WWE Superstar and former member of the Shield
XTREME ENTERTAINMENT PODCAST
A PODCAST IN WORDS
IS TNA BOUND FOR GLORY OR BOUND FOR FAILURE?
Mr. Paul: Let’s start by looking at the show as a whole. Did you feel they did a good job of building the show as a major/ biggest TNA PPV of the year?
Mario: While they promoted the show well on Impact it didn’t really feel like their biggest show of the year. I felt that the card was a bit bland on paper and I thought it was going to be a 2 match show (Aces & 8s + the world title match), but the action was solid top to bottom with a few surprisingly good matches.
Mr. Paul: I agree, showing me some promos of guys talking about their favorite moments of Bound for Glory just wasn’t enough. The footage I saw of their fan access like event, I have seen better crowds at a bank teller. I just felt if TNA marketed the show properly, it would have gone down better. As lovely and sweet as Dixie is, I have to blame her, she has the experience and qualifications in marketing and PR related things. I just didn’t feel them promote the event like WWE did on a show like SummerSlam even.
Mr. Paul: I have to see to say the James Storm vs. Bobby Roode match was something that took me back in time. Felt like a wrestling match as apposed to a sports entertainment match. Does that make sense?
Mario: The culmination of the Storm vs. Roode feud was one of the surprises I mentioned earlier. Great match with both guys putting it all out there, I was happy that King Mo did not get too involved taking away from the match at hand. It also didn’t seem like everyone knew who this guy was. I have to agree that this felt like a throwback to the good old wrasslin’ days.
Mario: Another sleeper match was Samoa Joe vs. Magnus. These guys work well together whether it’s with or against each other. Also Joe stepped up the intensity putting in one of his better performances this year.
Mr. Paul: I have to agree, you know I am a big fan of Magnus and Joe doesn’t look like a wrestler, but he moves and works like nobody else can.
Mr. Paul: Where does Aces & 8’s go from here? So they are in the impact zone now, and Devon is a member, not the leader though, does it all seem to confusing?
Mario: Aces & 8’s where to start… This angle started off well, but it has dragged on for too long. Hulk Hogan’s over involvement has also made the story ridiculous at times.
Devon being unveiled as a member took me by surprise, and in a good way. I guess this explains how Aces & 8’s got access to TNA these past few months. Either that or TNA has the worst security company working for them. Devon in Aces & 8’s also gives Bully Ray a reason to work at the top of the card as a good guy instead of being relegated back to the midcard. I don’t know what to expect going forward but I hope their leader unveils himself and their agenda soon to keep interest going. Their matches have been solid but this angle is losing steam.
Mr. Paul: I am with you, it seems to be a pattern with TNA, they have good ideas, thinking back to the story with AJ Styles and Dixie Carter as well. Had me the 1st few weeks, then as you said things became too ridiculous for me. We have said this so many times, consistency is TNA’s biggest problem at this stage.
Mr. Paul: Main event, why did we have Hardy and not Bully challenging for the World’s Championship? They seemed to put all their eggs in the Jeff Hardy name and Austin Aries as a CM Punk copy that went wrong?
Mario: Whether we like it or not Jeff Hardy is TNA’s top babyface. He gets the loudest crowd reactions and sells the most merchandise. It probably didn’t hurt that his contract expires in March ’13 and they want to keep him happy. He was on top of his game at Bound for Glory. What surprised me was the Cena like reaction Jeff got, and it seemed to phase him before the bell rang.
In a perfect world Bully should have gone on to win the BFG series and his first title win as he has been consistent in the ring and has been the company’s top heel.
I think the Devon twist was planned in advance which led to Bully turning babyface and nixed from the title picture in the meantime.
Mario: I believe TNA often looks up north for inspiration and with the following CM Punk has being an ‘internet darling’ and cult status from his ROH days plus the breakout success fellow ROH alum Daniel Bryan has had, I guess TNA creative probably did think that they could capitalise on the trend by pushing Austin Aries. They did a very good job building A Double over the last year and based on his in-ring skills he deserved a run with the world title. It was a feel good moment that generated interest. CM Punk carbon copy gone wrong? Maybe but TNA now have an established main eventer so it worked out for them.
Mr. Paul: Final closing thought, was TNA bound for glory worth the PPV buy?
Mario: For die hard fans? Yes. It was a good night of wrestling. I don’t think they did a good enough attracting casual fans. Most didn’t even know about the chance to see the PPV in selected cinema theatres across America.
Mr. Paul: Yeah, that was a great idea in theory, but in reality, they didn’t market the event enough to get people into theatres to watch. I thought the pay-per-view did well as a wrestling show, but lacked for me as an entire package.
Mr. Paul: With all these older talent being used until they just about die in the ring like Sting, Hogan, etc, are we ever going to see mega stars be made in TNA?
Mario: The industry as a whole is currently struggling to make stars in this era. I believe TNA is trailing behind more so than others.
Mr. Paul: To be honest, I feel some talent like Eddie Edwards, Colt Cabana, etc have bigger names than some of the TNA talent.
Mr. Paul: Miz is no longer the intercontinental champion. Kofi won the belt on Main Event, why did WWE allow him to tout about the win before the show aired?
Mario: I think WWE let the cat out of the bag to promote WWE Main Event. I guess they wanted to stress that it’s a must watch show where titles can change hands. Tune in…
Mr. Paul: I actually didn’t care about the match when I saw Kofi won the belt, I like the thrill of the unknown when I watch wrestling. Is this show a throw back to Saturday Night’s Main Event of the past, now on Wednesdays?
Mario: I love Main Event. I enjoy the vignettes to get to know each star and the big match is given enough time to play out where it would be rushed on Raw for example. If WWE wanted us to tune in to see the title change and it didn’t work then I blame the perception of the value of titles these days. They have lost the prestige they once had. I would have gone out of my way to see Mr Perfect, Bret Hart or HBK drop the IC title back in the day. Kofi over Miz…blah!
Mr. Paul: That is so true. Things are just so different these days.
Mr. Paul: We talked about Saturday Morning Slam, have they done a good job of getting the shows over with kids? And is this show more meant for the babyfaces?
Mario: Saturday Morning Slam seems to be a ratings success for WWE so they must be doing something right. I love that WWE gives each show a unique feel. Raw is live action, must watch TV. Main Event is about story telling with commentary coming from the ring with vignettes and interviews. Smackdown has good wrestling featuring more of the younger guys. NXT has the WWE stars of tomorrow and the show is taped using unique camera angles. Then there’s Saturday Morning Slam with matches that’s not as hard hitting and features aimed at kids. They say WWE is spreading itself too thin but credit where credit is due when I tune in I know which show I’m watching (if that makes sense).
Mr. Paul: That’s a great point, and it’s a testimony to how far they have come as an entertainment company, do identify these different themes.
Mario: When it comes to Sheamus I am a bit biased. The fact that he was a made man and pushed to the moon a few years back because he is Triple H’s workout buddy did not sit well with me. I felt that he was pushed too soon then and I believe that it is still too soon. Then there is the current booking which is a bit strange. They are trying to build this guy to be the face of Smackdown and he looks like a monster in the ring but CM Punk made it clear that the World Heavyweight Title is second rate compared to the WWE championship. Sheamus then lost to CM Punk twice in champion vs. champion matches on TV in what I believe should have been reserved for PPV. This is where I agree with Steve Austin when he stated that the belts needed to be unified to give it more prestige.
On the other end of the coin Sheamus is connecting with the audience, has a great attitude and is working hard. Does this make him worthy of carrying Smackdown with a young and hungry roster with similar traits? Your thoughts?
Mr. Paul: Some great points there, Sheamus came at a time to me where they had given Lashley the push, and had he stayed a little longer, Lashley would have been champion in my mind. CM Punk came from ECW as well and became champion. So they attempted to give Sheamus that same shot. I was though unaware of whom Triple H works out with, but be that as it may. I preferred Sheamus as a heel, because he looks like a monster.
We always say in this business the best personas are extensions of the person playing it. Sheamus looks the part of a monster and he played it well. When he was WWE Champion I didn’t care about him at all in all honesty, but his feud with Triple H had me watching, some his best work to me. He is a hard worker and a constant, and he reminds me of Punk in the fact that WWE can use him for Comic Cons, and Talk Shows, Radio, etc. But Sheamus just isn’t ready for the spotlight yet, he needs to be put over better and be built over time.
Mr. Paul: Which brings me to the Hell in a Cell match this coming Sunday on PPV, The debate on Raw and the mocking of Big Show, makes me feel like this match on Sunday is not being taken seriously enough. Am I wrong?
Mario: I feel the same way. Instead of Sheamus beating an angry giant mowing through the competition they have made it less serious. My feeling is that this match is not the reason why people will be buying the PPV and it’s been booked accordingly.
Mr. Paul: Is Big Show a deserving number 1 contender?
Mario: Because of his unique statue and position in the business, the Big Show can be a credible contender on any given day. He is not the draw he once was so I don’t see him walking out of Hell in the Cell as champion. Then Sheamus has the Money in the Bank briefcase holder to worry about. It’s been long rumoured that Ziggler will win the belt and that might happen at the next PPV.
Mr. Paul: Yeah, I think Sunday Ziggler makes good on his promise, cashes in and leaves champion. Sheamus has held the belt too long now, and it clashes with CM Punk’s run, can’t have Sheamus being champion for three hundred plus days.
Mario: The idea behind the longer title reigns is that it establishes the title holder and supposedly elevates the title because it’s not being passed around as much. This Sunday could see either world champion drop their respective titles so I’m definitely tuning in.
Mr. Paul: I fully agree with you about long title runs, reminds me of back in the day. I just don’t see all the work they put in CM Punk to have him come short of one year as champ. Punk holds till the Rumble and drops to Rocky.
Mario: It’s what I want but WWE have booked themselves into a corner when Cena vs. Punk was at risk. Do they drop the streak or the long title reign?
Mr. Paul: You know my answer. Punk has been champion longer than Ryback’s streak. So I’m saying Punk. He has more to offer the company as well. He is the face of WWE, and is over like you can’t believe, even as a heel.
Mario: Again I am in agreement but many feel that Ryback beating Punk makes him an instant star. Even if they go down this route (which I hope they don’t) Ryback’s success is no guarantee based on WWE’s track record of pushing someone and then taking away the push to test them.
Mr. Paul: That’s a great point, I feel like Brock was the only guy that it worked for. However it’s a testimony to him, the real ass kicking beast.
Mr. Paul: Team Hell No and the Tag Team Division?
Mario: The fans have really caught on to this act. I believe that Kane is enjoying this run because after all these years he was able to reinvent himself plus the bonus of tag team wrestling is that it’s lighter on his body. Daniel Bryan however continues to show how invaluable he has become. These days he has the fans eating out of his hands.
I love the ‘rebirth’ of the tag division. I hope that they stick with it. The old tag team division was a breeding ground for future single stars. If I look back there guys like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith just to name a few were given time to grow as performers and when it was time to go solo they had years of experience.
Mr. Paul: I agree with you, Bryan has people doing what ever he wants. He says yes they say no, he says no they say yes. I love this team, but I am unsure about a masked demon clown, is it wrong of me to want Kane as a monster. Like when he returned masked?
I like the tag team scene, but how long will Cody suffer before he gets his moment? Or is he in the right place?
Mario: Cody is in the right place. We all know he is destined for a world title run but do they force the issue and let him take it from Sheamus only to have Ziggler cash in the briefcase. Or have Ziggler cash in the briefcase and Cody cuts his reign short? I say let Ziggler have his 15 minutes and while Cody is waiting he is helping his tag partner gain some experience.
Mr. Paul: I want to touch a serious topic before we call it a week here, and it might not make Punk fans happy. But following Raw on Monday, Zack Ryder once again complaining, he wants a television entrance, and JTG has had his moments as well. Did Punk’s speaking up about what he wants, etc set an example for others in WWE that if you complain you will get spots? The thing we need to remember is that JTG and Ryder are no CM Punk and Punk was a world champion before he started bitching about the system.
Mario: Punk is his own man. He went straight to Vince. He spoke up for himself and was willing to walk away from WWE as a result. He spoke up for others but its not his company. He showed that you don’t have to sit around quietly and wait. Since then others have spoken up in there own way. JTG bitching on twitter was not the forum. In hindsight it sounds like he didn’t speak to anybody behind the scenes to address his issues and took it upon himself to go public. What did he expect was going to happen?
I feel sorry for Ryder though. He was overlooked and got himself noticed via youtube with the help of CM Punk by the way and he got a push to the US title. We might feel that his run was too short but perhaps he is not what WWE wants right now. This is a show. The best man isn’t always the champion, sadly. Do they keep Ryder around on the card or do they park him and give a Seth Rollins, Xavier Woods and other an opportunity?
Mr. Paul: Well on that note, we end off this week. If you have any comments or answers to these topics or those you would like us to talk about, hit me up on twitter @Supercraz3 and we will be back next week with some more, let’s hope next week we can actually differ a bit more bud.