Powell's Blog: Random thoughts on the WWE Survivor Series title matches, Bully Ray appearing at House of Hardcore 3, friends of A.J. Styles paying for airtime on TNA Impact, Main Event Mafia splits but Aces & 8's won't go away
By Jason Powell
-First off, a very heartfelt thank you to all of America's heroes on Veteran's Day.
-WWE needs to deliver a pair of home run shows today and next week if they want to sell the Survivor Series pay-per-view. The two advertised title matches have generated zero steam. We just saw a one-armed John Cena pin Alberto Del Rio last month, and it's hard to care about the WWE Championship right now when its holder has been cast as a secondary player. Challenger Big Show gets favorable reactions from the live crowds, but I really question whether people have enough interest in him to pay $50 to watch him challenge for a damaged title. Either match would be acceptable as the secondary title match on a show headlined by a hot title match, but two bad title matchups does not equal acceptable. These matches feel like Raw or even Smackdown main event fodder rather than something that will generate pay-per-view buys.
As flat as the Cena vs. Del Rio feud seems, I would hate to see creative make it a Triple Threat with Damien Sandow added to the mix. Sure, it makes the match a little more intriguing, but WWE would also run the risk of burning through two opponents in one match. Cena is Superman so it's hard enough to find believable opponents for him these days. I really want WWE to do something big with Sandow, so perhaps they could make him look really strong during a Triple Threat only to have Cena escape with the title by beating Del Rio. Yes, I'm trying to talk myself into liking the Triple Threat idea that I just shot down simply because the Cena vs. Del Rio match does so little for me.
-TNA sending Bully Ray to the House of Hardcore 3 event to make a surprise appearance at the end of the tag team main event was a cool move. I can only hope that the One Night Only "TNA Old School" event it is setting up will be the first event to air next year. It would be a mistake for TNA to lose whatever online buzz they've created for the event by sitting on that show for several months. Either way, I like that TNA took an unconventional route in setting up this match. Company officials need to think outside the box and this was good start.
-On the flip side, I can't say that A.J. Styles defending his version of the TNA Title at a AAA show last weekend does much for me. I don't think viewers buy this as a shoot situation, so it just looks like Styles is being booked via TNA to carry out an angle. Even when I try to look past the obvious copycat nature of the current Styles storyline, I don't think the company did itself any favors by having Dixie Carter say she was giving Styles the title belt as a farewell present. Those who buy into the storyline want to feel like Styles is rebelling and is getting under the skin of Carter.
-It also felt ridiculous that "the friends of A.J. Styles" would be able to pay for airtime on Impact. Did they pay Dixie? Spike TV? This should be presented in a way that suggests someone is finding ways to secretly air the footage against Dixie's will, not something that TNA or Spike TV are willing to air because the price was right.
-The Main Event Mafia going separate ways on Impact was well done. I was hopeful that the company would follow suit with Aces & 8's later in the show, but it looks like the Bully Ray led faction will continue to overstay its welcome. Bully continues to shine on the mic, but a four-man faction that consists of a former champion, two undercard wrestlers, and a color commentator is hard to take seriously. TNA would be better off moving on from the faction and hoping that fans forget all of the cheap Aces & 8's finishes that they've been subjected to.
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