As I said in past articles, I’ve been writing like crazy for ProWrestling.net. I’m happy to be on the staff there and am pretty much getting to write whatever I would have written here for them.
To everyone who supported this blog, I thank you and I will try my best to get some content up here, but it may need to move from your daily site check list to a weekly one. DotNet is where I’ve wanted to end up for years and I’m privileged to be given such a great opportunity with them.
Given that we are a prominent source of wrestling news plus some super awesome commentary, I strongly encourage everyone to check out DotNet and stay tuned there for Pruett’s Pause and product reviews, along with some occasional live coverage from me. If you want to be updated when my columns go live on DotNet, follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
Last Thursday on TNA Impact, we got the payoff to the latest “They” saga. I say it was the latest payoff because this is their second “They” saga in about three months. Perhaps the writers thought paralleling the two was a witty idea, but it just seemed redundant.
Their original plan was to bring back the Main Event Mafia (as evidenced by the return of Scott Steiner), but that feel through on Sunday when Kevin Nash and Booker T made their returns to WWE (not to mention the rumored arrival of Sting to WWE). When this fell through, TNA decided to accelerate their already in place stroyline of turning Fortune babyface to combat Immortal.
Now, we can all sit around and poke holes in the story (which includes Crimson choking AJ Styles), but I would rather look at the positives than the few negatives. TNA is finally getting to the mission that they undertook during the 2008-2009 Main Event Mafia story. They are pushing their homegrown talent as babyfaces and giving the fans true TNA stars to get behind.
Maybe TNA will finally get their priorities in order and get back to the last time they were actually experiencing growth; in 2005 when they pushed their X-Division stars to the main event. It is a company in need of something truly new. The show as it currently is looks like someone put WCW 2000 in a blender and pushed purée. With Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett being prominent figures on the show, all we see is the same old thing we saw in WCW and from Bischoff in WWE from 2002-2006.
Would the Main Event Mafia have provided the same boost of excitement that Fortune can? Not on your life. Even waiting for the Fortune turn might have been a bad idea. They would have been the primary whipping boys of MEM until Immortal eventually won the feud. We may have a couple weeks of poor TV because of the Fortune turn, but after the initial explanation phase, we could have a hell of a feud.
Going into TNA Lockdown this April, we may actually have two quality teams feuding in a logical setup for the Lethal Lockdown match. It may look an awful lot like a replay of last year’s team Hogan vs. team Flair Lethal Lockdown, but it will be homegrown talent fighting as babyfaces against the invading heels.
If TNA continues to do the right thing, they may finally get around to correcting their failures from the Main Event Mafia angle two years ago. This is a prime opportunity for a reset from about a year of failure. Best of luck to TNA and I’m very much looking forward to seeing Fortune become the number one babyface force.
What kind of lame headline is that? I’m keeping it, but please be aware that I don’t like it (much like the “People’s Column” name I have finally been able to dump). Just when we thought WWE had nothing to create a buzz around the wrestling world to sell Wrestlemania, we got the 02-21-11 video on Raw Monday night.
I gave a short version of my thoughts on that in my Pruett’s Pause on prowrestling.net (I’m getting to Mick Foley status with all these cheap plugs), but I would love to throw out more long-form thoughts here.
First of all, there is the obvious. WWE is already advertising (through the Fresno Arena) that The Undertaker will be returning on 02-21. He is the only other man that that has worn a long black trench coat and black boots and would deserve that kind of buildup. The video was a little out of sorts to be the standard Undertaker comeback though. Usually Undertaker’s videos have the iconic gong sound in one form or another. They also don’t usually try to make Undertaker’s return a surprise (since he is the biggest star in the company and doesn’t need surprise build).
The video also has the distinct feel of the old Sting video packages that we saw prior to his 1997 return in WCW. If it is him, it will take a bit of a trick to bring back his old vengeful persona. Sting was nothing without being out for vengeance. Once he returned and claimed said vengeance in 1997, he meant so much less than he did beforehand.
I do have to wonder who Sting will face at Wrestlemania if he does come to WWE. Will they go with the dream match between Sting and Undertaker? That match won’t be pretty, but it could sell a whole lot of pay-per-views and tickets to a show that is in danger of underperforming. I there anyone else who Sting could face? Every feud I can dream up pales in comparison with the awesome visual that would be Sting and Undertaker facing off at ‘Mania.
If there is no return of Sting, then Undertaker’s option do not look super attractive. I like the Triple H match the most, but as ‘Mania nears, it seems like Sheamus is the more likely option for “The Game.”
What we do know at this moment is that there is some serious buzz around Wrestlemania that there was not a few weeks ago. If 02-21-11 comes around and it is not Sting, then WWE has an uphill battle in keeping that buzz present.
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Aright, so if you read my report on prowrestling.net, you know I had an amazing time at the ROH show last Friday. Sadly, I did not get photos with most of the wrestlers I met, since I didn’t want to be that super annoying guy asking for pictures. It really was the most fun I think I’ve had at a wrestling show.
If you can catch ROH (or any of the other major indies) in your area, I strongly suggest you go.
This is the ballroom the show took place in. You’ll see that it was just the standard carpet, no pads on the outside. The wall that you see someone standing against is where my buddy (shoutout to Dean!) and I ended up sitting/standing on our chairs for most of the show).
The All Night Express posing at the end of their match. A great team that had a not-so-great match against subpar opponents in The Cutler Brothers. I would get a chance to speak with ANX later in the night and I could not believe how nice they were.
Davey Richards as he entered and prepared to tear the house down with TJ Perkins. Another phenomenal performance that had me out of my seat for most of the match. This was the match of the night and may have been the best match I’ve ever seen live.
This show really was that good folks. I apologize for the lights being right in the way of my camera for the entire evening. I hope you enjoy this little blog bonus and I look forward to bringing all sorts of thoughts to this space in the future (as well as to Pruett’s Pause on prowrestling.net).
Hey everyone! If you’re waiting for my 10 Thoughts on Raw, I have a major announcement for you. That column is actually be ran as “Pruett’s Pause” on prowrestling.net.
I’m very grateful for all of the support that all of the blog readers have given me in the last few months and will make sure to continue to post here. Enjoy friends and I hope you like the new gig at prowrestling.net.
For notifications on when I’ve posted here and on Dot Net, follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
Welcome to my 10 Thoughts on the 2011 Royal Rumble! If you would like to see my real time thoughts on the show, check out twitter.com/itswilltime. Also, if you haven’t seen it already, my report on the 1.28 Ring of Honor show in Los Angeles is up on ProWrestling.net. I’ll be back later in the week with some additional thoughts and pictures from that show.
Now on with the Royal thoughts!
1. Aside from Elimination Chamber, I don’t like the idea of a pay per view opening with a World Championship match. I also believe that a champion should enter last all the time. Edge and Dolph Ziggler violated both of those rules.
2. Was it just me or did the Edge and Ziggler match slow down to a crawl whenever Ziggler took over on offense?
3. Dolph Ziggler sold the spear like he was shot with a cannon ball. Hot ending to this match with Edge pinning Ziggler with Christian’s Killswitch. If Edge loses the championship at Elimination Chamber, could we finally see Edge and Christian collide on a major stage?
4. The Miz and Randy Orton had a really nice main event style match. It wasn’t the standout performance everyone wants The Miz to have, but it was not a bad match. Solid is what I’ve come to expect from Randy Orton (aside from his awesome performance at Backlash 2004).
5. CM Punk’s interference came out of nowhere, but WWE has 63 days to explain why Punk did it and why he waited until the Royal Rumble to do it. If there is anyone that can bring Orton from solid to outstanding, it’s CM Punk.
6. The crowd seemed completely let down when Eve came out instead of Awesome Kong. Sad times for the new Diva’s Champion.
7. Seeing CM Punk and Daniel Bryan begin the Royal Rumble had me thinking of what ROH stars we could see do so in five years. My money is on Davey Richards and Chris Hero. Also, I don’t enjoy commentators using the phrase “marking out” when calling matches. It makes everyone remember that they are watching something fake. Why not say freaking out?
8. Nice moment from John Morrison with the barricade catch and jump to the stairs. That was the spot of the first half of the Rumble and will be remembered. I was hoping for Morrison to last a little bit longer in this match, but his time in the match was memorable. I only wish he could have been eliminated by someone to set up a ‘Mania program instead of becoming a victim of The New Nexus.
9. The section of the match dominated by The Nexus was really nicely done, but it came too early in the match for me. Will people remember it tomorrow when it was not highlighted in the second half of the match?
10. The Booker T and Diesel (Kevin Nash) surprises were both highlights of the night and perfectly done. They were effective without stealing too much of the spotlight. They kept the audience awake and involved. Booker’s reaction was especially surprising when Boston erupted for him. Could Booker T be coming back to WWE full time? What about Kevin Nash? He dyed his hair, which should last until Wrestlemania.
They super-sized the Royal Rumble, which means I can super-size my thoughts into BONUS THOUGHTS!
11. We went from a serious match with Nexus dominating to John Cena and Hornswoggle dominating just minutes later. This illustrates just what WWE sees as audience pleasing and appropriate. In reality it is neither. Kids may enjoy it, but it makes the wrestlers look weak to be beat up by Hornswoggle, which undermines the product and causes people to walk away from it.
Alright, so here we go again with some Royal Rumble goodness. There are so many questions hanging over this year’s show and the Road to Wrestlemania. We don’t have a clear main event going into Mania (although Cena vs Miz is a pretty safe bet). We don’t have a clear cut Rumble favorite as we have in the past. Even the surprises are predictable (Triple H, if it happens and others that have been spoiled) but the winner is not.
Without further ado, here are my Rumble picks.
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs Dolph Ziggler: I could see this match as the opener (short of us getting a throwaway tag match or a US Championship match) which is a little disappointing. However, this match could be the major coming out party for Dolph Ziggler. He will feel motivated in this match to put on the best show possible. He has never been in such a high profile position and this is WWE’s auditioning him for future main event status. I don’t see WWE pulling the trigger on Ziggler tonight, so Edge will retain. Look for this one to be the match of the night.
Diva’s Championship: Natalya vs LayCool: I don’t think WWE wants to take this championship away from Natalya. This match is on the card so we can breath between championship matches and so Melina wouldn’t get a PPV payday. Such is life in WWE. Natalya will retain and we could see Awesome Kong debut during or after this match.
WWE Championship: The Miz vs Randy Orton: I really could not see a circumstance where WWE would wan to take the belt off of The Miz before Wrestlemania. They need all of the mainstream publicity that they can get going into the biggest show of the year and The Miz as champion will be a big part of getting that publicity. How will The Miz win? He’ll pull off some sort of dirty trick that leads to Randy Orton falling prey to the Skull Crushing Finale.
The 2011 Royal Rumble Match: Last year, people were picking Shawn Michaels or Edge (with the John Cena and Triple H picks also in play). This year, no one knows. John Cena is always a major possibility. If Triple H returns, he has a great chance of winning (since surprises often lead to wins). Alberto Del Rio may just keep his word and accomplish his “destiny” of winning the Rumble. CM Punk and Wade Barrett both have a chance. Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler may show up in this match and have to be talked about as slight favorites. John Morrison has been pushed hard lately and may be the dark horse that gets a star making moment. Sheamus is a threat. The field looks to be wide open (and I hope I mentioned enough people here that I called the winner). I’ll go with the old faithful pick of John Cena. I believe his win makes the most sense because Cena vs Miz is looking like the obvious Wrestlemania main event. If Cena does not win, Alberto Del Rio is an easy number two pick to make. He could become a bigger star with a Ric Flair (1992) like performance tonight.
If WWE adds a Tag Team Championship match tonight, let’s go with The New Nexus winning the tag titles to make them look a little bit more intimidating.
I’ll most likely be tweeting some thoughts during the show (twitter.com/itswilltime) and will be back tonight or tomorrow with 10 Thoughts on the Royal Rumble.