7/25 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): Raw 1,000 was a huge success for WWE. It was exciting, entertaining, focussed on the distant future, and it built the next pay-per-view well. The C.M. Punk heel turn was the highlight of the show. The best part about this turn is the way it reflects exactly what Punk said last year in the promo that put him on this level. Standing as an equal with John Cena will push Punk to an even higher level. If Punk comes out determined, he will make even the staunchest Cena haters cheer for Cena.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): Raw 1000 was an awesome homage to the many great wrestlers and unforgettable moments that have transpired on WWE's flagship show. My only request for the shows that follow is that I hope WWE moves on. I think it's great that they were able to put together such a star studded and fun filled 3 hours, but the time to move the new stars into the spotlight it now. Monday was very good closure on multiple bygone eras.
Mark Gessner (Twitter - @MarkGessner): The one-thousandth edition of Raw was probably one of the best episodes in years, as it very well should have been. The full DX return (sans Chyna understandably) was great, especially Road Dogg's "bad-(beep) Billy Gunn which I found hysterical. The wedding followed by Rock's interaction with Punk and Bryan was good, along with the announcement of AJ becoming GM. The APA and legends return was great and JBL's Clothesline from Hell looked vicious. The true highlight was Punk's turn on Rock. This has been foreshadowed starting with Eve's backstage conversation with him about a month ago. I'm very interested to see how it plays out.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @TheRyanKester): I'm excited for CM Punk. The man was never going to be the number one babyface of the company, not with WWE's resident cash cow John Cena, but Punk can be positioned as the the top heel. i feel like Punk's character has come full circle and a heel run after the year's worth of babyface build he received should be a lot of fun.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): The 1000th episode of Raw has come and gone and it was a ton of fun. But life returns to normal next week. Of course "normal" now means an extra hour of programming to produce, a situation that leaves me less than titillated. Raw left us with a good hook for 1001, and it's possible WWE has been sitting on storylines to wait until the expanded hours, but I approach next week with more apprehension than anything else.
Will Pruett: The Aces and Eights were the key focus of last week's Impact and it seems like they will be going forward. I love a good mystery and this one is already compelling. While I hope they don't interrupt every episode like they did last week's, I do hope that the Aces and Eights are given plenty of focus. This should be able to carry TNA into Bound for Glory season and beyond.
Jake Barnett: TNA continues to put on good TV each week. It will be difficult for them to pierce through the hype and nostalgia that emanated from Monday's Raw 1000 to get attention this week, but I'm still very optimistic about where the company is going. Impact is a good show that has the potential to be great if the creative energy can be focused and some of the rough spots polished up a bit.
Mark Gessner: I'm really enjoying the emphasis of Samoa Joe in attempting to win every match via submission. Of all the wrestlers in the business, Samoa Joe and his following/training in MMA is ideal for this storyline. The arm bar from bottom against Pope this past Thursday was great and something else that added to it was Taz being able to explain the set up for it.
Ryan Kester: I find it a small surprise that the best Open Fight Night to date featured an Open Fight Night that distanced itself as much as possible from the show's usual format. In my eyes the idea was a decent one but the execution thus far has been poor and I wouldn't shed a single tear if TNA scrapped the idea like they did Devon's weekly TV Title defenses.
Chris Shore: The Aces and Eights story is quickly building steam. My only fear is that this becomes some convoluted revamp of the nWo and we end up with a "split roster." That story has been told to death, and I hope I'm wrong. For those who are quick to attack my fear, please remember that Eric Bischoff still has significant control in TNA and Bischoff has never shown me to be anything more than a one trick pony.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (DGUSA): Amid rumors that DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano's contract has expired, he will defend his championship this weekend. His match against Akira Tozawa will be a must-see affair. For my money, the best value in wrestling today are DGUSA's shows. It isn't all the same vanilla indie workers that look like MMA rejects. This roster features more variety than any other. Watch these shows. You will enjoy them.
Jake Barnett (UFC): UFC 149 was a boring show. I don't mean to take anything away from the hard work all the fighters put in to prepare for their respective fights, but the show simply lacked excitement. The show was cursed by the injury bug, but it seems like everyone fighting on the card decided to fight tactically. I'm not sure what the solution is, as I'm a complete rube when it comes to how fight schedules are put together, but I hope UFC can manage to schedule cards that have a better mix of fighting styles and personalities. There is nothing more boring than an MMA fight with two well matched guys who aren't known for taking risks.
Mark Gessner (JCW): If you have yet to listen to Jason's interview with Violent J, become a member and listen to him talk about The Gathering of the Juggalo's in two weekends in Illinois. On top of having a stacked festival with musicians and comedians, it also is loaded with wrestlers like Matt Hardy, John Morrison, Shane Helms, Bobby Lashley, Vader, Sean Waltman, and Ric Flair who is hosting the main stage Saturday night. If you live in the area, I would definitely recommend checking out the festival.
Ryan Kester (UFC): UFC on Fox is right around the corner and although I am looking forward to the Shogun Rua main event, the Lyoto Machida vs. Ran Bader fight has me more intrigued. One of the light heavyweight division's rising stars will face one of the division's best and it will be interesting to see how Bader copes with Machida's unique offense.
Chris Shore (ROH): If ROH announces an iPPV, and no one cares, does it make a sound? I remember when ROH iPPV dates were big deals that caused a serious buzz. Now it feels like filler to make up for slow news days. It's easy to point the finger at Sinclair's purchase of the promotion as the problem, but I think it runs deeper than that. ROH has become the John Cena of the indie world. It is a stale product that is crammed down our throats each and every week with no concern for what we as fans actually want to see.
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