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Impact Quickie #6

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My apologies for getting this out late. Human interaction headed into a weekend is rare. The robots understand. I hope my readers and Twitter followers do as well. Let’s find out if there was anything interesting coming from the last episode of Impact Wrestling.

As marks may remember, this was the first television out of Orlando since Redemption. My boys and I felt weird from the opening bell when Trevor Lee faced Brian Cage. “How can you be the head of a two-person cult?” PC Little Dragon laughs. Cage was dominant in the 6-way X-Division Match at the PPV. Of course, he was dominant here. The Cult Leader got a small amount of offense in the ring. His decent flurry was on the outside, but it wasn’t enough. The Machine went over with a Discus Lariat and a Drill Claw. Cage’s movement and strength evoked a Kerry Von Erich comparison from Commentator Don Callis. Physically, this is understandable, especially when new old-school marks watch the man deliver a Discus Clothesline. Very faint shades of the former NWA Champion are visible. Even I smile when I see it. However, Kerry still has an emotional connection with fans across the globe 25 years after his passing. The kid won’t touch that.

The Owl’s next segment is a recap of the 6-Man Hardcore Rules Match from Redemption. Quick refresher: Eddie Edwards has had a very personal issue with Sami Callihan & OVE for weeks. After The Ohio Funhouse’s treatment of both Eddie and his wife, no fans following this storyline were blaming him for any emotional reaction surrounding this match. Based on happenings at the PPV and the fallout, the former wolf has gone off the deep end. Manifestations continued as Edwards called the trio out again, even after winning last Sunday. AI Hercules is exacerbated. “Bad enough there’s a low-budget vibe to this place, but why do organizations have a need to flip scripts to keep programs going when they should be done?”  On the video board in the arena, we see Edwards’ wife in her hospital room after HE HIMSELF struck her in a blind rage at Redemption? Sometimes writers are stupid, and they make me HATE wrestling! The original psycho, Sami Callihan is now a bloody mess who just wants to apologize? Eddie sees his wife in “danger” and flies to the “hospital” to attack Callihan and get arrested for his trouble. As a mark for decades, this concept is rare and drives me crazy. Phrased simpler: If something appears resolved, why turn it into Hart/Austin? This feud isn’t on the same level. Sheep, prepare to keep pulling your hair out.

Now for a partially understandable soap opera. Braxton Sutter tried to cut an in-ring promo. Does anybody wanna see this dude in his current form? Does anybody take him seriously? I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the dude or throw up listening to him. Moose came out to put The Walking Wedding Proposal out of his misery and did so relatively quickly. The odd thing about this match was later confirmed by geeks all over the Internet Wrestling Community. It was Braxton Sutter’s final match in Impact for the foreseeable future. Afterward, the former Offensive Lineman took the mic to run down Austin Aries and remind New Impact World Champion Pentagon Jr. of his presence. This Action fits perfectly after The Golden Vegan’s sham of a State of The Union Address that kicked off the show.

Late act recess finds Taya Valkyrie tangling with Champion Allie for Knockouts Gold. Is there a practical reason why Su Yung lost at Redemption? Anyway, the match on television was nothing more than a showcase for Taya’s professionalism. Johnny’s Better Half lost clean from a Superkick and a Code Breaker. Lucha Royalty’s defeat wasn’t the point of the segment. As soon as Allie stands up from her victory, spooky music is accompanied by lights out, yikes! Six female zombies could be seen carrying a coffin. The Paula Bearers set it down at the base of the ring. “Why are these girls impersonating Calloway’s daughters? There is one Dead Angel in wrestling and Jacobs’ Monster knows who she is.” PC Little Dragon says with a smile in his voice. Back to programming. Lights come up to find Su Yung behind Allie! The Undead Bride begins beating The Knockouts Champion up and threatens to put her in the coffin. LIGHTS OUT AGAIN! Rosemary is here to protect her friend! After an EPIC stare down and quick exchange, it’s pitch black for a final time, allowing Su Yung to escape!

Heading backstage, we see someone laid out after being attacked. What could a red flag with a black X possibly mean? Jump to The LAX Clubhouse minus Konnan. We are to infer that he was the one assaulted. Naturally, a void in leadership translates into a frazzled LAX with split agendas. The former champs invoked their rematch clause after losing The Impact Tag Team Gold.  In a mild surprise, the straps belong to Eli Drake & Scott Steiner. The Self-Induced Hyphen and Ham Cube still have The Gold because of distracted challengers. This just got interesting, stay tuned. Last week’s festivities concluded with four athletes and a ton of Gold in the ring, including Austin Aries and Pentagon Jr. The curtain falls and we’ll see everybody next week

 

 

 

 

 

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Dear Smarks: WWE Does Listen To Fans

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Stephanie McMahon WWE

Either last week or earlier this week (my days are running together so I don’t remember), Stephanie McMahon was at a summit called ‘Game Changer’ and she made the following comment: ‘We’re successful for one reason only – we listen to our fans.’

The internet smarks ROASTED Stephanie over this comment, mocking her for claiming that WWE listens to their fans when, in their minds, that is clearly not the case. Why? Because Roman Reigns, not Braun Strowman is champion, among other things. Clearly, any company that makes Roman Reigns champion over Braun Strowman isn’t listening to their fans, or at least, their REAL fans. You know, the all-knowing, smark community who know how to run a multi-billion dollar business better than the people who work there do.

I’ve tackled this ‘Real fan’ nonsense in the past and I’m really not in the mood to do it now and the issue of Braun Strowman being champion is an article unto itself. However, let’s be clear here: WWE DOES listen to their fans and the fans they listen to are the fans that buy stuff.

WWE first, last, always, and forever, is a business. They need money to survive and being a publicly traded company, they need money to keep the shareholders happy, that means they have to know who and what makes the money to keep the shareholders happy and keep the company afloat and who is making them the most money is Roman Reigns.

Don’t give me that look. Don’t roll your eyes at me and grumble about him being over pushed and/or shoved down your throat. I can name several people in WWE not named Roman Reigns that are over pushed. The bottom line is that Reigns moves merchandise, his stuff sells and sells really well. Having been to a few WWE TV/PPV tapings, I can tell you that Reigns’ stuff can get a little tough to find and is usually the most requested item.

Now before any of you make snide comments about Reigns having more stuff to sell, I checked WWE’s shop are and compared the number of Roman Reigns shirts to the number of shirts for AJ Styles, in terms of shirts including: T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and what’s available for both genders, Roman Reigns had thirteen shirts available while Styles had twenty. Thirteen different shirt designs to twenty and that doesn’t include hats, gloves, or the non-wearable stuff available.

Oh, Reigns’ stuff is bought by women and kids, so it shouldn’t count? Here’s my question: So what? It’s still money that SOMEONE is spending on merchandise. If WWE didn’t want women and kids to buy their stuff, they wouldn’t be marketing stuff for women and kids. Why? Because women and kids are FANS!

For those of you still grumbling, here’s some food for your thoughts: Why should WWE listen to their ‘real’ fans? No, I’m serious. Why should they listen to fans who cheer something one week, boo it the next, demand that indy darlings get pushed despite getting mediocre pops from Main Roster audiences, and pay more attention to beach balls and time clocks than the matches? Why should they listen to people who BRAG about spending a lot of money on tickets just to boo one person they don’t like?

WWE is like any company, they listen with their bottom line, and what they’re hearing from fans is that the fans like Reign because that’s the stuff that sells the best. And before you say one thing about about Reigns’ stuff being more available at TV tapings and Live Events, I’ve been to a RAW taping, a RAW PPV, and a SmackDown/205 taping and while Reigns stuff was at SmackDown, there was also a lot of Styles and Cena stuff available at RAW events and I’m not hearing any complaining about that.

Maybe the problem isn’t that WWE isn’t listening, it’s just that your views aren’t the what the majority paying fans think or want. WWE is catering to what most of their fans want, not just the small minority that can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want.

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Cheap Shots: Should Finn Balor Quit WWE?

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Why Finn Balor should “Quit” The WWE

After seeing KO burst into tears on Monday night RAW two weeks ago and “quit” there were a slew of videos about why KO “quit”. The biggest one was to revitalize his character. So in playing the devils advocate why not have the first Universal Champion quit? Here’s why!

After Balor won and “lost” the title after 2016 SummerSlam he’s had and up and down career in the main roster. The once longest reigning NXT champion was a phenomenon when he joined the NXT, but once he hit the main roster, while fan support is still there it is fleeting. He had a brief reunion with Gallows and Anderson which might’ve singled a heel turn to fans, a feud with Rollins for the IC title and has had back to back to back matches against Baron Corbin. None of which have done anything for the superstars character. A heel turn might have helped a few months ago, but the repetitive booking has kind of killed that momentum. 

With Finn away from the scene for a while it might help the WWE reevaluate the talent that is Finn Balor, it might also give Finn time to figure himself out too. With a WIN to his name against Elias, it seems like the co-founder of the Bullet Club may either turn to his alter ego The Demon, or perhaps a superstar shakeup is in order and he should be in place to get Balor back in the limelight. Right now, Raw seems packed full of main card talent that is either starting a faction of sorts I.E. Braun, Drew and Dolph or is turning on The Shield. 

Listen, while SmackDown Live is producing the better show, it is not like the talent on there is being utilized any better. Nakamura is in limbo with the U.S. title, Aj and Joe are having a great feud in terms of promos, but not in the squared circle. The only thing that brings SmackDown Live as the A show is really their tag division and the Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch feud. 

So maybe a frustrated Finn goes away, and comes back as The Demon on SmackDown Live and interjects himself in the feud between AJ and Joe, maybe he causes friction between The Club and AJ and they “screw over” AJ during a title match, the possibilities are endless moving Balor to team blue, but what this boils down to is WWE needs to make this move while Balor is still a fan favourite and what I mean by that is that he will always have the crowd behind him, but even the loyalist fans can get bored. 

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