September 10, 2013

Daniel Bryan, and the new Corporation

Hi folks!

Wow, it's been a long time between drinks. But, I, David J James (The Aussie Mouthpiece), am back once again! Hopefully for good this time! I'm talking to some other wrestling websites, and I will potentially be writing for one, or more very soon, but for now I figured why not put this article up here, on my own blog? Sounds good right?

I should point out, I wrote this a week ago (with the exception of the *edit* paragraph), and already, even only one episode of Raw later, things have progressed again. But, enough of that, enjoy the article!

Since Summerslam, things have changed in the WWE. Randy Orton has finally turned heel after what seems like far too long, and in what most people I'm sure would call a bit of a swerve, Triple H and Stephanie also aligned themselves with Vince McMahon, turning heel as well. I'm sure most people, including myself, thought that Vince was going to be the heel and Triple H would be the guy trying to keep Vince from running rampant over the company once more. 

Now I understand that because this is quite a big change, the WWE really have to show Triple H and Stephanie as being absolutely in control and make us believe that things are different and that they run everything, but for the last 3 episodes of Raw, the final image has essentially been the same. Daniel Bryan, beaten, lying in the ring, with Randy Orton posing with the WWE title, and Triple H (and sometimes Stephanie) smiling with a group of wrestlers watching on from the stage. A little repetitive, don't you think?

Isn't the best part of any storyline the back and forth? Sometimes the bad guy gets the upper hand, but sometimes, isn't the good guy supposed to have a little bit of a win? Even if it's just that he escapes from the clutches of said bad guy? If it's all totally one sided, it becomes predictable and boring. When Austin was champion, McMahon still got the best of him from time to time. You have to keep it fresh, otherwise the audience will get bored, and eventually, if you keep beating down Daniel Bryan, it's going to seem like he really can't win. 

Spoilers follow if you haven't seen this week's Raw (2nd of September 2013)

As it stands right now, they haven't crossed that line intro repetitive-ness just yet. I don't mind that things have ended essentially the same way, because there have been slight differences. Like this week's episode, with the addition of The Big Show's presence, and his struggle with choosing whether to do the right thing for his family versus what he knows is right. It does bother me that they're kind of rehashing a storyline that JBL and HBK had in 2009, where Shawn was broke and having to do things he didn't want to do just to feed his family, and that I think only about a year ago they had Show crying when his job was on the line, but still, it's an interesting addition to the story.

As I was watching the final moments of this week's Raw however, a thought occured to me. Earlier in the show, Dolph Ziggler was basically destroyed by Ryback after Dean Ambrose had attacked him, and Cody Rhodes was fired after losing a match to Randy Orton. I'm sure that moments like this will probably happen more in the coming weeks, however of course in Cody's case, if he's getting married, it's a great way to write him off of TV for a little while. 

But what if a couple more guys get fired, or, if not fired, targeted by this new corporation that seems to be emerging? Maybe this happens over the course of a couple of months, as we near Survivor Series. Who knows, maybe the CM Punk/Heyman storyline gets entangled in the Corporate storyline? There was a little tease of that this week with Triple H speaking to Heyman. Regardless of that, so far, we have Daniel Bryan, The Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes. 

That sounds like a pretty good faction to me. ESPECIALLY if you added in CM Punk at some point. 

An anti Corporation faction. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk as the leader(/s) and the guys going after the title and Triple H, The Big Show as the enforcer and the veteran, and, along with Dolph and Cody as well, maybe as a tag team, the guys who go after The Shield. 

Now maybe this is just because lately I've been watching WCW Monday Nitro from 1996, but imagine if they write Ziggler off of TV for a few weeks, and then he and Cody just start showing up, totally unannounced and they hit the ring, beat up someone (not necessarily The Shield) and then run out through the crowd. Or just turn up, somehow get a microphone (or a bullhorn, like CM Punk did the first week after he was suspended) and give a Scott Hall-esque promo, like the first night he showed up on Nitro. "You want a war? You got one!" Or even just have Cody show up. Why not just re do the beginnings of the NWO angle? People see highlights but, being that it happened now 17 years ago, a lot of people will have forgotten every single thing that happened. And I don't mean right up to when Hogan was shown to be the third guy, of course that wouldn't work in this situation... I just mean in the sense that you show these guys as total outsiders, they're not part of the WWE anymore. 

They could even bring Dusty Rhodes out one night.. eventually he could become a manager type figure for the group even.

But this could continue, maybe CM Punk could be the big reveal a-la Hogan NWO, except of course that this group is definitely not a heel stable. It just feels like what they are trying to do with the story at the moment is basically overwhelm us with how much power Triple H has, and really make it seem impossible that no one man can overcome it. It feels like there needs to be a group.

Here's a far out idea.... Steve Austin. Austin is most identified with the Attitude era, and his main rivalry in that time was with Vince McMahon, standing up to a tyrannical boss, fighting seemingly insurmountable odds at times, yet always finding a way. What if Austin came back as a spokesperson for this new group? It could even lead into the much talked about "one more match" people have been begging to see from him. 
Now don't get me wrong, I don't think the whole group should comprise of guys who have been fired.. it wouldn't work well. You have to keep some believability, and I don't think anyone in this day and age of wrestling would believe 4 guys could sneak into a wrestling event to the point that they could get in the ring without security catching them. But I can definitely believe a couple of guys who have been fired, being let in and snuck into the back, by someone else who still has a job... couldn't you?

So this would go on, just with Cody initially, but then after a few weeks, you bring in Dolph. Dolph and Cody grab a cameraman backstage and promo, saying that they're bringing the fight back to Triple H, they're not going to stand for it, they won't go down without a fight etc, and that their friends are with them and that soon, everyone will know who's on what side. Maybe the next week on Raw, Triple H tightens security so much that there's no way for them to get in, or so it seems, and the final moments of the show are a camera rushing around in the back, only to be led to one or more members of the shield knocked out, leaving questions as to who could've done it, if Cody and Dolph aren't in the building. 
Remember at this point, there would have been no mention of Daniel Bryan being associated with them, or the Big Show. Big Show I think will become the sort of unwilling muscle for Triple H, doing his bidding so that his family doesn't suffer, and Daniel Bryan will be trying to get the WWE Title. And, IF CM Punk is to be involved, there would be no mention of his association either. Cody and Dolph would appear to be acting on their own. I would even go so far as to say they could have Dolph use his real name. I mean, if he's fired from the WWE, why would he still continue to use his WWE name? If it's going to be believeable, especially today with everything that's happened, it has to be, and feel real. Dolph coming out and saying "WWE called me Dolph, but you can just call me Nick" Or something much better than that, would feel real. Saying that he's glad to be rid of the shackles of being stuck with a name like Dolph Ziggler, and that now he can be himself. I'd even have him cut his hair, or dye it or something, really put over the whole idea that Dolph Ziggler was an image that he never wanted, and he did it because the higher-ups made him do it. 

Maybe they could involve the Prime Time Players in some way as well. They're in the spotlight somewhat at the moment and seem to be getting a push, so maybe they could be a part of the faction, especially if CM Punk wasn't a part of it. You'd need more guys to help get it over if you didn't have the presence of an established main eventer. Not that Daniel Bryan isn't one, he's just new onto the WWE Championship scene. To me though, CM Punk makes sense. Look at 2011, he was trying to make change, he was battling against the bosses, and even against Triple H. 

But I digress. So as we get closer to Survivor Series, the other members of this faction reveal themselves, and reveal that it was them that let Cody and Dolph (or Nick) into the buildings. Firstly Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, because it seems like the most obvious fit, and the ones that the fans would pick. To me at this point, Big Show would have all but turned heel, like, we know he doesn't want to be doing what he's doing, but he's getting more comfortable with it, knowing that he's protecting his future. Or at least it seems that way, because the week before Survivor Series (or two weeks before so there could be a slightly bigger build), in a match between Daniel Bryan and the Big Show, with Randy Orton (still WWE Champion) as the special guest referee, the match ends when Big Show knocks out Randy Orton. He then gets on the mic, and reveals himself to be the 5th member of whatever this faction is called, and challenges Triple H to a match at survivor Series. The other 4 members could then go into a 4 vs 4 traditional Survivor Series Match.. The Shield and Randy Orton vs CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Ziggler and Rhodes.

And the rebel faction wins.

So now we have a sort of reverse NWO angle happening, where the invading faction starts as babyfaces, not anti-heroes.

Triple H has to up the ante after the loss at Survivor Series, so what does he do? He turns to an old friend... No, not Kevin Nash. We're not talking about the Kliq here, we're talking Evolution. We're talking about The Animal.. Batista. So with Randy Orton, Batista, and The Shield as the main cast in the new corporation, and Punk, Bryan, Big Show, Ziggler and Cody Rhodes, and Austin as the Manager type figure who can sit there and argue with Vince and occasionally hit a stunner, you've got clear conflicts and what I think would be a great, refreshing storyline.
Now I said Austin's involvement could lead to a match at Wrestlemania. Most people think this match should (and will) be Austin vs CM Punk, and to me it seems pretty logical. They don't even have to turn either of them heel. Just have them disagree with each other a few times and have it cost Punk a couple of matches, maybe one for the title, and then have Punk challenge Austin. If anyone can push Austin's buttons to make him accept, it's CM Punk on the mic. 
Now the other storyline that's been thrown around is that at Wrestlemania next year, we're going to have some kind of match involving Vince McMahon vs Triple H, with Triple H being the heel.

My theory on that, is that Vince is going to be inducted into the hall of fame next year, and that wouldn't really work if he was a bad guy. The match, so the story goes, is going to have "the control of the WWE" at stake, so maybe it's going to be Vince's "retirement" match. But what I've seen is that Vince wouldn't actually wrestle. So my idea would be that it would end up being Big Show, wrestling for Vince, who at some point during this whole thing, sided with the rebels, maybe after realising Triple H is drunk with power or something like that. So he selects The Big Show, and Triple H would either wrestle himself, or have Batista, or maybe Dean Ambrose wrestle in his place. Either way, he wins with the help of The Shield and Batista, and Vince has to leave. 

Then you've got Cody and Dolph, maybe they wrestle for the Tag team Titles, and that leaves Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton for the title. And if it was me, I would have it so that Bryan has come close at other Pay per views, but has been screwed each time. The thing with having CM Punk in the faction is that they can have Punk go after the title so it doesn't get so stale that today's wrestling fans get bored. I would think then, Daniel Bryan could win the Rumble, and then finally at Wrestlemania, just as it was with Shawn Michaels, he finally wins the belt at Wrestlemania 30. 
Now the only thing I haven't added in to this idea is that Cena will be back at some point, and they would probably want him to be involved. Well here's an idea that will never happen, Cena returns, and he sides with Triple H. Maybe instead of Batista or Dean Ambrose, It's John Cena that wrestles with Triple H in his corner. More likely in this scenario, Cena would return and wrestle in Vince's place against Batista, and then you could have Big Show vs Dean Ambrose for the US title. That would also work, and seems like it would fit more with WWE's style, never wanting to touch Cena's character. 

So that's my big idea, that's what I've been thinking about all afternoon since seeing Raw. I'm sure there are tons of holes in my theory that I havne't even thought of, but as I said, I thought this all up in one afternoon.

After seeing this week's Raw, and seeing Dolph lose to Bray Wyatt and Goldust's return, I'm thinking Dolph may be moved away from the main storyline. I can't actually remember the last time I saw him win a match which is interesting, but regardless, I did start thinking that maybe what would be good, would be if instead of Dolph, you have Dustin Rhodes (not Goldust), join Cody in the sneak attacks I mentioned earlier, and they, as a duo are the rebels that start this whole crazy story that I came up with.

Of course though, as we know, the WWE powers that be most likely have it all figured out already and it'll be nothing like what I am thinking. This is just me putting my fantasy booking hat on.
Let me know what you think.. would a faction like this work in today's WWE? Could the WWE sustain this storyline for the next 6 months without the fans getting bored? Would the fans believe it? Because after all, that is the most important thing. Let me know by tweeting me at @david_j_james (formerly known as The Aussie Mouthpiece)

And remember.. David J James is where the power lies. 

September 3, 2013

RIP Paul Bearer (originally posted March 2013 on my other blog)

Hello folks, it's me, it's me, it's ... Dave. Also known as the Aussie Mouthpiece, and I'm back with a special post.

As we all now know, William unfortunately passed away today, at only 58. This news seemed so shocking to me, and completely out of the blue. I found out probably the same as most people, through a status update on facebook. It really is the age of social media.

So I thought today that I would write about what Paul Bearer meant to me, and some of my favourite memories involving him, both on, and off TV.

When I first started watching WWE wrestling, it was 2003. Undertaker was coming to the ring on a bike, and had short hair. Regardless, something drew me to his character, and I started renting old VHS tapes from my local video store. I remember clearly, the first one that I rented was Wrestlemania XII. Undertaker vs Diesel. (Incidentally I was drawn to Wrestlemania XII because of Kevin Nash being a part of it, and me being a big WCW fan when I was a kid).

This was the first time I'd seen the "Deadman" Undertaker, and of course, his manager Paul Bearer. And what a match it was. And, what a pair they made. Over the next few years, as I completely fell in love with pro wrestling, I started watching as much as I could, and more specifically, learned all I could about the history of The Undertaker. I read all about Paul Bearer and Undertaker, from Ted DiBiase introducing Paul as Undertaker's manager after Brother Love wasn't working out, through to the Undertaker vs Undertaker, and of course, Paul Bearer betraying Undertaker and aligning himself with Mankind, and Vader among others.

And of course, how could I forget, Kane.

So fast forward a few months, and it's March 2004. It's Wrestlemania XX. The Undertaker is returning, and more importantly, The "Deadman" is returning.

Now, this was before I had Cable TV. I had to read about the results of Wrestlemania 20, but I do definitely remember downloading two very small, very bad quality clips of Undertaker's match. One being his entrance, and the other being the finish of the match. (I also remember them taking forever to download.. ahh, the days of dial up internet). But the first video began with Paul Bearer holding his urn up, and that familiar tolling of the bell. I must have watched them at least 50 times.

In the ensuing years, I picked up a lot of dvds, including the Wrestlemania and Royal Rumble Anthologies, so I got to see a lot of Undertaker matches, along with the Undertaker dvds that were released by the WWE.

I think the thing that drew me to The Undertaker and Paul Bearer was that they were completely unique characters. Everything about them was totally different to everything else going on in the WWF, even after the introduction of Kane. They were much darker, a great contrast to the over the top, cartoon like characters, and the Hulk Hogans and Ultimate Warriors of the early 90's. Paul Bearer's eerie voice, cutting through all the yelling and over the top shouting most characters would do, became iconic to me. And it complemented Undertaker's seemingly "death rattle" like voice, when he chose to utter a sentence or two.

I think something that we need to remember though, is that William Moody has been involved in wrestling for a lot longer than the Paul Bearer character has been in existence for. Before coming to the WWF in 1991, William was known as Percy Pringle III, and worked in the NWA territories, managing Rick Rude, Steve Austin, and even a certain wrestler who later on became The Undertaker. Also prior to arriving in the WWF, he did in fact complete a degree in mortuary science, and was certified as a funeral director and embalmer, something which would be instrumental in devising the Paul Bearer character. So, while a lot of us younger fans may know this man simply as Paul Bearer, we have to remember that William Moody put 44 years of his life into wrestling, and he should be remembered as such.

Now let's fast forward to June 2011, which is when I started writing my first wrestling blogs. I also started using twitter around the same time. After getting used to how things work on twitter and gaining a few followers, I decided to try my luck and tweet Paul Bearer. And to my delight, I got a reply back. This was, at least in recent years, my favourite thing about him. Just about every single time I would send him a tweet, be it something as simple as "have a nice day" or a specific question about some match I was watching at the time, or a general question, he always took the time to reply to me. Now I know that it really only takes a couple of seconds to reply to a tweet, but it's something I will never forget, and am greatly appreciative of.

It reminds me of a quote from Rob Zombie (which I will completely paraphrase). He was telling a story about people asking for autographs, and he said basically that he, as the celebrity won't remember the kid asking for him to sign something a week later, but that kid will remember the time he met Rob Zombie forever. So if he was a jerk, the kid would never forget that. And in the end it takes no time really to be a nice guy, and sign something.

And it's the same with tweeting. Every time I've ever gotten a tweet back from someone I look up to, or even just a favourite or a re-tweet, it makes me feel amazing, as I'm sure it does you too. I feel lucky that some of my favourite wrestlers have given a little piece of their time to respond to something I had to say. Wrestlers like Raven, and Road Dogg, even Dolph Ziggler. But my favourite replies always came from Paul Bearer. Like the one time I told him watching his shoot interview DVD's had really made me want to be a wrestling manager, and he replied with a witty "all that glitters, is not always gold". Or the time I said that the Undertaker/Kane program in 1998 would not have had the same impact if Paul wasn't a part of it, and he replied with a very humble "I disagree, but thank you", the man always took the time.

And Paul, I have to disagree with your "disagree", you sir, did make that program what it was. After now having watched the episodes of raw in their entirety, and seeing all the promos Paul cut after the burn incident, I can say that without a shadow of a doubt, it was Paul Bearer that made that story amazing, and epic, and wonderful to watch.

Now, one last thing. I've already seen some talk today on the interwebs about whether WWE will, should, or can incorporate this tragic news into the current story with Undertaker and CM Punk.

My thoughts are this: Firstly, Undertaker would have to sign off, and I'm sure he wouldn't go near it without Paul Bearer's family's permission. Secondly, if anyone can do it, it's CM Punk. Look at how well he did with the touchy subject of Jerry Lawler's heart attack. It could push the storyline into something a little more epic, but I do think it would completely 100% guarantee an Undertaker win (not that it's not already guaranteed, but still).

However... I don't know that it's the right way to go, but having said that, I'd like to think Paul Bearer would be ok with it if they do go down that road.

My theory on what should happen, and I really hope this is the way they go, or at least something like this. They should let The Undertaker come out to the ring next week on Raw, and talk. He doesn't necessarily need to break character, but at this point it really doesn't matter if he does. I feel like he should be given the opportunity, and Paul Bearer should be given the respect he deserves, and a proper send off.

Maybe they do that and then Punk interrupts (think of the heat!). Maybe they just let Undertaker speak, maybe even a tribute video. I think Paul Bearer should be acknowledged, and time should be allocated to give him a small, public goodbye.

Whatever happens, this Wrestlemania will be just a little less bright, knowing that Paul Bearer isn't around to see it.

So thank you Paul, thank you for all the memories, for all the amazing promos, for taking the time to reply to a no-name wrestling blogger, and for giving us so many years of your life, just to entertain us. Thank you for everything. You will be missed.


December 28, 2012


Hey guys, I haven't posted in a while, but I'm getting back into the swing of things now, so look for some new posts soon.

BUT, look for them at my new blog page,

I know, it's not much different, but I had some email address issues and just decided to make a new blog.

All the old posts are going to be on the new page, so if you want to check them all out to refresh yourself on my previous posts, go for it. I could use the views!

So expect to see something new from me very soon my friends, and I apologise for my lengthy absence.

The mouthpiece will be back soon.

July 20, 2012

A mouthpiece opinion No.1 - The Jeri-troll

Hey guys, that's right, I'm back. It's been a while yes, but I've been fairly busy with some "offline life stuff", and haven't had a lot of free time or energy to write to the level I would like.

But, I'm back. It may or may not be back to regular posts, I'm hoping that is the case, but if not, I will try to write some stuff every now and then.

I have however, been keeping up with the wrestling. I've really been enjoying the Punk/Bryan/AJ storyline, and I feel like the quality of RAW has been stepped up a little, probably to help the 1000th episode of RAW.

But let's get down to business shall we?

Chris Jericho. I see all these comments and posts and what not about "Jericho hasn't won a match since his return" or "Why are the WWE burying Jericho?" .. And this week on Raw it was even brought into a promo, with Ziggler asking Jericho if he'd "lost his touch".

Now, I am, and have been of the opinion since before Mania that the WWE are not burying Jericho. Wrestling isn't about wins and losses people.. remember? It's a pre-determined contest... it's about the performance. And if you look purely at performance, Jericho has been performing at the same level, if not a little better than before he left.

Let's look at the way Jericho came back. The video packages.. the creepy children talking about the end of the world as we know it.. the build up. The hype. And then back comes Jericho, making his return in an LED-festooned jacket. He grabs the mic, stands in the middle of the ring and says.. nothing.

This happened for a few weeks if my memory serves me correctly, and then he gave us just that one line promo.

This was Jericho's way of manipulating the crowd into booing him. When anyone of note returns, the crowd will always cheer for them. The only guy who would still get booed today if he returned, would be mohammad hassan. Anyone else, cheers. JBL would get cheered, and he was the biggest heel in the company for a number of years.

Jericho took that, and turned it against the crowd, showing us how easy it was to manipulate us, and control us, just by throwing his hands up and shouting.

He said he would win the royal rumble. But he didn't.

He said he would beat CM Punk at Wrestlemania. But he didn't.

He said he would win the Money In The Bank Ladder match. But he didn't.

So I've had this theory running around my head for a little while now, but then I read an article on a Wrestling news website, talking about the original plans for the Money in The Bank. Apparently there was an idea floating about that Jericho would win, but then be the first guy to try to cash it in, and lose the match.

That's when it hit me, and I totally got it. Chris Jericho is still trolling us.

All the losses, it's all a big rib. Not on him, on the fans. Jericho is losing every match he's a part of essentially, and yet, he's arguably the most entertaining guy on Raw each week. Think about this. Jericho has been a top star for what.. 11 years nearly? It was December 2001 when he became the first Undisputed champion. The man has been wrestling at least 10 years more than that. So that's a 20+ year career.

It seems to me, that just the same as back in 2008 or so, when he dropped the Y2J gimmick, donned the suit, spoke softly and slowly, and coined the phrase "I am the best in the world, at what I do", Jericho is trying something new. He's managed to lose all the big matches, and yet never diminish in the eyes of the public. If he did have the MITB briefcase and ran down to cash it in, every single person would be sure that he would win the title. And THAT is why Jericho would want to lose.

He said it best on his "Breaking the code" DVD, when he talked about the way he left in 2005.. carried out by "security" screaming and whining and crying for his job. He talked about that being the best way for a heel to leave, and let's face it, Jericho is such a great heel, deep down he always wants us to boo him.

So before you start talking about how much Jericho has been buried, or used incorrectly, or "why isn't he champion?".. Think about it in these terms. This is all Jericho's master plan. He isn't champion because he doesn't want, or need it.

He is losing because he's working everyone on a whole different level to anyone else. We all expect he'll pick up a victory eventually right? We say..  "this time he'll win". It's keeping us tuned in, it's keeping us invested, and more importantly, it's keeping us entertained.

Jericho won't be around for much longer (as far as this run in the WWE goes), and for me, what he's doing with this run is some of the most original stuff, as far as character, and giving us little peeks behind the curtain. I especially enjoyed the little promo he cut about having a lot of catchphrases, and then rattling them off one at a time to get reactions from the crowd.. once again showing how easy it is to manipulate the WWE Universe.

So enjoy it while he's around, because when he leaves (apparently after Summerslam), we will miss it a lot.

Ok that's about it for now. What do you all think about what I've written? Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by leaving a comment on here, or on my twitter (@TheOzMouthpiece), and while you're at it, follow me on there as well.

Until next time, I'm the Aussie Mouthpiece, and my business is concluded. For now...

May 28, 2012

Home Schooling No.16

Hello again readers, I'm (finally) back. I do have to apologise for not keeping up with the regular blogging, I've had a fair bit of stuff happening and it's been hard to find the time to write anything of substance. But I am back now, and I will endeavour to write at least one post a week, with a semi-regular article now and then on sltdwrestling and pwjournal as well.

So... what exactly do I plan to talk about, I hear you ask? Well, this week I'm going to focus on a few key points that I've been wanting to talk about. Over the Limit was just about a week ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I made a last minute decision to order the Pay Per View, and I have to say, overall I wasn't disappointed. Well, up until the Fatal 4-way match I wasn't overly impressed, but that match, along with CM Punk/Daniel Bryan and also the Cena/Laurinitis match really made it worthwhile, in my opinion at least.

So Over the Limit will be one topic of conversation, namely the two main event matches. This week's episode of Monday Night Raw will be another, and finally I will probably get into some of the news items that I've read in the last week or so, like the announcement of Raw going to 3 hours, the recent news of Jericho's suspension, and a couple of interesting TNA news bits as well.

So let's get down to business.

Over the Limit. A decent event with a terrible name. What's wrong with Judgement Day, Unforgiven, Backlash, or No Mercy? But I'm not here to talk about the name.

I want to talk about two of the matches. Namely, CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan, and John Cena vs John Laurinitis. The Fatal 4-way was a really good match as well, and just quickly, I thought Jericho's performance in said match was right up there with the best performance of the night. And he hasn't been "buried". Zack Ryder has been buried. Look at the difference.

Ok enough about that.

Let's start with Punk and Bryan.

A classic. A possible match of the year candidate. But more than that, this match proved that the WWE is moving into a new era. Or at least, if they keep this feud going it will. This is what people have been asking for, and in some cases demanding for years. Wanting WRESTLING. When is the last time we saw a surfboard submission hold, or a curb stomp kind of move?

The crowd was into this match so much because it's what we've wanted to see. It feels like somebody in the WWE has finally listened to the people. Punk and Bryan told an amazing story with what they did, with all the counters and moves that weren't just a part of their normal everyday repetoire, showing that they can adapt and bring something new to the table. Having had such similar careers, having had so many matches in the past, we're getting to see a polished version of a Punk/Danielson match.

Punk and Bryan are so similar, which I think is another reason that they work so well together. They both know submission wrestling, both of them use martial arts kicks, but guys are of that size that can perform power moves and look convincing, yet still small enough to do a bit of high-flying wrestling as well. To me that's the perfect type of wrestler, the combination of powerhouse and high-flyer, because it provides more opportunities for different matches, as opposed to someone like Batista, or Cena, who are more limited because of their size. Shawn Michaels is another guy who fits into that same build as Punk and Bryan, and we all know how good Shawn is.

What else can I say? It was just an amazing match. I thought the finish was great, a little bit less of a gap between the pinfall and Punk tapping would have made it just that little bit better, but I still can't really fault it. It leaves the story open for more matches, and hopefully the WWE lets this feud continue, at least until Money in the Bank, or possible Summerslam. The fact that they let Punk and Bryan go out there and put on this match for 30 minutes or so gives me a lot of hope.

Ok now let's talk about Cena and Laurinitis.

I saw a lot of people complaining on Twitter about this match, saying that it was a disgrace, it shouldn't have been the main event, and a lot of other negative things. But, I have quite a different point of view.

This match was just about as entertaining as Punk and Bryan. Sure, it was never going to be a wrestling classic, but for what it was, which really was what everyone has wanted to see ever since Laurinitis has been on TV, it was great.

If you can, watch it again, and listen to the commentary. Even Michael Cole was taking shots at Johnny Ace. It was hilarious. Speaking of commentary, the little spot they did where Cena and Ace had the headphones on and were doing impressions of Cole and Booker T... absolutely great.

Now this is where I'm probably going to rub people the wrong way. John Laurinitis earned my respect with this match. Let's talk in terms of the real side of wrestling. John Laurinitis let himself be humiliated for nearly 15 minutes at the start of this match. He had water poured down his pants, a fire extinguisher emptied onto him, and a trash can dumped on to him, and a bunch of other stuff. Plus that outfit.. if that's not embarrassing I don't know what is. Also, he showed that he can actually move somewhat decently in the ring, and deliver a damn good chair shot.

Now it was obvious to everyone with a brain cell that Big Show was going to come back, and help Johnny win. It was done well, but it was predictable. Sometimes predictable is good, but surprises to me are always better.

Anyway, I think this match deserves a second look, and more than that, needs to be viewed from the point of view that even though Johnny Ace isn't the greatest on the mic, and he's not that entertaining when he's talking, when he's being beaten up, he's not half bad.

And if you can't, just remember that at one time, Vince McMahon pissed his pants on Raw. Making an ass out of yourself when you're the boss helps get you over, and helps get over the guy beating you up.

Ok let's talk quickly about RAW.

I liked Big Show's promo, but it still feels just like more of the same from heel Big Show. I hope that the writers, or even Show himself can take it in a slightly different direction, just to keep it feeling a little fresh.

I also liked the little revenge segment with CM Punk and Bryan during Bryan's match with Kane. Any time that CM Punk is on commentary you know it's going to be entertaining. "I hate to see anybody get chokeslammed twice in a row".. He's so good on the microphone. I really wish that the WWE would give Punk more time on the mic, let him get back to what he was doing in July and August last year.

It does indeed appear that this feud is going to keep going. It might be a bit early to call this, but I feel like, if booked right, Punk/Bryan has the potential to get to the same level as Rock/Austin, or maybe Cena/Edge. But it has to be done right, and that possibility isn't the highest with the way the WWE has been going lately.

Speaking of Punk, that backstage segment with AJ was brilliant. Yet again Punk shows he's multi-faceted and talented in so many different ways. Subtle little movements and little words. Also I think AJ deserves a lot of credit for her extremely well played crazy chick, especially when Punk said "stop cyring" and she looked up at him all doe eyed and slightly smiling.. that was creepy.

I thought the very end of RAW was good as well, Big Show's punch to me came out of nowhere. It was well done, and helps re-establish Big Show as a legitimate threat to Cena, as opposed to the week before where he was a blubbering mess on his knees in the ring.

Ok and a few loose ends.

When are we going to get Kharma back? From what I've read, she's ready to come back, but the writers have nothing for her.. nothing for her??? She's the most dominant female wrestler of the last.. well possibly forever. Bring her back exactly the same way she was brought in last year. It worked then, it will work now. Job done WWE writers.. hire me instead!

Jericho has been suspended for messing with the Brazilian flag... We certainly are in a different era to 15 years ago when Shawn Michaels stuck the canadian flag up his nose aren't we? I understand it though, clearly there were some legal ramifications, and the WWE had to take some kind of action. Whether it's all a storyline or not, I like this reality era that we're getting at the moment, because we do get these instances of "is this real?" Which hasn't been around for a long time.

Ok that's about it for now, once again I apologise for how long it's taken me to write this. But fear not, I will be back to my regularly scheduled programming from now on.

Don't forget you can follow me on twitter if you're not already, at @TheOZMouthpiece and also check out my writing on
There's only two or three pieces up on there, but I think they're quite good, so if you haven't seen them, go there and click on the writers tab, find me, and take a look.

Also take a look at these two fine sites, which I have done writing for in the past.

Until next time, I'm the Aussie Mouthpiece, and my business is concluded.

May 5, 2012

Home Schooling No. 15

Hello there readers, it's me, the Aussie Mouthpiece, and it's time for another weekly dose of home schooling. This week I'll cover Monday Night Raw, iMPACT, and I'll even go back and talk a little about the repercussions from Extreme Rules. 

So let's get down to business.

Having had a few days to digest the events of Extreme Rules, I've come to realise how important the match between Brock Lesnar and John Cena was. 

Think about it.

How long have the fans been crying out for a return to the attitude era? How long have there been fans saying "PG wrestling is terrible"? How long have they been saying "bring back blood", or "we want blood"

Most people would say too long. The match between Cena and Lesnar changed all that. In the space of just 20 minutes, Vince, the writers, and the entire WWE showed us what we've been waiting for for the longest time: a return to a more bloody, violent product. 

Yes, there has been blood in recent memory, Lesnar's attack on Cena a couple of weeks ago, and Triple H vs Undertaker. But, the difference here is that they were accidental. Clearly, the elbows Lesnar rained down on Cena were planned beforehand. This match looked, and felt so different to anything I've seen in the last few years. Brock Lesnar's reputation obviously had a lot to do with that, but I'm not sure that people are giving the WWE enough credit.

This match was (for the most part) a masterpiece in psychology. Lesnar completely dominated Cena. It wasn't a wrestling match. It wasn't even an extreme rules match. The way that Lesnar, and his MMA skills were used in this match made it feel like the beginning of a new era.

I do think however, that they faltered in one area, which showed that the WWE aren't entirely ready to shift into a new era. I'm talking about having Cena win. 
This is the one time I kind of agree with the Cena haters. It really looked like Super-cena. Brock dominated the match for near 20 minutes, and yet Cena can keep him down for a 3 count with a punch to the head and an Attitude Adjustment onto stairs? and more to the point, Brock can't keep Cena down with the 20 minutes of violence he laid on him?

It felt like the wrong decision is all I'm saying. 

I'm going to disagree with some people here though, and say that it didn't really hurt Lesnar at all. It seems that people consider a loss to be a guy getting "buried". Jericho is a popular topic for that. He's lost at every pay per view since his return, so therefore he must be getting buried. 

No. He's not.

He's basically headlined Wrestlemania this year, in the sense that he was in the WWE title match. He's had another title match at the last pay per view. He was in the final part of the Royal Rumble. And he's featured every week on RAW heavily, and usually getting the better of CM Punk, or delivering really strong promos.

That is not burying. Not seeing someone for ages, and then seeing them only losing and being used badly, is burying. Some might say Zack Ryder is being buried at the moment.

But back to what I was saying, Lesnar losing, didn't hurt him. Anyone who's seen the match, or highlights of the match, saw that Lesnar dominated, cut open, and basically tore Cena's arm off. I just think that if he had won it really would have signified the beginning of a new era, rather than a timid step over the line.

Ok let's move on to Raw.

Like I was saying in my Extreme Rules review, something that deviates from the norm is usually good. And this is the case with the Beat the Clock challenge. It gives the matches a different feel, and connects all the matches together in a unique way. So I'm glad they decided to bring that back. And I'm also glad we have a different challenger for the WWE title. CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan is a dream PPV match. I just don't understand why it's happening on Over the Limit...and not a bigger stage like Summerslam or Survivor Series. Maybe it's a case of the WWE not having a lot of faith that this match can draw big numbers. 

The other match that was announced this week, really befuddles me. John Cena's next opponent is.. John Laurinitis? Didn't CM Punk want to fight Ace last time I checked? And, moreso, why would anyone think that Cena would even have the slightest problem kicking Ace's ass, if he can overcome the crazy beating Lesnar dished out, and beat Lesnar!

I just don't understand this match. I get that they can play up the injured arm and that gives Laurinitis an easy target to work on, but the man hasn't wrestled in something like 10 years, and he's spent a good part of that last 10 years in a suit, as a corporate man. Lesnar was a UFC heavyweight champion, and Cena beat him. 

It's like a story Jim Cornette told on one of his Kayfabe Commentaries dvds. He was talking about Marc Mero and Sable (History time kiddies). Mero was either just having a match with, or was supposed to be starting a feud with the then up and coming Stone Cold Steve Austin. So the story goes that Marc Mero let Sable powerbomb him on TV.
 Then soon after, Steve was talking to Vince and the writing team saying "Well who am I wrestling next week then? Because he just let his wife powerbomb him, so why would anyone think I would have the slightest problem beating him?" Granted this is a different circumstance, but the argument is still sound. If Cena can overcome Lesnar, why would Laurinitis pose any threat? And, more to the point, why would anyone pay to see it?

Speaking of Lesnar, we had this opening segment with Triple H coming out and tearing up Lesnar's list of demands, and then Lesnar "breaking" Triple H's arm. I was a bit ambivalent about this segment honestly. I just don't understand why they did it. I hear it could be because Lesnar has a set number of TV appearances in his contract, and they didn't want to use them up before the year is up or something. I guess as well that it puts him over even more as a ruthless animal. But it's all a bit confusing. I'm still not sure whether the WWE want the crowd to cheer for him, or to boo him. He acts like a heel, but then does really awesome stuff that we love seeing. Maybe they're not trying to sway the crowds one way or the other. Maybe they're letting Lesnar be Lesnar.

I also saw that it's come out this week that Rey Mysterio got suspended for violating the wellness policy, and that he was not/is not going to be getting a push when he returns. Now to me that's gotta be blown a little out of proportion (the second thing I mean). There will have to be some kind of announcement and big return. My theory is that they meant he won't be moving straight into the title picture or anything, but maybe will feud around the mid card level with someone. I think he and Ziggler could put on a good match.

Impact Wrestling.. I mean I'm trying to get into it.. I really am. But what with the crazy music going on during the "Gut check contract" segment, and Flair flipping and flopping around from a No to a yes after the dude delivered a crappy promo, and the heavy editing that's really badly done, I'm finding it really hard to keep watching. I did like the Bully Ray/Austin Aries segment though. Bully/Bubba has come so far lately I think. 

I just can't get past his name though. Imagine that.. "And the new TNA World Heavyweight champion.. Bully.. Ray!".. It sounds like a children's cartoon character. I understand they wanted to keep the similarity to Bubba Ray and Brother Ray, but surely they could have just used Ray, or his real name or something. We can figure out that it's still the same guy.

What about this? He comes out and says "Brother Ray was the name keeping me down for so many years, but now that I've rid myself of my "brother", you people, can call me ____________" Or something.

That's about all I have to say this week, so until next time, you can follow me on twitter @TheOZMouthpiece if you're not already, and also check out my writing at the following sites:

I'm the Aussie Mouthpiece, and my business is concluded, for now.

May 1, 2012

Oh Yes.. There Will Be Blood

Hello there readers, I'm back again. It's Pay Per View review time. And what an unexpected treat Extreme Rules was. I'll be honest, I ordered this just before I went to bed last night (in Australia we get the PPV's on a monday morning..time differences and what not). But I just had a feeling that the two main events would be worth paying for. And I was not disappointed.

Extreme Rules felt like a WWE pay per view from 2003/2004. I can't quite explain why, maybe the blood, maybe the way the card was set up, but something about it gave it that "ruthless aggression" feel. Brock Lesnar being a big part of the event probably just added to that. To me 2003 was one of the better years in WWE history that I've seen a lot of, so that vibe surrounding the event gave it a really good, solid feeling.

As usual I'm going to break down each of the individual matches, and give my thoughts and opinions.

So let's get down to business.

The show opened with Randy Orton vs Kane, in a Falls Count Anywhere match. This was the first thing that surprised me. I was thinking that Cody and Big Show would start the event off, but once again, I was pleasantly surprised with this.

Randy and Kane put on a solid match at Wrestlemania. Solid, but not great. I wasn't exactly brimming with anticipation for this match, but I think they did a lot better than 'mania. The addition of the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation made it much more of a brawl, which was refreshing. Too often wrestlers get stuck in their patterns and routines, so doing something different, especially the match is taken out of the ring for an extended period of time can be a really good thing. One thing i found quite amusing was the random steel poles just lined up in the same room that the "WWE superstars and personnel are watching Extreme Rules in". Why would there be steel poles standing up in the corner of a room?

Zack Ryder interfering I think was done just so that people would see him on PPV. His push has kind of stalled lately, but hopefully that's just a temporary thing, and we see him in a mid card feud soon.

On a personal note, I've always really enjoyed when wrestlers go backstage and fight. Kane vs Shane McMahon in an Ambulance match from Survivor Series 2003 is a great example of doing that right. As is Big Bossman vs Al Snow in a Hardcore title match from either 1999 or 2000. That match actually ended up in a bar across the street from the arena, with Zakk Wylde making a bit of a cameo.

I think I had picked Kane to win this match, my reason being that he was the monster, and it made more sense. Honestly, I didn't really think that through a lot. Orton winning makes much more sense. Kane won at Wrestlemania, Orton has that crazy side of him, willing to put his body through a lot, and also the smaller guy winning is always fun to see in these types of matches. Unless it's completely unbelievable. Which this wasn't.

My only problem with the finish is the RKO on the chair. Every time I've seen the RKO, Randy's opponent's head is cradled in his arm, and it never looks like he really hits his head on the mat. Using the chair made it even more obvious.

But overall, a really good match, and a great way to start off the pay per view. 7/10.

Brodus Clay vs Dolph Ziggler
The first of two unannounced matches. I really like this match. Brodus has made sure his Funkasaurus character hasn't just become a joke, and Ziggler is the most under-used guy in the WWE, and can work with anyone. My problem is that it feels like Ziggler is kind of stuck in this lower spot, mainly because he's still associated with Swagger and Vickie. I'm not saying they are bad talents or no good, I just mean that Ziggler could be so much greater on his own. Also the crowd was chanting for him like crazy.

There's not really a lot more that I can say about this match. It was entertaining, and the perfect length. My only objection is that Ziggler should win. I feel like Brodus has won a lot, or almost all the time since his debut.

I also don't buy Hornswoggle as a minisaurus. I still remember when he had blonde hair and dirt on his face.

Excellent finish though, and as usual, Dolph's selling was one of the highlights of the night.


Big Show vs Cody Rhodes (Tables Match)

Now we're getting to one of my favourite parts of the whole event. This match, like the Orton vs Kane match, was another that I wasn't really that excited about. Once I found out the stipulation though, that all changed. Just like Big Show said.. "good luck putting me through a table". I'm really into the psychology of matches, and anything that adds something different to a match makes for a different way to tell essentially the same story. And that is always a good thing.

And Cody is another one of those guys, like Ziggler, that has so much potential, and he's finally starting to get that "it" factor. He was annoying as all hell in legacy, but unlike Ted DiBiase, he didn't become a Randy Orton clone. I think that helped keep him relevant and helped keep him in his spot.

As usual, Big Show gave us a really good showing, and Cody was phenomenal. I liked the use of the table for Cody to hit his "beautiful disaster" kick as well.

And then, the finish. Having watched the WWE for nearly 10 years, there comes a lot of points where you say to yourself "I've seen it all now". But, time and time again, the WWE continues to surprise us. Who would have ever thought a table match would end by someone stepping through a table? This is one of those polarizing events though, people will either love or hate this finish. I thought it was absolute genius. Big Show played it perfectly as well. That look of "I can't believe I did that" mixed with "I'm gonna kill all of you " .. Really well done.

To me it almost seemed like this could be one of those rare double turn things. Show attacking Rhodes after the match, and especially throwing him through that second table is a very Heel-ish move. And Cody, getting to his feet under his own power, and holding the title up, yet not in an arrogant way, was a very subtle babyface kind of a move. And he got a massive cheer for it as well. In that moment, he reminded me of Shawn Michaels for some reason.

All in all I thought it was a really good match once again, but most importantly, it was unique. For that, it gets an 8/10 from me.

Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus (2 out of 3 Falls)

Yes! If there was one thing we could be certain of with this match, it was that it would last more than 18 seconds. And what we got was probably one of the best wrestling matches from the last 6 months. I've always liked the idea of the 2 out of 3 fall matches, like I said earlier, anything that deviates from the norm, can be a nice change of pace. The dueling chants of "Daniel Bryan" and "18 seconds" were pretty cool honestly. And the Yes chants are a great sign that Bryan is over.

 I really liked the way this match went with Daniel Bryan intentionally getting disqualified in the first fall. it's not often that you see wrestlers lose on purpose. But once again, it's that different kind of psychology that make these matches entertaining. The idea that someone would lose the first fall, knowing they'd done enough damage to hopefully get two quick falls on their opponent, very different.

Sheamus retaining wasn't what I'd hoped to see, but I'm not disappointed with it.


Ryback vs Jobbers
The second of the unannounced matches. Really once again, not a lot to say about this. Loved the Goldberg chants throughout the match, as there is quite a bit of similarity between Ryback and Goldberg. I mean they're both bald.. they're both muscular.. they both run/ran through their opponents.

Basically everything a squash match should be. Short, and brutal. The negative was that the jobbers got mic time. What was the point of that?


CM Punk vs Chris Jericho (Chicago Street Fight)
First off, I really liked the idea of coming out in different attire. You can't really call Jericho's "street clothes" because of the light-up jacket. CM Punk was rocking a Misfits/straight edge t-shirt which was awesome in of itself. But sometimes it's the smaller details that really make a match go from good, to great. The different look from the clothing made it feel much more serious, and really helped elevate the feel of the match.

Punk didn't get quite as huge a reaction as the last PPV match he was part of in Chicago, but it was still a huge pop. The Kendo stick got quite a big pop as well. Actually, now that I think about it, that kendo stick was another thing that reminded me of 2003. It's nothing huge, but I remember the Royal Rumble from 2003, Tommy Dreamer bought kendo sticks to the ring and Jericho got nailed in the face by one, and ended up with a huge knot on his head.

Of course the obvious highlight was CM Punk delivering a huge elbow to Jericho from the top rope, through the spanish announce table. Amazingly he was even forgiven for nearly falling off of the top rope!
 But another highlight, and again mainly for it's originality was the use of the, as Michael Cole called it "announce table hood". We never see them used as a weapon, they're always discarded and thrown away. My favourite use though, was Jericho smashing the broken off half over CM Punk's back, because of how it just broke into 5 or 6 pieces, and looked liked it just shattered on Punk's back.

I think this was the match of the night, really great action, back and forth, and at times it looked like a certainty that Jericho was about to win the title. 9/10

Nikki Bella vs Layla

I think the worst thing that happened to this match was the rumor that it would be Kharma finally making her return and taking out the Bellas. When Layla (or Michelle McCool)'s music started playing, it was a fairly big let down.
The match wasn't bad, however I did think it was a little strange to have Brie be the one beaten for the title. But I guess it at least leaves the door open for some kind of conflict between the twins on Raw this week.

5/10 and also glad to see Layla back. It's always good when someone returns from a bad injury.

John Cena vs Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules match)

Where do I even begin? Lesnar just looks massive. It was cool to see him in his MMA-style gear, it really shows that he is a different guy than he was in 2003/04, and that he has evolved into something different.

There was a lot of talk in the promos about the need to bring back legitimacy to wrestling, and that Brock would be the guy to do it. And, a lot of people have complained for a long time about the lack of blood in matches. I think the problem is we became so used to seeing guys get "busted open" that it lost it's significance and became part of the norm. Having a few years without blood being a prevalent thing in matches has really been a good thing, when you think about it. It's reconditioned us as fans. Now, if we ever do see it accidentally, it adds something.

And in the main event, we found out that when it happens on purpose, it REALLY adds something. I really hope that Lesnar didn't just lose his mind and revert to MMA mode and stiff the crap out of Cena's head. I'm almost sure that it was all planned though. Which says a lot about Cena, because that could have been really dangerous.

Brock being the first guy to really bust someone open in the last 3 or 4 years basically solidified him as the biggest badass in the WWE. The whole match was brutal. Cena not getting any chances to make a comeback was really a key to making this match as intense as it was. Brutal knees, elbows, suplexes and submissions helped as well.

The referee knock downs were a nice touch as well.

Lesnar is a maniac too. That fall over the top rope should have knocked him out, or at least blown out his knee. It looked so brutal, and was a really bad fall because of the rotation he got from basically spinning over the top rope.

I've been trying to work out, since the show ended, what I think about the finish to the match. On one hand, I think it's cool that the WWE have so much faith in Cena that he continues to win these "impossible situation" matches, but on the other hand, what does it say about Lesnar's condition that he can be beaten with what was essentially two moves?

However, Lesnar did completely dominate Cena for bout 20 minutes, so he really didn't lose any momentum or anything by being beaten. I think I would have liked to see it go the other way, just because it would have really just completely solidified Lesnar's spot as an unbeatable machine.

So with the blood, the brutality, and the really different feel for this match, I think it really capped off the night unbelievably well, and was the epitome of the theme of the night, which was "old school" for me.


Just quickly as well, John Cena's cryptic promo after the end of the match were.. well ... cryptic. The boss was going to get rid of him? What did he say or do that was so bad? Say the word Wrestling? Surely that's not it. Maybe he just knew he was injured and was trying to stay in storyline saying that Laurinitis was going to fire him. Maybe the blood wasn't supposed to happen and he thought Vince would be going crazy backstage. Maybe he was half unconscious and didn't know what he was saying? I think we'll probably find out tomorrow on Raw.

Ok that's about it for now, until tomorrow or wednesday, when my weekly recap will be up. Follow me on @TheOZMouthpiece if you're not already, and leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

I'm the Aussie Mouthpiece, and my business is concluded.. for now...