Thursday, May 24, 2012

Random Wrestling Thoughts: Macho Man, Monday Night Raw, iMPACT

A few random thoughts:

The other day was the one-year anniversary of the passing of professional wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Check the links below for two blogs I wrote about the subject at that time. The first is a random promo of his that I put linked upon hearing the news. The second is the official WWE tribute video they premiered a few days after his death.

While we're on the subject of wrestling, it is an odd time to be a wrestling fan. The WWE is continuing to push this John Lauranitais character on us, despite nobody really finding him enjoyable. I've written before about my displeasure with "Evil Authority Figure" angles and this is one of the worst.

It seems like WWE knows that myself and others like me don’t care for that, which is why they're giving us a CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan feud. It's like Vince McMahon is saying, "They hate my main story, so let's have these guys wrestle for half an hour on pay-per-view so they'll shut up."

WWE and TNA both announced huge deals on the same day. WWE's flagship show "Monday Night Raw" will soon expand to 3 hours, while TNA’s "iMPACT Wrestling" program will switch from taped to live this summer.

The TNA announcement is very good. One of the big problems with the promotion is that they would tape 2-3 weeks of programming at a time, and results would get out. The reason that this is done is because of cost issues. It is cheaper to tape a lot of content at one time than to do a live show.

TNA being live is just an experiment for the summer. I guess the idea here is that hopefully going live each week will improve ratings, which will offset any additional costs.

I have mixed feelings on WWE's 3-hour announcement. I need to see it in effect before I pass judgment. If it's just a 3-hour version of the 2-hour show, I don’t think that will be a good idea. World Championship Wrestling had a 3-hour show for a couple years in the late 1990s. When the writing was strong and the talent was there, WCW filling a 3-hour show each week was easy and it was fun program to watch. It was when most of the key talent left and the writing wasn’t as good that a 3-hour program started to drag.

At the moment, I don't think WWE has the talent and writing ability to fill a 3-hour show. If they do something different and groundbreaking, that would be something to see. WWE has toyed around with a Monday night countdown show of sorts, possibly online or on the long-awaited WWE Network. Maybe 8 p.m. until 9 p.m. could be a couple talking heads recapping the last week in wrestling and getting us ready for the 9 - 11 p.m. block.

Overall, it's a good time to be a wrestling fan. Ring of Honor is coming to Charleston in June. I’m attending the show with @Candace07. It should be fun. Check out my Facebook album from the WWE SmackDown live event that we attended a while back. It was during Edge’s last run as World Heavyweight Champion, as he retired due to injuries just four months later.

As a final side note, WWE recently released a DVD retrospective of Edge’s career. It’s a great documentary. I highly recommend it. A 3-disk set, the second and third disks feature matches from his career. In 2008, WWE released a 3-disk match compilation of Edge’s career, so that’s where most of the highlights are, wrestling wise. This set features mostly matches from the final years of his career, including his last match, against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania 27.

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