This is the part of the song where I say it’s been a while since we’ve done this talking wrestling thing and then get right into it because I have no good reason for why we haven’t.
The column these questions came from is here if you’d like to read it too.
1. John Cena is the Wrestler of the year so far for 2015.
Obviously there will be a lot of people in ROH, Japan, Mexico, Lucha Underground and lord knows where else who might have something to say about that, but you can certainly make the Cena argument without getting laughed out of the building. Other than a couple of misfires with Rusev (even they had a good match at Fastlane), he’s been doing pretty much nothing but having good to great matches with basically everybody. The U.S. Title open challenge segments are often the most interesting thing on Raw because you never know who is going to come out, and no matter who it is, the wrestling that follows almost always delivers. Cena makes his opponent look good in every match, he’s hanging right in there with people who are sometimes considered better than he is and he’s making a useless title that there was talk of unifying with the IC Title into one super useless championship not that long ago into something we can care about again. Even his promos have been better. It’s easy to criticize Cena because his act often feels so stale, but he’s shown that if you give him something to work with, he’ll work with it. If he’s not the wrestler of the year, he definitely belongs in the conversation. The fact that I can write that sentence and not feel stupid says quite a bit, I think.
2. While Ethan Carter III winning the TNA Title was a good idea, it should have been booked to make the victory come off as more important.
Newsflash: Nothing in TNA is important. Even the important stuff in TNA isn’t important. Watching Impact every week I feel like I’m watching a death march at worst and something that’s just kind of coasting along at best. I hate to say it since the shows are actually watchable these days and I don’t want to see a company go out of business, but TNA seems more dead in the water to me right now than it did in 2004 or 2005 when they were tossing Impact up on the internet and hoping for the best between TV deals.
As for making the win itself more important, there are two problems.
1. EC3 is a cowardly heel, so you can’t put him over too convincingly. He has to look strong yet at the same time seem beatable because people, theoretically at least, want to see him get beaten and will pay for the privilege. I think in that sense TNA did the best they possibly could.
2. It’s hard to make anything seem like a big deal when you tape a bunch of the TV that airs after the pay-per-view *before* the pay-per-view. I know he didn’t win at the pay-per-view itself, but it still makes you look bush league and makes it hard to plug a big, important surprise.
3. WWE needs to run more events on the network like the “Best in the East” special from this past weekend.
That would be Beast in the East, but it’s not my job to fix homeboy’s typos. I make enough of my own.
On to the question. Hell yes. It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours. the action was enjoyable, the atmosphere in Japan made it feel different than your average WWE show and even the announcing was better than usual. Plus there’s the matter of people subscribing to the wrestling channel wanting to see wrestling. WWE is touring around doing these shows anyway, so why not let us see a few of them?
4. Setting the next NXT live event for Summerslam weekend was an excellent idea.
Considering that it’s pretty much sold out, yes. And since it’s one of the bigger events of the year and odds are people are traveling from far away to go, it only makes sense to give them something else to watch and wring a bit more money out of them in the process. The NXT show on Wrestlemania weekend showed that there’s a market for it, so it’s certainly worth trying it again. It’s not as if WWE is going to go TNA levels of broke if it fails.
5. The return of WWE Tough Enough has been a failure so far.
I’ve watched a grand total of 0 minutes of it, I skip over all the plugs on Raw and Smackdown, never read recaps of it and have no idea who anyone is. And this is me, a pretty hardcore fan. All I know is that the ratings haven’t been great and that a majority of people watch wrestling far more casually than I do, so this season seems to be hooking approximately nobody. And really, why should anybody care? Sure Tough Enough has given a few people a career, but basically none of them have been the winners. Why tune in over and over again and get invested in somebody only to have WWE change his name to something stupid and then cut him before he has a chance to accomplish anything?
6. With no new news regarding a second season and Univision reporting that El Rey has lost $72 million this past year, Lucha Underground will not survive to see a second season.
I hope it does and I think it will. I read an interview with an executive from the company a couple weeks back that sounded pretty positive, claiming that they were waiting for some deals to go through before they announced anything. I realize that it could just be wrestling speak for we’re doomed, but it sounded legit enough to me.
By the way, if you’ve never seen LU, watch it. It might not be for everybody, but it’s so completely different from anything else you’re going to find on TV and you’re pretty much assured of at least one great match or moment every week that it’s absolutely worth your time to give it a try. We don’t get it on TV here in Canada, but if you know how to work the internet that shouldn’t be a problem.
And here we are at the part of the song where I say we’re done and hope aloud that we’ll be doing this again before too long. That was fast.