Truths And Lies 12.17.13: WWE/TNA Week In Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 12.17.2013
RAW thoughts! Plus: Is Feast or Fired a good concept? What was up with the Smackdown ending on Friday night? Are you okay with Randy Orton as the WWE World Champion?
TLC is officially in the books.
What an event. For all of the paying customers out there, I hope you enjoyed the show. For everybody else? Maybe the 2014 new year's resolution should be to legally purchase wrestling pay-per-vi...ah, never mind. Who am I kidding? Stealing is okay because of an avatar and fake username on the internet! Illegal acts for all! Go me!
Yeah, back to reality. The Green Bay Packers are still hanging in the playoff picture. Just barely though. HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS! The snow never seems to stop, but this is Wisconsin. After 25 years, you just get used to it. My Christmas shopping is almost done, so there is that as well. Is this enough stalling? Should we discuss the TLC pay-per-view more in depth? Yes, we shall....but first, enjoy these awesome social media plugs.
Let's start like I do most weeks - taking a look at the best posts from the comment section without any cuss words or insults. Trust me, there were a few out there! At last check, I read 84 comments. Thus, I was given plenty of material to work with:
BlandyBoreton: Tuesday wrestling news, where you at?
It's right here - each and every Monday night after Raw! Although I would use the term "news" loosely. More like made-up rumors disguised as news...
Dhruv Chouhan: Why is Curtis Axel on tv? Same reason why Alex Riley was. Coz they have awesome Entrance song.
I love Alex Riley's theme music! It is one of the few wrestling songs on my playlist. As for Axel? His song is not bad. It is just yet another knockoff or tribute to his father. At some point, he has to be more than just Mr. Perfect's son. In his 30's currently, time may be running out for him to prove as such.
AG Awesome: I have seen many "believable" comments posted in forums and even our own 411 comment section that have been turned into "reported news" within a day or two. I don't know why the IWC loves to believe rumors as fact, I guess it's just because we don't have legit news available on wrestling like many mainstream sports broadcasts have. Honestly though, sometimes it can be just as fun to play with rumors as it is just watching and enjoying the show. If it wasn't, then WWE/TNA/ROH wouldn't have done online only story lines (Punk, Abyss from years back, Devon, Matt Hardy, etc).
I'm very excited to see the Bryan and Wyatt family story line progress. I think your addition of Matt Morgan would be AMAZING actually. Plus it would make their stable quite physically large and imposing which would be something different. A group of "monsters". It's a shame that Kane is involved in the Authority angle (which I'm also interested in seeing play out before crapping on it) because they could keep momentum going if they had him helping out his old buddy as well as getting revenge for Summer Slam. Give them both something to do until the main event opens up a bit more for Bryan's return.
Then again, if Wyatts are only doing Bearded wrestlers in their group they can just add HBK and then we have our dream match Wrestlemania feud!! (just a little joke there)
I can buy into most of this. The internet-only story lines usually do not not interest very much, as by default - you are only targeting a SMALL percentage of fans instead of the HUGE casual fanbase automatically dwindling your potential right off the bat. On top of that, the internet fans are the same people who are more likely to NOT pay for something than actually pay for it. I just don't get it. Why go after 10% of fans who won't buy the PPV anyways over 90% of fans who are likely to shell out the cash? TNA and ROH I understand. When WWE does it once in a blue moon...no REAL point to do it other than to shake things up.
Logan: Need to work on structure and layout.
Thanks for the feedback. Could you expand a little bit more? Tell me examples on how to improve the column? List some ideas? My email address is always listed at the end. Any kind of constructive criticism is more than welcome here.
Looroll: It's alright Watry, you've only got 3 more weeks of TNA before you stop watching it, remember?!
Well, I only agreed to watch until the end of 2013. After that? It is my choice. I could watch every week, once a month, or never again. Judging by their upcoming schedule for early January, those episodes may be worth watching. I do my best to avoid spoilers each week, but those results have been pretty widely spread by now even for folks trying to avoid them. That is what happens when you tape wrestling shows a month in advance. Thus, we may extend my TNA Impact Wrestling viewing a few extra weeks to Genesis, which takes places in mid-January. Sorry!
never Acquiesce: Hundreds of thousands of articles in five years? Even at the lowest multiple of "hundreds of thousands," that being 200,000, you would be required to write about 110 articles A DAY.
Tell me about it...
Nicholas Adam Villarreal: Putting Hunico under the Sin Cara mask again is the right call. The original Sin Cara was a joke during his entire run, and quite frankly, even Sin Cara Negro was better than Sin Cara Original during their rivalry. However, I think we may just want to have Sin Cara do a different top rope move altogether, instead of the flip senton off the top. If we absolutely have to name his version, though, I've got a few ideas:
Cara-Sel (because he's making a circle)
Sin-E-Cure (emphasizing how effortless it is)
Mascara Rotara (self-explanatory)
Cara Bomb (although this is probably a bad idea for multiple reasons)
Of course, I can't believe they didn't just go for the most blatantly obvious name, because it's right there for everybody to realize, and all it takes is one typo with a dyslexic member of the Creative team confusing his left and right hands and typing an "i" instead of an "e": The Sin-ton (pronounced like senton, but, well, you know ...)
Anyway, in spite of the haters, keep up the good work. Noting the ridiculous nature of the dirt sheets (even on your parent site) is a fun little departure from the norm.
Good stuff. I actually like the "Sin-ton" idea. Straight forward and easy for kids to latch onto - perfect for the character. Or should I say Cara-cter?
Will1225: So you can't watch a movie where an actress is playing a character who is dating another character that isn't being played by the actress's real life husband? Are you kidding me?
This was directed at a comment made by Mike in the comment section about the Samuel Shaw/Christy Hemme.
Since Will loves me so much, I will happily reply. First, thanks for not using any cuss words or insults. See how easy that is? We can discuss things in a civil manner. Secondly, good to have you commenting again. Always nice to have my biggest fans let their opinions be known. Thirdly, as mentioned last week, TNA brings this on themselves when they love to flaunt their 'reality' aspects of the show. Obviously, that is false. It's just wrestling! We know that, but once you break that fourth wall, those loopholes have to be explained. In your example - yes, if the movie was proclaiming to be REALITY and market it as such, I will would take issue with a blatant case of adultery.
That is why, as outlined above in an earlier comment, I do not like the whole "worked shoot" garbage wrestling promotions try to run. Stick to telling a wrestling story. Heels are bad. Faces are good. They fight to settle a score. So simple. When you mix in personal lives, reality, behind the scenes stuff, shoots and all this other mumbo jumbo, the inconsistencies (and plot holes) slowly start to pile up week after week. We are seeing that with Shaw, and it has only been a few weeks. I can't even imagine a month or two from now. That is why it is just not even worth going there to begin with. As for Impact Wrestling on Thursday night? Let's see how they did...
Truths: TNA Impact Wrestling (12/12/13)
1. Feast or Fired: I like the endgame but not the actual match. - It is great that four guys now have some kind of direction (one being fired). With the title divisions being nearly non-existent, that is a good thing. However, the entire format is just one big cluster. Win and get fired? Yeah. Instead of me breaking it down, Armando Estrada did a nice job on Twitter. Let's go through each of his complaints with my comments after:
Why would a wrestler want to participate in a match where u have a 25% chance of being fired? Doesnt make sense. The risk is too high. #TNA
Yep! A 25% of being fired for a TNA TItle shot? Fine, no guts no glory. For a worthless X-Division Title shot or nearly invisible Tag Team Title shot? Not worth it. These could just earn it through winning matches and stuff. You know, pro wrestling.
Especially if a top guy grabs a briefcase. If you were a former world champ and you grabbed a tag title briefcase, is that really fulfilling?
I have written about this multiple times (for other websites). Unless there is a clear story line where a wrestler wants a certain title for a reason, winning the tag or mid-card strap after being in the main event is not fulfilling. For all wrestling companies.
If you want to make it more believable, add two briefcases (TV title and a 2nd tag title). Now you reduce the odds of someone getting fired.
Disagree here. TNA had a TV Title and did nothing with it. Their Knockout tag team titles should have never even been created but are also gone now. On top of that, (again) the Knockouts, tag, and X-Division belts have no momentum at all. You could even argue their top (not World) title currently. No use of adding more gold when you can't even worry about the ones you have!
And why are there enhancement guys in the same match with your stars? That would be like WWE putting Cena, Punk in the MITB with 3MB or JTG.
This was my biggest problem. The lineup was weak to start with, but half of those guys should not even be on television - much less in a 30 minute main event match with a potential TNA Title match on the line. Some would compare this to the Royal Rumble, but that has 30 guys for one prize. Money in the Bank would be a better comparison, especially with the briefcases able to get cashed in at any time. Even that though is mostly big names and a few mid-card guys mixed in, This had 12 guys with four briefcases (high success rate), thus all of the lower card talent stuck out like a sore thumb in a big way. Major difference.
Again, I like the endgame. Everything before that is a mess sadly...
2. There was ONE 5 minute match for the first hour and 20 minutes. - Where the action never ends. Wrestling matters. Total Non-stop action. Keep the laughs coming TNA! I have never watched a wrestling show with a stopwatch. I have never even bothered to count the total amount of minutes on a wrestling show. Never have, never will. I simply do not care, but after the first hour, I could not even remember a single match that took place. It took me going online to find the match that had just taken place earlier in the night. I know TNA had a strange taping schedule, so maybe this was the "talking segments" day. To be fair, they did make up for it during the second hour.
3. TNA Impact Wrestling needs to be careful with the background music. - A few months ago, they did this and stopped abruptly. I am guessing someone told them how bad it sounded. Well, it returned on Thursday night. Bully Ray gave Mr. Anderson a piledriver on the stage and cut a promo on him afterwards. Then some dark, scary music began playing while he spoke. Did not work before. Does not work now. If you really want to do such a thing, find a better spot.
4. I welcome Ethan Carter III entering into a feud... - ...but starting with Sting? Unless he is finishing up with the company next month, this could have waited. Remember the reason why Stone Cold would not lose to Brock Lesnar? Yeah, that is what it feels like. No doubt, EC3 should beat Sting in the end...but not anytime soon. New guys should work their way up the card, not start with legends. It DOES fit into his character of being entitled and all that, but this falls into the "Then what?" category. Let's assume EC3 beats Sting. Then what? He can only go down from there or enter the main event scene. Neither seems like a good ideas after only being on TV for two-three months. Then what? He did grab a briefcase in the Feat or Fired, so that may tell the real story. Not to steal a line, but tread lightly with this all. Tread lightly.
5. The Kurt Angle-Bobby Roode feud should end. - I am ready to move on. They have shown some intensity the past two months, and that is great! Since TNA has been so comedy friendly recently, that made it stand out. However, you can only wrestle so many times and brawl every other week. TNA does not have a pay-per-view until (I assume) March, and I doubt they will still be going at it then. Thus, how many "specialty" matches can you do on free television? Do the two out of three falls, tear the roof off the place, and go to the next feud. This story is over. Also, please stop the gimmick matches. It seems every week SOMETHING extra is added on. Just let the wrestlers wrestle.
Lie: The AJ Styles-Dixie Carter story is intriguing. - Nope. It was not entertaining in October and still isn't. Nobody but a select few in the IWC care about AJ wrestling in outside promotions. The "Friends of AJ" hook is intriguing but completely kills the worked shoot aspect - buying advertising time on Spike TV or not. Then you have Dixie out there every week talking about someone who apparently is not under contract and means nothing to her...but keeps on talking about him and sending Brad Madd...Rockstar Spur after him to a bar circa Eric Bischoff-Stone Cold 2003. I just don't care. Dixie completely overshadows the TNA Title tournament away from Magnus and Jeff Hardy. The DixieLand match is a Vince Russo mashup of nonsense. All the while, nobody involved is a good enough promo (talker) to make this all work. Just bring Styles back already and do the predictable title for title match.
*Bad episode. I am a bigger fan of promos than actual wrestling, but one short pointless five minutes in the first 80 minutes is ludicrous. Notice I did not even mention the X-Division title match? It had been gone for the past two months, so why even bother? Austin Aries beating Chris Sabin for the belt is about as meaningless as it gets. Hey, two former TNA Champs! Like that means anything now. The Feast or Fired match was good but felt out of place. Dixie and AJ are NOT the two people for this thing to work. Trying to drag Magnus or Jeff Hardy into this mess is asking for more trouble. Madison Rayne returned to confront Gail Kim. Nice to see her return, but what was the point of the open challenge? To introduce new girls or bring someone back? TNA has been VERY comedy heavy lately. I am not laughing, but kudos to them for trying. Sorry for the long winded nature of this review, but there was just so much garbage. To piggyback off Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net - remember when Dave Lagana was leading the charge of 'I Want Wrestling?' Funny how that went out the window once he arrived in TNA...*
Truths: WWE Smackdown (12/13/13)
1. The Real Americans are not winning the tag titles on Sunday night. - Keep in mind I write this (and the Impact Wrestling section) on Saturday afternoon. Right when Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust, their chances of getting the titles at TLC diminished. Some fans like to play the "lose on TV, win on PPV" game with trying to predict winners a week prior. Usually, that is more myth than fact. In this case though, The Real Americans just got their win, which means it won't happen again at the pay-per-view.
Edit: Got it!
2. Mark Henry needs something to do. - This reminds me of Mark Henry on Raw during the second half of 2009. He just kind of moved around the card as a face doing nothing of note, although his short tag run with MVP was fun. Anyways, the man is a great heel with only a few more years left in his career. Wrestling Damien Sandow in filler matches does not suit him well at all. Turn him back heel where he belongs and let Big E Langston defeat him on PPV or something. Anything but what we saw on Smackdown.
3. WWE should have promoted the John Cena appearance. - Since late October, Smackdown has increased a good amount in ratings/viewership. Obviously, that was due to John Cena winning the World Title and making sporadic appearances on Friday night. However, there was absolutely ZERO hype/build for his appearance this week. When you have your top star show up on the Blue Brand, you promote it in a major way. Show a commercial during Raw. Post it all over the place during Main Event, WWE.com, etc. You could actually say the same for Randy Orton and Triple H as well, but their segment...yikes. We will get there.
4. Curtis Axel is still on my television set. - Why? I am going to party like it's 1999 when Ryback distanced himself from Mr. Perfect's son.
5. This may have been the best/worst Raw and Smackdown ending in a row. -Okay, that sounds confusing. What I mean is a great finish to Raw followed up by a terrible finish to Smackdown. Hasn't there ever been a more contrast in endings? On Sunday night, Randy Orton is UNIFYING the top two titles in a match against JOHN CENA in a match hyped as one of the biggest EVER! Yet, the final segment is him apologizing to Triple H (and Stephanie). Wow. Again, it is downright disappointing to see the big final segment to Raw, only to watch that Smackdown segment end things before TLC. This better all make sense.
Lie: I plan on attending the Smackdown taping in Milwaukee next February. - WWE is returning to Wisconsin for some television tapings in February 2014! Sadly, there is absolutely no reason for me to jump all over tickets on sale this weekend. World Champion John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and others were listed in the advertisement, but that will all likely change a million times before then. Usually when WWE comes to Wisconsin, I get the best tickets available right away. Not this time! Until we get closer to February, I will wait and see.
*Not a bad show. I think what struck me was what I mentioned above. The ending to Raw was just so interesting and buss worthy. Yet, the Blue Brand followed up with "just a show" on Friday night. John Cena was at the arena. Randy Orton was at the arena. Neither man was face to face though or in a match. The rest was just your typical filler to get through two hours and stall until TLC. Even as I type this, my head is racing to find aspects of the show to discuss. Nothing is coming to mind.*
Truths: WWE TLC (12/15/13)
1. WWE delivered a clear cut winner and unified champion. - I admit my fault for buying into the "Triple H will win" theory. I admit that. In hindsight, that was as ridiculous as initially thought. However, credit WWE for actually delivering a winner and a loser in the main event. Their finishes to pay-per-views in recent months have not been pretty. Randy Orton won. John Cena lost. You can argue and debate everything in between all day long. Despite all the speculation though, they gave fans a decisive conclusion.
2. The handicap matches were dealt with in the correct manner. - Both heel stables could NOT have won. On the flip side, both underdog faces could NOT have won. It was just common sense. Thus, either CM Punk or Daniel Bryan had to lose. With the story being told, The Shield losing was the best way to go. The Wyatt Family losing would not have done much for anybody. Are fans going to start saying SUPER PUNK now? Doubt it. Not how things work online. Still waiting for that Matt Morgan appearance to join The Wyatt Family...
3. The Road to WrestleMania begins. - Ah, finally, The Fall season is always tough to get through. Whether it is football, new television shows starting up or just creative fatigue, I am happy to see January right around the corner. The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is next, and it feels like great to have over a month of just Raw and Smackdown. Should be smooth sailing for awhile, and I love it!
4. AJ Lee retaining her Divas Title was the right call. - I am not sure why fans keep thinking that Total Divas has anything to do with on-air booking. If it did, Eva Marie would be champion feuding with The Bella Twins. She is not. The rumor before Night of Champions are a girl from the reality show would win the title to have a nice moment for the season finale. Well, that has come and gone. Incorrect as expected. Now, it is all about Nattie winning at TLC for Total Divas and AJ Lee being in trouble backstage. Once again, incorrect. Thanks for playing dirt sheets! I have no idea how long AJ will remain champ, but she SHOULD keep that belt until WrestleMania XXX. Defeating Nattie at TLC was just the next step.
5. There are a lot of exciting elements going on with WWE programming right now. - Big E Langston is getting a chance to shine as IC Champion feuding with Damien Sandow. Goldust and Cody Rhodes have done wonders for the tag scene. The Shield are teasing a breakup, with all three being potential solo stars. The Wyatt Family and Daniel Bryan deliver no matter what is going to happen next. All the while, you still have your established stars in CM Punk, Randy Orton, and John Cena hovering around the main event picture.
Lie: BORING SUPER CENA WON AGAIN! - Look at his win-loss record on pay-per-view the past few years. Now look at Stone Cold's during the Attitude Era. Now look at Hulk Hogan during his prime. I never understood this "Yawn, Cena will win again" mindset. He had his major run as champ from 2005-2008. Great, Every top star will have that. In recent years though, there should no arguments about his wins, losses or any of that nonsense. In late 2013, it just does not hold any merit.
Honestly, I am going to sit this one out. Let me know in the comment section what you thought of TLC, only if you actually viewed the event legally. If you stole it (illegally) online, your opinion means nothing. Thieves lose that right. Sorry!
Truths: WWE Raw (12/16/13)
1. I already forgot most of the Slammy Award winners from last week. - Pop quiz! Tell me who won the Slammy Awards last week. Go ahead. List every "winner" you can remember. I will wait. *pretends to care* All done? Exactly. I say this every year, but they mean nothing. The ceremony is as scripted as your weekly wrestling and have zero bearing on anything that takes place. Hopefully, by December 2014, fans will finally realize this.
2. The commentary was bad. - Like really, really bad. Truth be told, I am a fan of Michael Cole and respect what he has done for over a decade now. Jerry Lawler, even at his age, is more than acceptable on most nights. I am a huge JBL fan (for obvious reasons). What I heard on Monday night though was not very good. All three usually get off topic in a hurry and joke around, but it was very noticeable this week.
3. The Shield are not finished yet. - No doubt, their inevitable breakup is coming. However, they are still wrestling together. They are still intimidating. They are still a great act, and they are still winning. Roman Reigns pinning CM Punk in a six man tag is just the next step towards making the big man a solo star. Nice to see The Usos back in a prominent position even if I am not a big fan of them...
4. The Shawn Michaels appearance was a complete surprise. - WWE got me. I had no idea HBK was there. With the event being in Texas, maybe everybody should have been suspecting something? Not me. When his music hit, I was shocked big time. Him going back and forth with CM Punk could have been so fun television. Instead, it was pretty awkward and did nothing of note. Always entertaining to watch Shawn rip on the fans though!
5. Daniel Bryan main events another show. - Another week. Another Raw or Smackdown with Daniel Bryan wrestling in the final match on TV. This match with Randy Orton is nothing new or fresh, but both guys can flat out wrestle in that squred circle. With the new WWE World Champion looking for an opponent come Royal Rumble next month, he has three very good opponents waiting: Bryan again, John Cena in a rematch, or even CM Punk? All are okay in my book. There is always the outside chance of a completely random opponent as well.
Lie: Christmas will be canceled. - NO!!!!! Mark Henry has to defeat Damien Sandow next week. He just has to.
*Fairly good. I am fine with the next few shows being filler and nothing more. WWE has plenty of time before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in late January. Give us a bunch of in-ring wrestling until the end of December with SOME build to the Rumble. Then kick it into high gear after the new year. Even with that, these three hours dragged, dragged, dragged and dragged some more. Even an empty rocking chair proclaiming to be Sister Abigail could not raise this show above being just simply average.*
The next time you read an online report, ask yourself if the story actually makes sense...or is your typical gossip with no truth whatsoever. Just from the past week or so, let's take a look:
TNA expects to sign a new deal with Sting. - Rumored to be making $500,000 per year, I am not sure the company can afford that kind of deal throughout 2014. Sting does not bring the TV ratings, ticket sales when they go on the road, or any other major factor to make up that kind of price tag anymore. I would have him lose to Ethan Carter III in January and move on. Head up north and get that Legends contract. Stay tuned though!
TNA talent may have to sign for less money. - Read above. If WWE has no interest, guess what? You are stuck in TNA with no other options. That means accepting whatever offer is thrown at you. If WWE does have interest, then run for your life. RUN!
WWE still trying to get Bill Goldberg for a comeback match? - Ah, there is the weekly update. I knew it was coming. Thanks for nothing once again. Been reading this since 2004...
There is a rumored face turn for Antonio Cesaro. - Yep! It has been rumored for awhile now. Nothing has been shown on television at all hinting in that direction. Seems like somebody likes the Giant Swing and wants fans to cheer. That is the only basis behind this "news" story at all.
Weekly update on the WWE Network launch - We apparently inch closer to the moment. I have been skeptical of this being a success since day one of the rumored project. Time to prove me wrong.
WWE is looking at names for the 2014 Royal Rumble match. - Let me guess: Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, and Chris Masters are CONFIRMED to be returning. Right? Oops, wrong year.
Chris Jericho teases a return on Twitter. - Why are websites still posting his comments from Twitter as if it means anything? Give me one reason outside of getting clicks. He is not showing up Sunday and has nothing to do with the unification match. Nothing! Just to show my confidence, I wrote this all before TLC.
The finish to the unification title match has been set for over a week now. - Yet, nobody knows what it is. If the insiders know the finish is locked up, then why not spill the beans? Oh, right. They don't know. Now, we all await the "plans changed last minute" correction coming on Monday.
A tag match will be added to the TLC PPV card. - There was a single's match. Close though. Real close.
Vince McMahon appears at WWE TLC. - Hey, what happened to holding him his return off until early 2014? Remember that report (or should I say guess)? Let me guess, Vince will be on Raw. Back to that story again?
There is backstage heat on AJ Lee, and a "punishment" is coming. - Well, she retained he title over Natalya. Must have been such a big incident that absolutely nothing was changed! As usual, the story was lapped up by readers and trusted wholeheartedly from the word "Go!" It never fails...hook, line, and sinker. Oh, and AJ Lee just won on Raw! Yikes, she is having a terrible week, huh?
AJ Styles is currently a free agent and releases a statement discussing his status. - I usually laugh at folks who simply yell "It's a work!" whenever something they don't like pops up online. Denial can be tough at times. However, in this case, my stance has been the same since October. Until he pops up on WWE TV, he is with TNA. Go work as many indy shows as you want. Unless it is Raw or Smackdown, I do not believe anything about his apparent departure. Prove me wrong...prove me wrong.
Brodus Clay and Tensai are turning heel and will be a top team going forward. - Remember reading that a week or two back? Yeah, now watch Raw from Monday night.
Have any more examples? Please share them below in the comment section. Until then, just remember the next time you click on an article to ask yourself first how much will be truth and how much will be fiction.
Finally, let's get some "ME!" plugs out there for all of you...