Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Loose Cannon Fodder #6 [02.12.16]
We began this week with Daniel Bryan announcing his retirement via Twitter before Raw. I remember when Edge came out and announced his retirement and I'm pretty sure he didn't tweet it in advance, so I kind of thought it was going to be a work. I was expecting someone to come out during his retirement speech to set up a match, but no, it didn't happen. His retirement speech still happened and they were still able to get shots from the crowd of people crying a lot. It was a sad moment- a difficult moment, but one I was glad to be apart of a day after the fact via Hulu.
Back when I was just really obsessed with wrestling I remember watching Paul London debut in WWE. Somehow I found out that there existed a company Paul London fought in called Ring of Honor and that I should see his matches from there as well. I purchased "Please Don't Die" from Ring of Honor on DVD. It was my first time seeing many of the stars of Ring of Honor and it was also my first time seeing Bryan Danielson.
From there, my love of ROH began. I took part in many of the DVD sales they had- such as buy two get the third free- and this gave me a rather large ROH DVD collection, which I eventually sold off. But it didn't end there. I had DVDs from PWG with Bryan Danielson on them. It didn't matter who he was fighting, I always knew his match would be great and it always was.
I never expected Bryan Danielson to get to WWE. I don't think that anyone did. When I began making custom wrestling figures, CM Punk was among my first. Being able to eventually have a CM Punk action figure made by Jakks (my drug of choice at the time) was something I never quite thought would happen either. But Bryan Danielson was still one of those wrestlers we had to make custom figures of because we never thought we'd see him in WWE. And then he got signed to developmental.
I remember when he got signed to developmental, my wrestling friends and I all had this collective thought of "This is amazing. This is the best thing to ever happen to WWE. Just think of the match possibilities. OMG." but it was also mixed with "What if he doesn't make it to the main roster though?" And, well, the rest as they say is history. As Daniel Bryan, not only did he go on to make it to the main roster he became one of the most beloved characters of all time. I was once creating various custom figures of him in the days when Jakks held the WWE license (and I was more obsessed with wrestling as well) and now he has multiple figures in stores at a time made by Mattel. I think that really sums up his career best and I am going to miss him.
Outside of the Daniel Bryan retirement speech there wasn't too much going on during Raw. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were provoking Brock Lesnar while New Day found a temporary member in Mark Henry for a night and then in a tables match, after they had won, the Dudley Boyz turned on the Usos and appear to have gone heel now. Having the Dudley Boyz as a heel tag team is great because WWE is PG now and they could be that sort of anti-PG tag team as heels. It just never made sense to me to have these legendary hardcore wrestlers coming in as the good guys. But it should shake up the tag team division a little bit and if it leads to a Bubba singles run one day as a heel then we will all also be the better for that. Who knows, with the way injuries are plaguing the WWE roster maybe it's time for a Buh-Buh solo run.
The other event which happened on Raw which I need to give WWE credit for and feel like maybe I overlooked these past few weeks involves AJ Styles. I like the idea of AJ Styles and Chris Jericho feuding. I enjoyed them working together in the Royal Rumble match and I just knew there was a singles match in there that'd be money. But then I felt like AJ Styles just kind of abandoned that for last week and went into this thing with The Miz for seemingly no reason. But the way it played out with AJ Styles, Chris Jericho and The Miz this Monday on Raw was rather well done and I'm glad that WWE had this sort of end game in mind to bring Styles and Jericho back together even if I didn't see it right away. I also really enjoyed the simple interactions between Chris Jericho and The Miz at first, since they both do the talk show thing. So, well done, WWE.
Following Raw we went into NXT which had a number of decent matches including Alexa Bliss defeating Cameron (Which I don't mind because it's Cameron, who should probably go back to the main roster and join Team B.A.D. since Sasha Banks is out) and Baron Corbin vs. Johnny Gargano but the best part was the main event. Bayley successfully defending the title against Carmella only for Eva Marie and Nia Jax to beat down Carmella post match. Bayley couldn't stop them herself so of course Asuka came out to help. Then, the final stare down to close out the show with Asuka motioning for the title... Wow. It was awesome. I really hope that Asuka becomes champion sooner than later and Bayley moves up to the main roster.
Speaking of Bayley moving up to the main roster, I have a theory for that. Imagine we somehow get a triple threat match at Wrestlemania for the Divas Title: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch. After the match, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch shake hands because they've kind of been friends on television lately so they can show the respect, right. But when it comes to Charlotte she seems less sure and more like she might want to fight still. It gets awkward for a second but then Bayley's music hits, she comes out, everyone hugs and the Four Horsewomen are in WWE and ready to take on the rest of the roster while Asuka battles Nia Jax in NXT.
Smack Down! wasn't actually completely bad this week. Chris Jericho and AJ Styles almost opened the show but then they ended up in a tag team match against the Social Outcasts and ended up main-eventing. Chris Jericho picked up the win but now I expect the two to have the rubber match which will likely result in an AJ Styles victory. Give these two the proper amount of time and they could steal the show at Wrestlemania. Did anything else happen on Smack Down? Oh yeah, a Wyatt Family promo, a divas match (Sasha Banks defeated Naomi) and don't forget... Neville and the Lucha Dragons vs. Cosmic Wasteland. Does anyone else think that with these graphics WWE is pulling a page from CHIKARA? It's definitely a step up for WWE though. Also: Main Event was a decent show this week and you get to see Natalya.
On Impact Wrestling this week Matt Hardy continued to exploit his baby while EC3 made his return to being a fan favorite in the UK. I'm really enjoying The Decay and what they're doing with the Wolves but one thing I don't quite like right now is Beer Money. I'm just trying to understand why James Storm returned to TNA, I guess. I mean, he was the leader of a cult not too much unlike Bray Wyatt. So he didn't like that and he left then had, what, two matches in NXT. Had James Storm signed a contract and either stayed in NXT or sooner than later went to the main roster in WWE just think of all he could accomplish. Think about Bobby Roode one day joining him in WWE and what Beer Money could accomplish there, if not just James Storm on his own.
But, nope. James Storm is back in TNA and he is back in Beer Money and it just feels like more of the same. It's sad-- instead of moving forward and trying something new I feel like James Storm took two steps back and is now just rehashing that which we have already seen. I just have no interest in Beer Money and TNA needs to move on. We all need to move on. I have more interest in what Grado and Eli Drake are up to than seeing another Beer Money tag team title run. Really.
I did however enjoy the "Jade" match on Impact. Seeing Mia Yim is perhaps the only bright spot (or one of the brightest at least) in TNA these days and I really wish she would have signed with WWE and so would have Leva Bates. Having the Lucha Sisters in NXT would only enforce my idea that WWE could start a women's tag team division, but hey, I'm just throwing out some ideas here.
We haven't watched the newest episode of Lucha Underground yet and we only made it part way through Ring of Honor so I will save those reviews for next time which seems like it is just around the corner now!