411 Fact or Fiction 10.17.13: HBK Returning at WrestleMania?, Bound For Glory, Ryback vs. Goldberg, More
Posted by Larry Csonka on 10.17.2013
Is WWE preparing for Shawn Michaels' in-ring return for WrestleMania 30? Are we excited for this weekend's Bound for Glory PPV? Will John Cena's World Title shot elevate the title? 411's Nick Bazar and Paul LaPointe debate these topics and more!
Welcome back to the latest edition of 411 Fact or Fiction, Wrestling Edition! TNA present Bound for Glory this weekend, there are rumors that Shawn Michaels and Goldberg could return to the ring, Christian is still battling injuries and two ROH standouts impressed WWE but didn't get signed. As always, there is a lot to discuss, so lets meet the competitors. Battling this week: first off it is MMA contributor and seemingly not a criminal, Paul LaPointe! He faces off with former Contentious Ten writer and all around swell guy ($10 please Nicolas) Nick Bazar! Lets get to work…
Questions were sent out Monday.
Participants were told to expect wrestling-related questions.
1. You are excited for Sunday's TNA Bound for Glory PPV.
Paul LaPointe:FICTION I wish I could say FACT on this one but for all intents and purposes I am again in a wait and see mode with TNA. They are constantly in flux when it comes to direction and quality and I seem to be more of an optimist when it comes to TNA being an alternative to the WWE then some, but even I have my limits. In spurts and jumps do they manage to have any kind of momentum but they also tend to either shoot themselves in the foot or lean too much of vets of org. to dig them out of the mess they have gotten themselves into. And BFG, TNA's Wrestlemania card seems like it was booked together in the last two weeks. They need some footing and fast, and maybe with the Hulkster (hopefully) bailing and the recent cuts, post BFG TNA can once again find themselves on the right path (fingers crossed). More wrestling the merrier we shall be. I will still most likely be catching the show though before reading the results, hoping I am wrong on this one.
Nick Bazar:FICTION Sad to say, but this is the first Bound for Glory card that doesn't intrigue me at all. They usually do a very good job of putting their best foot forward for their biggest show of the year, however this particular event feels more like a "One Night Only" PPV rather than their "Wrestlemania." I'm sure Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles will be a great match, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. Same goes for Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode. It's even hard to get excited over Sting vs. Magnus as TNA has repeatedly failed to capitalize on would-be career defining matches for up-and-coming superstars. The only thing I'm interested in is the Ultimate X match, and that's mostly because I know Jeff Hardy is going to do something batshit insane.
Score: 1 for 1
2. With Shawn Michaels being introduced as the special referee at Hell in a Cell, WWE is setting up for a Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania XXX.
Paul LaPointe:FICTION Considering until getting this question never actually thought to put this match together its an interesting idea but one to which I do not think will pan out. With Shawn losing to Taker in his loser retires bout, I just can't see HBK going against his word like heavily medicated broke womanizing legend of Flair did after his Wrestlemania "Retirement" match. I mean at least Flair had reasons, personal demon, related reasons to keep wrestling but reasons. Shawn does not need to, he has his reality show, a family and other ventures to keep him occupied even with a tempting payday. Its a Wrestlemania fantasy bout for sure but I see his involvement leading more to a HHH VS Daniel Bryan match then anything else, HHH and HBK have had their beefs and bouts now I want the Student Vs The Game!
Nick Bazar:FICTION Despite the rumors, I'm still confident that Shawn Michaels has wrestled his last match. I obviously have no exclusive insider knowledge, but it's just the feeling I get. The man has nothing left to prove, and has already gone well over three years without lacing up his boots. While at first I was skeptical, I credit him for doing a fantastic job of keeping his word with regards to retirement, in an industry where that's hard to come by.
Score: 2 for 2
3. Due to the contract status of AJ Styles, Bully Ray retaining the TNA World Title at Bound for Glory would be the right thing to do.
Paul LaPointe:FICTION If TNA has taught me anything its that, those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Like trying to re-live the glory of Hulk Hogan long past its merits and sense. But also TNA tends to be WAY may forgiving when it comes to crowning its champions. AJ maybe on a leash for only a little bit longer but TNA has given title wins to people in worse positions. Kurt Angle was champ during his many personal issues, Jeff Hardy is a case all by itself, heck Pacman Jones was a champion in the promotion when his contract stated he could not be touched or touch anybody while "Wrestling", haha. Oh, TNA, you are so funny sometimes. AJ Styles on the other hand is one guy that has stuck with TNA through all its stupid decisions and dark times. He is getting older and the E has too many upstarts and upsides in NXT to really need AJ anymore. IF he gets the title for one last REAL run with the big gold belt they better make it worth his while. AJ you are to TNA as Tommy Dreamer was to ECW. Humble and loyal to a fault and at its current trajectory, TNA's downfall. He is hoping you get the chance to right the ship.
Nick Bazar:FACT I highly doubt that AJ Styles is going anywhere, so that's really irrelevant in my opinion, but Bully Ray should retain the championship regardless of whether or not there are contract disputes. He is easily one of the best heels going right now, even if he does get bogged down by the Aces and Eights. I understand wanting to end your biggest show of the year with a babyface overcoming a heel, but don't sacrifice your best character and move the title just for the sake of that "feel good" moment.
Score: 2 for 3
4. John Cena returning to challenge for the World Title at Hell in a Cell will give a much-needed feel of importance to that title.
Paul LaPointe:FACT The biggest complaint that the IWC (ha!) with Alberto Del Rio's almost year long run in and around the World title is that he is BORING! The IWC's problem with John Cena is he cannot wrestle and is STALE as a saltine cracker. But considering ADR has been putting on pretty good to great matches with just about anybody I cannot really fault him more then I would creative. I mean, when you book the 2nd most important title in the company like the European championship it seems what else are people to do but complain I guess. So what's the solution? Cena is still in the title picture this way, yes I will grant you that but he adds legitimacy as a real main eventer vying for the title, something most people think is lacking. Also it takes Cena out of the WWE title picture for the interim and allows the progression of the Cena Vs Bryan rematch program they got brewing with a Bella on either side. Or at least that is something I would be looking to do. Is ADR Vs Cena a match I really want to see....nah, but by a prestige POV the booking is spot on and surprising.
Nick Bazar:FICTION Building a legitimate rivalry between a dynamic heel and babyface will add importance to a title, not pairing your biggest superstar with the heel champion of the month with no buildup. I get that "technically," John Cena is owed a championship rematch, but let's be honest, the WWE wasn't considering that when they booked the match. I'm sure it'll be a fine outing- they've had great matches in the past- but it won't add any legitimacy to an already highly damaged World Heavyweight Championship.
Score: 2 for 4
5. The Ultimate X match at Bound for Glory, featuring Chris Sabin vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries vs. Manik vs. Samoa Joe, will steal the show at Sunday's TNA Bound for Glory PPV.
Nick Bazar:FACT Without question. The Ultimate X match is easily the best gimmick match TNA has come up with. The concept is simple, the action is typically awesome and it's a unique spectacle that you don't see anywhere else. Add that to the fact that this is Bound for Glory and all five competitors are highly entertaining and athletic, and you just know it's gonna kick all kinds of ass. If you accept it as what it is- a crazy spotfest- you're most likely going to walk out of it very satisfied.
Paul LaPointe:FACT Who else has a chance really? Gunner? Where the heck is that guy? The depleted KO division of like 4 girls? Old man Sting? A recently rehabbed Kurt Angle... (maybe...maybe not)? Or the most likely overbooked main event? After doing the wrestling math and then looking at common sense Ultimate X is of course going to be out and out the stand out match on the card. You have 4 of the best workers on the roster & that Manik guy so I see fireworks.
Score: 3 for 5
6. WWE potentially bringing back Goldberg for a WrestleMania match with Ryback is a good idea.
Nick Bazar:FACT Are you kidding me? Of course! I'm a mark for Goldberg, I enjoy Ryback, and this match simply has to happen. And what better place than WrestleMania? Granted, it's gonna suck, but come on! It's Goldberg! I just wanna see him Spear someone who isn't a baseball player.
Paul LaPointe:FACT Though I think the match will suck beyond all reasonable expectations on so many levels the sheer spectacle of this would be hilarious. Would I want to pay to see such an atrocity be put upon my eyes and ears or just laugh at its absurdity instead? I do not want another Goldberg/Brock WM moment on my hands. Plus given the pension of both these athletes, two guys getting blown up 3 minutes into a match makes for a huff and a puff and a blow this match away scenario, gah. Plus ole, Billy Boy will probably only do it if he get's the win in dominating fashion, so that leaves Ryback a waste venture beyond all repair and Goldberg in the wind. The smark marks are right sometimes with Ryback being a Goldberg clone, nah. I change my answer upon re-reading, FICTION its not worth it no matter how funny it would be.
Score: 3 for 6
7. Due to his issues with injuries over the past two years, Christian's days as a full time in ring performer for WWE are likely through.
Nick Bazar:FICTION Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I see this string of injuries as merely bumps in the road. Even before his most recent injury, the man was still putting on great performances on a nightly basis- he certainly still has "it." On top of that, he has a readymade feud in place with The Shield once he returns. Only Christian can comment on whether or not he feels he can maintain a full-time schedule, but judging from how he looked in the ring, I'm hopeful. Honestly, just as long as he doesn't come back with Ellen Degeneres hair again, I'll be happy.
Paul LaPointe:FACT Though Christian is one of my favorite storytellers in the ring- over the last few years he has not had the best of luck. Whether its nagging injuries, a re-occurring shoulder issue or something the E has had a spattering off this year, concussion like symptoms, Christian cannot catch a break. I wish him the best as he continues to plug away and get himself right but his time a upper tier player in the WWE maybe winding down faster then he may like. Granted he will be able to keep going but like CM Punk as of late he maybe just a step behind what he is or was capable of. Maybe he can borrow John Cena's Wolverine like recuperative powers and then get that true run with the strap but that is wishful thinking unless he finds a lamp and rubs it. The E is good usually at taking care of their own when it comes to vets and with NXT branching out Christian I believe could easily become a mentor to more aspiring in ring peeps after his time is done.
Score: 3 for 7
8. Even though they were reportedly the standouts of the latest tryout camp, the WWE will not sign Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards.
Nick Bazar:FACT I think this is more of a case of bad timing than anything else. Both guys are obviously tremendous talents, but NXT (and WWE in general) is already so loaded with young, captivating, ready-for-primetime wrestlers, that I don't think WWE necessarily needs Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards right now. I think they should focus on navigating the group they currently have- there is more than a ton to work with as it is.
Paul LaPointe:FACT For the moment unless the WWE plans on bringing them in as a tag team I just think The ROH crew would be better gratified with plying there trade on the Indies for just a tad bit longer. They are talented enough for sure its just that if a signing goes down its one or the other I think because the WWE's tag ranks are pretty full at the moment. And with the chances of a call up slim at this time anyhow the big leagues may want to grab some less seasoned guys as prospects unless they need a spruce up down the line. I want them in the E but at this time my gut says for now it's a pass.
Score: 4 for 8
Paul and Nick split the difference, while bringing their A Game. I thank them for their time and effort. Tune into next week's column for more debating fun, and thanks for reading.
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Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.