"Every day I'm shufflin'..."
Boo-yah...here we go!!
Item #1: CM Punk kills the internet
I don't have any long diatribes to go on about on this subject that probably hasn't already been said a million times in the last week or so since Punk set the wrestling world on fire with his "shoot" promo.
I'm 100% in the camp of "THIS IS SCRIPTED ENTERTAINMENT, PEOPLE!!"
So what's all the hubbub about, then? If Punk was given a mic and given a script (or at the VERY least, given specific points to discuss) on a scripted television show, why are people losing their sh*t over it like it's the second coming of Jesus?
Sure...he said a few "insider" things. But did he say anything THAT inflammatory?? He made fun of Stephanie and Hunter. So what? Stephanie's been called a LOT worse by (as an example) Chris Jericho in numerous promos over the years. So because Punk said it with such conviction it's gotta be a shoot? And kids, don't for a second think that Hunter or Johnny Ace weren't absolutely in on the whole thing. They knew they were going to be brought up and probably knew exactly what was going to be said. Again...
People have said that this is Punk's "Austin 3:16" moment. Perhaps, but people tend to forget history sometimes. When Austin made fun of Jake Roberts that night when he won King of the Ring, that catchphrase didn't immediately light the world on fire. His next PPV opponent? Marc Mero.
It wasn't until months later when he began his program with Bret Hart did the whole "3:16" thing take off. So to compare Punk's promo to that is a little off the mark, in my opinion.
Listen...I'm as big a CM Punk mark as you're going to find on the internet. I'm certainly not here to crap on what was one of the best promos I've seen in years. But I'm also not naïve enough to think that this is the end-all-to-be-all moment that people are making it out to be.
Yes, it was awesome. No, WWE won't follow-up with anything equally as awesome. Because of that, I'm not overly excited about where this will go. I don't believe that WWE has the ability to follow-up on complete and total awesomeness with a great storyline that hooks in viewers (remember the weeks following the debut of the Nexus?)...I simply don't have faith in them anymore.
It's a shame, too. Punk has worked his ass off for years for a moment like this and deserves the attention he's been getting. My concern is that the poor follow-up by WWE will mean that this promo won't really end up being that memorable in five-to-ten years.
Enjoy it while you can.
Item #2: I'm all for pushing new talent but...Crimson and Gunner??
I'll be the first to say that I think TNA needs to get rid of some of their veteran talent that doesn't really do much of anything for their shows anymore (ex: Scott Steiner, Jackie, Devon, etc). My problem with their talent roster is that they push people inexplicably before dropping them.
AJ Styles – How many times has he been X-Division champion and TNA/NWA world champion? Yet is he pushed like the TNA royalty he deserves to be pushed as? No...not even close. He's just another upper mid-card guy to management.
Samoa Joe – What in the blue hell happened to HIS run with the company?? Where did it go and why did it go away?
Matt Morgan and Abyss – The guys are either unstoppable monsters or just more big-men that help put small men over.
So now all of a sudden we've got two new guys getting unbelievable pushes in TNA. I only say "unbelieveable" because neither one of them have proven to be over with the crowds in any capacity and haven't really done much that I can see that would justify these pushes.
They are giving him an undefeated streak? Granted, the guy has a good look to him but he's just so inexperienced in the ring...it doesn't make any sense to me. I guess they're trying to build the guy as an unstoppable monster and a streak is their way of creating a star. The only problem is that nobody watching really seems to give a rat's ass.
Pinfall victories over Sting and Ken
Anderson just baffle me on one level, but then to be mired-down in a feud with Eric f*cking Young at the same time makes NO sense to me at all. Again, nobody seems to care about this guy one way or the other but he's getting pushed like he's been knob-gobbling with the best of them in the back.
I'm not saying that these guys won't eventually deserve this type of push because they (hopefully) will. But with the likes of Bobby Roode, D'Angelo Dinero, and even Hernandez joining the above-mentioned Styles/Joe/Morgan/Abyss group, there are a lot more talented and deserving guys who have EARNED the singles pushes that these two men have received recently.
Item #3: Kelly Kelly is a whore.
At least that's what I've heard...
Item #4: Zack Ryder...what should WWE do with him?
Okay...let's do what the internet smarks want us to do and put Zack Ryder up on a pedestal with his face and name in neon lights.
Ryder is capable inside the ring, not great.
Ryder is slightly charismatic on promos, not great.
Ryder has a bit of originality and personality, not a lot.
So what is WWE supposed to do with a guy who is decent in many aspects, but not great in any of them? Should he be on RAW every week? Should he be pushed into the upper echelon of talent? Should he be getting focused on because of this YouTube thing he's got going on?
Ahhhh...there's the rub.
Ryder's popularity is on the rise, no question. The fact that his YouTube views out-perform WWE YouTube views isn't lost on management. The fact that his t-shirts are selling isn't lost on management. But the real kicker is that Ryder is a mark for the business and appears to love it more than any other guy out there at the moment.
THAT can be played into a storyline. THAT can be made into something compelling that will draw fan interest. Having a wrestler who not only is living the dream of being a WWE superstar, but still marks out for the business and loves it so much that it hurts...that can at least be something that WWE can run with.
He'll never get over with the whole "Long Island Iced Z" gimmick that he's got. Well, maybe he might...at the IC or US title level. But honestly, I don't see that happening under the current gimmick unless he gets some type of monster push.
And I don't see THAT happening any time soon, either.
Item #5: Kurt Angle "legitimately" wants to try to get spot on U.S. Olympic wrestling team.
You're an idiot, Angle. Move on with your life.
Item #6: Get him a new gimmick, a new name, and a new run in WWE...and this guy is the next JBL.
I couldn't be more serious when I say that Bully Ray is one of the greatest performers in the business today. All you need to do is see him and it's easy to tell that he's firing on all cylinders at the moment.
The problem is HIM. The day-glo camouflage shorts...the silly name...the same image he's had for the past 15 years...it's time for a change. I mean, he's lost some weight, cuts KILLER promos, and can still ‘go' inside the ring. I'm 100% serious when I say that he could be Smackdown champion if given a run with WWE under a different gimmick.
The question is...what gimmick should he get?
Captain Bubba Sparrow?
Bubs the Hobbit?
Sir Bubba of Camelot?
Or perhaps he could lead the new Tex-Mex faction and replace Hernandez?
Honestly...aren't these all better than what he's doing now?
Item #7: Mark Henry is finally interesting.
Between ripping off the cage on RAW a few weeks ago to man-handling the sound dude last week on Smackdown, Henry is FINALLY being booked as the monster he always should have been from the beginning.
Having sex with Mae Young or being "Sexual Chocolate" did nothing but prove to Vince McMahon that he was a team player. And I'll be honest...I'm surprised he has lasted this long with the company considering the lack of legit push he has had over that time.
But the dude can promo...he can carry his own in the ring...he's scary lookin'. Put those three things together and you have the potential to build a solid heel push around him.
And really, in this point in his career hasn't he earned that much?
(and thanks to T-Dog in the forum for the two awesome gifs of Henry)
Item #8: His push is there...no wait, it's gone...it's back...it's gone again.
Somebody please tell me just what in the blue hell is going on with D'Angelo Dinero and TNA?
I've been a fan of Elijah Burke since the first time I saw him in OVW. As time has gone on and he got an opportunity with ECW, I was impressed on a weekly basis at just how talented the guy was in all aspects of the business. When he was finally brought up to the main roster as a mouthpiece for Sylvester Terkay, I thought he'd finally be able to break through and show upper management just what he was capable of.
Instead, "The Pope" was born in TNA a short time later.
To say his career in TNA has been a number of hills and valleys would be an understatement. But at this point, how he's not constantly on the upper mid-card with the likes of Samoa Joe and AJ Styles is beyond me.
The guy is one of the best promos in the business. Sure, it's a blatant rip-off of Dusty Rhodes but it's not like anybody really remembers that. And in the ring? Pope is as capable as anybody you'll find (though the dude really needs to update his finisher).
So why do his pushes keep stalling out? I don't get it...the guy is money.
Heh...see what I did there? "Dinero"... "money"...I'm a f*ckin' literary genius.
Item #9: Does Billy Gunn deserve a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Guess who recently gave an interview where he said that he deserved to be in the WWE Hall of Fame?
Listen....when you have TOO MANY LESS DESERVING PEOPLE being recognized in the Hall of Fame for their many years (or not) of service, it really helps put things into perspective, doesn't it?
I mean, on the surface you wouldn't think that anybody who was called "Mr. Ass" should be in ANY kind of Hall of Fame except, perhaps, a Hall of Fame about asses (or jackasses, in Gunn's case).
But considering the stuff this guy did in DX (especially his work in the New Age Outlaws), not to mention his extended tenure with the WWE (Smokin' Gunns, anyone?)...it's kinda hard to NOT see him eventually making his way in there.
deserve a spot? Well...you may want to disagree...but if Koko B Ware does then so does Mr. Ass, I suppose.
Item #10: I like crazy Sting.
I don't think I've ever seen charisma or interesting character development come out of Sting...EVER. The only time I had even a slight interest in the guy was when he was up in the rafters of arenas and not saying anything.
But now? Heh...NOW the guy is entertaining me.
Is it completely over-the-top and silly? Sure. Is it only kind of original? Yep. Is there anybody else doing this right now in the industry?
NOPE...and that's why I like it. It may not be original and unique, but it's different for Sting...and that goes a LONG way when it comes to re-inventing yourself. Just look at my comments on Bully Ray earlier. Can you imagine the damage he could be doing under a completely different gimmick?
And yes, I realize that Sting's gimmick is still pretty much intact. Just the fact that he's acting so dang goofy is showing me a side of him that I've never seen before. He's entertaining me...and really, that's what he should have been doing all along.
Item #11: LOSER OF THE WEEK
Each and every time I write this column, I pick somebody (not necessarily always from wrestling) who has either acted in a dumb way, said something stupid, or generally was an idiot in some way, shape, or form recently. This week's winner is somebody who you've probably never heard of. And in a week where there were lots of potential winners, this guy stood out to me and caught my eye. T
time around, ZAH's Loser of the Week is...
Yeah...you could kinda see this one coming, couldn't you?
Long story short, the host of "To Catch a Predator" was apparently caught on videotape going on a romantic date with a woman who wasn't his wife. A woman, apparently, who has been dating the guy for around four months.
It's really all about the irony of the situation that makes it more fun than it should. A guy who got famous for catching online sexual predators on camera was actually caught cheating on his wife on camera.
Mind you, it's no Anthony Weiner showing his weiner on Twitter...but it's still kinda fun!
Well...that's all I got this time around. I gotta thank Nawaaz from South Africa for helping start an "online petition" of sorts in the Insanity Forum, as it's because of him that I returned for the column. Will I do another one? Meh...who knows? But I certainly appreciate you clicking the link that brought you here and for reading my column. I mean, if it weren't for you reading this column then I'd really just be blogging to myself...and that's just weird.
Got something to say? You can let me know either by emailing me at ZAH.at.the.Insanity@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter (@_ZAH_).
Until next time, kids...take care.