Hey Hey Hey, you are reading yet another edition of The Prime Cut, here at TheBalrogsLair.com, I site we like to call TBL. I thank you very much for that! Today’s column will have some thoughts on SummerSlam, but it will be about the current status of the main players in the WWE. It will focus on the recent newcomers, as well as who should be considered “main-event” in today’s wrestling world. Away we go…
First off, I have to say that we are coming off one incredibly good PPV the WWE aired last week, called SummerSlam. I don’t know how many of you managed to read my last column (Apologies for being posted later, it was beyond my and the site’s control), but in there I tried to say a few words about SummerSlam, as well as the event in the past two years. Well, SummerSlam was not only the biggest PPV of the year so far, but it was one that saw many great bouts, as well as very good anticipation for all matches. I’ll do a quick run through the card in one paragraph and summarize some points.
In my opinion, the match between Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio was probably one of the top three matches, the 2 main events included. Kurt proved that he’s the man in the WWE at the moment and no matter who they put him in a feud against, he’ll make it work. Rey Mysterio delivered in his first WWE PPV, and he managed to change his style and adopt to Angle’s as much as he could, yet still do some of his high-flying. Definitely this match stole the show. Ric Flair and Chris Jericho also delivered, but since the match before them was so great, the fans seemed to still be buzzing about it and not to be so much into Flair/Jericho. Ric Flair won which raises some questions as to what the future holds for him. I’ll talk about Jericho a bit later. Edge and Eddie Guerrero also had to “suffer” crowd-wise from the great performance that Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio put up. Since their match lasted for quite some time, I believe some reports said that the fans started a “Boring” chant at one point, but it quickly died. Edge and Guerrero are two of SmackDown!’s top stars and in my opinion had a very good match. Storm/Christian went up against Booker T and Goldust in what was a good tag match that got the crowd back into the whole thing. After all, I would expect the most “USA” chants against the Un-Americans to be in New York City of all places, so putting this match up in the middle of the PPV seemed like a good idea. The finish with Test pretty much gave away the ending of the Taker/Test match. Rob Van Dam and Chris Benoit put up one very very very good match, I have to say. The first column I wrote on this site (you can view it in the archives, click on the link at the bottom of this page) was about Rob Van Dam and I will be fair in saying that Rob changed my mind on Sunday on some things. He proved that he can work a good match without using too much of his normal stints, and was able to hang in there with Benoit the whole time. I will admit it, Rob did a great a job. Benoit also didn’t disappoint as he controlled most of the match and proved he’s a great leader in the ring. As far as the IC belt goes, obviously the WWE had the idea of getting rid of the Hardcore Title, therefore RVD had to come out on top. The Undertaker and Test wrestled in a great “big men” match, as expected, since both guys are quite big. It was nice to see The Undertaker raise the flag at the end. Thank God he noticed he had it upside-down for a while, and then turned it the right way. That was a proud American moment. About a year ago in one of his Ross Reports, Jim Ross said that Shawn “HBK” Michaels has a lot of gas left in his tank. Boy, was he right or what? I think Shawn was the pleasant surprise of the night and his match with Triple H was the best one on the card. Shawn risked it all and put it all on the line and it was very nice to see HBK back. We’ll see what the future holds for him. Triple H worked his best match ever since returning from a quad injury as well. Hunter managed to carry Shawn through the match, but Michaels didn’t back down either and in my book proved that he still is the Showstoppa. The main event… Oh man, was that a mixed reaction from the fans? During the match it definitely made for some good entertainment it seems. The feud between Rock and Brock was pretty much one of mind games which the WWE spent some very good time to think through and make it happen on TV. I think this match, and this whole feud, showed what long-term booking and plans do in the company and how great the final results are! Hopefully, the WWE will continue to work for the long term, something they haven’t done in a while. As far as Rock and Brock go, thumbs up to both guys and even though Lesnar is still green in the business, I hope he’s successful in bringing something new and fresh to the company.
All right, now that you’ve read this very long paragraph and my thoughts on SummerSlam, on to the real theme of this week’s column. I’ll be taking a look at some of the “rookies” that entered the WWE most recently, and I’ll talk about who should the WWE consider as main-event superstars in the near future, in my opinion. I’ll start off with the guys who already have been in the company for at least two years.
If we are talking main-event, I think that we should start with the two-time WWE Undisputed Champion, Kurt Angle. A former Olympic Champion in Amateur Wrestling, and a guy who’s done more than anyone else has done in his 2 years in the company. Kurt Angle has held the European, Intercontinental, Hardcore, and WWE Championships. Besides that, he managed to capture the WCW Championship, and the WCW US Championship during the InVasion storyline. Kurt Angle is a great athlete with some incredible in-ring skills. The guy just amazes me more and more with every match he has. There aren’t that many guys in this company who can be in the ring with the likes of Hulk Hogan, work a great match, and at the same time be paired up against gladiators like Triple H and The Rock and work an even better bout. On a completely different note, Kurt has now proved that even if he battles a cruiserweight like Rey Mysterio or Bill Kidman (Last week on SmackDown!), he will still deliver big time and make it a great match. A very small amount of people in this business are able to carry their opponents the way Kurt Angle does. The only good example I can give is Ric Flair in his early years. Flair managed to make a good match with his opponent even if he had to carry him through the whole thing. These two are able to bring the best in their opponent and at the same time show their own skills and athleticism. Kurt Angle is often referred to as WWE’s MVP, and I will have to FULLY agree with that association, because frankly he’s the man! Lately, Kurt has been stuck in mid-card feuds, but a storyline with Brock Lesnar has been hinted this past month. Sooner or later, I would expect Kurt Angle to recapture the WWE Championship and I truly hope that he turns face. He’s very good in this role! To wrap it up on Angle, the man is not only capable of performing great night after night, and not only is he tough, but he’s also very very entertaining on the microphone and in his backstage skits. Oh It’s True!
I feel that one of the weirdest situations character-wise in the company today involves Chris Jericho. Ever since he lost the Undisputed WWE Championship at WrestleMania X-8 to Triple H, Chris Jericho is yet to be victorious at a PPV event. His last win was in February, 2002 at No Way Out. Jericho was made the first ever Undisputed Champion, just so the WWE was able to freshen up their act and come up with some new storylines. Let’s face it, when he won that belt, he defeated The Rock and Steve Austin, the two top guys in the company, in one night. That’s not something you see every day. Unfortunately, it seems that ever since Austin walked away and Triple H returned, Jericho has been on a downfall. The Game is not exactly friends with the Ayatollah, so in my opinion this contributes a lot to Jericho’s downfall, as Triple H has pulled many strings as of lately to change Jericho’s status for some reason. I also feel that Y2J’s heel persona is getting a bit old. He’s been doing the character for some good 10 and a half months now, but it doesn’t seem that he’ll be dropping that soon. I hope he turns face in the near future though. The WWE should definitely try their best to keep Jericho in the main-event picture and make sure that he secures a victory in one of his feuds soon, because Y2J might very well be one of the people that carry this company on their shoulders in the future. In my opinion, he should be just that. I also want to mention that from what happened on RAW, the WWE might be trying to go with a new storyline for Jericho where his constant misfortunes will probably change him completely. We’ll see what’s cooking there.
Edge is probably the superstar who continues to build on some heavy foundation and sooner rather than later, this buildup will finally explode in a great young star. Edge has been around for quite some time in the WWE, and has done a lot. As one part of one of the greatest tag team champions ever, Edge amazed many people with the TLC matches and the hell the old tag team division had to offer. Ever since he won King of the Ring in 2001, Edge slowly but effectively broke away from his brother Christian and after feuding with William Regal for a while has managed to become the #1 face on SmackDown!. I think the WWE did a smart thing by having Edge win King of the Ring yet not having him get to the top so soon. This buildup towards the top works better, and the fans are going crazy for Edge as it is right now. Are you an Edge-head?
Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are two incredible superstars. Eddie Guerrero’s family is a very respectful one in this business, and Eddie is not at all an exception in continuing the family’s role in the business. Last year, Eddie Guerrero got in trouble with an addiction towards pain killers, but the WWE didn’t give up on him. Then, just when he was getting set to return to action, he got into a DUI accident, which immediately got him out of any returns and out of his contract. Eddie has been signed by the WWE again, and I think hardly anyone out there still has that DUI thing on their mind! Eddie has made a great comeback and his short feud with RVD upon returning over the IC belt and the Frog Splash was a very good one! Recently he’s managed to keep himself as somewhat of a main eventer, and the WWE keeps working hard with him. Eddie has done nothing but impress people in the wrestling ring since his return. So much that people think of him as one of the best workers in the company. If you remember, before leaving, Steve Austin wanted to feud with Guerrero just because he thought Eddie was simply the best worker there was. I have to say that Eddie’s in-ring work is indeed incredible as of lately! As far as Benoit goes, he is yet to put himself in the top level since returning from his neck injury. I hope he manages to do that soon, because he’s an amazing athlete as well. He’s indeed one of the best technical wrestlers the WWE has and these matches with Kurt Angle are a good proof of that! Benoit is also one of the best IC Champions the company has had as in 2000 he had a streak of defending his title on every show and came out successful for quite some time. His feuds with Jericho will remain unforgettable as well! I hope the WWE has some huge things planned for both Benoit and Guerrero.
Okay, well, now you are probably saying “Wait a minute… What happened to all the young superstars you were going to talk about?”
Brock Lesnar is yet to be defeated in a one-on-one predicament in the WWE. He is the Undisputed Champion and quite frankly is already a top superstar. I am simply putting him here because some of the guys I talked about earlier have already been to the top, and Brock is definitely worth mentioning. Lesnar is huge and strong, but still green in the business. I think he deserves everything he’s accomplished so far though, because he’s worked hard and is truly trying to gain more knowledge of the business with every other show he performs on. With the help of Paul Heyman, his character was truly built up as The Next Big Thing. However, this name should be dropped in my opinion, because he’s NOW the Big Thing. Just call him “Brock Lesnar” how about that? Not only is he the Undisputed Champion, but Lesnar is the 2002 King of the Ring! I just hope that the WWE builds more new things around him and kind of use him as that new force to enter their world — which actually is what he’s supposed to be!
Let’s take a look at some other guys in a sentence or two… I personally don’t really like John Cena’s character so much. I don’t know why, I just don’t. However, I do admire the guy a lot. He has the look to make it big and has recently showed in some very good matches (most pinning Kurt Angle, just proves that point I made about Kurt earlier) and Cena is doing just great. He’s being “de-pushed” at the moment, but the WWE (Vince McMahon) likes to do that — Give a guy a strong push, then bring him down again to finally receive another push. That’s how it should be too. I would expect that after all the guys above get their turn at the big time, Cena will be next. The waiting is worth it too. Batista is another superstar that has the look to make it to the top. Whereas the WWE knows he’s really green in the business and doesn’t have that much skills, they are trying to concentrate on his incredible look. I am happy that Batista is breaking away from D-Von, because this can only be a positive for him. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get a more clear perspective on what his new character will be like soon. Randy Orton hasn’t left that much of an impact since entering the WWE, but has definitely left his mark. Orton’s family has a long history with the company, and Randy is working very hard to make sure this trend continues. He was recently injured but I’ve noticed that the WWE is bringing him back into action on Velocity. I hope we’ll get to see more and more of him soon.
So, what is the conclusion? In my opinion, now it’s the time for people like Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Edge, Booker T (didn’t include him ’cause there is so much to say on him!), Benoit, and Eddie Guerrero to step up to the plate and main-event more and more competitions. It’s the time for people like Triple H, The Undertaker, and Kane to start helping there. The transformation wrestling is going through right now is very important, as it will no doubt determine the future of the company and the industry as well. Hopefully guys like Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena, Sean’O Haire, even Maven, etc., will be worked on in the upcoming year and they will be able to reach for the sky and become big stars. The potential is there, it’s all now in WWE’s hands to turn things around and help these guys. This is why the first group of people (Angle, Jericho, etc.) needs to step up a bit and get their time now, so within a year or two they will be even more of stars that will help the next group come in. Don’t pay attention to ratings at the moment. Yeah, I understand the situation is bad. Hey, this is a major transformation here. It will take time. It will take a long time for everything to work, just like Jim Ross says. The fans should just have the patience for it and don’t give up on these guys. As far as the WWE goes, they should work harder because in my book they proved with SummerSlam that if working harder and more carefully with your stars, you’ll be successful. So screw ratings, because all the John Cena’s, and all the Randy Orton’s and Brock Lesnar’s will carry this company for a long time to come probably! Let’s hope things get better in every aspect in the business.
Well, that will wrap it up for this week. Thanks for reading everyone, and feel free to send me any feedback you have. My e-mail is at the bottom. I do write back to every e-mail I get, so you will get a response from me! Once again, Thanks for reading!
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