It's been a while since I posted a "What If?" column, but with Hulk Hogan getting heat over some comments he recently made about TNA, I figured it would be the perfect time to answer Rob Cullum's question:
"Ok so you're put in charge of TNA, Hogan and Bischoff are out - where do you start?"
That's right, folks. Imagine a world that Scott Steiner has been dreaming of for God-knows how long - a TNA without Hogan and Bischoff. They are not in charge, they're not a part of creative, they're not even employed - Hogan and Bischoff are GONE from the company.
Let's pretend the miracle takes place the night after Slammiversary this June, which means the next set of Impact tapings will be sans Hogan and Bischoff for the first time since late-2009, early-2010. Starting from there, where do I start as the permanent replacement for those two clowns?
First off, I would do what most people would do on their first night in charge - get rid of all the loose ends, all the people who bring nothing of value to the company, and are actually hurting TNA rather than helping it. Without blinking an eye, I would fire:
Some would say that's a controversial list of names, especially Anderson, who's fairly over with the Impact Zone; James, who is arguably the biggest "name" on the Knockout roster; and Devon, who is the reigning Television Champion. But let's face it: all three of them are simply shells of their former selves, and are taking television time away from more deserving individuals. The rest of the list is garbage - guys who have no business getting pushed, and need to go ASAP.
My next move would be bring back what made TNA so unique, in the eyes of many fans who wanted an alternative to WWE - an emphasis on the Tag Team, Knockout, and X-Division. As it stands, the current champions of each division are almost perfect - Samoa Joe & Magnus are becoming one of the best, thrown-together teams in history, Gail Kim (like it or not) is excelling in her role, and Austin Aries is Austin Aries - phenomenal.
However, the champions don't have any realistic challengers. Joe & Magnus had a mini-feud with The Motor City Machine Guns, but it seems to be over before it really got going. Gail has already defeated 95% of the Knockouts, so finding her a legitimate challenger won't be easy. Aries seems to be the only X-Division being used anymore, and he's feuding with Bully Ray rather than guys from his own division. In other words, all three divisions are a mess.
How do you fix it? Easy - give each division a fixed amount of television time every week. WWE's diva division is in the toilet because despite having a great champion in Beth Phoenix, she is sparingly used, and the divas rarely get more than five minutes of TV time every RAW and SmackDown (that includes entrances). I would instantly right that wrong by giving their aforementioned divisions between 10-15 minutes EACH to work with every week. This way, not only can the fans get into the non-main-event angles and storylines, but when it comes to Pay-Per-Views, it won't feel like a two or three match card with everything else being filler.
Speaking of TNA PPVs, I've made it clear in the past that I feel they're one of the company's greatest weaknesses. This is mainly because TNA treats Impact like a bigger deal than they do with every single PPV not named Bound For Glory. It doesn't take a genius to solve that issue - simply make the PPV worthy of purchase! TNA has already booked Bobby Roode to defend the world title against Rob Van Dam at next month's Sacrifice, so what should they do? DON'T book them in any kind of match other than a tag team match before then, and DON'T book them in a rematch the next night on Impact. TNA has a bad habit of making their champions retain on PPV, only for them to drop belts on a free, televised show. I would ensure that only happens once or twice a year, not seven or eight times.
Another alternative would be to reduce the cost of TNA PPVs. TNA is 100% aware they're not in the same league as WWE, so I would reduce the price for each PPV - excluding Bound For Glory - to maybe $20 or $25 per show. Sure, TNA could potentially lose money by lowering the price, but I can pretty much guarantee that more than 7,000 people would be willing to order a PPV that is half the price of a WWE PPV. Sometimes, less is more, and it could possibly put TNA in a better position, financially.
My final, major "shake-up" would be to bring back the Bound For Glory series over the summer and make it an annual tournament. Except starting in 2012, the competition will be limited to those who have never won a TNA world title in the past. This means people will be happy because guys like Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dan can't compete, but others will be annoyed that under-utilized guys like Samoa Joe and Aj Styles can't compete, either. The way I look at it, TNA will almost surely create a new star every year if they follow this formula. Bobby Roode probably never would have become a main-eventer if it weren't for the BFG series, and TNA could repeat this formula, giving the fans both an exciting series to follow, as well a new main-eventer. Everybody wins.
So, just to recap, here's how I would 'fix' TNA:
-Get rid of all the useless "talent"
-Bring glory back to the Tag Team, Knockout, and X-Divisions by giving them all ample TV time every week
-Give fans a reason to order Pay-Per-Views
-Make the Bound For Glory series an annual tournament
What do you think? Are my suggestions reasonable? If not, what would YOU do if given the power to fix TNA for the better?
2. Day 2
21:14 I hate living in Canada sometimes. Is it really necessary for RAW to air at 9:15 instead of 8:00 like in the U.S.? What are we, Australian viewers?
21:15 By the way, since tonight's show is three hours long, I hope you have some beer around to help you get through the show.
21:17 Not really a mixed response from the crowd for John Cena tonight, the boos are quite deafening.
21:19 So, Brock Lesnar isn't here yet, and the contract signing will have to wait? WHAT A SWERVE!!!
21:20 Johnny is getting some crazy heat right now, which allows - EDGE?!? - to crash the party? He just can't stay retired, can he?
21:21 That haircut really doesn't suit Edge. When it comes to classy hairdos, Christian has his number.
21:23 Edge slapping Cena's dad in the face was a great moment. YouTube it if you never saw it, highly recommended.
21:24 Edge is channeling some Roddy Piper in his promo, and to make it worse, he has a crazed look in his eyes - "Look at me!!!"
21:26 Okay, that was random. Pretty good promo from Edge to help get Cena motivated for Extreme Rules, but so unexpected.
21:30 First Cena and Edge, now Chris Jericho? They're definitely going with star power for the first hour, aren't they?
21:31 Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston? You guessed it - if given a decent amount of time, this should be fun.
21:34 Jericho doing the Hogan ear taunt to the crowd always gets a chuckle out of me. The man knows how to work a crowd.
21:35 BEAUTIFUL sunset flip from Kofi onto Jericho to the outside. Jericho was lucky he ducked his head in time to avoid being beheaded.. Goodness gracious.
21:41 I understand Cole and Lawler are trying to hype Jericho vs. Punk on Sunday, but their commentary is seriously taking away from this match.
21:42 What a great series of near-falls. No way Jericho will lose, but the drama is intense.
21:43 Jericho locks in the Liontamer, and Kofi painfully taps out. I don't think those two have ever wrestled a bad match against each other.
21:45 Fun little promo by Jericho post-match. It gets him more heat, and helps sell his match at Extreme Rules (not that either really needs a boost).
21:47 Nice recap of Lesnar vs. Jeff Hardy at Backlash 2002. Back when it was cool to cheer for Jeff and when he didn't wear clown makeup.
21:51 Ugh, it's the #hoeski.
21:52 Johnny has an opening in his new 'administration'. So in other words, Johnny is creating a stable? Call me crazy, but I'm intrigued.
21:53 HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GOING TO WATCH A BROCK LESNAR INTERVIEW? WHY CAN'T HE JUST CUT AN IN-RING PROMO?
21:54 Sorry about that. I was mad, bro.
21:58 LOL @ CM Punk and Josh Mathews' backstage segment. Those two have some chemistry together, believe it or not.
22:03 R-Truth and Little Jimmy are on their way to the ring. Well, at least one of them are entertaining - the invisible one, obviously.
22:04 R-Truth vs. Lord Tensai? Interesting. Truth isn't a jobber, so it's not that big of a stepdown from Tensai's victory over Cena last week.
22:05 I'm okay with Tensai's gimmick being Japanese, but he really shouldn't cut promos in the language, it seems so forced and in-genuine.
22:06 The "Albert" chants are loud tonight. #sigh
22:07 And now the "Yes!" chants are going. Good news for Daniel Bryan, bad sign for Tensai and Truth.
22:08 To nobody's surprise, Truth got dominated by Tensai. To almost nobody's surprise, Tensai still isn't over. Oh, well. Maybe next week.
22:09 Kane has a chilling message for Randy Orton? It's a shame; Kane was more intimidating when he didn't speak.
22:14 I honestly wonder if Kane's ring entrance scares little children. The music and iron man mask are cheesy, but maybe they work?
22:16 "As I watched you lay there, next to your unconscious father..." - #Pause?
22:17 No joke, that was probably Kane's best promo since his feud with John Cena.
22:18 LMFAO! Randy Orton kidnapped Paul Bearer Edge-style, tied and gagged to a wheelchair and all! Say it with me, #CONTINUITY!!!
22:19 According to Kane, he has no father, and he has no intention of saving Paul - despite spending weeks hunting for him on SmackDown two years ago.
22:20 Orton runs down and hits Kane with a lead pipe, sending Kane fleeing into the audience. Clever way to promote their Falls Count Anywhere match, I guess.
22:21 Wow, the first hour is already gone? That was surprisingly fun and painless.
22:29 Alex Riley - a snitch, now a heel apparently, but most shocking of all - still employed.
22:30 Punk was caught drinking a breuvage! He's such a rebel and a hypocrite! I knew it!
22:31 Super-hammy entrance for Del Rio from Ricardo Rodriguez tonight. Al Laiman must be loving this.
22:32 Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show at Extreme Rules is now official, but the stipulation is yet to be determined. Cage match would work best, imo.
22:33 Oh sweet Jesus, please don't tell me Khali and Big Show are going to start teaming together on a regular basis. No one wants to see that.
22:35 Two of SmackDown's worst in-ring workers are domianting two of SmackDown's better in-ring performers. That's #irony for ya.
22:38 Back from commercial, and Cole tells us we're watching a great tag team match. Somehow, I doubt it.
22:39 LOL @ Khali looking for a hot tag even though Big Show is lying in pain outside the ring. What a partner.
22:40 Del Rio taunts Khali, but Khali...doesn't care. Or maybe he doesn't understand Spanglish. Maybe both.
22:41 Just like on SmackDown, Rhodes applies a Figure-Four leglock on Big Show. If their match on Sunday is a Submission Match, StormDragonz called it.
22:42 Del Rio decides he's had enough and leaves Cody to fend for himself against the two giants. Three guesses who ends up winning.
22:44 You've got to be kidding me. Santino defends the U.S. title against The Miz in an Extreme Rules pre-show match on YouTube? The ****? Why???
22:49 LOL @ Jericho asking Johnny to strip Punk of his WWE title because he's drinking in the building.
22:50 A sobriety test in the middle of the ring tonight, hosted by Teddy Long? Meh, stranger things have happened.
22:52 Lesnar decides not to answer Mathews' questions and throws him into some backstage equipment instead. It's not poor Josh's night.
22:55 Did they really need to do a stretcher angle for Josh Mathews? I know they're trying to sell Lesnar as an animal, but come on.
22:57 Beth Phoenix is out to defend her divas title against Nikki Bella without any hype whatsoever. And people wonder why the division is in the toilet.
22:58 Before the match can even start, Eve comes out to turn it into a Lumberjill Match. Besides a few horny guys in the crowd, no one cares.
23:00 Black ref is the luckiest man in the world, he's always assigned the divas matches. He must know all the divas' phone numbers by heart. #Pimp
23:02 Beth looks like she legitimately tweaked her ankle there. For our sake, let's hope it's a work.
23:03 OH MY GOD. Nikki Bella is the new divas champion. I honestly believe Beth got hurt, and they changed the result on the fly. It was Nikki's lucky night.
23:04 Oh, and how dd she win? Via THE DIVA ROLL-UP OF DOOM!!!
23:05 LMAO @ Punk flipping out in his locker room, while Teddy Long looks on, clueless as ever. This has been one crazy night so far.
23:10 If I had a dollar for every time Teddy Long has said "please" tonight, I'd be a mega-millionaire.
23:12 Hah! From Punk dropping the title on the floor, to referring to the "WWF Universe", Punk doesn't look too good.
23:14 "I didn't see the line! The line's never there!" Punk = God
23:16 Detroit's Finest just got booed out of the ring. I thought everyone was a fan of Cops?
23:20 Uh-oh, Punk legit ****ed up the alphabet. Not because he's 'drunk' but because he mixed 's' with 't'. Oops!
23:21 Of course, it was a ploy all along, and Punk beats up Jericho, completely fine. I guess Punk's still the champion, and Riley is still a face? Okay then.
23:22 Sheamus vs. Mark Henry is up next. Hopefully Henry lasts longer than the last time they squared off on RAW (approximately two minutes).
23:23 I still can't believe they gave away Brock vs. Hogan for free on SmackDown nine years ago. Mr. Tito must be rolling in his grave.
23:28 For what seems like the first time in weeks, Mark Henry is getting his complete entrance on television. I'm sure he's thrilled.
23:30 Wait, what? Daniel Bryan is the special referee for this match? That's amazing. Well, at least Henry certainly stands a chance now.
23:31 The "Yes!" chants are deafening, but nowhere as loud as they will be in Chicago this Sunday. I'll admire Sheamus if he doesn't let it get to him.
23:32 It's true! Bryan is temporarily an official, so if Sheamus hits him, he's fired! Long live #Continuity!
23:33 Bryan just counted to three in under a second. That was impressive.
23:34 In an interesting twist, Bryan blindsides Sheamus and applies the Yes! Lock, which leaves Sheamus lying in the ring. Bryan finally has the edge.
23:35 Doritos is now promoting matches on RAW? I think I've seen it all now.
23:40 Primo & Epico are getting the jobber entrance because they issued an open challenge. Makes sense.
23:41 Zack Ryder and Santino teaming together? That's one of the most popular pairings WWE could have come up with, no joke. #****KhaliShow
23:42 "Let's Go Ryder/Woo Woo Woo" chants in full force tonight. I missed those.
23:44 The Cobra strikes! Which means Santino - AND ZACK RYDER - win! It also means the tag team champs lose again. At least they still have Rosa.
23:51 LOL, you can still clearly hear the "Let's Go Ryder/Woo Woo Woo" chants in the background while Kane is walking backstage.
23:52 "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" - Kane just killed Paul Bearer. That guy's nine lives must be up by now.
23:53 Still backstage, Abraham Washington points out that Epico & Primo need help, and they look like they might take him up on his offer. I'm down.
23:54 Hornswoggle should have been future endeavoured years ago. #JustSayin
23:59 Vickie Guerrero seems to have a never-before-seen dress every single week. That's not always a bad thing.
00:00 Ziggler and Swagger are both former U.S. and world heavyweight champions. They have no business jobbing to Brodus Clay in this 'handicap match'.
00:01 Hornswoggle looks like an overgrown baby in that Funkasaurus gear, no joke.
00:02 Vickie slaps Brodus, which got team Swaggler disqualified. She pays for it by getting but in the ass by Hornswoggle.
00:03 "I can't believe we just sat through that" - I agree with Michael Cole.
00:05 WWE cleverly edited out the botched Shooting Star Press by Lesnar from the clip against Angle at Wrestlemania 19. I can't imagine why though...
00:09 Okay, I've had it with these Brock Lesnar videos. We've seen this ****ing video FOUR TIMES since last Monday. FOUR TIMES!
00:10 Tonight's show has been pretty solid. It's a shame we've had to sit through Lesnar's on-air biography between every commercial, though.
00:13 John Laurinaitis is out first for the contract signing, once again without David Otunga in tow. I'm not gonna lie, I miss Otunga's coffee mug.
00:14 Isn't the guy shown on camera, dancing to Lesnar's theme, the same guy who mimicked Lesnar's entrance the night he returned? The ****?
00:16 Either Cena's planning a sneak attack, or he got cold feet. Nevertheless, "Let's Go Cena/Cena Sucks" chants have already commenced.
00:19 If I was a betting man, I'd wager good money Lesnar was bullied as a kid. Maybe the whole Be A Star campaign is what inspired him to return.
00:21 Lesnar wants Vince McMahon's private jet? No problem, he'll just have to share it with Triple H.
00:22 This might be the longest promo Lesnar has ever cut in, well, ever.
00:23 "Monday Night RAW Starring Brock Lesnar"? Judging by all the video packages we've sat through, I'd say that name is rather appropriate.
00:26 About ten minutes into the segment, John Cena is finally here. But he's not smiling or laughing, so he's in Serious Cena mode.
00:29 Is the crowd seriously chanting "Rocky's bitch" at Cena? That's not PG. I knew Cena should have won at Wrestlemania.
00:31 The table gets knocked over, but the two superstars don't trade blows. Lesnar ends up leaving, and there's no brawl. That was different, but long.
#ThankYouKristinaMaria The opening segment with Edge and Cena...Jericho vs. Kingston...Kane's promo...Paul Bearer being abducted and 'killed' AGAIN...Punk taking a sobriety test...Sheamus vs. Henry and Bryan attacking Sheamus post-match...Primo & Epico vs. Ryder & Santino
#****YouNickiMinaj Two dozen Brock Lesnar interviews and another dozen Brock Lesnar video packages...Khali and Big Show teaming together again...Beth getting injured and losing her divas title...Hornswoggle getting more TV time than Dolph Ziggler...The contract signing.
Grade: C+ Not a bad three-hour edition of RAW, much better than previous editions. However, the contract signing was a huge let-down, as they're putting way too much emphasis on Brock Lesnar. It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse as well.
3. Day 3
Writer's Note: For those of you who were expecting another collab with Skitz today, I am unfortunately riding solo this time around. Some things came up on his end, and I got busy as well, so we couldn't find time for each other (pause). Never fear, he promises to make it up to you fine readers next month when we preview Over The Limit, but in the meantime, here's what I see going down on Sunday at Extreme Rules:
WWE Divas Championship: Nikki Bella (c.) vs. Beth Phoenix
I was stunned last Monday night when one of the Bellas (Nikki, apparently) took advantage of a seemingly injured Beth Phoenix to win the Divas Championship, weeks before The Glamazon made history as the longest-reigning Divas Champion of all-time. Watching the match live, I thought Beth was legitimately injured, and they switched the finish on the fly in order to take the belt off her. Instead, Beth's ankle injury is nothing more than a work, and a way to put the belt on a Bella so they can re-start their feud with Kharma, who is scheduled to return to TV any day now. In a way, WWE did the right thing by saving the Kharma/Beth match for another day, as well as wishing to continue the Bella/Kharma feud that was teased about a year ago. On the other hand, Beth is being forced out of the title picture through no fault of her own, and we now have a match with a foregone conclusion at Extreme Rules. The question isn't whether Nikki Bella retains her title, but whether Kharma does a run-in immediately afterwards. I'm going with the latter. Sorry Beth.
Winner, and STILL WWE Divas Champion: Nikki Bella
WWE United States Championship: Santino Marella (c.) vs. The Miz
I'm so confused about this match. Why is it taking place on the pre-show and not the actual Pay-Per-View itself? Since when does WWE have pre-shows for any show other than Wrestlemania? Why is The Miz getting a title shot despite not being on television since the RAW after Wrestlemania? I just don't get it. Anyways, many people are going with Santino for the win, but I disagree. Giving The Miz the victory - and the title - makes a lot more sense than Santino winning. Santino has already feuded with Swagger, Ziggler (kind of), and Otunga. Apart from Lord Tensai, Santino has already defended his title against RAW's heel midcard. But if you put the title on Miz, there's suddenly a whole new batch of rivalries that open up. Miz vs. Brodus, Miz vs. Ryder, Miz vs. Truth (it's been a while since they feuded) - lots of possibilities. Besides, WWE management have wanted to take the title off Santino for weeks now, and Miz has nothing to do (again). I say put the U.S. title on Miz and have him drop it to a rising star, like he did with Daniel Bryan in 2010, before moving back up the ladder again. It's win-win for everybody - except Santino, of course.
Winner, and NEW WWE United States Champion: The Miz
Falls Count Anywhere Match: Randy Orton vs. Kane
Many people were annoyed when this feud didn't end at Wrestlemania. Even more people were pissed when this feud didn't end after their rematch on SmackDown. But get serious, people - if each man has one victory apiece, OBVIOUSLY there's going to be a rubber match somewhere along the way. To Kane and Orton's credit, they've done a better job building their feud than they did prior to Wrestlemania 28. And honestly, I don't now why people are so negative. Did they have a good match at 'Mania? Yes. Did they have an even better match the week after on SmackDown? I would say yes, they did. By that logic, their match on Sunday should be good, at the very least. Falls Count Anywhere will only add to the fun, as I'm sure they'll battle all over the arena, with many false finishes involved. In the end, you have to predict Orton will be getting the win, especially if the rumours of Orton feuding with Brock Lesnar in the near future are true. Bah, I for one am looking forward to this match.
Winner: Randy Orton
WWE Intercontinental Championship: The Big Show (c.) vs. Cody Rhodes
This Wrestlemania rematch is yet to receive a stipulation, but I wouldn't be surprised if WWE announces it to be a Submission Match on their website over the weekend. Whether they wrestle a gimmick or a standard match, I'm fine with it, as both men have a lot to prove this Sunday. Their rivalry since February has been better-than-expected, but I was greatly disappointed with their match at Wrestlemania. Hopefully they're given at least eight minutes to work with, and if so, these two could have a good match. The winner, however, isn't so easy to predict. Show is still early in his title reign, but at the same time, Cody doesn't seem to be moving into the world title picture in the immediate future so maybe they'll put the belt back around his waist. I'll play it safe and go with Big Show for the win, even though I would prefer to see Cody regain his gold on Sunday.
Winner, and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Big Show
Chicago Street Fight for the WWE Championship: CM Punk (c.) vs. Chris Jericho
This feud has been so great that it's a shame how once again it won't be the main-event. At Wrestlemania, Punk and Jericho put on a show-stealing performance, and if you recall, I gave that match a perfect five-star rating. Now, I've seen people rave about how their match at Extreme Rules will be even better because a) It's a Street Fight and b) It's in smark-heavy, Chicago. I have no doubt Punk and Jericho will bring their A game and show management why their rivalry should have been in the spotlight a lot more than it was. Since both men are two of my personal favourites, I'm not concerned about who leaves Chicago as the WWE Champion - I just want to watch a damn good match! But since I have to pick, I'll go with Punk once again retaining his title over Jericho. Punk has had the WWE Championship for so long now it's hard to imagine him without it. Still, a Jericho victory wouldn't surprise me either. The crowd is going to go bonkers for this match, you can count on that.
Winner, and STILL WWE Champion: CM Punk
2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c.) vs. Daniel Bryan
Oh, and the crowd will go nuts for this match as well. I think it's safe to say that Sheamus will be booed on Sunday while Bryan will be the crowd favourite. In many ways, I consider this feud quite similar to that of Christian vs. Randy Orton from 2011. Like Sheamus, Orton was positioned as the top face of the blue brand, and in his first chance at the world title, he was victorious. The problem? Both times, it was against an internet darling, and both times, the match was special for the champion. In Christian's case, it was his first-ever title defense as the world champion. For Bryan, it was hist first-ever Wrestlemania match. The fans were angered by both these title changes, and they sympathized with Christian and Bryan rather than embrace the new, babyface champion.
I see Bryan going down a Christian-like route starting Sunday. Bryan will come close to regaining the world title, winning the first fall, but Sheamus will end up winning the last two falls and retaining his world title. However, that won't be the end for D-Bryan, as he'll likely get "one more match" at Over The Limit, and he could regain his title then, before dropping it to back to Sheamus. In the end, Sheamus will win the feud, but Bryan will become a permanent main-eventer/top midcarder. The path to all of that begins this Sunday, in what should be a great match.
Winner, and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus
Extreme Rules Match: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
In yet another match which the crowd will be very vocal for, look for Cena to once again be regarded as the villain. While the build-up to this match has been rather rushed and one-sided in Lesnar's favour, I think there's little doubt who is leaving Chicago with his hand raised - Brock Lesnar.
The way I see it, Lesnar has no chance of losing on Sunday. He has been established as the number one heel in the company without wrestling a single match, and that credibility will be gone if Lesnar loses at Extreme Rules. Cena has lost to The Rock. He has also lost to Lord Tensai, a new-comer, if you will. If Lesnar is unable to defeat Cena on Sunday, in the eyes of many fans, Lesnar is beneath The Rock AND Lord Tensai. If Cena wins, all the hype for Lesnar's return will be unjustified. But if Cena loses, Lesnar is still the monster heel he was before he left in 2004, and Cena's character takes another interesting twist.
As for the match itself, I guess we'll have to find out if Lesnar really is out of shape and can't perform at the same level he did eight years ago. In that case, Cena might have a lot of carrying to do on Sunday, but hopefully I'm wrong.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Are you watching Extreme Rules on Sunday? If so, which match are you most looking forward to? If not, why aren't you?
4. Day 4
I have yet to watch Extreme Rules in it's entirety (**** working on Sundays), but I was fortunate enough to find a clip of the show's main-event on YouTube. Let me just say that Brock Lesnar and John Cena BROUGHT IT last night. Many people (myself included) weren't expecting much from the match, especially considering how out-of-shape Lesnar appeared when compared to his UFC days, or even during his initial WWE run ten years ago. But man oh man, he proved the critics wrong with a show-stealing performance, and even in defeat - which I still can't believe happened - Lesnar looks like the dominant monster he's been since day one.
Lesnar's Extreme Rules performance was impressive, but it's not what everyone's talking about. Nope, everyone is talking about John Cena and his future with the company. Many people are claiming he was legitimately injured during his match with Lesnar, while others say he was selling it as part of an angle. From what I saw, I think Cena did indeed break or dislocate his left arm or bicep, and the promo he cut after winning the match was ad-libbed, but not totally. Nope, I don't believe that Cena "broke kayfabe" and took the mic because he felt like it, but rather it was part of the script, except he improvised the content. I'm pretty sure Cena was supposed to wait until tonight's RAW to be written out of the storylines in order to take some much needed time off, presumably by a brutal ambush by Lesnar. However, Cena decided to "shoot" a bit instead, which I thought was cool.
To be fair, if anyone on the current WWE roster is deserving of a vacation, it's Cena. Since his push on SmackDown in 2004, Cena has worked his ass off day-in and day-out to help carry the company. Whether he was feuding with Orlando Jordan for the United States Championship, having an excellent series of matches with Edge in 2006, or trying his best to make stars out of Wade Barrett and The Nexus in 2010, Cena has always been there. Unless he was out with an injury, Cena was working the live event circuit, doing interviews, meeting kids via Make-A-Wish, and a whole lot more. When top guys like Triple H, The Undertaker, and Chris Jericho settled into part-time roles or went on hiatus, Cena was still there to provide star power and carry the company. Love him or hate him, Cena has been there during the good times and didn't quit during the rough patches.
If Cena wants to take some time off, now is the perfect time to do so. WWE is loaded with star power at the moment. CM Punk is quickly gaining momentum as the biggest face in the company, period. Brock Lesnar has returned, and will be sticking around for at least another eleven months. Randy Orton is back to full health, and is wrestling some of the best matches of his career. Chris Jericho is working full-time, and should be sticking around until the end of the summer. Sheamus has gotten over with every non-Daniel Bryan fan in the WWE Universe. Bryan has even become a main-eventer, and could become even bigger if WWE plays their cards right. Keep in mind that The Rock and Triple H are still available to wrestle when needed, as well as there being a whole bunch of midcarders ready for a main-event push, and WWE have a lot of name power to work with.
I'm sure the skeptics will argue that Cena taking several months off will throw the RAW storylines out of wack. So what? Cena may still be one of the biggest draws in the company today, but he is not the only draw. When it comes to television and Pay-Per-Views, he's almost always in the main-event, regardless if his match is for the world title or not. However, for the last several months, it's been CM Punk, the WWE Champion, who has been going on at last at house shows. And if you believe internet reports, his pops are one of the loudest of the night, and are quite often louder than Cena's (which was certainly the case when WWE stopped by Montreal last month). Keep in mind that WWE also have guys like Orton and Sheamus on the roster, who could help make up for Cena's absence.
Actually, if I was Vince McMahon, I would give Cena as much time off as he needed, and take a huge risk when he does return. Nope, not turn Cena heel (which will happen one day, I guarantee it), but do the other "unthinkable" - draft Cena to SmackDown. I know WWE teased the move last year, but as usual, were too chicken to go through with it, and sent Orton over instead. I'm sure they're already considering swapping Punk and Sheamus, but I would rather they swap Orton and Cena. Not only would it give Cena a whole new working environment, but it's the freshest thing for his character without turning heel.
Don't you worry - RAW will be fine without Cena. They have top, full-time draws (Punk, Jericho, Orton if he's drafted). They have merchandise movers (the aforementioned names plus Zack Ryder and Rey Mysterio when/of he returns). They have part-time names who could always step in for an angle if needed (obviously, I'm talking about Rock and HHH, the latter whom is scheduled to appear on tonight's show - coincidence?). As for SmackDown, even if they lose Orton, they'll be fine. Like I said, Sheamus has become mega-over with every fan who doesn't cheer for Bryan Danielson, Christian is set to return and rejoin the main-event any day now, and guys like Mark Henry and Albero Del Rio can step into the world title picture easily. Don't forget Kane, The Big Show, and the NEW Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, either. SmackDown is loaded as well, and if worse comes to worse, WWE could just end the brand split, which is hanging by a thread, anyway.
WWE can survive without John Cena. They could even thrive without him, as his absence would cause a huge change of plans. Cena taking some time off might be the best idea he's ever had.
5. Day 5
Writer's Note: For those looking forward to a Tweeting Diary today, well, there won't be one. After taking plenty of feedback into consideration, I have decided to go 50/50 with my review format. Starting today, I will be using Pros & Cons to recap RAW and Pay-Per-Views, and Tweeting Diaries to review SmackDown and Impact. This way, I can take a break from using the same format over and over, as well as doing my best to please everybody. Fair enough? Then let's talk about RAW!
CON: The Three Stooges Kick Off RAW
Kicking off the show with John Laurinaitis? Makes sense. Having him call out Brock Lesnar? Still makes sense. Letting Triple H come out and cut a long, long promo? Bad idea. For several minutes, I felt like I was trapped in a time warp, and I was back in 2003, when Triple H commanded the first twenty minutes of RAW with his presence, except this time, he's a face.
Anyways, this segment went on way too long, and the expected scuffle between Hunter and Lesnar ended up being replayed at least five times before the end of the show, which made me hate it even more. Also, Big Show, Sheamus, R-Truth, and Kofi Kingston should never form a stable together, as they looked like The Odd Family on steroids. In my opinion, a tedious way to kick off RAW that could have been used to give the Beat The Clock matches more time to work with.
PRO: The Miz Sets The Pace
I unfortunately missed their United States Championship match from last Sunday's pre-show, but I'm glad I got to see their rematch. It was also good to see The Miz back on RAW again and actually winning. As for Santino, he continues to have a crappy reign as U.S. Champion, as the majority of his televised victories are when he's defending the title or teaming with another superstar. Either put the title on someone else or book Santino better (although Santino beating The Miz on Sunday was a step in the right direction).
These two put on a decent four-minute match last night, and the right man won. With Miz getting a non-title victory over Santino and later getting his time beat, you have to wonder if these two will continue to feud until Over The Limit. If so, I'm perfectly fine with that, as they seem to have some decent chemistry in the ring and could engage in a fun promo battle before the Pay-Per-View.
CON: The Divas Division Is Still A Joke
Now let me get this straight. Beth Phoenix randomly drops the Divas Championship to Nikki Bella on last week's show so The Bellas can feud with Kharma in the near future. Then, at Extreme Rules, it was announced Beth was not medically cleared to compete, so a mystery diva would face Nikki instead. The obvious opponent would have been Kharma, but WWE swerves the fans and uses Layla instead, and she wins the title, in a not-so-bad match. Then, on last night's show, Layla beats both The Bellas in a five-second, triple threat match, and we learn later on that The Bellas are "fired".
If any of that makes any sense to you, you have earned my respect. If The Bellas are leaving WWE without facing Kharma, then what the **** was the point in taking the title off Beth in the first place? Honestly, I don't care anymore. I'm tired of being optimistic about the divas division. Wake me up when we get Kharma vs. Beth, Natalya vs. Beth, or Natalya vs. Kharma.
PRO: Jericho Beats The Clock...Or Does He?
On a brighter note, Chris Jericho did a good job selling the effects of his Chicago Street Fight with CM Punk last Sunday, and even the commentators did a good job pointing that out (more on Michael Cole a bit later). The only thing Cole and Lawler forgot to mention was Jericho and Big Show's past as tag team champions. It's a shame that those two never feuded after they dropped the titles, as unlike other tag team break-ups, the fans probably would have cared about a Big Show vs. Jericho rivalry.
The match itself was rushed, but with only four minutes to work with, you can't blame them. I LOLed when black ref missed his cue and counted out both guys, as you could tell by Cole's stuttering and Jericho's face that was not the right ending. Although, the botched ending did add to the drama, and it was a decent match to get through.
CON: The Funkasaurus Needs To Evolve
Okay, so Brodus Clay is coming off one of the biggest wins in his young career after defeating Dolph Ziggler at Extreme Rules, and is rewarded by...wrestling JTG. Honestly, how much longer are we going to endure Brodus squashing jobbers, week-in and week-out? The pairing with Santino and the mini-feud with Swaggler was the perfect transition for Brodus into a storyline, but it looks like he's back to square one. We already have Lord Tensai and Ryback squashing nobodies - we don't need Brodus doing the same thing. Come on WWE, you can do better than that.
PRO: The Viper Beats The Clock
Everytime Randy Orton and Jack Swagger square off in a match, the first thing that comes to mind is, "Poor Swagger". Since their Extreme Rules match two years ago, I don't think Swagger has got a victory over The Viper in the two hundred times they've faced off. But to their credit, Swagger and Orton's in-ring styles mesh well together, and last night was no different. Orton barely beating the clock was surprising, and didn't hurt Swagger's credibility too badly. This was another decent match that could have been great if given another three-four minutes (I blame the opening segment and the constant replays).
CON: Kofi And Truth Win Tag Team Gold (sigh)
The Usos. Zack Ryder and Santino. Darren Young & Titus O'Neil. What do those three teams have in common? They're all more deserving of a tag team title shot than R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. From the looks of it, WWE wanted to take the tag team titles off Primo & Epico ASAP so they could join AW's new stable, but again, why Truth and Kofi? WWE are already low in top faces (especially if Cena does take time off after Over The Limit), and they could easily push either guy, but instead, they're being regulated to the tag team division.
The match itself wasn't half-bad, but the champs lost rather easily, and they lost to the wrong team. I for one was left with a bad taste in my mouth, so this was definitely a con. Hopefully AW can make Primo & Epico relevant again, as they're one of a few legitimate tag teams on the current roster (and Rosa is HOT).
PRO: Kane Is Still Awesome
If you were looking forward to seeing Kane wrestle The Great Khali, there's probably something wrong with you. But to my immense surprise, Kane once again proved his value to the company by pulling a watchable match out of Khali. Sure, it was no three/four-star affair, but the match was way better than it had any right to be. It helped that Kane was in control for most of the contest, but Khali did a good job selling for The Big Red Machine in return. I was half-expecting Kane to win, as Kane vs. CM Punk at Over The Limit would have sat well with me, but instead we get...
PRO: Bryan vs. Punk at Over The Limit
It's like the wrestling Gods answered our prayers or something. WWE clearly sees something in Daniel Bryan as he will once again be in a world title match at a PPV. I'm a tad disappointed they're not saving Punk vs. Bryan for a bigger PPV like SummerSlam or even Survivor Series, but I guess WWE wants to give the fans a reason to watch this year's Over The Limit. Clever bastards.
As for Bryan vs. Jerry Lawler, let's just say the right man won, and move on. How Lawler gets a match on RAW while Dolph Ziggler and Zack Ryder are regulated to Superstars is beyond me.
PRO: Johnny Goes Wild
Before I discuss the closing segment, let me just say that I think Michael Cole has immensely improved as a commentator in recent weeks. He's still a heel, but he's no longer over-the-top, and is spending more time calling the matches instead of bickering with his colleagues or marking over The Miz and Big Johnny.
Speaking of Johnny, this was probably the best segment he's been involved in since his team won at Wrestlemania 28. Don't get me wrong, I think Johnny is awesome in his GM role, but I find he's cooled off since April 1, possibly because he hasn't really been feuding with anyone. Fortunately, that all changed last night when Johnny swerved the fans by having John Cena believe his Over The Limit opponent would be Lord Tensai, only to be triple-teamed by Tensai, his disciple, and Laurinaitis himself. After revealing that Cena would be taking on the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations in three weeks, Johnny snapped, and mauled the already-injured Cena, which reminded me of Bobby Lashley's feud with Vince, Shane, and Umaga (R.I.P.) several years ago. Except this time, I'm entertained. A shocking and fun way to end the show.
YouTube Worthy: Orton vs. Swagger...Punk and Bryan's stare-down...Big Johnny's meltdown
Pretend It Never Happened: The first half of Lesnar/Laurinaitis/HHH...Brodus vs. JTG...Truth/Kofi vs. Primo/Epico
Grade: D A show that was filled with potential, but did not live up to the hype. Sure, we got eight matches, but only several were actually entertaining. Quality over quantity every time, folks. On the bright side, Over The Limit already has two must-see (for me) matches in Punk vs. Bryan and Cena vs. Laurinaitis. Hopefully SmackDown will be a stronger show.
6. Day 6
21:00 Impact kicks off with a recap of last week's events from Fight Night. Not the debuting wrestlers, but Eric Bischoff's TV departure. #sigh
21:02 Oh my God, they're really starting the show with Ric Flair cutting a promo and calling out Hulk Hogan? Is this some kind of joke?
21:03 To quote Scott Steiner, Hogan is here, and "Homomania Is Runnin' Wild!"
21:04 Flair calls himself "evil" and Hogan "good". I'm sure plenty of wrestling fans would disagree with that.
21:05 Of course Eric Bitchoff is name-dropped by Hogan, not even ten minutes into the show. STOP TALKING ABOUT THE USELESS ****!!
21:06 After everything Steiner has said about Hogan, I can't take any of his promos seriously. Not that I ever did, but now I have a reason to tune him out.
21:07 Hogan asks Flair to be one of the judges on Gut Check, to determine future stars. I guess Hogan wants Flair's son to come in and feud with Garett.
21:08 That was pointless. An eight-minute opening segment just for Hogan to ask Flair to be a judge? It makes HHH's promo from Monday seem amazing.
21:13 Velvet Sky and Miss Tessmacher might be the hottest pairing in the history of the world. Their opponents - Gail and Madison - aren't bad either.
21:14 I find it hilarious that Tessmacher works part-time as a Hooters' girl. Partly because I can picture it, and partly because it probably pays better than TNA.
21:19 This match is five minutes long and still going. When it comes to women's wrestling, TNA is way ahead of WWE.
21:20 Oh, another thing. Even though they're taping from the Impact Zone, all four Knockouts are getting a reaction. I love it.
21:21 After hitting her version of Eat Defeat, Tessmacher pins Gail Kim for the third time in three weeks. Obviously, it's going to be Gail vs. Brooke at Sacrifice.
21:22 That was a surprisingly good and lengthy match. Great way to bounce back from the Hogan/Flair lovefest/snoozefest that started the show.
21:26 What's this? TNA are showing clips from past editions of Slammiversay to promote the PPV next month? That's actually a good idea!
21:27 We're back with Rob van Dam already in the ring. After all, why shouldn't the number one contender to the world title get a jobber entrance?
21:28 Kind of a heelish promo from RVD tonight. Is he drunk? Or was this episode taped on 4/20?
21:29 RVD and World Champion Bobby Roode are interacting at the 9:30 timeslot. Because Hogan and Flair HAD to kick off the show, duh.
21:30 The Orlando fans are chanting "You are garbage" at Roode. It didn't occur to them to chant that at Hogan thirty minutes earlier?
21:31 Pick Your Poison gives us Roode vs. Mr. Anderson and RVD vs. Jeff Hardy later tonight. Both could be worth a watch.
21:33 Up next, Devon defends the TV Title for the third consecutive week. At least TNA have kept their promise of defending it every week...so far.
21:36 That Cheesy-Bites Pizza from Pizza Hut looks sooo good, but they probably don't make it in Canada. #CanadianProblems
21:38 So Devon goes from defending the TV Title against Robbie E to Gunner to Bully Ray to Robbie T this week. I'm sensing a pattern here...
21:41 Three minutes in, this match has been every bit as bad as I thought it would be. Terry should be either at ringside, or in a tag team, not wrestling one-on-one.
21:42 LOL @ Robbie E hitting Devon with a clipboard, getting Robbie T disqualified and adding heat to their on-and-off feud. At least it ended the match.
21:49 In a backstage discussion between the judges, Flair said Alex Silva will never be a world champion because he's not big enough. #ShakeMy****ingHead
21:50 Now, Flair just said to ignore the fans because they don't run the business. Therefore, NEVER LET FLAIR RUN A COMPANY. NEVER.
21:51 Hardy vs. RVD is next. Since I'm not talking about Matt Hardy, this should be a fun match.
21:55 Hogan is seen backstage giving a pep talk to Mr. Anderson. He must consider the young stallion another future star who will revolutionize the industry.
21:57 Hardy is wearing Zebra facepaint today, which must mean something. Maybe. Probably.
21:59 It's funny how RVD hasn't changed a single thing about his appearance since his wrestling debut while Jeff now looks like a psycho clown.
22:01 I know a lot of people criticize RVD for not changing up his moveset over the years, but compared to Jeff, he's Chris Jericho out there.
22:03 Wait, what? Bobby Roode nails Jeff with his title belt, allowing RVD to unknowingly pick up the victory. I'm confused. Who's feuding with who?
22:05 LOL @ Bully Ray putting Joseph Park (Abyss) in his place backstage. Bully and Scott Steiner should replace the commentary team, they would be epic together.
22:09 We're really getting ANOTHER recap of the Eric Bitchoff "firing" last week? Stop it, stop it, stop it, STOP IT!
22:10 LOL @ JB going off on Eric Bitchoff backstage. Bully Ray confronts him because JB is not as muscular as Scott Steiner (I'm guessing).
22:13 Is Bully Ray calling out the anti-bullying campaigns? That's amazing. Some people will take offense, but I love it.
22:14 Austin Aries is out to save the day. Thank God, I was worried it would be Garett Bitchoff instead. 609! 609! 609!
22:15 Remember when Flair said earlier a small guy can't amount to anything in wrestling? Guess he never heard of Aries, CM Punk or Daniel Bryan.
22:16 Bully spits in Aries' face, which sets AA off, and they get into a major scuffle. Unfortunately, the crooked TNA security let Bully cheap-shot Aries.
22:18 Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian are teaming together because they all hate Aj Styles and are all bald. Makes sense to me.
22:23 We have to wait another week for James Storm's promo, because obviously, Hogan and Flair's segment was more important. #sigh
22:24 The Angle-vator never gets old. If Angle ever goes back to WWE, he should try and take it with him.
22:25 Daniels is such a great heel, and a better wrestler. He should really get a world title run before he retires.
22:26 This six-man tag team match has begins with a brawl, but the referee rings the bell anyway. I guess they're running short on time.
22:27 Angle just refused to tag in Daniels or Kaz by spitting at them instead. He obviously has no plans on re-creating Team Angle TNA-style.
22:29 The 300-pound Samoa Joe lands a Suicide Dive on Daniels to the outside. That's gotta hurt.
22:30 Angle has Styles trapped in the Ankle Lock, but Kaz decides to tag himself in, which allows Magnus, Joe, and Styles to triple-team him and win. Great idea.
22:31 After the match, Daniels grabs a mic and says he'll reveal "Aj's big secret" next week on Impact. If the rumours are true, I'm dreading the announcement.
22:37 It's time for Tough Enough - I mean, Gut Check - hosted by Bill DeMott - grrr, Al Snow. We'll find out if Alex Silva joins the TNA roster or not.
22:38 Oh, and Bruce Prichard is one of the judges. Not one of Scott Steiner's favourite people.
22:39 This kid actually has a good look. I already like him better than Gunner.
22:40 Is this American Idol? The three judges (Snow, Prichard, and Flair) are voting whether to keep Silva or not. Reality TV has come to TNA, folks!
22:41 And Silva just went with the sympathy card, referring to his deceased father. This is so Wrestling Idol.
22:42 LMAO, Flair just said Silva was talking to marks. Is that Flair talking or Eric Bitchoff feeding him lines?
22:43 After minute of suspense and dramatic music, Flair turns face and Silva gets three yeses, so he's in. Good for him, he doesn't appear too generic.
22:45 Main-event time, and the world champion is a part of it. Impact: 1, RAW: 0
22:46 I've probably mentioned it in the past, but Roode's music is badass. The perfect theme for a main-event heel, really.
22:47 Both men start brawling outside the ring since it's a No-DQ match, but the referee still shouldn't rung the bell yet. TNA referees #smh
22:48 Some idiot just yelled out "Fortune Sucks!". Bro, those guys split up a long time ago. Try and keep up.
22:53 Back from commercial, and Roode is kicking Anderson's ass. As someone who cannot stand Anderson's guts, I'm thrilled.
22:55 Roode introduces a steel chair into the corner, which has been the only illegal part of this No-DQ match so far. Too bad it backfires on him.
22:56 Does Anderson know more than five moves? I'm not trolling, it's a serious question. I always see him punching, kicking, throwing clotheslines, and Mic Checks.
22:57 Jeff Hardy runs down to get revenge on Roode, but Anderson nails Hardy on purpose. Ok, now I'm really confused. WHO'S FEUDING WITH WHO?
22:58 Roode capitalizes on the distraction to put away Anderson. That's great, but I'm still confused about who's feuding with who.
22:59 RVD runs down for the save, but lets his guard down, which allows Roode to attack him from behind as well. Lol!
23:00 Impact goes off the air with Roode standing stall over the three faces. I'm happy, but still confused about who's feuding.
#ThankYouScottSteiner: The Knockouts tag team match...Devon continuing to defend the TV Title every week...Bully Ray and Aries' feud...Angle, Daniels & Kaz vs. Styles, Mangus & Joe...Alex Silva's promo...Roode vs. Anderson
#****YouEricBitchoff: Hogan and Flair's useless opening segment...Devon vs. Robbie T...Ric Flair showing why he should never have creative control...TNA ripping off both Tough Enough and American Idol...Too many confusing twists/attacks between the main-event folk
Grade: C Not a bad show, but the negatives were hard to get past. If RVD vs. Hardy had gone on a few more minutes and if the show kicked off with Roode and RVD instead of the bickering old men, we'd be looking at a solid B instead. It is what it is, though.
7. Day 7
I wasn't planning on posting a column today, but after re-reading Scott Steiner's latest Twitter rants, I figured it was time to comment on the situation.
First and foremost, I admit that I've never been a huge fan of Big Poppa Pump. His WCW, WWE, and TNA runs were all pretty "meh" in my opinion, and whenever people raved about his mic work, I never saw anything special, although I did find Steiner humourous at times. That being said, Steiner's semi-daily rants on Twitter and war of words with Eric Bischoff is probably the best thing going in wrestling today. More entertaining than the Brock Lesnar angle, more interesting than the John Cena/John Laurinaitis feud, and better than any of TNA's current storylines. Why?
Because Steiner is telling the truth, and everyone knows it.
The fans know it. The wrestlers know it. Even Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan know it. I'm guessing that at least 95% of what Steiner has been raving about on Twitter is actually true. Partly because it echoes what many fans feel about the Hogan/Bischoff TNA regime, and partly because NO ONE has come out to defend Hogan and Bischoff. TNA has dozens of employees, from road agents to referees to wrestlers, and not a single person has spoken out against Steiner's claims. The only "defense" from the Hogan/Bischoff camp comes from Eric himself, and it was him retweeting random fans' comments about Steiner being a moron or being a steroid addict. But other than some Hogan "marks", no one has publicly disagreed with Steiner's comments. Right off the bat, that should ring a bell.
On the other hand, no one has agreed with Steiner's comments either. After all, if he is indeed speaking the truth, then why has nobody supported him, by retweeting his comments, or trashing Hogan and Bischoff as well? Well, it's simple - Steiner is no longer a TNA employee, so he can run his mouth without worrying about a de-push or losing his job. The rest of the TNA roster isn't so lucky. Like it or not, Hogan and Bischoff are still two of the most powerful people in the company, so if someone (say Aj Styles or James Storm) would reply to Steiner's tweets in support of his arguments, that person would be basically trashing their bosses. Aj Styles has been misused by TNA for years now. If Hogan and Bischoff found out he was supporting Steiner on Twitter, they would waste no time in turning Styles into a jobber, if not releasing him altogether. Therefore, Steiner is more or less alone in his anti-Hogan/Bischoff tirades. In many ways, you could consider Steiner the new "voice of the voiceless".
But Steiner's case is not a lost cause. Recently, The Iron Sheik has found out about Steiner's Twitter rants, and being no stranger to speaking his mind himself, Sheik has voiced his support for Big Poppa Pump. And you know what? Something tells me Sheik won't be the only wrestler to rally behind Scott. Steiner's tirades may be a month old, but if he keeps them going, then I don't see why other former TNA employees won't try and support Steiner as well. Obviously, they know Hogan and Bischoff don't have a clue what they're doing when it comes to running a company, and they know Steiner is speaking the truth. It would not surprise me at all to see any former TNA wrestler or Knockout come out and trash Hogan and Bischoff. In fact, I'd be shocked if The Iron Sheik ends up being the only guy who backs Steiner.
As for the rest of us, we may not be world-reknown names, but we can support Steiner all the same. Instead of tweeting Hogan and Bischoff 'hate' messages on Twitter (which won't really accomplish anything), we should follow Steiner's advice. If we attend a TNA live event, Impact Taping, or Pay-Per-View, then we should chant "609" anytime Eric Bischoff or his son Garett is in the ring (because, according to Steiner, '609' refers to a dark time in the Bischoffs' lives that they'd rather forget). Furthermore, if we want to show Dixie Carter and Spike TV that Hogan and Bischoff ARE the problem, anytime they're on television, we should switch channels and flip back five minutes later. Why? Because the ratings data will show that the Hogan/Bischoff segments are the lowest-rated ones of the broadcast. It might not make a HUGE difference, but at least we would be doing something.
So yes, I'm obviously on #TeamSteiner, and there's no reason you shouldn't be as well. Whether or not you're a fan of Big Poppa Pump is irrelevant - it's his cause that is worth supporting. Hogan and Bischoff have turned TNA into a a shadow of something cool and alternative to WWE, WWE-lite, if you will. Their reign of terror has resulted in the wrong people being pushed, horrible angles and storylines, and the rise of Garett Bischoff (shudder). But finally, someone had the balls to speak out against the tyrants, and his name is Scott Steiner. Therefore, I encourage you to keep reading Steiner's rants and take them seriously. Laugh at them, re-read them, but don't think for a second they're a joke.
Because if this whole Steiner/Bischoff war of words turns out to be a work, I'll be super-pissed.