What a week this has been in our strange little world! We had a surprisingly good WWE Elimination Chamber where a comedy act had the performance of a lifetime, a monster trade taking place, a team went from 9th to 3rd and another may jump four spots this week, and John Cena cut a truly legendary promo.
Santino Marella: Out of everyone in both the hockey and wrestling world, the Milan Miracle has had the most upward mobility of anyone this week. Since last weeks post, he won a Battle Royal to get into the Elimination Chamber, then went out and pinned both Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett, two quickly rising superstars.
The best moment came when Santino was shockingly in the final two with World Champion Daniel Bryan and he hit his trademark Cobra and covered the Champ. He had a very long two count and near fall. The building was electric as the Milwaukee crowd thought they had witnessed the impossible. Of course, Santino was unable to pull it off and lost to Daniel Bryan shortly thereafter. While Santino didn’t leave the building with the gold, he most certainly made huge strides to become a star. Hopefully he’ll get a good spot on the Wrestlemania card to continue his Rockyesque run.
Cursed Battle Royal: This past Monday we had a 10 man Battle Royale to determine CM Punk’s challenger for Wrestelmania. The biggest story from the match wasn’t Chris Jericho’s predictable victory, but the injuries that came out from it.
Both Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett sustained injuries in this match, and things just seemed messy. Luckily Ziggler was fine, but Wade Barrett suffered an arm injury when he was eliminated, which was worsened by Santino Marella falling on him as he was thrown out.
The loss of Barrett is a pretty big one as he had to be considered a favourite to win the Money in the Bank Match at Wrestlemania, and now it looks like he won’t be on the card.
While accidents most certainly happen, to have Truth, Kingston, and Marella all wrestle two matches a mere 24 hours after participating in Elimination Chamber matches is just poor decision making and we are lucky that things weren’t worse.
Scott Howson and Dean Lombardi: Well this sure made things interesting didn’t it? The big swap of Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson and a first round pick is sure to send some shock waves through the NHL. The plug has clearly been pulled on this current Columbus squad and the LA Kings are not satisfied with having the 30th ranked offense going into the playoff push.
Howson and Lombardi have been walking on thin ice for a while now and this move may have saved both of their jobs this offseason. Columbus shed salary and kicked off their rebuild, while LA got a scoring winger to play with either Kopitar or Richards — I know Carter is a natural centre, but he makes a great winger, and there is no way you want him third on your depth chart.
As much as Howson has been critized this year, the fact is that he turned impending RFA Jakob Voracek and a high 1st round pick into signed for several years Jack Johnson and mid-1st rounder. Which really isn’t that bad. Of course you may have to convince people that this entire season has been some sort of a bad dream, which may be easier said that done.
Several different reports this week came out that there was Alberto Del Rio was too arrogant, that The Miz was too lazy, Brodus Clay is too reckless, and that Rey Mysterio is taking too long to come back from injury.
I don’t know what’s going on right now, but they need to shut people up about this, especially at Wrestlemania time. The company does not want bad publicity their way at this time. The backstage tensions need to be kept to a minimum and nobody needs to do anything stupid. A backstage fight or public drunkenness could most certainly cost someone their job.
What’s more troubling is the reports that people are upset with the Rock, which brings us to…
John Cena: Mr. Cena really kicked the generational showdown kicks into high gear with a truly unreal promo this past week. He, quite rightly, called out The Rock for leaving even after he said that he never would. He said this week that Dwayne will “bury him”, and he probably will.
The fact that Cena stands up for the business, continues to be a company man, and gets shat on for it is an absolute crime. The man works his ass off week in, week out, and does more to promote the product than anyone else since probably Hulk Hogan in the 80s. I can’t wait to see him beat The Rock on April 1.
NHL Standings: Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets jumped from 9th in the East to 3rd, while the Panthers fell from 3rd to 8th, the Capitals, currently in 9th have the potential to jump up to 3rd with a few wins. Meanwhile in the West, the Coyotes and Sharks are tied for 3rd and 7th, but a full 10 points behind the 4th place St. Louis Blues
Division leaders are guaranteed the top 3 seeds in the Conference in the NHL, and this has often been some point of contention, but this is getting ridiculous. The NBA had a similar problem to this after the Spurs and Mavericks were consistently two of the best teams in the league but were forced to split the first and fourth seeds in the West. This problem seems to be there for the Central Division, and potentially the Atlantic as well. The Southeast division has been perennially weak, and last years toughest division — the Pacific — seems to have been somehow neutered.
If you are the Nashville Predators, currently sitting in fifth in the West with 77 points, do you try to win the rest of your games and face a very tough St. Louis team, or do you try to slide down and play San Jose, who currently has six fewer points? If it’s in your teams best interests to not win, then something is deeply flawed.
If the playoffs started today we would get Vancouver-Dallas, Detroit-Phoenix (again!), San Jose-Chicago, St. Louis-Nashville in the West, with New York-Florida, Boston-Ottawa, Winnipeg-Pittsburgh, and New Jersey-Philadelphia in the East. This makes me feel really bad for St. Louis and Nashville, two fun, tough, teams poised for deep runs, who through the luck of the draw are forced to play each other while San Jose and Chicago, two teams that are limping at the moment, get a much more favourable matchup.
A few years ago, the NBA changed it so that the division leader was guarenteed a top four seed, and it seems to have worked out nicely. If the NHL followed suit we would get: Vancouver-Dallas, Detroit-Phoenix, St. Louis-Chicago, San Jose-Nashville, New York-Florida, Boston-Ottawa, New Jersey-Pittsburgh, Winnipeg-Philadelphia. Tell me that isn’t more equitable?
Prediction for Next Week: Rick Nash remains a Columbus Blue Jacket.