After a short break from our Weekly Thoughts, for host James to write up a small series on Live shows, we are back! Unfortunately, there’s just two of us with our thoughts this week, as Simon (@simon_iles) is missing….presumably still celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee! 😉 Anyways, onto our blog!
Lee – @Leeleemu
Howdy WR, firstly I want to thank James for his posts over the last few weeks and his continued TNA report success. I have finally bought a new laptop and therefore my activity on here will be where it should be and our TTR podcasts will be more regular like the old days, hopefully. Anyway, a lot has gone on since I last posted on here but lets go on to my thoughts this week.
The WWE have done a great job in bringing the crowd back to favouring John Cena with the use of The Rock, Brock Lesnar, Johnny Ace and now The Big Show. However, I am still worried about the lack of true star power the WWE has, I remember when I was growing up there was a bundle of talent I would look forward to seeing on a weekly basis and now I feel I am getting tired with people like CM Punk who was incredible this time last year. The problem with the WWE in my mind is they hold back the majority of talent and the few who do seem to get through the net in trying to reach the higher echelons get limited to what they can do. Am I the only one that feels CM Punk is becoming slightly laboured now? Finally though WWE are possibly seeing the light as the summer months are coming and post Mania they seem to unleash the chains on more of their talent and hopefully we will see Dolph and Cody finally realising their potential.
Having said that, I have to completely disagree with the stigma that Smackdown is way behind Monday Night Raw, with the introduction of Ryback and Damien Sandow, the returning Christian and Sin Cara to compliment the longer wrestling matches and continued build of Daniel Bryan, I very much look forward to Friday Night Smackdown. There have been strong comparisons between Ryback’s push and Goldberg’s in WCW but I genuinely believe Ryback is a better wrestler than Goldberg and from his time in Nexus as Skip Sheffield, I believe when he is given the chance, his promo skills will be of a higher standard also. This more old school build up of a monster talent will benefit him in the future as he steadily moves his way up the card. Sandow has been terrific, but one must applaud the WWE for building him up with vignettes before making his debut on Smackdown. Is it any surprise both Ryback and Sandow are the two that I am most looking forward to seeing at the moment? No, because they have used older story building techniques to bring them in.
Unlike the awful reintroduction of Dome Head Tensai who they are now repackaging and the childish Brodus Clay, who went from impressing me on Monday night to being absolutely squashed by the largest yo-yo (heel, face, heel, face) in the Big Show, Ryback and Sandow have proven the WWE writers still have it and hopefully they can build more stars more succesfully going forward. Mentioning Big Show, his promo was laughable where he had a dig at UFC and MMA, seriously Vince/HHH, get over people leaving the company to follow other pursuits. They will most likely come back and make you more money anyway.
Tut Tut Randy, we all thought your problems were behind you, from trashing hotel rooms, to using PED’s, to insulting the Diva’s, to spending $15,000 on a four week anger management course, the WWE and its Universe have always been behind you although this man writing has always thought you were slightly over-rated. It will be 60 days before we see another robotic promo from Smackdown’s Franchise Player.
Moving on to TNA, I haven’t seen the product for a long while and Alex Shelley’s decision to leave the company doesn’t make me want to check back any time soon. Pre Hogan / Bischoff, I was nearly turning to TNA as they were seemingly pushing much younger talented wrestlers who I had never seen before, but now, not only is it really a WWE / WCW graveyard, the production is just awful and with rumours that Chris Sabin is going to be leaving in August, I can’t see me going back in a hurry. I feel the WWE really have a chance to improve their product. If I was in the WWE Offices, I would be pushing for an X-Division / Cruiserweight type weekly show on the Network and I really think a 1 hour show based on technically gifted lightweights would receive higher rating than NXT and Superstars.
Anyway, catch us on The Top Rope Podcast this week as us crazy cats will be talking about much more.
James – @GoofyVillain
Earlier this week, we saw what felt like the beginning of a split for Vickie Guerrero’s “clients”, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger, with the Show-off being annoyed about yet another defeat for them. Add to that, Dolph was seen to be in a mood on Smackdown, snatching the microphone from Vickie during his entrance. For me, now is the time to split these properly, and let them go there own way. I’d also move Dolph from Vickie, and let her manage Swagger. I feel Ziggler could manage on his own, and go on to become a big star. Swagger though, I feel he lacks a bit promo wise, and Vickie could do the job being his mouthpiece.
The past two Smackdowns have seen Ryback dominate and destroy 2 jobbers, and while I do enjoy seeing him stack up 2 guys on his back, I think it’s time they moved him on to better opponents. I feel there’s only so much the fans will put up with of these squash matches, before they start to turn on him (as we’ve seen with Brodus Clay, and how it seems his fanbase isn’t as strong). Maybe move him up and have him take on actual wrestlers off the roster? I want him to suceed and do well, as I think he has the look, and ability to do a good job for WWE.
On the other hand, I’m not so impressed with Damien Sandow. Sure, he’s only had 2 matches, but from those, and his promos, I just don’t enjoy his gimmick at all. I just feel bored whenever he appears, he doesn’t excite me, or make me want to see more of him. Not sure he should be having quick wins over someone like Ezekiel Jackson in his 2nd match, maybe they could have used guys like Tatsu, Barreta, then move up to Zeke? I also can’t really take him serious in those pink trunks and purple kneepads. I mean, for a gimmick like his, I thought they would have gone with an attire similar to that of Christopher Nowinski and David Otunga.
I’m intrigued by the news, pictures and videos we’ve seen for the next release in WWE’s video game series, WWE ’13. Now, I’m a keen gamer and will often play any wrestling game I can…..well, apart from WWE All Stars. Seeing the pictures, and seeing we’ll have Attitude Era taking part into this, makes me look forward to the game coming out. I’m one who likes to mix up playing those from the past against those from the current roster, so seeing WWE will put some of these characters and gimmicks in from day 1 is great for me. Also seeing a few old arenas makes me think, they’ll be going down the route of having this tie in with a Road to Wrestlemania. Maybe have them bring back the Attitude Era guys to show this current crop up. Whatever they decide, I’ll certainly be getting this. Just hope they make Daniel Bryan’s entrance as realistic as possible!
Finally, is it me, or does it feel like Zack Ryder’s popularity has gone down lately? For me, I personally lost interest in Ryder round about November time, when he was bitching about not getting a US Title shot at Madison Square Garden. I agree it was a strange move putting John Morrison into his place, out of nowhere, but to whine and complain on his youtube show, and to start up a petition on twitter just came off pathetic. I’ve noticed though, that more people have suddenly started taking a dislike to him. If you’re one of these that no longer feels interested in him, or like him, I’d be interested to know what’s caused you to feel this way.
From the guys at @TheTopRope, we’d like to say thanks for reading!