The WWE-ek: …Is Nine Ninety Nine

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In case you were wondering, over in TNA/Impact Wrestling/Dixieland, Dixie Carter did get put through a table, and morale is still jumping around like a bad stock investment. One day morale is up, then it’s down. Then it’s up again, and then it tanks. Sure, they are really putting all their best efforts, but it does not change the fact they have cancelled all their tapings past September, because they do not have a television station who wants to air them. Imagine the network execs who have their interns research Impact Wrestling, and all they see are negative reviews. If you researched a dentist or a lawyer, and saw negatives out the wazoo, would you sign up? Probably not. SpikeTV have opted not to renew, and they are being nice enough to not pull the plug early. Which is something they could have done. However, the recent tapings in New York City have shown what Impact Wrestling is really capable of if they put their best forward. The question begs to be asked, why could they not do this sooner? Did they not see the writing on the wall? Did no one realize revenue, ratings, and general interest in the company took a nose dive in the past year?

Unless something turns around for them in the next month, do not be shocked if GFW starts gobbling up TNA/Impact’s talent. GFW will look like what TNA was when they first began. Good.

In case you were wondering, the WWE Network can be $9.99 a month. Although, if you go to their website, there is also the $12.99 option. Uh oh. I saw a fantastic meme featuring Jim Ross this week, rumored to have either been composed or composed by a friend of Mick Foley.

Jim Ross 999 meme

Which one is it WWE? The App? The Network? Twitter? You want more subscribers, so why the hell are matches exclusively airing on a free app? Triple H thinks by making “nine-ninety-nine” a cynical crowd chant, or something which is “trending,” the WWE Network will get more subscribers.

WRONG.

Congrats Mr. COO, but you just threw the match. If YOU treat it like a joke, so will your fanbase, and yes, oh yes, they will. Just because you get a live crowd to chant the price tag along with your or substitute it for “What?” and even put it on Hulk Hogan’s birthday cake last week, more people will sign up? No! That is not what will happen.

However, since WWE finally has their Network reaching globally, they will get more subscribers, and then boast an overinflated number saying there have been a record number of signups in the last year.

Good luck with that. Last I checked, one of those law firms got their green light to dig into your financial books. As I predicted in my column two weeks ago, WWE is being accused of failing to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility.

In case you were wondering, SummerSlam is tonight. So what went down this week to hype it up?

To be blunt, a whole lot of nothing. I think more took place on SmackDown and Main Event than on RAW.

Going back to RAW, Rabbi Heyman as usual delivers an uplifting sermon to the live crowd and to the audience watching at home. By uplifting, I mean lifting ratings because the rest of the show tanked. Maybe Heyman should always be saved to close the show, since for the past three months they end with a promo segment rather than a match. Notice how when CM Punk left and Daniel Bryan got injured they cut down on show-closing main event matches? I am sorry, but Randy Orton would die if his life depended on cutting a unique promo, while John Cena has not said a damn thing to push this so-called “fight for the WWE Championship” this Sunday. I don’t care that Brock Lesnar does not speak. When he speaks, ears bleed. I feel for the big guy though, he is going through a fight with Diverticulitis, a severe digestive disease, which truth be told was a major factor in his decision to retire from UFC. However, he has been training and taking damn good care of himself mentally and physically. Of course, we still hate seeing Brock take up valuable air-time, but at least we can appreciate he is busting his ass, no pun intended, to at least deliver when it counts. He sure did at WrestleMania 30.

What has been good is the continued push of all three ex-Shield members. Roman Reigns continues to dominate, and I feel bad for Ryback and Curtis Axel. Being fed to Reigns like that? Sure, the match ended in a mess without a clean win, but what else could you do? Ryback was once top of the roster, now he’s bottom feeding with Axel who isn’t sure if he still has a job because WWE knows he really is talented or out of respect to his father, Mr. Perfect.

Dean Ambrose and Cesaro had another stellar match on SmackDown, however the result being the same as prior bouts, Cesaro comes out worse for wear against the WWE-branded “Lunatic Fringe.” Ambrose and Rollins are set to have a show-stealer for sure, and Cesaro is likely to do nothing but serve as one of the many Lumberjacks around the ring for the stipulation of their match. Shame, Cesaro was moving up strong, suddenly halted. Much like the abrupt end to Bo Dallas’ streak and push as well. The poor kid got mauled by Jack Swagger, and there is no Bo-Lieving here.

In an interesting turn, which shows why one needs to watch both Raw and SmackDown programs, is to see Big Show and Mark Henry, two big men who have been off television for a while return to hand a defeat to Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. Talk about a switch, the Wyatt Family goes from facing off against high flyers to big brute strength. This is actually a nod to the positive skills and praise of Harper and Rowan who show off how they can adapt to whomever they are put in the ring with.

Although I worry about the whole Wyatt Family stable as a whole.

Finally, we have to talk about Kane. After suffering a loss two weeks ago, Kane announces the Big Red Monster has been tamed, and thus reverts back to being the Authority lackey, Corporate Kane. Maybe this time around he will be utilized more for his intelligent verbal skills and not some goofball. The guy is legit smart, use it! This is pretty ridiculous as to how often the mask goes on and off. It pretty much desecrates the origin of the character and kills any sort of way anyone could look at Kane as a major threat anymore.