Saturday, June 28, 2008

Night of Champions Picks

Hello there.

It's been a while since I've written on my Blogger account but I'm back and ready to jump back in!

I'm going to be giving my picks for the Night of Champions Pay Per View on Sunday! I have to say that this is one of the most confusing events for me this year because I legitimately do not know who's going to go over or what! The draft made me all confused and I'm so thankful for that. For at least one event I can be surprised and completely into the matches!

OK then! Onto the picks...

WWE Women's Championship
Katie Lea Burchill vs. Mickie James (c)

This one is probably the more easier one to call. I like Katie Lea and I like her character (minus the alleged incest). I also think she's a fairly decent woman wrestler. She still seems to need to get used to wrestling on television but I think she's done some good stuff thus far. Still, I'm going to go with experience in this department and my pick for this match is Mickie James. It doesn't seem like her Women's Championship reign has really had the chance to get off the ground yet (she was even left off the last event for another women's match!) and this is the perfect launching ground for her: a solid win over a good wrestler. However, if I'm wrong, look for some Paul Burchill interference and the next night on RAW they'll be saying "Whatever Katie wants... Katie gets!"

Diva's Championship
Natalya Neidhart vs. ???

Lots of ideas on who could be the mystery opponent of Natalya. Who will Vickie Guerrero pick?? If she picks anyone other than Michelle McCool I'll be upset. My gut thinks Maria but who knows! In any case I give the dupe to Natalya Neidhart, winner and NEW Diva's Champion.

WWE Tag Team Championship
Finlay & Hornswoggle vs. Miz & Morrison (c)

Actually not a bad match up. I like Miz and Morrison as a tag team and there's something endearing about a leprechaun and a father who wanted nothing to do with him until a few months ago. I also like how they've at least attempted to build this tag team tandem of Finlay and Hornswoggle up as a threatening force. I'm still going to predict a good match - short but sweet. These are the Smackdown Tag Titles and these are all ECW competitors now so it's a little weird and either way no one will be "bringing the titles home". Before the Supplemental Draft I would've picked Finlay and Hornswoggle but since it doesn't matter I'm keeping with Miz & Morrison.

World Tag Team Championship
Ted DiBiase & ??? vs. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes (c)

Another mystery opponent deal here. While I can't say for sure who Ted DiBiase's partner is going to be I do have an idea and it's a pretty obvious one - Lance Cade!! That's what I think at least. The World Tag Team Titles on RAW have been completely 100% meaningless and I'm glad they're at least making a meager attempt to give it a little credibility. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes' reign over the "tag division" on RAW has been pretty boring and uneventful. I'm calling for the rookie and whoever his tag team partner is! Winner: Ted DiBiase & ???

WWE United States Championship
Chavo Guerrero vs. Matt Hardy (c)

OK, now I have a great idea for this match. I know both are ECW competitors but I still think Chavo is technically a Smackdown guy. Who knows though. Anyway, I'm calling for Matt Hardy to keep the championship and keep it throughout the summer when ECW makes the transition to the RAW roster.

For the Intercontinental Championship, even though there is no match booked yet, I read that the original idea was to have Jeff Hardy go for the Intercontinental Title but since he's on Smackdown it's thought to be off. I don't think so. I see Shawn Michaels interfering in this match and Jeff Hardy regaining the Intercontinental Championship, bringing it over to Smackdown! How great would that be??

ECW Championship
Mark Henry vs. Big Show vs. Kane (c)

This one's a tough one. This is literally a RAW vs. Smackdown vs. ECW match! All are representing a different brand, with one being the champion of a brand he isn't a part of! I have no idea who could go over in this one. I really hope it's not Mark Henry but Kane is on RAW now and he'd have to pull double duty for RAW and Smackdown. Tough job. The best pick would be Big Show to win the championship and bring a little more star power to Extreme Championship Wrestling.

World Heavyweight Championship
Batista vs. Edge (c)

I'm not looking forward to this match at all. It's bad because I'm the Smackdown recapper but because this has been a played out main event for Smackdown since last year (even having this same match on the same event) I'm just not. I don't think there's anything they could do to impress me in this match. How long could it possibly go anyway? The card is loaded so I'm calling a ten minute match here with Edge going over. He's got to look good going into his wedding on July 11th!

WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Triple H (c)

This is a good match up. Surprising that it wound up on Night of Champions but with the draft it all makes sense. I really couldn't say who's going over in this but I, of course, have my guesses. I think this is going to be a good match - their Wrestlemania XXII match showed they have good chemestry. I heard a little something that they want to set up Batista vs. John Cena for Wrestlemania. Could they start at Night of Champions? Could Batista come out after a referee bump and powerbomb the two of them and put John Cena over Triple H? It could happen! You never know. I like this match. Lots of possibilities. Worst case scenario is John Cena goes over in a hard fought match up.

I'm really excited for this Pay Per View. WWE hasn't put on a bad PPV all year and I don't think they'll start here - I hope I didn't jinx it! I'm a little nervous on some picks but I think I have the right ideas at least. It's going to be a good show! Enjoy it!

Until next time, wrestling fans!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm Back!!

Hello there.

It's me, Mike Tedesco, and I'm back with a new column after an extended absence due to writer's block and an extreme lack of news in the wrestling world. Oh, and the fact that I turned 21 and this whole month was just a big party! However, I figured I'd just gut it out and see what I can put together!

Should I talk about the big news or should I just list my thoughts on the Backlash Pay Per View? I think I'll talk Backlash first.

I didn't make any picks for Backlash but from the way I was calling the matches during the Pay Per View I would have been in good standing, picks wise. I rate all matches out of four stars unless something blows me away, like Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels. It's rare. Last time that happened was Wrestlemania 20 with the Triple Threat Main Event and before that it was Hogan vs. Rock. Probably won't happen on Backlash.

US Title Match - What a way to open up the Pay Per View! A real strong opener. Matt Hardy came out looking huge here, ending MVP's near year long reign as champion, but the real star of the match - in my mind - was Montel Vontavious Porter. MVP is getting better and better and there's really no stopping him. He's a huge future star in the making and I have a feeling he's going to be huge - as long as they don't go the way they did with Booker T. You don't remember? When they first made Booker T a main eventer, legit style - not by the Invasion storyline - they accentuated this mistake that Booker made years ago, in which he robbed a Wendy's and went to prison. It's no secret MVP was in prison for many years so I just hope they don't do that. Doubt it, given his character - but you never know... especially with that racist Michael Hayes as head of Smackdown. More on him later. Anyway, it was a tremendous match and completed this tremendous feud and Matt Hardy's comeback. I'm really happy for Matt Hardy. He deserved this. I give this match *** stars! Great stuff!

ECW Championship - Did anyone really believe that Chavo Guerrero stood a chance in this match? The real loser of this match is Bam Neely - Chavo's bodyguard. Does Chavo Guerrero really need a bodyguard. I don't like playing God with people's livelihoods but I have a feeling like this guy is going to be gone within the year - or at least back in developmental. It was an OK match. I give it ** and 1/4 stars.

Side Note: I think it's disgraceful taking Joey Styles off the ECW commentary team in place of this no talent garbage Mike Adamle. Joey Styles and "The Tazz" were a good team and about the only link left with the old ECW. What the hell does Mike Adamle know about wrestling? Dick Ebersol's boy. The only good Mike Adamle can bring to ECW is making me crack up by making mistakes, as highlighted in this wonderful video. Enjoy that.

Big Show vs. Great Khali - We knew going into it that this match would be "bowling shoe ugly", to quote Mr. Jim Ross, and we weren't wrong. This was a terrible match and none of the blame goes to the Big Show. Show did the best he could with that Indian behemoth Khali but it wasn't enough to save this match. It was just ugly as all hell. Good thing Big Show won because that would've killed his return if he lost to Khali. Another good thing is Khali will be leaving our TV screens for a while! YES!!! I give this * and a 1/2 stars just for Big Show's effort.

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista - For the past two weeks they've been teasing Chris Jericho as the wildcard in this match being that he was the special guest referee and for all that hype nothing happened and that was the right call. It gave Jericho something to do for the Pay Per View, added a little more intrigue in a match that was built spectacularly for the past few weeks, and made the match feel just a little more important, like something big was riding on the line. The match was great. HBK brings out the best in Batista, as evidenced during their match at Armageddon 2003 and last night was no exception. Good wrestling, good finish. They sold really well too! I give it *** 1/2 stars and I hope they keep going with this feud.

12 Diva Tag Match - Not a bad tag match considering how on the heel team 5 out of the 6 could actually wrestle and the face team only 2 out of the 6 could actually wrestle. They put it together well, everyone did their finishers, and in the end the heels won with a Beth Phoenix "fisherwoman's" suplex, helping to drive home the fact that Mickie James' upset win over Beth may have just been a fluke! Finally a woman's division storyline!! I give it ** stars.

World Heavyweight Championship - Undertaker and Edge put on a great return match, on par with their Wrestlemania effort. It was still predicatable, given the build of the match. Still, it's great to be watching what looks to be the last long title run of Undertaker's career. There wasn't anything too crazy here, just a couple of run ins from the Edgeheads. Undertaker won with that still unnamed gogoplata that I hate so much. 'Taker retained, as if there was any doubt. I give it ** and 3/4 stars.

Interesting Side Note: Don't know if anyone else has ever done this but have you ever called a time when you believe the Undertaker will make it to the ring and the action will begin? My friends and I do it all the time. Last night his entrance started at 9:39 so I called that he would be in the ring and the music would be off at 9:43 and the action would start at 9:44. Nailed it.

WWE Championship - A Fatal Four Way Elimination Match for the WWE Championship. I think the last time they did a four way elimination match for the WWE Title it was at Wrestlemania 2000. Correct me if I'm wrong. You had to know Triple H was winning this. Deep down I actually wanted JBL to win it all but they made the right call with Triple H. I just hope he turns heel because I'm tired of joke-joke Triple H. That's why I'm not going to RAW tonight, even though I live twenty minutes away from the IZOD Center. I think this match would have been so much better if Orton was one of the first eliminated instead of JBL and Cena going first. That way the suspense builds because we KNOW we're getting a new champion. But whatever - the match was still good anyway. Triple H is a 12 time champion and all of Orton's World Title reigns have ended at the hands of Triple H. I give the match ** and a 1/2 stars.

Final Thoughts - Overall the Pay Per View wasn't bad at all. I like the addition of Mick Foley on the Smackdown announcer's team. He's a great addition to the team and offers a lot more wrestling insight than Jonathan Coachman and he definitely knows a lot more than Coach. All the matches were good for the most part and it was a good follow up from Wrestlemania. Good show.

Now, onto the big stories of April.

Before I start, I'd like to say goodbye to Balls Mahoney and Dave Taylor, victims of the yearly WWE Roster cuts. Balls is a good guy. I met him at Six Flags Great Adventure during Fright Fest '06 and he was really decent with me. Even signed some autographs and took some pictures when he didn't have to. He wasn't really given a chance in WWE. If they did throw him a bone, they never followed through with it - like when he was trying to ask out Kelly Kelly. What happened to their date? Oh well. Another link to the old ECW gone. Who's left? The Tazz, Stevie Richards and Tommy Dreamer?

Dave Taylor was an old WCW guy and when Regal went to RAW they couldn't do anything with him. Sensible cut.

Now, onto the real big stuff.

Freebird Michael "PS" Hayes, head writer on Smackdown, has used that legendary tongue (with a mixture of drinks) to get himself into trouble, yet again. At a Wrestlemania party during the weekend of the event Michaels Hayes said to Mark Henry - a guy you really don't want to mess with - that he's more n****r than he is. Why, Michael, why? For what reason did you have to say that? Trying to be funny? Taking a stab at someone's race isn't fashionable. It's not allowed. Especially in a big corporate company like WWE, who obviously has harassment rules.

Good thing Mark Henry took the high road and issued a formal complaint instead of just slugging Hayes, which he deserved. Now PS is suspended for 30 days and is embarrassed because a lot of big news sites picked it up.

I don't think he'll be fired because he's too valuable to Smackdown - he was instrumental in putting together the Mayweather/Big Show match - but this will let him learn a valuable lesson... and that lesson is the South lost and the North won and racism is BAD. Someone should e-mail him the video of Barack Obama's speech on racism. It'd help.

King of the Ring made it's return to the WWE last Monday on RAW. I always loved the King of the Ring tournament. My first event was actually King of the Ring 2001. If anyone has a copy I'm dead center front row, backwards black hat, red shirt. The tournament wasn't bad this time around. I like how they threw a curve ball and made William Regal King of all WWE. That's the best choice. It fits his character and hopefully it gives Regal a much deserved push. I hope he goes to the top and beyond. Regal is a great wrestler and WWE needs more like him.

Now, from what I hear, the WWE Draft is coming up. I can't wait for that. They'll probably do it in June. When that comes around I'll put up some predictions for it. I have a few ideas but I'll keep them to myself for now.

Until next time, wrestling fans.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wrestlemania XXIV Review and Thoughts

Hello there.

We are about one day removed from Wrestlemania XXIV in Orlando. From the looks of the reviews of the fans the event was pretty hit or miss. I watched the event live on Pay Per View so I have some of my own opinions but they're not too dissimilar from everyone else's. It wasn't a horrible Wrestlemania but it definitely was ONE OF THOSE Wrestlemanias. Hate to say it but I told ya so!

Anyway, like all Wrestlemanias, the "biggest Wrestlemania under the sun" had some ups and downs but this Wrestlemania contained a Wrestlemania moment that I will never forget for as long as I live - "Nature Boy" Ric Flair has wrestled his final match. One of our last links to truly classic wrestling has taken his final bow in one of the most beautiful and emotional matches I've ever seen but I'll talk about that in a bit when I get to that part of the review.

Now, as for my review, I'll go through all the matches and give you my analysis and opinions and I'll give you my match rating. I rate out of four stars.

Here we go...

24 Man Battle Royal - It was a total shot in the dark when I picked Tommy Dreamer to win the Battle Royale and face Chavo Guerrero at Wrestlemania. I figured Kane would get the win but I thought it'd be another one of those "boyhood dream" moments at Wrestlemania and a Wrestlemania moment for Tommy Dreamer, who has really just made a career of losing. Still, it wasn't a bad Battle Royal. I watched the video of it when I got home from Hooters. They had some nice little spots. Definitely loved the Jamie Noble comedy spot.

JBL vs. Finlay - Not a bad way to open up Wrestlemania. It wasn't a great match by any stretch of the imagination but it was a good plan to open up with a smash mouth, in your face brawl and to get this feud out of the way which has gone over probably worse than the Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show angle. Unfortunately with the JBL win, which I called, it looks like we'll be getting a continuation of this feud. What's next? Finlay and Hornswoggle vs. JBL and Mini-JBL? Didn't they do that with The Boogeyman? I gave the match ** stars. Couldn't touch the greatest opener in the history of Wrestlemania which was Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart from Wrestlemania X.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match - Complete and total spotfest and my hat is off to all the men in this hellacious battle. There were some really crazy bumps and some really hard hits in this one and moments that left me nearly covering my eyes in fear of seeing someone get seriously hurt. I watched anyway but still - at least I had concern! There were a lot of awesome moments in the match. My first favorite goes to a definite Wrestlemania Highlight which I'm sure will be replayed as one of the sickest bumps in Wrestlemania history is Shelton Benjamin on top of the ladder in the middle of the ring getting flipped off that ladder on top of a ladder propped up between the ring apron and the barricade, breaking the ladder - and apparently himself - in two! What a tremendous spot that was!! Another great spot was Mr. Kennedy going to suplex Carlito off the ladder and Shelton, before his big spot, sunset flips them and it turned into a superplex/powerbomb combination! Very nicely done. John Morrison certainly impressed me with this one spot he did. He got to the top rope holding a ladder and moonsaulted off the top rope to the outside with the ladder across his chest on top of a bunch of wrestlers! Wow!! Carlito seemed to do pretty well in this match. I thought they booked him well. Hitting his Backstabber finisher off the ladder was a nice touch. My favorite moment came when Matt Hardy made a HUGE return, Twist of Fating MVP off the ladder, foiling his attempt to become Money in the Bank! It was even better that I called it. Then, the bad part came. CM Punk became Money in the Bank, stopping Chris Jericho from taking it. Jericho put him over like a mad man, too, making him seem unstoppable, but I've got to say I'm disappointed with the ending. Y2J really should have won it but I knew this was coming. The misuse of Chris Jericho continues. The fans at Hooters certainly were disappointed. Sounded like John Cena won Money in the Bank. From what I hear the live crowd was pissed, too. Now the challenge is for WWE to build Punk up to a Main Event caliber performer. I give the match *** 1/2 stars.

Batista vs. Umaga - Wow, was I disappointed in this one! This was one of the matches I was extremely excited for! I thought we were going to get a knockdown, drag out brawl. Instead we got a dull Pay Per View match that belonged on Judgment Day, not Wrestlemania. Batista could hardly get Umaga up for the Batista Bomb when he did it. Smackdown is the "supreme" brand. Yeah, right. Now they're going to move Umaga to Smackdown but it's dumb because he was easily defeated by Batista. What kind of a threat is he? They might as well have put these guys in Money in the Bank, too. That seems to be what they do with people they don't have anything for. This match was similar to when they threw together a match with Booker T taking on Edge and they were feuding over a fictional Japanese Shampoo Endorsement. I'm not kidding. I give this match * 1/2 stars.

ECW Championship - WWE has finally paid Kane back for his years of service by giving him his first "serious championship" since 1998 and allowing him entry into the Wrestlemania history books for the shortest match ever. Six seconds. Kane is the new ECW Champion. The match gets 1/2 a star.

Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels - You want to talk about passion for the business, emotion and Wrestlemania moments, all three of those traits were projected loud and clear in this epic match that will top the list of one of my all time favorite Wrestlemania matches. Ric Flair was in rare form tonight, pulling out all stops in what proved to be his final match. He even pulled out an old school cross body, the move he used to defeat Harley Race in a Steel Cage for the NWA Title in that classic match at the first Starrcade in 1983!! Flair wrestled this match like he needed it to get through the rest of his life and Shawn Michaels certainly did give him his best. I thought Flair had Michaels with the Figure Four Leglock but alas, it wasn't meant to be. I desperately wanted Flair to win because I really never want him to retire but all good things must come to an end. Flair had a tremendous run and there is no argument - he is the best wrestler that ever lived. The last superkick was so emotional. Flair was crying as he got up because he knew it was the end and HBK said he loved him before taking his head off. I literally started crying at that point. I have witnesses at Hooters. I wasn't the only one though. The crowd really gave him a great last ovation and I hope Ric Flair is satisfied with his career. That match made me proud to be a fan of wrestling. I give it ***** stars. I know I rate out of four but I gave an extra star.

BunnyMania Match - Atrocious. Snoop Dogg was just terrible and the match wasn't any better. I firmly stand by my beliefs that I'd rather just have a fantastic Women's Championship Match like Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle vs. Melina rather than this. The blackout at Wrestlemania, the first ever I believe, certainly didn't help. Snoop Dogg looked 100% unimpressed. Whatever. I give it * 1/2 stars just for them continuing to fight while the lights were out.

WWE Championship Triple Threat - I thought this was going to be the Main Event but I understand why it wasn't. It wasn't a bad Triple Threat by any means of the imagination but it couldn't touch the Triple Threat Main Event at Wrestlemania XX, which I was there live for. Having the lights out for half the match probably didn't help either. Like I said it wasn't a bad match and I'm behind WWE 100% for having Orton retain the title. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Orton would lose. It wasn't if he's going to win, it was who was going to beat him. Nice swerve by WWE. I like being surprised. I give it *** stars. Very good but not as good as other WWE Title matches in the past.

Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. Big Show - The match went pretty much the way I thought it would. It was just a spectacle - a cheap way for WWE to make headlines heading into Wrestlemania. I hope it worked for them and that I didn't have to suffer for nothing. I didn't really enjoy this match at all. I sat through it and I was glad when it was over. It was predictable and it was irritating. Big Show ought to be given the World Heavyweight Championship for putting over Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather couldn't even win without cheating. Lame. I gave it ** stars just for all the spectacle involved. At least ESPN covered it and didn't give it a scathing review.

World Heavyweight Championship - The last predictable match of the night. They put in a few near falls to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, even letting Edge kick out of the Tombstone, but in the end, after two spears, Edge tapped out to that ridiculous submission move of the Undertaker. I hate that move and I hate that it ended Wrestlemania. I get it - they're trying to freshen up the Undertaker. Got it. They did a good job of that by giving him a new robe to come out with and a newer kind of entrance but, seriously, like the saying goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." That move should only be used on guys that Undertaker can't Tombstone, like Khali and Big Daddy V, not smaller guys like Chavo Guerrero and Edge. I gave the match *** stars because Undertaker is the man anyway and I'm looking forward to what looks to be the last long title run of his career.

All in all, it wasn't a terrible Wrestlemania but it's not up there as one of the best. It was just "one of those." Ric Flair made this Wrestlemania by having the match of the night and his life. Thank you for the memories, Naitch!!

Until next time, wrestling fans.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wrestlemania XXIV Picks + Other thoughts

Hello there.

It is Sunday, March 30th. Wrestlemania XXIV is upon us! I know I've done some bashing on this year's Wrestlemania but nonetheless I'm as excited for it as any Wrestlemania just because I'm a fan. It may also be because I just came back from a terrific independent show in Connecticut (I'll talk about that later) and watched the Hall of Fame. Either way I'm really excited for the capping off of my "wrestling weekend".

First of all before I give any predictions or talk about anything else I want to send a HUGE congratulations to the Hall of Fame Class of 2008 - Congratulations Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson, "High Chief" Peter Maivia, The Brisco Brothers, Mae Young, Eddie Graham, and Gordon Solie. All classic names. Watching the Hall of Fame is special for me every year as I truly, unequivocally respect each and every superstar that has ever laced up a pair of boots but this year something about the Hall of Fame was even more special to me. Watching "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair get inducted into the Hall of Fame left me with a lump in my throat. I truly am so very happy for Ric Flair and as I watch I know that we're on borrowed time with Ric Flair but if his last match is tonight at Wrestlemania then I hope he has a tremendous one because win, lose, or draw Ric Flair will always be a champion with me. WOO!!

OK, now on to my Wrestlemania predictions!

Wrestlemania FreeView
24-Man Battle Royal
Winner faces ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero later in the night

I understand the reason why they're doing the Battle Royal before Wrestlemania as these Battle Royals tend to become giant cluster-you-know-whats however I do wish that they had it on the card just so that immediately after the winner is declared the opportunistic ECW Champion, obviously taking lessons from his "familia" (Edge), could come out nice and fresh and add a degree of suspense to the match. I can just here Joey Styles now: "Tazz, how can the challenger possibly take on the veteran and savvy Chavo Guerrero after just going through 23 other superstars to get the shot?" Tazz would of course tell Styles to shut up as he should always. Anyway, of the 24 men in this Battle Royal, there are only a few I could really see winning. Kane is at the top of my list. I don't believe that WWE would allow a snooze-fest like The Great Khali vs. Chavo Guerrero to happen on Wrestlemania. Sentimentally, I'd love to see "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan get the dupe and become ECW Champion. Hey, the title can't take any bigger beating than it has already... can it? Other favorites to win it are Tommy Dreamer, Kofi Kingston and Festus. Come on, Festus has a ton of potential and a ton of fans! That'd just be ridiculous if he won. But there can only be one winner and I just have a feeling that we got just a tiny piece of it on Tuesday. I believe that the winner of the 24-Man Battle Royal, who will go on to face Chavo Guerrero later in the night, is going to be none other than Tommy Dreamer!! ECW!!!!

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Chris Jericho vs. MVP vs. CM Punk vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Carlito vs. John Morrison

Let me just say, first and foremost, that this is one of the matches that I just cannot wait for. I'm happy that this match is becoming an institution every year at Wrestlemania. It's done wonders for careers - just look at Edge. Well, actually, he's the only one... but now he's in a Main Event at Wrestlemania challenging the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak and has won dual World Championships just off the Money in the Bank. Tremendous. Also, as I watch this match I'll be thinking of Jeff Hardy and what he's doing and hoping he gets over whatever demons that are plaguing him.

Now, Money in the Bank.

There are quite a few people that I can see winning this. Chris Jericho is definitely one of them. Jericho is one of the most underrated superstars in WWE history. I know, you can say "But Mike! He's had his chance at the World Championship - how can you say he's underrated?!" He just is. Look at how they use him. The man can put on tremendous five star matches with anyone he wants, cut a terrific promo, generate excitement and WWE just continues to leave him stuck in the midcard. Why? MVP is another tremendous talent that has a great chance of winning the Money in the Bank. Personally I do not believe that he is ready to be Money in the Bank Champion yet but as is with WWE anything can happen. Even Carlito can win it! I do smell a Matt Hardy return, stifling MVP's chances of winning the Money in the Bank match, of course while he's just inches away from the briefcase. They'll continue their feud and it'll be happy times. I'd like to see Mr. Kennedy win it again and get the shot he didn't get last year but I highly doubt he'll be a back to back winner. He'll have to win his title shots the old fashioned way. CM Punk is another guy who realistically has a terrific shot at winning the briefcase. He's ready. It's about time they take him out of ECW Purgatory and move him to a real show. I'd like to see him go to Smackdown and feud with MVP, Edge, Undertaker, Batista - you know, all the big guys. CM Punk can be a good champion given the right circumstances. However it'll all come down to one man and that one man that I believe will win Money in the Bank is CM Punk.

ECW Championship Match
Tommy Dreamer vs. Chavo Guerrero (c)

Just a recap: Tommy Dreamer is my pick to win the 24-Man Battle Royal.

OK, we all know that Tommy Dreamer eats, drinks, sleeps and bleeds ECW. We all know that Tommy Dreamer, even though he looks like a doughboy, fights with all the passion of a rookie finally getting his chance to be someone. ECW is a struggling brand right now, let's admit it. The die hard fans have said "To hell with this, we're done". The show does ratings in the low to mid 1.0s. No one is watching. WWE needs to try to bring back that old fan base by giving a little of what the fans want and what the fans want is something at least remotely resembling the old ECW. Jim Ross said it best - "ECW is ECW in initials only". Well said, JR. Give Tommy Dreamer the belt and let him do his thing. However, I know most people will disagree with that idea and I doubt that will happen at Wrestlemania anyway so I'm picking Chavo Guerrero to retain.

Belfast Brawl
John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Finlay

Personally I could care less about this match. I have about as much emotion invested in this match as I do for cauliflower... and I hate cauliflower. The thing that stinks is they both are really great brawlers. If only their feud didn't consist of a leprechaun being the bastard son of Vince McMahon and then being revealed by JBL as being Finlay's actual son (doesn't that make Finlay a heel for being a neglectful parent?) I'd be as excited for this match as any match. Unfortunately that is exactly what they are feuding about and even worse, I just have a terrible feeling that the rivalry will continue on. Hornswoggle will of course come back in this match but it will be too late and JBL will end up getting the win. Woo-hoo.

BunnyMania Lumberjack Match
Maria & Ashley vs. Melina & Beth Phoenix
Special Guest Emcee: Snoop Dogg

I don't understand how this is "BunnyMania". Only half the team was in Playboy. Whatever.

Personally, if Candice Michelle hadn't been injured, I'd have rather seen her taking on Beth Phoenix for the Women's Title. Melina is absolutely right - the women wrestlers should be graded and pushed on their ability, not what they take off. Unfortunately that's all that seems to matter to the bookers, and the fans for that matter. Too bad. Looks like the Women's Champion and Melina will be falling to Maria and Ashley. Too bad. With the imbecilic Snoop Dogg officiating nonetheless. Hey - just an aside but wasn't this called a LumberJill Match last year??

Smackdown vs. RAW
Batista vs. Umaga

Don't you think with something as big as "brand supremacy" on the line that these two would have had more buildup then they actually have had? Seriously, what has this feud really been - two backstage vignettes of challenges, some squash matches and a spine buster and Samoan Spike. Whoopie!! Let the fun begin!!

Anyway, for as little time as they've put into this thrown together match, I highly expect this to be a knockdown, drag out brawl between these two monsters. I'm actually looking forward to this one. I don't think it's going to be a long match but it'll be enough to whet the appetite for more. Umaga needs to go to Smackdown and start fresh again. He's gone through everyone on RAW. Can you imagine Undertaker vs. Umaga?! I'm salivating at the thought! If the reports on the Internet are correct and there is going to be one of those controversial endings that may become a reality. I'm taking Batista to win the Smackdown vs. RAW battle. In controversial fashion, of course.

Floyd "Money" Mayweather vs. Big Show

Ugh, this feud has left me with more than just a bad taste in my mouth. This is just terrible. The build-up for it hasn't been good at all. Hell, we don't even know who to cheer for and who not to! Of course we, as wrestling fans, will boo and cheer whoever the hell we want, but WWE hasn't even made clear to us who they'd like us to cheer and boo for!! Even with the "No Holds Barred Must Be A Winner" rule and the alleged "swerve that no one will see coming" at the end, I'm still not excited for this match and I doubt I will be even while watching it. I'm taking the obvious pick: Floyd Mayweather and his posse. Those idiots.

Career Threatening Match
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels

Wow, you want to talk "Wrestlemania moments", expect a ton from these two. The staredown alone between them will rival Rock vs. Hogan in 2002. I don't know why but for some reason I just don't even want this match to happen. I'm too scared of the implications. Either way I believe it's going to be the end of Ric Flair. I don't want to wake up Monday morning in a wrestling world without that limosine ridin', jet flyin', kiss stealin', wheelin' dealin', son of a gun Ric Flair! I expect an epic but I won't be disappointed with whatever happens. Either way it's the end of an era. I'm actually going to go with Ric Flair in this! There's too many obvious picks on the card and I think they're going to swerve us and have Ric Flair win and then retire on his own accord the next night on RAW! One more time: WOOOO!!!!!!

World Heavyweight Championship
Undertaker vs. Edge (c)

I love how WWE is billing this as "Streak vs. Streak". Don't they know that last year Edge lost at Wrestlemania?! Anyway...

This is going to be a great match. These two are going to tear the house down. Undertaker is a different performer during Wrestlemania and he always rises to the occasion. I fully expect Edge to do the same. I cannot wait for this match. This is one I couldn't wait for since back in May when Edge screwed the Undertaker out of the World Heavyweight Championship! What a match it will be, what a match! I, of course, have to go with the Undertaker on this one. 16-0 and he gets probably the last World Heavyweight Championship reign, at least lengthy one, of his career.

WWE Championship
Triple H vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton (c)

This is going to be the closer for the night. This is going to be a terrific match. All three can really work and can really wrestle. Well, two out of three of them can really wrestle well. I don't mean to knock Cena but in my opinion he hasn't been quite the same since returning. Maybe it's because they really botched up his return and he's kind of lost some of his heat. That's just me - I may be wrong!

Randy Orton has been a pretty good champion. He is a good heel and I know he is because everytime I see him I want to just wring his neck!! He's been a pretty good champ but his reign is over. And you know what, wrestling fans? It's time to play the game. Triple H is your NEW WWE Champion.

Until next time, wrestling fans.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Attempts to get through a taping of TNA Impact result in a clinical breakdown

Hello there.

This blog is a little late. I should have wrote this a week ago when the episode was still relevant but I'll write it now.

*Warning* If you are one of those people who don't like TNA bashing, don't read this entry. I never liked those people who bitched about TNA either but I honestly feel that I need to get this off my chest. Besides - I'm Mike Tedesco and this is my blog.

Since I've started this blog I've tried to start watching TNA Impact again just to add more depth to my columns and to not have my column be completely WWE. Unfortunately it looks like it's going to stay all WWE as it literally took me a week to get through one episode of Impact.

TNA Impact, as I'm sure you know, is on Thursdays, a night on which I'm not home. I've got my bowling league and piano lesson so it's impossible for me to be home to watch it so I have my DVR set to record it every Thursday. When I get home from bowling I either go to bed or if I've had too much soda I watch Impact.

Well for the March 13th episode of Impact I just happened to be in one of those caffeine induced moods to watch Impact so I turned it on and within fifteen minutes it was off and I was sleeping. The episode started off like an old episode of WCW Nitro. Jim Cornette (in place of Eric Bischoff) rattles off two main events for the upcoming Pay Per View and then we get two ex-WWE guys who spar for a bit before a "big" Kevin Nash hobble in.

Why is Kevin Nash still around? He looks so old and he moves worse than ever. This isn't a guy who has "one more big one" in him. This is a relic of the past who just refuses to hang up the tights because his name, remarkably, still has drawing power. If he keeps going the way he is when he retires he'll be thought of as a joke. He may already be at that level.

If TNA isn't the new WCW then I don't know what it is. You've got a bunch of over the hill "legends" still clinging to that sacred spot they once held (like Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner), you've got guys who couldn't quite make it in WWE (Tomko and Rhino) or got fired for doing drugs (Kurt Angle) and you've got ridiculous gimmicks (like the Rock n' Rave Connection). It's just ghastly and sad to watch.

On top of all that the storylines are downright lame and poorly thought out and the ones that are on the borderline of being OK are ripped off from WWE!! Yikes.

Petey Williams is too good to be teamed with Scott Steiner and be made to look like Steiner's jock strap. It's not fair to a wrestler as talented as Williams is. Oh, and I just cannot believe that they're still fighting over who gets what suitcase. That was so long ago. It stinks of a stolen storyline WWE created - perhaps Money in the Bank?!

The Kurt Angle-Karen Angle-A.J. Styles love triangle reeks of something familiar as well. Could it be a repeat of the first major storyline/feud of Kurt Angle's WWE and professional wrestling career? Think all the way back to the Summer of 2000 (for wrestling fans this may take a while - you may need to take a few naps). Triple H was married in storyline - at the time - to Stephanie McMahon. Along comes the Olympic Hero Kurt Angle and he starts trying to impose himself on Triple H's marriage to Stephanie. Both were heels but it would ultimately turn Triple H into a tweener for the next few months until Steve Austin returned. Now this is just one fan's opinion but am I really wrong? Does it just look like the roles are reversed now? I mean come on!

On top of all this we have Kevin Nash wrestling in a Main Event. Kevin Nash shouldn't be anywhere near a wrestling ring with the shape he's in. But I already went over that.

Now I'm not going to completely bash TNA. They do still have some stuff that's entertaining. I like Samoa Joe. He's a terrific talent and I might just order their Pay Per View to see him take on Kurt Angle. Unfortunately they already ruined the ending - everyone knows when you say "Either I win or I retire" 9.9 times out of 10 that wrestler wins. It doesn't matter. In my opinion Joe's long overdue. I just hope his character isn't too destroyed after all they've put him through.
I also LOVE Curry Man. That gimmick is absolutely HILARIOUS! I had to rewind it and watch it again. It was hysterical. I even showed my girlfriend. She thought it was hilarious. I know a lot of people on the 'net are appalled at what they're making Christopher Daniels do but if it's selling T-Shirts and making people entertained it's good enough for me. However, all the other stuff in TNA needs a major uplift.

TNA used to do it right. I used to think they'd one day be the alternative to WWE. When they got a TV deal I started salivating at the idea that perhaps the Monday Night Wars would be renewed. Now we have Team 3-D telling Jim Cornette to commit suicide. How disgusting. First their one hour show was unwatchable because there was too much stuff crammed in and now at two hours it's even worse. Somewhere, somehow they dropped the ball. Was it the hiring of Vince Russo? Perhaps. We all know that if Vince McMahon isn't there to calm him down and squash his ridiculousness he's out of control. Look what happened to WCW. I'm not saying that was all him, but he played a huge role.

If you really want me to bottom line this I'll do it: TNA needs to change and they need to do it now. Just because their ring is six sided doesn't make then unique. They need to have unique characters, storylines, and a unique presentation. Right now it's a half-assed RAW and a blatant rip-off of Nitro. And not the Nitro from 1996. I'm talking Nitro from 2001. OK, fine, 2000.

Please TNA - I changed my mind! I don't even want a repeat of the Monday Night Wars. I just want a show that I can turn to when I'm frustrated with WWE's product and say "Oh, wrestling still can be good". I just want some variety in my wrestling - not the same show with a different name and less production value. It's time to turn it up, TNA!

Until next time, wrestling fans.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Disappointment is the Word of the Day

Hello there.

Not a very good day for wrestling at all.

The latest person to be suspended as per WWE's Wellness Policy is Jeff Hardy. That's terrible news for wrestling fans, especially around Wrestlemania time. Not only are we robbed of more than a few great "Wrestlemania Moments" that Jeff definitely would have provided us with but we are robbed of a tremendous superstar who we were all getting behind and was seemingly unstoppable.

Worse yet - there's no one to blame but Jeff Hardy.

To say I'm disappointed in Jeff Hardy is an understatement. Here's a guy who has everything going for him. He's an inspiration to a lot of fans, especially the younger ones, and he can't keep himself clean. It's really a shame.

This isn't the first time for Jeff though, as I'm sure you all know. He was hit with his first violation before Summerslam 2007, before they started releasing the names to the public so it was all speculation at the time.

It's kind of ironic, isn't it? The Intercontinental Championship reign that ended last night on RAW began right when he came back from his first suspension and he won it because Umaga was leaving on suspension!

Still, this is really a shame after all Jeff has accomplished. He was gaining SO much momentum and he was really building up his career to be a big time Main Event player. It's a real slap in the face to the fans of WWE and the talent and management of WWE who worked so hard to get him over.

Sixty days is a long time for wrestling fans. Will he be as over as he was when he left? Wrestling fans have notoriously short memories so that may be a problem. Another question is will the office push him as hard as they did before? Mind you, he has two violations. A third strike means you're out. Mandatory release. If I were WWE I'd feel insecure about pushing a guy who could blow it all again and you have to release him.

Hopefully while he's gone Jeff will complete some sort of rehab. I believe in second chances and that's it but wrestling, especially WWE, is known for giving tons of chances. Hopefully Jeff Hardy won't spit in their face, and more importantly ours, again.

Drugs are bad. You heard it here first.

Until next time, wrestling fans.

The Palace Project Blog

Hello there.

I'd just like to send out a HUGE thank you to Mike Siciliano, author of "The Palace Project Blog" and's (a personal favorite of mine) "Pro's from the Palace". I highly recommend both sites to you even though if you're looking at my site it's probably because of the plug Mike graciously gave to me.

Thanks again, Mike, and I'm proud to be listed as your buddy.