The summer of 2010 is starting to wind down but the action is heating up in the WWE. The two show champions are facing extraordinary challenges, while the tension on NXT is thicker than humidity on the East Coast. With a huge week coming up for the WWE Universe, let’s take a look back on the week that was.
MATCH OF THE WEEK: THE MIZ DEF. JOHN CENA BY DISQUALIFICATION ON RAW
RAW Superstars competed in a series of matches to impress WWE Champion Sheamus, in an attempt to impress the champ enough to be offered a title match at Night of Champions. While some matches were uninspiring, United States Champion The Miz and John Cena brought the fans in California to their feet with a terrific battle. Cena’s snub of Miz for the Summerslam main event has a lit a fire under The Miz and renewed their old rivalry. The two had furious exchanges in a physical contest. Unlike last year, the two seem to wrestle on an even level. The title reign has helped the Miz evolve into a great instinctual wrestler, while John Cena continues to draw on the energy of the WWE Universe to wrestle with reckless abandon. The match went back and forth. Cena seemed to have the match won when he tossed The Miz to the floor. The Miz won the match but looked bad when Daniel Bryan came to the ring and wailed on his former NXT Pro. Things got somewhat bizarre when Cena invited Bryan into the ring to finish off his nemesis. However, I thought it was awesome and hope this guy with the Spencer-like skin-toned beard sticks around.
SURPRISE MATCH OF THE WEEK: CODY RHODES DEF. MVP ON NXT
This season of NXT has been praised for the superior talent on the show and impressive progress of the NXT rookies. What we haven’t seen is a lot of wrestling from the pros. This week, the last show before the epic finale, we saw the pros mix it up. It took guts for MVP to stand up to Cody Rhodes (as much as it takes a guy who did nine years in prison to stand up to a guy with a nose piercing) and challenge him to a match. The match was intense between two athletic, physical grapplers. This match allowed the two to chain-wrestle a bit with some interesting exchanges. Both men battled with great tenacity and makes one wonder why their rookies are not part of the final 3 competing for the title of NXT Season 2 winner. Cody Rhodes won the match and continues to build confidence as his career as a singles wrestler progresses. MVP will recover from this loss and continue to progress in his path back to the top.
LAME MATCH OF THE WEEK: SHEAMUS DEF. ZACK RYDER TO RETAIN THE WWE CHAMPIONSHIP ON RAW
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After a night of observing Superstars compete, Sheamus made his decision on who he wanted to face for the WWE Championship. Sheamus shocked the WWE Universe by offering a title match to the Long Island loudmouth, Zack Ryder. Zack shocked practically no one in the WWE Universe by underperforming. Zack took a big Irish boot in the face and that was it. He took longer to make his way to the ring than the match lasted. I’m sure he’d be embarrassed in his performance, if he wasn’t already too busy thinking about whether or not he’ll be offered a guest role on The Jersey Shore.
IT WAS A GOOD WEEK FOR: JACK SWAGGER
Summer has not been a fun time for Jack Swagger. He lost the World Heavyweight Championship on the first day of the season. He never really got a rematch. He got yelled at by his mom for letting Kane hit his father with a piledriver. He kinda fell off the map during the months of July and August. However, things are looking up over the end of the month. He challenged MVP to an amateur wrestling contest this week. Jack dominated the man who has tortured him over the past few weeks and looked really good doing it. For his victory, he gets to host MVP’s VIP Lounge. He’s gotta be super psyched (Oh I hope they make him say that on air! If he does, bring a poncho if you’re sitting ringside). Next week, college football season starts and the former Oklahoma Sooner must be excited. I think he should try to go after the Intercontinental Championship instead of targeting the steamrolling Kane.
IT WAS A BAD WEEK FOR: THE STRAIGHT EDGE SOCIETY
CM Punk has struggled this month in keeping his group together. He did his part by beating JTG decisively on Smackdown. He then challenged his team to “be better or be gone”. Well, either he has as much success inspiring his followers as he does the WWE or the Society just sucks. Big Show dominated Luke Gallows, again. During this match, Kelly Kelly beat the heck out of Serena. The next night, the WWE told Serena to go home, terminating her contract. We’re still waiting for further details as to what transpired that caused her release and we’ll share them with you as soon as we have confirmed facts. This release could mean the end of the SES, which few people may miss.
INTERESTING TURN OF THE WEEK: SIX-PACK CHALLENGE FOR THE WWE TITLE
Sheamus tried to do the clever thing by defeating Zack Ryder and invoke his 30-day inactivity period as WWE Champion. This would put him beyond WWE’s Night of Champions. Unfortunately for the WWE champ, that’s not really the point of the rule, and the PPV buy rates have been so low that they need him to defend his title. This time, he’s got a tall task ahead of him: five superstars who want his title. Four of them have held the WWE title and one has decimated the roster as leader of The Nexus (BTW, I’m not sure of this, but the title may have been lifted from World of Warcraft. Nexus refers to a casual group of connections but it’s also a dungeon from the game.) This is a great match-up, pitting six powerful stars against each other, mixing styles and personalities. It’s similar to the last time Sheamus lost the WWE Championship, inside the brutal Elimination Chamber. This is only a one-fall match so the elimination factor is removed. In this match, two men will be in the ring at a time. The mayhem outside the ring may decide who leaves Chicago as the champion. This should be a wild match.
EPIC FAIL OF THE WEEK: ALEX RILEY DOESN’T KNOW JACK ABOUT WWE HISTORY
This week, instead of wrestling to impress the WWE Universe, the final 3 NXT rookies competed in a trivia challenge. I got all of the questions right, most of them before the rookies did. I’m sure you did also. Kaval knows his stuff, from his years of watching wrestling and competing around the world. Michael McGuillicuddy should know this stuff; his dad was only Mr. Perfect. Alex Riley fits the role of the aggressive jock, including the cluelessness. Sometimes that’s just ignorance; sometimes that shows an indifference to the past and those who paved the way for you. If that’s that case, Alex Riley doesn’t belong in the WWE. Whether or not he was legitimately clueless, the Varsity Villain fits the type-cast like a glove.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
NXT Season 2 is down to their final three rookies. Alex Riley, Kaval, and Michael McGuillicuddy go into Tuesday with a chance to earn a WWE contract and a title match at an upcoming PPV. It’s the opportunity for all the hard work to pay off for one of these three men. This class has been deeper and more impressive than the original NXT rookies and each three can be impact guys immediately. My question to you is simple: who do you think deserves to win? Send me your responses and arguments to firstname.lastname@example.org and remember that you can follow me on Twitter. Hey, the main editor of this page, Mr. Bob Ryder, is following me, and he actually works in the industry! Yeah, I’m pretty stoked.