Latest posts by Nick Whitworth (see all)
- The Rant Of The Day #13 - February 9, 2018
- The Rant Of The Day #12 - January 31, 2018
- The Rant Of The Day :Royal Rumble/NXT Takeover Edition - January 25, 2018
By Nick Whitworth @pwpitstopNick
The Rant Of The Day # 10
2018 started off with a massive bang. I am still trying to calm down over the Jericho/Omega match…. Ok Nick, stay calm and write some magic here… Ok, I got this. Welcome back to another edition of The Rant Of The Day with the iconic Nick here , all ready to spew some wrasslin’ . Today’s topics are:
– Is WWE still the top company in the world?
– Ricochet, Tessa Blanchard and War Machine rumored to have signed with WWE
– Rusev is insanely over… what next for him?
– Should WWE use guys like Triple H, The Undertaker and Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania?
– Does John Cena cross the line when involved in a heated back and forth promo exchange?
– Is The Club back together on Raw
1: WWE to wrestling is like the NFL to football, the NHL to hockey, the UFC to MMA. Or is it? Lately WWE seems to be sinking and other companies seem to be the talk of the town.
Ring Of Honor was always North America’s number 3 promotion but with there stacked roster and their partnership with New Japan, they have started to become on par with WWE. Not quite on the same level, but for us fans, they are giving them a nice run for their money.
New Japan Pro Wrestling really took off this past year, starting right from the start of the year with Wrestle Kingdom 11. NJPW has always produced amazing events but it wasn’t until adding in States’ side talent like The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes to the Bullet Club did the company really sky rocket to the next level.
The Bullet Club became so popular, as we all know and that put all eyes on the company. Kazuchika Okada was even named #1 in PWI’s 500. The popularity for the company became so high that they added in a IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to the mix and surprisingly enough, the inaugural winner was Kenny Omega himself.
Now all of a sudden, WWE isn’t the top dog anymore, New Japan is and WWE has to be feeling it. Vince has to be upset with the fact he can’t get his hands on a lot of the NJPW has. Okada being PWI’s #1, Omega being the worlds biggest star and the Bullet Club selling an enormous amount of merch, WWE must be shaking in their boots.
We talk about how wasted Monday Night Raw is with being 3 hours. We say it is too long, yet New Japan’s events run around 6 hours long, including pre show and we don’t even say a peep. Why is that? Because the whole 6 hours we are sitting on the edge of our seats. We are invested in the entire event and even at 6 hours long, we are glued to the television.
Not too often are people happy with the outcome of a WWE event. Even Wrestlemania seems to become weak and extremely predictable which isn’t good. You can’t predict a New Japan match can you? That makes a big difference in the eyes of the fans.
NJPW knows how to sell a story, knows how to book an event, put together a feud and know how to hook the fans. Look at Jericho/Omega build… They did a press conference which ended with Y2J and The Cleaner getting into a fight. A press conference…. Smart eh? WWE just does the same ol’ same ol’ to build a feud. Same recipe they have used for years and it lost its sense of excitement for the fans. WWE’s storytelling for a feud is bismal. Yes I got that word from Joey Tribbiani… Been waiting to use that word.
You see, WWE has become stale and New Japan and even Ring Of Honor elevated their game. Fans want an alternative to WWE and they not only give that, they are becoming superior. ( Drops mic).
2: Rumors are running wild saying indy darling Ricochet, 3rd generation wrestler Tessa Blanchard and War Machine signed with WWE. If true, huge deal and fantastic choices here.
Tessa Blanchard finally signing with the company doesn’t surprise me, it surprises me they waited this long. My guess was she wanted to gain worldwide experience and really make a name for herself, which she indeed has. Tessa became one of the top women’s wrestlers and wasted no time doing that. She is stunning, a fantastic heel, and an all round great talent who will be a perfect fit in WWE. I would say she will be in the Women’s Royal Rumble.
War Machine have became a dominate team winning belts in ROH and in NJPW. I think WWE’s tag team division needs these guys and can see them having a solid run with the company. I absolutely dig their whole viking style look. It is intimidating and draws you into their characters instantly. War Machine vs The Usos or even Gallows & Anderson (if WWE lets Gallows & Anderson be the team they should be) could make for some serious must see TV. My hope is they aren’t in NXT for too long as I am ready to see them dominate the main roster.
Ricochet is a signing that I like but also worry about. He is a unique talent who tells the story a lot different then the typical story telling goes. Ricochet uses more acrobatics and crazy high spot maneuvers then more of a slow style WWE pace to tell stories. If let be himself, he will change the game for WWE. His style will draw in a lot of new fans and will create a big buzz for WWE. He has the look that is perfect for WWE, so like i said, if he can be his true self we will see a major player here. I for one am super excited for this signing as I am a big fan of his work. He is different then what WWE showcases and is exactly what the company needs to light some electricity to the much needed dull WWE television.
These rumored signings will be a true blessing to the company as they all bring something fresh to the game. Now, not to be a Debbie Downer here but it is time for WWE to really trim their roster and time to boost it with new, fresh, hip and unique talent to create a new found buzz the company really needs. They need to press the re start button then give the talents more free reign with their chatacters and watch the magic unfold. If Vince stepped back a bit and let these stars have more input, we wouldn’t see talent phoning it in because they are just going through the motions.
WWE, good one you for signing these stars… If you didn’t then you better ink them up ASAP. Vince, I know you’re reading this so please make this guy a happy fella.
3: Rusev is selling the most merch for WWE….. Yes, I wrote most. He is super red hot right now which is crazy as just a few months ago was floating around, not really doing much. His odd pairing with Adien English has rejuvenated both stars careers. I am surprised they don’t have the Smackdown Tag straps.
Rusev Day made Rusev one hot commodity and I am now worried that WWE will not take advantage of this situation. When one is red hot why waste anytime in pushing them up the card. If Rusev is selling out of his tee’s then business wise, showcasing him more translates into moolah.
We all know Vince is gun shy. He has a reason to though. Finn Balor, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, you catch my drift. He still shouldn’t let something out of his and the star’s control (injuries) get in the way of taking advantage of a star’s hot momentum. As soon as one is starting to get over, he should be giving the crowd more. Since Rusev is beyond over right now, start off with the tag straps, if he continues to become hotter add in a secondary title and so on and so forth. Vince doesn’t have to put him in the main event right away, all I am saying is little by little give the fans more.
By not taking a shot on someone when they are that hot, it hurts that stars overall star power. Then when WWE says “OK, let’s go with this star” then it might be too late. It is all about listening to the fans. If the pops are there, the merch sales are there then that star is in demand. Waiting will have fans give up on that person. If one is hot, it means money which is what is best for business (a wise man once said). If you say that then preach that.
Rusev deserves the chance to shine. He is a solid talent who faded away from the once brute he was all from bad booking. Here is the chance to make up for lost time. Don’t pull a Zack Ryder and flub this one. Throw caution to the wind, go in on him and if things don’t pan out then you didn’t lose anything. You actually gain.
So, will WWE give the fans what they want with Rusev or will they mess up this one?
4: With Wrestlemania right around the corner, as a fan you can’t help but get excited. Then Mania comes and it is usually filled with part time stars who shouldn’t be on the show… Pre show, yes, main show, no.
The Undertaker is Wrestlemania but he lost all his aura since the streak ended at Wrestlemania 30. Since then, usually Mania is his only match and year by year he seems to be struggling. At 52 years old, his body is starting to feel it and after his past few matches, has been extremely beat up.
Taker goes all in and doesn’t slow down during each and every match but even if it is one match a year, he has been having a hard time after that match. He is a special attraction who I worry might over stay his welcome and become more of a joke then a legend.
After his match last year at Mania, he never officially said he retired even though that’s how it came across. That to me is the best way to go out. Go out on top, much like Shawn Michaels. Fans will remember the good not the bad. If Taker comes out and looks weak, that is what fans will remember and he has worked his butt off building the legacy he has to then lose it all for his Wrestlemania matches.
As much of a Triple H fan as I am, he seems to always step back into the lime light when he shouldn’t. Recently he defeated Jinder Mahal in New Dehli… No clue why WWE felt the need for that. Trips always seems to still have his Wrestlemania matches, much like The Undertaker.
He wrestled Sting and defeated him (no clue why either), went in to Mania 32 as champ and lost to Roman Reigns, and last year wrestled Seth Rollins at Mania 33. 34 will be no different I would say but you never know.
Hunter doesn’t wrestle much as he is solely focused on his continued growth of NXT yet he still seems to get in his Wrestlemania time. The night before Mania he is running Takeover and the next he is on the Mania card (shakes my head ).
Triple H has had a Hall Of Fame worthy career, no doubt, just it is time to step back and let the new stars have their Mania moments.
Shane McMahon seems to be doing the same lately as he inserts himself on high profiled events. Again, I seen nothing out of this and am not a fan of this one bit. Last year was Shane O Mac and AJ Styles going one on one. Styles deserved a better match in my eyes. AJ of course made Shane look good, but he should of had a different opponent.
I am not Vince or pretend to be and am not trying to be negative either, all I am saying is if Wrestlemania is your biggest event of the year and the stars works their tails off all year long and are left off the card for part time wrestlers…. It really grinds my gears and I am certain grinds the stars gears as well.
Look at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom, they have a Rumble match on the pre show filled with new stars, legends, part timers, the whole nine, and that is how it should be. They leave the main show for the true talent who have carried the company all year. WWE needs to do the same. This again is why WWE is hurting and NJPW is on fire.
5: John Cena is known for cutting some serious cheese ball promos but when involved in a back and forth promo with another star, he seems to be on fire. He speaks real and from the heart but at times, does he cross the line about the other star?
When going back and forth, John picks up on a flubbed line or if the star gets rattled and runs with it. He makes a point to throw it back in the other’s face and get the crowd behind him. Cena likes to find that one’s faults and bring them to light. For me, it is a weak way to gather a reaction or interest from the fans. It could hurt the other star and that shouldn’t be the point of his promo.
Take his infamous promo with himself and Roman Reigns. He noticed Reigns forgot his lines and instead of improvising until Reigns regained his thoughts, he chose to use it to his advantage. To me, he went to work for himself instead of helping his co worker. Maybe I am wrong for thinking it shouldn’t be like that but I just see no value in pointing this out.
When John does this, it looses my interest. I love a solid, heated, believable promo but making fun of someone’s error is the wrong approach. Cutting a promo in front of 10-15,000 people plus 2-3 million at home watching is enough pressure to make anyone flub a line or two but with the embarrassment and the fact your opponent making fun of it isn’t professional. Just my opinion.
Look, I am not hating on Cena here… Ok, fine, just a bit but I am allowed. I’m a huge fan of his and his work inside and outside of the ring. I just think he should use a different method when he is in solid back and forth promo exchange. He would come across as the bigger man, instead of being a guy who wants that cheap pop that he gets.
6: The Balor Club seems to be together and ready to roll. It seems like it is the right time to get the band back together. Balor, Gallows & Anderson are in need of a little boost and this is the perfect scenario.
2 years ago when Finn Balor was red hot and about to make the leap from NXT to the main roster, WWE produced a boat load of Balor Club merch. Every fan of his knows this was WWE’s way of getting some of the Bullet Club guys they signed, putting together a “Club” and making some serious money. Things didn’t really pan out that way.
Balor debuted on Raw and was immediately shot to the top but an injury halted his massive push. Gallows & Anderson debuted the same way but for some reason lost steam. The 3 have since struggled to regain that same momentum.
Putting these 3 together not only makes sense but it is needed for their WWE careers. They have to be heel, as Gallows & Anderson make a perfect bad ass, ass kickin’ team, and with turning Balor heel it will give him a little rejuvenation to the bland run he has recently had. Plus, being heel is the in thing right now.
WWE likes to plan long term so with making The Balor Club heel leaves the door open for a red hot face turn for Finn. The Demon is a mega money babyface but just has been spinning his wheels due to WWE unsure of what to do with him (I have no idea why). Making the group a solid main event level heel team would make Balor’s turn that much more of a big deal. A slow turn is the way to go to really make the turn worth something.
To me, it is crazy that I am even writing about this but sometimes I shake my head at WWE. You have a mega babyface, a mega heel tag team and you have no idea creatively on what to do with them. I literally could scream, it grinds my gears that much. Braun Strowman vs Kane vs Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship is the way to go? Kane can draw better then Balor? Strowman can draw better then Balor? Show me the numbers Vince.
I could go on for days on how confused I am over their pushes but like I have said previously in my Rant articles, at least they are still featured on television and Pay Per Views so it is not like they aren’t having a solid run. I just know all 3 deserve much more. Balor lead NXT into the boom it is in now and Gallows & Anderson are everything of a kick ass team they need.
Do us a favor Vince, do us a solid and make The Balor Club the dominate team the should be. Make these guys the talk of Raw and make this guys matter the way they should….
Well, the time has come, another Rant donzo. I wrote this while recovering from the flu so this shows my dedication and love for doing these articles. I had to make me sound like a champ there. I can’t wait for you all to read my next article as I have a few doozies for you all. Until then, make sure you support what and who you love as that support goes a long way.