The WWE-ek: A Pain in the Neck

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Maybe I have a memory problem, but did anyone know Eric Young was TNA Impact Champion? Anyone notice the title change took place just a week after WrestleMania 30? Anyone else notice how he looks just like Daniel Bryan and booked as another “fans-choice” titleholder? Underdog? Held down? Worked hard? Yup all there.

Truth is, it is the truth about Eric Young. EY has been a TNA/Impact mainstay for the majority of his wrestling career. Initially a goofball within the Team Canada stable (and autographed my Team Canada jersey), he was a major midcarder with the occasional breakout storyline which inevitably failed and reduced him back to jobber fodder. Young has always been a comedy act, and his “serious” face often was met with boredom and disinterest. Upon some quick researching, he was back to being the underdog, but not as comedy-prone as in his early days.

Sadly, while the build for Daniel Bryan lasted well over a year, the rise of Eric Young was short, unexpected, and had virtually no hype. I watched the match, and it was good. But doubtful anyone watched.

It does bug me as TNA suddenly made Eric Young their own watered down version of Daniel Bryan. It bugs me because TNA could have made Young just as big as Bryan. Frankly, he deserves it. Will this help TNA in the long run? Doubtful. With MVP suddenly going from executive to wrestler, it means the company has not figured out yet who from their roster should be heel enough to antagonize Eric Young. I watched a few other videos and found Knux (aka Mike Knox of WWE) to be the ringleader of a carnival-themed stable, Kazarian jobbing to everyone [Editorial Note: Kazarian’s contract is not being renewed and he will be done with the company by 6/1], and Bully Ray (Bubba Dudley) being the head honcho around the company. Dixie Carter is the worst heel I have ever seen. I don’t mean this in a good way. She is horrible on the mic, her facial expressions resemble mine following a massive bowel movement, and has no idea how to remain consistent in a conversation. Unless you like that in a heel, but I don’t.

Onto WWE, because they always appear to have a plan.

What is the plan with Damien Sandow? Having his mic cut off, tirades about being poorly booked. Sound familiar? Perhaps Sandow may become a new CM Punk-type character. He does have the verbal capacity to do it. Same with Dolph Ziggler, who usually is more vocal on Twitter when it comes to the suggestion box. With Punk seemingly gone from the industry, and Daniel Bryan on the shelf, some fan favorites need to be pushed up. Sheamus could be one of them, and with the Shield on the rise, any one of their members could get the ultimate push.

The thing is, forcing a gimmick like being a “pipe-bomb” dropper could backfire. With CM Punk, everyone knew it was something he was capable of, and when it was unleashed, it was completely unexpected and shocked the world. With Sandow, WWE has not made anything about it shocking or novel at all. He comes to the ring, starts talking, gets cut off. He does not stop a match or interrupt a segment or even go on bashing McMahon family members. If this is the direction Damien Sandow is to go on, then WWE must find a way to keep it fresh and not bland.

Daniel Bryan. Will he be stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Go for it. Do it. Fans will be enraged, his meteoric rise will be over, and life will go on. We went on when Punk left, we moved on after Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar, life goes on. Bryan will be out for about six months, and during that time we will need a new champion. Perhaps Triple H will order a match between Randy Orton and Batista. Perhaps a six-way match with Evolution vs. the Shield for the title? Or, perhaps yet another tournament to crown a new champion.

Keep in mind Batista is likely to vanish for a while as he goes on tour to promote Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy? He’s the big with the muscles in case you weren’t sure. In any case, the Shield/Evolution feud will come to an end soon, but not before some big waves are made. Perhaps a new member?

Cody Rhodes has been one of those names tossed around. His recent “heel” action during a match led the announce team to believe Cody may be embracing his prior selfish roots. Just think, a year ago he was a target of The Authority, became WWE Tag Team Champions with Goldust, and in process of all this, became a major fan favorite. This all began following his Money in the Bank performance last summer. Remember, smart fans appreciate good talent. Regardless if Rhodes remains face or turns heel, I believe fans will still remain loyal to him.

Someone I cannot say the same for is Big E. Langston. From nobody to champion and back. Sounds like the instruction tag-line for Transformers. He got the crowds behind him, but suddenly, after winning the Intercontinental Championship, his popularity held a brief surge, but then tapered off and as his appearances on television dwindled, so did his push. He is going to be fed to Alexander Rusev, which is a shame because Big E. is by no means jobber fodder. Was Langston another victim of the Curse of the Intercontinental Title? This is a title held by Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, Chyna, and Santino Marella. Previous title holders of Kofi Kingston, The Miz, Christian, and Curtis Axel might all agree there is something of a supernatural nature when wearing the IC Title, or perhaps it is WWE Creative going back to the drawing board.

While this next individual was a victim of the aforementioned curse, it seems he has a new lease on character gimmick life. Once again, the Intercontinental Championship is around the waist of Wade “Bad News” Barrett, who is 100% embracing the insanity of his gimmick, with a smug smile rivaling the internet troll meme, shouting out bad news like Paul Revere and finally demanding some decorum to calm the masses. The fans love it. BOOM! Yeah! Raging Bull Hammer baby! Disappointed not to see him on TV this week, but next week they are back in England and oh boy, you better believe he will drop the #BnB gavel!

Interesting note, out of the last five Intercontinental Championship title changes, three of them took place in East Rutherford, New Jersey!