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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - A Farewell To Neville, The Jinder Joke Continues & Are Non-Wrestlers The New Part-Timers?
By Super Chrisss
Oct 11, 2017 - 12:15:47 PM

Tom Jenner rocks!

What a crazy past three days it’s been in WWEland. Since last Sunday night, we saw The Usos and The New Day put a definitive end to their amazing rivalry, a new United States as well as new Cruiserweight Champion crowned, the burial of Shinsuke Nakamura as a “once-in-a-lifetime” star, The Shield get the band back together, as well as the unexpected departure of The Man Who WWE Once Forgot – but then carried the Cruiserweight Division on his back for nearly a year – from the company. That’s right, folks. Following in the footsteps of his WrestleMania 33-season rival, Austin Aries, Neville has reportedly quit the WWE.

While Neville’s departure has not been made official as of this writing (early Wednesday afternoon), Kevin Owens posted a picture on Instagram last night with no caption: simply a shot of Neville and himself backstage at WrestleMania. Does anything else have to be said, really? Even though the exact details are unknown, the rumours floating around suggest that Neville was frustrating with his position in the company and – again, like A Double – quit out of frustration. Another thing worth keeping in mind is Neville’s last tweet (as of this writing) is him blasting WWE Shop for the bland, generic t-shirt they finally gave him. Let’s be honest: that shirt is bowling-shoe ugly. The King certainly deserved better than that.

On that note, many people are conflicted whether to support Neville’s decision or to berate him for it. While his motive for leaving appears to be on par with that of Aries’ (WWE probably wanted to go in a non-Neville direction moving forward with the Cruiserweight title), his actions are more reminiscent of CM Punk’s. As I’m sure you all remember as well as I do, Punk quit the day after the 2014 Royal Rumble, which forced WWE to re-write not only their plans for Raw that night, but for WrestleMania season as well. Why did Punk quit? To this day, no one knows for sure, but it was an accumulation of several factors which included working hurt, not being treated as a top star (despite holding the WWE Championship longer than anyone else in the modern era) and not being a fan of WWE’s booking. Punk felt insulted that WWE valued part-timers like Batista, The Rock and The Undertaker far above full-timers like himself and Daniel Bryan. And you know what? Punk was 100% right about that.

With that being said, you probably won’t be shocked to hear that #iStandWithNeville, just like I stood with CM Punk when he made his decision. While some people will say that Neville and Punk should have done the honourable thing by giving their notice and finishing up their scheduled dates (ala Austin Aries, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, etc.), I say that actions speak louder than words. If you’re unhappy at a workplace, you leave, you send a message. Punk leaving opened the door for Daniel Bryan to get pushed into the main-event of WrestleMania 30. For anyone who still wants to debate that, by the way, Bryan admitted in his autobiography last year that he was never supposed to be placed in that position, but Punk’s untimely departure largely contributed to the booking change, so there. The effects of Neville’s exit are already being felt, as Kalisto and Mustafa Ali are being positioned as the new faces of the Cruiserweight Division, opposite Enzo Amore, of course. But hey, let’s ignore all that and scold Neville/Punk for taking their ball and going home, right?

I’m going to miss Neville. He was awesome in NXT, had amazing matches as the leader of 205 Live and could have honestly been someone special in WWE’s upper midcard, especially as a heel. I hope he finds the same kind of success as Cody Rhodes did, as Drew McIntyre did, and shows WWE why they were fools for mistreating him. The WWE machine keeps on turning with or without him, so good on him for standing up for what he believes in and leaving with his head held high. Then again, how can you blame talent for being disgruntled when you have a WWE Champion who still hasn’t had a good matches since winning the title over six months…

But before I get to my semi-regular bashing of The Mahagarbage, I have some fears to share with you, my friends. Many diehard fans have been impatiently waiting for the part-timers to go away once and for all (for the most part). In 2017, did we really need Shane McMahon, Goldberg, Triple H and The Undertaker all wrestling on the WrestleMania 33 card? Especially when it came at the cost of one of their top full-timers – Dean Ambrose – being bumped off the main show at their expense? WWE needs to stop bringing back these full-timers to try and ‘pop’ ratings or the WM buyrate every year. Up until the late-2000s, did you see guys like John Cena, Edge and Randy Orton playing second fiddle to Attitude Era stars like Mick Foley, The Rock, or Stone Cold Steve Austin? Nope. Once upon a time, WWE had faith in their full-timers to sell WrestleMania. There was nothing wrong with bringing in a part-timer or legend or celebrity, but to have four out of the six performers in your top three matches be part-timers (like at WrestleMania 32 in Dallas)…that’s simply unacceptable.

Here's the thing. Many fans (myself included) believed that going into 2018 – and WrestleMania 34 – the part-timer supply pool was all but drained. Undertaker had seemingly retired at WM33, Brock Lesnar’s contract is set to expire next year, and it’s highly unlikely guys like Goldberg and Batista will be returning. With guys like The Shield (reunited or as individuals), AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, Braun Strowman, etc., WWE would no longer ‘need’ part-timers to help sell future WrestleManias.

Whoops! Wrong again!

According to multiple reports, it appears WWE will be going in a different direction for next year’s WrestleMania season. Instead of focusing on the full-timers – or even the part-timers – WWE seemingly has a new trick up their sleeve: booking non-wrestling personalities for ‘Mania! I’m not even kidding. There are heavy rumours that Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Rob Gronkowski could not only be appearing at next year’s ‘Mania, but WWE is actually offering them big money to compete in matches!

While I’m sure someone like McGregor could pull it off, much like how his last opponent (Floyd Mayweather) had a very entertaining match with The Big Show at WM24, is the future WWE envisions? Instead of taking TV time and Pay-Per-View spots away from their full-time rosters to accommodate stars from yesteryear, they’re going to award said time/spots to non-wrestlers. That’s just sad. With the exception of someone like McGregor – who is an A-lister and has proven he takes different types of combat/entertainment very seriously – what is the point of booking all these non-wrestlers on the biggest show of the year? You want to book a match between Conor and a WWE star for WM? By all means, do it. But don’t go overboard more non-wrestlers for the same show. You really think a casual fan will go, “Oh, I wasn’t sure about getting WM just because McGregor has a match, but if Ronda Rousey AND The Gronk are gonna be there, then I’m in!”? Hell no! You’re catering to the same audience! If WWE wants to bring in a celebrity draw for WM, then be my guest, but bring in one or two of them, not ALL OF THEM.

Speaking of WrestleMania, God help us if WWE will actually have Jinder Mahal walk into the event as WWE Champion. I know I’ve ranted on Mahal countless times before, but The Joke. Must. Stop! As various people have pointed out on social media, when was the last time the WWE Championship was on someone who had zero good matches under his belt? Probably The Great Khali, ironically enough, but at least Khali was over and his reign was brief. Jinder is entering his sixth month as champion and what does he have to show for it? Zero good matches, SmackDown attendance way down, and below-average TV ratings. Oh, and the destruction of Shinsuke Nakamura, of course!

Last Sunday was a must-win for Nakamura. It made no sense for The King of Strong Style to go over both Randy Orton and John Cena 100% clean in a month’s time only to lose to Jinder Mahal at two consecutive Pay-Per-Views. But that’s exactly what happened: Nakamura lost CLEANLY to Mahal at Hell in a Cell. That’s embarrassing. Much like Braun Strowman over on Raw, failing to win the world title at the most recent PPV has significantly hurt Nakamura’s career, to possibly irreparable lengths. We should be living in an era with Braun Strowman as the Universal Champion and Shinsuke Nakamura as WWE Champion…but we’re not. We’re left with a Universal Champion who’s M.I.A., a WWE Champion who is KILLING SmackDown, and two guys who were on the cusp of superstardom – but now feel like regular guys. Embarrassing.

WWE’s handling of Nakamura – the one NXT guy who six months ago, everyone was SURE couldn’t be fucked up by Vince – has me worrying for Asuka. Folks, it would not surprise me in the slightest if Asuka’s undefeated streak is over by 2018. Knowing Vince, he could have Nia Jax defeat Asuka on a random episode of Raw. After all, they spent over a year building up Charlotte as the undefeated queen of Pay-Per-View, only to have Bayley end her streak at Fast Lane and do nothing with that accolade. Based on that, Nakamura, and the fates of plenty more NXT call-ups, I am very apprehensive of Asuka’s future on the main roster. Hopefully my worries will be for naught, and Asuka will be booked well, but history is not on the side of The Empress of Tomorrow.

If I’m Triple H, how can I continue to sit back and watch Vince ruin so many of my NXT children who I spent months – even years – building up as top stars, only to see most of my hard work come undone in very little time. Triple H needs to step up and challenge Vince in regards to NXT call-ups from now on. Vince has to present HHH a long-term plan before promoting anyone from NXT. You really think HHH would have allowed Nakamura to get called up to SmackDown if Vince told him he would be losing consecutive Pay-Per-View matches to Jinder Freaking Mahal? Hell no! Vince is out of touch and it’s time for HHH to keep him in check, or at the very least, stand up for his NXT stars.

Oh, and if WWE really plans on giving us Roman vs. Brock and Jinder Mahal defending the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34, I’ll tell you right now that I’ll be watching something else that night, no matter what the rest of the card looks like.


YOUR Two Centsss: One week later, how are you feeling about Enzo as Cruiserweight Champion?

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