11/16 Wednesday One Shots: The Dot Net staff give their quick thoughts from the previous week in WWE, TNA, MMA and indy wrestling
Welcome to the Wednesday One Shot. Each week, we will present a quick "one shot" thought from each staff member about the previous week in each of the following areas: WWE, TNA and Other (MMA, Indies, etc).
Will Pruett (Twitter - @itswilltime): This is certainly a big week for WWE. The Rock last wrestled in Madison Square Garden for WrestleMania XX and now we are just days away from seeing him in the ring again. For the fans that have watched the entire build, this does not feel as special as it should. For fans that may have walked away, this must feel huge. WWE will hook them and get a major buy rate from this show (and hopefully parlay that into WrestleMania). I'm excited to see what story gets told on Sunday.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): The Rock returned to Raw and looked great ahead of his first match in 7 years at Survivor Series. WWE managed to waste his biggest pop of the night on the Foley/Cena segment that was bad past the point of being funny, but other than that everything went off pretty well. WWE had to make the focus of this match the tension between Cena and The Rock, otherwise no one would have paid to see it, since WWE has done absolutely nothing to elevate Miz and Truth to the point where people think they can beat them.
Mark Gessnar (Twitter - @MarkGessner): Why does WWE feel the need to tell viewers when segments or parts of their show are bad? Last week, C.M. Punk pointed out that Del Rio's promos are repetitive and are not must see. On Monday, the opening segment with Michael Cole and Jim Ross and the "This Is Your Life " segment were both ridiculed in promos later in the show. If your product sucks, preferably change it, but if not, don't draw attention to it. "Accentuate the positives, hide the negatives."
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @TheRyanKester): WWE has done a terrible job of hyping Survivor Series this weekend. I doubt that will affect their buy rate considering the Rock's involvement, but I am really looking forward to the point that creative gets serious with their product and plan for the long term.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): I have caught some flack over the past few days for my criticism of Monday Night Raw. Yes, the Rock is going to sell PPVs, and yes, it was nice to see him live on TV again. But if you step back and look at the big picture that is WWE, you see a Rock moment that wasn't as special as it could have been, weak storytelling that leaves the vast majority of the roster in limbo, and a focus on the here and now with zero concern for tomorrow. That will work for a while, but eventually the house of cards will collapse around them.
Will Pruett: Where, oh where, has the X Division gone? Aside from Austin Aries, Kid Kash and Jesse Sorensen it seems to have disappeared. I would love to see more of Alex Shelly, Xima Ion and even the generic and homeless looking Mark Haskins. This relaunched division is just as ignored as the only one.
Jake Barnett: Storm chasing Roode is the only feud I would pay to see continue in TNA right now. Not much else in the promotion feels like a major event. TNA has good to great production values and a great roster, but creative has not kept up with the expansion of talent in other areas of the company. If they ever do TNA could be viable competition for WWE, but at this point they are still playing AA Baseball.
Mark Gessnar: Really good first week for Bobby Roode as a heel. Good promo to open Impact, great heel move to roll up a bloodied defense-less James Storm to retain the title, and then had a good match with Styles at Turning Point before winning with a cheap rollup. Good start for him as the top heel in TNA.
Ryan Kester: I realize that TNA does not get the majority of its revenue from PPV buys, but it would still be nice if they tried to make those shows feel special for their most loyal fans that order them.
Chris Shore: Most of us have been very complimentary of TNA and the changes they have made creatively recently, and they have earned that praise. But they must do a better job of making PPVs feel special. It may not be their primary source of revenue, but it is still a big deal as they still use the WWE model of building to PPVs with your weekly shows. If they are going to continue to have PPVs, they need to take them seriously.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (ROH): Is anyone excited about the ROH product right now? When their TV deal and sale was announced there was quite a bit of buzz. Now they just seem to have cooled off. I'm worried about this, especially as we go into the final weeks of hype for their biggest show of the year. Will Final Battle be their bestselling iPPV in history (it should be with the new TV deal)? At this moment, I doubt it.
Jake Barnett (UFC): Cain Velasquez surprised a lot of people, including me, by trying to stand up with Junior Dos Santos during UFC on Fox. The result, unfortunately for Cain, was a 1 minute fight that ended with an explosive barrage of punches. There are a couple of lessons to be learned from this fight. One is that nobody else in the Heavyweight Division can throw bombs like Junior Dos Santos, and the other is that UFC needs a different format for broadcast TV. One fight for an hour broadcast isn't going to cut it, especially when the UFC is filled with very talented knockout artists. It was a good first effort though, and Fox has to be happy with the audience they garnered.
Mark Gessnar (UFC): UFC on Fox proved to be a success. The one hour special drew nearly nine million viewers. Those nine million plus were treated to Junior Dos Santos annihilating Cain Velasquez with a lethal overhand right hook to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Great first step for the UFC in their walk to being in the same sports category as Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
Ryan Kester (UFC): Shogun vs. Henderson is shaking up to be a heck of a card. With Stephan Bonner, Wanderlei Silva, Urijah Faber, and the main event, it should be a night full of enjoyable fights. It will be interesting to see if UFC managed to gain any fans that are willing to pay for the show after the UFC's debut on Fox.
Chris Shore (Indies): CHIKARA held their first iPPV this past weekend to much critical praise. Dragon Gate USA also had a good weekend with three iPPVs--though I question going head to head with TNA. ROH has lost a lot of buzz, but Final Battle looms and could be the spark to re-ignite their fire. It is a good time to keep an eye on indy wrestling. Somebody is going to break away from the pack and become a success soon.
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