November is a busy month for me writing-wise, but I don’t want anyone to think I have abandoned them, so I took some time out this week to watch as much wrestling as I could and put together some notes. I will be catching up on Lucha Underground, Rivalries, and the ECW special in the near future, so let’s focus on TNA and WWE for now.
Impact Wrestling continued the tag team tournament, which I am totally digging, but we all expected the Hardy’s to win, right? I would have liked to see Samoa Joe and Low-Ki win, just because it would have been a little bit more of a surprise, but Hardys versus The Wolves will be a great match. Though, with the other plot stuff going on around The Wolves, fans may actually see another Hardy Boys title reign. (Assuming there is a channel to watch it on.) I was surprised that Tommy Dreamer and Devon won, just because those two are cool, but are usually on the losing end of their matches, and Bram / Magnus have been on a role as of late. The real question here is: is that a Twitter icon on Dreamer’s pants?
It is good to see Gail Kim back wrestling. I love Gail, and she seems to do some of her best work against bigger and stronger opponents—lest we forget that amazing feud with Awesome Kong/Kharma—but she got her ass whipped in a pretty vicious beat down this episode, but kept on going. I also like what we were shown of this new guy, Mahabali Shera. I think it might be better to just go by Shera for name recognition, but the look is there, and if the company is throwing him in with Storm’s group already, they must have some confidence in this performer. Now to see what he can do in the ring.
The big news with TNA this week of course is the lack of a time slot on Spike TV. I, like many others, truly hope to hear some good news soon about a fresh deal and a long-term home for a program I enjoy. I know a lot of people feel the need to be negative about the company, but I have said many times why having at least ‘some’ competition is better for all wrestling fans, even if TNA is not their cup of tea. If people do not want to listen to me about it, Jim Ross has gone on about the company’s future on his podcast multiple times. Everyone agrees that without a US television deal the company will most likely not make it, but they have a much stronger product than they did just a few years ago and I want to see them grow. I however will agree—referencing Bully Ray’s recent tweet here—that part of the problem is communication and current management. A lot of tension with this situation though.
[Note: At the time of this writing I have not seen the newest edition of TNA Impact]
NXT kicked off their show with a beautiful Tyler Breeze versus Sami Zayn match, and it was interesting that the writers decided to use this to start the show and go with the bigger pop ending—kind of an old WCW feel that way—a good way. The match had a lot of fun reversals and both wrestlers showed athletic skill and great timing, with a hard-hitting ending. I dug it. Vicky Earls was telling me she thought that Breeze was underrated, and I am wondering if that is the case with my readers. Personally, I think Prince Pretty has a bright future bashing uggos.
There was a good women’s tag match. I like every athlete involved and want to see more character from each of them. The show ended with Hideo Itami and Finn Balor laying a huge smackdown on The Ascension. It may have been a bit one-sided, but this is what a strong debut is made of. Both men now seem like a threat and looked good whooping up on a team that ran over most of their competition in the past two years. It was a great tease for a closing pop, but I want to see what they will do with these guys next. My only real complaint is that I am sure the announcers are saying his name wrong.
Did Smackdown really start with a tag team cage match? Wait… did it just also end with a Dolph Ziggler and Kane cage match? Pardon me while I hide my erection. Beginning and ending a show with actual wrestling feels like a rare treat when done right. We all knew that The Dust Brothers—as I will now call them—and the Usos could put on a good match, but it seemed accented with the cage and it looks like the boys are really working hard for these wins. Also, that may have been the best Kane / Ziggler match in the series so far. Both men are good workers, but Ziggler’s selling and being thrown all over the place was exciting. I popped when the kick with the door happened.
The other odd point of Smackdown was the Adam Rose and R-Truth thing, after the weird Halloween promo that made little sense. I am interested to see Rose as a heel (I hear you all yelling about Leo Kruger, I know), or just to do more with R-Truth, but no matter how it turns out, the Bunny will be the one to suffer. With Darren Young’s new look, I am not convinced they still want him to be the talent underneath the ears, but this is all leading to that reveal.
To close out the week, Raw was decent. I like the New Day promos and want this faction to work—bad. We need a new strong faction, especially with the Wyatts having been separated. Though these promos also make me think they are subliminal messages from my mother about going back to church…
What Raw did right was actually have the majority of their show build towards Survivor Series, and actually make me excited about the team building process. I certainly would like to see Swagger get a shot now that Ryder is hurt—which I am SAD about. Rusev and Sheamus pulled me into their feud a bit more with some fun action, and we get more Big Show and Henry, bringing the separate feuds into the teams as everyone expected. Many still think there will be an open spot on team Cena, making room for a superstar to return. I have heard Roman Reigns name come up the most in this, but we shall see if he is ready. Others are expecting a dirty finish with a wrestler turning on their team. This is a good way to end a PPV like Survivor Series, but the issue is that fans have seen a lot of dirty finishes lately. Nothing works if the audience has seen it too much already, so it will be interesting to see what the writers do here.
Something bothered me about Vince McMahon setting the stipulation for The Authority about the match, and not adding any incentive for team Cena. It looks one-sided and makes me think that the Authority team is destined to win. I would have enjoyed Vince saying that if Cena lost that he would lose his chance to face Lesnar, or maybe that a win on Cena’s part would give his team a chance to enter the Royal Rumble; because why not start building for that? A small irritation also is that WWE has a lot of people out right now, but they still have enough talent to do two traditional Survivor Series matches, and it would make sense to do another one if they just built their lower and mid-cards more. In a perfect world, I would never run out of Mountain Dew, and it would be an all NXT bout for the second traditional match, but in the end, I am now way more excited for this upcoming Survivor Series.
Why are we talking about Grumpy Cat? This is a joke, right? Whose name is at the bottom of her paychecks?
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