Hi. I have a lot of thoughts about wrestling. I decided to start a concept where I talk about what’s on my mind every weekend. I hope it’s enjoyable.
Follow me on Twitter and let me know if you want me to hit on any wrestling topics next week: @JoeySplashwater
I haven’t been this less excited for a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 11 back when I didn’t realize Wrestlemania was a special thing. Every year going forward, there’s been at least one match or storyline that has captivated me going into the big show. Sometimes they were home runs (The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan), sometimes they were strike outs (Randy Orton vs. Triple H), but they always made me feel something special was happening. None of that is here. Sting’s debut WWE match is my selling point but becomes less appealing every time you watch a WWE segment on Sting. The Ultimate X Ladder Match exhibition and burial of Daniel Bryan is probably most depressing.
Seth Rollins has lost so much momentum since his breakout performance at the Royal Rumble. The best heel in years, Rollins had become the top overall performer in WWE for a few months but that’s no more as his long, drawn out angle with Randy Orton has been a kiss of death. The slow burn build to an “RKO out of nowhere” payoff at Wrestlemania 31 may be enough to kill his chances of being in a good position to leave Wrestlemania week as WWE champion.
Bill DeMott situation
Ever wonder how you supported someone for so many years that now just makes you feel awful about it? Hello, Chris Jericho and Jim Ross.
NXT raiding ROH/PWG talent
NXT is going after Samoa Joe, The Briscoes and are awaiting ROH contracts ending to fill the roster with more independent wrestling talent. It makes pefect sense. The NXT roster depth is incredibly overrated and quite frankly, it’s weak. When you look at NXT, it’s the elite 5 (Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Adrian Neville and Hideo Itami), the women’s division and then maybe one or two others.
I feel bad for the talent there that’s ultimately going to be replaced despite working a style or character they are told to but that’s the wrestling business. I hope there’s more veterans like Rhyno and Brian Kendrick as it provides a better TV program and helps young talent develop when facing wrestlers who’ve made a living on TV doing this.
The Impact Zone
Impact Wrestling looks like a decent product on paper. Every week, I see someone tweet or retweet the top 4 matches of the night and it always looks pretty good. I say I’m going to give it a chance and I always tune out after 15 minutes. So much damage has been done to that product that it’s impossible to give it a fair chance. It has to be on an elite level before the fans who left will go back and become a consistent viewer.
UPDATE: I watched this week’s Impact after writing this and it was still tough. I was able to watch two matches in full (EC3 vs. Rockstar Spud and Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode) and both were very good. Maybe there’s some hope to watch a full episode again in the near future?
Spud vs. Carter
Ethan Carter vs. Rockstar Spud should main event Bound For Glory (that’s still TNA’s biggest show, right?) with Spud beating Carter for the title. Carter should already be the champion right now.
Tazz is an idiot
Tazz has been very vocal about disliking intergender wrestling lately. I don’t have strong opinions on it as it’s like any other form of wrestling. There are times where it provides great matches. There are a lot of times where it absolutely sucks – especially with uncreative and lazy storytelling. That being said, TNA talent seem most outspoken when it comes to this yet they recently stated the #1 moment in company history was a dozen men forcing a 50 year old woman into the ring where three men would forcefully put her through a table. What the fuck?
UPDATE: TNA had multiple intergender tag matches on their last PPV and it was the most entertaining matches on the show. Tazz wasn’t on commentary and the show was more enjoyable too. Coincidence? I think not.
Michael Elgin has been quietly putting out some good work this year and would be my early pick for Most Improved Wrestler. Elgin has tried to rebound from a disaster 2014 by shying away from making controversial statements and letting his wrestling do the talking. The former ROH champ has made strides in his game wrestling a better style with more “selling” while keeping his explosive offense. A few matches on ROH TV stood out showcasing his new style and despite a trainwreck PPV main event, Elgin was the best performer in that match if I’m being completely honest. I’ve always been his biggest critic so I felt it was relevant to come forth with this when he is indeed at his best.
Jay Lethal is the best champion named Jay in ROH
Jay Lethal is the best overall performer in ROH and is a better champion than Jay Briscoe. I think they need to do a title vs. title match with Lethal winning very soon before he peaks and it’s too late. Momentum is vital in wrestling and ROH has a horrible track record with missing it.
Go back to Japan?
Hiroshi Tanahashi is a big supporter of Michael Bennett and rumor has it Bennett is slated to become the next American wrestler to get a big opportunity in Japan. I just love how funny wrestling works out. Crazier thing to predict a few years ago – Triple H handpicking Kevin Owens to build a WWE brand around or Hiroshi Tanahashi putting his faith into Mike Bennett being a Japanese wrestling star.
I am a casual NJPW fan so I may be off base but I never hear KUSHIDA’s name anymore. KUSHIDA is my favorite NJPW star and I was hoping he’d be in a better role following a stand out BOSJ performance last year. Maybe it’s time for Alex Shelley to go do something else (hello, MCMG reunion?) so Brad Van Dam’s favorite wrestler can move on to bigger things and give a good challenger for Kenny Omega.
Other wrestling (on earth)
How did the Young Bucks do this? They’ve always been tremendous wrestlers and I remember when they started ironically saying they were the greatest thing in pro wrestling. Now everyone believes it and it is true. They’re the biggest stars on just about every show.
On a show where AJ Styles vs. John Morrison was the main event, the Bucks got by far the biggest pop of the night. When the ring announcer just said the words “…for the tag team championship”, the place exploded with “Young Bucks” chants. We’re at a point where I genuinely feel bad for wrestlers having to follow their matches.
We’ve gone from single acts like CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson or Kevin Steen being the face of independent wrestling to a tag team in Matt and Nick Jackson.
Lucha Underground has the potential to be the best wrestling television program since Paul Heyman’s Smackdown during the “Smackdown Six” era. The wrestling is great, the production is stellar and that venue is tremendous. It is like a more mainstream PWG atmosphere. The show has its flaws but is usually more hit than miss.
Best thing I can say about Lucha Underground is that it’s nowhere near what it can be with more talent coming over and the product developing its identity. John Morrison, Ricochet and Brian Cage are the best TV wrestlers of 2015 so far.
I hate college basketball. The next few weeks are difficult for me. Sloppy basketball and exploiting kids are two things I won’t stand for. (These are both very equal flaws.)
Sitcoms are back!
Community is almost here. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt arrived with a home run. The Last Man On Earth is compelling and promising. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is consistently good as one can be. A Different World is now on Netflix. Things are good for my comedic interest right now.
Kale = Daniel Bryan.
Lettuce = Roman Reigns.
Don’t let the media manipulate you. Throw the lettuce they force on you in the trash and contact Congress.