Monday, 17 October 2011

Cubed Circle Newsletter Issue #4

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Welcome to the fourth issue of the Cubed Circle Newsletter. In this issue we will be covering the current state of WWE creative, as well as this weeks ROH on Sinclair. The article on WWE creative, is the main article for this week, but it is going to be placed first in the issue., has some new features, including an RSS feed, twitter feed and facebook page. As always a full color PDF is available above, if you haven’t downloaded it already, I recommend you do so.

Cubed Circle Wrestling Newsletter Rating System

*- Horrendous match, bad booking, bad pacing, botches left and right, poor work rate and bad crowd reactions can all lead to this.

**- Below average match, forgettable, couldn’t have added much for the show unless there was a great angle, before after or during the match.

***- Good match, there were some really good points in the match, had fun watching it, it had some points missing, the crowd possibly wasn’t into it or it didn’t go long enough. But, the match was still good.

****- Great match, well worked, the crowd were most likely into it, this match was a highlight of the show. The match would most likely be in the top 50 matches of the year.

*****- Almost guaranteed match of the year, ticked all the boxes well worked, well booked, great crowd, had some amazing spots, very few botches or no botches that really affected the match and the match could influence the business in a major way. This is a prestigious rating and it is the highest acclaim I could possibly give for a match, this rating is only given out with extreme thought and consideration.

WWE Creative: Vote of No Confidence

If you are reading this, you are probably aware that we are hot off the heels, of one of the worst Monday Night RAWs in history. A RAW that most people were already expecting to be bad, since the WWE had booked themselves into a corner the week prior. All because Vince McMahon thought it was a good idea to stage a walk out on RAW, this walk out included all of the wrestlers and staff expect a select few (Cena, Orton, Punk). It didn’t matter if the wrestlers were heel or face, if they were they were the origin or the victim of the so called “chaos”, even people who weren’t affected at all, all walked out. Why? Because, Vince loved the idea and no one was man enough to point out the obvious.

 For such a big angle, who would be put over? Triple H of course, an mainly inactive wrestler and that was about it. Cena, Orton and Punk were protected, but at the end of the day only the top two guys in the company, Orton and Cena were really protected. Since Punk’s character was basically killed on this show, reducing him to a corporate suck up, erasing all remnants of revolution from is gimmick. After finally killing the Punk angle once and for all, who would come out? Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon left with tears in his eyes “forever” and was relieved of his duties and now he is back? With no explanation as to why he could meet with the board of directors, he assigned John Laurinaitis as the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw. Everyone who was protesting out side of the building just waltzed back in, because you see, Laurinaitis and Vince McMahon are in charge now, so everything is fine in the eyes of the superstars.

RAW at that point just fell off a cliff, with one of the best commentators in the business getting humiliated on TV yet again, they made their world champion look like just another guy, they brought Miz and Truth back with no good explanation or emphasis on the fact that they returned. There was not much wrestling on the show and they never built to Vengeance. The show was just riddled with problems and inconsistencies, that at some points it felt inconceivable that this was not intentional. It was almost as if we were peering into the deepest darkest depths of Vince Russo’s mind.

If this was the first time in a while I would be okay with it, but its not, its been months in the making and it doesn’t seem like there is big change on the horizon. I know I am constantly dwelling on it, but look at the CM Punk angle. It started off so hot and then what happened? It was killed. Same with this angle, it wasn’t hot, but look how it couldn’t even be held together and it was something that Triple H was really behind. So if they couldn’t hold that together, how could you expect them to keep the Punk angle hot.

This is part of WWE’s yearly booking pattern, WWE will have something super hot whether it is Punk or Nexus and they will screw it up before Summer Slam, that’s just the way it goes. And what makes those angles even worse to watch is they don’t just kill them off, they let them die over months, look at what they did with Nexus and how many renditions it went through before they finally pulled the plug. When the Nexus angle started, it was a mainevent angle, that was moved to the midcard and then the lower midcard, but the problem with this angle is that with Laurinaitis, Vince and Hunter at the center, it will never be dropped to the midcard. And it isn’t like there is another mainevent angle that is taking place, this angle is the center piece of every show. And talking about centerpieces of the show, through all of this the WWE championship has taken a back seat. The title change at Hell in a Cell was barely acknowledged on the RAW following it and Del Rio, the champion, was only mentioned briefly for the past few RAWs.

I mean if Vince really had his heart set on the this walk out angle, there were other ways that it could have been done without destroying the entire show. When Punk left they could have had him keep the title and not have a tournament and instead use the Heavyweight title on both brands, causing the heels on Smackdown and RAW to be outraged. Of course there were greater things they could have done with the angle, but most of them, even the one mentioned above, would have required long term booking and that is something that the WWE is seriously lacking.

Even with RAW being so bad, it drew a 3.25 rating, which is the highest it has drawn since the current football season. It was going against very strong competition, but it still drew 5.4 million viewers in the first hour, but it lost 800,000 viewers in the run over, where it normally gains. This is because of the simple fact that the follow up to the walk out was horrendous, yes RAW ended with a cliff hanger, but they simply couldn’t follow it up, how could they? Even with the substantial loss of viewers RAW still did a higher rating in the run over than their average rating and that could have been for a couple reasons. First is that people might have just continued to watch the train wreck, maybe they weren’t the type of people that change channels in the middle of a show. The second, is the one that is the more scary of the two and that is, because of the Vince Russo style booking, the average viewer that doesn’t know better has just gotten used to it and that is scary.

The key to seeing if it actually hooked the masses, will be in the buyrate of Vengeance and next weeks RAW rating. I don’t see Vengeance doing very well, it’s barley been mentioned and there has been almost no build. Plus RAW is heading to Mexico next week and the fact that it was going there wasn’t even mentioned on the show.

WWE are just booking themselves into a deeper and deeper hole. Even with things that seem that they cannot be messed up, because they are just so obvious. The WWE is messing up. Matches such as Cena vs. Rock, where WWE is booking the Rock in a team with Cena. And when you think about it, besides the brief spots with Punk and Nexus, when was WWE really hot? And that is the problem, WWE just can’t spark hot angles and when they do, they cant keep them hot for very long. Even TNA at this point has a more positive aura, they are trying to push young talent, they have a new head of creative and their shows are starting to pick up. Now I am not saying that that TNA is going to turn things around, but it feels like they are trying at the moment.

WWE right now feels just as cold as the early 90’s, maybe even colder due to the current climate. They aren’t building new stars, indicators are slowly going down and their angles are going down in quality as well. Punk has been elevated to an extent, but the WWE isn’t shy to tell you that the two top stars are still John Cena and Randy Orton. It feels that like things are reaching an all time low for the WWE, in terms of quality, because they are so out of touch. The WWE needs a major creative overhaul and a change in the direction of the product as a whole, if they are going to live up to their position as the number one pro wrestling promotion in North America.

ROH on Sinclair Broadcast Group 2011/10/15 Review

The show opened with a recap of last weeks mainevent, between Lethal and Generico, it made the match look good. They never showed the firing up spot between both men, which was my only nitpick. Jim Cornette brought out the Briscoes. Cornette said they were fined $5000, which was a realistic number. The sound was a bit low and cut out at one point, the promo’s seemed like it was scripted, but Jay really shined. And Jay came off really well towards the end, they did just fine with no swearing.

We had a personality profile on Tommaso Ciampa, they put over the fact that he was undefeated. He is actually a pretty decent promo. They then focused on Nana, it came off as cheesy, but light hearted. In contrast Ciampa, came off as really tough, they then showed some UFC esque training footage.

1. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge vs. Tommaso Ciampa
We had Steve Corino on commentary, Ciampa dominated, he hit a multitude of power moves in quick succession. Ciampa and Ridge fought on the apron, Ciampa hit some really hard chops, but he was clotheslined back in by Ridge. Ridge was man handled into the barricade, Corino mentioned Steen subtly on commentary, Kevin Kelly said that they shouldn’t go down that road. Kelly said that Nana had gold Kruger Rands and that they are a product of Ghana, they aren’t. Ciampa hit his big sick knees in the corner, four times, destroying Ridge. He then hit Project Ciampa for the win. Ciampa came off as really dominant, but it wasn’t really a squash as such. A pretty decent opener, Cimapa really got to show what he could do.
** ½

Nigel interviewed a fan, he asked him who would win between Davey Richards and Roderick Strong, he said bring back Kevin Steen. Obviously a plant and if you cant mention Steen and he was a crazy fan, then why didn’t they cut it out.

We had an inside ROH featuring Strong and Richards, Strong came off so awesome. He came off as this totally self centered jock, in contrast Richards cut such a great heart felt promo, about his grandparents. This was a great segment.

2. ROH World Championship Match
Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong
I don’t think that this should have been put on TV, as specially since this the fourth episode. With that being said they put on an awesome match. Both men chain wrestled into submissions and pinfall attempts. Kevin Kelly put over the fact that Richards trains, in an MMA like training camp. Richards kicked Strong on the outside, he then caught strong with a running boot on the outside. Strong stomped a mud hole, he then hit a big kick to the head of Richards, before the final commercial break. Richards then hit a big suplex on Strong, both men exchanged strikes in the center of the ring. Richards then hit a big suicide dive to the outside, the crowd was chanting Richards name. They started to trade elbows in the center of the ring, Davey then hit a big running boot and a slam. The fans were chanting “this is awesome!”. Richards rolled Strong up in the crucifix, Strong kicked out and nailed Richards with a big kick. Both men battled with strikes on the apron, Strong then hit a big back breaker on the apron. Both men battled on, but Richards got the better of Srong with a lariat. They exchanged elbows again, they were selling so well, Davey and Strong exchanged kicks and chops in the corner. Strong hit a boot and a gut buster in the corner, fans were so into it at this point. Davey hit a superplex straight into the falcon arrow, Richards locked in the ankle lock, Strong hit a gut buster, but Richards got the ankle lock locked in again. Martini distracted the referee while Strong was tapping out, Richards broke it and Irish whipped Martini out of the ring. This didn’t really need to be in the match, but the execution was okay. Strong hit a sick kick and locked in the strong hold. Davey hit the soccer kick, both men rose to their feet. Strong spat at Davey, but Davey locked in the ankle lock for the submission. The commentators pretty much under sold it, I think that they could have been burnt out, at this point. This was the best match of the tapings so far and it was a fantastic TV match.
*** ¾

Overall Show Thoughts
This was definitely the best ROH on SBG yet, you could tell watching that they really got into their groove at this point in the tapings. The mainevent was really great, as well as the personality profiles. The opener was good and I was really impressed with Ciampa. All in all, by far the best wrestling on TV this week.

Next weeks issue
Next weeks issue will feature an article associated with the biggest news of this upcoming week, as well as a review of ROH on SBG as always. Next weeks issue will also feature a rundown of the smaller news stories of the upcoming week.

Any Questions or Queries:
Twitter: @Rubyclouding
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