With the main event put in place last week, the road to SummerSlam just got a lot more interesting! A sold out Toyota Center is the spot where it all goes down tonight, as the WWE universe descends on beautiful Houston, Texas for the newest edition of Monday Night Raw. Some pre-show notes.
- King of Kings Meets King of Swing: Disappointingly, Cesaro’s departure from Paul Heyman’s tutelage went down quietly, though it looks like Cesaro’s eagerness to prove himself as the newest “Triple H guy” could pay big dividends, or at least produce some great matches against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
- The Champ is Back: Cena returns from Hollywood (shh don’t tell anyone!) to respond to having to defend his title against the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar. It doesn’t look like Lesnar will be in the building, but expect Paul Heyman and Triple H (the masterminds behind the SummerSlam title match) to deal with the brunt of Cena’s ire this week.
- Brie Bella Summoned: After an altercation with “fan mode” Brie, Stephanie McMahon found herself spending a night (hours?) in the free hotel. As the Stephanie vs. the Bellas story got several segments last week, expect more of the same tonight, as Stephanie was formally summoned Brie to appear on Raw, for a proper face-to-face encounter.
- Nation 2.0: One of the most interesting mid-card developments of last week was Xavier Woods recruiting Big E Langston and Kofi Kingston to join in what looks to be a kind of a modern version of Nation of Domination. This could be amazing or horrible. Or both. We might get a clue as to which tonight.
That’s it! Enjoy the show and be sure to check back here at CDW for the “Day After” report and all your wrestling news and analysis needs!
Image Credit: ImpactWrestling.com
TNA is circling the drain. News broke late Sunday evening that Impact Wrestling was being cancelled (i.e. the contract won’t be renewed upon expiration in October) by Spike TV. The Panda Energy-owned wrestling organization has options, but one has to admit this is likely the biggest blow they’ve received to date.
From my vantage point, which is an admittedly inexperienced one, Panda Energy and TNA are down to a few options.
- Find a new television partner. Viacom, the parent company of Spike, owns other channels which may be a good fit – various MTVs, Comedy Central, CMT. TNA would likely be a bargain in comparison to WWE programming, but the expected bidding war for Raw and Smackdown never materialized, so perhaps there’s not a big market for wrestling programming.
- Sell to Vince McMahon. TNA still folds, but maybe Panda Energy sniffs a return on invest by selling the TNA video library to the WWE, which then gets thrown onto the WWE Network pile.
- Pick up stakes, move to the UK where TNA is so immensely popular that a 2015 tour was announced before the 2014 tour even concluded.
- Partner up with Jeff Jarrett’s GFW, who can capitalize on TNA’s aforementioned European popularity to expand his global reach, which already includes relationships with AAA and NJPW.
There’s one other option I can think of, but it would involve TNA cutting ties with some old school promotion minds and fully embrace the thing with which the pro wrestling industry has long had a tumultuous love/hate relationship… The Internet.
TNA spent a decent chunk of its 12+ years attempting to go head-to-head with the global, public juggernaut that is the WWE. They were even brash enough to go head-to-head with Monday Night Raw for a brief period, an experiment which yielded the umpteenth nWo reunion (and Scott Hall in sweats). The experiment failed in a way that not even the Mad Scientist could have failed.
Many wrestling fans probably DVR Impact Wrestling now so they don’t have to blow two hours with commercials. As is often stated, our media is increasingly becoming On Demand. Quick check of my phone: I have apps for five different video streaming services. How many are on your phone? If you’re into pro wrestling, and a non-WWE company offered a free app which could be used to stream their exclusive programming, wouldn’t you at least give it a download?
A few things TNA could do to make the transition:
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Daniel Bryan’s heroics involving a couple of would-be burglars and a rear-naked choke. Granted, it appears as though the Dazzler caught the criminals on the run, and it’s unknown whether they knew whose house they were intruding upon. That said, if one were to make a list of the wrestlers’ houses that should never be invaded, would D-Bry’s house be near the top of the list? He’s a submission specialist, sure. But, how many (former) vegans do you know that are avid gun owners? I’m not sure what the carry laws are in Washington state, but I’m guessing Bryan didn’t have any firearms on his person. Also, at 5’10 and a hair over 200, Bryan’s not exactly the most physically imposing guy in the world. And yet, one of the perpetrators is behind bars because Daniel acted in a situation in which (let’s be honest) most of us would have hidden in our cars.
Maybe Bryan should be higher on the list of Wrestler Homes to Not Invade. However, I can think of at least five names who should still be ahead of Daniel Bryan. Let me know if you agree/disagree, or if there’s anyone you think is missing.
5. Stone Cold Steve Austin
This name’s almost too obvious to include. I don’t know what the security detail is like at the Broken Skull Ranch, but my guess is that ol’ Stone Cold and Hershey might subscribe to the “gun in every room” line of self defense. The BSR also makes for a mighty big practice range for a man who admittedly spends a lot of time in deer stands. Also, he may not be sober. Avoid the Broken Skull Ranch at all costs.
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The Road to SummerSlam has begun! In addition to recapping the big announcement of the #1 Contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship two big matches are being hyped for another evening of exciting WWE action live on tape from Orlando, FL.
First up is a rematch from Monday’s RAW but this time with a twist: No Disqualification. Dean Ambrose will renew his agressions with possible new Authority hitman Cesaro. Monday Ambrose was diqualified for using a chair in what was turning into a fun match against the Swiss Superman. Tonight the two will hook it up again with no restrictions.
In the second of tonight’s Main Events, Roman Reigns will take on the Mexican Aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio.
Check out the full lineup below and tune in at 8PM ET on SyFy!
- Rybaxel vs. The Usos
- Bo Dallas vs. Dolph Ziggler
- No Disqualification: Cesaro vs. Dean Ambrose
- Paige vs. Naomi
- Bray Wyatt vs. R-Truth
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Roman Reigns