The Wednesday Wrestling Week That Was 11.07.12: Issue #10
Posted by Sam Smith on 11.07.2012
England loves Wade Barrett, WWE stock is up, THQ stock is down, and Vince changes his mind a lot! All this excitement and more in The Wednesday Wrestling Week That Was!
Hello! My name is Sam Smith, and I'm happy to welcome you to the groundbreaking TENTH edition of The Wednesday Wrestling Week That Was!
Ten weeks! Not too shabby, if I say so myself. Now that I have internet fame and notoriety, I need a nickname for my loyal fans. Hogan had the Hulkamaniacs, Rock had the MILLIONS, Cena has the Cenation. Hmmm. Suggestions in the comments, please. This is a pressing issue.
I need to give a shout-out to Tuesday Communique writer Nick Marsico for pimping my article at the end of his every week. It's a regular inter-column love-fest here at 411.
Also, The Walking Dead this week? Holy crap. Good stuff.
In less important news, happy new President day, America! As I write I have no idea who is going to come out on top, so congratulations/commiserations if your guy did/didn't win.
- WWE had their Q3 financial report, with lots of words and numbers that I don't really understand. I am many things, but I am no businessman. The bottom line was the company's stock price rising 8.8% on Thursday, closing at $8.80 a share as opposed to $8.09 the day before. That's good, right?
Also coming out of the report was plenty of news about the upcoming WWE Network. It's going to use a premium subscription model, similar to HBO. WWE feel it will take $35-40 million to fully launch, with 57% of US homes having an "interest" in WWE TV. 10-15 million households watch WWE regularly, and another 20-40 million are casual fans. According to Vince, the network claimed that it didn't need to actually capture a huge amount of that to be a success. Apparently, "if they capture the hardcore fan, they will be very successful."
- As you all know, the complexion of Survivor Series was drastically changed on Raw this week, with a triple threat being announced between CM Punk, Cena and Ryback with the WWE title on the line. Word is that WWE changed the match due to the negative reaction that came from last week's announcement of the elimination tag match.
Erm...... what negative reaction? I was very much looking forward to that match. Most people on the internet seemed to be anticipating it too. I hope they don't just mean the shitty crowd at Raw last week. I like to think even WWE wouldn't panic enough to change things because of one crappy crowd.
At least the tag match is still happening, and the triple threat should be decent. I guess they were originally going to save it for TLC.
- In other "WWE changes stuff on the fly" news, the original plan for Hell in a Cell was to have Ryback pin CM Punk clean and win the WWE Championship. Mr. Back would hold it through Survivor Series and lose it in a multi-man match at TLC that didn't involve him being pinned. Vince McMahon apparently settled on the plan three days before the show. The next day, he decided to keep the belt on Punk because the Punker's long reign was more important than Ryback's undefeated streak. I agree. Like I said last week, the streak is nifty, but not necessary at all to build Ryback up as a monster. And speaking of -
- In OTHER other "WWE changes stuff on the fly" news, word is that as late as the day before Hell in a Cell, plans were different for the outcome of the World Heavyweight Championship match. All roads led to Big Show losing, with one scenario having Dolphy Zigglestrom cashing in for his title. Show winning was apparently a last minute decision, to shake up the title picture. Fair enough, I suppose.
- Linda McMahon is predicted to lose her US Senate race. How many times do you have to fail at something before you decide not to try again? Is it two? I hope it's two.
- THQ, who own the rights to the WWE gaming license and just released WWE '13, are in dire straights. The company abruptly ended their quarterly conference call without answering questions and pushed back several games. In response, THQ's shares have dropped by almost 50%. Oh dear.
If THQ do go under, how awesome would it be if EA picked up the WWE license? Say what you will about their evil corporate ways, but EA Sports has a huge amount of money behind it and churns out consistently excellent games. I'd love to see their take on a wrestling game.
- The person behind the infamous "CrankyVince" Twitter account may have been revealed. The account appears to be run by Andrew Goldstein, a former creative member who worked closely with Vinny Mac in 2006/7. After Brian Gewirtz was removed as head writer of Raw last month, the CrankyVince accounted posed several messages. In the midst of this, Goldsten's account briefly posted the following -
I HAVEN'T HAD THIS MUCH FUN FIRING A JEWISH WRITER SINCE THE FIRST 6 TIMES I FIRED @HEYMANHUSTLE. KOSHER WOOD.
The tweet was immediately deleted, but as Hulk Hogan knows, once something is online, it's never going away.
The account, known for posting confidential information, recently suggested Jack Swagger had requested his release, but Swagger's wife denies this. Intrigue!
- Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler is expected to dominate the World Heavyweight Championship scene in 2013. Survivor Series is scheduled to be the blow off of the Big Show/Sheamus fued, opening the door for Ziggley Ziggleman to cash in shortly after.
I'm in two minds about this. If Ziggler goes over this could be the feud that truly cements him as a main event star. If Orton keeps winning and Ziggler ends up back where he started, not so much. And what happened to that Orton heel turn? A dream scenario would be Orton turning heel and Ziggler turning face, although I fear that may be a bit too IWC-wet-dream to ever happen.
- WWE officials want to push David Otunga, but are not sure how. The company is high on Otunga's physique and celebrity connections, but note that he isn't getting over like they expected. Oooh, me, me! I know why! It's cause he wrestles like shit.
Seriously, Otunga is fine in the role he is in, a lackey to the bigger heels who gets squashed every now and then. That WWE want to push someone because he is married to a celebrity should tell you all you need to know about their priorities. What do you think, CM Punk?
- William Regal made on interesting comment on the 10/24 edition of NXT pertaining to the whereabouts of Hunico -
"Camacho is usually out here with his partner Hunico, but Hunico's not here and I'm not allowed to say why. He's in a little trouble, and he got into a little extra curricular activities and causing a bit of grief to people, and he's not gonna be with us for awhile let's put it that way."
Well, that's interesting. If definitely wasn't a wellness violation, as those have to be reported. I imagine that nothing has actually happened. Hunico is injured and Regal is covering for him in a kayfabe manner. If he really had done something bad, I can't see the higher-ups allowing anyone to mention it on air. Watch this space!
- And finally, several weeks ago it was reported a top WWE star spoke up to Vince McMahon, calling him out of touch with the product and audience. Word now is that the star was none other than John Cena. It makes sense. Cena's spot is incredibly safe, so he could voice his mind without fear of repercussion. Similarly, Vince McMahon must respect Cena's opinion at this point. Still, this is all rumor, so take it as such.
Raw, "live" from Birmingham, England! I normally try to make it to both TV tapings when WWE comes to England, as they are usually filmed in London. Birmingham is too far for me to justify traveling, though. A shame. The crowd was fantastic! Would have loved to be a part of it.
Sinsterio and Truth vs. Cesaro and The Prime Time Playaaaaaas
I love how Cole goes on about this ongoing feud between Cesaro and Truth that has lasted exactly one week. Assuming it's Truth challenging for the belt at Survivor Series then. I would have preferred another match with Justin Gabriel myself.
More of this "AJ Scandal" bollocks
The crowd was all over Vickie here. Great stuff. Spontaneous "who are ya" chants for the win.
I also loved the crowd cheering Cena for potentially getting some. Go on my son!
D-Bry vs. Cody Rhodes
And the crowd continues to be excellent. England loves themselves some Daniel Bryan! Shame he lost in a minute.
Kane vs. Damien Sandow
I guess they've gone from "people are saying Daniel Bryan might be the weak link" to "WE ARE SAYING DANIEL BRYAN IS THE WEAK LINK LOOK AT HOW SMALL HE IS"
Brad Maddox in a nifty waistcoat
I assume internet people shit all over this, but I thought Maddox cut a darn good promo. This whole scenario clearly wasn't planned, but if booked right, WWE could come out of it with another big star. Probably not, though. I imagine he'll get squashed loads and then released.
Sheamus vs. The Miz
Decent length, good match.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Kofi wins! Against Berto! Behold the power of a push!
Team CoBro vs. Primepico
Poor old Primo and Epico. Faces one week, heels the next. At least they have Rosa to soothe the pain.
Wade Barrett vs. Brodus Clay
Well now. This is a great example of how a good crowd can make a normal match seem excellent. This was a standard 3-minute TV match, but thanks to the amazing crowd reaction, it was the part of the show I enjoyed the most. Seeing Barrett get such a fantastic homecoming response was heart-warming. Great stuff. Really wish I could have been there. Can't say enough how much I loved this.
Wade made a little speech after the show ended which is also worth watching. Take a look.
Push this man! I'd like to see an English WWE Champion in my lifetime.
3MB vs. one of the Usos
I swear 3MB got more of a face reaction than the Usos here. Fantastic. English crowds doing me proud.
I could see the crowd turning 3MB face if they keep acting so goofy and stupid. It's appealing!
CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena and Ryback
So this is about the tenth time Punk and Ziggler have teamed in the last month?
A decent main event. Crowd was hot which helps immensely. And Ziggler didn't get pinned! Good thing I'm not a betting man.
A thoroughly entertaining show this week, thanks largely to the great English crowd. We obviously get less chances to see WWE live over here as they only tour twice a year, so crowds are more pumped when they finally get the opportunity. The taxi and the phonebox on the ramp every time, though? Stereotyping. Racism.
Some fantastic signs as well. I saw one that just said BOG SHOW that cracked me up. And another with "Dolph Ziggler is a briefcase wanker" that made me do a spit-take. I guess WWE don't get rid of rude signs they don't understand.
Very few comments last week. I imagine the hurricane had something to do with it, or I'm losing readers at an alarming rate. What with all this election business at the moment, I'm not predicting too many for next week either. But I will not be deterred!
Where can they go with the Maddox storyline? I wish, I WISH, that they would reveal that AJ was behind it because Cena wanted to face Punk instead of Ryback, thus turning Cena heel/tweener in the process. Therefore explaining their "affair" and they become a power heel couple going into Wrestlemania and beyond.
That would have been interesting. I do wonder if this whole "AJ scandal" thing will end with Cena and AJ actually having done the dirty. It won't turn Cena heel obviously, but it might add a little bit of an edge to him. And the guys who boo him normally would approve. Who wouldn't?
I think Barrett could work as a face. Have him play up his bare-knuckle fighting past and become a "man-of-the-people" type character who fights for the "little guy". He'd keep his edge, but go after the heels.
It's possible, and I'd love it, but I don't think it's particularly likely. Being English sure helps you get cheered in England, but not so much in the States. I do appreciate Barrett being booked as a dominant-style heel rather than a chickenshit since his return. It would make a transition to a face role easier if it was ever going to happen.
Brian MacLennen -
Alan Partridge and Peter Serafinowicz in one column - Quality!
Damn straight. You know what? Let's have some more -
That's it for another week. Thanks as always for reading, especially if you've stuck it out for ten whole weeks.
Remember to follow me on Twitter and read my blog. Leave a comment! Suggestions on naming my substantial fanbase are appreciated. I'm Sam Smith, back next week. See you then.