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February Superstar of the Month

by Michael Becker

Rising Star of February: David Otunga

Who would have thought this 6 months ago? David Otunga has become an interesting and even funny character. While you might have made a connection between Otunga and Lauriniatis, it would have been the dreaded "future endeavored" without the shadow of a doubt ...

What happened? It's quite simple: The WWE realized Otunga excels in one category: playing the kissass. He was Wade Barrett's and CM Punk's first lieutenant - and while he was no person to be trusted back then, his backstabbing and brown-nosing attitude had served him well (even earning Tag Team Championship accolades) - until the downfall of the New Nexus. Afterwards, his role was insignificant - at best. Until Lauriniatis entered the spotlight ...

But this time, Otunga has combined his servile gimmick with his real-life lawyer degree. The result is hilarious: The legal adviser of Mr. John Lauriniatis knows exactly how lick ass, how to give smart advise and, most importantly, how to hold a thermos jug of coffee all the time. Most remarkably, he also wins matches now: He was able to defeat the former monster Ezekiel Jackson two times in a row!

Maybe his current push has something to do with his fiancé, the singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson. Otunga even went that far to attend this year's grammy awards in his gimmick dress - including his famous thermos jug! And we all know Vince McMahon likes dedicated superstars.

The three of them.

David Otunga's rise to stardom might not even end there: If Team Lauriniatis wins the GM war at Wrestlemania Otunga could well become Smackdown's GM.


Sinking Star of February: Chris Jericho

It is simply a shame. We all know what Chris Jericho is capable of. We know he has a perfect understanding of the wrestling business inside as well as outside the ring. But his comeback failed.

Back in December, everything pointed to Jericho, and we loved it (especially when gave interviews stating he would never wrestle again). Slogans such as "the end of the world as you know it", "take back what's mine" and a mysterious "she, who holds the mystery to my arrival" all had pointed to a great storyline. Frankly, all of us were waiting for the best storyline in recent years - at least.

On January 2, Jericho arrived ... and went without saying a word. Week after week, Jericho was just trolling us by saying either nothing or just one sentence, culminating in an eventless Royal Rumble appearance where the world didn't end. The following RAW might have been the last chance to redeem himself. Yet, he simply attacked Punk out of the blue. As a reward for trolling, he 'earned' himself a title shot at Elimination Chamber. And yet again, we witnessed a disappointing Jericho who fell out of the chamber, hitting his head and 'getting injured' in the process. Next thing you know, he predictably won a Battle Royal to become the No. 1 contender for Punk's WWE title at Wrestlemania. The reason: To establish who really is "the best in the world" ... a rather crappy plain vanilla story.

What has happened here?

Before his return, we believed Jericho would have some creative control over his storylines. Could it be that Jericho really intended to troll us? How in the world could a storyline make sense in which you disappoint on a weekly basis?

Actually, there are two options: Either Jericho wanted to be utterly hated as a heel (according to his books, he feels he has done a bad job if people still cheer for him when he performs as a heel) and tried it via trolling - or his story got scrapped somewhere along the way and we have suffered plan B ... Either way, it didn't work out. The receptions went from cheering to some booing to ... nothing. And no reaction is bad.

But there's some hope: In the last RAW in February, Punk and Jericho battled themselves verbally - and it was a great promo. Two great wrestling minds, two mavericks, yet from different generations. All of a sudden, the magic was there! And let's be honest: No matter how much the story sucks, put Punk and Jericho in a match and and it's going to be the match of the year!


Another Sinking Star of February: Mark Henry

After a huge heel run as the most dominant and destructive World Champion for years, an injury stopped Mark Henry, forcing him to quickly lose his title at TLC against The Big Show. He was present even during his injury, working pseudo-matches and still posing a threat. But since he made his return to the ring fully recovered, Henry has lost each match. While this might not sound too bad, he lost all his recent matches in the twinkling of an eye: Sheamus or Big Show were able to defeat Henry within minutes!

Let's be honest here for a second: Mark Henry is not championship material: His wrestling abilities are close to non-existent, his micwork is mediocre at best. There are reasons why Henry has been a midcarder for 15 years. Ultimately, his main event push was nothing but an emergency solution: Yes, his Hall of Pain gimmick was a success, but can you imagine Wade Barrett with this gimmick? It would have been ten times bigger and better.

Plus, Mark Henry belongs to the past. Another title run would only hold back the young and upcoming stars such as Barrett, Rhodes, Sheamus or Bryan. He should make way - but not like this: Losing matches that fast doesn't help anybody. It might be too late to save his reputation as big destroyer, and as a result, victories against Henry might mean nothing more in the weeks and months to come. While it is a good thing Henry's times in the main event are past, they could have been used to help another worker's push at least ...


Match of the Month: CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan (Smackdown 02/21)

Undoubtedly, Punk and Bryan are among the best wrestlers in the world. While Punk has been allowed to lead the RAW brand as champion and to prove his in-ring and mic work abilities for quite some time now, Bryan' s heel gimmick has made him an interesting character as well. Their matches in the last episodes of RAW and Smackdown proved once more that it was the right decision to push these two men. They can tell stories with words as well as inside the ring.

The match we witnessed on 02/20 at Smackdown was amazing. Even if it was interrupted a couple of times to serve a bigger story, the flow, the selling and the moves were perfect Simply said: This is wrestling. If you have not watched it so far, please do so ... now!


Oddity of February: Eve's push

Eve has definitely played a crucial role in the Cena/Kane/Ryder triangle. While the role as caring girlfriend gone manipulative and calculating bitch might help her shape a personality in the long run, another thing was even more obvious: She is an incredibly bad actress. She's horrible. She can smile, walk or stretch her body (which we all love to watch) - that's all fine. But as soon as she's asked to show emotions she inevitably fails.

Here's some proof.


Now, here's the question: Why Eve? Sure, she had no story whatsoever, but the same goes for basically all divas (except poor Natalya who has to play the farting queen). Before giving Eve the role, didn't anyone bother to ask "OK Eve, could you please show us a happy face? A sad face? An angry one?" Obviously, no one did.

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