Been a busy week in wrestling, hasn’t it?
The match we all saw coming was made official, as Brock Lesnar will challenge John Cena for the WWE World Championship at SummerSlam. What made the announcement incredible was not by Brock, nor cena, not even Triple H. It was Paul Heyman who cut what I believe to be the best promo in the past year. From him, because I am certain Heyman will find a way to top himself by WrestleMania.
Once again, the Rabbi of Wrestling has ruled the microphone in a way which plays to both the drama of television and the reality of modern-day wrestling fans, especially the internet wrestling community. He preyed on those who cheer for Cena, and equally on those who boo him. He played to the shocking result from WrestleMania 30, where The Streak of the Undertaker came to an end. He ultimately set the record straight, Brock Lesnar is not interested in wrestling, he just wants to hurt people. Heyman puts it out there, his client, Lesnar is a fighter. Do not expect a hip-toss, arm-drag, or an abdominal stretch. He will toss you with a few big suplexes, but ultimately he will brawl and batter, and bludgeon his opponent with his fists.
This furthers the question of what sort of match we can expect from John Cena and Brock Lesnar. A brawl? A fight? It certain does not sound like we’re in store for a mat-based technical clinic. As Heyman accurately states, this will be a beating like none other. Brock is a machine. There is simply nothing more than this.
The best part? Brock did not say a single word. Check it out below.
So San Diego Comic Con cracked the wrestling corner of the internet in half as Sting, Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman were on stage together. Seeing two of these guys together would not be memorable. But all four? Both Heyman and Hulk Hogan served time in WCW, where Sting resided for the majority of his in-ring career. Seeing Daniel Bryan with these three together just adds the surreal feelings of seeing them all together. Now, if there was a photo of Triple H and Sting together, or of Sting and Vince McMahon? That would have been mind-blowing.
SmackDown remained largely uneventful, but the match resembling something out of the ECW Arena in Philadelphia between Cesaro and Dean Ambrose was awesome. Ambrose just emits that hardcore persona. I will not say he could be the next Cactus Jack, but he may come damn close. Unfortunately it did further bury Cesaro with yet another loss, however both men came out looking strong following the match. We also saw Dolph Ziggler continue his feud with the Miz, only for Bo Dallas to interject himself. Ziggler might be the first major opponent for Dallas in the coming weeks before challenging the Miz, or we may see a three-way scenario with the Intercontinental Championship for SummerSlam.
Let’s change the channel for a moment and focus on Impact Wrestling. Since the tapings in New York, they have certainly turned up the dial on the action. It is not quite at the maximum, but they are trying hard and it shows. With Jeff and Matt Hardy reunited and hopefully both clean and sober, and the emergence of some new top contenders, I have certainly seen a big improvement to their programming. The younger talent are getting pushes, and let’s face it, most of their old guard is gone by now. I continue to be impressed by The Wolves, and with them being challenged by the Hardy Brothers at Destination X will really put on the spotlight on all four. Good to see Low Ki back, still in good shape too. I am put off by the “BroMans” and this whole attempt to ride the crashed wave of the Jersey Shore. We get it, their buff, they’ve got the stuff, and… wait a second… Nevermind. Because they have not quite been able to stop themselves from mimicking storylines, Austin Aries opts for an Option C, and to challenge Bobby Lashely for the Impact Championship.
What disappointed me most about this week’s Impact, was the usual double-cross bit for a big storyline involving a famous wrestler. Target: The Great Muta. The guy has wrestled for two decades, and can still move. He easily defeats Robbie E, another guy who prompts nothing but a disdainful headshake from me. Then James Storm comes out, possibly drunk, and bashes the legendary Japanese star. Sanada rushes out to save Muta as Storm pummels away, but then turns on Muta by clobbering him with a chair.
The main event involves an insane battle between Tommy Dreamer and Team 3D up against EC3, Rockstar Spud, and Rhino. I always love me some Rhino. The ECW originals have the upper hand until two former WWE stars in the form of Ezekiel Jackson and Gene Snitsky arrive to help Team Dixieland. Funny, didn’t WWE.com just do a “Where are they now?” feature on them?
Well, as I said, they are trying and doing a good job. The big problem is most of their original following has already abandoned them or maintains the option to be skeptical on whether Impact Wrestling can ever mount a major come back. I was one of those original viewers, when they had their program on Fox Sports. Even watched a number of their pay-per-views. They had Samoa Joe, a fresh AJ Styles, the exciting members of the X-Division in Christopher Daniels, Low Ki, Kazaria, Amazing Red, Chris Sabin, and others who delivered in every match.
Sadly, we know they suffered from WCW’s disease of suddenly overpaying old guys in a shoddy attempt to gain ratings. The problem, and it is always the problem. When you overpay the wrong people, you get the crap they control. The conquered main events and dull storylines.
If the past few weeks have been any indication, Impact Wrestling is turning around, but will it be enough? They return to New York in early August, perhaps there is something magical about performing there.
Update on Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling… MORE 8x10s of himself and his wife. Amazing.