Wrestling Fact or Fiction
March 24, 2017
It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m wide awake and unable to sleep. That sounds like as good an excuse as any to write a quick “Wrestling Fact Or Fiction” column. I miss the old days that my tag team partner, the World’s Most Dangerous Man, Russell Jackson and I, used to do this weekly for the fine folks at Wrestle-Zone.co.uk. We totally rocked! But that was then and this is now and I’m here, ready, willing and able to get ‘er done, cause that’s what I do. It’s either this or watch episodes of “The Lost Saucer” on YouTube. I think I’m making the right call.
As per usual, the questions come from my long time, close personal, shades of “Mean Gene” Okerlund, friends from 411mania.com/wrestling. The answers and opinions, they belong to me. Let’s do this…
1. Despite her rocky relationship with the company, WWE will not release Paige following the leak of her nude photos and sex videos.
Fact: Her poor attitude, hanging around backstage at Impact Wrestling tapings and relationship with former WWE / current Impact wrestler Alberto Del Rio may end up causing her to get the pink slip, but if anything, the release of these videos have probably saved and lengthened Paige’s relationship with the WWE. If it’s true that her phone was stolen and the photos and videos were hacked, she’s the victim and the perception and backlash that WWE would face if they kicked her while she was down would be tremendous. Plus there is that whole movie thing about the story of her life that WWE and The Rock are currently filming. The WWE has far too much time and money invested in that project to just drop it. I don’t honestly ever think we’ll see Paige in a WWE ring again, but I think her job is pretty safe for the time being. They’ll wait for another wellness violation or until it’s all died down and pretty much faded from memory and quietly release her then, later rather than sooner.
2. A Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns Universal title match for WrestleMania 34; this will result in another failed coronation of Reigns as the top face in WWE.
Fiction: I honestly don’t know which way to go here. If properly booked and Reigns is allowed to be more of himself than the overly scripted character he’s forced to portray, it could work and be successful. Or it could bomb big time. There is way too much time between now and next year’s Wrestlemania and far too many outside forces and variables to consider to really speculate this soon. I don’t really care much for Roman one way or the other, but I can see money in the man and his character if used correctly. The hardest part for the WWE and Vince is finding that direction to take him and getting it right, something they haven’t been able to do yet.
3. Raw has been too focused on Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley instead of really pushing WrestleMania feuds.
Fact: I love the interaction between Mick and Steph to a point, but what is the point? Mick can’t wrestle, can’t take any kind of physical abuse and it’s pretty clear that the Mick Foley we’ve been seeing for the past six months is, with a few rare exceptions, a shadow of what his character could be. As for Steph, she plays the bitch role and no one can ever get any kind of real revenge or payback on her and it defeats the whole purpose. GM’s and authority figures are best used with a “less is more” approach to further along the storylines and help push the wrestlers. This hasn’t been happening as much as it should and too much time is spent on characters like Mick and Steph who don’t wrestle. There is no payoff here and it’s really hurt the RAW and WWE products.
4. Southpaw Regional Wrestling is the most fun and original thing WWE as done in years.
Fact: I wouldn’t really call it original, but it’s funny as hell and something I would never expect from a company like the WWE, mocking (in a loving way) and doing a parody of wrestling from the early days. I want to see more.
5. You are excited for Impact Wrestling’s new working relationships with AAA, CRASH & Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Fiction: I’m happy for the wrestlers involved because it will give them more opportunities to work, make money and show off their talents to different audiences. But I don’t watch Impact Wrestling. I’ll keep track of their product because I like Chris Masters, who has joined the Impact roster, but I just don’t really have much use for them overall. I wish them success because it’s best for business and best for the wrestlers, but given the way they’re trying to do Matt and Jeff and the Hardy clan, Impact Wrestling will never be all that much in my eyes.
6. Who is the one talent that you feel has been shafted in terms of not receiving a marquee match at WrestleMania 33?
There are quite a few talents that I feel deserve better than they’re getting at Wrestlemania 33, but the ones that stand out the most to me are Big Show, Braun Strowman and Luke Harper. Big Show was suppopsed to be taking on Shaquille O’Neill in a featured match at Wrestlemania, but for whatever reason, that deal fell through. Now he’s been thrown into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal with all of the other talents that don’t have a major match. Why? Braun Strowman has been built up like a major monster and has really improved so much over the past 8 months, but he’s not even booked in a match yet. I realize that may change and he may end up part of the Undertaker / Roman Reigns match and if so, that’s cool, but he doesn’t belong stuck in a Battle Royal or some stupid filler match. He deserves better than that. Or just have Braun fight Big Show. Problem solved for both men.
But I think my answer is Luke Harper. He’s busted his ass so much and was in the title picture against Bray Wyatt just a few weeks ago. He won the Battle Royal to become the #1 contender when AJ Styles foot touched the floor first, despite creative editing and denial by the WWE. He fought AJ for the right to go against Bray and lost that match, but that obviously didn’t mean anything because AJ isn’t fighting Bray either. He’s fighting Shane McMahon. And Harper has just been totally forgotten about by everyone. I guess he’ll be stuck in the Andre Battle Royal too, but he should be going after his former mentor for the WWE title or at least injecting himself somewhere in the title picture. Since this Wrestlemania is full of multi-person matches, what is one more at this point? Have Harper attack Randy Orton and Bray on Smackdown this coming Tuesday and lay them both out, thus getting inserted into the mix and a triple-threat for the WWE title at Wrestlemania. An all-Wyatt family WWE title match? Works for me. Yeah, I think the most shafted wrestler in WWE right now in terms of not having a match at Wrestlemania is the former mainstay and former Intercontinental Champion, Luke Harper.
And there you go. So what do you think? Thoughts and comments are welcome and appreciated. And with that, I’m down and I’m gone for now. Have a great one and thanks for reading. I’ll catch you on the flip side.