By Haydn Gleed
-So it’s now December and my beloved Cardiff City team is still fighting at the top of the league for promotion. Despite the cold and one of the worst first halves I have ever seen my team play, we rallied back for the second half and ended up 3-1 winners last Friday. This form can’t last……..but I’ve been saying that since the start of the season and we are still fighting fit.
-As for wrestling this week, one thing that struck me as I watched WWE Raw was that the divide between the giants and non-giants is starting to get bigger and bigger every week. It’s not a revolutionary thought that Raw is the land of the big men in Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Kane, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman, but I’m starting to see a divide in how highly those five guys are placed and how everyone else feels beneath them. We all remember the nonsensical clean win for Kane over Finn Balor not long ago, but it feels that WWE is now separating the big guys to feud with each other exclusively as if they are some higher division. In theory, that will work fine in the short term, but eventually they will run out of dance partners and then what? The bigger men have made the skilful “little wrestlers” look weak and pale in comparison so if this is a divide orchestrated on purpose, WWE needs to be careful with this policy.
-Jason Jordon found his groove. I’m loving the shift in character from the happy go lucky character to the whiney and somewhat weaselly portrayal of Kurt Angle’s son. This week was the best week so far for Jordon, who not only looked more comfortable with his character but was also able to have a pretty decent match with Roman Reigns. It remains to be seen where this all leads too, but I’m certainly more excited about the gimmick than I was a month ago.
-I couldn’t have been the only one who felt that with The Shield talking endlessly about each member having gold there was no way they were going to win the tag titles on Raw. I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were building it up far too much for their not to be a bump in their plans.
-Between the two brands and the two trios of women who debuted recently, I’m enjoying the Raw version more at the moment. Not only have the Smackdown writers have made the Riott Squad feel like just another three ladies, they also don’t have the X factor or the ready made connection with the crowd like Paige possesses. Before Paige took a break from WWE with injuries and personal issues, I wrote a blog that was quite critical of her. However, the last couple of weeks she has shown why she has always been so highly thought of on her journey to WWE and throughout her early run. The writing of her latest run has not perfect, but with Paige leading her two followers she is not only giving positive star rub to Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville but the Raw women’s division overall. This is another storyline and aspect of Raw that I’m excited about at the moment.
-People have talked about Finn Balor possibly being in contention to win the Royal Rumble, but I just don’t see it at the moment. Unless WWE wants to swerve people into thinking he has no chance before he enters, I don’t understand the logic of how weak and directionless his character has been recently. One interesting thought came into my head when I was thinking this through. Would he enter as Finn or The Demon or would he take up two entries?
-If 205 Live manages to sell out their house shows, I think somebody has to contact the local talent/extras agencies in the area to see if they are pulling an Impact Wrestling in Ottawa.
-I loved the Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy segment from Monday. Two very out there characters but one being portrayed in a dark environment and other in a light environment, which I don’t think was done by accident. Hats off to the production crew on that one. WWE really needs to ensure that the casual fan who has never heard of TNA Wrestling understands what is going on. Imagine yourself as a casual fan sitting at home watching Raw and Bray Wyatt appears and does his schtick and then the guy that you’ve always known as Matt Hardy starts behaving in this manor. I imagine it was quite jarring. I would love to see a mockumentary that is part Broken Universe inspired video (George Washington, Spot Monkeys, etc.) and part WWE 24 production. I don’t think it would happen but I think it would be a great way to introduce the Woken Universe to the casual fan.
-You may have noticed that I’ve been focussed more on Raw and their storyline and barely talking about Smackdown. That’s simply because I’m still feeling rather underwhelmed by the brand. Don’t get me wrong, I watch the show and I don’t hate myself for watching it when it’s over, but I also very rarely feel excited about watching the follow-up the next week. The only exceptions are Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and their ongoing feud with Shane McMahon. There is still a Pluto size logic gap in a lot of stuff that is happening, but all three men are playing their roles well and have been entertaining in the process.
-For those who think WWE wouldn’t be stupid enough to turn Daniel Bryan, all I will say is Wyatt Family Boiler Suits…
-Whoever decided to release the Jerry Lawler podcast this week needs to have a word with themselves. When a podcast is recorded it has to be edited, put together, and approved to be published so there’s a line of people who should have known that the comments that Lawler made on his podcast are inappropriate for 2017, especially with how sensitive the subject topics he discussed currently are. I’m in no way removing any of the blame from Lawler for making inappropriate comments and observations about potential sexual harassment in wrestling and how he feels about female wrestlers being treated on the same level as male wrestlers. Surely, though, someone should have noticed that this was not going to make Lawler look good. For the record, the Jerry Lawler podcast feed has now been deleted from my podcast list.
-That’s going to do it for me this week, boys and girls. Next week is the build up to Ring of Honor Final Battle, which from top to bottom is one of the best built ROH pay-per-view cards in their existence. Okay, the matches may not be classics on paper, but the storyline build for the top feuds has been excellent and even outstanding in some cases.
Have a wonderful weekend. As always, feel free to get in touch either through Twitter @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss anything I’ve brought up here.