3/9 Dot Net One Shots: The Dot Net staff give their quick thoughts from the previous week in WWE, TNA, and special One Shots on Paul Bearer
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): The pace of storytelling going into WrestleMania has been fantastic. Week after week we seem to be learning more about what the card will be and what the key feuds will be. WWE's storytelling is really hitting its stride. This Road to WrestleMania is shaping up to be a can't miss show.
Jeff Lutz (Twitter - @JeffreyDLutz): John Cena's promo with the Rock was significantly better than anything the two produced in the lead-up to WrestleMania 28, but his insistence on no-selling Rock's powerful put-downs by smiling continues to baffle me. It comes across as if Cena is a bad actor who can't stay in the moment, much like Jimmy Fallon in his Saturday Night Live days, and it's distracting. Cena still hasn't quite figured out how to elevate in order to reach Rock's level of effectiveness, but at least Monday's promo didn't bring The Rock to Cena's level, like we saw so much last year.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): I liked what John Cena did this week. He showed a more human side of himself that has been missing in action for far too long. He’ll need even more of that to rebuild a bit of good will with fans that have grown weary of his often times overbearing invulnerability. CM Punk and Undertaker also set in motion what looks to be a very compelling feud. Monday did a very good job of setting the WrestleMania stage.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @zzimm22): What we saw on Monday was exactly what I wanted to see from Rock and Cena last year. It progressed logically and they built each other up, but felt naturally heated and tense. They don't have people buzzing like last year just yet, but the story is already in a better place going forward.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @Innominatus_): Raw went a long way towards getting me excited for WrestleMania. The card is really beginning to take shape, and I am mildly optimistic about all of the top matches. I'm ready to see where the build goes in the coming weeks.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): The best type of sporting match is not between one great club and one terrible one, or two 'middle of the road' teams, it's when two equally great teams meet, with an even chance of either side winning. Everyone wants to watch that. Thats the way Cena and Rock's section was booked Monday, and if it continues, the match will have no problem shaking off all the "boring rematch" claims.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): WWE is doing a good, but not great, job of building to WrestleMania. I like that they are pacing things out and not beating us over the head with everything at once, but there are a couple of announced matches that need a shot in the arm, and there are far too many guys who still don't have WrestleMania dates set. They still have time for those guys, but they need to get busy rectifying it.
Will Pruett: Something has got to give and at Lockdown it will. TNA is set for a major story to take shape. It feels like it has been a while and with Lockdown, hopefully TNA can reignite the passion for their promotion so many felt last year.
Zack Zimmerman: Dixie Carter confirmed on Wednesday in a PWTorch Livecast interview that TNA's target demographic is the toy collecting 40-year-old-virgin. I don't fall into that demo, nor am I enjoying their product. So maybe it's not them, maybe it's just me... Okay, it's them.
Jeff Lutz: Taking Impact on the road permanently and making herself and the company accessible to fans who have never seen the live product is the smartest business decision TNA has made in 11 years. Much more than moving the show to Monday nights or incorporating concepts such as Open Fight Night or Gut Check that have been met with limited success, this is the move that can finally allow TNA to broaden its fan base.
Jake Barnett: So, we got Bully Ray primed to take on Jeff Hardy at Lockdown, and what else that is genuinely exciting? TNA has had several months to build a compelling PPV, and I was hoping that would mean that stories would develop more organically, but that just hasn’t been the case for most of the card. It’s an unfortunate let down that I sincerely hope gets tackled once they have a fresh build to start after Sunday.
Ryan Kester: We're a few days out from the second of TNA's four PPVs of the year and through our first round of them having so much time to build towards one show. They have a lot of work to do. I can forgive them having Hardy out for a month as that was unavoidable, but TNA has mishandled Aces and Eights for the past three months yet they expect a Lethal Lockdown match with them to help sell the show. For my money, TNA didn't do enough to make Lockdown feel like the major event that it should. I hope , for their sake, that I am in the minority.
Chris Shore: When TNA announced their four PPV schedule earlier this year I was thrilled. Having the opportunity to take your time with storytelling was sure to lead to better stories and better builds for those four PPVs. It would also make those PPVs feel like big events. In their first opportunity to use the new schedule, all TNA did was piss away the time and then try and cram it all in the last two weeks. This schedule may ultimately work for them, but their first attempt was an abject failure.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Zack Zimmerman: It was a pleasure getting to hear William Moody open up during his 5+ hours on the Livecast last year. While he had more left to do on Earth, one thing I know about him is that William was a devoted man of faith and he found peace that he would be reunited with his wife again someday. My condolences to his family.
Will Pruett (Paul Bearer): The wrestling world lost an amazing man this past week. I was shocked to hear about the death of Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle/William Moody, though I am excited to see what WWE does to pay tribute to this major player in their history. The Undertaker (arguably the greatest gimmick in WWE history) would have never been The Undertaker without Bearer. Kane would have never been Kane.
Jeff Lutz (Paul Bearer): Like most wrestling fans in their early 30s, I was petrified of The Undertaker as a child. On his own, 'Taker's fright factor would have been about an eight, but Paul Bearer's presence in the act took it to a Perfect 10. Bearer wasn't just a gimmick _ he was a necessity to allow a young and inexperienced Mark Calaway to find his niche as a performer. Without the direction that Bearer provided, Undertaker may not have reached the great heights he achieved. Rest in peace, William "Paul Bearer" Moody.
Jake Barnett (Paul Bearer): I was saddened along with everyone else earlier this week to hear about Paul Bearer’s passing. I mentioned a story about meeting him years ago on the Dot Net Countdown this week, and I find it worth noting that he took the time to answer the silly questions of a young rube wrestling fan when he had no obligation to, and I will always appreciate his kindness. Rest in Peace, Paul, and thank you for some very fond memories.
Ryan Kester: My thoughts and prayers go out to William Moody's family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched. Growing up, Undertaker was one of my favorite acts, and a large part of his mystique and what made him special to me can be owed to Moody's excellent work. We lost a great performer and, judging by the reactions of those blessed to have met him, a great man.
Darren Gutteridge (Paul Bearer): One thing that stuck in my mind about Paul Bearer is how sweet and kind he came across in interviews, in a business that has a reputation for breeding ego-centric, mean people behind closed doors. My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Chris Shore (Paul Bearer): I have said this a few times since Paul Bearer's passing, but it bears repeating because I don't think most people understand how nasty wrestlers can be about each other behind their backs. I talked to several guys who had met Bearer over the years and not a single person had anything bad to say about him. He is the only person in this business I have ever had that experience with. The wrestling world, hell the world at large, became a little less good Tuesday.
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