411 Fact or Fiction 03.07.13: Taker/Punk, Bret/Styles, More
Posted by Steve Cook on 03.07.2013
Will the Undertaker vs. CM Punk be the best match at WrestleMania XXIX? Should AJ Styles go to WWE as soon as he can? Was it the right time for Kenny King to win the TNA X-Division Title? 411's Michael Uphoff and Brandon Hodgson discuss these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Wrestling!
Hi, hello & welcome to 411 Fact or Fiction! I'm Steve Cook, and it's been another wild week in the world of professional wrestling! The Undertaker's WrestleMania XXIX opponent was decided on Raw, and it'll be none other than CM Punk. Old School Raw featured the return of several WWE Superstars, including the New Age Outlaws. WWE's June PPV event is currently known as "Payback". Yoshi Tatsu is learning English. Bret Hart did an interview where he threw TNA under the bus and said that AJ Styles would be better off in WWE. Impact featured Kenny King winning the X Division Title & Ivelisse Velez appearing on Gut Check & becoming my second favorite TNA Knockout. ROH's 11th Anniversary Show featured Steve Corino welcoming Matt Hardy, Cliff Compton, Jimmy Rave & Rhett Titus into S.C.U.M.
I've invited two 411 contributors to discuss these topics. Introducing 1st, the man who was part of Tony Acero's Triumvirate and has taken his place as somebody I can rely on to do this column often…Michael Uphoff!
His opponent will be attending Raw this coming Monday and won two OTTer Awards. Give it up for the Hodge, Brandon Hodgson!
Questions were sent out Monday.
Participants were told to expect wrestling-related questions.
1. The Undertaker will have the best match at WrestleMania XXIX.
Michael Uphoff:FACT. I think at this point it just goes without saying, considering the matches that have been rumored for WrestleMania. We have HHH/Lesnar, Rock/Cena II, Del Rio/Swagger, and likely at the very least Sheamus/Barrett. There will likely also be the breakup match between Kane and Daniel Bryan. Of all the matches that I have just listed, none of them have the ability to outshine a match between CM Punk and The Undertaker. The Undertaker has had phenomenal matches at the grandest stage of them all with HHH, HBK, Batista, and Edge, and out of those four, only HBK is a better all-around wrestler than CM Punk. Punk is a great talent that will bring out the best in Taker for another year, and Taker really couldn't have chosen a better opponent for this year's WrestleMania. The one thing that bugged me on RAW happened during the Rock and Cena promo, and it was when Rock said that no one in the locker room had more heart than Cena or Rock, which is bullshit. Don't get me wrong, Rock and Cena will likely have a great match again, but Punk has more heart than those two and will steal the show with Taker. Also, what the hell was with Orton saying that he was a rookie when he faced Taker at WrestleMania? He had been in WWE for nearly three years and had won the World Heavyweight Championship. It's mindboggling what WWE writers come up with sometimes. I digress. Undertaker and Punk will have the best match at WrestleMania XXIX. Punk and Taker had a couple of pretty good matches back in 2009, and I know they can bring their best for WrestleMania.
Brandon Hodgson:FACT. While the card is absolutely loaded this year, I think that the Undertaker-Punk match will end up being the best match of the night. I see the Lesnar-Triple H match being a close second. While the Rock-Cena match will be great too, I just get the feeling that it will be a retread of their match from last year's Wrestlemania, albeit with more than likely a different result. Punk is one of the few people on the roster that not only has yet to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania but can also work the style of match that the Undertaker would be willing to put on at such a big show. The match could even be seen as a bigger match if the WWE decides to pull the trigger and have Punk end the Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania. While I'm not entirely certain that the WWE will do it, it would make the match that much greater in my eyes.
Score: 1 for 1
2. The New Age Outlaws should appear on WWE television more often.
Michael Uphoff:FACT. As long as they are not used ad nauseum, I really don't mind them being on my TV. It was nice to see them come out and compete, and I'm glad that it was against Primo and Epico (although that has to be their 1,649th straight loss) and not the Rhodes Scholars. I think it really is a disservice to chant you still got it when clearly those two guys never lost it. I'd like to see them maybe work with some of the tag teams and help them out. All in all, if they pop up a few more times on my TV, I'll be happy. If not, I'm not going to cry about it.
Brandon Hodgson:FICTION. I know that the WWE Tag Team Division as a whole is a joke--outside of what we get from Team Hell No-- to most people and they would certainly help the division out, neither one of them is a full time performer at this point in their careers. If the WWE brings them every now and then for the nostalgia pop that they'll get from the audience, then that's great. But at this point in their career I can't see them doing much for the division. If the WWE wants to bring them in on a permanent basis, then they should mainly be used to put over the younger tag team talents currently in the company.
Score: 1 for 2
3. Payback is a good name for a WWE pay-per-view event.
Michael Uphoff:FICTION. It's a downright terrible name for a WWE PPV event. One, it sounds completely stupid. Two, pretty much every WWE PPV is centered around superstars getting some degree of retribution. Three, Payback sounds a lot like Ryback. A wrestling PPV should not sound anything close to a wrestler's name. Four, what the hell was wrong with MITB? If you didn't like the name, why not just go back to Vengeance? It's a way better name than Payback. If you don't like Vengeance, go with Backlash. Those are two solid names for pay-per-views that are a hell of a lot better than Payback.
Brandon Hodgson:FACT. While I understand why some people may not have liked the name when the announcement came out, there have been far worse names for WWE pay-per-views. You have to remember that this is a company that liked to use the PPV name of WWE In Your House and then insert a random pay-per-view name here. This is a company that in recent years has decided to use the name of a gimmick match to name the pay-per-view. The name of Payback for a WWE PPV is perfectly acceptable. And although it won't be occupying the same place on the calendar as Backlash, I get the sense that it will be that type of a pay-per-view.
Score: 1 for 3
4. Learning to speak English will help Yoshi Tatsu improve his position in WWE.
Michael Uphoff:FACT. I chose Fact for this question solely based on how this question was worded. Learning English will help Yoshi Tatsu improve his position in WWE. Will it make him a mainstay on WWE television, whether it is RAW, SmackDown, or Main Event? Perhaps. Will it take him all the way to the main event of a PPV? I sincerely doubt it. However, I do believe that Yoshi learning English will help improve his position slightly in the WWE, maybe to the Zack Ryder level, so I chose Fact.
Brandon Hodgson:FICTION. Even if learning English does help him, it will only improve his place on the card slightly if at all. Outside of his brief run as a member of the ECW roster, I can't really remember that many matches that he has had that have been memorable. SInce then he's mainly been used as an enhancement talent on Raw or Smackdown (if he even appears on either show) or is used on Superstars, Saturday Morning Slam, or NXT. It's good for him to learn the language especially if they decide to use him in some of their community outreach functions. But in the long run I don't think it will make that big a difference in his career.
Score: 1 for 4
5. AJ Styles should take Bret Hart's advice and go to WWE when possible.
Brandon Hodgson:FACT. I have to admit that this is a question that I wavered on for quite a while. While arguments can be made on either side for him staying in TNA or going to WWE, I have to go with fact on this. When you look at his whole career in TNA, what more does he really have to accomplish? He's been a World Heavyweight Champion, X Division Champion, World Tag Team Champion, and a Television Champion. He was the first Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion in the company's history. He, James Storm, and Jeff Jarrett are the only 3 talents to continuously work for the company since its inception. While I can completely understand if he were to want to stay in TNA and end his career there at some point in the future, I would not blame him in the least if he ever decided to go to the WWE.
Michael Uphoff:FACT. Honestly, I'm surprised he has not already left and tried to go to WWE. He may be staying there simply out of a sense of loyalty to the company that he helped create and put on the map, but AJ has to realize that the company that he helped build is not the same TNA today. It has definitely changed for the worse, at least for him. They don't use him to the fullest extent of his abilities, and are simply wasting the talent of one of the top five wrestlers in North America today. I'm going to bring up the case of Benoit, and how Hart advised him to go to WWE. He was languishing in WCW and not being given any opportunity that he deserved from his years of hard work, and AJ is the same way. He hasn't had anything decent given to him in the past few years, unless you count his 576th match against Christopher Daniels, and isn't going to get the opportunity to have something meaningful unless he tries to go to WWE. On the other hand, though, AJ is 35. He's had a long career, and WWE has a very rigorous and tough schedule that he may not want to deal with for the rest of his career. I would still like to see AJ in WWE, and I still think he should make the jump. TNA is not going to do anything with him, and he honestly deserves better.
Score: 2 for 5
6. Kenny King won the TNA X Division Championship at the right time.
Brandon Hodgson:FICTION. Should King have won the X Division Title? Yes. But he should have won it from Rob Van Dam a heck of a lot sooner. For the past couple months TNA kept teasing and teasing a title change but never pulled the trigger on it until last week. I've never understood why TNA has this need to protect some of their top people, including Van Dam. It's okay for the top stars to put the younger talent over. Especially if the top stars are more than willing to do it. Kenny King should have won the strap a lot sooner than he did and I have to say that I'm fairly interested in the direction that the X Division will take with him holding the title.
Michael Uphoff:FICTION. He should have won the X Division Championship a couple months ago. Kenny King winning the TNA X-Division Championship is a lot like Samoa Joe winning the TNA World Championship. It was drawn out way longer than it ever needed to be, and when it finally happened, it didn't mean as much as it should have. Kenny King winning the X-Division title is a good thing, make no mistake about it. It just doesn't mean as much as it would have meant if he had won it in November or December.
Score: 3 for 6
7. Ivelisse Velez will be a top star in the Knockout Division.
Brandon Hodgson:FICTION. If the statement had been posed as that she CAN be a top star in the division, then I would have said fact. But given how odd TNA's booking can be at times, I'm not sure that I see her being able to be a top star in the division. While she did use some great looking MMA style moves in her match against Lei‘d Tapa, I don't know that that style can really fit within the knockouts division. When you look at the division as a whole there's not that many in it who could work that style with her.
Michael Uphoff:FICTION. I sincerely doubt it. I watched every episode of Tough Enough when it was hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin, and nothing I saw from her really impressed me. She had a good work ethic and certainly had the ability, but she just never jumped out and grabbed my attention. Do I think she'll succeed in TNA? I think she will have a pretty good run in the Knockouts Division, but I don't think that she will be a top star. Who knows, maybe she'll prove me wrong. This is TNA, where truly anything can happen, even stuff that makes no sense whatsoever (actually, that sounds a lot like WWE as well).
Score: 4 for 7
8. The new members of SCUM will make the ROH heel stable more interesting than it was previously.
Brandon Hodgson:FACT. At this point, it will certainly make the stable a lot more interesting. One thing I worry about with a group like this is that it gets so big that many of the members get lost in the shuffle. I also worry that this stable will get booked in a way that makes them look weak at different points as has happened with many stables in professional wrestling over the years. Aces & Eights is a perfect example of a stable that has been booked to look a lot weaker than it should have been at times since its debut. With all that being said, all of the new members bring something to the group that can help them in the future. If, and that's a big if in pro wrestling nowadays, SCUM gets booked the right way, then the direction this stable takes could become very interesting not just for ROH but for professional wrestling as a whole.
Michael Uphoff:FACT. I think when the new members of SCUM were added at the 11th anniversary show this past weekend, it really did make the stable more interesting than it was previously, at least to me. I freely admit that I do not watch ROH religiously and am a casual fan of it. I had been following SCUM and found that it had potential as a storyline in ROH, and I think with the additions to the stable that it has the legs and the diversity in members to make it potentially be one of ROH's best storylines in the past few years. As long as ROH booking uses each member well, this might be some really good stuff. I think it also can provide for a possibly interesting dynamic between Steve Corino and Kevin Steen.
Final Score: 5 for 8
Hodge & Michael disagreed on a bunch of WWE topics, but seem to agree a lot once we exit that promotion. Do you agree with their takes? Let us know down in the comment section! Thanks for reading, and we'll be back next week with more Fact or Fiction!
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