While WrestleMania remains my favorite wrestling event of the calendar year, the Royal Rumble is a close second. I always look forward to the Rumble, no matter what matches are on the card, and no matter what the WWF/WWE looks like at the time.
This year was no different. It's no secret that I haven't exactly been thrilled with the company, but to be more specific, with Monday Night Raw. Even with that, it's the Royal Rumble. Good times!
Now that the Rumble is over, I'm incredibly disappointed.
Hear me out.. it wasn't an all-time bad event. It wasn't even necessarily bad. I'm just disappointed.
It wasn't a surprise to see the World Title match opening the show. It also wasn't a surprise to see Mark Henry not really all that involved in the match itself. In a normal Triple Threat, Henry's injury could be covered a lot easier. He could be beaten outside the ring, and spend several minutes at a time out there while Daniel Bryan and Big Show could handle the bulk of the match. Inside a Steel Cage, however, it doesn't work as well. Henry can get beaten down, but he's still going to be right there, since he can't leave the ring. With Henry's injury and the Cage gimmick coming together, I knew this match wouldn't be long at all. I was right. The match barely clocked at over nine minutes. That's decent for a televised match, but for a Cage Match on pay-per-view, it's pretty bad. Again, it wasn't really anyone's fault, though. They were just dealt the last-minute bit of bad luck with Henry's injury, and they did the best they could with it. I did like the final spot, though, with Show at the top of the cage, holding onto Bryan, who was dangling on the outside of the cage, trying to pull him up and back into the ring. That was a cool feat of strength on Show's part. Of course, it would have been a lot cooler if he actually did lift Bryan back up and into the cage, but eh, I'm glad the "right" man won.
Daniel Bryan VS Big Show VS Mark Henry - Steel Cage Match for the World Title: 2 stars
We got a bonus match. Eight Divas. One match. Zero fucks. That was precious time that could have gone elsewhere on the show. Trust me, though.. you're going to read that from me again in this column.
Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox & Tamina VS Beth Phoenix, Natalya & The Bellas: Who cares?
Damn near everyone expected some sort of screwy ending with the John Cena VS KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE match. They figured the feud would be continuing after this, so there wouldn't be a solid, definitive victory for either man. That's what we got, with a double countout, but the match itself never really seemed to advance very match. It reached second gear on a couple occasions, but that's about it. The big story coming out of this is what happened after the match was over, as both men brawled backstage. As KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE had Cena beaten down, he found Zack Ryder's personal dressing room. Ryder, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a back brace, was pretty much defenseless. He was wheeled to the ring, and was eventually Tombstoned as a crying Eve looked on. The thing that really stuck out to me was that the Tombstone got a pop from the crowd. I don't know if it's because of the Tombstone itself, or if it has anything to do with people growing tired of Ryder, but it was a pop, either way. Cena finally recovered enough to make it back to the ring, but then he ate a Chokeslam for his troubles. Just when everyone was hoping KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE would go after Eve next, he left the ring, and that was that. Again, the feud isn't over, but this match was alright. It's another one of those matches that would've been good as a televised match, but as a high-profile match on pay-per-view, you can't help but be a little disappointed.
John Cena VS KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE: 2 stars
We got another "bonus" match next, with Brodus Clay taking on Drew McIntyre. At the time, I was really upset, because it looked like a huge waste of time. Watching it with the rest of the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable boys, we were expecting that both men would be participating in the Rumble itself, so this match seemed like precious time that could have gone elsewhere. I told you you'd read it again. Jumping a bit ahead of myself here.. neither man was in the Rumble, so that part is fine. As it is, this match showed me how important Brodus Clay is to the company. They wanted to give him an opportunity to perform on a pay-per-view, and for him to get yet another chance to shine. Was it still a waste of time? Honestly, yes. Brodus could have been in the #2 spot in the Rumble. He could have had his full entrance then, and could have had some one-on-one time with The Miz for a little while, and then moved on there. He could have had the chance to shine, and we wouldn't have needed an entirely different match, with yet another Drew McIntyre loss. From a kayfabe point-of-view, how in the hell did Drew get booked onto a pay-per-view?!? He loses a million matches in a row, is set to be "fired" every single week, and he still gets booked on one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year in a singles match? How.. how does that happen?!? Whatever works for them, I guess. A minute-long match on a pay-per-view.. goodness gracious.
Brodus Clay VS Drew McIntyre: No rating
When the WWE Title match was about ready to take place, and I saw people tweeting about how much time the match was going to get. I guess I was one of the rare to actually break down how long the Rumble would be, counting the pre-match video package and the introductions, because I tweeted that CM Punk VS Dolph Ziggler would be lucky if they got 15 minutes to work with. The match length? 14:32, according to another site. Words can't properly explain just how disappointing (there's that word again) it was to see that match get less than 15 minutes. I saw some people predicting, going into the show, that the match could/should get between 30-45 minutes. When you have Punk and Ziggler in a match, you know you're going to get quality, and this was no different, but damn.. 15 minutes? On top of that, the last few minutes of the match was nothing but a clusterfuck after a referee bump. Oh.. by the way.. in case you didn't watch, John Laurinaitis announced, before the match, that he would be more of an "outside enforcer"-type, while a regular referee would handle things inside the ring. After the referee was taken out accidentally, we got a couple minutes of Punk "winning" the match with nobody to see it, as Laurinaitis was at ringside, trying to revive the ref. Punk caused Ziggler to tap out, but nobody saw it. Punk then got a three-count on Ziggler, but nobody saw it. As Laurinaitis got himself in the ring, he was accidentally taken out, and that meant nobody saw another three-count that Punk got on Ziggler. Eventually, both referees were able to count the actual fall, with Laurinaitis sliding in to handle the final two counts, perhaps as an attempt to show Triple H that he could count the fall to give CM Punk the win. This was just another match that seemed to fit better as a match on television than as a match on pay-per-view. Had this exact match been on Raw, people would be calling it a four-star match, and perhaps even more, because it would be better than expected. As I've already mentioned, this one was a disappointment to an extreme level. I hope this doesn't knock Ziggler back down the card too far, but I can't help but feel this is the end of the feud for the time being.
CM Punk VS Dolph Ziggler - Singles Match for the WWE Title: 3 stars
Ahh, the Royal Rumble match. I hated it.
Alright, maybe "hate" is a strong word, but holy shit, that was a bad match. Let's look at the "surprise" entrants..
- Ricardo Rodriguez, coming out to Alberto Del Rrrrrio's complete entrance, even driving into the arena in a beat up lemon of a car
- Jerry Lawler
- Great Khali
- Booker T
- "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
- Michael Cole
- My baby mama, Kharma, who had the audacity to lie to me and say she was just going to the store when she left the house this morning
- "Road Dogg" Jesse James
Throw in Mick Foley, who was already announced as a Rumble entrant, but was still "special", and that's damn near a third of the Rumble being filled by "outsiders", to various extents. That's quite the slap in the face for members of the WWE full-time roster that weren't in the match. It was also a failed opportunity for the company to bring some big names back in that could have legitimately competed for the Rumble win. Here's some noticeable names that weren't in the Rumble..
- Brodus Clay
- John Cena
- Mason Ryan, who was rumored to be receiving a push that would start tonight
- Jimmy Uso, who saw his brother in the match, but never got a spot for himself
- Mark Henry
Not that the addition of those names would have made this a five-star classic, but it would have added to the star power in the match. It was damn near an FCW Battle Royal at times, mixed with a Legends Battle Royal at other times. Just a mess. We continue to be trolled by Chris Jericho, who hinted that the "end of the world" would be coming at the Rumble, just like was mentioned in the return videos that aired for months before he came back, but nothing happened. It's now to the point where I'm seeing almost all of his fans turning on him. I know, I know.. he's a heel, he wants fans to dislike him, blah blah blah. That's fine. Being a heel is fine, but he's at the point where people just want him to go away. It isn't fun to boo him like it is with certain heels. If that's what his goal is.. good for him, I guess.
Don't get me wrong.. the Rumble wasn't all bad. The aforementioned Ricardo Rodriguez entrance was amazing. He was dressed as ADR, down to the trademark scarf. It was hilarious. Mick Foley and Santino having a staredown, leading to a "showdown" between Mr Socko and The Cobra, was one of those things that was so dumb and silly that you had to at least crack a smile. There was a funny moment when Booker T's music hit, as he stood up at the announce table, shocking Michael Cole.. even though Booker revealed, after he stood up, that he was apparently doing commentary all night long with no pants on. He had his sport coat, dress shirt and tie on, but from the waist down, it was just his ring trunks, knee pads and boots. The thought of him spending three-plus hours at the announce table like that is funny. Kharma's return was well-done. The crowd popped huge for her, and she looked like a fucking animal (as opposed to the usual, where she's just an animal when we're fucking), even landing a sweet-looking Suplex on Dolph Ziggler and then using pure power in tossing Hunico over the top rope. The "mini-match" we got with the final two, Sheamus and Chris Jericho, was full of intrigue and suspense.
That's it, though. Just a moment here, a couple-minute stretch there, and a moment here. Overall, the match was really hurt by the lack of star power and legit surprises (ones that matter, anyway). Stop me if you've heard these before, but it was a gigantic waste of time, and it was something that would have fit better on television. This came across as more of an everyday, run-of-the-mill televised Battle Royal.
Royal Rumble Match: 2.5 stars
Disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. Video package after video package after video package. Commercial after commercial after commercial. I'm not kidding.. the combined time that the company spent on video packages and commercials was at least 30 minutes. On a pay-per-view. That they'd like people to spend money on. That they have panic attacks over when they realize those people aren't spending their money on. For those of you that use my columns to form opinions on whether or not you should watch a show, know this..
At best, this show is worth buying on DVD when it comes out, if you're one of those that still likes to build your wrestling DVD collection. Under no circumstances would I recommend spending the money to purchase the pay-per-view replay. The $15-$20 you'd have to spend on the DVD would be worth it, but that's it. Based solely on expectations and hopes going into the event, this was one of the most disappointing pay-per-views since WrestleMania 27. It isn't just me having "high standards", either. I was talking to various people, from Negative Nancies to Positive Paulas, expecting a great event or expecting another "boring WWE event".. and most of them felt the show was a disappointment, as well.
I feel the need to point this out again, based on interactions I've had with some of the "mid-20s with no high school diploma or GED, living at home with no job and watching soap operas with their e-friends because they are physically incapable of making friends in the real world based on not having any positive male role models in their lives" people out there, but there's a big difference between a "disappointing" show and a "bad" show. I have seen some reviews calling it a "bad" show. I've even seen some that called it a "terrible" show, but I'm not going that far.
Now, we continue the Road To WrestleMania, with Elimination Chamber only three weeks away.
"Any problem caused by a tank can be solved by a tank."
2. Day 30 "Talk, talk, talk.."
I told you that I had something special planned for this week's Raw Running Diary, and here it is.. I got together with them Lords Of Podcast boys, and we did a live audio Running Diary for Raw. This will be best used if you listen to it as you watch the episode, but hopefully, you can find yourself entertained, no matter what.
If this is a success, we'll start doing this on a regular basis. I will say this, though.. we're going to be doing another audio Running Diary next week, but to let everyone "participate", we'll be reading tweets and Facebook comments. If you have something to say, tweet us (links to come) or hit me up on Facebook, whether it's a comment or a question. We'll try to incorporate as many things as possible, especially during commercial breaks when nothing else is happening.
This isn't the end of my "regular" Running Diaries. Not by a longshot. I just want to make sure I change things up in an attempt to keep things fresh, that's all.
Here are those Twitter links, in case you aren't already following us..
When the idea to do an audio Running Diary for Raw came up, I knew it would receive a mixed reaction. I knew there would be some that loved it. I knew there would be some who didn't necessarily care, but were happy to see me try to keep things fresh. I knew there would be some that couldn't access it. I knew all of this. Again, though, I just wanted to try something different. I've been doing Running Diaries on a weekly basis (sometimes up to three times a week, at that) for a few years now. It wasn't getting tiring or anything, but damn if I want to end up like other writers at LoP writing the same fucking column over and over for years on end. I know there's no pleasing everyone, and that's fine and all.
However, because people keep telling me they can't access the audio RD, for one reason or another, I'm going to give my really late thoughts on Raw in tonight's column. I've already watched Raw two-and-a-half times now, so unfortunately, this won't be a Running Diary. I don't want to sit through Raw for the fourth time in a 24-hour span. Let's get on with it..
- John Laurinaitis loading up the card right away. Obviously, he was doing it in an attempt to save his job, but he did it. That's the important thing. Within a few minutes of Raw being on the air, he had booked a Divas Title match, a big cross-brand singles match, a match between the WWE Champion and the World Champion, and then booked Raw's Elimination Chamber, even giving us a singles match for Raw featuring two of the men who would participate in the Chamber. That's a nice twist to things, when we usually get one match booked and announced ahead of time.
- Daniel Bryan's continued character development. Now he's approaching levels that the old version of CM Punk. Punk used to "preach" about his Straight Edge lifestyle, and now, Bryan is "preaching" about his Vegan lifestyle, with the results being major heel heat for both of them. It doesn't matter that there are legit physical benefits to being Straight Edge and being Vegan. Nope. Wrestling fans don't want to be "preached" to, and when it happens, they react negatively, even if it means cheering for someone like Jeff Hardy, who literally cut a promo telling kids that they should go out and try different things, just so they can make accurate decisions for themselves, and not based on what other people tell them.
- Sheamus' WrestleMania direction still being a mystery. Most everyone thinks he's going to end up going after the World Title at WrestleMania, whether the World Champion is Daniel Bryan or someone else that walks out of Elimination Chamber with the belt, but I like that he's keeping the mystery, coming out to interrupt a promo with Bryan and Punk, talking about the possibilities of challenging either man at WrestleMania.
- Randy Orton VS Dolph Ziggler. It was another chance for Ziggler to prove that he "belongs" in the upper tier of WWE's performers, and even though he lost the match, I think he did just that. He continues to show that he can have entertaining matches with workers of all shapes, sizes, and styles. That's something that can only bode well for his future, as the comparisons with an early-years Shawn Michaels only continue on. Orton has quietly had himself an amazing last 12 months, and the roll he was on in 2011 looks to be continuing in 2012. He seems to be getting crisper and smoother with his moves and transitions, which is strange to see for someone with as many years in the business as he does. His Superplex, as I've mentioned on multiple occasions, is a thing of beauty. I'm actually a little surprised to see the match end in a 100% clean fashion, though. Even with Wade Bar-ruh watching the match from his own personal skybox in the arena, I was almost expecting to see Vickie Guerrero and/or Jack Swagger get involved somehow, but it is what it is.
- William Regal's randomness. He was only on screen for a few seconds, but his line to John Laurinaitis about how he isn't doing so well because he has to keep his conjoined twin daughters locked up in the attic will go down as an all-time classic. I still laugh when I think about it.
- Brodus Clay continuing to bring something new to the table. I've said it a dozen times already.. every single time we see Brodus Clay on our televisions, we see something different. Maybe it's a new move he uses. Maybe it's a new color for his attire. Maybe it's a new dance move. Maybe it's a gigantic disco ball, hanging and spinning from the ceiling. He remains incredibly entertaining in his current role, even though he's only on television for a couple minutes at a time.
- WWE diving, head-first, into their new YouTube channel. I guess it makes sense, seeing as though the upcoming WWE Network has already hit some major snags and has been pushed back several months, with plenty of speculation that it will never see the light of day. With all of that happening, it left the company with plenty of time to build content for YouTube. On Raw, we got word that the new channel goes live tomorrow (Wednesday), and it will feature nine new shows. Well, one of them (Z! True Long Island Story) isn't quite new, per se, but it is appearing in a new space, and will probably feature a boost in production values, etc. I've already seen one of the new shows, and I like it. It's called "Inbox", and it features various WWE personalities answering questions from fans on Twitter. The debut episode was really short, but it featured the likes of Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, Alicia Fox, David Otunga and others. If the company is really dedicated towards keeping updated content on the channel, and maybe introducing new shows as the weeks and months go on, it should be a lot of fun to watch unfold. I like the idea of getting to know the WWE personalities as "real people", and not just the characters they portray on television.
- CM Punk VS Daniel Bryan. It was every bit as good as I would have hoped it would be for a televised match between the two. Counters, reversals, chain wrestling, submissions, stiff strikes.. this was an incredibly fun match to watch. It really showed the world, as well as WWE Officials, what type of match we could see if we got these two facing off at a pay-per-view, with no commercials thrown in to mess up the pacing and with more on the line. Would I have preferred to see a clean finish? Of course. However, with the WWE Champion facing the World Champion, you have to find a way to keep both men looking strong, so taking a loss on television, especially a clean one, could end up hurting a lot more than a "normal" loss would. Throwing Chris Jericho into the mix is easily the most progression he's had since he returned to the company, and now people can start looking forward to the heavily-rumored Punk/Jericho feud that's coming.
- Mike Tyson in the WWE Hall Of Fame. As I mentioned during the audio RD, I'm so happy for Mike Tyson. He's worked really hard to turn his life around, and he seems like a completely different man these days. I'm almost proud to see what is happening for him. It's no secret that he's a huge wrestling fan. He isn't like a lot of mainstream celebrities that appear in wrestling, just trying to get paid. Go back and watch his television appearances leading up to WrestleMania 14. Go watch WrestleMania 14 itself. He was like a kid in a candy store, loving every second of it. He was almost giddy at times. I'm really looking forward to seeing his speech this year. Expect him to get very emotional. He has a helluva story to tell.
- Beth Phoenix looking strong. The company needs.. needs, needs, needs, needs, needs.. to put a strong focus on Beth right now, building her and the Divas Title up. My suggestion of a Beth VS Natalya feud doesn't seem like it will ever happen, with how far Natalya has fallen in the last few months, but now that Kharma is back, there's a big-time Divas match ready to happen at WrestleMania, and both Beth and Kharma need to look as unstoppable as they can going into the event. Beth steamrolling through a two-time Divas Champion like she did, pinning Eve in 30 seconds, is a great start to that. Now we just have to hope and pray that this storyline doesn't get messed up in any way.
- The Undertaker is back. I know, I know.. but hear (read) me out. As I mentioned in the audio RD, this return sets up a different side of Taker than we've seen in a while. When it comes to his WrestleMania opponents, it's always him being challenged. Usually, he turns the requests down before eventually agreeing, and then we get a match. This time, it's Taker that is requesting a match, and now, with Triple H just walking away, effectively turning down the request, we could be seeing an extra-aggressive Taker, out to do anything he can to get Trips to agree to face him. It even presents an opportunity for Taker to almost obsess over this. Yes, he won the match last year, but it's all in how they looked after the match. Taker damn sure didn't look like any sort of "winner" when that match was over. It actually makes sense that his character would want to change that and try to beat Triple H decisively this time around.
- Wade Bar-ruh in a skybox. I have no idea what the point of him having his own skybox was. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. He's a WWE employee, capable of appearing at Raw for free, but he spent all that money to rent out a skybox for himself, so that he could stand up and watch Randy Orton's match? You can't say he wanted an up-close-and-personal look, because he ended up being much further away than he would have been if he came to ringside, or even if he stayed in the backstage area. It was just a dumb "twist" that was clearly done without thinking.
- Brodus Clay needs to bring more to the table. I'll say it again.. he needs to do more than just squash random jobbers in less than a minute now. He's getting over, sure, but that only goes so far. It won't take long for the fans to start turning on him at this rate. It's time for him to actually enter a feud with someone, and to wrestle longer matches. I'm talking about baby steps. I'm not asking for him to be in 20-minute matches. However, it wouldn't kill the company to place him in a feud with another midcarder and to place Brodus in matches that are even in the three-to-five minute range. An interesting scenario would be for Brodus to go after Jack Swagger and the United States Title. Hell, if the company wants to assume that enough people aren't paying attention, they could even have Brodus go after Cody Rhodes and the Intercontinental Title. Even in a kayfabe sense, it would make sense. He's winning all of his matches, so a shot at a midcard title is fitting. It remains to be seen if any of it happens, though.
- The Miz and his inability to cut promos. I have no idea what happened to him, but he can't get through a promo without flubbing at least one line to save his life these days. He literally messes up at least once with every single promo he cuts now, and that's not even counting the ridiculous overacting and the goofy facial expressions he does. I've said it before, but it's almost as though he thinks he's still on the Real World, pretending to be a wrestler, using a hair brush to cut promos as he stares at himself in the mirror. I did that when I was a kid. Chances are, we all did at some point. Some of us probably still do. He needs to realize that he is a pro wrestler. This isn't pretend time anymore. All of that extra ham and cheese is really weighing his sammich down, if you know what I mean. It's preventing anyone from taking him seriously at all.
- The Undertaker VS Triple H again. Even with everything I said earlier, I can't say I'm really looking forward to seeing these two at WrestleMania again. It was such a slow, drawn-out, boring match last year. This year, you're looking at another year of aging for both men, combined with possible ring rust for both of them. That's not a good sign. Taker didn't even look like he was walking correctly on Raw, and he hasn't wrestled in nearly ten months. How the hell is his body supposed to handle the physicality of another match if it can't even handle the physicality of not having another match? He'll be 47 years old by the time WrestleMania rolls around. He has almost two months to get his shit together, but so far, it doesn't look very promising. Also, with every year that Taker doesn't face John Cena at WrestleMania, WWE is missing out on a major money-making opportunity. Again.. Taker is going to be 47 by the time WrestleMania rolls around. Even if he faces Triple H and beats him, how many more of these matches can he possibly have in him? You're also missing out on an opportunity for him to face off with someone younger, like Sheamus, in an attempt to elevate them. If Taker were to face Sheamus at WrestleMania, Sheamus wouldn't even need to win the match to come out as a "made man", looking like a million bucks. WWE had better be absolutely sure that another round of Taker VS Trips is going to be a "draw", even with John Cena VS The Rock headlining the show, because they could really be missing out on a lot of things by going in this direction.
A-/B+. A fantastic show this week. Not a whole lot to complain about, and what there is to complain about is either something for the future, or something that didn't last very long, anyway. This is always the time of year that the WWE writers put out their best work, and perhaps this is a sign that 2012 will be no different. Definitely worth watching if you haven't already seen it.
"From the last plane to the last bullet to the last minute to the last man, we fight!"
4. Day 32 "Climb that ladder.."
I was browsing through the headlines today, as I do every other day, and one particular headline caught my attention..
"Possible Idea For MITB Match At WrestleMania"
I clicked the link, and the news had me feeling bittersweet. For those that missed it, WWE has scrapped the Money In The Bank pay-per-view idea, and will be bringing the match back to WrestleMania, where it began. However, this headline was about an idea the company is tossing around in creative meetings. It would feature the match at WrestleMania, but everyone in the match would be a former World/WWE Champion. Before I get into the rest of the column, let's list all of the former World and/or WWE Champions currently on the roster..
- Alberto Del Rrrrrio
- Chris Jericho
- Dolph Ziggler
- The Rock
- Jack Swagger
- John Cena
- Mick Foley (if you want to count him)
- The Miz
- Rey Mysterio
- Triple H
- Big Show
- The Great Khali
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
- The Undertaker
As you can see, there are plenty of options for that match, but some of those names need to be removed right away. Call it a crazy hunch, but I don't think John Cena and The Rock will face each other, one-on-one, at WrestleMania and also compete in Money In The Bank at the same event. Scratch them from the list. As the winner of the Royal Rumble, Sheamus already has a match set in stone for the Rumble, even though we don't know his opponent yet. Another crazy hunch tells me he won't be competing twice. Scratch him from the list. I must be some sort of kooky psychic, because I keep getting these hunches, and I'm getting another one.. The Undertaker's WrestleMania streak is going to be slightly bigger than an appearance in Money In The Bank. Scratch him from the list. Triple H is the odds-on favorite to be facing Taker at Mania again, so he won't be doing double-duty, either. Scratch him from the list. Just about everyone and their mothers is looking at Chris Jericho to be the man challenging for the WWE Title at WrestleMania, so he probably won't be pulling double-duty. Scratch him from the list. After watching Mick Foley in the Royal Rumble, and seeing him on ABC's Wife Swap television show, he seems to have a hard enough time walking around as it is. Placing him in a clusterfuck Ladder Match probably isn't the best idea. You might as well just put a bullet in his head at that point. It would be a lot quicker. For his sake, scratch him from the list. That leaves..
- Alberto Del Rrrrrio
- Dolph Ziggler
- Jack Swagger
- The Miz
- Rey Mysterio
- Big Show
- The Great Khali
- Mark Henry
- Randy Orton
That leaves 11 names for a match that usually involves six or eight people, so you could make the match and still have some big names available to compete in other matches on the card. That works out just fine. As I've said during the past few days, WWE seems to have problems with "star power", both in the Royal Rumble match, and then with Raw's Elimination Chamber match. Looking at that list of names, there wouldn't be a big issue with "star power", as you'd be looking at some major names involved in the match.
However, on the flip side of things, wouldn't it even further hurt the company's future, giving the MITB victory to someone who, chances are, doesn't really need it at all? For example, let's say Randy Orton won and found himself in possession of the briefcase. What would be the point of that? Orton's always at the top of the card, no matter what's going on. He doesn't need a MITB victory to get a shot at the World/WWE Title. He can pretty much get a title shot whenever the hell he wants to. Him winning MITB is what would be viewed as a "waste". This match should be used to elevate someone to the main event scene, even if it doesn't happen directly, and they still have to work to get there. It's basically opening the door for them. The door is open, but they still have to walk through to make it worthwhile.
We've seen main event names and former World/WWE Champions compete in MITB before. Hell, in all ten MITB matches, there has been at least one former World/WWE Champion competing. That's fine. I'm not saying the entire match needs to be full of midcarders and people who haven't been elevated before ("star power", after all). Putting the focus solely on former champions is a major problem, though, in my opinion. Just to make another list, look at all of the MITB winners..
- Edge definitely used his win to propel him into the main event. 11 World/WWE Title reigns later, he's going into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year.
- Rob Van Dam used his win to finally reach true main event status with the company.
- Mr Kennedy almost undoubtedly would have been sent to main event status if an injury didn't derail him after winning.
- CM Punk used his win to become a main eventer, and then did so again the following year, when people expected him to move back down the card.
- Jack Swagger surprised a lot of people to become a main eventer after his win.
- KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE is an exception to the rule, although he did use his win to give himself the first non-24 hour World/WWE Title reign of his career.
- The Miz used his win to become a main eventer, and went on to have a very solid title reign, which is usually a rarity for a first-time champion.
- Daniel Bryan is currently using his win to become a main eventer, when almost everyone expected it to become a failure.
- Alberto Del Rrrrrio used his win to reach the main event, as well.
That's taking a bunch of people that were at various levels of the midcard and giving them a first-class ticket to the main event scene. In my opinion, it would be a shame to see that focus spent on people who don't really "need" that ticket. I guess only time will tell if the change becomes anything more than just talk at random creative meetings, but I'm really hoping the company sticks with the tradition they've created.
"I call em (The Washington Wizards) the Bullets cause I want to shoot em."
5. Day 33 "Across the pond.."
10:30pm: Not even one second into the show, and I already like it better than last week's episode. The crowd in London seems ready to go, and the way everything in the building is set up looks nice. It isn't difficult to travel more, TNA. I'm not saying you should go overseas all the time, but damn, it's beyond time to get the hell away from the Impact Zone.
10:31pm: We're starting the show with TNA World Champion, Bobby Roode, and Bully Ray, and holy hell, the "You Suck" chant from the crowd is loud.
10:33pm: lol @ Bobby Roode saying it's glad to be in Ireland. Ahh, cheap heat. It always works.
10:35pm: Roode mans up and calls James Storm to the ring, and here comes his former tag team partner.
10:36pm: Before anyone can even say anything, Sting's music hits, and here comes "The Icon", to a very nice pop from the crowd. Three different entrance themes in one promo. Say it with me, folks.. clusterfuck!
10:38pm: Sting has booked the main event for Against All Odds, and we're getting Bobby Roode VS James Storm VS Bully Ray VS Jeff Hardy in a Fatal Four-Way for the TNA World Title. For tonight, Sting has decided to book Storm against both Roode and Bully, but in two singles matches. That's different. That's usually something you'd save for a heel so you could punish him, but Storm wanted it and is getting it. Whatever works.
10:40pm: It's time for our first match of the night, as Samoa Joe & Magnus are making their way to the ring. Magnus, as expected in his home country, gets a nice reaction.
10:41pm: Their opponents are the TNA Tag Team Champions, Matt Morgan & Crimson, but this is apparently non-title.
10:42pm: It's a Buckingham Brawl. Due to a coin toss victory, Joe & Magnus are able to both be in the ring at the same time, while the champions have to wrestle one-at-a-time like normal. Come on, TNA.. you can't keep overbooking matches like this. This is stupid.
10:43pm: Damn.. not only is Magnus over, but Joe is really over, as well. Joe's getting a great reaction. In fact, the crowd just booed Crimson when he went on offense. Wow.
10:45pm: ..and they booed Morgan, too.
10:46pm: Joe & Magnus win. Well, that was much shorter than I thought it would be. I love, love, love this crowd already. They treated that match like it was a main event of some sort. Good stuff.
10:48pm: Now it's time for Eric Bischoff to come out and "bless" us with a promo.
10:49pm: The crowd remains hot, at least.
10:50pm: Bischoff is calling his son out to the ring.. and here he comes. We're supposedly going to find out who Garett's trainer is here tonight, even though it's pretty obvious to just about everyone who that trainer will be.
10:53pm: Great job, TNA, having Garett take a phone call in the middle of a promo, to then tell Eric that his trainer is here and wants to see him (Eric) later on. The crowd was getting restless during the phone call, as it was just two men standing in the ring, not doing or saying anything, at least not into the mic so anyone could hear them. Well, that was a waste of time. They couldn't have just had them come out later to do one promo?
10:55pm: Time for our next match of the night.. X-Division Champion Austin Aries VS Mark Haskins in a non-title match.
10:56pm: Very loud "Austin Aries" chant from the crowd, even though Haskins is from England. That's like a slap in the face for him, I would think.
10:58pm: Everything about this setup.. the lighting, the number of fans in the arena, the stage.. is nice. Kudos, TNA, for doing this.
11:00pm: Holy.. fucking.. shit.. Haskins just went for a Shooting Star Press and Brock Lesnar'd himself. He damn near killed himself. On top of having a couple spots in the match where he didn't have smooth transitions, if he had transitions at all, he came within an inch or two from not only killing himself, but landing head-first on Aries' ribs, which probably would have broken several of them. Aries wins the match, and gives a very angry look at Haskins afterwards. I can't really say that I blame him, to be honest. Sloppy work by the Brit.
11:03pm: It's time for James Storm VS Bobby Roode. BEER MONEY POWERS EXPLODE~!
11:04pm: Even with the show taking place in a new country, the ring is still coming across ridiculously loud on television. It sounds like a bomb goes off, and all that happens is an average-sized human being taking a flat-back bump.
11:07pm: This crowd just isn't letting up at all. They're still hot for everything, yelling, clapping and chanting with every match or promo that takes place. Seriously.. fuck you, Impact Zone.
11:09pm: James Storm with a Hurricanrana from the top rope, and he dropped like a stone, nearly landing on his head. Would've been quite the newsworthy episode of Impact if two different people paralyzed themselves with botched moves.
11:11pm: Storm needs to cut back on the beer. His gut is getting bigger and bigger as the weeks go by.
11:13pm: After a distraction from Bully Ray, Roode is able to land a Spear and pick up the victory. That was a fun match. Good action, and an even better crowd.
11:14pm: After the match, Bully hits a Uranage on Storm, slamming Storm onto the World Title, and Sting makes his way out for the "save", of sorts.
11:15pm: Another non-title match, this time with Knockouts Champion Gail Kim facing Tara, who will be getting a shot at the title at Against All Odds. This will be the real test for the crowd. TNA crowds have given zero fucks about Gail Kim since she returned, so now let's see if this crowd reacts to her at all.
11:17pm: Nope. Not really. Ouch.
11:18pm: It's as if this match is taking place in the Impact Zone again. Probably not the best idea to have Gail on offense for the entire time, I'd say.
11:19pm: Hey, a crowd reaction for Gail! She poses for the crowd, and they boo.. for a second. It's better than nothing, I guess.
11:20pm: Well, the crowd reacts when Tara is on offense, at least.
11:21pm: Madison Rayne gets in the ring and accidentally hits Gail, leading to Tara hitting Widow's Peak for the win. For a Knockouts match, that was really solid. Not a huge surprise. Those are two of the more solid in-ring workers in North American women's wrestling today.
11:22pm: It's Garett Bischoff again. Somewhere, The Crow has just thrown his remote at his television.
11:22pm: Before an announcement can be made, Eric Bischoff's music hits, and he comes to the ring with Gunner.
11:22pm: Even though Mike Tenay already announced that Hulk Hogan was here.. even though Garett already told Eric that his trainer was here in the building.. Eric still acts shocked to the point of a heart attack when Hogan's music hits, bringing him out to a typically loud reaction.
11:24pm: ..and it's brawl time. I use that term lightly, though, because it's Gunner slowly walking towards both Garett and Hogan, and standing there like an idiot for several seconds as they go back and forth punching him in the head. So.. Hulk Hogan is Garett's trainer. That isn't really something to be bragging about, is it?
11:25pm: Alright, it's main event time. James Storm VS Bully Ray. Storm has already wrestled a near-15 minute match tonight, so it should be interesting to see how this one is booked.
11:28pm: Well, hello, Bobby Roode. Welcome back. The World Champ is making his way to ringside as we head to commercial. I guess he wanted a closer look.
11:30pm: Sting comes out to even the odds. lol @ him having a black cricket bat this time, instead of his trademark black baseball bat. You sly bastard.
11:33pm: This is the second time tonight that the fans have chanted for Devon. I don't know if they're quite caught up with the TNA storylines yet. They might as well be chanting for Spike Dudley at this point.
11:35pm: REF BUMP~!
11:35pm: Sting gets in the ring to prevent Roode from interfering.
11:36pm: Bully is distracted and eats a Superkick as the referee is conveniently waking up. Storm wins. Another good match. Helluva night for Storm. We go off the air with the heels arguing about the result of the match.
#ThankYouLondonWrestlingFans: James Storm VS Bobby Roode.. Tara VS Gail Kim.. James Storm VS Bully Ray.. An insanely hot crowd pretty much all night long.. The entire "look" and "feel" of the show, coming across as different and a "big deal" with the venue change
#FuckYouOrlandoWrestlingFans: Typical TNA overbooking for the Matt Morgan & Crimson VS Samoa Joe & Magnus match.. The announcement of Garett Bischoff's trainer getting two in-ring segments (two clusterfucks, at that), plus a backstage segment.. Mark Haskins continuing to be sloppy in every TNA match he's had.. Hulk Hogan, Garett Bischoff & Gunner in the same segment, combining to know a grand total of four wrestling moves and two facial expressions
"Slap that baby on the ass and call me Christmas!"
6. Day 34 "Keep the momentum going.."
10:00pm: Thank you, internet, because my DVR never likes to record things on Friday nights, for some reason.
10:01pm: We're starting the show with Teddy Long for an in-ring promo. He's here to announce the participants in Smackdown's Elimination Chamber.. Daniel Bryan, Wade Bar-ruh, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, and Randy Orton. Now that is a cast of characters I can deal with. Very nice.
10:03pm: Apparently Mark Henry has something to say, because he's making his way to the ring. He doesn't look very happy, but that kinda goes without saying at this point.
10:04pm: Mizark isn't happy about the odds, saying that he doesn't deserve only having a "one-in-six" shot at winning the World Title. He wants to be removed from the Chamber and be granted a World Title shot here tonight.
10:07pm: Not wanting to be ordered around, Teddy grows a set and stands up for himself. He removes Henry from the Chamber, and he also denies Henry's request for a title shot. Henry ends up putting his hands on Long, so Long suspends him indefinitely. Well, there's Henry's chance to get some time off. I like the move, honestly.
10:08pm: It's a shameful thing, Lobster Head! Too many limes! Too many limes! Getting into the ring with Peanuthead and Sexual Chocolate provides for some strange mix of foods! Things are just confusing at this point, especially here in Omaha, which is basically Beef Country! I don't understand your weird taste in dining, Aldo! You can't just be a simple person like me?!? This type of disrespect is something I don't want to deal with! I'm a District Manager! I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!
10:10pm: After Sheamus sends Henry packing with a Brogue Kick, he starts to cut a promo, but is interrupted by Cody Rhodes. Yes.. say it with me.. clusterfuck!
10:12pm: In typical Teddy Long fashion, he books a heel in a match against Sheamus. It's time for Sheamus VS Cody Rhodes, and that match is.. next.
10:14pm: Nice Beautiful Disaster kick by Cody there, using the guardrail to spring him.
10:17pm: After missing out an opportunity for the High Cross and the Brogue Kick, Sheamus takes a page from Finlay's playbook and wins the match with a Celtic Cross. Nice touch, giving him yet another finishing move to add to his arsenal.
10:19pm: Justin Gabriel is out for our next match. His opponent? Hunico, accompanied, as always, by Camacho and DA BYSICKLE~!
10:20pm: As Hunico cuts a pre-match promo, where half of what he said wasn't even into the microphone, Cody Rhodes (who was still at ringside) attacks Gabriel. It turns into a three-on-one attack, with DA BYSICKLE~! at ringside, but The Great Khali (!!!) comes out to slowly make the save. Khali nearly sends Hunico through the mat with his finisher. Well, that entire thing was kinda pointless.
10:22pm: It's Drew McIntyre backstage with Teddy Long again. Hooray. Teddy tells Drew that he should be thankful he still has a job. Jesus Christ, how many chances is this guy going to get?!?
10:23pm: Santino arrives on the scene, and he has another tag team partner.. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. They're going to be known as Santin-HOOOOO. Or, Santin-OOOOO. Get it? Get it?!? Just like that, Teddy gives them a match against the WWE Tag Team Champions. Doesn't take much, does it? I think I could get a match on Smackdown if I randomly showed up and asked for it.
10:26pm: Let me admit something right now.. I mark out for Santino's power walk. Is that so wrong? I don't think so.
10:27pm: Holy hell, Rosa Mendes is sexy. She's every bit as sexy as her Spanish is awful.
10:29pm: Ol Hacksaw remains over. I'll give him that much credit. The WWE Universe still loves yelling "HOOOOO" and chanting "U-S-A!".
10:30pm: Epico & Primo again. Again. What's the point of the division at this point? Epico & Primo defeating Santino and whatever random choice he has for a tag partner that week. That's all we're getting.
10:31pm: Next up.. Michael Cole conducting an in-ring interview with Daniel Bryan. Alright, this could be very interesting, based on their history together.
10:32pm: As someone pointed out on Twitter today.. it's weird that Daniel Bryan doesn't think cows are good to eat, but he doesn't seem to have a problem with them being turned into title belts that he can wear. Things that make you go "hmmm".
10:33pm: Cole admits he was wrong about Bryan, but Bryan basically sends him out of the ring, pointing out that this interview isn't about him (Cole).
10:35pm: Maybe I should have waited a couple minutes, because here goes Bryan on a "don't eat meat" speech, right here in Beef Country. That isn't going to go over well.
10:38pm: Bryan brings up the fact that it isn't fair he has to defend the World Title in a match against Big Show, who has failed on numerous occasions to regain the title. He has a point, actually. Show just gets title shot after title shot after title shot, and he doesn't have to do much of anything to earn them.
10:39pm: Bryan says that he'll take his complaint to the WWE Board Of Directors if Teddy Long doesn't remove Big Show from the Elimination Chamber, and as expected, that brings Show to the ring.
10:40pm: lol @ Show actually asking a kid if he wanted his beanie this time, after Randy Orton's daughter was afraid of him and refused the beanie at the Royal Rumble.
10:42pm: Show just called Bryan a "pompous, arrogant little ass" three times. THAT'S NOT PG, BIG SHOW!
10:44pm: Bryan got in Show's face juuuuust a bit too much, and Show snaps, beating the hell out of him.
10:45pm: Here I was, thinking it was impossible to look cute in a neck brace, but AJ returns and proves me wrong. Very nice touch with her getting in the ring, but recoiling in fear as Show moved towards her.
10:45pm: Show goes for a WMD punch, but AJ blocks it, allowing Daniel Bryan to leave. Another nice touch, this time with Bryan hugging AJ at ringside, only to look at Show with a devilish grin on his face. I love this booking.
10:46pm: Beth Phoenix and Natalya, warming up backstage, and Natalya farts. Twice. Yes, they're keeping this going. Poor Santino, though. He walked into the gas cloud once again. I hope his mouth wasn't open this time.
10:47pm: Tamina & Aksana VS Beth Phoenix & Natalya is up next.
10:48pm: Damn near by the time I was done typing that last time stamp, Beth pins Aksana to win the match. Beth leaves, and Natalya goes to lock Aksana in the Sharpshooter, but Tamina kicks her in the mug and then lands a Superfly Splash on Natalya for what seems like the 20th consecutive episode of Smackdown. No save from Beth. They're really burying Natalya.
10:50pm: Oh sweet mother of mercy.. The Great Khali will be taking Mark Henry's place at Elimination Chamber. WHY?!? WHAT THE FUCK FOR?!?
10:53pm: After a lot of filler, it's main event time.. Randy Orton VS Wade Bar-ruh, taking place on WWE television for the 954th time in the last three months.
10:54pm: Should I call him "Super Orton" again so I can get some fucking idiot leaving comments about me on someone else's column, even though their facts are about as ridiculously incorrect as can be? Sure.. "Super Orton" is destroying Bar-ruh here. Now, eat a dick. If you don't choke on the ball hair, go ahead and actually pay attention to what I say so you don't look like a toolbox. Also, grow some nuts and say shit to me. I've dealt with enough clowns like that this week.
10:56pm: Orton grabs a table as we go to commercial, looking to take advantage of the No Disqualification stip for the match.
10:57pm: We come back from break with Orton trying to Superplex Bar-ruh through the table, but Bar-ruh blocks, and it's Orton that goes crashing through the table.
10:59pm: Locking Orton in a Muay Thai clinch, Bar-ruh throws repeated knees to Orton's face. Nice. Very nice.
11:03pm: A beautiful snap suplex/slam thingamajiggy from Orton there, and then he wears Bar-ruh out with a chair a few times.
11:05pm: Bar-ruh reverses an RKO and hits Orton with a Winds Of Change slam for a two-count.
11:06pm: It's Orton's turn to reverse a move, this time reversing a Pumphandle Slam into an RKO. He hits a second RKO, but this time it's on a steel chair, and he gets the win. Very good match.
11:08pm: Backstage, Teddy Long announces Daniel Bryan will face Orton next week, which leads to Bryan heading to the ring and doing his "YES! YES! YES!" celebration in the ring, all while Orton is atop the middle turnbuckle celebrating his victory. lol @ the look of bewilderment on Orton's face when he turned around and saw Bryan there.
#ThankYouLoyalReaders: Mark Henry getting official time off to rest his body and recover from multiple injuries.. Rosa Mendes looking hot as hell.. AJ looking cute as hell, even in a neck brace.. The nice, subtle touches of AJ being afraid of Big Show, as well as the evil smirk that Daniel Bryan flashed to Show after the segment.. Randy Orton VS Wade Bar-ruh was a really good, long match.. Daniel Bryan's "celebration" to end the show
#FuckYouIdiots: The entire storyline with Drew McIntyre & Teddy Long.. The state of the WWE Tag Team division.. The "fart" storyline is continuing, for some reason
"I keeps one in the chamber, in case you ponderin."
7. Day 35 "Got the internet goin nuts.."
Because I'm running short on time, and I have a bunch of things to do tonight before Super Bowl Sunday rolls around, I'm going to be pushing the Power 25 back yet again. It won't be that big a deal this time, though, as I'll only be pushing it back to tomorrow.
Today, I'll be covering something that has been highly-requested over the last week or so.. WWE's new YouTube content. Hooray! WWE promised a whole bunch of new "webisodes" that would be debuting on the WWEFanNation channel on YouTube, and we've seen about half of the new shows debut already. While it's still early (again, only about half of the shows have debuted), I must say that I'm somewhat disappointed to this point.
The first show I watched was Inbox, and that was fun. Taking advantage of the company's new found obsession with Twitter, the show takes questions sent in on Twitter and has various WWE personalities answering them. It's an interesting idea, but what sold me is the fact that the personalities aren't in character as they answer the questions. We get to watch all of these Superstars and Divas wrestle on television and online all the time. Getting to see them in a different "role" is always fun. Daniel Bryan got a chance to shine in the debut episode, showing more of a sense of humor than he usually gets to show on Raw or Smackdown. The questions were pretty much "softballs", along the lines of wanting to know which city the company visits has the best food, or what their favorite late night snack is, so that might need to change for future episodes, but I liked what I saw. It provides a nice opportunity for the company's midcarders and people who don't make it on television as often as others to show some personality, and it also provides an opportunity to "humanize" the larger-than-life personalities.
Santino's Foreign Exchange was the next show I watched, and that one might have been the biggest disappointment. The idea of Santino hosting his own talk show, of sorts, is a pretty good idea. He clearly has some great comedic timing. However, a large portion of the debut episode featured him simply walking around backstage at some WWE event. No talking. No jokes. Nothing but him walking from one point to another. There was a nice minute-or-so-long stretch where Santino was talking to Nikki Bella, who was randomly playing pinball backstage, and that part of the show was funny, with an awkward comment about Nikki's (pin)ball handling leading to Santino fawning over her for a little while, but that's it, really. It was almost like an incomplete show.
Next up, Dolph Ziggler hosting a show called Download. Now, I've made it no secret that I'm a big fan of Ziggler's work, but this show just didn't work for me. The entire idea of the show.. sarcastic, wise-cracking host watches videos and makes fun of what's happening in said videos.. is played out already, in my opinion. It's something that has been done on television since I was a little kid, and was even happening before I was born. That's exactly what we got here.. Dolph watching a few videos and making sarcastic comments and jokes about each one. The videos are so tame compared to what we see on shows like Tosh.0 and Ridiculousness, so this show wouldn't really have the same appeal to people in my age bracket. Maybe for the younger audience, with kids that actually have parents who monitor what they watch on television, and won't let them watch shows like Tosh.0 or Ridiculousness. Those types of viewers might find Download worth watching, but I can't really imagine watching it every week, month, or however often a new episode will come out.
Outside The Ring appears to be a show that will feature various WWE personalities letting you into their real lives and what takes place.. wait for it.. outside the ring. Amazing, I know. The debut episode featured The Usos, and it had them cooking for us. They showed us how to make a traditional Samoan-style salad, as well as how to make a Samoan-style marinade for some barbecued chicken. They didn't sit there for 45 minutes, going step-by-step, with intricate detail, on how to make everything, but they did enough to give everyone the gist of it. For those who needed more details, though, they said to hit them up on Twitter, and they'd be glad to give the recipe out, which I thought was cool. This was another example of wrestlers getting to be themselves and loosen up a bit. Both Jey & Jimmy showed a lot of charisma and "mic skills" here. It's something that we've seen a teeny tiny bit of on WWE programming to this point, but not in a long while. Making things even better.. for me, at least.. is that barbecued chicken is fantastic, which means I'll have to give their marinade recipe a shot one day in the hopefully not-too-distant future.
I grew tired of watching Zack Ryder's show months ago, so I didn't even bother with checking out the new episode. He's supposed to be crippled now, anyway, so how much fun could his show possibly be? Is he going to do the entire show by holding up cue cards with words on them like some sort of bullying victim trying to get attention on the internet? Hmm.. now that I think about it.. I guess that makes perfect sense. Nevermind. Carry on.
I also didn't check out Backstage Fallout, because it's just quick interviews backstage after things happen on television. Someone told me that the debut episode was after the Smackdown tapings, and featured such hard-hitting questions as asking Natalya what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a Superfly Splash from Tamina. Groundbreaking. As I've said, we get to see these people cut promos and give interviews on television already, so watching a special YouTube show to see them do it some more doesn't really appeal to me, especially if stupid questions like that are going to be asked.
When the shows were announced, I was hoping that they wouldn't be three-to-five minute morsels on YouTube, but that seems to be exactly what the shows will be from here on out. Three shows (Superstar Toyz, Are You Serious? & WWE Presents) have yet to make their debut, but Superstar Toyz intrigues me, even with the company still being stuck in time, thinking that dropping the "s" at the end of a word and replacing it with a "z" makes it SUPER TOTALLY RADICAL DUDE~! After seeing brief previews for it, it seems to be something along the lines of the wrestlers showing off their cars and things of that nature. That type of stuff interests me. Back when MTV Cribs was a big deal, I'd only pay attention to the portion where the celebrities would show off their "rides". If we get that type of thing, it could be fun, but again, if they're only given a couple minutes per episode, that takes a lot of potential enjoyment away. I'm not saying each episode of every show should be an hour. God knows I'd want to stab Zack Ryder with a sharpened pencil if I had to watch his show for an hour. I just think something along the lines of 10-15 minutes would work out much better than what we're getting now. Maybe that will come in time, if certain shows become popular, so we'll see.
For now, though, my recommendation would be to check out Inbox and Outside The Ring, if you haven't already done so. Those two carry the most potential at this point. The ball is in your court, WWE. Make this good.
"I say, Jerome's in da house! I say, Jerome's in da house! Watch ya mouth! Owww!"