Truths And Lies 02.04.14: WWE/TNA Week In Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 02.04.2014
Raw thoughts! Was CM Punk right or wrong for quitting WWE? Is Batista turning heel soon? Who is more entertaining right now: The Wyatts or The Shield? All this and much more!
Did everybody enjoy last night's Super Bowl?
One last time: My pre-season prediction was the Denver Broncos winning it all. That ended well. NOT! I was wrong, wrong, wrong. Props to the Seattle Seahawks. Regardless, the entire event is always must see, even with a blowout game. Bruno Mars is not my kind of music, but Red Hot Chili Peppers are usually good. The commercials are also fun to watch. The whole spectacle and four or five hours is just great. Every year.
As for the wrestling scene, we inch closer to the WWE Network launch. I stand by my original proclamation that credit card orders and subscriptions should be handled NOW! Not all on February 24th. What a mess that is going to be come 9am. Oh well, it will not be my problem. Until then, the Elimination Chamber is next in line of things to promote for WWE. Almost like social media plugs...
Note: I will happily respond to comments, as long as they do not have insults or cuss words. Sadly, most still do not grasp the very simple concept. Here are some of the best from last week!
My Name Is-: Ask your grandma if she owns a cell phone. Ask your mother if she owns a cell phone. Ask your aunt, uncle, or grandpa if they own a cell phone. Now do the same for friends or co-workers who fit the older demographic.
You really need to stop believing that everybody lives in Nothing, WI like you. Some of us live in places that have actually adapted to the 21st century.
Hahaha, fair subtle jab My Name Is. That is your real name, right? Or a fake username used on the internet? Yeah. To the topic, if you are going to quote me, then please do so in full. Picking and choosing sentences does not work. Here is what I said last week:
Ask your grandma if she owns a cell phone. Ask your mother if she owns a cell phone. Ask your aunt, uncle, or grandpa if they own a cell phone. Now do the same for friends or co-workers who fit the older demographic. After that, move to a Roku system or Xbox. Some will own them. Most will not. Then ask them if they are WWE fans and would plunk down $10 a month for a 24/7 wrestling network. When you do that, get back to me.
That is what I said. This is a wrestling column, not a cell phone column. The point was if those particular folks in the older demographic would purchase a WWE Network for 10 bucks a month. Again, feel free to get back to me when you complete the above instructions.
Hectus: "Who says WWE did not know the Rumble outrage was coming and will add to a story line on Raw? That is a part of everything. Trust me, when he does win the strap (and he will), all the anger, frustration, and negativity will result in a MONSTROUS crowd reaction."
Also the apathy, loss of momentum, not striking at the right moment, some fans not caring anymore, general loss of fan investment and so on will set in (It already has to an extent) and make the win much less than what it could have been; A great awesome moment/run for DB. Right timing is crucial.
Not going to happen. All the fans whining and crying will not stop watching regardless. The WWE stock price keeps going up, and their network/television deals will keep them profitable. Sorry, but all this fan outcry is ultimately meaningless. Happens every single year over some pay-per-view ending or Raw finish. As for timing? Daniel Bryan is not Zack Ryder or Fandango. Daniel Bryan will be just fine, and when that moment does come, all will be right with the world. I cover it a bit below, but Seattle, Washington does host Extreme Rules. Trust me, 'fans not caring anymore' or 'general loss of fan investment' will not be seen there. They will be there for the whole journey.
jmac: On the subject of Daniel Bryan, if this whole thing-keeping him out of the Rumble included-is all one big swerve just to maximize his popularity when he does finally win the belt, then it's brilliant. We've seen the valiant underdog-being-held-down-by-the-man enter the Rumble and, against all odds of course, win the whole thing and go on to win the title at Wrestlemania. They've done that story. More than twice. Keeping him out the match altogether is genius, especially if he goes to Wrestlemania and wins the big belt anyway. It's just a different, yet perfectly logical way to go about it. There's still plenty of time to get to that point and keeping him out of the Rumble completely as a way to garner more sympathy hasn't been done before. So, if they still plan on putting the guy in the title match at Mania, then this was a compelling juncture in that story.
However, time has proven over and over again that the WWE doesn't really have anything to lose by playing it safe. Ever since WCW went down, the WWE has had no competition. That means the days of letting the crowds dictate what they do are over. They didn't have to put CM Punk in the main event of WM last year, so they didn't. They didn't have to turn Cena heel, even with half the crowd hating him, so they didn't. And they don't have to put Daniel Bryan in the WWE title match at WM, so there's not a good chance they will. If they do, and especially if he wins, then good on them. They got me. But, if they don't, they're ignoring a large portion of the fans just to push whoever they want to push because there's no competition and they can.
My question Justin is, who is really to blame for all this? Is WWE to blame for not changing it up or are the fans to blame for continuing to watch the product?
Nobody is to blame here at all. You think the #YESMovement hashtag was Bryan's idea all on his own? You think HHH trolling the audience was not done on purpose? I love it. Keep the anger going. Keep the online folks riled up. Keep the fans chanting for Bryan all day long. Like it or not, all of you reading this will be watching Raw next week, watching Smackdown on Friday, following the news updates, checking WWE.com, and right there for all of this. Every step of the way.
WWE is not going to go bankrupt after the Royal Rumble. WWE is not going to lose network buys. WWE and their stock price is not going to drop because somebody NOT advertised for the Royal Rumble did not enter the match. WWE is not going to turn away viewers. WWE is not going to see live event attendance drop. WWE will continue going, just as they always do. It is all just 'tough guy internet talk' about BOYCOTTING WWE and all that other nonsense which means nothing. Daniel Bryan will get his moment. The fans will be there, and that arena will explode with excitement when he does become champion...
...which will put dollars in WWE's pocket. Like always.
gooched: You aren't wrong though, for a guy who is supposedly getting "buried" Daniel Bryan sure gets a lot of attention on live television, the commentators always big him up and acknowledge his fanbase, he always gets a big main event spot, he gets to go out there and air out his "grievances" and look like the hero in the process. Although I'm still convinced they'll call an audible on Batista vs Orton, last night was a pretty young mark crowd and even they were pretty dismissive and/or apathetic of Orton/Batista. For a WM main event, they could do better.
Another great comment!
Poor Daniel Bryan being the first man to defeat The Shield in a six man tag. Poor Daniel Bryan pinning Sheamus clean on Raw. Poor Daniel Bryan making Randy Orton tap out in a street fight. Poor Daniel Bryan being in the main event of Summerslam. Poor Daniel Bryan getting a rare, rare, rare clean win over JOHN CENA for the WWE CHAMPIONSHIP! Poor Daniel Bryan for getting four straight pay-per-view main event matches. Poor Daniel Bryan for constantly closing Raw and Smackdown through 2013 and now 2014. Poor Daniel Bryan for now getting a title match inside the Elimination Chamber. Poor guy...poor, poor guy.
WWE sure does bury him a lot.
Jonfw2: What's the biggest crime in Watryland? Illegal streaming, cursing, or using contractions?
Probably the one that breaks the law that is somehow accepted on the internet because of avatars and fake usernames behind a computer screen.
HercStrongs: Watry also predicted that the heat would win the NBA championship this year so when you see them in the finals don't forget to give props to the guy who saw it coming
I predicted a Heat vs. Spurs NBA Finals in 2013 and was right! Called the winner and loser. This year, my prediction is Heat over Thunder. Definitely think the Pacers are the favorites right now though. Do not count them out. Big time players there.
Bleh: Kaz and Daniels will probably return to TNA. However, since the WWE is fully committed to tag teams and they may be breaking up some teams soon (Rhodes, the Shield if Reigns flee, Real Americans) and already broke up another (tonnes of funk), Kaz and Daniels could provide some tag team depth.
WWE could just bring up two much younger unknown guys from NXT/FCW for cheap instead. Kaz and Daniels mean zippo, zilch, nada to the WWE Universe. That may be harsh, but it is the truth. With their age at play and very little WWE experience, it would not be worth the investment. Since I assume those two will want some kind of nice paycheck, TNA is their only option. Since it seems they lose every match anyways, maybe they are on the way out? Never know.
Kieron via email: I've been reading your articles on 411mania since you began writing there. I must admit your logic is a breath of fresh air sometimes. I have a few quick questions for you.
1. Do you find that with questioning every news report and presuming their false (with reason to of course) helps you become more satisfied when you're wrong and a rumor reported as news is actually right?
2. Simply to stop everyone asking once a month, and due to you not contributing to the advertisement of your column, could you not ask someone that does know why it's advertised that way? If I went in to a store and someone simply said they didn't know and they didn't go to ask someone else, I'd call that really poor customer service. Just a personal opinion.
Thanks for the praise. I always appreciate emails without profanity or insults. The other websites I write for have no issues with quality email feedback. That has yet to translate here for whatever reason. Here is a two part reply:
1. Maybe a little. I am actually perfectly fine with being wrong. If you read my work elsewhere, multiple columns throughout the past six years have even been titled "I Was Wrong!" Plain as day for the world to see. Questioning news reports is just common sense. Like you said, there is reason to do so. Just go down the line of stories on any given day. Count the factual ones. Then count the backstage, rumor mill, trash ones. When a rare story proves me wrong, I say so. When it turns out to be the garbage I suspected, whatever. Life moves on. A next batch of click bait headlines are posted hours later, and the cycle continues. At some point though, you would hope readers begin to realize all the false information out there.
2. I know this is not the answer you want to read, but I do not worry about it. I guess that is poor customer service then, huh? I just write the columns. I do not concern myself with outside business or any of the other duties. If you do, there are plenty of ways to email or contact the powers to be. That is not my call, nor do I want it to be. Not to repeat myself, but I just write the columns. Thanks again for the email. Constructive criticism? Thoughts? Suggestions? Props? My email address is at the end of every column. As long as there are no insults or cursing, I will reply. Guaranteed. This I promise you...
Truths: TNA Impact Wrestling (1/30/14)
If anybody cared about the episode, please feel free to discuss in the comment section.
Truths: WWE Smackdown (1/31/14)
1. Curtis Axel won a match. - Why?
2. It is good to have Christian back. - He just can never seem to stay healthy. Like Edge. Like Mark Henry. Like a few others throughout wrestling history. It is very hard to stay on track and in big story lines when you are out of action all the time. Hopefully, Christian is 100 percent and good to go. He is not going to win the WWE World Title. He may not even make it to the actual Chamber match, but for now, this is a perfect spot on the card for him.
3. I was cheering for Antonio Cesaro over Dolph Ziggler. - Last year in early 2013, Antonio Cesaro was stuck in the middle of the pack not doing much. At the same time, Ziggler was about to become World Champion. Fast forward 12 months! Roles may be reversed. Cesaro deserved to get the Chamber spot more than Ziggler. Where the Real Americans go from here is up for debate. For now, I can only speak for myself, but Cesaro beating Dolph was the right move here.
4. The Prime Time Players breaking up was inevitable... - ...but the timing is not right. Do this exact scenario days after WrestleMania XXX. Remember when Shad turned on JTG? Yeah, it was right after Mania. Now, I think Titus O'Neil and Darren Young are more talented than Shad and JTG, but my point is clear. From now through April, does anybody really think that WWE will give these two guys screen time? With a host of legends coming back and a network to launch? No way. If they feuded during the spring/summer, I could see them getting more attention. Not now! As for the actual attack, I like it. Titus has shown flashes of potential both in the ring and out. Give him a chance and see what he can do without totally forgetting about Darren. Nearly every tag team tries their hand at a single's run eventually. You never know who could become a top star until you give them a chance.
5. The Shield continue to impress. - Even Triple H backed down from the almighty Roman Reigns. For that to happen, it meant a great deal. With The Shield vs. Wyatts confirmed for Elimination Chamber, that does two things. First, it gives us the long awaited six person tag on a pay-per-view stage. Secondly, it opens the door for both stables to be in a big slot on the Mania card. Needless to say, The Shield (again) won a six man main event with Reigns pinning Rey Mysterio.
Lie: Kofi Kingston defeating Damien Sandow is significant. - Remember when there was an online report a few months ago that Sandow would be booked as a top talent moving forward? Well, he lost to Kofi on Friday night in no time. Either that rumor was false or Kingston is about to become WWE World Champion. You tell me.
*Good first hour. After that, it was filler after filler after filler. Minus the always entertaining six person Shield main event, the show peaked with a quality Christian vs. Swagger match. Apparently, there was a vignette for Rusev and Lana coming to the main roster. I had to watch it online, as I must have missed it during the show. The one real bright spot that was not discussed yet is WWE put in a very good effort to hype up the steel cage tag team title match between the New Age Outlaws and Cody Rhodes/Goldust on Monday. Honestly, a title change would not surprise me nor would the heels retaining. As long as we get to see Cody do his spectacular moonsault off the top of the cage...*
Truths: WWE Raw (2/3/14)
1. Randy Orton wrestling his five Elimination Chamber opponents is a good idea. - The opening was pretty good, outside of my usual complaint that The Authority have yet to fully embrace their heel personas. It set the stage for some pay-per-view hype, a Raw main event, as well as the continuing tease that somebody else may be the 'face' of the company. Batista? Also good move ignoring the CM Punk chants. Just move on. Do not even acknowledge them. I did not miss him.
2. The steel cage match delivered. - Just barely. Maybe I set my expectations too high? Both teams worked hard down the stretch once things picked up. From there, it was all about the moonsault we all expected was coming. Even with the loss, Cody Rhodes and Goldust looked great in defeat. The New Age Outlaws keep the straps and hopefully have an exit strategy planned for the near future. Where both teams go from here will be interesting.
3. Titus O'Neil and Emma were handed a nice opportunity tonight. - I would say Titus had a more impactful match/segment, but that is just my opinion. The (in-ring) introduction to Emma seemed awkward and with a flat crowd in Omaha, it came off flat. Do not worry. It just for one night. Good luck to both going forward! As noted in my Smackdown review, it is going to be tough getting television time from now through April. Up next will be Rusev.
4. The Shield and The Wyatts got time to shine. - Follow the KISS Method. Make The Shield seem dominant. Make The Wyatt Family seem dominant. Build up both sides and let them go at it on pay-per-view. What a wild concept, huh? A strong team taking on another strong team! Right now, I am loving both stables. Can not pick a winner here.
5. Daniel Bryan main events yet another episode of Raw/Smackdown. - Wow, the company must HATE this guy. Focal point of programming for close to a year now. Constantly closing Smackdown. Getting tons of time on Raw each week in the ring. Big matches on pay-per-view. Even STILL feuding with the WWE World Champion six months past their initial battles...and winning clean! Yikes, how does Daniel Bryan live with himself? He is in a terrible spot right now. Just terrible. Too bad WWE does not appreciate his talents and BURIES him every week...too bad. Back to reality: Entertaining match with Randy Orton. More than acceptable way to close the show. Enjoyed it. Also note that Kane got involved, simply transitioning from CM Punk to Daniel Bryan as his target.
Lie: I want to see Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio on PPV later this month. - Eh. It makes sense from a story line point of view. No arguments there. However, in my mind, their feud is over. Alberto Del Rio taunted him. Batista came back to WWE and destroyed him. Nothing else is needed. Even with a quality Raw segment, there is not much intrigue.
*Mark Henry returns next week. It seems like he "returns" every couple of months. Being a fan of his, it would be nice to see the big man have a prolonged run on TV. Betty White will also appear next Monday. The build towards the WWE Network and Chamber PPV rolls on. I did not dislike this episode of Raw but also never had a real interest either. One week removed from the Royal Rumble spectacle and in the middle of Mania hype is what it is. Nothing major will go down, but WWE also has to keep the ball rolling with their next PPV offering. No John Cena who is not 100 percent. If you missed the show, watch The Wyatt/Shield stuff, Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan, and the tag team steel cage match.*
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:
Plans for Batista to turn heel? - Not entirely surprising if true. I assumed that was an option even BEFORE the Royal Rumble. Yes, before the crowd turned on him in Pittsburgh. He hugged Triple H and Stephanie McMahon during his return segment on January 20th. He had the spotlight entrance. Also, the man just plays a great heel character. Win the title at WrestleMania and be the new 'face of the company' with The Authority?
Extreme Rules will reportedly be held in Washington. - That ties into the previous news story. A heel Batista taking on a face Daniel Bryan in Washington for the WWE World Title?!?! Wow. I know everyone wants the "Yes!" chants to go wild at Mania, but in his home state may be a better place. Really can not go wrong though. Bryan will get his moment. He will.
Edit: A new report says Extreme Rules may NOT take place in Seattle, Washington...but still could. That would be disappointing. The story writes itself with Bryan winning the belt in his home state.
Edit x2: Apparently, WWE still wants to host the event in Washington but is trying to lock in a deal with Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman. That is the rumor at least. Keep an eye out for this developing story.
WWE stock price went up on Monday and Tuesday hitting 10 year high points (yet again). - But...but...but the online forums were going crazy! But...but...but Daniel Bryan did not win the Royal Rumble match, even though he was never advertised for the match or teased an entry at all! But...but...but WWE will PAY for their big mistake! But...but...but the fans have had enough of this! Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
The WWE World Title Elimination Chamber match may include Batista and Alberto Del Rio. - Oops! Good guess.
The WWE World Title Elimination Chamber match may include Brock Lesnar and CM Punk. - Oops. Strike two!
The WWE World Title Elimination Chamber match may include Kane. - Strike three. You are outta here!!!!!!
Edit: Try Christian and Antonio Cesaro. Oh well, the dirt sheets tried their darnedest to nail that one.
Sting still talking with WWE? - Getting closer.
CM Punk quits WWE. - No excuses. This is the internet, so all of his followers are going to quickly defend him yet would condemn anybody else for doing the exact same thing. could not even give a two week notice or be written out. Just flat quit. Imagine the kids in the crowd with his shirt on. Imagine fans plunking down cash to meet him WM weekend. Yep, he quit for the fans! Sitting on his couch for the next six months or longer doing nothing - that is giving his fans what they want! Go Punk Go! Seriously, defense here. The joys of being an indy darling! What he did was wrong. No discussion. Stone Cold has said MANY times that him walking out was his biggest regret. My FULL thoughts and in depth analysis of this all has been posted on other websites already. Check the links at the end of this column.
WWE stock hits its highest point since 1999 on Thursday. After the Royal Rumble 'injustice' to Daniel Bryan. After CM Punk supposedly quits WWE. Yep, the company is surely making mistakes and paying for it. Keep thinking that folks. Keep thinking that. The machine will roll on like it always does.
MVP appears on TNA Impact Wrestling television. - Oh look, a wrestler denied something on Twitter but turned out to be true. Shocking! I am not as down on this move as many would think. TNA needs some kind of veteran core going forward with this ROH/NXT influx of talent. As long as MVP is not getting paid an outrageous amount or asked to be the main draw, this is okay.
WWE stock hits a near all-time high on Friday. - Yep. WWE are big poopy heads and stupid. They really blew that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan situation this past week. Boy, oh boy...
Kurt Angle 'blows up' at TNA Creative. - There is a picture online of Kurt Angle in a WHEELCHAIR over the weekend. Yes, a wheelchair. Unreal. The guy needs to sit at home and rest. It still boggles my mind he was back so soon after rehab, but hey! That is on TNA. They do not have the Wellness testing/common sense to tell him otherwise! Just a sad situation all around. With his contract coming due, he may be another looking to exit the company. Can not really blame him.
Top WWE Superstar tells internet fan to relax and enjoy the product. Well, assuming this came from an actual person and is not just a made up quote to rile people up, he/she is right on everything. Also funny people are bashing him or her for remaining anonymous all the while the internet is filled with fake usernames and avatars. Ah, sweet irony. Originally, I did not want to break this whole thing down, but here goes nothing:
"You all read the sites so you all should know the 'plans' for Mania" - Good point. Since most of the fans online like to proclaim to be so 'smart,' they should have known Bryan was never, EVER winning the Royal Rumble. Bryan vs. Sheamus was rumored. Bryan vs. HHH was rumored. Bryan facing the Wyatts was rumored. Bryan vs. Shawn Michaels was even rumored for whatever reason. Nowhere was a title match main event for Bryan. Oh yeah, and there is small little detail like him never even being advertised to be in the actual Rumble match! Hey, just forgot about all that though...
"Plus dont hate on Rey, he didn't book himself as #30." - Agreed. Poor guy. Either somebody in the company set him up to be booed or he pulled the wrong straw backstage to be the #30 entry. The real funny part is that Rey Mysterio delivered a promo about being in the Rumble match! If people were paying attention, they would have noticed he had not entered yet. Thus, when the clock was ticking down, it had to be him.
"over 50,000 mania tix sold and a network that will change your life for ever is about to launch, so just relax and enjoy the product" - Yep and that WWE stock keeps going up. Sorry, this company is in great shape right now despite what any of the Bryan/Punk fans want to whine about behind their computer screen with a fake username and avatar. Nothing or nobody stops the machine. Of course, I am obligated to state (as usual) that the fans complaining and whining are the very people stealing the product illegally rendering their opinion useless.
"said you were done, but turned around " - That was the best part. All these imaginary boycotts. All these empty threats. All the online forums threatening to stop watching. Makes me laugh every time. You will be watching Raw next month. Then you will complain. You will watch the hype for Summerslam. Then you will complain. You will be tuned in for the Royal Rumble next year and WM31. Then you will complain. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. Sorry, WWE will keep making money, and you will keep watching...and then complaining.
Jeff Jarrett teases his new project. - I know the popular thing to do is cry out "It's a work! He is returning to TNA." However, I am going to actually take Jarrett's word here. He has left TNA and wants to do his own thing. I wish him well.
WWE Smackdown scores over 3 million viewers again. - That is two weeks in a row. I am writing this BEFORE Raw, but if the company wanted to take advantage of this ratings/viewership upswing, announce something big for Smackdown this upcoming Friday. Keep that momentum going.
Edit: Randy Orton vs. Christian was announced. I know their past matches have been great, but that was not what I had in mind with something 'big' this Friday night. We shall see.
Quoting THE EXAMINER as a source?!?!?! - Goodness gracious, this is sad. The Examiner has also reported that Brock Lesnar vs. Ultimate Warrior could happen at WrestleMania XXX. The Examiner has also reported that The Shield vs. nWo was being discussed. The Examiner also reported that Hulk Hogan 'may' appear on Old School Raw (never appeared). No joke, look it up! That is your source. Seriously folks, it is simply embarrassing to be publishing ANYTHING from that website. Ever. That garbage makes the National Enquirer seem credible. Please stop reading The Examiner.
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.
CM Punk Walks Out Of WWE
During the past week, I wrote three separate columns on CM Punk leaving WWE. Yes, three separate columns. The one I wrote on Thursday was (by far) my most read/discussed column in at least two years. From the emails to the tweets to the retweets to the favorites to the messages in the comment section to even gaining 20 new Twitter followers within 24 hours (yay me!), the feedback was amazing. My quick thoughts were outlined above in the "Ask Yourself" section, but the full columns can be read below.