The Ultimate Warrior, the WWE Network, and Other Ponderings from WWE Raw
- I’m not at all surprised to see the Ultimate Warrior announced as the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014. To me, he was an obvious entrant since his involvement with WWE 2K14 was announced this past summer. And after what we saw last week, I’ll bet ‘cha anything Jake “The Snake” Roberts is in line too.
No doubt Warrior will have his share of detractors as far as the honor is concerned. People have been saying for years that he couldn’t work, he couldn’t talk, he was a flash in the pan, etc. Hell, WWE itself devoted an entire DVD to those subjects and more in the 2005 smear documentary The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior. But whether any of that is true or not, in the Ultimate Warrior became an icon (yes, an icon) in the World Wrestling Federation, and was a tremendous part of the company’s success in the ’80s and early ’90s. I’m not kissing the Warrior’s ass, I’m simply calling it like I see it. There’s no doubt the guy’s behavior in and out of the ring has been pretty damn bizarre over the years. But you can’t deny the man’s contributions to WWE. So for my money, the Warrior is a deserving entrant into the Hall of Fame.
And while we’re on the subject of stars from the ’80s, the more I think about it, the more it seems like we need Hulk Hogan to be around at Wrestlemania XXX. As revolting as the guy is sometimes, we really can’t do the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania without him, can we? Especially now that the Warrior’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Who would be more fitting to induct him? Even if he has to take of his shirt and show off that ugly as “Hogan” tattoo he’s got across his back now, Hogan should be around. The question is, where do we put him on the actual Wrestlemania show?
As I’ve said time and time again, I’m not a wrestling booker, and I don’t pretend to be one. But to me, the best idea that comes to mind is a Piper’s Pit segment. Put the two big stars from the original Wrestlemania in the ring, and let them duke it out on the mic. Then maybe you put a great heel mic worker in there with ‘em (Damien Sandow comes to mind immediately), so they can suddenly work together. It would be similar to what Piper did with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Carlito at Wrestlemania XXI. That seems like the most logical thing to do. That way, Hogan can get his big return pop and have his moment without having to wrestle. Again people, I’m not a booker. That’s just my opinion.
- Even the most hardened cynics have to admit, the whole $9.99 a month deal for the WWE Network is pretty good. If you’re a WWE fan, that could be worth the price for the pay per views alone (assuming the booking isn’t as shoddy as it’s been in recent months). I’m anxious to see what sort of dividends this pays for WWE.
- Aaaaaaand the Bryan/Wyatt Family alliance certainly didn’t last long. Did they rush it? I’d say no, judging by the way Bryan had that crowd in the palm of his friggin’ hand when he turned on Bray. I know I’ve talked about CM Punk deserving a main event spot at Wrestlemania. But with pops like Bryan gets, how can they not put him at the end of the show? Lord knows I’d put him there before Batista…
- It was a hell of a night for the Usos too. It’s been quite awhile since a “regular” tag team (as opposed to one where two big name stars are thrown together) has been featured as the big babyface draw for the main event of Raw. Granted, Daniel Bryan was the real draw, but it’s still a hell of a show of faith by WWE to give the Usos that spot. For the first time in a long time, it seems like WWE is grooming a tag team to be an actual attraction, in the vein of teams like New Age Outlaws, the Hardy Boyz, and the Dudley Boyz (and those are just the more recent examples). I loved this move, and this week’s main event.
- So Randy Orton attacked John Cena’s dad, huh? I find it funny that during the build up for their TLC match last month, WWE showed footage of Orton punting Cena’s father in the head at ringside several years ago. Then they basically recreate the moment, but with a considerably reduced shock factor. Orton basically tackled the guy and then hit him a few times, but he got carted off in an ambulance. Is he that fragile?
- I was surprised to hear the announcers talk about Ryback’s cryptic Twitter outbursts from this weekend. So…is this all his weird way of working us? If so, he sort of succeeded, didn’t he? At the very least, people are talking about him.
- The best line from Paul Heyman’s promo was the line about Brock Lesnar being “not impressed” with the Big Show. It was simple, but-…wait…they’re releasing a Paul Heyman documentary??? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!!!
- We’ve got far too many authority figures on WWE TV at this point, and have for awhile. So Vince, Triple H and Stephanie are the top dogs. But then you’ve also got Kane, who’s the…*checks his WWE.com bio*…director of operations, a fairly generic title which apparently allows Kane to run shows at various times. This would seemingly negate the purpose of having general managers of Raw (Brad Maddox) and Smackdown (Vickie Guerrero), and yet those positions remain. Can we thin out the herd a little bit? How about we let this Kane thing run its course, turn Brad back into a wrestler, and make Vickie a manager again? Seems to make the most sense to me. But of course, sense and WWE writing don’t always go together.
- I was a little sad to hear last week that Kaitlyn, whose real name is Celeste Bonin, had left the WWE to pursue other interests. I can’t say I was ever blown away by Kaitlyn’s work in the ring or on the mic, but she had such a great, muscled up look that set her apart from the other ladies on the roster so damn well. She, and her close off-screen pal AJ Lee have both done a lot to help the WWE women’s division break away from the supermodel mold. But at the same time, I would argue she’d gone about as far as she was going to go in the company. So while I’m a bit sad to see her go, I applaud her for what she accomplished.
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