Monday 24 December 2012

Twelve Wrestling Things of Christmas

Are the Twelve Days of Christmas before or after the big day? I'm never sure. It doesn't matter really. In the spirit of The Season I present my Twelve Wrestling Things of Christmas.
Twelve... Years Since the Business Changed

2013 will mark the twelfth anniversary of the closure of both ECW and WCW as well as the end of the Attitude Era. That was the last time wrestling was close to being considered cool and popular. Will next year see the beginning of another popularity boom for the business? Don’t get your hopes up…
Eleven... Knockouts and X Division Wrestlers

It’s not an exact number but it feels like TNA has about eleven performers spread across two divisions that used to be really good. Kenny King, Zema Ion, Tara, Mickie James and their co-workers are all great but a division will never be entertaining if it doesn’t have a deep roster. TNA should hire more talent and concentrate on resurrecting their once enjoyable leagues.

If it means the likes of Mr Anderson, Hernandez and Sting have to be released from their contracts so be it. TNA needs new marketable names, not the same old ones in slightly different scenarios.

The most exciting thing in this picture is the lighting
Ten... Pay-Per-Views a Year

TNA will break from the norm and present ten pay-per-views in 2013. I think this is a good move. It will allow more time to develop stories for the remaining shows and ease the pressure on viewers’ wallets. That should result in increased buy rates for the remaining supercards and a better paced, more enjoyable television product for the team in Orlando.
Nine… Shows Confirmed

Between now and May Ring of Honor only has nine shows announced. That’s a worryingly low number for a promotion that used to have a very healthy touring schedule. Of these two are TV tapings and three are internet pay-per-views. If SBG wants ROH to be viewed as America’s number three promotion they need to up the budget to allow more non-televised events to take place. Expanding the roster wouldn’t hurt either.
Eight... Months Left

If we’re to believe what’s been said by the man himself in interviews Davey Richards will depart Ring of Honor when his contract expires in August 2013. As one of the company’s most popular stars and talented performers that’s not good news. ROH has eight months to prepare at least one new star to take ‘The American Wolf’s’ place at the top.

The obvious candidate is Adam Cole. He’s popular, talented and young enough to be able to work the speedy Ring of Honor pace for years to come. If this problem is not addressed and Richards leaves with no successor ready to take his lofty spot then I don’t think the promotion will have much of a future.
Seven... Performers Deserving More

There are plenty of men and women I’d like to see wrestling in WWE but not all of them are currently in the promotion’s developmental system. Of the ones that are there seven stand out as wrestlers I’d like to see on the main roster in the next twelve months.

Adrian Neville, formerly independent wrestling’s PAC, is a high-flying sensation who could be a huge star in WWE if he were allowed to wrestle the style he’s become known for. Based on the promotion’s well established feelings on cruiserweights there’s no guarantee of that happening, unfortunately.

NXT Diva Charlotte was born Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr-Johnson. She is the daughter of Ric Flair. I’m not interested in seeing her wrestle. I’m interested in seeing how WWE handles her call-up and what storylines she’s placed into when it happens. If you want an NXT Diva who can wrestle look no further than Paige. She’s been a hit with the regulars at the NXT TV tapings and could be the woman to revitalise the Divas division in 2013.
Future of the Divas league?
I’ve written before that I’m a big fan of the Bray Wyatt character. It works very well in NXT and would translate well to the main roster. I’m not sure the former Husky Harris would survive the call-up without tweaks and alterations being made though. They could potentially ruin a very quirky heel.

Richie Steamboat is another second generation wrestler who is good enough to warrant a spot on the main roster. He doesn’t have an outlandish gimmick or flawless good looks, but not every member of the roster needs those things. Sometimes it should be enough that a guy has talent. Steamboat junior does. He’d make an excellent addition to the WWE mid-card.

Corey Graves wrestles well and has an interesting look. He’s another guy that could provide some substance to the middle card ranks. Finally there’s Kassius Ohno. Formerly one half of the Kings of Wrestling and the man who did the Wade Barrett gimmick before Wade Barrett, Ohno has the height, look, promo and ring skills to attain a top card position in WWE, as long as he’s given a chance to be himself.
Six... Solid Tag Team Wrestlers

Specifically Daniel Bryan, Kane, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. Since being put together as a unit and winning WWE’s tag team titles Bryan and Kane, dubbed Team Hell No by the “WWE Universe”, have made the promotion’s doubles league worth paying attention. For the first time in years it’s an entertaining part of WWE programming.

Rhodes and Sandow are easily WWE’s premier heel team, meshing their characters nicely and seeming devoted to getting over as a long term pairing, as opposed to two guys chucked together to work a short programme. Meanwhile the Prime Time Players have blossomed over the last six months into dependable antagonists and stand to inherit the division when the inevitable split of Team Hell No and the Rhodes Scholars occurs.
Five... Gooooooooooooooooold Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings

Um… Yeah.
Four... And Oh

Since The Miz made his WrestleMania debut at show number 26 he has not suffered a loss at the event. While this undefeated streak may seem faintly ridiculous when compared to the Undertaker’s more prominent record I have enjoyed ‘The Awesome One’s’ mention of it after previous shows. I want him to pick up his fourth win this year.

If built up for another couple of years, and if he becomes popular enough, Miz could possibly be pitted against ‘The Dead Man’ in a few years’ time in an attempt to fool people into thinking ‘Taker’s Streak will end. Failing that Miz could just be fed wins in an attempt to replicate the run that currently stands at 20-0. It wouldn’t be as special, but it would be something.
Three... Never Being Fed
Ryback bellowed "Feed me three!" several times over the summer. He progressed to winning two-on-one handicap matches pretty quickly but he never got his wish to beat three fellas at once.
It's probably for the best: he's proven he’s not up to the task since The Shield debuted.
Two... Promotions I Should Watch More

CHIKARA and Dragon Gate USA. I enjoy both but don’t get to see them as much as I’d like. The only reason for that is that there isn’t enough time. Every show I’ve watched from these companies this year has been very good. Many have been excellent. I intend to try watching more of them next year. You should too.
One... Jobbed Out Santa


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