It’s been a while, so let’s talk a little wrestling.
1. The Elimination Chamber match for the IC Title should main event the May 31st Elimination Chamber PPV.
This is one of those little things with me, so yes. The show is called Elimination Chamber. If you’re going to name your show after a match or tournament (Royal Rumble, Hell In a Cell, King of the Ring) then that match or tournament should be presented as the most important thing happening that night or at least equal in importance to whatever else you have planned while still going on last. So since the Tag Title Chamber Match is an unproven concept and could potentially go horribly wrong not to mention that most of the teams involved have no legitimate chance of winning the thing, the IC Title Match it is.
2. John Cena vs. Rusev was the best match at WWE Payback.
This is going to sound weird, but I don’t know. I watched Payback. I enjoyed Payback. I then proceeded to never think about Payback again. I suppose the best match was either New Day Vs. whatever Tyson and Cesaro are called or the I Quit Match because I expected the main event 4-way to be an interference filled mess which I generally hate and that’s pretty well what it was. Only thing I really didn’t like about the I Quit Match was tossing a guy into fireworks which then go off and him not quitting or even appearing to be injured. Unless that’s your finish, never do it again. To anyone over the age of like 11 it comes off as the wrong kind of silly.
3. The mini-Shield reunion at the Payback PPV was a fun moment that added a lot to the main event.
Fun moment? Ok. Added a lot to the main event? Meh, since that’s a word now. If we can look back on it later after it’s lead us somewhere, then it added a lot. But as a self-contained thing, it was actually pretty predictable because of course they were going to do that. Good spot, but not worth making a big deal out of or one that’s going to make or break a match unless it’s the finish.
4. Following his feud with John Cena, Rusev is damaged goods.
Not yet, but we’re getting close. Talk to me when Elimination Chamber is over. By that time we might have a better idea of what the future is going to hold for him. If he wins the IC Title and starts destroying people again he should be fine even without a manager or being the evil Russian, but they really need to be careful about when and how often he loses from now on. Losing that many matches to 21st Century Hulk Hogan is a problem, but losing to everyone else would be much worse unless the plan is to push him down the card on his way out of the company.
5. You are happy that the Steve Austin podcasts are returning to the WWE Network.
I haven’t watched either of his or the Jericho ones and I’m not on the fence about whether or not I want to keep the Network, so for me personally podcasts aren’t a selling point whatsoever. But they do get people talking and publicity is a good thing, so from that perspective I’m glad they’re back. More interesting content for your paying customers never hurt anybody.
6. New Day is currently the most fun act in WWE.
Hands down. No contest. They should have been heels from day one. Ok, maybe day four since you have to establish them as overly annoying guys who are trying way too hard to be liked, but you get where I’m coming from. How anybody honestly thought that their cartoonishly positive, fun loving, dancing, clapping clown act would work as a babyface deal in 2015 is beyond me. Whether this was the plan all along (I doubt it) or a rare example of WWE going with something, all three of them have taken something that was dead in the water and made it work.
7. The introduction of Kevin Owens to the WWE main roster was very well done.
Absolutely. He walked in, told John Cena off (I especially liked the don’t give me veteran advice because I’ve been doing this longer than you have but you got the breaks I didn’t line), laid him out quickly and easily and then stepped on the U.S. Title just to drive home that no, I don’t respect you, your open challenge or your stupid belt. Could not have gone better. But that was the easy part. Wrestling writers often have good luck with chapter 1 of a story, but can’t hold it together through 2 and beyond. But based on chapter 1, I’m looking forward to the match at Elimination Chamber. It’s something new, plus if they keep the belt out of it it makes the result a hell of a lot less obvious. Does Owens beat him? Does Samoa Joe show up and cost Owens the match playing off their confrontation at the end of the last NXT special? Does Owens kick the stuffings out of Cena, get himself disqualified but not really care? There are so many ways this could go. Hopefully they don’t pick the dumb one.
8. Following the reveal of some roster members, describe your level of excitement for Global Force Wrestling.
It’s hard to get excited about something when beyond some names and some scheduled events you have no idea what it is, but a new wrestling product is always exciting until something or someone ruins it. The roster page has some promising names on it, but the key is how they’re going to be presented. If the speculation about Jeff Jarrett not wanting to present a conventional wrestling product is true, this could either be Russo levels of bad or the greatest thing since the last greatest thing. As we’ve seen over and over, the best talent in the world can’t save a company that’s determined to be shitty. Please, GFW, don’t be shitty.