Welcome to the first Weekly Report from the guys here @TheTopRope, the three hosts on our Audio shows will be giving their thoughts on certain events in the Wrestling week.
Simon Iles – @Simon_TTR
Well, whodathunk it? World Heavyweight Champion and internet darling Daniel Bryan Danielson turns heel and it’s not the biggest story on the lips (or should that be keyboards?) of the IWC. Neither is the fact that the main event of a TNA PPV ended unresolved for what seems like the umpteenth time. (We all know you can do better, TNA) Even the tragic news that Hulk Hogan is planning to shave off his iconic mustache has been pushed to the background by one man… and he hails from Planet Funk. Indeed, the biggest thing on the minds of wrestling fans this week is the rather amazing debut of Brodus ‘Funkasaurus’ Clay this past Monday night on Raw.
Of course there are people who didn’t like seeing Brodus, after all that build up, come out wearing a red velour tracksuit accompanied by 2012’s answer to the Funkettes. However, I am
not one of them. Admittedly, I was a little perplexed to start with, and on this week’s midweek edition of The Top Rope Wrestling Report, James and I shared our collective fear that he isn’t too far away from becoming a member of the Future Endeavours club.
Nonetheless, I did find the whole thing a riot. His entrance was fun, his mannerisms were fun, his in-match commentary was fun, his theme music was fun… In fact, everything about his debut was f-u-n. I have been guilty in the past of condemning gimmicks for being too silly and for not serious enough for a run in the big ‘E. However, having thought about it a bit more, I don’t think Brodus’ long term career is necessarily doomed. You can always turn a character like this into a heel, having him flip out on a face or something similar. And, perhaps, that is what they’ll do eventually. Or perhaps they are doing something akin to the idea I came up with on the podcast this week, which will see Brodus is given a whole host of silly gimmicks by ‘Big’ Johnny Ace before lashing out in frustration (although Brodus’ appearance on Smackdown this week maybe puts that one to bed).
But for now, I think the main thing is to sit back and enjoy it, just like I have learned to enjoy Santino for all his madcap antics. The Funkasaurus might not manage to win a WWE Title in this gimmick, but he will suplex the heck out of a few people and make me laugh along the way. The ‘E’ in WWE stands for Entertainment, after all!
Lee Charleton – @Leeleemu
Well somebody call my Momma! Planet Funk has arrived in the WWE but for me it arrives with mixed feelings, clearly the entrance entertains me and it has me laughing, for now. However, realistically, how long can one be entertained by watching an over grown Godzilla like Jelly Baby dance his way to the ring. Furthermore, how is defeating talents like Tyson Kidd in 10 seconds going to benefit anyone within the company? Surely, it’s only a matter of time before Brodus turns more serious and becomes a rampaging monster but let’s be honest, this guy whether dancer or serious monster is not the future of the WWE.
I do have to credit the change of direction by the WWE since July, they are seemingly trying harder to surprise the audience with the ItBegins videos, surprise returns and change of persona’s and that is something positive going into 2012. On the otherhand, I am beginning to give up on TNA, for the first time in a couple of years I didn’t catch their monthly PPV and after reading the reviews, I am glad. How they can expect anyone to pay good hard earned money and have the Main Event end in yet another disqualification is just beyond me. Again the payoff from this main event feud will happen on a free episode of Impact. Pointless.
Swinging back to the WWE and a brief note on Chris Jericho, I expect him to stay quiet until he wins the Royal Rumble and then he will cut a promo on the Raw to start his program with CM Punk heading to Mania. Daniel Bryan’s character is also one I am dubious about at the moment as I don’t think the WWE know how to write for Heel characters, every Heel who is not over the 250lb mark seemingly has to be a whinging cheating character and I can see Bryan ending up fitting into this mould like so many before him.
The WWE is in a very strong position at the moment, and if we look at the company like a sports team, currently they have Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Randy Orton, HHH, Taker, Nash and The Rock all on the sidelines but yet are still producing decent events. Heading to the Royal Rumble, I am looking forward to how current storylines play out and how the above mentioned fit back in.
James Partridge – @GoofyVillain
Where better to start than Brodus Clay’s return. I didn’t expect him to return this week. I thought they were going to keep putting his return back every week, as a joke. I was surprised to see Clay appear. I was even more surprised to see him become Funkasaurus. It felt like I had fallen asleep, and this was all a dream. I’ve read a lot of people enjoyed it, but I didn’t. It didn’t feel entertaining, or enjoyable to me. It was weird, and I guess I’m getting a bit bored of seeing big guys become either a monster or a love/dancing gimmick. I don’t see it being a long term, or make him a main eventer. I also don’t see where it will go, but for me, it gets thumbs down.
Chris Jericho made a second appearance on Raw, and once again got “overwhelmed” by the fans reaction. I was expecting him to stay silent. After all, the fans want to hear what he has to say. If he keeps quiet, we boo, and he gets the reaction he wants. I can see it happening again this coming Monday. I look forward to seeing how it plays out.
Many have called for Arn Anderson to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, and I’m glad he finally will. Barry Wyndham, Tully Blanchard and J.J. Dillion deserve their spots too, and it’s interesting to see Ric Flair will go in again. I don’t feel it’s too soon for Edge to go in, in fact, I think it’s perfect timing. He was due to end his time with WWE this Wrestlemania anyways, so why not end on a high note with his induction?
Finally, onto TNA, and their PPV, Genesis. It opened with a bang, and the X-Division 4 Way match. Austin Aries picked up the win in a great match, but after that, the event went downhill. Pope and Devon’s match confused me, thanks to the involvement of Devon’s kids (changing allegiance again!), Gunner vs RVD and the Monster’s Ball did nothing for me, same with Gail Kim and Mickie James. The tag match seemed poor, especially Crimson failing to break a pin up. It ended well with the Angle/Storm and Roode/Hardy matches though. It felt a bit of a letdown, and hope they can turn things round for Against All Odds in February.