We are back this week again for the Wrestling Roundtable. This week the panel discusses the John Cena United States open, and the Chris Jericho podcast from last week. This and much more. Before we begin, I would like to throw this out to the fans. The Wrestling Roundtable panelists will very soon be doing a LIVE Roundtable that will be published on YouTube. I would like your feedback regarding certain questions that you would like to have answered for our discussion. We will likely debate 5 or 6 topics, and can range from pretty much anything. I appreciate your feedback.
Lets go to this weeks Power Rankings
1. Seth Rollins- Will Seth Rollins be ready for RKO come Extreme Rules?
2. Randy Orton- The number one contender seems more ready than ever to regain the gold.
3. John Cena- Another victory in the John Cena US Open against Bad News Barrett, keeps Cena in the 3 spot.
4. Daniel Bryan- The Intercontinental Champion has been out of action for a couple weeks, but will he successfully defend against Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules?
5. Lucha Dragons- Sin Cara and Calisto are on a huge roll in the WWE handing the Ascension their first loss on WWE TV.
This week in professional wrestling
Edge is forced to retire due to a serious neck injury. He vacates the title on Smackdown.
WCW held their first ever event in New York City, at the Paramount Theater in Madison Square Garden in 1993. The feature match was Sting defeating WCW Champion Big Van Vader by disqualification.
Brian Pillman was severely injured in 1996, after falling asleep while driving his Hummer H1 in Kentucky and driving into a tree trunk, flipping the vehicle. He was in a coma for a week and suffered a shattered ankle, forcing doctors to fuse it together in a fixed position.
And now here are the questions this week.
On last weeks podcast with Chris Jericho and John Cena, Jericho stated the Mount Rushmore of the WWE was Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and John Cena. Would you agree with Jericho on this assessment? Steve: It is kind of hard not to agree with Jericho here. I mean Hogan, I suppose you have to put on there as he was in some peoples eyes the reason wrestling is what it is today. While I strongly despise the man as a person, and a wrestler, you cannot argue what he has done for the business. Cena is another obvious choice because of what he has done over the past 15 years in the WWE. He is the guy that the WWE can turn to, to do anything that they ask and will not complain about it. He will put guys over, and he can turn any bad situation around, kind of what he has done with the US title, making it relevant again by constantly defending it on Raw and Smackdown. This leaves Rock and Austin, two of the attitude guys. Austin basically invented a new form of professional wrestling the moment he coined the phrase “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass” in 1996. So he has done alot to pave the way for the new era of wrestling. Now Rock on the other hand, I have a hard time putting him on a Mount Rushmore, despite his success in wrestling. He has done other things outside of wrestling and takes too much time off to put him on a monument. So I leave Rock off, and insert Bruno Sammartino, who even before Hogan, paved the way for other superstars. He put wrestling on the map, Hogan, Austin, and Cena just picked up the pieces.
Eric: Mt. Rushmore is a monument dedicated to some of the greatest presidents in US history. Last we Chris Jericho said the Mt. Rushmore of the WWE would be Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena. I would have to agree with this statement. As much as I don’t like to admit it, these men are the faces of WWE. The most well known wrestlers associated with WWE, which is what would lead them to being on the WWE Mt. Rushmore. Although these guys are not my favorite wrestlers of all time, I gotta respect these guys for all the hard work and dedication these men had put into this business. They mite not be the best wrestler but they can entertain a crowd and that’s what it’s about.
Josh: It is hard to argue with Jericho on this one, but yes, I would make one change. I would sub out Stone Cold for Bruno Sammartino. Bruno, being the first real face of the business has every right to be up there. Hogan was the next, and whether you like him or not, has had more of a real world impact from wrestling than just about anyone else. Cena, and I know a lot of people don’t like him, is also a shoe in. Next to Hogan and Sammartino, no one has been the face of the company for longer than Cena. His accomplishments are indisputable. He absolutely should be up there, love him or hate him. Now the final slot, it would almost have to go to either Austin or Rock. Both had similar careers, starting out with lame gimmicks, a few awesome promos later, being the face of the company. Austin did start the attitude era, and every argument could be made for him to get the final slot. However, I give the nod to the Rock, as again, I would go with real world impact, and Rock’s post WWE career has done much more to bring the spotlight back to wrestling and the WWE than Austin’s.
Chad: After some thought I agree with Jericho’s assessment to me Hogan put the WWE on the worldwide scene. Austin helped the company win the Monday Night War and was one of the most popular stars of all-time. Rock is a guy who was not only great in the WWE world but took his popularity to the main stream to become one of the top guys in Hollywood that comes back and helps garner attention to WWE with his appearances. Cena has been the man for a solid decade now and has helped the company maintain its’ worldwide appeal. To me those 4 guys are WWE and who people think of when they think WWE
What is your opinion on the John Cena US championship open?
Steve: I like it. It puts the title in a more relevant state, as it is being defended every week, not only on Raw, but on Smackdown. It also gives some of the younger guys a chance to perform against Cena for the US title. So far every match that I have seen during this US Open, especially Cody Rhodes, Bad News Barrett, and Dean Ambrose have been outstanding matches, and that is exactly what they needed to do with this title. I really hope they continue this, with Cena and the belt.
Eric: John Cena won the WWE United States title at Wrestlemania and ever since then he has been a fighting champion and he’s developed the US title open challenge. This seems really familiar to me? That’s right, this is how John Cena got his name in the WWE. The time was 2002, and the wrestler was Kurt Angle. He would come out every week and issue an open challenge to anyone who was looking to make a name for them self. Well one June night in 2002 on Smackdown (which can be seen on the WWE network for only $9.99) Kurt Angle issued his weekly open challenge and out walks a young John Cena and gives Kurt Angle a amazing match. The rest is history. So, now John Cena is doing something similar to what helped him start to build his name up on the WWE. I think this is something good. Maybe we could see a future WWE superstar come out and fight Cena. Maybe we’ll see someone that Cena can pass the torch to come out and answer Cena’s open challenge. Only time will tell, but stay tuned. I see good things coming from this.
Josh: I like it. It gives the undercard a chance to mix it up with the face of the company, to see how they can do. Cena isn’t burying these guys, as of yet, none have been squash matches, so those arguments are null and void. We do know that obviously, no one will win until after Extreme Rules, after which, the first Raw, I could see someone like Neville or Sami Zayne answering the challenge and picking up the win (similar to Cena’s intro into the WWE during Kurt Angle’s challenge.)
Chad: I love it allows Cena to have matches with different guys on the card and help elevate someone the Cena started when he answered Kurt Angle’s open challenge for his debut which lead to a match with Jericho at PPV. I really hope someone is able to use this start to launch his career and have a new face in the title hunt.
Was turning Naomi heel the right move for the WWE and the Divas division? Steve: I guess to me it really doesnt make a whole lot of sense. I mean after her interview she explained that she is tired of waiting around, so I guess that part of it makes sense, but is her heel turn going to effect the Usos at all? Plus, if she is going after the Divas title, it wouldnt be smart to have her and Nikki face off as both are heels. However, if they do give the belt to Paige at Extreme Rules, then this would make more sense. I think though it could have been booked and timed better. Have Paige win the battle royal, Naomi can make a claim that she did, but not attack Paige. Paige wins the title from Nikki Bella, then Naomi attacks Paige and makes her turn. That would make more sense to me, but I guess that is why I am a customer service rep who writes about this stuff, and the WWE writers get paid the big bucks.
Eric: Big heel turn this week on RAW. Naomi attacked Paige after her winning the battle royal. I was not expecting the turn by Naomi, it definitely came as a shocker to me. I look for Paige to win the title from Nikki Bella and then we will see a feud with Paige and Naomi. These two will then become on top of tge divas division and I think could definitely have some exciting matches. I’m excited to see where this feud will, I think both women are very talented and I believe will have an amazing feud.
Josh: Probably. I think it might have been a little early, but the Diva’s division needs a solid heel once the Bellas are gone. Naomi has the potential to fill that slot. The answer to this question will be answered in whether or not Naomi can pull off being a heel. She was a Funkadactyl Cheerleader, one of the most likeable members of the Total Divas cast, can she pull off a true heel persona? I think so, but only time will truly tell.
Chad: With the retirement of Aj Lee from the Divas division needed something different to garner some interest and I think a heel turn from Naomi is as good idea as any. Right now Paige would probably be the top face and she needs people to compete against before the title match so I’m ok with this
Last week we touched a little bit on the new tag team the Lucha Dragons. The question is: Is this team the most exciting team to watch in the WWE in recent memory? Steve: I tried very hard to think of another team that got me excited to watch on TV. I just could not, so yes, this team is the most exciting team to watch right now on WWE programming. I think the WWE needs to move on this and give these guys a run with the tag titles, as they are not doing a very good job booking Tyson Kidd and Cesaro with the straps.
Eric: The Lucha Lucha Lucha Dragons. These guys are amazing. They are definitely a can’t miss tag team. I am a big fan of tag team wrestling and these guys are so amazing. I haven’t seen a tag team like these guys in a long time. I definitely get excited when I see their match is coming on and like to tune in because with these two, you don’t know what you will see. I think these two will be at the top of the tag team division before too long and a title run will happen. These guys are also over with the fans. Big thumbs up to the WWE on putting these guys together as they are the new can’t miss tag team right now in the WWE. Everyone with me this time: Lucha Lucha Lucha Lucha
Josh: I would say so. I had high hopes for the Ascension and they fell completely flat. Kidd and Cisaro are really good and a credit to the tag division, but I don’t know if I would call them “exciting”….the Lucha Dragons, dare I say, might be the most exciting team since London and Kendrick. I don’t know if either will have promising singles careers as their body type and style doesn’t match up well with the rest of the card (I don’t care what anyone says, there is no way Kalisto can hurricanrana Big Show or Lesnar…realistically)…but in tag team action, these guys are dynamite.
Chad: In recent memory in my opinion the Usos were close but with the things the Lucha Dragons can do in the ring I would say they are the most popular and exciting team to come along in a while; just hope WWE uses them right.
Has the WWE failed in how they are using Dolph Ziggler? Steve: Yes, not only that, but HELL YES. What the hell is the WWE doing with Dolph Ziggler? You have him go over in a monumental match at Survivor Series as the sole survivor for Team Cena, You push him and push him, and he performs every single night. He has stellar matches with current WWE Champion Seth Rollins, he is a former WWE Champion himself, who only lost the belt because he got injured during the match with Del Rio. The guy is busting his ass night in night out, and the WWE continues to keep him in the mid-card, now in a story with Sheamus. Now with all due respect to Sheamus, Dolph is destined for better things, and he should be in the WWE title picture.
Eric: Dolph Ziggler is arguably one of the best wrestlers in the WWE right now. The man can not only perform in the ring, but can also cut an awesome promo as well. Now, what the WWE is doing with him? I think they have failed him. He is one of your most talented and popular wrestlers but he can’t seem to get over with the people backstage. He keeps being held back, I think if WWE would give him a chance, he will take the ball and run with it. Ziggler is an awesome talent and I hope the WWE doesn’t let his talent go to waste.
Josh: The knee-jerk reaction would be to say yes….but I honestly don’t think so. Everyone complains about how Ziggler gets used, and yeah, he probably should be more at the top of the card, but you are forgetting one thing….He is a top 3 face in the largest and most prestigious wrestling company IN THE WORLD. Who would Ziggler have replaced at the top of the card? Daniel Bryan? No. Cena? As much as people would have loved to see it, wasn’t gonna happen. Lesnar? Maybe, but he isn’t around enough to take up a whole slot anyways. Ziggler will get his moments. WWE cannot deny his talents, nor the will of the fans. But will he ever be the true face of the company? No, and he was never going to be. But mark my words, eventually, barring injury or something else career threatening, we will see Ziggler headline a Wrestlemania before all is said and done. God willing, it will be Ziggler vs. Bryan for the title in a 60 minute Iron Man match….
Chad: I think they way he was built as the sole survivor at Survivor Series against the Authority and the lack of anything since then you say yes. However, with the current title situation I would agree that Dolph is being used for a great match on the show. I think with his injury history it makes it tough for the company to fully push him like the fans would like
That’s all for this week wrestling fans. Join us again next Thursday as we will debate more topics in the world of professional wrestling. Also let us know of questions you would like us to debate during our LIVE Roundtable on YouTube. We are close to announcing a date for this. Stay Tuned.
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