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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

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The Wrestling News Experience: 10.15.12
Posted by Stephen Randle on 10.15.2012



Monday, October 15th, 2012

From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!



Experience May Vary From Person To Person

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and now that The Walking Dead is back and looks like they might not spend an entire half-season searching for a dead girl, it turns out that 90% of my TV watching now takes place between 8 pm Sunday night and midnight on Mondays (not counting having to time-shift DVR a bunch of stuff on Monday because for some reason I'm still watching Raw). If only those were actually my days off. Seriously, would it kill them to make Wednesday the big TV watching night somehow? I know they could do it if they really wanted to. Hey, NBC, why don't you put Community on then, instead of delaying the season premiere until November and proving, once and for all, that this truly is the darkest timeline.

Moving on.



Larry had the live coverage.

RVD defeated Zema Ion to win the TNA X Division title (pinfall, 5 Star Frog Splash)

Not that I mind, since the X Division has been nearly entirely absent since Ion won the title and he was clearly only champion because they were hoping Sorenson could go for BFG, but isn't RVD over the weight limit that they re-established? Or are we pretending that didn't happen, (which I'm also totally okay with)? Now, can we get this division back on track?

Samoa Joe defeated Magnus to retain the TNA TV title (submission, Kokina Clutch)

James Storm defeated Bobby Roode in a Street Fight (pinfall, Last Call)

Well, at least Storm got his vengeance a year later. Shame that it couldn't be for the TNA World title, but I suspect losing the title allowed them to have the Street Fight stipulation, which both men excel at. Also, why was this on so early in the show?

Joey Ryan defeated Al Snow to earn a TNA Contract (pinfall, Matt Morgan)

Well, now they'll have to find another way to make Gut Check interesting, or maybe just dump it. Has anyone who got a contract out of Gut Check actually been on TV yet? I'm pretty sure no, but my memory is pretty bad, even for a wrestling fan.

Chavo Guerreo and Hernandez defeated Daniels & Kazarian and Styles & Angle to win the TNA Tag Team titles (Hernandez pinned Daniels, Border Toss-Frog Splash)

Well, that's a surprise. Could this mean we're finally, finally, done with Styles vs Daniels? Don't get me wrong, the matches are great, but I think those two have covered every aspect of feuding that two men possibly could.

Tara defeated Miss Tessmacher to win the TNA Knockouts title (pinfall, Widow's Peak)

Whole lotta title changes tonight.

Aces and Eights defeated Sting and Bully Ray (A&8 Member pinned Bully, table spot)

I'll be damned, he didn't turn on Sting. My whole world no longer makes sense.

Wait a second, Devon is revealed as part of Aces and Eights? What the hell?



What the hell?

Jeff Hardy defeated Austin Aries to win the TNA World Title (pinfall, Swanton)

Well, that just smacks of the same reason they kept putting the belt on Sting, because they're paying him and he's their top merchandise seller. Didn't like it when they did it with Sting, don't like it now. Hardy literally came out of nowhere, floating aimlessly in the midcard, barely qualified for the BFG Series Final Four, and then somehow ended up winning the whole damned thing and the title. Frankly, and this is coming from a place of frustration and bewilderment, if this is what they switched from Storm-Roode that everyone assumed was the original plan, then I'd almost rather Aries had never won the title in the first place. There's a long list of people I'd rather see on top of TNA than Jeff Hardy, and they can spin this as his "redemption story" if they want, but Jeff's had about three or four of those already, and those stories all seem to end the same for him, don't they? Not that I don't hope he's changed, but those who ignore history…

As a show that was essentially their WrestleMania, and would be a big selling point on whether I kept sticking it out with an improving TNA product, I have to say, I'm not really impressed. Good matches are good matches and I love them, but TNA's storytelling has floundered badly, both in the build and in the results of BFG.

And I mean…what the hell?



Last week, Vince McMahon returned to television and immediately ended up in a main event match against the WWE Champion. Man, it's like the Attitude Era all over again, except Vince is fifteen years older and the ratings are somewhere around a third what they were then. Anyway, at the end of Raw, Vince declared that CM Punk must choose his opponent for Hell in a Cell tonight, and he can only choose between either John Cena or Ryback. So, why do they let the GM make decisions at all anymore?

Anyway, in addition, the finals in the #1 Contender for the Tag Team title tournament is tonight, as Rhodes Scholars face Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio, with the winners facing Hell No for the titles at Hell in a Cell.

Speaking of which, we've gotten this far into the build for Hell in a Cell and nobody is actually booked on the titular match yet. Even if they finally remember to throw the World title matches inside, perhaps the time has come to stop using this particular gimmick for a single PPV?

To continue, the World Heavyweight title feud continues with varying ways to showcase Sheamus and Big Show without actually having them wrestle each other. On Smackdown they showed off the pure power of their respective finishers, so at this point, I think we're up to a pose-down challenge for tonight, right?

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to mount in the scintillating Divas Title storyline, where it may have been someone wearing a blonde wig named Eve who actually took out Kaitlyn at Night of Champions! I know, I'm shocked myself, but hey, it's more effort than they've put into the Divas Title since they pretended Mickie James was fat.

All this, plus maybe the IC and US titles will continue to get TV time, and hopefully enough to keep the ratings above 2.5, tonight on Raw!



That Old Familiar Feeling

So, you may have noticed that I've been more kindly inclined to TNA in 2012, and despite some poor decisions they haven't yet succeeded in pissing it away as they have so many times in the past. They've provided good wrestling, better-than-usual storytelling, interesting characters, and most importantly, not portrayed themselves as "WWE Lite", something that was one of those things I felt really hurt their image in the past. TNA is not WWE, they shouldn't try to be, and one of their strengths since I've started watching again is that they had stopped taking shots at WWE or pretending they were in any sort of direct competition. One day, maybe, but not this day. What this is leading up to is a simple question: What the hell do they think they're doing with Austin Aries?

Part of what made me tune back into TNA was the rise of The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. Austin Aries went from a guy who couldn't get picked for Tough Enough to one of TNA's top stars, and after a great feud with Bobby Roode, the TNA World Champion. He livened up the X Division by being its champion and by being the guy credited with creating the "Destination X" title shot for the X Division Champion, and he was so popular he clearly forced TNA to change their plans and shoot him straight into the main event. Aries' run was so big that he was one of my contenders for Wrestler of the Year (if you're interested, it's a currently a race between Aries, Roode, and Daniel Bryan, with James Storm falling off the pace after losing out on the BFG Series and Bully Ray as an extreme dark horse candidate).

So why is TNA turning him heel only three months after his big face turn? And it's a turn that came out of literally nowhere halfway through the build-up for Bound For Glory, one which included Aries as a prime target for big heel faction Aces and Eights. In fact, Punk wrestled an Aces and Eights member at No Surrender, and as part of that build he was put over strong as "The Top Guy" in TNA because he was the World Champion, and a big part of the building war between TNA and the invading Aces. Why did TNA put so much effort into making Aries their top face guy, even sacrificing the expected James Storm BFG win to switch up the BFG World Title match so that Storm and Roode could blow off their feud in a non-title match instead, only to switch everything up again in the three weeks before the show that is their equivalent of WrestleMania? Say what you want about WWE, but once they're into the actual final run-up to Mania, it would take a cataclysmic event for them to make a 180 degree booking switch on the fly at that point. In the months before that, sure, no problem, but not headed for Mania.

And more importantly, why is he pretending to be CM Punk while he does it? Sure, Punk didn't invent the worked shoot promo, or demanding respect, or saying "I was never a good guy, you just cheered for me", or turning against the biggest face in the company because of perceived slights, but man, if you closed your eyes watching the last segment on Impact on Thursday, you'd be pretty sure that you were listening to Punk. I mean, it's bad enough that TNA is copying WWE by turning one of their top guys heel for no reason other than "because he's facing John Cena/Jeff Hardy and we don't want to go face-face for some reason, plus he prefers being a heel" (I hate that statement, by the way. Of course he prefers to work as heel, it's always easier to make people hate you than get them to like you), but not only are they turning him heel, they're doing it in a way that makes him look like a carbon copy (and let's not get into who copied whose gimmick first, we'll be here all day) of the same angle Punk is running in WWE. And while Punk will survive his heel turn simply because he will be the top bad guy on Raw with little competition to his spot, I would argue that a heel-turned Aries is, at best, the #3 main event heel in TNA, behind Bobby Roode and Bully Ray, and also stuck behind the Aces and Eights angle in the bargain (even if the reveal of Devon isn't exactly setting my world on fire). I mentioned during the BFG Series that TNA was a little face-heavy, well, don't look now, but the balance looks like it may have shifted hard the other way, and Aries is in serious danger of being buried under a wave of much, much stronger heels, while at the same time, sacrificing his last year of character development to end up, rightly or wrongly, looking like "CM Punk Jr."

Plus (and at least WWE didn't do this part), he lost the title, so the heel turn and the motivation behind it were pointless, because he turned on Jeff out of jealousy and it turns out, Jeff really is better than him anyway! Oh, and just to make it even more fun, guess who the fans in Phoenix were cheering for last night? Great, because it wasn't bad enough when WWE managed to split their crowd with stupid booking decisions. You're supposed to be different, TNA! Be different!



- In an interview in WWE Magazine, Ryback said that he believed he was a better athlete and wrestler than Goldberg, and that ol'Grizzly Bill was only in it for the money. Goldberg's response? "So?"

- Apparently Vince has nixed a heel turn for R-Truth, because he likes Little Jimmy and the appeal for children. I think Vince just has a thing for making wrestlers dance. How long before Truth and Brodus end up in a tag team?

- In news that should surprise nobody, it was revealed by former WWE Creative members that Vince, Stephanie, and Triple H aren't Paul Heyman's biggest fans. To be fair, if everyone kept telling me "Paul Heyman could book this show better than the three of you in his sleep", I'd be a little pissed off, too.

- Antonio Cesaro told WWE Magazine that the difference between him and other indy wrestlers in WWE is his physique and build. Also, he's Swiss.

- Due to no longer having a deal with WWE, Adam Copeland can no longer be known as Edge for his public appearances and things like his recurring role on Haven. Well, at least his real name isn't "Dwayne".

- The oddly assorted group of Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal is apparently now officially called "The Band", which ranks just below "The Corre" for lack of creativity, and only because there's no way they can trademark it and thus, it's probably doomed to either quick failure or a name change. Maybe if they added a second "n"…

- The guy who writes the blurbs for WWE.com's Superstars page was presumably fired last week after a new entry for Tensai called him an "overhyped disappointment". The entry was quickly changed to remove the reference, showing that just because you paid a guy a bunch of money, brought him in to be a new main event talent, put him over John Cena mostly clean, and then realized he sucked and shuffled him down the card faster than you can say "Albert", doesn't mean you can call him things that are entirely true.




1. Jeff Hardy
Well, he's the TNA World Champion again. Anyone remember how that ended the last time? I'm just checking, because some people might have forgotten.


2. Ryback
If he accomplishes nothing else in his WWE career, Ryback has provided the Super-Secret 411 Staff Forums with about three days of fun as we find new rhyming words to make fun of his "Feed Me More" catchphrase. Yes, we do have too much free time, why do you ask?


3. James Storm
It's hard to believe that winning the big blow-off match against his former partner who stabbed him in the back and cost him the World title in a brutal street fight could be a disappointment, but there's always going to be people (like me) who think that Storm-Roode should have been the main event for the title. It's nitpicking, but it's what we do.


4. Vince McMahon
I'm not going to be one of those crazy guys calling it "Free TV Match of the Year", more like "Best Match You Could Expect Out Of A Senior Citizen Who's Never Been A Full-Time Wrestler", but hey, at least Vince is putting out an effort to try and make things change. I mean, he's not the answer to Raw's falling ratings, but the effort is visible, at least.


5. RVD
It's a shame that Sorenson clearly isn't ready to return, because that would have been a big heartwarming story for BFG, but either way, the title needed to come off Ion, and RVD isn't the worst choice you could make.


6. Guerrero and
Hernandez
A bit of a surprise victory given the teams involved, but getting the Tag Titles out of the Styles-Daniels morass and into a separate feud is probably a good plan.


7. Samoa Joe
Joe defends his title at BFG successfully and joins Storm as putting his unfaithful tag partner behind him. As always, Joe should be above this, but let's just be happy he's got a push and an allegedly major title.


8. Devon
No, seriously, what the hell?

Alternatively, someone explain to me why they didn't have Devon drop the TV title again?


9. Kofi Kingston
A singles push may once again be in the offing for everyone's favourite former Jamaican. Just keep him away from Randy this time!


10. Joey Ryan
Now we find out if he's worth the price of admission. Which, for Impact, is free, but you know what I mean.





Inactive List as of 10.08.12

WWE Raw

- Alex Riley, out indefinitely as of September 20th (knee and elbow surgeries)
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th (foot)

WWE SmackDown

- Christian, out indefinitely as of September 1st (elbow)
- Curt Hawkins, out indefinitely as of October 8th (multiple surgeries)
- Mark Henry, out indefinitely as of May 1st (surgery)
- The Great Khali, out until November as of July 24th (surgery)

WWE NXT

- Bray Wyatt, out six months as of July 4th (torn pectoral)
- Skyler Moon, out indefinitely as of September 27 (rehab)

TNA

- Chris Sabin, out 6-9 months as of June 14th (ACL)
- Jesse Sorenson, out at least one year as of February 12th (spine)
- The Pope, out 2-3 months as of August 12th (broken collarbone)

Transactions

- "Mr. Pectacular", TNA, made debut at Bound For Glory PPV



WWE

WWE Champion: CM Punk
- 330 day reign, defeated Alberto Del Rio on November 20th (Survivor Series PPV)

World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus
- 197 day reign, defeated Daniel Bryan on April 1st (WrestleMania XXVIII)
- Next title defense: vs The Big Show, Hell in a Cell PPV

WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
- 84 day reign, defeated Christian on July 23rd (Raw 1000)
- Next title defense: vs Kofi Kingston, October 17th Main Event

WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
- 57 day reign, defeated Santino Marella on August 19th (SummerSlam PPV)

WWE Tag Team Champions: Kane and Daniel Bryan
- 29 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on September 16th (Night of Champions PPV)

WWE Divas' Champion: Eve Torres
- 29 day reign, defeated Layla on September 16th (Night of Champions PPV)

WWE NXT Champion: Seth Rollins
- 47 day reign, defeated Jinder Mahal to become the inaugural Champion

TNA

**NEW** TNA Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy
- 1 day reign, defeated Austin Aries on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)

**NEW** TNA World Tag Team Champions: Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez
- 1 day reign, defeated former champions Daniels & Kazarian, and AJ Styles & Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat match on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)

**NEW** TNA X-Division Champion: RVD
- 1 day reign, defeated Zema Ion to on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)

TNA Television Champion: Samoa Joe
- 18 day reign, defeated Mr. Anderson on September 27th Impact to win the vacant title

**NEW** TNA Knockouts Champion: Tara
- 1 day reign, defeated Miss Tessmacher on October 14th (Bound For Glory PPV)

TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: ODB and Eric Young
- 221 day reign, defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne on March 8th (Impact)



Acero has The Wrestling 5&1.

Sarnecky has The Piledriver Report.

Wilson has Moments That Changed Wrestling History.

And this week's TWNE After Dark looks at Raw's 2.5 rating and Creative shakeup, and why they're making bad assumptions on what could turn things around, more on CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio's week of fan interactions, and whether bad shows make bad crowds, or bad crowds drag down shows. Plus more rambling! Click the banner!



Also, don't forget to join the TWNE After Dark Facebook group.



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Have a good one, and always be a fan.





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