By Haydn Gleed
-To continue my occupation of the throne of smugness, I am going to crow about the mighty nation of Wales beating the might of Austria and the great….uh….Moldova during the soccer international break. Ok, we barely scrapped by, and our coach is probably one of the worst I’ve ever been forced to get behind but nevertheless, my nation rules! Cardiff City return to action on Saturday in a game against Fulham that I fully expect to lose so there will be a throne of smugness available as of next week.
-Anyways, you are here to read my thoughts on this week world of wrestling. I’ve actually found it to be quite a fun time period and this week has lifted me out of the funk that I’ve been feeling since pre-SummerSlam. John Cena and Roman Reigns had their follow up to last week’s confrontation and it was okay. I agree with most of the analysis out there in terms of it feeling like a greatest hits of the previous showdown. However, it felt to me that Roman was more comfortable in his skin this time around. I wrote a blog last week that split a lot of people based on the feedback I received, but the basic gist was Roman was still coming across as someone who didn’t really understand or feel passionate about his character so wasn’t able to respond when things got “real”. Although there was no opportunity for him to disprove this theory this week, I still felt that it was a more comfortable and confident performance. It still wasn’t up to the standard you would expect from the biggest star in waiting within the company, but it was definitely an improvement from the previous week.
-Emma’s gimmick is all about hashtags people, HASHTAGS!!! #wtf #lolz #Imgoingtosaythiseveryweek
-For anyone who read my blog last week about Reigns, I did mention that some of my favorite feuds are based on real emotions or feel true to life. Mick Foley always talked about harvesting negative feelings so when he turned heel or had a feud with a foe, he could draw on those emotions and it always seemed to give him that extra something. On Tuesday night, Smackdown presented a culmination of weeks/months of storytelling by giving Kevin Owens a microphone and letting him rip on Shane McMahon and boy it was one of the best heel promos I’ve seen in a while. What he said was true to the character, brought real life events and situations into the equation and played well into the story arc they are presenting. After a few weeks of being down on Smackdown as a product overall this has pumped me up to see the continuation of this storyline and yes, I’m actually now looking forward to seeing the match to end this feud. The only thing I didn’t like was Daniel Bryan going so far as to say that he’s put the jobs of the wrestlers and company in jeopardy, as it didn’t really ring true. If we are to believe that Owens was to sue WWE for unsafe working conditions, then we also must believe that beating up a man in a fight around the ringside area is worse than putting a man in a limo and purposely letting it drive into a lorry.
-Sticking to Smackdown, I have it on good authority that for Dolph Ziggler’s next impression he will play the part of a wrestler who is confident in his own skin and doesn’t have to dress like an ’80s hair band reject and whine continuously. What do you mean that’s too unrealistic?
-It’s no secret that I’m not a big fan of big man wrestling unless it’s done well and feels different to other things on a show. If you just put two big men out there with no build and they are moving at half the speed of “normal wrestlers” it’s not to my taste. I’m the same with boxing so the feeling is not confined to wrestling. I’m not saying that it’s not entertaining to some folks but for me it’s a cue to go to the bathroom or do something else……unless it’s done well, and that’s exactly how I felt on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed the match between Braun Strowman and Big Show because it had been built as an epic battle between two Super Heavyweights. Those who saw their original outstanding match already knew the significance of this match, but they also built it up as something special within the broadcast. First, you had the referee discuss how he can’t predict what’s going to happen, but then Big Show followed this by putting forward a reason that he should be feared and why this young upstart shouldn’t take him lightly. It made the fact that Braun ultimately beat him decisively and also made the stunt through the cage all the more significant. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable end to Raw on Monday and succeeded in further making Braun look like a monster in the build up to No Mercy.
-Does anyone else remember when David Otunga was drafted to Raw and Booker T was just temporarily filling in for him?
-Regarding the Sports Illustrated report that GFW is hemorrhaging money and parent company Anthem is already looking to sell, I believe it’s true that if we ever face a nuclear apocalypse that only cockroaches, Swansea City fans (also cockroaches), and TNA/GFW will survive. Thus, I’m not going to go out on a limb and predict the death of the former action that was totally non-stop, but if I was with the company I would feel nervous. In the past, they have got by with the passion and belief in the company first by the Jarrett family then by Dixie Carter, but neither appear to be involved in any meaningful way, so you are left with a business with a portfolio holding the power in their hands. Typically in this situation, businesses would rather write off something as a bad investment than break their backs to make something work, and that’s what makes me nervous about the company’s future. As the week(s) go on, we will develop a better understanding if this is yet another great escape moment for the company or something more significant. I have said time and time again that I want TNA/Impact/GFW to get their shizzle together and be a true worldwide alternative to WWE, but even I am starting to question whether it’s time to pull the plug instead of prolonging the agony.
-So there we go another week, another load of good mixed in with craziness for you to digest. Progress wrestling has finally put their latest offering up on their on demand service so I’m going to take my leave and watch some independent British wrestling goodness. Have a good and safe week, everyone.
Agree or disagree with anything in this blog? Feel free to get in touch via email email@example.com or via twitter @haydngleed.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Richard Holliday discussing The Dynasty faction in MLW, MJF's departure, the addition of Gino Medina, training under Paul Roma, and much more. Check out MLW Fusion Saturdays on beIN Sports and on the MLW YouTube Page...