Wrestling Roundtable

state-of-the-union

Hello once again wrestling fans, and welcome again to the Wrestling Roundtable. It is nearing the end of the year, and it has been an up and down year for the World of Wrestling. So this week, we will summarize 2016 as we give you the Wrestling Roundtable State of the Union address. Each of our panelists will endulge you in about a few paragraphs of their opinion on the state of wrestling as we sit and breathe today. What are our thoughts, are favorite moments, not so favorite moments?? This and more. Sit back and enjoy as we reflect on the current state of the wrestling union.

For this State of the Wrestling Union there will be no Power Rankings or This Week in Wrestling History.

 

Steve Hall

My fellow wrestling fans. If you have made it through the entire year without remotely getting sick to your stomach with the direction of professional wrestling, you are a better fan than I. The state of wrestling over the course of this past year has made me question my loyalty to the WWE, and wrestling in general. We have seen some questionable moves, we have seen matches and special events that have quite honestly made me sick to even watch. It wasn’t all bad though, there were some bright spots, and I will touch on that, but there were so many more low spots, so you can bet your ass I will really touch on that.

The Women’s Division

Easily the highlight of 2016, the introduction to the women’s division, eliminating the “Divas” was by far the best decision that the WWE could have made. They got rid of that absolutely hideous championship belt that was designed by a three year old girl. Then they brought respect to the women of wrestling when they unveiled a championship belt to really go along side the mens division. Sasha Banks and Charlotte had one of the best feuds and the best series of matches of all time…I just don’t mean in 2016. We saw women compete in a Hell in a Cell match, a Falls Count Anywhere match, and this Sunday we will see an Iron Man match. These matches so far have been show stealers. We have seen Sasha and Charlotte main event special events, and Raw on a couple of occasions. While I may not be a fan of the way it all has been booked. I am a fan of the women’s division and I have all the respect in the world, and the WWE can really thank these ladies for keeping me at least a little bit entertained.

NXT

NXT has produced some of the best wrestling of the year. We have seen matches that have stolen the show with the men and the women. Nakamura and Samoa Joe have had some classic matches for the NXT title and has traded the title with each other over the course of the past couple of months. We saw the return of a legend in Mickie James, who then signed a long term deal with the WWE. We saw some TNA and ROH stars Bobby Roode, and Roderick Strong make their WWE debuts in NXT. I think that NXT is on the rise, and most of their Takeover shows have routinely out done the main roster.

The Crusierweights

I can only say to the Crusierweights that this has been an epic fail. They give them their own show on the WWE Network called 205. I’m thinking that this is a good thing for the Cruiserweight division to have their own time slot to showcase what they can do. However, we are still seeing them on TV with their boring storylines and subpar wrestling. It was so bad that during a Raw episode in Cincinnati Ohio, where I was LIVE in attendance. The crowd was chanting CM Punk, and Harambe the dead Gorilla throughout the match. This has been a failure from the start.

The WWE Network and Special Events

The WWE Network debuted a couple of decent shows like Holy Foley, Swerved, Ride Along, and the Edge and Christian Show. I enjoy the WWE Network for these kinds of shows, also the network for the older shows from the 80’s and early 90’s. Lately, there have been less and less subscribers because of the special events being so horrible and all too frequently. I have been a wrestling fan for the majority of my life, and rarely miss a PPV event. However, we are seeing these events literally almost every two weeks, and I don’t have the time to watch it that often. TLC was last Sunday, and honestly, I had no idea it was on until Todd asked me about the Intercontinental title match. So I still like the Network, but the Special events really need to be combined into one big 3 or 4 hour show between both Raw and Smackdown. I could give one show a month the time it deserves, but two in a month is overkill. I will still be a bootleg subscriber (Thanks Eric) but I can’t get into the bi-weekly pay per view events.

WWE

The WWE writers need to be fired like in 2015. We saw the writing on the wall with some questionable decisions that were made in booking. They continue to push guys like Roman Reigns, who the fans just simply have not gotten behind, even when he is teamed with Seth Rollins, who the fans are solidly behind. Reigns still gets booed, yet he still is involved in the WWE Universal Championship picture. I think the biggest mistake that the WWE made was the brand split. It simply has not worked out. There are far too many events that are on the Network, which I have mentioned earlier. I honestly cannot keep up with it. Most of the time I have left disappointed, as most of the matches and storylines are all too predictable. I will say this for the brand split, it is starting to garner some more interest within the two shows as far as I am concerned. However, they need to merge together when special events come into play.

What to expect in 2017

I honestly expect much of the same. I would like to see Finn Balor get his opportunity again to reclaim the Universal Championship. I think we will still see Roman Reigns being pushed to the main event level. I think we may even see the reunion of the Shield, but all of them being in the main event circuit. I think more and more NXT guys and girls will be moved up to the main roster and if that happens, I think we can get back to wrestling that I used to love each and every week. I think that the WWE will see that the brand split is not working, and by the end of the year they will start unifying championships and then go back to one show. All this would be great, but honestly what I expect to happen is like I said much of the same. The writing will still be god awful, and I will be lucky to make it to Wrestlemania before washing my hands with the product as a whole.

Thank you to our readers for these past two years, I do hope that we continue this and all of our writers stick around to give you our latest opinions regarding the world of wrestling. God Bless you, and God Bless the state of the wrestling world…and the WWE writers. They need all the help they can get.


Tyler Shobe

So, how has this year been?  It fucking sucks!

Just kidding, there’s been some good and some bad.  Let’s start with the good first.
Vince finally remembered all the money he made with Lita, Trish Stratus, and the women of that era and allowed the women wrestlers to be more than just window dressing.  Starting in NXT and moving on the to man rosters, women like Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, etc. have shown they can be just as good, if not better, than their male counterparts.  Charlotte/Sasha headlining Hell in a Cell is a great example how long overdue this push for the women has been.
We’ve also seen some incredible talent make the jump from the indies to WWE and seen them flourish.  Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Samoe Joe, all former NXT champions, with Kevin Owens beings the RAW Champion (I think the Universal title is stupid, but what can you do?).  We’ve seen AJ Styles, the face of TNA, make the jump and be given a fantastic World Title run as well.
The last good thing is that there’s enough good wrestling out there right now that you don’t have to just stick with WWE.  ROH, NJPW, and Lucha Underground, hell, even NXT, are all on TV in various forms, and you have thriving indies like Chikara Pro and EVOLVE that stream online.  So there’s no excuse not to find good wrestling somewhere.
Now for the bad.
For every good decision WWE makes, there’s seems to be about a dozen bad decisions as well.  They haven’t learned their lesson with Roman Reigns and continue to push him down the audience’s throats.  RAW is still an hour too long.  The Cruiserweights need to be better integrated into the overall show so that the audience actually cares about them.  The brand split has shown how thin the tag team and women’s rosters are as far as supporting two separate women’s titles and tag team titles.
Oh, and TNA keeps getting fuckin’ rescued at the last minute for some damn reason.  Let it die already people!
I’m definitely looking forward to see what 2017 brings to the table.

Todd Able
Let me start off by saying I have been non-existent from this forum the last couple weeks because I have been very disappointed in some of the booking decision. This year WWE drop the ball more than once and I will sure get into more detail as I go on. There have been been very few good points about the WWE in the year 2016 but if I can find any I will be sure to talk about them. I will also touch TNA and where the hell ROH got these women wrestlers.
WWE
WWE overall has been a disappointment this year. There has been several questionable bookings. WTF? James Ellsworth gets a title match. He deserves a title match just as much as I do. WWE we are tired of all this fuckin interference. Dolph Ziggler and The Miz had a couple match of the year candidates until the stupid cheerleaders interfered. That turns a great match into a disaster. Kevin Owens, how can any one take him serious. He didn’t win the championship by himself and he hasn’t defended it without getting outside help from someone. On top of that the one match he didn’t have help  he lost to Roman Reigns. That devalues his championship run.
The Woman’s Division
As far as the women go it gave them more opportunity with the brand split because now they have 2 titles. On Raw though they are trading the title back and forth like it is a hot potato. I don’t really understand that. Let the Charlotte-Banks feud at Roadblock. Even though it was probably one of the best feuds of the year it is time to move on to something bigger and better in 2017.
The Cruiserweights
The cruiserweights have been a great disappointment on Raw thus far and it probably won’t get any better. I watched the whole CWC from beginning to end. There were some amazing matches. I was excited to see the cruiserweights get their chance to shine in the bright lights. WWE failed them with poor booking and storylines. Now that they got their own show on the Network they should be removed from Raw because its not like they are attracting ratings.
Raw and Smackdown
I also want to touch on the length of Raw. Raw should be moved back to 2 hours. Here is why I think that. Raw shows too many highlights. We know what happened the week before because we watched. They also show highlights of what happened at the beginning of the show. We know what happen then too because we are watching you dumb ass. All these highlights are a waste of time. This goes for Raw and Smackdown. Sometimes there is way to much talking and you go thru 45 minutes to and hour and only have 1 or 2 matches. We want to see more wrestling and less flapping their gums. One other thing Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan said they were all about opportunity yet Shane McMahon was in the Survivor Series match. What about Luke Harper or even Kane?
NXT
I guess I have to save the best for last. NXT takeovers have out shined the main roster PPV every time and it wasn’t even close. With NXT signing big acquisitions this year like Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and Eric Young. Them are 3 veteran guys who can really help groom the younger talent and who will probably at some point make it to the main roster. Shinsuke and Joe have had some great matches for the NXT title. The only thing I didn’t understand is why they had Nakamura win the title back at a non televised event.
ROH
I was watching ROH last week. It was the women’s version. OMG! Where the hell did ROH get these women? They could not wrestle to save their life. It was almost embarrassing. They did not belong in an amateur ring let alone a professional wrestling ring. The only women on there that I heard of was ODB.
TNA
People say it would be bad for WWE if TNA went out of business because then WWE wouldn’t have any talent to pull from. I think does TNA really have any talent that WWE wants any ways? Usually TNA gets WWE’s rejects.
In closing what to expect in 2017
Finn Balor will regain the Universal title, Sasha Banks and Bayley will have the best feud of the year, Raw will still be 3 hours because Vince McMahon is a stupid idiot, Cruiserweights will eventually be removed from Raw because WWE will realize i’m right, NXT will out shine the main roster like always, ROH women still won’t be able to wrestle, and TNA will go out of business!
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 Chad Brennan
 What a roller coaster 2016 it has been in the wrestling world it has had its ups and downs for sure. There were terrible booking decisions but through the mud and muck I still have faith in the what the industry.
First, the worldwide leader the WWE they started off great with the debut of AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble which due to his performances in the ring led to a great 2016 and being the current reigning and defending WWE World Champion. In July, there was a Brand Split which I think is helping more than it is urting guys like Cesaro and Sheamus being a team helps them and their brand become better which helps the product as a whole. The Tournaments they have had and are on planning are a great way to reach new audiences as well.
Sticking with the WWE one thing that truly stood out this year was the Women’s Division it is strong it is deep and it is something that the company can hang its hat on; Charlotte and Sasha have had a Cell match they will have a Iron Man match on Sunday which I am sure will steal the show. This division is a stand out in 2016.
NXT is supposed to be the developmental for the WWE but in the last 3 takeovers that have come the same weekend as a PPV it has stolen the weekend and been the better show with guys like Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and teams they have had like American Alpha, #DIY, The Revival, TM-61, and the Paul Ellering lead Authors of Pain the NXT brand will continue to be an essential part of wrestling programming.
Now Let’s Go Outside of the WWE and see what is going. TNA  is probably still in deep trouble but still making acquistions like Damian Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Cody Rhodes is an interesting story as I have been impressed with the “partnerships” I have seen recently as he recently competed at Final Battle. He then had a Youtube Video where he joined the Bullet Club. We all know of the ROH and NJPW partnership that brings us the Young Bucks as double champs and allowed the Bullet Club to get more of an American Audience. But I was surprised was seeing “Broken” Matt Hardy at Final Battle to setup a future match with between “The Bucks of Youth and The Hardys.”  On a side note these matches/segments at the Hardy compund have been some of the most entertaining things of the year.

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