I often say that I plan to start writing more about wrestling here again, and then promptly proceed to not do it. Truth be told, even though there’s a lot of good to be found if you look for it, a lot of what comes out of WWE week to week leaves me annoyed or uninspired, and sometimes that unfairly carries over into me not wanting to spend any more time than necessary thinking about it at the expense of the many much more enjoyable things that wrestling has to offer. But this time, assuming I can keep it up, I think I’ve found a way to write more without forcing it.
411 Mania’s wrestling section has a feature called Fact or Fiction. It’s a simple concept. The editor makes up a list of questions/statements based on current events, and a couple of the site’s writers each agree or disagree with them, complete with reasoning. I like reading it and I often have opinions, so why not gank those questions and put those opinions here with everything else? Yeah, why not?
These are the questions and answers from February 5th, if you want to know what people who aren’t me said.
1. You are looking forward to Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns at Fast Lane.
Before we go any further, I must detour. Yes, already.
I can’t put my finger on why, but Fast Lane is a stupid name for a pay-per-view. Not as stupid as Slammiversary mind you, but it’s just not working for me. It doesn’t help that I spend a lot of time talking to a guy who keeps wanting to call it Fast Pass because of the toll road system they used when he drove to Florida, but I didn’t like the name before that either. It’s like they’ve taken the perfectly fine road to Wrestlemania concept and made it heavy-handed and dumb. “We’re in the Fast Lane on the road to Wrestlemania! Right? Right? Get it? Road…Fast Lane…roads have fast lanes…hello?” I like it even less than Elimination Chamber, which I always thought sounded like a fancy term for toilet.
As for the question, I wouldn’t say I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not not looking forward to it. It certainly doesn’t have the appeal it would had they bothered to tell the Rumble story properly instead of having Bryan’s legit injury comeback derailed after a few drama free minutes as if he were a complete afterthought geek while Roman the monster babyface won the thing in as unimpressive a manner as possible, but it’s too late to fix that now. Shame too because it’s such an easy story. Even if Bryan wasn’t going to win, it could have come down to he and Roman with Roman getting the better of it. Then Bryan challenges him to a match because “anybody can get lucky and throw a guy out of a battle royal, but it’s harder to beat me in an actual match. And if we have an actual match I don’t think you can beat me, because I’m a better wrestler than you are.” Remind everyone that Bryan never actually lost the world title and there you go, instant story. But as it is, all that’s left to look forward to is how they handle things. Do they turn Reigns heel or do they risk having their next top good guy star booed out of the building again? That aspect is interesting, but so are car accidents and trainwrecks. but they’re interesting for all the wrong reasons, and unfortunately that’s what this is becoming.
2. You are surprised that the WWE hit the one million subscriber mark so soon.
I am, but not for the same reasons as everyone else. If you’re a wrestling fan, the network is a great value no matter your opinion of the current product. There’s so much history to relive between the documentaries and the full events on the live stream or on demand that it’s worth the price based on that alone. the problem is that even though we live more and more in an internet world, there are still a lot of people who don’t. Some people live where good internet doesn’t, and others just aren’t tech savvy and do well to hook up a VCR. those people are not going to pay for an online service like that even if they’d really like to. A lot is wrong with the way the Network was rolled out in Canada, but making deals to offer it as a conventional cable channel was pretty smart. If you don’t believe me, track down the PPV numbers since the initial American launch. Almost every one of them has done far better than it had any right to. It shows that for whatever reason, there’s still a need for traditional delivery methods. Do you honestly think that many people would pay $55 for a single event instead of $10 or $12 for that and so much more just because? Of course not. Those people have there reasons for not springing for the Network, and WWE really needs to stop making fun of them on the air. You’re a fucking idiot, now give me some money isn’t really a sound business strategy. But even if it was, it completely misses the point. There are a lot of people who can’t or won’t change. If they aren’t going to come to the network, you need to figure out how to best get the network to them. Thankfully, I think WWE is very slowly starting to understand that. Still, a million subscribers is pretty damn good considering wrestling’s drop in popularity since WCW and ECW died.
3. ROH is wasting Alberto El Patron by booking a TV Title feud with Jay Lethal.
For the benefit of anyone who might be confused, Alberto El Patron = Alberto Del Rio now that he’s no longer in WWE.
Please, tell me this isn’t a thing that people actually think. Bringing in a pretty big star with some pretty serious name value to work with one of your champions is never a waste of time unless you book it so poorly that the star either makes your home grown guy look like a dope at every turn or even the star is brought down a level in the process. But since poor booking isn’t an issue that Ring of Honor usually has, I’m not too worried. it’s a no lose situation. A major name fighting for your company’s secondary singles title should immediately give that title some more credibility. If he wins it, you have Alberto Del Rio from WWE bringing attention to the product. If Lethal beats him, the hometown boy just beat that dude from WWE. Who’s ever going to be able to take that belt off of him? It also, assuming that this could be a problem, keeps the fans from thinking that he didn’t earn his World Title match and only got it because he’s big leaguing everybody. Oh, and the match is probably gonna be great, too. Move along, nothing to complain about here.
4. If Rey Mysterio gets his WWE release (as reported last week) he will wrestle for Lucha Underground before the end of 2015.
He absolutely will. I don’t think it’s a very good idea, but he will. If this was Rey Mysterio from 10, 15 or 20 years ago, fuckin’ a! But this is 2015 Rey Mysterio, the one who’s spent more time on the injured list than in the ring in the last few years. Have you seen Lucha Underground? They wrestle a crazy style, and I’m not sure Rey has that in him anymore. Unless he was milking all those injuries for extra time off, he’s going to get himself killed trying to keep up. At best he’s going to look really old and slow and people will be disappointed.
and if you haven’t seen Lucha Underground, fix that immediately. It’s a fun hour of TV, one that’s completely different from any other televised wrestling product in North America. It’s not available in Canada, but if you know how the internet works, go find it.
5. Roman Reigns will be a heel by the time WrestleMania 31 ends.
Yes, but whether that’s by choice or he’s a heel in the same way that John Cena is a heel is another matter entirely.
6. TNA signing Drew Galloway is a good move.
For the benefit of the possibly confused, Drew Galloway = Drew McIntyre now that he’s no longer in WWE.
Absolutely. TNA signing anyone is a good move as long as that person adds something to the product, and I think Drew will if he’s given something to work with. I’m not going to lie and act like he’s my favourite wrestler, but he deserved better than the run he had in WWE. Hopefully this will be a good chance for him to show what he can do and add something interesting to TNA in the process.
7. The Steve Austin podcast with Triple H was better than the podcast with Vince McMahon./blockquote>
I’ll be honest. I haven’t watched either of them. I’ve read recaps of the newsworthy bits, and that feels like plenty for now. I’ll likely check them out eventually because that’s what I do, but even though I know Austin is a good interviewer and obviously knows his stuff, neither of them feel like must sees. Vince and Hunter both have too much to lose as the faces of a publicly traded company and the leaders of a talent roster to be as open as I’d like.
And there we are. That seemed to go well. I enjoyed it, at least. I think I’ll do it again.