The Hot Topic: Ch..Ch..Ch..Changes

Rob Taylor


It’s time for another Hot Topic…as ever though first comes my 10p’s worth on recent events…

Survivor Series was in many ways brave… reverting to the original format for major matches was both popular and welcome, whether it was 100″ successful is another matter… 5 on 5 elimination matches do not sit well with modern audiences, who are used to short matches… but bravo for going for it… Next year, I want to see the full return… more elimination matches and bring back the final match… imagine that…SD and RAW wrestlers forced onto the same team for the final battle!!! or even SD v RAW…

Speaking of that, the new SD v RAW game was a major letdown… so much taken out…such a shame…cos it could have been amazing…

Be careful what you wish for… I was no fan of Carlito’s “Rocky Maivia” push, but him getting hurt already is bad news… but this Jesus guy against Cena? please… Are we seriously to believe that RVD, Orlando or Jindrak are not more worthy contenders to fight the gold? Cena/Cool will wait, whats the point in dragging it out with a meaningless feud like this?

I am really looking forward to Jericho running RAW… Sadly looks like he will not be allowed his title shot as Maven already had one, but he is guaranteed his rematch with Shelton…and Christian’s life will be very interesting that night, my money…Evolution V Edge and Christian in a handicap match or something… All his enemies against each other is just the kind of thing Jericho would pull off great..

It will be interesting to see how Survivor Series did in the UK…this was the first of the “new system” where we basically now pay for all WWE PPV’s… I can’t see it working for reasons dicussed in previous columns… PPV football doesn’t work here, and they only charge £6 for it…£14 to stay up till 4am to watch a PPV twice a month is not smart business…

FWA is running it’s Superstar Search next weekend, I plan to attend (hey they might want scriptwriters or marketing guys…or maybe “Red Hot” Robbie T will see the light of day…either way, if I do make it, I will cover it for the column!!

Which brings me to my topic for the week… Which is the recent “changes” to the landscape of wrestling…

In this past month, we’ve had some major events, WWE has cut several name talents, some hard to justify…Rico is a loss to WWE, Test or A-Train, not so much… TNA has had Victory Road, and thanks to the net and some of Russo 101 made a big splash by invading WWE, and perhaps securing a potential “fed making” programme between Savage and Hogan…

Firsr off Savage V Hogan will be big…it will happen…both guys need it to happen, Hogan has not got the call from Vince he wanted, the whole Brooke thing seems to have died down as well, he needs the ink and exposure that a match with Savage will bring.. as for the Macho Man, he has been off the radar ever since his ill advised attempt at being a rap star… His respect from Spiderman has gone, he needs one last money match so secure the legend status he has craved…

Both guys have a chance to write their career epitaphs with this if they get it right… Both COULD go down as the guys who “broke” TNA… They hate each other, without each other they are not gonna get another shot at the big time…oh I do love irony…

As for TNA’s invasion of WWE, Vince…turnabout is fair play, I doubt Eric Bischoff laughed at the DX skit all those years ago either…If you book the next door lot, TNA would have been negligent not to take the chance…if the roles were reversed, you know you would have done it in a heartbeat…

Then we have the talent releases… this is big in that WWE is clearly gearing up for something big… it seems to go on a cycle of 10 years or so, a round of releases followed by some significant signings and changes… In the 80’s, guys like Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and David Schulz were shown the door in favour of Hogan, Savage and Jake Roberts… In the 1990’s Bam Bam Bigelow, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall all wentthrough the door, just as Steve Austin, The Rock and Attitude broke…

This is no different…dead weight is being cut as well as some tough cuts (again Rico and Gail Kim), they don’t fit right now… There is a major change on the horizon, whether it be a brand unification, or some fresh “name” talent coming in…or a changing of the guard in the running of WWE…

It’s no secret that Vince has taken more of a backseat lately, Steph had a go at running WWE and it was apparantly a mess, Taboo Tuesday put some power into the fans hands…and it worked… Perhaps it has been realised that something radical is needed to keep WWE vital in the noughties… Perhaps in 2 years time all WWE PPV’s will have the “interactive” element?

The simple truth is that nearly 3 years without true competition has blunted WWE, the fans are not as aroused by it, it’s like watching a Formula 1 race… if you know a Ferrari is gonna win cos it’s so far ahead of everyone else, why watch it?

Right now TNA and WWE’s futures are symbiotic… WWE “needs” TNA to work…so it provides someone to work against…WWE produces better TV when it is at war with someone… TNA needs WWE to keep releasing talents so they can top up the “names” they have built, like AJ Styles or Monty Brown by them facing guys like Billy Gunn, A-Train and later major names like Nash, Savage, Hogan etc…

TNA’s changes are more profound, Jeff Jarrett..give the devil his due IS the reason TNA is where he is, but now there are moves to remove him from power…Jarrett must step aside, just as Vince had to defer his dreams of being a wrestler many years ago, just as Triple H will have to do eventually… Wrestlers in full charge don’t work, they never have… Even guys like Giant Baba in All Japan or Antonio Inoki in New Japan had to surrender doing both jobs eventually… Jarret gives up booking now…he has another 5 years of being a major star, then he can go back… if he clings on…he could sink TNA just when it is on the cusp of being real competition for WWE…

However this shakes out…it is sad that the action outside the ring at the moment, seems to be more compelling that what goes on in it…

As ever, any comments or questions for Ask Rob, send them to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com

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