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CheapShots: Predictability Can Still Be Fun

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Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!

Mad Man at the controls as the number of runways on The Road to WrestleMania begins to shrink. The cheese starts to bind as a smooth intensity picks up beneath my flight path over Milwaukee. Prior to this week’s RAW, most smart marks became aware that The “Second Generation” Rowdy one had her itinerary approved for regular appearances leading to Mania. If you weren’t, thank those at Air Traffic Control in Jersey and Phoenix, among others. Quoting Sandow, “YOU’RE WELCOME!”

The fondue party starts with GM Kurt Angle comes to the ring in attempt to rectify the embarrassment of a sucker punch from The COO last week. “Come out and fight me like a man!” Cue Steph’s music. The Assistant Principal comes out to say her husband is not at the arena yet. Daddy’s Little Girl starts cutting one of her textbook promos made of half-truths and half BS. Fourth Wall Alert. Hey, Dr. Strange; if you really wanna fire the dude, look at his rap sheet. Otherwise, stay in your office. Try not to get hurt on the walk back.

Too late! Joan Jett cuts through the crowd. Guess who came to dinner? Ms. Rousey is here! She comes to the ring old-school baby face. Slapping hands with EVERYBODY on the aisle. COOL! Stephanie’s condescendence didn’t stop. Ronda asked for clarification regarding a clause in her contract stating she could choose her Mania opponent. Steph said yes, but they had to be on the active roster as an athlete. Ronda steps up weigh-in style: “Okay, I choose you!”

My money says Paul was standing in Gorilla because Triple H’s music hits. “…That’s not happening.” Kurt muses about Trips being there. The Frenchman tells him not to keep score. Steph goes Mommy Dearest on Kurt without the mic. However, Ronda insists on wire hangers, and intercepts the incoming slap. We have reached Critical Mass. Triple H fanes leaving the ring. After that, I’m pretty sure the power couple wished they were back in Stamford. Nice to see them take a squash for once.

Funniest part was watching Steph bounce MMA style after cheap-shotting Rousey. In case we forgot. Ronda Rousey is a badass. She grabs Steph by the head, pulls her into the ring FROM THE FLOOR and gives her A Samoan Drop! Hubby already took an Ankle Lock from Angle. I don’t have to tell you our Main Event for Mania is set. Best opening segment in years!

Back to our regularly scheduled Monday Night Raw. Asuka and Nia had to follow that. Have fun ladies! Neither one did. Any Nia match is incredibly physical, and The Japanese Ace is afraid of nothing. This is an explosive combination that usually ends badly for someone. This encounter was no different. Jax used her power to rag doll The Rising Sun Mystic early, including multiple near falls.

Rarely do I complain about pure physics of the art form. Here we go. Nia is roughly twice Asuka’s size and six feet tall. Yes, she has Nia’s arm constricted, but that much power and leverage should spike anyone into the mat hard enough to break any hold? No? Fine, The Immovable Object gets up again, and walks Asuka against the ropes? BREAK THE HOLD! Welcome to the friggin’ circus! Nia rolls back onto the mat and taps out. Great story-telling, as Jax may have a kayfabe broken arm. Horrible way to get there. PS: I doubt Little Miss Math Class is capable of authentic compassion. She was sympathetic to Nia only to cover her ass. “You have friends.” Fabulous sell from The Big Girl, tears included!

Something had to bring us back to Earth after such a nuclear start. Bring out The Bar. Storyline says The Celtic Warrior and Swiss Mister have no opposition for The Tag Team Gold at Mania. Enter The Revival. Dash and Dawson have a great old-school gimmick. “We’ll beat you with toughness, double-teaming and wrestling.” Sad that’s a gimmick now, but marks are sheep. Revival beat The Bar, they have a shot at Mania Gold. Except, they didn’t. What’s this? Proper stringing out of a WWE storyline? Yay, someone can think!

It’s the fourth segment, and no John Cena? Scratch that. The best promo in the modern art form comes out and tells his Fastlane opponents he was winning Gold for a 17th time at The SmackDown PPV. If he did, BMJ told AJ Styles to invoke his rematch clause at Mania, making his match with Nakamura an instant Triple-Threat. For those who say Cena is prone to heel tendencies, here is another checkmark.

God Bless Texas…It’s The Son of a Son of a Plumber, quoting a 1950s Classic?? Why the Hell not? Goldust said he would like nothing more than to steal Johnny Goodguy’s Mania spotlight. Believe it or not, the first match ever between these legends was made on the spot. Cena won in less than ten minutes. It is truly unfortunate that a long-term program was not discussed over 15 years. Would’ve been very interesting.

Lunch time recess! The Human Elmo came out to cut an in-ring promo related to her actions and the non-tag with Lady Banks last week. Promos are not Bayley’s strong suit. Cue Absolute Yawn interrupting and teasing The Hugger possibly joining the group. Save it Scream Queen, nobody would believe it. A match between Bayley and Mandy Rose began with the remaining members of Absolute Yawn at ringside. The Walking Crayola showed toughness and a tiny mean streak to beat The Pound-For-Pound Pin-Up clean. Afterward, the threesome jumped Bayley. Sasha ran down for the save, which she made. The Legit Boss then motioned for a hug, but Bayley would not oblige.

Cut to backstage, and Braun Strowman and a bright-lettered, eighties-style promo about the Symphony of Destruction Match with Elias. I can’t be the only one digging these promos? Instruments line the stage as Elias does a brilliant tweener promo. Before hitting the ring, The Guitar Man asks for the house lights to be lowered. This swerve to run to a waiting car in the parking lot ended in failure as Braun picked up the back of the car. Sometimes WWE camera work for storyline purposes is very good. All we could see at first was the driver’s seat. Back inside the building, Elias got some offense in but was overwhelmed by an upright bass and a baby grand piano. Both were gimmicked of course, but don’t poke the bear, Elias.

Hey flock, LOOK! It’s your half-assed cult leader; with no cult, beating the same enhancement talent he destroyed last week. Another art form physics observation: Bray Wyatt stares at me upside-down, I grab his beard and pull until I rip it off his face! The Rambler gets through half a promo before being cut off by the leader of The Woken Warriors. Matt Hardy challenged Wyatt to a match at The Hardy Compound. I Hope he has enough stamina to do justice to this gimmick, and Stanford isn’t biting off more than they can chew. Wouldn’t be the first time.

 

Speaking of 90% of a segment I could’ve slept through: It’s the visual Nyquil known as MIZ TV. This Oscars rip-off mocked Kurt Angle’s lack of a Mania decision surrounding The IC Gold. Can I wake up yet? Miz’s back up was in the ring as Seth Rollins and his twin with the cooler entrance came out to disrupt proceedings. The Miz was granted a 3-on-2 Handicap Match; which The Move-Set Twins won when Finn Balor hit The Coups de Gras and Rollins get the pin with a Frog Splash. The match’s conclusion saw GM Angle come out and make the obvious Triple Threat for IC Gold at Mania.

Happy Heyman ended the night of quality cheese by attempting to prop up Brock Lesnar and The WWE Universal Gold. It was a miserable failure, and dude had to know that before he went out there. Steph, don’t ash him to say The Gold is 24/7/365 if YOUR Champion is rarely on Television or Part-Time on PPV. Roman finally came out: “All the fans want is A WWE Universal Champion to show up. Tell Brock to be ready for a fight next week.” As I land this plane in fly-over country I must say RAW was a good show. At times predictability can be electric. I hope my passengers enjoyed this trip and will join me for our next departure very soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cheap Shots

MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will

Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

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Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.

The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.

Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.

Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!

In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.

“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.

Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!

Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”

For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!


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Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions

Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?

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Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?

When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.

This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.

For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?

Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.

She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.

Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.

Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.

Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?

Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?

Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.


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