Truths And Lies 04.01.14: WWE/TNA Week In Review
Posted by Justin Watry on 04.01.2014
Raw thoughts! Does Brock Lesnar have a chance to defeat The Undertaker? Is Bray Wyatt ready to take on John Cena and his legacy? Who leaves WM XXX as the WWE World Champion? All this and much more!
Are you ready for WrestleMania XXX?
I am. For one night all year, WWE is on the worldwide stage. Casual fans, hardcore fans, and non-fans alike always ask me what is going on with "the wrestling." As much as I am looking forward to the event on Sunday night, a part of me is extremely anxious for the following day when we all find out the number of WWE Network subscribers. That information will be released on Monday. Should be a very interesting week.
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!
Note x2: Some comments this week will be from last week's Top 5 column. Next week will feature some comments from the upcoming edition of Fact or Fiction. Yes, I am doing Fact or Fiction this week, at least I think I am...and yes, I read the comments on other columns I am featured on. Just a way to spice things up!
ranman: Im honestly hoping the diva match leads to aj sneaking a victory over everyone just for vickie to say this is a invintational title match and u have one more opponent... que kharmas laughter or new hall of famer litas music.
I am with you. WWE made be building up a Total Divas moment at WMXXX, but your scenario works better. AJ Lee already broke the title length record, so she can lose the belt anytime now in my mind.
HercStrongs: "Hey, how about Titus O'Neil? Remember when I said right before WM was NOT the best time for him to be a solo act? Yeah."
wow another "i told you so" moment after a BOLD prediction comes true! how do you do this each and every week, watry?! amazing
Thank you sir. Here is another BOLD prediction: You are reading my column and will continue to.
Matt86: I massively disagree about the buildup of the Brock Lesnar / Undertaker match.
In my opinion, this match already suffers a little bit from the perceived inevitability of an Undertaker win. To remedy this, I think Lesnar should have been booked as a threat to the Undertaker, similar to the way HHH was established as a threat to Daniel Bryan last Monday: with a brutal beatdown.
However, since that feud started, the direction has been another one: Brock Lesnar cannot touch The Undertaker, he is intimidated by his mind games, and has to focus to keep his fighting spirit. Paul Heyman has spend every breathing second putting over the streak, basically saying: "The Undertaker is sooo dangerous and mighty, the streak is the most holy thing there ever was, nobody can replicate that... but yeah, BUHROCK Lesnar will defeat him anyway."
Now I think everyone agrees on this: Brock will not break the streak. Knowing this, with nothing and noone able to convince me otherwise, I would have at least hoped for an intriguing build, which I do not feel this is up until now.
If you want to criticize the Brock Lesnar/Undertaker build, by all means. Please do so...but if anybody criticizes the feud because of the predictable outcome, the argument ends there. Just stop. Taker will win. He was going to win last year, the previous year, and every other year beforehand. NEWSFLASH: Spoiler alert - he is going to win at WM next year too! Go after the story, feud, match quality, whatever. The end result? Find a better complaint.
Super Blizzard: Daniel Bryan was held off RAW to see what the rating does.
Or to sell the injury? Ratings going up or down will not be related whatsoever to Daniel Bryan being off television. As if it matters, the rating/viewership for Raw WITHOUT Daniel Bryan went up. No surprise there.
Harry F.: Given that last year The Shield beat or attacked John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Sheamus etc, I just cannot see a match against a character that doesn't really wrestle anymore (Corporate Kane) and two has beens who were popular in the late nineties (NAG) is going to be a 'passing the torch' moment, let alone a decent match.
It will be better than decent. The Shield have reached that point though in their run where it is difficult to continue feuding with major names, so that leaves two options: face turn or breakup. Since the breakup seems to be put on hold at least for now, that leaves a face turn with different opponents. You can NOT wrestle Big Show, Sheamus, Randy Ortom, Undertaker, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and attack main eventers forever. Sorry, you can not do that forever. Eventually, you have to feud with The Wyatts or Cody Rhodes/Goldust...or now Kane and the New Age Outlaws. Again, the trio has reached that point and soon enough, their run will be over with everyone going their own way.
Guest: "Slight correction though: Back in 2011, WWE officially transitioned from "World Wrestling Entertainment" to just simply "WWE" as a company. Technically, the letters stand for nothing anymore...just WWE."
Except for the fact that they started referring to themselves as World Wrestling Entertainment again since then.
Fair enough. The fact they made the change in the first place says all you need to know. WWE is just WWE to most with the letters being irrelevant. When was the last time you or anybody else said World Wrestling Entertainment? Exactly.
Follow The Buzzwords: Your username makes it impossible for me to discuss John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt at WMXXX logically with you. Sorry.
Oh, that's what it is? Would you have been able to explain if my username had been JHON CENSUS IS DA BEZT!!1 instead? I doubt it.
Or come back next time with an actual username and profile picture instead. Will that happen? I doubt it.
tommy b: For the TNA side of things, I wouldn't title the article "WWE/TNA Week in Review" if TNA is not actually being reviewed until April. It can just be a tad misleading. Other than that, a perfectly fine article.
The title is already set. I only control (and write) the content inside the column. Appreciate the praise!
tangerineman: Why do you let guys blatantly post answers that don't follow what the question asked? Pretty sure nobody asked what entire Wrestlemania sucked or to name every single Undertaker match they didn't like in one pick..
"Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28? Meh, I predicted the match would end in less than a minute nearly two weeks before the event."
Sure you did Watry, sure you did.
I did - March 24th, 2012 to be exact. Over a week before WrestleMania 28. It took me 12 seconds to find that specific column through a Google search. Yeah, I timed it. Just a hunch Mr. Tangerine Man with a fake avatar, you can spare 12 seconds out of your day to double check something before posting.
Jeff: Am I the only one who was looking forward to Ryback-Henry last year? It obviously sucked, but for some reason I expected a solid big man match.
Same here. I expected a decent match ending with the big Shell Shock from Ryback. Well, we got the Shell Shock but after the match where Mark Henry had awkwardly won. Oops! Missed opportunity there.
Alex Crowder: Don't get me wrong, I even thought it was good. I think my expectations were just a bit too high. Sometimes, I just think this will be the greatest match ever and it falls short. Either way, I can understand where some might see it in a better light than me.
This was about Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk at WM28. Perfectly said sir. I fell into the trap of believing the hype. More often than not, it is easy to see the difference between empty promises and truth. Well, Jericho and Punk had me convinced they were going to deliver some magical perfect match. I bought it all hook, line, and sinker. Never reached that point, thus disappointment was felt. My own fault.
KAOS: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28? Meh, I predicted the match would end in less than a minute nearly two weeks before the event.
This guy needs to be fired. I don't believe that one bit! Nobody expected it.
As I have said since day one, I will always be honest. Just because you do not want to believe something does not mean I am lying. I did write that column BEFORE WM28 and as noted above, it takes very little time to Google such a title...sorry, but I did expect it. Believe that.
Tony Kegger: Yes I agree with Bryan vs Sheamus, Goldberg vs Lesnar & Triple H vs Orton. Those 3 are locks for my list.
Smart man. Very smart man...except Bryan/Sheamus.
Chopsikins: "Say I'm channeling Warty or such."
^ I sincerely hope that was intentional and not a typo. Either way, I'm definitely going to refer to him as Warty from now onwards.
Eh, kind of old news. Nothing new or even very witty. I mean, the nick names have been going on for more than six years - since I started writing online. At this point, it takes real creativity or intelligence to come up with something worth while.
Benjamin J: I'd totally enter a wrestling prediction contest. And I would be completely humble about it if I won. Honest.
Okay, this made me laugh. Kudos to you sir. Speaking of laughter, I found a video clip of TNA Impact Wrestling attempting to go on the road full-time last year...
*There were tons of great comments last week. Lots of fun stuff discussed. However, a few choice words made it impossible to warrant an actual reply. Oh well...*
Truths: TNA Impact Wrestling (3/27/14)
Note: My commitment to covering this show full-time ended in January. However, I will watch from time to time. For those curious, I will be tuning in again sometime around late April or early May
Truths: WWE Smackdown (3/28/14)
1. I got what I asked for. - A few weeks ago, I wrote that Bray Wyatt needed one more big victory before WrestleMania XXX. Defeating Daniel Bryan is nice, but that was back in January. Defeating The Shield is good, but that was more about the groups than any individual. This Friday night, WWE followed through. Bray Wyatt beat Big Show in the Smackdown main event. Not entirely a clean win but close enough. Good job! John Cena awaits on Sunday...
2. AJ Lee should lose the Divas Title at WMXXX. - Honestly, during her segment, I questioned (in my mind) what her future would look like after April 6th. Maybe that is a bit drastic, but the question remains: What is AJ Lee going to do next? She can only face the Total Divas cast so many times. Her breakup with Tamina Snuka is all but complete. Unless Kharma is returning or Stephanie McMahon bothers to have another match, AJ is without much to do. Maybe some time in Chicago away from WWE TV will do her some good? Drop the title at Mania and go from there.
3. There is lots of filler when there should NOT be right now. - I can deal with filler segments throughout the year. It is just a part of wrestling these days when WWE is pumping out so many hours. You are bound to get some recaps, videos, short matches, pointless babble, etc. That is fine. From January-April though, it should not happen. Your ONE goal is to build up WrestleMania and get as many pay-per-view buys (and WWE Network subscribers too!) as humanly possible. This year, with the Mania card as it is with lots of wrestlers all jumbled into a few matches, the filler has reared its ugly head.
4. Batista vs. Sheamus was okay for the most part, but the opening segment with Triple H was bad. - Ugh. Do I need to repeat this every week? Heel vs. heel feuds do not work. Heel vs. heel promos do not work. Heels bad mouthing other heels does not work. I should not want to laugh at a Triple H joke. He is a heel. I should not want to cheer Batista when he delivers a clever line. He just turned heel. You NEED a face in there somewhere for fans to rally behind. Sheamus getting destroyed by Batista later in the show was decent stuff, but this is where Daniel Bryan is really missing. Fans need somebody to cheer that is NOT Batista, Triple H, or Randy Orton. Hopefully, Bryan is back on Raw to give us one final big sell for Mania.
5. The Shield had a great night. - I know The Shield wrestling Kane the New Age Outlaws at WMXXX is not anything major. For now though, it has my attention. The Shield are getting support as faces, while the men in suits are actually playing heels for a change. Shocking, heels acting like heels! Seth Rollins is really shining right now. I firmly believe Roman Reigns will be the first of The Shield to get a main event run, but he will not be alone. Rollins will get a chance, as will Dean Ambrose. Far too much talent there.
Lie: Mark Henry vs. The Miz was excellent! - I am a fan of The Miz in the right spots. I am a big fan of what Mark Henry can do as a monster heel. Sadly, the formula fell flat on Smackdown. Their short match felt like it took forever. No joke. It felt like a 25 minute match. Both men are valuable assets to WWE but not like this.
*Okay episode for the Blue Brand one week away from WrestleMania XXX. A bunch of filler mixed in with Bray Wyatt, The Shield, and Batista looking strong. Works for me, I suppose. Nothing ground breaking or memorable though. We should be in store for a major episode of Raw jst six days away from Mania.*
Truths: WWE Raw (3/31/14)
Note: Depending on what happens with the NCAA March Madness tournament this weekend, there may not be a Raw section next week. If Wisconsin advances to the Finals (picked Florida from the start), then I will watch the game on Monday and Raw sometime on Tuesday. Thus, no Raw section would be written in the column.
1. Brock Lesnar beat up The Undertaker. - There you go. For those waiting for the heel beat down, the go-home episode of Raw is always the ideal place. Taker spoke for a short while. Paul Heyman got his words in. Brock stands tall and looks like a beast. Simple, simple, simple. Follow the KISS Method. I loved it!
2. The Triple H video was so well done. - Narrated by Stephanie McMahon? Such a nice little detail. Triple H must have read my column (on another website) Monday morning as his entire shtick about the fans jumping on whatever fad is popular was my topic of choice. Yeah, Google it. Regardless, things went downhill when Batista came out. Not because of him or even Randy Orton specifically...but because there was nobody to cheer for. I already covered this in the Smackdown section. Heels arguing with other heels (and getting cheers!) leads to nothing.
3. Bray Wyatt defeated R-Truth. - Another cool visual this week with John Cena. As for the feud now that WM has arrived, WWE did their best. I am unsure how 'over' Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena has got with the casual wrestling fans. John Cena is just world's above Bray in any sense of the word to them. For a newcomer to just come in and feud with the top dog at the biggest show of the year is a tough sell. The whole "legacy" video and talk has served its purpose, but it is still JOHN FREAKIN' CENA vs. Bray Wyatt who debuted less than a year ago. Really is going to be interesting to see how this goes on Sunday night.
4. Piper's Pit was a fun segment. - Rowdy Roddy Piper was okay here. The real story was seeing a bunch of guys brawl and have Rey Mysterio return. I suppose that served its purpose. The live crowd was starting to lose it at this point in the show. However, I enjoyed this. As noted last week (on another website), my three favorites to win are The Miz, Sheamus, and Rusev (if he enters). Anybody but Big Show really...
5. Daniel Bryan HAD to interfere during the main event match. - I was fine with Daniel Bryan being kept off Smackdown the past two weeks. It was questionable and can be be debated on keeping him off Raw last week. This Monday night, he HAD to appear. Had to. Just six days before WrestleMania XXX, it was an absolute must for him to show up. Randy Orton vs. Batista in a No DQ match was a quality hook, but the story is Daniel Bryan and his journey to the WWE World Championship. Yeah, we got no finish to the match...in a No DQ match. Zero logic there, I admit. Daniel Bryan stands tall on Raw with 15,000 fans chanting "Yes!" This Sunday night at WMXXX, it will be 70,000 fans and millions more chanting "Yes!"
Lie: The tag team title match should be on the WM main card. - Nope. Jack Swagger and Cesaro deserve a spot on the main card, preferably feuding over the IC Championship. Whether fans want to admit it or not, Ryback deserves to be on the main card. Other than that? No thank you. The Usos are not my cup of tea and never have been. Los Matadoes have no use outside of providing some sort of comedy relieve. Then there is Curtis Axel who...yeah.
*Good episode. It definitely feels like WrestleMania season after Monday night's Raw. Decent amount of filler but enough to allow the three hours to fly by. The much hyped main event between Randy Orton and Batista helped, but the hope of a Daniel Bryan appearance kept my interest up. If WWE does not have any technical issues with the network or get too fancy, WMXXX should be a huge success.*
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:
Dish Network airing WrestleMania XXX - Well, so much for them taking a stand against WWE. That did not last long.
WWE reports Christian suffered a slight concussion. - Again?!?! Mark Henry, Edge, and now Christian. They just can not stay healthy. I am a big fan, but I understand why WWE is so hesitant with injury prone guys getting a major role knowing full well they could get hurt at anytime.
The Coach teases a WWE announcement on Twitter. - Normally, I put little stock into anything wrestling related said on Twitter. I do not even follow any current wrestlers! However, Jonathan Coachman (currently with ESPN) has no reason to lie, mislead, or 'work' fans. Very interested to see what comes up this summer with him and WWE. Always a fun character.
Kevin Steen, Roderick Strong, and ACH attend WWE tryout. - Nope. Not true. WWE only wants body builders and models. Nobody from Ring of Honor and the indy scene!!!!! Sorry, just look at their roster and NXT. Clearly, just look.
Speculation on the WWE Hall of Fame 2015 class - Really? A year out and the nonsense begins. Right on cue, the first report on potential inductees is filled with illogical babble about nothing factual.
Main Event ending its run on ION? - Another one bites the dust. I think the peak number was 1.797 million viewers in 2013 but could be wrong. That is the highest viewership figure I found for Main Event. Regardless, WWE has had a bunch of one hour shows through the years - Jakked, Confidential, Velocity, etc. I am sure another one will pop up in a few months, and the cycle will continue.
WWE releases the original Sin Cara. - A shame really. There are lessons to be learned from this. First, it does not matter what you did in Mexico, Japan, ROH, or wherever. When you sign with WWE, you have to spend time in NXT/FCW to grasp the "WWE style." Laugh all you want. Think of it as insulting. Blah, blah, blah. This is WWE! Clearly, we saw what happened here. Secondly, injuries can slow momentum in a hurry. Obviously, that goes without saying, but Sic Cara had a big debut and felt important for a good while. Once he got hurt (again and again), the writing was on the wall. Finally, Wellness suspensions can lose you fans. Yes, you can rebuild that trust. Others have done it, but for unproven talent (like Cara in WWE), it is hard to get that trust back. Eventually, it all just piled up. Great signing in 2011, like Kharma...but did not work out.
Update on Rob Van Dam! - I do expect him to return to WWE soon, but the latest 'report' is just a guess like most of us can do. Have him return in the battle royal at WM! How about the night after Mania? There are a few ideas, somebody then writes it up and the copy and pasters slobber all over it for their next "news" headline.
Update on Sting! - Same as above. Until a WWE is official, all of this junk has been posted year after year after year after year after year. As written about throughout 2013 many times, I DO believe Sting will go to WWE with this year being the ideal time...but nothing being 'reported' represents that feeling.
Update on CM Punk! - Ah, yes. The repetitive and completely true "nobody is talking, but somehow - we insiders know what is going on!" rumor! Right.
Total Divas drew 1.55 million viewers on Sunday. - I figured this show had already peaked last year. Guess not. With numbers like that, another season is likely.
Daniel Bryan featured on the Extreme Rules poster - Hornswoggle was on the Money in the Bank 2011 poster with Big Show. Santino Marella was on a Royal Rumble poster recently. R-Truth was featured last year on a PPV poster! I seem to recall CM Punk being on a poster way back and not even being on the main card. Bottom line: Daniel Bryan being on the new Extreme Rules poster means nothing. I am predicting he leaves WMXXX as WWE World Champion regardless of any PPV poster design.
WWE Smackdown drew 3.057 million viewers on Friday night. - Back over the 3 million viewership mark, I see. Not sure why or how...but WWE will take it.
Four way WWE Tag Team Title match moved to the WM pre-show - Bingo! Called it last week. If you were shocked by this news, either you are a new wrestling fan in 2014 or just not paying attention.
Bar Rescue on Spike TV drew 1.65 million viewers last Sunday night. - TNA Impact Wrestling was 500,000 viewers below that on Thursday.
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.
The current Top 30 Matches of WrestleMania list running on 411mania is NOT my personal list. Not by any stretch. I will post mine either next week or the week after. Contain your excitement!
My sister just started her own fashion blog. Everybody should go check it out immediately. Click it. Read it. Love it. The brand new Twitter account to follow is right here! The actual website is right here!
Live Tweeting During WWE Raw
Thanks for everybody who joined me on Twitter. It was only my second time EVER live tweeting during Raw. I figure I will do it again at some point but no idea when. Could be in a month. Could be in a year. Stay tuned for any updates.