411 Fact or Fiction 06.19.14: Wyatts Dominating MITB, Team 3D as Hall of Famers, Steve Austin Teasing a Return, More
Posted by Larry Csonka on 06.19.2014
Will Steve Austin ever return to the ring? Will the Wyatt Family win all the gold at Money in the Bank? Are Team 3D a hall of fame team no matter what? 411's Nick Marsico and Justin Watry debate these topics and more!
Welcome back to the latest edition of 411 Fact or Fiction, Wrestling Edition! Stuff happened, people loved/hated it and let everyone else know. I pick through the interesting/not so interesting tidbits and then make 411 staff members discuss them for your pleasure. Battling this week: First, he presents a lot of opinion pieces for the site, he is Mr. Justin Watry! His opponent, he has been around 411 for a long time and pops in when he can, he is Mr. Nick Marsico!
Questions were sent out Monday.
Participants were told to expect wrestling-related questions, possible statements on quantum physics and hydroponics.
1. The Wyatt Family will leave the MITB PPV with the WWE World and Tag Team Titles.
Justin Watry:FICTION - I reserve the right to change my mind in a week or so. Right now, it feels like Cesaro is still the favorite to win. However, a heel will end up leaving Money in the Bank as the NEW WWE World Champion. That eliminates John Cena. No need for that right now. Roman Reigns will get his big moment, but it is far too early to pull the trigger there. Randy Orton? No. Sheamus, face or heel? Eh, he seems to be in a good spot with the United States Title. Albert Del Rio is not winning. That leaves Wyatt and Cesaro as realistic choices. Honestly, I DO love the idea of the Wyatt Family carrying all the gold for at least a few weeks, but The Usos are not necessarily locked into losing the tag team titles nor is Brayy guaranteed to win the WWE World Title. Plus, I have not totally ruled out Seth Rollins being 'handed' a MITB spot at the pay-per-view leading to him winning the match. For now, I am sticking with Cesaro, but I fully expect to predict Bray Wyatt AND The Wyatt Family to leave with all the gold come next weekend. Cop out answer for the win!
Nick Marsico:FICTION - It's an interesting thought, but I certainly don't expect it to come to fruition. There is a chance and it would be a ballsy move to put the title on Bray, but I fear that they don't have the grapefruits to step out of their comfort zone right now. We can narrow it down: Sheamus is the US Champ and is going to be stuck there until he turns heel and his character is refreshed. Del Rio has less of a shot than Ziggler would have had if the outcome of the qualifying match went the opposite way. Cesaro could be something of a dark horse but I don't think they know where they are going with him yet. I expect (still) an eventual double turn with he and Sheamus, and it won't happen with Cesaro as lame duck champion. Reigns isn't anywhere close to being ready, and when they do pull the trigger on him it needs to be within a cohesive story arc and he needs to be THE focus, winning in a one-on-one contest.
That leaves Wyatt and the two "failsafe" entrants in Cena and Orton. I believe Randy to be the least likely winner of this trio. He has been a background character from the moment he successfully retained his title at the Royal Rumble. From that moment up to the second Batista tapped out at WrestleMania Orton was, as the winner of this ladder match is likely to be, a placeholder. He was keeping the belt warm for Bryan. Is the winner of this match keeping it warm specifically for Bryan? Time will tell. The two most likely choices are Cena and Wyatt, and I have a strong feeling that Cena will be leaving Boston with the gold (and he'll celebrate with daddy at ringside). If Bray does win, he would be set up to lose it to Cena anyway. I think that as we speak, the current running plan, if Bryan's body is up to it, is to make good on last year's SummerSlam and let D-Bry actually get out of Los Angeles as the champion after defeating John Cena.
I guess a short Wyatt reign would be an okay way to test the waters to see if the crowd will buy into it, but a victory just sets him up to be the sacrificial lamb. Hmm... maybe I should change my answer.
2. Team 3D are a hall of fame tag team, period.
Justin Watry:FACT - Absolutely, they are...and when they enter the WWE Hall of Fame in a few years, it will matter. Not now. Not in TNA Impact Wrestling. Sorry, just like their "World" title does not count, neither does their HOF. Truth hurts, I know.
Nick Marsico:FACT - Without question. The two men are an incredibly long-standing pair even through enduring a couple breakups (but at least one breakup led to the WWE Universe being introduced to Batista, so that's awesome, right?) and certifiably legendary as a pair. Their characters have evolved insane amounts since they first showed up in ECW but they were always able to keep the base spirit and emotion that made the team what they were. That kind of story is nigh impossible any longer. Dubious claim of being the only team to ever hold all of the major tag belts aside, they are insanely decorated with championship gold (all deserved) and perpetually over no matter where they are or who they are wrestling. Did they become stale a couple times? Yes, they sure did. That was more the fault of shoddy booking than that of the performers working their jobs, however, so the majority of the blame falls away from Bully and Devon. They are going to TNA's Hall of Fame first, but sooner or later the team will be inducted to the WWE HoF, and that's where you want to be.
3. Out of the recent WWE releases, Evan Bourne will find the most success outside of the WWE.
Justin Watry:FACT - Short term, yes. Evan Bourne will immediately be flooded with requests, bookings, interviews, etc. In a few months, he will be rolling in the dough. Long term though? There are other guys that are younger, LESS injury-prone, and do not have two Wellness strikes against them (whatever that matters outside of WWE). There are a few guys like Drew McIntyre that have all the potential in the world that may not pay off right away but could years down the road. Thus, the safe pick is Bourne. Truth be told, it would not surprise me if a few of the released talent end up back in WWE, but that is a topic for another day.
Nick Marsico:FICTION - I'm sure once he's fully healed (if ever) he will find some success. As soon as he is physically and legally able to appear for Dragon Gate USA, that's where he will pop up. It just feels like he has been gone for so long that all of the shine has worn off of him. I would be surprised to not see McIntyre picked up by TNA, although I don't know the relationship status of he and Taryn Terrell, who is returning to TNA. That could make things more complicated. Maybe Jeff Jarrett will sign him up for Global Force Wrestling. Out of this crop of releases I think we will be seeing both McIntyre and Brodus Clay returning to WWE eventually, so I guess that would technically would end up giving them the designation of most successful. Short term I think Curt Hawkins can do well for himself between his school and small Indy appearances. I wonder if we will get a chance to see if he is any good in the ring.
4. TNA has you interested for their upcoming TV tapings in New York by announcing The Great Muta, The Hardy Brothers Reunion and Destination X.
Justin Watry:FICTION - I am watching TNA Impact Wrestling the next few weeks because it is that cycle again where I have to. The Great Muta? No interest (let the comments begin!). Never seen him wrestle. The Hardy Boyz in 2014? With alllllllllll the financial problems going on and alllllll the talent that just left TNA, the company brings back Matt Hardy? There are no words to describe the hiring/firing process there. Whatever, a short-term pop for teaming with Jeff Hardy, (hopefully NOT Willow) should be fun...but again, no interest. Destination X? Is this a joke? The entire division means nothing in 2014. You can blame TNA for that one. Not my fault they treat it as an afterthought 49 weeks out of the year.
Nick Marsico:FICTION - I wish I could muster up some interest. With MVP in control as the face authority figure it looked like the show was set to go in the direction of being more straightforward wrestling and I really enjoyed a few weeks' worth of Impact. EY winning the title was very unexpected and I thought (and still think) it was a great move. With MVP going heel and forming his trio alongside his heel vs. heel feud with Dixie, things are just getting all muddled up again. Not only do we still have a bad guy oppressing the mishmash of good guys, but now we have two bad guys oppressing the mishmash of good guys while trying to oppress the other bad guys in order to prove they are the best bad guys at oppressing mishmashes of good guys. It's been a struggle to even watch the show weekly by checking out the week's episode's YouTube playlist.
That said, I will check out reviews of the tapings and some reports of the TV episodes and watch if it looks promising. I hope it does; historically one or two really good weeks of TNA has gotten me back into being excited about the product and leads to me becoming a regular viewer again until it starts being a chore. I'm invested in a lot of the WWE characters (and some of the guys as people) so when the TV becomes something I am less than thrilled to watch I still at least have a reason to keep tuned in. It's not that way with TNA. I love Samoa Joe, I think EY is one of the most underrated and criminally underused wrestlers in the BIZ-I-NESS and Bobby Roode has far exceeded what I thought he was capable of 5 years ago and he should be THE guy the company is built around. The problem is that TNA has done such a wonderful job of making themselves not appear to be an important entity in the pro wrestling world.
If Samoa Joe was being pushed back toward the main event in a company that had a World Title that could even sniff the idea of meaning a damn, I would be interested in watching to see what they would do. I'm glad that Eric Young gets to hold the belt, be one of the main focuses of the show in a serious capacity and actually gets to successfully defend his title without shenanigans that make him look like a fluke, but the TNA Title is the main prize of a company that seems determined to undermine and illegitimate themselves whenever possible. Long rant cut short -- I like a lot of the talent in TNA but the storylines they get put in are very off-putting. That is often the case in WWE but winning their World Title still has some importance behind it. It means you made it. In TNA it's barely even a consolation prize. If the wrestling is good I'll give it a look but I generally don't go out of my way to catch what TNA is doing. I don't want to hijack the whole FoF; I have a lot more to say about this, though. I'll save that for my blog.
5. While he has stated he would consider it if the situation was perfect, Steve Austin will never return to the ring.
Nick Marsico:FACT - It isn't happening. Austin is my favorite of all time by 10 country miles but the ship has sailed. There is no longer any possible "perfect" scenario. The last time that could have been a reality was when Punk was on his hot streak in 2009 and he and Jeff Hardy were tearing it up over the World Title. Austin versus Punk would have been a perfect follow-up. The only opponent outside of Punk, at this point, would be Cena, but with Austin's health (or lack thereof) and his age as factors the match would end up bowling shoe ugly at best. Cena needs a style that compliments his (power versus power/bloody brawl - Batista is a good example, and stipulation matches with guys like JBL and Umaga, or more recently Bray Wyatt come to mind) or somebody whose level he can work up to like a Shawn Michaels, CM Punk or Daniel Bryan. Cena is borderline amazing but is still limited based on his opponent. A match with Austin could be more of a chore to watch, possibly, than having to sit through both of the Cena/Rock matches back-to-back. I'd love to see Austin versus Brock because we didn't get it 12 years ago (WOW) when it was originally supposed to happen and it would be a perfect WrestleMania spectacle match but I worry that Brock would either have to tone himself down to the point that the match would be in slow motion or risk killing Stone Cold in the ring. Austin has said that unless he feels it can be up to the standard of a good professional wrestling match and not an old timer coming back for one last hurrah he won't do it. We saw Austin's last match 11 years ago and I'm content with that.
Justin Watry:FACT - ...and Stone Cold has been saying that exact same thing for over a decade. In fact, I answered this exact same question a full year ago about him returning to the ring. Add on the other 67 million times I have been asked about this (on other websites), and all you will get out of me is a big YAWN! He is done, finished, retired. Been over 11 years now! Move on with it already.
6. Luke Harper will end up being a bigger success in WWE than Bray Wyatt.
Nick Marsico:FACT - This is the toughest question to answer in this edition of FoF in my opinion. Bray is great and will only continue improving in the ring but my concern is burn out. He could be a victim of too much too soon - not that the push itself was a bad idea; the booking team may have no idea where to go with the character and it could become completely stale and stagnant in a hurry. He is a man of purpose but his outspoken motivation and endgame is very vague. That would be fine if it were the point, but it's not. That part aside, Harper is still overall a better professional wrestler. He has the size, he has the talent in the ring and he has the charisma to back it all up. He'll eventually be on his own and they'll get the beard down to a manageable length, then he can work well as a face or heel and the crowd will buy him as a legitimate threat. He is just different enough to stand out but at the same time just close enough to being the right type to gain Vince's love and admiration. I may be a bit biased due to being a fan of his for a number of years, but even based on his size and WWE work alone one could come to a similar conclusion..
Justin Watry:FICTION - I do think Luke Harper will have a chance to break out on his own. However, age is working against him here. Bray Wyatt is seven years younger than him. That is a HUGE hurdle to overcome if you want to compare their WWE careers. With the head start that Bray has, it is hard to imagine Harper being able to get by him. I DO believe in Luke Harper. He was one of the few, few, few independent talent I followed before signing with WWE, so I know the big man has talent. Just have to go with Bray Wyatt here in the long run. Prove me wrong though; I would love to see it happen.
7. WWE running "spiked drink" and "vomiting" gags like they did on Raw Monday night is the kind of thing that makes you embarrassed to be a wrestling fan.
Nick Marsico:FICTION - That kind of stuff fully belongs in the sideshow act that professional wrestling is and always has been. Just like Mae Young giving birth to a hand, the entire Oddities group, midgets getting their heads shaved and grown men dressing up in skin-tone full bodysuits. It didn't belong, however, as the way to get the next "it" guy into a match that would see him qualify to get into a high profile contest that is gong to be his first shot at the WWE Title. It was a moment of offbeat shenanigans that would have been fine if Rybaxel were trying to get into the battle royal or if Santino was trying to find a way to get out of a match against Luke Harper. It had no place within the context it was used on Monday and is completely out of character for Roman Reigns. They have spent over a year and a half building him and his teammates as ruthless and cunning -- spiking the boss' drinks with an unnamed substance is the act of a comedy character or somebody involved in a much lower profile angle. It took me out of the show for a moment, but in the end it's not really a big deal because it will be forgotten about before we have time to complain too long about it happening.
Justin Watry:FICTION - Really? Do I need to bring up Mae Young giving birth to a hand? Or Big Show riding a casket in public? Katie Vick and Triple H? Celebrity nonsense? Or anything seen on Spike TV Thursday nights? Really? Trust me, if you sat through all of that and are still here to talk about it, there is not much embarrassment left to go around. Wrestling is wrestling. Either you 'get it' or you do not. I happen to find Vickie Guerrero very entertaining, and those segments fit her character perfectly. That "kind of thing" got Roman Reigns into a huge battle royal on Raw and helped produce some of his loudest crowd reactions to date. Means to an end. It worked, and you cannot argue with results.
8. You are excited for this weekend's ROH Best in the World PPV event.
Nick Marsico:FICTION - Sadly, I am not. I think the ROH product, as I mentioned the last time I was here, is heads and shoulders better in 2014 than it has been in a long, long time but as good 'ol JR has noted on a number of occasions the lack of promotion is quite disheartening. The card is very solid and I will absolutely be checking out the show, but I'll wait until VOD and when I have some time to kill. PPV is on its way out for the two (one and a half?) major North American wrestling companies and the jump to traditional live Sunday night PPV events could be a very smart and effective move for ROH. It wouldn't be something meaningful on the level of Barely Legal even with proper promotion and media exposure, but grabbing a market that WWE is alienating and TNA is leaving (I assume that's still the plan, but even if not they have always done abysmal PPV numbers anyway) could be a sensational idea. People have confidence in traditional PPV working and won't be nervous about missing the show like ROH has come to make us expect with their iPPV offerings.
So no, I am not excited for this particular show. It is likely to be another in a string of very, very good big shows from Ring of Honor but I'm not sitting here just a few days away from their first live pay-per-view with the kind of anticipation and excitement I had all the way back in 2007 when I attended the first taped PPV that ROH ran in the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center. It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm not going to be there. Ring of Honor made us feel like the jump to PPV was going to be a MAJOR step in the growth of the company (even though it didn't work out that way). This feels like just another show. They're giving us the lip service that it is important but it doesn't seem sincere. I hope I'm wrong and it is just a misstep. If the show is great and can garner a buzz and cause some decent numbers in buys of the replays maybe they will put some time and money into promoting the second one and start to corner the market for pro wrestling on PPV. They have the resources. SBG just has to care enough to do it.
Justin Watry:FICTION - Nope. Do not know a single match. No idea about any feud. Nor any kind of appearance. Oh wait, scratch that for a moment. I think Daniels and Kaz are showing up. Pretty sure I read that. I do wish Ring of Honor well though. If the PPV companies are looking to get some more wrestling, kudos to ROH for stepping up. With nobody buying TNA PPV events, it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers ROH can grab. Since I need to waste some time here and fill up space, be sure to check out my sister's fashion blog right here! Click it, read it, love it.
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Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.