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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Smart Marks 6.28.14: Cashing In Your Options
Posted by Dino Zee on 06.28.2014

Hello again, and welcome back to another installment of your favorite weekend wrestling get together, Smart Marks! It is here where we look at anything and everything wrestling related, and try to get a discussion going, instead of having one high and mighty voice dictate to everyone else what the "right" thing to do would be. I'm Dino, and I'm just the guy that sweeps the floors here at night.

Last week, discussion of "The Look" as it pertains to Lashley was a good one, as I was able to have a mild debate with nefarious 411 commenter Ice Dagger, who took it easy on me. Look, I've said it once, and I'll say it again- for me, how a wrestler looks absolutely matters. Does that mean they have to all be hulking behemoths? No. Does it mean that anyone that's small can't possibly work out? Of course not. It simply means that if there's someone with a crazy look, or the look of someone who could rip your head off, I might gravitate to them initially quicker than I would someone who looks a bit more plain. It's wrestling. Bret Hart, Great Khali, and the Miz have all held a version of a World Heavyweight Championship, and they have nearly nothing in common with how they approach matches. Wrestling isn't one size fits all, and really, that's one of my favorite things about it.

So your mileage may vary with "The Look," and that's okay. As I've said before, we'll all manage to survive having a difference of opinion, I think.

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This week saw WWE get ready for Sunday's Money in the Bank event, TNA build towards its shows in Noo Yawk!, and much, much more! So let's hit the marks!

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The Whole World

First things first, I feel like Bray Wyatt should win the Championship at Money in the Bank. Let me just get that out there, right now.

I'm not interested in talks about if he's ready yet. With the people announced for the match itself, it just seems like the absolute right thing to do. And if I'm being honest, I can't get the image of Bray Wyatt cradling the belt, and singing "I've got the whole world…." to the crowd. It just seems so right.

Following Daniel Bryan having to forfeit the title due to injury, WWE has two choices right now: The Same Old, or trying Something New. SummerSlam is right around the corner, and if Something New doesn't work out, guess what? You have Something New drop the title at SummerSlam, and everyone will be okay. With John Cena, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Kane all vying for the gold, there are three names here who don't feel like WWE is running to its security blanket: Cesaro, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt.

Cesaro just doesn't feel like he's quite "there" yet. This has nothing to do with if he's ready or not, just that he hasn't quite been positioned to be in a believable spot to walk away with the gold. If he was in the match for the briefcase, I'd consider him a lock. However, since this is for all the marbles, I think he comes up short here, though I have no doubt that he's going to leave an impression, as he usually does. There's plenty of greatness ahead of Cesaro, but I don't see Money in the Bank being the start of it all.

Roman Reigns would be another popular pick, as he's the one they've focused on the most. He's been banned from trying to enter the match, found a way to drug Stephanie McMahon so he could force Vickie to give in to his demands, and won the big battle royal (stopping Rusev!) to finally gain entrance. A Roman Reigns win on Sunday would not only be Something New, but it would also be the beginning of his era. However, with such a fast happy ending to his story, it just doesn't seem like something we're going to see quite yet. I have no doubt that the WWE World Heavyweight Title will find its way around the waist of Reigns in the near future- I just don't think this Sunday will be it. It just feels like there should be some more obstacles in his way to the top. Though, as I write this, a quick ascension for him wouldn't be the worst idea, either. Still, I'm not seeing it yet.

But Wyatt? The dude who basically won his feud with Daniel Bryan (as far as matches are concerned), and gave John Cena a run for his money in that feud? The guy who has run through everyone else thus far? I could see that. And like I said earlier, the image of him serenading the audience while staring at his cradled World Title is one of those things I brainstormed a couple weeks ago and just can't get out of my head. It just feels so right.

Plus, Bray has felt a bit aimless the last couple weeks. The feud with Cena is over, but they still interact because Wyatt hasn't picked a new fight. Well, what if he doesn't have to pick a new fight? Having him rule the roost as champion would be a new way to take him, and allow him to take the character to new places. Hell, if Harper and Rowan can also grab the tag belts, then suddenly the crazy bayou hicks are holding all the cards. Follow the buzzards, indeed.

So that's where I'm at. Bray Wyatt winning the title at Money in the Bank just makes the absolute most sense to me, and allows WWE to say to the fans "We're not panicked, and we think you might enjoy this new idea we've got." It would definitely trump Cena or Orton once again holding the belts. It's certainly better than another Del Rio or Sheamus run, and I just can't take Thedemonkane seriously in this match. He's there to play a spoiler for someone, but not to win it all.

I won't like though- while my pick is Bray Wyatt, my call is for Brock Lesnar to appear near the end of the match, F5 everyone, and take the championship belt. If he does, I'll go nuts. If he doesn't, it better be Wyatt holding the belt.

What do you guys think? Who are you pulling for to win the belt at Money in the Bank? Like Wyatt? Like the Brock call? Hate them? Let me know all about it in the comments!

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X Marks the Spot

I still have no idea why it was James Storm picked as the guy to taunt Sanada backstage after he won the 4 way X Title match. Yes, I get that it's time to hype up "Option C" again. Yes, Storm is a huge jerk lately. But in what world does James Storm give a rat's bum about whether or not Sanada's going to go for broke? Is Storm going to challenge Sanada to an X Title match so that he can go for Option C? That'd make the most sense, wouldn't it? But if that were the case, why didn't he just lay the challenge down last night? Is he really going to waste weeks in getting to the point? Or is it quite possible that he has no other goals- and really, no other purpose to serve- besides talking some junk and reminding Sanada that he can give up the X Title if he wants a World Title shot?

Maybe I missed it, maybe it hasn't been said yet, but with Destination X being a "One Night Only" event this year, is it possible that Option C gets delayed to Bound For Glory? Does TNA delay/discontinue the BFG Series so that Sanada can get a TNA World Title match in front of the Japanese audience? Does Sanada choose Option C, but asks to wait for Bound For Glory, and then it's him, the TNA Champ, and whoever wins the BFG Series in a triple threat match?

The reason I have so many questions is that TNA hasn't really don't too much with Sanada. He won the title in Japan. He was given some vignettes with the Great Muta. He's wrestled Tigre Uno a bunch. In multiman matches, he does very little until it's his cue to initiate the finish. It feels like Sanada is very much the forgotten man in TNA, which makes the fact that he holds their second most important championship so frustrating! See, I have no problem with the man himself. I haven't seen him have a bad match or anything like that. But he just sits on the sidelines. He's not important. He's not feuding with Dixie or MVP. He doesn't even have a feud. With all that said, is TNA really going to try and hotshot him into a World Title match? Would Lashley vs. Sanada be more or less of a foregone conclusion than, say, Sandow vs. Cena? I feel like it'd be MORE of a foregone conclusion. That's not good. And feeding a guy that you barely ever use to your new champion is not the way to get him more popular. At least, not in my opinion.

Sanada could be used to bolster the X Division again. He could be wrestling nearly every week, defending his belt. Instead, we hardly ever see him, and when we do, he's one of 5 guys in the match. It's just jarring to see him getting forced into the Option C scenario, especially from the absolute least likely person in James Storm. The whole segment just felt really weird. DJZ couldn't have been the guy to antagonize him? Storm had just defeated Mr. Anderson, and the first thing on his mind afterwards is to go hassle the X Champ that he's never said a word to before?

It may have been better to pretend that Option C doesn't exist this year. After all, that was a Hulk Hogan Era stipulation. Have Dixie just say that "Option C" is dead. Having Sanada give up his belt just to get murdered by Lashley would not help anyone. We know Lashley can beat Sanada. We don't know nearly enough about Sanada to get super invested into him. More time is needed. Rushing things just doesn't work out all that often. I'd actually like to see Sanada agree with me, and decline Option C. Man, wouldn't that be something? Have him state his goal is to make the X Title equal to the World Title. Suddenly he has a goal. And if he stays on a roll for a few months, then perhaps we would like to see him get a title shot that he's actually earned.

Or maybe it will all be for James Storm to steal the X Title and get himself a World Title shot. I really don't know, but the start of this was a bit bumpy, at the very least.

Your turn- do you think Sanada will go for Option C? Would you give him any chance of winning the belt? What would you have Sanada do at this point? Do you even like the guy? Hit the comments and be heard!

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Best of the Worst!

Last week, we used the "Favorites" section to discuss jobbers, and the usual suspects were all named. Does make my heart smile to see the love for the "enhancement talent." This week, I thought I'd talk about my absolute favorite "horrible match." Normally in this section, I'll list a few "favorites" I have, but for this occasion, there's only one choice for me. A match that is atrocious. Horrible. To many people, it is absolutely the worst. And I freaking love it. LOVE it. It's not even "so bad it's good" for me. I just literally enjoy the whole mess, from start to finish.

I'm talking, of course, about Brock Lesnar and Goldberg's epic clash at WrestleMania 20 with Steve Austin as the special guest referee.

I remember when the match was announced. Like, I remember it vividly. They had their encounter at the Royal Rumble. Then Goldberg got involved in Brock's title defense against Eddy Guerrero at No Way Out in San Francisco, and it all seemed obvious from there. We were going to get the clash between two of the most "unstoppable" guys on the WWE roster, and we were going to get it at Mania! They even threw Steve Austin in there to make sure we realized that this was a big match. Nothing could possibly ruin this thing!

Unless, of course, both men decided they were done with WWE. One (Brock) chose to quit while the other (Goldberg) allowed his contract to finish with no intentions of resigning. Bottom line, both men were gone. But still, that's not the worst thing in the world. They're still capable of having a wrestling match with each other, and the fans will still be into it because it's a huge match!

Except word got out that both were leaving. And a hostile New York crowd made sure to let them know that they were unsatisfied with both of them. From the absolute start, Goldberg and Brock are treated like the biggest villains in the world. Chants of "You sold out" start almost immediately. There are non-stop boos. Not even Steve Austin's presence can bring order back to the world. Goldberg and Brock stand there, staring at each other, for a solid 8 minutes before anything even happens. It's just such a mess. And I can't help but love every second of it.

When they finally do get going, they actually put on a fun power match. However, it's clear that Goldberg is a little shook by the reaction, and Brock is trying to heel it up, but doesn't realize that he's not being booed because he's a bad guy, he's being booed because an arena full of people are pissed at him. The crowd isn't reacting to him- they're reacting to the news they read/heard.

Finally, Goldberg pins Brock. I have no doubt in my mind that when the match was signed, it was all about making Brock Lesnar by handing him a huge win over Goldberg. However, when they weighed quitting in the middle of your contract after being handed the world against simply not resigning, giving the win to Goldberg just seemed like the "right" thing to do. So Goldberg gets the win, and starts to celebrate with Steve Austin. But Austin ain't having it, and he gives the Stunner to both men, before celebrating a bit and leaving triumphantly. Yes, in a match with Brock and Goldberg, Steve Austin is basically your winner.

It's a horrible match. But damn it if I don't love it to pieces. I love listening to the chants. I love watching the faces of everyone involved. Austin appears to be having the time of his life, excited that he doesn't really have to deal with this backlash, and savoring his role as the "made man" of sorts. I love seeing them stall forever, and then actually try for a bit, before realizing it's a lost cause. The crowd has walked out on Goldberg and Brock, as they feel Goldberg and Brock have done to them. It's just such a spectacular mess, that I've always loved it. I loved it the day of, and I love it now, some ten years and change later. I can't help it. And really, I don't want to. That match is crap perfection.

What about you guys? What's that one match (or many matches) that you know aren't so hot, but you still love them anyways? Share your stories down in the comments!

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And that should do it this week. May you all have a wonderful weekend, and remember: Enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.

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It's ALL Wrestling. It's ALL Stupid. We ALL Love It.


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