Truths And Lies 03.04.14: WWE/TNA Week In Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 03.04.2014
Raw thoughts! Did Batista turn heel on Smackdown or was he a heel all along? What happened to CM Punk returning in Chicago? What will the WrestleMania XXX card look like? All this, news, rumors, and much more!
How is the WWE Network working for everybody?
All seems to be going well on my end. A few glitches and mishaps, of course. For the most part, I am pleasantly surprised with everything. It will be a few weeks until WWE provides us with a estimate of subscribers, so that will be the next big hurdle to overcome. Launching the thing is now in the past. Making it profitable is the true test.
*ramble some more before plugging 411 social media websites*
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!
Cactus: I'm sure it's mostly down to personal preference, but can you explain why you think Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar in 2014 will be a "guaranteed classic"? The "guaranteed" result takes the fun out of it for me, personally, and I'm sure it'll be better than several of the other matches, but classic? Closing out the show? Why would they go with that over say a Bryan victory pop over HHH ending the show?
Then I guess you have never enjoyed an Undertaker match at WrestleMania, huh? He is guaranteed to win. Every year. Last year against CM Punk. Years ago against Triple H. Against Shawn Michaels. Next year against Sting, John Cena, whoever. For the millionth time, 'predictable' is just another word for logical. Taker will win versus Brock Lesnar. Great, thanks for sharing. I trust both competitors to rise to the occasion and deliver a classic.
Closing out the show is a different story. I am fairly confident Batista vs. Randy Orton will not be the final bout. That is why I am so calm on the issue. Title matches without much fanfare have been in the second/third hour before, so WrestleMania XXX will probably follow that path. Now, if Taker posing with the 22-0 signal behind is the plan, so be it. If Daniel Bryan beating Triple H to close the show with 70,000 fans chanting 'Yes!' is the plan and earning a clean title shot at any time of his choosing, I am also for that. Both sound great.
Pepo: I think exactly like you: Bryan/HHH at Mania , Title Shot or being fired. But I think that what's "best for business" is having that title shot that same night. I KNOW Vince would love a Stadium full of fans going YES YES YES. That would be all over media, not as much as a Undertaker/Lesnar. I think it's enough of Taker going last for the sake of it. If ANYONE can upstage a Taker match at this point, is Daniel Bryan. And I think Vince knows that.
Yeah, this ties into the previous topic. If Daniel Bryan pulls a WrestleMania 9/WrestleMania 10 kind of moment where there are two title matches int he same night, should his big moment end the evening? Obviously. However, there are two problems with this scenario in my book. First, Bryan would defeat Batista (who will be booed anyways at WMXXX) to a thunderous ovation, but is that not kind of cheap? Beating somebody AFTER a match? What is this Money in the Bank? Come on now. Secondly, I just have a loose rule of guys not competing twice in the same night.
Robert: I see no swearing in this comment, so he better reply.
No swearing OR insults. Sorry, no reply this week. Do not worry though, he will be back. He always comes back...
I Paid To See Daniel Bryan: 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...
You know that people buy tickets to WWE shows for reasons OTHER than Cena right?
It was more about him buying a "Cena Sucks" shirt, where that merchandise money goes directly into John Cena's pockets. No logic. WWE (and Cena) just keep laughing to the bank on the fake hate towards him.
Card Subject To Change: Watry actually confessed that his response had nothing to do with my question. (Now if only he'd admit that about almost everything else that he writes!)
I admit it!
KFC: Hi Justin,
Here's a question for you if you wouldn't mind answering with your opinion please? Why do you consider Daniel Bryan winning the Rumble (and thus headlining and receiving a Mania title shot) less satisfying as a story arc than him beating somebody in a non-title match in the upper-mid card of Mania and (presumably) getting a title shot at Extreme Rules or even later?
Correct me if I'm wrong - but if you're saying he shouldn't have won the title at Elimination Chamber (as it wouldn't be as satisfying as him winning at Mania), then why would it be better for him to get the belt at Extreme Rules or later? As noted, you said that we "do want Mania to be the finale, right?"
I hope you can clear this up as I'm rather confused.
Are you suggesting that Daniel Bryan shouldn't win the title until Wrestlemania 31? Or was it just Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber that wouldn't make sense for him to win at? There's no insult or swearing here, and I'd genuinely like your answer on this please.
Thanks for keeping it cool. See folks, it CAN BE DONE!
Basically, you said it. The Royal Rumble was for Batista. WWE made it abundantly clear and all but told you he was winning. Why people just tend to ignore stuff like that and hop into their month fantasy booking la-la land is beyond me. Same with Elimination Chamber, except that was for Randy Orton. WWE all but told you he was retaining the title. Where things get interesting is WrestleMania XXX and/or Extreme Rules 2014. If WWE wants Bryan competing twice in one night. I do not like that, but it may have to be done.
Believe it or not, Daniel Bryan has a great chance to leave New Orleans as WWE World Champion.
Waiting until WrestleMania 31? No way. This is not 1996-1998 with Stone Cold getting the slow burn build up to WrestleMania 14. The endgame is drawing near for Daniel Bryan.
As discussed a million times, he defeats Triple H and earns a clean/fair title match. Easy stipulation to make. That is the story and payoff being teased. It has been that way since, what? Last summer? With Mania being the ideal place for any kind of finale, the fairy tale ending writes itself. Why it made more sense to drag it to Extreme Rules is two fold. First, if the event was in Seattle, Washington. Now we know it is not, so scrap the idea of Bryan winning the top prize in front of his family/friends. Secondly, that gives WWE a ready made feud with a 'more heelish' Batista versus Daniel Bryan built up for weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks on television to rally fans, and this time all but tells you HE is winning. Not Batista at the Rumble. Not Randy Orton at the Chamber. Daniel Bryan at Extreme Rules...or wrestle twice at WMXXX - defeating HHH and then later on the champion to close the show.
Jason Andreas: "I'm sure it had nothing to do with WWE completely mishandling her debut."
Got it in one. Instead of having her plucked out of the crowd and the NXT GENERAL MANAGER pretending at first that he didn't know who she was, she should have been introduced, like many other débutantes, via a series of vignettes showing her abilities and rivalry with Summer Rae in NXT.
Putting her with Santino was pretty much a death knell for her getting over as her actual character.
If NXT was as over as many claimed on the internet (the problem right there), people would have known her right away. Since they did not, it proves my point - not many casual fans know NXT. As for her slowing getting over with Santino Marella, I still believe in her. Just from last week's column, here is my quote:
I think Emma can get past this, but wow. For now though, it will be an uphill climb for her.
There you go. She can get past her tough start, but it may be difficult. Emma can do it though.
Hardy via email: You recently made a comment about how Emma is not over at all. How she is just the new internet darling and I would like to give an argument to that. My dad is the polar opposite of an "internet fan". He doesn't know what dirt sheet is, or what kayfabe means and usually buys into all the storylines without wondering why WWE isn't "pushing" someone, or "burying" someone else. He just loves watching.
Well he LOVES Emma! He thinks her dance is hilarious, and is already a fan of hers after a few weeks. Now obviously this isn't speaking for everyone, but there is no way that he is the only casual fan that likes Emma. He may not go around and do the dance, but he is entertained by it. So while it may take time, I have no doubts that Emma can get over with the casual fans just the way she is!
Agreed! I am right there with you. The point was more about how "over" NXT is rather than just Emma. If the program is well known to casuals, they would be going nuts upon her debut and know the dance right away. They did not. Thus, NXT was exposed to be what it was - viewing for internet fans and not much else. No different than TNA Impact Wrestling. If AJ Styles, Kaz, and Robert Roode walked down the aisle during Raw next week, what do you think the crowd reaction will be? let me save you the answer. It would be scattered cheers and/or silence. The performers may be the greatest thing ever, but that will come with being on WWE TV. Not NXT. Not TNA. Emma is learning that now. If/When TNA guys jump ship, they will get that cold dose of reality as well.
It should be noted that NXT is now on the WWE Network every single Thursday night. No idea how that changes its exposure (general audience) yet. Time will tell.
EmmA: why do you call it Heck on a Deck? is it a joke from an old column or something?
Hey EMMA! Nice to have you reading it. I write Heck on a Deck because the commenters like the name.
Not on Friday night. No Randy Orton. No John Cena. No Triple H. No Batista. No Alberto Del Rio. Nothing with The Shield.
Of all those performers that you named there are only 3 that I would want to see on Smackdown. Can you guess who they are?
Hmm, we are online so probably the stable with two of three members from the indy scene/Ring of Honor. Just a hunch.
WhoisKho: I actually agree with dude about Daniel Bryan. Still don't know how people look at a WM match with HHH being beneath Daniel Bryan. Considering the history between the two, going back before Summerslam last year, I'd say this is the best feud that WWE has going rite now and is a great way to bring the saga of Daniel Bryan full circle. Its a longshot but it is possible for Bryan to beat HHH early on the WM card then beat Orton to close out the show per a stipulation from his HHH match.
Yep! It would probably be versus Batista though. That Mania will crowd will boo like crazy when The Animal wins the WWE World Title. Then as he is celebrating, bring out Daniel Bryan to the POP OF THE CENTURY!!!!!! It can be done. Or wait for Extreme Rules in an equally rabid New Jersey live audience with weeks and weeks of build. Either way, the Bryan end game is drawing near. It is going to be epic.
Gpjunk: Absolutely agree that Taker vs Lesnar is going to be the true main event of WM. It's just a shame that the title match is going to be the third most cared about match on the card behind that and HHH vs Bryan. It might be the fourth if the Wyatts keep being awesome and maybe even the fifth if they do something good with the Shield.
We shall see. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar has been on my 'wish list' for years now and is a must have for WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H needed to happen at some point and was even better once CM Punk quit. The title match? I am okay with it. Taker is usually the 'real' main event of Mania regardless of what the WWE World Title match is. That is the beauty of WM. If one match is not living up to its billing during the build, there are always two or three other choices to put in the final spot. This year is no different. Do not want Batista vs. Randy Orton? Whatever. Then there is Daniel Bryan making Triple H tap out as well? Superb. If not, hey! Just let Taker and Brock close the show. Can not go wrong there.
*There were tons of great comments last week. My mohawk from four years ago was mentioned for the 675th time. Sheamus defeating Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28 was brought up, which made me smile because I correctly predicted their World Title match would end in less than a minute. Hey, Ink Master even got a shout out! Lots of goods. However, a few choice words made it impossible to warrant an actual reply. Oh well...*
Truths: TNA Impact Wrestling (2/27/14)
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: NXT ArRIVAL (2/27/14)
Note: I have never watched a full NXT show from start to finish, so this was kind of my full introduction to the product. If there was a big match/segment or something in the past worth checking out, I would. Following story lines and keeping up to date? Not me. Just being honest!
1. Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn is a legitimate Match of the Year candidate. - I do not throw that statement around lightly. By the time 2014 ends, will we all remember this match? Yeah, probably. At 22 minutes, it was as good as you would expect. In the back of my mind, I know that some WWE pay-per-view match will get my vote for Match of the Year. However, as we all sit here in March 2014, this is the front runner. Great match with the perfect ending. One man wins the bout. The other wins respect. The Undertaker and Jeff Hardy from 2002 would be proud.
2. It was nice to see Too Cool again. - Just a basic way to have The Ascension win a tag match in front of the new audience watching on the WWE Network. Nothing wrong with that. Too Cool played the faces and kept the live crowd engaged. Basic work all the way around.
3. Emma vs. Paige was good. - Best women's match all year. Likely from the past few years. At least that I have seen. Remember, this just from what I have seen. It was solid but nothing amazing/excellent that some may try to hype up. Emma plays her character well, and that works in front of an NXT audience. It will take time with the WWE Universe each week on Raw/Smackdown. Paige is certainly the champion for a reason. I would be in no rush for her to go to the main roster. Would you rather see 12 minute matches like this with Paige as champ or 2 minute tag Diva matches on Raw with Paige? Her time will come. No need to rush things. Not sure how about the post-match handshake between them, though. That worked with the opener. Doing that again 30 minutes later in the show seemed odd. I must have missed the reasoning.
4. Rusev is worth giving a chance to. - On the surface, he is just another Kozlov. Another foreign heel. Another run on the mill big guy who brings chants of 'USA!' from the crowd. I think his valet will make him stand out. He destroyed Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze at NXT ArRIVAL. The promo after that was what made it interesting. Compared to the main roster is a whole different story. he will find out real quickly. How about we give this a chance? I know I will.
5. We all knew Adrian Neville would defeat Bo Dallas for the NXT Title in the ladder match main event. - Come on, admit it. WWE would not hold this huge event and then have the heel champ retain. The whole night just seemed like a two hour build up to Adrian's big moment. You know what? That is fine. Predictability works and did so here. Shawn Michaels made a brief cameo to make the night more special. John Cena (So Cal Val behind him) was shown clapping. Just those two small touches put this over the top. That is not even to mention all the post-show stuff making Neville a star. Props all the way around here.
Lie: I was HYPED for Mojo! - Eh, I do not get it. Mojo Rawley beat CJ Parker in a short match. Fair enough. It was to 'cool down' fans after Cesaro vs. Sami. That is understandable. The whole character and hype thing? Not feeling it.
*NXT ArRIVAL: Best wrestling show of 2014 so far. Yep! You read that right. Triple H and JBL were not lying. All week, those two guys built up NXT as the greatest thing of all-time. Being a fairly casual viewer of the program, I gave in to the excitement and watched. Wow, it surpassed expectations. My video worked fine all night, and I am glad it did. Cesaro vs. Sami was just ridiculous. If you have have not ordered the WWE Network yet, that is worth 10 bucks right there. The women delivered anything better than the Divas you will see on television. Then the ladder match came through with a new champion. Icing on the cake was all the WWE legends shown and big names appearing with the sole purpose of putting the spotlight on the young wrestlers. Amazing.*
Truths: WWE Smackdown (2/28/14)
1. This show never stood a chance. - Smackdown was not very exciting this week. Green Bay got such a HOT show on Monday. Milwaukee did not get the same on Tuesday. NXT ArRIVAL was off the charts on Thursday! Then the Blue Brand was...just kind of there for two hours. The Undertaker returned on Raw. Hulk Hogan came back on Raw. The WWE Network got the big reveal on Raw. NXT had a match of the year candidate and much more. No matter what was shown on Friday night, it was not going to register.
2. I want to see what happens to Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Christian at WrestleMania XXX. - Truth be told, there are a bunch of guys without a direction right now. I am mostly curious to watch these three find a way on to the WM XXX card. There is not really a Money in the Bank type of match, so what do they do? Triple threat battle for the sake of it? Maybe WWE has an idea here...or maybe not.
3. Batista has not changed very much since January 20th, 2014. - Spotlight entrance? Check. Same style of clothing? Check. Acting pompous and cocky? Check. There is this current myth online that Batista has switch his character or acting more heelish since the Royal Rumble. Hate to break it to you all, but do not flatter yourself. Batista on January 20th is pretty much Batista on February 28th. Need I remind you his first night back in WWE he hugged Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (heels) and said to DEAL WITH IT - he would win the Royal Rumble and become champion. Yes, Batista was saying 'Deal with it!' on his first night back. This so called sudden heel turn is not so sudden if you were paying attention. Batista just put that attitude on full display during Smackdown. Nothing new though.
4. The Shield will face The Wyatts on Raw this Monday night! - I am torn on this. Their classic at Elimination Chamber was well built and exceeded expectations. However, a part of me wishes WWE would have left well enough alone. It feels like a great movie is about to get a sequel, when we all know there is no topping the original. The rematch is almost guaranteed to disappoint on Raw. If anybody can prove me wrong, it is these six wrestlers. Good luck!
5. Daniel Bryan wins yet again. - The Usos and Daniel Bryan defeated Kane and the New Age Outlaws. As usual, the six person main event was very entertaining. However, what struck me most was the post-show (only thing I watched Friday on the WWE Network). Daniel Bryan mentioned that he beat another one of Triple H's cronies (Billy Gunn). Then Bryan said he wanted to prove to Triple H that he is NOT a B+ player but a KNEE PLUS player. Better yet, his focus was solely on getting a fair WWE World Title shot but can not with HHH in his way. Perfect! If HHH wins, Bryan never gets another title match. If Bryan wins, HHH owes him a fair/clean title match. Keep telling that story. The payoff is drawing near.
Lie: Rusev was needed. - Short promo on stage with Rusev and Lana but not necessary one bit. As I discussed in the NXT portion, I am going to give this guy a shot before judging, but keep him off television until AFTER WrestleMania XXX. As you see with Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Darren Young, Titus O'Neil and others seemingly disappearing in the past week, there is no room for yet another talent right now to shine.
*Nothing much to write about. Smackdown was basically invisible this week. With all the hoopla around Raw and NXT, it was to be expected. Solid work all the way around but nothing special*
Truths: WWE Raw (3/3/14)
1. The opening segment with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar was great. - Paul Heyman was the perfect person to send out to the ring first. With the rabid Chicago live audience hot, hot, hot, only a heel like Paul E could sucker them back into a story line between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Ending The Streak? Kudos to him for being so confident. Now, Brock Lesnar should know better than to speak, but he held his own here. Destroying Mark Henry was just the icing on the cake to end this segment. Job well done.
2. I am not a big fan of the Usos, but their tag title win was cool. - Yeah, this would have made a nice WrestleMania moment. I stand by that. Since WWE decided to do the title change in front of a jam packed sold out arena and create a little extra buzz for Main Event on Tuesday, that works too. I have never been shy about my feelings for the Usos, but it was only a matter of time before the New Age Outlaws dropped the belts and hopefully left television. Their short run was fun, but how about we wrap that up, yeah? All that is left is the Usos win again Tuesday night and NOT just flip flop the belts back.
3. The Wyatt Family vs. The Shield was very good. - Good news: The six person tag match was entertaining. They came through, furthered The Shield breakup saga and delivered a solid outing on live television. Bad news: There was no topping the original from Elimination Chamber. It felt like a "sequel" film trying to recapture the magic. Was never going to happen. WWE and fans alike wanted a rematch, but I would have left well enough alone and kept the Chamber as their one and only meeting. More special that way.
4. Daniel Bryan speaking to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon is an early Promo of the Year candidate. - Wow! Do I even need to give a long breakdown? Excellent work from all parties. It had "WrestleMania" levels of energy and is exactly what is needed for a March episode of Raw.
5. John Cena still has it. - His role on television has been knocked down a couple of notches the past few months, but make no mistake, John Cena is WWE. The man. The face. The money maker. The top dog. Going against Bray Wyatt and company at WrestleMania XXX may be a part of his story line about being the veteran taking on newcomers, but it means so much more because of the person being John Cena. Anybody else would feel out of place and not seem believable in this spot. Cena? We know full well in order to be the #1 wrestler, you have to go through him.
Lie: Daniel Bryan vs. Batista has never happened before. - Actually, the two had a nice little match back in 2010 on Raw. I welcome them going at it again in the future.
*Quality episode. Aaron Paul did his thing without being overexposed. WWE announced yet another deserving Hall of Fame inductee in Paul Bearer. I did not like Big E making two appearances and doing nothing, but Cesaro/Jack Swagger were the focus. Why did Big E retain at the Chamber again? Wyatts and Shield did good work, even if it really was not needed. Most of the WM hype started to finally get settled into actual matches. By next week, I think WWE should finally announce nearly every Mania match or most of the card at least. Really time to put the puzzle together. Now go buy the new Scooby-Doo movie!*
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:
John Cena injured? - The man is ALWAYS hurt. Do not think for one second John Cena is 100 percent healthy. Ever.
WWE Network is still having service issues. - Not me. Everything on my end has been just fine. To be fair though, I have only had it on MAYBE 4-5 hours in the past week. My guess is the people still having problems just have bad internet connections and are blaming WWE for it. Sorry but if your laptop/Roku/whatever is of bad quality, then maybe it is the outlet and not WWE Network? Again, everything has been smooth with yours truly watching.
Indy/ROH wrestlers attending WWE tryout in late March. - Not possible. WWE hates indy guys and people from Ring of Honor. They only hire female models and jacked up dudes with big muscles. Duh!
Vince McMahon NOT returning to television? - Of course. After months and months of reports that he was coming back to feud with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Let me guess what happened. Plans changed, right? Or the countless stories were wrong.
Kurt Angle is telling people he will return to WWE in September. - I fully expect him to head up north before retiring. The problem is passing a WWE Wellness, since it seems none of that stuff matters in TNA Impact Wrestling. If he can get past that, yeah - Kurt Angle will be back in a WWE ring eventually.
WrestleMania XXX card changes?!?!?!?!? - Wait, where is Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan? Or Stone Cold vs. Triple H? Or Bill Goldberg vs. Ryback? Are those the changes? Meanwhile, we can continue guessing (do not forget, it is guessing and not reporting) as to what The Shield will do with totally conflicting stories.
Bro Mans regain the TNA tag team titles. - Of course. I should have expected this was coming. Silly me for thinking the company has moved on from the comedy act that has done nothing as champs for four months now. Silly me. Oh, and look at that! The X-Division Title changes hands again. Sure, why not?
TNA Impact Wrestling loses their TV deal in Germany. - The good news just keeping on coming.
TNA Impact Wrestling budget cutting continues - This story comes from ProWrestling.net which means I put stock into it. Best TNA coverage there is. As the report goes, one veteran performer said "Before you know it, they'll be charging wrestlers to perform." Ouch! At least their live event numbers, pay-per-view buys, and TV ratings are booming...
VH1 cancels prime time television show Single Ladies. - The show peaked at over 3 million viewers awhile back, and last week had 1.7 million viewers. Why post this? Because TNA Impact Wrestling better re-sign with Spike TV and FAST! They have no other option (channel) out there with their one million viewers and usually low demographics.
Last Saturday's new episode of COPS on Spike TV drew 1.857 million viewers. - Come on TNA. You can do it!
CM Punk is nearly 100 percent confirmed to appear on Raw. - I hope this is a lesson learned for all of you. I try to warn you. I try, but noooooooo! Keep on believing that junk. Please. Keep doing so.
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.
Feedback From Last Week
Last week, I asked for feedback on the 'Ask Yourself' section and received absolutely nothing. Shocking, right? Thus, everything is staying as is.