BLOOD ON THE CANVAS – A MIXED BAG OF VIEWS

Hey, what’s going on, marks and marquettes (SP)?  I’m Derek Ruttle and this is the first edition of my column, Blood On The Canvas here on PWMania!  Thanks for checking it out and feel free to comment, disagree and stir up a debate or two with yours truly.

For my first column, I simply grabbed my latest one that I wrote last Thursday, September 30.  Some of the statements may appear to be dated as the Hell in a Cell PPV and last night’s Raw are now in the books, but I hope you’ll dig it enough to keep checking it out as time goes on.  Peace!

Look!  Up in the sky!  It’s a bird, it’s a plane!  No, it’s the inflated opinions of a wrestling fan with too much time on his hands!

Yep, it’s another edition of the Mixed Bag, where I’ll rant and spew my venomous views on the current landscape of wrestling.  As always, I welcome your own thoughts and discussions so shoot me an email or hit up Blood on the Canvas on Facebook.  Look for the ultra close-up shot of a bloody Steve Austin from WrestleMania 13 as the page photo!

–  First off, let’s get this Matt Hardy business out of the way.  Everybody with a desk or laptop has been talking about it, so I’ll throw my two cents in.  I think the guy is just attention-starved.  I can’t pinpoint what exactly the situation is backstage in the WWE, but the popular notion seems to be that he’s either trying to get himself legitimately released or he’s working everyone in what will ultimately be a setup for his return to Smackdown.  I’m personally inclined to believe the latter because I think it would be a huge coup for a wrestler to make the entire dirtsheet and smart mark audience think he wanted out of a company, only to return in a hot angle surrounded by so much fanfare.  But what’s he really got to be pissed off about?  And why exactly has he garnered all this office heat in the first place?  Far as I can remember, Matt has always had a YouTube account where he spoke his mind.  One apparent reason is that he’s put on weight in recent months, but is that really what may get him fired in the very near future?  I don’t buy it.

As far as Hardy being mad about the lack of a decent push, well, let’s be honest, it’s because Matt sucks on the mic and can’t carry a feud.  He has charisma but when it comes to taking the ball and running with it, Hardy fumbles.  His feud with brother Jeff should’ve felt like a bigger deal than it did, and going back even further, his mega-hyped feud with Edge in 2005 faltered because Matt dropped the ball in keeping heat between them.  If Matt really wanted out of WWE, or any other wrestler did for that matter, I truly don’t believe they would take to YouTube and start ranting away about wanting out.  I think Matt is a huge mark for himself and these videos are pretty over the top, but what’s he doing at the end of the day?  He’s doing what every other mid-card wrestler wants the fans to do – he’s getting them talking about him.  Good, bad, positive, negative, it doesn’t matter.  Hardy is getting his name out there while Vince McMahon keeps him on the bench.  You don’t see everybody unloading in message boards about anyone currently on the sidelines;  Joey Mercury, Christian, hell, even Triple H.  Long story short;  we’ll be seeing Matt back on Friday nights pretty soon.

–  Speaking of Triple H, I see he now holds an executive position with WWE, serving as a Senior Advisor to Vince on creative direction.  Wait, hold up, you hear that?  I think that’s the sound of a million Hunter haters crowing about politics!  In all seriousness, I think there’s nobody better suited for the position than The Game.  For one, he’s a senior wrestler in the company and has seen its ups and downs almost more than anyone.  Second, he has an obvious knack in seeing who can be a huge star.  Do the names Batista, Randy Orton and Sheamus ring a bell?

–  So the WWE brings back Paul Bearer, and automatically the collective thinking of the IWC turns to The Undertaker’s retirement.  Again, this is something else I don’t buy.  It was a nice move by WWE to bring back Paul, as he has obvious ties to both Taker and Kane in their current feud, but I don’t see this as an omen that the Dead Man is calling it a day in the next few months, or at WrestleMania 27.  I’ve always believed that the IWC underestimates the shape Taker is in;  sure, he’s reaching 50 years old and his very physical style has caught up to him in the last few years, but Mark Calaway has always been able to retain the character’s image by not overexposing it and committing to every house show and every TV taping on the schedule.  I definitely see Taker holding on until Mania 28 where he could retire with an incredible 20-0 winning streak.  My only hope is that that Mania is indeed held at the former Skydome in Toronto, so I can attend.

–  I’m still not fully sold on Alberto del Rio.  Show me a solid, 10-15 minute match on TV or PPV that tells a good story and I may just hop on the bandwagon with the rest of you.  Right now, I’m just hearing a lot of talk and little action.

–  Bad timing for Christian to be injured.  I was really hoping he’d get some much-needed exposure in a decent feud with del Rio.  Hope he can get back by either the Rumble or in time for Mania.

–  How bad does Edge need to go to Smackdown?  The poor guy hasn’t had a consistent angle or feud since his programs with Jericho and then Orton.  All summer and so far this fall, he’s just been a guy who’s “there” on Raw.  Throw him in the middle of the show or throw him in the main event, but Edge’s lack of direction scares me.  He said it best on Raw this week:  “We go from Steve Austin stunning Vince McMahon to Edge arguing with a computer!”

–  Is CM Punk ever gonna grow his hair back out?  He seems to like the ‘Christian Bale as John Connor in T4’ look.

–  I’ve been loving everything that Kane has been doing in the last four months.  It only took until the age of 43, but WWE decided to finally do something right with him!

–  There better be blood at Hell in a Cell.  PG or no PG, you don’t half-ass a Cell match and some feuds require the office policies to be bent, such as Taker vs Kane.

–  Why does John Cena need to avenge every clean pinfall loss he takes, even overdoing it?

–  Chris Jericho isn’t leaving WWE.  Trust me.

–  If The Miz hasn’t cashed in his MITB case and had a run with the WWE Title before the biggest show of the year, then Miz vs Taker at Mania sounds very intriguing.

–  Speaking of Miz, I’ll admit that I was wrong with my original assessment of him about a year and a half ago.  I was one of those people that thought John Morrison would easily be the bigger star of the two, but it looks like Miz is reaching that plateau first.  He definitely deserves it, and I still say he’s got the best music in WWE right now!

–  On the topic of Morrison, at last it looks like WWE is finally doing something constructive with him.  That match he had with Sheamus a couple weeks back on Raw was very good and reminiscent of those Hardcore Title matches in the Attitude Era, where matches took place everywhere except the ring.  It’s too bad that both WWE and John to an extent dropped the ball about a year ago with him, seeing how he was having excellent matches with the likes of Jericho, Edge, Punk and World Champion Jeff Hardy.  He even pinned Punk on two occasions when Punk was World Champ.  But that’s the past and now is here.  I like his more serious demeanor and he’s really pulled back on the flashy spots.

–  I think it was too soon to put the WWE Title on Randy Orton.  Yes, he’s definitely the biggest face on Raw right now and he’s pretty much the Stone Cold of the PG era, but the trigger was pulled prematurely, in my book.  I would’ve had Sheamus retain at Night of Champions by pinning Orton, but then Randy would get another shot at Hell in a Cell and win it there.  Make one of these random, B-show PPVs have some meaning after Orton continually chases the gold.

–  I support the idea to unify the World and WWE Titles, but not the Intercontinental and United States belts.  If Raw and Smackdown are still meant to be separate brands, then both shows still need a respective mid-card Champion.  WWE needs to go back to how the IC Title was regarded in the 80’s and 90’s – a stepping stone to the World Title.  The IC and US Titles need to be held almost in that same regard, only that to the mid-card talent, those are THEIR World Titles.

–  I literally laughed out loud at how ridiculously overboard Vince is going with this PG content after he had the divas parade around the ring in bathing suits straight out of 1955.

Again, feel free to email me with your own thoughts and views, and don’t forget that Blood on the Canvas is on Facebook.

See you at ringside,
Derek

DRAGON GATE USA ISSUES PRESS RELEASE ON UPCOMING IPPV

Dragon Gate USA sent out the following press release today:

PHILADELPHIA- Dragon Gate is known for its cutting-edge, athletic, action-packed style of tag team wrestling. This will be prominently featured when Dragon Gate USA teams up with GoFightLive.tv to present “Bushido: Code Of The Warrior” live on iPPV on October 29th from Fall River, MA. Just signed is tag team action pitting Warriors International of CIMA & Genki Horiguchi vs. Kamikaze USA of YAMATO & Akira Tozawa. Here is the direct link to pre-order this extravaganza.

CIMA and Genki Horiguchi are two of the most respected veterans in Dragon Gate USA. Their impressive resumes boast five star matches, match of the year winners and some of the most incredible tag team bouts ever witnessed anywhere. CIMA and Horiguchi are the epitome of Dragon Gate tag team wrestling.

“We pride ourselves on our tag team wrestling,” DGUSA President Satoshi Oji said. “CIMA and Horiguchi have not teamed in the United States in years. The iPPV is a very special show for us and it is only fitting that CIMA and Horiguchi team together for this event.”

YAMATO and Akira Tozawa lead the new generation of stars in Japan. YAMATO has already held Dragon Gate’s top championship and has been in an intense feud against CIMA. Akira Tozawa has gained popularity with his recent DGUSA matches. Both are revered by the fans of the United States for their charisma and in ring ability.

“We wanted to showcase the Dragon Gate style of tag team wrestling at its best on the live iPPV,” DGUSA Vice President Gabe Sapolsky said. “Warriors vs. Kamikaze will blow people away. We are putting our best foot forward live on iPPV.”

This is the second match announced for “Bushido: Code Of The Warrior” on October 29th. The card currently shapes up as:

Open The Freedom Gate Title Match
BxB Hulk (champion) vs. Shingo (challenger)

Dragon Gate Tag Team Wrestling At Its Best
CIMA & Genki Horiguchi vs. YAMATO & Akira Tozawa

Go to the www.DGUSA.tv Live Events section for a complete talent roster for Fall River, MA. Visit www.DGUSA.tv for the latest breaking information on this iPPV. You can attend “Bushido: Code Of The Warrior” live in Fall River by ordering tickets in the www.DGUSA.tv Store or by calling 267-519-9744.

WWE PPV SCHEDULE THROUGH TO JUNE 2011; CONFUSION OVER PPV

WWE has updated the pay-per-view schedule on their affiliates website. Here is the schedule:

* Bragging Rights – 10/24/10 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
* Survivor Series – 11/21/10 – Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena
* Tables, Ladders & Chairs – 12/19/10 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
* Royal Rumble – 1/30/11 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
* Elimination Chamber – 2/20/11 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
* WrestleMania XXVII – 4/3/11 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome
* Extreme Rules – 5/1/11 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
* Over The Limit – 5/22/11 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
* Fatal 4 Way – 6/19/11 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center

This list contradicts WWE’s announcement on The Score that the Elimination Chamber event will be on February 27th, 2011 in New York City. On a related note, WWE.com currently has the date of the Elimination Chamber listed as 2/21/2011, which is a Monday.

WWE PPV SCHEDULE THROUGH TO JUNE 2011; CONFUSION OVER PPV

WWE has updated the pay-per-view schedule on their affiliates website. Here is the schedule:

* Bragging Rights – 10/24/10 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
* Survivor Series – 11/21/10 – Miami, FL – American Airlines Arena
* Tables, Ladders & Chairs – 12/19/10 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
* Royal Rumble – 1/30/11 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
* Elimination Chamber – 2/20/11 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
* WrestleMania XXVII – 4/3/11 – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome
* Extreme Rules – 5/1/11 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
* Over The Limit – 5/22/11 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
* Fatal 4 Way – 6/19/11 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center

This list contradicts WWE’s announcement on The Score that the Elimination Chamber event will be on February 27th, 2011 in New York City. On a related note, WWE.com currently has the date of the Elimination Chamber listed as 2/21/2011, which is a Monday.

*SPOILERS* WWE NXT TAPING RESULTS FOR TONIGHT

WWE taped tonight’s edition of WWE NXT tonight from the Landon Arena in Topeka, Kansas. Thanks to WNW reader Emma for providing us with text-message updates. Below are full results:

Dark Match:

* Tyler Reks b. Luke Gallows with the debut of a new finisher. The crowd was behind Gallows.

WWE NXT (Airing tonight on the official WWE website):

* Tonight’s show opens with a Rookie Challenge. It’s a mechanical bull riding competition. The Bella Twins demonstrate and Aksana wins among the Rookies. The crowd was absolutely dead for the segment.

* Aksana b. Maxine with a reverse pin attempt. The match was sloppy with several notable botches. Aksana’s Pro, Goldust came out with the Million Dollar Championship belt he captured from Ted DiBiase on last night’s edition of Raw.

* The Raw Rebound segment airs, recapping John Cena’s situation with The Nexus from last night’s show.

* Another Rookie Challenge is up. This time it’s a talent show for the NXT Divas. Aksana did weird contorted push-ups, Naomi rapped, AJ did some acrobatic moves, Jamie “turned men on” by kissing Matt Striker, Kaitlyn drew Vickie Guerrero then made fun of her. Maxine cut a promo apologizing to Hornswoggle for last week, saying she baked him a pie. He came out and she smeared some of it on his face. He took the rest of the pie and slammed it in her face. Kaitlyn is named the winner by the response of the crowd. Due to the fact Kaitlyn and AJ have both won three Rookie Challenges, the crowd got to choose who got immunity from being eliminated. Kaitlyn was awarded immunity.

* Backstage, Aksana tells Goldust she has four weeks to get her paperwork in order before she is deported.

* WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler comes out with Vickie Guerrero for her match against Kaitlyn. There is a lot of stalling to start the match with Dolph looking conflicted between them. Kaitlyn gets a quick pin after Dolph accidentally distracts Vickie. Kaitlyn tries to celebrate with Dolph who acts innocent. Vickie leaves Dolph and Kaitlyn in the ring together to end the show.

WWC: OCTOBER 2 RESULTS, BAYAMON

WWC held their October 2 event at the Pepin Cestero Arena at Bayamon. Havoc, of the WWc Forum, reported the action as follow:

1-Rikochet defeated Angel to retain the WWC Junior Heavyweight Title, after a top rope move and a splash. After the match they argue but at the final Argel raised Rikochet’s hands signaling him as the winner.

2-Niche & Lynx defeated Comandante & Dave D’Jour.

3-On a match for the Woman Title, Black Rose defeated Debbie Rose to win the title. Lynx distracted the referee so Niche came and applied a top rope kick to Ross and then Rose applied a top rope splash to win the match that way.

4-On a World Tag Team Titles vs. Mask match, Thunder & Lightning defeated BJ & Chicano to preserve their mask and winning the tag team titles. Match came to an end when Lightning used a knux to knock Chicano to win the title.

5-On amatch for the Caribbean Title, Hiram Tua defeated Hideo Sato by DQ, so Sato retained the title. Final came when Sato blinded Tua ith salt.

6-On an special challenge, Joe Don Smith defeated Chris Joel. Final came when Joe tries a school boy against Joel but he holds himself from Artache, who pushed him back. Then Joel slapped the referee, who in response attacked him so Joe ended doing the school boy and that way pinned Joel. After the match Joel took a chair and attacked both, referee Artache and Joe, until BJ and Rikochet came to the rescue.

7-On a No DQ match to pick the top contender for the Universal Title, Joe Bravo faced Gilbert. Match started with Bravo doing a surprising attack on Gilbert. Match took place all over the place, with changes of offensive. Golbert covered Bravo, but count was 2 as Bravo had a foot on the rope, Later happened the same for Bravo, Jose Chaparro distracted the referee, Bravo used a knux, knocked Gilbert and finallt won the match that way. Jose Chaparro took the microphone and said that when he was in Japam he heard that Gilbert wanted to take care of his business so then Bravo and Chaparro attacked Gilbert. Later Chaparro told Bravo that with him he can get the Universal Title.

8-Carlitos defeated Black Pain by DQ to retain the Puerto Rican Title. Jose Chaparro interfered when carlitos was about to do his 787. Pain used his chains and attacked Carlitos, causing the DQ. Carlitos was attacked by Chapoarro and Pain. Sweet nancy (who in real life is engaged to Carlitos) tried to reach the ring, but was stopped by the ring crew security. Chicano and BJ finally did the save.

IWA: OCTOBER 2 RESULTS, AÑASCO

IWA held their October 2 at the Municipal Coliseum at Añasco. The promotion reported the action as follow:

1-Barbie Boy defeated Enigma.

2-Zlade defeated Julian Jamrock.

3-Atomo & Sonico defeated Iron Wyre & Mike Dagger to win the spot to become the IWA Tag Team Tiltes challengers. After the match The Kongs (tag team champions) came and attacked The Kids Superheros (the name that the company gave Atomo and Sonico are as tag team) until Rick Stanley & Dennis Rodriguez did the save.

4-Xix Xavant defeated Renegado.

5-Savio Vega defeated Manson.

6-Diabolico defeated Spectro when he knocked Spectro with the Intercontinental Title. Match started at the dressing room and they came to the ring to start the in ring action.

7-On a Puerto Rican Title & IWA Title vs. Tag Team titles match ended when Dennis Rivera & Rick Stanley defeated The Kongs to become the new Tag Team champions. That way both are double champions as Denis is the Puerto Rican champion and Stanley is the IWA champion.

*SPOILERS* WWE SMACKDOWN TAPING RESULTS FOR 10/8

WWE taped this week’s edition of WWE Smackdown tonight from the Landon Arena in Topeka, Kansas. Thanks to WNW reader Emma for providing us with text-message updates. Below are live results:

Dark Match:

* Tyler Reks b. Luke Gallows with the debut of a new finisher. The crowd was behind Gallows.

WWE Smackdown (Airing Friday):
* Teddy Long comes out to introduce Edge as the newest addition to Smackdown.

* Jack Swagger comes out with his eagle mascot. He cuts a promo on Edge, saying he embarrassed him last week in his home state of Oklahoma. Swagger’s mic cuts out, leaving Edge to improvise in his mic. The two will face each other now.

* Edge vs. Jack Swagger. Edge speared the eagle mascot off the apron and they called out the medical team and stretcher for him. The match continues. Good match, several near falls. Edge wins after hitting the spear.

* The grooming tip from “Dashing” Cody Rhodes focuses on brushing your teeth.

* Unified WWE Divas Champion(s) Layla w/Michelle McCool vs. Kelly Kelly w/Natalya. Winner via LayOut, Layla. After the match Layla tried to attack Natalya but was ran out of the ring.

* Big Show cuts a promo about his upcoming feature film “Knucklehead” and WWE Bragging Rights. He has been named captain of Team Smackdown at the pay-per-view. Show says his first order of business is to name Hornswoggle the official Smackdown mascot. Hornswoggle comes out in a Vikings helmet and face paint. The Dudebusters interrupted the promo, saying they deserve to be on Team Smackdown. When Show denied them, they took off their Smackdown shirts to reveal Raw shirts. Big Show gave them a double chokeslam to end the segment.

* Unified WWE Tag Team Champions “Dashing” Cody Rhodes &Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston & Kaval. Rhodes & McIntyre controlled most of the action before Kaval got the hot tag. After interference by the illegal men, Rhodes ended up hitting Cross Rhodes to get the win.

* Paul Bearer is in the ring to introduce World Heavyweight Champion Kane. Kane cuts a promo about how he destroyed The Undertaker with the help of Bearer, saying Undertaker is as weak as the crowd in the arena. He says Undertaker now has to answer to Kane.

* Dolph Ziggler vs. MVP for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. During the match, Dolph distracted the referee for Vickie Guerrero to take advantage, but she left him alone instead and went to the back. Kaitlyn came out towards the end of the match in support of Ziggler. She ended up interfering, giving Dolph the win for him to retain the title. They celebrated together in the ring until Vickie came back out. He tried to say he was innocent and went running after Vickie, leaving Kaitlyn alone in the ring.

* Alberto Del Rio comes out and cuts a promo on Rey Mysterio. He says Mysterio is like the trash on the bottom of his shoe.

* Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio. Mysterio hits a lot of offense in the early going. Del Rio turns things around with a flying kick in the corner. Several rest holds are utilized before Rey goes back on the offensive. Near falls from each. After a distraction and miss-communication by Del Rio’s ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, Rey hits 619 and a corner splash to get the win. This ends this week’s edition of Smackdown.

Dark Match Main Event:

* Teddy Long introduces Big Show as World Heavyweight Champion Kane’s opponent in a street fight for the title as tonight’s dark match main event. Kane won after he hit Show in the stomach with a chair. Show chokeslammed him after the match and cut a short promo thanking the live crowd. He said he wasn’t prepared for the match because he had been eating catering all evening.