Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 11/21

#1 The Big Show [--] (39-14-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

It's been a mixed bag for The Big Show in 2010.
He entered the year as one of the vital forces reinvigorating WWE's Tag Team titles, and has finished the year as one of the headlining faces promoting Smackdown since it's move to SyFy, including a captaining role in many team matches. His workload has seen him have up to three matches a week between RAW, Smackdown, and Pay-Per-Views -- significant for a man of his size and condition. Yet, despite this sustained significance, accolades have been few.

His Team Smackdown affiliations have kept him in close contact with Kayfabe Countdown rival, Kofi Kingston, and a return to the tag team division is always a possibility. There's also the fact that Big Show recently enjoyed a win over the World Heavyweight Champion, who very narrowly escaped defeat at Survivor Series when Edge was controversially counted for having his shoulders down after a spear-born pin cover. Edge might remain in the mix, but I do wonder if the year won't end with Big Show finally re-entering competition for the top championship, even if he doesn't best "the devil's favourite demon", Kane, in the end.

#2 [--] Kofi Kingston (37-22-2) (WWE)
#3 [--] Rey Mysterio (30-12-4) (WWE)
#4 [--] Randy Orton (29-17-6) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#5 [--] AJ Styles (27-11-5) (TNA) [Television Champion]
#6 [--] Drew McIntyre (27-30-3) (WWE)
#7 [--] Cody Rhodes (26-18-2) (WWE)
#8 [--] R-Truth (25-21-4) (WWE)
#9 [RE] Dolph Ziggler (25-25-3) (WWE) [Intercontinental Champion]
#10 [new] Montel Vontavious Porter (25-27-1) (WWE)

#1 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-18-0) (WWE)
#2 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (15-15-2) (TNA)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (12-9-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (12-14-0) (WWE)
#5 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (9-5-0) (WWE)
#6 [+4] Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (8-1-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#7 [--] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (8-3-0) (WWE)
#8 [-2] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (8-4-0) (WWE)
#9 [-1] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)
#10 [-1] Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal (7-6-0) (TNA)

Superstar Spotlight:
#NR Billy Gunn
(0-0-0) (Independent)

Between the recent "old school" RAW, WWE's overdue resurrection of the King of the Ring tournament, and it's flagging Tag Team competition, it's hard not to think back to better days like those of the late nineties. During the boom period of their Attitude Era, WWF created a roster that, peaking in 1999, had successful and popular characters from the top of the roster, to the bottom. One of their major properties was that of the New Age Outlaws; members of Degeneration X both; Road Dogg Jesse James, and Bad Ass Billy Gunn ("Mr. Ass" in formal situations, of course).

It was as one-half of the tandem that Billy Gunn really made waves, but by 1999, each had enjoyed successful stints as singles competitors, with Intercontinental and Hardcore championship reigns to each of their respective names. 1999 also reflected the hopes to groom Billy Gunn for bigger things, with these plans signified by his victory in the 1999 King of the Ring tournament. When the dissolving of DX came and went, Billy Gunn's chance to shine soon followed, but it wasn't to be. Despite capturing another of the covetted grooming tools of major stars, the Intercontinental Championship, Billy Gunn's star failed to rise, and after meandering through various return spots, he was let go from WWE. Gunn has enjoyed mixed success since, spending significant years in TNA without garnering greater gold.

I wouldn't characterize Billy Gunn as one of the great talents of wrestling history, but it strikes me as a shame that he never reached the heights that seemed laid out for him. In interviews after leaving the company, Gunn was critical of Triple H's involvement in his release, a fact made all the more bitter by the way their relationship produced Gunn's highs as a member of DX. Gunn remains a fixture of the independent scene where he has once again reformed the Outlaws team with Road Dogg. Here's hoping they can recapture some of the success they once had.

Special Note: Countdown includes results from the WWE: Survivor Series PPV.

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.

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