Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
Apologies in advance, the robots are in the shop. My readers are stuck with my cynical joy of the art form for a while. Why are current promotions obsessed with dead horses? Smart marks might wonder why bookers with decades of alleged experience in terms of planning this stuff out look like third graders sometimes? Unfortunately, wrestling fans are stuck with storyboards from the mind of Forrest Gump instead of Picasso after the crayons have already been used. Crayons can be impossible to erase. “Stupid is as stupid does.” Do us a favor. QUIT doing stupid! Some of us are getting sick of: “Don’t like it, don’t watch” logic. It’s lazy, and all it has done is create fans like me that are constantly angry. Boys and girls, we should not feel like we are better qualified to do this job. Guess what? Some of us are actually that insane, and it’s YOUR FAULT! “Come on Booker Man!” Prove us wrong or get out!
Sadly, Impact is the biggest bastard child left in The American Carnival on the outskirts of The Last Great Circus. Outside the orbits of two or three PPVs a year, they don’t take themselves seriously at all. This makes it excessively difficult for marks to swim against the current. Nobody cares, it’s just a carnival, right? Keep this in mind as this week’s show opens with a deadpan Josh Matthews standing in studio bringing us news and footage of a recent attack on one of the newest additions to the company, GASP! Wait, less than a month ago this goofy prick was literally gifted Impact Gold and doing jumping jacks in a “match” with a world class athlete. Now we’re supposed to believe that he cares about his coworkers? Anybody else see the disconnect here? It’s okay, it’s just a joke anyway.
Don Callis was to receive an award after an Impact event in Toronto. There just happened to be a hard camera there? This doesn’t end well. Cue Yakety Sax. I do not laugh at a bleeding man. However, a barely talented performer who has been working to gain sheepish sympathy for two weeks only to have his coin flipped to tails AGAIN gets laughed at for two hours. Why am I pulling my hair out for the entirety of the show? Sami Callihan turns Mr. Callis into a hospital patient, attacking him during the acceptance speech because wrestling. Third graders, crayolas, and construction paper, oh my!
I wonder what happens because of this prefabricated atrocity? Well, let’s see. Sami’s fate is “thrown into question” after the assault. Matthews must fake concern and act like athletes were competing in a Sunday Morning Church for three quarters of the show. Where’s the Daffy Duck shotgun when you need it? First, PLEASE break the fourth wall: Who are these people eating pizza and drinking beer while pretending to discuss this fake outrage? Next, why do we have to fire someone the week after we put someone in a coffin? Finally, if The Bad Mullet was gonna get fired, I can walk. My colleagues and I could come up with better material in a month. Of course, the “Unsanctioned Match” is coming because Eddie Edwards demands to get his pound of flesh. If there is legitimate concern regarding a performer’s future with the company, why are we bombarded with it for 90 minutes? Mention it at the show’s onset. Make sure the dude signed his non-compete clause and shut up. It’s not like they haven’t shoot fired someone in the last six weeks. PS: If a match is truly “unsanctioned” and raises legal concerns, why is Impact Wrestling showing it next week? Normally, I would break down results and provide opinion on the rest of the action. If those in Dallas and Orlando honestly think we are stupider than Stamford does, what’s the point? Why do I care about the art form so much?
Dear Smarks: WWE Does Listen To Fans
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.
Cheap Shots: Should Finn Balor Quit WWE?
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.