The Grade Book #6 (March 24- March 30)
Welcome to “The Grade Book”, a weekly look into the matches (and some segments) in professional wrestling. I am “Mr. V” Anthony J. Valvo and I will be alongside WWE Superstars/ROH on Sinclair/FCW Recapper and Co-Host of “The Wrestleview Independent Roundtable” Jason Namako to provide our “grades” for each match that was aired on television for the past week. World Wrestling Entertainment, TNA Impact Wrestling, and Ring of Honor will be highlighted weekly in this feature. We may also include matches from TNA Xplosion.
Jason and I watched every match from the WWE, TNA, and ROH from March 24 – March 30, 2012. We will provide a couple of sentences as thoughts and give the readers a Grade Point Average or GPA. If you are not familiar with a GPA, it is based on a point system from 0.0 to 4.0. We then will give it a letter grade based on the quality of the match.
The contents are as follows:
Mr. V and Jason Namako provided a grade for ROH on Sinclair, WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE NXT, WWE Superstars, TNA Impact Wrestling, and WWE Friday Night Smackdown. Those shows are part of the weekly rankings.
Jason Namako provided a grade for TNA Xplosion.
Mr. V and Mr. Namako’s GPA Scale
4.0 – 3.6 – A
3.5 – 2.6 – B
2.5 – 1.6 – C
1.5 – 0.7 – D
0.6 – 0.0 – F or INC
After our Grade Book is opened, we will then offer what we thought was the Show of the Week. We will award two points for the show of the week and one point to the runner-up, similar to what the “Mr. V” columns were in months past.
Now remember readers, this is completely subjective. There is a difference between the words “objective” and “subjective”. If you don’t know what that means, look it up on dictionary.com.
So, let’s begin.
Ring of Honor on Sinclair (aired March 24th)
Best Segment: The best segment of the show would be the opening promo in with the House of Truth, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Jay Lethal, and Kevin Steen all talking about the Blind Destiny Challenge. This hyped up the Showdown in the Sun iPPV for ROH.
1. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander defeated Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) by pinfall after Jay Briscoe interfered and nailed Haas with a steel chair shot to the head.
Mr. V: I thought this was a solid opener. I enjoyed Benjamin and Haas as heels for the first time and they rode with it with good brawling and technical work in the match. Alexander and Coleman were excellent in their quickness, especially Coleman. The exchanges were great early, the ending was a bit spotty for my liking. However, the young team gets over the experienced team, and that was a shocking factor. Grade: 2.5
Jason N.: The match was solid, but was more of a backdrop to put a final emphasis on the Briscoes/WGTT feud heading into this weekend. All 4 guys worked very hard and it was nice to see Coleman & Alexander get a much needed win, was it more of a way to get some final heat on the feud between WGTT & The Briscoes that will culminate on Saturday. Grade: 2.2
Overall Grade: 2.35
2. In a March Mayhem Qualifier, Adam Cole defeated “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini by pinfall with a roll-up after Roderick Strong’s interference backfired.
Mr. V: This match was a bit too slow for my liking, but it was again a solid match that showcased both wrestlers very well. Elgin worked well with his abundant power and his technical work is improving. I also believe that his breaking point with Strong is evident. Cole’s quickness was crisp and it is hard to believe he wrestled for only a mere four years. Cole’s win does get him over as an up-and-comer for ROH. Grade: 2.7
Jason N.: The main event was a pretty good match as Cole & Elgin seem to now have the same kind of chemistry that Elgin has with Kyle O’Reilly. Cole played a good FIP and had some very believable nearfalls on the much larger Elgin. Finish was interesting with Strong getting involved and clearly seeing Cole out of the way and hitting Elgin to lead to the finish, then not be too upset at what he did. Another good tease for an eventual House of Truth break-up, which I will go out on a limb and say we may see this weekend. Match itself, though, was pretty good. Grade: 2.4
Overall Grade: 2.55
WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow (aired March 26th)
Best Segment: Simply put, the segment of the night here was the final Cena vs. Rock confrontation. I think we finally understood why The Rock wanted to be victorious in this match.
1. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan w/AJ & “The Big Red Machine” Kane defeated “The Viper” Randy Orton & “The Great White” Sheamus by pinfall when Bryan pinned Sheamus after Kane nailed him with a Chokeslam.
Mr. V: For a tag team match, this was very good. I thought all disciplines were showcased. Kane’s power and technical ability was shown nicely. Orton and Sheamus showed the brawling aspect and Bryan brought the quickness. AJ was a nice distraction in the match and it may play out at Wrestlemania. I thought all looked great heading to the PPV. Grade: 2.6
Jason N: Best thing on the show from an in-ring standpoint. Just have a problem with seeing Bryan-Sheamus & Orton-Kane have in-ring interaction before Mania. But, the match was good and the AJ thing towards the end was a nice teaser of what could come during the World Title match on Sunday. Grade: 2.3
Overall Grade: 2.45
2. WWE United States Champion Santino Marella w/WWE Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long & Hornswoogle defeated David “A List” Otunga w/WWE RAW General Manager & Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurantis & Vickie Guerrero by pinfall with the Cobra after Otunga nailed himself by accident with the Team Johnny flag.
Mr. V: There was nothing special here. Nothing much to talk about except that this had great comedy and it did not have a Team Johnny monopoly leading to Mania. Grade: 0.8
Jason N.: Complete comedy and shenanigans, but not much of a match. Grade: 1.3
Overall Grade: 1.05
3. Kelly Kelly defeated Eve Torres w/WWE Divas Champion “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix by pinfall with a roll-up.
Mr. V: I gave Eve high marks for her brawling early and her technical work in the end. Eve easily carried Kelly in this match and it is a shame. In my opinion, Kelly is not even trying at this moment. Grade: 1.2
Jason N: Eve did her best to carry this thing, but Kelly is not good at all and the roll-up for the finish was horrendous. Grade: 1.0
Overall Grade: 1.1
4. WWE Champion CM Punk & Christian never got started as Punk brutally attacked Christian.
Mr. V: This “match” showed us a different side of CM Punk that we rarely seen in the WWE. To the careless pipebomb creator to the aggressive bastard makes for a new spark in the Punk/Jericho Rivalry. Grade: INC
Jason N.: Very good angle to get over Punk snapping from all the verbal accusations from Jericho, but the match never got started, so can’t give it a grade unfortunately. Grade: INC
Overall Grade: INC
5. “The Funksaurus” Brodus Clay w/Cameron & Naomi defeated “The Party Starter” Curt Hawkins by pinfall with the Funk It.
Mr. V: The match was a squash, but I thought it was entertaining. It is nice to see Clay show some vulnerability. Grade: 0.8
Jason N: Same match as the Smackdown last week to a tee. This Brodus squashing thing is really starting to get long in the tooth. Time to do something different. Grade: 1.1
Overall Grade: 0.95
6. “The World’s Largest Athlete” The Big Show defeated WWE Tag Team Champion Primo w/Epico & Rosa Mendes by pinfall with the Showstopper.
Mr. V: The story in this match only showed me that The Big Show was ready to destroy Cody Rhodes leading to Mania. Grade: 0.7
Jason N.: Complete squash for Show, oh and the tag champs are made to look like jobbers yet again. Gotta love it. Grade: 0.9
Overall Grade: 0.8
7. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry w/WWE RAW General Manager & Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurantis defeated The Great Khali w/WWE Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long by pinfall with the World’s Strongest Slam.
Mr. V: : I am going to get backlash when I type this out…I did not like this. All that I enjoyed was that this was to hype up the 12-Man tag team match and make Booker the 6th man for Team Teddy. Grade: INC
Jason N.: As short as this was, it was entertaining. Khali showing some intensity with the opening strikes was very good and Henry just showing off his raw power with the finish was impressive. Grade: 1.4
Overall Grade: 0.7
WWE NXT (aired March 28th)
Best Segment: There was only one true NXT promo, and that was Maxine and Curtis’ quest to find out who “kidnapped” Matt Striker. Natalya, Tyson Kidd, Alex Riley, and Titus O’Neil made cameos.
1. Hunico w/Camacho defeated Derrick Bateman w/Kaitlyn by pinfall with a version of the Olympic Slam.
Mr. V: I thought the flow to this match was great. Hunico shows why he can be a formidable member of the WWE with his unique blend of brawling and technical work. For a luchador, he can mat wrestle well. Bateman was pretty quick, but to me was a step back from the improved Hunico. Grade: 2.2
Jason N.: Another decent performance from Hunico, who is starting to pick up his game a bit. Bateman had good fire on his comeback, but his deadpan selling as a FIP hurt the match for me. Grade: 1.8
Overall Grade: 2.0
2. Titus O’Neil w/Darren Young defeated Jey Uso w/Jimmy by pinfall with the Clash of the Titus.
Mr. V: : Yikes is O’Neil regressed. Last year, we all chatted how things are looking good for him and now that fell flat. Jey was alright, but just average. This match would have been better as a tag team match, but as a singles’ match it fell flat. Grade: 1.4
Jason N.: Not a good match. Jey was OK with his fire on his comeback and was decent as a FIP, but Titus is just so forced as a heel that I can’t get into any of his matches. Grade: 1.6
Overall Grade: 1.5
WWE Superstars (aired March 29th)
1. “The 1 Man Southern Rock Band” Heath Slater defeated Alex Riley by pinfall with Sweetness.
Mr. V: I did not mind the match and I thought the flow and transitions were fine. I like how Slater went right at the neck and wore it down enough to hit the finish. Let’s face it, Riley has regressed and now he has to be fighting for a job now. Grade: 2.1
Jason N.: Decent match but like V said, Riley is someone who has really fallen off in the last year and is definitely on the cutting board for WWE’s “Spring Cleaning”. Grade: 1.9
Overall Grade: 2.0
2. “The Cape Town Werewolf” Justin Gabriel defeated Tyson Kidd by pinfall after a botched Powerbomb.
Mr. V: It had some good chain wrestling to start, but then the wheels fell off in this main event. There is no need for power in a match like this. The powerbomb spot was unnecessary. Grade: 1.5
Jason N.: Too short of a match for these guys to do anything of note and the botched finish didn’t help things either. Very disappointing. Grade: 1.5
Overall Grade: 1.5
TNA Impact Wrestling (aired March 29th)
Best Segment: I am not a fan of anything Hogan at the moment but I would say that the segment of the night for me was the wedding plans featuring ODB and Eric Young. It was entertaining and a bit crazy.
1. In a match taped for Xplosion for the TNA Television Title, Devon (c) defeated Robbie T. w/Robbie E. by disqualification to retain the title when Robbie E. interfered.
Jason N.: Robbie T should stick to being the 2nd for Robbie E because he is crap in the ring. Devon tried to make it passable with his FIP work, but unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. Grade: 1.3
Overall Grade: 1.3
2. Velvet Sky defeated “The Queen Bee” Madison Rayne w/TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim by pinfall with the In Yo Face.
Mr. V: There were no holds in the match, so that meant no technical wrestling. I did enjoy Rayne’s character, but I think they finally realized what they have in Sky. With time and patience, she can make a good Knockouts’ Champion. Grade: 1.6
Jason N.: After the rushed title reign late last year, it seems like they are going back with Velvet in the top spot of the Knockouts. Unfortunately, her work is not up to par of being there, but her charisma and crowd reaction does. Match was serviceable, but Rayne does deserve better IMO. Grade: 1.4
Overall Grade: 1.5
3. “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan & Crimson went to a No Contest when they brawled out of the building.
Mr. V: It was just average. I thought Morgan’s power and Crimson’s brawling were fine, however I wished for more. This rivalry needs to be bumped up a notch, and I think it may be too late for that to happen. Grade: 1.6
Jason N.: Fun brawl and for once, a non-finish where it protected both guys. Enjoyed it for what it was. Grade: 1.6
Overall Grade: 1.6
4. Mr. Anderson defeated “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy by pinfall with the Mic Check after Kurt Angle interfered.
Mr. V: I was actually surprised that Anderson was going fast because a guy like his size should not go quick move for move tactics with Hardy. I thought Angle was the star in this match, as his interference tells a better story with Hardy. Grade: 1.7
Jason N.: Much better effort from Anderson than I would have expected. Hardy did a good job of carrying it to being solid and I really was surprised by how this match played out. Grade: 1.9
Overall Grade: 1.8
5. TNA X Division Champion “A Double” Austin Aries & “Cowboy” James Storm defeated Bully Ray & TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode by pinfall when Storm pinned Ray with the Last Call.
Mr. V: Bully Ray is easily the best brawler TNA has at the moment, and it shows. Roode and Ray also showed technical sides by wearing down the back and head. Aries and Storm evened things out with great quickness. Aries as a babyface is something I can enjoy if this is the way they are going. Overall, it was a great story and continues two very intriguing rivalries. Grade: 2.4
Jason N.: Good main event. Aries, while I do not agree with the rushed babyface turn, did good in his role. Bully is still great as a heel and he and Roode play off each other very nicely. Storm, with the ankle injury, was kept to a minimum, but is really over with the crowd and they are really strapping the rocket behind him heading into Lockdown. Good effort by all 4 involved. Grade: 2.4
Overall Grade: 2.4
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (aired March 30th)
Best Segment: Outside of the Axxess highlights, I think Big Show’s segment in which he promises to have a WrestleMania moment.
1. “Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder defeated Drew McIntyre by pinfall with the Rough Ryder.
Mr. V: This match was a fun opener to Smackdown. It seriously showed strength of Team Teddy and a weakness in Team Johnny. It was a great blend of brawling, quickness, and technical work by both wrestlers. McIntyre’s stock should be one that a wrestling fan should invest in. I think he will be one to watch. Grade: 2.2
Jason N.: Fun match from these two, who have had nice chemistry with each other, especially in their matches nominated last year in the MOTY Project from Superstars. McIntyre is night and day from when he 1st came in and also was good in carrying Ryder, who for all his goodness as a character, is not a great worker. But overall, solid effort from these two. Grade: 2.0
Overall Grade: 2.1
2. Chris Jericho defeated Kofi Kingston by submission with the Walls of Jericho.
Mr. V: This match was very fun. While Kingston was accurate in his flying tactics, Jericho was just an all-around solid performer that gets better as times flies by him. The flow to the match was very good and is one of my picks for “Match of the Week”. Grade: 2.9
Jason N.: Very good match. Kingston when in there with the right guy, can put on a good performance. Jericho is always great in his role of making younger talent look better than they could ever possibly be. One of the best matches I saw all week. Hats off to both. Grade: 2.7
Overall Grade: 2.8
The Honor Roll
Distinguished Honors- Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston, WWE Friday Night Smackdown, March 30.
High Honors- Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin, Ring of Honor on Sinclair, March 24.
Honors- Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus, WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow, March 26.
The Grade Book
A+; A; or A-: None.
B-: Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston (Smackdown), Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin (ROH on Sinclair)
C+: Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus (RAW), Austin Aries & James Storm vs. Bobby Roode & Bully Ray (IMPACT Wrestling), Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (ROH on Sinclair)
C: Drew McIntyre vs. Zack Ryder (Smackdown), Derrick Bateman vs. Hunico (NXT), Alex Riley vs. Heath Slater (Superstars)
C-: Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson (IMPACT Wrestling), Crimson vs. Matt Morgan (IMPACT Wrestling)
D+, D or D-: Jey Uso vs. Titus O’Neil (NXT), Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd (Superstars), Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky (IMPACT Wrestling), Devon vs. Robbie T. (Xplosion), Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly (RAW), David Otunga vs. Santino Marella (RAW), Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins (RAW), The Big Show vs. Primo (RAW), Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali (RAW),
F or INC: CM Punk vs. Christian (RAW)
Our Weekly TV Rankings (Week 6)
1) Ring of Honor – Very close between ROH and Raw, but ROH did their talking in the ring and this column weighs matches better than segments. Close call, but ROH wins this war.
2) Monday Night Raw – I thought all the hype leading to Mania was great. Also, points for the solid opening tag match. All around solid go-home show for WrestleMania.
3) Smackdown – Two solid matches to go along with the fun events of Axxess. Not a bad show.
4) NXT – Would have been a Top 2 if the show ended with Maxine and Curtis. However, the main event was disappointing.
5) Impact – The WWE pretty much gave away points to hype up Mania. Impact did not do a good job to produce a show worthy of a Top 2.
6) Superstars – Not really impressed with anything on this show. Lots of Mania hype and two average (or below) matches puts them in the bottom.
Overall Rankings after Week 6
1) TNA Impact Wrestling (6 pts.)
2) Ring of Honor on Sinclair (4 pts.)
3) WWE Monday Night RAW Supershow & WWE NXT (tie) (3 pts.)
4) WWE Superstars (2 pts.)
5) WWE Smackdown (0 pts.)
That ends this week’s edition of the Grade Book on Wrestleview.com. Give us your feedback by e-mailing either Mr. V or Jason Namako at the e-mails below. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out all the other columns on Wrestleview. You are…DISMISSED!!
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