Let Him In: The Fiend and PirateMania

I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to finish this, but the context of when I’m writing this particular piece of the piece is important. It’s December 27th , 2019 and I’m in a coffee shop listening to Tom Petty and writing this article. As is the spirit of the times, I’ve been thinking about my life ten years ago and how different things now. Of that list, one item is particularly relevant for this article. I did not watch professional wrestling ten years ago. I was too cool for it. I had better things to do on Monday and Friday nights. All the wrestlers were lame. Or so I told myself. Ten years later has proven that none of those things are true. The biggest…
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What’s NeXT?

This Wednesday everyone’s favorite indie style WWE based wrestling promotion finally gets a chance to step into the national spotlight when NXT broadcasts live on USA, giving the WWE a third presence on a major cable network. This is the first time WWE has added a weekly wrestling program on something other than their own WWE network in over 20 years. And for good reason. Primetime wrestling is a pretty risky investment. Just ask WCW. Or TNA. Or Lucha Underground. But as dicey as it might be NXT seems like a pretty safe investment given the quality, shelf life, and corporate support behind the brand. This has a good a chance as any to work. Well, this or a certain, vowel friendly promotion. Speaking of, NXT also provides…
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AEW’s Big Gamble

First they went all in. And, by all objective, measures, they won. Then they did their best James Holzhauer impression and really pushed their chips in for Double or Nothing. With three big shows (including a fifteen minute sellout) in the next few months, a TV contract with TNT that starts this year, and former WWE workhorse Dean Ambrose in tow, AEW is set to answer the most important question in professional wrestling: where do we go from here? Like most things, there’s an easy answer and one that’s a little less straight forward. The easy one, of course, is that the company focuses on next month’s Fyter Fest. With a card that already contains one of several dream matches that include the once and former Jon Moxley (Ambrose’s new…
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The Dream is Over and It’s Just the Beginning

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of pieces where I ranked my top 50 WWE prospects piece. Maybe you read it, maybe you didn’t. If you didn’t, you missed me nerding out by creating a list of stars and explaining why I ranked them where I did. My spot for one person in particular, as soon as I placed him, felt wrong because I knew I would look insane a year from now. The man I ranked at #30, the Velveteen Dream was embroiled in a feud with the now NXT North American champion Ricochet that showcased exactly what he was capable of and the spectacle they had just put on at NXT Takeover: Chicago II made it seem like that was just scratching the surface. I…
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WWE Top Fifty – Part V – Big Dogs Tell No Tales

#10 – Brock Lesnar Just ask the UFC how valuable Lesnar, who is currently the longest reigning Universal champion, is as a top draw. They just offered him a title fight early next year after having one win in the octagon since 2012. Though Lesnar is not a common attraction (much like Cena and HHH), there’s no denying his star power attracts at the top of any card. In a round about way, this leads to one of Lesnar’s biggest issues in the ring, How on Earth do you book people to beat him? It’s always going to be a very hard question to answer. I guess you could always take the WWE approach and never answer it. #9 – Roman Reigns You might love him. It’s even…
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WWE Top Fifty – Part IV – A New HHHope

#19 – John Cena Is Cena’s time up? It’s hard to say. He’s been less of a regular feature this year, limping into mania for a glorified comedy segment and disappearing from television shortly thereafter. It seems like the WWE is starting to leave him behind as a weekly attraction and is content to roll him out as a part timer as he transitions from in-ring to on screen stardom. And that’s fine. Cena is a still a huge draw for Summerslam, Wrestlemania, and any other event that needs a ratings pump. He’s still got a good story in the tank for his record breaking title run and he would instantly put any new federation on the map. The question is, how involved will be in three years?…
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WWE Top Fifty – Part III – Revenge of the Drifter

#29 – Andrande Cien Almas The WWE loves to have Superstars that are huge in a particular market or demographic. Roman Reigns and John Cena appeal to younger fans, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles appeal to former fans of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Seth Rollins to fans of the indies, etc. Almas, formerly La Sombra and the youngest ever champion of one of Mexico’s biggest promotions (CMLL), fits that to a tee. The WWE is constantly trying to find the next big Lucha draw, and they might have finally found it after years of ineffectually shoving Alberto Del Rio down our throats. Almas has mega–star power in a very large market and has shown he can carry an entire promotion. Plus at age 28 he still has a ton…
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WWE Top Fifty – Part II: The Legend of Randy’s Gold

  #39 – Alexa Bliss If you’ve got beef with one of the current Women’s champions being this low on the list, I have to admit that Sunday’s Money in the Bank event might have left a bad taste in my mouth. Look, I get that Bliss is a very talented young lady who is definitely very over with certain crowds (who have more hair on their necks than the national average), but the amount of time she’s getting at the top of a very stacked women’s division is getting to be a little much. Her sneers and jeers are on point, but I have trouble buying into a competitor who is shorter than most middle schoolers. That’s not to say she isn’t talented, she just wouldn’t be my pick.  Someone in the WWE…
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WWE Top Fifty – Part I

It’s that time of the year again. The beautiful stretch of time between the eventful seven rounds of the NFL Draft and before the equally as eventful first five to seven picks of the NBA Draft. And hat means it’s time for me to follow suit and develop my board of the top prospects in the WWE. As a reminder, I’m looking at all of the Superstars on the roster as if I were starting a new promotion. I’m balancing age, in ring acumen, drawing ability, injury history, basically everything that makes a pro wrestler. Note that the WWE’s treatment of the Superstar does play a part. I understand they’re wrong a lot of the time, but I have to trust their opinion to some degree. If someone…
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Doors Open, Doors Close

I would think you know the expression: when one door closes, another door opens. And, yes, I know, it sounds like a useless truism aimed solely at making someone else feel less miserable. This one especially so, because you’re usually saying it to someone who (or when you yourself) just went through something supremely shitty. It’s exactly the type of thing you’d say to someone who might have been forced out of their job to a potentially deadly injury or someone who is so depressed that they’re considering suicide. In both of those cases, the words probably seem extra trite. But as we saw over Wrestlemania weekend, sometimes, just because something might be a little cliched, doesn’t mean it isn’t sometimes true. Exhibit A is Paige, former WWE Diva…
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