The Wrestling News Experience 4.14.14
Posted by Stephen Randle on 04.14.2014
In this Experience, we've got a preview for tonight's Raw, thoughts on Sting eventually signing with WWE, and the new direction of TNA!
Monday April 14th, 2014
From 411Mania's Canadian offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and in case you were wondering, yes, my five-step plan for contentment from last week was mostly successful. It's amazing what good wrestling, good movies, and a baseball team performing reasonably well due to having no expectations can do for your emotional well-being. It's enough to make you forget that your hockey team tanked disastrously at the last minute for the third time in three freaking seasons! How can they keep doing that! They fail and fail and keep failing! It just makes me so angry!
I'm okay, I'm okay. Let's move on.
Last week, in the wake of Daniel Bryan ascending the mountaintop and coming down as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H marshalled the troops in an attempt to take the belt back by force. However, the forces of the group formerly known as Evolution were stymied by the Hounds of Justice, as The Shield decided that their code was more important than being on the side of The Authoirty. With so many pieces now in play, the eventual collision should be massive.
That felt like a mixed metaphor.
Anyway, on Smackdown, Bray Wyatt made it perfectly clear that while John Cena may have won the battle at WrestleMania, but the war will continue, and the Family has decided that more "extreme" measures will have to be taken. Hey, what's the next PPV called, again?
Meanwhile, fresh of leading Brock Lesnar to a defeat of The Undertaker at WrestleMania, Paul Heyman wasted no time in hitching his wagon to one of WWE's currently hottest acts, ARMBAR winner Cesaro. This move prompted a split from The Real Americans, but frankly, they won't be missed.
Plus, we have a new Divas Champion, as Paige debuted to take the belt from AJ Lee in a shocking result. Combined with the in-ring debut of Alexander Rusev, and the impending arrivals of Adam Rose and Bo Dallas (to start with), we've nearly got a full-fledged NXT invasion hitting the main roster. How will all these new faces (and the returning RVD) shape the future of WWE?
And with the untimely passing of the Ultimate Warrior, tonight's Raw will be in tribute to the man, the myth, and the legend, who only last week was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame. You can be a part of it, tonight on Raw!
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sting?
Well, here we are, basking in the post-WrestleMania glow, and it's time, once again, to remember that Sting is currently a free agent and has not signed a contract with WWE yet, although that might have changed in the last five seconds. And then changed back. Depending on who's talking at any given moment. The fun of attempting to be a legitimate wrestling journalist!
Anyway, while Sting may or may not have actually signed on the dotted line, it's pretty much an inevitability at this point, and has been ever since it became clear that TNA (or rather, Spike TV) was no longer willing or able to pony up the dough that would be required to keep him under their control. A WWE Hall of Fame induction, career DVD, and some sort of series of TV appearances seem more than likely, with a possible GM role being a rumour making the rounds at one point.
Of course, there's also that other thing: Sting's first-ever WWE match, which would likely also be his last match ever. Sting has gone on record as saying that he probably only has one more left in him, and if he had his druthers (look it up), he would have been the next in line to take a crack at The Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak.
Well, now that there's no Streak, and possibly no more Undertaker, what's Sting's plan B for his last match? Is there one? Could Sting, the last man out of WCW, a man who has been a main event wrestler for nearly three decades, a certified wrestling legend and first ballot Hall of Famer, finally sign a WWE contract and never wrestle a match for them? Will there be no true Mania moment for the Stinger? At this point, given that Sting's signing is clearly imminent, the answer seems to be "probably".
And is that really such a bad thing? Sting hasn't really wrestled a watchable match in a long time, and anyway, it's not like people really wanted him in WWE for the prospect of Sting wrestling ***** matches in the main event. People wanted Sting in WWE because of that aforementioned Hall of Fame, DVD, and a chance to see him make the occasional appearance like Hogan, Flair, Hart, and HBK. Plus, given what we saw out of his until-now prospective Mania opponent, perhaps Sting-Taker wouldn't exactly be a match anybody would want to see beyond the entrances.
So, welcome Sting to WWE whenever he gets here. Enjoy a few standing ovations, the Hall of Fame ceremony, and maybe some sort of on-air authority figure. But if it's Sting-Taker or nothing, you'll have to excuse me if I'm not among those calling for "One more match".
- In a programming note, on the heels of TNA's last show featuring a near-direct rip-off of the Daniel Bryan storyline, except they put their alleged World title on lifelong midcard comedy act Eric Young, after losing three more core talents due to lowball contract offers, and after several years of giving TNA a chance to maintain my attention while they continue to drop the ball in more and more comically inept ways, I've come to a decision. As far as this column is concerned, TNA has pretty much lost the right to be considered a major league wrestling promotion in North America, and is now pretty much a glorified indie fed with a TV deal (for now) that is not worth my time and that I do not wish to promote as a legitimate alternative to WWE. I will not stop mentioning TNA-related news where it is merited, but they have lost their place in both the Injury Bug Bites and Who's Holding Gold. I reserve the right to name a new #2 promotion in the future, but for now, WWE is the only North American wrestling promotion I will be covering in those sections.
- By the way, this is nothing against Eric Young, who's a good wrestler and a Canadian hero, but TNA World Champion? Come on, son.
- Hey, look, Jeff Jarrett's opening an independent North American promotion with a terrible name! Did anyone else just see a cat walk past a doorway twice?
- The bottom started dropping out of the WWE stock price in the wake of WWE Network coming in at well under a million initial buys, which wrestling analysts were questioning for a while as an achievable number, since it would have required an exponential number of subscribers compared to how many people were buying PPVs under the old system. I guess that proves that wrestling fans are smarter than economists...about pro wrestling. Which, I suppose, makes sense.
HOT: Daniel Bryan
New WWE World Champion Bryan takes a licking on Raw but keeps on ticking thanks to timely Shield intervention, and just to make things even sweeter, he got married to Brie Bella last week as well. I don't care who you are, that's the best week of your life, right there. So...do they do a beat-down angle tonight and take him off Raw for a week so he can have a honeymoon?
NOT: Bo Dallas
I feel bad for the guy because he took the "deluded heel thinks he's a hero" and ran with it for a while in NXT, but I can't see him doing anything but crashing and burning on the main roster. It just screams "jobbing on Superstars by May" to me, doesn't it to you?
It won't last, but it only made sense to put the gang back together in everything but name, and now that we've got HHH, Batista, Orton, and I suppose Kane aligned against Bryan and The Shield, with Extreme Rules coming up, I don't think I'm alone in making a simple request for the main event of that PPV Special: Vince, would you like to play a game?
NOT: Adam Rose's New Theme
I can't really tell the difference from a quality perspective (I mean, obviously it's a different song), but wrestling entrance theme experts seem to agree that Rose's second theme since he debuted in NXT is the drizzling shits compared to the original. I'm not saying we have too much time on our hands sometimes, but this is actually a serious debate going around some Internet circles.
HOT: Paul Heyman
Well, now he's not just the guy who manages the guy who broke The Streak, he's the manager of one of the hottest properties in WWE right now. Okay, Curtis Axel and Ryback weren't exactly great Heyman Guys, but if WWE sticks Paul E on your side, you know they're at least going to give you a fair shot at making it.
NOT: Jack Swagger
The dark times are definitely here for Swagger, and while he did get to destroy the ARMBAR trophy pre-match, he was pretty much outclassed until he fled to escape defeat, and you pretty much have to believe he'll be fading back into the background in the very near future.
Two blown finishes in two consecutive nights for the Divas Division, but the important news is that Paige has arrived, and that can only mean good things for the match quality. As a fun side note, she is the first wrestler born in the 90's to win a WWE Title, which means that a) the Divas champion was born post-Nevermind, and b) you are old.
NOT: Damien Sandow
I think it's fair to say that Sandow losing his MITB shot to Cena was not a herald of good things to come in the future, right? Or is "getting the jobber entrance to a returning RVD" not a low enough point?
HOT: The Shield
Can you believe that a month ago, the plan was to have these three break up instead of just going for an obvious face turn and extending the longevity of the team (and the number of awesome matches they can have)? I mean, obviously they'll break up eventually, but I'll take every extra day of the group existing that I can get.
Since his return, Sheamus has been a decided fifth or sixth on the totem pole from the face side of WWE, behind Bryan, Cena, The Shield, and the now-absent Punk. With RVD returning to eat up another spot (plus Rose and Zayn incoming), you'd think a heel turn could help Sheamus out. However, there's a logjam there too, with Evolution and The Wyatts, plus potential up-and-coming NXT talent like Rusev. Sheamus might be wise to find himself a tag partner for the near future and slip into that division.
WWE Inactive List as of 04.07.14
- Christian, out indefinitely as of March 25th (concussion)
- Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th, 2012 (foot)
- Billy Gun, day-to-day as of April 7th (internal injuries)
- Darren Young, day-to-day as of April 13th (knee)
- Ezekiel Jackson, contract expired as of April 8th, will not be re-signed
- Oliver Grey, made NXT return on April 10th NXT
- Paige, made main roster debut on April 7th Raw
- RVD, returned to WWE on April 7th Raw
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Daniel Bryan
- 8 day reign, defeated Randy Orton and Batista in a Triple Threat match on April 6th (WrestleMania XXX)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Big E
- 147 day reign, defeated Curtis Axel on November 18th (Raw)
WWE United States Champion: Dean Ambrose
- 323 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston on May 19th (Extreme Rules PPV)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos
- 42 day reign, defeated The New Age Outlaws on March 3rd (Raw)
**NEW** WWE Divas' Champion: Paige
- 7 day reign, defeated AJ Lee on April 7th (Raw)
WWE NXT Champion: Adrian Neville
- 46 day reign, defeated Bo Dallas in a Ladder Match on February 27th (NXT ArRIVAL PPV)
WWE NXT Tag Team Champions: The Ascension
- 187 day reign, defeated Corey Graves and Adrian Neville on October 2nd NXT
WWE NXT Women's Champion: Paige
- 264 day reign, defeated Emma on July 24th NXT to become inaugural Champion
Cook has News From Cook's Corner...wait...what the hell? I was told that scumbag was gone for good!
On the latest After Dark, it's my 100th podcast ever, and to commemorate the event, I made a ridiculously long intro! Then I talked about WrestleMania, the next night on Raw, and how great the past week was if you were a wrestling fan. Also, a tribute to the passing of the Ultimate Warrior.
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