Published on February 27th, 2013 | by Malcolm Spinedi0
Sports Entertainment Weekly: Issue 8
The WWE can be a tricky thing to follow. They have a show just about everyday and some of them are over three hours. If only there was some jerk out there who brought up the important things of the week into a column and made catching up easy. Well fear not, for I am that jerk! Join me as I talk about some of bigger moments in the WWE this week and why they are worth noticing. To quote one of my personal favorites:
Now before we start this week’s episode of the recap, let’s talk about two stories that had a drastic effect on the outlook of the WWE, and especially the Road to Wrestlemania.
Jack Swagger Gets Arrested For Drunk Driving while Smoking Marijuana Just before the Match of his Career…. No Seriously.
So let’s pretend you’re Jack Swagger. You’ve just come back from a long absence, and your boss loves you so much, that he decides to put you in the World Title Match at Wrestlemania. You win the Elimination Chamber match to do so, a match people said you have no business even being in. You get new music, a new attitude, and most importantly, a new manager. That manager is none other than wrestling legend Dirty Dutch Mantell. A manager, to his credit, is doing all the work here. You don’t have to do anything, Dutch (now Zeb Colter) says everything under the sun to give you all the heat you need. You don’t need to do anything but stand there, and scream “WE THE PEOPLE!” annoyingly. Plus, it’s a Wrestlemania Main Event payday; something your co-workers would murder for. It’s literally everything a wrestler dreams of thrown into their laps.
So the smart thing to do here is f*** it up. By f*** it up, I mean he was arrested for drunk driving while possessing marijuana.
So after the last Smackdown taping, Swagger decided to see how badly he could screw up with the WWE before he lost this dream. This is literally the only excuse I can think of as to why he’d do this. I’ve read about wrestlers who were dumb enough to do a DUI while on top of the world, or even smoke dope. However, caught while doing both at the same time is just taking it to a whole another level.
By some miracle, it looks like Swagger is going to stay the course to Wrestlemania. Speculation was rampant over the week as to what was going to happen, but as of RAW, it looks like Swagger is in the clear. I have no clue why the WWE would do this, as their public image has come under heavy scrutiny since. On top of this, their Wellness program is also under scrutiny. Given that a double offender is getting a Wrestlemania main event, I can understand this sentiment. Silver lining to this, if Swagger had any chance of winning at Mania, it has to be gone. If he does win, this will be a heavy blow to the WWE’s creditiblity.
Undertaker Returns… at a House Show
In perhaps the biggest “Huh?!” moment of the week, The Undertaker returned at a WWE house show in Texas. Taker returned to team up with Sheamus against Wade Barrett and Damein Sandow, which of course they won. Most notable thing for me here was the zero amount of f**** Undertaker gave here. Look at him. No hat, no robe, no nothing. He just sauntered out ready to go, turned the lights on, and told Sheamus not to tag him in too much. I know it was his first match in the WWE in about a year, but he could have at least worn the hat!
Speculation immediately hit when word of this match happened. Many thought Punk’s match with Cena now was a done deal as Punk was Taker’s rumored opponent this year. Not so much for me, as the WWE has been known to throw out a few red herrings here and there (In other words, this could have been just a one time deal). We’ll go into that more later, but it’s nice to see that the Streak will be defended again this year; and maybe for the last time.
The Latest Hall of Fame Inductee – Donald Trump
Some people are crying fowl on this one, and even I admit to not caring about this one, however it makes sense and is even a little deserved. Most remember Trump from his famous Battle of the Billionaires match at Wrestlemania XXIII. While he didn’t get too physical, he was definitely into it and was having fun with the role. And let’s be honest, what else do you remember about Wrestlemania XXIII aside from this match?
However, Trump has also done a lot for the WWE behind the scenes. Trump has been one of Vince McMahon’s biggest supporters even when people thought nothing of Vince. Trump even let Wrestlemanias IV and V take place in his own personal venue, Trump Plaza. So Trump has definitely done a lot more for the company then a one time appearance and his spot is well deserved. If I were him, I’d be a little annoyed that Drew Carey made it into the WWE HoF before me; but that’s just me.
WWE Doesn’t Know what to do with Sheamus
So Sheamus is going to Wrestlemania; no one doubts on that. The guy is a great wrestler and can be entertaining. Also, he has this incredible ability to make every match he’s in look like a fight to the death. Probably because he’s he only wrestler in the WWE that gets battle damage as the match progresses but I digress. He’s going to be there, but thanks to some backwards writing I have no idea against who.
So Sheamus seemingly began a program with Wade Barrett. Wade Barrett is in the movie “Dead Man down”. I’m being generous in saying that, as Wade is a henchmen in the movie; he doesn’t talk or do anything significant. He mainly stands in the background and fights Colin Farrell from time to time. Sheamus had some fun at Barrett’s expense by humorously pointing this out. Fair enough, as Wade was gloating like he starred in the movie. Sheamus actually hosted an “Oscar Snub” party in the ring as he continued to poke fun at Wade. Wade comes out, they have a stand off, and it looks like we have a good set up for an IC match.
However, later in the night when The Shield comes out to deliver an “ominous message”, Sheamus comes out and helps gets a sneaky RKO on Rollins with an assist by Orton. So wait, Sheamus is still feuding with the Shield? Then why is he wasting his time with Wade? This can’t only be to promote the movie is it? So what is Wade doing? I’M SO CONFUSED!
Hopefully, we figure out something by next week, as Wrestlemania isn’t that far away.
Lesnar vs. Triple H II is on!
So Paul Heyman vs. Vince McMahon happened, and that’s about the nicest thing to be said about it. Vince came out in crutches, wanting this fight to happen. Paul comes out, jumps Vince, and even strikes him with one of his own crutches. Vince started to McMahon Up, when Brock’s music hit. However, before Vince could get his other hip destroyed, Triple H’s music hit.
What followed then was we were transported back in time, because what took place is not WWE PG Era content. Brock and Hunter proceed to absolutely decimate each other. Say what you will about either guy, but when they fight it looks like a damned monster movie. Look at the picture above; you can imagine HHH doing the Godzilla roar! Speaking of said picture, you maybe wondering why it’s in black and white. See when something bloody happens, WWE will do this to make the footage less graphic. That’s right, there was blood on WWE TV… and a lot of it, and Brock was leaving blood all over the place. This was not a case of blading, just Brock going into a post a little too well.
The action of this encounter, reminded me of how much fun these two fighting can be. I also forgot how well Brock can sell. HHH looked stronger than Brock with how easily he was throwing around. So Brock vs. Triple H the rematch at Wrestlemania (while not official at this point) will happen. I can’t wait.
Zeb Colter Faces off with Alberto Del Rio… Oh, and Jack Swagger was there, too
So Zeb Colter is Jack Swagger’s manager, I get that. The job of any great manager is to be the mouthpiece of an otherwise good worker in an attempt to get him over. That being said, I’m starting to dislike Zeb as Jack’s manager. Surprisingly it has nothing to do with the subject matter of what he’s saying.
Zeb is awesome on the mic, and he’s been piloting this xenophobe gimmick perfectly. His face to face promo on Miz TV with ADR was great stuff, and it made you think. I didn’t know that foreigners couldn’t own land in Mexico till after ten years, that’s interesting. Plus it’s fun to go on the wrestling forums and watch as one comment about something Zeb says usually turns into a full blown debate. Thought provoking characters like Zeb come once in a great well, and to the WWE and Dutch Mantell (Zeb) I applaud them.
But here’s the rub. See, another part of the role of a manager, at least in my opinion, has been that at the end of the day the wrestler is the star. Zeb has eclipsed Jack Swagger so much, I’m starting to think Zeb is the one fighting Del Rio at Wrestlemania. No one really cares about Jack Swagger, they care about what Zeb is going to say next, and that sucks for Swagger. In fact, if you re-watch the promo from RAW, count how many times they cut Swagger completely out of the shot. What is he even doing there?!
However, who do you blame? Sure we can point at the WWE, but they’re doing what needs to be done to make a match between Swagger and ADR interesting. Swagger is a good wrestler, but he doesn’t cut it on the mic. It’s not like Swagger has had no chances to improve after all. Which begs the question: Why would the WWE give this opportunity to Swagger? There are WWE wrestlers out there that can talk and wrestle, Sandow immediately comes to mind in fact.
We may never know why, but least we can trust Swagger to preform a good match… so long as he doesn’t get arrested again.
CM Punk vs. Cena = FIVE STARS!
Finally this week, we got a huge treat as we got CM Punk vs. John Cena with the winner facing Rock for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania. Ignoring the Undertaker appearance and whoever signs to whatever match; this match was simply amazing. Punk and Cena have wrestling each other down to a science. I have never seen so many counters used in a single match. To put it into words, it was alike playing a WWE video game on the highest possible difficulty where the computer is countering everything you do, so you have to re-counter the counters. It’s frustrating if you’re playing, but amazing as a spectator.
We got so many moves in this one, including a Piledriver, a move banned in the WWE. For those wondering, the move isn’t reinstated. In fact, Vince was pissed they even did that. Thankfully, it’s Punk and Cena who are so high up on the card, that no action will be taken. It feels so good to be able to type that about Punk, by the way.
Yes Cena won, but Punk fans shouldn’t fret. This confirms that Punk is taking on Taker at Mania, and I’ll be honest, he has a definite chance to end the streak. As for Cena vs. Rock, I could care less about this forgone conclusion of a feud. This match (Punk vs. Cena) should have honestly been the Wrestlemania Main Event, but it was still a joy to see. In fact, if you didn’t see it, I’m going to do you a favor. Here you go.