Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Little Man, Big Problem

In terms of Hornswoggle, Jamie Noble didn’t think things could get any worse. Boy, was he being short-sighted.
Ever since Noble was pinned by Hornswoggle at The Great American Bash, several WWE Superstars have been seen snickering and laughing in his direction; just weeks ago, Noble even found Shannon Moore and Funaki doing so during SmackDown. Now, however, it’s more than just the WWE Superstars having fun at his expense; our fans now seem to be in on the “joke.”
It’s no secret that in recent weeks, SmackDown’s smallest Superstar has become one of its most popular. The ovation Hornswoggle received on the night he won the Cruiserweight Championship has carried over since The Bash; our fans love the pint-sized pugilist’s zany antics, and why wouldn’t they? For everyone who has ever been called too small, too weird, too…well, too anything to succeed in life, the 4-foot-tall leprechaun ruling in a land of giants – to him, at least – can be viewed as an inspiration.
Granted, Noble has never really been much of a fan favorite, eschewing audience support in favor of breaking the rules to succeed. However, just looking at what happened in the ring last week, it’s clear that he’s in our fans’ sights more than ever before.
After Noble defeated Moore three weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown, the new Cruiserweight Champion popped up at ringside to have some fun with his chosen Goliath. Noble almost got his hands on the tiny terror, but instead ended up with some egg – in the form of some delicious pie – covering his face. While the dessert covered up the embarrassment washed over his grill, it couldn’t drown out the cheers and laughter of our fans in Phoenix. If it wasn’t before, it became evident that night that our fans were solidly behind Hornswoggle. At least, it should have been, since most of our fans are taller than the pocket-sized prankster.
As if that weren’t bad enough, Hornswoggle has begun to cause Noble problems with other WWE Superstars now as well. When Kane interrupted Noble’s match with Finlay – a bout spurred on by Noble’s pursuit of Hornswoggle, costing the fighting Irishman a match against Matt Hardy two weeks ago – the vertically-challenged champion got involved as well, pushing Noble head-first into the Big Red Monster’s already-injured ribs. Predictably enough, Kane snapped, and despite Noble’s attempt to set the scene, the Big Red Monster nearly drove him through the mat with a thunderous chokeslam.
As our fans were filing out of the Mohegan Sun Arena following last week’s SmackDown, a mother and son were seen chatting; the youngster, who looked no more than five years old, wore a homemade “I Pinned Jamie Noble, Too” t-shirt and was begging his mother to see if the merchandise stands had any Hornswoggle action figures. Laughing at the scene were a group of teenagers, one of whom piped in,“They don’t, little guy, but they should start making souvenir pies!” Perhaps WWE Shop could look into all three of these potential hot sellers; they’d be sure to have a short shelf life.
Seriously though, our fans’ reactions to Hornswoggle’s antics must make Noble feel like he’s less than a foot tall. Being embarrassed about losing to a presumed inferior opponent – twice – is one thing; having 15,000 screaming WWE fans cheer that opponent and remind you of your horror in every arena you go to…well, it’s just too big a problem to ignore.
But until the day comes where Noble gets his revenge on the Cruiserweight Champion – if it ever comes – that’s exactly what the Southern Superstar is going to have to deal with. And until that day, he could be leaving every arena angry and red-faced…and if Hornswoggle has anything to do with it, perhaps pie-faced as well.
Judging by recent reactions, our fans would actually enjoy that

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Rey of plight for chavo

It’s no secret – following extensive surgery to repair the multiple injuries in his left leg, Rey Mysterio is coming back to WWE. Nearly nine months after suffering both a ruptured ACL and a torn patella tendon at the hands of Chavo Guerrero, the former World Champion and in-ring innovator is returning to the ring.
Knowing that, if you were the individual who obstructed Mysterio’s perch at the pinnacle of sports-entertainment, would you feel a little worried as his long-awaited return grew closer? Maybe not… but only if your last name was Guerrero.
“Me, worry? I’m a Guerrero; we don’t worry,” Chavo claimed. “Why would I be worried about someone like Rey Mysterio? He’s Mexican, so he’s got a lot of heart and he’s a great competitor – I can’t take that away from him. But he’d be stupid to ever cross my path again.”
The last time our fans saw Mysterio compete was in an “I Quit” Match last October, when Chavo rigged Rey’s leg in the SmackDown set’s lighting structure and repeatedly bashed his leg with a chair. Six strikes from the steel weapon sent Mysterio away from the ring and kept him from exacting a measure of revenge against his former lifelong friend.
“Do lifelong friends try to steal your name?” asked Chavo. “[Rey] stole my moves and my family’s moves. What I did to him was me just trying to make a point: He needed to stop acting like a Guerrero.”
According to Chavo, he doubts that the high-flying fan-favorite will ever be the same after the “valuable lesson I taught Rey.” Many would argue, however, that perhaps the bad-tempered Guerrero is just telling himself that in the wake of Rey’s return.
“You saw what I did to him when he was at 100 percent,” Chavo reminded WWE.com. “Now it’s in question that he’s going to be the same. I know Rey, and I know he’s not going to come my way.”
At The Great American Bash one year ago, it was Chavo’s carefully executed plan of deception that cost Mysterio the World Title against King Booker. This betrayal would yield a series of hard-fought contests between both men, though ultimately end unresolved with Rey’s career-threatening injury.
“It was never my intention to end his career,” he protested. “If I really wanted to end it, I could have. I would have just gone to his house and beaten him up in front of his family.”
It is that same ruthless, unabated focus that makes Chavo not only a dangerous competitor, but also a successful one. After his war with Mysterio, the relentless Guerrero turned his attention to championship gold and seized the Cruiserweight Title. In his reign – which only ended just one week ago at The Great American Bash – Chavo honed his abilities and perfected his craft.
“[Since last year,] I’ve gotten better,” Chavo asserted. “I’ve been competing the whole time Rey’s been gone and I’ve had a lot of matches since the last time we met. I’ve gotten better, stronger and faster.
“I thought I was in my prime then; I’m in my prime now.”
It remains to be seen exactly what type of condition or mentality the Master of the 619 will have upon his return. But the mentality of the man arguably to blame for Mysterio’s ring absence is certain: He’s indifferent. However, Chavo warned that if Rey does decide to seek retribution, he may end up back in his San Diego home recuperating for yet another extended period of time – courtesy of the pugnacious Guerrero.

Lashley to meet DR. James Andrews wednesday

Former ECW Champion Bobby Lashley will meet with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday for further diagnosis on his injured left shoulder, WWE.com has learned. Lashley injured the shoulder in his match with Mr. Kennedy on Monday Night Raw, when Kennedy kicked it while up against the ring steps. Once Kennedy realized his opponent was injured, Kennedy viciously targeted the shoulder with repeated attacks and holds. Read more on this story... The shoulder suffered further damage as Lashley attempted to spear Kennedy, and Kennedy countered the charging Lashley by kneeing him in the injured joint. Preliminary observations from WWE physician Dr. Ferdinand Rios suggest Lashley suffered a possible rotator cuff tear in the left shoulder. More details on the injury will be made available on WWE.com as soon as they are known.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

WWE champ John cena won against Bobby lashley

John Cena and Bobby Lashley locked eyes on each other and nodded as our fans at the HP Pavilion stood and applauded. The Great American Bash provided the stage for one of the most anticipated WWE Championship matches in a long time, and our fans knew they had witnessed a special moment in sports-entertainment history.
And so did Cena and Lashley. Though thousands and thousands of eyes were upon them, Cena and Lashley were alone in their moment. Both were exhausted and clutching their ribs. But the only difference was that Cena still had the WWE Championship to comfort his wounds, while Lashley was empty-handed.
Not much was said between the two champions; for the most part, they communicated in a language that only two warriors could understand. Lashley gazed at the WWE Championship that was still in the sweaty hands of Cena and nodded knowingly. Before The Great American Bash, he and his loyal fans believed he was an uncrowned champion. But on this night, the better man had won and he knew it – and extended his hand.
John Cena, the WWE Champion for more than 10 months – 308 days and counting – hesitated at first, but then looked in the eyes of his opponent. Unlike other challengers to his title, Cena had no personal conflict with Lashley. They both prided themselves on fighting with honor and respect; they were both courageous and resilient. Their rivalry revolved solely around the WWE Championship. Cena looked in Lashley's eyes and saw a mirror image of himself – and shook his hand. As our fans erupted, Cena hoisted his championship up high, showing the world that The Champ was still here.
"I think what everybody saw - competitors and our fans - was the dawning of a new era in sports-entertainment," said Cena after his victory. "What you saw was onee guy with incredible athletic ability and strength and the other guy who, for lack of a better term, is the Larry Bird of the organization. He's not the prettiest shooter, but he always finds a way to win the big games. At any given point tonight, the match could have gone either way. We proved something tonight, not just to those out there watching, but hopefully to the competitors in the back. We both walked out champions."
Our fans were divided during the heated battle. Lashley’s fans, who believed he was an uncrowned champion because he never lost the ECW Championship and was stripped of that gold when he was drafted to Raw last month, chanted his name through the match. But Cena’s fans would not be outdone, as “Cena! Cena!” rumbled throughout the arena. Lashley overwhelmed Cena early in the match with his amateur wrestling skills and sheer power.
But Cena would not be denied, and showed the former Army sergeant why he has been able to hold onto the WWE Championship for 24 of the last 27 months. When Lashley charged at him in an attempt at a spear, Cena sidestepped and trapped him in an STFU. Lashley’s face turned purple as he scratched and clawed his way to get to the bottom rope. When Lashley refused to tap out, Cena slumped in amazement and held his head, wondering to himself, “What do I have to do to beat this guy?”
Moments later, that same look washed across Lashley’s face when he successfully speared Cena in his second attempt. Just before the referee was about to slap the mat for the third time, Cena was able to slip his shoulder off the mat. As our fans roared, Lashley tried to position The Champ on the top rope in an attempted superplex. But Cena surprised the former ECW Champion – and made the jaws of the crowd in the HP Pavilion drop – when he delivered a fateful FU from the top rope and fell on Lashley for the victory.
Cena hugged his WWE Championship, saluted our fans and pointed to the sky, thanking the good Lord above. Lashley walked slowly up the ramp and let Cena bask in his victory. He did not leave The Great American Bash with the WWE Championship, but he was still a champion

Rndy orton VS. Dusty Rhodes (Texas bull rope match)

The Texas Bull Rope Match was made famous by WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and for the first few minutes of his encounter with Randy Orton, “The American Dream” showed why. But in the end, The Great American Bash was a nightmare for Rhodes, as Randy Orton beat the legend at his own game in the first Texas Bull Rope Match in WWE since 2004’s Bash.
The rules of the match were simple. Both men were attached to opposite ends of a 14-foot bull rope, meaning neither man could escape very far away from his opponent. The first man to score a pinfall or submission would win, and the bull rope and cowbell attached to the rope were legal.
Before the bout, Orton looked leery of attaching himself to the end of the bull rope, and seemingly rightfully so; the match is a Rhodes specialty, and one that Orton has never been in. And in the opening minutes, “The American Dream” did what he does best, dishing out some Texas-style clubberin’ to his third-generation adversary.
Soon enough, however, Orton found a prescription for his fever: more cowbell. Orton seized and used the bull rope’s attached weapon to clobber Rhodes in his heavily taped knee, exploiting a possible weakness in the Hall of Famer.
Rhodes nearly made a comeback, even nailing Orton with his signature “Flip Flop ‘n Fly” elbow sequence, but it was once again the cowbell that was his undoing. With a mighty wallop, Orton brought the seven-pound bell crashing down across the Hall of Famer’s skull, and that was enough to gain him the winning pinfall.
But Orton wasn’t done once the bout was over. Prior to the match, the third-generation Superstar reminded our fans of how he “ended Shawn Michaels’ career,” and he tried to do the same to the “Dream.” Fortunately, Rhodes’ son Cody ran into the ring, throwing himself between his legendary father and Orton’s attempt at a vicious kick to the head.
Surprisingly, Orton showed some respect to his elder in an interview with WWE.com immediately after the match.
“A year or so ago, I would’ve said I had no respect for Dusty Rhodes. But I can say now that I respect him, because he went out and faced Randy Orton. He proved to me that the old-timers…they got balls. But when it comes down to it, I’m younger, I’m better, and I did what I said I would do: beat another Legend and add another notch in my belt.”
But with that said, the third-generation Superstar also had a warning for the second generation of the Rhodes family.
“Cody Rhodes…I have a father too, and I would’ve done the same thing if my father was getting beat on. But you’re new in this business; I have seven years and a long list of people I’ve dethroned and destroyed. You can’t compare yourself to anyone in this industry. I gave you a freebie tonight, but you get no more. Next time, there will be no mercy.”
Dusty Rhodes is one of the biggest Legends in sports-entertainment history, and he gave it a valiant effort in his signature match against an opponent half his age. But at The Great American Bash, it was Randy Orton who knew the way (to the winners’ circle, at least) to San Jose.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A fatefull Summer Night

The contest for the United States Championship at The Great American Bash promises not only to be a competitive encounter between two of WWE’s finest, young and talented Superstars, but also an intersection of fates for Matt Hardy and the champion, Montel Vontavious Porter.
If you ask MVP about his fate, he would explain that he is preordained to bear the gold around his self-affirmed deserving waist. By contrast, Hardy believes he was predestined to fight for everything he’s ever wanted, and at The Great American Bash, he intends on doing just that.
“I’ve never stopped working hard, and I’ve never been afraid to scratch and claw to be the best I can be,” said a sincere Matt Hardy. “MVP is an amazing athlete, performer and wrestler. He was that good that he could walk into WWE and become U.S. Champion within a single year,” he continued.
“I’m not the most talented guy to ever walk through the doors of WWE. I don’t stand out in any single category except for one: having heart and desire.”
Regarded by fans as one of sports-entertainment’s most passionate competitors, Hardy’s collar is unquestionably blue, whereas Porter’s is diamond-studded. Hardy has fought and worked for every single opportunity he has been afforded, whereas Montel Vontavious Porter walked into a top-dollar contract on SmackDown.
“MVP, when he came in, he was the guy who was gifted,” explained a guileless Hardy. “I was the guy who had to work for it, much like the people watching around the world who cheer for me. They work hard to achieve their goals and so do I,” he said.
“I know it’s going to be a hell of a challenge to get the title off of him, but I know it’s within me to do it, because right now, I am better than I’ve ever been.”
It took the highest-paid free agent in SmackDown history, United States Champion MVP, less than one year to claim WWE gold, compared to Hardy who has endured a decade of sweat and blood spill, ladders and personal fate twists.
Matt Hardy’s trophy case is far from barren. In addition to a wealth of World Tag Team Championships with his brother Jeff, Hardy also secured several singles titles early in his WWE career, including the Cruiserweight Championship as well as the now defunct Hardcore and European Championships. Still, despite his remarkable success over the last few years (and especially more recently on SmackDown), Hardy’s hunt for singles gold has not yet quite reached the same heights that he’s scaled in the tag team division.
That could all change for the native North Carolinian next Sunday in San Jose, Calif., when Hardy meets MVP for one of the most prestigious championships in sports-entertainment.
“When you look at major singles titles,” said the challenger, “the first things that stick out are the United States and the Intercontinental Championships. They are basically building blocks to being the World Heavyweight Champion or the WWE Champion. And those have eluded me over the course of my career. But my ultimate goal is to one day be the World Champion here, and the first natural step to that is the U.S. Title.”
The fan-favorite finally has a chance to secure the United States Championship when he faces a man who believes he is “God’s gift to the squared circle.” According to Hardy, it could be a night of ill fortune for the “half-man, half-amazing” Superstar who currently wears the gold.
“MVP is an extremely talented guy and if you don’t believe it, just ask him,” Hardy added. “We’re going to have a great match. And my ultimate goal is for MVP to suffer a very unfortunate Twist of Fate and Matt Hardy to become the new United States Champion.”

Animal Instinct?

Since being drafted to SmackDown, The Great Khali has made Friday nights his personal domain. This past week, after throwing out an open challenge, Khali attacked everyone in sight, making Jimmy Wang Yang and Eugene among others feel his massive wrath. Finally, when it looked like no one would step up to answer Khali’s challenge, one man bravely stepped through the open door and stood face-to-face with the mammoth.
That man? None other than The Animal, Batista. Our fans in Dallas cheered wildly as The Animal hit the ring to confront Khali. Batista was ready to fight then and there, but Khali’s translator pulled him away from The Animal’s path.
Batista is a man that will back down from no one, as no challenge is too big for him to accept. But why in the hell would ANYONE want to step up to face The Great Khali?
Just look at Khali’s path of destruction over the last 15 months. When he first came to WWE in April 2006, Khali’s first target was Undertaker, one of the biggest Legends in WWE. Khali dominated Undertaker like no other man ever has during that rivalry, even defeating The Deadman decisively at Judgment Day.
The mammoth soon moved on to ECW, picking up right where he left off on SmackDown. ECW Original Tommy Dreamer, who knows a thing or two about going to the extreme, was so badly beaten during one Extreme Rules Match with Khali that he wasn’t the same for weeks afterward. During another encounter, Khali viciously chokeslammed Dreamer on the steel ring steps, destroying Dreamer’s back as the sickening thud made everyone that was watching cringe.
Then it was on to Raw, where Khali tormented the likes of Kane and WWE Champion John Cena for months. Leading up to their clash at Judgment Day 2007, Khali assaulted The Champ every week on Raw for a month, leaving him beaten every time; on the Saturday Night’s Main Event prior to One Night Stand, the same thing occurred again. Cena finally mustered up and pinned Khali at One Night Stand, something no one had done until that point.
Notice a pattern? Everywhere Khali goes, destruction follows. So why WOULD anyone step up to challenge him? For The Animal, that answer may be based on any number of reasons.
First of all, Batista CAN’T compete for the World Heavyweight Championship. Thanks to his loss to Edge in the Last Chance Match at Vengeance: Night of Champions, The Animal lost the ability to challenge for the gold as long as the Rated-R Superstar holds it. So, could his acceptance of Khali’s challenge be a result of residual frustration? Khali is definitely one of the baddest men on SmackDown, so agreeing to face him could be Batista’s way of reinforcing his dominance over the brand.
Or is it perhaps the opposite, as no one wants to step up and face Batista? The Animal WAS one of the most dominant World Heavyweight Champions of all-time, and was never defeated for the title during his first reign. In fact, in the two-year span from WrestleMania 21 to WrestleMania 23, where Batista held the gold twice, only Undertaker was able to cleanly defeat him. Now that he doesn’t have the championship everyone on SmackDown covets, are those in the locker room afraid to be matched up against The Animal?
As mentioned before, Batista has never and will never back down from any challenge. This time, however, regardless of the reasons, some may wonder if he’s in over his head.
After all, The Animal has been in plenty of grueling matches before; one need only to look at his recent series of battles with Edge to see what lengths Batista is willing to go to in competition. But does he really know what he’s in for? He’s never faced a monster like Khali, who is capable of causing severe and permanent damage to anyone he faces in the ring.
So does Batista think he can defeat the mammoth? Or perhaps, more fittingly, CAN he think he has a chance to slay the giant? One thing is for sure: The Animal will have to rely on his strengths and his animal instincts to survive this battle. Hopefully, that will be enough for him to keep Khali from becoming the baddest Animal in the SmackDown jungle.
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