7/18 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): Dolph Ziggler's breakup with A.J. Lee was handled extremely well. It's rare to see something like this not played up for humiliation or comedy. Ziggler simply ended things. The pop afterwards felt like it was as much for the handling of the situation as the situation itself.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are going to headline Summerslam with John Cena and Brock Lesnar. Rewind back to 2005 and you probably would have put money down on than being impossible. Pro Wrestling is crazy in the best ways sometimes.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @InVasionZim): The Paul Heyman and CM Punk segment, followed by the Brock Lesnar attack, made for the most captivating TV WWE has produced in recent memory. With every word, Paul Heyman not only made himself more despicable, but enticed fans to embrace Punk that much more. The brawl made Punk look legitimate and tough, but also heaped sympathy on him as the underdog. This was a truly brilliant angle.
Ryan Kester (Twitter - @InnominatusTTV): I'm glad to see that Daniel Bryan is remaining in WWE's main event scene. He's on an insane hot streak, and I was worried that WWE was planning on pairing whim with Curtis Axel coming out of the PPV. He's where he needs to be with the type of reaction he's been consistently producing.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): The complete dismissal of Axel's attack at MITB on Bryan on Monday was very confusing. I presumed, like many did, it would be the start of a feud, but Axel didn't appear, and Bryan was kept away from the limelight until the end. Perhaps he'll feud with Axel on TV to keep him strong before meeting Cena at SummerSlam, because it has to be addressed considering the impact the attack had on the match.
Chris Shore (Twitter - @TheShoreSlant): While I never said it was a bad idea, I did wonder why you would put a guy like Paul Heyman with a great talker like CM Punk. I knew he wouldn't hurt the act, but it seemed like Heyman could be better used getting someone else who actually needed help over. Silly for me to forget about the eventual split and subsequent feud. Heyman vs. Punk was as enthralling as anything I have ever seen in wrestling. When people ask you why you are a wrestling fan, point to this segment.
Will Pruett: This is a company obviously in a full-on budget cut spree. Sadly, the part of the budget they're cutting is minimal compared to what others could do. I'm not going to argue they fire all the old guys, but I do believe they should take pay cuts just like other talent. TNA needs to invest more in youth. The recent cuts have been troubling, not just because wrestlers are losing a regular check, but also because they are happening at the wrong end of the pay-scale.
Jake Barnett: I'm really looking forward to seeing what Chris Sabin and Bulky Ray can pull off this week. Sabin gave a promo with great babyface fire to close last week's Impact, and TNA needs to embrace it and treat him like a star.
Zack Zimmerman: If Bruce Prichard is really on his way out of the company, I'm intrigued how the change will impact their day-to-day operations and TV product. I'm under the impression that we won't notice a significant change as long as Eric Bischoff is producing, but time will tell and I'll be watching to see.
Ryan Kester: Chris Sabin and Bully Ray had a great exchange on last week's Impact. It was good enough that I wish there's wasn't so much else going on surrounding the TNA Title. Between the faction battles, the Bound For Glory Series, and Bully Ray's feud with Hulk Hogan, there is a lot of distractions from what would otherwise be a classic David and Goliath story that could help make Sabin a star for TNA.
Chris Shore: Rabid TNA fans are the first to go insane anytime anyone even hints that the company might be "done." While I think their animosity is often misguided, I sincerely hope all of them take this current time very serious. When talent, agents, and executives start getting cut due to budgetary issues, it raises eyebrows. When you hear that at the exact same time the company has had troubles making payroll, things get treacherous. I'm not here to make any proclamations other than this: TNA sounds like a company in trouble. Let's hope it doesn't advance any farther than that.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (Indies): This week, it is more evident than possibly ever before: the indies are changing professional wrestling. Look at the presumed top two matches for SummerSlam. In 2005, no one would have believe C.M. Punk would face Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan would challenge John Cena. At the time, neither match would have seemed realistic. Now, it's the most exciting pay-per-view lineup I've heard in a long time.
Jake Barnett (ROH): There are a lot of great matchups in the ROH Title Tournament. The promotion needs some buzz in a bad way, and this could be a good start if the content delivers. I still wonder how many people will pay to watch it on VOD though.
Zack Zimmerman (Daniel Bryan): Not every crowd is a hot crowd, but among the ones that are, the reactions to Daniel Bryan are truly a sight to behold. I thought the visuals of the crowd enthusiasm in the closing segment of Raw did a tremendous amount to legitimize Daniel Bryan. At Tuesday's Smackdown taping, Bryan was hands-down the most over performer on the show. There is something special happening between Bryan and the vast majority of fans right now.
Ryan Kester (TNA): The slew of roster cuts and rumored office personnel departures in TNA is worrying. While taking the show on the road has helped to makes the shows a bit more lively, it is proving to be a costly endeavor.
Darren Gutteridge (WWE Performance Center): Having heard the horror stories of some wrestling schools, even previous WWE developmental territories, the Performance Centre looks like a huge leap forward. Not only does it legitimise WWE as an elite athletic sports company, it will surely help continue to improve the talent coming out of Florida. Considering how good the recent call ups have been, this can only mean great things for the future of wrestling.
Chris Shore (ROH): The ROH title tournament begins in earnest next week, and while I don't understand why you would break the lineage just to hold a tournament, it is a good group and could be wildly entertaining.
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