Worse Than It Ever Was, Worse Than It Ever Was

The WWE right now STINKS!!!!!  The wrestling business has seen better days.  TNA as it stands right now faces a questionable future.  But I’m not gonna talk about every promotion or the state of the wrestling business itself.  I’m just gonna talk about the WWE and how bad a shape it’s really in.  People are calling Survivor Series “PPV of The Year” all because of Sting’s debut.

Let’s get something straight here about Sting.  Sting’s debut on PPV and showing up in a WWE ring was monumental.  Sting facing off with Triple H and eventually laying him out was epic.  Needless to say, having Sting debut at Survivor Series was a brilliant move.  Of course, that now begs the question as to how the same people who acted so brilliantly in having Sting at the PPV could be the same people who were so stupid as to not have Sting on Raw the following night.

I hadn’t watched Raw in 4 months because of below par programming mixed with tired and/or recycled storylines.  The following night on Raw had one job to do and it failed miserably at performing that task. That task was to be the follow-up to not only the arrival of Sting, but Dolph Ziggler closing out the main event as the sole survivor and winner for his team.  Sting was nowhere to be found and the only thing we got out of Dolph Ziggler was he’s in the main event teaming with John Cena against Seth Rollins, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury.  For both Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler (I’m leaving John Cena because he’s already established himself), I don’t see how either guy benefits from this and what in the bluest of blue HELLS is Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury doing in a main event other than making themselves and Seth Rollins look like the worst trio to be seen on Raw since The Three Stooges.

One good move since he’s still hurt, was having Daniel Bryan show up and be in charge.  It would’ve been a better move to have him just be in charge until he’s healed so his presence can remain in tact.   But we don’t get that either because apart from we only saw the guy for mostly an hour and a half of those three painful hours, we hear the infamous and ever annoying chime of the laptop of the Anonymous Raw General Manager complete with the podium and Michael Cole getting on the microphone and reading “an email” from the GM.  Funny how WWE seems to forget that they pulled off the reveal that the GM was Hornswoggle just to put that angle out its misery as well ours.   Now we’re back to this all over again with everybody asking the question “Why?”

This is the worst that the WWE has ever been.  For months and even longer, all we have seen from the WWE has been laziness, predictability, constant recycled storylines and inconsistency all around from their own product.  They spend so much time trying to plug their network that they forget that the network is an extension of their product and that their product stinks.  WWE spends all their time and energy treating the PPVs, Raw and Smackdown like an infomercial and they don’t even know what they’re selling anymore.

One constant quote I’ve heard is how there’s more people who used to watch pro wrestling than there are people who still do.  I don’t know about pro wrestling in general but I know there are probably more people who used to watch WWE than people who still watch it.  I can proudly admit to being one of them and after all the garbage they’ve produced to have them go back to one of their biggest failures that is the Anonymous Raw General Manager, I’m not watching and not looking back. I’m no longer rooting for things to get better for the WWE and no longer expecting them to get better.  Now I’m to the point where I can say that all I want for the WWE is to crash and burn.  I want the WWE to fail more miserably than Linda McMahon election campaign.  WWE looks at themselves like they’re the kings of pro wrestling.  It’s about time for those so-called kings to be dethroned.

WWE vs The Investors

WWE Stock has been on a downward spiral.  WWE’s Stock went down by 40% this week.  It was also reported that Vince McMahon was no longer in billionaire status after losing $340 million in one day.   That’s about a third of his own fortune that is now up in smoke.  This is all following the announcement of WWE’s new deal with NBC Universal.  Bottom line is that the WWE’s investors are not happy.  In fact, it may be a safe bet to go as far as to say that the WWE’s investors are pissed.

Lemelson Capital is calling for the removal of WWE’s Executive Team or even the selling of the WWE itself and it all ties in with the Network.  Lemelson has asked the board of directors for the removal of their executive team following what they called a period of consistent losses as well as WWE’s inability of explaining or promoting of the WWE network and the feeling that the company can lose between $45 to $52 million this year. Lemelson has gone as far as to refer to what’s been going on with WWE as ““material misrepresentations by the company about both performance and operating profit model of its WWE Network, which the company has wrongly labeled a ‘home run.’”

In other words, the WWE lied to the investors.  Vince McMahon lied to the investors or at the very least, tip-toed around telling the investors the complete truth.  I’m not going to be one of those people that are saying this is the downfall of the WWE or the demise of the WWE because it isn’t.  It does go without saying that this is a very bad situation.  Vince McMahon may see himself as invincible after beating  the steroid allegations and even toppling WCW, but the fact is that this is not scripted wrestling and this is not some storyline he cooked up.  It’s the financial world, it’s Wall Street and that is a world that is “Kill or be killed” and “Survival of the Fittest” and it will eat you alive if you’re not careful.  In that world, no matter how rich or poor you are, all are accountable in it and that includes somebody like Vince McMahon.

WWE is trying to think of the long term for the WWE Network and they have a set plan in mind for the long term but only if the set number of subscribers are met.  The key word being “If” because right now, the WWE Network’s subscribers has not even surpassed a million.  It hasn’t even broken 700,000 and it needs that number and 700,000 more because WWE is without PPV revenue now and that’s a good amount of cash that WWE has relied on for some time and they no longer have the ability to rely on.

So, to sum it all up with the WWE’s situation right now.  They promised to have a million subscribers after the launch of the WWE Network, they don’t have it.   They promised to have a new and bigger TV deal, they don’t because their new deal is just the same old song and dance they had before.  What they do have is empty promises that they couldn’t fulfill and goals that they failed to meet.  It’s no wonder why the investors feel lied to and are pissed off.  It would be one thing if this was just Vince McMahon’s money alone, but now you have investors involved in this and it’s their money that is being gambled with here.

A lot of people said that the WWE was in over their heads with the WWE Network and I was one of those people and what’s going on right now is exactly one of those reasons why.  The Network is designed for the hardcore fans and die-hard fans, but with wrestling the way it is these days and facing an uncertain future, who knows how many of those are really left anymore.  The future of pro wrestling is hard to predict right now.  Extreme Rising pulled the plug and TNA with Dixie Carter’s bad decisions, stiffing her staff of their paycheck, and an continuously shrinking roster, are just delaying the inevitable.  Ring Of Honor is on stable ground due to the amount of baby steps that they take and their new deal with New Japan which seems to be working out for them.

WWE and even Vince McMahon himself have simply bitten off more than they can chew.  It’s hard to imagine that they took into consideration the costs of the network and what it would take for it to be successful.  I’m not calling the WWE Network a failure, but it’s definitely failing.   Vince may have been able to overcome a lot over the years, but at age 68 and investors that are pissed off because they feel he’s treating their money as if it were Monopoly money, there is a lot of damage control to be done come the meeting with the investors.  When the smoke clears, it’s gonna come down to how this is gonna effect the current product itself, much like we all pondered the when the network was announced.

Dixie Carter: Spoiled Rich Brat of Wrestling

This past week, we saw AJ Styles pipe bomb on TNA and especially towards Dixie Carter. Then we saw Dixie Carter show her true colors as a spoiled rich brat mooching off of daddy and trying to act as though she actually knows what she’s doing when the truth is Dixie that you don’t know shit about pro wrestling. Jerry Jarrett in an interview had some interesting things to say about the state of TNA. Here’s what he had to say regarding Dixie “background” on Inside The Ropes “Let’s Get Creative” show:

“You’ve got to have an unabiding respect for the business or it’s impossible to be successful. When I was in the wrestling business, me and the wrestling business were intertwined. I ate it, slept it, dreamt it. The wrestling business was my mistress. Dixie saw her first match after she had ownership, I think and I know for a fact she has little regard for the tradition or the history of the business. So, if you don’t know what brought you to the dance, how are you supposed to learn from it and build on it. After all this years, it’s pretty obvious that I’m right. TNA today is as closed to being a non factor in the business as you can get.”

And regarding TNA’s future:

“I am amazed, because when I was there, Bob Carter called me at least two to three times a week and said “I can’t lose any more money, Jerry” and I said, “You’re needing to talk to your daughter, not to me. She’s running the place.” So I’m amazed that they are in business. I think at this point, it’safe to say that TNA will continue to be subsidized by Bob Carter until he dies. Then I think TNA will go the way of ECW and the territory days.”

Now what does what Jarrett and what AJ said on Impact have in common? Not one bit of what they said wasn’t true. When I watched TNA the first time I got to bear witness to the likes of Low Ki, Amazing Red, Petey Williams, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin, Samoa Joe, Alex Shelley, in short I witnessed the future. I witnessed the X-Division. I witnessed what TNA banked on as their crown jewel. The X-Division, Ultimate X, The Six Sided Ring, the Six Sides of Steel, the King of the Mountain match. I witnessed TNA when it wasn’t trying to be everybody else. I witnessed TNA when it was trying to be something different. But no, Dixie Carter couldn’t have that. She couldn’t stand that. She didn’t want to stand out. She wanted to be amongst the boys. And instead, she brings in Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Ken Anderson, Scott Steiner, Matt Hardy, Sting, all the guys that either left WWE, never went to WWE after WCW went under, or that WWE threw away. And that wasn’t enough. You brought in Bruce Pritchard. Vince Russo and finally you brought in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. You brought them in hoping they knew what to do. And yet everything you had them try failed.

Went head to head with WWE on Monday Night: Failed

Taking Impact on the Road: Failed.

Making Jeff Hardy the face of the company: Failed.

One Night Only PPVs: Failed

Having a ramp way like old WCW: Failed

The “spend money to make money” approach: Failed

Making sure the talent was paid on time and that contracts were being kept track of: Failed, Failed, oh god almighty Epic Freaking Failed!!!!!

And what did it cost you? What was sacrificed?

The six sided ring, Six sides of Steel, King of The Mountain, Jeff Jarrett, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Amazing Red, the old impact stage, the Impact Zone, the X-Division, the tag team division, the knockouts.

And for who? For what? For Bischoff? For Hogan? Your stupid Twitter account? Or maybe you just thought Dixie “it’s okay, daddy will fix it?”

Truth is Dixie is that without the X-Division, TNA dies. Without guys like AJ Styles, TNA dies. And I know some people disagree with me but I don’t give a rats ass because I’m still gonna say that. And can’t remember the last time that AJ Styles had a 5 star match? You obviously didn’t watch when he took on Austin Aries last week. And marketing gimmick you created? Horseshit. You know why he’s the Phenomenal AJ Styles? Because he claimed to be and when we questioned why, he backed it up. He showed exactly why he is and he earned it every damn time. And since you were so apologetic Dixie, I’m sorry too. I’m sorry that I ever complained about Jeff Jarrett because that company was in way better hands with him, his father and Dutch Mantel. Yeah I said it. I would have much rather Jeff Jarrett stayed as the top heel and was always getting the belt cause at least he knew what the fuck he was doing. Yeah Eric Bischoff created the NWO but what has he done lately? When was the last time he came up with a good idea? He hasn’t come up with shit in almost 20 years. Hulk Hogan contributes absolutely dick and can barely walk to the ring much less wrestle and the only one who did less and contributed less than him was his daughter Brooke.

And now you’re so in over your head you can’t afford to pay the people you have on the roster on time. You got everybody worried from the wrestlers to the referees to the production crew all the way to the guys that put the cheese on the nachos worried about if they’re gonna their paycheck a month or two late. Ric Flair on Stone Cold’s podcast believed the end is near. Jerry Jarrett believes that as well. It’s to the the point Dixie where all can see it but you. You’re no innovator or aviator or any of those things. You’re just the spoiled brat that got everything she wanted from her daddy. You didn’t even care what it was or what it did. You just pointed your finger and said “Daddy I want that. Buy it for me. Now. And I want another pony too.” It’s being reported that the segment with Dixie and AJ was a sign of creative change for TNA. I call it more like a last resort. Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo and Hulk Hogan are known and will be known for crippling WCW to the point of oblivion. The blood of WCW is on their hands. The end comes for TNA, the blood of that company will be on the hands of Dixie Carter and no amount of Poppa Bob Carter’s money is going wash that away.

Hulk Hogan: How Exactly Has He Helped TNA?

The more things change, the more they seem to stay exactly the same.  In this case, I’m talking about Hulk Hogan and his inability to not give himself a filter when it comes to running his mouth.  So according to an interview that Hogan did with a newspaper in the United Kingdom, he said about Dixie Carter the following:

“Is Dixie Carter really in the wrestling business, or is this just a hobby? You either run with the big dogs….Or stay on the porch.”

Now, here’s where the hypothetical comes in.  If this was WWE and not TNA and it was Vince in charge and not Dixie Carter, then anybody that said this would be fired faster than you can say Bruno Sammartino.  However, reality setting back in here, we have to remember that one difference between Vince and Dixie is that Vince is not afraid of being a bastard, or of being cold-blooded. It’s unfortunately the one thing that Dixie Carter has yet to learn or embrace in the wrestling business in that sometimes you have to be cold-blooded and vindictive because when you don’t, you’re just a doormat and you’re letting the inmates run the asylum.  In this case, it’s not so much the inmates that are running the asylum in TNA.  It’s only one inmate in particular and that unfortunately is Hogan.  Not just Hogan himself but his entourage as well.  Where Hogan goes, his groupies follow and by groupies I mean Eric Bischoff, Bubba the Love Sponge at one point, The Nasty Boys, Bischoff’s talentless schlub of a son, and more recently Brooke Hogan. Hell, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they add in Brutus Beefcake and Hogan’s spoiled snot of a son onto Impact.

Here’s a recap for you Dixie.  Since Hogan has come in, the following has happened with TNA:  The ring that separated your product from the others was taken away, the cage match that went so perfectly well with that ring is gone, matches that were made for TNA such Ultimate X, Elevation X and King of the Mountain have pretty much become extinct. Guys have been in the company and proven they can be stars in AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, James Storm, Samoa Joe and others are pushed to the way side for WWE Table-Scraps with the blind hope of making them something bigger, something that never happened (Bobby Lashley, Mr Anderson, The Pope) and the X-Division has become nothing more than a memory as well as the Tag Team division.  In other words Dixie, You let desecrate and pillage your own product. And for who? For what? Kevin Nash said when criticizing Aces & Eights that history repeats itself.  Looking at TNA, history has already been repeating itself because right now, you’re looking at Hogan & Bischoff bleeding another company dry.  And no, WCW wasn’t killed by the AOL/Time Warner deal, all that deal did was put WCW out of its misery.  So the million dollar question here is will Dixie Carter do as the Briscoes say and “Man Up” or is she simply waiting for something to put TNA out of its misery? All for the mistake she could’ve avoided by bringing in the guy responsible for making TNA and the very meaning of the word “Impact” disappear.

 

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Nature of the Beast

I’m nearing 2 years that I’ve been doing this for whether it’s on PW Journal, my own blog or on the podcast show.  I’ve come to learn something when it comes to the nature of the beast.  A few days ago, I had a little bit of a spat between myself and former ECW alum/WWE wrestler and announcer/current TNA announcer in Taz.  I had said on my Twitter account that Taz’s commentary since his heel turn and joining Aces & Eights has become painful, even Michael Cole painful. Needless to say, Taz didn’t take too kindly to it as he replied with telling me to mute the TV, in follow him (guessing he meant unfollow) and to go jump in a lake.

Now, am I writing this as an attempt to attack back? No.  Reason why?  When you become an editorialist on a blog and/or podcast, you accept certain outcomes will more likely happen.  One is that you’ll have a greater chance at people disagreeing with you than agreeing with you. Hell, you’ll probably piss off a lot of them too.  The other outcome you accept is that you’ll likely make more enemies along the way than you will friends. You accept that when writing your opinions or broadcasting them is what you want to do.

My track record as it stands in the 2 years I’ve been doing this for:  I’ve traded words with other writers.  Hell, one of them still thinks I’m an asshole for calling him out on his journalistic credibility and sounding off on another writer. I’ve pissed off a promoter for him getting me an interview and failing to mention his indy promotion and pretty sure I pissed off that wrestler I interviewed for the same reason. I’ve sounded off on another specific topic and pissed off a podcaster whose show I used to call in on, so I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m a dick.  And now, you can add pissing off a retired wrestler/current announcer to that list.

So, am I writing this as an admission of guilt or regret? No. Am I writing this as an apology? No.  Am I writing this as an admission of pride and saying I’m proud of it? Of course not.  I’m simply saying that I’ve come to understand and accept the nature of the beast as described.  Because I also remember that when I said I was going to do my blog and what I do on my podcast, I was going to do it my way and wouldn’t settle for anything less.  I speak as a wrestling fan because that’s simply what I am is a wrestling fan.  I don’t do what I do on here or on my show as anything less than that.  So the whole point in what I’m saying here and this goes to others like myself, B-Dub Brian Waters, Dwayne Allen, Riley Ross, Mayer Nation and others.  We are wrestling fans. This is who we are and this is what we do when we talk wrestling.

 

At the Royal Rumble, The Rock Needs To Win the WWE Championship

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Okay, the Royal Rumble is tonight.  There are a few thoughts that I have leading into the PPV tonight.  One is that The Rock vs CM Punk should be the match to close the show.  But of course,  the big question that everyone else is wondering about is whether or not The Rock is going to beat CM Punk and win the belt.  I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not The Rock should win. It’s a matter of The Rock HAS to win tonight.

Yeah, I know.  I know CM Punk has been champion for over 400 days and climbing.  It’s an accomplishment to say the least, but the fact is that having a champion hold a belt for so long is one thing,  but keeping people entertained during his title reign is another.  No champion is any good at that without competition.  Looking back at Punk’s reign as champion, he hasn’t had a whole of that going around.  He beat Alberto Del Rio to win the belt. He defended it against Del Rio again and The Miz the next month.  Then he Dolph Ziggler at the Royal Rumble and a bunch of filler guys for the Elimination Chamber before taking on Chris Jericho in back to back months, then Daniel Bryan and then Daniel Bryan and Kane and then John Cena and Big Show before facing John Cena again and then Ryback before facing against Cena and Ryback and then Ryback again on Raw.   So if you look at it, in that 400+ days that CM Punk has been WWE Champion, he’s only defended the belt against 9 guys with a good chunk of them he faced off against in multiple months.

The other problem with Punk’s reign as champion and why The Rock must win tonight is the fact that his countdown that he keeps doing is getting old.  In fact, it’s getting rather stale and as pointed out in the last article,  you keep going with this for so long, you’re gonna get to the point that when the guy does lose the belt, what do you do with him? Besides, the way that the WWE is with the Part-Time guys, are they really gonna have The Rock lose?  Yeah I know that they had Brock Lesnar lose in his match with John Cena but that’s different.  The Rock didn’t leave the WWE high and dry like Lesnar did and unlike Brock Lesnar, The Rock actually does love the business which is the least I can say for Brock.

I know that CM Punk has talent and can find a way to manage without the title and he did give us one whole year without John Cena winning the gold like her normally does.  But every champion loses the belt at some point.  CM Punk is no different because as many times as either Hulk Hogan or John Cena held a world title, they eventually had to drop it to somebody else.  CM Punk losing the belt tonight is more salvageable than if The Rock were to lose tonight.  If The Rock actually loses tonight, then what do you do with him from there? If he’s supposed to be sticking around at least until after Wrestlemania, then what are you going to do with him for all the time leading up to the PPV?  Yeah, you could have The Rock win at some point between now and Mania, but it’s little thing called Simplicity.   Don’t complicate things WWE and just keep them simple.  Do the right thing and actually let The Rock win the match because this is a match that could very easily be a classic match and definitely be in the Top 5 of the best WWE matches of 2013.  Don’t risk tarnishing that by having a screw-job finish or some other means that would leave CM Punk still to bore the hell out of the rest of us with his “Counting Down to Who Gives a Rat’s Ass How Long You’ve Been Champion For.”

 

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