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I will endeavour to let you all know when I have a new podcast available and new articles on The Sun and Football365.
Sunday, 28 February 2010
Friday, 26 February 2010
The third episode of The One Sided Ring podcast is now available. Search for "Rob McNichol" or "The One Sided Ring" on iTunes, or tap in robmcnichol.podbean.com/feed into your RSS player. I'd appreciate as many subscribers as possible on iTunes to push me up the list. Got to 165 in the Sports chart last week, lets see if we can break the top 100 this time.
Here's the official description of Ep3:
"This week's episode is kinda like The Thrillseekers. It has bits where I am serious for a minute, like Lance Storm, as well as moment of ricockulousness, just like Chris Jericho.
I talk about Abyss wearing Hogan's ring (ahh, bless), alternate plans for Triple H and Sheamus, what's next for NXT, how Kaz should have returned, an Audience with The Pope, WWE call me for advice, Shawn and Taker's legacies, and more.
Good summing up, that.
Monday, 22 February 2010
The usual deep-voiced dude tells us how the Elimination Chamber is the most demonic structure in WWE, which is exactly what he said at Hell in a Cell.
It looks like The Chamber is dropping. We're going to kick off with WWE (i.e. Raw) Chamber match. Sheamus's chances just got bigger. Get the heel win out of the way early on.
Cena out first. He goes into a pod then. DiBiase second to arrive.
Randy Orton next, to a major babyface pop. Are WWE now in a massive corner? Can they keep Orton as a heel?
Time to play the game now, so that means Kofi and Sheamus to start the chamber. Sheamus to made into a monster for surviving the full length of the chamber match and winning, or is it giving him an 'out' for not getting it done?
Big RKO chant makes me wonder even more about Randy as a babyface - and then I realise. We are in St Louis, hometown of the Legend Killer. Kofi and Sheamus are back and forth, with Kingston jumping around like a lunatic. Third man coming soon.......
It's The Game, and we get a great visual of him smiling but with his face glowing with the light shining through the perspex of the pod. We have a big staredown with he and Sheamus, and then the fight is on. Are we having a Mania preview?
Orton in now, and he is all over Sheamus and then Triple H. The story of the last five minutes was mainly Hunter getting the best of the Irishman, and then Kofi bursting into life with his double leg drop over the top onto Triple H.
Orton, since I've been typing, has dominated, but Kofi dives onto all three others to take them out, before a springboard is met by an amazing Orton dropkick.
Here comes.........DiBiase. Will he go after Orton?
Not yet. DiBiase offers Orton his hand, helps him up, and they double team Triple H. One will turn on the other, but which one?
Scary looking visual of Orton and Ted putting Kofi's head between the chains and then applying a boston crab. Unique.
DDT on Triple H on the steel outside the ring, and the Legacy buddies, like Lions stalking an injured impala, await John Cena outside his pod.
All six men in with Cena on top. Attitude Adjustment on DiBiase to the outside, but Orton intercepts.
Cena with the STFU on Ted, but Orton saves him. Cody to ringside as Orton is stalking Cena, and Rhodes puts a lead pipe into the fray. Ted gets it while Cena hoists Randy onto his shoulders. Ted swings, nails Orton and then Cena. A moment of doubt before DiBiase pins his mentor. I think Legacy may officially be over.
Here come the eliminations. Kofi swings into Trouble in Paradise on DiBiase to pin him, and then Sheamus hits the pump kick and the Razor's Edge to see bye-bye to Kingston. Three left - The Champ, The Game, and The Marine.
Small question. Why didn't Orton lie in wait for DiBiase and jump him when he exited the chamber?
Low blow and pedigree to Sheamus. 1......2........3. We'll have a new champion - Triple H or John Cena.
Lengthy STFU and.......it's over. Wow, I wasn't really expecting that. John Cena is the new WWE champion.
Wait, it's Vince......
Vince has demanded that Cena has to defend right now against Batista. Yes, you read that right. Whether you like this happening on PPV or not, it's actually logical follow-through booking. This is why Batista hasn't been interested in wrestling lately, it's why he didn't want to get into the Smackdown Elimination Chamber, it's why he helped Vince attack Bret Hart (i.e. to get into Vince's good books and get a favour in exchange.)
I'm not crazy about the belt bouncing around so freely, but I don't mind the surprises and the storytelling.
Quite a long round-up of the Bret Hart 'injury' on Monday. Solemn reaction from the trio on commentary, and it's up to Tony Chimel who says it's IC Title time. Here's Drew and his bizarre new entrance (I quite like the concept, don't like the music). He'll face Kane.
An okay IC Title match. McIntrye retains in quite a long battle with Kane. Right result, but match was just there, really.
Maryse and Gail argue backstage after Ms Kim reveals that she speaks French and realises that Maryse was bad mouthing her all the while. That didn't work.
Justin Roberts in the ring announces the "Finals" of the Divas tournament. No, Justin, it's the 'final'. Singular. Prat.
We've got a tag match on our hands. Vickie Guerrero 'postpones' the Gail v Maryse match in favour of the two of them teaming up against Michelle and Layla. No-one cares.
Gail has wrestled the whole match so far, and is being dominated by the Smackdown heels. No-one cares.
Maryse pie faces Gail when she reaches for a tag, allowing the SD duo to get the win.
All that isn't a knock on the girls themselves. It's just that this was a ridiculous spot of rebooking and the girls are treated as such an afterthought.
Trailer for NXT is followed by an interview with the Miz. Miz basically cuts a promo on Daniel Danielson or Bryan Bryson, what ever he is called. He calls him an "Internet sensation" and "King of the Indies" but says he has no personality. The more I think about Miz and Danielson, the more I think the combo is genius.
MVP interrupts and cuts a short, smiley promo on Miz, and informs him that they are having an IC title match shortly. Another match announced at short notice. Really?
Regal to the ring, telling people to respect him and so forth, basically to hype the NXT show a little. Interruption by Edge, who tells Regal and the world that he'll announce who his Mania opponent will be on tomorrow's Raw. And then spears Regal for a laugh.
This has been the oddest show so far. The first chamber match was pretty good, but we've seen plenty of better ones. The Vince intervention and incursion by Batista was unexpected. Since then it has felt like a TV show. Decent IC title match, but rebook on the women's match, late addition of Miz v MVP (again. By the way, who booked that? Raw doesn't have a GM tonight.), Regal promo only to get speared by Edge. Odd stuff.
Miz and MVP in the ring now. The first Chamber basically took 45 minutes from start of intro music to the final pinfall, not including Batista action post-match. This match probably has fifteen minutes if needed. That's plenty.
I've mentioned before that there is a subtle trend of Jerry Lawler defending the Miz, and once again he does so, saying that it is a little unfortunate for Miz to have this match sprung on him. Also a reference to Miz's home town being Cleveland, which Cole refers to as King's adoptive city. (Lawler is a big Cleveland Indians fan. Browns too, I believe). It might be nothing, but it's noticeable.
This isn't sparkling, thus far, although it's just fine. The focus is on the commentary, where they have spent a LOT of time talking about Bryanal Danson. Maybe the American Dragon is going to get a fair rub after all. They haven't mentioned any other NXT guy by name. Even when Regal was in the ring he didn't name his protege. I wonder if he'll mention his affiliation with Danielson.
King just called a slow-count by the ref that affected Miz, by the way.
Cool visual as Show sends Henry crashing through the guard wall over where the announcers live.
Miz was busted open in the closing stages here, but they ended the match before he got treatment. Miz retains with an assist from a Big Show KO punch to MVP behind the ref's back. Show was a really good act during this match, playing the 'second' role very well.
The match was pretty good. Better than average without being truly standout.
Massive review of the earlier Chamber match (without showing the Ted/Randy iron bar clip) to fill some more time.
Rey into a pod and now Morrison is out here. Mention of his kayfabe injury, but no visible limp. Incidentally, I don't think Shawn Michaels has been mentioned all night.
Jericho is next to step into a pod, followed by The Undertaker. That means Punk and Truth will kick us off.
Punk gets beaten up by R-Truth for quite some time, but pulls out a GTS and pins Killings. Punk uses his stare time for his usual mic work. Good stuff.
Rey is next, and he is taking it to the Sermonator.
There goes my pick. Punk is eliminated by Rey after a really fun five minutes (maybe a little longer) with a rana from the the top rope to the outside steel, followed by a springboard splash. Jericho is next. Much better chamber so far.
Morrison is in, breaking Jericho's submission hold on Rey. That was dumb. Looks like Taker gets the dream spot. No sign of HBK.
Morrison gets rid of Rey Rey - this crowd are very quiet. Strange. Pace has slowed a bit. Waiting for Taker......
Still going with three here. Morrison isn't winning this, but he's done very well thus far. Starmaking performance? If there is a Money in the Bank at Mania, JoMo might be a contender now.
Well, whaddaya know? It seems that Chris Jericho is the World Champion, and that Shawn Michaels cost Taker the match. Michaels popped out from underneath the metal floor outside the ring to leap up and superkick Taker.
Morrison had since been dispatched having hit a Chuck Kick but having a Spiral Ta.....dah, I mean, Moonlight Drive blocked by the knees of Undertaker, then falling to the Deadman with a massive chokeslam. Jericho and Taker fought in a great series of moves and exchanges before Taker hit a Last Ride. Setting up for something else, that's when HBK intervened.
Let's not complain that it was predictable. Maybe it was a little - we all called it - but it's still good booking. They shouldn't alter it just because a few Internet guys called them on it. They've invested too much in Taker/Michaels II to just drop it, and this made sense.
Batista's opponent is an interesting one. I can see a Triple H v Cena v Sheamus v Batista four-way, which isn't that appetising.
Overall, a strange show tonight. The last match was the best by a long, long way. The other matches, bar the Divas tag, were okay but not standout PPV quality. The storyline action from Shawn and Batista will carry this PPV a little bit further, though.
Shawn to explain himself and Edge to pick his poison tomorrow night on Raw, with a hint of Cena being pissed off at Vince and Sheamus wanting a rematch. Sounds good.
Good day to you.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Tonight it is the Pay Per View formerly and formally known as No Way Out, but now dubbed the Elimination Chamber. Just for those who couldn't judge the subtlety of a name which didn't include the featured match.
Tonight is the last PPV before we get to the grandest stage of all in five weeks. The Road to Wrestlemania is truly stretching out in front of us, and a great many clues to the final line up will be provided tonight.
Surprises can happen. Two years ago we didn't know Big Show would return and we didn't know Floyd Mayweather would be present to break Paul Wight's nose. A Wrestlemania match was on at that point.
The developments we are looking involve Shawn Michaels as he pursues his Mania match with The Undertaker. Will HBK cost Taker the chamber match tonight?
Developments may involve involve Batista. Big Dave has been trying his hardest not to wrestle in recent weeks, and is wanted by John Cena. Batista will appear on Raw tomorrow night, but perhaps he'll have some inetraction with Cena tonight before Raw rolls around.
There may be some involvement by Vincent Kennedy McMahon. With only four matches booked at this point, it seems an appropriate time for Vince to address what happened to Bret on Raw last week, so perhaps an in-ring talking segment to forward the Vince/Bret programme will occur.
And there is the notion of Edge hovering over the show, surveying the scene and plotting his own path to Mania. I'd make him a major focus of this show. Certainly being at ringside or on commentary or at the top of the ramp for both chamber matches, and an in-ring promo if there is no other non-wrestling stuff taking place there during the night.
There are only four matches announced as I type this.
Kane v Drew McIntrye is one, and I feel we are unlikely to see a title change hands here. Unless there are some backstage shenanigans that we don't know about - and that is NOT inside info, that is merely a wild statement - I don't see that Drew drops his strap here. Filler - and a retention.
I'm surprised that Maryse and Gail didn't feature more on Raw last week. In fact I'm not sure they featured at all. That's a shame because I'm really curious to where they are going with the 'Maryse being nice' angle. I have some faith that this will be a reasonable match, because Gail is such a solid hand and Maryse's character is strong.
I don't really see WWE believing in Gail Kim. Think about the time in which she has been back, and think about interview time she has been given, or any character development, There has been zero. Some people don't need it, but I think you do when you are getting one two minute match per month to get over.
I'd say Maryse wins this, and then in a week we've forgotten it ever happened.
Tonight's show has an element of Royal Rumble about it in the sense that the only things I'm looking at are the Chamber bouts, and the undercard is irrelevant.
The Chambers, though, are very interesting. Let's start on Raw, where we have Sheamus defending against Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston. I've written the names in that order, because I think that's the order in which I rank them, with Sheamus being the most likely to win.
I think a win for him in the chamber is a strong retention, and sets him up really nicely, It's likely Triple H will chase him to Mania, and I think it is set up better with Trips chasing the belt than vice versa, mainly because a babyface title switch elicits a better reaction than a babyface retaining, and also because if Sheamus wins he'll look even stronger keeping the belt away from the Mighty Hunter.
Support is growing for the Jericho title win on the Smackdown side of things, but I'm not so sure. I don't think WWE, even with his great past couple of years, sees Jericho as a title holder going into Wrestlemania. I have no problem with it if he does win, but it is just a little bit foreshadowed by so many predicting it and even the last couple of weeks on Smackdown with it looking like Jericho beating Taker is possible and Edge saying he'd like Jericho to win.
I like CM Punk as an alternative. I just think that he is the heel with the most momentum right now, and with a belt around his waste he could be even more pious than he is is right now, and play up his role to the hilt. Edge would be a great foil for that, and I see Edge v Punk being a great feud. Maybe it will happen post-Mania, but I'd quite like to see it at the big one.
The biggest problem with that is where it leaves Jericho - i.e. without a match for Mania. We don't know at this stage if there will be a Money in the Bank match because of the new PPV later in the year, so he might not be able to go in there. There has been a natural build to Punk and Rey, with the last couple of weeks seeing these two at loggerheads, so perhaps Jericho wins the belt, leaving Punk to meet Rey at Mania.
Jericho is the best option, prediction wise, but I just like to be different, so I'll stick with Punk. Gives me a heel-like chance to say I'm smarter than you and "I told you so" if I'm right!!
Enjoy the show, I'll be doing my usual live commentary throughout, so come back to this page and keep refreshing during the three hours.
Don't forget to subscribe to the One Sided Ring. Either search for it at iTunes, or put robmcnichol.podbean.com/feed into your RSS player.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
My first ever wrestling podcast is now available.
Monday, 1 February 2010