We’ve got a lot to cover this week. SmackDown once again proved to succeed in the entertaining department. Dolph Ziggler got funny with his own stunt-double in R-Ziggler (R-Truth in case you couldn’t figure that out). They defeated Miz and Mizdow in a tag match when R-Zig hit the ZigZag on Damien Mizdow. I hope they make the Intercontinental Championship into a four-way with all four, and have one of these “stunt-doubles” win the belt. It was be comical. Sure, probably belittles the title a bit, but at least it would be entertaining.
Mark Henry cleanly defeated Alexander Rusev in an arm-wrestling contest, which was only served as builder for Night of Champions when Rusev then attacked Henry. For some odd reason, Justin Gabriel shows up on the Blue Branded show to lose to Bo Dallas. Jack Swagger and the Bo-Liever brawled. Speaking of brawls, Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns cleanly defeated Seth Rollins and Randy Orton. At first it seemed they were going to write Jericho off with an injury storyline, but looks like he healed faster than Superman to compete again this week.
One thing bugs me though, they are trying too hard to push The Dusts as heels, pairing them with the Wyatt Family to take on The Usos, Big Show and Mark Henry. Interesting how Henry is pulling double-duty a lot lately also, but my focus here is making Dustin and Cody Rhodes as heels when clearly the fans love them. Why go through all these psychedelic promos only to turn the other direction? Does not make sense to me.
NXT killed it this past Thursday night. They clearly can outclass any main event on RAW or SmackDown. Don’t believe me? Read the recap.
Getting to the gritty, let’s talk CM Punk. As we all have heard in one way or another, is heavily featured in the upcoming October release of WWE 2K15. The annual game is rumored to feature a CM Punk feud with John Cena. Suddenly the internet blows up upon the reveal of Punk’s lawyers sending letters over his likeness being used in the game. There are no lawsuits or legal fights yet. In my opinion it will come down to a few things. Whether CM Punk wants to be associated with the game, whether he will collect royalties and how much, and whether this is all just a move to stab back at WWE.
Here is my thought, and none of you are going to like it. Punk is being a baby. There, I said it. I don’t like saying it. I love CM Punk. The guy single-handedly changed the face of WWE. However, he took his ball and went home. He left. Now, he is supposedly whining over being in a video game? This is something fans are craving since they can’t see him on television anymore. Is this because Punk does not want any association with WWE at all? There have been plenty of wrestlers put into a game and then released from the company before or after its release. Alberto del Rio is still in the game and no one complains. 3MB might still be in the game and they are all gone with the exception of Heath Slater. What about Rob Van Dam? He’s on the roster and you don’t see anything about suing. Hell, these guys will be more than happy to take home the bonus paycheck if there is one.
Why, Punk, Why? Are you that bitter? It seems everyone else who gets burned out gets to take time off. Did you just opt not to? I tried really hard to favor Punk, but let’s face it, he went home because he got burned out and failed to negotiate with WWE. Now he wants to deprive his fans of having another game with him in it? Sure, we can just go and play last year’s game or the year before that. But this is not the point.
Until we know anything more, I hold back to place any further fault on Punk. Obviously this bothers me, and here I am venting. Maybe I am wrong and blowing this all out of proportion. Maybe I am not.
I am still bummed about Sean O’Haire. As I mentioned earlier this week, I did meet the guy a few times, and had a number of phone conversations during my time as a writer in WWE Publications. Sure, you only get to know a guy so much from the workplace, and it saddens me to think O’Haire would take his own life. Yes, it was confirmed he did just that. Speaking not as a therapist, but as a straight up human being, it takes a lot of guts to kill yourself in the manner to which he did. You feel pain, agony, regret, and remorse all at once. I have no doubts he was at a point in which he felt was a point of no return. That is a low I couldn’t even wish on my most hated enemy. If you know anyone to ever be at a point like that, you tell someone.
I will remember Sean O’Haire as I do, with respect.
Kurt Angle is back in the spotlight by teasing whether he will remain with TNA or not. Look, it’s either he re-signs with TNA, or makes the jump back to WWE, or dare I say it, to Jeff Jarrett’s GFW. Obviously he needs to do what is best for him, and last WWE run, the hectic schedule hurt him physically and mentally. Sounds like CM Punk, doesn’t it? In any case, let’s take a look at pros and cons for each scenario:
Pros: Wrestling fans everywhere will be happy. I think we’re all tired of him stagnating in TNA as a manager, commissioner, or whatever. We want to see him compete, and there is nothing for him to accomplish in TNA anymore. Being back in WWE gives him an opportunity to work again. He does not have to wrestle every week. We can see WWE has such an overcrowded roster so he can cut promos for three weeks and then wrestle at a Pay-per-view, much like what John Cena has been doing lately. He does not have to be champion, but seeing him where he belongs will make a lot of people happy.
Cons: He won’t be the same as his original run. He just won’t. His matches against Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Edge and others were always epic encounters. We just cannot expect to see Angle compete as if he was in his prime again. I would expect him to be like Jericho and RVD at this point, brawling through most of a match and then hitting a bunch of suplexes followed by the Angle Slam into the Ankle Lock to win the match. Could he go one-on-one with Chris Jericho or Christian? Sure. Could he go up against Randy Orton and John Cena? Could happen, but don’t expect high quality. Against Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns? Absolutely not.
Pros: He can chill out and know he can do whatever the hell he wants. Might be better for his physical health. He can be the king of the mediocre and eventually will retire and no one will know the wiser. He can remain as a top name for TNA, and if he ever wrestles again, we can watch him beat up the Jersey Shore dimwits every week.
Cons: No one wants to see Angle finish his career in TNA. People think highly of Angle. He had his run with Samoa Joe, and that was essentially the highlight of his career. He has not done much else besides be a mouthpiece in one form or another. TNA has bored the hell out of its fans, not even Angle’s presence has been enough to salvage the show.
Pros: Shock the hell out of everyone, and gives a big boost to Jeff Jarrett’s promotion. No one would expect it considering the bad blood with his ex-wife. Could be forgiven for all we know. Angle might flourish in a promotion in which may not have extensive travel and might be able to develop his own schedule.
Cons: If GFW gets off the ground, if ever, will it be enough to have Angle as a draw. Will Angle be a top star or just another “name” for Jarrett to claim to have on his roster?
Night of Champions is a week away, and tomorrow night’s RAW will begin the go-home week before the event. A number of matches have already been announced, and more to come as the week progresses. Stay tuned!