4/25 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): It's special to even see The Undertaker make his entrance on television anymore, let alone wrestle. Not only did he perform his greatest hits on Monday night, but he worked extremely hard and was a part of a very good match. Undertaker will go down as one of the best ever based on the quality of his performances late in his career.
Jeff Lutz (Twitter - @JeffreyDLutz): Count me among the few who didn't dislike Ryback's in-ring promo on Raw this week. His facial expressions weren't great an his constant movement was distracting, but his vocal delivery was fine? C.M. Punk-level fine? Of course not. And therein lies the problem with this feud. Ryback is a wrestler on a losing streak who needs and deserves time to cultivate not only a heel persona, but a general act. A main-event program with John Cena isn't an ideal spot to receive that time.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): I still can't get over what a ridiculous closing segment we had to close Raw. I know John Cena is the franchise player and all, but does he really have to take down The Shield and Ryback all by himself? It didn't make a whole lot of sense in the context of the main event story, which I thought was to establish Ryback and The Shield as potential threats to John Cena's title. They played way too much of their hand in my opinion on Raw.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @InVasionZim): Shield vs. Taker and Hell No was awesome for so many reasons. Bryan and Rollins took full advantage of any unfamiliar eyes they had on them by completely stealing the show. In addition, the rub and legitimacy the four young guys get from the two legends who've "still got it" is the absolute epitome of "making stars."
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @Innominatus_): This week's Raw was the best Raw we've seen from WWE in some time, one rowdy crowd post-WrestleMania notwithstanding. WWE still isn't doing enough with their non-main event talent to keep the entire show interesting, but this was a rare Raw that didn't left me feeling drained.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): I think the London crowd may have suffered from over-hype. People were expecting New Jersey levels of noise, but they weren't given as much to get excited about, plus the hardcore fans would have been outnumbered severely by kids. But when they were needed to be noisy, they did the UK proud.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): Ryback may turn out to be a great act one day, but right now WWE is doing too much too fast with him. He doesn't seem comfortable in live promos, and while the fans liked chanting "Feed me more," I'm not sure they care much about heel Ryback. What the act needs is to win the title at Extreme Rules, and yet I can't help but wonder if that wouldn't also be the absolute worst thing for him at the same time.
Will Pruett: There are now coherent stories in the main event scene of TNA. This is a vast improvement. Now, those stories need to trickle down to the X Division. The triple threat concept has improved in-ring action and given the division a foundation to build on. Little video packages every other week aren't enough.
Jeff Lutz: Television ratings indicate that live TNA Impact shows aren't really catching on, and that TNA hasn't expanded beyond its core audience. Going live wasn't the solution to TNA's woes -- producing compelling weekly television is. An all-star team of past stars is exciting for TNA's base audience, but building a roster of new, unique performers is what can push the organization forward.
Jake Barnett: I'll give TNA credit, they are moving the Aces and Eights story forward, which is a marked improvement over where it was for the months leading to Bully Ray's reveal. I still don't understand why Hulk Hogan is being presented as the number one babyface in TNA, as everyone knows he can no longer entertain in the ring as an active performer, but they've at least worked steadily towards the upcoming confrontation on Impact. I'm a skeptic about whether they can really maintain my interest in a Bully Ray vs. Hogan angle, but I'll see if they can change my mind.
Zack Zimmerman: It's hard to stick with TNA when every episode of Impact revolves around Hulk Hogan, Brooke Hogan, Sting, and amorphous power, more than quality athletics, evolving talent, and compelling stories that fans can believe in. A hyped "PPV quality show" draws the lowest rating of the year and following week doesn't break a 1.00 either... Leads me to believe I'm not alone in my near-apathy.
Ryan Kester: TNA needs to put a little more effort into their weekly shows. They've gone from trying to cram too much in to being lax with their stories until their next PPV is upon them.
Chris Shore: I understand the need to keep the live crowd from completely falling apart during the second TV tapings for TNA, but making the taped show over 50 percent video spots is going to hurt the company, and the ratings show no growth. Going live on the road is still a great idea, but they just aren't doing it correctly yet.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (Michael Bay comments): It's humorous to me to see Michael Bay insult The Rock for wrestling. Bay has made some of the highest earning and worse movies of the last decade. He is the lynchpin in my argument that critical and commercial success are not created. He makes movies with less artistic integrity than a Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero segment from 2009. Bay should reassess his views on wrestling.
Jeff Lutz (UFC): I was completely on-board with Chael Sonnen's antics, and if you had asked me a year ago, I would have counted myself among his fans. Those days, however, are finished. Sonnen's act is growing tired, and even though he's done an admirable job promoting the fight against Jon Jones, I just no longer buy into Sonnen as a title contender. Jones is going to have his way with Sonnen, and we'll be left with an outspoken, aging former star without a big fight left.
Jake Barnett (Ryback): I went back and watched Ryback's promos from Monday again to give them a second chance, and I still didn't come away particularly impressed with his performance. Expectations have risen quite a lot for performers in WWE over the years on the microphone, and Ryback comes off as a guy who has all the willpower in the world but lacks the confidence in himself to really carry a talking segment at the level he's being asked to work in. He needs more time and seasoning to get it right, and WWE would be doing right by him to pull him away from the WWE Championship to allow that part of his work to improve.
Zack Zimmerman (ROH): Coming off Naomichi Marufuji's injury, 'Intrepid Traveler' Paul London will make his return to ROH to face Davey Richards at Border Wars. Longtime fans will likely be disappointed by Marufuji's absence, but there's no denying the credibility and recognition Paul London brings with him. It'll be interesting to see whether or not he takes on a regular role in ROH going forward.
Ryan Kester (UFC): This weekend's UFC 159 features an interesting main event. I don't hold a lot of hope for Sonnen's chances against Jones, but I am looking forward to the fight nonetheless.
Darren Gutteridge (WWE Tour): I can't stress how annoyed, yet relieved, I am that WWE had no tour shirt for the European tour. I have been collecting them for nearly 10 years, but can I really get angry at WWE for forcing me to stop spending £25 on a t-shirt I would only wear once?
Chris Shore (UFC): When Chael Sonnen and Jon Jones were announced as the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter, and would therefore have a fight after it wrapped, I was personally thrilled for what I thought would be a great fight at the end of a wrestling style build. Sonnen has handled his end of the deal, but Jones continues to refuse to engage. As much as I like Jones, and I do think he's the best pound for pound fighter in UFC, he could be the Mohammad Ali of the sport if he would just plug into the idea of hype. UFC 159 should still be a success, but not what it could have been.
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