The post-Wrestlemania spring cleaning surprisingly came about a month too late, but the inevitable did indeed happen. Four WWE Superstars and Two WWE Divas, one of which a former Champion and head of the division, have been released today.
Shelton Benjamin: Sad man. Shelton started pro wrestling in 2000 and joined up with OVW at the time and teamed with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar there as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, a gimmick thought up by Jim Ross since he discovered both Shelton and Lesnar at the University of Minnesota. Shelton was considered the best pure athelete in the WWE and alongside Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar, one of the few truly scary shooters in the business. Shelton debuted with Charlie Haas (who was released a few months ago) as Team Angle and later the World’s Greatest Tag Team on Smackdown. In 2004, Shelton would be drafted to Raw and in his first match, score a huge upset over Triple H, which to this day may be his biggest win ever. Shelton would compete in all but one Money in the Bank Match and for the first few, would easily steal the show. Shelton is an incredible worker, but many felt his charisma is what held him down. From just being a good wrestler, to bringing in his ‘mama’, to being the Gold Standard, he never really broke out.
Sho Funaki: Yes, Kung Fu Naki is gone. After TWELVE YEARS of being a signed talent in WWE, he was let go. He began his career as a member of the Japanese stable Kaientai alongside Dick Togo, Mens Teioh, and TAKA Michinoku. Afterward, he formed the infamous INDEEEEED version of Kaientai with Taka. Once Taka left, Funaki was used as a comedy figure and enhancement talent sparingly on WWE TV.
Jimmy Wang Yang: I guess with Yoshi Tatsu being there, they didnt need Wang or Funaki. Hell of a worker – works hard everywhere he goes. He used to be in a stable with Tajiri ages ago and came back as the redneck countryboy Jimmy Wang Yang. Basically an enhancement talent for most of his career, he had notable great undercard matches with Hurricane Helms, Billy Kidman, Chavo Guerrero, and Paul London.
Alright folks, it is the week of the biggest sports entertainment extravaganza of all time – Wrestlemania XXVI. Today we present our ultimate FightGameBlog preview of the show. Everything you needed to know about Wrestlemania will be right here as we detail all of the matches on what looks to be one of the greatest Wrestlemania events of all time. With GG there in Glendale participating on the festivities, I and my elite group of esteemed genuises will give our predictions on the show.
This year’s panel includes:
Big D – Creator of the Superfriends and Fight Game Blog Co-Founder
GG – Fight Game Blog Co-Founder and Editor
Alan 4L – Fight Game Blog International Correspondent
Duan – Fight Game Blog Superhero
Talon Thorne – Fight Game Blog Columnist
Cactus Jim – Fight Game Blog Wine Tester
Ari Goldstien – Founder and Promoter of Believe Pro Wrestling and the Florida Wrestling Academy
Chessarmy – Founder and Host of QCW Radio (Every Monday Night at 11:30PM Eastern)
Match #1: Unified WWE Tag Team Championship – ShoMiz (The Miz and The Big Show) (c) vs. John Morrison and R-Truth
This was kind of thrown together at the last minute to ensure that these four guys got a spot on the show – specially The Miz. Miz has shown in the past three months that is special and leaving him off this card like they did last year would be a travesty as well as just plain stupid. Morrison and Truth are decent challengers individually, but the reality is that they are a makeshift team that’s just there to most likely do the job and give Miz and Show a big historic Mania win. The tag belts have not been defended on the main card of a Wrestlemania since 2006, and before that since 2002 – so I guess it’s a four year cycle. We’ll see ya 2014!!
Big D – ShoMiz
Duan – ShoMiz
GG – Morrison & Truth
Cactus Jim – ShoMiz
Talon – ShoMiz
Ari – ShoMiz
Alan4L – ShoMiz
Chessarmy – ShoMiz
Notes: All but one have chosen the team of Big Show and The Miz to retain, which I think is a safe bet. Why kill Miz’ momentum against two guys who could possibly be midcard for life (unfortunately)? Question remains – will Danielson be there?
Match #2: Money in the Bank VI: Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Jack Swagger vs. Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston.
Allegedly this will be the final Money in the Bank Ladder Match to take place at a Wrestlemania and boy is it stacked. TEN WWE Superstars will compete to climb the ladder to the top and earn a contract for a WWE Championship Match anytime in the next 365 days. This is basically the match where they throw the midcarders in to get a payday. We’ve got giants, high flyers, and good atheletes rounding out the list. Let’s see what the FightGameBloggers have to say…
Raw and Smackdown were such by the book shows that they’re really not worth discussing in full. They were fine shows, but none of the story lines really advanced and everything was pretty logical and I have no complaints or really much praise. Thus, I decided to look at the card as it stands today. I took the matches as they were listed from WWE’s WrestleMania XXVI site.
World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Edge
I had an idea of what they could’ve done that would’ve been better than what they’ve done so far. Instead of Bret Hart hurting his ankle, why didn’t they do the injury angle with Edge? It would’ve kept him out of the ring, making his in ring comeback at WrestleMania rather than on regular old Smackdown. They could’ve even built all of his promos around coming back from injury early. It would’ve kept Jericho strong rather than how weak he’s been portrayed since winning the belt, and we wouldn’t have to see that ridiculous “Spear! Spear! Spear!” gimmick.
WWE Champion Batista vs. John Cena
I thought they’d run out of ways to keep Cena as the underdog, but they didn’t. I’m not sure that having Mr. McMahon pin Cena was the right thing to do, but it did put heat on him and Batista. Not like Batista needed it though. This is the only match that could main event Mania if they choose not to main event with Taker/HBK.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
I liked their promo on Raw, but it was a tad bit on the boring end considering all the great stuff HBK has been doing of late. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it always weirds me out to see The Undertaker do serious promos about matches when usually his promos are about wacky and meaningless stuff that his character usually says.
I say this every year and I’ll say it again; the Royal Rumble is my favorite show of the year. There’s something about the intrigue of the Royal Rumble as it pertains to the booking on the Road to WrestleMania.
Underneath the big rumble, The Undertaker and Rey Mysterio should be fun, and Randy Orton vs. Sheamus will be interesting to say the least. Let’s hope young Randall Orton keeps his cool if Sheamus isn’t exactly in the right spot.
1. Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Early on, it was a cat and mouse game with Christian running around like a chicken with his head cut off. They had some fun big man/little man stuff that was fun. When Big Zeke was on the offense, he hit all his big power moves and Christian sold very well. But the match slowed down a little.
They showed some creativity during the finish as Christian was looking to hit the Killswitch/Unprettier and Zeke was looking to hit power moves. Christian finally hit his finisher for the win. It was much better than it had any right being and that’s thanks to Christian, but Zeke was fine too.
To show you how out of touch the WWE can be at times, Cryme Tyme was trying to get into the Royal Rumble and tried to finagle The Great Khali out of his spot so they could both get in. The Great Khali said no, and Ranjin said that they learned their hip talk from watching Family Matters reruns. On queue, Khali said, “Did I do that?” And then Teddy decided to start singing Pants On The Ground at Cryme Tyme. The Miz came out and Teddy told him that he has to face MVP next. Then Khali started to sing, “Who let the dogs out?”
Cody came out and told Randy that he was on board, but Ted wasn’t and Ted wanted to win the Rumble and face Orton for the World Title (of course assuming that he could beat Sheamus tonight).
2. The Miz vs. MVP
WWE’s first ever TLC is in the books. WWE’s shocking attempt at actually pushing young talent had mixed results, with Sheamus winning the WWE Championship from John Cena in a finish that none of us could predict, but also with Kofi Kingston losing to Randy Orton cleanly, something that we all feared would happen, but deep down knew it was the route they’d go.
Best Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian
Worst Match: Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool
I didn’t think they were going to give Shelton and Christian enough time to steal the show like they wanted, but they did and this was a tremendous match. What it really cemented in my head is that Shelton Benjamin is the single greatest athlete in WWE and he’s wasting his talent. He needs to go into MMA right now. I thought Christian was excellent too. I was fine with the way they put Sheamus over. I just hope they have a plan for him. I don’t think Randy Orton should’ve won the match and I think they’ve pretty much put Kofi in his place. Such a bad botch job with him these last few weeks. Didn’t care as much for Taker/Batista, but Taker worked his butt off. Big Dave is just too slow. And they needed to pull the trigger on that title change. I thought it worked when it happened and thought it was deflating when they restarted the match. DX vs. JeriShow was pretty good, though you knew beforehand that HHH and Show were going to slow it down and they did. I loved the DX double team spots and the finish was really creative.
What bothered me most about the show is that they were building the Mickie/Michelle match to where Layla would help Michelle, which makes complete sense being that the entire angle is 2 on 1. But then when she didn’t even factor into the pin and Michelle pinned Mickie clean, I was just frustrated. Basically, the skinny people can make fun of the non-skinny people and then get away with it. Idiotic booking.
Thumbs In the Middle, Leaning Up
Best Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian
Worst Match: Mickie James vs. Michelle McCool
This was a really fun PPV. I’m not a huge fan of doing more than one or two ladder matches per year and this year we have seen about six. Regardless, the matches on this show were all decent to great for different ways. The main event between DX and Jericho was most certainly more toned down than I expected, but still a fun main. Batista and Taker had probably the worst match that they’ve ever had (and they HAVE had some great ones) made even worse by the overly played-out “restart the match” crutch that they apparently use every other PPV. Sheamus winning at first looked like a botch (I assumed he was supposed to fall through the table on the outside simultaneously), but once I saw the replay I knew it wasn’t. Shocking, to say the least. In addition, Drew McIntryre continued his push and Kofi ended his. Overall though, a fun show, but probably not worth 40-50 bucks. Get the DVD.