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Wrestlemania 27 predictions!!!

Its time…ITS TIME!!! Its Wrestlemania 27 prediction time. I’m going to be honest with you, i’m not overly excited for this particular Wrestlemania, seeing as I will probably predict every single match correctly. But i guess that just speaks to the repetitiveness and staleness of the current product…but that is another post in and of itself… wel, without further ado, THE PREDICTIONS!!!!

The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov…

giving the fact that the WWE has all but lost interest in the Corre being a dominant force, I’m going with Big Show, Kane Santino and Kozlov.

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan…

Sheamus wins what will probably be one of the better matches.

Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler and Laycool….

Obviously the publicity for this match only really matters if Snooki’s team wins, so that who wins.

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes…

Again, going on the staleness of the product, Rey wins…then goes on vacation…

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk…

Orton wins…but I feel like this could be the second or third best match of the night.

Jerry Lawler vs. Micheal Cole….

Do i even have to say it….Lawler wins…easily…Cole and Jack Swagger both eat a Stunner from Stone Cold Steve Austin…

Triple H vs. The Undertaker…

Taker won’t lose at Wrestlemania…Taker wins…

The Miz vs. John Cena…

Cena won’t lose at Wrestlemania…to the Miz…

and finally…

Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio….

Del Rio is the new “chosen one” so he wins…

Thanks for checking out the predictions…and I promise if I am wrong, I will post an apology to everyone who believed me, but I’m pretty certain I won’t have to do that.

Is John Cena Bad for Business?

In 140 characters or less, yes and no. He’s great for business as far as marketability and merchandising. He is the Hulk Hogan of this generation, ( if you don’t believe me, go check out the late 80’s/early 90’s…) which is a blessing for WWE, but is hindering the growth and evolution of the company in general. Is John Cena actually bad for business, or are the decision makers the real problem? Now I’m not going to pretend to know the first thing about actual business principles or ideas, but I do know that repetition, predictability, and general idiocy is probably not the best things for business. So to answer my own question, no John Cena is not bad for business, the writers, bookers, Vince McMahon, and anybody else who has anything to do with the viewed product, they are the ones to blame.  Repetition has become the bane of wrestling fans.  If you need an example of WWE repeating themselves, look at the tentative main event for Wrestlemania, it once again features John Cena. If this isn’t enough of an example, look at who has main evented most of, if not all the pay per views this past year. If you guessed John Cena or Randy Orton, pat yourself on the back. I don’t know if its WWE not having any faith in the younger guys not being established enough to focus a main event around, or if its just a simple lack of creativity, but if they quit focusing on a handful of guys to “carry” the company and actually let some of the up and comers have a shot, they would more than likely have new stars for fans to cheer for or boo, instead of the handful WWE has allowed them to for the last few years. If you need an example of WWE being predictable, just watch last nights Elimination Chamber ppv, and get back to me when you’re finished. Done? Ok, now you understand. WWE needs to curb the predictability, as that would make for a more enjoyable viewing experience. A simple example I have is this…when you watch an NFL game, you don’t always know the outcome, and sometimes even who you think will win doesn’t. It is unpredictable because it is real. I understand WWE is a scripted entertainment show, but there are ways to cut down on the predictability of the content.   My comment about general idiocy is mainly directed at the writers and bookers,  who choose to put certain things on TV and ppvs, that are simply idiotic. For example, if you didn’t catch a recent episode of Smackdown on SyFy, Kofi Kingsotn, the intercontinental champion, has been fueding with Alberto Del Rio. I understand the WWE has and will continue to push Del Rio to Pluto, but why have it be at the expense of your intercontinental champion? Does anybody else remember when the I.C title meant something, or did I just imagine that part of history? Also, WWE has so much faith and time behind Del Rio, that they jumped him straight to main event, sort of like what they did with Sheamus, and what happened to that? Oh yeah, now he’s jobbing out to Mark Henry, but remember, Sheamus is a two time world champion, and the reigning King of the Ring. Idiotic writing and booking to say the least. WWE can right the ship if they just take a huge step back and look at what they’re doing, and who’s doing it. Push more stars, limit the few main eventers to a more marquee matchup feel, and fire whoever keeps booking Randy Orton and John Cena into Main Events. Or they can just keep on keeping on, and wait around for viable competition that will actually make them have to evolve, but I don’t see any competition coming from anybody anytime soon.



WWE versus TNA: a tale of two companies

Today I would like to do an analytic comparison of the somewhat tender subject that is the WWE versus TNA wrestling. As with all my previous posts, I will be fair and unbiased towards the two competitors, well, as much as I can be.

I have been a wrestling fan literally all my life. I have pictures from my childhood depicting the epic confrontations my brother and I have endured in the hap hazard “squared circles” we constructed out of our mattresses. I also remember reenacting classic matches for hours on end with my action figure collection. I have been watching  wrestling on television ever since I can remember, always cheering for the good guys, screaming at the television when one of the bad guys cheated,  enjoying the action and characters the wrestling world delivered. I have about twenty years of wrestling watching experience under my belt, so I feel qualified enough to give my opinions on the subject of professional wrestling.

The greatest obstacle for most companies is longevity. Can you stick around long enough to be taken seriously as a business, or as competition within the particular field you are in. The WWE has proven that they are the benchmark of the sports entertainment world time and time again. Also in business, the primary objectives are to make money. Throughout the history of the WWE, they have grown and manufactured marketable superstars that they have built the company around. Superstars such as Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man Randy Savage, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock.  These stars helped to establish many different era’s and time periods during their respective tenures in the WWE, which in turn, propelled these superstars to be extremely marketable to the masses.

The words professional wrestling go hand in hand with the letters WWE. (The judges would also accept WWF.) WWE is known the world over as the world wide leader of sports entertainment.(don’t sue me ESPN). Longevity and marketing are very important to any successful business, but in my opinion, without popularity you most likely would be lacking in the other two.

Though the WWE has been very successful overall, they, just like any other company, have weaknesses. As of late, the overall quality of the product that they deliver has become seemingly uninspired. The repetitive tendencies have diminished the strength of the product delivered on television. Also, the booking has become somewhat of a joke. I am all for elevating new talent to the main event level, I actually encourage it, but when they begin to “push” somebody, and the backstage politics get in the way of that, I feel it is a slap in the face of the general fans. Most fans don’t frequently read wrestling rumor sites, so when they see Kofi Kingston beat Randy Orton, then get relegated back to almost jobber status, they don’t understand why he was pushed so far down. In my opinion, the WWE should listen to the crowd reactions and feedback they receive for the competitors, rather then the writers, or even the other wrestlers. The fans make the stars, not the guys who write the stories. I have other issues with the general product, but I previously posted them on this site, so if you would like, you can go check that out.

For everything the WWE has done right, I feel TNA has done wrong. Some of these faults are right now out of their direct control, such as the longevity of the company. How long TNA stays around is technically up to them, but if they don’t work on marketability and their popularity, they might not have a choice in the matter. I listed five superstars the WWE has developed and marketed to be icons of the sport. I could have listed more, but I thought the point was made. TNA on the other hand, has relied more on outside stars, instead of really developing the stars they already had. There are the obvious exceptions, such as A.J. Styles, Samoa Joe, Abyss, The Motor City Machineguns, Beer Money and Jay Lethal. But instead of focusing on building up the talent pool, they decided to go out and sign a bunch of  past their prime talents. This in my opinion has severely hurt TNA, simply because the opportunities that should have gone to the younger TNA talents were wasted on the guys that were brought in. A lot of companies are going green, but there is no reason to recycle these old wrestlers. Also, the writing and booking of the matches are somewhat terrible, actually it isn’t somewhat. The lack of creativity and progression in the minds of the writers is pretty impressive.

The few shining moments in TNA are often overshadowed by a combination of 1998 WCW mixed with a little Attitude Era WWE. The in ring action for TNA, especially the X division competitions, are generally better, but with everything else TNA does, it is sometimes hard to even watch, and I’m not talking about the violence or the blood, or the shaking of the ladies, just in general it is hard for me to watch an episode of Impact, because it is not entertaining to me.  I, unlike most, believe the PG move WWE has done in the last few years is actually a good thing. Sports entertainment is and always has been directed to a younger audience. Yes, during the attitude era, that direction was geared to an older audience, obviously thirteen and up, but the WWE, or any other professional wrestling organization with a  television deal has been deliberately geared towards youngsters, except for the original ECW, and it was toned down a lot for TV. If you make a product the whole family can enjoy, and not just a select few, that in turn equals more viewers, which could lead to more fans, which then could lead to more merchandise sales.

Overall, I don’t believe the WWE will change the product around too much for awhile, simply because they believe they don’t need to. When the WWE actually had competition for TV ratings they stepped up the product, but with the lack of any direct competition they feel as though  they can continue on the path they have laid out for themselves. For TNA however, I feel they need to do a complete renovation of both talent and storylines, and get back to what they once were good at, total nonstop action, then maybe there might be a competition. But until then, the WWE is still the big fish in an ocean they dug out, while TNA is just a goldfish in a fishbowl up on the shore.

WWE, the changes, if I ran it.

I’m going to start this off with a very brief summary of WWE’s Summerslam 2010. Very simply put, it was pretty much what I was expecting, but there where some pretty good surprises, the most notable being the return of Daniel Bryan. Not the Undertaker you say, well I was expecting his return, but I thought his return segment was very well executed, enough so that the storyline may not be so predictable. But Daniel Bryan’s return was in a word, shocking. I was shocked to see him back period, let alone as an opposing force against the Nexus. Also, the Nexus interfering in the Intercontinental title match was a nice touch, though I would have liked to have seen a decisive winner first. Ok, enough about Summerslam, now let’s get to what this post is mainly about, the changes I would make if I ran WWE. Now let me preface this with, in all honesty, none of my critiques will be seen by anyone in the WWE, and if it were seen, they wouldn’t be taken seriously. So basically this is just my opinions or thoughts that could possibly improve the overall product.

First, I would even out the rosters. By this I mean have equal numbers of performers for both shows, including the Divas. There are too many wrestlers on Raw, so many are falling by the wayside. Guys like Evan Bourne, The Usos, Ted Dibiase,  The Hart Dynasty, and to an extent, John Morrison and R-Truth. Smackdown also seems to have this problem, but not to the extent of Raw. Either thin the herd if you will, or move the lower card guys to Superstars and make that its own brand, ala the revised ECW. This would free up time for the midcard guys to get more exposure, while not taking time away from the main eventers. Do the same with the Divas division, balance out the rosters for them, perhaps add in a few more as valets or managers, about eleven per show. That way they still get T.V. time, without having to do six diva tags or battle royals.

Second, I would consolidate some of the titles. If you watched last night’s episode of Raw, they FINALLY made the unified tag team titles actually one title, the aptly named WWE tag team championships. I would do the same with the Divas titles, consolidate them to the WWE divas world title. That way you could have the champions appear on any shows, as they have done in the past.  And  finally on the subject of titles, I would reintroduce a cruiserweight/light heavyweight title for the smaller guys to fight over, because, if I’m being honest, guys like Evan Bourne and Justin Gabriel probably won’t get a shot at a heavyweight title in the WWE.

Third, This anonymous General Manager gimmick has to stop…that is really all I have to say about that.

Fourth, push more guys to the main event. I can’t speak for everybody, but the revolving door that are the main event championships is really stale. I was so excited a few years back when C.M Punk won the belt, mostly because he was a new main eventer, and this year with Kane cashing in the money in the bank to become the champ was one of my highlights. Different people as champions, in my opinion, can’t be bad for business, so I don’t see why they can’t elevate more guys to the main event.

And finally, I would create more stables or tag teams, but only if the pairings make sense (I’m looking at you Santino and Kozlov…). For example, pair Kaval and Evan Bourne together for a high flying, high octane tag team. Add Gail Kim as the manager/valet, and you got yourself contenders for the tag titles. Or you could include Daniel Bryan and the recently signed Tyler Black and you would have an indy scene stable.  Look at what stables and tag teams have done for the likes of Randy Orton. The Evolution stable put him on the map, various tag teams propelled him, and finally, he led his own group in Legacy. And I’m sure I don’t need to mention what the Nexus is doing for some of those guys.

All in all, I’m still pretty satisfied with the product that the WWE is putting out, and this is coming from a guy who has literally grown up watching wrestling. I saw Hogan and the Ultimate Warriors’ classic match on pay per view, I watched right on thru the attitude era and the Monday night wars. Does this WWE compare to the old days? Some would say no, and I would tend to agree, but the thing to remember about the so called “best years of WWE” were they had competition in the form of WCW, and to an extent, ECW. This version of WWE is without any viable competition, so it’s understandable to me why they have slowed down. And without even a glimmer of what could be called real competition, WWE will almost certainly stay king of the ring.

WWE Summerslam 2010 predictions!!

Today is Saturday, we don’t post on Saturdays, but today will be an exception. It’s the day before the biggest party of the summer (their words not mine..) and I’m here to deliver my predictions for Summerslam. I’m not going to waste much time up here, lets just get straight to it.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the I.C. title…

I see no real reason they would have Ziggler win the belt two weeks ago, just to lose it now, so I’m going with Ziggler.

Alicia Fox vs. Melina for the women’s title…

Ummm….Melina. Let’s be honest, any diva other than Maryse were just a placeholder until Melina returned.

The Big Show vs. The Straight Edge Society…

I want to say S.E.S, but knowing how things usually go..I’ll pick the Big Show.

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship..

Kane…but expect some obvious surprises before, during, or after this match.

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship…

I would love to see Orton regain the title, but I don’t think it will happen, so I’m going with Sheamus.

and finally….

Team WWE vs. The Nexus…

The only way I feel like this match can end and maintain the recent excitement is with the Nexus winning, so I will pick them…but I have this suspicion that WWE may go a different direction with this match.

There you have it, my predictions. Feel free to leave your own in the comments, and I will be back on Tuesday with a follow-up to Summerslam and a sort of “State of WWE” type post. Thanks for checking us out, and everybody enjoy the show on Sunday.