Week Commencing Monday 5th April 2010
First of all I would like to say I’m sorry for recent weeks and my lack of columns however I have not had as much time on my hands as I would have liked for various reasons that would bore you if I explained them. With that in mind let’s crack on with what I expect to be an fairly negative column unfortunately…
I was hoping the Swagger reign was not going to be booked like the Rey Mysterio title reign a few years back but that’s exactly what I expected and it seems to be exactly what we are going to get. For a start I don’t understand the brand extension anymore because anyone can show up anywhere at the moment. Well if you’re high on the card anyway. I know the draft is soon so that might change but at the moment the brands mean nothing.
The amount of talentless divas on show every week is really getting me down too. I don’t mean to generalise as the likes of Mickie James and Beth Phoenix are genuine talents but there are far too many who have contracts when the likes of Helms and Burchill find themselves out of work.
I was pleased to see the return of the Million Dollar Belt this week over the shoulder of the younger Ted Dibiase. I would like to see a reign like his father had where it is an unsanctioned but defended title on WWE shows. Beating Christian was a massive victory at this stage of Dibiase’s career and I see big things for him throughout 2010.
A loss straight after winning the title was not what Swagger needed. If they wanted Orton to look strong they could have at least had a DQ or something. Having the champ lost in the middle of the ring does nothing for his credibility. There hasn’t been a less credible champ since Rey Mysterio and I fear that the Swagger reign will be a waste of elevating someone. At least with Rey he was already a top guy in the company. If Swagger is the man they’re backing then they need to back him. Hopefully his reign will pick up momentum but early signs aren’t promising.
I wasn’t too impressed with Raw this week as I‘m sure you can tell. They will probably tread water until the draft now and it will be interesting to see what the rosters look like in a few weeks.
I was really annoyed with the party games going on this week on NXT…until they started and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I thought it would be a waste of time yet I found the keg carrying more enjoyable than most of the programming this week, even if the timekeeper was either awful or fiddling things. I know what my money is on. I do question waiting 30 minutes into an hour long wrestling show before putting a match on however.
Daniel Bryan was never going to get a better chance to win than against Darren Young. This loss didn’t do anything to help the brand and only hurt Bryan. Young would be better off getting a rub off Punk and co and Bryan should have had the win here. They are killing him, even if they do have him ranked first.
NXT seems to have lost a little momentum in recent weeks but with Mania build up and hardly any pros appearing it was bound to. I still view this show fondly and it is actually the most intriguing and, at times, the most entertaining wrestling show on TV at the moment for me.
I think it would be refreshing to start a wrestling show with a wrestling match once in a while. I cant remember the last time any televised show did this. At least when we got to the opening match Swagger was allowed a clean victory, albeit over somebody who is basically as midcard guy. All moans and groans aside, it was a solid match.
The next segment sums up WWE’s tactics in pushing or elevating a guy. See if you can guess their motivation. Is the big guy out of Cryme Tyme (see how well known and popular he is) getting a push because:
a) he has paid his dues and is mega talented
b) he is over with the crowd
c) he has a movie coming up so why not cash in on any potential publicity
Any ideas? The other guy, let’s call him the small guy from Cryme Tyme, will disappear into obscurity because nobody wants to see them feud and he isn’t over enough to have a singles run. I must say at this point I am not saying the big guy isn’t talented, or that either of them are not good enough. They just don’t seem to be over in any way and there are loads more guys who have positioned themselves to get over such as experienced work horses like Christian or Matt Hardy.
The actual wrestling on WWE TV this week was solid, as proved in the Hardy versus McIntyre match. It just seems like it is surrounded by repetitive segments and predictable angles. I love CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society story but Darren Young was never going to shave off the only thing that distinguishes him from anyone else. Without his hair Young seems very forgettable but in fairness this segment helped advance the Rey versus Punk angle which, as I said before, should always be the point of any segment. The only other reason, as I pointed out, is for Santino Marella to entertain the hell put of everyone.
The Hart Dynasty, who seem to be the only old school style tag team on the roster, are looking good right now as baby faces. The rub they got from Uncle Bret worked, as brief as it was, and I would love to see a tag team title win for these guys sooner rather than later. With the power and pace combination that the old Hart Foundation tag teams had, they could do good business with ShowMiz so I hope that’s where they are headed.
Another solid match from perennial main eventers Edge and Jericho ended the week strongly for WWE and I can only assume their non finish will lead to the exciting prospect of a triple threat match at Extreme Rules. Neither man needed a defeat at this point and a three way programme may go down well, as long as the champ isn’t lost in the shuffle. If anyone can help Swagger get over then these two can so hopefully we will see something worthwhile to give Swagger main event longevity. Personally I’m not bothered where Swagger is on the card but a poor run with the title will only hurt the belt so I’m hoping he gets more credibility very soon.
OK, now it is time for the negativity to go into overdrive. We start with the gorgeous Miss Hemme explaining – and I use the term loosely – the rules and concept of the evening’s Knockouts match. I played this back five times and still didn’t have a clue what to expect, how it worked, or anything like that! I will come back to this later…
Lethal Lockdown looks like a strong line up and Beer Money and Wolfe will benefit from being in the match with guys like Sting, Jarrett, RVD and Hardy. RVD looks like he may head back to his ECW versatility where he doesn’t perform a routine match with a routine finisher, like he was made to do in his WWE days. The bottle in the face was a good way to get heat on Storm and maybe we will have the good old ‘Will he? Won’t he?’ style story leading into Lockdown as Team Hogan’s sweats on the fitness of RVD.
I don’t see Rob Terry being ‘the guy’ in TNA but someone in power does. I’m sure it will be due to the look more than any other factor but at least he doesn’t come out to the ring for no apparent reason and just look like an idiot, doing things that have nothing to do with wrestling. They have signed Orlando Jordan to a multi year deal and having watched the guy for about six years on and off I have no idea why. As with the diva opinion earlier, why does this guy and Bubba the Love Sponge get TV time when people like Samoa Joe are off TV.
The Knockouts match was next and I’m all for being innovative and promoting new concepts but you shouldn’t have a match so confusing that you have to explain the rules in writing on the screen. Basically what happened here was that the champ lost her belt to her tag team partner but neither of them knew it had been won or lost for another 70 minutes. Is that the craziest concept ever or what? How does that give any credibility to the new champ or the title or the division or the show or the company or the business. Sorry I needed to come up for air. At least there were no more keys involved…until the next match!
As if there weren’t enough keys booked on this match we had to watch a ladder match for a key. Don’t get me wrong, Angle versus Anderson with a ladder is entertaining but the whole key thing just seemed way overused already before this match. I was starting to feel worn out watching Impact at this point.
As much as I have always like the nWo and due to my bias I am enjoying their latest incarnation, I think TNA need to decide if they are calling them The Band or The Wolfpac. They are coming out to the Wolfpac music (I think, my memory is hazy) and being referred to and referring to themselves as such but are also being referred to as The Band. A Team 3D feud seems interesting, mainly because of their respective legendary status as teams and the fact they have never crossed paths as was pointed out on the show.
I like the direction of Douglas Williams at the moment and I feel it makes more some interesting X Division angles. I just hope they keep the belt on him to keep this story going for quite some time as I’m sure it has plenty legs.
I should end this week with the final thing we saw on TV (in the UK due to Impact delays) but as it was the whole Knockouts key fiasco I am not going to comment any further on this. TNA seem to have so much potential with solid in ring talent like Wolfe, Styles, Joe, Williams and excellent teams like The Guns, Generation Me, Beer Money and top veterans like Nash, Angle, Sting and co but they consistently seem to drop the ball. While TNA’s UK ratings sees them doing better than WWE apparently, they are drowning in the States. I just hope they either improve and really have a Monday Night War or they pull the plug on Mondays and go back to Thursdays before they become a cash black hole and go out of business. I don’t like writing negative pieces but I can only give my opinion and right now my opinion is that there is more bad about TV than good so that’s the way my columns will go. I want to be positive and I want to be entertained. Right now I don’t feel particularly entertained. Sorry but thanks for reading, Paul.