I have a confession to make to all who read this column every week. I am not perfect and this column isn’t easy. Don’t misunderstand me I am not saying this to complain. I have nothing to complain about as this is a labor of love and I get to write for some of the best readers in the world and am constantly expanding that audience. I am just stating a fact because the fact of the matter is I’m blank this week. However because of all the emails that I have been receiving as of late from all of you I am not going to do the easy thing and just take a week off. I’m going to get through this week with some help from all of you…you’re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
As I said previously you guys send in a lot of email and all of you have thoughts and questions and I answer each and every piece of email you send me every week. Whether it is a question, compliment or criticism. It’s the least I could do after all if you took the time out of your day to read this column and then sent me an email I should give you the response you seek. The great thing about all your emails is that you don’t just stick to the topics I give but often ask for thoughts on other topics in the wrestling industry. Topics I probably wouldn’t write about. So if you will indulge me here are some thoughts that some of you have written me about and my responses to them.
What is the future of Jim Ross in wrestling?
I have had readers write me about my thoughts on Jim Ross and his current contract situation. I don’t think I will get much of an argument when I say JR is arguably the greatest wrestling announcer ever. I think it sucks that wrestling has become such a cosmetic industry that being the greatest to ever perform your job is of no importance to those in charge. With that being said I don’t think JR would ever go to TNA. As great as a relationship as JR may have with Bob Carter and Eric Bischoff I think he realizes that the WWE train is one that will not be derailed anytime soon.
JR is in this business of the love unlike some of the older stars in TNA who are there for the money or the schedule JR actually wants to contribute something but I think he wants to play on the winning team. Even the biggest TNA supporter can’t make the argument that TNA is the winning team right now and JR is from an era where you don’t burn bridges and for him to jump to TNA does to burn a bridge to WWE that he may find himself need one day. I don’t see JR announcing for anyone ever again as I see him staying put in WWE until those in charge make it clear to him that he is not welcome in any capacity.
What are my thoughts on the Wrestlemania buy rate?
I am in agreement with many people that the UFC show that ran the day before hurt WWE but I am also somewhat in agreement with Vince McMahon that for the most part it wasn’t a card that people wanted to see. Wrestlemania just doesn’t go as far as it used to with fans anymore and with good reason. Wrestlemania used to be built up over a year with never before seen matches and storylines that reached resolution. This year many wrestling fans were going gaga over the fact that some angles were being played out three months in advance and to be honest there weren’t many first run matches that held interest at the top of the card. After all I have seen Edge vs. Chris Jericho, John Cena vs. Batista and even Undertaker vs. Shawn Micheals before. Many fans thought the retirement stipulation put into the Undertaker vs. Shawn Micheals match would sell tickets and to some degree it did but not enough and the reason for that is because fans have been lied to on stipulations over and over again that you can’t use it as a selling point anymore. I also think that as good as the Wrestlemania build up was it sort of peaked early and that hurt it too, remember timing is everything and I believe that if Wrestlemania happened maybe two weeks earlier the buy rate may have been stronger as the TV was better. Here is hoping that next year WWE sticks to the course and continues to tease Wrestlemania angles months in advance and crosses the finish line a bit stronger. I think the increased buy rates of the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber show that a strong build to Wrestlemania will help increase interest in the other PPV’s that precede it so I hope that WWE maintains that course of action.
What are my thoughts on the Outsiders becoming TNA Tag Team Champions?
It’s funny because a few weeks ago I wrote a column deriding TNA for having a singles wrestler hold the tag team championships by himself and at that time I didn’t think TNA could do anything worse with their titles, boy was I wrong or was I? As much as we will all complain about the Outsiders holding the championships at least they are a tag team and compared to the other options to hold the titles they probably have the most potential to have good programs with other tag teams. As long as it is not a long reign I have no real problem with it. I think the biggest problem with that is the way it went down with those in charge of TNA creative forgetting that they had another briefcase that remained uncashed from Feast or Fired and I would hope that this oversight makes them consider getting rid of that match.
What are my thoughts on Bret Hart saying publicly that he was unaware of his title match with the Miz this Monday?
I have two opinions on this the first of which is that the company should have discussed their plans with Hart. I say this not because Hart is a big deal or anything but because of his health situation and the way it would seem that he made it clear he was done with wrestling after Wrestlemania. With that being said I do think that Bret probably should have talked to someone inside of WWE before he decided to make the fact that he was unaware of this match known. Him doing that makes everyone look minor league. I wouldn’t be too surprised if the initial plan was to have a schmozz where a match doesn’t even really happen but was just advertised for ratings, after Bret’s comments I almost feel like WWE has to give fans a match now.
What are my thoughts on independent wrestling these days?
To tell you the truth I don’t really have the informed opinion that I would like to as with the exception of the ROH and DGUSA shows in Phoenix and the ROH 8th Anniversary Show in NYC I haven’t been to a independent show in quite some time, with that being said I still keep up with the happenings of things and I don’t really know what to make of the current state of the indies. Out here in NYC it is true that ROH did their best attendance here in a while with the recent NYC show but that attendance was also the result of insane ticket prices that made it really hard to say that the show was a financial success. DGUSA and Evolve’s shows haven’t done much better. I know there are a lot of vocal fans of all three groups but well to be quite honest you are the vocal minority because the majority of fans are not paying money for these products and the same can be said of other independents. For the most part I think the independents go where wrestling as a whole go and wrestling as a whole is pretty stagnant but to some degree I also think that there is a lack of fresh unique talent to spread in most of these independents and as is the case with the mainstream promotions there is a need for more creativity with the people that run these promotions. You can’t continue to just market moves and expect a sellout crowd. I’m hoping that during the summer when attendance is down anyway that most of these promotions experiment with things and do something about regenerating interest in independent wrestling.
Thoughts on the upcoming TNA Sacrifice PPV.
Believe it or not I get a lot of email from many TNA fans who like to get my thoughts on TNA PPV’s some of those fans are usually ticked off when they learn that I have no interest in them. Majority of those fans are put in their place when I ask them how they are watching the PPV and they respond “streaming”. If you don’t care enough about a show to pay money for it whether it is through PPV or at the very least on DVD when the event is released than how much of a fan are you really? I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I order every WWE PPV because I don’t but I have bought DVD’s, tickets, subscribe to WWE Classics on Demand and occasionally buy merchandise. In other words I support the product with my hard earned dollar. How many TNA fans do the same? If you are a TNA fan I want you to be honest and write me and tell me how many TNA DVD’s did you buy when they first came out this year? Not when they went on sale. How many PPV’s did you watch from TNA because you paid for it this year? Not because you streamed or torrented it the next day, and lastly how many TNA events live have you been to.
The reason I ask this is because well many of you who are TNA fans really defend that product to death and I specifically recall many of you (including our very own Josh Boutwell) who defended TNA putting the RVD vs. AJ Styles first ever meeting on TV by saying TNA did it because they don’t do good PPV numbers and well it got me thinking those of you that say you’re TNA fans do you order the PPV’s and if you don’t I would like to know why? Because well if you did I would be a little bit peeved to know that I paid for something and didn’t get it but everyone else got it for free.
This was supposed to be about my thoughts on TNA Sacrifice right? Well here are my thoughts; this is another poorly promoted TNA card. I say this because up until this week this PPV hasn’t even had a promoted main event. Will some of the matches be good? Absolutely but with that being said there is not a match there that I would pay money to see because of the angles leading up to it.
I think I am done this week. I apologize for the lack of creativity on my part as I have used you to come up with fodder for the column this week but hopefully you will forgive me. Of course I have to give you guys something to do this weekend. This Friday starts the airing of DGUSA’s Mercury Rising PPV which was taped in Phoenix the day before Wrestlemania 26. For those that would want to hear a detailed review of the show I highly recommend signing up for the VIP service here at Wrestleview and listening to the second and last version of FYB Radio as myself and David Miranda were front row for that show and had a lot to say about it. Hear our thoughts and then watch it for yourself and come up with your own opinion and don’t be shy email me your thoughts on that and anything else at firstname.lastname@example.org and well that’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better, and until then, I am out