February 21, 2010

The Next Generation

As there are ends, there are also beginnings. This happens in most of the cases, an era leads to another, a show leads to another, a season leads to another, etc. As I formally said goodbye to ECW in my last post, I decided that I should also welcome the successor to ECW, The Next Generation. What I only know about it is that it'll have the same timing and the same wrestlers as ECW. So, is there anything different to this show other than the psycholigical change - will there be anything different to ECW apart from the stage set and name? Vince McMahon claimed it'll be a "next evolution of the WWE". Personally speaking, that was real ambigious, was Vince referring to the young talent that'll find their way on NXT, similarily to ECW, or was that just propaganda that Vince usually bullshits us with?

To answer the original question of if there was any change between NXT and ECW, I went out to wwe.com, to see if there was any information about NXT. Apart from some hype thrown here and there, there was nothing. So unfortunately, until I do, you'll have to do with this post.


Hehe, I'm just screwing around with you. Instead, I'll be talking about NXT's future.

First and foremost, they should try to make people have a reason to watch this show. Yeah, I know young talents and technical match-ups are great with the smarks, but admit it, for the mainstream, it's not what they really want. And as well as we all know, not being on good terms with the mainstream has its consequences, as shown with ECW.

Cancel Superstars, seriously. It's just hogging the ever growing WWE time spots. Including WWE Vintage Collection, there's now over five wrestling shows per week. And trust me, the mainstream won't take NXT over Raw, nor Smackdown. Also, Vintage Collection has some interesting past matches, and because of that, they'll also take it over NXT. Superstars is yet another threatening competitor over NXT. The average wrestling fan doesn't even have time to watch both Smackdown and Raw weekly. Because of that, I'll heavily doubt that they'll free up some time for NXT.

Yeah, we all know that NXT is hyped as a "new WWE, new talents etc..", but if that was the case, ECW wouldn't have even ended, because ECW was doing a great job of getting new talent into the mainstream. NXT should become a show with some young talents and some known wrestlers. If that doesn't work out, you can always work out with the match quality. Go for the more high-flying and more adrenaline pumping type of matches - this will be both good with the smarks and the mainstream. This has worked well with TNA, so why won't it work with the WWE?

As for the PPVs, they'll stay in the same format for now. You don't want to be having a single branded PPV filled with nobodies, it's just a recipe for disaster. The commentators, referees and mostly everything else will stay the same.

So, as a final verdict...make it a show which is a breeding ground, while having some interesting promos mixed with some good wrestling action. This way, young talent can learn their trade while, at the same time, NXT can bring in some good ratings and avoid demising like ECW.

This post ends now...for real lol.


February 18, 2010

Gimmick PPV's -- How they are ruining great matches

Everyone loves a good gimmick match. Notice the phrasing: a GOOD gimmick match. This seems to have gone right over the heads of those in WWE. This past year saw new "exciting" PPV events featuring a few too many gimmick matches.

I'm going to break down each of the gimmick PPV's to date and explain why they're shit (oh, like you didn't see this coming).

Bragging Rights: First off, this is quite literally Survivor Series. We don't need 2 PPV's with the same theme. Oh wait, they're fixing that by getting rid of Survivor Series for some odd reason. Bragging Rights will never be as good as Survivor Series, simple as that. I don't think I need to go into detail on why.

Hell in a Cell: I miss the good old days when HIAC matches were a year or so apart, and they were only used as for final showdowns. Also, until HIAC, there was a very unique record. Until that fateful September day, every HIAC match featured either HHH or Undertaker. I am aware of Kane vs. Mankind, but that match never officially started. Then, they went and ruined that with the likes of John Cena and many others.

TLC: See the above about matches being a year apart and so on. The magic has been taken away form these matches because it's no longer exciting to hear about them. It used to be "OMG TLC MATCH!!" now, it's "TLC match, kinda obvious." Also, these matches supposedly shorten careers, so assuming that this happens every year, plus the stagnant title pictures, these people should be retired by 2012 (that is NOT an apocalypse joke).

Night Of Champions: This one I actually like. The only gimmick is all titles on the line. We don't see the same match 4 times a night with different people. Plus, with all titles on the line, it properly builds hype. I mean, it gives a chance to shake up the title picture (not that they really do) and the idea is sound. With some tweaking (IE the title pictures themselves) this makes a great event.

Extreme Rules: Way to bitchslap ECW. This whole PPV makes a mockery of hardcore matches. Also, has anyone else noticed that hardcore, extreme rules, no DQ and street fights are just the same match with different names? You could wrap shit in tinfoil, put hooks on it and call it earrings, but in the end it's still shit in tinfoil. These matches are in no way extreme. One chair shot, 5 seconds in the crowd, whoopity doo. I WANT BLOOD DAMMIT!

Now, for the names. Do they really need to be this obvious? I mean, we know there's going to be Elimination Chamber matches at No Way Out, so why does the name need to reflect that. Plus, the names sound stupid. Seriously, when the poll asking about new names for NWO, there was one good option, and that was "Heavy Metal." I thought that if the name HAS to be changed, this is the one to go for. It's got an ominous sound, it gives a general idea of the theme, but it's not obvious.

I get the feeling that WWE thinks that people can't follow along with something that isn't obvious. They think that they need the dumbed-down version of things for their fans to comprehend. But if they didn't try to attract idiots, they wouldn't have to.

In the end, these PPV's take all the magic out of these once special matches. WWE thinks it will make things interesting, but they are going for quantity over quality. Again, you may have 5 tons of shit, but it's still shit. Give me one good HIAC match a year, and I'll be happy. Give me one good TLC match a year, and I'll be happy. But make me waste $40+ on a PPV that's ruining something's former glory, I'll want your head on a platter.

Start focusing on quality, and you MAY stand a chance. Just make sure you have a solid idea first, which these PPV's aren't. 2010 is a new year, let's see some progress.


February 5, 2010

The Day ECW Tried To Live

Listening to Soundgarden the other day definitely pumped me up - if you think Axl Rose can shatter glass, Chris Cornell then can surely shatter rocks. And hearing that they reunited a month ago is surely some great news. However, after hearing Cornell's solo album, I somewhat doubt that he'll regain his voice and songwriting talents of his Soundgarden/Temple of the Dog and maybe Audioslave days. Because of that, it reminds me of another 90s alternative rock band that were the best of it's kind, only to have a really grim demise. The band I'm talking about obviously are the Smashing Pumpkins.

However, this doesn't also apply to music only, heck, it even comes into play in the WWE. Yes, I'm talking about ECW. Like the Smashing Pumpkins, both were at their best at what they were doing around the 90s; Smashing Pumpkins released two amazing albums(Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness), while ECW was the best at showcasing some hardcore, blood-pumping action. In the 00s, both were still good, however, slowly reaching the end of the century, they were getting worse and worse. Yeah, the Pumpkins occasionally have a good gig or two, and that's the same case with ECW - one or two good shows.

Last year, I made an appearance at Ez's ECW Analysis blog and I talked about how ECW is an unrespectful successor to the old ECW. I said that ECW was nothing like old ECW, and all it did was to farm new wrestlers for other brands.

Here's an excerpt from the post:

However, three to four years ago, it wasn't the C show because of its wrestling talent. See, back then, it was real entertaining or at least remotely entertaining. Nowadays, ECW is neither. It's a place for youngsters to job while looking to make an impact, or washed-up has-beens who are looking to restart their careers. Even if they get the occasional wrestler who has talent, they instantly export him or her to some other brand, and in exchange, they get even more youngsters and has-beens.

The post can be seen here.

And with the news that ECW is going to be dropped after Elimination Chamber, it's both great and stupid. It's great because ECW completely does not resemble the old ECW, and that it'll leave ECW to rest in peace finally, waiting to be grasped by maybe another revival, a decade, a year or even a couple of months later. It's stupid simply because I thought it would've been discontinued at Wrestlemania, you know, with the "grand finale" and shit like that. But then again, it also may showcase the new show with a bang at Wrestlemania.

So, for better or worse, I guess this is the end of ECW.


February 3, 2010

Total Nonstop Hogan

Since Hulk Hogan debuted with TNA, there have been several changes made to the company. Some of them for the better, some of them not so much. there's also been a few other things that I feel need to be addressed.

To start, I like how Hogan is making everyone earn their spot. Even if this is scripted, I think it's a good idea. If you just give handouts to anyone you like, you end up with a million Cena's running around thinking their King Shit. I figure that if everyone has to prove themselves, it's going to make for some interesting matches.

I also like the new stage, except for the ring-level ramp. Probably so the ancient hacks they hire don't have to do extra work, which brings me to the first negative.

TNA (or as I now call it, TNH) has always had a habit of hiring former WWF/E stars. This can be okay, if they have some career left. Kennedy/Anderson was a good pick up, as was Angle and a few others, but the Nasty Boys? Lashley? Foley? What is up with that? Do they assume that because they were famous in WWF/E, they'll have the star power to pull in viewers?

This is not the case at all. Who gives a shit about Knobs and Sags? Nasty Sags, sounds like Mae Young's tits. Back on track, TNH shouldn't be relying on "big" names from yesteryear to draw viewers. I'm all for the Ric Flair/AJ Styles mentor thing, but that's different. Flair is actually doing something of value and not just taking up residence in someone else's locker room or hogging the spotlight.

I figure that these people are getting preferential treatment for being friends with the Hulkster. Seriously, who wants to see NWO again? Not me. They had their day. Let someone else be famous for a while.

I'm also not a fan of the 4 sided ring. I know, I know, it makes no difference what the ring looks like, it's the action that goes on inside it. But, it was still one aspect of TNA that was unique. It made for some great spots that just don't come from a 4 sided ring.

There is also the matter of commercials. Honestly, the January 4th show had so many commercials that I swear it was the only reason they were able to fill the extra time. They would return for literally 30 seconds or less, and then go back to commercial. I don't care who's walking to the ring next, I'll find out after the commercials. I don't need to know in between ads for Enzyte and Manswers. Am I wrong for expecting at least 5 minutes of show before another commercial?

The matches are suffering too. How does one get disqualified in  cage match (which is by definition no-DQ) for doing exactly the objective of the match (take out your opponent(s) so you can get out). It makes zero sense.

Even WWE has better match endings with Cena falling through a table on his own, or CM Punk screwing Taker at Breaking Point.

While I'm on that note, let's talk about storylines. I saw things that TNH aired last week that were in WWF in 1997. First of all, reality can't be scripted (hard as they try) and reality shouldn't be repeated as a work.

Yes, we know the Angle screw job was a work. I think that blending reality with wrestling should only be done when it enhances a storyline and doesn't rip off an actual event that A) didn't happen to anyone involved (no, I do not count Hebner. He was following orders from his boss) and B) was done the exact same way.

So, with so many things wrong with TNH, is there anything that can be done to save it?

Only time will tell