August 12, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Since a podcast was out of the question for various reasons, I decided to throw a few questions at Wrestlezone columnists Martyn Nolan, and Bobby Bamber regarding this Sunday’s SummerSlam.
1. Did CM Punk come back too soon?
[Martyn Nolan] Definitely, CM Punk could have done many great things with the WWE Championship and this was demonstrated when he turned up at ComicCon and an Independent Event. More of these things could have been booked but the fact that WWE’s “second biggest PPV” being round the corner was too much of a temptation to not involve this angle.
[Bobby Bamber] No. I can see the arguments why people think he did but Summerslam is a massive PPV and Punk against Cena was the only option for a main event (especially given how weak the rest of the card is. The show would’ve bombed without him).
2. How detrimental to the product is it to have Alberto del Rio lose clean to Punk if he’s potentially going to be chasing his title?
[Martyn Nolan] I think the focus on Superstars winning and losing becomes too big a factor in today’s product. Things become stale and predictable because we feel a person shouldn’t beat another person so cleanly when not on a ‘push’. It would be nice to make a product where Superstars are seen more equal and competition is the main point. After all, what Football team never loses a game? Manchester United can get beat but it doesn’t mean that the club is any less successful. John Cena for example will not lose fans if he loses to up and coming stars. Shawn Michaels in his recent run from 2002-2010 specialised in having big feuds where he would ultimately put the opponent over and he is regarded as the best of all time.
[Bobby Bamber] I can’t see them having this result without there being a bigger picture behind it. I’ve got Del Rio leaving Summerslam as WWE Champion so there’s a good chance it happened for a reason.
3. Why are people so eager to make Punk the next Austin?
[Martyn Nolan] I think this is due to everyone in some way wanting the attitude era appearing again. Personally I would like for Punk to become a star on Austin’s level but not actually become Austin. Punk is showing disregard to authority and I think thats where the main comparison lies.
[Bobby Bamber] They’re not. Punk and Austin are completely different characters they’re just playing similar roles. Comparisons are understandable but only because of the storylines they’re in, not because of who they are.
4. Is Melina one of the most talented Diva’s of all time?
[Martyn Nolan] I’m afraid not. I feel she is an Diva who will largely be remembered for being the one who does the splits. Her finishing move was largely botched just because it was based on her doing that one flexible movement. I’m disappointed that she has been released because I feel she is far more talented than most of the current roster and given a little more direction she could have been a bigger star.
[Bobby Bamber] That question feels like it’s a bit of a contradiction! May have been, but her attitude seemed a bit skewed and her in ring screaming didn’t help.
5. Who would you say are the top 5 divas of all time?
[Martyn Nolan] Trish Stratus – For her determination to turn into a legitimate Wrestler aftering starting in such a typical female role within the WWE.
Lita – For daring to do things in the ring that most would not.
Chyna – For demonstrating that she could handle the men as well as the women, and for opening the door for women who aren’t blond and always pretty.
Beth Phoenix – For being a solid athlete, great wrestling ability knowledge and combining physique and attraction.
Mickie James – For being an energetic wrestler who has always stayed true to herself and not fallen into the system of current Divas.
[Bobby Bamber] Sunny, Trish, Lita, Michelle McCool & Kelly Kelly.
6. The match between Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres was possibly the worst diva’s match I’ve seen, how long can they continue to give us Barbies that have no talent?
[Martyn Nolan] Not for much longer by the current direction that TV has taken. Stars like Beth and Natalya have proven that attractive but strong women have a place in the WWE and this should be on top.
[Bobby Bamber] For as long as they want. While they have 2 minute TV matches there will be no serious development.
7. Does this make the Melina move a bigger surprise?
[Martyn Nolan] The loss of Melina was no great surprise as we have hardly seen her on TV for the last few months. Whether she has gained heat in the back for anything in the past is another matter but she could easily be put in a programme with someone and run with it if it was given the appropriate time and support. I don’t think it will be long before we see her in TNA.
[Bobby Bamber] No, her exit has nothing to do with in-ring ability.
8. Is John Morrison a slip up away from future endeavours?
[Martyn Nolan] I don’t think he is close to that at all although his recent loses on TV since his return have been shocking. WWE had the chance to build his return and put him more in the picture but to have him constantly lose makes things look a little weak. Whether they are planting the seed for him to carry on losing and make his character address this on the show down the line could be a direction they feel they want to take with John but it does seem a little worrying at the moment.
[Bobby Bamber] No. Maybe getting a bit of punishment for Melina but he’ll be back soon enough.
9. Did any of the releases surprise you?
[Martyn Nolan] We should never be surprised by the releases that WWE name these days but I am disappointed. I was hoping that David Hart Smith could have gained confidence on TV and Vladimir Koslov started to look more confident in the ring more in the last few months.
[Bobby Bamber] No, Other than Koslov I can’t remember the last time any of them appeared on TV.
10. Are you surprised someone wasn’t cut?
[Martyn Nolan] I mentioned in one of my articles the amount of talent we don’t even know has finishing moves; on that list were DH Smith, Primo and Tyler Reks. There are many people I would not be surprised to see go. Others have mentioned JTG as well. Primo, Reks, Trent Barreta and Brodus Clay would be my next picks.
[Bobby Bamber] Perhaps a few, but they weren’t likely to cut many more.
11. Does Beth Phoenix’s push have anything to do with her dating CM Punk?
[Martyn Nolan] I think WWE’s recent decisions which seem to appear like they are catering to the IWC are a ploy to please us after years of moaning. Giving us JR, Punk, Ryder, Bryan and Beth as main stars were probably in the works to make it look like we are finally getting what we want. Whether it stays like that remains to be seen. On the other hand maybe Punk really did light a fire in the company making them realise what they can do with the current talent. Whatever direction they go in they will never lose credibility to current stars like Cena, Orton, Mysterio, Undertaker and Triple H. So what’s the harm in giving some of the other fans what they want for a while?
[Bobby Bamber] Maybe, who knows? She’s only been going two weeks, so it’s a bit early to tell.
12. Will any of the ROH people coming in make an impact on WWE?
[Martyn Nolan] If Punk really has got clout then yes. Hopefully they will anyway from their talent alone. I also hope they can adapt to the style of WWE and establish themselves quickly.
[Bobby Bamber] Depends how they’re used. If they’re bought in because of CM Punk and they work alongside him then they’ll have a chance.
13. Will the tag-team division ever be rebuilt?
[Martyn Nolan] I doubt it. It’s not something that can be done overnight and even if they put a focus on it now it’ll need a couple of years to become as big as it used to be.
[Bobby Bamber] Not for a while certainly. Heavyweight division is only priority right now. I see little chance of that changing any time soon.
14. As a kid growing up a wrestling fan would you of ever envisioned there being an anonymous gm or Little Jimmy?
[Martyn Nolan] After watching Mae Young give birth to a hand, Goldust being electrocuted, Austin beating up Santa Claus, DX pissing on DOA’s Motorcycles and Kane tomb stoning Linda McMahon on the stage I would have never questioned what I might have seen on WWE television in the future!
[Bobby Bamber] Once you’ve seen the Katie Vick stuff, nothing is a surprise.
15. Will we see Vince back on TV?
[Martyn Nolan] I truly think this is the end of his character on TV. If we think to how a wrestler always wants to go out of the business. They will always go out on a loss and I think the recent events would be the only respectable way that Vince McMahon could have gone from TV whilst staying in character. I believe this just from his general reaction when Triple H said he was fired and the live crowd’s response to his emotions. If this one isn’t it then I’m not sure how he would disappear from TV in the future after so many teased angles where he was supposed to leave.
[Bobby Bamber] Without question before the end of the year. He will fight against Triple H for control of the company I’m sure.
16. Will we ever see Shane McMahon again?
[Martyn Nolan] An interesting one, I surely hope not but at the moment he currently has his fingers in a lot of pies. He wanted to try something new and whether this is to bring back his experiences down the line back into the family business is still to be seen. Shane seemed to have a legitimate love for the industry and maybe time away from the company will make a return all that more special?
[Bobby Bamber] Never say never, but right now no. Could he appear, absolutely, but not in a program or on screen role.
17. Does it surprise you that there are only four matches announced as of today?
[Martyn Nolan] WWE are relying heavily on the rematch between Punk and Cena to sell the PPV. WWE seems to take this format on a regular basis now. Hopefully the quality of the matches will produce a good PPV but yes I’m disappointed, not surprised.
[Bobby Bamber] I get the feeling most of the storyline’s have been rebooked in recent weeks. It’s been rushed hence why we are where we are. Given how quickly booking can change I don’t think you can ever be surrpised.
Predictions / Where would you like to see these feuds go?
1. Christian Vs. Randy Orton
[Martyn Nolan] It’s been done so many times this year and I know it’s got a bit stale with most people. I’m nowhere near as thrilled to see the match and predict that Orton will likely just take and carry the title on Smackdown after this, possibly feud with Mark Henry? However with the street fight angle to the match I think it provide a different type of entertainment which they have done throughout the year.
[Bobby Bamber] God I hope it’s the end. Not been bad but this should be the end.
2. John Cena Vs. CM Punk
[Martyn Nolan] I’m hoping that CM Punk will take this one again just to prove that it’s not the ‘one hit wonder’ which was aptly used on RAW this past week. If Punk and HHH is truly the direction they want to go in then it wouldn’t surprise me to see Cena come out of this with the belt.
[Bobby Bamber] Learn the lessons of Orton vs Christian, don’t drag something out even if it’s good. Cena will move onto a feud with Del Rio, Punk with HHH
3. Beth Phoenix Vs. Kelly Kelly
[Martyn Nolan] Beth Phoenix is the massive favourite in this match and I wonder if WWE will try to make Kelly Kelly look strong by pulling the upset? So my prediction is Kelly Kelly but even if she does I predict that within 4 weeks Beth will be the champion.
[Bobby Bamber] I have no reason to care about the Divas at the moment.
4. Sheamus Vs. Mark Henry
[Martyn Nolan] As much as Sheamus has been pushed as the face I think Henry needs to get the win here by hook or crook to allow him to feud with Orton at the next PPV for the title. I think Christian and Sheamus will be the rivalry for the next PPV somehow (my gut feeling)
[Bobby Bamber] Booking at its most simple. Like the stuff on the Raw side, Sheamus could move onto Christian and Henry onto Orton perhaps.
5. If you could see another match added what would it be?
[Martyn Nolan] Hopefully with recent developments there could be a match between Ziggler and Riley put on the card at last minute. Frustrating from the point of no real build but still a good match which fans will appreciate. Barrett and Bryan could also put something on but I worry if they start to put the Money in the Bank briefcase on the line.
[Bobby Bamber] Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett will almost certainly be added to the card, as will Big Zeke vs Cody Rhodes. It’s poor that the card is so thin right now.