May is a tough month in 2010 WWE, not going to lie. The hot programs on each show are about to reach their end point, Cena vs Batista on Raw and CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio on Smackdown. The undercard is muddled right now and that is really apparent at Over the Limit. NXT Season One is winding down. Ultimately, they will get a good crop of talent out of that show. We know the Nexus storyline is going to start hot before fizzling out because we don’t want to send kids home unhappy. This company has never hurt for a lack of talent. How to use that talent in the best way possible to put on the best possible show, well, that’s where things get a little sticky.
Raw can be a little tough to watch, especially for a project in which we are supposed to evaluate talent for a top 100 list. If you based this on match ratings, you might come away from this month feeling like William Regal is one of the worst wrestlers in this history of this company. His tag work with Vladimir Kozlov is uninspired to say the list. But also I don’t think they get a match that goes longer than 3 minutes. So what can you take away from that? Cena does his best promo work in backstage interviews either Josh Matthews. Which begs the question as to whether we really need to be opening Raw with a 20 minute monologue which rarely accomplishes anything. The guest host segments usually grind the show to a hault. Especially if it’s someone like Buzz Aldrin who isn’t even sure which country he is in and probably hasn’t watch wrestling since the days or Gorgeous George, if ever. We do get a commercial free Raw this month and it feels like what Raw could be if everything they wanted to do on a show was given enough time. There is plenty of time for everything on that episode. Most weeks though, we aren’t so lucky.
Batista exits the WWE in grand style. He earns the number one contenders slot winning a Triple Threat Match against Edge and Randy Orton to end April. Batista is supposed to face The Miz to open up May on Raw but The Miz still has a tender jaw thanks to The Big Show punching him out. So instead, Miz will have his NXT rookie Daniel Bryan will face Batista. I only mention it because this is a match I never would have thought we saw in 2010. Bryan and Batista will cross paths some years from now in a much more memorable match up. Cena declares at Over The Limit, his WWE Championship Match with Batista will be an I Quit Match. Batista tries out a new submission hold on Mark Henry after jumping him from behind. He puts the same hold on Cena leading up to Over the Limit. Their final match is quite good. I think WrestleMania was the best of the three matches they had on pay per view in 2010. The I Quit Match was certainly spectacular though, with Batista trying to run John Cena over with a car then getting the Attitude Adjustment off the roof of the car through the stage. Batista comes out in a wheelchair whining and complaining. Raw GM Bret Hart says if Batista wants to face Cena at Fatal Four Way, he will have to beat Randy Orton in a qualifying match. Batista cries about how unfair this is then he quits the WWE , much to the delight of the crowd. It’s an excellent promo for Batista to leave on. It felt like they were running out of ideas for this feud. I think it really ended on top as well as Batista’s run. Batista will be back someday but I don’t think it will help or hurt his cause in the GWWE standings.
The Miz and Chris Jericho bond over how The Big Show did them wrong as a tag team partner. So they team up. Jericho defeats DH Smith to earn his team a title match at Over the Limit. Meanwhile, Miz has hand picked Bret “The Hitman” Hart as his opponent to defend the US Title against. It’s the first Miz has defended the title since Royal Rumble. So I’m not going to act like Bret ended some kind of legendary title reign by beating The Miz in what was a feel good moment in front of a crowd of Canadians. This match had the same problem as Bret’s match at WrestleMania against Vince McMahon. I think they handled it better though with lots of run ins and overbooking to disguise the fact that Bret Hart is a stroke victim whose career was ended by a severe concussion curiosity of Bill Goldberg. Bret does the right thing and relinquished the US Title once he became GM of Raw. The Hart Dynasty take care of business at Over the Limit against Jericho and Miz. It was ok, I guess. It helped establish The Hart Dynasty as a top tag team. The next night on Raw though we will have a huge debut as The Hart Dynasty are attacked by The Usos and Tamina. 12 years later, Jimmy, Jey, and Tamina are still in the company so they are certainly worthy of close examination for everyone’s GWWE ballot.
Get A Virgil.
Ted DiBiase offers R-Truth a job and Truth slaps him in the face. To use R-Truth’s words he says DiBiase wants to “Get you a Virgil.” Truth has no interest in being the next Virgil. So Ted Jr goes out and finds the original Virgil, the genuine article, if you will. I liked the pairing of Ted Jr and Virgil. It won’t last nearly long enough. This leads to a match with R-Truth at Over The Limit. Truth comes away with the win. When it comes to pushes, it won’t get much better for Ted Jr and this is pretty high on the list for R-Truth. The match was OK. It probably did more for Truth than DiBiase.
It’s also worth noting that Carlito’s last act on the main roster is jumping R-Truth with his brother Primo. DiBiase paid them off to jump Truth. It must have been enough to retire on because Carlito is gone shortly thereafter.
About That US Title.
Speaking of R-Truth. Bret gave up the US Title. So The Miz would face R-Truth in a match to determine the new United States Champion. Truth wins a pretty good match. He successfully defends the title against Chris Jericho the next week. So everything is looking pretty good for Truth in 2010.
Edge invites Randy Orton on The Cutting Edge so Edge can explain his actions from the previous month. He had attacked The Viper to make an impact, being it was Edge’s first night on Raw following the draft. Edge does all the talking, trying to convince Orton to put back together Team Rated RKO. All he gets is a RKO. There will be no team. The next week Randy Orton gives the RKO to actor/musican Meatloaf for some reason. The results of this is Raw GM Vickie Guerrero making a handicap match with Randy Orton facing Edge and Ted DiBiase Jr. This goes so well that Vickie gets run off by Randy Orton and quits as general manager after only one night. On the 5/17 commercial free Raw, Randy Orton and Edge will pick each others opponents for the night. Edge has to face Christian to start the night. They have a very good match. Turns out that wasn’t Orton’s choice for Edge. Instead, he will go one on one with The Undertaker, playa. Edge takes a walk instead, having just had a grueling match with Christian. Edge picks Jack Swagger to face Randy Orton. Of course, The Viper wins by DQ when Edge runs in and hits him with a spear. This all leads to Over The Limit. Edge vs Randy Orton. They had a pretty decent match going that ends in a disappointing Double Countout. Following Over The Limit, both Edge and Randy Orton will be in the Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Championship the next month on pay per view.
And The Rest.
Maryse and Eve Torres are paired opposite each other on Raw in various tag matches. They have a match at Over The Limit for the Divas Title. Eve retains.
Santino really wants to team with Vladimir Kozlov. William Regal want to keep his team with Kozlov going. The situation is still developing going into May. Regal would be better off doing almost anything else.
Zack Ryder is getting more TV time. This may be when his YouTube show was taking off and he was getting himself over. Zack is paired with Alicia Fox. They have a few mixed tag matches. Zack tells Buzz Aldrin the moon landing never happened. He must be listening to Coast to Coast AM on the radio. Zack has a Twitter feud with Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher puts out a hit on Zack. The result is Alicia giving Zack an Axe Kick, ending their partnership.
Smackdown has a bit of a rough month, in ring and in storyline. The top storyline between CM Punk and Rey Mysterio is great but it’s not enough to carry the show. They are following a formula for failure with their World Heavyweight Championship and Intercontinental Champion. Jack Swagger doesn’t win a match all month. I think the idea is to do something like The Honky Tonk Man’s famed Intercontinental Title run. He almost never won a match, instead running off and taking a count out when the going on tough. Honky Tonk Man was great at generating heat, between his character and the way in which he held onto the IC Belt. Swagger on the other hand, this stoic character isn’t really generating any heat at all. He drones on and it kills the crowd dead. Furthermore, Swagger is losing clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring to mid card talent. Jack Swagger is already struggling for credibility having won the World Heavyweight Championship with a Money in the Bank cash in. At some point, he drags down the title by continuing to hold it. It would be like if Brooklyn Brawler was World Heavyweight Champion and losing all the time. Quickly it becomes who gives a damn. Programing Swagger against the Big Show isn’t helping matters. A book could be written on how the company has screwed up with The Big Show. He has turned face to heel so many times, the crowd isn’t really behind him to dethrone Swagger for the Championship. Drew McIntyre continues to have his bacon saved by executive decree from Mr. McMahon. This is really overshadowing Drew’s in ring skill. At this point one has to ask what does Mr. McMahon see in this guy? Drew loses frequently. Mr. McMahon hasn’t gone this far out of his way for members of The Corporation back in the day. Drew McIntyre and Jack Swagger are probably both not ready to be in the positions they are put in at this point in 2010. This is made all the worse by the booking.
Hey. It’s The Big Show…
Big Show gets drafted to Smackdown and immediately turns face, punching The Miz right in the face. Teddy Long makes Big Show the number one contender. Jack Swagger holds a in ring segment where he shows off all his trophies and accomplishments. Jack Swagger is apparently a Scrabble Champion. I liked the segment although it did drag on a bit long. Big Show comes out and breaks Swaggers various trophies. Show also provides some distraction in a match Swagger has against Kofi Kingston, allowing Kofi to get the win.
The video package recapping the segment was better than the segment itself. This leads us to Over the Limit. Swagger eventually hits Big Show with a chair, causing an intentional DQ, mercifully ending a match that was going no where in front of a dead crowd. After Over The Limit, Fatal Four Way is announced. Big Show gets an automatic bid into the match. CM Punk earns has way in. Undertaker earns a spot in the Fatal Four Way Match for the World Heavyweight Championship besting Rey Mysterio. I wonder if The Dead Man will make it to the match? The end the month, Jack Swagger and Drew McIntyre team for a match against Kofi Kingston and The Big Show. They have less of a chance of winning than the Dudebusters.
The IC Title Picture.
To start the month off, Drew McIntyre brutally attacks Matt Hardy. Teddy Long strips Drew of the IC Title and fires him on the spot. A four man tournament is held with Kofi Kingston beating Christian in the finals. However, Teddy Long has to nullify the results and gives the belt back to Drew McIntyre. Mr. McMahon wrote a letter overruling Teddy Long’s decision. This angle might be more effective if Mr. McMahon had made some appearances next to Drew instead of just writing a letter for Teddy to read on air. Matt Hardy gets a message of revenge, attacking Drew from out of nowhere. Matt gets an indefinite suspension. Kofi Kingston goes on to face Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship at Over the Limit. Kofi wins the belt in a pretty good match. Drew has his eyes on Kofi and the Championship going forward but Matt Hardy is going to find ways to get back at Drew for putting him on the shelf.
Hair vs Pledge. This time for real.
CM Punk and Rey Mysterio continue their program for another month. They just gloss over that Rey was supposed to pledge his allegiance to the Straight Edge Society the previous month, instead focusing on a mysterious hooded figure hiding under the ring, attacking CM Punk’s opponents. Punk and Mysterio cut some good promos against each other, as usual. Mysterio has a very good one in which he offers to join the Straight Edge Society on the spot if Punk shaves his head. Punk rejects this, proving Rey’s point that this is all more about Punk than keeping kids off drugs. They have a pretty good TV match without consequences that ends in a dq with a wonky ending. All roads lead to Over the Limit. Hair vs Rey Mysterio taking the pledge to the Straight Edge Society. The match is excellent. Perhaps match of the year quality. Punk gets busted open and they have to stop the match to patch him up. The wound just gets bigger. It’s a little distracting how they try to shoot around Punk bleeding out his head. Rey gets the win and Punk gets his head shaped. The post match with Punk handcuffed and begging for mercy is excellent. It really shows just how good Punk was.
Co Women’s Champions.
Layla win the Women’s Title in a handicap match against Beth Phoenix on the 5/14 Smackdown. Because they are best friends and Michelle is a little jealous, they agree to be Co Women’s Tag Team Champions. Laycool aren’t really in a program this month but they do get a lot of TV time. And they are very entertaining. Both in backstage segments and in the ring. The way Layla howls when she is getting beat or when she is winning, I can’t help but be amused. Work rate isn’t a huge priority for the women during this time. But it seems Michelle McCool is better in the ring than I previously gave her credit for. I don’t think she comes close to the current era of women but for that time, she is a cut above most. I’d say she is just behind Beth Phoenix and Gail Kim in terms of in ring ability on this 2010 roster. Keep in mind that Natalya never wrestles and Tamina just showed up this month, so this statement is subject to change.
And The Rest.
MVP and JTG are getting wins on TV. MVP remains over even though they are doing nothing with him. Christian runs afoul of Vickie Guerrero by inviting Hornswoggle on the Peep Show instead of her. Dolph attacks Christian as a way of warming up to Vickie. Upon looking at the match results and my ratings, Christian has a really good month for someone who didn’t have a program going. All he needed was a clean win over Jack Swagger in a three and a half star match on tv and it might have been Christian’s best month all year! Curt Hawkins and Vance Archer are on a short term contract from Teddy Long. They have 21 days to make an impression or get cut. Archer is making more of an impression than Hawkins.
In this month, NXT will be eliminating rookies and they will come hot and heavy. On the May 4th edition of NXT, they ask the rookies who should be eliminated. Daniel Bryan and Michael Tarver would eliminate themselves. Bryan because he is humble and Tarver says he should be eliminated for the safety of the other wrestlers. The next week, WWE takes those words to heart and eliminate both of them by executive decree. Skip Sheffield is also voted off. All three come back the next week to talk about their feelings over being eliminated. Sheffield and Tarver have nothing interesting to say. Daniel Bryan takes the opportunity to lash out at the company and Michael Cole in particular. Bryan attacks Michael Cole in a chaotic segment. The next week, Cole demands an apology from Daniel Bryan. Bryan gives him an iron grip handshake. Security keeps the situation from getting too wild but Bryan does get some shots at Cole. The Miz gets a punch for good measure. On the 5/31 Raw, Daniel Bryan finally gets his hands on The Miz. The match could have been better but it was satisfying to see Bryan get the win over Miz. By the end of the month, only Wade Barrett, David Otunga, and Justin Gabriel are left standing. We will have to wait until next month to find out who wins and the eventual fate of these rookies.
- CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio. Hair vs Pledge. Over the Limit 2010.
- John Cena vs Batista. I Quit Match. Over the Limit 2010.
- Kofi Kingston vs Christian. Intercontinental Title Tournament Final. 5/14. Smackdown.
- Edge vs Christian. 5/17 Raw.
- The Undertaker vs Rey Mysterio. Winner Goes to Fatal Four Way PPV. 5/28. Smackdown.
- Drew McIntyre vs Kofi Kingston. Intercontinental Title Match. Over the Limit 2010.
- Christian vs Cody Rhodes. Intercontinental Title Tournament Match. 5/7. Smackdown.
- John Cena vs Edge vs Chris Jericho. 5/24. Raw.
- Jack Swagger vs Kofi Kingston. 5/21. Smackdown.
- Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk. 5/14. Smackdown.
- Randy Orton vs Edge and Ted DiBiase Jr. 5/10 Raw.
- Randy Orton vs Jack Swagger. 5/17. Raw.
- The Miz vs R Truth. US Championship Match. 5/24. Raw.
- The Miz vs Daniel Bryan. 5/31. Raw.