Welcome to the Wrestling Roundtable. This weeks special guest panelist is one of the all time greats in the world of professional wrestling. He is the NWO’s own and WWE Hall of Famer, Scott Hall.
This week we discuss the Hall of Fame, The Main event of the Royal Rumble and much more.
Here are this weeks Power Rankings.
1. Seth Rollins– Rollins hangs on to the #1 spot for now even though he was unsuccessful in keeping John Cena out of the Triple Threat match.
2. Rusev– The United States champion, had an impressive win over R-Truth and is still undefeated in the WWE.
3. John Cena– Cena returns to the top 5 after defeating Rollins, Big Show, and Kane to keep his spot in the championship match, and get his buddies their jobs back.
4. Dean Ambrose– Big win over Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett. After some props by the 16x champion Ric Flair, Ambrose may be the sleeper in the Rumble match.
5. Bray Wyatt– After a win over Daniel Bryan, is Wyatt primed to become an impact player in the WWE?
This week in professional wrestling.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan became the first winner of the Royal Rumble in 1988 by eliminating the One Man Gang.
In 1995, Shawn Michaels became the first person to run the table and win the Royal Rumble after drawing number 1. He eliminated the person who drew number 2, in the British Bulldog.
And now the questions this week.
1. Do you think that in the next ten/twenty years, we will see any lawsuits from concussion deaths due in part to the Hardcore wrestling that has been done in the past alas ECW, or Hardcore matches?
Steve- I’m actually relatively surprised that we have not seen any as of yet. With the ECW era a thing of the past, and has been for over ten years now. You may see wrestlers surface who are being diagnosed with concussions, and may even possibly lose their lives due to brain damage that had been done in ECW, or even hardcore matches. First person that comes to mind, is Mick Foley. How this man is even still alive today after everything he has put his body through is beyond me. So I will not put a timetable on this, but I do think that you will see some sort of action taken against wrestling, which Im sure this has crossed Vince McMahons mind since he no longer allows chair shots to the head anymore.
Josh- I think it is a real possibility. We will need to see how the lawsuits against the NFL pan out, and how the wording on the judgments is. I would like to think that anyone who gets into wrestling (especially hardcore wrestling) would KNOW what they are getting into, and would not hold the wrestling company responsible for any risk they put themselves in. But if at any point the wrestling company asks the wrestler to do anything too dangerous, or is negligent in providing safety, lawsuits will be an inevitability. For an example of what hardcore wrestling can do to a man’s body, look no farther than Mick Foley. One of the all time greats, a true legend, and by all accounts one of the best people on the planet. But you can tell that his body is completely broken down. If hardcore wrestling can do that kind of obvious damage, what are these guys suffering that we can’t see? Concussion science has come a long way over the last few years, and we are still just reaching the surface. There could be some very real, very devastating mental damage done to some of these men. I can easily see some of the victims filing suit. I don’t think it will be a major superstar, but most likely someone who never truly made it big, probably because some injury put them out of action.
Eric- I personally don’t think we will see any lawsuits or deaths related to concussions. Wrestlers know the risks they take every time they step into a ring and go out there and put their lives on the line every time they go out there. Yeah the days of the attitude era and ECW were some hard core action but I don’t think people will file lawsuits over it. Look at Mick Foley, he was probably the most hardcore wrestler of that time. The man would do anything and put his body on the line and has had several concussions over the years and has not once tried to sue the WWE over that. If anyone would have any reason to do that it would be Foley, but I don’t see him doing that because he understands the business and the risk involved with it.
Chad- I would not be surprised to see something regarding concussions due to the hardcore style of matches; We have seen concussion storylines in the past (HBK in 07 for example) and recently on Raw we heard Heyman call out Christian’s history of concussions. I definitely believe that similar to the NFL that there were undiagnosed concussions were competitors went out and possibly did further damage that would not be discovered until later so I could see where the concussion issue could come to the forefront in a few years.
Scott- I dont think so. The wrestlers know what they are getting in to each time they go out and compete inside of the ring. On most occasions, a waiver of liability must be signed before they can go out and smash their heads in with whatever object they can get their hands on. I can tell you that Vince makes all of his guys sign a waiver when it comes to any hardcore match, and including Hell in a Cell. So there may be some people try it, but it would not hold up in court because of the waiver of liability.
2. Pick a current wrestler (on the active roster) that you would nominate for the Hall of Fame and why would you pick that man?
Steve- Im going to say Kane. Kane is currently the longest tenured active wrestler on the WWE roster as of right now. He has held multiple tag team championships, the ECW championship, the IC championship, and the World Heavyweight Championship. He has been one of the best performers over a long period of time that you really don’t see anymore in todays era. For that alone, Kane will be a Hall of Famer.
Josh- I am going to go away from picking the obvious and (in some cases) first ballot Hall of Famers of Cena, Orton, Big Show, etc. The man I would pick for HoF, Dolph Ziggler. The guy has no downside at this time. He is a two time World Heavyweight Champion and one hell of a salesman. He is electrifying in the ring. His mic skills are really good and he takes advantage of every opportunity he gets. I can see him getting a long run with the WWE title and having a very HoF worthy career.
Eric- My pick for a current active wrestler for the Hall of Fame, I’m going to state the obvious here and go with John Cena. John Cena has been at the top of WWE for over 10 years. The man works his butt off everyday, he eats sleeps and breaths WWE. He’s a constant professional at what he does. He would do anything for this business. I know many people don’t like him but you gotta respect him for everything he has done and accomplished over years. Not even Hogan had as long of a run at the top as John Cena. My pick would be John Cena would go into the Hall of Fame.
Chad- I believe the obvious picks here are Cena and Orton so I’m going to stay from those two guys and pick the Big Show. Big Show is going on a 20 yr career in the business and has won world titles everywhere he has been. His sheer size and athleticism made him an attraction in the early days and his consistent ability to entertain a crowd and be a giant whether he is heel or babyface makes him a legend in the business and my pick to go into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Scott- Well I guess Sting is on the active roster right now according to WWE, but I know what you are trying to say. I think Daniel Bryan has all the talent in the world and barring another serious injury, the sky is the limit for this kid, and he may be one of the best wrestlers of all time. He really reminds me of Bret Hart when he first started his singles career. So Daniel Bryan is my pick.
3. With Sting making an appearance on Raw this past Monday, Do you think we will see him on a more regular basis up until Wrestlemania, and will he wrestle in a WWE ring before Wrestlemania?
Steve- I think you almost have to have Sting make regular appearances on Raw, Smackdown, and the next two Pay Per Views in order to start building the match that he will be in (Triple H) at Wrestlemania. So far Sting has made two appearances in the WWE, the Survivor Series, and last weeks Raw. I was watching Raw and during the maylay in the ring, I thought to myself, what a perfect time for Sting to come out, and low and behold, here he comes. He will not wrestle before Mania, but he will be involved in the storylines for the next couple months.
Josh- Sting is not something we need a lot of. Don’t get me wrong. Sting is fantastic. However, he needs to be a limited attraction. His appearances need to have IMPACT. I see maybe one or two more appearances, show on the titantron, cost the authority a match, etc. However, he will not have anything resembling an official match. You have to keep the anticipation for your full dose of Sting high. Plus, at his age, you do not want to put him in ANY kind of a risk building up to Wrestlemania. If you are banking on Sting selling your tickets, you protect him at ALL COSTS.
Eric- This past Monday we saw history, Sting made his first live apperence on RAW for the first time in shows 21 year history. It was great to see the Stinger on RAW. I think we maybe start to see more of him on RAW in the coming weeks. It is Wrestlemania season now, so if they wanna put Sting into a match a Wrestlemania then we would need him to appear more on tv to help build the store for Wrestlemania, he doesn’t necessarily have to wrestle before the big event, but it would be nice to see him on tv a little more to help build the store for a big match for him at Wrestlemania.
Chad- I believe that the next possibility of seeing the Stinger would be at the Fast Lane PPV as I believe there will be a match with some combo of the fired guys (Ryback, Rowan, and Ziggler) and the Authority which Sting will help the faces win the match or a little before to build up to the match which I will delve more into in later on in the other questions but I would see expect to see him to build to a match at Wrestlemania 31
Scott- Probably not, it does not make any sense for Vince to put him in a match before Wrestlemania. Sting, ever since being a part of WCW has mentioned numerous times that his only regret is that he was never able to compete at Wrestlemania. He and Vince Im sure have an agreement that he will not wrestle a match until Wrestlemania. It seems like he is going to face Hunter with all the build up with those two, but Hunter tells me otherwise, and he could be up against Seth Rollins, which would be a great match. You won’t see Sting in many matches because he is about as old as I am and just cannot get around. However, if he wants to face the Bad Guy one more time, I am all for it. #StingvsHallWrestlemaniaXXXI
4. Grade the job that the WWE writers have done to prmote the Triple Threat WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble between Lesnar, Cena, and Rollins.
Steve- B+ I give this grade because before this past Monday, I had absolutely zero interest in this match. The way that the writers have booked the match, having Lesnar actively involved in the storyline, and giving some solid interest in the match. I am actually looking forward to this match at the Royal Rumble. I think it sets up to be a great match, and could have a very surprising outcome.
Josh- C: It has been average. There is no point of me that just CANNOT MISS the championship match. I just don’t have that much invested in it. It will either win with Lesnar winning or a Rollins “cash-in”. Cena does not walk out of Royal Rumble as champion. Book it. Honestly, I think the build up might have been better if Rollins wasn’t involved officially. Cena and Lesnar (especially with Hayman) can easily sell the match. The fact that Rollins got involved just made it seem too gimmicky. But the Rumble match itself however, that has been built very well. Granted, it pretty much builds itself, but I am completely invested in seeing that match. Does Daniel Bryan win? Ambrose? Reigns? There are so many different ways that can go. All in all, I think it will be a pretty decent PPV, but look for a lower or mid-card match to steal the show (My pick as show stealer: Ascension vs. New Age Outlaws).
Eric- My grade for how the writing staff has booked the triple threat match at the Royal Rumble: B plus. It has been rather interesting to see how the story has played out, at first I wasn’t interested in it at all when it was Cena and Lesnar but now that Rollins is in the mix, the interest has sparked my attention. I’m kinda looking forward to it this Sunday. The only thing I can think of that would have made it better was if Rollins would have cashed in his money in the bank at the contract signing and won the title then he would have walked into the Royal Rumble as the champion. Rollins is my pick to walk out of the Rumble this Sunday as the WWE world heavyweight champion.
Chad- I would give the build up to the match a B. I agree with adding Rollins to the match I believe that with the Money in the Bank briefcase in hand and him not only going after Cena; but getting under the skin of Lesnar and Lesnar wanting to attack him opens up the possibilities for the match. It’ll be interesting to see which way Heyman will go since he’s been on both Lesnar and Rollins sides. I am very interested to see how this one turns out. Adding Rollins definitely gives the title match more intrigue
Scott- They have done pretty good building the match. Alot of people feel like they figure the main event at Wrestlemania is going to be Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns. So Brock has to win, right? Not so fast, I don’t think he is going to win, and I don’t think you are going to see that match. No disrespect to Roman Reigns, but the kid simply is not ready for the big time. Give him another year, and see if he can take the ball and run with it. As far as booking goes, a solid A minus.
5. How do you book the returns of Rowan, Ryback, and Dolph Ziggler?
Steve- For Rowan, you just put him in the Royal Rumble, I dont think due to his amount of time as a singles wrestler, you can just write him into any storyline. As for Ryback, you immediately reinsert him in the feud against Rusev and set up a match between the two for the US title at Wrestlemania. For Ziggler, you need to put him in a main event role. He has earned every opportunity that has been given to him. For him not to be considered a main eventer, is ludacris. Have him in the Rumble and give him an impressive showing, maybe do something to cost the Authority the match, and do what he has to do to keep the Authority down.
Josh- Perfect Fantasy Booking….GO!!!!! Last 2 left in the Royal Rumble are Daniel Bryan and….let’s say Kane….All of a sudden, Authority music hits, and the remainder of the Authority hits the ring, Big Show, Rollins, J&J, HHH, all come down to make sure Daniel Bryan doesn’t win and a member of the Authority gets the ticket to Wrestlemania. Things look bleak….but WAIT!!! WHO IS COMING THROUGH THE CROWD???!! ! RYBACK!!!!! Dolph Ziggler comes from the other side, and Rowan from behind the announce table to even things up, removing the extra Authority figures from ringside, clearing the way for Daniel Bryan to win the Rumble and main event Wrestlemania (again). This gives you a few feuds to set up and makes a huge impactful return for the 3 heroes.
Eric- The three members of team Cena are back to working for WWE, who didn’t see that coming. Now what to do with them? Well Ryback is easy, you continue his feud with Rusev, we never got real closure there. Dolph Ziggler, you can go one of 2 ways. Either plan A: you put him back in a feud for the Intercontinental title or plan B: if Seth Rollins wins the WWE world heavyweight title you have him and Dolph feud for it. Both men have proven they could have great matches and would continue to do so if it was for the title. That leaves Erick Rowen, him I’m not sure how you could book him. I’d like to see him and Luke Harper reunite and get a run with the tag team titles. I think together they were a great tag team and need to have a run with the belts before breaking them up for good.
Chad- The first thing I would do be to have them come back on Smackdown in the Kane vs Bryan No DQ to even the odds against the Authority. The next step I believe would be to have the Rumble come down to Bryan and the authority to which the guys would come out and make it fair fight; which all indications seem to show Bryan would win the Rumble. This action I believe leads to a match at the next PPV with these guys and possibly Bryan versus a group of Authority supporters with a stipulation about Bryan’s Title shot at Mania or Sting getting a match with HHH at Mania.
Scott- They all need to reform the NWO and take everyone out like we did in the past. Okay seriously. Dolph Ziggler has come a long way from his cheerleader days, and has the work ethic to be one day the champion again. If it were me booking Ziggler, I have Seth Rollins win the title at the Royal Rumble, have Ziggler come in and win the Royal Rumble and give him his moment of glory in the main event at Wrestlemania. He is that good.
Eric Rowan? I don’t know too much about this guy, but I think you book him to do whatever it takes to get revenge on the authority. And Ryback? Involve him in a storyline against that big russian Rusev and maybe get him a shot at the US title.
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