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Dolph Ziggler

MAMBINO’s Wrestlemania 29 Preview, Part 1

credit: Bleacher Report

It’s time! It’s time! It’s Wrestlemania time!
Welcome to the two-part, all encompassing Wrestlemania preview. I am your host The RAW Librarian and I will be joined by KOBEshigawa in breaking down the twenty-ninth annual, Granddaddy of em all. We are going to run down the final card, giving our thoughts on the presumed winners and losers as well as providing some analysis on which direction Vinny Mac would be wisest to pursue. Tomorrow, we’ll get to the man events, but in today’s post, we’ll touch on the still very important undercard.… Read more...

Dolph Ziggler: The Next One? Or the Next Disappointment?

Credit: Bleacher Report

Dolph Ziggler’s got it all: six feet tall, 215 lbs. of muscle with a jaw line that could crack granite. He’s the type of freak athlete that you see playing division 1 soccer or track, not wrestling in WWE. He seemingly has the full support of the company behind him, being pushed into upper echelon feuds against the likes of Randy Orton, John Cena and Chris Jericho, each of which have walked in–and out–of Wrestlemania with the championship strap. Dolph Ziggler has beaten all of those men in the previous twelve months.
However, everything hasn’t fallen into place: despite the main event certification from his employers, big wins over major stars and nightly placement at the top of the card, there’s something that doesn’t quite feel right–or ready–for Ziggler’s ascent to the top. Even the most fervent of Dolph fans would admit that. In the past three years, he’s seen newcomers like Sheamus, Ryback and Alberto del Rio whiz past him on the ladder of success, leaving Ziggs sucking on the heels of their boots as he self-proclaimed Show-Off mires as a second class citizen. It’s ironic that Dolph’s gimmick the last several months has been that of a Money in the Bank Ladder match winner, in which the victor must ascend a ladder and physically grasp a briefcase, beating all comers to the top in a brutal free-for-all; nothing in his actual career has resembled the type of success he had in that particular bout.… Read more...

Monday Night RAW recap

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 
Announcers: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole

Welcome to the recap of the 999th episode of RAW.  

CM Punk in-ring segment

Hot crowd tonight. Great opening segment with CM Punk and the Big Show. Another example of CM Punk elevating the talent around him; Big Show actually made sense on the mic. The calmness in which he addressed the heckling Vegas crowd was brilliant.

“That is rude, I have a point I am trying to make.” -Big Show

Big Show alluded to the fact that he will knock out CM Punk in their match up and John Cena will cash in his recently won  Money in the Bank contract. Effective verbal combat between the two, setting up the stakes for the RAW main event quite well. And it only took 11 minutes. Take note HHH.

Tag Team Championship match
Prime Time Players w/AW vs R-Truth and Kofi Kingston

Way to have Darren and Titus challenge for the titles the night after losing a non-title match up vs Epico and Primo. We are really supposed to believe they have any chance of beating the tag team champions? Of course not. I’m not saying the Prime Time Players should have won the tag titles last night. I’m saying it doesn’t make any sense for the WWE to have Kofi and R-Truth wrestle Hunico and Camacho during the Money in the Bank Youtube preshow and have your number 1 contenders, Darren and Titus, wrestle on the actual PPV and lose cleanly.
Kofi and R-Truth winning was logical, but where do Darren and Titus go from here? The WWE seems more adamant on pushing Epico and Primo. Which is fine, I’ll take Rosa Mendes over AW any day of the week. 

Eve Torres interrupting AJ and DB backstage was great. Why? Because she actually addressed Daniel Bryan’s actions in their tag match last week on RAW. It’s the small things that make me happy. Story line continuation is one of them.  

Zack Ryder vs Alberto Del Rio
Zack Ryder got in a few moves offensively but not many. Glorified squash. Ryder tapped very quickly once the cross arm breaker was applied. After the match Rey Mysterio returned from injury (suspension) to hit the 619 on Alberto Del Rio. 

Whatever. At least this gives Del Rio something to do now that Dolph Ziggler is the Smackdown Money in the Bank suitcase holder. I would have preferred Mysterio return and set Sin Cara on fire, but there’s still time. It’ll be good to have little Rey Rey back. 

@ZackRyder Finally had a match on #Raw tonight. And I finally pooped. #ItWasAGoodDay.

One man baaaaaaand segment
Rikishi vs Heath Slater 
Rikishi with the win. After the match he danced until the lights went out. When they came back on, Rikishi’s sons, the Usos, were in the ring. I was never a big fan of Rikishi. Aside from running over Stone Cold Steve Austin with his car, he never really accounted for much story line wise. However, it was a genuinely cool moment to see him share the same ring with his flesh and blood. I’m sure growing up they probably dreamed of winning the WWE title and celebrating in the ring with their family, but performing a memorized dance sequence was probably a close second. It was definitely something all of the them will remember for the rest of their lives. 

We’ve come a long way from having heavyset guys dance to get them over. On an unrelated note, stay tuned for Brodus Clay#RAWTonight

Mixed Tag match
Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee vs Miz/Eve

Possible Daniel Bryan face turn alert. Who is the most over person on the WWE roster r

Could You Imagine THIS Guy Main Eventing Wrestlemania? (Part 1)

Prospect lists aren’t foreign to sports. Year after year, we pull apart mock drafts and rookie seasons, trying to dessiminate information, plow through the psyches of these young men and discover who exactly will be the next great superstar. Sometimes our prognostications are right on target, but for every LeBron james we have, there’s will be a Dontrelle Willis or a Peyton Hillis.

So why can’t we apply our insatiable appetite to unearth the next great one in professional wrestling? Much like basketball, football or hockey, there are tiers of performer, from the rookie scrub trying to earn his place in the hierarchy of the talent ladder, to the forgotten prospect who’s future still shines bright under the dimming lights of skepticism. Yes, wrestling isn’t the pure competitive athletic enterprise that MLB represents, but there is an element of competition within Vince McMahon’s glorified traveling circus, in which these men have to constantly improve their craft and sharpen their focus in order to be considered a luminary.

The Raw Librarian and I scanned through the WWE roster to do just that. We’ve highlighted a few grapplers that we think have the testicular fortitude to make a Hardy-esque jump up the ladder, crashing through the glass ceiling into the land where only giants – both literal and figurative – tend to leave their massive footprints. Each guy will have his own various set of skills, which he can either use for cult-like immortality, or to fade into the din of oblivion. Some of these fellows have temporarily crashed the top of the card, while others are being clearly groomed for it. However, the criteria here is simply that each guy isn’t considered by the WWE as perennial main event material.

Which of these guys could you imagine main eventing Wrestlemania? Let’s get after it.

Cody Rhodes

Qualifications: 3x World Tag Team champion, 2x Intercontinental champion, 1x WWE Tag Team champion, #35 PWI top 500 wrestlers in 2011
Half brother of Goldust, son of Dusty Rhodes.

The Raw Librarian: Out of all the names on this list, I have the most confidence in Cody Rhodes being the future of World Wrestling Entertainment. I don’t think it will be this year at WM 29 in New Jersey, but I can definitely see Cody Rhodes involved in a WrestleMania main event in the very near future.. He has the look, talent, mic skills (he turned the “Big Show” into a verb) and he has wrestling in his blood. After all, it never hurts to have people in the higher ups with your best interest in mind; his father The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes is currently a backstage booker for the WWE and he definitely has Vince McMahon’s ear. The Rhodes family name doesn’t carry the same weight as the name “Hart”, but Cody is going to get more opportunities than someone like Drew McIntyre or Heath Slater.

KOBEsh: Completely agree, good sir. Cody has everything that you’d want in a main eventer; he’s a great mat technician, is completely willing to bump around the ring for an opponent and has that unique ability to simply look like a guy you desperately want to hate. Body-wise, Rhodes has put on a massive amount of weight in the past few years, turning from a stringy son of a wrestler, into a adequately sized middleweight. Rhodes has enough size where he doesn’t necessarily look like he’s going to overpower an opponent, but isn’t small enough where the story will constantly be how he’s an underdog looking for a fluke victory, a la ReRead more...

WWE for a NBA Fan – Northwest Division (Part 5)

OHHHHH we’re back baby. The NBA season is in full swing, and coincidentally or not, the road to Wrestlemania starts this Sunday with the Royal Rumble in St. Louis, Missouri. For those of you that are just catching on, I started writing the WWE for a NBA Fan at the very bottom of my lockout doldrums. With no basketball to keep my mind sane, I started drawing parallels between various NBA fan bases and the WWE stars I thought they would most identify with. Even as a deal was struck and real ball was played again, the WWE for a NBA Fan series has soldiered on. Presented here is part 5 of 6, the Northwest Division.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Cody Rhodes

For the Wolves and the great (and long-suffering) fans of Minnesota, I had to think of a guy who would carry the requisite features of the greatest sports stars of the state. I was trying to think of a salt of the earth type guy, someone who looks like he could grow up next door to you. Someone who would succeed with a blue-collar work ethic. Someone like a Joe Mauer, Jack Morris, Kirby Puckett, Kevin Love or Kevin Garnett. So I came up with John Cena.

But that’s obviously not who we’re going with. He’s too much of a larger than life person, too much of a transcendent pop-culture figure. I need a guy a little understated, a little more demure.

But then I realized that for Minnesota, that hasn’t touched gold since 1991 with the Twins and hasn’t seen a championship round in any sport since then, they needed a guy to follow with a certain amount of swagger contrary to what they’ve always worshiped. They need a guy who’s got a little bit of an edge to him, with a little more confidence than smarts. They need all this, but also for him to look like he could have been your buddy in high school.

Enter Cody Rhodes. Son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, Cody looks like a normal guy (albeit, a extremely jakked normal guy…and maybe a little douchey). He’s come up through the ranks of the WWE with various tag teams and playing different characters, paying his dues at the bottom of the card. He’s had to earn his way to his spot, even though he emerged through the door his father undoubtedly opened for him. He’s improved as a wrestler every year since his introduction to the company. But even more impressive than his physical work ethic, is how he’s worked on the extracurricular features of his game. When he first came into the company, Cody was lifeless and uncharismatic. He was the skinny son of the larger than life personality (and human) Dusty Rhodes. Cody couldn’t speak, and even when he did, he had a noticeable speech impediment. However, several years later, you have to struggle to hear hints of it when he cuts weekly killer promos running down his latest opponent.

He’s moved his way up the corporate ladder the right way, the way a Timberwolves fan could identify with. But he’s also got that championship swagger that they long to feel.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler is the stupidest name in the WWE. The Thunder have the logo and colors of an amateur basketball squad. This comparison is already bearing fruit.

Beyond the simple facade of names and colors, these two entities have far more in common. Ziggler is one of the WWE’s shining young stars. He has limitless talent and a comparable amount of potential. In his current gimmick, Ziggler brags about being a so-called “show-off”. He claims that every single night, his match will be the one you remember most. He thinks he has the most dynamic move set, co… Read more...