8/30 Dot Net One Shots: The Dot Net staff give their quick thoughts from the previous week in WWE, TNA, MMA and indie wrestling
Welcome to the Dot Net One Shots. 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): What incentive do I have to watch Smackdown anymore? I'm usually Mr. Positivity on this site, but everything on Smackdown seems thoroughly inconsequential. Even if there are great matches on the show, stories aren't told or progressed. For a show that demands time out of my weekend, I'd love to see better.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): CM Punk and Jerry Lawler told a great story on Monday. CM Punk is a much bolder character as a heel and I enjoy what he brings to the show in that capacity. I thought Lawler was a little rusty on the microphone away from the headset, but nonetheless he looked very sympathetic and had a very entertaining old school cage match with Punk. I don't want to see a long term Punk and Lawler storyline, but I like that they are keeping Punk and Cena apart.
Mark Gessner (Twitter - @MarkGessner): Jerry Lawler has really found his niche on how to be effective in today's wrestling. His work last year with The Miz leading up to Wrestlemania 27 was great, and his current angle with C.M. Punk over respect is excellent as well. While working angles with younger heels, he seems inspired and puts forth a far superior effort than he has sitting on true announcers desk doing color commentary for at least half a decade. The cage match main event versus Punk was a phenomenal way to establish Punk as a true heel. If only he could take some of the fire he's showing in his current angle with him to his commentary.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @TheRyanKester): Three hours of Raw is too much. If you cut all of the filler out of this week's Raw we still wouldn't have had enough relevant material to fit the old timeslot, let alone a marathon of wrestling television.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): As much as I disliked the Jerry Lawler angle from last week's Raw, this week's Raw showed that it was an appropriate setup for a hard heel turn for CM Punk. Punk couldn't make that turn on Cena due to Cena's problems with some fans, but Lawler proved to be worthy of the task.
Will Pruett: Will Aces and Eights become it's own roster or division in TNA? It could. There were something like 20 people in the group on Impact and it could easily just steal the TV Championship, call it a World Championship, and have matches for it in a ring surrounded by motorcycles. I wouldn't watch the show, but it could totally exist (like a weekly version of Road Wild!).
Jake Barnett: Aces and Eights felt like it overshot the boundaries of what works on a wrestling show. Less is definitely more in the gang warfare stories. The idea of a large scale invasion of a wrestling promotion has been done, and it always boils down to characters. TNA needs the shine to last on the Aces and Eights as long as possible, and the large scale melees feel like the part of action movies where you turn your brain off. It might work once, but repeat performances will lose the audience.
Mark Gessner: This year's Bound for Glory series has been very well done. There has been a clear cut favorite to win the series since the open with James Storm. There has been Samoa Joe acting as almost a dark horse with his goal of going for submission victories only to put him in second place overall. Robbie E has played the fun pest. And Bully Ray continues to do the best work of his career and is one of the most compelling characters in the entire business right now. While I think Bully Ray deserves the main event at BFG versus Austin Aries based on the caliber of work he's doing, I'd love to see Joe vs. Aries headline TNA's biggest PPV of the year.
Ryan Kester: The brawl that the end of Impact was effective yet overdone. Right now it looks like TNA is setting up Aces and Eights as another NWO roster-splitting rehash and nothing could be a more boring way to handle what has been a thus far fun angle. I get that the NWO was great, but I would so much rather see a new generation getting their defining story rather than spending anymore time trying to make that particular lighting strike twice.
Chris Shore: I find it staggeringly stupid that Devon's contract was allowed to expire while he still held the title. They may yet solve the problem tonight, and they can always come back with a tournament if not. But if you know, or even suspect, a guy is on his way out the door, then use him to get somebody over. Especially when the person leaving holds a title belt.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (Ego): I was recently a guest on the WrestleSpective radio show, discussing The Rock vs. Triple H in the main event of Backlash 2000. We cover the match, the story building up to it, and its historical impact. We also discuss how legally binding a guaran-damn-tee is, Steve Austin's popularity while injured, Shane McMahon dancing, and more. Check out WrestleSpective episode #157.
Jake Barnett (UFC): UFC 151 would have been this weekend. Vitor Belfort will now step in for Dan Henderson at UFC 152. I'm hoping we eventually get to see Dan Henderson get his title shot, as I was very interested to see how his style matched up with Jones. Belfort is a scary competitor and I would never rule out a flash KO, but this fight seems less compelling to me than the Henderson fight. This is going to be his first fight at light heavyweight in quite some time, which makes an unexpected title shot even more daunting a task.
Mark Gessner (UFC): What an interest past week shall we say. For the first time in company history, UFC has canceled a PPV, this Saturday's UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson due to Hendo pulling out due to a knee injury. What followed is truly bothersome. Dana White confirmed during a conference call that Chael Sonnen was the only person who volunteered to step up and fight Jon Jones which would have saved the main event and PPV. Jones turned down the fight, which led to the show being canceled. Why Jones turned down the fight we'll never truly know, but what is known is his cockiness and questionable choices in the past, both inside and out of the Octagon, have already brought him a significant amount of heat with various groups of fans. Turning down a fight with an "out of shape 185 pounder" as Joe Rogan put it to cancel a card, has moved him into an entirely different echelon of fan hatred. Maybe it's time for Jones to embrace his brashness and be a heel. A lot of people will pay a lot of money to see someone they don't like get their ass kicked (see Lesnar, Brock) and Jones is someone who can prove his detractors wrong with his natural ability.
Ryan Kester (UFC): Honestly, after UFC failed to book Lyoto Machida or Mauricio Rua for a fight with Jon Jones, they should have just postponed Jones' next title defense. Jones vs. Belfort does not seem like a money fight to me and I would much rather the UFC be patient and wait until the true top contenders are ready to face the champion rather than settling for the fifth man down the list of desirable opponents just because they feel the need to make up for UFC 151. There are other ways of making that right that would be much more convincing then digging a guy from so far down the standings just to get Jones in the Octagon again.
Chris Shore (PWG): PWG's Battle of Los Angeles is this weekend, and those who are close enough to go should really consider it. PWG is very much the attitude era style of promotion, yet they manage to have a ton of fun in the process, and the wrestling is almost always some of the best you will see. The promotion could be bigger than what it is with a little more effort and input from the owners, but they are happy with where they are in the world. I highly recommend you check them out, especially if you are looking for something different in wrestling.
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