Sunday, June 30, 2013

Songbook: Journey Agent



PNAU - Journey Agent (1999) [Original Post (Day 3)]

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 06/30

#1 Randy Orton [--] (36-15-3)
Randy Orton may be firmly on top of The Kayfabe Countdown, but it's Bryan Danielson who's building electricity like a goat rubbed across carpet! The dissolving of Team Hell No and the need for Danielson to prove himself as more than a tag team weak link has propelled him back into the solo spotlight in ways I couldn't have imagined. Sure, I still pine for the notion of a solid mid-card feud with Kane, but WWE runs on 2 or 3 match cards. Thems the breaks. One of those matches might as well feature Danielson in an elevated spot. I mean, who needs to bother with boring stuff like development and building? Pffsh.

#2 [--] Sheamus (34-11-1)
#3 [--] Alberto Del Rio (31-8-2) [World Champion]
#4 [+1] Bryan Danielson (25-21-1)
#5 [-1] Kane (24-19-0)
#6 [+3] Ryback (20-9-1)
#7 [-1] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#8 [-1] The Miz (18-7-1)
#9 [-1] Jack Swagger (18-8-2)
#10 [--] Roman Reigns (17-4-1) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (16-4-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [--] Kane & Bryan Danielson (14-9-0)
#3 [--] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (12-3-0)
#4 [--] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (12-3-0)
#5 [--] Sheamus & Randy Orton (11-3-0)
#6 [+1] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (10-5-0)
#7 [-1] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (8-6-1)
#8 [--] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (5-9-1)
#9 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (4-3-0)
#10 [--] Naomi & Cameron (4-3-0)

Superstar Spotlight:
#35 Christian (5-0-0)
I've been of two minds about Christian for quite some time now. On the one hand, I couldn't quite understand why he wasn't being made use of given wide reports of his recovery from injury. On the other hand, when it finally happened, I couldn't help but feel it was the intrusion of old baggage on a period of development.

With the Money in the Bank PPV on the immediate horizon, I have to believe Christian has been brought back for the expressed purpose of falling off a ladder. It's fair enough, in concept, but diminished with the already announced return of Rob Van Dam (revealed at Payback). Two nostalgia bombs vying for a spot they struggled to secure even at their absolute peak? I'm just not sure.

Against all odds; Christian has just claimed wins over Dean Ambrose (Main Event; 6/26) and The Shield trio (Smackdown; 6/28). Maybe that speaks to the waning lustre of the three-man Shield, or maybe there's really something to this Christian return after all. He's running on a perfect record of 5-0. He's still a gaunt, pale and skinny shadow of his former self [pictured right in 2008]. I've got to believe there aren't too many more returns for Christian in the future. Could this be the last great hurrah? Could The Blue Spot be ready to take one last crown? I'm not convinced, but I'll be watching with interest.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Songbook: Pursuit



Gesaffelstein - Pursuit (2013) [Original Post (Day 2)]

Friday, June 28, 2013

Songbook: Ease Your Mind



Ceres - Ease Your Mind (Original Mix) (1999) [Original Post (Day 1)]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 06/23

#1 Randy Orton [--] (35-14-2)
He may have established a great tag team record in 2013, but I've said all along, nothing about those matches made Randy Orton out to be a tag team competitor. Having finally had a Tag title shot alongside Bryan Danielson, it looks as if The Viper is ready to strike out definitively as his own man! The pair exchanged wins on RAW (Orton; 6/17) and Smackdown (Danielson; 6/21). It's not quite the post-Team Hell No feud I was expecting, but I'm glad it's here, just the same. Danielson (and Kane) were noted absences from solo competition at various points throughout their Tag Team title reign. With Danielson free to compete again, I say thee, Yay!

#2 [--] Sheamus (32-11-1)
#3 [--] Alberto Del Rio (31-7-2) [World Champion]
#4 [--] Kane (24-18-0)
#5 [--] Bryan Danielson (24-21-0)
#6 [--] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#7 [--] The Miz (18-7-1)
#8 [--] Jack Swagger (18-8-2)
#9 [--] Ryback (18-9-2)
#10 [--] Roman Reigns (17-3-1) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (16-3-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [--] Kane & Bryan Danielson (14-9-0)
#3 [--] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (12-2-0)
#4 [--] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (12-2-0)
#5 [--] Sheamus & Randy Orton (11-3-0)
#6 [--] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (8-4-1)
#7 [--] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (8-5-0)
#8 [+2] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (5-8-1)
#9 [-1] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (4-3-0)
#10 [-1] Naomi & Cameron (4-3-0)

Superstar Spotlight:
#6 Mark Henry (18-6-0)
The thought that Mark Henry might actually be calling it quits had me more than a little bummed. It's no secret he's had his fair share of injuries -- as you'd expect of a man that size. I didn't want to believe it. I didn't have to.

With a snappy pink suit and the verbal agility of a rare kind of monster - The World's Strongest Man made puppets of us all. He toyed with our emotions and then he slammed us on the mat. And it was glorious.

Mark Henry's had a long career and paid plenty of dues along that path. He was a surprise power house earlier in the year, a surprise winner at Wrestlemania [04/07/2013], and an even bigger surprise absentee in the WWE Championship picture over the past few months. I couldn't be more pleased to think he's going to get the shot after all. Not only that -- but he goes into the match having bodyslammed the champ! Ahahaha! How can you not laugh insanely at that?!

Much as I'd like to believe Mark Henry has a WWE Championship reign in him before he leaves -- something he described as needing to be earned. I believe he has earned that right. The only thing stopping him now is timing.

John Cena took part in a rare thing in April, concluding a Three Act epic defined by his three Wrestlemania encounters with The Rock. The story that took place was ultimately one of redemption as Cena was beaten by the best and forced to rise again. I don't like John Cena. I am of the belief he was fast tracked there under false pretences. I believe much of what's followed has left him with feet of clay as he cashed in on credibility he never fully earned. I do believe everything about the Mania story and its conclusion was right, though. And I don't think you undermine that with a brief title reign. It's a great story -- the constantly denied veteran [Henry] against the illegitimate golden child. It just isn't the right time. [Not that I couldn't be persuaded... *cackle*]

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 06/16

#1 Randy Orton [--] (34-13-2)
So, you're telling me after fourteen tag matches with The Celtic Warrior: Randy Orton finally gets a Tag Team Championship match -- and it's with Bryan Danielson?! Oh, alright. Truth be told, this is the kind of circumstantial PPV match I get a kick out of. At least until I have to piece it all together in a few years from now. In any event; the real take away from this one is the long awaited split of Team Hell No and the fresh air that lets in!

Not a lot of changes to the top ranks after a jam packed week of competition. The Miz makes a detestable move up the list, while Alberto Del Rio turns heel whilst reclaiming the World Heavyweight Championship at Payback!

#2 [--] Sheamus (31-10-1)
#3 [--] Alberto Del Rio (30-6-2) [World Champion]
#4 [--] Kane (23-18-0)
#5 [--] Bryan Danielson (23-20-0)
#6 [--] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#7 [+2] The Miz (18-7-1)
#8 [-1] Jack Swagger (18-8-2)
#9 [-1] Ryback (18-9-2)
#10 [--] Roman Reigns (16-3-1) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (15-3-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [--] Kane & Bryan Danielson (14-9-0)
#3 [--] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (11-2-0)
#4 [--] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (11-2-0)
#5 [--] Sheamus & Randy Orton (11-3-0)
#6 [--] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (8-4-1)
#7 [--] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (8-4-0)
#8 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (4-3-0)
#9 [--] Naomi & Cameron (4-3-0)
#10 [--] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (4-8-1) 

Superstar Spotlight:
Payback (Pay-Per-View)
Will he or won't he? The answer is: Yes! CM Punk did indeed make his return as scheduled by manager Paul Heyman! It seemed all together too soon to expect the Straight-Edge Superstar back from hiatus -- let alone for another match with Chris Jericho -- but it all went according to plan. Two-fold if you're a believer in Curtis Axel: schmuck faced third generation star who claimed the Intercontinental Championship from Wade Barrett. I'm not going to try to understand it -- that's tempting the abyss. I'll just say: I wish "Bare Knuckle" Barrett would bloody well learn to throw a punch. If you're going to lose (so often), you might as well try to lose with style.

Positioned in a manner that makes losing with style an impossibility: Ryback! The once hot new contender continues to fizzle with diminishing returns, out of his depth in a three stages of time wasting match, which probably should've just stuck with being the originally scheduled Ambulance Match. The top of the ambulance was used as a weapon, which is worth a mention. Otherwise, it's diminishing turns all around from Ryback. John Cena is right where he should be, enjoying a post-Wrestlemania run with the belt. He should be stacking up monsters and knocking them down, one after the other. It's just such a damn shame Ryback had to be one of them. We've talked ad nauseum about the Goldberg plan that was the key to his original success [05/19/2013]. We've talked about where it all went wrong. We can but watch in horror as WWE do what they've become so good at: Creating new wasted opportunities.

Shame about Sheamus and Damien Sandow being bumped to the pre-show. These guys have been doing great work on Smackdown and deserved the PPV platform. I really think they could've squeezed one more match onto the seven match card - even with the three stages of hell. Still, at least they were given ample time in the Kick-Off slot.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 06/09

#1 Randy Orton [--] (33-12-1)
The Viper's reign as a prolific tag team competitor [who isn't actually a tag team competitor] continued this week! With what seems to be the long awaited split of Team Hell No -- Randy Orton opted in as a substitute partner for Bryan Danielson (Smackdown; 6/7), resulting in a successful non-title defeat of Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (The Shield)! This left Sheamus to pursue other projects -- such as beating Damien Sandow's feats of intellectual pursuit! I'm not going to lie -- I've used lesser moves than a brogue kick to win board games. Woooo!

#2 [--] Sheamus (30-10-1)
#3 [--] Alberto Del Rio (28-6-2)
#4 [--] Kane (21-17-0)
#5 [--] Bryan Danielson (21-19-0)
#6 [+1] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#7 [+1] Jack Swagger (18-8-2)
#8 [-2] Ryback (18-8-1)
#9 [--] The Miz (16-7-1)
#10 [new] Roman Reigns (15-2-0) [Tag Team Champion]

#1 [--] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (14-2-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [--] Kane & Bryan Danielson (13-9-0)
#3 [+1] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (11-1-0)
#4 [+1] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (11-1-0)
#5 [-2] Sheamus & Randy Orton (11-3-0)
#6 [--] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (8-3-1)
#7 [--] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (7-4-0)
#8 [--] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (4-3-0)
#9 [new] Naomi & Cameron (4-3-0)
#10 [-1] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (4-8-1) 

Superstar Spotlight:
#22 Titus O'Neil & Darren Young (2-10-0)
Not to be confused with Cryme Time - The Prime Time Players are yet another tag team in much need of some serious love. They might not be the million dollar pair they claim to be, but their presence has been a steady reminder that there are options for WWE, should they decide to take tag team wrestling seriously again.

Overtures toward a reinvigoration date back to last year -- a tag team contender tournament a notable moment when things appeared to be heading in the right direction. Alas; team after team gets relegated to the scrap heap, Wednesday Main Event, or nothing at all, while one or two tow the line (between singles matches). Kane & Bryan Danielson (Team Hell No) were fun, worthwhile Tag Team Champions, but rather than enhance the flagging division, their reign became a spectacle that distracted from the rebuilding of a once proud tradition.

I don't know how far I truly believe The Prime Time Players (Titus O'Neil & Darren Young) should go -- but before a few untimely hiccups, it seemed as if the titles might be a reality. I'd like to think a title shot definitely is, but satellite contention is a must! An occasional win - also important!

Like last week's spotlight, Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (Team Rhodes Scholars) [06/02/2013]; O'Neil and Young have individually been saddled with a phenomenal number of defeats! Dwelling with the likes of Heath Slater and Zack Ryder, O'Neil has a 2013 record of 2-17-0. Young fairs slightly better having only 14 losses to his name. Win/loss records don't matter in wrestling -- but winning and losing does! It's high time these guys got a few W's on the board.

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Wrestling: The Kayfabe Countdown - 06/02

#1 Randy Orton [--] (32-11-1)
WWE's Apex Predator continues to rule the Kayfabe Countdown, doing so in tandem with The Celtic Warrior as his partner! The team that wasn't a team spurs Sheamus back to #2 spot, this week, as Randy Orton reigns by a four win lead! Will they be the duo to challenge for the Tag Team Championships next? I cannot believe it -- and yet, their combination persists time and again!

#2 [+1] Sheamus (28-10-1)
#3 [-1] Alberto Del Rio (27-6-1)
#4 [--] Kane (20-16-0)
#5 [--] Bryan Danielson (19-18-0)
#6 [+2] Ryback (18-6-1)
#7 [-1] Mark Henry (18-6-0)
#8 [-1] Jack Swagger (18-8-2)
#9 [--] The Miz (15-7-1)
#10 [--] Big Show (15-15-1)

#1 [+1] Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins (13-1-0) [Tag Team Champions]
#2 [-1] Kane & Bryan Danielson (13-8-0)
#3 [+2] Sheamus & Randy Orton (11-3-0)
#4 [-1] Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns (10-1-0)
#5 [-1] Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins (10-1-0)
#6 [--] Brodus Clay & Sweet Tea Tensai (8-3-1)
#7 [--] Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (5-4-0)
#8 [RE] Brie Bella & Nikki Bella (4-2-0)
#9 [-1] Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow (4-7-1)
#10 [-1] Sheamus & Big Show (3-1-0) 

Superstar Spotlight:
#24 Cody Rhodes (8-23-1)
#34 Damien Sandow (5-22-1)
With only WWE featured in this year's Kayfabe Countdown, there are certain inevitable patterns that set in, week to week. When you make a point of tracking the TV stats, you're given clear access to the hierarchy of superstars, up-and-comers and jobbers. Over the past few months, I've been sad to note that Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow are firmly entrenched in the latter.

You wouldn't necessarily think of them as jobbers. Maybe it's not even fair to equate them to that. They've played the role of "enhancement talent", to be sure, but their fleshed out characters and staying power makes them more than any mere Brooklyn Brawler. Staying power that even defied a brief break-up -- a decision that was utterly stupid, if you'd really like to know.

As someone who loathes the demeaning of Championships through short reigns, it can seem contradictory that I wish Team Rhodes Scholars could've gone all the way for the tag belts. I don't object to The Shield's need for tag team gold -- which leaves only a couple of months free, if you bridge the gap between the time Kane & Bryan Danielson probably should've called it quits, and Extreme Rules. In truth, I can be quite forgiving of short reigns when there's a good enough reason. While it might have made headaches for a face/heel preferential -- at least this truly worthy team would've had their time in the sun. Heck, maybe you even dare to consider delaying The Shield's rise via the titles. I don't know.

Damien Sandow makes me laugh out loud just about every time I see him. He's the kind of heel you can delight at. Pompous and arrogant to such an absurd degree, it's hysterical. The Elbow of Disdain rubs not only my unjustified love of a straight, conventional elbow drop as a signature move, but also the gleeful absurdity of Sandow's heel pomposity. That stands in contrast to Cody Rhodes -- a guy I've never had much belief in. A skinny quirt with no calves, a schmuck face and limited in-ring talent. Yet! Even he is elevated when, having grown a moustache, he finds a dastardly partner with a mutual distaste for the masses. You don't mess with a combination like that!

I'm enjoying their run-ins with Randy Orton & Sheamus. I'm enjoying their second chance at a Tag Team career. I just wish they could pick up a few more wins along the way, solo, or duo. Rhodes has had a few. How about Sandow? You're welcome!

The Kayfabe Countdown is based on the cumulative tally of wrestler win/loss records. Tallied results only include matches broadcast during WWE 2013 programming. At present, this includes RAW (Mondays), Main Event (Wednesdays), Smackdown (Friday), and monthly Pay-Per-View events.