By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)
Hello friends, neighbors, readers and that one guy who thinks I’m famous because I wore a suit to a wrestling show. My name is Nick Perkins and I am your flag-bearer, your Paul Bearer, your Ring Bearer in the world of professional wrestling. Take my hand and follow me as I lead you through the week that was. We’re delving into the highs, lows, mediums and ‘mehs’ of pro wrestling and there is nowhere I would rather be than right here, right now, with you. Whether you’re an old fan, a new fan, or you land somewhere in the middle and just hate-watch these shows out of habit, I am proud to be the bearer of good news, bad news and the downright ugly news from WWE, AEW, ROH, Impact and more. With that being said, let’s step through the ropes and into the proverbial ring, as Pro Wrestling Dot Net presents Ring Bearer: Exploring the Week that Was in Professional Wrestling.
- In a developing story, Anthem Sports and Entertainment have purchased a majority stake in AXS-TV, the current home of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Because of this, Impact Wrestling will now air weekly on AXS-TV, beginning in October.
- This is a pretty exciting time to be a wrestling fan, as it looks like professional wrestling will have more of a television presence than ever before.
- Unfortunately, the Anthem purchase of AXS has resulted in many layoffs. As exciting as the future possibilities may be, it’s never a good thing when people lose their jobs. I wish nothing but the best for those who were affected by this move.
- Steve Austin and The Undertaker made their presence felt on Raw and Smackdown, respectively, as WWE returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time in three years. It was also the first time in 10 years that Raw emanated from ‘The World’s Most Famous Arena.’
- Let’s put it this way, when it came to the actual shows – there is Steve Austin, and there is everybody else. Austin is, by far, still the most popular wrestler in any ring he enters and the crowd reaction showed just how far removed today’s talents are from those of yesteryear.
- That’s not to discount the talent of AJ Styles though. In a segment featuring Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Austin himself, it was Styles that really stood out in his interactions with the rattlesnake.
- Following the opening segment, the rest of Raw was the usual fare. Nothing was inherently bad, it’s just that nothing was overtly good, save for the tag team match between The Four Horsewomen.
- Smackdown was even worse. The Undertaker opened the show with a segment featuring Sami Zayn. Taker said some nice words about MSG, Zayn ate a chokeslam and then…the rest of the show happened.
- This storyline between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens is mind-boggling. Owens returned from injury as a face, turned heel, turned back face, and now Shane’s bitch. He is apologetic and apprehensive when it comes to doing Shane’s bidding, all because he doesn’t want to be fined $100,000.
- Do you think Steve Austin cared about being fined? No. He only cared about making life miserable for Vince and overcoming every obstacle thrown his way. If Kevin Owens is channeling his inner-Stone Cold for his feud with Shane, he’s not doing a very good job. I’m sure this will all result in a match between Owens and McMahon (again), but I don’t care about Owens ‘finally’ getting his hands on McMahon (again) or getting refunded his stupid fine money. I just want this to be over. And it feels like I say that about a lot of WWE’s current storylines.
- Speaking of things that are over, evidently Baron Corbin is one of them. I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t hear it with my own ears and see it with my own eyes, but the MSG crowd LOVED Corbin. I’m not sure if they were cheering for him ironically or what, but somehow the dude has crossed over into John Cena/Roman Reigns territory in terms of dueling chants. The only difference is, Corbin is actually a heel. I don’t get it. I don’t get his appeal – to the MSG crowd or to Vince himself. But hopefully he makes the most of this opportunity. I hate even writing that.
- So yeah, Corbin snuck his way into victory during his Triple Threat match with Samoa Joe and Ricochet. It will now be Corbin vs Gable in the King of the Ring final, a match so prestigious that it got bumped from the Clash of Champions pay-per-view to the following night on Raw. If it’s the main event of that show, I won’t even know how to react anymore.
- Nothing major coming from AEW this week, but that’s okay. This is the calm between the storm that is about to erupt in the coming months. Wrestling is about to get very, very interesting and it’s fun to be along for the ride.
- And that’s it this week. This is a shorter column than usual because 1) nothing too major has happened and 2) I’m working on a retrospective piece about my first time in Madison Square Garden. It really was the experience of a lifetime, just based on history alone.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to give your opinions below. Just like, be smart about it. Don’t be a troll. This is a safe space. Any offensive comment will either be deleted or, more likely, completely torn apart by me. But we certainly want to hear your opinions, so share them below and be sure to follow me on Twitter (@WesternRebel). Good fight, good night.