Sunday, 4 July 2004

28th June-4th July 2004

Monday, June 28th, 2004:

Some have said it's the nail in the coffin as far as the Smackdown brand is concerned. Me, I thought it was quite refreshing.

In the early hours of this morning, the man the Internet loves to hate, John Bradshaw Layfield, defeated Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bullrope match at The Great American Bash, to win the WWE Championship for the first time.

Old JBL takes a hell of a lot of stick on the Internet. It seems the smart marks hate him as much as they do Triple H. But throughout his career, I've always enjoyed Bradshaw's work, with the possible exception of his New Blackjacks team with Barry Windham a few years back.

The match may have lacked spark at times, but it was entertaining. It's a shame that the vast majority of fans who follow wrestling on the Internet just can't let themselves be entertained, that they have to analyse every little minute detail.

The Bash also saw the demise of Paul Bearer. In the past few weeks everybody has said how Bearer was the conscience of the Undertaker, that he's the closest thing he's had to a friend in the past thirteen years or so.

Have they forgotten what Paul Bearer did to the Undertaker about eight years ago? Siding with Mankind after the Boiler Room Brawl? Unleashing the monster Kane upon him? Bribing him with the fact that he knew that 'Taker had started that fire all those years ago?

Frankly, I could see this coming a mile off. The Undertaker got his revenge.

After gaining some much needed sleep, it was on to the weekly Shoot Interview. After the disappointment of last week's shoot, it was refreshing to see someone actually smiling when talking to Rob Feinstein, as Rey Mysterio Junior told us about his life and wrestling career in an interview that was shot four years ago.

Rey Rey is obviously very passionate about what he does, which is great to see. He is obviously not a man who just goes through the motions as far as his wrestling is concerned. He came across very well. It was a delight to watch this interview, and was one of the best shoots TWC has broadcast thus far.

Tuesday, June 29th - Thursday, July 1st, 2004;

The top line of this column used to read that only one man on Wrestling X has the stamina to sit in front of his television and watch The Wrestling Channel all day, every day.

Well, the stamina has finally given out, as I've decided to take three days off from watching wrestling on television. Got to have a break sometime! Besides, my best mate makes great toasted cheese sandwiches!

Friday, July 2nd, 2004;

It seems the entire world is revolving around young Eugene, doesn't it? Once again he is the centre of attention on Raw, as he becomes a special referee in a match pitting his mentor, William Regal, against his new best friend, Triple H. This match again proves that Triple H is returning to his best form, and that his injury-prone days of last year are perhaps far behind him.

We also saw the next stage of the Lita/Kane angle. I just can't get interested in this one. Pregnancy angles, if left to run their full course, can take months to end. I get the feeling that Lita will have a miscarriage in the next few weeks.

And next week, we have something very interesting to look forward to on Raw. Eric Bischoff is taking a week off, and who has he hand-picked as his replacement for the week - none other than his nephew, Eugene! Should be very interesting!

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004;

When he first appeared on Smackdown in a series of promos, Mordecai was being touted as the next big thing on the ailing brand. With his tremendous entrance, and a gimmick that just cried out for attention, the WWE were sending out signals that Mordecai was destined for something big. When a wrestler makes their debut on pay-per-view television, it makes you think that this wrestler is destined for great things.

Just over a month after his debut, Mordecai suffers his first pinfall loss, to Cruiserweight champion Rey Mysterio, and then news hits the Internet that the big guy is going back to school, moving back down to Ohio, having failed to impress in his initial television outings.

How many times recently have we seen wrestlers hyped-up in this way, overly promoted on television, before they fail when they actually get in the ring, and are either sent packing to pastures new, or down to Ohio. Sean O'Haire? Ernest Miller? And now, Mordecai?

Kenzo Suzuki seems to be faring a great deal better. Having been given in-ring promo time, his little talk is interrupted by Smackdown's number two man, John Cena, in perhaps one of the most entertaining segments seen on the show in quite a while. Cena v Suzuki for the U.S. title seems to be a lock for the upcoming weeks.

And finally, all hail John Bradshaw Layfield, the new WWE champion. Old JBL doesn't seem to have many fans outside the company at the moment, but this writer has been impressed, and highly entertained, by his work in the past few weeks, since he dumped Ron Simmons and struck out on his own. Bradshaw is definitely what you would term a "company man". He's been tolling in the WWE for years, and now, he has his break. You may hate the guy, but I like him. Will he enjoy a long title reign? Probably not, but his feud with Eddie Guerrero has been one of the few reasons to watch Smackdown in recent weeks.

Sunday, July 4th, 2004;

It's Supercard Sunday time again folks, this week with a second showing of New Japan's Ultimate Crush II show, shown for the first time on TWC uncut, and in the correct order.

So what can I say about this show that I didn't say in my review of it a couple of months ago. Not much. It was entertaining, but having seen the best matches of the show before, with the clash between Hulk Hogan and Masa Chono, and the light-heavyweight elimination match standing out as the best of the evening, I couldn't help but become a little disinterested in it, and it made me wonder just why TWC hadn't broadcast the show in full before. Mind you, I had the same feeling when they rebroadcast The Spiral a few weeks ago.

With a Best of TWC compilation coming up next week, I'm beginning to wonder if any new Supercards will be shown soon. I hope the difficulties with the GAEA supercard are sorted out soon, and that new shows, perhaps from promotions not usually seen on the channel, will be shown soon.

Highlight of the week: It's our boy, Eugene, once again!

Lowlight of the week: Mordecai goes from rising superstar to jobber in less than a week!