Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Star or Same Old?

They just announced that they'd do a one-night tournament for Wrestlemania Axxess between Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze, Finn Balor, and Hideo Itami with the winner getting a slot in the Andre Memorial Battle Royal.

Do we get hopes up and think this might be them launching Balor, entrance and all, on the grand stage, or... Breeze wins and gets tossed by Big Show while he's taking a selfie?


​It would be literally pointless to debut Finn Balor with full entrance and then have him get tossed out with one of other geeks in that thing, so I'm thinking this is where Neville moves up to the big roster for good.  He can be the new Kofi and would probably be more impressive in that environment with a short amount of time anyway.  ​

66 comments:

  1. Feel bad for Owens and Zayn being injured and missing out. I'm sure both will make up for tho.

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  2. Maybe.

    But for the record, does anyone think Lesnar vs Austin at any point would've worked? Most of Austin's attitude era matches are him kicking the shit out of people and winning conclusively. Which conflicts with Lesnar's style of kicking the shit out of people and winning conclusively. Also the fact that in 1998, no way is Austin going to be able to take Lesnar's full on offence.

    Ambrose vs Rollins should've been the Mania pay-off. Just have the Wyatt Family join The Authority, then have Ambrose go through them to get to Rollins again.

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  3. Not sure why it's so hard to understand to BoDers that NXT guys are not just gonna waltz in and do cool shit to guys who have been on the main roster for years. If Balor is gonna debut it'll be several months, IMO, before his grand entrance, just like it was in NXT.

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  4. Credit where it's due, Ambrose still gets a pretty good reaction. Says a lot about him. He'll be a main-eventer at some point.

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  5. I remember the Ambrose - Rollins Raw main event and Ambrose was just absolutely on fire. He was humbled with a WWE "cooling off". I don't get it.

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  6. They've been grooming Reigns for this spot since 2013, as Punk can attest. So no, IMO.

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  7. Anyone taken from where Reigns was to where they want him to be inside of 3 months would have failed. The problem is only 30% Reigns. The majority of the problem is the blatant "THIS IS THE NEW GUY YOU LOVE CHEER FOR HIM LOVE THIS GUY GODDAMNIT" stench of taking someone from the midcard to beating Brock Lesnar in such a short period of time.

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  8. Ambrose would have worked in this slot because the audience actually felt like Ambrose CARED about something. Rollins took away the thing that mattered most to him, and a storyline of Ambrose trying to take away something from Rollins of equal value would have been great. Even if Ambrose failed to take the briefcase, the drive to become champion before Rollins just to spite Rollins would have worked well. Imagine the heartbreak if Rollins cashed in on Ambrose after a title victory.

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  9. Uh, the emailer does know that Balor/Owens has to happen before Balor moves up, yeah?

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  10. They've already done that match. I think it airs next week.

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  11. Did they? I was unaware.

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  12. I'm not positive but I swore I saw an ad during this week's show that hyped it for next week.

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  13. 1. I definitely thin that Ambrose was surprisingly hot enough that more solid booking would have him a legit main eventer right now, and perhaps even a future top guy. On the other hand, this is kind of begging the question: If *Reigns* had similarly gotten proper booking and character development since The Shield split, he'd probably be in that spot too.

    2. That said, I think this is all largely missing the point: The crowd wanted Bryan-Brock at Wrestlemania, and nothing else was going to suffice. At the point WWE decides it's not going to be Bryan, they've completely yucked it up and somehow managed to fuck up the easy booking pattern Lesnar was obviously supposed to follow.

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  14. You only get to be popular and make them money if they say it's okay.

    Seriously, I'm just gobsmacked at how much easy shit they've been able to fuck up this past year. Like that match: Rollins wins by cheating, Ambrose doesn't even pause when the match ends, comes back, and beats the holy hell out of Rollins anyway. Rollins gets the win and comes out a stronger heel, Ambrose pushes his Loose Cannon gimmick and maintains his heat even while doing the job. Both guys come out looking good and are the sort of legitimate upper mid carders who can carry second billing on a show and occasionally plug into the main event on their way to main event status. A 12 year old could book this stuff.

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  15. I don't think it's the 3 month span, I think it's everything going back to The Shield split, even when he was getting great reactions. Ultimately, once they broke up The Shield they just stopped putting effort in to Reigns. They had him talk too much, had him go out and sell offense from too many people (and then job to Big Show on the road to Wrestlemania ferchrissakes), and gave him literally no character motivation whatsoever outside of being the obvious golden boy. I mean, they couldn't even bother to remember that he should've cared about Rollins turning on him and cracking him with a fucking chair from behind.

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  16. The WWE story says "will include" those four (kind of like Bo Dallas winning a tournament to get into the Rumble a few years ago to start his epic feud with IC champ Wade Barrett before disappearing for a while), so it's possible someone else could just make an appearance in the battle royal rather than a full-time call-up.

    http://www.wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania/nxt-tournament-axxess-andre-battle-royal-27213847

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  17. This is the single best explanation of why the Roman Reigns pushed failed:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/SquaredCircle/comments/2zq2pp/the_actual_sequence_of_events_that_led_to_roman/

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  18. Yeah, this isn't the best time for Finn Balor. He needs to come in with a big angle, not as a random guy in a battle royal. Adrian Neville could make a good showing in this kind of match, win or lose.

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  19. This reminds of when Bo Dallas won a spot in the 2013 Royal Rumble, where he eliminated Barrett and then started a mini-feud with him. He lasted on the main roster for like 2 weeks, and then was back in NXT until mid-2014.

    I imagine whoever wins this tournament for the Mania spot will have a similar fate.

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  20. Which is a shame, since it would be a huge shot in the arm for a guy like Sami Zayn, Neville or Kevin Owens to come in an immediately mix with the main eventers. Instead theyll spend a year on the main roster "paying dues" and trading 50/50 wins and learning how to shake hands in the back and when not to use the ice packs.

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  21. I was gonna say that winning the Battle Royal would be an awesome way for a guy like Neville or Balor to debut, then u remember what great things winning it did for Cesaro.

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  22. They'd be destroyed politically by the Orton's, the Cena's etc if they were thrown in without 'paying their dues.' Just look at how Barrett dropped down the card after Cena was done with him in the Nexus days.

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  23. I kept saying it on the fall: I believe Dean Amborse can out-crazy BROCK , I believe Bryan can out-wrestle BROCK, I believe Ziggler can out-last* BROCK, but I don't believe Roman can over-power BROCK.

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  24. Ambrose needed to beat Rollins at Hell in the Cell, but WWE seems to be unable to book a match where the babyface wins but the heel also gets over.

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  25. Read the reddit thread. That guy nailed it.

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  26. But he got to go make a movie!!

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  27. That's revisionist history. Ambrose went after Rollins for being a traitor while Reigns went after the Authority for paying him off.

    He was in a program with Rollins right after the Orton match that got scuttled by the hernia. He DID care about being betrayed, injury just knocked him out of that story.

    If Reigns doesn't get injured and gets the Rollins feud and Dolph's spot at SS he's doing better than he is now with the crowd.

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  28. I dunno, you think big show can withstand the awesome power of finger guns pointed at him?

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  29. I think you're right about the intentions, but the way it came off, Roman didnt really care about the betrayal so it looked weak.

    Also he was in all these "multi-man" matches that he couldn't win so it made him look weak. Over the summer, dominating authority scrubs in the Battleground/MITB ppvs would have actually made more sense in the "going after the authority" angle story. Beat Kane, beat another Authority agent (Cesaro?) in convincing fashion in the run up to Orton.

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  30. It might be slightly exaggerated, but it's certainly not "revisionist." Reigns went after Orton, which was just stupid (he never got the Triple H match that was supposed to happen, which WOULD have made sense), we never got a Rollins/Orton-Ambrose/Reigns tag match or what have you, and Reigns never went after Rollins with anything resembling the fury of Ambrose. He's just not a character who resembles a human being at all. The last time he was the night he cut that "when Roman Reigns is in the buildup you're damn right Cena sucks" promo.

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  31. Yes. Austin puts Brock over at Wresltmania xix in one last stand for the title would have absolutely worked.

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  32. Ambrose is the best on the mic of any current full time wrestler. He'll be fine.

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  33. I'm pretty sure his last appearance pre-injury was when Rollins was gloating about beating Ambrose and all of a sudden Reigns music hit and the crowd popped.

    They had to bring Ambrose back earlier than intended at that PPV if I remember correctly.

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  34. Haha, yeah I think he can, Dougie, but really it's hard to predict the future.

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  35. Yeah the execution was terrible, but it was leading to Reigns getting vengeance on Rollins.

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  36. Yeah not saying it's right, but that's the way it's been for a 100 years.

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  37. Reigns won the 14-15 Ahmed Johnson award for horribly timed injuries.

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  38. This strikes me as a way to get Itami on the show so they can say he was on a Wrestlemania before giving up.

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  39. The dude's neck was fried in 2003. He could barely wrestle The Rock, who's one of the safest guys they've ever had. Take away Brock's suplexes and power moves, and your left with not a lot.

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  40. Charismatic eNegro Jef VinsonMarch 21, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    "He can replace. Kofi..."

    Nevillle is gonna be a dancing Negro?

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  41. It's a decent summary from the "smart" fan/anyone but Reigns (at least at this time) perspective (or whatever you call the strong anti-Reigns section of the fanbase) but inaccurate (or at least debatable) on several points (even discounting minor disputes like the Summerslam interest being in Stephanie, who had killed Brie's heat in segment after segment after accepting the match - "At Summerslam, I'll make you my bitch" onward - and certainly not in Nikki's heel turn, even before the hilarious "But I never told anyone" segments):


    1- There was initial backlash to Reigns as soon as the Shield was announced, with some people not liking why indie darlings Tyler Black and Jon Moxley were being stuck with a green big former football player. It quieted with how well the Shield were presented (and how effective each of them were in their respective roles, including making it clear that Reigns was not the leader just because he was the biggest), but it's much easier to bring back those feelings than if they hadn't been there in the first place.


    2- This group did not think it was a lock that Reigns was going to win even before Bryan returned: people were still holding out hope that Ambrose or Ziggler would win; they were more trying to convince themselves that it could happen than thinking anyone but Reigns was the favorite, but they had not yet fully given up hope. People thought that Ziggler's showing at Survivor Series was evidence that management was finally going to give him the big push (even with his meek response to being fired just before the Rumble). People thought Ambrose's strong emotional connection gave him a chance (even though he was generally losing wacky gimmick feuds with Wyatt after losing via hologram to Rollins). People thought Orton might make his surprise return (not that he would have been much better, but at least it wasn't Reigns). Hell, if you look at the betting odds (for what those are worth), a fair amount of early money came in on the Rock, who at one point was even the 3rd favorite behind Reigns and Bryan. A few even thought Punk might return.


    Bryan obviously became the great hope (even though they ignored how little he was mentioned during his long absence aside from a few digs from the Authority - including things like the Yes Chant at sporting events and his actions when his house was burglarized - as opposed to being hyped with return videos - or being a surprise Rumble entrant a la Cena in 2008 or whichever year that was; how his return came on a year-end show with little build up; how he lost to Wyatt in one of his first matches back and faced Kane in another; how he talked about the Rumble and, I believe, did not mention his potential title rematch after being stripped before the Rumble; how, because of how poorly Bryan was treated in his absence, that the rest of the fanbase was no longer as strongly behind Bryan as they had been at Mania as the ABR group still was), but they still (desperately) believed that someone other than Reigns would win (I'd view a "lock" as being resigned/certain something would happen, which didn't seem like their emotional state).

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  42. Well, yeah, the way he's being booked is terrible, too, but sadly, I think that's a given for everyone in the modern WWE.

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  43. I agree with 2, but not 1 at all. You can't just say if guy X was booked the same way as guy Y they'd be equally successful. More successful? Sure, if he got the aforementioned character development/proper booking, naturally he'd be in a better spot than he is in now. But Ambrose has a natural energy and charisma to him that Reigns just doesn't have.

    I imagine he'll improve over time - Reigns that is - and become much, much better than he is now, and maybe he will catch fire. Who can say? But his time isn't now. I feel the only reason he's getting any notable support is because of how strongly so many people hate his push, simple inevitable backlash.

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  44. People hate being told who to cheer for. Period. And he just doesn't have that natural charisma. I imagine he'd be more popular, sure. Maybe even significantly so. Would his natural progression in popularity demand a push as Brock's Wrestlemania world title opponent? I guess there is always a chance, but I feel fairly comfortable with an emphatic 'no'.

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  45. Of course it could work. Keep them apart and don't let them get physical leading up to their match with whatever trickery possible. I'm sure Brock isn't in the business of hurting guys just to do it, especially guys he can make a bajillion dollars wrestling (ie, Austin).

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  46. I think an incredible worker like Austin (he absolutely was) could find a way to work a great match with Brock and keep himself as safe as pro wrestling allows, I might add.

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  47. Been a "success" from WWE management's perspective, or from the entire fanbase, or from the type of people who post on this site (not that everyone agrees, but the volume of Reigns/Bryan topics suggests a general consensus)? I'll focus on my perspective of the entire fanbase.

    Giving Ambrose Reigns' current push with no changes (i.e. he still has to say sufferin succotash son)? No. The promos would have been delivered better (and Ambrose would have covered any flubs better), the brawls with people like Kane and Big Show would have been more intense (and gotten a better crowd response), but the Rumble performance might have killed Ambrose even more given how much Reigns' lifeless performance would have been even more jarring with such an energetic character like Ambrose. Ambrose also wasn't as strong as Reigns coming out of the Shield, as he often seemed to be the guy taking losses, and his US title reign was rather a joke. The three-month absence would have hurt anyone, though I wonder who Reigns would have faced at NoC and Hell in a Cell before presumably getting Ziggler's spot (well, probably Rowan's, but Ziggler's role) at Survivor Series (and whether he would have interacted with Sting more than having his lifeless body being put on top of Rollins).


    Giving him Reigns' current push but not being as limited in what they could give him (e.g. more freedom with promos)...probably not. I do agree with the intense emotional connection (even if it might not be Austin-level) and think people really like Ambrose, but (to my eyes) that connection was strongest with the blood feud with Rollins (and has declined since but remains fairly strong); going into a less personally intense feud with Orton instead wouldn't have cemented/established this connection with the general fanbase enough.

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  48. I love Ambrose but Brock is the wrong opponent for him to go up against. The loose cannon anti hero can go against sleazy and scummy and crazy opponents but against a monster like Brock you either need a conquering hero or a fearless underdog. Having the Byronic hero slay the monster is a weird story to tell. Whenever Rollins becomes champ i'd be glad to see Ambrose reignite that feud and get a trial run on top.

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  49. It would sell tickets just based on star power but the match would have been a huge style clash. And its a weird story to tell for the same reasons I gave above with Ambrose.

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  50. Vince brought in Itami solely to take the Taka Michinoku elimination bump from Big Show.

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  51. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogMarch 21, 2015 at 10:47 AM

    I think Dean taking a hellacious asskicking and Brock having to mercy kill him after constant acts of defiance makes Ambrose. Like Hart/Austin in a way

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  52. He's not. But Austin's neck was fucked in 2003. Like proper 'I got two matches then have to retire' fuck. And Lesnar doesn't try to hurt anyone, but the dude went full-in against Kurt Angle at Mania when Kurt had a fucked up neck. It's just Brock's nature to have a hard hitting style.

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  53. "He can be the new Kofi"

    *Walks away sadly, knowing his time has come and gone*

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  54. (brackets) used too (much), it's like (someone) interrupting you while you're (trying) to read

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  55. It's almost like those guys could have been quality challengers that helped lay the foundation for Reigns/Brock in some manner, also being interesting matchups on their own.

    Awful idea, then.

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  56. Yes, as the e-mailer I knew Balor/Owens was scheduled for March 25th on NXT. I didn't think we'd get something as cool as a full Balor entrance followed by a star-making win-- but I thought it'd be good for discussion.

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  57. It's not hard to understand, it's just hard not to think about guys from one "promotion" coming in and doing as well or better in another "promotion". And look at The Shield, they came right in and did cool shit to guys who had been on the main roster for years, so it's not without precedent.

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  58. Attacking Ryback is not constituted as cool shit.

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  59. Wasn't just Ryback - they kicked the crap out of pretty much everyone.

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  60. I don't see any problem with Ambrose being a part of the Barrett / Bryan / Ziggler IC title picture.

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  61. Thanks (for the feedback) jack(ass).

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  62. Are you fucking kidding me?

    Heyzeus Q Khrist, Scoot, you are the fattest fuck to ever fat the planet Fat. Ambrose is damaged? Uhhh okay. Plz give three hundred concrete factual, non-delusional examples of this being the case... rather than the simple fact that he's over.

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  63. Just offering some advice, it was really hard to read

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  64. Why are you so obsessed with that very small detail of the man's persona?

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  65. If they want to do that Mighty Mouse gimmick with Neville then debuting at a battle royal could be a good way to start him off.

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