-If I never say it in any other medium, I’ll say it here: Halloween 4, in which Michael Myers chases his niece and her adoptive family, is better than any of the Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween movies. The soundtrack is eerier, the kills are realistic yet disturbing, and the tension is top notch. There will be no debating this.
-Live from Atlanta, home of Sherman’s triumphant footprints.
Opening Segment: The Rock is…..Taped!
Rock discusses John Cena’s offer for partnership, and turns him down flat. Rock makes it clear that he’d rather slap Cena’s face than slap his hand. I have to admit, I never thought I’d hear the phrase, “The Rock’s Twitter”. But then Rock goes back on his words, and admits that he hates The Miz and R-Truth. So with that said, Rock comes around to accepting Cena’s challenge, strictly for “The People”. Crowd is rather silent for this momentous accepting, but Rock starts to win them over with jokes about Cena’s younger fanbase. But above all, Rock wants Cena to “witness” what he brings to the table, as an intimidation move. Then we hit the catchphrase, with a rather silent recitation from the Atlanta crowd. Maybe they remember how Rock got Sheamus and Daniel Bryan bumped from WrestleMania.
Segment Rating: 5/10. Did what it was supposed to do, but geez, couldn’t he have filmed it at night to give the illusion that it was live? You’re better off just having a cardboard standup of Rock with piped in soundbytes.
Match 1: CM Punk vs. Mark Henry (non title match)
This seems like it’d be a marquee match, and now it’s a throwaway opener. Ahh, but here comes James Laurinaitis’ uncle, fresh after James and his cohorts dismantled the Saints for their first win. He says if Punk beats Henry, he gets his shot against Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series. SCREWJOB FORTHCOMING. Crowd rallies behind Punk as he cuts Henry down with kicks and an aerial assault, complete with Savage elbow for two. Alberto and Ricardo make their way to ringside, and Ricardo slides in to attack Henry, thus getting Punk DQed. Well, at least they went a different route with the screwjob. Punk hits an angry tope onto Del Rio to vent his Pepsi-fueled frustration. Punk sends Ricardo into the ring, and Henry flattens Ricardo with the World’s Strongest Slam. Oh jeez, PLEASE don’t turn Henry face. Punk chases Del Rio off.
Rating: 5/10. Was going alright until the screwy finish. I never thought I’d say this, but save us Kermit!
I never thought I would EVER type that in my life. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, along with Jack Swagger. Swagger threatens to eat both Muppets, Kermit refers to Vickie as Jack’s mother, she argues with Piggy, and then Santino comes out. My head hurts. Swagger assaulting Kermit while arguing with Santino is kinda funny. Santino announces that Dolph Ziggler is facing Zack Ryder, while Swagger will get him. Kermit and Piggy hitting the “WWWYKI” phrase will surely appease the hipster quotient.
Segment Rating: 6/10. I have a feeling it’ll get old fast, though. Let the record show that Kermit sells better than Mason Ryan, and Miss Piggy has better verbal cadence than Eve Torres.
Match 2: WWE Divas Costume Battle Royal
Because being a woman in WWE is DIGNIFIED! AJ as Kitana = hawt. Bellas as Mario and Luigi is a nice touch, as is the fact that more than 3 woman are going for the title. Various divas get eliminated in succession. Beth Phoenix on commentary talking about diva match strategy = trying to find spiritual meaning in an episode of Real Housewives of NJ. Final four are Alicia, Kelly, Eve, and Natalya. And Alicia goes, then Kelly, then Natalya, making Eve the winner. Beth and Natalya tease dissension.
WINNER: Eve Torres
RATING: 2/10. Errr….I liked AJ’s costume.
Meanwhile, Beaker runs into Christian. I feel compelled to review this for some reason. Christian pouring out Bunsen’s concoction probably saved somebody from failing a Wellness Test. Yay Christian! Sheamus and Beaker have a family moment. Awwww.
Match 3: Air Boom vs. Cody Rhodes/Wade Barrett (non title)
Alright, I dig this. Cole: “It’s High Energy time!” Does that mean Kofi’s going to sing Piledriver while Evan’s wife holds a grudge? Kingston gets some early acrobatics on both opponents, but Rhodes floors him out of a double team. Barrett lands a sweet Black Hole Slam on Kingston for 2. Kingston plays the unlikely face in peril while Rhodes works him over in the corner. I have to say, they at least seem committed to presenting the tag team champions as much as possible. Heat segment extends, but Bourne is tagged in, which is largely ignored while Cole makes Muppet jokes. Bourne gets a sweet DDT out of Barrett’s Wasteland for 2. Barrett manages a second Wasteland after a Rhodes distraction to win. Christian runs in for some reason, and Sheamus runs in as well. Rhodes eats a Brogue Kick.
WINNERS: Abbey Rhodes via Wasteland
RATING: 6/10. No frills wrestling. Alrighty then.
Statler and Waldorf give us their usual antics in the skybox.
Match 4: Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show (non title match)
Ricardo being injured and thus unable to introduce ADR only compounds a rough night thus far. I haven’t seen an Atlanta crowd this dead since the fingerpoke. Or have I? Who knows. Slow, plodding match is a hell of a way to start hour two. Crowd cares not for Show’s clotheslines and chokes. Del Rio forces Show to his knees with a sleeper, and the crowd FINALLY comes to life to chant for Show. Show somehow survives two minutes being strangled. Wrestling and physics have never been friends of any kind. The brawl goes to the floor, where Del Rio gains the edge. Back inside, kicks to the head can’t keep Show down. Del Rio works another lengthy sleeper, but Show escapes with a Samoan drop type break. Match is still slowing down, and we go to commercial. Just what we needed. We’re back in time to see Del Rio with a kneebar on Show. Kill me. Eric, just kill me. Show escapes and the match starts to pick up a smidge. Show finally ends with the Big Punch. CM Punk comes out, and he can’t even get the crowd to rejuvenate by merely showing up. Bad sign. He revives Del Rio with water, and then threatens him with the Anaconda Vise until he agrees to the Survivor Series match. Del Rio agrees under duress, and Punk finally pops the crowd. The mic is dead, so Punk takes another and reveals ADR’s concession.
WINNER: Big Show via Big Punch
RATING: 3/10. One point was for Punk saving the day.
Fozzy and Gonzo are backstage, and are commiserating with Vickie and Jack Dolph. Gonzo gets stretched for insinuating that he could be a champion. There’d have been more crying if Stu Hart was involved.
Match 5: Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella
Animal is special timekeeper. There needs to be an “ANIMAL SCREWED BRET” meme. Swagger does some push-ups on Santino that I’d mock, but instead, I’m going to “be a star”. Crowd chants for Ryder. Take your fingers out of your ears, Vince. Marella escapes an ankle lock, takes Beaker’s concoction, spits it in Swagger’s eyes, and rolls him up for the pin.
WINNER: Santino Marella via roll-up
RATING: 2/10. Santino Marella (Anthony Carelli) has been suspended ninety days for failure of WWE’s Wellness Policy
Match 6: Zack Ryder vs. Dolph Ziggler (non title match)
I posted the Santino Wellness violation on a Facebook wrestling forum, and you wouldn’t believe how many fans bought it as fact. Ehh, ignorance is bliss. Ryder mounts a comeback after Ziggler’s early flurry and lands a nice missle dropkick, followed by a plancha as we go to commercial. We return with Ziggler trying to make Ryder submit. “LET’S GO RYDER / WOO WOO WOO” chant ensues. Fist pump olay kick by Ryder gets the crowd into it. PUSH HIM HARDER, VINCE! Ziggler’s attempt at a Stinger splash and Ryder double kicks him on the leap for 3, but Ziggler’s foot on the rope. Crowd BOOS the ref’s revelation. Ryder’s over, ya’ll. Zig Zag fails after Vickie’s interference, and Ryder gets the Ruff Ryder to win.
WINNER: Zack Ryder via Ruff Ryder
RATING: 7/10. Match of the night. I’m serious. Ziggler is the best overall wrestler in the company next to Punk and Christian, and Ryder is way over. Make this a centerpiece feud.
Michael Cole/Jim Ross challenge is postponed until next week, likely until time constraints. Damn it, that’s the ONE thing that could have saved the show! *sarcasm*. Statler and Waldorf yawning is unintentionally funny. Miss Piggy flirts with John Morrison, and he pawns her off onto Hornswoggle. Cody Rhodes bags Kermit, just because.
I don’t foresee a twenty minute classic to save the show. Cena getting booed is never old, thankfully. Stall to start, and it’s 10:59. I’m just waiting for the R-Truth DQ run-in. Miz with the early beatdown as Cena gets the standard dual-chant. Miz a chinlock three minutes in, so yeah, we’re certainly pressed for time. Cena gets the spinout bomb and 5KS. AA countered into a reverse DDT for two. Miz then counters an STF with a kickoff, and signals for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Cena counters, nearly breaking Miz’s neck with a clothesline (well, Miz took a bad bump). Cena gets a flying slice leg drop for 2. Cena and Miz go to the floor, but soon spill back into the ring after a man in a Scream outfit hit Cena, and Cena wins clean with the STF anyway. It was R-Truth in the disguise, in case you couldn’t figure it out.
WINNER: John Cena via STF
RATING: 5/10. Cena beats one guy clean, shakes off the interference of the other and takes him out, and I’m supposed to want to order Survivor Series when Cena has additional help? Really?
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.