5/2 Dot Net One Shots: The Dot Net staff gives 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).
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): Monday's Raw was brutal, and it could have been a much better show with an hour of it dissolved into the ether. I hope WWE understands the severity of the toll a 3 hour show takes out on its viewers. It also makes you forget how good certain parts of the show are. Bring back two hour shows.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @InVasionZim): WWE is making four certified main eventers in The Shield and Daniel Bryan. That feud is the best thing going right now. On the other side however, (lack of) WWE Creative is stifling guys like Ziggler, Cesaro, Barrett, Fandango, Kingston, and Rhodes. The philosophy is that they can flip a switch and push any of them when it's their time, but the way they're booked is doing damage to their worth and perceived potential.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @InnominatusTTV): The Shield have been having a great week. From beating Undertaker and Team Hell No on last week's Raw to taking out Undertaker on Smackdown to getting the pinfall victory on John Cena from this week's Raw, they have been getting a stronger push than any act has in some time. I hope WWE has the patience to continue this for some time and the group is continued to be treated as a smart and powerful team.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): I can't tell you how excited I am to see Dean Ambrose in singles action. Having not appeared on NXT like Rollins and Reigns, I have never seen him in a one on one match, and if his wrestling skill matches his promo skills, it should be fantastic. He'll get more offence in against Kane than he did against Taker, so Smackdown will be intriguing.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): WWE will look at the lack luster ratings this week and probably say this proves that wrestling heavy shows don't draw. While it's possible those sentiments are true, I don't think this week's ratings indicate that. There is a serious level of fatigue that comes from watching Raw, regardless of its makeup. In a world of instant gratification, you have to wonder how many people just give up on Raw before it ever starts. I know it’s happened to me before.
Will Pruett (Twitter - @itswilltime): Here's the thing about Monday Night Raw these days: It would be a great two hour show. Take all the good wrestling and remove a couple of silly moments and suddenly, the show works. Here's the real thing about WWE Raw these days: it's three hours and fifteen minutes. It's getting hard to sit through.
Jake Barnett: The Antiques Roadshow is back in full force as Sting and Hulk Hogan continue to be the focal point of TNA, and just like in WWE with its focus on part timers, the opportunity costs are staggering. I don't get it, and I never will.
Zack Zimmerman: How are we supposed to believe that the top athletes of 2013, if indeed that is how they are promoted, can't stop a gang of thugs that two 55-year-old men can fend off with ease? It's just ludicrous and it makes the rest of the roster look like chumps. Mandatory cynicism avoidance: Welcome back Chris Sabin! Here's hoping there are big things for him down the road.
Ryan Kester: TNA is stale. They're doing better by taking the show on the road and getting in front of fresh crowds, but they're also stuck in a cycle of building up and breaking down factions that revolve around the dynamic between Sting and Hulk Hogan. TNA has a great deal of talent on their roster, but they opt to continue treading water.
Chris Shore: Dixie Carter has shown solid business acumen with her recent decisions to take the show on the road and reduce the number of PPVs to four. Now she needs to make the most important business decision she will ever make. It's time to put Hulk Hogan and Sting out to pasture. They are still valuable as feature acts, but the days of these two dominating the main event simply must end.
Will Pruett: Want to see 1997 in a constant loop? Watch TNA. A company that once broke ground and made some brave and new moves is now replaying what worked in 1997.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Jake Barnett (Antonio Cesaro): He would have been better off with Natalya's gas problem than he is yodeling. Neither gimmick is as demoralizing as the waste of talent that is happening all over WWE's mid card, with Cesaro being the prime example.
Zack Zimmerman (NXT): The new facility, the talent, and the minds in the new developmental system are as professional and on-point as ever. That said, I can't help but feel like there is talent that is actually being hindered by their extended stays in Florida. Would-be stars like Kassius Ohno, Bray Wyatt and the Wyatt Family, and Adrian Neville are TV ready and in their prime.
Ryan Kester (UFC): UFC on 159 was plagued with problems. Eye pokes pervaded the entire evening and it cost the card two fights. The worst part is this wasn't the first time that there's been several eye pokes in one night, it was just the most egregious with them leading to premature ends. Something needs to be done to prevent these pokes from happening and it needs to happen soon.
Darren Gutteridge (Divas): WWE has yet to have success with the reality show format. The original NXT was billed as "reality", but couldn't have been further from it. Other "behind the scenes" looks have also been very stilted, rarely appearing to be honest. So you'll forgive me for not getting excited for the new Divas show, since the trailers already seemed pretty scripted.
Chris Shore (ROH): Border Wars is yet another iPPV that is full of matches that have no storyline basis. To be fair, Hunter Johnston is playing to the roster's strengths (in-ring skill) and hiding their weaknesses (promo skills), but if ROH wishes to grow their business, they need to continue to push the roster to "round out" as performers so that every match means something.
Will Pruett (Wrestling Cares Association): I've often said the next big thing in wrestling will be logical, character-based storytelling in the vein of "Mad Men" and other superb scripted dramas. I feel like Wrestling Cares Association started something like this with their Race for the Ring tournament. They've established a world with its own internal logic, they are establishing characters to live in it, and now they have the opportunity to tell stories. Kudos to WCA for this storytelling and, of course, the awesome charity work the new promotion promotes.
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