"I honestly think that you are so good (different) at how you approach columns. I know some people take compliments lightly and such, but honestly, you should be a very proud man. Boatloads of people including me, read your columns ALL THE TIME. Me personally, I wake up every morning, and before I go to school, I read your column (I'm 16). Also, your consistency with your columns is amazing, just from reading them so much, I almost feel like I know your thought process (not that I do). So with all of that out of the way, thank you."
- Sean, wrestling fan
Please check out these columns written by yours truly. Simply give them a read and tell me what you think. Thanks!
Be sure to check out those columns! If you have some free time this weekend, there is some extra reading material for you. Everything is there. From the best Canadian born wrestlers to Daniel Bryan to Smackdown vs. Raw to the beloved Attitude Era, it's all covered. Give them a chance and feel free to send in feedback. I am always open to gathering new opinions/thoughts. Until then, let's get down to it.
Damion via email:
"With all the complaints about part timers on Sting and Hogan. In about 15 years, do you see
yourself complaining if Daniel Bryan or Ziggler are still wrestling in a large t-shirt in TNA or would you be happy to see your favorites?"
Here we go...
1. As usual, I see neither man anywhere near a TNA ring. Same with John Cena as GM or any other nonsense. The assumption is TNA be around in 15 years but certainly not with those guys.
2. Both guys would be well in their late 40's in 15 years. I'd like to think they would be happily retired and/or on part-time schedules. This era is seemingly much smarter with their money than guys like Hogan and Flair who HAVE to keep working in 2013. They HAVE to.
3. That being said, my position is the same for everybody. From Hogan to Sting to Stone Cold to Edge to every single retired wrestler, it is all similar. At some point, you just reach your expiration date. That may sound cruel, but it is reality. Due to injury, age, or diminishing skills, Father Time is undefeated. Some start to wind down in their 30's. Others can perform at a high level older than that. However, once it comes to wearing large shirts to cover your physique and moving in slow motion during matches, yes - it is time to step away. If Bryan and Ziggler are in that position 15 years from now, I will the exact same thing.
Scott via email:
"Just wanted to weigh in on Smackdown losing viewership. Many will point to spoilers and not live, but I'm going to propose something different. Lack of compelling story lines continuing from Raw and recaps on Raw. When Smackdown first started, stories carried from show to show seamlessly. There was actually a reason to watch. You didn't want to miss the what could happen with your favorite stars and be left out when Raw came the next week. It was a big deal to watch.
Then the brand extension happened. People had a reason to watch if they wanted to see there favorite stars. Of course, some could pick one over the other, but that's their choice. Then the brand extension winded down and the Raw super show happened followed by the extension ending fully. Now we have what's left... John Cena vs. Ryback? Not on Smackdown. Are you going to miss something on Daniel Bryan and Kane story? Nope, they will recap the important stuff on Raw. Oh and Sheamus vs. Damion Sandow? They show the beat down on Raw. No need to sit through a 10 minute promo. Actually, WWE may be their own worst enemy. I can add an hour to Raw and forget about two with Smackdown. I'll take that any day.
My point is the problem is twofold. The big money story lines need to carry over. Make people watch and with that quit recapping so much on Raw. Spoilers are not why the program is going down hill. Friday (although a terrible slot) is not why either. WWE needs to look at themselves and place blame with marketing. They became too content with the blue brand... Almost like any other show they've produced not named Raw. That list is too long, and I'll leave it there."
Good points. Just a couple things to add!
1. It's not the Friday night time slot. That has been their 'home' for years now and never had this big drop off in viewers. The big decrease in viewership has started up recently.
2. It is not the spoilers at all. Smackdown has been taped since 1999. The impact of those is beyond meaningless. Again, the big decrease in viewership started just a few months ago.
3. The Blue Brand has ALWAYS been treated as second banana and shown recap videos. That is nothing new. Outside of a few instances, Raw has been number one. Again, the decrease in viewers has been a 2013 trend.
That leaves us with the same question: What has happened the past few months? It can't be the spoilers - those have always been there. It can't be the Friday night spot - that has been there for years now. It can't be the lack of top stars appearing regularly - Smackdown has been that way for awhile now. Thus, what could it be?
Without digging too deep, I'm just going to go with current story lines as the blame. It has to be the reason, right? I can't think of anything else. People just do not have a reason to watch the Blue Brand. Like you said, MAKE them watch it! Give them something to grab onto. Forget about spoilers, star power or any of that stuff. It has all been constant for years now. The only changed variable is feuds we see on television.
Lisa via Twitter:
"Lisa (@LisasRevenge79) @JustinWatry he go from winning awards hosting ECW with Grish, then inter web doom on diva NXT then backstage reporter."
Matt Striker was NOT my favorite announcer. My feelings for the guy have been well known. He did nothing for me, was dreadful on commentary a few years ago, ruined a couple of MAJOR moments and was (thankfully) fazed out of the product months ago. Thus, his release was not very surprising.
That being said, I never wish to see someone lose their job. As much as he made me want to turn the channel, the man was living out his dream and working for WWE. You have to respect that. I have done my due diligence and reached out to him for an interview. My guess is he declines, and that is perfectly understandable. I have not been kind to his WWE announcing skills over the years. Hopefully, he responds to my request by next week!
James via email:
"As of this writing, Randy Orton has just beat Daniel Bryan on Raw. Right now, I can Daniel doing what HBK did and spiral out of control and kind of go into that depressive state to where he needs the WWE title to prove he is not the weak link. So much to the point that Cena beats Bryan over and over again and Bryan goes so far wanting to prove he is not the weak link that he turns heel and starts saying Kane, Randy, and Shield have done this to him. He could be a delusional heel going forward, and I can see it being one of the better stories of the year."
1. There are conflicting stories about what happened on Raw this past week. Some say the whole thing is a story line with his injury. Others claim Bryan was going to win, but everything changed on the fly - which saw Orton 'win' the match. Thus, it depends on what you believe was in the script.
2. I keep reading about Bryan going heel. Maybe it is just me, but why? For what? Unless there is a PERFECT story line written for the next few months, he seems to be doing very well with the live crowd reactions. Going against that is a risky move, after Ryback just lost two straight pay-per-view WWE Title matches versus John Cena.
3. I ma with you on the 'weak link' side, just not necessarily with the heel turn. Shawn Michaels has done a similar story line twice in the last decade. At Summerslam 2005, he faced Hulk Hogan and HAD to find out if he could win. That included a short lived heel run. Obviously Shawn lost...but he had to know. Also, HBK did the same thing with The Undertaker leading up to WM26. The man was obsessed with ending the streak and was willing to do anything to beat Taker, so much as to put his career on the line. Ironically enough, Shawn lost again. That a great story and featured nobody turning heel - just one man trying to prove his worth to another.
Aasim via email:
"I thought Brock vs. Punk would take place at Summerslam. What was Brock doing here? Do you think the plans are rushed, and at Summerslam, we might see Punk vs. RVD?"
I hope not.
Brock appearing now does not mean anything. He attacked Triple H last April, yet fought him at Summerslam months later. Him going after Punk now (in June) just plants the seeds for a future clash. I'd like to think WWE has enough foresight to hold off on that one until Summerslam - NOT Money in the Bank next month. Punk can just face Curtis Axel or stay off the PPV card in July - I don't know. Wrestle Paul Heyman for all I care...
As for RVD, I really don't see him spending much time in the main event scene. A few big matches here and there, maybe a title shot or something? Sure. Imagine something like Christian or Chris Jericho. It'd be very surprising if Punk vs. RVD ever takes place on PPV. The only link is Paul Heyman, and even that is stretching it because Rob Van Dam will be cheered upon his comeback.
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