By Haydn Gleed
This will be a new weekly recap feature here at Prowrestling.net where I will look at the previous week in the world of wrestling and give my take on various subjects. If you want me to write about any particular subject feel free to contact me @haydngleed to give my long form opinion.
-I’ve written previously about how WWE Raw’s main event at SummerSlam was already getting people excited without any promotion at the point of it being announced, but this week added another wrinkle to this match which simply adds to the excitement. Paul Heyman commanded the arena as he always does, but this felt a notch above the fine work he usually produces. Maybe it was the content, maybe it was the unofficial stipulation he has added to the match but it has blown the options for predicting the outcome of the match out of the water.
It’s the promoters job to present something that will allow even the most knowledgeable fans or analysts a hard job to predict exactly what is going to happen and that’s exactly what they have done here. For me, I could present an argument for each individual as to why they should and will win and it wouldn’t be out of the realms of possibility for any of the scenarios to play out. We always joke about WWE math in terms of with four guys each having 25 percent chance of winning, but in this instance this is as close as I believe that being the literal case. That’s what excites me about this match in terms of the unpredictability and the possibilities we could have coming out this match. WWE should be commended in terms of making this feel like a must watch match, which is not always the case with anything outside of WrestleMania and/or involving the part timers.
-I’ll admit something here I’m fascinated by what WWE are doing with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose as again there are multiple directions this feud can take, but I’m also exercising caution in terms of building the outcome more than it will turn out to be in my mind if the writers are not investing in this feud as much as my mind is. If I want to put my fantasy booker hat on for the moment, the ideal scenario for me would be at SummerSlam for me would be the two forces combining reluctantly at SummerSlam against Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Titles. The week, leading in to the match, they would continue this role of Rollins appealing for forgiveness from Ambrose, but being shunned until after a hard fought match. Seth is on the ground and Dean stands over him offers his hand and picks him up. After a hug where the crowd are feeling that the Shield reunion is inevitable and it’s a feel good moment…..Dean takes out Seth and leaves to boos. We could then get a John Moxley type of promo the next night, cementing Dean’s heel turn, which would freshen him up and produce a nice feud between Dean and Seth to take us through to the Royal Rumble.
-Like many other people, I’m still not feeling the Jason Jordon storyline. Considering the patient week after week storyline arc that WWE gave us in terms of the build up to the reveal, I was prepared to let the story breathe before passing judgement on whether they had blown an intriguing storyline with the introduction of the smiley, happy Jason Jordon character. In my mind, there was two scenarios and twists this story would take. One was obvious, The Authority set up Kurt Angle with Jason Jordon as his kid in order to break him eventually, or we were going to get Angle being the super pushy dad and leading to possibly even an Angle heel turn, making Jordon a sympathetic babyface. What I mean by that is Angle is known for pushing himself through injuries with or without doctors blessings, and I thought we might get an intriguing storyline where Angle is at first proud but over the weeks with Jordon losing time and time again, Kurt becomes the overbearing father and Jordon looks sympathetic in the eyes of the fans.
But in order for a long term story to be successful you have to plant clues as to what could possibly happen so that fans can speculate as to what might come next. WWE is not great at doing that, but it seemed with the Angle…uh…angle leading to the reveal that WWE were trying to do this. But the simple fact of the matter is, Jordon was introduced, they had the nice sit-down where everyone is delighted to have found each other, but Jason has become just another wrestler with the only distinctive features being that he smiles a lot and sounds awful when he verbally responds to the heels. Simply put, at the moment it’s boring.
-John Cena against Shinsuke Nakamura was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I felt that Smackdown was at rock bottom and since then we have been treated to two quality editions of the show. I do worry as a result of trying to drag themselves off the ground they have given away too much, but this is a discussion to have in a couple of weeks when we see a “normal” edition of Smackdown without the bells and whistles. As for the match it was a lot of fun and showed the casual fans what Nakamura is all about. In one of my many conversation with the casual fan friends of mine that would rile up probably anyone reading this, I was told that finally that “new” wrestler who was trained by WWE in NXT is showing he’s half decent (don’t worry I proceeded to give that person a 20-minute lecture on the history of Shinsuke).
I did still feel that the match could have gone up a gear as I felt there was a little holding back, but that’s what you do save the balls to the wall product for when there’s a story and a big match on the line. It certainly wetted the appetite for a full fledged feud between the two down the line and with that nasty bump in the closing seconds of the match there is a storyline that can played off from it. As I said above, the jury is still out in my mind as to whether Smackdown has turned a corner. Before I moan and complain about Randy Orton hating anyone non-American or weak reference’s from the Breezango pair to a cult TV show bringing down the quality of an otherwise good brand, I’m going to give it a couple of weeks.
-Ring of Honor presented another edition of their Women Of Honor product this week and although the action was decent, it’s still coming across to me as a brand that needs more creative love and exposure before it becomes must watch television. It doesn’t help that the women showcased feel a step below what we have come to expect from WWE or indeed NXT. It also doesn’t help that either we get matches thrown out there with little storyline build and rely instead on a strong in-ring end result to carry it and not quite reaching that standard. Or that we only see the tail end of feuds that have played out on house shows and as a result the viewer has no emotional investment. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of Women of Honor and for the most part enjoy the specials they do, but unless ROH fully get behind it I’d rather they just focused on their main product instead of presenting a half assed “brand”. The women in ROH deserve better than that.
As always you can find me on twitter @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org