2/23 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): Remember when Jack Swagger was getting the biggest push of his career and most of us were raving about it? I feel like those days will be behind us in a week or so. Sadly, Jack Swagger picked the worst possible time to get arrested in possession of drugs. I hope WWE continues to use Zeb Colter (Dutch Mantell) and finds a way to salvage his story no matter what happens to Swagger.
Jeff Lutz (Twitter - @JeffreyDLutz): Jack Swagger should be removed from the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania following his recent arrest, but WWE had the right idea inserting a fresh name in the main event picture. If WWE opts to recreate that without Swagger, how about Dean Ambrose? Even though I'm not a fan of his voice, Ambrose could hold his own on the mic in an important feud and his match with Alberto Del Rio could, in theory, free up Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins to chase the tag titles. WrestleMania ending with every member of The Shield holding a major title would be more interesting than many alternatives.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): WrestleMania is shaping up nicely. I like where WWE is going with what seems like a potential Triple Threat between Cena, Punk and Rock. There are still a lot of questions up in the air on the card, but so far it's all looking interesting to me.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @zzimm22): I love the new WWE Championship belt. It's certainly far from traditional, but with the other major championship represented by the 'Big Gold' belt, tradition is covered. The new title is bold and explicit, yet elegant and classy. Here's hoping those Brahma Bulls just become the WWE logo after Wrestlemania.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): I can’t remember any performer having a more difficult introduction period than Zeb Coulter. The former Dutch Mantell has only been around a little more than a week, and he’s already been hounded by the press for his controversial “redneck” stereotype gimmick (a character he is performing, not creating), and now his protégé Jack Swagger has been accused of speeding under the influence, a charge that hits close to home for Dutch . I wouldn’t blame anybody in this situation for admitting defeat and stopping the whole thing right now.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): WWE took a week off instead of jumping into the hard sell for WrestleMania right away. That's not a sin because there is plenty of time, and we have seen WWE run out of gas in the past, but they need to make sure all of the remaining shows give their best effort. WrestleMania sells itself on some level, but with the Hall of Fame class and Mania card starting to take shape, it looks like WWE has a big weekend on tap. Let's hope they make sure everyone knows that and buys in.
Will Pruett: As critical as I can be of TNA sometimes, I have to compliment the amazing production values from their show in London last week. Their huge and well filled arena looked great. If TNA can make their shows on the road look this good, even with smaller crowds, I believe they'll see their exposure improve. Production values matter, possibly more than wrestling matters (at least in TNA).
Jake Barnett: Aces and Eights got a win, and didn't look incompetent in the process. I bet some people are going to Disney when they get back to Orlando.
Zack Zimmerman: AJ Styles will be giving an update next week and I can't wait. Watching guys like Aries, Punk, and Bryan doing the best work of their careers has me hopeful that we will see AJ follow suit. We're seeing Bully and Daniels show brilliance in their 40's, so to not give AJ a real chance could be leaving big money on the table.
Chris Shore: TNA looked very good the past four weeks in England, but they lost steam by the final week of tapings. That said, it does give me great hope for the future as they do the live/taped double header starting very soon. If TNA is ever going to be more than what they are today, it starts in Chicago on March 14.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (Indies): I fully understand why independent wrestling companies run on the weekends of other major pay-per-views. I still don't like it. I'd rather see most indie companies choose weekends where they will be the story on Monday morning. When you run on the same weekends as the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, your show will be forgotten by 5:00pm on Sunday.
Jeff Lutz (MMA): After watching HBO's "Real Sports" feature on Ronda Rousey, I started scouting locations to watch UFC 157 on Saturday night. That's presumably the goal of UFC President Dana White, to inspire casual or sporadic fans of mixed martial arts, like me, to view the novelty act. If no credible opponents challenge Rousey or if her skills don't match the hype, the novelty will quickly wear off. Of course, that's true of every UFC rising star. I expect Rousey to have staying power.
Jake Barnett (Jack Swagger): Chris Shore already blogged succinctly about this earlier this week, so I'll just add that I like Jack Swagger and I hope he succeeds, but god damn it man get your shit together.
Zack Zimmerman (Jack Swagger): It feels like Swagger is out (though perhaps the newest video says otherwise). Not because he smoked a doobie and got caught speeding with the rest of his stash, but because he showed supreme lack of judgment at a pivotal career point. The best alternative I've heard so far? Have Zeb bring in Kassius Ohno to replace Swagger. Let that one sink in.
Darren Gutteridge (World Sports): I’m not commenting on anyting to do with the tragic event, but the ongoing Oscar Pistorius trial has shone a light on a particular media practice. He has been accused of murder, as well as having violent tendencies, and the prosecution has said testosterone and needles were found in his bedroom, yet I have yet to see any accusing finger be pointed at the sport that made him famous as being the cause of anything. Wrestling is automatically blamed for any tragedy that involves it’s participants, and it’s very rare that anyone bothers to imply the individual's mental state or personality as the driving force.
Chris Shore (King Mo): This is the funny thing about MMA vs. wrestling. King Mo doesn't look like a chump in the world of MMA because knockouts happen to the best of guys sometimes. But in wrestling, fans tend to look at moments like this and think, "He's not any good." That's not fair to him, but life ain't fair (as my momma would say), and I hope this doesn't derail his fledgling wrestling career before it even starts.
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