Canton's Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – November 26

Canton’s Corner: The Wrestling Week in Review – November 26
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport

Welcome to Canton’s Corner. There was no CC column last week as I’m sure a lot of you noticed. I think when there are WWE PPVs I won’t be doing the column. It’s hard to find the time when I’m going through the preview. Anyway, we’re back to the regular format this week with the polls, some likes/dislikes for Raw, Smackdown & TNA’s Impact Wrestling. There’s also a new feature starting this week. It’s called “The Twitter Ten” where I answer ten Twitter questions. It will be following the Smackdown part and before the Impact part. Let’s get to it.

Last Week’s Poll Results
The poll question was: What will be the best match at Survivor Series? The results:
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk 40.95%
Cena/Rock vs. Miz/Truth 22.91%
Dolph Ziggler vs. Zack Ryder 19.78%
Team Orton vs. Team Barrett 14.62%
Mark Henry vs. Big Show 1.75%

The WWE Title match led the way. I thought that one and the 5 on 5 were the two best, both of them earning ratings of ***1/2 (out of 5) in my Survivor Series recap. Obviously Ziggler vs. Ryder didn’t happen. I’m shocked that even 1.75% thought that Henry vs. Show would be the best. Apparently Vince McMahon votes in these polls. Haha.

This Week’s Poll Question: What has been the best WWE PPV in 2011?
There’s one PPV left in the WWE calendar, December’s TLC. The question this week is, of the 12 PPVs that have happened so far in 2011, what three are the best? I decided to give you the option of picking three because I think number one will be obvious. I want to know what else you liked. Remember, you can pick up to 3 before you hit vote.

My top three? Money in the Bank, Summerslam & Elimination Chamber in that order with Survivor Series & Extreme Rules being the next two for me. I’d be shocked if Money in the Bank didn’t end up first. I’m interested in seeing how it goes after that.

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

LIKE – Punk vs. Ziggler
Great match. You can make a case that they are the two best in-ring workers in WWE right now. I would put them as two of the top four with Christian & Daniel Bryan being the other two guys in that conversation. What this match did is showed how good a series of matches between them can be. Hopefully we get this as a title feud for next year. How about Ziggler challenging Punk for the WWE Title at WrestleMania? Considering I’m going to be there – just got the tickets a few days ago – I’d love for it to be at WrestleMania.

DISLIKE – Poor advertising
Three things on Raw that they advertised: Jonah Hill as the guest star, Brodus Clay’s debut (or return) and a Triple H/Kevin Nash confrontation. None of those things happened. Apparently Hill was at Raw, but Vince McMahon changed the script so many times that his segment was written out. Why fly a guy in, promote him and not use him? I’m not for guest stars mostly, but he’d be one of the better ones. The Clay thing got pushed back again due to time. The Nash/Triple H segment got changed so Nash could cut the same promo he always does. It’s a bad sign that they advertise things so heavily only to change their mind. Long term plans may be in place, but this is proof that they can change at any time.

Other thoughts:

– Bad time for R-Truth to be suspended. I don’t blame WWE for waiting until after Survivor Series to do it. Apparently there’s not a rule that says the suspension needs to be immediate, but I do understand why some want to complain about that.

– I would expect Miz to be built up very strong as a singles act again. I think Punk will retain the WWE Title against Del Rio this Monday and also at TLC (Monday’s match may have a DQ finish) while Miz waits in the wings for a title shot at the Royal Rumble.

– I’m really excited for the release of the new Steve Austin DVD this week. I’ll be writing a column about him very soon.

As always, TJR’s Christian Michael has a full recap of Smackdown with his thoughts on the show. I’d have given it an 8 this week, so all you’re getting below are “Likes” from me.

LIKE – Daniel Bryan wins the World Title…almost!
What a great opening. I read the spoilers like a lot of people and I know some were upset that they would put the World Title on DBry only to remove it because Henry wasn’t cleared to compete. I thought it was a brilliant angle. Big Show came out, KTFO’d Mark Henry, Bryan’s music started up, he pinned Henry and celebrated as the World Champ for a minute. Teddy Long reversed it. It makes sense. Usually during Money in the Bank cash-ins, the champion is dazed but they are almost always on their feet or on their knees. In this case Henry was on his stomach as Bryan rolled him onto his back to cover. I liked that they used logic to explain why it didn’t count. It makes sense. Don’t be angry that Bryan lost. He will get it. What this does is add to the chase and the chase is usually better than the reign anyway. If they keep building this guy in such a good way on the road to WrestleMania he’s going to be huge when he actually wins the World Title. I said when, not if. I believe in the push of Daniel Bryan. With that in mind, why the hell did they leave him off Survivor Series? That was just stupid.

LIKE – Sheamus & Ryder over Ziggler & Swagger
They had a very entertaining 15 minute tag match here. I found it funny that Booker said that Swagger had a lot of momentum lately. I’m pretty sure he loses more than he wins. I think he beat Santino recently, after he lost to him. Anyway, the chemistry of Sheamus/Ryder both backstage and in this match was fantastic. Ziggler was a bumping machine again. See how he sells the Rough Ryder finisher too? Nobody sells it better. The build for the eventual US Title switch has been great. They actually seem to care about a secondary title. I love it.

LIKE – Daniel Bryan wins Fatal Fourway against Orton, Rhodes & Barrett
The winner of this match got to face Mark Henry on Smackdown next week in a steel cage for the World Title. The ring intros started with about a half hour left in the show. If I didn’t read spoilers I would have thought Randy Orton was going to get the win. Nope. Daniel Bryan got the win via tapout on Cody Rhodes. It was interesting that Cody tapped so quickly. My guess is they either did it because they were influenced by MMA submissions or simply because they want to put over the LeBell Lock as a deadly hold, which is fine by me. If a person isn’t fighting out of the hold for 20 seconds it makes the hold look that much more punishing. They did a great job of putting over Bryan on this show, which is what made me enjoy it so much.

LIKE – Live Smackdown next Tuesday with Mick Foley hosting
I’m not sure the “Holiday Special” line is needed in terms of calling next Tuesday’s a holiday special. The holiday was this past Thursday and Christmas is in a month. It’s just a tag line, I guess. Still, the reason I like it is because I think both WWE and Syfy know that they are going to get more viewers by making this show live. The last time they did it was a success. This time when they do it I’m sure it will be successful too even though the Raw roster won’t be there since they are off to Japan after Raw. Adding Mick Foley to it adds some much needed star power too. With Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Title in a cage match they have an interesting main event as well. I’d expect Henry to retain to set up the Chairs Match vs. Big Show at TLC. They are saving Bryan’s win.

Other thoughts:

– They teased a Dibiase/Mahal feud with the idea being that Mahal is shocked that Dibiase went against being a rich snob to hang out with fans in the Dibiase Posse. Obviously Ted will win the feud, but at least they are doing something with Mahal.

– Glad to see Natalya got the clean win on AJ. The post match bridging Sharpshooter was fantastic too. It looks like Kaitlyn will turn heel on AJ too. I don’t think Kaitlyn’s character has been developed enough for anybody to care. I do like AJ, though. She’s got very good potential as a babyface long term because of the way she can take a beating.

– I actually liked that Cole is against Daniel Bryan so much. Cole is so hated that it will make people like Bryan more. Smart move in my opinion.

It’s time to debut a new feature here in the CC column. I’m calling it “The Twitter Ten” where I will answer ten wrestling related questions that people are asking me on Twitter. I may make it a feature in the Raw Deal too. We’ll see how it goes. I’m a big Twitter fan and we know WWE loves Twitter too, so I figure let’s implement it into this column. You can follow me on Twitter @johnreport where I mostly talk wrestling, but mix in some sports, entertainment and general life things too. Time for some Twitter questions. I’ll post their Twitter handles by their questions, which will be in italics, so follow them too if you want. My answers may exceed the 140 character limit, but I will try to be concise as best I can.

@BronxCobra51 Which midcarder, one from Raw and one from Smackdown, do you see getting big pushes going into WrestleMania?
I’d say from Raw the obvious choice is Ziggler while Smackdown’s obvious names are Barrett & Rhodes. Bright future for all of them.

@ThatDaveGuy Who’s your early prediction for Rumble winner? Or, if that’s too bland, who’s going to enter number one?
Tough call. I hope Ziggler wins to set up Ziggler vs. Punk for WWE Title at WM. Think it might be Sheamus winning though. For first man in, Cody Rhodes. Just guessing.

@SaifQuadri I just finished watching #Smackdown, the commentary was BRUTAL. Any glimmer of hope in that department or is it a lost cause?
I thought it was better than most weeks. Cole is more toned down than he is on Raw. Glimmer of hope? No. Doubt they change much on commentary. It seems set.

@semicorrect If you could change the results of any one match in WWE/WWF history so the other man won, what would it be?
If I could do one thing that never happened it would be having Bret Hart beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title in 1993. To answer this question, I’d pick Booker T. winning the World Title against Triple H at WrestleMania 19. I understand why they kept it on Hunter so he could put over Goldberg later in the year, which wasn’t a great feud, but I thought Booker deserved even a short run. It took Booker a few years and a heel turn on Smackdown to get back to that level, where he finally won the gold.

@CheeseForTheWin Whenever Brodus Clay ‘debuts’ do you see him being a Umaga/Goldberg type destroying everyone and not losing for sometime?
Yes absolutely. Problem is it’s a gimmick too similar to Mark Henry, so will it get over? Hmmm. Not sure.

@cam_guin If JoMo jumps to TNA do you reckon he’s got the capacity (moveset, ability) to shine against A-double?
Definitely. I think he’d have some great matches with Austin Aries if they gave them a chance. Lots of other good workers there too.

@bbrauch2000 The WWE needs new face blood in the mid to upper card, how do they make Ted Dibiase work?
Anybody can work if you book them consistently strong. No better example than Mark Henry. If you book somebody like a star, the fans will look at them like one more often than not. It’s just a matter of getting behind Ted (or whoever) and showing you believe in him.

@JamieEveritt your favourite tag team? Which two current wrestlers do you think should team up?
I’ll give you three all time favorite teams: Edge & Christian, Hart Foundation & Hollywood Blondes. Who to team up is hard to say. Depends on chemistry of wrestler, who gets along backstage, etc. I like some of the recent pairings like Primo/Epico, Reks/Hawkins and guys like that. Give midcarders a chance.

@melonsauce Suspensions aside, how do you feel about WWE’s tag team efforts recently? Are things looking up?
Yes absolutely. They have developed some good teams and hopefully can bring up some more from FCW. Things are definitely looking up for tag team wrestling in WWE, which is something I support strongly.

@PrototypeIV Do you think WWE still favours the bigger (literally) guys holding the world titles?
Of course. Look at Mark Henry vs. Big Show feuding. Vince will always love the bigger wrestlers.

That was ten. Didn’t answer any “when will Cena turn heel?” or “who is Undertaker wrestling at WrestleMania?” questions. Those are the most common. I don’t know for either of them. I may ask for more questions on Mondays too, then I will do “The Twitter Ten” at the end of the Raw Deal too. Just follow me on Twitter @johnreport to find out when.

Like every week, I watched Impact Wrestling. Some likes/dislikes for the show.

LIKE – The pairing of Crimson & Matt Morgan
I like the team. Sure, they may be booking them too strong in the sense that it may hurt the competition, but at least they’ve got a storyline for Crimson in place. They should team together for 4 or 5 months before the obvious Morgan heel turn. Since it’s TNA, a company known for rushing angles, I doubt the team lasts longer than two months. What teams can they go against? The tag division in TNA is no longer elite. They need to figure it out, though, because this pairing of Crimson & Morgan could be very good.

DISLIKE – Too many wild brawls
How many wild brawls where there on Impact this week? I’m not even going to try to count them. Most of the time when they have the brawls the security comes out, never actually breaks it up, gets beat up and then the fans barely react because they’re used to seeing it all the time. The same group of guys brawled twice before their match.

LIKE – Eight man elimination tag main event
They taped this the day after Survivor Series, so obviously elimination tags were fresh in their mind. The booking of it was good. They went about 16 minutes, the faces won thanks to Styles & Hardy, which is the right call because they’re the babyfaces that need wins like this.

DISLIKE – The turkey suit match
I understand they are going for cheap comedy with this, but holy crap this was bad. The turkey suit even got a video package. Yes, a video package for this joke of an angle. Nice to see they have their priorities in order huh? I feel bad for Eric Young. When he was a serious character in the World Elite angle he was phenomenal. Now that he’s only a joke character he’s still good, but they aren’t using him to his fullest either.

Other thoughts:

– Not sure what to think of the Knockouts. Dislike the angle, but like the attire. They got a lot of airtime, so that was good. Karen made them dress in lingerie in a “Thanksgiving Thong Thunder” match. Then the girls didn’t really wrestle in thongs, but they were still in lingerie and she was apparently mad at them for it. This was all over the map. The babyface girls (Tara, Brooke, Velvet) were mad about being in their underwear, yet they enjoyed doing a pose off that included taking off their tops in a seductive way. Velvet was so mad that she didn’t do her ass shake in the ropes on her entrance. Now that’s anger…I guess. The heels (Angelina, Madison, Winter) were mad about it too. Next week Karen will choose their outfits. Remind me again why a babyface in charge like Sting would still employ a heel like Karen as the VP of Knockouts? Oh right because she’s married to Jeff Jarrett. That’s not a storyline explanation though.

Random Clip of the Week
This is a video about Money in the Bank cash-ins.

As you can see in each case, the guy cashing in the briefcase did so against an opponent that got to his feet. That’s why the ruling on Smackdown made sense. Henry wasn’t on his feet when Bryan cashed in. He was also hurt. It works. Cool video although not sure about the song choices. Nice to relive all those Money in the Bank moments.

Melo Out with Steve Melo

Hello once again my fellow wrestling maniacs. My devoted Melonites. Ok, that just sounded weird. So I watched RAW this past Monday night and I have to say that it was actually tolerable for a change which was refreshing. I passed out during Kevin Nash’s boring promo. Yes, it was that boring. So thanks to him, I basically took a power nap and stayed up to watch the repeat. I’m glad I did because that CM Punk vs. Dolph Zigger match was absolutely fantastic. I cannot praise these two guys enough. Punk is always great and Ziggler needs to be elevated to the main event. He has proved just how good he is time and time again. He deserves it. Make it happen WWE.

In other news, Daniel Bryan is your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion! Actually, I lied. WWE just teased the crap out of it by having him cash in on a knocked out Mark Henry last night on Smackdown. I gotta say, I marked the hell out for this and the crowd response was phenomenal. Unfortunately for him and us fans, Smackdown GM Teddy Long (who was probably getting another massage nobody cares about from Aksana because he took his sweet ass time getting out there) revoked what had transpired because Henry was not cleared to compete. Now if this is in favour for a better storyline for Bryan, then I am all for it as stupid as this was from a logic point of view. I say this because do you remember when Chris Jericho was World Heavyweight Champion and he had his ribs taped up thanks to Edge? He too wasn’t technically able to compete but Edge came out and speared him, allowing Jack Swagger to cash in his money in the bank briefcase and win the World Heavyweight Championship. Don’t worry if you do not remember this. I am sure WWE doesn’t either with the way they book Swagger as of late. Anyways, nothing was done against that and one could argue that basically the same thing occurred last night. But I should know better than to question WWE logic or remembering previous storylines for that matter. I will say this though, Michael Cole needs to go. His brutal and annoying voice nearly ruined this segment for me.

(Note from JC: To defend WWE I’d say a guy with taped ribs isn’t hurt as bad as a guy with his ankle in a cast that also has crutches. They did a good job of playing up Henry’s injury while Jericho wasn’t hurt as serious in that situation.)

Lastly, would somebody please get Hunico a new gimmick? This is brutal. His theme song and ring attire blow. Make him evil Sin Cara again WWE. I beg of you. I did enjoy the Sheamus and Ryder team up. That was fun stuff. Good backstage promo too. Plus it helps that they faced Ziggler and Swagger. Solid tag team match, although Vickie needs to join Cole in my shut the hell up because you have an annoying voice club. The main event was full of talent as well, but you already knew that.

That does it for this week. I got a Facebook now along with my Twitter account so feel free to add me and follow me. I can be pretty funny (or offensive) depending on how you take it.

Until next week, sit back, relax and Melo Out…because that’s what wrestling is all about.
Steve “The Melo Man” Melo
Facebook: MeloOutTJR
Twitter: @MeloOutTJR


I’ll be back on Tuesday with the Raw Deal and my column on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin could be ready by the middle of next week or I may hold off until the week after. I might wait until I see his new DVD. I’ll also be starting work on the 2011 WWE Johnny Awards for the middle of December. I’ll likely have polls so you can vote on who you think should win too. That’s all for this week.

Thanks for reading.

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