So Long, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. You Were The Best


As a tiny, wrestling watching kid, Bobby Heenan was a hard guy for me to wrap my head around. On one hand he was this terrible man who kept getting other terrible men to attack all my heroes, but as somebody who was also drawn to comedy and broadcasting from a very early age, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him because he was an absolutely hilarious guy who could talk like nobody’s business. It didn’t help that one of the terrible men he managed was Big John Studd, who I got to meet when I was seven years old and who to this day is still way up there at the top of the list of the nicest famous people I’ve ever met, even though he wasn’t supposed to be because wrestling was real.

But all of that said, any bit of internal conflict that may have existed in my brain didn’t matter, because Bobby Heenan was special. He was so fantastic at his job that it was easy to laugh at all of his jokes but still hate him at the same time. His lines about the Big Boss Man’s mother often had me rolling, for instance, but I still kind of hoped Boss Man would slap the piss out of him one day.

Everybody has their favourite Bobby moment. Yours might even be in that tribute video up there. As for me, there are two that come to mind immediately.

First, there’s the Barbershop window.

Yes, this was mainly about the Rockers splitting up and was a pretty heavy angle by WWF standards, but I’ll never forget Bobby’s commentary. “Jannetty tried to dive through the window to escape!” is one of my favourite lines ever. But even as ridiculous as it was, it somehow fit perfectly. It takes talent to pull something like that off, and nobody could do that sort of thing quite like The Brain.

And then there’s the 1992 Royal Rumble match. If you have the Network, go back and listen to Bobby. The way he lives and dies with everything Ric Flair does is incredible, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that it required almost as much energy as actually being in the ring.

Whatever your best memory is I hope you treasure it, because I doubt we’ll ever see anyone else like Bobby Heenan. People say it all the time, but he really was one of a kind. I don’t know if heaven is a real place, but if it is, any minute now I expect to hear Gorilla Monsoon yelling “Will you stop!” from all the way there.

Rest well, Brain.

I’ve Given Up On 205 Live. Maybe I’ll Watch Smash Wrestling On The Fight Network Instead

Aside from this Sunday’s ridiculously named Great Balls of Fire PPV which has been built fairly well and actually looks pretty good on paper, I’m getting pretty goddamn sick of WWE these days. I’ve gone over the reasons why more times than I can count here, so I won’t bother doing it again. I will say though that a couple weeks ago I decided to give up on 205 Live.

When they announced it, I was excited. The Cruiserweight Classic was so fantastic and so fun that a weekly version sounded like a great idea even though it meant yet another hour of WWE to add to the schedule. Unfortunately, what we ended up getting is everything that the Cruiserweight Classic wasn’t, which is to say another hour of the same old WWE style programming just with nothing but small dudes. The wrestling isn’t different, the storylines are boring, it’s just not worth watching. I feel bad because the roster is made up of a lot of guys I enjoy, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t need a third hour of Smackdown after 3 hours of Raw I didn’t really need the night before.

None of this is me saying that I suddenly hate wrestling or don’t want to watch more of it. Far from it. A lot of it exists on a much smaller scale than it did back in the day, but there’s more decent to excellent wrestling out there now than anyone could possibly watch. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate the Fight Network. If you want to, you can get a taste of all sorts of alternatives. Stuff from Mexico, stuff from Japan, Ring of Honor, TNA…Er…Impact Wrestling…er…Global Force Wrestling which is actually worth your time after a rocky start for the new owners (A.K.A. the Fight Network itself) and the new creative people, stuff from the UK, the various American indies that come and go from the schedule and now Smash Wrestling, a Canadian company I’ve heard a lot about but never had a chance to see. Who knows, maybe it’ll become my 205 Live replacement.

TORONTO – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, today announced a broadcast partnership with leading Canadian professional wrestling promotion Smash Wrestling.
Beginning on July 20, Fight Network will televise a weekly one-hour series from Smash Wrestling on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, which follows the weekly premiere of IMPACT Wrestling at 8 p.m. ET. Smash Wrestling episodes will be broadcast on Fight Network in Canada, the U.S. and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The Smash Wrestling roster features premier Canadian talent such as Tyson Dux, Michael Elgin and Mike Bailey, plus regular appearances from IMPACT Wrestling stars Rosemary, Allie and Braxton Sutter, as well as highly regarded international performers such as Zack Sabre Jr., Kyle O’Reilly and Sami Callihan.
“Fight Network was established in Canada, so we’re thrilled to add a distinguished Canadian organization such as Smash Wrestling to our extensive slate of professional wrestling programming, which also includes IMPACT Wrestling, New-Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor Wrestling,” said Ariel Shnerer, Director of Programming & Communications for Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent company of Fight Network. “Smash Wrestling has a reputation on the Canadian wrestling circuit for its high-quality matchups, talented performers and fast-paced production, so we’re confident the weekly series will be a hit with our viewers.”
“We have always had key long-term goals and one of them wasn’t just to land a television deal, but to land it with Fight Network,” said Sebastian Dastranj, founder and promoter of Smash Wrestling. “We are a Canadian pro wrestling brand airing on a network passionate about its professional wrestling content, so this is icing on the cake and a perfect fit for our product. We are exactly where we wanted to be and couldn’t be happier.”
The inaugural episode on July 20 at 10 p.m. ET will feature Lio Rush vs. Tarik and “The Demon Assassin” Rosemary vs. “The Endorsement” Sebastian Suave.
For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit www.fightnetwork.com, follow us on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet.

Does Anyone Remember Reo’s Roundup?

I’ve watched a lot of wrestling in my lifetime. I’ve forgotten the details of quite a bit of it especially in more recent times since there’s just so damn much content thrown at you so quickly now compared to the old days, but generally speaking I have quite a good memory for the stuff.

But that said, what in the hell is this?

Ok, so I know what it is. It’s Bruce Prichard doing a poor Dusty Rhodes impression, calling himself Reo Rogers and pretending to go to Calgary to visit a fake Stu and Helen Hart with Shawn Michaels before the Survivor Series in 1993. But what the hell is it? I have literally no memory whatsoever of this segment, of Reo Rogers or Reo’s Roundup.

Perhaps I repressed the memory because let’s face it, the thing is pretty fucking embarrassingly bad. But that’s precisely why I should remember it, especially since it doesn’t appear to have been a one time thing on a week I missed.

How did poor Shawn Michaels keep getting stuck on these things? Maybe it was his punishment for not dropping titles.

Did we not get this in Canada? I can’t speak for the entire country, but where I lived at the time we got pretty much all of our televised wrestling on either CHCH Hamilton or CFPL London, and those shows were often edited slightly differently from the American versions or created entirely for international markets. Was the WWF nice enough to leave these segments off? And considering some of the stuff they left in, if they did cut them, why?

Somebody please help me get to the bottom of this.

What In The Hell Is This Wrestling Match?

I haven’t watched any Dragon Gate in years, so maybe there’s a completely logical explanation for this match being the way it is and I’m just unaware of it. But seriously, get a load of this title match concept as described by Dave Meltzer in a recent edition of the Observer. It sounds like the Dragon Gate bookers got high with Vince Russo one night and decided shit man, we can totally make something more confusing than those Fight for the Right Tournaments.

They are doing a unique match in May called Dead or Alive, which is the name of their annual May PPV show. But the Dead or Alive cage match features Open the Dream Gate champion Yamato defending against Shingo Takagi, Cyber Kong, BxB Hulk and Naruki Doi. There will be flags at the top of the cage in all four corners. The Dream Gate belt will be placed on a pole. Takagi, Kong, Hulk and Doi must all capture a flag. If they capture a flag, they can move onto the match. If any of them are pinned or submitted before they capture a flag, they can’t move on to the title match. Yamato will also be in the match and they can beat him up and work him over, but he can’t be pinned or can’t submit in the match. That makes absolutely no sense if you think about it. If he’s in a submission, he can’t submit? Since Yamato can’t be eliminated, but does have to wrestle, the match continues until Yamato and one other wrestler are left, as the others can be eliminated by pin or submission. When Yamato and the other guy are left, it turns into a ladder match with the belt on the ladder, but the loser, whether Yamato or the other guy, will lose their hair, or if it’s Kong against Yamato and Kong loses, he loses his mask.

Got all that? I hope so, because I sure don’t.

Why Were The Rockers Never WWF Tag Team Champions? Blame Jack Tunney

Years ago, we talked a little about the time the Rockers won the WWF tag titles but never officially won them. In that post, I talked about how strange the story was and how difficult it was to sort out what exactly happened there. But now there’s a new rundown of the situation pieced together from a few different sources that tries its best to explain it all.

Basically, everything in my old post comes up. The broken rope, the possibility of behind the scenes maneuvering, the firing that didn’t end up happening. And then there’s this, which just makes the whole thing even weirder if it’s true.

Vince McMahon called.
Marty answered, and Vince told him that they were going to take away their tag team titles. That was quite newsworthy, as it’s extremely rare in wrestling history when a title changed hands but it was ignored before the match aired on television.
But that wasn’t the funny part.
Vince then proceeded to quote Marty an old rule in some rulebook, and then said JACK TUNNEY wasn’t going to sanction the match.
Yes, Jack Tunney. The FIGUREHEAD WWF President (in the role of what would today be called the GM), who only the fans at home believed had any power. Vince was kayfabing his own wrestlers, pretending that Jack Tunney had any power at all and that he was really the President, when everyone with a brain knew Tunney had no real power and was just playing a role on television.

He also told Marty that he doesn’t want to air a match with no rope. Marty was in shock that Vince expected him to believe that was the real reason and that he involved Jack Tunney’s name. He told Vince he wanted Shawn to hear this, so Shawn got on the phone too. Marty and Shawn looked at each other and said to themselves, “Bullsh*t!”

Of course, there’s always a chance that things didn’t quite go down that way. Wrestlers, especially ones who party as much as Marty Jannetty did, don’t always have the closest relationship with either facts or an accurate memory. But crazy as it sounds, I think I might believe this one. Having heard other stories told by Jannetty, it really does seem that he’s got quite a memory for details. Plus I can’t think of a single reason why he’d lie about it, and you’re not convincing me that Vince McMahon isn’t crazy enough to at least try putting something like that over on someone.

We may never know exactly what went on, but this sure does add a hilarious layer to an already odd set of circumstances.

It Might Be Ok That Orton Won The Rumble, Seth And Triple H Is A Terrible Storyline And Other Wrestling Thoughts

Not much to say before we get into the wrestling aside from I hope you all celebrated Carin’s birthday yesterday with vast quantities of merriment and that this winter is pretty weird. Most of January felt like a slightly cooler version of spring and this weekend, which is right around mid February, they’re calling for temperatures pushing the double digits. Yes, above zero. That’s not normal. I’ll take it, but I’ll also reserve the right to punch anyone who still wants to tell me in all sincerity that our climate isn’t changing even a little right square in a location to be determined.

1. Randy Orton winning the Royal Rumble was the wrong call.

At the time, I was disappointed. Orton winning was a flat ending that left me with the feeling that I’d just spent the better part of 6 hours not seeing anything new yet again, a feeling not helped by John Cena beating AJ Styles for the Smackdown title earlier in the evening. Not only did those two matches represent yet another example of the future getting set aside for the sake of the same shit I’ve been watching for like 13 years, but it also raised the possibility that we’d be getting Orton Vs. Cena yet a-fucking-gain. Honest to god, if that match never takes place again in my lifetime it still won’t have been gone long enough. But the more I think about things, I don’t think that’s where this is headed. The story they’ve been telling is all about Orton joining the Wyatt Family after being unable to beat Bray and the trouble it’s caused. The Elimination Chamber this weekend is a good excuse to get the belt off of Cena and onto Bray Wyatt. After that, the road to Wrestlemania for them kind of writes itself. So when I look at things that way Orton winning makes sense and really doesn’t bother me, but if all of this ends with Orton beating Bray at Mania or worse yet none of this happens and we get Cena match 12836 I might have to hurt things.

2. The Smackdown women will get an Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber PPV.

Unless they announced something on the Smackdown I haven’t seen yet, no. And that’s for the best. The entire women’s division consists of what, seven people? So putting 6 of them in a Chamber Match would be kind of silly. What’s more, I’m not a fan of doing things just for the sake of doing things. That’s why Hell in a Cell being an annual event has always bothered me. The Chamber being an annual event is fine if the world title is going to be defended in it every time, but Hell in a Cell just happens because hey, it’s October and we booked an arena. They’re doing a nice job establishing the women’s division on Smackdown and in time it might make sense to put them in the Chamber, but right now it’s too soon.

3. Samoa Joe’s Raw debut was great.

It surprised me, it was pretty cool to see Joe live on Raw after all these years, he came off mean and scary and it put some interest into a storyline I don’t give a good fuck about, so sure. Well done.

4. John Cena will lose the WWE title at the Elimination Chamber PPV.

I already covered this, so yes. Which makes it all the more mystifying that he beat AJ for it in the first place. Serious question. Did anyone outside of WWE actually care that Cena was going for his 16th title reign? Was it really so important to give it to him that it was necessary for him to make AJ look like an afterthought in the last promos before the match (he’s just a guy from Atlanta) and then win and basically prove himself right? Even if AJ isn’t going to win at Elimination Chamber, he could lose there without having to look like such a scrub. Yes, I say scrub having seen the match at the Rumble and knowing how good he looked in it. Sure a guy can lose a match like that and not come out any worse for it, but that didn’t happen all because Cena just had to do that stupid interview. It kind of reminds me of all those times Triple H would get the better of every up and coming babyface and then when it was time for revenge…he’d beat them. I hated that and I pretty much hate this.

5. You were disappointed that there was only one surprise (Tye Dillinger) in the Royal Rumble match.

Nope. Tye in at number ten was the one I was hoping for and they gave it to me, so no complaints here.

6. What is your excitement level (1-10) for the Triple H vs. Seth Rollins feud?

Can I pick 0? I’m trying hard to give less of a fuck, but I don’t think I can. And really, why should I? Let’s look at this storyline.

Seth comes into WWE as part of the Shield, who are totally bad ass. He then turns on his Shield friends completely out of the blue for no reason to join Triple H and the authority. He does this the night after he and his Shield friends finish absolutely laying waste to Evolution, a group that included Triple H, thus proving that he doesn’t need Triple H to be successful. But ok, let’s just pretend he thought the Shield was dragging him down and that if he sucked up to Triple H who is kind of the boss around here, he’d get to the main event and the top title a whole lot easier. Fine, aside from the part where the Shield were pretty well main eventing from day one and held half the belts in the company at one point. But alright, he wants the World Title. Who doesn’t? And with the boss behind his bad assery, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s going to get it and dominate everyone in the process. Well, we’re half right. He got the title eventually, but immediately upon his heel turn he also became the biggest fucking pussy in the universe, constantly crying and bitching and complaining about everything, not being able to win anything without help from a giant crew of people hired by Triple H and losing a gazillion matches in a row. It’s not even like he won a couple big ones on his own in convincing fashion to show that he doesn’t really need the help, he’s just taking it because it’s easier. No, he’s just a lowly wrestler who needs management at every turn and isn’t even all that good at rewarding their faith in him. After more than an insufferable goddamn year of this garbage, he gets injured for real. When he comes back, he spends most of his time complaining that the people who used to help him aren’t wanting to help him anymore, because that’s what a good babyface does. He gets even more upset when Triple H A.K.A. one of the people who used to help him decides to help Kevin Owens instead. To his credit, he does halfheartedly try to win the belt from Owens, but gives up pretty quickly because people keep interfering in the matches. So now he wants to fight Triple H because…um…that’s a good question. I suppose it’s because he won’t help him win matches anymore, because who doesn’t want to cheer for a guy who cries when the boss decides to make somebody else employee of the month? And just to make super duper sure I can’t invest in any of this, the other week on Raw, Seth had a match won when suddenly, Triple H’s theme music started playing. Being the smart babyface he is, Seth of course took the three seconds required to win the match and then squared up to fight Triple H who was storming down the ramp. Just kidding, he stopped winning the match so he could look around like a goober for a good 15 seconds then get rolled up and pinned like a complete fucking idiot while Triple H never materialized, losing his spot in the Rumble where the winner gets a shot at the champion in the process. Yeah, I sure want to see that match now, because there’s nothing better than a semi-retired old man with an office job fighting a big, dumb, blubbering moron.

I say all this hoping that it will get better. I like Seth, and Triple H can still go in the ring. They’ll probably have an enjoyable match, but because of how we’ve gotten to this point it’s an enjoyable match that I really don’t care if I see.

I’m Starting To Like Braun Strowman, Some People Need To Shut Up, The Rumble Could Be Fun And A Few Other Wrestling Things

I have nothing to say to start out, so let’s just get right into it.

1. You had no issue with the Bayley/Goldust angle/tribute to Dusty Rhodes on Raw.

Not at all. It was heels getting heat, which is and should always be their job, no matter how many moms complain about the big meanies not being nice to their kids at shows or how many perpetually offended Twitter warriors prattle on and on about how awful every slightly controversial thing is. That second group, by the way, seems to somehow also be made up of a lot of the same people who won’t shut up about how much better WWE would be if only they’d ditch the PG crap and go back to the Attitude Era. You know, the time full of cursing and beer drinking and gang wars and race-baiting and nearly naked women and porn stars and threatened penis amputations and…you get the picture. If a dude decapitating a teddy bear legitimately bothered you because of the symbolism I’ll do my best not to judge you, but I have to assume that if you found that to be in poor taste, you weren’t around when Eddie Guerrero died, or when Bruiser Brody was murdered, or for just about everything involving the Von Erichs, or even all those times in the old days when somebody would die after a match and they’d trot out the other guy and talk about how vicious and dangerous he was since he may or may not have just killed a dude by being big and strong. That last sentence isn’t me defending any or all of those things, by the way. I’m simply pointing out that this business with the bear is pretty low on the scale of arguably shitty things that have gone on in wrestling. To me the most offensive thing about the angle is that poor storytelling trivialized it. Why weren’t Goldust (Dusty’s son) and Truth out for blood? They got their asses kicked in like a minute later on in the show and we’ve heard nothing about it since. If you’re going to use the dead for heat, at least make it mean something.

2. You are excited for WWE to reunite the Shield.

Not really. I’m sure if they do it’ll be fun and make for some great matches like it did the first time around, but I can’t say I’m clamoring for it in a please take my money kind of way. That I’ll hopefully be able to save for day two, which is to say that reuniting them is the easy part, it’s what comes next that’s important. But I am a little excited to see how the crowds react. How long will it take them to forget that they’re always supposed to boo Roman Reigns no matter what he does?

3. The latest attempt to push Braun Strowman is going well.

Funny, I was just talking about this on Twitter, so let’s save me some time. And yes, I know there’s a typo in the first one.

One thing I didn’t mention there is that whether or not he’s all that good yet, it’s nice to see WWE trying to push someone as an unstoppable, scary monster again. I’m not saying we need to go back to the days when the place was full of them, but having a few guys who are booked to be legitimate threats is refreshing after sitting through the years long parade of 50-50 go nowhere geeks that’s been WWE TV for the better part of a decade now. Oh, and I’m almost ready to never call him Yawn Slowman again even though it still makes me laugh.

4. Who do you think will win the Royal Rumble?

I have no idea, and that’s a good thing. I like it when it’s an open field and it seems like more than one or two people have a legitimate shot. But if the question is what might I like to see, my pick is Chris Jericho. Keep the belt on Kevin Owens right up through Mania and build to the big confrontation between the best friends. They’ll have a good match no doubt, and Owens can win in the end and hopefully by then establish himself as an actual worthwhile champion.

5. Sasha Banks will be better off as a heel.

Everyone wants to cheer her even though this babyface run hasn’t been anything special, but she was pretty fantastic as a heel in NXT at times so I’m gonna go yes.

6. What’s your current excitement level for the Royal Rumble?

The Rumble has been one of my favourite shows of the year going back to when I was a kid, so that alone bumps it up a little. And so far WWE is doing a decent job of making it feel important and just unpredictable enough that I actually feel myself looking forward to watching it, which hasn’t been the case with one of their PPVs since I don’t even know.

Happy New Year. Have Some Wrestling Talk

I’m in the mood to talk some wrestling today and reading through these there seem to be some interesting topics that I might just have some opinions on, so let’s have at it.

Kevin Owens’ run as Universal Champion has been a disappointment.

It has, but that’s not his fault. Kevin Owens has pretty much been my favourite thing in WWE since he’s been there. Great wrestler, great talker, great comedic timing. Just about the only thing that isn’t great about him is the way they’re booking him. I’m so over the management’s chosen champion story. It only ever worked once (Stone Cold and Vince McMahon), and that was 20 years ago. And if we’re being completely honest, even that one went on far too long. I’m to the point now where I’m absolutely hating what I know are good matches before they even start because I know how they’re going to end. Somebody’s going to interfere and either cause a stupid DQ or cheat to help the hapless champ win, or nobody’s going to interfere and the guy holding the most important championship in the company is going to get beaten like a drum because he doesn’t deserve to be champion and they have to make sure we know that. At some point WWE totally lost site of how to book a good heel. Back in the day there were absolutely undeserving heels, but the thing about them was that sometimes they won on their own, which served two purposes. It made you angry because you always thought that this would be the night your guy finally kicked that fucker’s ass, and it also made it clear that even though you didn’t like the guy, you had to take him seriously because even though he probably shouldn’t have been the champ, he was just deserving enough to be in the spot he was in and your guy would have to work to beat him. The way things work now, nobody’s really getting upset at bad guy Kevin Owens for always managing to escape. We’re booing because after doing our best to invest ourselves into a story it always ends with the same old shit, just like it has for decades now.

WWE needs to keep Charlotte and Sasha Banks separated for a long time.

Before I say yes, I need to tell a few fans to fuck the hell off. WWE gives you feuds that don’t last long enough for anyone to possibly care about them and you bitch. Then they give you something that goes on for the better part of a year, produces basically nothing but good matches…and you bitch about that too. Seriously, go die. Or if you don’t want to do that, go find something else to watch. WWE does a lot of things worth complaining about, but when they actually get something right it won’t kill you to give credit where it’s due.

But yes, we need to give Charlotte and Sasha a rest for a while. Once you’ve had an Iron Man Match, there’s nowhere else to go. It’s time to give someone else a crack at the belt and to start telling whatever Sasha’s redemption story is. Like any good rivalry you’ll be able to come back to it down the road, but for now it needs to take a break before it stops being fun.

What is your level of excitement regarding the WWE United Kingdom Championship title & tournament.

I’m definitely looking forward to it. Yes it’s more damn wrestling to watch, but when it’s good wrestling it hardly seems like a burden, and I’m sure this is going to be good. The UK is becoming an awesome wrestler factory, pumping out guys like Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr. and so many others. I’m absolutely interested in seeing some of the other names here that I’ve heard but haven’t watched yet and to see who of the lesser known names might be a star waiting to happen. Plus it’s not as though it’s costing me any extra, so bring it on.

Total Nonstop Deletion was an amazing episode of Impact.

I don’t know because with the holidays and such I haven’t had a chance to watch it, but when I do I bet I’m going to have fun. The reason I left this one in is so that I’d have an excuse to tell anyone who thinks that there’s no good left in TNA to give this Hardys stuff a try. It’s weird, it’s hilarious, it’s different and it’s absolutely not going to be for everyone, but if you’re feeling down about wrestling and need something to remind you that it can be fun in ways you never would have expected, track down some videos and see what happens. Here, I’ll get you started.

Tye Dillinger should make his main roster debt in the Royal Rumble, at #10.

I believe that’s supposed to say debut. No matter, because whatever it’s supposed to say, the answer is yes. If he doesn’t, I may just quit. It doesn’t even have to be the start of a full-time main roster run. Truth be told, I may even be fine with him appearing year after year in the same position as a running gag. Come on, compared to most of WWE’s comedy, that’s brilliant.

Well hey. We get to end on a good note for once. How about that. I still have another set of questions to look at, so maybe I’ll be back soon to do this again. But on the other hand, maybe if you’re still in need of a New Year’s resolution, it should be to not hold your breath.

The Ten Worst WWE PPV Matches Of 2016

‘Tis the season for retrospectives on the year that was, so since now and then they’re actually entertaining and because they’re easy to post when you’re having trouble waking up like I am this morning, here’s one for the wrestling fans.

Seems like a pretty solid list, even though I didn’t hate the Asylum Match as much as a lot of folks did. And I’ve gotta be honest, I have literally zero memory of match number one. Like none. I’d totally forgotten about number ten, but at least it immediately came back to me once they started talking about it. Number one? Nope. They’re clearly making it up just to see if we’re paying attention.

TNA Will Never Die, It’s Ok That Charlotte Won And Other Wrestling Thoughts

Like I say basically every time, been a while since I’ve done one of these wrestling things. The usual reasons apply, but today I feel like it for reasons I don’t fully understand, so let’s go.

1. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks was the best match at the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV.

I don’t know that it was the best match especially once it started to fall apart near the end, but it was certainly the one I enjoyed the most. Owens and Rollins was probably better, but I went into that one waiting for the part where Jericho or some McMahon or other interfered and that totally ruined it for me.

2. Chris Jericho is currently doing the best character work of his career.

He’s pretty great right now, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. From the WCW days onward, he’s almost always been great. And don’t forget that as much as we’re all enjoying him right now, he’s trying to be a heel. You wouldn’t know it based on the crowd reactions he’s been getting, but those people seem almost as bent on turning him face as they are on turning Roman Reigns heel. If this was truly his absolute best character work, that wouldn’t be happening, or at least it shouldn’t. It’s getting hard to tell what an audience is going to do nowadays.

3. The WWE Cruiserweight Division is a mess.


As long as it features Rich Swann’s theme music on a regular basis, it will never be a total mess. But yeah, it’s pretty damn sad right now. The Cruiserweight Classic, which you should go back and watch on the Network if you missed out on it, laid such a solid foundation on which it should have been easy to build something special that it’s almost amazing that they’ve been able to fuck it up so much so quickly. It takes talent to be that incompetent, it really does.

The whole presentation since the division launched on Raw has just been wrong. The way the announcers talk about them reminds me of the midgets back in the old days, accept that the audience liked the midgets. And that brings me to the bigger problem. Why should the audience like the Cruiserweights? I’m talking about the WWE audience, not the wider wrestling audience who has seen them before and knows how talented they are. They’re thrown out there like filler, around to eat a few more minutes because Raw is too damn long. Not a single one of them aside from Brian Kendrick has any sort of character, and even that they’re doing their best to screw up. How am I supposed to believe that this is the old veteran’s last chance at success when not only did he not win the Cruiserweight Classic yet still get signed to a full-time contract, but then went out and beat the champion on television? The guy was on like his fourth last chance by the time he won the belt at the PPV on Sunday. How could anyone possibly care? And if we can’t care about that, how in god’s name do they expect us to invest in a bunch of nameless dudes trading wins and losses back and forth in meaningless matches? Yes, I know that everyone in WWE trades wins and losses back and forth in meaningless matches, but that’s my point. Nobody cares about half those guys either. That the cruisers are small and do flippy stuff isn’t going to be enough to prevent them from falling into that same trap. If 205 Live is going to be the first step towards getting these poor guys away from Raw’s booking team, the end of November can’t get here fast enough.

4. Due to all of the injury issues the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Classic has turned into a mess.

A few things have gotten screwed up thanks to injuries, but sometimes these things happen. But since we’re dealing with a concept overseen by NXT, A.K.A. the part of WWE that wasn’t dropped on its head as a child, I have faith that everything will turn out ok in the end.

5. Charlotte defeating Sasha Banks to regain the WWE Raw Women’s Title at the WWE Hell in a Cell PPV was the right call.

Before I go any further, let me state for the record just in case I haven’t done so previously that I fucking hate it when WWE goes out of its way to hype up that we’re in someone’s hometown only for that person to lose, get humiliated or both.

With that out of the way, I’m going to go against everything I just said and tell you that I didn’t mind it this time. Lately, the commentators have been playing up the fact that Charlotte doesn’t lose pay-per-view matches. That, assuming they don’t mess it up, could be a good story. It won’t ever reach the level of something like Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak, but that doesn’t matter. Streaks are easy to understand. You hear that somebody’s on a streak and you know immediately why it’s important. And if you’re going to build a streak, sometimes you’re going to have to disappoint some people along the way, I.E. everyone who came to see Sasha Banks win a big one in her home city. If they carry this through all the way to Wrestlemania and then use it to give somebody like Sasha or Bayley a moment, it’ll be worth it.

6. Considering all of the legal issues and financial issues with TNA, what is your confidence level that they will make it through 2017?

Forget 2017, TNA is going to be around forever. TNA should have gone out of business a few months in when it came out that they didn’t have the kind of money they thought they had because Jay Hassman and honesty had never met, but it didn’t. TNA should have gone out of business every time they hired Vince Russo to do anything, especially the time that they lied about employing him and pissed Spike TV off so much that they ended up not renewing the TV deal, but it didn’t. TNA should have gone out of business when Destination America, a station that nobody had ever heard of, got rid of them less than a year after picking them up, but it didn’t. And TNA should go out of business now that it owes everyone under the sun millions and millions of dollars and at least half those people are suing them over it, but it won’t. When the end times come, the only things left in this world will be cockroaches and Dixie Carter. Mark my words.