There was a clever bit of programming on RAW this week, revolving around the defense of Kevin Owens’ intercontinental (IC) title at WrestleMania (WM). On the show, Owens found himself confronted by the three current frontrunners vying for his championship: Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. Afterward that interaction, Owens asked Stephanie McMahon for permission to book a triple threat match to determine the number one contender, a request which she granted.
When Owens announced the participants of the triple threat match on RAW, he cleverly swerved the audience by not inviting any of the aforementioned contenders. Instead, Owens created a match between Stardust, Zack Ryder, and Sin Cara. Although this was a clever way of manipulating audience expectations, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the three participants. Here we were, live on RAW in front of millions of viewers, and we’re essentially being told that none of these three guys provide a credible threat to Owens’ championship reign. This is never a desirable position for a wrestler to be in, being viewed as a nonentity in terms of threat.
Twitter is ablaze with comments about the latest development in the Undertaker v. Shane McMahon storyline that is being built for WrestleMania this year. The most vocal portions of the audience are displeased with the overall direction of the angle, and every new development only seems to heap more fuel upon the already blazing IWC (Internet Wrestling Community). I’m just not so sure that this storyline is as bad as everyone wants me to think it is.
There can be no surer sign that Daniel Bryan is truly considered a B+ player than his treatment since his return from injury. Although his return to the ring was announced and advertised, the match was scheduled for Smackdown. This begs the question; why would the return of Daniel Bryan, the former World Heavyweight Champion, the champion that never lost his title, the champion that won that honor after beating Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton all in one night at Wrestlemania XXX – why would the return of the crowd favorite be relegated to the B-show?
I’ll be the first to admit that I lack any and all practical experience within the sports entertainment industry. Perhaps then, taking my business acumen into account, it is not a surprise that I find myself baffled by the current state of the WWE. I’m speaking, of course, regarding the creative decisions that resulted in the booking for the 2015 Royal Rumble match. The Road to Wrestlemania is before us, and the main event seems set; Brock Lesnar will defend his WWE World Heavyweight championship against the destined face of the WWE, Roman Reigns.
The hot talk on the internet dirt sites right now all seems to revolve around the abysmal number of subscribers that the WWE Network has attracted to date. You read some of these articles, including ones appearing on sites like Business Insider, and it begins to sound like 700,000 subscribers is a complete failure and that the WWE is doomed to go out of business due to the hemorrhaging of money resulting from their investment into the WWE Network.
Stephanie McMahon has been on a vindictive streak, her fury directed against one half of that magical twin duo, The Bella Twins. The storyline, if you go back, is really about a conflict between Stephanie and Brie Bella, stemming from Stephanie’s ongoing issues with Brie’s husband, Daniel Bryan. The last time we saw Brie Bella, she was slapping the crap out of Stephanie’s face during the final moments of her employment with the WWE. Brie would go on to quit the business that night, ending the use of Brie as leverage in the feud with Daniel Bryan – a noble sacrifice.
Dean Ambrose has the potential to be a very dangerous man, an observation of which his former Shield-brother, Seth Rollins, is aware. If Seth Rollins is “the Architect” of the Shield, and Roman Reigns was the heavy-lifter, then perhaps Dean Ambrose might be best described as the rabid dog.
Dogs can be dangerous creatures, particularly when provoked. In my mind, the Shield placated Dean Ambrose. He suppressed his more dangerous, unpredictable urges for the greater good. In believing in the Shield, Dean Ambrose was a part of a pack, a communal entity larger than himself into which he could invest his more chaotic and destructive tendencies. With the chair shots that ultimately disbanded the Shield, Seth Rollins awakened a sleeping dog and, as Seth is discovering, that dog is both hungry and angry.
Hey, folks, Doc Manson here. I’ve been going over my notes, and I’d like to chat for a moment about the Swiss Superman, the King of Swing, and the winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestleania 30, Antonio Cesaro.