More weekend show feedback

It has been awhile since I have Emailed. I took a hiatus from TNA and WWE for most of last year, due it being so awful.
However, I got sucked back into both in November. I am thankful I missed HHH not putting over another person. Anyway, I watched the Rumble and was pleasantly surprised.
The main reasons being:
Orton, the Luger of the 2010s in terms of ability did not win. I love the fact that again Jericho helped make a star out of a younger guy, something that the HHH's and Hogan's had plenty of opportunity to do so. Overall, the Rumble match was fun to watch. I did feel that Wade Barrett was jobbed a bit too quickly by Orton.
However, one of the more vexing things about the WWE is the unnecessary amount of video packages and recaps. Sweet Allah, there was so much damn filler. It takes an hour for a match to start, sure I cooked dinner, ate it, worked out, played with the kids, ran in circles and ran a few errands waiting for the matches to start, but come on get to the fucking point. It really hurt the WWE title match: I believe it was barely 12 minutes of actual wrestling. Ziggler and Punk deserve far better, and Ziggler was never really a threat throughout the match, though it was still a good one.
I love Punk as champ but part of me sees him as the guy chasing the title. Austin and the Rock were far more compelling chasing the title than actually having it.
I do applaud the WWE for keeping the WCW title on Bryan and his heel turn has been well done. Same with Jericho's  return. I love the slow burn they have done. Instead of rushing through an angle with Jericho, they are taking their time, and while I have read a lot of negatives about it, I think it is great. Less is more.
Finally, a brief comment on Cena. He is Hulk Hogan in 94-5 and 99-00. Terrible. It is the same shit over and over. The fans despise him and yet he is crammed down our throats. He has ruined Zack Ryder who is now just floating around doing nothing. It is obvious they had no idea of what to do with him once he won the US title. Cena's flirtation with the "Dark Side" reminds me of Hogan and the Dungeon of Doom and not in a good way. Honestly, at this point, Cena needs to take a long hiatus. RAW will be fine. Hell, it received some of its highest ratings ever in 2000 after Austin left. To be fair, he does elicit a visceral response from the crowd, and probably brings in people just to boo him. Still....I would love no Cena.
The PPV was not spectacular as it was by the numbers. But overall, it worked, sure the hour's worth of recaps and mini Cena/Rock documentaries is way too much....Makes me wary of WM.
Keep up the good work. I try to read when I can. BTW, thanks for helping getting my Blog off the ground when you published my letters. It is getting a lot of traffic. I am currently in August 2000.
Kevin Kindelberger
I am literally down to watching three WWE wrestlers CM Punk, Dolf Zigler and the recently returned Chris Jericho. There is not a single compelling story line to follow. The Royal Rumble match shows the obvious shortfall in talent. The announcing is awful. There were so many stories to be told:
The Miz and Cody Rhodes both making deep runs as 1 and 4 in the match.
Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Hacksaw Duggan.....instead of complaining about them being in the match how about a "one more shot at glory". The Michael Cole heel announcer gimmick is so old it's not even funny.
Karma's return so she can eliminate Cole? Really?
Dolph Zigler returning for a second match of the night to try and get back to the #1 contender spot.
I didn't mind the Mick Foley comedy spots early. You know the gimmick entries are coming but get them done early (although they missed the obvious one with Drew McIntyre, perfect spot for a 1 second elimination there). After #20, everyone should pick it up a notch and collectively I thought the WWE failed.
After missing UFC on Fox 1 I was able to watch the entire broadcast on Friday. I think visually it looks great. The United Center is a great building visually to broadcast an event at live. They do need their own music to set the brand apart. Curt Menefee is excellent in his role as host.
I think the critics of the actual fights are forgetting the fact that live fighting isn't always going to be the big knockout or instant classic. It's not like the WWE where you can script out a big finish or planned spots that give you that holy shit moment. It's live fighting. You could also have a quick knock out or submission in your three matches and now you're filling an hour plus of time.
I watched the fights with two VERY casual fans. I think Dana missed an opportunity prior to the first show. Why not run a two hour special on Fox explaining the moves and terminology of MMA, going over weight classes, different disciplines of fighting but most importantly, introduce your stars. Here are your champions. These are the contenders. For the casual fan who doesn't follow MMA many of these names mean very little.
Dave Gould

Thumbs down
Best match: Ziggler-Punk
Worst match: Cage
1) What's the point of Henry being in there when he clearly cannot move? I guess the match wasn't THAT bad. They did the only thing they really could do, given the circumstances. I just hope they give Bryan someone he can work with. Orton, Sheamus, or basically anybody on the roster. It's hard to use Bryan's skill set against 400-pounders. 
2) I actually didn't mind the Divas match. Beth got over big and a feud with her and Karma would be a Divas angle I don't fast forward through every Monday.
3) I think I speak for everyone when I say Cena-Kane is a mess. 
4) Ziggler-Punk was good. I agree with those who say they should have saved the GTS on Johnny Ace for the Rumble. I guess what's disappointing is the story didn't really move with this match. WWE had me pay $55 to raise my interest in tuning in for free on Monday. I'm into the evaluation angle. So I guess they accomplished their goal. On the mat these two are the best WWE has at the moment. 
5) I love this Brodus Clay character. He seems to be the kind of entertaining mid carder that's needed. I don't mind the squash. They couldn't mess with the build by having him eliminated in the Rumble. Poor McIntyre. I wish they would just get rid of the guy already. 
6) I was surprised by the Sheamus win. Did they just try to swerve the Internet fans? I've never been a big fan of the Irishman. But don't have a problem with the win. It just seems they would have gotten more out of a Jericho or Orton win. Or even a Foley, Miz, or Cody. Not sure I understand where we are going. 
  • Best moment of the night was Ricardo in the beat-up car. 
  • Hacksaw and Road Dogg were cool. I always like those moments in the Rumble.
  • Kharma was great in the comeback.
  • Not a big fan of the announcers bit. If it was one of them fine. But three seemed like overkill. 
  • Sock-Sock showdown was cool.
  • Miz and Cody did a great job moving it along. I'm hoping Cody gets some good stuff in 2012.
  • Mike Trask

Hi Dave,
Thumbs up
Best Match: The Rumble
Worst Match: The Divas thing
I'm not sure what people are so upset about with this one. The Rumble
match was interesting, fun and unpredictable. Just as The Rumble
should be. People complaining about the lack of "Big Stars" would be
the same ones bitching if HHH or Undertaker were in it because they
would "Squash" the young talent. As for the under-card, Kane and Cena
was as good as could be expected. Punk and Ziggler had a great match,
even with the stupid John Laurinaitis business. Bryan, Show and Henry
wasn't terrible, but could have done without Henry. The less said
about the Divas the better. Finally, and most importantly, if you
aren't entertained by Brodus Clay then you aren't paying attention.
Don't cry for Drew McIntyre, however. He was irrelevant a long time
Good stuff all round.
- Will Rutherford

Royal Rumble 2012

Thumbs Up

Best Match: CM Punk v Dolph Ziggler

Worst Match: Brodus Clay v Drew MyIntrye

The 2012 Rumble will go down as one with limited star power and tons of comedy. Inversely, it will also go down as a year that WWE attempted to turn the negative into a positive and NOT have Randy Orton or Chris Jericho - two stars who had been on top for most of the past decade - win the match.

HHH clearly wants to position Sheamus as the next-generation version of himself. And his character is starting to show some dimensionality, as opposed to Orton, who has the range of a tuning fork. But just as clearly, WWE sees that fans would not buy Daniel Bryan beating Randy Orton, whereas with Sheamus, it could happen.

When the match got down to the final 5-6 slots, we were throwing around names, including Undertaker and Kevin Nash. I casually flipped back on my "PPV pad" and blurted out "Jack Swagger," and five seconds later, there he was.

The rest of the card was a disappointment. "Size is king" is clearly not working anymore. Between Mark Henry, Big Show, Kane, and Brodus Clay, I overloaded on limited behemoths.

I'm not the biggest Mason Ryan fan, but WWE loves big guys and needs new talent on top. The Kane push could have gotten Mason Ryan over as a top guy, but instead they give it to a 43-year-old who has been around forever.

Jeff Cohen
Flushing, NY

Thumbs Down.… no… middle finger up!!

Best Match : Punk & Dolph

Worst: Cena & Kane

Sweet baby Jesus was that show a clusterfook!

Henry vs. Bryan vs. Show vs. my soul

Didn’t expect much and didn’t get much either. I was pleased with Bryan holding onto the belt, although any other outcome would have been backwards.

Nobody cares about  Show and Henry is still injured….PLEASE let that man rest up and heal….PLEASE Vince PLEASE! Nice finish to the match and was pretty clever to boot!

Evil Random Divas VS Even more Nice random Divas

Match was inoffensive…..that is all.

BroDusty Clay VS. Future, Future Endeavor McIntyre

Really! Was this a PPV quality match? Did we not just see several of these matches on Raw weeks ago? What can we say about this match….Nothing, that’s what!

Erica Kane Vs. Johan Cenna vs. my will to live

Ok….end this friggin feud NOW! Nobody cares.  Please remove Ryder from the line of fire. I get what your trying to do but Cena is harming Ryder.  In fact Zack is kinda whack (I got mad rhymes) What a douche bag this kid looked like with his I heart D-Lo brown chest protector. Eve needs to be shot in the temple for her ACTIIIING!!! Wrestling was ok….Kane delivered a good looking suplex….ok….i said it.

Chicago Made Punk VS Dolph Hennig

Best wrestling on the card! Dolph is the modern day Mr. Perfect. His bumping is legend! “Laryngitis”  was the focal point of the match …and that Is not good. It should always be your title contenders. That said,…big whoopee on him throwing out Vicky. What’s that? That was a stip anyway? Ok, fine! The REAL problem with this match is Ziggler jobbed a record 4 times in a matter of minutes. Yuck.  Hey WWE…that is so not how u build stars. And yes, there is a HUGE talent deficit right now which brings me to the last match…….

The Royal Rumble VS My Intelligence

Somebody punch me in the face so I can see some stars around here! This Rumble lacked star power and a  sensible finish…but boy did it have comedy…intentional and unintentional! Intentional: Roberto Rodriguez, this kid needs a raise pronto! Brilliant gimmick he worked with the car. Socko vs. Cobra: This was fine, should have been done a tad earlier but it was fine. Lawler Doing his schtick from Rumble’s past was fine. Unintentional: Miz getting the Iron man treatment. That would have been fine last year…when they were pushing him. This year he is lost in the fray. Booker and Cole ripping off jerry’s gimmick! I know what they wanted to do, it just fell flat and seemed contrived (shocker) Seriously, I’m ok with Booker going in. He is a legend. Cole needs to never ever step into a ring again. LAME.  Now, for those harping on Jim Duggans entry. Look, this was an anniversary Rumble. Duggan won the first one, it made sense for him to be there…stop crying!!! Kharma returning was all types of awesome. She is one bad Beyotch!  Her pressing hunico (or whoever) over the top was awesome. I hope she is ready to stomp Phoenix in the face!  Road Dogg….what a nostalgia piece that was. He looked good doing his old moves. Cody Rhodes is MVP going almost 40 min and taking out 5.5 people. Someone give this man a world title  NOW !! Now onto Jericho and Sheamus. If WWE wanted to swerve the fans…well congrats. Now, how do you un swerve and fix the damage? Jericho is marred with poor follow ups to great debuts. He should not have been entered if he was not going to win! It totally made Jericho look like a tool. He needs to be protected early on if he’s going to be a useful tool for Mania (LOL, I said tool twice) Now we get the King of the Mid-card Sheamus as a title contender. He kinda deserves it but on this platform…it seemed like an afterthought. Oh and stop doing the contrived “point to Mania sign”

Exaire Anderson

Thumbs down on this one
Best Match - Punk/Ziggler
Worst Match - Divas tag
There were some decent things (like Punk/Ziggler, Ricardo's entrance into the Rumble, the Sock off), but for the most part everything was weak.  There wasn't much to the World title match, in fact a lot less than I expected.  The Divas tag wasn't the worst ever, but it wasn't good either.  The Bellas need to stay as eye candy and not waste their time in the ring.  I hated the fact that they wasted Kharma's return on the Rumble.  They should have been building Beth Phoenix to take out all of the Divas including Natalya last, leading to a promo where Beth talks about how she's conquered every Diva and there's no one left.  Until Kharma shows up.  How many times is McIntyre going to get fired and brought back?  It was probably a good idea to not expose Brodus in the Rumble, but that's what his match felt like.  Cena/Kane was just ridiculous.  You knew they were going to end up in Zack's dressing room as soon as Johnny Ace mentioned it.  And you could see the tombstone coming a mile away.  Why they had to kill Ryder completely to try and get Kane over as a killer is beyond me.  And people still won't boo Kane.  And Sheamus winning sure swerved us all.  But did it really accomplish anything?  A totally directionless show that I wasted my money on.
Dan Graulich
Shapleigh, ME

Thumbs Down
Best Match:  Rumble
Worst Match: Kane v Cena
I almost had to force myself to list the rumble as best as the match and the whole card was disapointing. Last year's rumble was such a great event (even aside from the fun of attending live) and this show sucked.
I know I listed Kane and Cena as worst match but why in the world were they not in the Rumble?  Kanes character and his "rumble prowess" are ususally an important part and Cena should have been interacting with some others to get more emotion.
Way too much filler bodies in the rumble and comedy but i did like Ricardo
Anyway not pumped for EC and Mania right now
Michael O'Brien
Brockton, MA

Thumbs WAY Down!

Best Match: World Title three-way, I guess by default
Worst Match: CENA-KANE

Just figured I'd add to what appears to be the chorus of Rumble hate. I almost didn't even bother going to my friend's house for this show until he informed me I wouldn't have to pay, which would have been the first Rumble I didn't see live since 1996. Of course, even for free this show was a rip-off.

There's almost too many problems to list, and others have gone through them all already. Remember how WWE used to promote the Rumble as "our all-star game, except it actually counts"? Well, the NHL had their all-star game today, a game that indeed doesn't count and I sometimes don't even bother to watch, and that utterly meaningless exhibiton game with a final score of 12-9 was roughly 500x more entertaining than WWE's 2nd most important PPV of the year. It's incredibly sad that watching a bunch of disinterested hockey players totally screw around and barely even try for 2 1/2 hours was so much more entertaining than the beginning of the road to WrestleMania. But that's today's WWE for you: sad and boring indeed.

Daniel Bryan is a fun heel and the three-way feud with Henry & Show has actually been kind of unique and interesting. Punk & Ziggler were doing pretty well for themselves until the overbooked crap totally killed it. And some of the comedy was actually funny. But pretty much everything else on this show sucked. Easily the worst Rumble I've ever seen, and I've seen them all ('cept the USA one). So yeah, thumbs down indeed.

John Carroll
Colonia, NJ

Thumbs down. I enjoyed it because my primary criterion is whether the results are to my liking.  However, for the purpose of getting on network TV to start with, it was atrocious. The event gave the strong impression that UFC fighters are second rate athletes who basically put on sub-novice boxing matches, and are not in shape.
Mike Devlin

Hey Dave and Bryan-

I am normally a wordy fellow. Believe me when I say that I could literally write 10,000 words on why this show is the worst Rumble event since at least 1999, and maybe as far back as the early 1990s... and maybe ever. I could do that... But that requires effort. And since WWE decided to not put forth any effort tonight and made the call that the Rumble match is NOT one of the most important matches of the year, and is instead a giant ”comedy” spot, I do not think it is fair for me to put forth any effort to review the show. It was certainly not worth my time or my money. For the sake of consistancy with other writeups, I will include these categories...

Best match- Punk vs. Ziggler
Worst Match- Cobra vs. Socko
Saddest sight- Mark Henry giving a damn when the people in charge clearly do not
Best swerve- Making me think this would be a good show and then delivering this steaming pile of feces to my cable box.

I have ordered every Rumble since 2001. I literally never even QUESTION the decision. It is my favorite gimmick match of the year because it MATTERS. The result is IMPORTANT. The stakes are HIGH. Well, clearly not as high as I must have been for giving 2012 WWE the benefit of the doubt. Next year, I will have to be much more cautious with my hard-earned cash and make them earn my buy. Oy. I had better stop. My head hurts.

Thanks for all the work you guys do! It is inspiring to see that some people still care about the quality of their output and always deliver as advertised. We all really appreciate it. Keep it up!

Disappointed in Indy,
Wesley Dodd

Hi Dave,

I give the Rumble a thumbs down. This show was awful, with the only real highlight being the 5 minutes or so of Jericho vs. Sheamus and maybe bits and pieces of Punk vs. Ziggler before it turned into Bound for Glory. This was really disheartening. Even with the rest of the PPV schedule being so terrible, I thought that the Rumble would still at least be worth something. I was wrong, clearly. 
Best match: Rumble match (and still one of the weakest ones in recent memory)
Worst match: Show vs. Henry vs. Bryan--at least the Divas were quick and painless, while the Word title match felt like watching paint dry
Keep up the good work!
Daniel J. Della Posta
Ph.D. Student
Department of Sociology
Cornell University

Thumbs in the Middle
Fox's production and pre fight videos were excellent and vastly
superior to the utter tedium the UFC have served up during the Zuffa
era. That and the Chael 'The Rock' Sonnon interview were the only
positives. Who on Earth thought it would be a good idea to put Demian
Maia on network TV on the back of 6 fights going the distance? As the
show started at 1am my teenage son and his friend were excited to
finally watch a UFC show live but got bored after the 3rd round and
went to sleep. I thought Sonnon took the first and third rounds.
Bisping largely negated Sonnon's grappling but did little else. Phil
Davies looked so slow he was fighting in a different frame rate to
On an unrelated note Dana White is an idiot for supporting SOPA.
Piracy has nothing to do with the decline in PPV buys as you know.
Piracy does not hurt big industry, the video game industry is the one
most effected and it's still awash with money. Piracy kept UFC alive
during the dark days and helped the sport grow, especially in Europe.
Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
M B Mehdi, Middlesbrough, England


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