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WNS Column: Wilds' War Cry: Time for New Champions
Posted By: Stephen Wilds on Jan 14, 2015
TNA is finally back, but how did the month long hiatus affect the company other than its new home on Destination America and dropping the letters from Impact Wrestling? Well, they started everything off right. I have never complained about a show opening up with wrestling or a good company-wide brawl, and the decision for the first actual match to be a street fight between MVP and Kurt Angle said that the company was far from done and planned on swinging for the fences. The next decent idea was putting all of the belts on the line, reminding fans who the champions were and how much wrestlers are willing to fight for the straps. Each of the matches was good, with most of the talent bringing their A-game, a surprise return from Awesome Kong, and a few face/heel turns. I loved the last match, even if the twist was a little predictable; it all gave me some serious hope for the weeks to come.
From a production standpoint I was not thrilled with the new set piece, but it is at least a little better than the old thing they were using in New York. That channel icon in the bottom right of the screen is way too large, with too much writing, and horribly distracting, so I hope it changes soon. It is a small gripe for sure, but that thing bothered me. I am glad to see TNA finally got their announcers back in the building—which was also annoying me—and I have to say that Josh Matthews seems to have already made himself quite comfortable there. I enjoyed his work with Taz and liked the energy. It felt like they actually both wanted to be there, but I want to hear more from the newly formed team before giving a final verdict here. My final concern is wondering how much of the talent roster will eventually return. There was a good talent list for this episode, but a lot of people were left out, and I wonder how many people were cut or are waiting in the wings.
Lucha Underground did something recently that pleased me, giving an entire episode to one match. To be fair the show is only an hour long (which is good in a lot of ways), and this was a timed entry match featuring the entire roster to crown their first champion, so I am glad to see they gave it all time to breathe and work out properly. This was an hour of wrestling and excitement that brought some small strings of different stories together and built tension while some amazing high-flying action and hard spots were going down. Doing all of this for one match made the belt seem more prestigious, and this show is still early enough to jump in on this recent episode and truly enjoy it. Mr. Rodriguez, please do not create any more belts for a while.
Also, the Ms. Marvel gear for Sexy Star had my inner comic book fan popping.
NXT had a few good matches and my favorite promo of the week. Tyson Kidd wants to be the face of the SPCA and the…food chewing…just go watch it.
Smackdown confused me for the most part this past week. I thought the New Day was feuding with the Dust Brothers—as I shall now call them—but I am guessing that is done now? While I am mentioning that match though, Adam Rose has a really nice tornado DDT. I blinked and missed The Ascension’s match, which seems to be a reoccurring theme for me lately. I am really more interested in speculating how much all of this will hurt Konnor and Viktor in the future (Viktor is not going to make it, dear readers). There was a nice long triple threat tag team match, with each team having a few moments to shine. There was nothing else really worth mentioning here, but next week we will be talking about Daniel Bryan (Disclaimer: if I feel like it).
So Raw had an excellent…decent opening, where the talking did not bore me and that opening match with John Cena versus Seth Rollins entertained me. I will give some props to Cena on his top rope dive to the outside of the ring, and working well with the heel lumberjacks to tell a fun story about being overwhelmed. Sorry, John, but this is one time I am glad you failed to never give up or rise above or whatever your shirt says this- … YOU GOT PINNED!
The middle portion of Raw was bland, and that is putting it politely. I was bored. There were some fun segments, like Ambrose with the psychiatr- psychologist maybe? Did he have his PhD? The masturbation joke and the ending was a little weird, and it seems like creative is not sure what to do with Dean at the moment. I was not sure why WWE spent most of the episode saying that “Macho Man” Randy Savage was expected to be inducted? Why did they have to wait to confirm it; was this a way to battle the news being leaked early? I am glad the man will be inducted finally, but that all seemed very weird. Wonderful video package for the Tower of Power though.
The ending was fun and picked the show back up. These contract signings usually end up in violence, but this was done better than many of them. I was highly in favor of putting Rollins into the title match and this segment got me even more excited for the upcoming bout. Seth looked incredible doing his thing. This episode built him up as a total badass; it is just a shame there is so little chance of him winning the belt in this particular match. It will happen though! Watch out for that beaten and dented briefcase…
Two quick side notes:
Episodes of the old Tough Enough show have finally been put on the WWE Network, and that means it is time for some binge watching. This is not award winning material, but damn if watching how these guys are treated does not make me laugh. This show made me never want to go through the process of being a professional wrestler.
I was excited when I heard about the commentary team shakeup, even if the why was not cool. I wish they had shaken things up even more though. I loved when each show had its own set of commentators, but I understand why that is annoying financially. The change should add a brief freshness to both shows that will quickly dissipate.
If you have comments, feel free to follow me on Twitter and voice those opinions, or check out the gaming videos on my YouTube channel and everything else I write.
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