Truths And Lies 02.25.14: WWE/TNA Week In Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 02.24.2014
Raw thoughts! Did Smackdown continue its streak of great shows? Who left Elimination Chamber as WWE World Champion? Did you enjoy seeing Hulk Hogan back on Raw? All this, news, rumors, and much more!
Everybody subscribe to the WWE Network today?
I know I did. It will be really interesting to know how many people actually bought this thing. Real easy to talk about how great something is. Real easy to express excitement over an amazing deal. Real easy to fake words. Actions speak louder than any of that noise. I put my money where my mouth is. Somehow though, the closer we got to the launch date, the more I got the sinking feeling WWE will not get even close to one million subscribers despite all the initial buzz.
Despite that, we are coming off an Elimination Chamber pay-per-view that will be discussed below in the column. Plus, the much hyped up Raw episode from Green Bay, Wisconsin is now over with. How was the show? Well, let me quit stalling and give you some social media plugs first and then some of my rambling and them some reader feedback and then some Smackdown thoughts from last week and then a quick PPV recap from Sunday AND THEN get to Raw...
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 months later. Here are some of the best from last week!
IM Drunk: Spot on about Mr. RKO. I do wish he' go back to his viper days, but he has an old school mentality in the ring which is sorely missed these days. I also appreciate JBL continuing to call Orton's version of the Garvin stomp. What's going to happen to Cesaro after EC? I'd personally enjoy a Cesaro/Sheamus match at WM.
I was thinking a Cesaro-Jack Swagger showdown for the IC Title. Of course, this is being written before the Elimination Chamber, so Big E could still hold the title. Non-title works too. A match with Sheamus is a fine idea as well, but would it be face vs. face? Lots of options for WWE to work with under all the main event matches for WrestleMania XXX.
Adam: I love how Watry complains about theft then turns around and puts illegal Youtube videos all over his column.
Hi Adam. This must be your first time reading my stuff. *shakes hand* My name is Justin Watry. I write columns online and have discussed that subject numerous times in the past few years. If you do not wish to use Google, all my plugs are very clearly listed at the end of each column. Thanks.
?: Then why click his articles if you hate him?
I know. Maybe I should turn on country music that I do not enjoy on the radio and complain about it? Then watch American Idol that I do not enjoy and wonder what is going on. Then go to the store and buy a movie I did not enjoy and think what caused all of this!
It must still be by accident or some wacky front page deal. You know, the same excuse every single week now for months. Pretty well established when and what day this column is posted by now, but hey! Keep clicking and keep commenting. Every Monday night, same thing keeps happening. Huh. At least there is always buying a John Cena t-shirt, buying expensive ringside seats, spending huge bundles of cash on the guy, all the while "hating him. Makes sense...
Card Subject To Change: "Yep, that is why Henry was a solid pick. Unlike Daniel Bryan who was NEVER advertised or even teased a Rumble entry."
What does that have to do with anything I said?
Nothing really. I just liked your user name. WWE advertised Mark Henry for Raw, so you knew he would be there at some point. On the flip side, WWE never, evvvvvvvvver advertised Daniel Bryan for the Royal Rumble match, thus he should not have been expected to appear. The actual company WWE announcing something is different than dirt sheet babble. Card subject to change though, right?
e2gfx: Team Heck No vs The Road Dogg Jesse James and The Bad Butt Billy Gunn in a Heck on a Deck match. Book it.
Sounds good to me. Thanks for not using offensive language. Some still do not understand such things. Shame too. If you want your comment to get a reply or even showcased, it is quite simple.
bd: thank you for summarizing the entire column in your first sentence so i didn't have to read anything else.
See you next week!
Steve Ward: I like Watry (I feel the need to preface my comment with that every time I write on this comment section), but Justin, did you really write that you want to see Big E vs. Jack Swagger for 20 minutes? If that isn't an exaggeration, or you expecting them to have five minute entrances, what makes you think those two could possibly sustain the crowd's interest for that long?
It was more of a general statement. Main events in WWE usually are pretty good or even great. On pay-per-view and free television. However, when was the last solid 20 minute one on one match between two guys just begging for a spotlight? The Shield do it every week. Randy Orton and his series of matches were entertaining the past month. Cesaro vs. John Cena was top notch. Just once - give guys like Big E or Jack Swagger 20 minutes. If it bombs, so be it. Never do it again and move on with life. If it is amazing, those two have a new lease on life all of a sudden.
Tree of Whoa: Watry, I have a legit suggestion here. When you quote articles in the "Ask Yourself" section, could you paste a link to where we can find that information/article on the site? It would make it easier for your readers to cross-reference what you are saying. Just a thought.
Fair constructive criticism. See folks? It is okay to question aspects of the column without using a select few four or five letter words. Wild concept, I know. As for the actual suggestion, I have a little more to say on this below after the "Ask Yourself" section. It does not respond to you directly but is more of an idea moving forward. We will see how it goes...maybe this column will be the next Monday night war...
Truths: TNA Impact Wrestling (2/20/14)
If anybody cared about the episode, please feel free to discuss in the comment section.
Note: My commitment to covering this show ended last month. However, I will watch from time to time. For those curious, I will be tuning in for the pre-Lockdown episode...or post-Lockdown episode. Maybe!
Truths: WWE Smackdown (2/21/14)
1. Daniel Bryan was featured for the first 30 minutes. - Yikes, first 40 minutes last week on Raw. Then 30 minutes on Smackdown! All for a pay-per-view main event championship match? WWE must really, really, really, really hate this guy. Poor Daniel Bryan...
2. JBL is great. - Yeah, I have to say this. For some reason, his line about "We dance on Friday nights!" gets me every single time. Even when it is a pointless comedy segment, he and Michael Cole have such great chemistry. It is a shame that does not always carry over to Monday nights. For the Blue Brand, it works.
3. Emma embodies the difference between internet/casual wrestling fans. - NXT fans love Emma. Her dance is 'over' with the fans watching her online. It is nothing but rave reviews. She was the CM Punk equivalent of an "internet darling" for the Divas division. She gets called to the main roster...and has a flat debut. Her dance is not even close to being 'over' at all. Outside of the obvious 'smarks' doing her dance, nobody has a clue what is going on. I think Emma can get past this, but wow. For now though, it will be an uphill climb for her. Just yet another hard lesson to accept that casual fans do NOT equal internet fans.
4. The Wyatts should win on Sunday. - No appearance by The Shield on Smackdown. Truth be told, it was probably not needed. If you were going to PAY for Elimination Chamber on Sunday, your mind was already made up. If you planned on streaming it illegally, nothing was going to change your mind either. The Wyatts defeated Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust in a solid six person tag. Nothing exciting - just enough to get fans ready for Sunday. Enjoyable. What this should translate to is yet another six person victory at the Chamber PPV. They almost HAVE to win based on The Shield about to crumble. Definitely the best way to go.
5. Sheamus vs. Christian was a quality main event. - Nice wrinkle in Christian's character the past week. Not sure if it is an official heel turn or not but interesting regardless. It gives him a reason to be in the Chamber match as well as keeps him in the spotlight even when losing. Sheamus is as entertaining as ever. Both in the ring and out, he has always been able to keep me tuned in. The two had a nice back and forth match with The Celtic Warrior winning. No surprise. More than deserving of a Smackdown main event spot. My only issue was after the match...
Lie: The ending was Smackdown was fine. - ...? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? This felt like a WCW/TNA conclusion with mass confusion and awkwardness. No idea what was accomplished with this. For those who missed it, the video is below. Any explanations? Feel free to discuss in the comment section.
*Eh, not the best effort from Smackdown. They have been on a roll the past month in a half. Not on Friday night. No Randy Orton. No John Cena. No Triple H. No Batista. No Alberto Del Rio. Nothing with The Shield. The two hour show just felt hollow. There was enough good wrestling from Daniel Bryan in the first 30 minutes individually versus Cesaro and Jack Swagger with Kane getting involved. Outside of that, this was pretty dull.*
Truths: WWE Elimination Chamber (2/23/14)
1. The New Age Outlaws retaining was smart. - Look, I am ready to move on from these guys as much as the next guy. However, if we are supposed to believe that WrestleMania is some big conclusion, then why do the tag title change now? Give it a month. Usos winning (or another face team) will mean much, much, much more at the grandest stage of them all.
2. I was rooting for Jack Swagger. - No shame here. It just felt like there was more options with Swagger winning the IC Championship than yet another victory from Big E. I could be wrong. Maybe WWE has some master plan set for Mania? I picked Swagger win here and stand by that. If Big E does anything significant at WMXXX, then fine. If he is in some filler, then this finish was meaningless.
3. The Wyatts vs. The Shield lived up to the hype. - Credit to the live audience for showing up. A great brawl with a silent crowd is no fun. Luckily, fans were pumped, as were all six performers. Everybody knew the stakes were huge and had a lot to live up to. Not surprisingly, this entire thing was gold. I am going to miss The Shield six person tag matches. The Wyatts are doing solid work as well, but The Shield have been amazing. Countdown to Roman Reigns officially turning face has begun...
4. Batista defeated Alberto Del Rio. - Yay. I would have preferred watching Batista power bomb Curtis Axel for an hour but whatever. This was okay.
5. Now is NOT the time nor place for Daniel Bryan to get his moment. - How many times must this be repeated until you all understand? Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Title just for the sake of winning the WWE World Title is not the way to go. His moment was never, EVER going to be at the Royal Rumble. His moment should never, EVER have even been considered for a throwaway February pay-per-view. When the company pulls the trigger on him (and they will!), it has be the right time and place. Props to all the men involved with the Elimination Chamber main event. Everybody stood out in their own way, and Randy Orton keeping the gold in the end was the right move. Again, if Mania is the final chapter to a story, why would he lose it six weeks before that? No sense. We do want long-term champs, right? We do want Mania to be the finale, right? Okay, then.
Lie: Brock Lesnar appeared. - Huh? Weird. All I read for the past week was about his surprise return and huge impact he would make. Must have missed that part...
*As usual, if you are complaining and whining, here are two things to note. First, welcome to professional wrestling. Heels cheat and screw the faces. Nice to know the "smart" fans still do not grasp that in 2014. Thus, you getting WORKed up is the desired response. Secondly, I hope you watched the PPV legally. If you stole it and are upset, tough luck. Your opinion means jack to the bottom line - thus rendering it irrelevant to WWE. All around good effort from everyone leading into an epic night of Raw on Monday.*
Truths: WWE Raw (2/24/14)
1. Hulk Hogan is back home in WWE. - He belongs in WWE working with Vince McMahon as his boss. He really does. I am going to just forget about the Hulkster's last four years. His Raw appearance was what most expected. Came out to a big ovation from Green Bay. Plugged the WWE (Universe) Network. Posed and then left. Simple. As long as his promo ramblings are kept short, Hogan will do fine as the WrestleMania XXX host.
2. WWE knew what they were doing with Batista. - For those wondering, I wrote about this all happening BEFORE the Royal Rumble. This is not me just saying it now. As usual, if you do not believe me, the links are below. The truth is Batista had a great heel run in 2010 before leaving. Great run. Upon returning on January 20th, he had the 'spotlight' entrance and gave Triple H (the heel boss) a big hug! All the while wearing...whatever it was he was wearing. After that, his promo was loud and clear. He would win the Royal Rumble, win the title, so deal with it! Folks, does that sound familiar? That was over a month ago, and the man repeated the same lines Monday night. I am not saying he will turn heel 100 percent. I am not saying WWE had this planned from the beginning. What I am saying is that his persona and character has been the same since coming back. Deal with it!
3. John Cena can not battle The Wyatts on his own. - *insert tired and out of date Superman joke* With that out of the way, WWE sent the message loud and clear on Raw. Not even the powerful John Cena can take down Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan. Either he needs to find two (big name legends?) guys for help or he will be in a world of hurt. Months ago, I mocked and laughed at the reports of this impending feud. Now, the crow tastes good and me being wrong is off to a great start. Really liked this segment here!
Edit: If Cena is actually injured, a six person tag at WMXXX is the best option then. Keeps him safe but on television each week to Mania.
4. The Daniel Bryan saga is going just as I predicted. - So far, so good. Daniel Bryan wants Triple H one on one at WrestleMania XXX. Fiery passionate promo from him. After HHH declines for a few weeks, he finally gives in to the challenge but with a twist. If HHH wins, Bryan is fired from WWE. If Bryan wins, HHH owes him a fair title shot. So simple folks. The time for Daniel Bryan to get his payoff is drawing near. Assuming he takes the WWE World Championship from a now heelish Batista only makes even more sense. Perfectly done. Yes! Yes! Yes!
5. The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar is going to be amazing! - I have been wanting to see this for years. Even before their face to face meeting in 2010 after the UFC event. It just seemed likely Brock Lesnar would eventually leave UFC, head to WWE and battle The Undertaker. One way or another, it had to take place! I am pumped for these two to brawl all over New Orleans. To close Raw (into the WWE Network post-show) with Taker/Lesnar was excellent. Fitting way to end the evening. May I suggest this guaranteed classic be the real main event of WrestleMania XXX?
Lie: There was a title change on Raw. - Oops. Hey look, I can do that too. This week on Smackdown, there will be a title change! There. I just made that up out of thin air. No actual knowledge. No insider source. No backstage scoop. Just a generic statement without an factual information whatsoever passed off as a headline. Easy, huh?
*Overall very entertaining. There were enough memorable segments to keep up the "epic" feeling going into tonight. The three hours had its down moments but were kept short. The WrestleMania XXX card is shaping up with enough wiggle room in case things change in the next month. Especially with The Shield and The Wyatts - good stuff there to all but finish their little story line. Well done. Now it is time for the Raw post-show and more WWE Network fun!*
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:
Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho has been discussed for WrestleMania XXX. - Besides the laughable source this came from, where did RVD/Y2J come from? Their past matches have been good and a welcome addition to the card, but I have my doubts.
Triple H says he came up with the Elimination Chamber match. - On screen, it was Eric Bischoff. Behind the scenes, it would make sense for HHH to be the mastermind. He obviously had a ton of stroke backstage in 2002 and is an NWA/War Games fanatic. Bischoff, Triple H, Brooklyn Brawler, Funaki, Braden Walker, who really cares? The match was a great idea.
Edit: Eric Bischoff said it was indeed Triple H. There, mystery solved. Lots of crow to eat for all the cool avatars hiding behind a computer screen. Can we end yet another string of pointless HHH bashing? Credit to him for the creation.
Big Daddy V (Viscera) passes away. - Sad news. I am not going to sit here and proclaim to be his biggest fan. That would be a lie. However, his theme music as Big Daddy V and brief run with Matt Striker as his manager was good stuff. WWE has a nice tribute on their website for the big man.
PWInsider confirms the Wrestling Observer report that the TNA-Jeff Jarrett/Toby Keith deal did not go through because of Dixie Carter. - ...and the beat goes on in TNA. Do not forget to buy the beautiful Dixie Carter action figure as well! Oh yeah, and follow her on Twitter.
WWE vs. TNA on Thursday nights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Or not. Somebody is really stretching for a story here. Yawn!
Update on Stone Cold's status for WMXXX! - Ah, there is the shameless click baiting news bite of the week. Eleven years later. How many different ways does this have to spun into news? Over a decade now! He is not wrestling.
Rey Mysterio's contract expiring in a few months? - Tough decision ahead, if true. Obviously, WWE does not see him as a main event level guy anymore. Due to his age and injuries, can you really blame them? Even with his negatives, the positives are still there. I say give him another year...maybe two if Rey can hold up. Another big injury though, and he is done. Retired. For good! Lose to Sin Cara (or Kalisto) in a mask vs. mask match and enter the WWE Hall of Fame. There is nothing left to accomplish.
WWE Battleground 2013 drew a near record low PPV buy rate. - First, I would like to pat myself on the back for correctly predicting such a thing. That show never stood a chance. Secondly, in a twist of irony, WWE actually did well building off the horrible Battleground show into a successful Heck on a Deck PPV buy rate three weeks later. By design or not, I think the company will accept the end result of 342,000 buys for the entire month of October.
CM Punk was at UFC 170. - The only reason I post this is because Raw will be held in Chicago next Monday. If Vince McMahon is trying to talk CM Punk into returning, that would be the ideal place. If WWE has moved on and is going ahead with their Mania card without, then I expect a VERY hostile live crowd next Monday in Chicago. For that reason alone, I hope WWE does not have Punk appear (let him sit at home) and has a "Bad News Barrett" segment with Cult of Personality playing only for Wade Barrett to show up and laugh at everyone.
Bro Mans lose the TNA tag titles to The Wolves at a live event. - But...but...but a previous report said the Bro Mans would not lose the straps because Dave Lagana thought they were 'over' as a tag team! I laughed then. I laugh now. Their four month title reign was a joke and giant waste of time. Not even hindsight here. Everybody knew it was ridiculous from day one.
Hulk Hogan officially returning to WWE, announced as the WrestleMania XXX host. - For those of you (like myself) who predicted four years ago he would sign with TNA Impact Wrestling, do absolutely nothing but hire his friends and daughter, before bailing when funds got low and head back to WWE, congrats! You win. Everybody else who got suckered into the hype and any big promises he made, you lose. Welcome back "home" Hulkster!
WWE had issues launching their network on Monday. - Well, duh. I could have told you that months ago. For what it is worth, my WWE Network feed has been working just fine.
Undertaker spotted at a Wisconsin airport Monday morning. - Either he likes snow or returns on Raw.
There is speculation Christian may be attacked and taken out of the Elimination Chamber. - For future reference: If something reads like a fantasy booking scenario from an online forum, it probably is not going to happen. Not news. Nothing factual. Just an "idea" disguised as backstage information. Hook, line, and sinker. Every single time.
Brock Lesnar returning at Elimination Chamber because the show is in his hometown? - Yep because a friend of a friend of a security guard who knows a guy who went to high school with a guy's cousin who works at the arena and knows another guy said so. If anybody bothered, PWTorch reported all weekend that Brock Lesnar was NOT going to appear. You know, an actual place with actual sources and actual insiders. Yeah, try that for a change.
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.
I Want Feedback From YOU!
As teased above, the "Ask Yourself" section has always been a hot topic. To makes things more interactive with the readers, I would need some participation for all of YOU reading this. Yes, you! That is why this is an open challenge right now to every single person who clicked on this column. If I made the "Ask Yourself" section more interesting, would YOU all be willing to interact in the comment section? Again, in order for this to work, I would need all of you to join in. Otherwise, this is all for nothing. I would need reader participation big time. Let me know with a simple yes or no response. If the feedback is worthwhile, next week will feature a more fan friendly interactive column. If not, life goes on. Your choice!
Ink Master On Spike TV
Exciting news for residents of Wisconsin: The upcoming season (starting February 25th) of Ink Master on Spike TV will feature a tattoo artist by the name of Melissa Monroe. Not only was she in my class/grade through middle and high school, I know friends and family who regularly get tattoos done by her. Always excellent work. Wish her well on the show!
Edit: The producers actually reached out to her for the show. She did not reach out to them. Why are the Big Brother producers not reaching out to me right now? Come on.
I want to thank everybody who joined me on Twitter. For those still out of the loop, it was my first time ever tweeting DURING a wrestling show. Actually, any show really. It was a lot of fun. Do not expect this to be a regular thing though. I did it tonight because of the WWE Network launch and all the buzz surrounding the February 24th edition of Raw. Be on the lookout for my next grand adventure of live tweeting. Could be in a month. Could be in six months. Could be five years. You never know.
Finally, here are some "ME!" plugs for all of you...