Weekly Wrestling Recap 3-20-11
The last 24 hours have been crazy with WWE rumors and it doesn’t even involve WrestleMania or last night’s Raw. The internet has been set a buzz about a rumor regarding the closure of Florida Championship Wrestling, which is the WWE’s sole developmental territory. This twitter crazed world we live in enables fallacies to spread like wild fire too quickly and as we saw with the Kony viral video debacle and every time a celebrity is mistakenly pronounced dead, fact checking has become an afterthought in the American zeitgeist. Sure enough, FCW is NOT closing down as WWE quickly dispelled the rumors this morning on their website, but it just goes to show how inaccurate reporting from mysterious “sources” will only result in a big steaming pile of crap. The one interesting note to come out of this though is Triple H’s revelation that the developmental system will in fact be seeing some changes post-WrestleMania. This could include a number of scenarios like a new territory but regardless of what happens it looks like the WWE is making the procurement of new talent a priority.
Raw last night was hot in Philly as CM Punk and Chris Jericho continued their war of words with Jericho this time going after Punk’s sister who also apparently has dealt with drug issues. People have been quick to say that the WWE is exploiting Punk’s family in this angle, but I think Punk isn’t above doing so for the greater good of business. Let’s face it, this type of real life drama is what sells and it’s been an underlying theme in all three of WrestleMania’s main event. We know that The Rock and Cena have a strong real life dislike for each other which has resulted in some intense promos between the two. Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels all have an interconnected story and this past week we saw the friendship between HHH and HBK enter thinner ice as Undertaker said that HBK was better than Hunter. HBK’s smile at the end of that segment was priceless as it provided validation for him by one of the most respected men in the locker room. Sure this was just for television, but something tells me that the thought of “who’s been the bigger draw” has been an idea all three men have thought about privately and it’s interesting to see the WWE use it as a driver for selling this angle.
The Teddy vs. Johnny match got some new participants last night as well as Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger will join Laurinaitis’ team. It was also announced on Friday night’s SmackDown last week that Christian will be joining the team as well. We now also have an official divas match as Kelly Kelly will team up with Extra’s Maria Menounos to take on the team of Beth Phoenix and Eve. This match sounds absolutely awful and I question why WWE wants to use Maria so bad when the likelihood of her drawing in any new fans is almost zero. Plus she doesn’t have the star power to get onto mainstream media shows the next day the way that Mickey Rourke and Floyd Mayweather have had in the past. It just seems like sloppy booking when Beth Phoenix could have actually wrestled a match against Natalya or even Kharma instead.
I feel like this WrestleMania is missing one last good match to round out the card. The biggest complaint against it has been the overuse of stars from the past. We all love Undertaker but the man is pushing 50 years old, wrestles once a year, and the gimmick of the streak isn’t as exciting as it once was. I hate to say it but maybe the End of the Era match should be taken literally. I don’t know if I have it in me to go through another WrestleMania season with a bunch of Undertaker hype. I also hope that the rumors of a Cena/Rock rematch for next year’s Mania aren’t true. This match will probably not end clean and there’s already talk of Miz interfering, but having a lame finish just to do it again in 12 months would be the biggest FU that the WWE could give to the fans. We deserve a clean victor in this one and there’s been too much build up surrounding it to do anything otherwise.
There was a teaser video last night for Lord Tensai who is rumored to be Matt Bloom (formerly known as A-Train) who has been wrestling in NJPW for the last several years. Bloom is now 40 years old and is expected to be brought back to the WWE as Laurinaitis' new henchman. He's so far denied it on Twitter but then again Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho denied their rumored returns before they came back as well.
Adi contributes regular columns on the world of Pro-Wrestling, Tech, Video Games, and Movies. You can follow him on Twitter @adiraval
Below are some important spoiler notes coming out of tonight’s Smackdown tapings... proceed at your own risk!
- Zack Ryder and the Great Khali were announced to join Team Teddy
- Yokozuna was announced as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame