4/11 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): While it is easy to criticize the decision to book Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at Extreme Rules, it could end up being the best possible choice. I doubt that fans are looking for another one-year build a la Rock and Cena. If a few more weeks were added to the build, it might have lead to an anticlimactic match. It isn't perfect, but booking Lesnar vs. Cena now is not the worst possible choice.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): One week after an excellent post WrestleMania Raw, it felt like WWE had slipped back into old habits on TV this week. We say far too much of Brock Lesnar on Monday, and Tuesdays show felt like an afterthought as the WWE crew heads out for a European Tour. Daniel Bryan and AJ on Piper's Pit was the highlight of the week, and I think WWE has a gold mine there if they give them the booking energy they deserve.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @TheRyanKester): Smackdown this week was awful, but the lone bright spot was the Piper's Pit segment featuring Daniel Bryan and AJ. Bryan has stepped up his promo work tremendously from his original dorky persona, and AJ has shown a great range that has tremendously accented Bryan's jackassery. WWE has a great thing on their hands that they will have to walk a fine line with, but it's refreshing to see such a well fleshed-out heel that is capable of producing great matches.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): I'm not entirely convinced we are going to see Cena vs. Brock at the PPV. There's still time for a swerve here, and I think they need to make one to get people interested again. Ratings are essentially a week late. In other words, the ratings this week are often dependent on how good last week's show was (though not always). With no competition, WWE should have at least come close to last weeks ratings if that show was as hot as we all thought it was, and considering they opened with Lesnar. I don't think this feud has legs yet. They need to slow down and reevaluate what they are doing.
Will Pruett: Lockdown is this Sunday and this is truly a one match show. Ordinarily, we can expect Lethal Lockdown to deliver a once a year spectacle worth watching, but this year it is mired in the Garett Bischoff situation. Bobby Roode vs. James Storm is exciting, but nothing else on this card makes me enthusiastic about ordering it.
Jake Barnett: Well, another week, and another era begins in TNA. Can we get past this phase in this young companies history where Pro Wrestling's outcast antiques fight over things no one cares about? It's really time the company forge ahead and define it's own identity. The repeated attempts to tie itself to the success of companies past also forces a reflection on why those companies failed. I hope TNA is at least committed not to double down on those mistakes.
Ryan Kester: What happened? TNA was getting so many things right and were making great strides towards breaking out of the same stale formula only to hit the reset button on almost the entire show. I have felt like I have been watching reruns of mid-2011 TNA television the past few weeks, and that's the last thing I should be feeling from a company that is struggling to improve its ratings and PPV buy rates. One thing is clear, despite Vince Russo being removed from TNA, there are still problems within that organization that need to be ironed out, and I do not think they will be successful in doing so as long as they are keeping Hulk Hogan as the focus of their shows.
Chris Shore: I struggle to find words that are longer than four letters to explain my feelings about TNA right now. The stories as a whole are better. Things don't feel quite as rushed or forced. Yet there is Hulk Hogan, still the central character in the promotion. Either the creative team is too weak or too stupid (or probably some combination of both) to transition the spotlight off of the dinosaur and onto a star TNA can build around.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (EVOLVE): EVOLVE has their first show in a while this Friday. Although the advertised main event is Fit Finlay vs. Sami Caligan, I find Low Ki vs. El Generico to be the much more intriguing match. El Generico brings with him fun and excitement, along with some major credibility. I love the addition of him to DGUSA and EVOLVE. He's been wasted in ROH since his feud with Kevin Steen ended in 2010. Hopefully he gets a chance to show how great he is.
Jake Barnett (ROH): Ring of Honor had some good moments on TV this week. Mike Mondo and Matt Taven had a great TV match that really woke up an otherwise sleepy crowd. And finally, after seemingly months of waiting, we are going to see Steen vs. Richards in Toronto. It's my hope that the Steen era in ROH begins there, and the company can begin to build some of it's young babyfaces to take on the talented and charismatic Kevin Steen.
Ryan Kester (UFC): Alistair Overeem testing positive for high levels of testosterone is yet another blow to UFC. With Rampage trying desperately to get fired and Overeem potentially getting pulled from his UFC 146 matchup with Junior Dos-Santos, UFC is in a state of flux. One thing out of all of this is clear, the testosterone problems in UFC are not going away, and I question how much longer the company can afford to take a hands off approach to the issue.
Chris Shore (ROH): Ring of Honor officially announced that Davey Richards will face Kevin Steen at Border Wars in Toronto. This is the best decision ROH has made all week, even better than dropping GFL as their iPPV carrier. They need a charismatic champion to hook fans. While there are varying opinions of Davey's work rate, few would consider him wildly charismatic. Put the belt on Steen and let the fans rally behind him.
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