- Radio DePaul Sports
Roman's Rants Vol One: Brock Lesnar, get off our television screens please!
Joe Roman Jr.
This past week was the beginning of a new era in professional wrestling. Not since 1995 have fans been so divided between the two companies.
The reigning pro-wrestling juggernaut is WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) formally known as WWF (World Wrestling Federation) tried to pull out the big guns, but fans were still left unhappy.
The new company AEW (All Elite Wrestling) backed up by billionaire Tony Khan and professional wrestling's favorite band of “Indy Darlings” are here for war and kicked out their television debut showing they’re ready to fight for ratings dominance.
Monday 9/30/19: Monday Night Yawn
The longest weekly episodic television show in history has been WWE’s Monday Night Raw. While the announcers love to mention that at the beginning of the broadcast it’s not something to be proud of.
This was the “go home” show before Sunday’s Hell in a Cell pay per view. Although WWE had advertised this week’s show as the season premiere, it ended up being a typical episode that WWE fans have grown to accept.
The biggest problem with WWE's main two shows, Raw and Smackdown, (keep reading for more on that hot mess) is the writing. By writing I mean the way that the show just plays out. The WWE has relied so much on writers and turning the shows into sports-themed soap operas then giving fans more time to enjoy what goes on in the ring instead of what goes on backstage, or segments in the ring.
Another big problem within the WWE comes in the form of the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Lesnar, and the WWE continuing to beat a dead horse by establishing Lesnar as an unstoppable force. Before taking on WWE Champion Kofi Kingston on Friday, Lesnar attacks a man half his size and his son ruining the night’s main event.
With that and some mediocre segments and half-assed matches, Raw fell flat as WWE was hoping to reinvent itself.
2 out of 5
Wednesday 10/2/19: The Wednesday Night Wars BEGIN!
Now, this is what pro-wrestling should be all week long. The debut of AEW’s show Dynamite going up against WWE’s developmental program NXT debuting on the USA network.
If you are new to pro-wrestling or want to give it another shot, then this is the day you need to watch.
AEW kicks off their television debut on TNT with a taste of nostalgia and all signs looking positive for the company’s future. Young talent and legends from the independent and international wrestling companies show that there is no need for comedy segments or boring call-outs in the ring.
Plus, the surprising inclusion of former WWE wrestlers and wrestlers from other smaller companies help introduce more talent to a much wider audience.
AEW Dynamite overall was a proper introduction to a new company that isn’t afraid of going up against the big boys. A two-hour show filled with good wrestling, good storytelling without the use of backstage segments and giving the fans something exciting to look forward too.
NXT has been for the last couple of years WWE’s little brother that is the favorite to mommy and daddy. Fans all over the world love the old school vibe the show brings. There are hardly any backstage segments and no use of a jumbotron showing the matches to the audience live. Instead, it has a retro vibe with spotlights shining on the ring and no other lights on.
The main WWE shows need to take a page out of NXT’s playbook. NXT featured returning stars coming “home” to the black and gold brand. Finn Balor and Tommaso Ciampa both former champions returned with their eyes set on the current champion Adam Cole. With the returns, great matches, and amazing NXT crowd it’s hard to pick a winner for this first battle between WWE and AEW.
Just this one time the shows tie 4.5 out of 5
Friday 10/4/19: A HUGE Smack to the Fans.
Friday was the worst way to end this week of wrestling TV shows. WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown debut on FOX, and it felt like riding the Demon at Six Flags Great America. It looked good, but you leave with a headache and regret your decision.
First off why announce the inclusion of several legends like The Undertaker and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin when they’re only being shown in a video package before. The matches were mediocre at best, and that includes a ladder match with some brutal moves happening.
The biggest failure, however, was Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Championship in under 10 seconds. With about 5-10 minutes left on the broadcast, fans were left stunned as Brock was shown lifting the championship belt over his head.
Then came one of the most random moments in the 20-year history of Smackdown. Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez appears and charges and Brock who is left shocked. This was not only funny, but weird no one saw this coming and the reactions from the crowd show.
In the end, once Smackdown went off the air it was reported by the YouTube channel What Culture Wrestling that fans were in the Staples Center in LA chanting AEW and booing as the show went off the air.
Ok, seriously Brock Lesnar is only in the business for the money. His character is stale and hasn't been entertaining since 2002. There are many talented wrestlers in the WWE that love the sport. They should be competing for the championship, and not some hack who barely made it in the UFC.
WWE has done this for years bringing in yesterday’s trash and reusing in to give the trash some retirement money, and fans like myself are sick and tired of it. I am sick of seeing some giant doofus who was big for a With that being said at this moment I have nothing, but faith that AEW will continue to grow and WWE will settle for the same garbage they’ve given fans for the last few years.
1.5 out of 5
Sunday 10/7/19: What the Hell In A Cell was that?
If you’re new to professional wrestling, let me explain the concept of Sunday’s show: Hell In A Cell is a giant steel cage that encloses the entire ring and the floor around it. Hell In A Cell was a popular match to conclude a rivalry but is now the name of an entire show. The show itself only features the match twice with one of the two matches being horrible. Last night only proves that.
The main event from last night's show was WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins versus Bray Wyatt. Wyatt has recently reinvented his character and is now called “The Fiend.” The character is a lot like Mr. Rogers and Two-Face mixed.
The build-up to the match was promising with Wyatt attacking Rollins week after week. There were also several installments of Wyatt’s show Firefly Fun House. The show is a parody of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. What could have closed out an already decent show led to one of the worst endings I’ve seen in a WWE show.
Rollins spent the entire match looking desperate by using multiple weapons and hitting his finishing move “The Stomp” more than 10 times. All that effort did not pay off as Wyatt would “kick-out” every pinfall attempt after the one count.
Wyatt looked like he was on the warpath bouncing back from Rollins attacks and dominating the champion with his attacks. Wyatt would even use a square-shaped mallet featured in his show to drive Rollins into one of the cage walls.
Nothing was going to stop Wyatt from winning the Universal Championship, and that’s when the match to a turn for the worst. after being stomped for what felt like the 50th time Wyatt was then buried with weapons from a ladder to chairs. Rollins then went to grab a sledgehammer to put the finishing blow. The referee was pleading with Seth not to use the weapon. Seth would ignore the referee and deliver the final blow in the match. The referee would then call for the bell and the match was over.
I have been a wrestling fan since I was almost 4 years old. One of the most remembered moments in WWE history was a Hell In A Cell match were WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley was thrown off the top of the cell roof, and that match continued until there was a clear winner.
A Hell In A Cell match has no rules, but the WWE decided to re-write the rules and screw the thousands in attendance in Sacramento and the millions wasting their money on the WWE Network.
WWE has once again given fans the “bird” and given them the exact opposite of what they wanted. A company that multiple times have gone on live television to say they listen to their audience clearly show that they don’t.
Former WWE wrestler Sean Waltman known as X-Pac was featured on a live stream saying, “How the hell do you get DQ-ed in a freaking Hell In A Cell match.”
AEW Executive Matt Jackson used WWE’s blunder to promote AEW Dynamite on TNT. “We’ll be back Wednesday for a new episode of Dynamite on TNT.”
In the end, WWE is giving fans a really bad product, and the fans are letting them know. #CancelWWEnetwork is trending on Twitter and multiple videos or fans booing and chanting AEW are all over social media.
At this point, the WWE continues to leave fans like myself with a bad taste in our mouths, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they bounce back.