3/24 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): The WrestleMania undercard is taking shape and it actually seems fairly exciting. Mark Henry vs. Ryback looks to be a fun encounter between two behemoths. The Tag Team Championship match offers three impressive athletes a chance to shine and a huge debut for Big E. Langston. As down as some have been on the hype for major matches, this 'Mania show is looking great.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): There were far too many misfires this week on WWE. Titus O'Neill's Pancake Patterson character belonged nowhere near John Cena, the Urn and Bearer parts of the Undertaker and Punk story are a distraction from the better one they started with, and the beating Triple H put on Heyman got downright creepy. I hope for better next week.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @zzimm22): One month ago, the Wrestlemania countdown video gave me goosebumps. But based on the completely lackluster build since, I don't even notice the countdown anymore. It's unfortunate that my first live Wrestlemania isn't eating me alive with anticipation. I blame WWE entirely.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @Innominatus_): I'm disappointed to see WWE decide to capitalize on Paul Bearer's passing as a storyline device. I'm not outright offended by the idea, but I do find that my enthusiasm for the story is now less than it was when the focus was on Punk trying to end the streak. I'm still looking forward to the end result with the two men having a match at WrestleMania, but I'm no longer looking forward to the build to get there.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): I can't believe how badly mapped out this Mania's hype seems to be. While the main events were set in stone a while ago, the undercard seems to be being booked on the fly. Mania build was usually well in motion by the time the first Raw after the Chamer aired, not started with three weeks to go (see: Tag Title match, Ryback/Henry, Jericho/Fandango).
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): While ratings are not indicative of buyrates, especially when it comes to WrestleMania, WWE needs to be careful for the next two week. It's not so much that WrestleMania might do a bad number, though that isn't outside the range of possibilities, it's that they have business to do after April 7. A panicked response based on recent ratings could do more damage in the long run if WWE tries to cram more older stars in a show that really needs a boost of youth.
Will Pruett: The series of vignettes with Bully Ray examining his heel turn were really well done. They showed the many benefits of long term planning. As tired of a storytelling device as it would become, I wish every wrestling company had to make (or at least conceive of) vignettes like this for every major story. Coherence would become a priority, not a luxury.
Jake Barnett: I like that TNA tried to have Bully Ray explain himself, even if they weren't able to backfill all the plot holes. Jeff Hardy putting his title shot on the line was silly as well, but at least the match was good that came out of it. TNA's broadcast looks top notch, but there is plenty of work still ahead of them in improving their writing.
Zack Zimmerman: I'm fully aware the Jeff Hardy is the best babyface in TNA and perhaps one of the best in the world, but that doesn't mean TNA can overlook crowd reaction because of that. Samoa Joe was the most over guy on Impact this week without any buildup or momentum, but he ended up taking the fall. TNA needs to realize what they have in Joe and hopefully the live reactions for him will get through to management sooner than later.
Ryan Kester: I loved the idea TNA had to have Bully Ray narrate his past nine months and clear up some of the plot holes for how he was an Aces and Eights member and still getting attacked by his fellows. It wasn't perfect, but TNA's production did a great job of supplementing his words with compelling video. I'm glad this explanation actually happened as it was beginning to look like TNA would just ignore the entire affair.
Chris Shore: As expected, the Bully Ray videos have engendered a lot of good will with fans who had given up on TNA. Kudos to them for that. Now they have to capitalize on it this week. The one mistake they have to avoid going forward is resting on their laurels and wasting time like they did for the build to Lockdown. We don't have to see every story advanced every week, but they must avoid having meaningless matches and segments that simply spin their wheel while waiting for the next PPV. If a wrestler is on TV, make sure what he does matters, and everyone who is willing to give them another chance will stay.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (PWG): Friday night at a PWG show, Drake Younger took violence to a level it shouldn't be at. In a bloody brawl with Sami Calihan, he had money stapled to his head and undoubtedly took chairshots he should not have. This display assured that I will not be attending a PWG event or bringing friends to one in the future. I'm disgusted by this.
Jake Barnett (WrestleMania): I'm liking the WrestleMania card thus far. The bid for the main event feuds has been perplexing at times, but I think we're going to see some great matches on the show and there is still time to get the stories back on the rails. The undercard is starting to fill out nicely and overall there is a lot of content on tap and I think most of it should be at the very least fun to watch.
Zack Zimmerman (ROH): Up until this week, ROH SCoH7 felt like just another show. The DGUSA shows are set to feature some of Japan's top talent and appeared to have the stronger lineups. ROH made a brilliant move, however, and brought in NJPW's top rising Gaijin star 'Machine Gun' Karl Anderson to face Roderick Strong. At the risk of setting expectations too high, I already have my sights set on this being the best match of the weekend. This will certainly be one to see.
Ryan Kester (UFC): Condit and Hendricks had one hell of a fight at UFC 158. Unfortunately, it was one of the few matches on the card that had any sort of electricity to it, The undercard disappointed and the main event, while I enjoy displays of technical skill in MMA, quickly became boring. It became too apparent too early that GSP wasn't going to get worked out of his standard fight formula to go for a finish, and Diaz didn't have an answer to his methods.
Darren Gutteridge (Chris Masters): You would naturally do anything to save your mom, but Chris Masters uprooting a tree may be the most manly way to do it. I'm glad everyone's OK, and now I can't help but hope Masters capitalizes by bringing a tree to the ring from now on.
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