Friday, February 28, 2014

NXT Goes Primetime on WWE Network

While the current WWE has a lot of people feeling depressed and blue assuming they don’t screw it up the future looks bright for the WWE. That might not include the WWE Network that failed its first test at a live event with NXT Arrival. At first I thought it was my bootlegged feed in Canada but after checking on Twitter realized this was a problem for more than just people outside of U.S scrambling to find a way to watch this. The network hit a major hiccup right before the main event ladder match for the NXT Title. This happens at Wrestlemania 30 and the WWE Network may not be able to get off the ground.

That said, NXT went to primetime sort of to the U.S audience in a PPV kind of feel event that was the first of its kind for the WWE Developmental system based in Orlando at Full Sail University. They kicked this show off with a bang with a re-match of what many were calling match of the year last year between Sami Zayn and Antonio Csearo. The two former Indy stars that both worked in ROH and many other places found a way to exceed that epic two out of three falls contest. One of the highlights of this epic contest featured a new twist on an awesome spot from the original match.

Zayn in the original match dove through the corner robes and landed a diving attack on an unsuspecting Csearo on the other side. This time the same dive was met with a vicious upper-cut shot from Csearo. Imagine that in storyline of wrestling a guy actually scouted a previous match and had an answer for it. That is some rare and very seldom utilized story telling. In the end Zayn playing off the injured knee that they had made evident heading into the match fought hard as Csearo would pound on that weak point. Again this was great storytelling. Zayn despite his efforts and battling through the pain that Csearo dished out on that injured knee could not over come. The end would come with a big uppercut and a neutralizer for the three count.

A 30 minute classic that ended with a dejected Sami Zayn in the corner who Csearo offered his hand too and helped to his feet and the two embraced. How good was the match? COO of the WWE and the guy who runs the shows at NXT HHH, had to take a moment to tweet to the world a picture of the two in the ring immediately after it concluded.on his screen back in back where he was running things. He proclaimed it to be an awesome match. Which by everyone’s accounts it was. It actually was even better than the original 2 out 3 falls contest.

This proved a couple things the first being that Csearo is ready for his push and eventual baby face turn. While Sami Zayn has gotten all he can from NXT and is clearly ready to make the leap to the WWE Main Roster. People seeing this feud return on the main roster will be in for an absolute treat. This match will be better than many that will be on the actual Wrestlemania card. In fact other than the match that Daniel Bryan eventual ends up in it might be better than everything else. It was that good.

To be honest nothing else on this show would match this match on the show. Nothing would even come close to be honest. You can understand why it led off the show though as a way to hook the audience and sell the NXT brand to a new audience. It did that in spades.

We go from the good of the future to the very bad of the future. Mojo Rawley is someone the WWE is high on and when you know his football background and his massive size you get why they are. But his gimmick as a guy that has had 10 too many red bulls and runs around like a much lesser version of the Ultimate Warrior is doomed to fail on the main roster should it remain. He beat an equally troubling talent in C.J Parker who until recently was playing a baby face hippy character that was not getting over so they flipped the gimmick heel. To early to tell if this will save it but early signs are it could. No shock the Rawley went over with his finisher which is basically the male version of the ‘Rear View.”  Rawley is just terrible and is no where near ready but given his look likely he sees the main roster long before he is truly ready. I don’t think any amount of time could make me love that gimmick.

We got to see Xavier Wood and Tyler Breeze end up getting squashed before a match could take place by Alexander Rusev who has been getting a ton of push with promos since his debut in the Royal Rumble. Rusev has had his gimmick slightly tweaked but is looking like he could see a major push once he hit’s the main roster in ring. Woods has had a pretty unsuccessful run since going to the main roster being paired with R-Truth and basically replacing Brodus Clay with a bad dancing gimmick. Breeze has the best gimmick going in NXT and I expect him to get the call to the main roster soon. He should be able to get this whole modernization of the old Rick “The Model” Martel gimmick over on the main roster.

Speaking of bad pushes on main roster and awful dancing gimmicks we have Emma taking on the NXT Women’s Champion Paige. This match was an attempt to re-habilitate Emma as she dominated the offensive portion of this match. I have not been a fan of Emma’s work but I admit this was her best in ring performance to date. In the end Paige would come out on top and retain her title and it led to are second hugging it out finish to a match on this card. Paige it has been rumoured has been held back on the NXT roster based on her young age. Make no mistake about it there is a great feud to happen between A.J Lee and Paige in the future and with no real challenger for A.J it might make sense to do it sooner rather than later but they look like they are heading to a Lee vs. Snuka Mania match for Divas title if it even makes the Mania card.

The final match which people saw to varying amounts saw Bo Dallas the longest reigning NXT Champion fought Adrian Neville for the title in the first ladder match in history of NXT for the title. The shame is I saw very little of this match but from what I did it was a pretty low risk ladder match in which we saw the title change hands. This likely indicates that Bo Dallas maybe getting his second shot at the main roster with no longer having his title tying him to the NXT brand. Neville while he is a breath taking high flyer is one of the worst talkers on the WWE roster. If this guy is ever to debut on the main roster he needs a manger mouth piece badly. Perhaps some foreshadowing from the pre-show in which Paul Heyman stated that whoever won the title match was someone he would consider as a client. Did he mean that literally I guess time will tell but that would mean Neville would need to go heel and he has a move set that screams baby face. Yet when was the last time we have seen a baby face with a manger in WWE. It has been a long time I am thinking.

The best thing NXT has going for it is that this is essentially Paul Levesque’s (HHH) pride and joy and next too his three actual daughter his baby more or less. Prior to the even HHH did a conference call in which he spoke about the future of NXT and said as much? You can go to Between the Ropes and hear yourself the glowing terms Paul talks about the NXT brand and the WWE Performance Center.

NXT is going to be the path to the WWE main roster and you will have to go through there to get to the big show no pun intended. It has had its share of home runs with Wyatt Family and Shield but had its fair share of strikeouts with Woods and Emma. Where some others talents fall somewhere in the middle like Big E Langston and Summer Rae on the main roster. The trick will be knowing who to keep as is and bring them to main roster and who they need to give something new too heading to the main roster. That will become trickier to do with NXT now so available to everyone including folks in the U.S

While the current product seems to be a rather bad fitting jig-saw puzzle the WWE in build a large stable of other pieces they can draw from to plug into the mix. If you’re a talent on the main roster it is safe to say if you reside in the lower mid-card or bottom of the card to off T.V you really need to watch your back because the list of guys and gals chomping at the bit to take your place on the main roster is growing. The WWE in terms of depth may never be as strong as it is right now. The key will be can that use that depth to create the next generation of top level talents the likes of Cena, Orton, Bryan, Punk and others. That remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WrestleMania 30 May Follow The Path Of History Of Landmark Shows

Wrestlemania is starting to take shape and it is not exactly anyone’s dream scenario. This being a mania with a significant number it takes on a greater expectation for long time fans of the product. If you look back at, these landmark moment shows have not exactly delivered the goods at the end of the day. At least not on that main event level of them, they have kind of fallen flat to be honest.   Wrestlemania 10 is not remembered for Bret Hart winning the title. It is remembered for a gimmick match for the I-C title between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon.

You speed ahead to Wrestlemania 20 and at the time it delivered what fans wanted and was kind of similar to what is happening now. Eddie Guerrero defending his world title and Chris Benoit went over HHH and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match and they both embrace at the end of the match. Benoit and his title run was very short lived as he would lose the title at the next major PPV Summerslam in Toronto to Randy Orton making him the youngest WWE Champion at the time. Looking back after the sad tragedy that leads to Benoit murdering his family and taking his own life basically has erased that Wrestlemania main event from history.

As we head toward Wrestlemania 30 the world title match as it stands now is booked as a match Batista and Randy Orton. The WWE clearly has missed the mark in assuming that Batista was a much more over character and personality than they thought. Randy Orton has been a neutered heel as a result of the “Authority” angle. It has led to a match where in the eyes of fans is a heel vs. heel contest that absolutely no one wants to see.

Daniel Bryan is being kept away from the title match whom most people don’t want to see. They had teased the idea of HBK vs. Bryan match which has neutered the idea of HHH vs. Bryan match which could have been fantastic had they not teased HBK vs. Bryan. This was of course supposed to be the CM Punk feud against HHH. Even a tag-match between Punk and Bryan vs. DX might have made more sense than this. Shawn Michaels seems unwilling to return to the ring and before they teased anything with anyone he needed to be on board to come out of his wrestling retirement.

Punk not being in the mix is a huge thing on its own. Punk in some sense has replaced HBK as the guy that comes to Wrestlemania and steals the show. He did it last year in his match with the Undertaker. We will get to in a minute on where Taker and his streak will be heading on this card.  However with all that WWE has presented it seems pretty clear that Punk will not be walking through that door for a match at Wrestlemania. If Punk returns you have to ask yourself where he would fit into the current landscape being set up to this point.

Undertaker against Brock Lesnar is a match a lot have people have wanted to see. The two had an interaction at a UFC show and there seems to be a legit or at least presumed heat between the two.  I am not sure this match can work with a very old Undertaker against a very physical and real style of Brock Lesnar. You look back at the Punk match from last year CM Punk did a brilliant job of protecting Undertaker. There were a lot of spots where Punk would cut off Undertaker from being able to do classic spots that he likely can’t do anymore. A Taker vs. Brock match is likely to turn into some mat based MMA fight that I am not sure a WWE audience is going to enjoy. This holds especially true with the history of the streak to have to live up too.

John Cena is going to Wrestlemania against Bray Wyatt. This is a match where all the pressure is going be Bray Wyatt to deliver. Has Cena become the new in ring HHH in the sense of burying talent? His gimmick of late that the future of the WWE has to go through him needs to happen in reality for it to work. Fans are really into the Wyatt’s and the Shield but as we saw on Raw they might not be as in to the individuals like Bray and Roman as solo acts. It remains to be seen at this point. In terms of Bray he has had his issues in single matches since his debut. His match in a Ring of Fire against Kane was not exactly a success. This match with Cena will have everyone in the company's full attention and is a make or break moment for him at least in the short term if not his long term future.

As for the Shield there break up will have to take some form on this mania card and the booking for this has been rock solid. If it ever applied more I am not sure when but I “Believe in the Shield” and think some combination of the three in a match will be tremendous and if given the time have a shot to be a show stealer. Roman Reigns has clearly been positioned to be the baby face star coming out of this angle. Dean Ambrose for my money is just as good a talent and could have more lasting power. It is just as big a deal for him as it is for Roman. While Seth Rollins has to find a way to carve out his spot coming out of all of this as not looking like the forgotten man. He is capable of doing so and I expect this group will always be tied in WWE Storylines for years to come like other past factions have been like Evolution, DX and others that don’t involve HHH.

The rest of the card not sure what happens with that with nothing laid out in that regard at all aside from rumours and logical ideas.   A.J Lee vs. Snuka seems the way we go here. Not all that excited to see it and if Punk is not around not all that convinced that A.J can survive whatever match she has and leave with the title. The Divas division is hurting and struggling along you also will have the temptation of using the girls on that show at mania which really no one wants to see.

Some other breaks up feuds have been teased of talked about with the Real Americans and turning Csearo baby face. The Rhodes brothers doing battle has been rumoured but not really evident in story line. You have the Tag title still on the Outlaws and Usos trying to take them away. Big E is still the I-C champ with no obvious challenger at this stage. It is so sad how the I-C title match has become an after thought at Wrestlemania. In the early days it produced classic matches and was normally the second biggest match on the card most years. Those days are sadly long gone.

It all leads to a mania card that really doesn’t have me counting down the 40 days till they get it on at the Superdome. Mania in the past was an event you can’t wait for. This year Wrestlemania almost feels like something I want to get past. Nothing on it really gets me excited to the point that I am counting the days too it. But that might be in part on us as the mania expectations for a show that ends in 0 like a 10 or 20 has always been a show we have expected the moon and fallen far short of it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

UFC Is Beating The WWE At Their Own Game

UFC and WWE both had PPV’s on this past weekend. I don’t think I will be talking a lot of MMA/UFC he in the Condo on the Moon. However there is a lesson to be learned from comparing these two shows. Also the worlds are starting to crossover in many ways. The WWE Network depending on when you’re reading as launched in the USA while the UFC already has Fight Pass up and running. Also CM Punk was at one of the PPV’s and it wasn’t the WWE one. Brock Lesnar was not at either because no one was paying him to be.

Punk is known to be connected with many people in the MMA world just like Brock despite not stepping into octagon. One of those people is Rowdy Ronda Rousey the Women’s Champion of the UFC. Rousey as many might be aware, actually asked Roddy Piper if she could use his nickname back when she was unknown to most of the world despite being the only medalist from the U.S in Judo winning a Bronze Medal. Piper who meet Rousey through one of her mentors and a friend of Piper “Judo” Gene LeBell gave his blessing. 

Rousey since has become the face of Women’s MMA and the star of the UFC and perhaps their brightest. Her connection to wrestling comes from her time on the UFC show the Ultimate Fighter. Rousey on that show entered it as a fan favourite and after the reality show was hated by a great many based on how she was portrayed on the show. Where this leads to wrestling is despite some people hating Ronda she actually bonded with the team she was coaching and especially a few of girls under her guidance on the show.

Shayna Baszler complete with her own wrestling like gimmick the Queen of Spades came to train with Rousey along with one of the other girls from the show. Baszler’s love of wrestling was passed on to Rousey and the rest of the house full of 4 girls. This led to them declaring themselves the Four Horsewomen and becoming the UFC’s top heel faction.  They took a picture that was a complete rip off of the original four horseman group of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Ollie Anderson. The gimmick has stuck and Rousey has become the HEEL Champion of the UFC.

The outcome of her fight against another Olympic Medalist in wrestling (the real kind) Sara McMann would end in controversy.  The fight was right out of the WWE when the Champion Rousey landed a knee dropping McMann causing the Ref Herb Dean to jump in right away declaring Rousey the winner. McMann quickly bounced back to her feet looking fine and upset with the early stoppage. Rousey would take to the mic after her fight and cut a fantastic heel promo that I am confident 75% of the WWE Roster could not manage.

Randy Orton could take lessons on how to be a heel from the UFC Female Champion. The WWE in contrast instead of sticking to a simple story like the one of the Rousey fight instead has a ending in a match that is specifically made to avoid outside interference filled with run in’s and nonsense. In the end the Heel still won but he didn’t look strong at all.

WWE can make a good feud though as they proved on the same show with the Wyatt’s vs. The Shield. It had just as much buzz as any UFC big fight chanting “This is Awesome” before anyone ever touched. The match was a wrestling masterpiece showing the growing divide with in the Shield while continuing the strong build of Roman Reigns. At the same time the Wyatt’s get the win and as has been rumoured and later in the night teased that we are heading to a Bray Wyatt vs. Cena mania match.

Boxers and fighters have always looked to pro wrestling as ways to promote fights. Ali the greatest boxer of all time for many credits Gorgeous George (Not Randy Savage’s Valet in the 90’s) as the motivation for many of his famous rants at opponents. Mike Tyson is in the Boxing and WWE Hall of Fames and he is a huge fan of wrestling dating back to the Bruno Sammartino days.

UFC seems perfectly fine with promoting WWE Stars that often show up at their shows while Punk never was shown on PPV he has been in the past and Stone Cold Austin was there and shown on the PPV. WWE while in the past was willing to work with UFC with their relationship with Ken Shamrock. In modern times they have been less likely to do so other than to put over Brock Lesnar.

WWE should be happy to open its doors to UFC stars and Ronda Rousey perhaps most of all. Rousey could easily be worked in to the show and might make a ton of sense to be at Wrestlemania in some capacity. Not booked in a match but at least in the crowd or even as guest refs in a Divas match would be a draw.

Dana White has become better at being Vince McMahon than Vince McMahon. In a sense the UFC is taking the reality of their sport and bringing in the salesmanship of the WWE. While the WWE is not doing what they do best enough to satisfy the audience to the level they demand.   WWE has the luxury of being able to control their outcomes where the UFC does not. Ronda Rousey while unlikely is one punch away from being knocked out and having the UFC’s biggest draw losing her title. It happened with Brock Lesnar and him losing his Title belt in UFC. In WWE they have a star waiting to happen in Daniel Bryan but have consistently held him back.

As much as people on the far ends of the spectrum hate it, Wrestling and MMA is basically a lot of like minded people that want to see big fights and be entertained. Yes one is a work and the other is real but everything else is the same. Ronda Rousey is the best heel champion in the game today.  She gets it and unlike a John Cena handles a divided fan base in the way she should.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

John Cena You Can't See The Truth

John Cena is without a doubt the most dividing force in wrestling. Those who don’t acknowledge him as a force are just the flat out haters. Five moves of doom and all of that stuff might be valid but the guy has positioned himself to be the number one guy in the game.  His merchandise sales and his overall mainstream appeal can not be denied. This came from Cena’s tireless work and effort that is truly legitimate.

So why does everyone hate him so much really? Well a lot of reasons but at the core of it he is a sell-out to his former persona in the WWE. He is that rapper that has stopped rapping and started making television and movies instead of doing what we loved about him to begin with.

The John Cena persona of the Doctor of Thug-o-Nomics was against the system and the John Cena of today is the system. In a C.M Punk Promo he summed it up best when he said “John you have become the thing you hate, you’re….The New York Yankees and he (Vince) is Steinbrenner and your Jeter.” That is it right there in a nutshell. We like the John Cena that smacked Stephanie McMahon on the back side and made double meaning expressions that flew over the kids heads but that we all got.

John Cena now has become the corporate face of the WWE in real terms not in some storyline. He appeals to the younger fans with a message that has been modernized for the train, say your prayers and eat your Hulk Hogan vitamins. Hustle, Loyalty and Respect has been the new mantra for this generation.

Cena claims to live that credo not just in the ring but out of it. Well I have to take issue with if that is actually true. John Cena hustles when he feels like it in a match with a guy that pushes him to do so. Like in the recent match with Antonio Cesaro he busts his butt. At Money in the Bank with Punk and Summerslam with Bryan all the same effort. If he isn’t pushed it is those 5 moves of doom and the effort level is very low.

Loyalty he has to the people that have stayed loyal to him. What about the people like me that use to be loyal to the old John Cena character? No love for us he makes fun of us with his corny attempt at humour, like his cute little heel turn joke where he literally turned his foot in a promo on Raw.

As for respect, he respects the people he works for. He claims to champion the people’s right to express their views. What he fails to realize is that expression and his own lack of being over with the fan base is the key problem with what is wrong with the WWE.

If you are positioned as the top baby face of the company and are met with a variety of reactions from town to town that is not what is best for business to use the party line from WWE storylines. It makes the entire system flawed from the top to the bottom. If you don’t have an over baby face than your top heel can’t be your top heel it is that simple. The fans that hate Cena will rally behind that person. What’s worse is if they hate him too (Randy Orton this means you) than they (Fans) will just go into business for themselves as the baby faces.

This trickles on down the card and leads to many characters development being altered by the lack of consistency at the top. So when people say that John Cena is the problem with wrestling right now they are right. They may not truly understand why they are right as laid out here but they are none the less.

The thing that is best for Business is to turn Cena into what he actually is a guy that is out for himself to keep his spot at the top of the food chain. We have moved past the days where John Cena can’t be used to promote the company as bad guy. In fact in the wrestling world it enhances his heal persona. No one likes a kiss ass and John Cena comes off as that without trying.

Stone Cold Steve Austin took some heat for defending Cena after having him on for a podcast. Saying how he respects all that Cena has done and he can relate and know how hard that is to do. Steve is right I am never going to know what it’s like to be him or John Cena and the pressure that comes with being the face of that company. 

What Steve fails to realize or acknowledge is he was always kept cool on T.V in the wrestling storyline and still was able to do all the media and promotion in the mainstream with not coming off as a corporate kiss ass. His feud with Vince McMahon and his anti-authority character was the reason. John Cena is shoved down are throats and they desperately try to sell what a wonderful guy he is. He can grant a million wishes to sick and dying children but it isn’t going to sell him to the wrestling audience. In fact it makes them resent him all the more. Not that wrestling fans are against kids getting a dying wish more that you are going out of your way to promote it. John Cena is not the first guy to do wonderful things for people with his WWE Stardom. They all have from Hogan to Savage to Austin. But just like in the world I have spent 6 years in when you get told that the NBA Cares after awhile you see it for what it is which is while great acts that help people when you broadcast it than it becomes positive PR.

WWE has always tried to do as much as they can in this regard as a way to validate themselves as good corporate citizens in the main stream world. The work they have done with BE a Star Campaign is tremendous and should be applauded. For the mainstream audience it becomes more of a joke when they contrast it with the on screen and behind the scenes realities of wrestling. Still it is a good thing and deep down we all know that. Tying these things so tightly to just one top guy is not the way to do it though. NBA isn’t using just Lebron James to show you the NBA Cares they use everyone.

So as much as John Cena thinks he gets it I am not sure he neither does nor does the company that is so obsessed with making us like him. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lost Somewhere In The Danger Zone

I have been struggling with my fandom for a lot of things and that includes wrestling. There are a great many things that I am just questioning about the wrestling product these days. Before anyone accuses me of being some part of the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) I have been a fan before there was an IWC. Which by the way the fact we class fans as that is pretty silly isn’t it. How many people do you know that do not have access or use the internet?  While are levels of consumption of Wrestling news and information is varied I hate to break it to everyone we are all part of the IWC. More to the point the term and the suggestion of this group is as outdated as some of the ideas wrestling is presenting to us as fans.

CM Punk gave a lot of wrestling’s most hardcore fans hope that wrestling could be fun again. He had his now famous promo in Las Vegas that had everyone stand up and say hell yeah. Now that guy has tried his butt off for three years and not a lot has changed. We still have a WWE that is even more corporate than ever before. It is set to launch the WWE Network in the U.S and has big T.V deals at stake for all its television content.

That might be the best reason to explain the total disconnect WWE has had with its fan base that they like to call the WWE Universe.  I hate that expression we are people not aliens from some other planet we are just people that want to be entertained. I think there is something seriously wrong with the product when I look forward to podcasts about it or about Wrestling’s past rather than its future.

The Daniel Bryan rise has been a grass root fan made thing from almost the start. Bryan Danielson like CM Punk was a star on the Indy scene and came with a fan base already. What he has been able to do just like Punk is grow that fan base to include the majority of wrestling fans. From the point Sheamus won in like 11 seconds at Wrestlemania a few years ago it has grown to this Yes Movement that is the most over thing in wrestling since Stone Cold Steve Austin.

For whatever reason the WWE has not gotten fully behind this and remains locked in the past with guys like Randy Orton, Big Show and John Cena. The fans in act the likes we have never seen before have literally hi-jacked shows and went into business for themselves. Fans are not buying what the WWE is selling.

This comes at a time that the WWE is taking a huge risk and counting on its fans to buy in on the WWE Network. There is some irony in there somewhere but point is people want something new that is more like what they loved from what is old. What’s old is new again applies in many world’s and wrestling is one where that expression most applies.

The new is a group of hunger young stars being held down in this WWE system. There is a reason a lot of fans love NXT more than Raw a lot of the time. It is much more looser format and it is it’s own little world that people have embraced. It also is only one hour as opposed to the three hour investment of time that Raw has become.

I am more invested in watching the Wyatt’s and Shield square off than I am the WWE World Championship. I am also more interested in watching Ronda Rousey in the UFC than I am that match as well. Rousey and her 4 horsewomen are more over with me than 75% of the WWE Roster. It is all in how they are booked and treated. WWE points to poor PPV numbers for the failure of Summerslam and their lack of faith in Bryan. I say their flawed booking is just as much to blame. Also isn’t this the company that is claiming that PPV industry is dying? It seems to be sending two different messages at the same time here. 

Even if now that Punk has left and I have lost faith in the WWE as a whole, what am I suppose to do as a fan? Go watch TNA? The company that is cutting costs at an alarming rate and constantly trying to use WWE former attractions to boost them up? MVP you’re the latest Ex-WWE star to try and save TNA good luck with that you will need it. I have just never been into this company for years. They buried their home grown talent at expense of big names and draws. They had perhaps the biggest star ROH produced in Samoa Joe. He was as big as it gets and on the level with Punk in terms of his stardom in ROH. What this man must think when he looks at what has become of other ROH Alums in the WWE. The roster of WWE is full of them.  TNA has shown more love to Sting than their self made Sting in A.J Styles.

TNA gambled on Hulk Hogan and lost big time. On the verge of his return to WWE Hogan is saying how it is good to be home. TNA for Hogan and a laundry list of other former WWE Talents was a pay check and not a home. The lone exception to that might be Kurt Angle. However Angle was such a loose cannon even the WWE wasn’t willing to gamble on him. History has proven that to be a wise choice. TNA the company that once claimed to want to be different from the WWE has become a cheap low budget imitation of it. Nothing more illustrated that then the final angle of A.J Styles TNA run being a complete rip off of the Punk angle that began with the pipe bomb promo. It was an utter failure as is TNA to a larger extent.

Where I find myself entertained the most of late is by ROH and PWG. It is nothing ground breaking in either promotion. What is though at the end of the day is fun. More like wrestling is suppose to be. The best example of that fun is a guy that WWE would never likely consider in Kevin Steen. He is a big guy that looks more like me than he does a bodybuilder. WWE sees that as a negative where I see it as a positive. While I am not stupid enough to think I could do all Steen does. It does allow me to live through him and relate to him.

I also am a huge fan of Adam Cole the current Champion of both PWG and ROH. He is going to be a star and likely makes it to the WWE System and than it will be on them if he is the next HBK or the next Dolph Ziggler. He has that kind of potential to me. I also love the Young Bucks tag-team who are full of HBK Super Kicks and just incredible workers but also funny as hell. 

ROH in contrast to TNA and how they use people is night and day. Let’s take two examples of former WWE Talents and how ROH has used them. First you have Maria who is the valet for her in real life boyfriend Michael Bennett. She is there to enhance him and does it as true heel female valet. She is not concerned with herself getting over as much as she is her man getting ahead. They play off her real life relationship with CM Punk in fun cool ways as well. They also have a pretty fun podcast that I have become a big fan of.

They also have use Matt Hardy and he has been a big part of getting Adam Cole over to the next level as well as feuding with Steen as part of the Scum angle. He is not there to get himself over and plays to the fans legit hate for him. Again this is brilliant and how you use a big star to get over your talent. Even a returning Chris Hero and A.J Styles have not walked in the door and been given the moon.

This takes us back to the WWE and how they totally over estimated the fans love for Batista and gave him the Rock treatment and fans rejected that in a big way. I guess at the end of the day you hope things will get better on all fronts but you have to allow yourself to explore and give other things a chance is the lesson I have learned.

Wrestling is an addiction that for many of us is impossible to fully get out of our system. Funny that was what CM Punk said that his addiction was wrestling which is all of our addiction. What Punk did though was said despite that he was not satisfied and he had enough and went home. I don’t think it is the same as Austin back in the day. This is deeper and about something larger than just Punk and his own career but about the industry as a whole and where it is heading.

The only thing I can say for sure is wrestling a year from now is going look much different than it does from today. It maybe for the good or for the bad but it is changing make no mistake about that.