Archive for January, 2014

A Few Thoughts on the ROH Title “Unification”

Image credit: ROHwrestling.com

Image credit: ROHwrestling.com

I guess even in pro wrestling, things happen in threes.

The Ring of Honor World Champion was slated for a match at “State of the Art” on 2/8, against the winner of a recently scheduled bout between Roderick Strong and Paul London.  However, both of the independent veterans were scratched from the card – Strong due to injuries, and London due to travel issues.  So, Adam Cole will instead be defending his title against this guy:

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Officially a former ROH World Champion, Jay Briscoe was never beaten for the title when he was stripped of it last summer in the midst of a strange set of circumstances.  However, Briscoe returned in October with an even-bigger chip on his shoulder, and a new belt which signified his self-proclamation of Real World’s Champion.  Briscoe’s belt is neither sanctioned nor recognized by Ring of Honor, but Jay has nonetheless been defending his strap across the country at ROH events.  The “real” world title will also be on the line at State of the Art, thus unifying the two belts.

Stop me when this starts to sound familiar.

I suppose this match was inevitable, ever since Briscoe first bonked Michael Elgin and Adam Cole with his custom strap at Glory By Honor XII in late October.  That moment really set the table for a future unification match, though I (Martel, world-renowned armchair booker) had hoped the match would come under different circumstances.  As it is, the match feels like a rushed fill-in for the previously scheduled SOTA match on 2/8.  On a ROH show on 1/25, Chris Hero earned a future world title match by pinning Adam Cole in a tag match.  In my mind, it would make more sense to have Chris Hero get his match on 2/8, with Briscoe then challenging the winner for a match at 12th Anniversary on 2/21.

There are some pros to how ROH has chosen to handle the situation, though.  The main event scene in ROH is as crowded as it’s been in years – Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin, Chris Hero, AJ Styes and Briscoe are all credible contenders to the world title.  Additionally, Briscoe beat Mr. Wrestling at the Golden Dream in November, so he’s undeniably the leader of the pack.  I just question the timing of the match.  That said, as substitute World Title matches go, one could do a hell of a lot worse than Cole v. Briscoe.

The WWE’s title unification bout, aside from benefiting from a obviously higher profile than the upcoming Ring of Honor match, has been over 11 years in the making.  Even though the company built to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for only a few weeks, the match was inevitable from the moment Eric Bischoff awarded Triple H the big gold belt.  The WWE’s match of choice was the infamous TLC match, broadcast live on pay-per-view.  TNA’s unification match between Magnus and AJ Styles, broadcast on Impact Wrestling in January but taped in early December, was a cluster-F of run-ins and outside interference.  Ring of Honor’s effort of bringing together two world titles should fall somewhere in between the “big two.”

The winner will face Chris Hero at 12th Anniversary on 2/21.  Steen, Elgin, and Styles are on deck.

Kevin Nash Tweets about Bryan & The Rumble

Tuesday I tried taking a break from Bryan-palooza. Tonight? Let’s take a breather from Punkgate and go back to Bryan. Surprise Royal Rumble Entrant Kevin Nash spoke out today about the reaction to Daniel Bryan not participating in the 2014 Royal Rumble match in the tweet above.

Now, when he says Bryan wasn’t going to win, don’t mix messages. He means wasn’t booked to win, not that Bryan isn’t qualified to win (he said as much in a later response). Seeing as I stated a very similar opinion in the Day After: Royal Rumble column, you know my opinion on the matter. If things hit critical mass after looking strong in defeat against Bray Wyatt and missing the Rumble, what sort of shenanigans would have occurred with the rowdy Pittsburgh crowd if Bryan entered at #30 and were tossed by say, Batista? The “burial” talk would have been off the charts and who knows what would have went down in that arena.

You know my take, I want to put it to you: knowing that Kevin Nash is a divisive figure in the Internet wrestling community, hated by some, loved by others, and knowing what you know now about Daniel Bryan’s creative direction Monday on Raw; put it all aside and boil it down…is he right?

The WWE-Punk Brouhaha News & Rumor Roundup Extravaganza

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NOTE: If you missed our initial post this morning on this topic check that out right HERE.

I thought I’d throw this one together to gather the flurry of activity on this topic hitting the internet today. Overarching disclaimer: deep breaths, it’s just entertainment. Nothing to yell at strangers on the internet over. Also, my general policy is to take anything not said by CM Punk directly or someone within WWE on this story with a grain of salt.

  • Bully Ray has issued an invitation for CM Punk to meet him in a TNA Ring. (Twitter)
  • Former Ring of Honor head Gabe Sapolsky suggests, “Let him recharge, refresh and get his life back. He mentally and physically needs it. If and when he’s ready to do something, I’m sure he will. Just leave him alone and let him be.” (Inside Pulse)
  • MMA jump speculation based on last week’s comments to Ariel Helwani are ramping up. (Bloody Elbow)
  • WWE Shop releases new CM Punk Hat…today. (WWE Shop)

I would like to preface this next story by bringing up (again) that just this past week in his interview with Ariel Helwani, Punk said this of Batista’s return, and I quote:

“It’s great. I was critical of Rock coming back because of the part time status, I’m still an advocate of, I think guys who come back just for WrestleMania and possibly take a spot of somebody who quote, unquote, deserves it. Also, a weird thing to gauge in pro wrestling who deserves something or not. But he’s in for the long haul. He’s apparently signed a two-year contract.”

With that said…

  • TMZ Sports has posted a sensationalized article about the story that has my Spidey sense tingling out of control. To be honest it’s everything I hate about internet wrestling reporting. Attributing a quote to Punk that we have no evidence he said in the headline? Check. Scapegoating a “hoss”? Check. Quoting “sources”? Check. Triple H hate? Check. This thing is SO over the top. (TMZ Sports)
  • Thankfully, PW Insider is disputing that Batista’s return is the cause of his frustrations. (PWInsider)

This is an interesting series of  tweets I haven’t seen getting much play via Casey Kulas, a ESPN reporter for ESPN Cleveland which I buy WAY more than “Dave Batista is a big meanie.”
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WWE Main Event Preview 1/29/14

It’s Wednesday night and that can only mean one thing: another edition of WWE Main Event! Tonight’s episode features three matches hot off the wrestle-press, so let’s get right to the card!

1. Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston & the Usos vs. 3MB

Nothing like a little trios action to get the blood flowing! Big E and the Usos are two of the hottest acts in WWE right now, so you KNOW the 3 Man Band is going to give it all they’ve got in this bout.

2. Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya

It’s a Divas match! Speaking of Divas, reports claim that Summer Rae will be joining the cast of Total Divas next season, replacing Jojo. This will no doubt lead to more screen time for Ms. Rae, but hopefully her switch to Total Divas (from Partial Divas?) will become a plot point on WWE programming.

3. Alberto del Rio vs. R-Truth

Oh man, no one ate it harder during the Royal Rumble than ADR. The poor guy spent up all of his promo time the past two weeks railing on Batista, and not only did the Animal dispatch him with the quickness, he went on to win the darn thing. Watch tonight as del Rio tries to scrape up what’s left of his dignity by beating R-Truth.

Rumor: Major WWE Star “Walks Out”

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Lots of news coming out of last night’s SmackDown tapings in Toledo, Ohio. A major match was announced, a tag team underwent a major change, and new participants for the Elimination Chamber were decided. But perhaps the biggest news this morning is the rumored departure from the company of a MAJOR player. If the reports are accurate this could throw a major change into WWE’s plans for WrestleMania.

The Wrestling Observer/Figure 4 Weekly is reporting that CM Punk told Vince McMahon Monday at Raw, he was “going home.” Punk has been removed from future live event advertising on WWE.com as of now including next week’s Raw and now, February 23rd’s Elimination Chamber. In the site’s subscriber only Bryan and Vinny Show on Tuesday afternoon, Bryan Alvarez hinted that this could be coming when Raw was reportedly re-written to put Daniel Bryan with Triple H in Punk’s absence Monday.

Quotes via Wrestlezone:

“There may be a big change in that the WrestleMania match may be being changed to Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan, as opposed to Triple H vs. CM Punk. Which is why Bryan was written into a promo on Monday that happened to be a promo with Triple H … and there has been absolutely zero mention with CM Punk and Kane, their feud, or anything having to do with it. Bryan may be getting Punk’s match.”

Punk was conspicuously absent from Monday’s Raw and at the time, sites had reported he had the night off.  Punk was rumored to have been scheduled in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match for Monday that would continue his feud with Kane and the Authority.

Lot of angles to look at here, but this could have huge implications. It’s been well documented that is Punk’s contract up in July, but the scuttlebutt on the internet for months is that he’s also been a bit banged up and burned out. Obviously there’s no official word as to if Punk’s decision was precipitated by one incident, is the sum of a number of things catching up with the Second City Saint, if it’s causing bridges to be set fire to, or if it is sanctioned by the Chairman. WWE’s only “confirmation” has been his removal from live events.

Should Punk be only be taking a break, his timing isn’t the worst. After being screwed out of the Rumble by Kane and the Authority, there aren’t a ton of loose ends to clean up. He could easily be written out as injured as a result of Kane’s chokeslam Sunday so WWE has a ready made storyline for his departure and possible return. Another thing to consider is that with the returns of Brock Lesnar, Sheamus, & Batista;  smarks clamoring for Daniel Bryan; and the presumed impending return of the Undertaker; the WWE main event scene is really crowded right now. So if Punk needed to recharge, while disappointing, it would give WWE an opportunity to satiate the fan base’s blood lust for Daniel Bryan to be placed into a major match in New Orleans come April 6th, replacing CM Punk in his long rumored match against Triple H.

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