Gleed’s Blog: Thoughts From Across The Pond – Daniel Bryan’s return speech, the Greatest Royal Rumble, Ultimate Deletion, 5 Star Wrestling throws in the towel


By Haydn Gleed, Staffer (@haydngleed)

-Lordy, it’s been a mad week for news. I mean of course I have to start with the biggest news story of the week which was…the postponement of the league match between Derby “Cheats” County and my beloved Cardiff City because of a centimeter of snow. Oh ,you came here for a wrestling blog, well I guess I have to talk about the return of Daniel Bryan to Smackdown then.

It was emotional, that’s the word that sticks with me when I think about the return speech from Daniel on Tuesday. The moment his voice broke when he said his wife Brie’s name. Oh, my god, I had to tell the girlfriend that I’d been chopping onions. It was such a lovely and real moment that you don’t get on a regular enough basis from WWE. I’m with my Dot Net colleagues when it comes to the idea that it’s going to take a while to not cringe when Bryan takes a bump and especially anytime there’s a move like a superkick which is aimed at the head, but I’ll get past it.

Although the storyline with Daniel Bryan, Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn has been poorly booked, with the official return of the bearded one, it feels that we can finally get into the next chapter. As I’ve stated a number of times, it’s felt that this angle has been in a holding pattern of sorts, and as a result, it has either stretched logic to the nth degree or just felt like a never-ending feud. However, with the latest development presumably leading to a tag match at WrestleMania, it has opened up a number of intriguing possibilities. How will Owens and Zayn get their jobs back? Could they have a job on the line stipulation match at WrestleMania? Does that mean they are going to win and is that what’s best for Daniel’s return match? It has certainly breathed life into their feud.

-While we are on the subject of Smackdown, The Usos were upset because they were on the way to having a classic with The New Day when the match was interrupted? In the wrestling universe, surely they should be more focused on winning a match rather than putting on a good show. #justsaying

-On the same day that the Daniel Bryan story broke, buried in the news dregs of that day was that 5 Star Wrestling out of the UK closed its doors. For regular readers, you may remember me discussing 5 Star Wrestling back in September when they took the slot on Freesports channel in the UK after allegedly making huge promises to the TV station about the level of attendance they could manage in a short amount of time. Their philosophy was essentially a Wayne’s World philosophy of if you book them they will come. Instead of the traditional way of building a company through years of working hard in small halls and gradually building up their audience, they booked arenas of 10,000 to 21,000 capacity and were only believed to be selling tickets in the hundreds.

When 5 Star Wrestling took the TV time slot, the buzz at the time was they had taken the slot from PCW, who were in advanced talks before 5 Star Wrestling took the slot at the last minute. Thus, the news of the promotion’s demise was met across the board with a sense of karma from those within the business in the UK. However, no matter what people, including myself, felt about their business practices and strategy, it was also met with a tinge of disappointment. At the end of the day, it’s another payday that the UK talent are missing out on and despite the fact the TV show wasn’t great, it was also the first exposure some talent had had of weekly television and the lessons they learned have been invaluable.

-Surely I can’t be the only one who is actually looking forward to the Greatest Royal Rumble that will be held in Saudi Arabia. It’s going to be a lot of fun and all signs point to the event being broadcast live on WWE Network. It will be available in the UK as a pay-per-view through Sky Box Office and that has some British fans concerned that if it is on the network it will be blocked in the UK. For those concerned, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Sky Box Office still carries the more “traditional” pay-per-views every month despite that they are available on the network for half the price, so I’m guessing it’s just a continuation of trying to milk as much money as possible out of the idiots, uh, I mean the misinformed who haven’t ordered the network and are willing to still pay double the price. Those folks are usually from Swansea. I bet I only pop a handful of people with that dig, but it was totally worth it, besides I don’t mean it, as the thought of anyone in Swansea with a job in order to pay for a PPV is a laughable notion.

-I enjoyed Ultimate Deletion, but it wasn’t quite as good as it was in TNA. Part of it was an unrealistic expectation level and a large part of it was the poor build leading into the…..what do I call it? It surely can’t be called a match. Movie maybe? I also spoke to a few of my friends and work colleagues who had never seen the original Broken Universe to gauge their opinions. Not one of my friends or colleagues actually enjoyed this and didn’t have a clue what was going on. I don’t feel WWE did a very good job of hyping what this universe was all about. As a result, many viewers were just confused coming out of this. Obviously, my network of friends is only a small sample size (and one of them is from Swansea after all meaning his opinion should be discounted), but checking the reaction on Twitter it seemed this opinion was shared by many. In that sense, it is disappointing that it doesn’t look like it will become the cult smash hit that it became in TNA, but I am glad that we got to see a WWE version of this universe.

-Despite knowing better, part of me wants to see Husky Harris back on TV. But in all seriousness, I am intrigued where they go now with Bray Wyatt. If anything comes out of The Ultimate Deletion in the long run it should be a reinvented and revitalized Wyatt.

-That’s going to do it for this week. I wrote a blog earlier this week with my initial thoughts on the Daniel Bryan news, so feel free to give that a read here. I am embarking on a two week vacation from my job so I’m going on a mega Progress Wrestling viewing marathon, so chances are my twitter is going to be mega pro UK wrestling for the next wee while. I hope you have a happy and safe week!

As always, feel free to get in touch either through twitter @haydngleed or via email

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