1/23 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): While I was not a big fan of Batista's return, the numbers don't lie. Batista brought a ton of eyeballs to WWE Raw. The question is whether or not those eyes will stay with him. Track jacket and skinny jean wearing Batista (with his belly button tattoo elegantly displayed) didn't seem like the star he is on Monday.
Jake Barnett (Twitter - @barnettjake): After observing fan reactions on Monday, can we all agree that Daniel Bryan needs to be in a main event at WrestleMania? If he's not in a match for the Unified Championship or to break They Streak, WWE will have missed capitalizing on the biggest emergent star of 2013.
Zack Zimmerman (Twitter - @InVasionZim): I'm not sure if WWE has supreme faith in the Rumble's ability to sell itself, lack of faith in fans' ability to comprehend strong promotion of multiple matches, or reason to under-hype the Rumble, but the promotion of the match has been utterly non-existent. While conceivable winners include Batista, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, C.M. Punk, (a level down) Alberto Del Rio, or Roman Reigns, WWE hasn't told stories with any of them that would give fans incentive to care. I'm hoping to come away from the Royal Rumble pleasantly surprised, but I'm definitely uncertain going in.
Darren Gutteridge (Twitter - @Dazatheg): I can only see one way out of Batista winning the Rumble, but it is a repeat of the build to one of the most infamous Mania matches of all time. After a prior run-in, you have Lesnar eliminate him, as he did with Goldberg 10 year (!) ago. Lesnar vs Batista may not set the world on fire, but it's a marque match for casual fans, and it leaves room for more exciting matches around it.
Will Pruett: I believe "The Investor" storyline is a way to set the world right after Dixie Carter's absolute power corrupted her. The problem is that it is yet another authority figure storyline in a wrestling world already filled to the brim with them. TNA may think this story is necessary, but I hope they take a long look at the concept of authority figures when it is over.
Jake Barnett: The Wolves show up on Impact and immediately declare themselves the men to beat in the tag division and prove it in a scintillating first match in the company. Oh wait, I dreamed that. They're just cogs in Dixie Carter's authority figure drama.
Zack Zimmerman: I like the direction that TNA appears to be headed in terms of character development. A lot of the ideas are derivatives of other forms of entertainment and influenced by pop culture, but that’s likely going to work out better than what they've been able to do in-house. While the character creation looks promising, the issue with TNA has been their ability to get that talent over. I'll be keeping an eye on where things are going, though the show is admittedly DVR-level on my viewing schedule.
Other (MMA, Indies, Etc)
Will Pruett (Jarrett Project): While it is still probably a long way off, I am already concerned about a Jeff Jarrett and Toby Keith wrestling promotion. I know some people love Keith's awful horrible no-good music, but I couldn't imagine the brand transitioning to wrestling. Jarrett was probably smart to leave TNA, but I don't know how this one will turn out. Why can't a nice bluegrass artist start a wrestling promotion instead of a bad pop-country singer.
Jake Barnett (Royal Rumble): Does anyone believe at this point that anyone but maybe Punk, Batista, and Bryan have a shot at winning the Rumble? When is the last time we had so few plausible winners for a Rumble match? The Rumble match does a decent job of selling itself, but why not heat it up? I don't understand.
Zack Zimmerman (NXT): NXT is in the home-stretch to the February 27 live special and their run on the WWE network. The stories that began on the 1/22 edition of the show are what will carry through to the live special and will likely set the foundation for the direction NXT takes once it begins airing on the Network. There's never been a better time to familiarize yourself. NXT clips and episodes are available on the free side of Hulu, so get on board.
Darren Gutteridge (NXT): Alexander Rusev showed why he is getting noticed by upper management in his match with Kofi this week. He has believable intensity, good explosiveness, and a nice look. But the Vladimir Kozlov comparison are apt - a language barrier, and his relatively short time in NXT (he joined in 2011, but has had two serious injuries) may hurt him should he get called up soon. I feel WWE will do themselves, and Rusev, a favour by exercising caution until he is truly ready.
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