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New Survivor Series stipulation (Spoiler), TNA’s network deal, Wyatt dragging Ambrose down

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survivor-matchup

WWE made the bizarre decision to announce on Smackdown this week (warning Smackdown spoiler following) that if Team Cena lost at the Survivor Series then each and every member of the team would be fired. I’m not sure this necessarily foreshadows the main event result but it certainly seems to place WWE into a situation where the likelihood is that neither possible stipulation coming out of the main event will be honoured.

I wrote in an earlier column that the setting up of the original stipulation by Vince McMahon that if the Authority lost then they would be out of power could possibly be leading to a main event program for control of the company that was first planned for last years WrestleMania in New Orleans. All indications remain though that the reason that was nixed in the first place, Vince not wanting to appear as a regular on screen character, absolutely remains.

As for the alternative, it’s obvious to everyone that Team Cena, especially the leader of the team, would not be off of TV for any amount of time at all if they do end up as the losing participants. Booking such as this cheapens stipulations overall and makes it far more difficult to book something where they intend on a stipulation being a serious draw for a match. The decision to leave the announcement to Smackdown, two nights before the pay per view airs, is extremely puzzling and suggests that plans behind the scenes are as chaotic as ever with no long-term vision in place.

bella-yes

Brie Bella should never do the ‘Yes’ chant, I hated her being involved in the Daniel Bryan storyline post WrestleMania and if they want him to have any chance of reaching the popularity he did before his layoff then those two should be kept completely separate on TV.

Bray Wyatt, so popular at the start of the year, seems to absolutely suck the life out of the crowd now with his overly long, point lacking promos and unfortunately he has really dragged Dean Ambrose down with him in recent weeks. In the lead up to Hell in a Cell, Ambrose was pretty much the lead babyface on the show and now he is an after thought not involved in the main storyline in the company. It would be one thing if the match surpassed expectations but aside from Wyatt’s match with Bryan at the Royal Rumble in January he hasn’t connected at all in ring. It is time to consider a switch in direction for the character now which feels exceedingly stale already.

TNA announcing a new TV deal, albeit on a far weaker network than Spike, is excellent news. Wrestling needs a number two company in the States, no matter how far behind WWE they are and I hope that they use this opportunity to really work out what their identity is going to be. Producing a ‘WWE Lite’ product is not going to cut it, they need to find their own niche and develop their own names and stars from the ground up.

Dare I say an ultra athletic promotion where the exciting match ups are treated as if they are completely real, with belts at the centre of what every wrestler strives for should be the basis from which to grow. You can still have babyfaces and heels within that framework – just look at some of the most successful UFC & boxing pay per views and the public has in a lot of cases a clearly defined fan favourite and a bad guy/girl. What they certainly have though in all instances is an emotional investment in who wins the contest and that is the most important thing any wrestling company needs to remember and try to deliver.

Finally, if a wrestling show is already three hours long why on earth is an over run needed? I feel like I’ve aged after suffering through every single overly long drawn out Raw. Unfortunately the change back to two hours, or better still 90 minutes, that the product so desperately needs is as far away as ever.

Near 30 year fan of Professional wrestling, I grew up watching World of Sport in the UK before getting into the WWF in 1990. Favourite performers of all time are Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage & Steve Austin. Highlights as a fan were being there live for Rock vs Austin at WrestleMania X-Seven, Hogan vs Rock at WrestleMania X8 & CM Punk vs the Rock at Royal Rumble '13.

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