By Nick Whitworth @pwpitstopNick
The Rant Of The Day # 12
The Rants have been pure fire…. Said everybody who has read them.. Well we are officially on the Road To Wrestlemania which as a wrestling fan, is my favorite season of the year. Vince, remember our recent conversation…. Please book AJ Styles in the main event… Anyways he always listens to me and what I have to say. Back to The Rants, today’s topics are some gems. They are:
– WWE main roster vs NXT : differences
: disconnect between fan reactions to the stars once they get the call up
– Shayna Baszler
– EC 3 in NXT
– Monday Night Raw’s 25th Anniversary show : Yay or Nay
– Vince McMahon and the return of the XFL
– The Young Bucks – game changers
– The WWE debut of Ronda Rousey : Good for business?
1: Since Triple H decided to run a NXT Takeover event the night before a major main roster pay per view, NXT has really stepped up their game and actually destroys the next nights event. It doesn’t matter if the next night is Wrestlemania, NXT Takeover’s still outshine that event.
Every match delivers main event quality matches every Takeover. Every match feels like a big deal right from the get go. Every star on the event feels like a mega star. The build ups for each match are on point and that is what has the fans 100 % invested into these events. Each match is built up with such precise that the outcomes never hurt that loosing star. Each Takeover has that big feel excitement to it and add in the fact Triple H likes to drop a solid surprise on the fans just keeps the fans hooked.
WWE main roster runs more live events, longer television shows, larger roster, yet most pay per views seem lack luster and do not really give the fans a reason to get behind the event. A side from 1-2 matches, the card is usually weak with not a whole lot of build up. Raw runs 3 hours, Smackdown Live runs 2 hours yet they can’t seem to garner much fan interest in any match ups.
NXT seems to go all in each time yet the main roster seems to just phone it in with the thought process of “Well, we are WWE so we will get a guaranteed audience”…. And that isn’t good. So far this year, all people have been talking about is New Japan Pro Wrestling and NXT. Vince must see this and should be worried.
Maybe it is just me but it seems like NXT isn’t even a part of the WWE brand. It is just so polar opposite of what WWE does. NXT doesn’t follow the type “copy and paste” formula the main roster does and that is what sets them apart. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vince ends up telling Triple H he can’t run a Takeover event the night before his events due to outshining the crap out of his.
Another issue for some reason is the total disconnect between NXT fans and main roster fans. Tye Dillinger was a massive star in NXT and can’t seem to get that same type of fan reactions on Smackdown. I am not sure if the fans know Vince doesn’t capitalize on that stars popularity or if the main roster fans only watch main roster shows. Either way there is a major gap here.
Take Johnny Gargano, he is mega red hot right now in NXT yet if he debuted on Raw he wouldn’t get that same massive pop he is use to. Same wrestler, yet different reactions. I don’t understand.
I will chalk it up to the main roster getting complacent and NXT continuing to push the envelope. I am just surprised the popularity of NXT hasn’t caused Vince to start following the same formula. If the main roster spent time to properly build up each feud I would be writing a different rant right now.
The only thing I will say is once Triple H gets his hands solely on the main roster…. Look out..
2: “The Queen Of Spades” Shayna Baszler started her NXT run with a massive bang. I mean, getting a title match in her first NXT match shows just how much of a bang she has made. It shows not only just how talented she is but it shows just how high Triple H is on her.
I love her psychology, I love her look, I love her presence. Since she made the natural switch from MMA to wrestling, I have been hoping WWE would ink her up. Some might say she is still a bit green but I disagree. Her style sets her a part from her competition and that alone will move her up the ladder rather quickly. She doesn’t need to climb the ropes or do the typical stuff we see every match. If she did then she would just be an everyday wrestler.
She knows she’s good and uses the intimidation factor to distract her opponents. Her MMA hold look so dangerous that every hold makes me cringe. Her little smirks after she hurts her opponent not only works so well for her character but it works so well drawing in the fans.
Shayna has only been wrestling for 3 years now…. 3 years yet she stands out from the crowd. It usually takes a wrestler years to figure out the proper character and really get into it and get it over yet Baszler did it overnight. That my friend is true talent.
If there is anything she is green on she will iron out down the in Performance Center. She is this good already, now just add in training from icons like Sara Amato and Sarah Stock to the mix and she will literally take off into mega stardom.
Now, the one issue might be ( not for me because I am in love, don’t tell my wife ok) her style. It is more calm compared to the high flying spots the fans want nowadays but it is the believability of her moves that makes it all. Do you want to see guys do random top rope jumps and barely hit their opponent or do you want to see an arm bar that looks like it is about to break arms? My point exactly. You want to think it is real.
It is only a matter of time before she is rocking that NXT Women’s Championship and quite frankly matter of time before she is slaughtering competition up on the main roster. Baszler is good… Damn good and is going to change the game for women’s wrestling on WWE programming.
Triple H, another top notch signing and another top notch showcasing of a true star.
3: NXT Takeover: Philadelphia introduced new NXT stars War Machine, Trevor “Ricochet” Mann, Candice LeRae and also the shocking return on EC3, oops i mean EC 3 to the company.
I am sure that I wasn’t the only one totally shocked to see and hear EC 3 signed with NXT. I am glad I don’t bet because I would of bet $ 5 that he would of been a surprise entrant at the Royal Rumble. I was also confused as to why NXT and not straight to the main roster.
Does Vince not see money in EC 3 or does he just want him to iron out any old habits down in NXT? Was it Triple H who wanted to sign him and Vince didn’t so Trips snagged him for his brand until Vince sees his star power? All I know is we are in for a real treat.
The NXT is stacked and when I say stacked I mean insanely stacked which makes me think the main roster will be calling up quite a few NXT stars right after Wrestlemania. Which is smart of Triple H to do if that is the case as it took him a while to get that solid roster back from the big raid 2 years ago.
By adding EC 3 to the mix, NXT will get his fan base, his fantastic heel work and a true main event level talent. Plus we all know Triple H and he gives total freedom to his roster and this will give EC 3 the platform to really shine and show the world just how good he is.
People tend to forget his first WWE run as Derrick Bateman. It is ok if you forgot because it was actually unmemorable. Not his fault, just bad timing. After he left the company and went to Impact Wrestling is where he really took off. He went on to become a top star, main event level talent.
Some wrestlers take a release from WWE hard, but EC 3 took it as a blessing and went on to prove the company wrong for not giving him the chance to shine. He didn’t leave on bad terms which meant the door was open for a return and that return has come.
The plan for EC 3 is unknown but the excitement for his debut has the world buzzing. 2018 will be a huge year for him and the wrestling world can’t wait to see what he can do.
Welcome back EC 3, and once again good job Triple H.
4: I will shoot from the hip here… The 25th Anniversary episode of Raw was a total bust. I thought it was a hug waste of 3 hours. A huge waste of what should of been a top notch show. Such a shame.
The 3 hour episode was filled with silly backstage antics using up a boat load of legends. The matches meant absolutely nothing. The 2 venue event was used mainly in 1 venue while the 2nd paid big bucks to watch the big screen. I thought they would of started the build to Wrestlemania but that wasn’t the case.
Only 2 things 1 enjoyed. AJ Styles backstage promo with “Mean” Gene Okerlund was nothing special but seeing Styles in general is always A+ in my books. The crowd obviously thinks the same as I do as the place blew up when he can on the screen. Then The Miz winning back in Intercontinental Championship from Roman Reigns was a nice touch which the crowd popped huge for. My issues with that change was The Miz deserves more then the IC belt and it cemented Reigns vs Lesnar at Mania. I would rather binge watch The Wiggles with my 20 month old daughter then watch Reigns vs Lesnar. I am sure the live crowd will feel the same way.
The iconic Undertaker made his way to the ring at the Manhattan Center to cut a typical Taker promo which I thought was to set up his Mania match vs John Cena ( after Wiggles I will binge watch Elmo The Musical). Instead, here I am still trying to figure out what he was talking about. I felt like I needed to go out and get a concussion, come back, re watch that promo to fully understand what in the blue hell was said. Plus, Taker looked like he was rocking a wig. That right there alone took all the excitement of seeing the Phenom and dumped it down the drain.
I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer or even pretend I could book better because I am not. My point is that with this being such a milestone and all eyes on the company, they should of delivered matches, promos and skits that scream excitement. Instead the whole show screamed mediocrity. Not good for loyal fans and not good for newer fans. I am sure NJPW and ROH loved it as it will bring those fans that much closer to their product.
WWE really needs to step up their game. The Game stepped up his game (I had to write that) so you would think the whole company would. Especially with 2018 starting off with all the buzz going to NJPW and their Jericho/Omega match. If they continue down this patch they will continue to loose those true loyal fans who have been by their side through thick and thin. Even those fans will eventually call it quits. Come on Vince, we already had this talk my friend..
5: Vince McMahon is either gone mental or he has massive kahunas because in 2020 we will see the re launch of the dud XFL. Luckily for me, I hate football with a passion so right out the gate, no viewership at my household Vinny Mac.
Back in 2001 the XFL came on the scene… and fizzled just as quickly. The league lasted a phenomenal 1 season and lost a reported 35 million dollars on their 100 million dollar investment. Chum change, I know. The league became a joke as it was just over the top. Too gimmicky for regular football fans.
We all thought the XFL days were behind us but boy were we wrong. Vince announced the news to mixed reviews with some calling it a football league for Trump supporters. So right from the start, McMahon has a battle ahead of him to win back the audience. It will be tough if you ask me.
The only thing going for the league is Vince himself. He is a work horse and will give it his all. I think if anyone can get this to work, it is Vince. Even with all the distractions and haters Vince knows how to tune them out and follow his long term plans (Roman Reigns loves that).
If this doesn’t work out once again I am not sure the impact that will have on the WWE. It would be absurd if Vince caused the demise of his own company but again it is Vince. As much as I dislike this move I would hate to see something happen to the WWE.
With Vince becoming focused on getting this league to work hopefully we see less McMahon and more Triple H. Close your eyes right now… Picture it, Sicily 1922… sorry, Golden Girl moment. Picture this, WWE run by Triple H…. I bet you have the biggest grin on your face. It would be NXT times 100. It would give this company that big boost it desperately needs. We would see working relationships with other companies, surprise stars, oh man I am literally excited as heck right now.
So, I will go on record and say this… Please folks, support the XFL. Make this thing massive because I want to see the main roster run by the man himself… Triple H..
6: The Young Bucks are the best tag team in the world. Period. Nobody else is this in demand then the Bucks. Everybody wants a piece of them. They are part of the reason why New Japan is going toe to toe with WWE for the #1 spot. Matt and Nick draw money and you can’t even argue that.
The team will go down as one of the best (if not the best) tag teams in the history and here is why. These guys not only became insanely popular, they upped their ante and built a polarizing brand with a massive income.
Their in ring style, unique look with old school ring attire, hard work and overall busy schedule isn’t what makes these guys the greatest… There is more to their overall package… Alot more.
They know how to use the internet to the fullest and to their advantage. They post videos which gains a tremendous amount of views, they opened up their own website to sell merchandise. Instead of just being wrestlers they became entrepreneurs making the most out of their careers as they can.
The Bucks switched their focus solely on the duo to their world wide famous group the Bullet Club. Everywhere you look you see Bullet Club tees. In just 4 months on Pro Wrestling Tees the group sold 417,430 shirts.. Let that sink in.. Do the math, thats, umm 5+7×14÷4…. Ok you catch my drift. That number is out of this world. It is unheard of really.
Matt and Nick have built an empire all without the help of a billion dollar corporation. They took advantage of the internet and changed the world of professional wrestling. They have shown every single independant wrestler that you do not need WWE to make it to the big leagues. Using the internet built this empire that every wrestler now wants and can do. But you need to put in the work.
Not needing the horrific WWE schedule, potential bad WWE booking, and weird WWE pay, they have now become sole ownership of how they are booked and have total creative control over the direction of the team.
The Young Bucks changed the game and you know Vince McMahon has to be worried. Or jealous seeing those shirt sales for only 4 months. Heck even I am jealous.. This whole rant is the truth and the reason why Matt and Nick Jackson will go down as the greatest tag team ever. End scene.
7: Triple H and Ronda Rousey are a bunch of liars. They both said there was no deal…. but there was…. Ronda is my #WCW and I could be wrong but I feel like she posted a picture of me with the caption #MCM…. Truth?
The signing of Rousey came at a very pivotal point in her career has she suffered back to back loses in the UFC. Something she wasn’t use to and it rattled her. Those loses didn’t damage the Rousey aura but I am sure another lose and we would be having a different discussion. She needed to go a different direction and naturally fitting, WWE was my first choice for her.
While still insanely popular, WWE grabbed her while hot and that my friend is how you do business. Even though there were reports of her signing the company did a fantastic job at hiding it. Once the 30th entrant in the Women’s Rumble came down the aisle I think we all figured she was actually still in Colombia filming a movie. Nobody expected her to come out during Asuka’s in ring segment with the 2 champs (Charlotte and Alexa Bliss).
From that ever so simple debut, the wrestling world is anxious to see what she can do inside the squared circle. Besides from stealing my heart, Rousey brings her massive fan following with her. Her whole MMA fans will now become WWE fans. Vince has to be grinning from ear to ear.
Some people have become a little negative about Ronda and the WWE. She stole Asuka’s spotlight after her Rumble win. Some WWE stars have made cheap comments on social media. Jealousy? Not to sound mean but do you think Asuka’s win would of drawn the type of attention Rousey just did? Do you think Nikki and Brie Bella’s Rumble appearance would have caught the attention of all these media outlets worldwide? No, not at all. Not one person in that company right now could have set the world ablaze like she has. Every single person is talking about Rousey in the WWE.
Even though The Rowdy One has only been training for less then a year she must be catching on extremely quick because the company wouldn’t go all in on her if she wasn’t progressing at a rapid speed. If she showed up at Wrestlemania (where her first rumored match will be) and tanked WWE would look really bad. The way they have hyped her, there is no way she isn’t catching on.
Her side kick Shayna Baszler has only been wrestling a few short years has made the transition much like Rousey is in the middle of doing and she did it naturally. Give Ronda a few years like Baszler and I bet everything my ex wife owns she will be a machine.
Ronda is a marketing dream. She appeals to everybody. She is a massive draw. She sells merch. She generates a boat load of mainstream buzz. She quite frankly is money. How can you not like her? I for one want a Rousey WWE tee ASAP.
If you do not think Ronda Rousey is what’s best for business then I do not know what is then. She hasn’t even had one match yet she has put so much positive spotlight on the WWE and gives them exactly what they need heading into Wrestlemania. Triple H and Stephanie did the right thing here and signed a megastar who will shine the right light on a company who so desperately needs it.
My stomach is screaming at me to go eat so this Rant is finito. Until next time, make sure you take the time to tell every single person you know about how great these Rants are. Heck even walk up and down your local mall telling every stranger about them… I dare ya….