Real American Wrestleblog

This blog predates Jack Swagger's gimmick shift by a year. I named it after Hulk Hogan's entrance theme.

Archive for the ‘Anaconda Vice’ Category

Five Things to Take Away from Extreme Rules 2013

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Folks, I was actually there for the show, so I have a slightly different perspective than the viewers at home, so keep that in mind.  I’m sure all of you who bought the Pay Per View or managed to watch it through other, more dubious means had a better view of most of the action, but sitting up in the stands, I might have caught some things that the cameras missed, for example, the first takeaway I got from the night.

1) Mark Henry sells harder and better than the Big Show, or at least he did last night.  What really sold me on this was the two similar spots they did where they got pulled or pushed into the ring post.  With Henry facing off against Sheamus in the Strap Match, at one point they took the fight out of the ring, but exited out different sides, leaving a ring post in between them.  Sheamus then used the strap to pull Henry into the ring post and when Henry through himself into the spot and made contact, the ring post moved violently and I almost thought they could break it off the side of the ring if they did that spot just one more time.  But they went back in the ring and completed the match.  Then, three matches later, Big Show takes on Randy Orton in an Extreme Rules Match and they too take the fight out to the floor and Big Show swats a ladder away from Orton and hoists Orton up like he’s going to use him for a battering ram and slam him into that same ring post that Henry collided with.  However, Orton counters and gets down behind Big Show and shoves him into that ring post and low and behold, nothing happens.  The ring post didn’t shake at all, which after what Henry did during his spot led me to believe that Big Show took it easy on himself while Henry went full bore.

2) Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H should not have been the closing match of the night.  I understand why they thought it had to close the show, since it was supposedly going to be the third and deciding match of their rivalry and thus should prove to be the best match between them, but it wasn’t.  On top of that, after the St. Louis crowd violently cheered on the hometown hero Randy Orton against Big Show and then going through the self-imposed obligation of showing all the kids in attendance who the boss is during the “Let’s Go Cena – CENA SUCKS,” chants, the crowd was pretty well out of it.  Coupled with the fact that the match didn’t end cleanly immediately after the only WWE / World Title match of the night didn’t have a winner and everybody leaves feeling slighted.  I don’t even think people cared who won, it just would have been nice to see a clear winner and a clear loser.  By the way, as my brother pointed out about the finish of that match was Paul Heyman was doing a sell job and then he pops up to low blow HHH and then goes right back to doing his cell job and acts like he’s unconscious up until Lesnar exits the cage and then reaches in and drags Heyman out by the leg.  What exactly was the point in that?  That was horrible planning on Heyman’s part.  Once you pop up and hit the low blow and don’t get touched again, how do you go back to being knocked out?  I thought Paul Heyman was smarter than that.

3) The Shield might not actually be a cohesive unit for much longer.  We’ve seen it before with pretty much every heel group that’s been cut from the same cloth as The Shield.  The Nexus, the Corre, Evolution, the nWo – once the members start winning titles, jealousy starts to set in and it becomes a pissing match over who is better.  That’s pretty much the way all of these things end and the beginning of the end usually comes once one or all of the members start winning titles.  As we saw with Evolution and the nWo, that can lead to a series of decent rivalries and play out for a long time, or as we saw with the Corre, it can completely break up the group in pretty much no time flat.

4) Dean Ambrose and Kofi Kingston put on a pretty sloppy match while Chris Jericho vs. Fandango seemed pretty sound.  During the United States Title Match, it seemed to me that Ambrose was having quite a bit of trouble keeping pace with Kofi, which led to Ambrose looking pretty stupid by having to hurry at the last second to get into place to take some of Kofi’s moves.  And there was also the botch where Kofi tried to jump over Ambrose, but Ambrose didn’t get out of the way quick enough and Kofi kicked him in the head accidentally, which they no sold and moved on.  Conversely, Jericho vs. Fandango didn’t seem to have any slip ups at all, but then again Jericho is amazing and Fandango doesn’t do any moves that can really be screwed up except for usually landing wrong on his opponents heads.  His move set strikes me as overly basic, which sometimes when you’re still just getting the hang of the business, it’s better to K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid).  So there really wasn’t any opportunity I saw for him to really screw up the match other than if he had taken Jericho’s flying crossbody at the start of the match wrong and dropped him on the floor kind of like The Miz did to R-Truth last year that got him in hot water.  So, Fandango can at least take other people’s high spots without screwing up, which is more than can be said for The Miz or Sim Snuka / Deuce.  However, I’d rather watch a match like what Ambrose and Kingston put on that is slightly sloppy because at least they were taking some risks to try to put together a better match even if they couldn’t get the timing right.

5) HHH’s Sharpshooter is almost as bad as The Rock’s.  Anybody that is a part of the fan group I comment in on facebook knows that I’m pretty hard on The Rock for his extremely bad version of the Sharpshooter.  Well, Triple H brought it out for the cage match against Brock Lesnar last night and it ended up being every bit as bad as the version utilized by The Rock.  However, it didn’t start out that way.  It looked like HHH actually did a semi-decent job of applying the move at the start and had a decent version locked in, but Lesnar fought to stretch himself out to lessen the pressure because he apparently couldn’t take it, but that wasn’t supposed to be the finish of the match, so the move just ended up looking really bad by the time Lesnar drug himself almost all the way down to the mat instead of letting HHH hold him up and selling the hold.  So, I put most of the blame for HHH’s version on Lesnar not cooperating, unlike when Rock just plain puts the hold on wrong from the start.  Chris Benoit is the only one who has come close to doing the move correctly since Owen and Bret Hart’s time, and Bret gives him credit for it, but always points out that it isn’t right any time I read anything where he’s asked about it.  In this day and age though, nobody cares about doing the submissions correctly and making it look good (with the exception of Daniel Bryan’s Crossface No Lock and Punk’s occasional Anaconda Vise).  Pretty much the only time Jericho gets to put in a decent looking Walls of Jericho any more is when he’s wrestling the human gumby known as Kofi Kingston.  Maybe it’s just that wrestlers are softer now than they were ten years ago or maybe they just don’t care about the technical wrestling side of things as much, but something has to be done to reverse the trend of horribly applied submission locks.

Chris Jericho: Does Lite Brite Cause Impotence?

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Okay, so at the beginning of the year, Chris Jericho made his triumphant return to the WWE.  Everybody was super excited.  We got his usual cryptic vignettes announcing a big return and because he’s done it twice in the past, everybody knew with absolute certainty that it would be Jericho.  Which, that’s still great – everybody was super excited.

Then the trouble started.

Jericho spent weeks without saying anything, parading around the ring like a dufus in what CM Punk so rightly dubbed a “stupid lite brite jacket”, and just wasting air time in general.  Then, everybody gets what they think is a big payoff when on the final Monday Night Raw before the Royal Rumble, he breaks his silence with one simple sentence.

“This Sunday at the Royal Rumble will be the end of the world as you know it.”

Great, so Jericho is going to shock everybody at the Royal Rumble and do something outstanding, right?  Guess again.  Jericho puts up a valiant effort, but in the end is Brogue Kicked out of the Rumble by Sheamus.  And it was a great final two for the Royal Rumble, the best since Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker tore the house down at the 2007 Royal Rumble.  However, Y2J had still not won anything since his return and apart from the Rumble, he had only wrestled a couple of times in tag matches that he walked out on without executing so much as a wrist lock.  That’s the first month of his career since his latest big return with absolutely nothing accomplished.

Move forward on the road to Wrestlemania XXVIII and Jericho finally picks up a victory over Kofi Kingston on Monday Night Raw.  Could he possibly be getting back on track?  Could he possibly be starting to once again back up his claims that he is the best in the world at what he does?  Think again because we move forward to the Elimination Chamber and while Jericho doesn’t get beat, he gets knocked out of the chamber by a kick to the back of the head and can’t return to the match.  He is once again denied any real credibility since his return to the WWE in January.

From there, Jericho would go on to win a ten man Battle Royal and earn the right to challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania XXVIII.  Great for Jericho, now he’s on the right track, right?  He’s got the ball rolling in the right direction, right?  Wrong.  Aside from yet another stray victory over Kofi Kingston on the last Smackdown before Wrestlemania, Jericho still didn’t win anything on his own.  Jericho did add a lot of heat to his rivalry against Punk with his claims that Punk’s father was a drunk, his sister was a substance abuser and Punk himself was born out of wedlock and thus the legal definition of a bastard.  He certainly showed that he hadn’t lost his ability to get under his opponent’s skin and deliver heated and shocking moments on the microphone.  However, all of that did nothing to reestablish the credibility of his tremendous wrestling prowess.

Then we get to Wrestlemania XXVIII and the stipulation is added that Jericho can win the title if Punk succumbs to his rage and gets disqualified.  Jericho can’t lose, right?  If that’s what you’re thinking, you haven’t been paying very close attention to the theme thus far.  Jericho then goes out and puts on a technical wrestling classic against Punk.  It was full full of great counter wrestling, reversals of fortune and false finishes.  Despite connecting with a Codebreaker and locking in the Walls of Jericho on multiple occasions, CM Punk managed to survive and keep the WWE Championship after forcing Jericho to submit to the Anaconda Vice.

It was no doubt a five-star classic, but yet again  Jericho found himself on the losing end.  The night after Wrestlemania XXVIII on Monday Night Raw, Jericho finally gets the better of Punk, but only after CM Punk was thrashed during his countout loss to Mark Henry.  Jericho took advantage of a weakened Punk and poured alcohol all over him and broke a liquor bottle over his head.  But he still didn’t pin Punk’s shoulders to the mat or those of anybody else that’s currently a top-tier talent in the WWE locker room.  So, what are we left with to draw our conclusions?  Jericho definitely still has the stuff to put on a great show.  He still has the ability to compete on the highest level with anybody in the locker room.  He’s good enough to still be in the Main Event, but the conclusion we’re evidently supposed to draw from Jericho’s performance over the past three months is that he’s apparently just not good enough to win.