12/21 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): After a long week of shows (four days in a row!), I can actually say that I'm still excited about the WWE product. Although I do feel some fatigue, WWE is really jumping on board with a youth movement at the perfect time of year. They're setting up new talent for success just as WrestleMania season starts. This delights me.
Jeff Lutz (Twitter - @JeffreyDLutz): I've begun watching Raw at 8 p.m. central, fast-forwarding through the commercials, and making it a two-hour experience. This has removed so much stress from my life. The only drawback is that I can't follow along with the show on Twitter or with Jason's live coverage on Dot-Net. Otherwise, I can continue to watch the show in the two-hour time frame with which it was designed and meant to be watched, and I don't have to suffer, as much, through a plodding third hour.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): The Shield's debut match blew away my expectations. The follow up has not thus far. Momentum is a hard to keep going, but I really hope The Shield breaks the mold and delivers more than just a few months of good television before WWE loses interest.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @Innominatus_): The Slammies this year were fun. While the awards themselves I could take or leave, WWE did enough with a series of returns and a debut to make the show feel special.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): Never has there been a night so contradictory as Raw on Monday. How can a show that featured the return Flair and Dreamer, a Taker Mania tease, and the debut of Big E Langston, be SO insufferably bad? The matches all felt meaningless, and the Slammys were awful even by Slammy standards. The only part worth watching was all the Flair shenanigans, and even they weren't really important going forward.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): We are constantly, and rightly, in WWE's ass when they fail to give new talent a fair chance at the top. SO when I look out and see Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and Big E Langston dominating conversation, especially when we know the Rock is coming back in just a few weeks, it gives me great joy. A great start WWE. Now stick with it.
Will Pruett: The Aces and Eights angle now feels like an odd side-track that has thrown TNA's formerly consistent storytelling into disarray for six months. Everything has revolved around it, but not in a consistent way. I'm hoping that TNA gets back on track soon. The product is miles better than it was last year, but there is still a long way to go.
Jeff Lutz: How am I supposed to take Aces and Eights seriously when the group keeps losing matches? Better yet, how am I supposed to take Aces and Eights seriously when its two headlining members are Devon and the artist formerly known as Luke Gallows? The reason Gallows is no longer in WWE and why Devon has been a perpetual mid-carder is because they lack the intangibles necessary to be leaders of a prominent faction.
Jake Barnett: I have to tip my hat to Joseph Park. He has really made the most out of his new character, despite being written into some ridiculous situations. His stuff with Bully Ray was great, and his "Wrestling Training" has been as well. The best things in TNA continue to be away from major storylines.
Ryan Kester: So Sting is being slated as the savior for TNA from Aces and Eights. We're heading into 2013, and TNA is still relying upon Sting to be their top active babyface.
Chris Shore: This week's Impact was a step in the right direction for TNA as the recorded show was much better paced than the last three had been. That said, they also took a show with three title matches on it and made it feel unimportant. Sometimes it's one step forward, two steps back.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (PWG): The first round of PWG's DDT4 Tag Team Tournament in January has been announced and I am ridiculously excited. Among the elements firing me up is the team of El Generico and Kevin Steen reuniting, even though they hate each other. Few feuds have been as intense as theirs in recent years and this is another every interesting chapter. January 12 can't come soon enough.
Jeff Lutz (John Morrison): I hope John Morrison can reinvent himself as part of the Dragon Gate USA roster. I hope he discovers a passion for wrestling that he failed to exude during his WWE run. I hope Morrison develops promo skills that match his athleticism. And I hope he returns to WWE someday to show off his refined abilities and renewed energy. I can't say I feel the same in regards to Matt Hardy's run in Ring of Honor, however.
Jake Barnett (ROH): I thought the final battle show was a great wrestling value, with Steen and Generico alone being worth the price of admission. The Briscoes winning the Tag Titles was a conservative move to say the least, but I really look forward to the Tag Division getting back on track. If you don't want to shell out the big money for a major PPV, and want a wrestling fix, this is a good place to start.
Ryan Kester (UFC): Try as I might, I can't get excited for UFC 155. Seeing the return match for Dos Santos vs. Velasquez is intriguing, but the rest of the card does very little for me.
Darren Gutteridge (Colt Cabana): I want to point people in the direction of Colt Cabana's "Art of Wrestling" podcast this week. Colt had Jake "The Snake" Roberts on this week, and although it isn't as hard hitting an interview as one might expect, Colt focuses on the highlights of Jake's career, skipping through the darker stuff, and it makes for a very fun and interesting 60 minutes. Having not really been exposed to Jake that much, hearing him talk about his promo style in particular was fascinating, and at times spine tingling chilling.
Chris Shore (ROH): A lot of people are still dismayed over the rather banal Final Battle produced last weekend. While the show lacked a big fight feel, all of the matches came off logically, with good finishes that actually didn't kill storylines dead in their tracks. I would have liked more too, but detractors need to remember where this company was even four months ago. There have been very positive steps recently, and I for one applaud ROH for the changes.
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