At this point I think everyone is aware of the lackluster house show turned Network special coming up this weekend on the WWE Network live from Madison Square Garden. Also this isn't the first ever house show that became a Network Special as during their overseas tour during the summer one of their shows in Japan were transformed into a Network Special called the "Beat in the East."
Now the background is out there I will say that unlike the previous Network Special the full card will air for this special instead of just airing some matches like they did for the Japan show. The reason for this could have something to do with the fact that this special will be in the US as opposed to in Japan like the last one was. Below is the card for the upcoming event this weekend at the Garden:
MSG WWE Network Special:
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs Big Show
Steel Cage Match for the United States Title:
(c) Seth Rollins vs. (c) John Cena
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
(c) Kevin Owens vs Chris Jericho
Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Also scheduled to appear are Charlotte, Team Bella, Stardust, Kane and Mark Henry. The reason why other top stars such as Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and more are not appearing at MSG is because WWE is running a live event at the same time in Maine, so WWE needs a roster for that event.
WWE Fastlane PPV has been announced for February 21st in Cleveland Ohio. Presale passcode is WWEPre.
Fastlane is of course the last Pay Per View before Wrestlemania. This past year's pay per view was highlighted by Daniel Bryan VS Roman Reigns.
For the last few years the ratings have been going up and down with no return in site to how things used to be which has been absolutely hurting this company and the business overall. For those of you who think I am just going to go with the idea of just saying that they need to do A, B, and C to change the company and making things good again. Well I am not going to do that, because I disagree with that logic and the truth is I think it will take a lot more then just changing a few things to fix how bad things have become. So this is the only time I will say that to fix WWE they need to return to a TV-14 rating, Make Cena Retire, or Let Hunter and Steph take over the company already.
Because well I already mentioned how I feel about those ideas and will not mention it again. There are other things that need to be fixed and other reasons why the ratings are how they are. Look I want to also mention that I don't believe the company is in bad shape as they are making money, but it's the ratings the are the problem. Since 2012 when they went 3 hours the ratings have been down and not where they were once, because of the amount of extra TV programming they have. Eric Bischoff even echoed the idea that two weekly show that go more then an hour every week is just to much and will overexpose the talent. For anyone who says oh that's different..... Nope it wasn't because Nitro was 2 hours and Thunder was 2 hours and they also had a hour every week for Saturday Night. Fact is their are 3 things that can be done in my book to possibly help fix things:
Mid-Card Revolution: the idea of being in the middle of the show means nothing anymore, because more often then not some Main event talent or former World Champion has that spot taken so even talents who were once the flavor of the month aren't given the time of day anymore. What about the days of Benjamin, Nitro, RVD, & Hardy or even Morrison, Kingston, Ziggler, and Mysterio those days are long gone I guess. As is the what it means to be the workhorse of the show and the company. I know about 6 of you probably said John Cena and those who said that would be like answering Hulk Hogan when someone asked about a workhorse on the 1990's WWF roster. The idea of working your way up the card is non-existent today and that hurts the product and the roster, because you see the same people of the time.
Lack of Depth: Good connection huh? The WWE has had a weak roster for years so much so that spring cleaning doesn't even factor in Main Roster talent anymore it's developmental people. The differentiation between top and bottom is non-existent because it doesn't matter the time you can see a main event talent on the show. WWE's current roster is overexposed and there are a limited number of people that the fans actually give two shits about. But then you have people with tremendous potential that can lead WWE into the future being shoved into the background and never seen or jobbing to the stars who are barley hanging on. The depth looks worse when your World Champion is losing to the man holding a title that is supposed to be a "mid-card" title.
No Character Development: Do you believe in any talent in the WWE? If you heard they were going to be making a public appearance somewhere would you go or would you just stay home? Truth is the reason for that is they aren't giving you a reason to care. The writers don't know how to develop wrestlers on a wrestling show, cause they are soap writers and have no idea about wrestling or what works. The Divas have no direction and very little reason to care about them, same with the World title picture. It should say something when it seems like the Tag Team division is the only place that this has been done with. I am looking at the New Day as they did a fantastic job developing the New Day and now they are one of the best things WWE have done in years. But the lack of character development makes everyone feel the same, look the same and act the same and makes nobody feel different. That is the issue with the WWE and well their are a lot more, but I am not writing a novel!
At a certain point every year the rumors begin to make their rounds regarding who the folks on the internet think will be getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the following year. I have also heard so much bull**** regarding this stuff over the last few months that it's not even funny. Where to start well how about "If worked for WWE then you should be inducted into the Hall of Fame." Last time I checked the Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame was actually located in upstate New York and not on a piece of paper in Stamford, CT. If they wanted to actually make a real building for the Hall of Fame then maybe expanding the reach of who gets inducted every year would be more logical, but until then not everyone deserves to go in.
Much like any other Hall of Fame their needs to be some grounds of what is a Hall of Famer and what isn't a Hall of Famer to be able to allow differentiation between the two parties. Yes it might offend some fans, but they were probably going to find something else to hate anyway so in reality you just sped up the process and also you might offend the person your saying doesn't deserve to reach the Hall of Fame. What I have to say to that is if you think you belong in this sentence "I am on that wall below Bruno Sammartino and Billy Graham. First if you don't who they are then you don't even belong in the building let alone in the Hall of Fame, but also if you never even touched the mid-card of a PPV then you don't belong in the Hall of Fame.
Below are the Front-Runners for Next Year's Class:
- Fabulous Freebirds
- Edge and Christian
Obviously nothing will be confirmed until at least around the Royal Rumble which is usually when the first inductee is announced. I think the next couple of weeks will give us a pretty good idea of who will be the "ticket seller" for this years show. But we will have to wait and see for sure right now it'd be just guessing.
If I could be honest for a second, last nights PPV was the first time I actually missed a PPV since WrestleMania and even though I may have missed it I still do have thoughts on somethings that happened at the event last night. First things first I will say that even though I don't totally agree with how the double title defense went hopefully this means they do have someone who will beat Cena and be made into a star like they should have did it the first time. But I will not say anything about Cena being US Champion, because honestly I don't really believe its a bad thing.
Charlotte vs Nikki Bella: though this match may not have been as good as the match they had on Raw, did it really need to be. Either way it has happened the future has officially arrived on the Main Roster and the new era for the WWE is about to being. Now is when the "Revolution" on the main roster should begin and get in full swing, because the past still isn't in control of the gold and the future is now in control.
Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell Match Announcement: Bombshell!!!! That is by far the only word I can use to describe this announcement that was made. To think that the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar will not only compete against each other again, but this time inside Hell in a Cell is Freaking Incredible!!!
Kane Returns: This my friends has been a long time coming, Kane got a transformation and it worked for a time it did. However, the transformation became outdated and the was right for Kane to return to who he used to be, and the monster he once was. If I had to guess Kane will get his chance one more time to feud for the World Title and even better it will be against Seth Rollins. The feud will right itself I mean it's been building for almost over a year and I also tend to believe the clock for Kane is winding down and this could be his last run. I don't know though we will have to wait and see what happens with that.
Final Thoughts: Overall it seems as though this PPV was a very solid show and was a lot more put together then the last one. Outside of the two top matches on the last show it seemed like a building block show and this seemed different. I think the outcome of every match benefited the participants involved and allows for certain feuds to continue past tonight and others to move past tonight seeking new directions. The feuds the I believe benefitted most tonight by winning were:
New Day vs Dudley Boys & Wyatt Family over Ambrose, Reigns, and Jericho
Those seeking a new direction the ones I am most excited about because of the idea the behold us:
Kane vs Seth Rollins for the World Title and John Cena once again US Champion
Night of Champions 2015
Neville & Lucha Dragons vs Cosmic Wasteland
I don't have much faith in this match due to everyone's past and the fact that every match thus far Stardust has lost so I don't have much faith anything will come of this match. Due to this feud being extremely one-sided and almost as never ending as Dolph vs Rusev. For me I believe that the Cosmic Wasteland need the win, but I don't believe they will give the heels a win even though they should. Neville & Lucha Dragons will get the win.
Dolph Ziggler vs Rusev
This feud has been never ending and not in a good way either, I think I can speak for a lot of people when I say that this feud isn't benefiting either party and needs to end. The only way I think this feud will provide benefits is by giving at least a Dolph heel turn, because he'd be so much as a heel. I honestly don't remember match wise which one of them are winning so I am just going to go with Dolph getting the win via accidental distraction from Summer.
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, & ??? vs The Wyatt Family
I got lost with this feud a long time ago and I still don't truly understand the point of this feud other then it worked when they were fought the first time so why not do it again. I'm totally unsure who could be Roman and Dean's partner as the list just seems to be never ending with possibilities. There is no doubt in my mind that the Wyatt Family need the win to help them build momentum and also it is Braun Stroman's PPV Debut so he should win.
WWE United States Championship Match:
(c) Seth Rollins vs John Cena
Though this isn't going to Main Event and also isn't for the richest prize as we have seen this entire year thus far that doesn't change anything with Cena. As John is still the man who gets the most time every show will hopefully put together a better match tonight then he had at Summerslam with Seth. I have been saying this for a while Seth needs to beat Cena to give his reign credibility and he needs to beat him clean. Tonight in this match that will be what happens as Rollins will retain the title.
WWE Divas Championship Match:
(c) Nikki Bella vs Charlotte
Even bearing in mind Nikki broke AJ's record that is beside the point now, because after their match from Raw on Monday the heat is on Nikki and this is one of the biggest matches that have ever happened for that title. Nikki has become the top heel no doubt and it is easy to see why, but it is time for the Revolution to begin and take full swing. Tonight Nikki's reign will end and Charlotte will walk out the New Divas Champion.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
(c) New Day vs Dudley Boys
For the first time in over a decade Bubba & D-Von are competing in a match on a WWE sanctioned PPV and that feeling is awesome. However, I will say it is too soon for them to walk away with the Tag Team titles and the build needs to simmer a little more. Much like we have seen the beginning and the makings of a Divas Revolution their is a Tag Team Revolution going on and it is great to see. The secret weapon at ringside Xavier Woods will come in handy for his team and will play a part in The New Day holding onto the Tag Titles.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
(c) Ryback vs Kevin Owens
I am very excited about this match, because of the possibility of Owens gaining his second title in the WWE and his first on the main roster. But I am a little nervous about the curse of the IC title hurting Owens if he does gain the title belt, the same curse that beheld Ryback and Daniel Bryan. All things considered we will see either a Dusty Finish or a new IC Champion. Though this might be going against my better judgment I pick Kevin Owens to win tonight.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
(c) Seth Rollins vs Sting
A match that I never though I would see then again I still never thought I would ever see Sting in a WWE ring let alone competing for the WWE World Title on PPV. Sting has been in wrestling for 30 plus years and though WWE doesn't count the last 10 because of where he called home they do count and Sting's incredible path continues tonight. If Sting walks away with the WWE Title he will not only be crowned as the oldest WWE Champion ever, but he will also tie John Cena with 15 career title reigns (actually he would tie Ric Flair with 16, but depends on how you count it) Either way I am picking Sting to walk out of the PPV the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
It was late last month when the wrestling world was turned on it's ear for the first time in a long by something that WWE did. To be more specific it was the night after Summerslam and the third in a row that WWE called the Barclays Center in Brooklyn home for an event. After a great weekend of wrestling the WWE delivered again with the return of by far one of the greatest tag teams in not just WWE history, but in wrestling history that being Bubba Ray and Devon the Dudley Boys. That right for the first time in a decade the Dudley Boys walked down that stage on WWE programming together and it was more then a welcomed site for the fans in attendance that night.
Then it was the early part of this month when Steve Austin's podcast return and his guests this month were actually the first tag team to featured on his show that being Edge and Christian. The night that Edge and Christian were to be on Austin's podcast we saw a backstage segment featuring the Dudley's, New Day and Edge & Christian. But only one team was missing from that segment and since the Dudley's have come back to WWE their names have been popping up a lot more then in the past. For the first time in almost 6 years the name Hardy is popping up on WWE TV.
Late last week rumors began to make waves that WWE has been sending feelers around to try and figure out if the Hardy's would return home. Though a lot of things have happened in the past with the Hardy's and WWE I would like to think the past is past and everyone can move on. I firmly believe that the Hardy's deserve one more run in the WWE before they hang in up and there is no time like the present. Right now nothing is confirmed or definite as it seems like it was just rumors or even very possible to happen.
Think about that segment I mentioned earlier, but instead of the New Day it was the Hardy's. It would be the first time in almost a decade that 3 of the greatest teams on "Modern WWE" were together. Nostalgia at it's best I do suppose!
The hot topic around the wrestling world at least one time during the year is always where will an upcoming WrestleMania be located. As you all know Santa Clara, CA had WrestleMania this year and Dallas has WrestleMania next year so one can wonder where will WrestleMania be in the future. Well three different states have apparently placed bids to hold a future WrestleMania those states are Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Orlando. Right now it appear that Minneapolis has at least one of the years locked down that being either 33 or 34.
The reason for Minneapolis is their is a new college football stadium under construction in the state which is the likely place the big even would be held. Also a WrestleMania has actually never been held in the state of Minneapolis which is incredible in my opinion. Keeping this in mind WrestleMania 24 in 2008 was live from Orlando, FL and WrestleMania 15 in 1999 was live from Philadelphia. In my opinion this makes going to Minneapolis a bigger deal, because it's a new market rather then going back to a market that had already been done.
Philadelphia has been hoping to land a WrestleMania for a while as they made "token offers" for the last WrestleMania and 32 which is coming 2016, but as we all know that didn't pan out. Rumor has at stadium representatives were very difficult to work with and treated the WWE very poorly. Even with all that has been both said and rumored it seems of the two WrestleMania's in question I believe it would more likely be the following:
WrestleMania 33: Minneapolis (College Football Stadium)
Note: These two locations are my predictions and not the confirmed locations for these WrestleMania's
WrestleMania 34: Philadelphia (Lincoln Memorial Field) ,
It started from out of nowhere following the shocking ending to his match at Summerslam, Seth Rollins was presented with a statue by The Authority or that's what was suppose to happen. Nobody expect Sting to be back especially for a World Title feud going into Night of Champions. But I guess WWE's lack of roster depth has finally caught up to them and they just ran out of people other then Cena to challenge for the World title and picked Sting.
Let's go back a remember how this elaborate angle began Seth's celebration was set to be the last segment on the show and that is when we would get to see his statue. The plans were in place and the statue was brought to the ring, but when Rollins pulled back the sheet covering what was suppose to be his statue it was reveled to be Sting. Sting came down and attacked Rollins and as The Authority and Rollins retreated Sting made his intentions very clear that wants a shot against Rollins for the one World Title that he has never won. Thus far I have loved the build up I just wish that they would realize Sting doesn't fit the mold of someone who can cut a great 8-10 minute promo, he's the guy who just on his name can get people to come to the arena and watch the show.
A few weeks before Summerslam I kept saying that Rollins has to win as a way to give his reign credibility, well that didn't happen. I think everyone knows Seth win one match and lose the other, who knows which he will lose and win. What we do know is that Sting is on the brink of history with World Title reigns and could make history at Night of Champions if he leaves with the World Title around his waist for the first time. Overall I like the feud I think in the end it will help both guys involved rise to greater success. A passing of the torch and giving the keys to the next generation or will it be one more run they have my attention don't squander it.
Last night on Raw we saw the Dudley Boys downright dominate Los Matadores in a little under 3 minutes. But what we saw post match well the only way I can put it is that it was No Bull! That's right one of the Matadores attack El Torito post match which means the Bull is being dropped from the group and I do believe the gimmicks are being dropped all together. The same Matadore that assaulted Torito was then beaten down by the Dudley's and put through a table, I think it's fair to say that this is the last time we will see Los Matadores on Raw at least for some time.
It has been rumored for a few weeks now that Diego and Fernando would be repackage with new names and a new gimmick after they have been Los Matadores for at least two years now. It is good to see that WWE is invested in talented wrestlers like Primo and Epico enough to want to repackage them for a second time, but one has to wonder will they gain anything. I really hope they do gain maybe some credibility, but I don't really don't see that happening even when they get repackaged. Not much is known about this right now and a lot of it is my opinion, but still a repacking is coming for this team. Will it help, let's take a look at what happened on Raw: