barreta & Caylen Croft (*)
Four minute match, Superstars style, that saw Cryme Tyme win. I’ve seen Barreta & Croft a bunch. They’re a good team with good chemistry. Let’s hope there is actually a tag division soon. I miss it.

Backstage, Josh talked to Morrison who played up the ankle injury. It’s not legit, but part of the storyline. R-Truth came in to say he’ll beat Morrison in the Elimination Chamber match if he has to, but tonight they’re partners. You see that? We heard from the guys in the big PPV match. Simple.

CM Punk came out with Gallows & Serena to do his usual speech about being Straight Edge. He specifically mentioned Mysterio. They’re having a Mania match. Not official yet obviously, but it will be. He said he’s more courageous than anybody and would be a four time champion. No you won’t. Hopefully later in 2010 you will be, though.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows d. R-Truth & John Morrison (**1/4)
It was a fast paced tag match at about 12 minutes. Before the commercial break, a fire started going as a sign of the Undertaker being present. My ex-girlfriend used to do the same thing to me. That’s why I dumped her. The heels worked over Truth for much of the match, he got the hot tag to Morrison and he went at it with Punk. I would love to see this as a World Title feud down the road considering the great matches they’ve had in the past. They were on the apron when Morrison went for a kick, Punk moved and Morrison hit his foot on the post. Loud noise. Probably edited. It was nice. Morrison sold it like it hurt his ankle even more and the ref called for the bell because Morrison couldn’t continue. My guess is that either Michaels replaces Morrison in the Chamber match or this leads to a heel turn by Morrison after Truth pins him in the match. I hope he doesn’t go heel. He’s better as a face.

Post match, Mysterio came out to save Truth from a beating. Didn’t work. Just like last week, Gallows put Rey on Punk’s shoulders and he gave him the GTS to end the segment. I’d expect Mysterio to pin Punk in the Chamber match. This was a strong match as well as the post match segment.

They showed the Bret Hart video. Broken leg with ligament and tendon damage. I still think it was very cheesy and there could have been better ways to take him out.

Backstage, Teddy Long laughed at Vickie for getting cottage cheese tossed in her face last week. Cue my girl Mickie James-Canton. MJC said she was sorry for the mess. Vickie said Michelle invoked her rematch clause, so next week on Smackdown we get Mickie vs. Michelle for the title. Special ref will be Vickie. MJC was angry as she walked off. I was hoping the girls would get a 8-10 minute TV match. With Vickie as ref I’m not as sure.

The Hart Dynasty d. The Great Khali, Matt Hardy & Maria (*)
This was a six person tag, so if Maria or Natalya got tagged they had to face the other woman. I still don’t understand why Maria, who tagged in, was staring at Matt on the floor. You got tagged in, woman. Get in the ring. I guess the story is she didn’t realize she touched him on his way out. Is she dumb Maria again or are we not allowed to remember that? Anyway, Natalya hit her with a lethal lariat to score the easy pin on her. Then Maria walked off in a huff because the only emotions she’s allowed to show are either really happy or as a sad girl.

Backstage, poor Maria was all sad about losing, but not just losing, it’s about letting Matt down. Matt was consoling her, busting out the same lines we use on girls when we were 15, but if you used them in your 20s you’d get laughed at. It nearly worked because high school storylines are all the rage in WWE (remember Maria/Ziggler or am I supposed to forget that abomination too?), but Michelle & Layla interrupted. They pissed off Maria, so she left. They pissed off Matt, so he went after Maria. I like the Laycool act. They make me laugh as long as it’s in small doses.

Batista vs. Edge ended in a WHAT THE HELL? (*1/2)
They’ve had better matches. The pace was pretty slow here for the most part. Batista bailed early, but Edge brought him back by saying maybe Batista was spineless as Cena has been saying. They worked a back and forth match with neither guy ever really getting the full advantage. Edge eventually got the upper hand at about 10 minutes in hitting the spear. Right on cue, GONG and the lights went out. Undertaker was in the ring, his hand around Edge’s throat and he hit a chokeslam on him as Batista bailed.

Post match, Undertaker left and Jericho snuck into the ring to give Edge the Codebreaker. This was awesome. I love this man. Undertaker did his old man throat slashing thing to end the show as Jericho did the belt motion.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Chris Jericho – The usual greatness.
2. Edge – Welcome back to in ring action.
3. CM Punk – Much like Jericho, the usual.

6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5

A small step back, but still good. The match quality wasn’t as good as normal due to no Jericho or Mysterio matches. There was still good storyline progression, strong promos and a much better job than Raw in terms of pushing the Elimination Chamber match too.

No reader comments this week. Two reasons: 1) I’m swamped. 2) Facebook isn’t working good right now. I can’t even access the comments if I tried. I don’t think there were that many comments anyway.

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A Brief Elimination Chamber Preview
This Sunday WWE is holding their No Way Out…err Elimination Chamber PPV. It’s a two match show, almost literally. They’ve only announced four matches officially with the two Chamber matches being the big draws of course. I’m not sure why there have yet to be other announced matches because the show is going to need five or six matches total. My assumption is they’ll do Show/Miz vs. MVP/Henry in a rematch from Monday with the champs retaining, but why couldn’t they announce that beforehand? I’m not really complaining. Writing a preview with only four matches on the card is a lot easier than one with eight matches. Let’s get to it.

Divas Title: Maryse vs. Gail Kim

The belt has been vacant since Melina tore her ACL. They did a tournament filled with some poor matches and the end result is this match. I feel bad for my fellow Canadian divas because they didn’t even mention it on Raw. I’ll go with Maryse getting the win because if she gets the belt they can book her against the likes of Kelly Kelly, Eve Eve, Bella Bella, the other Bella Bella and I’m getting confused with the double names. Point is, more babyface women on Raw. Put the belt on the heel. My Pick: Maryse

Intercontinental Title: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Kane

Not a tough match to predict. This is the typical match where the young champion gets to go over the veteran to prove that he’s worthy of being a champion. There’s absolutely no reason for Kane to be the guy to give McIntyre his first ever singles loss. It’s not happening. Not a chance. McIntrye retains here. He’s getting a big push in 2010. My Pick: Drew McIntyre

World Title Elimination Chamber Match: Undertaker (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. CM Punk

It was interesting to see the end of Smackdown this week because my theory for picking PPV matches has always been the old “look strong on TV, lose on PPV.” In other words, the guy that ends the previous week’s show with the upper hand is usually going to lose. This week it was Jericho. Thing is, Edge isn’t in the Chamber match, so can we wipe out my theory in this case? I say yes. I pick Jericho. I fully expect Mysterio to eliminate Punk from the match to set up their WrestleMania match (Rey will win that for sure) while Truth could pin Morrison if they go with the rumored Morrison heel turn (I hope not). The other option is maybe Morrison’s out of the match due to the ankle injury (that could fuel his heel turn also) and we see Shawn Michaels in that spot after Teddy Long needs to find a replacement. There are a lot of things that COULD happen. I don’t think there’s much point in guessing with so many options. Needless to say, I believe Undertaker won’t win because they’re obviously running with Jericho defending against Edge. It makes the most sense. Shawn screws Undertaker, Jericho pins him to win the belt and then Undertaker is pissed at Shawn for costing him the belt he barely defends. That sets up Jericho vs. Edge for the World Title (yes!) and Undertaker vs. Michaels in the biggest rematch ever. Win win. Fine by me. My Pick: Chris Jericho

Here’s the poll I’ve had up on my blog since Wednesday. Jericho’s winning by a lot. It’s interesting to see that as of this writing Shawn Michaels is in second.

WWE Title Elimination Chamber Match: Sheamus (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Ted Dibiase

As soon as this match was made my pick was Sheamus. Not anymore. With Edge likely getting the World Title from Jericho at WrestleMania, I think we’ll see the WWE Champion retain the belt at WrestleMania. Look over the names in this match. Who’s likely to walk in as champion? Triple H. Just like last year. Kingston has no chance of winning while Orton will likely get pinned by Dibiase or pin Dibiase and then get pinned by somebody else right away. That leaves three. I think Cena’s going to get attacked by Batista on his way to the ring pre-match or maybe during the match Batista gets in the cage as they’re opening it up to let somebody else out. There’s an outside shot that they move the belt to Cena to have him face Batista for the belt at WM26, but I don’t think that’s what will happen. I think Triple H will win the belt although I expect somebody else to eliminate Sheamus in order to set up the singles match at WrestleMania with Sheamus getting his rematch. My Pick: Triple H

Here’s the poll I’ve had on my blog since Wednesday. Sheamus is in the lead.

I think both EC matches should be good in quality. The Smackdown one will likely be better due to the workers in the match, but it’ll be close. If both get 30 minutes as I expect they should each hit the four star level. Once again, I wouldn’t be shocked if there are other matches added to the card late. Not sure why they don’t do it in advance, though.

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Keep checking out the blog at johnreport.wordpress.com for daily updates. Had three guest columns posted this week with one of them looking at the history of the IC title, the other looking at the NXT cast and the third one laughing at six unintentionally funny wrestling moments.

I won’t be watching Elimination Chamber live. I might catch the replay. There’s a huge Canada/USA hockey game Sunday night in the Olympics. As a Canadian it’s my duty to watch that. I can’t watch sports on tape. I can watch wrestling on tape any time. Not sports. I may get one of my guest writers to do live updates on my blog if they’re watching it. We’ll see. Whether I see it or not, Monday afternoon I’ll have a post about the PPV.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

John Canton – oratoryjohn@gmail.com
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