Friday, January 31, 2014

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Review (1-31-14)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Review - January 31, 2014

by Ethan Lewis

The show opens up with The Shield. They come to the ring and cut a promo about how the Wyatt Family screwed them out of a victory on Raw. Great mic work from Dean Ambrose as usual. Roman and Seth held up on their end as well. They are interrupted by Triple H who argues with them a bit then announces that they will face The Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber!

1) Antonio Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

Another exceptional bout between these two outstanding young wrestlers. They've had awesome matches in the past so I was excited for this one. It was a good match, did its job as the opening match of the show. Fast paced, solid action. It was a bit short for me, but thats expected with TV matches. Solid contest nonetheless.

Match rating - 6.5/10

2) Fandango vs. Xavier Woods

I admittingly missed this match so I don't know what happened. Sure I didn't miss much.

3) Jack Swagger vs. Christian - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

Swagger and Christian have had great matches in the past. Most notably their feud for the ECW Title back in 2007. This match reminded me of the undeniable chemistry they have with each other. It was a very good back and forth match with several near falls. Best match of the night at this point.

Match rating - 7.5/10

4) Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston

This match had potential to be good given the guys involved, but once again time constraints keep us from being able to see a good match. Way too short to even mean anything.

Match rating - 3/10

5) Cody Rhodes vs. Road Dogg

Decent match, but nothing special however. Basically just used to build up towards the Steel Cage rematch for the titles on Raw this Monday, which I'm highly looking forward to.

Match rating - 6/10

6) Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, and Rey Mysterio vs. The Shield

As expected, this match stole the show. There have been numerous six man tag matches over the past six months in WWE, but if they involve The Shield they are always exciting. Really good match here with alot of action, especially near the end. My favorite spot had to be Bryan diving out of the ring on Reigns then immediately getting back in and diving out of the other side of the ring onto Rollins. Very entertaining and enjoyable match!

Match rating - 8/10

Overall thoughts: It was a decent show. Not as good as Raw was this week though. The main event match along with the Swagger/Christian match were the only matches that really stood out to me. Cesaro/Ziggler was quite good as well. Average show overall, but an enjoyable one.

Overall rating: 7/10

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thoughts on CM Punk reportedly leaving WWE

Late last night/early this morning, news broke that CM Punk had left WWE. He reportedly told Vince that he was "going home" and took off on a plane to Chicago a few hours before Raw began this past Monday. This would explain the report that came out Monday afternoon that said Vince and the creative team were scrambling to change the script for the show.

When I first heard the news, my initial thought as a wrestling fan was "Is this real or is this a work?". Punk is known for having backstage troubles with WWE, on screen and off screen. With his upcoming rumored storyline with Triple H, I thought at first glance this was just part of a storyline. The more I read into the situation, the more I realized how real this may be.

First things first, Punk has been vocal about how banged up, burnt out, and injured he has become over the past year or so. He came back early from knee surgery in January of 2013 plus took time off post-WrestleMania last year. On top of that, it's been said that he's been working with various nagging injuries since his return in June of last year. This is reason enough for the guy to want time off.

Something else we also know is that Punk doesn't need the WWE anymore. What I mean by that statement is that Punk isn't desperate for money. He could happily retire with the money he has saved up, but as he has said there is one goal he hasn't accomplished yet. That goal is to main event WrestleMania. Once Punk accomplishes that, he has nothing else to accomplish.

I think that has something to do with why he left. Rumors are swirling that Punk was scheduled to main event WrestleMania until Batista came back. If this is the case, I can understand his frustration. Batista's return and immediate push was a slap in the face to guys like Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and numerous others who have worked all year in hopes of getting the opportunity that Batista was handed.

Punk isn't a guy who is in the business for the money. This situation makes that even more obvious. He loves wrestling and entertaining the fans, that's why he goes out there every night. But as I mentioned before, he's in a postion in his career where he doesn't NEED WWE's employment to survive. As all these injuries racked up and his frustration began to build with the way he was going to be booked, he probably thought to himself "I don't have to deal with this anymore" and took his ball and went home.

Atleast that's what I think may have happened. I honestly can't say I blame the guy. If I was in his position, I probably would have done the same thing. One man can only deal with so much and Punk is known for not putting up with much bullshit, so this would be no surprise to me if he truly left.

So, yes, as of now I do believe that Punk has left the company indefinitely. The reasons I discussed above plus the fact that he's been removed from all live events over the next few weeks is why I think this. I'm not saying this isn't part of a storyline, but it honestly doesn't look like it to me. Why else would WWE put Bryan at odds with Triple H to begin building towards a match between the two at Mania? There's no reasoning behind except for what has seemingly transpired with CM Punk leaving.

Will Punk come back? I have no idea, but as a huge fan of the guy, I will support him in whatever he does and respect his decisions. It's been said that people in WWE expected him to leave the company after his contract expired in July, so that leads me to believe that if he doesn't return before then, he may not come back.

The other side of this story is that it may be part of storyline. If it is, then kudos to WWE for selling it so well. It will definitely be an interesting one if that is the case. Punk fighting with authority is always good TV.

Only time will tell if this is truly the departure of the best in the world. All we can do is wait to see how things play out and hope they turn out for the best. The best for not just us as fans, but what is best for the best in the world himself, CM Punk.

Monday, January 27, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review (1-27-14)

WWE Monday Night Raw Review (1-27-14)

by Ethan Lewis

The show opened up with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. One thing I found funny was that they clearly acknowledged the chants and whatnot last night. Looks like they have decided to work that into the storyline. Bryan came out and cut a fantastic promo. The crowd was on fire for him as usual. Triple H and Bryan go face to face then Triple H calls The Shield to beat him down. Flashback to last fall here as Shield beat down Bryan, but Sheamus hits the ring followed by John Cena. Flashback to early 2013 with these guys duking it out with The Shield. They fight off The Shield and a six man tag is announced for later in the night between Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus vs. The Shield. The winning team will be entered into the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship! Good opening segment. Not perfect, but far more entertaining than anything we've gotten the past few weeks as far as opening segments go.

1) Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara vs. Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro

Very good tag team match. I'm a fan of Hunico as Sin Cara. He's much better than the original. He and Rey mesh well together as a team. Swagger and Cesaro delivered as always. Zeb slapped Swagger which fired him up. Liked seeing his aggressive side. Hope to see it more often. Cesaro delivers one hell of an uppercut followed by the equalizer for the victory!

Match rating - 7/10

2) R-Truth vs. Fandango

Just a basic TV match. Short match, only lasted around five minutes, maybe a bit more. What was more interesting than the match itself was Xavier Woods saying he'd like a shot at Ambrose's US Championship. Now that's something I'd like to see.

Match rating - 5/10

Randy Orton came out after we got back from commercial and began cutting a promo. He was soon interrupted by Batista. Batista starts talking, but is interrupted by Brock Lesnar! Seeing these two in the same ring was epic! Heyman says Lesnar wants his title shot against Orton tonight and if he doesn't get it, he wants to face the so called #1 contender, Batista! Heyman says they want their answer tonight or else! Awesome segment!

3) The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler - The Battle of Cleveland

The crowd was hot for this one and that's always good. It was a rather short match, but still enjoyable. Ziggler gets the win with the Zig Zag.

Match rating - 6/10

4) The Usos vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel

Another very enjoyable tag team match. If WWE doesn't have anything else - they have an outstanding tag team division. The Usos continue to impress me with their great team work and high flying moves. Jey dove out of the ring onto Axel, while Jimmy delivered a frog splash to Ryback in the ring to get the pin! Fun match.

Match rating - 7/10

5) Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio

These two have faced numerous times, but they still delivered a solid match here. People bash it as usual because they have pre-conceived opinions on both men that block them from enjoying anything they do. I actually enjoyed it. It's not a classic or oustanding by any means, but its a very good, enjoyable match none the less.

Match rating - 7.5/10

6) The New Age Outlaws vs. Cody Rhodes & Goldust - WWE Tag Team Championship Match

The Outlaws and The Rhodes Bros kept a slower pace in this match. Their bout at the Royal Rumble was much more fast paced and exciting. That's not to say this one sucked, because it didn't. It was a very solid encounter. The only downfall was that it ended in a no contest after Brock Lesnar interfered. Lesnar demolishes Cody and Goldust with F5's and steel chair shots because he didn't get an answer from HHH & Stephanie.

Match rating - N/R - Good match, but ending warrants me not rating it.

7) AJ Lee, Tamina, Aksana, and Alicia Fox vs. The Bellas, Cameron, and Naomi

Surprisingly this wasn't that bad of a Divas match. There was some decent action and there weren't any botches. Plus they hit an epic triple suplex! Naomi continues to impress me and proves she could be a big star in the Divas division if she keeps working. Very athletic. Good match.

Match rating - 6/10

8) Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and John Cena vs. The Shield

As expected with a six man tag involving The Shield, this match stole the show. It kept a slow, but good pace for the first half of the match, but broke down into complete chaos near the end. I am constantly amazed at how the crowd hangs on every move Bryan does. The best exchange during this match was easily Rollins & Bryan's near the end. Bryan gets the hot tag, ducks clotheslines, dives out of the ring, comes back in for a flying dropkick. Then Bryan kicked it old school with a Dragon Suplex that turned Rollins inside out. Reings breaks up the count, but Sheamus runs in with a brogue kick! So much more action that I missed, but awesome match! Just when you though it was over - Wyatt Family hits the ring and goes after Cena. Match ends in a DQ. You might think - why end a great match in a DQ, but this was great booking. It accomplishes two things at once. You put Cena, Bryan, and Sheamus in the Chamber, but also set up The Wyatt Family and The Shield for a clash since they cost them the match! Chaotic awesome ending to RAW!

Match rating - 8.5/10

Overall thoughts: This was easily the best episode of Raw so far in 2014. Solid matches throughout, good segments, and perfect booking with an awesome match to end the show. Not saying this was a perfect show, but it was really good and I enjoyed it.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

My Reaction to the Royal Rumble

Last night at the Royal Rumble, we witnessed something that hasn't been seen in years - the entire audience completely trashed and rebelled against WWE's product. From John Cena to Randy Orton to Rey Mysterio to Batista, they all got booed out of the building. Why? Because they weren't Daniel Bryan. Not only that, but more importantly because they are sick of WWE's refusal to push new talent.

For those who didn't see or hear what happened last night, I'll recap it for you. The show started with a phenomenal match between Bryan and Wyatt. The crowd was electric for Bryan as they have been for nearly a year now. They undoubtedly stole the show. Bray Wyatt was victorious. Wyatt winning made me think that Bryan would win the Rumble later in the night. So, at this point, I had my hopes up. The night went on and it came time for the Orton/Cena match for the WWE Championship. It's the two most popular and succesful wrestlers of the past decade, John Cena and Randy Orton, facing off for the WWE Championship and what is the crowd chanting? "DANIEL BRYAN!" Can it be any more obvious? The WWE Universe wants Daniel Bryan in the main event. The crowd also chanted "This is awful" and "Boring!".

Then came time for the Royal Rumble. My thought process going in was that Daniel Bryan has to win this. I predicted Batista to win, but I wanted Bryan to so badly. He deserved to. With the crowd being so hot for Bryan for nearly the past year and specifically the crowd tonight, it should have been a no brainer for WWE: Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble. The match started and by the time the 20th entrant came out, the crowd began chanting Bryan's name. The time winded down to one entrant left and the crowd is electric hoping for Bryan to be the 30th and final entrant. Clock hits zero and.... we get Rey Mysterio. Mysterio enters the ring to boos. The final four are Sheamus, Batista, Punk, and Reigns. Batista gets heavily booed throughout the match, especially at the end when it came down to him and Reigns. In the end, Batista eliminated Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble. The crowd explodes with boos directed at Batista and apparently WWE cut the crowd's audio down at the end of the show because of this - I'm not sure on this because I wasn't watching. (I followed along with what was happening via Twitter).

Now, time for my rant of sorts. I'll try to keep it orderly as best I can. So, last night we learned several things. The first being that the "WWE Universe" is sick of their favorite stars not being pushed. They are also sick of the same guys being pushed down our throat for nearly 10 years. The guys I'm referring to are John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista. Last night felt like the 2005 Royal Rumble more so than the 2014 Royal Rumble. The audience wants something new, something fresh. Not the same recycled crap. This isn't an insult towards Cena, Orton, and Batista necessarily, because they have to do what they are booked to do. It's more so an insult to WWE and who ever is calling the shots on these creative decisions. Although, I do believe if Batista would have stepped up and told Vince that he thought Bryan should win the Rumble, then we would have seen a totally different scenario last night. You can't tell me that guys like those three don't have a big influence on Vince and Hunter's decisions. So, I do partially blame Batista for what took place, but mainly WWE. Hopefully last night FINALLY showed people in WWE that we want new stars at the top instead of the same guys we had 10 years ago. This leads me to my next point.

WWE is afraid to push new talent. Period point blank. They're afraid to do it. It's been showcased numerous times over the past year or so, but most importantly last night. When WWE chose a 45 year old guy who came back to the company most likely just for the money over a young popular guy who comes to work everyday because of his passion and love for the wrestling business. What sense does that make? None. If WWE never builds new stars and takes chances, there won't be anybody new in the main event scene.

There is no one in WWE right now as popular as Daniel Bryan. The crowd turned on John Cena, Rey Mysterio, and Batista for Daniel Bryan. That should be enough to make WWE realize that they need to get over their personal agendas and push this guy. That's what all boils down to. Personal/political agendas. It's apparent now more than ever that WWE is ran by muscle marks. If you're big, you're regarded as better than someone who's smaller simply because of that. The crowd has shown that Bryan's size nor look affects what they think of him. They love the guy. It's a phenomenon right now and WWE won't capitalize on it. They could invest in Bryan and make loads of money over the next few years, but for some reason they keep refusing to do it.

This is what frustrates me so much about this whole situation. WWE doesn't have to do anything, but push Daniel Bryan to the top where he deserves to be. That's it. A new top star will be created. He's already got the whole WWE fanbase behind him plus he's an amazing wrestler. All WWE has to do is let him be the main eventer and potential face of the WWE that he is destined to be.

WWE has tried to bury Daniel Bryan numerous times. The guy won the WWE Title at SummerSlam and lost it the same night. He then lost against Randy Orton repeatedly on three PPV's in a row. When having him beaten and the title stripped from him numerous times didn't work, WWE tried to turn him heel. That lasted every bit of 3 weeks (if that). The crowd cheered Bryan even before, during, and after he was in the Wyatt Family. The repeated losses didn't work. The "heel turn" didn't work, so now WWE is outright ignoring what the fans want by pushing Batista to the main event of WrestleMania over a guy in Bryan who is more popular than Batista ever was. After the reaction the crowd gave to Batista last night, that seemingly didn't work either.

What will WWE's next step in attempting to bury Daniel Bryan's popularity be? I have no idea, but I have a challenge for you. Don't stop cheering. Let your voice be heard. As Bryan posted himself on Twitter "They can't ignore your reactions forever". Don't let them win. Show Vince, Triple H, and everyone else that size doesn't matter. That looks don't matter. And more importantly, that they're personal and political backstage agendas DON'T MATTER. If it wasn't for the fans, there would be no WWE. So eventually they have to listen, keep supporting Daniel Bryan and keep letting WWE know that you want new stars, not the resurgence of 2005.

The last thing I would like to say is this. Last night, I got on Twitter and it was exploding with people ranting about the outcome of the show. Everyone was. Cena fans, Punk fans, Orton fans, "WWE marks", "Indy marks", everyone. It wasn't just "real wrestling fans" that were mad, it was casual fans too. It wasn't just "Indy marks who love their 'Internet darlings'" that were mad, it was WWE fans as a whole. Seeing this made me realize how big of a phenomenon this whole Daniel Bryan thing is. It's not often that the WWE Universe agrees on something this adamantly as a whole.

So, my question to you WWE is this: When will you put your pre-conceived ideas on what a top WWE "Superstar" should be aside and give the fans who keep you in business what they want? Bryan's popularity is undeniable. I think it's time that you listened.

Thoughts? Comments? Feedback? Tweet me your thoughts on this article as well as the Royal Rumble on Twitter ( or post them as a comment on this blog!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Royal Rumble 2014 Predictions & Analysis

Tonight is the night! The Road To WrestleMania begins tonight at the Royal Rumble! There are many matches on the card, but the most intriguing is the Royal Rumble match. The Royal Rumble match is always interesting becaue it's unpredictable. This year however, the Royal Rumble isn't the main event of the Royal Rumble PPV. This makes no sense to me, but WWE considers John Cena to be bigger than anything that's going on so it's no surprise he's in the main event. Atleast it's for the title though so it doesn't irk my nerve as much. Also on the card is the highly anticipated Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt as well as The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar. The pre-show will feature Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws. What will happen? Who knows, but this is what I think will happen.


Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws - WWE Tag Team Championship Match

I wouldn't be surprised if the Outlaws do eventually win the Tag Team titles, but with this match being on the pre-show, I don't think a title change will happen here. WWE typically book the faces to win on pre-shows to put the crowd in a good mood for the rest of the show. So, I see the Rhodes brothers retaining their titles here.

My Prediction: Cody Rhodes & Goldust

Main Show:

Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

I was disappointed to see that Daniel Bryan seemingly won't be in the Royal Rumble. He, in my opinion, is who should win, but that's for later in the article. Although I don't like that decision, I do like that WWE saved Bryan/Wyatt's match for a PPV. This angle has felt drawn out to me, but this is good booking in the case that it's not just dropping it after Bryan turned on them. As for who will win, I think it could go either way. I'm gonna make a bold, unpopular prediction and say that Bray Wyatt will defeat Daniel Bryan here. Why? Well, rumor is WWE wants to do Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena at WrestleMania, so what sense would it make for Bryan to beat Bray here. Have Bray defeat Bryan then have his next target be John Cena. The second reason is simple, booking Bray to lose would hurt the Wyatt Family somewhat, but as we've learned over the past few months, booking Bryan to lose won't hurt him. WWE might think it will, which gives them another reason to put Wyatt over, but it won't. Bryan lost repeatedly on PPV to Orton last year, but the crowd stayed hot for him. Hell, Bryan joined the Family and the crowd still cheered. If anything, this will get Bryan sympathy and make him over. So, I say Bray Wyatt will win this one.

Who I think will win: Bray Wyatt

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show

This was the easiest match on the card for me to predict. It's obvious Lesnar will win. What sense would it make for him to lose going into a potential run after the WWE Title and possibly a match with Undertaker at WrestleMania? None. Yes, WWE is known for making decision that are completely idiotic, but they aren't this dumb. Lesnar wins, once again showcasing himself as Beast.

Who I think will win: Brock Lesnar

The Royal Rumble Match

If you saw my column yesterday, you probably already know how I feel about this match. If you haven't seen it, I'd suggest taking a look at it. It's called "The Truth on Why Daniel Bryan Should Win the Royal Rumble instead of Batista". It's the post right below this one on the homepage of my blog.

So, the Royal Rumble is always a fun match and I have no doubt that tonight's will be just as great. Surprise returns, lots of action - all in all the Royal Rumble is a stellar concept. Rumored returns include Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Jake Roberts, and more. There are only 20 Rumble spots filled so there is room for 10 surprises. I'm hoping for one or two NXT entrants. Maybe Sami Zayn? His outstanding athletic ability would be showcased well in a match like this. Alexander Rusev is another NXT name who's been rumored to debut tonight. I don't know much about him, but new talent is always good because it's something fresh.

None the less, this column is about my predictions so let's get right to it. I think Daniel Bryan should win the Royal Rumble. There is no one else who would be a better candidate, in my opinion. As much as I'd love to predict that Daniel Bryan will win tonight, I don't think that will be the case. He's not even advertised to be in the match. The next name that comes to mind is CM Punk. When he was announced as the #1 entrant, I started leaning towards him possibly winning. But if the rumors are true, a Punk/HHH match is being planned for WrestleMania, so him winning would make no sense. That leaves one big name - Batista. I personally don't think he should win, but I think that's the route they will go.

Who I think will win: Batista

Randy Orton vs. John Cena - WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match

This one is surprisingly unpredictable, just like many other matches on the card for tonight. WWE could go either way and have it make sense booking wise. I think Orton will win clean over Cena. This would give fuel to the potential Wyatt/Cena fued that WWE is reportedly planning. Have Bray mock Cena because he could never win the belt and try to get him to join the Family. Similar to what Bray did with Daniel Bryan. So I think Randy Orton gets the win and retains his championship here.

Who I think will win: Randy Orton
Comment or Tweet me your predictions!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Truth on Why Daniel Bryan Should Win the Royal Rumble Instead of Batista

The Truth on Why Daniel Bryan Should Win the Royal Rumble Instead of Batista

by Ethan Lewis

The Royal Rumble is tomorrow night and I'm feeling quite doubtful going into it. I'm feeling this way because the popular belief is that Batista will win the Royal Rumble and go on to face Randy Orton at WrestleMania for the WWE World Heavyweight Title. This news has been dissappointing to me. Once again, it looks as if WWE is going to put a veteran who is with the company part time ahead of building a new top star. What new top star do I think WWE could/should build and solidify during WrestleMania season this year? There are many options, but I think the obvious choice for this is Daniel Bryan.

Going into 2014, I still had faith that Daniel Bryan's payoff would come in the new year. I wasn't happy with the way they handled his main event push in the latter half of 2013, but I kept a positive mindset. This hope was crushed when WWE announced that Batista was returning. As soon as this was announced, I knew that Bryan would be pushed to the side.

What I think will happen with Batista returning is similar to what happened with The Rock returning last year to win the WWE Title. As many of you know, I wasn't happy with that decision. Yeah, I understand it from a business perspective. The Rock draws money and ratings just like Batista. My thing is - why can't they at least build him up a bit before handing him the title? I personally think it's a slap in the face to guys who have worked all year with hopes of being the guy that is picked to win the Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania. Some of you probably tweet me after reading this and say "It makes sense, Batista draws, it's about the money". I know that's why WWE will likely do this, but does that make it right?

WWE is the biggest wrestling company in the game today. They are loaded with money. Don't you think they could spare taking the "money" route for once in favor of building a new star? Can't they go with the charismatic, easy going, hugely popular, outstanding young wrestler instead of the 45 year old guy who hasn't wrestled in several years that likely won't be with the company for an extended period of time?

This column isn't meant to be a jab at Batista, but if WWE keeps giving every opportunity like this to older guys that have already made a name for themselves - how will they ever build new stars? Now would be the perfect time to finally let Daniel Bryan have his run as Champion. You have near three months to build towards it and create a perfect story.

After all of this you are probably thinking "Well how would you book this whole scenario to make it better than what WWE is seemingly going to do?" It's simple. Bryan wins the Rumble despite overwhelming odds. Book Cena to defeat Orton and become Champion. And there you have it, the highly anticiapted rematch between John Cena and Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 30. Can Daniel Bryan finally win the WWE Championship? Can John Cena beat Daniel Bryan or will he fall victim to the submission specialist? It would be a huge draw. John Cena and Daniel Bryan are the two most popular wrestlers in WWE today and they put on an outstanding match at SummerSlam. Put them on last at WrestleMania 30, give them 30 minutes to create another classic and in the end Bryan emerges victorious. During the build up to this match, have Cena say the only reason Bryan won at SummerSlam was because Cena was injured. This would make Bryan's win even more meaningful. Cena and Bryan shake hands after the match. Bryan finally accomplishes the impossible. The long journey is finally over and he achieves his dream. He wins the WWE Championship and doesn't get screwed out of it. Plus for storyline purposes, he earns John Cena's true respect. A new star is born and the last image you see as WrestleMania 30 goes off the air is Daniel Bryan standing in the ring with the WWE Championship with a crowd of nearly 100,000 people with their hands in the air chanting "YES!".

Doesn't that sound better than what WWE is most likely going to do? Batista comes back. Wins the Rumble a week later. Faces Orton in the main event of WrestleMania in a mediocre match and wins the title. What does that accomplish? Whoo hoo, it boosts ratings for a bit, but he's not planning to stay in WWE long. Some say he won't even stay until the end of this year. Daniel Bryan will likely be in WWE for years to come and giving him the big push he deserves would be a long term successful investment. So for those of you who say that the best reason for WWE to have Batista win and headline over Bryan is money/ratings/buy rates, what is your response to my argument? Building a new star is a long term investment. Not just a quick jolt of more money and a slight ratings increase. It's not a one time thing, it would be a consistent thing.

Daniel Bryan winning the Royal Rumble and going on to win the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 30 would not only be a long term financial investment for WWE, it would also produce a much better story than a Batista/Orton feud would. John Cena and Daniel Bryan arguably had the feud of the year last year. It was emotionally charged and intense. Their promo battle the week before SummerSlam was epic. Bryan showed how bad he wanted to win the title and how much he loved the wrestling business. John Cena showed why he is the top guy in the company and demanded to have Bryan's respect as a wrestler not an entertainer. They went on to SummerSlam and had a classic match. Then the hype ended as Bryan lost the title to Orton and Cena went out for surgery. They only had one match in their feud so putting Cena and Bryan together again would be still be very fresh. Most definitely more interesting and fresh than a Batista/Orton program.

I don't think there is much else left to say. If this column hasn't already convinced you that now is the time for WWE to give Daniel Bryan his permanent spot at the top, there's nothing else I can say to sway you. Anyone with any knowledge of the wrestling business will understand why I believe this is the right decision. Will WWE do what I've discussed in this article? I doubt it, but as a passionate fan of many years, this is something I had to get off my chest.

Agree? Disagree? Comment what you think about this article or tweet me your opinion on Twitter. My Twitter name is @StylesClashx (! Thanks for reading and spread the word on this article! I would love to hear your feedback!


Friday, January 24, 2014

Why TNA Needs to Rebuild the X Division

Why TNA Needs to Rebuild the X Division

by Ethan Lewis

2013 wasn't a good year for TNA. Financially nor creatively. I'm not poking fun at the company, I'm speaking as a concerned fan. I've been watching TNA on a regular basis since around 2007. Before then I watched periodically, and what I missed from that time, I have went back and watched. So I can tell you, the company isn't as good as it used to be. This year they lost Matt Morgan, Tara, Mickie James, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett. When Hogan and Bischoff left, I was happy because in my opinion they are part of what brought TNA down. When AJ left, I was sad for the company because they lost their biggest star, but I was also supportive of AJ because he said he had to do what was best for him and his family. I respect that.

With all of this top talent leaving, the question remains what can TNA do to build their company back up to what it used to be? There are several things I think TNA could do that would help get them back on track, but in my opinion the first step to bringing TNA back to what it once was is rebuilding the X Division.

The X Division is what TNA was built on and what it was known for. AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Chris Sabin and Samoa Joe put on legendary matches throughout 2002-2006 that put TNA on the map. They were hungry young stars that got the opportunity to show everyone how good they were and they did just that. The X Division was a huge drawing factor.

Most of the guys who helped put TNA and the X Division on the map are either no longer with the company or are competing in the main event scene. AJ Styles has left the company. Daniels and Kazarian are teaming together. Samoa Joe is regarded as a main event star. My point being, the first big wave of X Division wrestlers that made the division so great have moved on to other things. This means TNA needs a new group of motivated young guys to bring the X Divison prominence. They need this generation's AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and Kazarian. I firmly believe that TNA has several wrestlers on the roster that could bring the X Division back to what it once was.

The first guy that comes to mind is Kenny King. King made a name for himself in companies such as ROH before coming to TNA. My first glimpse at King was when he debuted in TNA. I was instantly impressed. The guy is ready for a leading role in the company. Christopher Daniels even said so. I honestly believe he could carry the division to new heights. One man can't do it by himself though and that's where Manik comes in to play.

Manik, formerly known as Suicide, has been with TNA for several years and is one of the most talented guys in the company. He reminds me alot of guys like Low Ki and AJ Styles. He's been involved in many great matches and I believe if given the spotlight, he would definitely impress.

Another name that comes to mind is Zema Ion. He is a former X Division champion and an outstanding talent. While his gimmick may get under your skin, his matches will amaze you. Ion has proved on numerous occasions that he can hang with the best. He's a very good wrestler and would be a great addition to a growing Division.

Last, but not least we have the American Wolves, Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. Edwards and Richards have made their name across the independent scene in companies such as ROH and PWG. TNA definitely made a good decision by signing them. Both men are loaded with talent and could be a huge boost to the X Division. I can't wait to see what Edwards and Richards do in TNA if given the opportunity.

These five men could very well be the next big stars of the X Division. Not only that, I believe they could bring the division out of the slump it is currently in. These competitors could put on matches reminiscent of the early days of the X Division which would draw more attention to TNA. The old days of the X Division are what many people miss about TNA thus putting the focus on the division would be a huge step in the right direction. I hope TNA capitalizes on this amazing opportunity to revamp the division that took their company to new heights.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

TNA: Genesis - Night 1 Review (1-16-14)

TNA Genesis 2014 - Night 1 Review

by Ethan Lewis

Instead of putting Genesis on PPV like normal, TNA is doing a two week Genesis special for free on TV. This is the first night of Genesis, which took place on January 16th, 2014.

The show started with a long drawn out promo from Spud, Dixie, and Magnus. Dixie brought out everyone who interfered in that cluster of a Styles/Magnus match last week. This brought Sting out. He said he and his guys wanted to fight. Samoa Joe, James Storm, Gunner, Joseph Park, and Eric Young appeared at the entrance ramp and ran down to the ring and brawled with Bobby Roode, Kazarian, Chris Daniels, Zema Ion and the Bro Mans. Spud then announced a 12 man tag match between all of them.

1) Samoa Joe, James Storm, Gunner, Joseph Park, Eric Young, and ODB vs. Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Zema Ion, the Bro Mans, & Lei D' Tapa

Fast paced, action packed match here. It wasn't anything special, but it was a fun match. Joe gets the win for his team by making Daniels tap out.

Match rating - 6/10

2) Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson

After loads of segments, we finally got a match. Anderson and Bully put on a great smash mouth brawl using various weapons such as tables and ringside railings. Really good match. One of the best of the night. I would recommend checking it out if you missed it.

Match rating - 7.5/10

3) Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne - TNA Knockouts Championship Match

Both of these women are very good wrestlers and they put on a good match, but unfortunately they didn't have an extended amount of time. An action packed solid 10 minute contest. I really want to see more of these two competing. Rayne wins and becomes Knockouts Champion!

Match rating - 6/10

4) Sting vs. EC3

Overbooked garbage just like Styles/Magnus from last week. Spud is announced as special ref and the match barely even gets going before Magnus interferes. EC3 rolls Sting up for a quick win after Magnus gives a fast count.

Match rating - N/R

Overall thoughts:

Well tonight's show was lackluster in my opinion. It seemed to be more about furthering storylines than anything else which is fine because you have to those shows sometimes. My thing is - why make "Genesis" two nights when the first night is just filler and building towards next week? I would have preferred them just scheduled Genesis a week later and just having a regular Impact this week. The only match worth checking out here is Anderson/Ray. The storylines are progessing well and are quite interesting. I will give TNA that, the storylines currently going on are very interesting.

And speaking of next week, I expect it to be amazing and blow this night of Genesis out of the water. For those who didn't watch tonight, I will run down the match card for next week (Genesis - Night 2):

Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries - X Division Title Match

The American Wolves debut

James Storm vs. Gunner - World Title Case on the line

Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode - Steel Cage Match

Sting vs. Magnus - TNA World Title Match - If Sting loses, he is fired

It's an awesome card and I'm very excited for it. So, night one was basically a dud as far as quality wrestling goes, but I'm sure Night 2 will make up for it. Only time will tell.

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