Thursday, November 27, 2014
C.M Punk has broken his silence and done it in true C.M Punk fashion appearing on his friend Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast. Before we get into all that was said it should be noted that C.M Punk could have earned a ton of money giving this exclusive interview to anyone. It is the most sought after wrestling interview in the last decade and possibly ever. He did it with his long time friend Colt Cabana for nothing and is going to address his fans and haters a like, taking questions next week on the same podcast. On this fact alone, it is commendable of Punk and kind of serves as proof that this is not about Punk profiting from his story. The things he does say while some are what many have speculated for months as reasons for his leaving have been validated. Some other things that have not seen the light of day until now are truly shocking. It is stated among these revelations the fact that Punk never really quit the company. The truth is he was suspended not long after he walked out the night after the Royal Rumble; he was eventually fired on what was his wedding day to WWE Diva A.J Lee.
To cover everything that was said in this interview would take far to long to write out and likely will be the most reported on interview in wrestling in decades. You really need to seek it out and listen to it yourself to hear it in context. It is almost two hours in length and is truly fascinating to hear how much C.M Punk was going through physically during his time since re-signing to join the company until now. Among them wrestling with concussions, that Punk claims the WWE was in full knowledge of him having. He wrestled in all forms of pain beyond that, from bad knees, to broken ribs among them.
The most shocking of all was Punk had develop a deposit on his back that he brought to the attention of WWE medical staff. He was told it was some form of calcium deposit, which was nothing to worry about moving forward. Despite Punk’s insistence to have it removed, the WWE doctor deemed it unnecessary and instead gave him antibiotics. Punk was asked if the deformity on his back hurt, when he claimed it did not they gave him this medication. It reached a point where it did begin to hurt months later and on the encouragement of his wife, Punk would see her doctor in Florida. This doctor quickly diagnosed that Punk had been walking around with a staph infection for months. This according to the doctor could have been fatal. It was removed and Punk who it should be noted in his life had a fractured skull and had tattoos done on many parts of his body called it worst pain he had ever experienced.
Punk also made it clear that he had been questioning the WWE about the Network based on how it would affect not just his income, but in addition all the other wresters, with no real answers given to him. He claims that he never was given one to the point that he left. This is consistent with an interview he gave to Ariel Helwani just days before his departure from the company. While Punk did have complaints about payoffs for Wrestlemania and other events, it was about simply being paid to the level of other stars that appeared on the shows on his level. He claims John Cena, The Rock, Undertaker, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar all made significantly more than he did on the last Wrestlemania he appeared on Wrestlemania 29.
There was a ton of stuff about booking that was brought up as well including Punk’s desire to make the Mania 29 main event a three-way match with himself, John Cena and The Rock. He also claims that The Shield was in fact his idea to build a faction around him when he was not granted that match and had conceded and agreed to face the Undertaker. Punk’s version of the Shield he pitched include Rollins Ambrose and Chris Hero who he had worked with a ton on independents long before coming to WWE. The WWE was not down with having Hero and wanted Roman Reigns to be the third to which Punk conceded. The plan was for Punk to work programs with each of the Shield coming out of his lose to the Undertaker. WWE changed directions and killed the idea of the Shield being paired with Punk. WWE wanted the Shield to be originally the Big Show, Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins. Something Punk was not in agreement with and countered with the three names mentioned above.
There is many other stories including how Ryback injured Punk both times working with him. In the TLC match where a Punk and Ryback program was thrown together, he had his ribs broken from a kick from Ryback. When the two would later feud in the build up to Lesnar and Punk he would injury his hip on a table bump in which Ryback threw Punk missing the table entirely and hit the cement floor. Punk suggests that he feels both were deliberate on the part of Ryback and after the second injury, he confronted him and Ryback claimed stupidity rather than it being a deliberate attempt to injury him.
This only scratches the surface of all that was told. Punk goes into detail on the infamous meeting that night in Cleveland when he walked out where as it had been reported only he, Vince McMahon and Triple H were in the room.
It is without a doubt the most spell binding 90 minutes plus you likely will have heard about his relationship with WWE. This is obviously his version of the story but there is a real truth to it when you go back and piece together what was going on at the various times.
WWE had tried to come to a settlement with Punk on money he was owed to restrict either side from talking about it. Punk denied this based on how he had already being characterized on WWE programming. He did in fact get all the money that he was entitled too and the matter has been settled.
Punk claims based on the way he was fired on his actual wedding day was the final straw on him ever working for the company again. After listening to all the Punk has to say it is hard to imagine why he would ever want to do so. Even if you only consider half of the things Punk claims as facts, it would be enough for many to never desire to work with WWE again. In a wrestling world that is so much based on never say never about people returning this might be the most compelling case to say something is never ever going to happen.
It seems that Punk really wanted to give his true fans an explanation for all that has gone on in the last year and beyond as to why he is gone from the company. If you ever considered yourself a C.M Punk fan and still do not understand why after all he laid out I would personal question if you ever cared about him at all or just loved the wrestling character he played.
The scary thing is there is a real sense of truth to everything that he said and it paints the WWE although he claims it was not his intention in a very negative light. It also casts a very scary picture of the inner workings of the company and makes you wonder if anyone will ever be able to succeed without the WWE’s backing. It puts a great deal of things into prospective.
Punk also briefly talks about the need for a union in wrestling to stand up for the talent something that Vince McMahon has fought long and hard against even dating back to the 80’s. Jessie Ventura at the time had attempted to create one only to be foiled by Hulk Hogan and Vince. Punk’s story is a tale that really cries out for the need for one. Maybe you’re not a C.M Punk fan and think he is a jerk. Still the things that happened to Punk could just as easily happen to your favorite superstar or diva. Which is what makes this story so compelling.
It was the most eye-opening interview I have listened to in 30 plus years of being a wrestling fan. Short of when you come to the realization that wrestling is not real this cuts almost as deep into the ugly business side of this company at the top of the wrestling world.
C.M Punk had the balls to tell the story because he feels he can afford to and doesn’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life. Love him or hate him C.M Punk has always been a guy both in and out of character to speak his mind. On Thanksgiving 2014 in the United States, he did just that.
As I have said consistently the thing I am most happy about is Punk seems truly content and happy with his life and as a fan of this guy that entertained me for years I am happy about that. To listen to all he endured physically and mentally to entertain me makes me love him even more.
So, thank you C.M Punk for everything and allowing your true fans to hear your side of the story. This is not to say that we were owed anything, but so we can now understand it and have some closure to it.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers. Best wishes from our family to yours.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
The group of The Shield without question has been the three biggest and fast rising stars since they arrived in the WWE from developmental. People who are critics of them say that is by no accident given they are really the first three guys that Triple H put his stamp on coming out of developmental. Those people though could be classed as haters to a degree. Even if you accept the premise that the Shield was given opportunity based on Paul Lévesque it is hard to deny they have cashed in on every chance given to them.
When they were together as a unit, they motivated a roster that before they arrived seemed to be on cruse control and forced everyone to step up there game to another level. Bray Wyatt in a recent interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin on his podcast said the fact the Shield was taken before the Wyatt Family served as motivation for that group once they arrived on the scene in WWE. Both groups have now been broken apart into six individuals and all have been placed somewhere near the top of the food chain. The Wyatt’s success as individuals remains to be seen but is off to a decent start with Luke Harper capturing the I-C Title and Bray having worked a number of high profile programs already in his young WWE career on the main roster. Even Eric Rowan considered the weak link of that group has had an interesting run started as a singles competitor. In terms of the Shield, they have all shown signs of being top stars for years to come since splintering apart when Seth Rollins joined the Authority turning his back on Ambrose and Reigns.
The feud between Seth and Dean Ambrose created some great matches and perhaps the best long-standing feud of 2014 as the two have battled throughout most of the year. While the feud has been put on ice for the time, being their still remains unfinished business with Ambrose and Rollins based on the finish of their Hell in the Cell match. The finish to that match upset many and start of a feud with Ambrose and Bray Wyatt but the door remains open to have the feud continue down the line. In reality, all of the members of The Shield will likely be tied together for their entire WWE careers when all is said and done.
Rollins has slowly built his way to being a top heel in WWE. His teaming with the Authority has been a good learning experience for him to be working along side long-time talents like Randy Orton, Triple H and even Kane. They have positioned him nicely as this future star of the company. This is something that Ambrose and Reigns quite frankly were able to do without much help.
Ambrose is for my money from the start and to present day the most talented all-around member of this group. He is a hell of a performer and has an abundance of tools that can make him very versatile. He has shown the ability to be intense to humorous and shines with a microphone in his hand as much as he can with a steel chair or in just a straight up wrestling contest. Dean Ambrose once Reigns was injured quickly took the opportunity to make himself a top star and a huge fan favorite. I have said this before but when both C.M Punk and Paul Levesque can see talent in someone that is a hell of a stamp of approval. Punk and Triple H likely don’t agree on much but they have on the talent that Dean Ambrose possesses.
Roman Reigns from the very start was seen as the chosen one to some extent. He was positioned to be the muscle of The Shield when they were together as a group. He was well protected by both Ambrose and Rollins who have a vast more experience than Reigns. Rollins and Ambrose are guys that were already somewhat established on the independent scene before coming to the WWE. As opposed to Reigns who is from the start a WWE product part of their developmental system from day one. He comes from a wrestling family of Samoans he is the cousin of The Rock and his father was Sika. Much like a Randy Orton, Bret Hart or others he is a legacy to the business. He also has been the most judged member of The Shield with fans clearly seeing the WWE looking at him to be a chosen one and someone the company saw as a successor to John Cena someday as the face of the company.
His ill-timed injury has only made things more difficult as fans have had time to watch Rollins and Ambrose grow and become bigger stars while he has been out. People question Reigns in-ring ability and move-set as well as his overall stamina. They point out that he is the weakest of three on the microphone. None of these things come as revelations and really has always been the case.
Still it is hard to deny the “It” factor that Reigns has in him. Something about how he looks and carries himself that just makes him cool. He is attractive and that has not been lost on the female fan base. He has size, which you can’t teach and has always been a selling point for guys within the WWE that has always leaned to bigger wrestlers through its history.
There has been talk and for some time, that Reigns will likely be the one to unseat Brock Lesnar as the World Heavyweight Champion. A plan that has been talked about ever since Daniel Bryan’s title reign was ended prematurely due to injury. Many feel Reigns is not ready to take on that role and could use more time. Which in a perfect world I would tend to agree with that assessment
This is not that perfect world though and Brock Lesnar is almost guaranteed to be leaving after Wrestlemania 31. The WWE simply can’t justify the cost of keeping Lesnar at this stage given the failure of their network and lack of revenue to justify paying a part-time employee what they pay him. A bidding war between the UFC and Bellator MMA is also starting to grow some traction and if Brock has any desire to return to the MMA world he is never going to make more than he would come this April.
So when you factor that in the time may not be ideal but given how they have positioned Brock you might not have a choice. Lesnar’s defeat of the Undertaker has been positioned to make the next person to beat him as the one that beat the one that ended the most legendary streak in the history of wrestling. If not Reigns than who do you give such a resume builder too. John Cena clearly doesn’t need it. Daniel Bryan who at one time may have been the guy to take this honor is not healthy enough to grasp it. Rollins and Ambrose while both talented would lack that believability factor to conquer a Lesnar.
Bottom line of all this is ready or not it might just have to be Reigns. The Ultimate Warrior defeated the legendary Hulk Hogan and many felt he was not ready at the time. His run as WWE Champion wasn`t honestly the greatest success as it turned out. Where Reigns differs is he has more maturity than the Warrior did at the time. The Warrior’s addition to the Hall of Fame and sudden death immediately after has quieted the fact he wasn’t exactly easy to work with. When you compare his in-ring work, he had very little in his toolbox. He was never a guy that had many classic matches over his career. You can argue the best of his career came after losing the title facing Randy Savage in a retirement match at Wrestlemania 7.
Reigns still is the right guy for the job, despite fans love of his former Shield members this still is the case. Is the timing perfect and is he the best of the three at the moment. No not even close but can he grow and benefit the most from a title run right now I think the answer is yes.
Roman Reigns doesn’t come off to me as a dumb guy and knows that everyone will be watching when he returns in later December based on the latest we have heard from him. He will need to bring his “A” game in order to fight off a fan base that could likely not jump on board the ride to him being crowned the Champion come Wrestlemania 31. He saw the other side of that equation at last year’s Royal Rumble as he was the last to be eliminated by Batista who had returned for a run at the WWE Title.
The Shield have established themselves at the top of the WWE and are not exactly waiting to have the old guard of John Cena, Randy Orton and others step aside to have them take over. They have fought and earned all they have gotten and debating on who is the best of trio will be an on going saga for the next decade. The one that will have the hardest fight in earning that respect will be Roman Reigns. This is something that he has probably known from the very beginning.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Coming off the heels of the 2014 Survivor Series, and a perplexing Monday Night Raw. There's alot of questions going around the wrestling universe. Why did Sting debut at Survivor Series? Why did Sting didn't show up on Raw? Why didn't Sting become the new General Manager? Are we going to see a match between Sting and Triple H at WrestleMania 31? While all these questions are valid and leads to good discussion topics that we will get to eventually, lets step back in the history books and take a look at the Franchise of WCW and TNA, The "Icon" Sting. Also, I will discuss what will come out of this deal between Sting and the WWE.
Sting was a very athletic and body bulding type of guy from Venice Beach, California that really didn't get the opportunity to watch professional wrestling growing up. Sting was working at a gym where he met, the late great Ultimate Warrior. Sting got his start in professional wrestling as one half of Power USA and The Blade Runners with Warrior in the Continental Wrestling Association and Mid-South. Warrior and Sting partnership ended in mid 1986 when Warrior decide to go to the WWF. Sting stood in Mid-South for the remainder of 1987 and won three UWF World Tag Team Championships, one with Rick Steiner and two with Eddie Gilbert.
At the age of 28, Sting arrived in the NWA and was becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the professional wrestling world. Sting's start in the NWA wasn't a easy one at first, Sting was put into feuds with establish talents like Ric Flair and The Four Horseman, Barry Windham, Mike Rotuna The Road Warriors and even the Great Muta. At that time, Sting only had captured the NWA Television Championship and then in late 1989, Sting won a four man iron-man tournament to determine the number one contender to the NWA Championship. Sting recently join the face verison of "The Four Horseman" in 1989, but tensions starting to grow with the legendary stable when Sting won the tournament. In 1990, Sting was booted out of the Four Horseman and then at Clash of Champions X, Sting injured his knee during his Steel Cage Match with Ric Flair. The injury put the promotion and the bookers in the rough situation as Sting wasn't going to be avaliable to perform on all the events.
Sting finally captured the NWA World Championship at the Great American Bash 1990. I thought that moment made Sting the official franchise of NWA/WCW. Sting would continue to feud with The Forseman towards the end of the NWA. The NWA transition into WCW then in 1991, Sting lost his title to Ric Flair in a rematch at Starrcade. 1991 was a big year for Sting, he had a legendary tag team match with Lex Luger taking on the Steiner Brothers, then Sting won a vacated WCW United States Championship Tournament over a young "Stunning" Steve Austin. Also Sting won the very first WCW Battlebowl then leading towards a feud with the Dangerous Alliance. Sting won his first WCW Championship from Lex Luger at Super Brawl II. Then in May of 1992 at WarGames, Sting and his Squadron defeated The Dangerous Alliance which was also the highest rated match from Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer. Then to finish out the first part of his epic WCW run, Sting had some unique feuds with Vader, Jake Roberts, Cactus Jack, Rick Rude and The Dungeon of Doom.
Right as the Monday Night Wars started in 1996, Sting was already at legendary status especially with all the accomplishments Sting obtian while still not having one run with the WWE is really telling of how important Sting has been to the professional wrestling. We all know the story of the nWo and that there was talks that Sting was going to be the third guy joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash "The Outsiders." While the nWo was taking over WCW, alot of the fans, wrestlers and commentators ponder what side will Sting be on. Sting's character needed to change as the twlight of his career was coming. Sting came back as the "Crow" Sting and didn't speak on the microphone for over a year. The Crow Sting was one of the most unique characters in the history of professional wrestling in my personal opinion. I thought this Sting was way cooler than the original Sting. This lead to Sting taking on the nWo at Starrcade where he defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In 1998, Sting was defending his title against the likes of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page. Sting would join the nWo Wolfpac with Kevin Nash and Konnan. Towards the end of WCW Sting has feuds with Vampiro, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner. The final night of WCW, March 26, 2001, Sting took on Ric Flair in the final match of WCW's history. Sting still sticking to his guns decided to not go to WWE in after the buyout, where he's said numerous interviews that he felt that the company wouldn't present him in the way he wanted to be presented. Which I think kind of hurt Sting in the long run because you never know with the WWE unless you take that leap of faith and give it a try. I thought with the Crow Sting especially in a WWE environment Sting would still be tremendous that move could have reseruceted his career.
Sting would go TNA in 2003, where he became the franchise of that company as well. Sting became the NWA Champion once again and also won the TNA World Heavyweight Championships in 4 in different occassions. Sting had of bevy of feuds in TNA featuring, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christian, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Ace's and 8's, Dixie Carter and Ethan Carter III. Sting was part of a heel faction in the "Main Event Mafia". You can say that Sting's run in TNA was similar to his run in WCW. I thought something that worked pretty well for Sting in TNA is that as opposed to his original Crow character, when Sting was feuding with Immortal he brought on the Batman Joker persona into TNA. Sting became the very first member of the TNA Hall of Fame in 2012. Sting would leave TNA in early 2014 when he lost to Magnus in a Career vs. Title match at Genesis.
There was many rumors of Sting heading towards the WWE after he left TNA. Would he go there to finally have his dream match with The Undertaker? Would he have a actual run in WWE? Would Sting become a general manager of Raw and SmackDown? Sting eventually decided to join WWE where he made an appearance on the Warrior docuementary on the WWE Network, he was the main attraction of this year's WWE 2K15 Video Game, the WWE also release a best of Sting collection on DVD in September. Sting also has made public appearances for the company at the San Diego Comic Con and also the WWE 2K Panel during SummerSlam weekend. Sting finally made his first WWE TV appearance at Survivor Series where he took out Scott Armstrong and Triple H and helped Team Cena defeat Team Authority for power in the WWE.
Now to discuss the topics I brought up at the beginning of this piece. I think it's great that Sting is in WWE, I think it's 14 years too late in my opinion, but I'm honor and happy as a fan of Sting to see him get the moment he deserves. I'm not sure why Sting wasn't on Raw last night, not that's it's a bad thing I think that adds intruige and mystique which always a common thing when it comes to Sting. I don't think that he will become a general manager of Raw or SmackDown there isn't really a need for that to be honest with you. I understand he's 55 years old and maybe he may not be able to put on the performances in the ring like he did in the early 1990's, but I seen Sting have a match with Austin Aries in TNA when they were here in Chicago in 2013 and it was awesome. I think Sting can still go and especially with Sting's future, The Only Thing That's For Sure About Sting in the WWE is that Nothing Is For Sure. The best is yet to come in my opinion, I think it would be cool to see Sting go against Triple H at WrestleMania or even seeing Sting take on Bray Wyatt. It's still up in the air as to whether he will take on The Undertaker, but instead trying to figure out and ruining the moment when this match is officially made I leave it at this. Sting is a Icon, Sting is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time. He's The Undertaker of WCW, He's back in WWE, whether you like him or not, Sting deserves a WrestleMania Moment and it will happen soon let's try to enjoy the journey of Sting in WWE and not let the rumors and the dirtsheets dictate the way we think about Sting let it play out and I think you'll enjoy this run.
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Check out my wrestling radio show the "Pro Wrestling Experience" from 10am-1pm CT Wednesdays on Chicagolandsportsradio.com. We'll talk about Survivor Series, Sting, TNA's new contract, Lucha Underground. Two big Ring of Honor Interviews with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong.
It was an eventful Survivor Series for a number of reasons and an interesting Monday Night Raw in the aftermath of the special event. We saw the long anticipated debut of Sting a return to television for Daniel Bryan. Many things going on but not necessarily making the product better. I did for first time for me DVR Raw and it made avoiding Larry the Cable Guy segments. I have been little out of the mix with my birthday on the weekend. Back at it full force now with the five things were talking about coming out of Raw and Survivor Series.
1. Sting is Here: I admit that I am in the minority in not caring about Sting being here. In fact even a little angry that he is in a sense that he for me is a traitor after staying away as long as he did he returns at the very end of his career to join the company he was always against in WCW. That is not opinion of the majority though who seem genuinely excited to see Sting final here. It appears he is on conclusion course with Triple H for Wrestlemania. This would answer the question about the Undertaker returning as likely a no. Sting after affecting the main event at Survivor Series he did not appear on Raw.
2. Bellas are Bad and A.J is Still Here: So the Bellas screwed over A.J Lee and Nikki became the Diva’s Champion. Most felt it was the exit of A.J Lee from WWE but she was back on Raw and faced a now heel Brie Bella. It appears the WWE has just given up on the Bella vs. Bella feud. A.J perhaps had the line of the night on Raw when she informed Nikki and Brie that talent is not sexual transmitted. The Irony of whom all these three ladies are with makes the line quite interesting.
3. Dolph A Top Guy Again? Can we finally believe that WWE has finally got behind Dolph Ziggler? It certainly seems like it based on the Survivor Series and follow up on Raw that he is being booked as a high-end babyface. He being paired with Cena is a big issue though as we have seen many times being tied to Cena can be a death sentence at some point. For now, Ziggler is riding high and skeptical fans can still feel that way based on history. This all being stated it has been the strongest push he has been given since cashing in his briefcase to become World Champion.
4. Mizdow Remains A Huge Hit and Tag-Team Champion: It seems like Damien Mizdow is over and WWE is starting to get in line with his fan reactions that have been growing for months and months. This gimmick is really working with the Miz as people genuinely hate the Miz and love Sandow even prior to this run as Mizdow. It is nice to see, this should lead to the break-up of the team and a major mid-card angle for the show.
5. Roman Reigns Declares A Return Point: Almost lost in everything was yet another hey Roman Reigns in injured, but still coming back promo at the pay-per-view. Reigns claims he will be back by the end of the year. It is likely after the TLC event in just 3 weeks as he made it clear the end of next week. Reigns will have a ton of work to do just to get back to the spot he left with in the company. Many people took him being out as an opportunity and at top of that list is Dean Ambrose.
In other news, the Anonymous G.M gimmick is back. Yet I thought we made it clear that was Horns waggle. In any case, it appears we are going to have a series of rotating G.Ms until some angle allows the Authority to return which will eventually happen. In the end, there is a lot buzz about Sting but this is no solution to wrestling’s problems. People, who claim to want change, pop for nostalgia acts like Sting. That is the problem fans sending mixed messages of change but still cheering for Sting and other people well past their prime.
Friday, November 21, 2014
We continue down our Road to Final Battle for ROH with our guest Jay Lethal. Who at the time we talked did not yet have his opponent for Final Battle but now he does. Matt Sydal will be challenging Jay for his Ring of Honor Television Title which should be a great match. We do talk with Jay about his love of Randy Savage, his heel turn in ROH and his two different runs with company and a lot more.
In addition we chat about the state of race for number two in pro wrestling in North America now that TNA has found a destination for television. Why John Cena is the worst friend and babyface maybe in the history of wrestling and preview what is a very thin Survivor Series card. In addition get excited for the debut of former ROH star Kevin Steen in NXT as his first promo aired for his new persona Kevin Owens on WWE NXT. All that and lots more.
Thanks to Jay Lethal and ROH for having Jay stop by. We will have more ROH talent dropping in on our Road to Final Battle next week. Stay tuned to @Condoonthemoon for who will be next. In addition if you missed it last week go check out our chat with Kyle O'Reilly one half of ReDRagon the ROH Tag-Team Champs. For all the latest on Final Battle coming live on PPV December 7th head over to www.rohwrestling.com
If you want info on Jay Lethal's Wrestling School we talked about here is a link to the facebook page.
In addition if you are unable to access the Podcast here please head over to Podomatic where you can listen there or via I-Tunes.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Rumors a few weeks ago that Kevin Steen was filming vignettes for his debut can now be confirmed as the first Kevin Steen/Owens Vignette hit the airwaves:
The date 12/11/14 happens to be the next NXT Live event. Also some foreshadowing that Kevin's debut came after a promo for Sami Zayn? Time will tell.
The date 12/11/14 happens to be the next NXT Live event. Also some foreshadowing that Kevin's debut came after a promo for Sami Zayn? Time will tell.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Ring of Honor wrestling is on verge of becoming the new alternative to WWE in North America. This week will mark that last show taped by TNA that will appear on Spike-TV. It is expected TNA will be leaving Spike and return if they can find a television deal on a much smaller network. This would in effect make ROH the number two company in terms of reach in the number of households they currently reach. Ring of Honor also seems to be willing to expand and build on that through syndication deals with networks outside of Sinclair broadcasting that owns the company. That they recently did in the Atlanta market.
ROH has also started to get into pay-per-view with lack of the WWE on traditional pay-per-view. Their first venture into pay-per-view was a modest success exceeding internal expectations. They prepare to return to pay-per-view as TNA is scrambling to find their product a broadcast home. Final Battle will be live on pay- per-view on December 7th. We spoke with Kyle O’Reilly this past week one-half of the ROH Tag Team Champions speaking about a number of topics including Final Battle and ROH’s move to live pay-per-view. TNA if and when they come back will be minus one of the few stars they can claim to have created. Ethan Carter III is reported to have a torn bicep and be out of action for 6 months.
While hardcore wrestling fans have praised Lucha Underground as this great alternative wrestling program it has not translated to ratings. The El Rey network is also currently not in many homes or markets that will make it a struggle to build an audience to rival ROH or TNA depending on where they end up.
The other big player is Ring of Honor’s partners in the past New Japan Pro Wrestling. There involvement with Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling to debut on pay-per-view the following month made things a little complicated. It apparently has been worked out, as it appears ROH talent will in fact be allowed to work on this show. ReDRagon who also hold the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles from the NJPW promotion. NJPW was able to land Jim Ross to call their pay-per-view that should be a help as Ross is loved by many wrestling fans and regarded as the best wrestling announcer alive today.
Being number two means something far different from what it did 15 years ago. Still Ring of Honor as many in the promotion reference it in terms of the little engine that could likely never was expected to be here. Looking at a future where they could be considered the second largest company in wrestling in North America and the main alternative to WWE.
As good, as 2014 has been for ROH they have had some bumps in the road. 2015 will be a much different year for them, as they will experience in a sense what it is like to be the hunted a little bit as the main alternative to WWE. The race for second place will be far more interesting than anyone delusional to think they can knock off the WWE.
ROH come 2015 will be the alternative program or in terms of political analogy the opposition party. It is a role that at least from their booking should provide a product that is not trying to be the WWE. This is what fans truly want and will see if ROH can make the most out of their newfound position to expand their fan base as disgruntled WWE fans looking for an alternative have been on the rise.
Regardless of if TNA survives or not, after over a decade of failing to be a true alternative to WWE they have failed and it is time for someone else to have that spotlight. Ring of Honor is a position to say why not us. Given the number of their talents that have went on to success in WWE they likely have a valid point based on the talent they develop.