Saturday, September 3, 2016

Kevin Owens is the present - Vince Russo is living in the past

A couple of months ago I was listening to "The Ross Report" with Jim Ross who had Vince Russo as a special guest.

Ross and Russo were reviewing the latest WWE shows at the time and JR talked about Kevin Owens and Russo immediately but-in and went on a rant about how he "Is not a Kevin Owens fan".
Russo went long in stating how he isn't a star, doesn't look like a star, can't do anything to look like a star....etc.

Russo has since went on a long rant this week about how Kevin Owens has pretty much signified the end of the wrestling business and how him winning is "Rock Bottom".

Vince Russo
If anyone has been paying attention for the last several years, Russo has continued to proclaim that the wrestling business is "dead".  This is now his latest entry into the "wrestling is dead" talk.
If Russo really wants to look at why he believes "wrestling is dead", maybe he should look in the mirror.  He was a small cog in the success of the WWE during the Attitude Era and left the company two years into it.  He then went to WCW (who was still very prevalent in the business at that time) and had the idea of "saving" it.

Russo proceeded to create two very significant story lines in WCW.  First as "The Powers that Be" and then the "New Blood".  Don't remember these story lines?  Don't worry, not too many people do either.

Russo to this day continues to talk about his era was fantastic (two years writing in WWE) and how everything else was someone elses fault.  He continues to defend making David Arquette the WCW World Champion, when nothing came of it.  (WCW had mainstream press at the time, but there was no sufficient follow-up.)

Russo continues to talk about how WCW standard and practices ruined all of his ideas.  (In reality the WWE has been working with television networks forever and abides by their rules as well.)

Russo blames every wrestler in WCW who had creative control in their contract as to why his ideas couldn't fly.

Russo continues to talk about how great he did in TNA and how he was handcuffed there as well.  (Russo's writing was so bad in the eyes of television executives, Spike reportedly forbade Dixie Carter from using him as a television writer.)

The best and most relevant point of everything Russo has stated is that the Championship belt is just a "prop".

I don't know Vince Russo as a person, but this is the opinion I disagree with the most.

Here is the problem with this.  If the belt is nothing more than a "prop", why does anyone care who has it?  More importantly, why does Russo care if Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion if the belt means nothing?

Truth be told, you can always make an argument as to who should be champion, how they become champion, and why they became champion.  Kevin Owens has been one of the best in-ring performers as well as one of the most charismatic and entertaining wrestlers on the microphone and commentary.  Owens has a ton of charisma and isn't scared of heat like many heels in wrestling are.
Russo can continue to rant when about how Owens won't draw any new fans, or shouldn't be the poster boy for the company because of how he looks and how the media will perceive him.

Last time I checked, the WWE is doing fine with fans tuning in as well as their metrics with merchandise, online viewing, and the WWE Network subscribers.  Comparing it with the ratings for the Attitude Era ratings is nonsensical.  Television has changed dramatically since then and WWE is available in more homes around the globe since then.

That being said, Russo can state all he wants that the goofy segments WWE use to do were more entertaining, but every time they try them in this era, they get a poor response from the live crowd and at home.  The past is the past.  It's not coming back and neither is Russo.

Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion and one would expect a rather large story line for the rest of the year.

Russo is now working for an independent promotion named Rocky Mountain Pro.  As a wrestling fan, I am interested in giving it a chance.

Wish Vince good luck.

Monday, August 29, 2016

KO-MANIA - The best character in years gets the spotlight

When I was watching Ring of Honor a few years ago, I knew Kevin Steen had a certain charm to him and a unique way of connecting with the crowd.

Many thought his look and in - ring work would deter the WWE.

Not anymore.  Kevin Owens is the real deal.  He is the WWE Universal Champion.

Pro Wrestling is all about timing.  This was set to be Finn Balor's time on top, but an untimely injury changed everything.

Seth Rollins?  Maybe one of the best all around performers in the WWE, but looks to be locked into a feud with Triple H.  (Whether he was set to feud more with Balor or not, is unconfirmed at this time.)

Roman Reigns.  Tremendous talent who even when on top, is still finding who he is.

Kevin Owens
This night is all about Kevin Owens, who is easily one of the most unique and entertaining personalities in the WWE.  Owens doesn't look like the prototypical wrestler, but he looks like a guy who can legitimately handle himself in a fight.  He also possesses fantastic agility for a man his size and has the ability to eat people up on the microphone.

His "Fight" character is a breath of fresh air for a company that doesn't emphasize "competition" on televised matches.  His character (even while being a heel) is all about being a prize fighter who will do anything to an opponent to make money and be at the top of the card.

Owens is the character that people have been waiting for and will be the most entertaining piece of a brand split Raw.

Hopefully this is a "Universal" opinion.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Controversial Thought - The Miz Talking Smack

Note:  These opinions do not reflect Mike Mizanin the person, who is a life long wrestling fan.

By now, you've all seen the clip and have seen it shared several times.

The Miz performed a "shoot style" promo on Tuesday's edition of "Talking Smack".  During the promo, former WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan declared The Miz a "coward" for the way he wrestles.  This led to The Miz cutting a promo that "blurred the lines" so to speak.

The Miz cut a promo stating how he loves the fans and he wrestles a certain way so that he can be there every day.  (Leaving out his past concussion issues, of course.)
The Miz

The promo continued to where he insulted Bryan as he had promised that he would be back after his own severe concussion injury and he never returned.  Bryan fired back and stated that he would, "if they let me".  The Miz continued to berate him and told him if he really loved the fans he would return and wrestle in bingo halls.  (An apparent disparaging comment about the Independent Wrestling scene.)

Bryan then walked off the set and The Miz continued his promo and proceeded to talk about how he is justified in his decisions and is in the company for the long haul.

Many have stated that this is the best promo of his career, and I cannot personally argue this.

There is a problem though:

His career (in my opinion) has been stagnant.  The fans did not view him as a top draw in the past and do not view him that way now.

I love the idea that the WWE produced this type of promo, weaving in real life situations into the WWE Universe.  I do have the following comments about it though:

  1. The Miz has never been crazy over with the crowd for them to take to him with a promo like this.
  2. Daniel Bryan by all intents and purposes cannot work, so to take revenge on The Miz will have to be very creative.
  3. If these promos do not continue, The Miz will go back to being mid -card fodder.
  4. To talk about he loves the fans and then insults them for insulting him, was very confusing.
  5. Talking about the "kids" in WWE and how they will not take his spot.
  6. The Miz is NOT CM Punk.

The last point is the most important.  People got behind CM Punk, because they believed that HE believed in what he was saying.  I would be skeptical that the crowd would believe The Miz would be 100 per cent behind a "shoot style" promo.  While the fire he showed in his promo is exactly what he should do, I did not personally find it believable.

Lastly, I honestly hope this leads to something great, because my memories of the WrestleMania 27 Main Event and the build leading to it are not favorable.

At least he had that moment, right?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Brock Lesnar bloodies Randy Orton - The wrestling reaction

By now, most people have seen the Brock Lesnar vs Randy Orton match from SummerSlam.
Orton is thrown around the majority of the match.
2 RKO's.

Brock mounts....and bloodies Orton.

Blood you say?  Doesn't WWE have a "No Blood" policy?

They have banned blood and the art of blading, but it seems that Lesnar is the one member of the WWE roster who seems to have bloody bouts in many of his appearances.  This scenario has gotten a lot of attention due to how the blood was obtained.

Brock Lesnar
Lesnar's elbow is the new blade.

Lesnar threw a very vicious elbow to the top of Orton's head and busted him open "hard way".  Orton laid prone on the mat and the blood poured out of the top of his head.  The wrestling fans were (depending on the section of the audience) confused, shocked, upset, and intrigued.  Many people felt Lesnar went too far including Chris Jericho who had a real life confrontation with Lesnar upon his return to the backstage area.

The WWE side of things seem to be calm as this was "part of the show".  If this planned all a long, how can they have a blood policy?  Do the rules not apply to Lesnar?  Was Orton really hurt in the match?

These are questions people have been asking all week and the truth of it is....why does it matter?  Good or bad, the point of wrestling is to suspend belief.  If the fans are second guessing this, then the right reaction was received.

Blood usually means that money is on the table and a return bout could draw a lot of money.  If Lesnar and Orton don't meet again, it could be for a number of reasons and the blood being poured was a wasted effort.

Lesnar continues to be the most controversial man in the WWE and beyond.  There is no one else like him and regardless of any rules that are put in place, he continues to buck the system which in turns makes him one of the only true draws in the business today.

We are all being worked by this.  Welcome to the "Reality Era".

Saturday, August 20, 2016

NXT Takeover Brooklyn II Predictions

Tonight is the night!  NXT returns to the Barclay's Center and while it's not as stacked of a card as last years, this may turns out to be the best NXT show of the year.  Without further ado, here are my predictions for the show.

Ember Moon vs Billie Kay - This is the debut match for Ember Moon and I don't foresee her losing this bout.  Billie Kay has recently changed her gimmick on NXT and I would expect her to have a push towards the NXT title within the next year, but doubtful she takes the win after the company has promoted Moon's debut.

Shinsuke Nakamura
No Way Jose vs Austin Aries - Based on what I've seen from NXT the past couple of months, Aries will more than likely get the win here and continue his strong work as a heel.  I would expect to see more of an aggressive style from Jose in this match, but Aries needs to a statement win on the biggest show of the year.

"The Revival" (C) vs Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa - "The Revivial" has been the staple of the tag team division on NXT and has had no strong challengers since American Alpha went to the main roster.  Gargano and Ciampa (strong off their CWC match) are now committed to NXT and as such as I would expect it's time to make the title switch.

Andrade Almas vs Bobby Roode - There is no question in my mind that Bobby Roode will win his debut on Takeover.  Almas has been incredibly impressive in the ring since his debut, but Roode has been phenomenal with his "Glorious" gimmick since his debut and is the future star of the entire brand and possibly the main roster.
Samoa Joe

Asuka (C) vs Bayley - This should be an excellent rematch between the two top female wrestlers on NXT.  (They would rank very high in the entire company as well)  I don't see Bayley reclaiming the title here as most expect her to go to the main roster, but it's also possible that she wins and a rubber match between the two happens in the future.  I would go with Askua in this bout.

Samoa Joe (C) vs Shinsuke Nakamura - This may be the hardest hitting match of the evening and easily the most anticipated.  Joe has been a breath of fresh air as the NXT Champion and completely dominant in that role.  Nakamura is a once in a lifetime performer and has taken NXT by storm.  I would pick Nakamura to take the title from Joe, and Joe being promoted to the main roster.
Why the WWE suspends people and why you should stop worrying about it.

As seen over this past week, 3 active wrestlers on the WWE roster have been suspended.  As expected, the Internet began their usual speculation on what a "violation" has to mean.

Alberto Del Rio
"Alberto Del Rio is on steroids!  Look at him!"

"Paige and Del Rio are a couple, they were smoking pot together!"

"Eva Marie probably was using party drugs with her husband."

"Eva probably joined Del Rio and Paige's session."

There are so many uninformed and ill advised comments regarding the WWE's Wellness Policy that it's become almost a running joke online.

The truth of the matter is, it's really none of your business.  The WWE is within their contractual rights to suspend anyone who fails to comply with the policy.  (The affected parties are usually who provides the information if they choose to come forward.  See Eva Marie's husband and TMZ for more details.)  This includes not being able to provide the correct medical documentation for any and all prescription drugs that they may have to take.  The marijuana comments (regardless of your personal or political stance) is a fine from the company, as well as excessive alcohol abuse.  The WWE has also offered or sent many past or even present day superstars to rehabilitation facilities.

If you think this is ridiculous, go back and watch Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit matches.  Had this policy been in effect 20 years ago, it may have not only saved their lives, but could have saved many
Eva Marie

On top of all of this, WWE Superstars are people at the end of the day.  The WWE announces their suspension (which in itself could be embarrassing) and the fans make presumptions on everything.

The policy is to protect the wrestlers under their watchful eye and to allow them to continue to put on shows for future generations.

Besides, you'll all forget this in a couple of days when someone doesn't have a "Five Star Match" on RAW.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Roman Reigns - What went wrong....or is anything wrong?

You've probably read it all over the Internet and heard it multiple times.  Reigns isn't over as a babyface, Reigns is pushed too hard, Reigns isn't a top guy, Reigns is ruining the title, Reigns, Reigns, and more Reigns rants.

The truth is, the guy is over with the crowd.  Just not the way you expect him to be.

Many people cite John Cena as someone that is so split with the crowd that it's not "right".  Truth is, regardless of what your opinion is, Cena has made millions of dollars in the WWE by not being 100 per cent babyface with the crowd.  No one had ever done this previously and this seems to be the precedence set going forward.

Queue Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns

Reigns was very popular as the "heater" of the Shield.  His positives were accentuated heavily and the crowd was responding to him.  When the Shield was split up, it was apparent that Reigns may be the future top superstar of the company.

The only issue is, the "smart" portion of the crowd isn't buying it.

Without going into major detail on his entire run, this is the future of the WWE and Pro Wrestling in general.  Unless there is someone with absurd talent, there will more than likely never been a completely over babyface with 100 percent of the crowd ever again.  Due to the Internet and wrestling newsletters, it becomes apparent on who the WWE is high on and the Internet crowd more than likely will not be into the same superstars.  (With some exceptions)

Reigns (and Cena for that matter) could have major heel runs before all is said and done, but the likelihood of that happening may be slim.  If merchandise sales and personal appearances are high, the crowd will have to make a decision on whether to boo the babyfaces in the arena or not because their roles aren't going to change.

Maybe Vince was right all those years ago when he stated that it's all "Shades of Grey".  Then again, maybe it's all a work building to major heel turns in the future.

Believe that.