First off, I want to apologize for the lack of columns on the site recently. As you know I did quite a lot of work when in Miami and upon my return I had to sort quite a lot of things out with work. To add to this, my past week has been pretty difficult with the sudden and sad passing of one of my friends. It may not be much but I would like to dedicate this article to my friend Frank Docherty, 40 years old is no time to pass and I miss you! RIP.
On to the wrestling! WWE presented Extreme Rules which in all honesty blew my mind! There was a variety in the layout of the matches, there was blood and there was Brock Lesnar!
WWE managed to turn Brock instantly in to a heel after his massive return a few weeks ago and I wasn’t sure it was going to pay off. Lesnar got a huge reaction from the crowd and within a week with one low blow he was hated. I was worried WWE was just going to try and make him in to ‘another guy’ but they did a great job of building up to the PPV with their ‘UFC styled’ interview. Granted, WWE threw the interview down our throats a little too much but when someone is only working part-time with the company, what can we expect?
Then came the match... Brock Lesnar legitimately destroyed Cena. I felt like I was watching the UFC when he first took him down and went for the hard way with the elbow. The match had destruction, blood and rustiness! Brock nearly emulated WrestleMania 19 when he took his big bump over the top rope! Both guys were very lucky not to get injured in that moment.
The whole event shined to me apart from one thing. The result. Why couldn’t WWE have had Cena lose again and create a new direction for his character? Why did WWE think that the shock result was to have Cena win? We have seen it far too many times to take any interest. I’m not ragging on Cena because I believe he put in some great effort in that match but the direction sucked, as seemed evident from Lesnar’s reaction backstage if the recent news of his backstage shenanigans is true!
Anyway, I want to pick on the positives and this PPV was full of them! Daniel Bryan got the match he should have had at WrestleMania and they both showed why WWE should keep these guys as their present and future stars.
Punk and Jericho was another cracking match which managed to stay fresh from their encounter at WrestleMania and also differentiated from other matches on the card with similar rules.
What WWE provided this past week proved that even with predictable results, it doesn’t mean that you cannot put on a great event. Apart from the main event everything pretty much ended as I would have expected but with the original booking of the matches and class act performances from the talent, WWE struck gold with this PPV.
Something TNA needs to look in to drastically! It has taken me 2 weeks and 5 attempts to watch LockDown. The one thing that stood out was the main event and the rest was a terrible mess of a PPV. Why can’t TNA look at the things that WWE produce and make sure they hit the markets that they cannot? WWE are currently restricted in what they can put out there and TNA have free reign to produce something that their rivals cannot. Yet they consistently put out terrible storylines, abysmal production values and make me feel that the last 4 years have been exactly the same show. TNA’s first issue is sorting out their name. I don’t know whether they are supposed to be called TNA or iMPACT Wrestling. They call themselves iMPACT Wrestling yet have TNA plastered everywhere. Then they make statements like ‘TNA Presents iMPACT Wrestling’ and Hulk Hogan says they are dropping the TNA name because it makes them sound like ‘Tits’n’Ass.’
Either way, they seem lost. The only time anyone ever gets excited about TNA is when people like James Storm, Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels or Samoa Joe are involved. Why can’t someone in TNA see that it is because they are the only ones who are not past WWE stars? TNA has a roster which they could do great things with. A prime example is Austin Aries. The man is a wrestling machine and could quite easily be the CM Punk of TNA. But they seem to have too many people managing things and too many people with egos in charge.
Back to WWE. The new direction with John Laurinaitis going against Cena seems an odd one. You have had two great PPVs with Cena/Rock and Cena/Brock and I’m not sure following it up with this storyline will really draw much. The rivalry will never be at the same level of Austin/McMahon and I’d much have preferred Lesnar to have taken Cena out and give him the comeback story after a few months off.
WWE seem to be planting the seeds for Triple H/Lesnar which will draw but the one factor that has to take place, Lesnar now needs the win. He cannot come back for another match and just lose again. We need to see this man being destructive but also winning his matches. Extreme Rules did damage to Lesnar’s character and makes him look less than a threat. His character was attempted to be saved on RAW with the angle with Triple H but now Cena is now just back to where he was with a hurt arm, big deal, he’ll overcome and win as usual.
Over The Limit is obviously one of the throw away PPVs but with the advertised match of Bryan/Punk for the title should make it worth the buy straight away, and if Paul Heyman’s involvement continues then things can only get better.
Overall, WWE is at its highest it’s been for many years, hopefully with the inclusion of matches we haven’t seen before and some solid work they should be able to keep the momentum going for some time to come. Hopefully enough for someone at TNA to realize what a mess they are making and take their thumb out of their backside!
Also be sure to check out myself and Adam Gorzelsky on the new podcast ‘Virtually Reality’ which is now live on WrestleZone at:
This is a new project with a bit of a twist. It’s designed to be a bit of light-hearted fun and does something that no other podcast appears to offer. So, if you have any feedback for the show then please, feel free to contact me and let me know your thoughts!