Monday, December 27, 2010

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 12/26

#1 Kofi Kingston [--] (42-23-2)
(WWE: Smackdown)

Big Show is finishing the year with a light load, giving Kofi Kingston clearance to finish 2010 as the number one wrestler in WWE and TNA. With only a single, brief Intercontinental title reign to his name this year, it's somewhat surprising that [Kofi] has maintained such a steady flow of success. I struggle to see him in an active main event picture in the near future, both in small part due to his style and stature, and also the abbreviated near-miss of his feud with Randy Orton. After a string of tag team matches that involved Big Show in Smackdown teams, and as a pairing, I could see how they might find some Tag Team Championship success in the new year.

As with last week, I'm compelled to mention a Money in the Bank action figure commercial I saw during morning cartoons, which seems to suggest there's some consideration for Kofi Kingston within the PG market. Perhaps in 2011 he will return to RAW, where that demographic is served, regardless of viewership. As much as I think he has a home on Smackdown, I'm just not sure I see a great benefit for the blue brand, or Kofi himself. Especially not after so many shots at the IC belt were missed out on. You never know, though.

#2 [--] The Big Show (40-15-2) (WWE)
#3 [--] Randy Orton (34-19-6) (WWE)
#4 [--] Rey Mysterio (32-16-5) (WWE)
#5 [+2] Drew McIntyre (31-31-4) (WWE)
#6 [-1] Cody Rhodes (30-20-2) (WWE)
#7 [-1] The Miz (30-31-5) (WWE) [WWE Champion]
#8 [+2] John Cena (28-22-6) (WWE)
#9 [-1] AJ Styles (27-12-7) (TNA)
#10 [-1] Dolph Ziggler (27-30-3) (WWE) [Intercontinental Champion]

#1 [--] Robert Roode & James Storm (16-17-3) (TNA)
#2 [--] Tyson Kidd & DH Smith (16-18-0) (WWE)
#3 [--] Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin (15-10-2) (TNA) [Tag Team Champions]
#4 [--] Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov (13-3-0) (WWE) [Tag Team Champions]
#5 [--] Layla & Michelle McCool (12-16-0) (WWE)
#6 [--] Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes (9-5-0) (WWE)
#7 [--] Shannon Moore & Jesse Neal (9-7-0) (TNA)
#8 [--] Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater (8-4-0) (WWE)
#9 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (8-4-0) (WWE)
#10 [--] Big Show & The Miz (7-4-1) (WWE)

Superstar Spotlight:
#45 Douglas Williams
(15-16-2) (TNA)

The current reigning TNA Television Champion will put AJ Styles (#9) to the test on January 9th when they meet at TNA: Genesis. The match will determine Styles' future with the Fortune and Immortal stables, resulting in his ejection should he fail to bring the belt back to Ric Flair's golden team. The pair fought to a 1-1 draw in an Iron Match on the most recent edition of Impact!, one of several matches that Williams has been a part of in a strong December for the TNA brand.

The former British Invasion figurehead has done his dash with the X-Division and TV belts in 2010, earning the respect and adoration of peers and commentators throughout the industry. Some might regard his current feud with TNA posterboy, AJ Styles, as part of an on-going step-down for the former World Heavyweight champion, but I'm much more inclined to think of it as an interesting step up for Douglas Williams. In the youth oriented, polished market of WWE, it would be difficult to envision a World Champion Douglas Williams, but with TNA's roots still showing hints of their previous catch as catch can credentials, 2011 might yet hold new heights for a wrestler with an interesting character presence, and unique in-ring style.

The greatest doubt cast over Williams' most immediate prospects are the belt he currently holds, and the potential clash of styles with current World champion, Jeff Hardy (#22), who might not compliment the Brit as much as other wrestlers. Then again, with Hardy's penchant for highflying daring, Williams would still be in his kayfabe element, challenging with healthy disdain for the acrobatic antics of TNA's trademark X-Division bent. Given the champs' recent troubles, however, it seems reasonable to expect a change in the ranks at some point, and if December is any indication of TNA's intent to cross the line into 2011, perhaps the once glorious tone of sports oriented competition will return, and the top ranks will be populated with original and interesting names and styles.

Special Note: 2010's wrestling calendar will end cleanly on December 31st, with the final episode of WWE Smackdown for the year. This will presumably include a full week's worth of WWE RAW, WWE Superstars, and TNA Impact!, before the final Kayfabe Countdown.

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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