Saturday, August 30, 2014

Revisiting Cena's Push Towards Night of Champions

As stated in my previous post on the subject, I had not watched Cena vs Bray Wyatt on RAW yet when I offered some opinions on it.  Fortunately, with Alabama's 3:30 PM kickoff I was able to watch the end of RAW finally.

My thoughts now?  Not much, if anything, has changed.  I appreciate the effort of showing that John Cena has developed a new more aggressive edge, but as I stated before it's way too soon for that.  Having Wyatt and his Family the victims of this is even more aggravating.  You know, it's like you finally feel they may be rebuilding Bray Wyatt correctly only to sacrifice him to Super-Duper Cena as someone on one of my boards said.

To me, the far more interesting story was in a John Cena that was a bit unsure of his ability.  A John Cena that was facing some real adversity.  Did WWE go that direction?  Nope, it was more like "He's back and better than ever!" all in the span of two weeks.  It's dumb and the way WWE uses John Cena is beyond tired. 

All that being said, it will be interesting to see how they deal with the NoC rematch.  At this point I am not terribly excited about seeing it especially since I have this creeping suspicion that John Cena may leave with the WWE World Heavyweight Title.  We can't do anything about Cena dominating Bray and the Wyatt Family now, but winning the gold is truly the worst scenario.  I hope WWE isn't foolish enough to fall into that trap.  

I fear they will though.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts Health Update

Jake's attorney released some further information on "The Snake's" health situation.

USA Today has a piece on this that shares the following information:
  • Jake has double pneumonia
  • An unidentified mass has been found on his brain which was possibly caused by bumps taken in his career
  • He did not slip out of consciousness during the flight
  • Roberts was put into an induced coma-like state to treat the pneumonia
  • The initial complaint was shortness of breath during the flight
That's all we really know at this point.  Hopefully, Jake pulls through.  It's tough to hear that he's dealing with these issues after he apparently seems to have started down a better path.  

The Alabama Crimson Tide Rolls Again

The Crimson Tide starts their new campaign today against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Georgia Dome.  I won't be there, but I'll be at the house hanging on every moment.  Since it's gameday, here is my favorite Alabama hype video of all-time.

Why is a guy who runs South Atlanta Wrestling an Alabama fan?  Well, I could be one of those folks who didn't realize Alabama existed before Nick Saban's 2008 season, but that's not the case.  The deal is I was born in Atlanta and grew up just south of Atlanta in Fayette County.  My mom was from west Alabama as was her mom and her family.  Mom carried that fandom all the way up to the Northeast as a child and back down to Atlanta, GA when she moved there as an adult.

It's really that simple, I'm a BAMA fan because my mom was one and dad had no real rooting interest in football.  I was speaking to Gramma about this one time and she pointed out this right here, "What else did people have to be proud of back then in west Alabama other than the Crimson Tide?"

So, that's why I'm a BAMA fan.  I was a fan when they stunk and will be a fan long after this epic run is over.

Roll Tide!

Upload Credit: houndstooth51

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Magnum TV vs Nikita Koloff: Best of 7 Series

The folks on WCMB have an excellent discussion going about Magnum TA and Nikita Koloff's Best of 7 series in JCP.

That thread right there is a perfect example of what is so great about that board.  So long as you are not a knucklehead that is a great place to discuss wrestling.  This is especially true if you want to kind of round out your knowledge of the history of the industry.  It's amazing how much information I've picked up over there during the time I've posted there (mckinneydg). 

As of right now there's three or four clips over there.  One is the deciding match, another is a house show match and then a bit of a bonus 2 out of 3 falls match that came after the series concluded.

Of course this also reminds me of the Booker T/Chris Benoit Best of 7 series for the TV title which was also excellent.  I haven't watched it since it happened, but at the time I was a huge fan of both guys and it was cool seeing them get the spotlight like that even in a series over a lower-tier title like that.  FTR, when I say I was a fan of both guys I am still a big fan of Booker T.  

Back to Magnum and Nikita, it's an interesting snapshot of that feud and wrestling during that time period in general.  Now I fondly remember Hulkamania just like every wrestling fan my age, but that right there is what I think of when I think of wrestling from my beginnings as a fan.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cena's Push Towards Night of Champions and Tim Tebow

I'm going to pull a Deadspin here and comment on something in the abstract before I actually watch the end of Monday's RAW.  I criticized them for their article on that UFC card where Dana White removed a judge during the show, but I will admit I'm doing something similar right now.

Having plainly stated that I did not actually watch RAW yet let me give you a taste of what bothers me about Cena's push towards Night of Champions.  I will do a follow-up on this post once I am able to sit and watch Cena on RAW in the next couple days.

Here's how I tackled it on Twitter (@S_ATL_Wrestling) once I read the results for the rest of the show on Tuesday.

So WWE could have made John Cena interesting but just had him dominate Bray Wyatt instead. Super.

Main gripe there isn't necessarily about John Cena and his stale character, but it's really about Bray Wyatt. I'm the first to say that Bray Wyatt at this point seems pretty bulletproof, but it just seems counterproductive at this point to select Bray and his Family as the sacrificial lambs to put over Cena. It's especially frustrating when you just had that SummerSlam match where Bray went over Jericho one-on-one with no shenanigans. I was hoping that was a turn towards a more serious build for Wyatt, but if it was this was just as big a step back.
A month is too short to do the Cena redemption or Rocky 2 story. Having him destroy everyone on the way to another loss helps no one at all.

I see the logic in having a John Cena with a renewed vigor and focus training his butt off and doing everything that it takes to topple Brock Lesnar. That makes perfect sense. There's a couple of problems with it in the short-term though. One thing is that as usual John Cena comes out with his standard Tim Tebow "nobody will try harder" promo. Just like the feud with Bray Wyatt didn't really seem to phase him his domination at the hands of Brock Lesnar didn't really either. Second, the rubber match as it were is far too soon. Have Cena go away for a bit while he sorts things out. OK, that probably won't happen, but how about you have Cena take another approach at regaining his confidence or whatever while still appearing on RAW? That would work. If Lesnar has to defend at NoC then give someone a month's build to feed to the Beast Incarnate. Anything but Cena at this point is what we need at NoC.
So right now you either have Cena clown everybody on the way to another Lesnar loss or Cena beats Lesnar. Both options suck.

This is the ultimate issue. It feels like either way they go about this is counterproductive. You put Cena strong over everybody (so business as usual for the last 10 years or whatever) and marginalize your roster even further as it relates to main event credibility. The even worse option here is that it turns out that John Cena goes from being dominated at SummerSlam to avenging his loss at Night of Champions. That's a missed opportunity to freshen up John Cena. I am under no misguided notion that Cena will ever turn heel. To me, that's not even worth discussing any longer. That said, continuing to trot out the same old John Cena for the foreseeable future just isn't a palatable scenario. Something needs to change with him. I had high hopes that Bray Wyatt's Joker to Cena's Batman might do it, but sadly that wasn't the case.  Something needs to be shaken up about John Cena.  Give him an edge, have his confidence shaken, something....anything.

Honestly, if Cena beats Lesnar and continues down that Tim Tebow character path it will be just as bad as Triple H's and Hollywood Hogan's tired reigns of terror.  That's just not something I care to see any longer in WWE.  Not saying I won't watch because I will, but it would make the lack of character development for John Cena just that much more frustrating. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WCW Monday Nitro on WWE Network

As you should have seen last night on RAW, WCW Monday Nitro is coming to WWE Network next week. Also I hope you notice that there was a guy standing behind the announce table wearing a $9.99 shirt. All of this is awesome.

For the record, Jerry  "The King" Lawler did later clarify in the show that it would be "the first hundred hours" of Nitro that were debuting next week.  The initial statement was a hundred hours of Nitro, but they kind of left it at that.

I'll be glad when they move to the period after that.  Honestly, I'll be happy when it's all available, but that's a good start.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Journey to SummerSlam: Destruction of The Shield on WWE Network

Photo Credit: Logopedia
Aside from giving us all the PPVs and other content from the WWE vault, this Shield special is exactly the kind of programming I want to see on WWE Network.  If you don't have the Network or did not see this yet you are really missing out. 

The basic premise is that they are documenting each rising star's journey to SummerSlam while also recounting their journey to WWE in general.  At an hour long it could certainly be longer, but you don't walk away from it feeling you didn't get your money's worth either. 

Rollins journey obviously talks about his time in Ring of Honor and the heat he had with WWE officials while he was in FCW.

Reigns touches on his family heritage and road from high school and college football standout to WWE.  They even got some footage of him from "Georgia Tech University" which is a party foul as Georgia Tech is the Georgia Institute of Technology.  On that topic it was pretty funny hearing Reggie Ball get namechecked on WWE programming.  We're talking about former GT QB Reggie Ball.  Whose claims to fame are forcing Calvin Johnson to make spectacular receptions and throwing it away on 4th down against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Ambrose's story in some ways is the most interesting as it covers his time on the deathmatch scene, but in a somewhat family-friendly way.

Excellent show and exactly the type of thing I'd love to continue to see on WWE Network alongside the old DVDs, current and archived PPVs, etc.  Of course the fact that you can view this at any time you want and for only $9.99 a month is a bonus as well.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

WWE Network: Monday Night War

Photo Credit: Logopedia
Monday Night War debuted on WWE Network last night and it was a lot of fun.  Now the time slot of 10:00 PM on Friday nights is less than ideal, but the beauty of the WWE Network is that you can do as I did and watch it the next morning.  Well, you don't have to watch it the next morning, but you can watch whenever you want.  If you know anything about the Network you already know that, but it is worth mentioning.  Also 10:00 PM on Friday isn't great, but it does allow it to follow Smackdown at this time for now at least. 

Enough about time slots, time-shifted viewings, etc.  The show itself is excellent regardless of the likelihood of revisionist history.  For hardcore fans I'm sure there will be little in the way of new information provided either, but again it's a fun trip down memory lane.  It allows you that feeling of nostalgia.  Watching the opening credits even was awesome in that regard.  Hearing the old Nitro theme ever so briefly and seeing Sting, Goldberg and others was a treat.  As far as the talking head segments it's nice that guys like Bret Hart are back in the fold so you can hear their experiences.  Even seeing a guy like Tony Schiavone is a welcome experience even though we hear him covering the Georgia Bulldogs for AM 750 WSB here in the ATL.

Monday Night War is one of the features I was most looking forward to on WWE Network and I'm glad it's finally here.  Last night just scratched the surface, but I look forward to more looks at the epic battle for wrestling or sports entertainment supremacy in the 90s. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Friday! Travels Down Badstreet, USA

Been a long week, glad it's just about over from a work and adult responsibilities standpoint.  Need some good music to push me on through this Friday.

Let's stay on-topic and go with one of the greatest themes ever.  Let's take a trip down Badstreet, USA.

Upload Credit: TWF Dave

Thursday, August 21, 2014

TNA, Dixie Carter and Alberto Del Rio

I know that it's apparently fun to knock TNA for taking WWE's castoffs and pushing them to the top of the card.  When report initially hit that Dixie Carter was interested in signing Del Rio and "making him champ immediately" the howls only grew louder.  I think this is the wrong way to look at this for several reasons. 

The main issue is the premise that TNA shouldn't  bring in WWE talent under any circumstances.  That's kind of been a meme that has sprouted up over the years.  The idea that anyone that WWE cuts loose will be pushed to the moon in TNA based solely on the fact they were previously with WWE.  For one thing, I think that's an overrated point from jump street.  Secondly, if a guy is talented and has something to offer then TNA should go after them regardless where came from initially.  Look at a guy like Tyson Tomko for example.  Now it didn't work out in the long run, but he was a guy that was underutilized in WWE.  He had a lot to offer TNA and probably deserved better than he got in WWE.  I recall going to Bound for Glory just outside ATL in 2007 and there were a ton of Tomko shirts if I recall correctly.  Dude was a valuable asset for that promotion for a period of time.  How ridiculous would it be to run a promotion and say, "Nah, we can't take him since he was a WWE guy?" 

That brings us back to the recently departed Alberto Del Rio.  By all accounts he's not heading to TNA as he's already working with AAA and even appeared at Triplemania the other day.  That's kind of beside the point here though.  The inspiration for this post was the outrage some had related to the rumor that Dixie Carter wanted to a) bring Del Rio in ASAP and b) give him the TNA World Title.  Considering Del Rio's obvious talent I see zero issue with either of these things.  Coupling that with the controversy surrounding his WWE release it's even more of a no-brainer.  I mean, remember how badly WCW botched Bret Hart's debut?  This would be that level of dumb.  If you bring in a hot property like Del Rio you'd be silly to treat him like just another guy.

The second prong of this is the mentality of, "Like he's the answer to their problems anyway."  That's a good point, but a short-sighted one.  No one person is going to solve TNA's problem, but if I'm running a wrestling promotion I want all the talented, motivated people I can get my hands on and Del Rio fits that bill.  TNA's path to being a better promotion is not going to be one step so judging every move with the mentality that this one move won't save them is beyond silly. 

Related to the last point, I've heard the tired idea that a guy like him should be brought in to put over the existing talent.  Again, I know it's a time-honored tradition on the Internet to believe that you run your promotion by bringing in John Cena and jobbing him to midcard guy to make the next superstar.  There's a couple of problems with that.  One is that you're not really getting your money's worth out of a Del Rio if you're bringing him in solely to give others the rub.  Two, why would a guy come in just to do that?  It's easy to take to Twitter, WCMB, A1 or wherever and pretend that you can just tell your top talent to do whatever, but I'd imagine it's far more difficult than that in reality.  Besides all that, if your premise is that Del Rio can't save your promotion then why are you so confident that the guys who have been there throughout are suddenly the answer? 

We know ultimately that the issue with TNA isn't a talent-based one.  It's a creative one.  So you may be right that bringing in Del Rio isn't the sole solution, but you're right for the wrong reason.  If TNA is going to continue to exist then they should never be criticized for bringing in talented individuals whether they came from WWE or not.