Its time for the Wrestling Roundtable once again bringing you the latest and greatest topics in the world of professional wrestling.
This week in wrestling history: On January 11th, 1993. Monday Night Raw debuted on USA LIVE from the Manhattan Center in New York City featuring the main event The Undertaker vs Damien Demento. ALSO on this day in the WWE, Edge became the first ever superstar to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase as he defeated John Cena at New Year’s Resolution in 2006.
In a new segment to the Roundtable I am going to start doing a weekly power rankings. The top 5 WWE stars who have had the best weeks, or are on the best role will make this list.
The Top 5 Power Rankings this week are:
1. Seth Rollins– Probably benefited the most out of the Authority coming back. He gets in to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble, and he was the one who made that possible. That is why Seth Rollins takes the top spot this week on the Power Rankings.
2. Rusev– The United States Champion still has yet to be pinned or been made to submit in the WWE. Is there anyone that can stop Rusev?
3. Bad News Barrett– Defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Championship for the 4th time. It is Bad News for everyone in the WWE as Barrett is back, and better than ever.
4. Bray Wyatt– With his victory over Dean Ambrose in the Ambulance match on Raw. Wyatt comes in at number 4. Is Bray Wyatt ready to go to the next level? Only time will tell.
5. John Cena– The number one contender for the WWE title? Or is he? Cena had a rough week as now he is to blame for Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan losing their jobs.
The questions this week:
1. Does adding Seth Rollins to the World Heavyweight title match at the Royal Rumble make it more intriguing or, is it just another lame attempt to ruin a big match?
Steve: It definately sets up some options for the WWE, as I still don’t think they really have a 100% set in stone idea on what they are going to do at Wrestlemania. What does this do? You could now have Brock win by not defeating Cena, so that leaves a void that Cena still can’t beat Lesnar. You could have Cena win by not beating Brock, and sending Brock home early so he can start his MMA career. You could have Seth Rollins win and quite possibly lose then cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase after a Cena win, and Brock destroys him. That actually makes more sense than you think with the Authority angle screwing everyone and their brother. (Steph you do have my number). So it adds a little something, but I think it just gives the writers a few options to work with, and maybe wont be held hostage by Brock Lesnar and his imminent departure.
Eric: I think adding Seth Rollins kinda mixes it up a little. Does it make the match more interesting to me, no. I still could care less who wins or loses that match. Brock is an embarrassment to the WWE world heavyweight championship but I’ll get into that later. John Cena has had his time and I don’t wanna see him with the belt again. The only person I’d like to see win this match is Seth Rollins. I hope he beats both of them and they both get out of the title picture for awhile.
Josh: It does not make it any more intriguing. It does 2 things: It gives Seth Rollins something to do at Royal Rumble, and it gives a way for Lesnar to win, without having to pin or submit Cena (possibly vice versa, although that is not very likely, as Lesnar would be the more money match for Wrestlemania).
2. The WWE had a down year in 2014, and lost millions of dollars, mainly due to the WWE Network. What, if anything does the WWE need to do to rebound in 2015?
Steve: It is very simple. They need to run storylines longer than a couple of weeks. They need to disband at least seven pay-per-views as people are just not interested in the mid-card events. You keep your big 4, Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, and Survivor Series, and add an event like King of the Ring. This worked for them before. Raw is a three hour broadcast and you have a two hour Smackdown, so that is plenty of time for the viewers to get into different storylines on a weekly basis, and build up to the pay-per-views. The Network is great, don’t get me wrong, but far too many people are complaining that the LIVE streaming for events cut out, or time out far too often, it is not worth the 9.99 to those who just want it for the PPV events. This obviously will not happen in 2015, but they can begin to develop decent storylines. Have one commissioner type person who is behind the scenes and is not completely in storylines. Sort of like former President Jack Tunney back in the 80’s and early 90’s.
Eric: The WWE did have a down year but it’s a business. You have good times and you have bad times. I think they can bounce back from it. I think one thing they could do is to make less pay per views. I think making less pay per views could help them so they arnt losing money on them and just glorifying the four main shows and maybe one or two other shows. I think that could help save some cost of production and just focusing on the making the other shows better.
Josh: They need to give the fans what they want. The best numbers the WWE gets is when the fan favorites win. I am not saying the faces need to win every single match. But if you go for months and months and months of nothing but the authority holding someone like Ziggler or Bryan down, it wears on the fans. There has to be a payoff. Bryan winning at Mania, Team Cena winning at survivor series, all good things, but too far spread apart. And then, not two months after the Authority is supposedly gone, they are back, doing exactly what they had been doing. The evil boss angle has been done to death. There needs to be some creativity and originality in the story telling. This last episode of RAW was the single most predictable episode, ever….why? Because the evil bosses were back, so you knew punishment was coming to the good guys. WWE cannot keep this trend going. I would recommend going without an authority figure for a while…. Let the stories happen naturally. Superstars should chase titles because they are titles and they are IMPORTANT, not just to get back at a guy who beat us two months ago…which brings us to our next question.
3. As we are all in agreement that Dolph Ziggler can be the next big star in the WWE. Are you okay with the fact that he dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Bad News Barrett on Raw?
Steve: I have no problem with Bad News Barrett winning the Intercontinental Championship over Dolph Ziggler on Raw. What I find reprehensible is the way he won it. Barrett is far too great of an athlete and competitor to win the title due to shenanigans with the Authority. He will be and has been a great champion and can represent the company well as I feel the Intercontinental Champion is the one who is the best wrestler on television. Barrett fits that bill, as did Ziggler. So I like Barrett as champion, but I hate how he won it. These two proved that they can work well together and I think the two can compete against each other in a decent feud all the way to Wrestlemania. I don’t think one little bit that Ziggler will be fired for longer than a week. So this will pick up just fine.
Eric: I am perfectly fine with having Dolph Ziggler drop the title to Wade Barrett. I think for in order for Dolph to start getting into the main event picture he needed to drop the IC title. I think the match could have been better but it is what it is. I think now that Dolph Ziggler doesn’t have the IC title he can start to build himself up for a possible feud for the world heavyweight title. I think he has future champion written all over him and it’s only a matter of time before he gets the belt.
Josh: Yes and No. I think Dolph is definitely destined for greater things. And we all know that the “firing” is not going to last (probably not even a week). But I don’t know that now is the time to drop the title off of him. One reason, after last week’s RAW, I was hoping to see Barrett be a face, which I think he could really pull off. Two, I know Ziggler can’t drop the title completely clean, but it didn’t have to be so predictable to be the big screw-job right after the evil bosses came back. This could have been done at a PPV, I mean, it’s not like they have those every month….Seriously, set up a feud, let a story be told. WWE writing seems to be so….lazy… They might as well have just come back and announced they were stripping Ziggler of the title. That would have made just as much sense.
4. What does adding Paige to the Total Divas roster do for the show?
Steve: It makes it the best damn TV show on cable right now. I love Paige (obviously) and I think she brings a different persona compared to all the other Divas. She is relatively new to the roster still, but has proven that she can hang with the Divas as she is a former two time Divas champion. Next to the Bella twins, she is going to be a star on this show, and I for one will be watching each and every week. Thank you Total Divas for adding Paige to the roster.
Eric: I think adding Paige to the roster is great for the show. In my opinion she is the best looking diva on the roster today. She is different from any other diva out there. She brings something new to the table. I look for the ratings to increase now that there is a fresh face on the show. I look for big things from her over the next year and look for her to be on top of the divas division by the end of the year.
Josh: It will give a slightly different personality for the fans to connect with. I very much like Paige, and have yet to see the latest episode of Total Divas (it is DVR”ed, but can’t watch it without the wife…it’s her guilty pleasure). Paige definitely seems like she would be more grounded in reality and not as…let’s say…air-y as the rest of the diva’s roster. I look forward to this season of Total Divas.
5. With the rumor that Brock Lesnar is considering a return to MMA. Do you think Wrestlemania XXXI will be the last we see of Brock Lesnar in the WWE?
Steve: Have we seen the last of Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania? I think that we have. This is his second, or third, or fourth real run with the WWE, and he is a part timer at best. He clearly does not have the drive nor the aspirations to be a professional wrestler, and if you as me, it would be good riddens. In the past year, Lesnar has ended the Undertakers 21 Wrestlemania win streak, Dominated John Cena in probably the worst WWE title match ever, and then as champion, single handedly made the title irrelevant as he has only made five appearances on Raw since he won the title back in August. He has all the talent in the world, and I would not speak so negatively about Lesnar if he would make appearances, defend the championship, and actually be a valid part of the WWE roster. I stated before, that recently I even forgot who the WWE champion was, and I consider myself a huge wrestling fan. So good bye Brock, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Eric: Brock Lesnar, that is one name I am sick of hearing about. He is a part time wrestler as the WWE champion. To me it is embarrassment and deming to the WWE champion history. There are people who go out there every week and bust their butts yet we have a champion who shows up when he wants and hasn’t defended the title since September. This is ridiculous, I hope he is gone soon and doesn’t ever come back.I didn’t wanna see him come back in 2012 and I want him gone. If wrestlemania is the last time we ever see him in a WWE ring, it can not come soon enough.
Josh: Will Wrestlemania be the last of Lesnar? Permanently? No. He will be back. But he may be gone for a while. With a talent like Lesnar, you can’t really count on him being pinned down to one place for too long. He has the skills, and the money to pretty much do what he wants. He has no need of the WWE, so he is in no hurry to sign a new deal. Lesnar is a special attraction, kind of like the Undertaker’s former streak at Wrestlemania. He does not have to be around much to have a huge impact, but when he is there, you know something is about to go down. Do I think he should ever get the title again? No…absolutely not. Part-timers getting the title should be exceedingly rare. The title needs to be on television, to drive the story-lines. But, I digress. I think we will not see Lesnar back for a while after ‘Mania, but he will eventually return. He gets more attention as a WWE star, and I am sure he will want that back at some point.
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