‘The Awesome Truth’ Confront John Cena, Zack Ryder Announces Himself as John Cena’s Partner for the Main Event
Not actually much to say about this really, other than it struck me more than usual how much of a salesman Cena is. After his ‘wow, Cena’s music has reached it’s crescendo!’ pop, the crowd were mostly against him (right up to the irritating British chant of ‘who are ya!?’ – better suited for the terraces). One of the reasons CM Punk is so popular is that he understands the audience, acknowledges their desires, and tries to provide them. Cena acknowledges the audience too, but instead of reacting to them, he just incorporates them in to his agenda. Liverpool booed that man, and Cena just said ‘I can tell you’re angry, i’m angry too’. This is the technique of a salesman, and though that’s his job, it showed up even more transparently than usual, even reminding us all that WrestleMania tickets are on sale as of now. Cena does have a fun character, and it was glimpsed when he anounced that ‘THE ROCK … couldn’t make it here tonight’. Unfortunately, that was really the only glimpse in this somewhat characterless promo. In contrast, The Awesome Truth were at their best. They helped their cause an awful lot by simply acknowledging how they were bested last week by Cena, but how Miz has beaten him on the biggest stage, and that they’ll do it again at Survivor Series when he and the Rock will be unable to coexist. Also, their tougher side seemed to cut through Cena’s salesman BS quite nicely. When they said ‘It doesn’t matter who your partner is … your time is up’ before climbing the ring, Nexus style, and attacking The (not) Champ. This brought out Zack Ryder to help one of his best backstage supporters from the insuing beat-down. This is the better side of Cena, and it’s certainly good to see him getting Ryder a break, especially while shilling his merch and gimmick.
Editor’s Note: I was writing this last night and I wrote my Morrison-Ziggler section when the internet crashed and I lost it. That was enough for me to give up for the night. From now on i’ll be writing much shorter sections to get it finished (it’s Wednesday and already late!)
John Morrison def. Dolph Ziggler
Now even I, a man who can’t stand the douchey, uncharismatic, self-proclaimed but unearned ‘Guru of Greatness’, with his admittedly spectacular but completely unbelievable offense, was starting to feel JoMo when his finishers hur. That doesn’t mean he should beat the awesome Dolph Ziggler dammit! Ziggler was great in the ring, as usual, selling Morrison’s moves better than they deserve to be sold, and then acting the #Heel with beauty. Again, he is rare as heel in that he actively wants the crowd to hate him, and this was shown when first, he showed off to Vickie after his dropkick, and then, when he kipped up after his neckbreaker to show the crowd how much better he is than their favourite (in the match). At least Morrison won in a kind of fluky way (which other way is there for a guy to break a losing streak!?) and so Ziggler didn’t look weak. But I just don’t like that JoMo beat Ziggler and he’d better not start crowding Ryder’s US Title picture. I would have rather had Swagger lose and start a feud between those two.
Mason ‘Not Even Over in Britain’ Ryan def. JTG
My first nickname for Ryan says it all. Liverpool is roughly 40 miles (60 km) from Wales, and is obviously in Britain. When British wrestlers wrestle in Britain, you can expect a pop, especially if you’re being pushed as a babyface. But when Ryan appeared in Liverpool, he got no pop. Now I’ve felt bad with this whole nickname thing I’ve been doing with Ryan because all reports are that the guy, for all his lack of skill, has a good, respectful attitude. The reason i’ve been doing it though is that he’s simply not ready for the main roster, letalone a push; and the worst case scenario is that he simply ‘doesn’t got ‘it”. He was doing boring wrestling to no noise. The other shame is that the guy he squashed was JTG, someone i’m actually a big fan of due to his unique character and ring style.
Alberto Del Rio def. Kofi Kingston
This was another squash, but a much better one, and it seems to have been popular with most viewers because it made Del Rio look great. Ok, so his armbreaker was kinda awkward, but they went with it and it looked pretty darned painful. As for Kofi, it wasn’t really a burial. Evan’s departure has kinda left him in no-man’s land. It’s a shame, but it leaves him a champion with nothing really to lose, so it made sense to give Del Rio a win against a quality opponent. Good for him, not bad for Kingston. Job’s a good’n.
Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk Talk About Their Match At Survivor Series
Del Rio isn’t a good talker. He does, however, make people hate him when he talks, and he did this well in his post-match promo where he gave the good, weasely line that Otunga had said that, from a legal stand-point, if Punk verbally calls off the match, then it will not have to take place. When Punk came out to confront him, Punk obviously belittled this stand-point, but more importantly, he took great strides back towards Reality Era content, saying how Alberto, with his perpetual claims of ‘destiny’ is a 1-dimensional character, at least on the mic, and that he was going to make the WWE Championship interesting again when he wins it (shades of MITB!). When Punk refused to drop the match, Del Rio cheap-shotted him, but Punk got the upper hand by putting him in the Anaconda Vice (I find it interesting how that move is being highlighted going in to their Survivor Series Match ,,,) before a GTS to Ricardo Rodriguez left him standing as a bastion of edgy babyface righteousness and determination.
Jack Swagger def. Santino Marella
Santino is great. Everyone loves Santino. He is, however, a comedy wrestler, and he has a habit of beating non-comedy wrestlers for the instant gratification of the audience but no real benefit. Swagger has often been on the wrong end of this trend, but this match was a good sign for his re-push under Vickie Guerrero. Not only did he beat Santino, he outclassed him in a squash match and, especially on a night where Ziggler lost, came across as successful and powerful.
Kelly Kelly Unveiled Her Maxim Cover
I enjoyed the throwback of a magazine cover reveal I have to say, but oh my can’t Kelly talk. You can tell she’s passionate about what she does, even if she started out as, but her lack of charisma does it’s best to convince you otherwise. The gulf in class when Beth and Nattie came out was palpable, and I really liked what they had to say about Kelly’s actions giving ‘the little girls out there’ the impression of what it takes to be a diva. Great, but again, when push came to shove, they didn’t push and shove again. Their words have been good, but they have not been physically domineering enough. Of course, Eve’s ‘Best of Da Club 2004’ Entrance theme hit and her and A. Fox came out to defend Kelly and allow her cover to be revealed (a pretty big swerve given that these things are usually there to be attacked). At this point, i’m not sure whether the ‘Divas of Doom’ can be salvaged, or whether they’re just generic heels now …
Kevin Nash Cut a Promo on HHH
Nash actually wasn’t horrible on the mic. He did, however, take a long time to say … not very much. Reality Era stuff about his past with HHH, warped to a heelish worldview in quite a nice way. Good, but it didn’t really cause much more tension in the storyline I thought.
Brodus Clay Didn’t Debut, CM Punk Confronted David Otunga, and Alberto Del Rio Attacked Punk From Behind
Apart from bait-and-switching being bad for business, I have no problem with Brodus Clay not debuting. The rumours are that he’s headed for some top tier stuff, and I don’t think he’s ready. I certainly don’t think he’s earned it, as impressive a specimen as he is. As for Punk, we had some more Reality Era material as David Otunga said Punk ‘looked like he works at a gas station’ and that he didn’t look like a champion (i.e. the backstage belief for a long time from people like Vinnie O’Mac and the WWE behemoth generally. Punk obviously took umbridge with this, and mocking Otunga, offered him ‘Regular or Unleaded’ before attacking and beating him down. At this point, Del Rio arrived (unlike Punk) from behind to beat on Punk. Johnny Ace pulled out the best line of his career with ‘Don’t make me take my jacket off’, but it wasn’t enough to stop Del Rio throwing Punk through a table before being pulled away by officials. I think this was all good. Though it didn’t take place in the ring, that perhaps boosts the tension created – after all shaky, backstage attacks look more raw, and it being away from the ring suggests a real personal issue which has spilled away from the normal combat environment. Through the earlier words and the later violence, we had some nice build for this match.
‘The Awesome Truth’ (Miz & R-Truth) def. John Cena and Zack Ryder
Not a bad tag match here to close the show, and it was great to see Long Island Iced Z in the main event! There is a problem with Zack though, and it’s pretty serious. Though Cena did a great job of putting him over (performing a Broski Book with him, wearing his trademark shades), and though Ryder looked like he belonged in that sort of company, his character is as yet too under-developed to get beyond that. He consists solely of catchphrases it seems, and I simply can’t imagine him in a serious upper-tier feud. With Ryder it’s a case of ‘if in doubt, fist pump’, but what would he do if, say, Randy Orton attacked his whole family or Mark Henry tried to break his leg? At the minute, he simply couldn’t rise to that. Hopefully with him it’s just a case of time and development. This match provided much better build than the previous two main events though as Miz and Truth actually looked like they could beat Cena, even if it is surreptitiously. Ryder is no Rock (see my last point, they prove each other), but him and Cena are BFF’s or whatever they probably call each other. This was one of the more than one good reasons to have Ryder booked here. He and Cena are undeniably a cohesive unit, something Cena and Rocky surely wont be. If Miz and Truth can win when the team is on the same page, then it is obviously believable that they could do so when they are not. Miz and Truth took advantage, which is how they will have to win at Survivor Series if they are to do so, and that explains Cena’s wry smile as we went off the air. He knows they are viable threats.