Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Loose Cannon Fodder #9 [03.04.16]

We started this week where we should have ended last week and that was with the newest episode of ROH TV, only the funny thing is that I watched it after ROH14 and, well, there were a lot of plugs and promos leading up to the big 14th Anniversary so a lot of this was falling on deaf ears.     Roderick Strong was also still the TV Champion as he successfully defended the title we know he has since lost even prior to ROH14.    The idea of the title changing hands but not being caught up on television doesn't really bother me that much though because ECW would do things like this and I never complained.

War Machine defeated Brutal Bob Evans and Tim Hughes and I still think War Machine needs some serious competition.   Meanwhile, BJ Whitmer returned to action and in the main event The Briscoes challenged ACH & Alex Shelley though we all already know by now that at ROH14 we saw the Motor City Machine Guns reunion.    So it wasn't a bad show for wrestling but it was tiring to have all of the ROH14 hype when by the time I watched this show it had already happened.   I just wish they could do a wrestling show and not a hype show, but I get it, you have to sell your product and all.

There wasn't really a whole lot to be taken from this week's episode of Raw.   It feels like we're building to Wrestlemania and should be having exciting matches and segments with every second counting, but alas, we get more filler than anything else.   The Undertaker came out this week and basically said he'd do the match for Vinnie Mac but wouldn't be responsible for the condition in which he left Shane-O-Mac, the divas played dumb and, well, Dean Ambrose got a title shot against HHH for a date to be determined because just as with Smack Down! last week, HHH opened this show with yet another promo.

So someone please explain this one to me.   If Roman Reigns won a triple threat match at Fastlane to face HHH at Wrestlemania and both Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar lost that match (and will have their own match at 'Mania) but now Dean Ambrose is getting a title shot for whatever reason, shouldn't Brock Lesnar get a title shot too then?  Is this just another thing that they're taking away from Roman Reigns?   Sure, Reigns gets his title shot at Wrestlemania, the grandest stage of them all and blah blah blah. but if Dean Ambrose is going to get his on a Network special clearly Brock Lesnar should get a title shot on an upcoming Raw, right?  Just to keep things fair.  (I can already sense Paul Heyman drafting the promo speech)

Now for those not paying attention to the divas division, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks had to be friends when Becky Lynch's friends ditched her one-by-one (Why is Paige stuck on Main Event?) and then Sasha Banks basically decided she was better than her Team B.A.D. members so... I mean, it makes Becky feel like the kid no one wants on their team and Sasha Banks as the best diva in WWE right now, but yet, they're still having a match to determine a number one contender for Charlotte's Divas Championship.    And guess what?  All four shoulders were pinned down and the #1 Contender's Match ended in a draw.   A FREAKING DRAW.  

What bothers me more than this ripping off what has been happening between Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn in NXT is that both Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks are playing dumb, like they don't watch NXT.   Members of the WWE main roster spend time in NXT sometimes, they can go back and forth if you will, but the fact is that Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks haven't been on the main roster that long.   How uncomfortable was it watching them basically deny the existence of NXT?   The commentators are usually idiots anyway, but let's just hope this leads to a triple threat at Wrestlemania and it can end with a Four Horsewoman Hug that I for whatever reason want to see.

The next wrestling we watched after Raw also involved a title shot of sorts, divas and The Undertaker... Well, kind of, I suppose.    On Impact Wrestling we opened with Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode because, why not, Kurt Angle only has two more matches left in TNA so why not open with one of them.   Let's hope Angle-Lashley closes the show next week.   After Angle defeated Roode, which looked a bit like an Angle-Benoit match, James Storm came out then Angle said he wanted to see Beer Money vs. The Wolves and so they came out as well.    Somewhere out there, Fandango is getting aroused because Kurt Angle was chugging milk for some reason and I wonder why I'm watching Impact but I know/hope it can only get better from here.

Seeing the in ring debut of Jimmy Havoc on Impact this week was nice, even if he lost in a hardcore type of match to Abyss.    If you search for Jimmy Havoc on Google (Which I did) you'll likely also find the image I did where he is dressed like Reservoir Dogs and is with a Prince Devitt dressed as The Joker.   Could Jimmy Havoc be the Finn Balor of TNA?  I don't know, but they need to build some new stars because I'm not sure if they're truly lacking in them or just refusing to push new talent.   Either way, seeing Jimmy Havoc instead of someone Abyss has already destroyed in hardcore matches a hundred times before was a nice touch.

I'm not really sure what Maria and Gail Kim did together in WWE because I try to block anything involving Maria from my memory, but this is so much different from what TNA is doing with The Decay because it just feels like rehashed WWE nonsense that TNA is supposed to be better than because they have the knockouts and not divas and when you remember that Mia Yim is on the TNA roster and they could hire a number of other talented women, Maria doesn't really need to wrestle, does she?    I mean, geez, bring in the rest of The Kingdom, then bring back ODB and The Briscoes.  Or, you know, TNA, you could just SHOW US SOMETHING NEW FOR ONCE.

Really, there should be women who are valets and women who wrestle so let's leave Maria as a valet, yeah?   But then this took a turn for the better, as Jade attacked Gail Kim and apparently that is the next title program for Gail Kim, which I actually couldn't be happier about.   The funny thing is, Gail Kim is the fan-favorite, right, but I don't want to see Maria fight her (and Maria doesn't want to fight her, though Gail Kim does want to fight Maria) and I am kind of hoping Jade becomes Knockouts Champion.    This is how you know your division is in trouble, people, but at least TNA has hope in Jade.    WWE has Charlotte holding their title I hope she'll lose and, yeah, Sasha Banks would be a nice champion and all but I am in no way as big a fan of Sasha Banks as I am of Mia Yim.

Speaking of "new", Eric Young defended the King of the Mountain Title against someone who looks like the lovechild of Drew Galloway and Shrek and yet in some way also reminds me of Rusev.    He could either go to ROH and join War Machine or he could stay in TNA and eat babies, but Big Damo (Who I had to google search for because I thought Josh Mathews was calling him "Big Dray-bow" or something similar) will likely be in a tag team with Grado and facing Eli Drake and Jessie Godderz.

In a somewhat "new" idea as well, Mike Bennett defeated Drew Galloway.  I think it's good for Mike Bennett to get the win and ideally I'd love to see Drew Galloway put his briefcase on the line against Bennett and have Bennett win it.    The commentators have already noted that the briefcase is damaged because of what Mike Bennett did to it, so why not put it on the line in a match?  What is the other option- have Drew Galloway try to conquer the massive heel known as Matt Hardy when he couldn't best EC3?   Bennett being a heel and Matt Hardy being a heel makes for a more interesting match up as well, should the two somehow meet if/when Mike Bennett gets the briefcase from Galloway, but yeah, let's just hope that's where TNA is going with this (Galloway gets so frustrated over losing he'll do anything to fight Bennett again who gives him the "What do I have left to prove?" treatment, you know the rest)

Impact for next week was heavily hyped as the tag team titles on the line as discussed in the opening of the show takes place plus Kurt Angle's last match... in TNA.   I kept thinking that Kurt Angle was retiring from the ring and this was his "retirement" tour in that sense, but he actually is just leaving TNA.   So he could come back to WWE, he could go to ROH or he could just not wrestle for a while.   Either way, he's leaving TNA not all of professional wrestling as I was once made to believe by TNA.

We closed with an unsanctioned match between EC3 and Rockstar Spud, which hopefully put an end to the feud between these two.   It's kind of interesting now though to wonder where TNA will go with EC3 from here.   I imagine he could just continue to feud with Matt Hardy until he does get the title back as a "good guy" champion, but I don't know if EC3 should be or needs to be the guy to unseat Matt as champion.    All I know is, we'll probably be seeing the unlikely team of EC3 and Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy, Tyrus and Rockstar Spud soon enough.

NXT opened with the Vaudevillains defeating the team of Hugo Knox and Tucker Knight.   Even the commentators had to note how many tag teams there are in NXT right now and so it was nice to see the Vaudevillains going up against someone new rather than taking another win over someone like the Hype Bros.    I don't know what kind of future Hugo Knox and Tucker Knight have together but it was just good to see some fresh faces in a way.   I don't know why I was thinking about this the other day but I was, and I feel like WWE really has an advantage over other promotions (like TNA, Lucha Underground, etc.) because of NXT.   If WWE can keep, say, six active tag teams on their main roster and so can TNA, LU, ROH, etc. then WWE has an advantage that they can also keep six active tag teams in NXT to call up as they might need them.     It is an interesting system that you might want to keep an eye on because if something happened again where the Usos got injured... Well, actually, when they got injured the Lucha Dragons came up, so there's that.

But just look at that, if you will.   On the main roster, WWE has the tag team champions New Day.  Then, hopefully trying to get those titles we have The Ascension, Lucha Dragons, Dudleyz, Usos, League of Nations, Wyatt Family (because Rowan & Harper could still be a credible team), Prime Time Players (or are they broken up?), Social Outcasts (Should they count as two tag teams?) and now they've even made Y2AJ a team.   In NXT you have the Vaudevillains, American Alpha, Hype Bros., Dash & Dawson, Blake & Murphy, and really if they want to they can throw together someone with someone else and see if they work.

So now we move from tag teams to the women as Emma defeated Santana Garrett.   I'm kind of bummed they didn't give Santana the win here, but at least she got her own entrance and everything, which means she might be on her way to becoming an NXT roster member.    I'm still not sure why Emma and Dana Brooke are trying to mess with Asuka though.

As William Regal announced Austin Aries as the new signing in NXT, Baron Corbin jumped Aries from behind.    Baron Corbin seemed to justify this by saying "eye for an eye", showing he's upset that he was left out of all these matches between Sami Zayn and Samoa Joe, but really, if nothing else, Baron Corbin should be mad because here's a guy who will likely move up the roster in NXT and then get sent to the main roster in WWE before Baron Corbin.   It's just another guy going up the ladder faster than Corbin and it's a lot of what I typed about last week with Bull leaving and all of that.   I don't know if Baron Corbin will leave eventually or not, but I do feel kind of like if he was going to be ready and get that call he would have gotten it by now.    (There is no good reason why someone like Braun Stroman can be on the main roster though and not Baron Corbin)

Still, the idea of Austin Aries in NXT (and eventually the WWE main roster) makes me happy.   I was thinking about how WWE really seems to be taking talent from TNA, but in reality it's  more like they're taking former ROH talent with Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Austin Aries.  Now I can see why they're sort of partnering with EVOLVE-- because obviously Gabe is onto something and just has a way of developing talent that can ultimately benefit WWE.

Before the main event, Elias Samson defeated Steve Cutler in a match which we shouldn't have had to see.   Okay, I understand that Elias Samson is supposed to be this drifter who plays music or whatever and that also makes him a heel for some reason, but the reasons to dislike Samson have nothing to do with that.   Well, they do, but he's not getting the negative reaction a heel should, at least to me.    First off, he dresses like he was in that movie "Rock of Ages", which just makes him look ridiculous.    On top of that, why do we care about this guy who we are constantly told that we know very little about?   And so this week, he's put against a former United States Marine in Steve Cutler and Elias Samson wins?

If you want to make a compelling character in WWE what better storyline could you have than a former United States Marine?   People love to chant U-S-A! U-S-A!   But NOOOOOOO, Steve Cutler can't win or be the focus in this match because he doesn't have a guitar.   And Elias Samson has a guitar.    Even though he has yet to use it as a weapon in a match and Jeff Jarrett will tell you: if you're not going to use it to win then why are you carrying it to the ring with you?

Elias Samson is in many ways what is wrong with NXT right now (and there is very little wrong with NXT) but what is right with NXT is watching Finn Balor vs. Neville.   One day, these two are going to be on the main roster stealing the show at Wrestlemania.    It just feels like one of those things you can't deny and if this is the future of WWE then the future certainly does look bright.   I just wish the suckfest on Monday nights would move aside and let NXT become the now.  

We watched Smack Down! and two weeks worth of Main Event at the same time and I really believe that Main Event had more matches between the two episodes than the single episode of Smack Down! and that's probably not a good thing.   On the plus side, we got to see Tyler Breeze and divas on Main Event, including but not limited to Paige.  Seriously though, why is Paige on Main Event only now?

On Smack Down! there was some tag team action, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch ended in another no contest and then AJ Styles took on Kofi Kingston as well.     So here's how things broke down: Renee Young was interviewing Charlotte and her daddy when she informed them that it would be a triple threat at 'Mania but she said that she had been informed.   Who informed her?   Who is the Smack Down! version of William Regal?  I mean, HHH and Stephanie seem to have their own problems, so I feel like they're not making these matches as much, so who is that authority figure right now?   Does WWE need a Vickie Guerrero/Brad Maddox type??

Aside from the Divas Title match being set for Wrestlemania (which brings me closer to my Four Horsewomen theory, which my wife crapped all over by the way) we saw Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose- which will never get old- and for some reason Dolph Ziggler was celebrating a win over The Miz.   There are also a lot of tag teams on the main roster and it was noted that no one was quite sure yet whether Kalisto would be at Wrestlemania defending the U.S. Title or in a tag match with SIn Cara.

The main event of AJ Styles vs. Kofi Kingston was the type of match that, if given the proper time and build, could headline Wrestlemania one day.    I feel like for most of his time in WWE, Kofi Kingston has been overlooked because of his size but now with guys like AJ Styles and Finn Balor and even Neville and Dean Ambrose, I think it is very possible that Kofi Kingston could be a future main eventer and even become WWE Champion.   Regardless, what he is doing right now is fantastic and I think he's only going to get better as time goes on.

After Smack Down! we watched the new episode of Lucha Underground.   Sexy Starr lost to Kobra Moon, who is apparently the woman The Mack was so afraid of last week even though she looks like some video game character to me.    No, really, do you remember the wrestling game for NES called Pro Wrestling?  She reminds me of something out of that, which is cool in itself but hardly intimidating.

Prince Puma and Pentagon Jr. ended when Mil Muertes beat up both men (Can we have a triple threat for the title then?) and in a ladder match, King Cuerno lost his title to Fenix.   It's kind of funny because Cuerno wanted to cash in his shot at facing Mil Muertes but Catrina put him into this match with Fenix and now he not only lost the match and title but also lost his title shot with it.  

It was also announced that we'd have another one of those battle royals that isn't quite the Royal Rumble in three weeks time.    That should be interesting but I also hope that this time Lucha Underground uses it as an opportunity to showcase some new talent rather than having so many wrestlers in it who feel like jobbers.   With everyone seemingly hunting for Mil Muertes and his title- the way it should be- this season of LU seems to just keep getting better and better.     There wasn't even a lot of backstage content this week just a lot of good old fashioned wrestling.  

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