Sunday, November 18, 2007
Heel Heat - Episode 4
Tenacious Trav (TT): Greetings Sports Entertainment Fans!
Gorgeous Glen (GG): Welcome one and all to Episode 4 of your favourite irregularly scheduled dose of wrestling, fact, fiction, and follies. The one, the only, HEEL HEAT!!!!!
This evening marks a fall tradition, the 21st annual Survivor Series. While this is something incredibly exciting, there are a few things that we need to discuss first. First off, after months of speculation and hints, it appears that the Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah, Mr. Chris Jericho will be returning after 2 years tomorrow on RAW. What are your thoughts on this one TT?
TT: I'm cautiously optimistic on this one, Double G. The product is seriously hurting lately and I think the return of someone of Jericho's stature could certainly revive things. The problem I see here is that they've squandered so many cool opportunities in the past that his return might be wasted too. There's been a lot of talk of if this return will match his initial debut on Raw when he squared off verbally with the Rock. Quite frankly, you can't capture lightening twice... so who cares if it matches that. The first five minutes won't be nearly as important as whatever that first program is for him. The fans are sure to be behind him, so you've got to wonder who they'll throw against an incredibly over face. Though Orton needs a competitor like Y2J, I'm worried it'll start with someone like Umaga and it'll be an opportunity wasted. Your thoughts?
GG: It's not often that I give you credit, but TT, but I think that you raise a good point. This (re) debut will not be as good as his first one, because frankly, there is nobody on the RAW Roster who can hold a candle to the Rock on the microphone. The only one who is close is Cena. While I think that a Jericho-Umaga feud could kick all sorts of ass, I don't think that it's a good idea at first.
I have a feeling that Jericho will interrupt a Randy Orton celebration ceremony and we will get a fresh Championship feud, because, really, there is nobody else for Orton to feud with right now. While it would do wonders for Orton, I fear that unless Jericho takes the title (even for a 1 month reign) that it will squander his momentum right away. In an ideal world, he would interrupt someone like Santino Marella, the two on the mic would be golden and it would give them both a meaningful match at Armageddon before they could both move on.
TT: Personally, I feel Jericho / Carlito would be a money feud, but it appears Carlito is on his way out. Another big waste, unfortunately..
GG: I never even thought of that one...I guess it goes to show how far Carlito has fallen recently! Such a shame, so much talent, so much waste...on both sides really...
Secondly, last week, CNN did a documentary on the WWE and completed a suspect editing job on John Cena. They took a comment of his out of context and made it appear that he was a steroid user, despite vehement denial on his part. What are your thoughts on this one?
TT: Well, as a person with a public relations background, I'm surprised that Cena wasn't better prepared for this interview. His initial answer was a flat out 'no I’ve not done steroids' type of response. He should've stopped there, but as so often is the case in these situations, he felt the need to say more, and in doing so, completely muddle his response. I'm paraphrasing, but he essentially said "you can't prove I haven't". This was incredibly vague and CNN had every right to air that bizarre response. In the replays they included his initial response which I think is the responsible thing to do. At the end of the day, though, Cena made the mistake in saying too much and he has to own that. Who knows what he's really done.. I find it bizarre that a guy like William Regal is on roids and Batista is not.
GG: Once more you have a good point..damn...you need to stop making those!!! While you are right that he probably should have stopped talking to avoid this situation (henceforth referred to as CeNNa-Gate), John is a very good public speaker and did a great job defending the WWE during the Benoit tragedy, so I am sure that he was trying to do it again here. Even though he is injured, Cena is clearly the face of the WWE, and a great choice to be in that role, because of situations like this. He was trying to defend not only himself, but every WWE Superstar. The "you're never going to prove that I have" bit was referring to the fact that people just don't seem to believe him when he says that he is not on steroids, due to the prevalence of masking agents and the sort. Also, I covered CeNNa-Gate a bit on the blog yesterday, but to restate my main point from that post, it's funny to me that the WWE, a company that churns out contrived storylines is appearing more credible than a company that reports the news.
TT: Well on that last point you're completely wrong. Let's get to the Survivor Series...
GG: Hmmm...I'm sure that Travis is on Ted Turner's payroll, maybe it was for supporting WCW so much...
TT: I was actually the first choice to play Bunkhouse Buck
GG: I totally believe that one...
For the sake of timing, I’ll listen to Trav, but that’s my only reason. Survivor Series is having its 21st annual event tonight, and it looks to be a pretty solid card for the most part. I guess I'll start with the crap first. The WWE is going to have the biggest height difference in any match in wrestling history tonight, as Ireland and India finally explode inside the wrestling ring. We will see Hornswoggle-McMahon takes on our favourite Punjabi freak of nature, The Great Khali. I see some sort of whackiness occuring, probably leading to some strange Hornswoggle win. But I am torn on this one as The Great Khali did a not-terrible job as World Champion for a while, so I don't want to see him lose to a leprechaun, but it is somehow inevitable. So I think that Hornswoggle will win via count-out after running around the ring a bunch and Khali will try and chase him only to get counted out. Or maybe we may see the return of Shane McMahon to help his half-brother win...yeah I'll reach out on a limb for that one.
TT: I think you're probably right. You can't deny that Hornswoggle is (unfortunately) really over right now. I believe your scenario of interference or a count out is really likely, but to keep things fresh, I'll predict Khali to win in a 10sec. squash. Speaking of crap, there's a women's match. As usual, I hate this garbage. Look for the Glamazon to win. Or not. Who cares.
GG: As usual, I remain optimistic for the Women's Division...I think that this match could actually be decent as long as they keep the wrestlers in (i.e. Mickie, Victoria, Beth, and Melina) and the bimbos out (i.e. the rest). Since this has not been announced to be an elimination match, I am going to go with an upset on behalf of the face team to set up Beth's next challenger. On RAW, we saw the return of lesbian-Mickie, which was super over a few years ago. So I'll go with Mickie getting the pin on Beth. However, if it's elimination, I would still have Mickie pin Beth but the heel team win, since they really are the stacked team.
TT: Stacked in what way? And lord help us if it's elimination.
GG: Come on an elimination match could be fun. Have Beth kill four of them dead, eat a surprise pin by Mickie, and then have Mickie job to say Melina, setting up an easy triple threat for the Title involving Beth-Melina-Mickie. Speaking of Mickie James, the WWE recently added a match involving her latest love interest, Trevor Murdoch and his partner, Lance Cade, defend their World Tag Team Titles against the unlikely duo of Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes. I think that there is still a lot of room to develop the Rhodes-Holly and Murdoch-James storylines, so there is no need to rush through either of them...let's go with the Rednecks retain here involving something whacky involving Mickie James.
Man...I can't seem to get enough of Mickie James...I think that I have a problem...
TT: There's no accounting for taste. And as has become a common theme on Heel Heat, you're dead wrong. The tag division is so stale that even pigeons won't peck at it. Survivor Series will see the grandson of a plumber and the former Thurman Sparky Plugg take the win tonight against the Rednecks. The Rhodes/Holly storyline was kind of dropped lately and I hope this will recharge it and get some momentum going for the young up and comer.
Speaking of tag teams, on Smackdown we saw the Miz and John Morrison defeat the champs, MVP and Matt Hardy. Tonight we'll see the new champs square off against each other and ECW champion, CM Punk. This could go so many ways... one of the heels could win and it would bridge the MVP/Hardy storyline to a new team, with the heels doing a lot of one-upsmanship. Instead, though, I see CM Punk retaining for now. This keeps him strong and with their new titles, Miz and Morrison are still at the top of the heap as well.
GG: Ahh yes, the classic heel case of one-upmanship, kind of reminds me of our epic feuds does it not TT? Anyway, I don't know how much I like the fact that they moved the Tag Titles from one whacky team to another, but to each their own I guess. Heading into this week I was certain that Morrison would win, but after his altercation backstage with JBL, I'm not so sure. I hope that the WWE is smart and realizes that with all of the steroid charges that Mr. Straight Edge should be in line for a huge push. So I see that continuing here where he retains after some miscommunication between Morrison and The Miz. Hopefully we start to see CM Punk take on some of the Smackdown! Superstars for the title, for some reason I really want to see a Punk-Finlay feud after this.
On the Finlay front, he is a part of tonight’s 5 on 5 Elimination Match. I for one always love these matches as there is so much intrigue in all of them! The teams this year look particularly great as we have Triple H lead a team consisting of Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Kane take on the team of Umaga, Mr. Kennedy (...KENNEDY!), MVP, Big Daddy V, and the aforementioned Irish Man. I think that there is some intrigue as to whether Matt will be able to participate after the beat down he received from MVP, but I think that he'll show up in this one. I know that the Face team is going to win, but it's a matter of who will survive.
I would personally love to see Matt Hardy as the sole survivor, but I know that's not going to happen...so I'll say that it's going to go like this...Matt pins MVP, Big Daddy V pins Matt, Big Daddy V and Kane get counted out, Kennedy pins Jeff, Finlay gets DQd on Rey for using the shillelagh, Rey pins Kennedy, Triple H pins Umaga, leaving Rey and H as the Survivors.
TT: Wow that was elaborate. Did you lay awake last night thinking that up? Quite frankly I'm not as excited about that as WWE would want me to be. It's just a bunch of independent storylines thrown together in a stew. I'm not sure who will eliminate who, but I suspect we will have one sole survivor and that will be the King of Kings, Triple H. On your knees dog...
So with the traditional match out of the way we're left with our two big championship matches (No offense, ECW). Let's talk about my boy Orton first. Tonight he squares off against HBK. Interesting stipulations here: if Orton gets DQ'd he loses the belt, and if HBK uses Sweet Chin Music, he loses and won't get another shot. I see my man Orton retaining his belt here, cleanly. It's time for someone to give him a clean win and let him stand tall as champ.
GG: You know full-well that the 10th Anniversary of the Montreal Incident can't go down without a screwjob. so I fully expect Orton to get the win here by some sort of nefarious means. I wouldn't be even the slightest bit shocked if Orton locks Michaels in the sharpshooter and the bell rings. I sure hope not though. I think that Orton will win, but it won't be clean at all.
As for the main event of the evening, we have one of the best feuds of the year culminate inside the most demonic of matches, the Hell in a Cell. Both men have been in the cell and have performed quite well in previous encounters. I fully expect this one to be like Taker-Lesnar, or Batista-H, just flat out bloody. Nothing fancy, no big spots, just a solid flat out brawl. These two match really well, so I also expect this to be among the best WWE Matches of the year. As for the winner, I'm really torn...I want to see the Deadman get the win here, but I know that the WWE is heading for Taker-Edge at Mania. And really, Edge should be the Champ heading into that one, so it would make no sense for him to beat Taker for the title to set up a rematch. So Batista wins the match and the feud.
TT: Well at least we agree on something. This will be a bloody brawl of an affair and I'm sure it'll be match of the night and a contender for match of the year. You're right - these two work really well together and they can tell a great story in the ring. I'm with you on the results, though maybe not for the same reasons. Batista gets the W tonight and leaves Survivor Series the champion.
All in all it should be a decent card. It gets me thinking about Survivor Series of past, though, GG... what is your favourite SS memory from days of yore?
GG: Well I'd be remiss to not mention Survivor Series 1997, the Screwjob totally changed wrestling as we know it, and did wonders to help the WWF beat out WCW. However, my favourite memory was probably the following year, during the finals of the Deadly Game Tournament, we saw the newly face-turned Rock take on McMahon's protege, Mankind. In an homage to Montreal, The Rock shocked the world by locking Mankind in the sharpshooter and McMahon called for the bell. This was great because NOBODY saw this coming at all. This set up the Austin-Rock feud which helped take the WWF to new heights and gave us some of the best main event matches ever. Also, it is one of the few examples of a "Double Turn" working out well. Truly a great moment of the Attitude Era!!! How about you TT?
Travis: That's a great episode in wrestling history, GG. I'm going farther back, though. One might expect me to talk about the Undertaker's Survivor Series debut in 1990, but instead I'd like to mention the PPV the following year. 1991 saw a team of Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, The Mountie and The Warlord take on Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil and the British Bulldog. This was a great card if for no other reason than my two favourite heels of all time were on a team together, and Ric Flair ended up the sole survivor. Add his involvement later in the evening to cause the Undertaker to win the championship from Hulk Hogan (he placed a steel hair under Hogan's head before the Tombstone dropped) and you've got a great historical evening. The Undertaker has had a consistent big level impact on wrestling in the 15 years that've passed, and it's awesome to see him main eventing tonight. If only the Nature Boy was on the card.......
GG: Somehow I knew that you'd mark out for the 1991 card...too bad Savage and Jake were both removed from the Main Event that year to try and sell the lame-ass Tuesday Night in Texas...as much as it pains me to, I will once again give you the last word...any closing thoughts at all Trav?
TT: I have a million thoughts, none of them closing. Thanks for having me on board for Heel Heat once again. It's nice to connect with all of my fans who've seen me walk through fire and smelled the smoke. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some small children to go yell at.
GG: Until next time,