By Nick Perkins, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@WesternRebel)
Hello friends, neighbors, readers and dad. 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.
And by week, of course, I mean month. Being that it’s been a month-ish since my last piece, we’ve got quite a bit to cover, so let’s skip the formalities and get right to the good stuff. You open the wine, I’ll dim the lights. Just be gentle; it’s been a while.
It’s also been a while since anybody has given a damn about Seth Rollins. After toiling in fan’s apathy for the past year or more, Rollins finally gave himself an edge by aligning himself with the Authors of Pain (or, just, AOP I guess) and viciously attacking Kevin Owens. It was a very interesting and entertaining segment, and it’s encouraging to see that WWE (and Rollins himself) are self-aware enough to know that his good guy shtick just wasn’t cutting it. Nobody wanted to see Seth Rollins as a good guy and, now that he’s back in his comfort zone, I have no doubt that he will thrive. Seth Rollins is very talented but he’s always struck fans as somebody that’s just trying too hard. He was like the guy you knew in high school that never quite got to sit at the popular table, so when his parents went out of town he threw a party and people came but they broke all his shit and had sex in his parents’ bed. They didn’t respect him and, for a long time, fans didn’t respect Seth Rollins. But I have a feeling that we’re all about to be reminded of just how good the former Tyler Black can be.
Speaking of reminders, we’re about to be reminded of the majesty of John Morrison. It was officially announced that Morrison is returning to the company and I, for one, am psyched. In the latter couple years of his WWE career, Morrison was having the best matches of the night. Whether he was taking on CM Punk, Edge, Sheamus, Miz or anybody else, Morrison truly was the highlight of the night. He has only grown as a performer since then and the thought of the former Johnny Blaze mixing it up with the aforementioned Rollins, along with guys like Sami Zayn, Ricochet, Mustafa Ali and so many more. Whether he’s Johnny Raw, Smackdown, or NXT (OMG, Morrison vs Gargano for the right to be the real Johnny NXT, please and thank you) he is sure to shake things up…for a few months anyway until the Old Man gets tired of his new toy again.
What’s old seems to be new again in several aspects of WWE, as Daniel Bryan is, once again, the Yes Man of Smackdown. Good. His heel run was forgettable and ill-advised. Hopefully he was able to get whatever he needed to out of his system. It’s almost impossible for fans to not like Daniel Bryan and now we don’t have to pretend to. He probably won’t come out of his feud with The Fiend with the Championship, but he will rise like a phoenix with a new set of fans ready to cheer him on. Please can we get a rematch/feud between Bryan and Brock Lesnar? Somehow?
WWE TLC is this Sunday, or next, whatever it doesn’t matter, and there are very few titles on the line. Actually, there are very few matches that are even announced. This is WCW-level ineptitude. Or Vince just doesn’t give a shit anymore because fans already have the network, so it’s not like WWE needs to actually sell anything. But isn’t that a perfect metaphor for the bigger problem? Vince is complacent; so complacent that he doesn’t even care enough to announce matches more than a week before a big show. And yet ratings continue to dwindle, fans continue to grow disinterested and AEW (and NXT, to be fair) continue to prove themselves to be the real wrestling shows to watch. It’s getting to the point where if Vince doesn’t care, neither will fans.
Speaking of AEW and NXT, they continue to put on solid shows every single week. Despite some hiccups (audio issues for AEW, anything regarding the Forgotten Sons for NXT), both shows put out a superior product each and every Wednesday.
Honestly, just too many things have happened this past month, so here are just a few random vignettes as they cross my mind.
- Joe Koff is starting to sound like a not super great human being and/or boss (if you’re reading Joey Mercury’s tweets).
- Is it just me, or has the CM Punk return fizzled out quicker than an iceless glass of Pepsi?
- Punk was, dare I say, boring on this week’s episode of WWE Backstage.
- Is it because he’s as bored as many fans are of the current product? Maybe bored isn’t the word; maybe apathetic is.
- Based solely on his AEW career thus far, Kenny Omega is boring.
- MJF is the best heel in the business. He is going to be a star for years to come.
- Cody Rhodes could be the best face in AEW, but he still has a ways before he surpasses Daniel Bryan, Johnny Gargano, or Becky Lynch.
- Jake Hager comes off like a doofus.
- Finn Balor vs. Adam Cole is going to be a fascinating match and I’m not completely sure how it will end. Good! That’s when wrestling is at peak entertainment. Balor could be the monster heel that Cole is not (because Cole is just too “cool,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and he has ready-made feuds with Ciampa, Lee and the returning Gargano.
That’s it for me this week, fam. It’s been a hectic month and it’s showing no signs of slowing down, but what a time to be a pro wrestling fan. Even with all the bad, we’re living in an age where we can get as much wrestling content as we want and, as my old friend Diamond D. Page once stated, “That’s not a bad thing…that…is a good thing.”