Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 10/31

#1 The Big Show [--] (33-14-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

The only superstars with a televised thirty-plus 2010 victories; Big Show and Kofi Kingston continued their winning ways this week, picking up a tag team victory on Smackdown! The Kayfabe Countdown allies reprised their role of Bragging Rights Pay-Per-View partners to defeat recently dethroned tag team champions, Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes! It was a far more successful collaboration than Big Show's latest film, in which he plays a dim-witted orphan whose gentle giant status is capitalized upon when he burns down the orphanage, and is forced to earn money in mixed martial arts bouts. Knucklehead might be unworthy of note as the latest flop in the WWE production line, but after earning an alleged $75US during it's miniscule opening week, it could be on the fast track to cinematic infamy! WWE have traditionally relied on DVD sales to make back their film productions, but one wonders if even home movie success can save this one from the harsh light of history!

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (33-20-2) (WWE)
#3 [--] Rey Mysterio (28-12-3) (WWE)
#4 [--] Randy Orton (27-16-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#5 [--] Drew McIntyre (26-26-3) (WWE)
#6 [--] Cody Rhodes (25-15-2) (WWE)
#7 [+1] The Miz (25-27-4) (WWE) [Money in the Bank]
#8 [+1] AJ Styles (24-11-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]
#9 [-2] R-Truth (24-19-4) (WWE)
#10 [--] Kane (23-14-4) (WWE) [World Heavyweight Champion]

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-15-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (14-14-2) (TNA)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (11-8-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (11-11-0) (WWE)
#5 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (9-3-0) (WWE)
#6 [--] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (7-2-0) (WWE)
#7 [+1] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#8 [-1] Nikki Bella & Brie Bella (7-4-0) (WWE)
#9 [--] Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (6-1-0) (TNA)
#10 [--] Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer (6-4-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#192 Brutus Magnus
(0-5-0) (TNA)

If you're a member of the wrestling mainstream, you could be forgiven for assuming former-TV Gladiator turned wrestler [Brutus] Magnus was given his marching orders at Total Non-Stop Action! With a 2010 record of 0-5, Magnus' winless cellar-dweller status in the Kayfabe Countdown belies the success he's actually had after an energetic comeback in June!

International viewers will have seen Magnus return with a new look and single-name moniker way back in June on TNA's second-tier international television programme, Xplosion. The show, made-up of recap materials and mid-card bouts booked specifically for the international broadcast, has been created with an eye for the United Kingdom, and taken full advantage of the international talent still with TNA. Magnus worked his way on Xplosion toward a Global Title match against former-British Invasion partner and Welsh bodybuilder, Rob Terry (#60), before he united with Desmond Wolfe (#94; formerly Nigel McGuinness) to form the irreverent combination of London Brawling. With a combination of smarts, style, smugness, and good old fashioned cheating, London Brawling earned their way to a Tag Team title shot at the end of July, defeating Rob Terry & Hernandez and Ink Inc in an elimination tournament. Alas; their No Surrender match never eventuated after Desmond Wolfe was sidelined by a mysterious medical condition. It proved to be another truncation of Magnus' rise in TNA, one that came in spite of his signing a new longterm contract with the company in July, and developing a beret wearing gimmick as something of a ladies man. [Note: Generation Me replaced London Brawling at the No Surrender PPV, where they were defeated and began a subsequent feud with champions, The Motor City Machine Guns.]

Fans of TNA and Xplosion will have seen Magnus return to singles action, (accompanied by Wolfe's valet, Chelsea), where he suffered a surprise defeat against show regular, Eric Young (#106). An unceremonious return for a wrestler with as much talent as he has had bad luck, but a welcome one, none the less! It is a reminder of the value of the Xplosion television hour, which is all too often overlooked by American coverage.

Special Note: Justin Gabriel (#28) and Heath Slater (#35) were crowned WWE Tag Team Champions on this week's edition of RAW, "winning" the belts from Sunday's newly crowned champions, John Cena (#12) and David Otunga (#36). It was part of a Nexus angle.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

MKO: Netherrealm Studios Releases Scorpion Gameplay Trailer!

Netherrealm Studios has released a new HD gameplay trailer featuring a montage showcase of fan-favorite fighter, Scorpion!

The video shows off a wide array of the ninja spectre's trademark moves, weaved effortlessly into combo attacks by Mortal Kombat's new fighting engine. Amongst the bone breaking blows dealt are transitions into Tag Team attacks, X-Ray specials, and the first glimpse of Scorpion's Hellfire Backflip Kick, introduced originally in Deadly Alliance.

Scorpion's entrance in the video also features chilling new dialogue, revelling in his infernal origins with a stern warning to any of the unlucky combatants appearing later in the clip. It is unclear if this is simply part of a match entrance, or perhaps a glimpse into the much touted story mode, about which we know very little.

Find the video embedded above, or watch it on

Full Article:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 10/24

#1 The Big Show [--] (32-14-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

It was a clean sweep for Team Smackdown this week as Big Show led the group to victories on RAW, Smackdown, and the Bragging Rights PPV this weekend. Show survived a team battle royal as well as the fourteen-man elimination tag match he captained to pick up a triple threat of victories, fighting alongside Kayfabe Countdown rival, Kofi Kingston. Big Show's reign as upper most victorious wrestler of 2010 isn't yet secured, but the former Tag Team Champion, whose movie Knucklehead opened in select theatres over the weekend, looks assured to be the face of WWE Smackdown since it's move to SyFy. With the Undertaker buried alive and Kane standing tall as World Heavyweight champion, one wonders if Big Show won't refocus his attention on gold in the coming months, assuming the Phenom stays down, of course...

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (32-20-2) (WWE)
#3 [--] Rey Mysterio (28-11-3) (WWE)
#4 [--] Randy Orton (27-15-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#5 [+2] Drew McIntyre (26-25-3) (WWE)
#6 [+4] Cody Rhodes (25-14-2) (WWE)
#7 [-2] R-Truth (24-18-4) (WWE)
#8 [-2] The Miz (24-27-4) (WWE) [Money in the Bank]
#9 [-1] AJ Styles (23-11-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]
#10 [-1] Kane (23-14-4) (WWE) [World Heavyweight Champion]

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-15-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (14-14-2) (TNA)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (10-8-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (10-10-0) (WWE)
#5 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (9-2-0) (WWE)
#6 [+3] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (7-2-0) (WWE)
#7 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (7-3-0) (WWE)
#8 [-2] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#9 [-1] Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (6-1-0) (TNA)
#10 [--] Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer (6-4-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#71 Undertaker
(8-5-1) (WWE)

He's been one of the most enduring characters in WWE's modern history and it's that longevity over two decades that has many commentators and fans speculating about his pending retirement. The "Deadman" has been battling half-brother Kane through a series of matches that recall the highpoints of his flamboyant existence, bringing back the special effects and trademark match stipulations that made The Undertaker a stand-out performer during the gimmick-laden boom period of the Attitude Era. A welcome change of pace in today's bland product, even if it struggled to live up to the classics.

After surviving mythological showdowns, Hell in a Cell, and the betrayal of his manager, Paul Bearer; The Undertaker succumbed to yet another indignity when he was buried alive by Kane and the members of Nexus after seemingly reigniting the flame of his otherworldly powers. Though buried, a bolt of lightning promised The Undertaker's spirit would remain with the WWE Universe for some time. It's not the first time Undertaker has lost a match of this type, afterall, with each defeat usually signifying some sort of transformative experience. The only questions that remain now are -- when will the deadman rise again, and in what form?...

Special Note: Includes results from WWE: Bragging Rights Pay-Per-View, where John Cena (#12) and David Otunga (#34) won the Tag Team Championships in an impromptu title challenge.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 10/17

#1 The Big Show [--] (29-14-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

Big Show's grip on the top spot is slipping after a few well timed defeats, but his Kayfabe Countdown competition will be working with him, not against, assuming teams remain the same for the inter-brand gimmick Pay-Per-View, Bragging Rights. The Big Show is set to captain a team currently consisting of Countdown rival, Kofi Kingston; Rey Mysterio, Jack Swagger, Alberto del Rio, Edge, and Smackdown new face, Tyler Reks. They'll battle for bragging rights against a RAW team featuring The Miz as captain, Sheamus, R-Truth, John Morrison, Santino Marella, and CM Punk. The fourteen man tag match, (which Smackdown won last year), will feature October 24th, which is also when Show's new feature film, Knucklehead, opens in select theatres.

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (29-20-2) (WWE)
#3 [--] Rey Mysterio (25-11-3) (WWE)
#4 [--] Randy Orton (25-14-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#5 [--] R-Truth (24-17-4) (WWE)
#6 [+1] The Miz (24-24-4) (WWE) [Money in the Bank]
#7 [-1] Drew McIntyre (23-24-3) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]
#8 [+2] AJ Styles (22-11-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]
#9 [--] Kane (22-13-4) (WWE) [World Heavyweight Champion]
#10 [-2] Cody Rhodes (22-13-2) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-14-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (13-14-2) (TNA)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (10-8-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (10-9-0) (WWE)
#5 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (7-1-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#6 [--] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#7 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (7-3-0) (WWE)
#8 [--] Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (6-1-0) (TNA)
#9 [--] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (6-2-0) (WWE)
#10 [--] Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer (6-4-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#26 Jeff Hardy
(16-8-4) (TNA)
[World Heavyweight Champion]

Under a cloud of controversy, Jeff Hardy emerged from last weekend's Bound for Glory triple threat match wearing his first major championship in TNA, the World Heavyweight title! The victory came as Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan, Jeff Jarrett and Hardy revealed themselves to be the mysterious "They" who had been commanding the psyche of TNA's unstable monster, Abyss. A twist of fate which included retroactive confirmation that Hardy had endorsed a brutal attack on his former ally and contemporary, Rob Van Dam (#14), and welcomed interference that secured him his first TNA title reign!

Hardy made a name for himself as one of WWE's biggest babyfaces during the decline of the Attitude Era, earning the respect of fans with highflying daring in ladder matches and others of that sort. With brother Matt, he became one of the premiere tag team competitors in WWF, besting the Dudley Boyz and other top teams. Jeff eventually emerged as a singles competitor, and after a stint in TNA during the mid-2000s; Hardy returned to WWE where he received the main event push many felt he was long overdue. As a top championship holding babyface he became one of the biggest names in the industry, but chose to leave WWE in 2009 despite these incredible highs. Drug related charges soon followed, but it seems Jeff has overcome these obstacles, rising to the top of TNA as a free man, and new TNA Heavyweight Champion. The question remains: will his new heel persona take off with the fans, or have TNA squandered one of their biggest aquisitions? Time will tell.

Special Note: After a month of speculation, Matt Hardy (#62) has officially been released from his WWE contract. In controversial Twitter remarks he has alluded to his goals to join either TNA or Ring of Honor, but is yet to be attached to either company. He will presumably be bound by a ninety day no-compete clause, which will prevent him wrestling in the U.S. for that length of time.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wrestling: Kayfabe Countdown - 10/10

#1 The Big Show [--]
(29-13-2) (WWE)

After suffering a handicap defeat against the combined might of The Nexus during Smackdown's live return to SyFy; Big Show has now been announced as the leader of Team Smackdown going in to the inter-brand competitive Pay-Per-View, Bragging Rights.
The Nexus typically reside on RAW, but have operated as a rogue element, happy to decimate superstars from both brands at any given opportunity. How they will factor into the show, or the fourteen-man tag match Big Show will captain in, remains to be seen. Also remaining to be seen is the new WWE produced film, Knucklehead. Starring Big Show, it hits theatres in limited release on the 23rd and 24th, and can be ordered on Blu-Ray and DVD. Big Show stars alongside Denis Farina and others as a gentle giant who burns down his orphanage, in what looks to be a formulaic comedy that takes advantage of the growing MMA scene. Fair enough.

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (28-20-2) (WWE)
#3 [+1] Rey Mysterio (24-11-3) (WWE)
#4 [-1] Randy Orton (24-14-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#5 [--] R-Truth (23-17-4) (WWE)
#6 [+2] Drew McIntyre (23-23-3) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]
#7 [-1] The Miz (23-24-4) (WWE) [Money in the Bank]
#8 [+2] Cody Rhodes (22-12-2) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]
#9 [-2] Kane (22-13-4) (WWE) [World Heayweight Champion]
#10 [-1] AJ Styles (21-11-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-4-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (12-14-2) (TNA)
#3 [+1] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (10-8-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [-1] Layla & Michelle McCool (10-9-0) (WWE)
#5 [+1] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (7-1-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#6 [-1] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#7 [+2] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (7-3-0) (WWE)
#8 [-1] Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (6-1-0) (TNA)
#9 [-1] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (6-2-0) (WWE)
#10 [--] Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer (6-4-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#23 Kurt Angle
(16-7-3) (TNA)

Despite only debuting for WWF in 1999, Kurt Angle is one of the most storied and acclaimed superstars professional wrestling has ever seen. His Grecco-Roman grappling style complimented a pro wrestling adaptation without impediment, culminating in a rise of intensity throughout 2002 that made him, I believe, the prototype for the ultimate wrestler. Alongside the likes of Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit, he was at the forefront of a changing design in mainstream professional wrestling that has not been rivalled since. In 2006; Angle's departure from WWE and subsequent signing with TNA was a massive shock, and boosted TNA's in-ring credentials while WWE veered away from the match quality that had made Kurt Angle the highest paid asset in the business.

Kurt Angle is now following in the footsteps of various other wrestling contemporaries, hoping to emulate the success of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson by entering the world of film. He has just renewed his contract with TNA, but is expected to appear in a slate of six films in 2011, including Warrior, in which he plays an MMA champion. On that note, it was on this week's episode of the Right After Wrestling radio show that Angle revealed he took and passed the UFC entrance test. Despite having accomplished so much, it seems Kurt Angle still has plenty of ambition left, with the vague potential for an MMA transition in the future. He was unlucky in the Bound for Glory triple threat championship match, where Jeff Hardy broke the deadlock of their first two epic encounters by joining up with the sinister forces of upper management. Angle promised he'd retire if he lost the match, but under the circumstances, which included Ken Anderson being pinned, I'd think Kurt will fight on!

Special Note: This week's Countdown includes results from the TNA: Bound for Glory Pay-Per-View where Tara (#56) and Jeff Hardy (#24) captured the Knockouts and World Heavyweight Championship belts. WWE: NXT no longer contributes.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events. Dedicated to the memory of T. Haseloff (1991-2009): the best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Repost: Bound for Glory Predictions

It's the biggest show on the TNA calendar behind their annual Slammiversary, and 10/10/10 has been promising big things! The vacant World Heavyweight Championship will finally be decided, while former-champ RVD gets payback, and a lethal lockdown cage sorts the extreme from the fortunate!

Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match
Mr. Anderson vs Kurt Angle vs Jeff Hardy

I can't help but feel this match is in the middle of two better situations. With RVD on the card elsewhere, there's a big part of me that wishes this could've been evened out to a four-way to keep the title from being officially stripped. It's an ugly and unnecessary decision that will marr the records, an RVD loss would be superior. At the same time, on the flipside, I can't help but feel a one-on-one bout between Angle and Hardy was a much purer attraction, even if a potentially sticky affair given Kurt Angle's on-going claim that a loss will end his career.

I'm not an Anderson fan and I simply cannot entertain the notion of his winning the top gold. Angle already has the most reigns as champ in the post-NWA title era, with three officially recognised reigns, one of those a combined two-fer. He can't lose, but winning asks a lot, so I would expect one of the others to pin the other, avoiding Angle's early retirement whilst naming a new champ. It seemed, for a while, Jeff Hardy's legal issues would keep him out of that predicament, but with the situation resolving itself and the next PPV poster boasting a solo shot of the big draw, I'm gonna put my chips down on Hardy's title win. I'm just not convinced by Anderson's credentials, even if that makes him the least predictable outcome. Hardy could enter a rematch program with RVD, which would probably be fun. Although, on that same note, the attraction of Hardy/Angle due to their never having fought probably rolls on to Angle/RVD, too. Fingers crossed there's no wacky swerve to delay a champ being named.
Prediction: Jeff Hardy

Monster's Ball match
Rob Van Dam vs Abyss

As already mentioned, I think it's a real shame to have RVD fit to fight on this card, while his title goes on the line in another match. Aftermath from being brutalized by Abyss' nail encrusted 2X4 would presumably give him a weakened out, but an unconvincing defense is better than no defense at all! That aftermath will presumably play a role in a match that's got the weight of other storylines on it, namely Abyss' mounting feud with Dixie Carter and the mysterious influence of 'them.' RVD's only had one loss from his nineteen televised matches, but I would think the smartest option here is to convert his weakness to an easily justified loss. That's not necessarily what will happen, particularly with those hardcore stips (which are billed as an Abyss trademark, but hand the perfect out to beat a monster). Maybe RVD gets the assist from his ECW buddies?
Prediction: Abyss

Ten Man Lethal Lockdown match
Fourtune (AJ Styles, Kazarian, Matt Morgan, Robert Roode, James Storm) vs
EV 2.0 (Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Sabu, Stevie Richards)

It was easy to criticize the early Hogan/Bischoff decision to turn AJ Styles heel with a Nature Boy Jr gimmick. It seemed tired and part of a sweeping disregard for what TNA Had done under old management. The irony is that [Ric] Flair's team has grown to effectively represent the pure TNA Originals! With that fact in mind, I'm never quite sure who to cheer here. Quantity service for the big show. EV 2.0 haven't had a lot of luck in their clashes with TNA stalwarts, but then, isn't that spirit of the loser underdog what ECW was all about? I don't know where they intend to go with EV 2.0, and in the absence of a swerve, they might as well just aim to hurt someone.
Preiction: Team Fourtune

X-Division Championship match
Douglas Williams vs Jay Lethal (c)

Wacky antics during the month as Jay Lethal dropped the X-title for a couple of nights to Amazing Red via a hometown house show. Didn't do a lot of favours to the belt. Would be a real misstep to drop the belt off Lethal again so quickly. Douglas Williams was an awesome champ, but the best case scenario here is a high quality job, for the good of the strap.
Prediction: Jay Lethal

Tag Team Championship match
Generation Me vs Motor City Machine Guns (c)

Having the wholesome second-coming of the Hardy Boyz turn heel at such an early stage in their TNA rise really surprised me, but it clearly hasn't hurt their trajectory. The clean living Young Bucks (Max and Jeremy; GenMe) are more seasoned than they look, and with silky smooth tag team high flying, have all the chutzpah to make it work down the line when they've put some more yards in, I think. With the vacated belt up for grabs in the main event, I'd hate to see an arbitrary title change. Keep the Bucks in the hunt, but let Sabin and Shelley continue to wear the belts proudly.
Prediction: Motor City Machine Guns

Tag Team Handicap match
Sting, Kevin Nash & D'Angelo Dinero vs Jeff Jarrett & Samoa Joe

Despite a couple of false starts, Samoa Joe continues to loiter in the mid-card. The on-going feud between Jarrett and Nash/Sting runs the risk of getting real tired, but a recent interview spotlight of opposing views gave the Nash side of things a great short in the arm. To borrow the metaphor, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. I like the philosophy behind the battle, but it seems a shame to drag Joe and The Pope into the battle. BFG isn't quite Wrestlemania, so I'd be willing to give the bad guys better than even odds.
Prediction: Sting, Kevin Nash & The Pope

Four Corners Knockouts Championship match
Velvet Sky vs Madison Rayne vs Tara vs Angelina Love (c)

The Beautiful People have a stranglehold on the women's slot, it seems, as the likes of Sarita, and the Knockouts Tag champs (Taylor Wilde & Hamada), remain off the big card. A change would do them good, but this should at least be an acceptable showdown. Not sure where they're going.
Prediction: Angelina Love

Tag Team match
Eric Young & Orlando Jordan vs Ink Inc.

On paper, I'm not sure it should work, but Eric Young's wackiness and Jordan's... tackiness have a weird way of gelling. Internatioinal audiences will be a lot more familiar with what's going down here, which is something I appreciate. TNA critics and so-called experts should make an effort to be informed. Presumably there'll be a tag opening, particularly with London Brawling still missing in action (despite a Desmond Wolfe appearance on Xplosion). I'd like to see Neal/Moore get the shot, but you never know, and neither does Eric Young.
Prediction: Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal (Ink Inc)

The Kayfabe Countdown: TNA Top Ten
Cumulative tally based on the win/loss records of televised matches.

#1 AJ Styles [+1] (Television Champion)
#2 Rob Van Dam [-1]
#3 Kurt Angle [+1]
#4 Jeff Hardy [+1]
#5 Abyss [-2]
#6 Robert Roode [--]
#7 Ken Anderson [RE]
#8 Velvet Sky [-1]
#9 James Storm [-1]
#10 "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero [RE]

#1 Robert Roode & James Storm [--]
#2 Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin [--] (Tag Team Champions)
#3 Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne [--]
#4 Hernandez & Matt Morgan [--]
#5 Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal [--]

Originally posted:

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 10/3

#1 The Big Show [--]
(29-13-2) (WWE)

Big Show got the weekend off while fellow big-men, Undertaker and Kane, were featured at the Hell in a Cell PPV event. He was present for Smackdown's debut live broadcast on SyFy this week, however, where he suffered defeat at the hands of RAW's rookie quintet, The Nexus. One wonders if this might be pointing toward the October 24 Bragging Rights show, which will pit wrestlers from the two brands against each other. In the past few months, The Nexus has taken the opportunity to spoil various Smackdown events on PPV, including IC bouts involving Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. Ziggler was on the receiving end of a similar attack, along with MVP, on Smackdown. Might an alliance led by the Big Show be building? We shall see!...

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (28-19-2) (WWE)
#3 [+2] Randy Orton (24-14-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#4 [-1] Rey Mysterio (23-11-3) (WWE)
#5 [-1] R-Truth (23-16-4) (WWE)
#6 [--] The Miz (23-23-4) (WWE) [Money in the Bank]
#7 [+1] Kane (22-13-4) (WWE) [World Heavyweight Champion]
#8 [+1] Drew McIntyre (22-23-2) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]
#9 [+1] AJ Styles (21-9-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]
#10 [new] Cody Rhodes (21-12-2) (WWE) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-13-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (12-13-2) (TNA)
#3 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (10-8-0) (WWE)
#4 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (9-8-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#5 [--] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#6 [+3] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (6-1-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#7 [-1] Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne (6-1-0) (TNA)
#8 [-1] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (6-2-0) (WWE)
#9 [RE] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (6-3-0) (WWE)
#10 [-2] Curt Hawkins & Vance Archer (6-4-0) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#13 Christian
(20-20-1) (WWE)

2010 was shaping up to be a good year for Christian! He started it with gold as reigning ECW Champion, and enjoyed a string of successful defenses of the strap before ECW was dissolved in February, and the title was won by Ezekiel Jackson on the final show. He subsequently appeared on RAW by default, later traded to Smackdown, where he remained an active component in the Intercontinental Championship race as one of the bigger names on the depleted post-draft show. His success rate earlier in the year saw him remain at the top of the Kayfabe Countdown for several months, with a win/loss percentage that went unrivalled until the middle of the year, after a string of defeats in big game matches.

Most recently, he was set to begin a feud with hotshot recruit, Alberto del Rio (#110), better known as Mexican legacy luchador, Dos Caras Jr. So esteemed is Del Rio that he claimed Rey Mysterio as his first scalp, with Christian set to develop as his first feuding buddy. Alas; a torn pectoral muscle has put Christian on the sidelines and forced Mysterio back from the injury bench prematurely.

Christian has long been identified as one of the unsung heroes of the WWE brand, described in hyperbole as a talent with the wrong face for Vince McMahon's vision of TV wrestling. It was arguably his tenure in TNA that truly canonized his status, thanks to two reigns as then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion! Personally, I enjoyed the platform his character was given in a time when TNA had a better eye for the sports side of modern mainstream wrestling, aka; "sports entertainment".

Special Note: As of the September 28 episode of WWE NXT, the show will no longer air in the United States, reverting to an online only programme. For the time being, this will disqualify future NXT results from being included in the Kayfabe Countdown. This week's Countdown includes results from the WWE: Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records, based on televised matches from WWE and TNA 2010 broadcasts. At present, they includes TNA: Impact!, WWE: RAW, WWE: NXT, WWE: Superstars, WWE: Smackdown, and monthly Pay-Per-View events. Shout out to Kron!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Repost: Hell in a Cell Predictions

Dedication to concept events introduced a year ago is leading WWE down a mediocre path, compounded by a short two week gap between now and the last PPV event. The demands of the Hell in a Cell matches look to only afford a short five-match card, with very little room for the majesty the variant cage match once held.

Hell in a Cell World Heavyweight Championship match
The Undertaker vs Kane (c)

This unsurprising rematch comes loaded with the Smackdown return of Paul Bearer, and the restoration of The Undertaker's legendary mystic powers. Some critics have scoffed the heavy fiction of the feud, but personally, I am refreshed by this return to characters and big gimmicks. That said, in revisiting tapes of their legendary encounters through '97 and '98, I'm reminded how much more compelling this was the first time around, when the entire promotion supported big, fictionalized characters engaged in larger storylines than today's equivalents.

A legitimate one-on-one encounter in the Hell in a Cell is the one match we never really saw Kane and Undertaker go at it in. In that respect, it has something fresh going for it. How they will make use of the structure, which was made famous early with dangerous bumps performed by Shawn Michaels and Mick "Mankind" Foley, is a bit of a mystery to me, though. Undertaker's resilience as a performer never ceases to amaze, but it's difficult to imagine either seven footer going for the high spots their dimensional, younger counterparts did. HIAC matches have proven there are plenty of methods to go about this business, such as the legendary 2002 No Mercy encounter between the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. If WWE can lighten their stance on blood, that might be the brand of match that sells the significance and threatening nature of this special event. Bonus points if they can scar up Kane, who's lacked the awe of his earlier masked incarnations for a long time now.

Theories abound say this won't be the last stop for the reunion feud. Rumors of an upcoming Buried Alive match set the stage for significant escalation, while the prospect of a Kane streak leading to Wrestlemania puts a twist on always anticipated preparations for Undertaker's legendary undefeated run at the big show. If it means the return of the classic 'Taker gimmicks, I say the more the merrier!
Prediction: Undertaker

Hell in a Cell WWE Championship match
Sheamus vs Randy Orton (c)

As of last year, Undertaker actually had one less victory and two more defeats in the Cell than Triple H. The numbers might not back it up, but I still think of the match as an Undertaker trademark, due in no small part to the depth of his feuds that led to these matches. The HIAC gimmick has appeared at least once a year since it's 1997 introduction, but until last year, it hadn't been a pre-announced fixture of any show. By staging multiple Cell matches in a single night, with the primary motivation being a calendar set agreement, I feel it strips the match of it's majesty and integrity. Case in point, the barren lead-up to Sheamus' rematch against Randy Orton. Orton picked up the belt last month in a six-pack elimination and I wouldn't expect them to go back on it that quickly. The only way the bout will redeem itself is if the younger, more able athletes are able to do something in the Cell we haven't seen in a while.
Prediction: Randy Orton

Nexus Membership or Disbanding match
John Cena vs Wade Barrett

If Cena wins, Nexus must disband. If Barrett wins, the posterboy of the PG-era must be their slave.
It's not a bad build-up for a mid-card bout, but with Barrett still wrestling a little underdone, and the adventures of Cena always a little bland, this isn't exciting me. Ironically, with the menace of the four other members of The Nexus, you would think this match at least had a bigger reason to be caged off by a Cell, but it's not to be. I can only hope that's to keep the deck stacked against Cena, who will no doubt spend the next month looking for an out if he is absorbed into the rookie group.
Prediction: Wade Barrett

Triple Threat Submission Falls Count Anywhere US Championship match
The Miz vs John Morrison vs Daniel Bryan (c)

Convoluted doesn't begin to explain this awkward match! While it's nice to see him get a guernsey, the most unnecessary aspect of the match might be Morrison, whose heat with former-partner The Miz is a distant memory. I'd rather see an honest one-on-one between the competent mat work of the US champ and his feuding buddy and former-champ, Miz. Adding the "anywhere" stipulation has the bonus of guaranteeing a finish with nowhere to run, but given that a submission match is usually no DQ, it makes me long for the days when they had a little garbage hardcore on the card. The rules and double-face of Morrison/Bryan seems to suggest a heel win, but it would be a mistake to take the belt from Bryan a month after his win.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan

WWE Unified Divas Championship match
Natalya Neidhart vs Michelle McCool (c)

I didn't catch how the belt transferred from Layla to McCool. It's neat to see Neidhart finally breaking away from valet/tag duty with the Hart Dynasty, who've been unfortunately sacrificed for the sake of an unimpressive makeshift pairing (McIntyre/Rhodes). I don't know how graceful the bout will be, but at least it's something new. Hopefully at least one other match surprises on the show.
Prediction: Michelle McCool

The Kayfabe Countdown: WWE Top Ten
Cumulative tally based on the win/loss records of televised matches.

#1 The Big Show [--]
#2 Kofi Kingston [--]
#3 Rey Mysterio [--]
#4 Randy Orton (WWE Champion) [+2]
#5 R-Truth [-1]
#6 The Miz [-1]
#7 Drew McIntyre (Tag Team Champion) [new]
#8 Cody Rhodes (Tag Team Champion) [new]
#9 Kane (World Heavyweight Champion) [--]
#10 Michelle McCool (Divas Champion) [-3]

#1 Tyson Kidd & DH Smith [--]
#2 Layla & Michelle McCool [--]
#3 Big Show & The Miz [--]
#4 Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (Tag Team Champions) [new]
#5 Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov [-1]

Originally posted: