Welcome to the Weekly Report from the guys here @TheTopRope, as usual here are the three hosts thoughts on the Wrestling Week. Enjoy!
Simon Iles – @Simon_TTR
A quick question, readers: are we back in 1998? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about this week’s Raw as I thought it was very good, but having Mick Foley talking about winning the Royal Rumble and then getting involved in what is seemingly supposed to be ‘McMahon-Austin’ for 2011, it certainly felt like we had been thrust back in time.
We had mixed opinions on this week’s midweek podcast about Foley. James didn’t think he’d be in the Rumble and certainly didn’t want him in it, while I offered a positive response on both points. Personally, I would not mind Foley being in it at all, and it would be something to look forward to considering we haven’t seen Foley in a WWE ring for a little while.
What is also interesting about all of this is that Foley’s interaction with ‘Big Johhny’ opens up the possibility of Foley and Laurinaitis vying for the permanent GM role, a prediction made all the more possible in light of Laurinaitis expressing his desire for the role on Monday night. Where do you guys see this going?
Turning briefly to the blue side of things, I am hoping that Daniel retains at the Rumble, and that we can see an AJ heel turn out of this somewhere. I think she would make a cracking little heel manager, and would throw some additional spice the way of Bryan’s title reign which, despite his limited range of opponents, is already gathering steam. I haven’t watched this week’s Smackdown yet, but looking at the results it seemed like a mixed show. Barrett defeating Sheamus ensures that the Barrett Barrage rolls on, while the ‘Dance Off’ with Vickie and Clay and Regal sounds like a rather odd segment. Still, it can’t hurt Clay being associated with one of the company’s top heel characters in Vickie. As for Regal’s involvement? Poor William.
Still, what I will say is that this week in WWE has added to the unpredictable nature of the shows recently. The Foley thing has added a new dynamic to things on Raw, Cena apparently ‘heeling up’ on Swagger adds some more to his character, while the Smackdown road to Wrestlemania is arguably the most unclear of the lot. All three of us think we’ve guessed the Raw road into ‘Mania correctly with Jericho winning the Rumble and going on to face Punk. However, to misquote Sting (who’s now on Twitter, incidentally), there’s one thing for sure about WWE at the moment and that is nothing’s for sure. And, I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s not a bad thing.
Lee Charleton – @Leeleemu
It was a nice surprise to see Mick Foley open Monday Night Raw, mainly because I didn’t read Twitter or the news sites so it was something unexpected and so was the fantastic exchange between Ziggler and Foley. Ziggler is bound to achieve great things this year but one thing I think needs to remain consistent, is his relationship with Vickie Guerrero. Fact is, Vickie is a heat magnet, I like her just because she’s Eddie’s wife but she is fantastic at building heat for any competitor. I would even like to see her add a tag team and have a small stable going on.
After thinking about Foley in the Rumble, I would have enjoyed it if I didn’t know about it like Nash and Booker last year so now I hope he is only involved with the Punk v Ziggler match which hopefully will setup a Foley v Laurinaitis feud for the power on Raw. They could have some interesting gimmick matches with Punk and Ziggler involved.
Also on Raw, I thought Cena finally managed to show a different character and even his fans seemed slightly wary with how to react. There is no doubt Cena would be a great heel character but I still don’t think it would make business sense to turn him. Sadly, the WWE decided to crush the new US Champion which once again just seems like the WWE are trying to prove how much more superior Cena is to the rest of the field. Two more interesting performances on Raw was Punk’s decent promo and Jericho’s antics, looking forward to seeing them both at Mania.
On the blue side, the WWE are actually doing a great job of building Daniel Bryan as a credible heel and Champion, I thought he would end up playing a similar character to Christian which I have a massive problem with so I’ve enjoyed his buildup and a cage match at the Rumble again gives him a legitimate chance of winning and building his reputation.
Finally I feel the Tag Team Division could pick up, the WWE needed to take the belts off Air Boom just because they are just not a legitimate tag team so I am quite happy that Evan Bourne has proven he’s a true plank. I am sure next year he will be the X-Division Champion so good luck with that Evan, or should I say Matt. Anyway, I just hope Smackdown can be the show Tag Teams develop, The Uso’s and Epico/Primo just look like Tag Teams and given time could put on some great matches. I for one love Tag Team matches and I just hope the WWE decide to bring some more teams in to build the Tag Team Division, its strange because the WWE know better then anyone that you only need 4 quality Tag Teams to really make the division a crowd pleaser, hopefully this division keeps growing.
Finally, although I have been very happy with the WWE in 2012, I thought they slightly dropped the ball with Brodus Clay. Surely by now, the WWE now when a character hasn’t been on TV in a while he is going to be seen as a Face, especially if he is a hugely respected wrestler over the past 20 years. So to try and build Brodus as a face, they have him completely squash Regal in a terrible segment on Smackdown. Somebody call the police, never mind their momma on whoever wrote that script.
James Partridge – @GoofyVillain
The past week of wrestling has been enjoyable to me. The majority was entertaining, with a few things not so good. Guess not everything can be perfect.
“Perfect” links well, as my first thought is concerning Dolph Ziggler. This guy always entertains me, but I’ve felt something has been missing. That something is a spark during promos. This past Monday, as his segment with Mick Foley ended, I felt he finally cut a promo that made me think “it’s now time for him to be in the main event”. 2012 will be the year of the #HEEL.
Speaking of Mick Foley, while I was glad to see him appear, I didn’t agree with him wanting in the Royal Rumble. I’d rather see the spot go to someone who has busted their ass the past year and deserve it. I believe Foley will be involved in the CM Punk/Ziggler match, using the hand of “Big Johnny” to count 1-2-3 as Punk retains.
It’s no secret to those who know me well, I’m a Daniel Bryan fan. I’ve also wanted to see him turn heel for the past few months. Now he is going down the heel route, I love it!! He’s not gone the way I was thinking (talk less, kick more heads, bring back the “I have till 5!” catchphrase), but I’m enjoying seeing how this all plays out.
On Sunday, it broke that Primo and Epico were the new Tag Team Champions. My first thought was “surely Evan Bourne hasn’t broke the Wellness Policy again?”. Less than 48 hours later, it was confirmed he had. I have no sympathy for him, breaking it again so soon after his first violation is just pretty stupid. Time to wake up Evan, you’re talented and screwing up this chance big time.
As for TNA, Impact aired Sunday and their main event of Jeff Hardy vs Bobby Roode confused me. Roode asked Bully Ray for help, Sting said if Roode gets intentionally DQ’d, he’d lose the title. So, Bully Ray helps save Roode…and the show ends with a no contest. Interested to see what happens next.
Ending by saying I’m off to see TNA’s UK Tour in Manchester on Friday. Can’t wait to see Austin Aries and Sting. Yes, even looking forward to finally seeing Hulk Hogan live in the UK. Full report of the event to follow when I return home, brother!