The Wrestling News Experience: 03.11.13
Posted by Stephen Randle on 03.11.2013
In this Experience, we've got TNA Lockdown results, plus a preview for tonight's Raw, a lawsuit that could have changed pro wrestling forever, and the very strange weekend adventures of Bobby Roode!
Monday, March 11th, 2013
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
Over Nine Years, Not Even On A Handshake Deal
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and due to a slight miscalculation, the latest re-occurrence of Daylight Savings Time has completely messed with my sleep habits. On that note, if you forgot that DST started on Saturday, you are so late for something right now.
Kenny King defeated Zema Ion and Christian York to retain the TNA X Division title (King pinned York, Royal Flush)
Joseph Park defeated Joey Ryan (pinfall, sunset flip reversal)
Velvet Sky defeated Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts title (pinfall, In Yo Face)
Robbie T defeated Robbie E (pinfall, spinebuster)
Bobby Roode and Austin Aries defeated Chavo & Hernandez and Bad Influence to retain the TNA World Tag Team titles (Roode pinned Daniels, stolen pin)
Wes Brisco defeated Kurt Angle in a Steel Cage Match via escaping the cage
Team TNA defeated Aces and 8s in a Lethal Lockdown Match (Young pinned Knox)
Well, those two results would appear to work at cross purposes, but what do I know about booking a heel faction?
I mean, other than "don't drag out unmasking the entire group for nine months, especially when none of them are anyone interesting or important".
Bully Ray defeated Jeff Hardy in a Steel Cage Match to win the TNA World title (pinfall, hammer shot)
Good on Bully, it's a shame that his gang is a bunch of bumblers who lost the previous match. Still, at least that there's no intrigue left in unmasking members, maybe they can get back to something resembling a cohesive group. Good booking could still drag this thing out of the muck that it's slid into over the last nine months, because the Bully turn gives you a free "reset button".
Last week, CM Punk won a match to earn the right to challenge the Undertaker at WrestleMania, bringing the grand total of matches officially booked for the PPV to…three. However, tonight, Brock Lesnar will be in the building to respond to Triple H's challenge, so I'd expect that total to be up to at least four by the end of the evening! Hey, why is it that normally wrestlers can deliver challenges that are accepted literally a minute later by the guy they challenged appearing on the ramp and agreeing to it, but when we're building to a Mania match it takes two segments spread over separate weeks?
Meanwhile, John Cena and The Rock had a frank exchange of opinions last week, and that particular main event is completely set. And since there won't be any wrestling involving these two leading up to that match, I guess there will be more promos tonight!
And after The Shield conducted a post-Raw assault on The Big Show last week, the angry giant seems interested in getting some revenge, although he didn't seem too interested in having any assistance on Smackdown, as after he headed off a Shield attack, he then took out potential ally Sheamus before falling to an RKO at the hands of Randy Orton. We've seen better-united teams than this fail against The Shield, but an alliance of convenience might be the only way that all three men can stop the onslaught of Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns.
Plus, Jack Swagger's manager continues to challenge Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania, or maybe that's just how I see it, and it looks like Mark Henry and Ryback might be headed on a collision course in the very near future. We're still on the Road to WrestleMania, and it continues, tonight on Raw!
The Eternal Question
An interesting lawsuit came to a close this weekend, as former TNA employee Daffney settled with TNA over the cost of her medical bills sustained during her time there. Daffney was seriously injured in a match with rookie talent Rosie Lottalove (who I don't believe wrestled another match after that because she was horrible), and allegedly TNA promised to help with her medical care, and then…didn't. This wouldn't be the first time TNA has been accused of leaving talent to fend for themselves in paying for injuries or medical conditions while under contract, you may remember Konnan going public a few years back in a similar situation.
So, why was this lawsuit important? Well, had it gone to court and things had gone Daffney's way in a final decision, it would have set a precedent related to that age-old question: are professional wrestlers really independent contractors, or are they employees of the wrestling organization they are under contract for? If the latter is true, that would put wrestling companies like WWE and TNA on the hook for things like medical bills and insurance, and be a significant change in the way the wrestling business has always operated.
Unfortunately, the question will remain unanswered for now, because Daffney and TNA reached a settlement mere hours before the hearing was set to begin. It would be wrong to blame Daffney for taking the money, by all accounts she had serious bills to pay and who knows how things would have played out in court, and she probably doesn't have any vested interest in defining wrestlers' employment statuses for the future. Still, it would have been interesting to see what might have happened if this thing had gone through to a decision.
It Pays To Be Roode
Panic apparently erupted in TNA this weekend, as one-half of their tag team champions, Bobby Roode, revealed that his contract had expired and he was working without one heading into the Lockdown PPV. Instantly, Roode was considered the hottest free agent on the market, a status that lasted less than half a day, as he has apparently re-signed with TNA and everything is back to the way it was before.
However, if there was a single guy that WWE would (and should) scoop up from TNA if the opportunity should arise, I would submit that it should be Bobby Roode. In the past year, Roode evolved into a bonafide main event talent, and one of the best heels in pro wrestling. Much like CM Punk, there is a reason he now has the longest TNA World title reign in the company's history: he earned it. He is someone who WWE could have brought right in and made a credible threat, if not at the main event level, then definitely high midcard. He's an experienced, veteran talent, with a marketable look, above average wrestling ability, and charisma and promo abilities that put him at or near the top tier of active wrestlers. In addition, his loss would have been a huge blow to TNA, who would essentially have been left with Austin Aries and the misfits of Aces and Eights as their top heels.
And, of course, TNA almost shoots themselves in the foot by putting one of their titles on a guy whose contract was about to expire, and as a bonus, apparently they didn't even realize it! I think that safely tops putting the World title on Jeff Hardy as a bartering chip in his contract negotiations, because at least he was still under contract and they didn't do anything like go off on a UK tour with him unable to participate because he's not allowed into the country when his current contract was in its final month, leaving them no wiggle room should negotations (however unlikely) had fallen through. Oh, wait…
Oh, and apparently RVD, who was X Division Champion until last week, might also have been working without a contract. Seriously, does somebody need to drive down to Nashville and explain to them exactly what the point of a contract is?
- There are rumours that WWE might have already given up on the Fandango character, and while I'd like to make a joke about their short attention span, that wouldn't even be the second-shortest time before they gave up on someone. Hell, he got three whole live promos. Hade Vansen still holds the record with one pre-taped cut-in before they gave up.
- According to Rotten Tomatoes, Dead Man Down will not be reversing the trend of crappy WWE Films-related movies. On the bright side…um…well, they're probably going to shut down the division soon. So there's that.
- A picture has circulated of El Generico wrestling maskless and under his own name in NXT. Fortunately, nobody cares about NXT, so the message board explosions were easily contained.
- There is a petition at whitehouse.gov that wants May 20th declared "Macho Man Randy Savage Day". Well, what are you waiting for? Go sign it already!
- And WWE has reportedly finally decided to stop trying to get Glenn Beck involved in the Jack Swagger gimmick, because he refuses to have anything to do with them. Come on, Glenn, they don't put this much effort into trying to woo the people out there who actually like wrestling, the least you could do is give them a sound bite.
1. Bobby Roode
Well, it gave us something to talk about in the hours before Lockdown that wasn't "how obvious is it that Bully Ray is going to turn on TNA and be the leader of Aces and Eights?" Even if it did end up going absolutely nowhere. Remember back in the day when wrestlers jumped between organizations before we even knew their contract had expired?
2. Bully Ray
Oh hey, I guess it was that obvious. Still, take nothing away from Bully, he has scratched and clawed his way up the mountain for years and years, and you have to believe that this World title does mean…well, the World to him. The angle surrounding him has sucked up until now, but there's still a little hope now that Bully's in charge.
3. CM Punk
Well, it's one week in and the build doesn't feel as special because Punk only had to win a fatal four-way to qualify, so I'm out. No, I'm just kidding, I have faith in Punk's promos and Taker's ability to play with lighting and pyro systems to make this match seem just as special as those that came before.
4. Mark Henry
Word is that the Henry-Ryback feud is being set up to put Ryback over strong, but given that Mark Henry is the one squishing people with minimal effort on Raw and Smackdown, the guy who actually gets over may not be the one WWE is planning for. Hey, maybe it's the new Mania tradition: every year, somebody accidentally gets really over despite the booking being against them!
5. Daniel Bryan
Speaking of which, it seems like this time, Bryan is being set up to come out of Hell No in a pretty good position, and if his work with AJ on Smackdown is any indicator, maybe an early feud with new World Champion Ziggler could be in the works?
6. The Big Show
I wouldn't call it a face turn, but it's a good way to get Big Show involved, given that you would think after Shield beat a team containing John Cena, any other team would be foredoomed to failure. The potential Orton-Sheamus-Show team probably still is, but the "giant factor" means that the intrigue still remains.
I don't think we're giving JBL enough credit. Not just for his commentary work, but the guy is literally climbing mountains for charity. Mountains, plural. How many mountains have you climbed this year?
8. Brad Maddox
Speaking of commentary, while I have no interest in ever seeing Maddox wrestle, and the whole "Assistant to the Managing Supervisor" bit is so eight years ago, he did bring a fresh perspective to the Smackdown booth, if nothing else. Plus, it's not often that Michael Cole gets to act superior to someone that he actually might be superior to.
9. Alberto Del Rio
Someday we'll evolve as a society beyond the point where making parody videos of our opponents' foibles will be seen as funny. Not yet, though.
10. The Miz
I don't have the actual numbers, but given that Dead Man Down looks to be well on its way to cratering, Miz may very well have been in the most popular WWE Film to release this week. I mean, it's possible, right?
Inactive List as of 03.04.13
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th, 2012(foot)
- Christian, out indefinitely as of September 1st, 2012 (elbow)
- Hunico, out indefinitely as of November 1st, 2012 (ACL)
- Santino Marella, day-to-day as of February 19th (neck)
- Tyson Kidd, out 4-6 months as of January 10th (knee)
- Chris Sabin, out 6-9 months as of June 14th, 2012 (ACL)
- D'lo Brown, TNA, revealed as member of Aces and Eights
WWE Champion: The Rock
- 43 day reign, defeated CM Punk on January 27th (Royal Rumble PPV)
- Next title defense: vs John Cena, WrestleMania XXIX
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
- 59 day reign, defeated The Big Show on January 11th (Smackdown)
- Next title defense: vs Jack Swagger, WrestleMania XXIX
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Wade Barrett
- 70 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston on December 31st (Raw)
WWE United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro
- 204 day reign, defeated Santino Marella on August 19th (SummerSlam PPV)
WWE Tag Team Champions: Kane and Daniel Bryan
- 176 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on September 16th (Night of Champions PPV)
WWE Divas' Champion: Kaitlyn
- 51 day reign, defeated Eve Torres on January 14th (Raw)
WWE NXT Champion: Big E Langston
- 61 day reign, defeated Seth Rollins on January 9th NXT
WWE NXT Tag Team Champions: Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey
- 26 day reign, defeated The Wyatt Family on February 13th NXT to become the inaugural champions
NOTE: NXT Title reigns only count what has aired on TV, not when changes occur at tapings.
**NEW** TNA Heavyweight Champion: Bully Ray
- 1 day reign, defeated Jeff Hardy on March 10th (Lockdown PPV)
TNA World Tag Team Champions: Austin Aries and Bobby Roode
- 32 day reign, defeated Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez on February 7th Impact
TNA X-Division Champion: Kenny King
- 11 day reign, defeated Rob Van Dam on February 28th (Impact)
TNA Television Champion: Devon
- 95 day reign, defeated Samoa Joe on December 6th (Impact)
TNA Knockouts Champion: Velvet Sky
- 18 day reign, defeated former champion Tara, Gail Kim, and Miss Tessmacher in an Elimination Match on February 21st Impact
TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: ODB and Eric Young
- 368 day reign, defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne on March 8th (Impact)
And this week's After Dark discussed Paul Bearer's passing and whether it might affect the Punk-Undertaker match, what match I'm most looking forward to at WrestleMania, and if this could be it for Rey Mysterio! Click the banner to access the archives!
411 will have live coverage of Raw tonight starting at 8 pm EDT.
From our promotional department, I've been informed that if you really do like 411Mania and all it provides, or even just me (and really, who doesn't like me), don't forget to bookmark the site in your browser or make 411 your homepage, and tell all your friends about how awesome 411 is.
And don't forget, you can follow all of the everyday goings on in 411 on Twitter.
That's our show, Marsico is in tomorrow, I will be back next week. Also, don't forget 4PC in the Games Zone on Wednesday, and the TWNE After Dark podcast on Wednesday, airing live at around 9:30 pm on Spreaker.com, posted on 411 shortly thereafter.
Here it is, your Moment of Buddy
Odd. The Sun Usually Goes Away By Now.
I Hate This Stupid Planet.