WWE Wows and Duds of the Month for May 2011
The month of May for the WWE has had its fair share of ups and downs with a few wrestlers doing heel/face turns, some great matches, a lackluster PPV in the form of Over the Limit and a commentary rivalry dragged out for far longer than necessary.
For this monthly version of the Wows and Duds, I will cover 10 moments from the WWE that I enjoyed for this month and five moments that were nothing but a load of garbage, highlighting issues with the WWE's direction.
Here is my first monthly edition of WWE Wows and Duds.
Top 10 WWE Wows of the Month
Let me start off with 10 notable angles, matches and moments that highlighted the month for me with the WWE.
10. John Morrison vs. John Cena vs. the Miz Triple Threat Steel Cage Match
This main event at Extreme Rules did lack the amount of attention and interest that was put into Christian and Alberto Del Rio's ladder match earlier in the night. But it was notable enough thanks to John Morrison stealing the match.
The Shaman of Sexy made great use of the cage in some high-flying moments in his failed attempt to take out his foes, Cena and Miz, and capture the WWE title.
The finale to the match also helped in further pushing along R-Truth's recent heel turn when he attacked Morrison and Cena in disgust of not being involved with the match.
Even if not as attention-grabbing as Christian and Del Rio's earlier match due to the predictable outcome, this was still a decent match to check out and was more worthwhile than the subpar rematch that Miz and Cena would have at Over the Limit weeks later.
9. Return of Bret Hart
It was great seeing Bret Hart make a surprise return to the WWE both at Over the Limit and Raw last week, taking part in both the humiliation of Michael Cole and being a ref for the Raw main event involving the tag team match with CM Punk and R-Truth against John Cena and Rey Mysterio.
Really don't have much to say about the surprise appearance besides me oozing in nostalgia over seeing The Hitman return to the WWE since being around last year as the Raw general manager and whipping around Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 26.
8. Randy Savage Tribute
Pretty self-explanatory, though I've heard of some folks being surprised that the WWE acknowledged him considering the uneasy relations and rumors circulating concerning Savage and Vince McMahon.
And once again, kudos to CM Punk for his own tribute to the Macho Man with his ring attire last week.
7. Alex Riley's Face Turn
I am definitely liking the direction of Alex Riley's character over the past couple weeks on Raw and the push is well deserved considering how long he has been under The Miz's wing.
The man speaks good on the mic, has a good look, is decent in the ring and does well at getting reactions from the audience.
He has definitely been picking up steam as of late thanks to his attacks on Michael Cole and The Miz over the past couple weeks and it seems quite likely Miz and Riley will go at each other at Capitol Punishment.
Looking forward to seeing how this feud is built up going into Capitol Punishment.
6. Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio vs. the Miz Triple Threat Match
This match was the best I have seen coming off the Raw brand this month between Del Rio, Miz and Mysterio, as they fought to get the No. 1 contender spot for Cena's WWE title.
This was a fast-paced and tight Triple Threat match, with all three men switching around dominance between one another throughout the match—from Del Rio isolating his foes in and out of the ring to Rey Mysterio applying his aerial offense.
The three Superstars did well at mixing up their wrestling abilities and showed a good amount of chemistry in the ring with one another.
5. R-Truth's Heel Run
R-Truth's heel run has definitely made for a refreshing change to the guy's character over this past month. His delusional behavior in thinking there's a conspiracy against him landed the guy in rivalries with John Morrison, Rey Mysterio and John Cena this month.
While Mysterio served as a replacement in the rivalry with Morrison because of the Shaman of Sexy's neck surgery, the WWE did do a decent job of building up the feud between Truth and Mysterio to justify reasons for the rivalry.
The match between Rey and Truth made for one of the few notable positives at Over the Limit, as it further built up R-Truth's heel character with his clean win over Mysterio.
His rivalry with John Cena has been built up quite well thus far, with R-Truth wrecking havoc both in the back and in the audience on this Monday's Raw, as well as Cena calling out Truth on his delusional behavior.
I'm looking forward to seeing where this rivalry goes in the next couple weeks, especially if they meet at Over the Limit.
4. Kharma in the WWE
Throughout the month of May, Kharma actually had you care for the Divas division again with her unpredictable attacks of everyone in the division, starting at her debut at Extreme Rules when she took out the departing Michelle McCool.
The crowd was obviously interested in her as a monster heel considering her ruthless tactics were quite different from the usual pretty faces from the Divas division—especially when she teased an attack on Michael Cole on SmackDown that made him cower to the Cole Mine.
It's a shame that she has to take a leave of absence for the rest of this year due to her pregnancy. But I'm hoping the woman formerly known as Awesome Kong can return in 2012 to the WWE so she can once again wreak havoc on the Divas division.
3. Sin Cara vs. Daniel Bryan
This match is definitely worth a mention, as Sin Cara's high-flying ability and Daniel Bryan's technical wrestling style made for a great-looking match on SmackDown with good chemistry between the two and plenty of exchanges in their wrestling styles.
WWE allowing the two men to work over one another for over 10 minutes was a definite plus as well, as it did enough to keep my attention glued on Sin Cara and Daniel Bryan.
I am hoping the WWE does more with Daniel and hope they are building up something between him and Cody Rhodes for Capitol Punishment considering the events of last week's SmackDown.
2. Christian's World Heavyweight Title Win
The definite "feel-good" moment in the WWE for the month of May, Christian's world title was an emotional moment as it was the man's first major world title snag in the WWE and earned it following the retirement of his close friend Edge back in April.
The ladder match Christian had with Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules was definitely a worthwhile one with plenty of close exchanges between the two men, as well as interventions from Brodus Clay and Edge to help whichever man they were supporting.
The moment was somewhat sullied in the fact that Christian was only serving as a transitional champion and lost the world title to Randy Orton days later. But it was one of the few times in recent years that the WWE actually had you care about the opportunity for a Superstar who had yet to snag a world championship within the WWE.
1. Christian and Randy Orton's World Heavyweight Title Matches
Regardless of whatever controversy you might scream out on Christian's short world title reign, the two matches between him and Randy Orton on the first SmackDown of the month and at Over the Limit were definitely the best moments that the WWE pumped out this month for me.
Orton and Christian showed great chemistry with one another in both matches, with each Superstar showcasing the best of their abilities in the ring and control shifting constantly between the two throughout both matches, making for worthwhile and tense moments throughout.
Their matches definitely make for potential Match of the Year candidates.
Top 5 WWE Duds of the Month
Now I shall bring up the five notable subjects in the WWE that didn't run so smoothly for me.
5. Brie Bella vs. Kelly Kelly Divas Title Match
I already nitpicked the issues I had with this match at Over the Limit in last week's edition of the Wows and Duds.
But for those that have yet to read it, here's a quick rundown:
The match played out no differently from what you would expect in a typical match involving the Bellas and it further highlights the WWE's usual preference for the non-talented models they hire over women who can actually wrestle in the ring.
You can look back at last week's edition of the Wows and Duds here if you want to see what I thought of this match in more detail.
4. Great Khali's Push on SmackDown
I'm not really digging the WWE reviving a push for The Great Khali on SmackDown with the Jinder Mahal angle. He's currently one of the worst wrestlers on the roster with little ability in the ring and no mic skills whatsoever.
The guy is like Giant Gonzales—only difference being that Khali has been sticking around for far longer in the WWE than Gonzales had.
There was one comment from someone I recall a couple weeks ago saying that Khali is sticking around in the WWE because he is hugely over in India right now despite his lack of ability both on the mic and in the ring, which Vinnie Mac likes since the guy's a sap for big, muscular guys regardless of having limited to no ability in the ring.
My question to this is: If Khali's that hugely over, then why not have him work from behind the scenes promoting the WWE in whatever Bollywood projects he stars in instead of having him on TV each week when he has nothing to show in the ring?
I'd find it better if Jinder Mahal's talents could be tested elsewhere instead of being under the wing of a non-talented lug like The Great Khali.
3. WWE Letting the Fans "Decide" on Superstars Going for World Heavyweight Title
This same setup happened following both Extreme Rules and Over the Limit on SmackDown: World Heavyweight Champ is in the ring cutting a promo; two heels enter wanting a challenge for the belt; one babyface steps in wanting title match; Teddy Long steps in and lets the fans "choose" who will be involved in the match; fans "choose" face wrestler to get involved.
You should clearly see what the issues are with this formula.
One, the fans in the arena would obviously choose the fan favorites with Randy Orton following Extreme Rules and Christian following Over the Limit, making it a predictable angle.
Two, SmackDown being recorded days in advance allows the WWE to edit in their own voice recordings for the crowd noises and they would very likely add in said edits if the arena crowds didn't go with how they wanted things.
In other words, WWE created the illusion that the fans in the arena were influencing the matches being arranged for that night's airing of SmackDown when in reality, WWE was always pulling the strings.
2. The Rock's Birthday Celebration
I see this as one of the major contributors that made Over the Limit a lackluster PPV.
With only three weeks following Extreme Rules to get things put together, the WWE really needed to have all the time they could get to set up angles that would make fans interested in buying the next PPV if they wanted to have so many set up.
Instead, Vinnie Mac decided to waste a week of Raw sucking up to The Rock with this birthday celebration, unusual in the fact the WWE normally doesn't pull such things off with their active roster.
While it was great to see The Rock again, this "celebration" was a waste of a weekly episode of Raw. It did little to help build up new matches for Over the Limit and segments were wasted on pointless comedy moments such as low-card talent disguising themselves as characters from movies Dwayne appeared in and an appearance from the infamous Mae Young.
Wasting the week on the celebration gave the Raw brand only two weeks to build up whatever matches they planned to have at Over the Limit and that amount of time just wasn't enough to fully hook me into seeing the PPV.
1. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler Feud
This feud went on for two months longer than it should have. It shouldn't surprise readers that this made No. 1 this month for the amount of time this nonsensical feud occupied on Raw in segments involving a commentator with no experience in the ring and a semi-retired wrestler.
I have no problem with Michael Cole being a heel announcer, as he does quite well at getting under your skin. But making himself too self-absorbed took away from the matches he was supposed to commentate on, especially when he was pressing the buttons of Jerry Lawler and other commentators.
It took more than two months and three PPV events for the resolution to this sorry excuse of a feud to get finally settled.
With how much it dragged out, it is a definite shoe-in as a possible worst feud of the year for me thus far.