Back to back days with NAI columns. This hasn’t happened in. . . Hmm, best not think about it.
Yesterday, I spelled out how Bray Wyatt, to me, is the only real answer for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I received a fair amount of positive feedback for that piece, and I’m quite proud of it, although a lot of people mentioned whether, much like Taker before him, a character like Wyatt needs the belt. Fair point there, though my argument is that while Bray Wyatt might not need a title, he does need a concrete moment of becoming a true main event guy, and as much as I liked the pyro and lightning, it hasn’t happened yet.
However, in the interest of further discussion, today I will expand my horizons and consider other options. In fact, our goal today is to look back into the sands of time- specifically, previous WWF tournaments – and see whether or not we could see history repeat itself.
I always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, but I never got around to it.
Being of a creative and improvisational mind, D&D always seemed to be right up my alley. Creating a character, a backstory, a code of conduct, yet doing my best to adapt to the situations that presented themselves – Nerdy, perhaps, but seems like a lot of fun.
The closest I came was in college, and if memory serves, one Doc Manson was part of that group as well. We started making characters for ourselves (I wanted to be a Rogue-type, despite being one of the least stealthy people I know), but it fizzled out before it got very far. I consider it a missed opportunity, though I’m pretty sure that if I had gotten into it, Mrs. Matthews wouldn’t be sitting in the other room, us being happily married for going on five years.
Why am I telling you this, besides to beef up my nerd cred and (possibly) score some brownie points with my wonderful bride?
WWE needs to take a lesson from Dungeons and Dragons.
Over the last few weeks, RAW ratings have been. . . Slipping is probably too casual of a word. . .Plummeting might be too harsh. . .Let’s settle on declining, and its causing panic within WWE and questions and debate outside of Titan Tower. The Twittersphere has been abuzz with potential problems and supposed solutions, and one of the most common ones is the idea that there just aren’t enough “top stars” for WWE to build stories and content around.
This led to questioning the NAIborhood, asking them to pick 6 stars that they’d center their booking around for the next 4-6 years. Since I always try to answer the questions I ask, I’m here to offer my own “A-Team”.
Since it was my question, I can tweak it, so I decided to come up with a Top Ten. Unlike my usual lists, I’m actually going to rank them from top down, instead of building to number 1, and since I’m already working backwards, might as well put my overall thoughts and conclusions first.
Social media is a double edged sword. In fact, it’s more like a multi-sided sword, if that’s even possible. . . Can you have a sword that’s also an octagonal prism?
. . .
I shouldn’t write these columns on only 4 hours of sleep.
Last month I realized that I was spending so much time Tweeting, I wasn’t actually watching the wrestling on my WWE Network, and thus was born #SummerSlamTaughtMe, a series of handwritten notes that became a couple of columns and part of a podcast.
This month for Night of Champions, I decided to avoid social media during most of the matches, and once again took up my pen and yellow legal pad. However, as I watched WWENOC, I found myself discovering broader themes rather than just bad jokes and minor observations.
So, for #NOCTaughtMe, let’s do single lessons from each match, shall we?
In 10 days, WWE will bring us Night of Champions, the annual PPV where every title belt is on the line. As many of you know (I shan’t assume you’re all well versed in current-day storylines), that puts Seth Rollins in an interesting spot, being the current World Heavyweight AND United States champion. Mr. Rollins will be defending the US belt against John Cena and the World title against Sting.
Everybody with me? Good.
There are four possible outcomes stemming out of Night of Champions, assuming, of course, that all of the matches wind up in clean, straightforward decisions.
Based off of a question by @Cody_Burris, let’s chat about each outcome one at a time, discussing why it might happen, what it could mean, and how likely it might be.
If there was a word to describe Summer Slam, “Polarizing” might be a good one. A whole lot of people had a WHOLE LOT of strong opinions on the show. So much so, in fact, that I found myself so busy thinking about the opinions of others that it was hard for me to remember my own – The show got lost in the reaction.
So, to remedy that, I sat down with a pen and a notebook and decided to actually watch the show, jotting down my thoughts along the way. As tends to happen when I do something like that, the theme came along as I went, and since this is the Twitter-world, I gave it a hashtag.
After spending the last 60 hours or so trying to sort through the IWC’s bi-polar responses to Battleground and RAW, I’ve realized once again that in wrestling, just like life, you can’t please everybody.
RAW was great, except it sucked. Battleground was awesome, until it was terrible. JBL is an awful announcer. . . .Well, I suppose that’s the general consensus – Hey! Something we can all agree on!
Time to dust all the old favorite. Let’s get to #PromotingPositivity, people!
The last 72 hours have taught me many things, and while this particular lesson was one I’ve long since known about, I certainly have had it reinforced.
I have an addictive personality.
After about 10-12 hours spent in my office Sunday – writing my predictions column (I didn’t do so bad, really), re-recording the initial episode of the NAIborhood podcast (now available on iTunes, YouTube and PodOMatic!), editing, discussing things with ace producer Bill Neville, sending it off, then recording a second episode, I finally re-emerged to the world right around the time of the Money in the Bank pre-show.
I had a choice in front of me. I could dive right into MITB or I could spend some quality time with the beautiful and incredibly supportive Mrs. Matthews, who hadn’t minded losing me to NAI-land for the entirety of our Sunday.
The decision was super easy, so I wound up only watching about half of the PPV last night. To be honest, that was probably for the best, since I wound up skipping the parts most of you seemed to be the most discouraged with.
I’m not going to write a full reaction column, since I didn’t see the entire thing, but I will share this Chief’s brief thoughts on the parts of the show I did catch.
A funny thing happened over the last few months. . .
Monday Night RAW, and WWE in general, became super enjoyable again.
No longer are we bogged down in #CancelWWENetwork drama. In fact, outside of a few people who seem to rarely, if ever, be happy with all-things wrestling, people are pretty upbeat about the product as a whole.
So, what happened? What has caused such a turnaround in viewer attitudes?
I know that just about all of you are going to say the same thing – “It’s HHH, he’s taking over and he’ll bring us to our own personal Xanadu of wrestling heaven!”
That may or may not be true – The fact is, none of us truly knows how much of the WWE product is being orchestrated by whom these days, so for today’s piece, we’re not going to focus on the behind-the-scenes parts.
Today, we’re going to look at a handful of on-screen reasons that I feel have boosted WWE’s appeal.