There doesn’t seem to be anything else going on, so let’s talk some wrestling.
By now you probably know how this works. I take the questions from one of those Fact or Fiction columns at 411 Mania (this one for example) and answer them correctly.
1. WWE Extreme Rules was the best WWE PPV of 2016.
I’m going to assume that NXT doesn’t count, because if it does then the answer is no, the Takeover show from Dallas on Mania weekend was far and away the best thing WWE has done this year. This is an objective fact that cannot be argued. But if we take out NXT, then yes. Payback was pretty good, Mania was loaded with bad booking and by the time we finally got to the main event I just wanted it to be over so I could go to bed, I can remember literally nothing from Fastlane off the top of my head and the Rumble, which is generally one of my favourite things every year, was kinda dumb. Extreme Rules had a quite fantastic 4-way for the IC Title, AJ Styles and Roman Reigns in a great main event, and I didn’t even hate that Ambrose Jericho cage match as much as everyone else seemed to. Did it go a little long? Yeah, probably. But it built up to an end and Jericho’s selling and acting when he finally went into the tacks was well done. The rest of the show was fine too. Any time WWE can go an entire PPV without upsetting me it’s a good night. Kalisto should have been selling his supposedly severe back injury more during the Rusev match, though. That was silly.
2. While we can all agree that Cody Rhodes could have been booked better than he was, he was never going to be the “star quarterback/WWE world champion” like he wanted.
I’m not sure if he would have ever been *the* guy, but he absolutely had the ability in the ring and on the mic to be a guy you could credibly put in the ring with the guy when you needed to. If WWE didn’t book itself to be a few standouts and 40 or 50 interchangeable dudes running on a treadmill nowadays, Cody could have easily had a really nice career in the upper midcard with some main event runs thrown in, sort of like a Brett Hart or an Mr. Perfect in the late 80s/early 90s. Who knows if he’d have been content with that, but I absolutely mean it as a compliment and he certainly deserved better than losing meaningless matches every week.
3. Chris Jericho’s latest WWE run has been a disappointment.
I don’t think he should have won the AJ Styles feud since it was AJ’s first in the company, but aside from that, this version of heel Jericho is friggin great, you stupid idiot!
4. While personal disappointment in how they were used is understandable, no one should be surprised that guys like Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes chose to leave WWE after 10-years and frustrations with creative.
Absolutely not. There’s only so long you can be happy in a job that asks a lot of you but doesn’t give you what you feel you deserve in return, especially when you’re in a financial position to not need to put up with it. Yes WWE is the big time, but wrestling is one of those lines of work where you only have so many great years in you and at some point it’s not unthinkable that the I’m just happy to be here phase is going to wear off and you’re going to start looking elsewhere for ways to take advantage of them. There are other options out there that are likely going to pay them pretty well if they still want to wrestle, and both Cody and Wade seem talented enough to me that they’d be able to find other creative outlets if they go looking.
5. Kevin Owens SHOULD WIN the Money in the Bank match.
I wouldn’t complain one little bit if he did, but I think Ambrose should. If the plan is to go with a Reigns and Rollins World Title feud for a while, it only makes sense given the history between the three to have Ambrose walking around with the briefcase threatening to get involved. We never did get a 3-way Shield match as far as I remember, so this would be the easiest, most logical way to finally set one up.
6. At this stage of the game, you have no desire to see Velvet Sky signed by WWE.
On a personal level, I’m not a big fan. But you can’t argue with success, and she definitely had a good run in TNA as part of one of their most popular acts. WWE would be fools to not at least take a look at her.
7. If you’re TNA, you try your hardest to sign Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and Wade Barrett
Assuming TNA still has enough money to buy even one of them a business lunch, yes. It would be idiotic not to mention a clear sign that they’ve given up on existing to not even make a play. I know there’s a perception that TNA has been filled with WWE castoffs through the years, but to me that’s more because the writing sucked than because everyone they brought in or who came there by choice was worthless and it’s obvious why WWE got rid of them. In a TNA that can tell a decent story and put on a more than watchable television show like we have now, any or all of the guys mentioned would be great pick-ups.