Wrestling Notepad

A few random thoughts as I catch up on some shows I’m behind on. I’m trying to get back into the habit of leaving a Notepad file open and writing down whatever pops into my head in it the way I’d gotten sucked into doing on Twitter and then putting it up here when it feels like I’ve said enough. It’s been pretty enjoyable treating Twitter as if it hardly exists, by the way. I encourage you all to give it a go if you find yourself annoyed by the people on and/or the companies that run social media.

I don’t have much to say about the so-called WWE shakeup yet. My gut reaction is that going back to the same well you’ve been drinking from for two decades and putting more McMahons on TV isn’t the answer, but I’m willing to wait and see. If things get more exciting, more logical and start feeling fresher, it doesn’t really matter to me how we get there. And that’s going to be hard to judge until we get back to live shows, start building towards the Rumble and Mania and then see what happens beyond that point when things traditionally start slowing down some. For now the shows have been largely enjoyable, so I’ll take it.

Speaking of getting back to live shows, watching Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is reminding me how much I appreciate them. The fake crowd noise on everything WWE tapes in advance is fucking egregious. Impact has been guilty of this lately too, especially during some of the backstage interview segments. The noise of the crowd for any segment should not sound three times larger than the crowd that’s actually in your building. Everyone please stop. You’re not fooling anyone.

New Daniel Bryan is the best, but if he’s a completely new man and the old Daniel Bryan is dead, why is he still using the same music?

Nice that they put the US title on Rusev, but why they didn’t do something with him months and months ago when he was up there with the most popular acts in the company by crowd response I don’t know. I hope they’re not too late to truly capitalize on it.

Unless end of year awards mean a lot to you or you enjoy watching recaps, you only need to bother with about the last 12 minutes of January 2nd’s two hour NXT. Seriously, if it’s a best of show, just say so. If this were the old days and I was forced to stick around that long for one original thing I’d be pissed. At least Matt Riddle Vs. Kassius Ohno was an enjoyable original thing, and one that has me intrigued since it looks based on the post match stuff like the feud will continue. Not sure how that’s exactly going to work come match time since Ohno was knocked out in six seconds in the first one and tapped out in the second, but NXT generally has a plan so I’ll go with it.

I know a lot of people really don’t like Josh Mathews, but he’s not that bad. Give him a decent partner and a good product to call and he’s perfectly fine. He’s no Jim Ross, but who is?

On the subject of things people really don’t seem to like, this undead realm storyline with Allie and Su Yung. Is it kind of silly? Yes. Does it make wrestling look like a cartoon? Yes. But you can say the same things about the Undertaker, and he’s only one of the most successful and beloved wrestling characters of all time. This stuff isn’t always my cup of tea either, but everyone involved is playing their parts well, it gets Jim Mitchell back on TV (how that guy hasn’t been steadily employed in wrestling is a mystery to me), and you can’t fault Impact or really anyone else for trying something different. That’s the beauty of wrestling. It can be just about anything you want it to be. On the creative end you can experiment, and on the fan end if you don’t like one thing, there’s always a next thing. And before anyone says anything, there’s a big difference between not liking a logical story because it’s just not your jam and tearing apart an illogical one because it’s nonsensical.

Matt Sydal is one of my favourite wrestlers to watch. He’s maybe not as complete an all around package as a Daniel Bryan or an A.J. Styles, but his name on a card pretty well guarantees at least a good match no matter whose it’s next to. Impact is lucky to have him, especially now with such a range of proven stars and guys nobody really knows coming in and out. You could do a lot worse than having a guy around who can work with pretty well anybody.

At first I thought Braun Strowman was a dumb sounding name for a pro wrestler, but I think I’m mostly ok with it now. Dolph Ziggler, on the other hand, still sounds goofy as hell after all these years.

Credit where it’s due to WWE. Their matches are often so patterned that when Drew McIntyre was spending what seemed like four to six months beating on and jawing at Dolph during the cage match, I was sure Dolph was winning because Drew would slip on a banana peel or get distracted by songs. Nope. Poor Dolph. Always such a geek. Speaking of which, I’m sure the idea was that we’d be impressed when Dolph wouldn’t stay down after the match, but because of how we’ve been taught to view him, he came off like a dumbshit that didn’t know when to leave well enough alone and got his ass kicked twice more for it.

I didn’t expect Apollo Crews to win the IC title, but I hope that the last few weeks of featuring him more aren’t a blip and that they do decide to do something with him. I don’t know what his ceiling is, but it’s definitely higher than random punching bag that does a few cool moves.

Ember Moon. Cool name, cool gimmick, cool music. But Shenom? What is that? I get the wordplay, but seriously, what is that? Rhetorical question, obviously. Clearly it’s yet another WWE attempt at branding gone awry.

I’m not up on my WWE merch, but are the New Day actually selling these fucking pancakes or are they just annoying me with them for no reason? I have not understood one second of this.

How is it fair that Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy have to wrestle a match to get into a 5-way later on in the same night but none of the other guys in it have matches beforehand? It’s especially weird since Joe won the match, so now the heel is the one trying to overcome the odds.

Who’d have thought that after all these years somebody would finally get the better of John Cena in a promo battle and that that person would be Becky Lynch? That was great.

Not sure why after that they ended up being partners in a mixed tag, but hey, it was fun enough for a phoned in New Year’s show, I suppose.

For the record, Joe did not overcome the odds. Styles won, which means we’re getting him and Bryan for the belt again. That’ll work.

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