Summerslam turned out OK, though very predictable (Damn that Hogan, he ruined my 100% streak for the Suplex World Cup) but on the whole the show did the job. Hogan will be back soon enough, but I think Trips will go through Flair before he faces Hogan.
Much has been made recently that Matt Hardy is in for a rough ride after this feud with Edge goes… I doubt it, he will simply have to prove he is worthy of a long term slot, he has to find a way to sustain his heat past his issues with Edge… I think he will come into his own when RVD comes back, I can see them in a WM feud for the IC title…
Rey Mysterio is seemingly destined for big things, winning this feud with Eddy was a massive boost to his profile. I’d personally like to see him feud with JBL for a while or Orton if Taker is in Batista’s future.
Jericho looked good for his loss at Summerslam, I hope he comes back right into the main event again. With some time away, the MVP tag he so often is labelled with may even be proven…
The Hot Topic for this week follows on from the column I did a while back, when the releases were ongoing, at the time it seemed more would be on the way, though for the time being, that threat seems to have been averted…
What WWE does have right now, is several new faces who are making, or who have made, their debuts on WWE TV lately… Some of them are familiar, others have stepped up from the WWE’s developmental territories…
The Mexicools: At first this seemed like a rip-off of the Filthy Animals, but slowly this group is beginning to find it’s own identity. In Super Crazy and Psicosis, WWE has a tag team that could easily hold tag team titles for an extended period. They have high flying ability, but a good mix of psycology in their styles, they taunt the fans with their gestures, cos they know the fans have to admire their athleticism… In Juvi, they have a guy with enough “loco” about him to make him a threat to any Smackdown star, including the heels. WWE should play more on his “chequred past” when he ran naked through a hotel lobby, yelling and screaming, that is the kind of crazy he needs to be… Where this group will excel though is if they recruit a 4th member or leader, namely Eddie Guererro. His own “demons” fit in great with this group, if done correctly he could easily work his way back into the main event with this group behind him.
Matt Stryker: This guy is on paper an excellent addition to the RAW roster, the skills are there…he has a good physique and general look but… we know he was a teacher…it’s a pretty lame gimmick… It didn’t work for Dean Douglas and it’s certainly not gonna work for Stryker…unless… WWE is doing some classic “kidology” here… The last time there was a rookie so clearly talented, but SOOO bland…we heard “Die Rocky Die”… Could lightning ahem..Stryke twice? I wouldn’t bet against it….
MNM: OK these guys aren’t as new as the others, but in the scheme of things they have been around less than 6 months, in that time they have made a big impact, only the lack of serious competition on SD for the titles (come on, can we really call LOD’s new incarnation serious?) is hurting them big time… Releasing the Dudleys without them putting over MNM was a mistake on WWE’s part, sure LOD will lose the belt to them, but the rub won’t be the same as it could have been. Melina is MNM’s trump card, she’s much like Sunny in her days as a tag manager, and MNM best equate to the Smoking Gunns heel run, they have their first taste of gold now, and they will get many more tastes. MNM are not a “dominant” team, but the kind of team that will always be in the title picture.
Ashley: She won the Diva search and she is without doubt, a beautiful woman. Time will only tell how she gets through on RAW. Christy Hemme took a little time to settle, then she found a niche as Eugene’s cheerleader…. Ashley is seemingly bound for a feud with the returning Trish Stratus, which can only bode well, as Trish is by far the most experienced Diva. Long term though, I can’t see Ashley lasting more than a year…
CM Punk: Punk has not made it to major shows yet, but It seems that it will not be far away. WWE’s best bet here is to play the straight edge role he has in the past, with perhaps a heel bias. As to his long term future after Kazarian bailed so quickly, who can tell if someone like Punk would feel the same?
Big Vito: A solid addition to Smackdown, and he instantly made a big impact by helping his partner in crime Nunzio take the Cruiserweight title. Vito is a good enforcer type, he may not win too many matches on his own, but he and Nunzio can always hit the tags for a while…
Jillian: This is a strange one, but a WWE has missed a Chyna-type for a while… Where the growth thing is going who knows? In WWE it could turn out to be a conjoined twin or something… The jury is out on Jillian until she does something of merit.
There are others, like Ken Anderson/Kennedy or Boogeyman, whom we haven’t seen enough of to really pass judgement on, and older names like Tatanka who was rumored to have impressed enough for a deal. There are a couple of older names that would fit well right now.
Indeed, WWE could do worse than hire Tatanka, he could lose 10-15lbs maybe, but even so he looked good and more importantly, he was able to get the crowd behind him. WWE annually tends to hire some faces, especially around Rumble time, Tatanka could be in there.
Godfather could easily work in a tag team with Viscera, his short appearance a while back was very welcome.
Jamie Knoble will be a good character to have back, I always felt there was more that could have been done with his Trailer Park Trash gimmick, and he is a good opponent for the Mexicools!!!
In closing, it is important not to judge these newcomers too harshly… They are starting out, just as Cena was only 4 years ago… He started off bland, no real gimmick…and over that time blossomed into a megastar… Could Stryker do the same? Or CM Punk? Who can tell, but the recent influx of talent is exciting… We’ll watch some good matches on the way to finding out!