Posts Tagged ‘Vince McMahon’

I’ve been quiet. Too quiet. The fact that I haven’t really written anything here for Kick Out at 2! in a very long time is well, depressing. Truth is when Shane and I started this site it was meant to be nothing but a running commentary of our thoughts of the current product of professional wrestling. We started it, we were full of ideas and we had content flowing on the site on a regular basis. Truth is over time, wrestling got stale for me. For two years people like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were going against the grain, forcing change and putting the “Entertainment” back in the company’s name. WWE was on fire, a hotter fire than it had been in a long time. Then it burned out… then I burned out.

While Shane had been keeping the site going with his journey into WCW, I felt like I honestly wasn’t pulling my weight. It was hard for me to write about anything but honestly my heart just wasn’t in wrestling anymore. I had simply become so disenchanted with wrestling and almost totally lost the passion and the love that I’ve always had for it. I knew that WWE didn’t give a damn what I thought or what millions of others fans thought. For the last 3 years, no matter how much we voiced our frustration, flat out told Vince and his powers that be that we didn’t want to eat what was being force feed to us, WWE has been consistently pushing bad ideas as their main roster down our throats.

I haven’t watched an entire episode of RAW in at least 2 years, following the product through PPV’s alone on The Network because it seemed like storylines simply didn’t matter, they were dropped with no explanation, no new characters were being made and WWE was simply refusing to grow as a product in the entertainment field.  It then got to a point where I wasn’t watching PPV’s. I eventually returned and watched The Royal Rumble with my friends on Xbox Party Chat. We loved the fact that AJ Styles made his debut and once we saw Triple H become World Heavyweight Champion we felt for a few weeks that maybe, just maybe WWE was reading the writing on the wall. With all the injuries they are having and Roman Reigns simply not getting over as the cookie cutter baby face Vince wanted him to be, I figured Vince was going to the right thing and force some changes by having Dean Ambrose challenge for the title at Wrestlemania.

Not only was I wrong again but Wrestlemania as a whole was quickly shaping up to be the worst Mania I have ever seen. Not only was it bad but it was worse than I could have possibly imagined. The story of this Wrestlemania wasn’t the Championship, it was The Authority. The fact that WWE made a story out of WWE’s ratings being in the toilet and built an entire angle out of Shane fighting for control to make a change seemed like a perfect setting to change it up. Having Undertaker beat Shane was a complete waste and an incredibly mis-booked storyline. Dean Ambrose not getting a win over the monster that is Brock Lesnar was another waste and in a world where Chris Jericho has been consistently putting over younger talent for two years, was there any reason for AJ Styles “Wrestling’s hottest free agent at the time of his signing” to not get the win and a Wrestlemania moment against the established veteran?

WWE claims that their attendance record was over 100,000 when in reality it was just slightly over 94,000 but regardless, when you have “100,000” people unanimously “booing” someone, you do not put the title on that person! 20 some years ago Vince had the idea that Lex Luger was going to be the superstar to replace Hulk Hogan, wanting to initially over look the likes of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Today he is wanting Roman Reigns to be the next John Cena, overlooking the likes of Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bray Wyatt even Zack Ryder. The point here is, especially now with the possibility of calling any NXT talent up to the main roster, ANYONE but Roman Reigns deserves to be World Champion. Because of WWE’s inability to tell a compelling story with him, Roman has had the title sling shot back to him so many times that he is now a 3 Time World Champion, 1 away from tying Shawn Michaels’ career record. Shawn Michaels, the man who had the 30 some year wrestling career! Roman has been there 4 years… he hasn’t earned that and he surely does not deserve it.

Speaking of NXT. NXT Dallas Takeover was absolutely wonderful! This promotion is single handedly been the only thing that has kept my interest in wrestling from totally fading away. NXT Dallas hooked me back. Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe was incredible and people are going to really have to step it up if they want to take the “Match of the Year” title away from the Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura match. Triple H knows how to run a wrestling show and from what I’ve seen it seems like WWE will be in good hands once Vince does decide to hang it up, which honestly needs to be sooner rather than later.

I broke down and actually watched RAW this week, meaning that I watched the 90 Min version of it on HULU. Let’s face it, 3hrs is simply too long for a weekly wrestling show. Surprisingly enough I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. Seeing a lot of the NXT guy’s debut was nice and honestly gives me some hope that WWE could potentially get better. I had heard that Zack Ryder lost his Intercontinental Championship and was pretty pissed about that but honestly seeing the way it unfolded I kind of feel like Zack may be front and center for what could potentially be a good story for him. I really hope he wins it back as I feel he could be a very credible champion and he clearly deserves it. Cesaro returning was absolutely incredible and the Fatal Four way to determine the number one contender was really, really good. All four of those guys that were involved in the match deserve to be champion. I really hope that AJ makes an impact with the WWE audience and he isn’t simply served up to the “all powerful Samoan Overlord”

There are a lot reasons that wrestling fans such as myself have to be upset with the way that WWE is currently handling their own product and rightfully so. However with the amount of pure talent on the roster, the untapped potential and the seeds of improvement that I hope were sown Monday Night I can only hope for the best. I won’t say my relationship with WWE is over but it has clearly taken a beating and it’s going to take some time to make a full recovery, if it ever does…

I really hope it does.

Robbie C.

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Wrestlemania.  The Showcase of the Immortals.  The grandest stage of them all.

The show that makes me reevaluate professional wrestling, yet again.

Wrestlemania is wrestling’s Super Bowl.  It’s Stanley Cup.  It’s become more than just WWE’s annual big show.  Over the last ten years or so, Wrestlemania weekend has become a celebration of all things wrestling.  ROH, Evolve, and other indy companies always relocate to the Mania host city to do big shows that weekend.  There’s Axxess, WWE’s fan festival where you can do anything from meet your favorite superstars to watch some live wrestling to walk through a mini museum of WWE’s past.  There’s the Hall of Fame ceremony, where wrestling’s legends are honored.  There’s WrestleCon and other wrestling events.  It’s a big deal.

It’s no lie or even a secret that we here at Kick Out at 2 have been out of the current product for a while.  I still catch the PPVs and keep an ear to the ground on what’s going on with Raw, but in 2016, I have watched a total of two complete episodes of Monday Night Raw…and one was because I was at the event.  As the injuries mounted and the card came together, we were not getting excited about Mania whatsoever over here in Ko@2land.

Wrestlemania, however, finds a way.  As Friday bled into Saturday and eventually Sunday, all I could think about was wrestling.  There wasn’t a single thing on my television on Sunday that didn’t happen in a squared circle.  I found myself getting excited.  I found myself wishing I had called a few friends over and had a Wrestlemania party.  I found myself wishing I was back in Virginia so we could have a Kick Out at 2 Wrestlemania Party ourselves, with blackjack and…well, I digress.  What I’m saying is that the part of me that loves pro wrestling awoke and Wrestlemania was the full moon that brought it to snarling life.

So, let’s talk about Mania.  I’m not going to do a full breakdown like I do on Nitro or something like that.  For one, there are other places that do that stuff with the current product.  For another, from start to finish, Wrestlemania was almost SEVEN HOURS LONG!  The pre-show started at 5, the show ended at fifteen till midnight.  That’s ridiculous.  I can barely stomach a three hour Raw anymore, so trying to write up seven hours would be maddening.  For most of the event, I was on XBOX Live with Derick and Robbie, so I know their thoughts on the card and for almost every point I make, rest assured that I speak with the full authority of us here at Kick Out at 2.

This card let me down.  Just the card, out of the gate.  Now, I know that’s due to injuries, so I’m not spending too much time on this, but going into the show, I was excited for THREE matches.  Three…in a seven hour show.  I wanted to see the Intercontinental Championship ladder match, AJ Styles VS Chris Jericho, and Shane McMahon VS The Undertaker.  I’m not a Roman Reigns fan in the slightest, so that match didn’t have my attention at all…but we’ll get to that later on.

We get the undercard on the pre-show, which I always feel bad for because these guys deserve to be on the main show.  It’s telling at how bloated the roster is right now when you can’t fit your important guys on the show in five hours.  I’m not exactly calling for a brand extension or a roster split…but we gotta do something here.  Anyway, Ryback and Kalisto was a pretty decent match albeit one that looked like it was contested in front of about 45 people because of how early in the pre-show it happened.  They’ve finally given Ryback a bit of personality, but he’s a heel now which is dumb.  People like this guy as a monster babyface.  Do that.  The Total Divas VS non-Total Divas match was useless except to let us know that there are at least 13 women in this division, which is ridiculous when only about six of them can put on a decent match to save their lives.  We were treated to the in-ring debut of Lana, which was meh, and the main roster return of Eva Marie, which was totally useless.  Brie Bella wins with the Yes Lock, which I liked.  Usos VS Dudley Boys was nothing special but it was interesting when the crowd booed the crap out of the Usos at the end of the match.

So, on to Wrestlemania! I enjoyed the ending to ONE match.  ONE!

Now, I read a comment on Reddit today that kind of drew this post out of me.  The guy, and I’m paraphrasing here, basically said “you’re a bunch of smarks who are pissed their favorite guy didn’t win.”  I’ll go on record as saying that one of the things I have a problem with is that my guy didn’t win in ONE match.  That was AJ Styles.  I love AJ Styles unapologetically and wanted him to win.  Especially when Jericho has been putting people over at Mania for years now.  And he didn’t.  So…that upset me.  I saw no real reason why Styles couldn’t win, but I ultimately don’t think it hurt Styles and I don’t know if it’ll be the end of their feud, but still…Wrestlemania should be about making new talent.  AJ debuted as the hottest free agent in pro wrestling, so him being beaten by a man who everyone can beat now doesn’t really do much for him going forward.  Chalk it up to WWE’s 50/50 booking lately, I suppose.  Now, with that out of the way, I can assure you that anything else I have a problem with doesn’t come from a place of “I’m pouting because my guy didn’t win.”

The Intercontinental Championship match was awesome and was the match of the night and the moment of the night for me.  I was legitimately excited to see Zack Ryder win and I hope that he gets a push that continues for a long time.  He’s earned it more than anyone else on that roster.

The Divas…nay…Women’s Championship match was pretty good.  I’m not invested in any of these ladies, though, so Charlotte winning didn’t do much or detract from anything for me.  It simply was.  I did like Sasha wearing tights commemorating Eddie Guerrero, though, as well as Charlotte coming out in a robe made of Flair’s 2008 robe.  That was pretty tight.  I like the new Women’s Championship belt as well.  It’s way better than the Divas title.  I’m also very glad the Divas moniker is gone.

Why’d New Day lose?  They’re the hottest thing WWE has right now.  I get that the loss doesn’t hurt them, per se, but still, send people home happy.

Or, was sending people home happy why we got the three legends coming out to beat down the League of Nations?  I’m not going to lie, I marked at this.  I enjoyed seeing some Stone Cold Stunners get tossed around.  This, along with Zack Ryder, made my night.

Ambrose losing was probably inevitable, but I think they could have done more in building him up to be a legit threat to Lesnar.  I never felt that Lesnar was in trouble through the entire match.  Plus, I’m getting tired of Suplex City.  Brock is a great wrestler, but his entire repertoire has been reduced to two moves.  I’m over it.  Brock got the win and deserved it, but they’ve basically established that no one can beat Brock.  He’s Godzilla.  Who’s that going to help?

Now…let’s get to the two that really upset me…

  • Roman Reigns wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for the third time.

There’s so much about that sentence that makes me unhappy.  Like I said before, I’m not a fan of Roman Reigns.  He has no charisma.  He’s not a great wrestler.  He can’t talk to save his life.  I just don’t like him.  Nothing against him…I just can’t get into him.  He was my least favorite part of The Shield but he’s the part that’s getting shoved down my throat week in and week out for the last year.

I’m not alone in this.  100,000 people booed the living crap out of Roman Reigns last night.  They booed him so much that they had to lower the mic volume to keep it from sounding bad.  This was so apparent that one of my 9th graders came in today commenting about it.  The “WWE Universe” does not want Roman Reigns as champion.  For the last two months they’ve been telling WWE that at Raw, Smackdown, and live shows.  HHH has been the odds on babyface through this entire feud and has been cheered relentlessly for it.  He was the man last night and he was who everyone wanted to see win.  Except he didn’t.  Vince didn’t listen to his audience.  He didn’t listen to his fans.  He didn’t listen to the people who pay for tickets and merch and the WWE Network.  Nope…he gave Roman the belt.  For the third time.

You see, I can deal with a champion I don’t want.  But I can’t deal with one that now only has one less world title reign than Shawn freaking Michaels!  WWE does this stupid thing recently where a guy’s first title reign or so doesn’t matter.  Roman wins it in November…boom, Sheamus cashes in on him.  He wins it a month later…boom, HHH wins it from him in the Rumble.  So, now, he’s a three time champion out of nowhere, the crowd still can’t stand him, but there we go.

One would think this would be my biggest issue with last night, but that one is reserved for….

  • WHY DID SHANE McMAHON LOSE?!

What the living hell, WWE?!  Now, I understand that having a 46 year old man who was never a legit wrestler come out and beat the Phenom seems kind of silly, but you have to look at the narrative that went into that match.  Shane comes out two months ago and says he’s going to be the voice of the people and he’s going to change the sinking ship that is WWE for the better.  He’s going to wrest power away from The Authority and take back Monday Night Raw, as well as his legacy as Vince McMahon’s son and heir apparent.  Then, after last night, it’s just over.  No change.  No Raw is Shane.  No nothing.  Just the same as it ever was.

Here’s the problem with this, and it flows into my problem with Roman…

With this angle, WWE came out point blank and said yes, our ratings are tanking.  Yes, we know we’re not as awesome as we once were.  Yes, we know you hate The Authority opening the show with 20 minute glad-handing promos.  Yes, we know you want it to be better.

They gave that potential change a face.  A face we all love.  A face some people have legitimately been wanting to show back up and wrest real life control of the WWE back from his father, sister and brother-in-law.  They gave us Shane o’Mac; a man who’s awesomeness is only topped by his fire shoe game.

Then they beat him and took it all away.

Go back and watch the very end of that match.  Taker sarcastically pats Shane on the cheek as if to say “it’s so cute how you thought it would change…”and then plants our hopes and dreams of a new day on Raw tonight right on their head in the center of the ring with a Tombstone piledriver.  With that match, Vince McMahon told the fans watching the WWE that he hears their complaints…and that he just doesn’t care.

Damian Sandow tweeted out today that if we have opinions, make sure they hear them tonight.  Now, Damian was speaking in reference to the ovation he got in the Andre Memorial Battle Royal last night.  If we’re a fan, tell WWE so they’ll know.  Unfortunately, Damian, we’ve tried letting Vince know what we think.  We tried it at the Royal Rumble last year.  We tried it at Wrestlemania last year.  We tried it at the Royal Rumble this year.  We tried it through the entire lead up to Wrestlemania.  We tried that AT Wrestlemania.  Hell, we even tried it a few years ago WITH YOU.  If it’s not in Vince’s master plan, he’s not listening.  What he wants to happen is what’s going to happen, us be damned.

Vinnie Hears Ya

I always hold NXT up as proof that this company can run a wrestling promotion the way that fans want.  NXT has long term storytelling that makes sense.  NXT has great wrestling action.  NXT has minimal intrusion from “authority figures.”  NXT put on a show on Friday with not a single gimmick match.  Just singles matches and tag team matches.  It blew Wrestlemania out of the water.  It’s not even close.  NXT: Takeover is the better wrestling show.  And they accomplished it in two hours.  WWE, the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, took seven and was really only able to piss me off.  This company knows what to do…they just refuse to do it on a larger scale.

I’m going to wrap up with this.  Wrestlemania is in Orlando next year.  Four hours from my apartment here in Miami.  Until last night, all I could talk about was getting a group together to hit Mania weekend and everything that comes with it.  Last night, after the show had gone off the air, that desire was gone.  I still want to go to Axxess.  I still want to go to the Hall of Fame.  ROH shows sound awesome.  NXT Takeover sounds phenomenal.  Wrestlemania…yeah, I may just come on home and catch that one on the Network.  Tonight’s Raw…normally the best Raw of the year…I really don’t want to watch it.  I may not.

I’m not one of the ones who’s going to tell you to cancel the WWE Network over this, because as long as they offer the thing, I’ll never cancel it.  I love wrestling and wrestling history too much to lose access to as much of it as the WWE gives me.  But…I’m even more out of love with WWE than I’ve been in a while.  I won’t be going to the Smackdown show in June.  I won’t be going to any live events.  I probably won’t be watching any PPVs for a while.  No, I’ll stick with Nitro, and NXT, and stuff like that.  It’s weird…this company puts out things that I enjoy…I just wish a few of them could happen in the ring with the main roster.

Shane

imagesI’ve watched a lot of wrestling over the years.  I’ve seen some amazing crowd reactions…be it the glass shattering when Austin helped Mick Foley win the WWF Championship or even a few weeks ago when Daniel Bryan had the entire WWE Universe in the palm of his hand to end Raw…but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd react out of pure disappointment like I have last night.

I’m not going to go on and on about who should have won the Rumble.  Honestly, from the moment that it was announced that Batista was returning, his spot in the Rumble and at the end of Wrestlemania was locked down.  I really don’t feel that WWE ever had another choice in mind.  No, this one is going to be able listening to the crowd.  Wrestlers constantly talk about listening to the flow of the crowd in a match and changing things on the fly to keep the crowd on their feet.  WWE officials, even Vince himself, talk about how they are there to entertain the crowd and send them away happy.  Thing is, they’re just not following through on those promises.

Last night, as the Rumble worked it’s way towards that final entrant, the crowd was hot.  They KNEW it was going to be Daniel Bryan.  It’s the payoff they’ve been wanting for months now.  The chants, the “Yes” working its way through the rafters…the crowd was ready.

“Booyaka, booyaka, 619!”

The crowd immediately turned.  Despite being a fan favorite, Rey Mysterio may have well been the top heel in the company last night for those few moments.  It wasn’t hatred at Mysterio, though…it was just hatred at the realization that Daniel Bryan just wasn’t going to be in this Rumble at all.  The fans had told WWE exactly what they wanted for months…chanting and Yessing and making Daniel Bryan arguably the most popular Superstar in the company.  How was that repaid?  A loss in the opening match of the PPV that should have began the march on the Road to Wrestlemania and the beginning of the payoff of the slow burn they’ve been working on and we’ve been hoping for.

One of my favorite parts was the crowd bringing back the “No” chant through the rest of the match…especially as Sheamus started “Sheamus-ing Up.”

Their hopes dashed, however, the crowd soon found another to get behind.  Roman Reigns was the recipient of a monster push coming out of the Royal Rumble.  They’ve been teasing and working towards the breakup of The Shield for quite a while now and it became quite apparent that Reigns is going to be the one to come out of it as the man.  They let him break Kane’s record…something I didn’t figure they’d ever get around to…and they teased him very heavily as the winner by putting him in the final two.  The crowd wanted it.  They loved it.

Then, Batista reversed the Irish whip and tossed him over the top rope…and the crowd went mild.

At the end of the day, I’m not against Batista winning.  It’s a “safe” choice.  It makes sense from some points of view.

batista randyHowever, one would imagine that with a heel champion going into Wrestlemania, that you would want your most over babyface chasing that title.  Batista got that initial “He’s back!” pop, but since then, the WWE Universe hasn’t really responded to him that well.  Bryan gets cheered for when he’s not even in the match.  That’s the WWE Universe…the FANS…telling Vince what they want to spend their money on.

One can’t help but wonder how much money they left on the table by playing it the safe route and not listening to their fans.

-Shane D