Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s Saturday so time for the latest instalment of ’This Week in Wrestling’. Today, in part 26, Craig discusses the Punjabi Prison match while Brian talks about Cody Rhodes and shares all the best viral content he’s stumbled upon this week.
This week on Smackdown, to the surprise of few and dismay of many, it was announced that the Punjabi Prison match would return to WWE TV.
For those not in the know, you’re very lucky! The Punjabi Prison match, named after the Punjab state that The Great Khali, the match’s founder, is billed from, consists of two large steel-reinforced bamboo cages. The first is four sided and stands 16 feet (4.8 m) tall, while the second has eight sides and stands 20 feet (6 m) and surrounds the first.
The Punjabi Prison match is an abomination of a bout, albeit it relatively obscure due to only two having taken place – The Undertaker vs the Big Show and Batista vs the Great Khali. As you’d imagine, none are standout matches. Writing about the Show vs Taker match in the Wrestling Observer of 31 July 2006, Dave Meltzer said: “The cage, made fully of bamboo, dropped from the ceiling as Indian music played. This at least looked really cool. Unfortunately, now the match has to take place.” PWTorch columnist Wade Keller wrote of Khali vs. Batista: “They made the best of their assets, but it still was a lot of lumbering, crawling, grabbing, clubbering, and climbing at slo-mo speed.” You get the gist.
A glutton for punishment? Here’s the Taker vs Big Show match:
But let’s bring things up to date. Battleground will host the third Punjabi Prison match, which will see Jinder Mahal defend his WWE title against Randy Orton. Fans should set their expectations for this to pretty low. For those in attendance, though, it’ll be even worse due to their vision being obscured by the mass of bamboo infront of them. Although you could argue this could actually be a good thing…
There is very little of the Great Khali’s run with the WWE that fans and commentators reminisce about. One thing for sure, one thing that definitely isn’t fondly remembered is the Punjabi Prison match.
It will strike a standout visual, of that there’s no doubt, but it’ll lead to an awkward match where much of the time will be spent climbing and clambering over a cage. A no DQ or falls count anywhere would have been a perfect stipulation or even a cage match, in order to remove the Singh Brothers from the equation.
Considering the observer, out of five, gave Khali vs. Batista 1.25 stars and Big Show vs. Undertaker a -1 star, then you know Orton and Mahal are on a hiding to nothing going into Battleground.
When Cody aka Cody Rhodes left the WWE, there were many, including myself, who were left scratching our heads. Why would he leave the biggest “Sports Entertainment” promotion for the unknown of the independents? Granted, the last couple of years in Cody’s WWE tenure, he seemed buried under the ‘Stardust’ gimmick. Basically, a carbon copy of his brother Dustin’s famous ‘Goldust’ gimmick.
It was simple, Cody wasn’t happy and was stagnating under the bright lights of the WWE. In his heart of hearts, Cody knew he was destined for bigger and greater things. So, in a shocking move, Cody left the WWE and ventured out onto his own to carve his own distinctive path in pro wrestling. In just one full year, Cody appeared on 4 of the biggest wrestling shows for the world’s most known promotions – WWE’s WrestleMania, TNA’s Bound for Glory, Ring of Honor’s Final Battle and New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom.
Cody had quickly become pro wrestling’s most sought after free agent, winning various independent titles along the way. How did he do it? Was his WWE exposure a help? Probably. Was the fact that his father was the late, great Dusty Rhodes? It couldn’t hurt. Keep in mind though, other former WWE wrestlers such as Ryback and Jack Swagger are nowhere near the demand that Cody has been.
Cody’s biggest achievement to date occurred last week when he won Ring of Honor’s most prestigious title, the ROH world heavyweight championship, by defeating Christopher Daniels. His first “world title” of any kind in his career. Now with that accomplishment unlocked, Cody has a chance to make history again. He will challenge Kazuchika Okadafor New Japan’s top title, the IWGP heavyweight title. While I do not expect Cody to win the IWGP belt, it is no less a major accomplishment in his post-WWE career.
The best part of this particular journey is that Cody has done it his way all along. He created his own opportunities. He alone elevated his worth to the wrestling world. According to Cody himself, he is working at his own schedule and making, even more, money than he did in the WWE. ‘The American Nightmare’ did it all on his own. Perhaps one day Cody will return to the WWE. If that day ever happens, you better believe he is coming in on his terms. Cody Rhodes really is living the American Dream.
Poll Results from this Week
5-star – 26.32
3-star – 26.32
4-star – 21.05
1-star – 21.05
2-star – 5.26
2-star – 50
3-star – 33.33
1-star – 16.67
5-star – 0
4-star – 0
3-star – 44.44
4-star – 22.22
5-star – 16.67
1-star – 16.67
2-star – 0
3-star – 33.33
4-star – 25
1-star – 16.67
2-star – 12.5
5-star – 12.5
Check out these contest winners. Notice anybody familiar?
Brian Pillman then and his son now.
What the New Japan IWGP Intercontinental title looks like after being in the hands of Tetsuya Naito…
A recent pic of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Now look closely, it sure does look like Stephanie has a little baby bump. Let the rumors begin!
The original cover boy for the WWE 2k18 video game if Vince McMahon got his way.
Take a look at this. Every WWE employee receives a championship belt as a reward for working with the company over 5 years.
The trophy for the Mae Young Classic winner has been revealed! I’m kidding of course…
Bebebebebebe that’s all folks!
A classic commercial for Hulk Hogan’s vitamins…
Last Week on the Blog
Last week’s Sunday Sermon asked if too much content was hurting the WWE; on Monday we had part 25 of ‘Meanwhile, in WCW‘; on Tuesday we a ‘Book or Cook‘ looking at American Alpha; on Wednesday we had part 14 of ‘Styles Clash: Clash of the Champions revisited‘; Part 120 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ was on Thursday and we rounded off the week with part five of a ‘History of the Intercontinental Title‘.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.