By Haydn Gleed
-As a rule, I like to start these weekly blogs discussing a little bit about what I’ve been up to outside of reviewing wrestling. This week however I’ve done nothing, zip, sod all of any interest. Unless you want to hear about my genius new App I built at work or my weekend of literally lying on the couch and barely moving like the lazy jackass I’ve always wanted to be then I’ll get straight into the blog. Don’t worry folks, my first love (don’t tell the girlfriend) Cardiff City are back in action this week so I’ll be gushing or crying this time next week.
-The WWE Raw go-home show for Survivor Series was a solid show. There were things I enjoyed a lot and some things I would have done differently. However, the outcome is a show in Survivor Series that I think the majority are looking forward to seeing for one reason or another. The main standout of the show is of course Triple H being added to the Raw Survivor Series team. People have seen this as a move to turn Jason Jordan heel. On the surface, perhaps that’s what they are doing, but for me it’s far more logical to imagine Kurt Angle being furious at Triple H not only costing his son an opportunity but also hitting the Pedigree on him for seemingly no reason.
Fantasy booking here, kids, so hang on to your hats. Would it be out of the realms of possibility that Kurt hits an Olympic Slam on Triple H at Survivor Series in retaliation of what he did to Jordon to eliminate him from the match and then walks out on Team Raw? I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Kurt moving over to Smackdown as general manager and eventually building to Angle vs. Triple H at WrestleMania. Perhaps I am looking into this too much considering the ending of Smackdown with Angle getting in the face of Shane McMahon and with the obvious fact that Jordon does need a change in character. If Kurt doesn’t respond in someway to the actions of the “King of Kings” then perhaps that is the motivation for a heel turn, but I wanted to throw out that possibility out there mostly because I can’t understand how any “father” would be happy to team with someone who assaulted his son.
-Was I the only one that was hoping Brock Lesnar would grab the idiot who proposed during a Paul Heyman promo and hit him with an F5 in the middle of the ring?
-This is just a personal gripe, but I’ve noticed it creep more and more into the weekly show while the complaints about it seem less and less. It was only 40-45 minutes into the show when the GM of Raw booked the main event of Raw. I’m sorry, and I know this point has been made before, but that makes no sense at all. I know it’s wrestling and as viewers we have to suspend our disbelief a lot, but that would be like turning up to a boxing event and it only being decided on the night who is facing who. The main event is the one thing that should be decided a week out and if it has to change from a storyline perspective based on the actions on the show then so be it (within reason), but to imagine that nothing has been decided before the show went on the air save some random mid-show matches is not only far fetched it’s lazy and dumb booking.
-Is Sister Abigail still out with that viral infection?
-Smackdown was a very strong go home show that firmly planted pretty much every top match on the Survivor Series into the minds of the viewers. The main Smackdown vs. Raw elimination match obviously took center stage, but there was also storyline love given to AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar, the women’s elimination match, the match between secondary title holders, the champion vs. champion women’s match, and New Day vs The Shield. When you have that level of focus on a show and then you throw in the excellent performance by Daniel Bryan as the advocate of AJ Styles and the emotional moment of seeing Ric Flair make his return following his recent medical issues, it makes for a great TV product that appeals to people on multiple levels. It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly an improvement from the recent Jinder Era of Smackdown.
-I have never felt so old and out of pop culture as I did when New Day referenced cuffing. Not an insightful comment I grant you, but a point I needed to make.
-The one negative that really brought the overall quality of the show down for me was the lack of the big Smackdown names to really show the balance of star power is relatively equal on both sides. When the Smackdown brand was under “attack” (that felt so dorky to write), there was no sign of the big guns from the Smackdown brand and it made it feel going into the show that the Smackdown crew are the underdogs. Obviously, with the European tour just completed, WWE probably gave a number of talents an opportunity to rest their weary bones and obviously John Cena was off doing John Cena things. Overall, though, despite my misgivings for a Smackdown vs. Raw battle with nothing seemingly on the line for the brands or the wrestlers, I am looking forward to seeing what we get on Sunday.
-I love the FITE TV app, nearly to the point that I would ask it to marry me during a Paul Heyman promo. However, something really irked me this week. For my ROH audio, I use the app to watch the show and there are typically mid-show commercials (usually some guy telling me that as I get older I need to check my prostate…..seriously), but they are presented in the same way as you would get commercials during a TV show. During this week show, on three different occasions during a match or a segment, a video would play over the show advertising WWE Network like a popup on a browser. I’m hoping it was just a one week thing or just an issue on my side of things, but I found it obnoxious and a frustrating new feature on FITE TV. It’s been a while that I’ve had anything to moan about with ROH so I thought I would throw that in. This week’s show was another strong effort with everything promoting Final Battle in December. In the past, Darren Gutteridge and I questioned during our audio reviews why the company even bothered having TV if it was going to feel like an afterthought, but that criticism is long past being valid. Literally, every segment on the show either built upon or started a program towards Final Battle. ROH TV in 2017 has to be up there with one of the most consistently entertaining wrestling shows of the year.
-That’s going to do it for me for this week, I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy Survivor Series on Sunday.
As always feel free to get in touch either through @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org